Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Bob

Today is Bob Dylan's birthday, so let's listen to some rarities and non-LP tracks. Below we have Bob's tribute via satellite to Johnny Cash; a duet with Dr. Ralph Stanley; tributes to Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, and my personal favorite Warren Smith; some outtakes from Oh Mercy; a version of "Hazel" from the afternoon rehearsals for his MTV Unplugged gig; the original "Tombstone Blues," with backing vocals by The Chambers Brothers; and a moment of inspired giddiness between the Bob and Richard Manuel from The Basement Tapes.

Please Enjoy:

"Train of Love" mp3
From Tribute to Johnny Cash TV Special, 1999.

"The Lonesome River" mp3
From Oxford American Southern Music Sampler, 2001.

"I Can't Get You Off Of My Mind" mp3
From Timeless: Hank Williams Tribute, 2001.

"My Blue Eyed Jane" mp3
From The Songs of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribute, 1996.

"Red Cadillac And A Black Mustache" mp3
From Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records, 2001.

"Shooting Star" mp3
"God Knows" mp3
"Born In Time" mp3
"Dignity" mp3
Outtakes from Oh Mercy, 1989.

"Hazel" mp3
From MTV Unplugged Afternoon Rehearsals, 1995.

"Tombstone Blues" mp3
Alternate version from Highway 61 Revisited, 1965.

"I'm Your Teenage Prayer" mp3
From The Basement Tapes, 1967

Buy Bob Dylan Music Here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Nick Lucas Connection

In 1922, Nick Lucas recorded the first solo jazz guitar record, for Pathe. Here it is re-recorded a year later for Brunswick. His guitar style transcends jazz, and probably influenced many country and blues players as well. Known as "The Crooning Troubadour," he brought guitar to the forefront of the orchestra, replacing the banjo as a rhythm instrument, as well as being the first singing guitar player. He was also the first person to have a signature Gibson guitar named after him. It was designed with a deep body for extra volume. Bob Dylan used this model in the mid 60's, and below you can hear a sample of what it sounded like. Lucas' biggest hit, "Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips" was from the 1929 musical Gold Diggers of Broadway, and was revived by Tiny Tim in the late 60's. Dylan crossed paths with Tiny Tim on more than one occasion. In Chronicles: Volume One, he writes (in reference to the scene at Cafe Wha?)

At about eight o'clock, the whole daytime menagerie would come to a halt... Everyone who had been there during the day would pack up. One of the guys who played in the afternoons was the falsetto-speaking Tiny Tim. He played ukulele and sang like a girl -- old standard songs from the '20s. I got to talking to him a few times and asked him what other kinds of places there were to work around here and he told me that sometimes he played at a place in Times Square called Hubert's Flea Circus Museum. I'd find out about that place later.

Tiny Tim stopped by Big Pink in 1967, to record four tracks with The Band, also featured below and yet another chapter of The Basement Tapes. A few of these songs were featured in the film You Are What You Eat, including a fabulous duet with his girlfriend Eleanor Baruchian on "I Got You Babe." He later married another girl, known as Miss Vicki on The Tonight Show, in what was one of the highest rated television broadcasts at the time. I used to see him walking around on the upper-west side, in the 1980's, looking like a sad, dejected clown. He apparently had an apartment at The Dakota. Tiny Tim died in 1996, while performing "Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips" in Minneapolis.

Download: "Pickin' The Guitar" mp3

Download: "Teasing The Frets" mp3

Download: "Somebody Like You" mp3

Download: "Tip-Toe Thru The Tulips" mp3

More on Nick Lucas: HERE and HERE

Nick Lucas on YouTube, 1929.

Download: "You Don't Have To Do That" mp3

Download: Tiny Tim and The Band

"Be My Baby" mp3
"I Got You Babe" (with Eleanor Baruchian) mp3
"Sonny Boy" mp3
"Memphis, Tennesee" mp3

Tiny Tim on Laugh-In via YouTube

Buy Tiny Tim music at Amazon
Buy Nick Lucas music at Venerable Music
or at your local independently owned record store.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Memphis Flu

Well folks, I'm gonna be out of town for the next several days, in Memphis TN, the jewel of the mid-south and one of my favorite places. So, feeling a strange obligation to keep all of you readers amused, I've compiled a little playlist of songs concerning Memphis. None of these mp3's are from actual records (i.e. 78's or 45's) like in my ordinary posts, but they're all good and I'm sure some of will you prefer the less noisy recordings. Plus, it's really a bitch to find a copy of Mott The Hoople on 78. There were several ways I could have approached this, considering the plethora of great music recorded in Memphis' studios, (Stax, Hi, American, Sun, Easley, Ardent, etc.), or songs mentioning Memphis ("Honky Tonk Women"). Instead, I've opted for the easy and painless (search title) option of itunes. There are omissions and things I don't have, but I think these selections are just fine.

Please Enjoy.

"I'm Going To Memphis" by Johnny Cash
Unearthed, 2003.

"That's How I Got To Memphis"
by Tom T. Hall
Ballad Of Forty Dollars, 1968.

"Raining In Memphis" by Dan Penn
Nobody's Fool, 1973.

"All The Way From Memphis" by Mott The Hoople
Mott, 1973.

"Memphis And Arkansas Bridge" by Charlie Rich
Boss Man, 1970.

"Memphis Yodel"
by Jimmie Rodgers
First Sessions, 1928.

"Night Train To Memphis"
by Roy Acuff
The Essential Roy Acuff: 1936-1949 1943.

"The Memphis Train" by Rufus Thomas
The Complete Stax/Volt Singles 1959-1968, 1968.

"Well, I've Been To Memphis"
by David Johansen
David Johansen And The Harry Smiths, 2000.

"Memphis Tennessee"
by Jerry Lawler
It Came From Memphis Volume 2, 1975.

"Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" by Bob Dylan
Blonde On Blonde, 1966.

******** Additional Track at THIS POST *********

Buy these records at your local independently owned record store.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Pee Wee Crayton on Imperial

Like his pal T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton was a California bluesman by way of Texas. He cut several sides for the Bihari Brothers and Aladdin, before moving over to Imperial in 1954. These records, recorded in New Orleans at J & M Studios with the great Dave Bartholomew and their house band, are a departure from his smooth blues sound, and have a more fierce sonic guitar attack. Check out the intro to "Do Unto Others," as it foreshadows a revolutionary rock number recorded in England fourteen years later.

Download: "Do Unto Others" mp3

Download: "Every Dog Has A Day" mp3

Download: "You Know, Yeah" mp3

Download: "I Need Your Love" mp3

Special Bonus: HERE

Buy at Amazon or at your local independently owned record store.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Walk On The Wild Side

In 1952, Hank Thompson cut this gem. It was a #1 hit on the hillbilly charts for three months. A tale about a girl shunning her would-be husband for a life as a honky tonk girl. Songwriter J.D. Miller in turn composed the answer song and shopped it around Nashville for a singer, where he was turned down by nearly everyone except Kitty Wells who came out of semi-retirement to record what would be one of the biggest selling country hits of all time. "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" shot to #1 on the charts, but was banned from the Grand Ol' Opry for it's proto-feminist viewpoint. It's hard to imagine the matronly Kitty Wells as controversial, but this was 1952 and Nashville (and the Opry) was and still is not exactly a hotbed of progressive politics. So here it is: the grandaddy (or grandma) of all answer songs.

Download: "The Wild Side Of Life" mp3

Download: "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" mp3

Buy Hank Thompson and Kitty Wells music at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

This Just In...

From the New York Post:

May 3, 2007 -- KINDERGARTEN kids in ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas have been coming home to their parents and talking about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar. The "weird" one turns out to be Bob Dylan, whose grandson (Jakob Dylan's son) attends the school. He's been singing to the kindergarten class just for fun, but the kiddies have no idea they're being serenaded by a musical legend - to them, he's just Weird Guitar Guy.

Download: "This Old Man" mp3
Download: "Froggie Went A-Courtin" mp3

Buy at Amazon or at your local independently owned record store

Bo Diddley

I've been feeling a little uninspired to post in the last week or so.

So, when in doubt, you can't go wrong with Bo Diddley. This record was the follow-up to his debut single, "Bo Diddley" and it's B-side "I'm A Man", which we heard a few weeks ago in the Jerry McCain post. "Diddley Daddy" features the Moonglows on backing vocals. And as an added bonus, a clip of Bo from the Ed Sullivan Show, in November 1955. Bo pissed off the humorless and condescending Sullivan by Playing his own # 1 song, instead of Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" as Sullivan had instructed him to do.

Early guerrilla rock and roll TV.

Dig it.

Download "Diddley Daddy" mp3

Download: "She's Fine, She's Mine" mp3

Bo Diddley

Buy: Bo Diddley music at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store