Archive for June, 2014

Any Major Fathers Vol. 1

June 12th, 2014 9 comments

Any Major FathersSunday is Father’s Day in many countries. There are a lot of songs that are about fatherhood, or about being the children of fathers. This mix includes just a few of them.

Some are obvious (“Father And Son”), others not immediately so, such as Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”, which Stevie Nicks has said is about her dad. Some of the songs are about fathers, others are from the perspective of fathers. As a father myself, I have a particular fondness for the latter category, songs like Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy”, and especially Gil Scott-Heron’s wonderful “Your Daddy Loves You”.

Not all songs speak of love and respect; some acknowledge tension between fathers and their children. For example, Springsteen declares his independence from his dad. But the biggest fuck-you to a father is in The Cardigan’s quite brutal song. Clearly their father was nothing like that of The Winstons or George Strait. Loudon Wainwright III, whose daughter Martha has in a song called him pretty much every bad word, nails the difficult type of father-child relationships with this line: “maybe it’s hate, but probably it’s love”.

Even though I lost my father many years ago, I’m still always deeply moved by Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father”. But the sentiment isn’t only for my loss, but also for the emotion my eventual passing might provoke (especially since I actually was a dancing father).

And then there is the tale of divorced dad, O.C. Smith’s touching “Daddy’s Little Man”. Bet he wishes that he had married Gladys Knight instead of his ex.

The mix ends on a light note, with Shel Silverstein’s follow-up to his hit song “A Boy Named Sue”. Here the story is presented from the perspective of Sue’s father. Be assured that the father of a boy named Sue deserves no “Dad of the Year” beer mugs.

I have plenty left-overs for another mix next year. In the interim: Happy Fathers’ Day to all us dads.

As always: CD-R, covers etc. PW in comments.

1. Ben Folds – Still Fighting It (2001)
2. Ron Sexsmith – Michael And His Dad (2011)
3. The Cardigans – Don’t Blame Your Daughter (Diamond) (2005)
4. Conner Reeves – My Father’s Son (1997)
5. Luther Vandross – Dance With My Father (2003)
6. John Lennon – Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) (1980)
7. Bruce Springsteen – Independence Day (1980)
8. Loudon Wainwright III – A Father And A Son (1992)
9. Emmylou Harris – To Daddy (1978)
10. George Strait – Love Without End, Amen (1990)
11. Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band (1981)
12. Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson – Your Daddy Loves You (1973)
13. The Winstons – Color Him Father (1969)
14. O.C. Smith – Daddy’s Little Man (1969)
15. Clarence Carter – Patches (1970)
16. Gladys Knight & The Pips – This Child Needs Its Father (1973)
17. Bobbie Gentry – Papa, Won’t You Let Me Go To Town With You (1967)
18. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide (1975)
19. Everything But The Girl – The Night I Heard Caruso Sing (1988)
20. Kristin Chenoweth – Fathers And Daughters (2011)
21. Cat Stevens – Father And Son (1970)
22. Shel Silverstein – Father Of A Boy Named Sue (1978)


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In Memoriam – May 2014

June 5th, 2014 6 comments

In Memoriam - May 2014Drummer Bobby Gregg, who has died at 78, played on such classics as Bob Dylan”s “Like A Rollin” Stone” “” the famous snare drum shot that opens the song is his timeless contribution to rock music lore “” and Simon & Garfunkel”s “Sound Of Silence”. Briefly a member of The Hawks, who would become The Band, he was also a producer.

Jazz trumpeter Joe Wilder, dead at 92, boasted an impressive resumé, having played with the likes of Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Benny Goodman, Shirley Scott and Houston Person, and backing such vocalists as Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Johnny Mathis, Etta Jones, Harry Belafonte, Chris Connor and Tony Bennett. Many times he was Quincy Jones” go-to man, and in 1986 he played in the Malcolm X Orchestra for the Spike Lee film on the slain activist. And he was among the first thousand African-Americans to serve in the US marines in World War 2.

Jessica Cleaves  was an early member of Earth, Wind & Fire, but departed before the Chicago group hit the big time. Before that she was the female lead of the Friends of Distinction, and later performed with Parliament/Funkadelic. Blessed with a gorgeous, rich voice, not dissimilar to later stars such as Cheryl Lynn and Anita Baker, Cleaves never had a solo career, which is a pity.

He was one of the most popular crooners in the 1950s and “60s, but I suspect most people would recognise Jerry Vale from countless mafia movies in which he appeared in singing roles, including GoodFellas, Casino and Donnie Brasco, and apparently in several episodes of The Sopranos (though I don”t remember that at all).

French composer, arranger and screenwriter André Popp wrote several entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, Read more…

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