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Any Major Roads Vol. 3

February 9th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments


Any Major Road Vol.3

The first two Any Major Road mixes (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) were so popular, here”s a third one. And this time we let in hitch-hikers, as the cover indicates. I have test-driven this mix for a couple of months now; I really like it.

As I did with the Beach Boys for the summer mixes, I include one Bruce Springsteen song per roads set. Of course, the Beach Boys could also contend having bossed the car song genre. And another one who could stake a claim is, surprisingly, Bob Dylan. But they get only one song, for there”s only one The Boss.

Still, Dylan appears here, on the third volume. And his song is followed by one of the rockabilly artists who had a great influence on the young Robert. Warren Smith never really hit the big time, but I think his Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache is one of the finest songs on any of these road mixes (Dylan recorded a version if it in 2001).

His career at Sun Records having stalled, Smith moved to California and had a couple of minor hits on Liberty records. His career was ruined by a car crash in 1965, in the aftermath of which Smith became addicted to painkillers and then to alcohol, culminating in a prison term for a robbery of a pharmacy. In the late 1970s Smith enjoyed something of a comeback in Britain and Europe, at a time of a rockabilly revival there. After a successful tour of Britain and Europe he was planning another one. He never went: a heart attack killed him on January 30, 1980, about a week before he would have turned 48.

Warren Smith and pal.

Warren Smith and pal.

After Smith had left Sun, another act featured here signed for the label. You may recall The Jesters from the Any American Road Trip – Stage 5 mix. Not to be confused with the New York doo-wop band of the late 1950s, this lot was a mid-1960s Memphis garage rock band. And why were they signed for Sun Records? Because their bassist and producer were label boss Sam Philips” sons. Cadillac Man from 1966 was their only single. When it tanked, the band broke up.

The Jesters were unmistakably influenced by the rockabilly of their predecessors on Sun. Two more recent acts here draw from the same pool of influences:  Scotty Baker“s 2001 song “˜50 Buick could have been recorded by any number of rockabilly acts in 1958; even his CD cover looks like it was made then. The Little Willies are an Americana band: the title of their Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves sounds like a “50s country title; the sound is an updated version of that from those days.

Most of the acts here are Americans, but two acts here are from Britain. The Kinks are well-known; sadly, Scottish outfit Hipsway never became really big. They had a UK Top 20 in 1986 with the outstanding The Honeythief. Songs like Ask The Lord and The Broken Years should have been big hits too, as should have been the featured song, Long White Car, which reached #55 in the UK in September 1986. It”s a great shame they never made it big.

On the subject of the covers: I don”t know whether I”m wasting my time making them, but I hope they at least look good. For this mix, both images are from pixabay.com, a very useful royalty-free photo resource (the frontcover photo is by cocoparisienne; the back-cover by Lufina).

Some people made suggestions for future mixes in the comments of previous mixes. Feel free to add to them for a possible readers” mix.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. Home-pimped covers are included. PW the same as always (amdwhah)

1. Willie Nelson – On The Road Again (1980)
2. Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee (1971)
3. Bob Dylan – On The Road Again (1965)
4. Warren Smith – Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache (1957)
5. Chuck Berry – Nadine (Is That You?) (1964)
6. Jean DuShon – Hitch Hike (1964)
7. The Jesters – Cadillac Man (1966)
8. The Kinks – Drivin” (1969)
9. Sammy Johns – Chevy Van (1975)
10. Tom Waits – Diamonds On My Windshield (1974)
11. Tom Russell – Down The Rio Grande (2001)
12. Bruce Springsteen – Racing In The Street (1978)
13. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)
14. Hipsway – Long White Car (1986)
15. Black Heat – Drive My Car (1975)
16. Eddie Rabbitt – Drivin” My Life Away (1980)
17. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Truck Drivin” Man (1987)
18. Roy Orbison – I Drove All Night (rel. 1992)
19. Scotty Baker – “˜50 Buick (2001)
20. The Little Willies – Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves (2012)
21. Jerry Reed – East Bound And Down (1977)
22. Robert Mitchum – Ballad Of Thunder Road (1960)


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  1. bd
    February 9th, 2017 at 07:33 | #1

    Thanks for all your excellent mixes. Any chance we could get a Any Major goes Hawaiian? Hawaii in Black and White and come covers of Hawaiian music since 1960 would be excellent.


  2. halfhearteddude
    February 9th, 2017 at 08:38 | #2

    What an interesting idea, though completely outside my range of knowledge. Other than Don Ho, the big dude singing “Over The Rainbow”, and a few artists who featured in In Memoriam over the years, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

  3. Phil
    February 9th, 2017 at 11:32 | #3

    As Always, great songs , Some of them Well known, but others surprisingly new for me.
    Thank you for the new “roads” in my music choice.

  4. iggy
    February 9th, 2017 at 15:46 | #4

    This may be the best road trip of all, Dude. Good from first note to last, especially since that last note wraps up “Thunder Road”: “The law they never got him, ’cause the devil got him first”. Can’t wait to crank up the ancient hot rod and hit the road…

    All good wishes,


  5. iggy
    February 11th, 2017 at 15:58 | #5

    Hey Dude. If you’re wondering where to start in Hawaii, let me suggest the name “Gabby Pahinui”. That will lead you down the rabbit hole of some wonderful “real” Hawaiian music. For a clue, check out the soundtrack to the movie “The Descendants” from a few years back. It’s the most authentic movie music I’ve heard lately. I know you’ll enjoy it, even if you don’t pursue the theme idea. All good wishes to you…


  6. Ken
    February 28th, 2017 at 16:56 | #6

    Thanks for including Robert Mitchum’s Thunder Road. Remember seeing the movie many, many years ago. The song says it all.

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