As one who once loudly proclaimed my Dylan hatred, I thought it was wonderfully apt. A pleasant surprise from the Nobel committee rather than a cause for the usual mystifying Googling of an author I’ll never read. Here is a writer who actually means something to the lives of people all over the world . . . → Read More: On Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize/If You Gotta Go, Go Now, by Tom Fredrickson
What does a record producer do? What does he bring to the studio? In the case of Phil Spector, it was usually a revolver, a cloud of dread, and a closet full of percussion instruments. Nick Lowe seems to have brought bonhomie and the shortest path through the session to the pub afterwards. To . . . → Read More: By George, by Tom Fredrickson
“Ava taught him how to sing a torch song. She taught him the hard way.”
The idea is that Frank Sinatra’s impossible, unresolvable romantic relationship with Ava Gardner—for whom he left his wife at a time (1950) when it simply wasn’t done; to whom he was married for a brief, tumultuous . . . → Read More: Frank Sinatra – Everything Happens to Me, by Tom Fredrickson
A couple of Spotify samplers for Sinatra anniversary week.
The first recreates (almost) the singer’s last recording project, now out of print: Everything Happens to Me, a self-selected anthology of the songs that meant the most to him. No ring-a-ding-dings here; just the deepest ballads and most penetrating readings from his later years. In . . . → Read More: Sinatra 100, by Tom Fredrickson
I’ve seen this show (above) a few times – it was a Father’s Day special from 1965 (I think) broadcast from St. Louis. The comedy routines with Sammy were typical of their shows. I think they are mostly indicative of the time, when racial and ethnic stereotypes were still a fixture of public . . . → Read More: Rat Pack, Comedy then Birth of the Blues, by Chuck Strom and Tom Fredrickson
The late Lesley Gore was on the epochal T.A.M.I. Show; that’s epitaph enough for any pop star from the 60s. Here’s her full set:
My favorite was “She’s a Fool,” with its unforgettable, unexplainable backing vocal hook of “shacka doula.” When you’ve got Quincy Jones producing and Claus Ogerman arranging, you can . . . → Read More: She was no fool, by Tom Fredrickson
The Joseph of the Nativity story is a cipher: one of those New Testament characters whose very blankness seems to invite us to step into their sandals and ask what we would do if we were witness to such strange events. It wasn’t until I became an adoptive father that I suddenly (if narcissistically) . . . → Read More: The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood, by Tom Fredrickson
You need to see this: Frida! Bjorn’s Ovation Breadwinner! Frida’s satin hot pants and charmingly awkward dancing and blithe overconfidence!
That video was discovered in an Internet breadcrumb trail—there needs to be a word for that experience (start with site A, which takes you to video B, which leads to chatroom C, etc.); . . . → Read More: ABBA – Why Did It Have To Be Me, by Tom Fredrickson
Used to be that I’d find my summer songs on a jukebox (Queen, “Killer Queen,” 1974; Chicago, “Old Days,” 1975) or AM radio (Andrew Gold, “Lonely Boy,” 1977). But now I find them on whatever media happens to be in the car while I’m on vacation. This year the song that has me hitting . . . → Read More: The Kinks – God’s Children, by Tom Fredrickson
Portland humanitarian and actress Gretchen Corbett played Jim Rockford’s sexy lawyer, Beth Davenport.
Sad news from the world of entertainment today.
I’ve had a variety of scattered thoughts since I heard the news an hour ago:
I just can’t believe that a man that good-looking would ever die.
He was the John . . . → Read More: Jimmy Garner, RIP
Actually I have no idea where this pitchy March 1964 live take of “It’s My Party” is from. I only say Swedish TV because it has high quality black and white television images and an unresponsive audience, which are two indicators of potential Svensk involvement.
Lesley is lovely here, an ingenue in the . . . → Read More: More from Swedish TV, I think
Over at Lost Wax Method, my cousin deftly recounts a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Marshall Field’s Choral Society which we and some others attended in the 1980s. As an eye (and ear) witness, I can vouch for his accounts and descriptions, which are compelling and accurate. He recreates the tension, disappointment and . . . → Read More: Marshall Field’s Choral Society Handel’s Messiah
Lost Wax Method has put together a lovely sonic Advent Calendar which features delightful, rediscovered, seasonal music every day ’til Christmas.
The Three Greatest Recordings of Handel’s Messiah, By Don Lundell
The 20 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time, By Don Lundell
Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium Sung By the Robert Shaw . . . → Read More: Lost Wax Method Offers Musical Advent Calendar
Nothing at all creepy about a father and daughter singing about incipient adultery. Yet the clavinet somehow takes the funkiness of the situation, makes it literal, and all moral queasiness is banished: Alchemy.
– Tom Fredrickson is the proprietor of the unparalleled music blog, Lost Wax Method.
My cousin, Tom Fredrickson, is a great writer, one of the very best I’ve had the good fortune to have known. He can write with laser exactitude on any subject. He has a new blog, http://lostwaxmethod.com/, which allows him to share his considerable music knowledge with the world. Today he writes about a Beach . . . → Read More: The Beach Boys – It’s a Beautiful Day
Ah, a prime piece of bubblegum.
That’s Ron Dante in the video, lead vocalist on the record. Not only did Dante (born Carmine Granito) sing lead on this, the number 1 song of 1969, but he also sang lead and backgrounds on “Tracy,” a number 9 hit by the Cufflinks. Has any . . . → Read More: The Archies, “Sugar Sugar,” 1969, By Tom Fredrickson
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