Friday, July 27, 2007

George Jones on Musicor

Will the real George Jones please stand up?

Alright, well we heard a young and most likely drunk George Jones doing his best Elvis impersonation in the last post. The things that a young artist must do for a few bucks are sometimes a little degrading. Anyway, George Jones is arguably the greatest country singer of all time. His voice is as unique and soulful as Al Green or Van Morrison. He has many imitators himself, but "Possum" is the real deal. There are hundreds of CD's available by him and few box sets, but my favorite period of George's is not as well represented as others. After cutting rockabilly and honky tonk sides for Starday, Mercury, and United Artists in the fifties and early sixties, and before he moved to Epic to record his signature overblown masterpieces of hurt with Billy Sherrill, George recorded for a label called Musicor (1965-1971), which was partially owned by his longtime manager and producer "Pappy" Daily. These are, I think, his best recordings and have yet to see a proper comprehensive collection. The first of todays mp3s come from an out of print Rounder LP from 1983. My favorite song, "Burn The Honky Tonk Down," written by his guitar player Wayne Kemp, has never been released on any CD. It's a killer 3/4 tale with sawing fiddles about a guy who works in a sawmill cutting timber to " build another honky-tonk wall", while his wife spends his his money in town carousing with the customers between those very honky tonk walls. This is the kind of song that George Jones sings better than anyone. Also, a few more tracks where that came from, a couple of my favorite Musicor singles, and some cover versions of these songs.

Please enjoy...


"Burn The Honky Tonk Down" mp3

"Where Grass Won't Grow" mp3

"Your Angel Steps Out Of Heaven" mp3

"Feeling Single-Seeing Double" mp3

From Burn The Honky Tonk Down, Rounder Records, 1983.
Out of Print

Download: "Heartaches And Hangovers" mp3

Download: "Ship Of Love" mp3

********************* BONUS *********************

"Your Angel Steps Out Of Heaven" mp3
by The Flying Burrito Brothers, 1970.
available on Sleepless Nights

"Burn The Honky Tonk Down" mp3
by The Meat Puppets, 1986.
available on Out My Way

"Feeling Single Seeing Double" mp3
by Emmylou Harris And The Hot Band, 1975
live recording not commercially available

Buy George Jones music at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store.

George Jones photograph by Lee Friedlander
from American Musicians, D.A.P. © 1998.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who Are The Mystery Guests?

Warning: this post requires audience participation

Below are two tracks released on the Tops record label. Tops was a budget label that recorded sound-a-likes of hit songs. They sold their merchandise in drugstores and Woolworths to undiscerning record buyers. Here we have an artist known as Hank Smith singing Elvis' then current hit, "Heartbreak Hotel," and another artist known as "Scat" Benny doing the one thousand and oneth version of "Rock Island Line." These are not the real names of these singers and both are well known on their own. Tops attached the name Hank Smith to various releases of country and rockabilly records, all featuring different singers. (The version of "Blue Suede Shoes" on this record is by a different Hank Smith than on "Heartbreak Hotel" and not as interesting, so I'm not including an mp3 of it.

Can you guess who are the mystery guests?

Use the comments to submit your answer.
Humor me... please.

Googlers need not apply.

Download: "Rock Island Line" mp3 by "Scat" Benny

Download: "Heartbreak Hotel" mp3 by Hank Smith

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Pete "Guitar" Lewis

I've been wanting to do a Johnny Otis post here since I started this thing. However, I've concluded it's just too daunting a task. Among being a bandleader, DJ, civil rights activist, dad to Shuggie Otis, nightclub owner and A&R guy, Johnny Otis has been influential in nearly every kind of music posted here at the Flu. Well, maybe not the hillbilly stuff, but he did write "Crazy Country Hop."

Instead, today we'll focus on one of his many great sidemen, Pete "Guitar" Lewis, a little celebrated but great guitar player who made way too few recordings, and most of them are as a member of Johnny Otis' band. Lewis was Otis' guitar player from 1948 to 1957. Below we have one of his solo recordings on Federal (the b-side of this record is by Pete "Harmonica" Lewis, where he displays his formidable talent on another instrument), A couple of sides with the Johnny Otis Orchestra, and one with the same band backing "Big Mama" Thornton. You can also hear PGL on the original version of "Hound Dog" at this post.

Dig it...

Download: "Shake It" 1952, mp3

Download: "I Smell A Rat" 1952, mp3.

Download: "Freight Train Boogie" 1950, mp3.

Download: "Raggedy Blues" 1952, mp3.

Buy music by Pete "Guitar" Lewis, "Big Mama Thornton", and Johnny Otis
at Amazon or your local independently owned record store.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Get 'em while you can...

Hey folks, I've been doing this for six months now. Unlike other blogs, there are a full six months of active mp3 links available here. Soon, I'll need to start removing some of the older links to make room for other stuff. So, if there's anything in the archives that you think you may want to download, do it soon. I'll return with some more music later this week. In the meantime, dig the archives. The January archive mp3s will be gone by the end of the month, and then February, and then...

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Today is 07/07/07.

Here are seven seven songs.

Numerology will cease in Fluville until further notice.

"The Magnificient Seven" by The Clash
from Sandinista, 1980.

"7 and 7 Is" by Love
from Da Capo, 1966.

"Seven Days" by Ron Wood
from Gimme Some Neck, 1979.

"Seven Lonely Days" by Patsy Cline
from The Patsy Cline Story, 1961.

"Seven Curses" by Bob Dylan
the Witmark Years, 1963.

"Seven Year Ache" by Golden Smog featuring Rosanne Cash
from Until You Came Along, 1995

"The Seventh Son" by Mose Allison
from Mose Allison Sings, 1959.

************** BONUS ***************

"Seven" by Bob Dylan
from Theme Time Radio Hour 33 Countdown, 2006.

"Stereo Sanctity" by Sonic Youth
from Sister. 1987.

"(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters
from His Best: 1947-1955, 1955.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven

Here's a pair of hot sides from Pops himself, who celebrated his birthday today, July 4th. His actual birthday was on August 4th, but he didn't know it and it wasn't discovered until years after his death when his actual birth certificate surfaced. I like the idea of celebrating his birthday on the on the same day as the U.S.A.'s. Check out Johnny St. Cyr's guitar break on "Willie The Weeper."

Here you go...

Download: "Willie The Weeper" mp3

Download: "Weary Blues" mp3

Buy music by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Almost Independence Day

However you may feel about it in a time war, it is almost Independence Day. I love watching the fireworks, despite whatever connotations they may carry. Also, I love these songs. I may be taking a break from the antiquities here at the flu, or at least sprinkling them with some slightly more contemporary selections, although these are hardly current. Below, we have Van Morrison's prelude to the holiday; an outtake from my favorite summertime LP: The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle; and two versions of "The 4th of July" - one by its composer Dave Alvin, and a demo version by X.

Fire up the bar-b-q and some bottle rockets too...


"Almost Independence Day"
mp3 by Van Morrison
available on Saint Dominick's Preview, 1972.

"4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) Alternate Take" mp3
by Bruce Springsteen
available on The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, 1973.

"Fourth of July"
mp3 by Dave Alvin
available on Romeo's Escape, 1987.

"4th of July" demo version mp3 by X
available on Beyond And Back: The X Anthology, 1986.

Photograph: © Robert Frank, Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey 1955.