Monday, September 24, 2007


Sam Phillips had slapback at Sun, and Capitol Records built large reverb rooms into the basement of their Hollywood studios, which can be heard to great effect by Speedy West, who joins Hank Thompson on "Waiting In The Lobby Of Your Heart." In this song Hank describes the painful wait that sometimes a man must endure, not knowing whether he's here nor there, or where he should be - suffering an existential mind-fuck, or maybe just lost in space.

Download: "Waiting In The Lobby Of Your Heart" mp3
by Hank Thompson and His Brazos Valley Boys, 1952.
available on All-Time Greatest Hits


"I'm Waiting For The Day" mp3
by The Reigning Sound, 2001.
available on Break Up Break Down

"Tired of Waiting For You" mp3
by The Kinks, 1965.
available on BBC Sessions 1964-1977

"Crying, Hoping, Waiting," mp3
by Buddy Holly, 1959.
available on The Buddy Holly Collection

"Waiting In Vain" mp3.
by Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1977.
available on Exodus.

Photo: Butte, Montana 1994. © Ted Barron

Friday, September 14, 2007


Most of these posts here at the flu are composed in the middle of the night. I've always been nocturnal, and those who know me know I don't sleep much. I get some of my best work done in the middle of the night. Here's a group of songs that reference the witching hour.

It's late now. I'm going to bed.

Download: "Ooh Midnight" mp3
by Pete "Guitar" Lewis, 1952.
available on Midnight at the Barrelhouse

more PGL Here and Here

Download: "Wee Wee Hours" mp3
by Chuck Berry, 1955.
available on Blues

Download: "Rocking After Midnight" mp3
by Lowell Fulson, 1949.
Available on Lowell Fulson: 1946-1953

Download: "The Midnite Man" mp3
by Bill Justis, 1957.
available on Raunchy: The Very Best of Bill Justis

Download: "Midnite Blues" mp3
by Charlie Rich, 1962.
available on Sun Sessions

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


"Midnight" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 2006
Theme Time Radio Hour 24: Time

"Midnight Train" mp3
by Bob Dylan, 1965.
available on Dimestore Medicine

"Old Angel Midnight" mp3
by Jack Kerouac with Steve Allen, 1958.
available on The Jack Kerouac Collection

photograph: Kit, Paris, 1995. © Ted Barron

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Truck Drivin' Man

Last week we heard a couple of trucker songs played by west coast hippies. Today we'll listen to the genuine article, and some cover versions it spawned.

In 1954 Terry Fell recorded this, the first version of the second most popular truck driving song ever (third maybe if you count "Convoy"). The first, would be Dave Dudley's "Six Days On The Road," and wouldn't come for another decade or so, so this very important record jump started a genre that has rocked the interstates for more than half a century.


"Truck Drivin' Man" mp3
by Terry Fell and The Fellers, 1954.
available on Truck Driver's Boogie, Big Rig Hits 1939-1969

"Truck Drivin' Man" mp3
by Buck Owens and His Buckaroos, 1964
available on Together Again/My Heart Skips A Beat

"Truck Drivin' Man" mp3
by Red Simpson, 1966.
available on Roll, Truck, Roll

"Truck Drivin' Man" mp3
by Don Walser, 1996.
availlable on Rig Rock Deluxe

"Truck Drivin' Man" mp3
by James Luther Dickinson, 2006.
available on Jungle Jim and the Voodoo Tiger


"Don't Drop It" mp3
by Terry Fell and The Fellers, 1954.
available on Truck Drivin' Man

"Don't Drop It" mp3
by Wilbert Harrison, 1957.
available on Kansas City

"Don't Drop It" mp3
by Jerry Lee Lewis 1963 (?)
available on Sun Essentials

top photograph © Ted Barron, 2002.

Friday, September 7, 2007

And now a word from Homer and Jethro...

As you may have heard, the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti passed away this week. I know next to nothing about opera, but Homer and Jethro did - as evidenced in this recording with Spike Jones from 1950. This predates Hee Haw, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Tommy and Bob Stinson (who apparently modeled themselves from the above photograph) by many years.

Listen closely, this is genius.

Download: "Pal-Yat-Chee" mp3
by Spike Jones & his City Slickers with Homer and Jethro, 1950.
available on Spiked! The music of Spike Jones


Download: "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyeballs" mp3
by Homer and Jethro, 1952.

Download: "Unhappy Day" mp3
by Homer and Jethro, 1952.

buy music by Homer and Jethro at Amazon
or at your local independently owned record store

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tehachapi to Tonopah

Sometimes a song will make you do foolish things.

Over the years I've driven many American roads making photographs. Partially inspired by Robert Frank's The Americans and partially by Jack Kerouac's On The Road, which I'm currently re-reading for the first time since I was a teenager in its "restored" single paragraph scroll version. Not to mention my favorite film genre- the road movie. On all of these drives, music has been central to my relationship to wherever I am - sometimes by accident and sometimes quite deliberately.

One of my favorites for California has always been the first Little Feat record, which contains two truck driving songs by the late Lowell George: "Truck Stop Girl" and "Willin,'" the latter of which inspired me last week to drive from Tehachapi to Tonopah. I know, I know.

I don't know yet if the photographs are gonna be any good, but I do believe I've exorcised from my obsessive self the need to do this again. I found some lovely scenery out there in the empty spaces between Tehachapi, CA. (quaint small western town) and Tonopah, NV. (decrepit dying one-horse casino town,) but quickly found myself hightailing it to Yosemite to cleanse my palate.

Anyway, below are a few versions of each of these numbers. Little Feat recorded "Willin'" twice in the studio on each of their first two records. The first version features Ry Cooder on guitar, and the second is anchored by Bill Payne on the piano and Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel. Also, a radio broadcast of Lowell George joined by Linda Ronstadt on harmony vocal, and Steve Earle's version with the Bluegrass Dukes. Then, It's "Truck Stop Girl" by Little Feat, Kelly Willis, and my favorite version by the Byrds, who also have a live version of "Willin''' but I've excluded it because I've always found the vocals to be a little weak.

Okay, here goes...


"Willin'" mp3
by Little Feat
from Little Feat, 1971.

"Willin'" mp3
by Little Feat
from Sailing Shoes, 1972.

"Willin'" mp3
by Lowell George with Linda Ronstadt
from WHFS-FM Radio Broadcast, 1974.

"Willin'" mp3
by Steve Earle
from SideTracks, 2002.

"Truck Stop Girl" mp3
by Little Feat
from Little Feat, 1971.

"Truck Stop Girl" mp3
by Kelly Willis
from Rig Rock Deluxe, 1996.

"Truck Stop Girl" mp3
by The Byrds
from Untitled, 1970.

***************** BONUS *********************
"The Heart of California (for Lowell George)" mp3
by Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band
from Smokin' The Dummy, 1980.