Monday, October 27, 2008

Another 10 Random Albums

Warning: this is a boring bunch.

Mozart Concerto in B Flat Major for bassoon and orchestra, Concerto in A Major for clarinet and orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham

Someone gave me this one. It’s from 1960 and it’s Mozart. And it’s mono. Mozart wrote a concerto for everything. Bassoon. How many bassoon concertos are there?


Mozart Clarinet Trio, Oboe Quartet, Horn Quintet. W. Triebskorn – clarinet, A. Sous - Oboe, S. Huber – horn, Endres Quartet.

Did I say that Mozart wrote a concerto for everything? Don’t even start on his chamber music. This is a Turnabout record. I don’t remember where I got it. Probably that little shop on Vaughan, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra one. Turnabout records were from Vox Productions, “…the creators of the Vox Box.” In case you were wondering.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Gervase de Peyer - Clarinet, Lothar Koch – Oboe, Amadeus-Quartet.

The inconsistency in labelling is simply attributable to the fact that I copy what’s on the record cover. This is the same oboe quartet that’s on the Turnabout recording, but this is a DG recording, which is always classy. The cover is a masterpiece. And, possibly, if you’re going to own only one classical recording, the Mozart clarinet quintet is the one to have.

Brahms: Violin Concerto, Itzhak Perlman, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Carlo Maria Guilini

Brahms doesn’t move me very far. Perhaps that is evidence of the fact that I am nothing but an ignorant philistine. But it’s true. He sounds a bit academic to me, which may be why he wrote the Academic Festival Overture.

J. S. Bach: Four Flute Sonatas, Elaine Shaffer (flute), George Malcolm (harpsichord) Ambrose Gauntlett (viola da gamba)

An Angel recording – Angel was the classical division of Capital / EMI

The liner notes of this record state that 3 of the 4 works on it are probably not by Bach. They used to be by Bach, but they are not anymore. It seems that authorship (composership?) can change. But really. I wrote it, but I don't have written it anymore. Or something.
I am not allowed to dispose of this record. That’s because one of us plays flute. Not me. I don’t play flute. But the one of us who does has indicated a preference for keeping this, notwithstanding our inability to hear it. Remind you of someone? This, by the way, was a library record, which I probably bought at one of their we-are-getting-rid-of-our-stuff sales.

Dinu Lipatti Chopin, Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58, Barcarolle in F-Sharp Major, Op. 60, Nocture No. 8 in D-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2, Mazurka No. 32 in C-Sharp Minor, Ip. 50, No 3

Chopin. I remember a Peanuts cartoon with Schroeder playing piano and Snoopy melting. "Chopin" he think-says. I was a kid and had never heard of Chopin. Chopin what thought I. Onions?

The Best Of Liona Boyd

Classical guitar, I guess. The music is fairly esoteric, Sagreras, Tàrrega, Payet. But then there is Bach, Vivaldi, Satie. Liona Boyd was blond and nubile, and this record was made in 1982, and now it is 25 years later. That’s all.

Johannes Brahms – Symphony No. 4, Weiner Philharmoniker, Carlos Kleiber

What I said about Brahms? Forget it. This is majestic stuff. The 4th symphony is in a class by itelf. I first heard it in a recording by Adrian Boult, and I remember listening to it as I washed the floor of my apartment, and that was the only time I ever washed that floor. The third movement is the one that Rick Wakeman does (“Cans And Brahms”) on Fragile, by Yes. And Kleiber, who died a few years ago, was a bit of an eccentric, and his father, Erich Kleiber, a German, was a hero; he was known for having refused to play under the Nazis, unlike, say, Karajan or Furtwangler or Boehm. And his version of Beethoven's 5th is considered unmatched

Rimksy-Korsakov, Scheherazade, op. 35, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy.

Another one that my parents had, this music, not this recording. This recording is ancient. There’s no year on it but it’s mono and it doesn’t even say mono. It says “Long Playing” (is that like long suffering?) and on the cover it says “A Magnificent Adventure in Hi-Fidelity Sound.” So there.

Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On the Bare Mountain, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, Colin Davis

I’m done here. Look this one up yourself…

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Last Gasp of No Rock And Roll...

This is where I get to be a dj ha ha.

I have this tape called Television’s Greatest Hits and it disappointed me when I got it because of The Beverly Hillbillies. See this is a long story. Flatt & Scruggs did “The Ballad Of Jed Clampett” and that was used as the theme for the TV show and the singer’s name was Jerry Scoggin. I always thought that it was Jed Clampett himself, but not so. It was Jerry Scoggin, whose greatest accomplishment was undoubtedly his recording of the Ballad Of Jed Clampett. Columbia put the record out as a single, and it appeared on the Flatt & Scruggs album Hard Travelin’ Featuring The Ballad Of Jed Clampett. But the singer on the record wasn’t Scoggin, it was Scruggs, (or Flatt I’m not sure which), and listen to Television’s Greatest Hits and you hear the songs as heard on the record, not as heard on TV. So that’s why I was disappointed.

So Rhino had an album of TV themes, a different collection entirely, and nothing much of interest, but Rhino had so much integrity, that I assumed that they would have the TV version of Jed Clampett, but I was disappointed again. So in the end I used my portable cassette recorder and taped it off the TV with the built-in mike. Lucky for me that some station had The Beverly Hillbillies running in syndication.

So that Rhino LP, that’s where I got Bandstand Boogie by Les Baxter. That’s why I told that story. It is an orphan child here. The song, not the story. I will explain that later.

This is a collection of pre-rock and roll stuff, from here and from there.

Some tracks are from various various artist collections from Atantic: Stick McGhee, Faye Adams, The Chords, The Cookies. Then there was Echoes Of A Rock And Roll Era, which was several LPs, different volumes featuring slightly different eras but al pre-Beatles anyway, that’s old stuff that the library used to have. That’s a long time ago, I picked it up maybe 30 years ago. And some random R&B collections, and some more tracks from From The Vaults, that we heard from already.

Drinkin’ Wine”: an early song about substance abuse, covered later by Jerry Lee Lewis.

"Gee": Great doo-wop by a classic bird group (The Crows)

"Good Rocking Tonight": This is the original. There are more versions of this song than you can shake a stick at, Elvis did it on one of his early Sun singles, and Pat Boone, and Paul McCartney years later.

"Cara Mia": the operatic original, a top 10 single in 1965 for Jay & The Americans, I love this, corny as it is.

"Hound Dog": the original, with the original lyrics, a huge hit of course for Elvis later. Eric Clapton restored the lyrics on Journeyman.

"Reconsider Baby": another one covered by Elvis on the celebrated Elvis Is Back lp, considered a powerhouse performance

"Don’t Start Me To Talking": covered by The Doobie Brothers on Toulouse Street.

"Sh-boom": The original by the Chords. The Crewcuts rode this to number 1 in summer 1954, but The Chords version was also in the top 10, which, in 1954, wasn’t supposed to happen.

The Cookies: I do believe became the Raelettes in due course; that was Ray Charles’ backing group, they were not the group that did “Chains.”

Les Baxter:
  • Bandstand Boogie

Stick McGhee & His Buddies:
  • Drinking wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee

Faye Adams:
  • Shake A Hand

The Chords:

The Crows:
  • Gee

The Four Knights:
  • Oh Baby Mine
  • Dreamy Eyes

The Gaylords:
  • From The Vine To The Grape

Pee Wee King:
  • Bonaparte's Retreat

Roy Brown:
  • Good Rockin' Tonight

Big Mama Thornton:
  • Hound Dog

The Cookies:
  • In Paradise

David Whitfield:

Lowell Fulson:
  • Reconsider Baby
  • Don't Start Me To Talking

Woody Guthrie:
  • This Land Is Your Land

Goldie Hill:
  • I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes

Grady Martin & His Winging Strings:
  • Pork Chop Stomp

Rod Sovine and Webb Pierce:
  • Why Baby Why

Danny Young with Roger Miller;
  • On This Mountain Top

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hank Williams

The Original Singles...Plus

When I listen to Hank Williams it amazes me that anyone with such a plain voice, who wrote such disarmingly simple songs, and whose style was so basic, could be so vital. There is no artifice here, nothing that gets between the singer and the listener, not an extra note, nothing intrusive or unnecessary in the arrangements.

And it’s very unfortunate that the powers in my writing are inadequate to describe what it is that I hear here. It is something real here. I forget that this guy is singing, that he is a recording artist, that it is “country” music, that it is anything other than direct emotional communication. It just is what it is. You don’t hear that often.


This is 90 minutes worth of tracks from the box set, I saved the songs I knew, the ones that everyone knows. So many of these songs ended up elsewhere: “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by B. J. Thomas and The Cowboy Junkies, “Honky Tonkin’” by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight” and “Cold Cold Heart” by Tony Bennett, “My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” and “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You” by Ricky Nelson, “(I Hear That) Lonesome Whistle” by Johnny Cash, “Half As Much” by Rosemary Clooney, “You Win Again” by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Kaw-Liga” by Charlie Pride and by Hank Williams Jr. (or is that cheating?), “Take These Chains From My Heart” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Ray Charles, “Jambalaya (On The Bayou) by Brenda Lee, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Fats Domino, and the first time I heard the song at all was by The Blue Ridge Rangers, who put it on the top 10 in 1972, “Lovesick Blues”, by, well, who didn’t do “Lovesick Blues.”

That’s just what I have, and it’s still just scratching the surface. This is from the West Kildonan Library

Hank Williams:

  • Never Again (Will I Knock On Your Door)
  • Wealth Won't Save Your Soul
  • Last Night (I Heard You Crying In Your Sleep)
  • Move It On Over
  • Honky Tonkin’
  • A Mansion On The Hill
  • I Can’t Get You Off My Mind
  • Lovesick Blues
  • Wedding Bells
  • There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight
  • I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
  • My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
  • I Just Don’t Like This Kind Of Livin’
  • Long Gone Lonesome Blues
  • Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)?
  • Cold Cold Heart
  • Dear John
  • I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You
  • Hey, Good Lookin'
  • (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle
  • I'd Still Want You
  • Honky Tonk Blues
  • Half As Much
  • Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
  • Settin' The Woods On Fire
  • You Win Again
  • I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive
  • I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You
  • Kaw Liga
  • Your Cheatin’ Heart
  • Take These Chains From My Heart
  • Ramblin’ Man
  • There’s A Tear In My Beer

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I wrote this in January of this year. Circumstances are different, we don't live in the same neighbourhood, and I've changed jobs, so this is a bit of a time capsule, but why waste a good post...


This is about walking.

I have cassettes. I know that's antiquated. But that's what I have. I used to have a lot of vinyl. I still have some, and of course I have CDs and I have mp3s. But most of what I have is on cassette.

And being neurotic, I have them all numbered. First I have some pre-rock-and-roll era stuff, then I have all these best of's / collections / greatest hits from all these 50's and 60's era artists (in some kind of weird chronological order) then a series of a-bunch-of-albums-by (The Beatles, Dylan, Nilsson, Croce etc), then a bunch of random 60s albums, then a bunch of random 70s albums, then chaos. (We neurotics can deal with chaos, as long as we make a category out it).

So one day back in 2003, I grabbed my Walkman (now you see why I have three?), stuck tape no 1 into it, and went off to work. Then I followed it with number 2 etc. I kept this up until August 31, 2006, which was my last day of work.

After a few weeks of unemployment I realized that I wasn't getting ahead in my cassette-listening-to project. So that evening, I decided to carry on the project just by going out walking in the evening.

And I did just that. As I recall, I was up to somewhere in 1965, listening to The Small Faces. And I began to do this every night.

Now as it happens, my life was not very good right about then. Some days were very difficult. Other days were just somewhat difficult. And these walks became therapeutic. When I went out at night and I walked around my neighbourhood, I felt like I was reclaiming myself. I would turn up the music that was already deafening my not-so-young-anymore ears, I would jump around on the rocks at Gold Park and play air bass to Butterfield Blues Band doing One More Heartache, I would look wistfully at reflections of the condos in the fake lake in Bois Franc while The Statler Brothers intoned Who Am I To Say, or I would jump fences across from Place Vertû Shopping Centre, listening the whole time to Roget Daltrey scream about how he won't get fooled again.

After a while I standardized on a few specific walking paths. I like walking through Beaudet Park, which is diagonally across from the du College Métro Station; they have a memorial fountain there, and they decorate the whole area around there for holidays and the like - in November they put up memorial wreaths, in December they decorate the trees. Then I walk down Decarie Blvd, past the stores and galleries and restaurants and police station. (One gallery has a $1000 statuette of a corpulent lady playing cello, gotta love it).


Sometimes I walk past the Couche Tard. In summer I stop and grab a Van Houte, and I sit on the curb and drink coffee. Then I walk past the magnificent Catholic church that's on the corner of Marcel Laurin and de l'Église. My favourite walk, and one of the longest, is to Marcel Laurin Park (which isn't on Marcel Laurin, and Baudet Park isn't on Baudet, and Alexis Nihon Park isn't on Alexis Nihon). It has the lake with ducks (though you don't see them much at night), a waterfall, a bridge, necking couples. Walking around there at night is peaceful. I even turn off the Walkman sometimes, and just sit by the waterfall and think about nothing. That's not one for winter though.


At some point between then and now, my life got less difficult - in some respects anyway. I'm grateful for that. And so my walks became less intense, but just as important.

I've not been doing it lately though, walking. That's partly because of the weather, though truth be told it hasn't been all that cold. But really it's mostly because I've been so darn tired. By 9:30, which is my assigned walking time (did I mention that I was neurotic?) I can barely keep my eyes open, and even then I spend time doing job applications, washing dishes, keeping up with correspondence.

But no more. I am going to hit the streets again, starting now. I have Yes in the box. Someone has to walk down rue du Collège playing Rick Wakeman's synthesizer riffs in the air. May as well be me…


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roy Acuff

The Essential Roy Acuff (1936 - 1949)

Pre-recorded cassettes were always a poor relative. In the LP era, people bought them, presumably, because they were convenient. You could play them in your car, and, when the Walkman became ubiquitous, in your Walkman. But the sound quality tended to be poor, and they didn’t always last.

But there was this one brief span of time, towards the end of the vinyl era, and the beginning of the CD era, when there appeared various series of small collections that were available on cassette only. They typically had 8 or 9 tracks, and sold for a discounted price.

That’s how I first picked up Roy Acuff. It was a Capital cassette, called The Best Of Roy Acuff and it had exactly 9 tracks. And I still have the cover. And in fact I still have the actual physical tape. But the music that was on it has been replaced by tracks from The Essential Roy Acuff (1936 – 1949), a box set which I picked up at the West Kildonan Library.

It appears that Acuff never recorded for Capital. I’m not sure what label the Capital recordings were originally issue on, but dollars to doughnuts they are re-recordings of tracks he’d done earlier. And so I have to genuine article here. I don’t have every track though. It’s a distillation I made to suit my own very idiosyncratic purposes.

And the picture on the cover, it shows Acuff playing fiddle. He did play fiddle, apparently, but it wasn’t his forte, which was singing, writing, publishing, and making money.

And the music, well many of the songs are standards. I don’t know how many versions of “The Wabash Cannonball” I have, I can think of Little Jimmy Dickens, and Charlie McCoy offhand, and Acuff’s own remake with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Others show up here and there, like “Fireball Mail” (Duane Eddy), “Jole Blon” (Doug Kershaw), “Tennessee Waltz” (Patti Page, of course, and Les Paul & Mary Ford and Otis Redding (!)), and “Freight Train Blues” (Bob Dylan). And I’m betting that’s Roy himself playing fiddle on “Black Mountain Rag.”

I didn’t hear nobody pray dear brother
I didn’t hear nobody pray
I heard the wreck on the highway
But I didn’t hear nobody pray

Roy Acuff:

  • Great Speckled Bird
  • Just To Ease My Worried Mind
  • The Precious Jewel
  • It Won't Be Long (Till I'll Be Leaving)
  • Wreck On The Highway
  • Fireball Mail
  • Night Train To Memphis
  • The Prodigal Son
  • Not A Word From Home
  • I'll Forgive You, But I Can't Forget You
  • Freight Train Blues
  • Wabash Cannonball
  • Jole Blon
  • A Sinner's Death (I'm Dyin')
  • Tennessee Waltz
  • Black Mountain Rag

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Guilty Pleasures?

Well there was a full page ad in today’s Gazette, sponsored by Q92, that’s a radio station, Montreal’s 92.5, and no, I don’t listen to Q92, I don’t listen to the radio at all, but if I did I would not listen to Q92, but this ad, it was from Q92, and it was about “Q92’s Guilty Pleasures Weekend.”

It says: “Playing songs you are embarrassed to admit you love.”

What a concept. Why would I be embarrassed to love a song? Ok. I get it. Some songs just aren’t cool. I mean some artists suck and so do some songs. But hey, if I like it I like it, and no one’s gonna tell me I shouldn’t.

But ok. I get the concept. It’s cool. Let’s deal. There’s this list of 92 (get it?) songs, some of which are “winners,” and I don’t know what that means apart from you get a prize if you call while one is playing, and you are the 9th caller. They are giving away cameras.

But that’s not the point. Cameras, I mean. It’s the songs that interest me. These are songs that are embarrassing to like.

So what’s on the list? I wanted to break it down, but that would take me all night, so here I’ll just make some random observations:

First off, “Tracks Of My Tears” is by the Miracles, not by Smokey Robinson, though Smokey sang lead. And it’s a great record, and it doesn’t belong on this list. It is totally cool.

Neither “Ob-La-Di , Ob-La-Da” nor “Michelle,” both by the Beatles, belong here, and neither were hits by The Beatles. The first was a hit by Marmalade, the same Marmalade that put “Reflections Of My Life” in the top 10 in 1970, though you wouldn’t have heard it on the radio (“Ob-La-Di , Ob-La-Da”) unless you lived in UK, and the latter by David & Jonathan, or, again, if you lived in the UK, by The Overlanders.

Ok So much for trivia.

There are indeed many songs on this list that I don’t love at all, and perhaps I would be embarrassed if I did love them, like My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion or Wildfire by Michael Murphy. These aren’t so much uncool as just plain bad.

Then there are the songs that are indeed uncool, but not good enough to be here. There’s the Osmonds, they were definitely uncool, but unlike, say, The Monkees, who were super uncool in their heyday, but acquired a kind of retro cool later on, the Osmonds stayed uncool. I listen to their stuff, trying to find some charm in their music but alas, I find none. The entry here is “Down By The Lazy River.” Sorry, don’t love it.

“Knock Three Times” is here, it’s by Dawn (they were still called “Dawn” then, they didn’t become “Tony Orlando & Dawn” till later) but it’s a clinker. “Candida” would have made sense, or even (especially?) “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree.” Now that one can really make you cringe, but you have to sing along…

Donavan has an entry here, and I get that, the pundits love to dump all over Donovan, but I like him, though I wouldn’t have picked “Mellow Yellow;” I mean pick the song that embarrasses everyone – “There is A Mountain.” People love to hate that.

Oh, and I have to, I’m sorry but I have to, make my feelings known here. “I Will Always Love You” is on here, the cover by Whitney Houston. And I know it sold trillions of records, and I know that she has a “great voice,” yes I know that. But I also know that this song is about heartbreak and vulnerability. And I know Dolly Parton doesn’t sing like Whitney does, and I know that she’s not for everyone’s taste, but she wrote the damn song, and she sings it like it was meant to be sung, and you can feel the sadness in that record, and you can feel how lost she is and how vulnerable. Whitney, dear Whitney, doesn’t sound vulnerable, not hardly, the song sounds like some kind of declaration of independence, she bludgeons it to death, and she sounds like she’s about to bludgeon the object of her affection to death along with the song.

But of course, I could be wrong…

Ok, back to the list. Some of the songs on here are just too boring, like “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet, “Sentimental Lady” by Bob Welch. Of course there’s more. But I haven’t got all night.

And nobody likes “Dust In The Wind.” Nobody.

Now what I really don’t get is that some songs on this list are totally and completely cool. “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbaum – who would be embarrassed to like that one? Or “These Boots Are Made For Walking” by Nancy Sinatra, or “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations?

Ok I get “Muskrat Love,” it’s totally silly, but I don’t love it anyway. I don’t hate it though. It’s innocuous enough. And here’s one. ‘Karma Chameleon.” That’s Culture Club, Boy George – he was totally cool, and totally camp. It was a put-on and it wasn’t a put-on. But the music was irresistible.

“Love The One You’re With.” Where is the embarrassment in that? The totally amoral sentiment? Like that’s unusual in rock lyrics? And “Coconut?” “Classical Gas”? who came up with this list anyway?

I could go on and on. And, in fact, it seems that I have been doing just that. So to wrap this up, here are the songs that I get. Songs that, yes I love, and yes they are, on a certain level, uncool. (it’s a superficial level, for sure, because on a cosmic level they are totally cool). So here goes:

“Daydream Believer” by The Monkees. I think that The Monkees, as I said, have acquired a coolness quotient, but just in case I’m wrong, here it is. The song was written by John Stewart, and sung here by Davy Jones, probably the uncoolest Monkee, but it’s a winner. “It’s just because I’m short” he says, during the lead-in, and maybe he’s right.

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. This is way too MOR to be cool, but I’ll listen to it anytime. My pick would have been “Cracklin’ Rosie,” but they didn’t ask me.

“Sugar Sugar” by The Archies. The Archies? Ok. I know this is getting flaky. Sorry I can’t help it. Truth is I can’t say I love this one, but I don’t mind hearing it. Still, I would have picked “Bang Shang A Lang.”

"Mmm-bop" by Hanson. So what if they never had another hit. They were kind of the Partridge Family of the 90s, speaking of which…

I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family. Perhaps the most uncool group ever in history, only your little sister liked them. And, you know, their LPs are dismal. But their singles are catchy, and this is the catchiest. The harpsichord alone is worth the price of admission. And I always wanted to play bass like Danny. The grand prize winner.

I Think I Love You

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Charlie Parker And All His Bands And Friends And Various Combinations And Permutations

Yardbird Suite: The Ultimate Charlie Parker

Yardbird Suite

Diese onze is the name of a jazz club on rue St-Denis. That in itself is unremarkable. What is remarkable is that we were there on the weekend. My wife, she has her own reasons, and her reasons, of course, are my reasons, by proxy, sort of.

The band we heard was called Erik Hove Soundclash, it was their Lancement du CD, CD launching party, although it wasn’t much of a party, just another night in a bar with a $8.00 cover charge, blonde beer, and a waiter / bartender who didn’t know what “rye” is. So the music was good enough, more accessible than other stuff we’ve heard him play, the musicians are extraordinary, they always are in Hove’s bands.

But jazz, it would not be my first choice of shows. Live, I prefer classical I think, if truth be told, I have been to very few rock concerts in my life, surprisingly I guess, but jazz and I…

I don’t dislike jazz, I have plenty in my collection, and I enjoy listening to it. Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, the casual reader will be forgiven for noticing a preference for bop, but that doesn’t mean I get it.

I don’t, not really. I get rock, pop, MOR, classical even. But jazz is mostly a mystery to me, I can’t place it, it’s a blur, some of it (Lionel Hampton?) seems too tame, some of it (Ornette Coleman) is purely cerebral.

This here is Charlie Parker. It’s an anthology of his life’s work. I picked it up at the WK Library.

Parker was called “Bird” and I saw the film of his life, which was also called “Bird,” what a coincidence. He was a pioneer, so I’m told, and I believe it, but that’s where my limitations kick in, it doesn’t sound pioneering to me, not in the way that, say, Beethoven or Richard Strauss or Arnold Schoenberg are pioneers, or that Johann Strauss isn’t, or that Chuck Berry is, or that Chubby Checker isn’t.

So I think I need to spend some more time listening to jazz. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Dizzy Gillespie:
Gillespie Sextet:
  • All The Things You Are
  • Dizzy Atmosphere

Dizzy Gillespie:
  • Salt Peanuts

Charlie Parker:
  • Donna Lee

Dizzy Gillespie:
  • Shaw 'Nuff
  • Hot House

Charlie Parker's Ree Boppers:
  • Now's The Time

Charlie Parker's Re Bop Boys:

  • Ko Ko

Charlie Parker Septet:

  • Moose The Mooche
  • Ornithology

Charlie Parker Quartet:
  • Cool Blues

Charlie Parker All Stars:
  • Relayin' At Caparillo
  • Chasing The Bird

Charlie Parker Quintet:

  • Dewey Square

Charlie Parker:
  • Bird Of Paradise

Charlie Parker Quintet:
  • The Hymn

Charlie Parker:

  • Embraceable You

Charlie Parker With His Quintet And Strings:

  • Klactoveedsedstene
  • Scrapple From The Apple

Charlie Parker Sextet:

  • Out Of Nowhere

Charlie Parker With His Quintet And Strings:

  • Quasimodo

Charlie Parker All Stars:

  • Klaustance
  • Parker's Mood

Charlie Parker And His Orchestra:

  • Bloomdido
  • Star Eyes

Charlie Parker With His Quintet And Strings:

  • She Rote

Charlie Parker And His Orchestra:

  • My Little Suede Shoes

Charlie Parker Quintet:

  • Confirmation

Charlie Parker And The All Stars:

  • Blue 'N' Boogie
  • 'Round Midnight
  • Night In Tunisia

Charlie Parker With His Quintet And Strings:

  • Just Friends
  • What Is This Thing Called Love?
  • East Of The Sun
  • Laura

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Most Of A Louis Jordan Album

Saturday Night Fish Fry

Saturday Night Fish Fry

I can’t say all that much about Louis Jordan; he was a rock and roller basically before there was such a thing – he made these recordings in the late 40s. It’s said that he was a major influence on Bill Haley, and I can’t think of a reason not to believe that.

This was a rare best of collection called Saturday Night Fish Fry, and I say it’s rare because I’ve never seen another copy of it, not in real life, not online, on eBay or anywhere. I found this copy at the Centennial Library, and this isn’t even the whole thing. I lopped of a few tracks and kept what I had room for; this was a space filler.

That was back at the beginning of 1991; imagine, we had 4 kids then, the youngest of whom was only about a month and a half old, and I was working then at the office of R & P where I’d been since spring ’88 and where I would stay until the following September. I had taken over the driving duties then, because Mom was home with the baby, that’s something I remember, it’s nothing to do with Louis Jordan.

He was cut-up Jordan, if you’re so smart how come you ain’t rich he sings. And then there’s barnyard boogie:

Oink oink
Moo moo

B B King covered “Caledonia,” and The Ames Brothers did “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby” but they don’t quite have the same finesse.

Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five:

  • Caledonia

  • Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby

  • Hog Wash

  • If You're So Smart How Come You Ain't Rich

  • Barnyard Boogie

  • House Party

  • Tamborita

  • Open The Door Richard

  • Saturday Night Fish Fry

  • Choo Choo Ch' Boogie

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Country Used To Sound Like This

From The Vaults

From The Vauls

This is old country music, anthologised by Decca, for whom these recordings were made, and there is one track called “Pork Chop Stomp,” I had to mention that right at the outset, “Pork Chop Stomp,” which goes into the list of Great Song Titles, and with lyrics to match.

Pork chop stomp
Pork chop stomp
Pork chop stomp
Pork chop stomp

Country music in those days was pretty close to folk music, pork chops notwithstanding, though, as a friend of mine so poetically put it, as you get into the 70’s it starts to sound more and more like CJOB, referring to the radio station everyone’s parents listened to back in the day.

This is another one from the West K Library, and I saved here all the tracks dating up to the mid 50s, except one, which is by Red Foley. The remainder of the tracks I have here and there, either on collections of their own, like Brenda Lee, Bill Anderson, Patsy Cline et al, or scattered about in their proper times.

So many of these show up later by others, “Cattle Call” by Eddy Arnold, “Just Because” by Elvis Presley, “Walkin’ The Floor Over You” by Ernest Tubb (again) and by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Bile Dem Cabbage Down” by the Smothers Brothers, honestly, with the title rendered simply “Cabbage,” “The Eyes Of Texas” which is just “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” with different words, Elvis did that one too. “You Are My Sunshine” is one song that I’ve genuinely never liked, I don’t know why, and here it’s done by its composer Jimmie Davis who was actually the governor of Louisiana; the song was salvaged as a reference in the Statler Brothers’ “Do You Know You Are My Sunshine” which is as good as the referenced song is bad. Bad? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just too darn jolly.

Lots of entertainment here. Any collection that has Cousin Emmy & Her Kinfolk can’t be all bad, can it?

Stuart Hamblen and His
Covered Wagon Jubilee:

  • Texas Plains

Tex Owens:

  • Cattle Call

Curley Fox:

  • Listen To The Mockingbird

Milton Brown and His

  • The Eyes Of Texas

The Carter Family:

  • My Dixie Darling

Leo Soileau's Rhythm Boys:

  • La Bonne Valse

Rex Griffin:

  • The Last Letter

Clayton McMichen's
Georgia Wildcats:

  • Bile Dem Cabbage Down

Riley Puckett:

  • Short Life Of Trouble

Tex Ritter and His Texans:

  • Singing In The Saddle

Buddy Jones:

  • I'll Get Mine Bye And Bye

Bill Carlisle's Kentucky

  • Sparkling Blue Eyes

Cliff Bruner And His Boys:

  • Truck Driver's Blues

Jimmie Davis With Charles
Mitchell's Orchestra:

  • You Are My Sunshine

Ernest Tubb:

  • Walking The Floor Over You

Johnnie Lee Wills and
His Boys:

  • Milk Cow Blues

Floyd Tillman and His
Favorite Playboys:

  • They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven

Cousin Emmy And Her Kinfolk:

  • Ruby

Hank 'Sugarfoot'
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