Homer and Jethro were adept, first-rate jazz musicians (See Playing It Straight and It Ain’t Necessarily Square) but that’s not the music for which they’ll be primarily remembered. Instead Henry “Homer” Haynes and Kenneth “Jethro” Burns will go down in musical history as the creators of tunes such as “The Gal From Possum Holler,” . . . → Read More: Cool Crazy Christmas With Homer and Jethro
In retrospect, “The Happening” seemed like the moment when Motown first lost its way: the beginning of the end. A theme for a painfully unhip cinematic attempt at hipness, written by Holland-Dozier-Holland with a Hollywood hand best known for TV themes (Family Affair, Gidget, My Three Sons).* It was a formal foot in the . . . → Read More: The Supremes – Happenings 45 Years Ago, By Tom Fredrickson
Where did it come from?
Ignoring “Day by Day” (from the Godspell movie soundtrack; #13 on the Hot 100—and, yes, let us please ignore it in perpetuity), 1972 was hardly a high water mark of religious themes in pop music. And as fellow EPBer Mark Hjelm suggests, “Supper’s Ready” does not appear to . . . → Read More: Supper’s Ready – When Artists Don’t Believe Their Sacred Output, By Tom Fredrickson
When Style Council came out with its first record, Bruce, the biggest Jam fan I knew, shook his head sadly. He may never have uttered the word, but hanging over his head was an acid green thought bubble containing the word, “sellout.” Bruce had a Mosaic sense of pop ethics, and when he came . . . → Read More: The Style Council – My Ever Changing Moods – Long Hot Summer – Shout to the Top – Paul Weller Earned His Post-Jam Fun, By Tom Fredrickson
Late to the party, as usual, but this is hilarious.
The good stuff is at his website: http://stsanders.com/www/pages/videos.php
I especially like the Eagles and Queen, though the Steve Vai and Jake E Lee are works of, well, not art, but something.
– Tom Fredrickson
Scene: A London club, summer of 1974
PRODUCER: Thank you boys for chatting with me this morning.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBER: We’re only too happy to oblige.
TIM RICE: Indeed.
PRODUCER: Tim, as you know, Andrew has been kind enough to score our film, The Odessa File. You may know the . . . → Read More: Perry Como – Christmas Dream – A Bit of Gemütlichkeit with Shadings of Menace, By Tom Fredrickson
What does it say about Brian Wilson that, perhaps alone among recording artists, he made his creative breakthrough in a Christmas song? When the single “Little Saint Nick” was released in the fall of 1963 Wilson had already written and recorded the touchstone ballads “Surfer Girl” and “In My Room,” but the bulk of . . . → Read More: Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick – Brian Wilson’s Creative Breakthrough, By Tom Fredrickson
I loved the last Peter Gabriel album, where his transcendent cover (cocreation? PG supplied the melody) of Lou Reed’s “The Power of the Heart” (which somehow quotes “Ol’ Man River” in a love song to Laurie Anderson) almost balances out the Lou-Metallica combo/car crash. Speaking of Lou, James Wolcott’s memoir of NYC in the . . . → Read More: Peter Gabriel Brings an Orchestra to Letterman, By Tom Fredrickson
It’s the 20th anniversary of Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. It may not be anybody else’s cup of tea, but I love Loveless (though I can’t claim to know it—it is a surpassingly strange album), but it is a landmark, and Stereogum puts it as well as anyone I know:
– . . . → Read More: The 20th Anniversary of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, By Tom Fredrickson
(Thanks to Tom Fredrickson for sending a link to this golden oldie.)
According to their Wikipedia entry, “The Honeycombs were an English beat/pop group, founded in 1963 in North London. The group had one chart-topping hit, the million selling “Have I the Right?”, in 1964… The group’s most distinguishing mark was their female drummer, . . . → Read More: The Honeycombs – Have I the Right?
Perhaps the most un-American thing about Vladimir Nabokov was his unwillingness to play at the jazz of talk show gab—even in this nearly prehistoric example. “Off the cuff” was simply not in his vast vocabulary. Whether the interview was to be published or broadcast, VN insisted on receiving the questions in advance and . . . → Read More: Vladimir Nabokov Discusses Lolita on Fifties Television, By Tom Fredrickson
I don’t know why folk dancing should depress me so, but it does. Perhaps the lingering aftereffects of the emotional damage inflicted at a nyckelharpa festival in Dalarna one endless hot June afternoon in 1976. No 14 year old should be forced to suffer so—though I expect I’ll subject my son to some equivalent . . . → Read More: Dancing the Midsummer Drunken Sailor, Swedish Style – By Tom Fredrickson
So, the WebMaster sent me this clip, and since I owe him money (don’t bet on the Canucks), I’ll indulge:
Two of the greatest singers of the last century—the Dionysus and Apollo of American popular song. Friends, collaborators (Sinatra conducted and, in modern parlance, essentially produced the 1957 album that produced this deathless . . . → Read More: Frank and Peggy and Dinah: Good Timing, by Tom Fredrickson
East Portland Blog asked me to write about “Supper’s Ready” by Genesis, but my heart really wouldn’t be in it today knowing that this clip of Louis Prima and Keely Smith exists. Prima was a combination Zelig/Lord of Misrule of 20th century music, with a career stretching from Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans to the . . . → Read More: Louis Prima & Keely Smith – That Old Black Magic (the “Son of Sam Version”), by Tom Fredrickson, Celebrity Guest Blogger