music clip of the day

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Category: Memphis

Sunday, June 13th

sounds of Memphis

Memphis Gospel Singers (Spirit of Memphis Quartet), “I’m Happy in the Service of the Lord,” 1949

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Sunday, January 3rd

testify!

Rev. Al Green, “The Lord Will Make a Way” (T. A. Dorsey), live, Memphis (Full Gospel Tabernacle Church), 1983

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

*****

reading table

Commonplace miracle:
that so many commonplace miracles happen.

An ordinary miracle:
in the dead of night
the barking of invisible dogs.

One miracle out of many:
a small, airy cloud
yet it can block a large and heavy moon.

Several miracles in one:
an alder tree reflected in the water,
and that it’s backwards left to right
and that it grows there, crown down
and never reaches the bottom,
even though the water is shallow.

An everyday miracle:
winds weak to moderate
turning gusty in storms.

First among equal miracles:
cows are cows.

Second to none:
just this orchard
from just that seed.

A miracle without a cape and top hat:
scattering white doves.

A miracle, for what else could you call it:
today the sun rose at three-fourteen
and will set at eight-o-one.

A miracle, less surprising than it should be:
even though the hand has fewer than six fingers,
it still has more than four.

A miracle, just take a look around:
the world is everywhere.

An additional miracle, as everything is additional:
the unthinkable
is thinkable.

—Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012; MCOTD Hall of Fame), “Miracle Fair,” translated from Polish by Joanna Trzeciak

Saturday, October 12th

basement jukebox

Willie Mitchell, record producer, March 1, 1928–January 5, 2010  

O. V. Wright (1939-1980), “A Nickel and a Nail,” 1971

 

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Syl Johnson (1936-), “Take Me to the River,” 1975

 

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Otis Clay (1942-2016), “Trying to Live My Life Without You,” 1972

 

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Ann Peebles (1947-), “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” 1973

 

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Al Green (1946-), “Let’s Stay Together,” 1971

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Kankakee, Ill.

Sunday, April 14th

testify!

Lee Williams (1942-2017) and the Spiritual QC’s, “Can’t Run,” live, Memphis

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Kankakee, Ill. (by the local jail)

Sunday, March 31st

two takes

“When the Gates Swing Open” (T. A. Dorsey)

Otis Clay (1942-2016), live, Chicago, c. 2007

 

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Al Green (1946-), live, Memphis, 1983

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Spring and All
by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)

By the road to the contagious hospital
under the surge of the blue
mottled clouds driven from the
northeast—a cold wind. Beyond, the
waste of broad, muddy fields
brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

patches of standing water
the scattering of tall trees

All along the road the reddish
purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
stuff of bushes and small trees
with dead, brown leaves under them
leafless vines—

Lifeless in appearance,
sluggish dazed spring approaches—

They enter the new world naked,
cold, uncertain of all
save that they enter. All about them
the cold, familiar wind—

Now the grass, tomorrow
the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

One by one objects are defined—
It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

But now the stark dignity of
entrance—Still, the profound change
has come upon them: rooted, they
grip down and begin to awaken

Friday, December 7th

This is Jimmy’s brother.

Syl Johnson, “Take Me to the River” (A. Green, M. Hodges), 1974

 

*****

Another take.

Live (with Howard Grimes [drums], Leroy Hodges [bass], et al.), Memphis

 

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Sunday, November 4th

two takes

“When the Gates Swing Open” (T. A. Dorsey)

Otis Clay (1942-2016), live, Chicago, c. 2007

 

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Al Green (1946-), live, Memphis, 1983

 

Wednesday, April 12th

timeless

Old recordings, where everyone involved is long dead, don’t just appeal to the ears—they’re springboards for the imagination. Here’s one made in Memphis nearly 90 years ago.

Close your eyes.

Open your imagination.

They’re just about ready to record.

What’s the room look like?

What’s the last thing said before they start?

Tommy Johnson (1896-1956), “Cool Drink of Water Blues” (1928)


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lagniappe

art beat

Robert Frank (1924-), Funeral—St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955/56

Sunday, April 9th

another take

Rev. Al Green, “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow” (T.A. Dorsey), live, Memphis (Full Gospel Tabernacle Church), 1983

 

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lagniappe

art beat

Robert Frank (1924-), Santa Fe, 1955

 

Thursday, January 19th

timeless

Sleepy John Estes (1899-1977), “Diving Duck Blues” (with James “Yank” Rachell, mandolin; Jab Jones, piano), recorded September 24, 1929 (Memphis)


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lagniappe

art beat: other day, Whitney Museum of American Art (Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016, through February 5th)

Edwin S. Porter, Coney Island at Night (1905)

 

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