“Burning Love” (D. Linde)
Arthur Alexander, recording, 1972
Elvis Presley, live, Greensboro, N.C., 1972
Elvis Presley, recording, 1972
Bruce Springstein, live, Italy (Florence), 2012
The Korean Black Eyes, recording, 1974
Weegee (AKA Arthur Fellig, 1899-1968)
only rock ’n roll
A lot of early rockers recorded in Memphis, in the 1950s, for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. Some, like Elvis, became famous. Others, like this guy, didn’t.
Malcolm Yelvington, It’s Me Baby (1997)Vodpod videos no longer available.
“Drinkin’ Wine Spodee-O-Dee” (Sun 1954)
“Rockin’ With My Baby” (Sun 1956)
only rock ’n’ roll
Elvis Presley (with Scotty Moore, guitar), TV shows, 1956
“I Got A Woman”
One of the things I love about these guys is their name: you could hardly get
any simpler, any homelier.
TV broadcast (TV Gospel Time), early 1960s
“I’m Going Through”
It was 25 years ago . . . that four boys in the Dunbar Elementary School Glee Club in South Richmond [Virginia] decided to see what they could do with some close four part harmony. The director of the glee club encouraged their first efforts and pretty soon the Harmonizing Four developed to the point that the were invited to sing for civic meetings, clubs, schools, and churches all over the city.
—Program, 25th Anniversary Tribute to the Harmonizing Four, Richmond, Virgina, 1952 (quoted in Jerry Zolten, Great God A’Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music [Oxford 2003])
odds & ends
• Elvis Presley was a huge fan of these guys, particularly bass singer Jimmy Jones. (Jones left the group in 1958, after these records were made but before this TV appearance, to form his own group [Jimmy Jones and The Sensationals]; he was replaced by Ellis Johnson.)
• One of the group’s members, Lonnie Smith (rear right on “That’s Alright”), is the father of keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith.
Here, following Big Mama Thornton’s, are two more takes.
Elvis Presley, “Hound Dog,” live (TV broadcast, Milton Berle Show), 1956Vodpod videos no longer available.
The Rock and Roll Trio (with Johnny Burnette), “Hound Dog,” live (TV broadcast, Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour), 1956Vodpod videos no longer available.
In 1952, the Burnette brothers and Burlison formed a group called The Rhythm Rangers at the time. Johnny Burnette sang the vocals and played acoustic guitar, Dorsey played bass and Paul Burlison played lead guitar. For economic reasons, in 1956, the three young men moved to New York, where they managed to get an audition with the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. They won the competition three times in a row, which gained them a place in the finals, a recording contract with Coral Records and they officially became The Rock and Roll Trio.
Elvis Presley, “Stranger In My Own Home Town,” live (rehearsal), 1970
Percy Mayfield, “Stranger In My Own Home Town” (1964)
Stranger in Paradise: The Works of Reverend Howard Finster, Chicago Cultural Center, through 9/26/10 (in the gallery next to The Jazz Loft Project, W. Eugene Smith in NYC, 1957-1965, there through 9/19/10)
Mr. Coke (1988; tractor enamel on wood)
My work is scrubby. It’s bad, nasty art. But it’s telling something. You don’t have to be a perfect artist to work in art.
—Reverend Howard Finster
Matthew Arient’s Angel (1987; tractor enamel on wood)
Howard Finster Vision House
“Milky White Way”
The Trumpeteers (1947, Baltimore)
Elvis Presley (1960, Nashville)
The Trumpeteers, live (TV broadcast, with “I John Saw the Number”), 1960s
all roads lead (on Friday, anyway) to Bay City, Michigan
Friday morning: I post ? and the Mysterians’ “96 Tears,” which was recorded in 1966 in, yep, Bay City, a town of about 35,000 on Lake Huron that also gave the world Madonna (she was born there) and the Bay City Rollers their name (the first dart landed on Arkansas but “Arkansas Rollers” lacked pizazz).
Friday afternoon: I stop by a book fair in Chicago, where I buy one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen—a rare one by a favorite poet (William Bronk, Careless Love And Its Apostrophes, Red Ozier Press, 1985, limited edition [175 copies])—from a dealer (Jett W. Whitehead) based in, where else, Bay City.