Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Here's a "Top Twelve" of songs that probably would not have been hits if only a singer's version was available.
Face it, not every set of words is wonderful, and when a lyricist is actually and intentionally hacking into a song that was an instrumental hit, the result is bound to be second rate.
This may be why Dean Martin's overbaked crooning style worked so well...his boozy sense of the ridiculous forced him to sing with barely concealed smirky disdain for the lyrics...such banal ones as "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" or "That's Amore." And here, it's "Poor People of Paris," which would've driven Dino to drink if he wasn't already half-bagged before he got to the studio.
Other winning tunes that were losers in lyric form: "Theme from a Summer Place" and "Sleepwalk" both evoking images that make words unnecessary. Adding explanation to "Spanish Flea" or "Bonanza" is just pointless. "Never on Sunday" is borderline grating even without lyrics, along with "In the Mood," which Peter Sellers loathed (and so it was played at his funeral).
Most of these tunes you'll recognize instantly and agree, "Why add lyrics?" But the answer might be...just for the challenge of it. It's a challenge for a lyricist to even attempt to match wits and words with a powerful melody, and a challenge for a singer to make that song his own. That might explain Sammy Davis Jr's "You Can Count On Me," which takes the music from the crime series "Hawaii 5-0" and makes it into another type of crime.
Bonanza, In the Mood, Spanish Flea, Sleepwalk, Theme from a Summer Place, Apache, Music to Watch Girls By, Poor People of Paris, Hawaii 5-0, Never on Sunday, Blue Tango and Telstar...
Don't Sing and it'll be a Hit! Sing it...and lose!
Gina Gershon is at work rehearsing for her new Broadway musical...a revival of the old Broadway musical "Bye Bye Birdie." The roles originally played by Chita Rivera and Dick Van Dyke will be taken by Gina, and John Stamos. Even for those who know Gina's got a great singing voice, this has to come as a bit of a shock. There's no tune in that 1963 show that bears a trace of sultry eroticism...so if Gina can pull it off, there will be people pulling it off in every row.
Gina's last appearance on Broadway was taking over the Sally Bowles role in a revival of "Cabaret," a show much more suited to her (as the picture above would indicate).
To give you an idea of how emotive Gina can be, listen to "La Di Da Sunday Morning," a track used on the soundtrack to the justly obscure film "Beer for my Horses." The tune has a bit of Spaghetti western whistling, a dash of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee," and a dark sexuality that could've lured Lee Hazlewood to his doom:
"Senorita, would you like to dance with me?"
I lifted up my dress and said, "Do you like what you see?"
Gina Gershon Instant listen or download, no pop-ups pop-unders or put-ons.
When most people think of modern jazz, they think of monotonous riffs, irritating flip-flops of flats and sharps, and an audience of clueless white accountants in horn-rimmed glasses nodding their heads up and down while admiring the hostile blacks on stage that they'd avoid on the street.
Most people also think of jazz as an illiterate music form, all of it easily improvised. That's because they really don't know jazz, or legends such as George Russell, recently 86'd at the age of 86 (June 23, 1923 - July 27, 2009). The Illfolks image collages George young and old, enduring over so many decades.
George Russell, a drummer and pianist better known as a composer, arranger and band leader, wrote the book "The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization" in 1953. That's pretty heavy stuff for an orphan who grew up singing at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cincinnati. He became fascinated with music theory and received a University scholarship. When tuberculosis prevented his service in World War II, as well as his drumming in Benny Carter's band, he devoted his time to composing jazz and putting the lid on his theory (Lydian, that is.)
While most "illiterate" jazz musicians could spin your brain dizzy in tossing off references to diminished fifths and major vs minor tonalities, Russell awed them with the book, and the new bebop music he was creating (much of it while toiling as a salesman in Macy's).
By the mid 50's he was leading top stars for recording sessions, and use royalties to quit his day job and make music his life. He spent the 60's fronting his George Russell Sextet, mostly in jazz-loving Europe. He returned to America in the 70's to teach his jazz theories at the New England Conservatory of Music, while continuing to compose. "The African Game" (1985) was a major Grammy-nominated work, but he was active well into the 1990's.
Should you have an inquiring set of ears and dangling lobes, below is your introduction to Mr. Russell's world. Which isn't to say it'll change your opinion if you find modern jazz irritating after 3 minutes. Still, it's a tasty assortment of Jazz Workshop tracks credited to the George Russell Smalltet, a catch-all name for various players who sat in on sessions in 1956, including Bill Evans on piano, with, among other top names, Art Farmer, Teddy Kotick, Milt Hinton and Joe Harris. You can hear, on so many tracks, how intricate the arrangements are, and the musicianship involved in following those charts.
Tracks include: Ye Hypocrite, Ye Beelzebub, Jack's Blues, Livingstone I Presume, Ezz-Thetic, Night Sound, Round Johnny Rondo, Fellow Delegates, Witch Hunt, The Sad Sergeant, Knights of the Steamtable, Concerto for Billy the Kid, and Ballad of Hix Blewitt.
GEORGE RUSSELL compilation
Two years ago, the Illfolks blog chose "I Don't Dare" as a way of introducing people to Marsha Malamet, who was singing in the high, Kate Bush end of the scale, well before Kate began to warble.
This year, Saint Etienne produced a 2 CD artist-compilation, oh so retro-cleverly titled "The Trip," which takes listeners through an array of 60's and 70's songs. And who should turn up but Marsha Malamet and "I Don't Dare," a song known on the Internet only through it's appearance on this blog.
Also on the compilation: "Time to Break Down" By The Supremes, "My Love is Your Love" from The Isley Brothers, "You've Come This Way" by Nancy Priddy, "Auntie Aviator" by John & Beverly Martyn, "Radio Song" by Dillard and Clark and "I Start Counting" by Dusty Springfield among many others.
Since Saint Etienne is most heavily influential among both the trippers and the twee, the recommendation of "I Don't Dare" may lead people to seek out her old lp "Coney Island Winter," or check on Marsha's current work (which you can hear on her MySpace page). Here's "I Don't Dare" in its original vinyl form, as it was upped 2 years ago...
Malamet sings I DON'T DARE Do you? Instant Download. No codes, forwarding links or ads.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's summer, it's hot, and it's time for the 'quats.
Quat, in Chinese, means "orange." You can look up "cum" for yourself. The ancient fruit was unknown in the U.K. and U.S.A. till the 1850's, and didn't become even remotely popular till Florida and California were well settled and farmers were looking for new and novel citrus items to grow. You might remember W.C. Fields delighting in the name, selling them in his store in "It's A Gift."
Cliff Arquette ((December 28, 1905 – September 23, 1974) loved them, too. Yes, he was the grandfather of Rosanna and Patricia and David Arquette. Also the sex-changed Alexis (formerly Robert) whom you surely wanted to see pictured with Cliff. For most, he's best known as the genial rustic Charlie Weaver, wisecracking on "The Hollywood Squares" quiz show, but you can find some very funny material on him from earlier decades.
"Charlie Weaver" was a character Arquette developed after years of playing old-timers on radio (like "The Oldtimer" on the Fibber McGee and Molly show). He and partner Dave Willock had their own "Dave and Charlie" show for a while. In 1957, Cliff retired, figuring on spending his time curating a Civil War museum. But two years later, he heard Jack Paar ask the burning question, "Whatever became of Cliff Arquette," and from a guest spot he became a regular, bringing along "Letters from Mama." This was a convenient way for him to be funny without memorizing material.
"Letters from Mama" filled with rather bizarre jokes about denizens such as Leonard Box, Wallace Swine and Elsie Krack, became a hit novelty book, and he issued a record album, and then...an album of songs. He was aided and abetted on this one by Charles Dant, who was the orchestra leader for "The Judy Canova Show," and later worked at RCA conducting the bands behind such diverse singers as Dennis Day and Ezio Pinza.
Cumquats can be preserved in syrup and kept all year-long, and now, thanks to the Internet, it can be "Cumquat Time" all year long, too. Or as long as the Rapidshare download doesn't expire. Do your part, and at least once a month, come by and download the song again.
It's CUMQUAT TIME in Mt. Idy
Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original link. Since most of you got it in time, here's something else. It's Weaver's "HAPPY NEW YEAR" song
"I was sittin` home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin` old Cronkite on the seven o`clock news.
It seems there was an earthquake that
Left nothin` but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes...
So I turned it off and went to grab another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There`s another hard-luck story that you`re gonna hear..."
Bob Dylan, of course.
Perhaps some hardcore Dylanologists thought of the song when Walter Cronkite passed away at the age of 92, two days ago (July 17th). Mr. Cronkite had given up his anchor chair on the CBS Evening News back in 1981, so there's a generation out there who have no idea about "old Cronkite," except perhaps that well re-run clip of him giving the news about JFK's murder in Dallas in 1963.
Briefly put, Walter Cronkite was a real newsman, and unlike the Katie Couric types today, he was famous for finding news, interpreting news, writing and reporting news...not just reciting the news. He did it with a fatherly assurance, so that kids growing up with Uncle Walt Disney, still had an Uncle Walter in their lives...someone who could help them deal with more than the Mickey Mouse problems in life.
Mr. Cronkite, practically pioneered the concept of a news anchor actually going to dangerous places. After going to Vietnam to see the realities there, he editorialized on a February 1968 broadcast: "To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past...The only rational way out...will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people...” President Johnson, still toying with the idea of running for another term, told an aide, "If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost the country.”
Right-wing idiots stewed about Mr. Cronkite's switch from being (like J.F.K.) an early supporter of the war to an opponent. They forgot that Mr. Cronkite was no pacifist flinching at the sight of blood. He was a correspondent in World War II, and saw much worse carnage, but it was a war he believed needed to be fought and won. Mr. Cronkite was on the bloody beach on D-Day, he was at the Battle of the Bulge, and he flew in bomber planes over Germany. In fact when a crewman was killed by gunfire, the civilian Mr. Cronkite took over the .50-caliber machine gun to continue firing.
The disgraceful "patriots" who greeted Mr. Cronkite's death with jeers, are the ones satirized on "All in the Family." On the show, overfed ignorant loudmouth Archie Bunker famously used to come home from work and watch the news just to give "the pinko Cronkite" the raspberry, even if the newsman couldn't hear it. Mr. Cronkite, who enjoyed sailing as a hobby, learned to let these minor drones sail by, while he concentrated on being the influential and important man that they could never be.
Mr. Cronkite kept busy after his retirement from the evening news, and when his wife died in 2005, the elderly gent surprised gossip columnists by dating Carly Simon's older sister Joanna. In failing health over the past year, he died with his family and friends by his side. Of course at 92, his passing was not exactly unexpected, but even if it was at 82 or 72, his fans would have learned from him a stoic sense of adulthood about it, and along with the sorrow, they'd remember the phrase he used to end his broadcasts: "And that's the way it is." Nothing can change the fact of Walter Cronkite's passing, but another fact is that in broadcasting, Walter Cronkite is a legend.
Since Dylan's song is well known, and so many songs about the evening news are, too (notably Don McLean's great "Prime Time") let's go with a ballad about loss, from Joanna and Carly's sister Lucy Simon. It's from Lucy's solo album "Stolen Time." Most of the songs on that one feature her music with lyrics supplied by Jonathan Schwartz or Carole Bayer Sager, but this one is all hers.
"I Want You Back" LUCY SIMON
A sudden heart attack claimed Gordon Waller on July 17th. Sort of a "Half Beatles," Peter and Gordon had a hit with "World Without Love" in 1964. It was written by Paul McCartney and given to the duo primarily because Peter Asher was the brother of Paul's girlfriend, Jane.
Though credited to Lennon-McCartney, John Lennon was one of many to openly mock the song, especially the over-baked opening line, "Please lock me away, and don't allow the day..."
Gordon Waller (June 4, 1945-July 17, 2009) and Peter Asher had a respectable run from 1964 to 1968, even with competition from Chad and Jeremy, an all too similar duo in the eyes (and ears) of most young kids. While Asher went on to work for Apple Records (signing James Taylor) and later produced Linda Ronstadt albums, Gordon tried to stay in front of the microphone, turning up with an obscure solo album in 1972 that featured him completely changed from his mop-top days, in both look and sound.
His next solo albums...arrived 30 years later...and have met a similar fate of neglect: "Plays the Beatles" (2007) and "Rebel Rider" (2008). 2008 was the year Peter and Gordon not only re-united for a Vegas concert, but shared the bill with Chad and Jeremy, all four singing the closing song, the Everly Brothers classic "Bye Bye Love." Peter and Gordon turned up in California for another gig a month later. Many lifelong fans at that show probably wanted "the boys" to sign an old album, or perhaps the 2003 CD, "Definitive Collection: Knights In Rusty Armour." No doubt many who remember buying the 45's back then are feeling pretty old and very mortal at the news of Gordon's passing.
Below, the obscure 1972 Gordon solo album, and for instant listening and nostalgia, one of the lesser known recordings in the Peter and Gordon catalog, "Flower Lady," a song that shows that the duo did mature, as The Beatles did, in covering more artistic and meaningful compositions. The songwriter is, of course, the Illfolks favorite, Phil Ochs.
Peter and Gordon FLOWER LADY by Phil Ochs
Gordon Waller 1972 solo album
"The future of our seas has never been more precarious. Ninety years of industrial-scale overfishing has brought us to the brink of an ecological catastrophe and deprived millions of their livelihoods."
You can read more about that at http://www.ecoearth.info, or hundreds of other Internet sites that discuss this issue, or ocean pollution. Some of the governing bodies that supposedly are trying to prevent over-fishing, such as ICCAT (the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) take money for conducting "research" and do little. Ecoearth says the ICCAT really stands for: "the International Conspiracy to Catch All Tunas." They put it bluntly: "the commission is a joke."
But nobody's laughing no more.
And that brings us to "It Ain't Funny" by Pamela Morgan. Though the song is about Newfoundland's slowly faltering fishing industry, the song could easily be about the British fishermen out of work in all the major port cities, or the Irish fishermen. Morgan's a Canadian but her singing style is very U.K.
Pamela spent nearly two decades as the lead singer of Figgy Duff, a Celtic band that happened to be from Newfoundland. They recorded a half-dozen albums, the band coming apart after the death of key member Noel Dinn. Morgan began her solo career two years after Dinn passed on, with the 1995 release "On a Wing and a Prayer." In 2002 she released "Seven Years," and in 2005 the traditional "Ancestral Songs." She created Amber Music, an indie label for her own work, and that of several other talented musicians. You can find mp3 samples of her work, along with Anita Best, Emile Benoit, Vicky Hynes, Peter Navaez, and even some classic Figgy Duff, at: http://www.ambermusic.ca/media.htm
Her song "True or False" has appeared in Celtic music compilations, as has "It Ain't Funny," even though she's not based in Ireland as most on those compilations are.
The lyrics for this version of "It Ain't Funny" go like this:
His lullaby, the waves outside his window
His father and himself made a wonderful pair
Five hundred years of fishing in his family
Still the government wouldn’t listen when he said
“Trouble down there!”
Fat cat smirking in the land of plenty
Making jokes about a people and a culture from a gentler time
Sanctioned and applauded the whole gang rape of the place
But like any rape they blame the victim for the crime
Nautical posturing now is the ultimate insult
It's too little too late- what’s left is up for sale
And the best small boatsmen in the world are on the dole
Stupid and lazy according to the Globe and Mail
It ain’t funny...no more
You can find more details about Pamela at her website http://www.pamelamorgan.ca although it doesn't seem to have been updated since 2007, and the list of tour dates ends with October, 2007. Indie artists do have a lot of trouble keeping websites up, touring, making CD's and earning a living. That's not funny either. The album featuring this song, is now on eMusic.
IT AIN'T FUNNY
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The only reason there's dirty ditties on this site, is to get traffic.
While here, and foraging for more filth, people may just take a moment to check out Martin Briley, Bobby Cole, Ron Nagle or Sarah Kernochan.
Yeah, right. To use Colin Quinn's catchphrase, "That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!"
If you're not sure about downloading songs with such titles as "Dingleberry Blues" and "Hershey Highway," here are some sample lines:
"Look here bitch, that shit's makin' my mustache itch. Go on slut, get in there and wash your butt...Well I got one stuck in my teeth, another one caught in my eye, I got one under my fingernail and I put it back in the pie..."
"Do you ride that Hershey HIghway? We've already done it your way, let's do it my way...Some girls don't like it but the others think it's really a hit. But what I don't understand is how them faggots can do it when it hurts me just to shit."
Who'd record such things?
It was Biker Joe Warren, who never got to be a household or outhouse name, like David Allan Coe. Good taste and bad breaks (and maybe bad brakes) did him in. He was always living dangerously. A patriotic redneck, he joined the Army, served in Vietnam, and nearly got himself killed, earning a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.
Back home in '69, Joe ended up doing two years in prison for holding less than two joints of weed. In '71 he began his career as a singer and songwriter, but it sputtered out of control, and so did Joe. Between near-lethal accidents and trying to make a living, he slipped in and out of show business, finally making some kind of dent in 1985 when his lone indie album of filth was released.
More ups and downs followed, and a decade later, he was still hawking the same album, re-issued...and still having hard luck. In 1996 another serious accident laid him horizontal for months. Not long after he recovered, he was knocked more than horizontal by an 18 wheeler. This time, he would rest six feet down.
The legendary Biker Joe is a cult figure, and you can literally buy a cult figure of him, as well as t-shirts, memorabilia, and music by going over to: http://www.bikerjoe.com/order.html. In the meantime, sample some of his shit:
Dingleberry Blues/Hershey Highway
Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original links. They are back via a better company.
Download or listen on line. No capcha codes. No porn ads. No percentage going to the blogger for his "hard work." The hard work was done by the artist.
A few days ago the Fourth of July offered more reasons why Americans are hated around the world. They set off millions of dollars in useless fireworks, money that could be better spent on food. And..
They wasted food. A lot of it. On recreational eating and eating contests. The poster boy for gluttony is Joey Chestnut, winner of a Fourth of July "hot dog eating contest." Over 5 dozen hot dogs went down his gullet in a matter of minutes.
Joey Chestnut was that hungry? Or that gay? Anyone with a mania for shoving hot dogs in his mouth is VERY VERY GAY.
When millions around the world would be happy to get $2 worth of rice dropped from a helicopter into the mud at their feet...Joey Chestnut and his competition made pigs of themselves. In America, eating is a recreational pastime, and now it's becoming a National Pastime. Chestnut won $20,000 for less than ten minutes' work, which puts him right up there with the money sports figures get per minute.
That's ill, folks. The salute to Joey, and other conspicuous consumers who have nothing better to do than eat for recreation, is "No More Hot Dogs," sung by the late rockabilly madman Hasil (as in Hassle) Adkins.
Also in the zip file, 15 more including "Chicken Walk," "Let's Slop Tonight," "I Need Your Head," "Big Fat Mama" and "The Hunch."
Hasil laughingly sings it about a woman he's about to kill: "I'm gonna put yo head on my wall, and you won't eat no more hot dogs! Ah ha ha ha ha!" But let's cheerfully imagine Joey Chestnut instead. Yes, Joey Chestnut roasting on an open fire. It would be a great idea, since there are starving cannibals in Africa. Maybe a few could have a contest; grind up a pound of Joey Chestnut for about 180 people, and see who can gobble it all down fastest. Winner can have a ball. Or both of them.
"NO MORE HOT DOGS" and 15 other wild songs from HASIL ADKINS
Controversial rock manager Allen Klein was alternately praised and condemned by various members of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In both cases, he made lots of money for the group...and for himself...and ended up with full pockets each time he was finally shown the door.
Not the typical "Mr. Businessman," Klein was an accountant who seriously wanted to help naive performers out. In a classic example, he promised Bobby Darin he could find $100,000 in missing royalty payments, and did. His deal with Darin was no fee unless he did his job, and he did it well. He managed Sam Cooke and won the naive singer a huge contract with RCA including a hefty percentage of record sales. His informal entry into the world of The Beatles began when he impressed John Lennon with his fan-like knowledge of John's songs.
Some Beatles theorists believe Lennon's championing of Klein to become the new business manager, while Paul McCartney favored his father-in-law, was the closest single reason for The Beatles break-up. Klein initially seemed to be doing great work for the Fab Four, straightening out messes, getting rid of parasites, negotiating lucrative deals, and even rescuing the debacle of "Let It Be" and bringing in Phil Spector to turn a mess of tapes into a successful album release. Klein would later buy Spector's Philles label. But it all soured, and Paul McCartney chose to leave the band. The name he muttered was Allen Klein, not Yoko Ono.
After The Beatles broke up, Klein continued to work with John Lennon and also with George Harrison, but inevitably, Allen's sharp business moves worked against him. His advice to John ("Don't have Yoko sing at your concerts...") may have been what most fans would've said...but John took it very personally. When the time came to sever his connection with Klein, Lennon wanted blood. He penned "Steel and Glass." As he did with the Maharishi (who became "Sexy Sadie") John curbed his temper enough to avoid naming Klein, but most everyone knew who the target was.
Typical Lennon cruelty...he struck a low blow in the opening stanza of the song, alluding to Klein's mother dying before Allen was even a year old:
"You're mother left you when you were small
But you're gonna wish you wasn't born at all."
The song ends:
"Well your mouthpiece squawks as he spreads your lies
But you can't pull strings if your hands are tied
Well your teeth are clean but your mind is capped
You leave your smell like an alley cat."
When Klein finally stepped away from The Beatles in 1977, he took over three million dollars in settlement money. No wonder he was given the name "Decline," in The Rutles parody film "All You Need Is Cash" the following year.
His motto was: "Though I walk in the shadow of the valley of evil, I have no fear, as I am the biggest bastard in the valley." He went on to many more deals in the music and movie world until he was slowed by Alzheimer's. He died at age 77.
You know John's version of the song. Here's a solid cover.
Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original links. They are back via a better company.
STEEL AND GLASS
Download or listen on line. No capcha codes. No porn ads. No percentage going to the blogger for his "hard work." The hard work was done by the artist.
The most popular song on the Fourth of July? "Billie Jean," "Thriller" or "Bad." But this was an atypical year.
Usually, it's "The Star Spangled Banner."
The melody for that anti-British lyric...is from England.
It's a bit embarrassing that the two most famous American anthems...were swiped from the British! "My Country Tis Of Thee" uses the melody for "God Save the Queen." Perhaps this was intentional mockery; the Americans who broke away to form a new nation, conceived in liberty, and named after an Italian, would deliberately turn "God Save the Queen" into an anthem for the rebellion.
A bit more odd was grafting Francis Scott Key's poem onto a well-known British drinking song. Wasn't there a Rodd Keith around back then, who could "put your poem to original music" for a price?
"The Star Spangled Banner," which makes Americans so teary and proud, has the melody of "The Anacreontic Song," which was intended to help make the British more beery and loud.
What is an Anacreontic?
It's a person fond of Anacreon, a horny Greek poet who lived six centuries before Jesus began turning water into wine. Anacreon extolled drinking, as well as screwing, and his "songs" were honored by the affluent drunken doctors, lawyers and politicians who formed "The Anacreontic Society" ostensibly to perform and appreciate music on a boys' night out.
The song concocted by John Stafford (music) and Ralph Tomlinson (lyric) was published in 1778. In 1814 (the night of September 13th to be exact) the British attacked Fort McHenry, leading Francis Scott Key to write that despite "bombs bursting in air," the star-spangled American flag still waved. Over a 100 years later (1931 to be precise) the song was officially declared the American National Anthem, and a subsequent law was evidently passed demanding that it be played before every baseball game.
"The Anacreontic Song" is about music and booze (with some sex thrown in) and goes on and on for many stanzas. Fortunately most versions of the tune, including the one below, cut it to under 3 minutes.
The opening lines fancifully tell how members of the society went to heaven just to get old Anacreon's blessing on their drinking and music club:
"To Anacreon in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition
That he their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian:
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute, no longer be mute,
I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot.
And besides I'll instruct you, like me, to intwine
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."
Venus and Bacchus...that says sex and drink, doesn't it?
It's almost as good as Albert Brooks' re-write: "As we stand here wait-ing for the ball game to start..."
The illfolks version is sung by John Gower. Like so many British patriots, he wasn't born in the U.K. He was born in Dar es Salaam (October 13 1931) and was schooled initially in Nairobi. Once he learned the initials U.K. he was sent home, and like most good British patriots, he did die in England (August 1, 2005.)
In between, Gower was a singer and actor. First billed as "The Boy Wonder from Wapping," he grew into the man with the burly bass voice. In 1955 he made his serious acting debut at the Arts Theater in "Listen to the Wind." A decade later, he achieved star billing in "The Wayward Way" and "Dearest Dracula." For the next 30 years, he was on many British TV shows, and appeared in a few films as well (he was Prince Fuspoli in "Evita.")
And now, get set for the Anacreontic song...ana one, ana two...
John Gower - ANACREONTIC SONG Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups, porn ads or peculiarities.
It's sad when someone dies, and doubly so when a person's once popular hits turn up in "Lost Jukebox" compilations. Terry Black, who died on June 28th, after many years suffering with multiple sclerosis, was once "Male Vocalist of the Year" in his native Canada. But that was back in 1965, and unless you care a lot, you may not know "Unless You Care," "Say It Again," or "Kisses For My Baby," all charted singles over 40 years ago.
"Say It Again" has that Mersey beat, even if it's Canadian. You'll recognize that familiar guitar underpinning from so many a Billy J. Kramer, Peter & Gordon or Gerry and the Pacemakers disc. (And yes, Gary Lewis & The Playboys adopted it in the U.S. to adorn "This Diamond Ring.")
Black's debut album was "Only Sixteen," released in 1965, and the teen idol wasn't much older than that. He grew from teen idol to actor-musician, appearing in the Toronto version of "Hair" in 1969. He ended up marrying cast member Laurel Ward, and together they formed the duo Black and Ward...and let's just say that their singles probably haven't even made it to a "Lost Jukebox" compilation.
When last heard from, Terry was hosting a radio show in British Columbia, playing jukebox favorites from the past. If you have some Terry Black records, play it, Sam. If you had a Terry Black single but it got lost or scratched over the years, check the download below for "Say It Again."
TERRY BLACK "Say it Again" Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups or porn ads.