Thursday, January 31, 2008


"I sat still for about five minutes and then my pipe got too hot. I put it down, looked at my strap watch, and got up to switch on a small radio in the corner beyond the end of the desk. When the A.C. hum died down, the last tinkle of a chime came out of the horn, then a voice was saying..."

Raymond Chandler, from Trouble Is My Business


"Searchin'" mp3
By The Coasters, 1957.
available on The Very Best of the Coasters

"Bad Detective" mp3
by The New York Dolls, 1974.
available on Too Much Too Soon

"Prove It" mp3
by Television, 1974.
Eno demo from Double Exposure
also available on Marquee Moon

"Stop Showing Up In My Dreams" mp3
by Amy Rigby, 2000.
available on The Sugar Tree

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lee Diamond

The first time I heard "Bony Maronie," it was not by Larry Williams, but by Johnny Winters and I was in my early teens, stoned, and trying to learn the riff on guitar in my friends basement. The first time I heard "Hattie Malattie" by Lee Diamond, I was sure it was some record company guy at Vee-Jay trying to come up with a "Bony Maronie" type of thing to get a hit. I wasn't stoned, but I was wrong. It does bear a resemblance to "Bony Maronie," but it turns out Lee Diamond is actually Wilbert Smith, part of Little Richard's tenor section in The Upsetters, and Lee Diamond's band is The Upsetters lumbering on after Little Richard gave up Rock and Roll and joined the ministry with Lee/Wilbert stepping up to the microphone. It's a pretty great record, as is the b-side "Mama Loochie." Both songs have unusual introductions that never reappear in the song. Wilbert can also be heard on "Why Do You Do Me" the b-side of James Brown's first Federal single, "Please, Please, Please" and on some of Little Richard's best Specialty sides, including the insane sonic attack of "Ooh!, My Soul."


"Hattie Malattie" mp3
by Lee Diamond, 1958.
available on Vee-Jay: The Definitive Collection

"Mama Loochie" mp3
by Lee Diamond, 1958.
out of print

"Bony Maronie" mp3
by Larry Williams, 1957.
available on Here's Larry Williams


"Ooh! My Soul" mp3
by Little Richard, 1958.
available on The Georgia Peach

"Why Do You Do Me" mp3
by James Brown, 1956.
available on The Singles Volume 1: The Federal Years 1956-1960

"Bony Maroney" mp3
by George Jones, 1965.
available on Live at Dancetown U.S.A.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Ray-O-Vacs

Here's a rocking record from The Ray-O-Vacs. I bought this record because I liked their name. Who wouldn't? I was not disappointed. Alright, that's my story and I'm gonna stick to it.

"Party Time" mp3
by The Ray-O-Vacs, 1956.

"Crying All Alone" mp3
by The Ray-O-Vacs, 1956.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Velvet Touch

"Ginsberg is both tragic and dynamic, a lyrical genius, con man extraordinaire, and probably the single greatest influence on American poetical voice since Whitman." -Bob Dylan

"Pot is Fun" -Allen Ginsberg

"I'm not a Hippie!" -Jonathan Richman

At the end of "See You Later, Allen Ginsberg," you can hear Bob Dylan start to say, "Let's erase..." (that!) or something to that effect. This track has most of what's great about the lighter tracks on the The Basement Tapes: humor, spontaneity, cannabis, and illicitness (it is a bootleg) and maybe we shouldn't be listening to it, or maybe it should have been erased as Dylan starts to suggest. Thankfully, it was not.

A few years later, Dylan heard Ginsberg at a reading, improvising poetry to some music and called him to talk about it. A week later they were in the studio recording with an assembled cast of characters including Anne Waldman and Happy Traum. They recorded several tracks for what eventually became Ginsberg's record First Blues, including "Put Your Money Down," which is the traditional sea shanty "Pay Me Your Money Down" and "For You, Oh Babe For You," which to my ears sounds more like late period Velvet Underground than anything else.

So, with that in mind I've assembled a sprawling little playlist here, that follows a tagent beginning with Dylan and moving on to some live Velvets from 1969; The Modern Lovers, who used to the Velvets' sound as a starting point; Wilco who nailed it on at least one track and another performance of Ginsberg from 1982 with The Clash.


"See You Later, Allen Ginsberg"
by Bob Dylan & The Band, 1967.
available on The Genuine Basement Tapes

"Put My Money Down"
"For You, Oh Babe For You"
By Bob Dylan & Allen Ginsberg, 1971.
available on Fourth Time Around: Genuine Bootleg Series Vol. 4

"Sweet Bonnie Brown/It's Just Too Much"
"Over You"
by The Velvet Underground, 1969.
available on 1969: Velvet Underground Live, Vol. 2

"Summer Teeth"
by Wilco, 1999.
available on Summerteeth

"Roadrunner" alternate version
by The Modern Lovers, 1972.
available on The Modern Lovers

"Velvet Underground"
by Jonathan Richman, 1992.
available on I, Jonathan

"Ghetto Defendant"
by The Clash with Allen Ginsberg, 1982.
available on Combat Rock

this photograph:
Allen Ginsberg with Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
New York City, 1982. © Hank O'Neal

top photograph:
Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac's Grave
Lowell Massachusetts, 1975. © Ken Regan

Monday, January 14, 2008

Give Glory

... and I shall do just that.


"Glory" (early version) mp3
by Television, 1978.
available on Adventure

"Glory" mp3
by Television, 1978.
available on Adventure

"Glory" mp3
by Television, 1978.
available on I Need A New Adventure

"Glory" (instrumental) mp3
by Television, 1978.
available on I Need A New Adventure

"Glory" mp3
by Television, 1978
Live in Portland

and Tom Verlaine on Spanish TV, 1984
with a long winded introduction...

top photograph: Give Glory © Ted Barron, 2007.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Have Mercy

A few months ago, I bought this record on eBay. I purchased it because it was cheap and on the Ace record label, and 90% of those records are great, including the one for which this blog is named. I had no idea who Mercy Baby was and neither did the guy who sold it to me. He listed it as Mercy Dee in parentheses and I didn't know much about him either, except as a passing name when browsing for records.

After I won the auction, I did a little web research on Mercy Dee, whose record I thought I had just bought and made a startling discovery. Years ago, my friend, roommate, and cohort from art school Bruce Silcox, with whom I spent many hours listening to and playing music with gave me a cassette tape he made (at the library I think) with no track listing of a Texas Blues compilation labeled only "'dis be it blues." He excitedly played me an hysterically funny song called "Eighth Wonder of the World" in which a guy runs through a list of bad strategies for testing his woman's love, I've had this tape for over 20 years and had no idea who it was. More than once, I spent a considerable amount of time fishing around the web and trying to figure it out to no avail.

So, while looking at track listings of Mercy Dee records on Amazon to find out what the record I just bought sounded like - that wasn't Mercy Dee after all - I came across "Eighth Wonder of the World," and listened to a sound sample to find out what I'd been trying to figure out for all these years.

Below, we have the record I bought, which is fantastic by the way, featuring Frankie Lee Sims on guitar backing up Mercy Baby (AKA Jimmy Mullins). Mullins, like Mercy Dee Walton is a Texas blues piano player. On the A-side "Silly Dilly Woman," I'm not sure, but I think he refers to his woman as a "hole" or maybe it's the more common "ho." You tell me - I'm not sure. Either way, in my experience, this has proven to be as ineffective as the strategies illustrated in Mercy Dee's composition. Rhythmically it bears some resemblance to Rosco Gordon's shuffling proto-calypso rock. Also check out the way the drummer throws the accents during the saxophone solo. Frankie Lee cuts loose on the b-side.

Also, we get Mercy Dee doing "Eight Wonder" and his most famous composition, "One Room Country Shack," as well as a cover of it by Mose Allison, who was a fan of Mercy Dee and included it on his first record Back Country Suite.

Additionally a song that uses mercy as an exclamation of love, and a pair of songs begging for mercy in love and in life.


"Silly Dilly Woman" mp3
by Mercy Baby, 1957.
out of print

"Mercy's Blues" mp3
by Mercy Baby, 1957
out of print



"One Room Country Shack" mp3
by Mercy Dee Walton, 1953.
available on Jook Joint Blues: That's What They Want

"One Room Country Shack" mp3
by Mose Allison, 1957.
available on Back Country Suite

"Eighth Wonder of The World" mp3
by Mercy Dee Walton, 1961.
available on Troublesome Mind


"Mercy, Mercy" mp3
by Don Covay, 1964.
available on Mercy!/See-Saw

"Mercy, Mercy" mp3
by The Rolling Stones, 1965.
available on Out Of Our Heads

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" mp3
by Larry Williams and Johnny "Guitar" Watson, 1967.
available on The Best of the Okeh Years

"Love and Mercy" mp3
by Brian Wilson, 1995.
available on I Just Wasn't Made for These Times

top photograph: Mercy, Rivington Street, 1985. © Ted Barron

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Let Us Now Praise James Burton Pt. 2

Well, the Boogie Woogie Flu was launched a year ago today. After a year in Fluville, I find it fitting to once again listen to Elvis, being that it is his birthday today as well, and while he never made it to seventy-three, I really never planned for this blog to make it to one - but responsibility calls so we'll pay tribute to the King, and listen to James Burton and the TCB band backing up the big E.


"See See Rider" mp3
"Suspicious Minds" mp3
"In The Ghetto" mp3
by Elvis Presley
available on On Stage February, 1970

"Promised Land"
"You Asked Me To" mp3
"Polk Salad Annie" mp3
by Elvis Presley
available on Walk a Mile in My Shoes: The Essential 70's Masters


"Poke A Little Sock Salad" mp3
by Elvis Presley.
(this mp3 has a few flaws, but the performance transcends its imperfections)

** All mp3's from January 8, 2007 are active again **

Happy Birthday Elvis.

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Billie Holiday on Aladdin

In 1951, Billie Holiday recorded one session for Aladdin Records with tenor guitarist Tiny Grimes leading the band. Haywood Henry is on saxophone and Bobby Tucker on piano. These four sides (in particular "Rocky Mountain Blues" - in which she sings "I'll be high on that mountain" which for her had a dual meaning) are the closest she came to recording Rhythm and Blues. They are unmistakably her- yet different than anything else she recorded.

"Detour Ahead" mp3
by Billie Holiday with Tiny Grimes' Sextet, 1951.
available on Billie Holiday 1949-1951

"Be Fair To Me" mp3
by Billie Holiday with Tiny Grimes' Sextet, 1951.
available on Billie Holiday 1949-1951

"Rocky Mountain Blues" mp3
by Billie Holiday with Tiny Grimes' Sextet, 1951.
available on Billie Holiday 1949-1951

"Blue Turning Gray Over You" mp3
by Billie Holiday with Tiny Grimes' Sextet, 1951.
available on Billie Holiday 1949-1951

Photograph: © William F. Gottlieb