sounds of Chicago and Oslo
Ken Vandermark (tenor saxophone), Paal Nilssen-Love (percussion), “Song for Terrie,” live, Netherlands (Amsterdam), 5/26/16
this morning, Oak Park, Ill.
A big birthday shout-out to my brother Don, my first listening companion. All these years later, the basement jukebox still plays: “Wake Up Little Susie” (Everly Brothers) . . .”North to Alaska” (Johnny Horton) . . .”(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (Gene Pitney) . . . Hear it?
sounds of Chicago
Steve Dawson’s Funeral Bonsai Wedding (SD, vocals and guitar; Jason Adasiewicz, vibraphone; Jason Roebke, bass; Frank Rosaly, drums), “As Soon As I Walk In” (S. Dawson), 2014
Music and family have provided two of my life’s through lines. As little boys, my brother Don and I would play in the basement, listening, on the brightly lit juke box, to the Everly Brothers (“Wake Up, Little Susie”), and Johnny Horton (“The Battle of New Orleans”), and Gene Pitney (“The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”). Soon we were out the door, hearing the Beatles at Comiskey Park, the Velvet Underground at the Kinetic Playground, and the MC5 in Lincoln Park. Still the beat goes on, undiminished by the passing years. Last week, for my sixty-second birthday, Don gave me (what else?) a record—the new album by this guy, Steve Dawson.
three by Randy Newman
“I Don’t Want To Hear Anymore” (AKA “I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore”), Jerry Butler, 1964
“I’ve Been Wrong Before,” Cilla Black, 1965
“Just One Smile,” Gene Pitney, 1966
Best of the Web: Celebs Who Are Older Than You Think
(an occasional series)
Fontella Bass, “Rescue Me” (1965)Vodpod videos no longer available.
Tyrone Davis, “Can I Change My Mind” (1969)Vodpod videos no longer available.
Otis Clay, “The Only Way Is Up” (1980)Vodpod videos no longer available.
*When I was a little boy, a big bright shiny jukebox lit up our basement. Daily it granted our wishes, communicated with just the touch of a finger, for “Wake Up, Little Susie” (Everly Brothers) and “The Battle of New Orleans” (Johnny Horton) and “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (Gene Pitney). It taught me something I’ve never forgotten—music is magic.
Without hitting you over the head with his classical training, this guy, early in his career, took pop songs to new places—melodically, harmonically, structurally.
Dusty Springfield, “I Don’t Want To Hear It Anymore” (1969)
“Just One Smile”
Gene Pitney (1966 [#8, UK Charts])
Blood, Sweat & Tears (1968)
Randy Newman, live (TV broadcast [with The BBC Concert Orchestra, London]), “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” (2008; first recorded in 1966 [Julius LaRosa, 8/66; Judy Collins, 11/66])