music clip of the day

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Tag: Otis Clay

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, 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, March 29th

sounds of Chicago

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

Live, Toronto, 2014

 

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Recording, 1972

 

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Forest 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

 

Saturday, November 3rd

basement jukebox

“The Only Way Is Up” (G. Jackson, J. Henderson)

Otis Clay (1942-2016), 1980

 

A few years after Otis Clay recorded this song for his small Chicago label, another version was released in England, where it topped the charts for several weeks.

Yazz (1960-), 1988

 

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lagniappe

reading table

It is Spring in the mountains.
I come alone seeking you.
The sound of chopping wood echoes
Between the silent peaks.
The streams are still icy.
There is snow on the trail.
At sunset I reach your grove
In the stony mountain pass.
You want nothing, although at night
You can see the aura of gold
And silver ore all around you.
You have learned to be gentle
As the mountain deer you have tamed.
The way back forgotten, hidden
Away, I become like you,
An empty boat, floating, adrift.

—Tu Fu (aka Du Fu, 712-729), “Written on the Wall of Chang’s Hermitage” (translated from Chinese by Kenneth Rexroth)

Sunday, July 24th

sounds of Chicago

Otis Clay (1942-2016) and Willie Rogers, “When the Gates Swing Open,” “A Change Is Gonna Come,” live, Indianola, Miss. (B.B. King’s funeral service), 2015

 

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lagniappe

reading table

whatever the day brings
the nightingale’s alone
I’m alone

—Kobayashi Issa, 1763-1828 (translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue)

Sunday, February 7th

sounds of Chicago

Jubilee Showcase (TV show), Chicago, 1963-1984


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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

IMG_2707 (1)

Wednesday, January 20th

More of the late Otis Clay.

“That’s How It Is (When You’re In Love),” 1967


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“Trying to Live My Life Without You,” 1972


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“Precious, Precious,” 1972


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“The Woman Don’t Live Here No More,” 1974


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“I Can’t Take It,” 1977


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lagniappe

reading table

. . . life, that storm before the calm.

—Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012, MCOTD Hall of Fame), “Negative” (translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh)

Sunday, January 17th

More of Otis Clay, who died the other day.

The Gospel Songbirds (Otis Clay [right]; Maurice Dollison, aka Cash McCall [left], 1941-), “I Believe,” live (Jubilee Showcase), 1964, Chicago

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lagniappe

reading table

There was very little time for small talk, so I said, ‘Does God exist?’

—James Tate (1943-2015), “The Wrong Wedding” (Dome of the Hidden Pavilion, 2015)

Sunday, January 10th

passings

Otis Clay, singer, February 11, 1942-January 8, 2016

“When the Gates Swing Open,” live, Chicago (Christian Tabernacle Church)


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My life always has been a combination of things musically. . . . Every Saturday night I listened to the Grand Ole Opry. . . . During the day, later on, you listened to (radio) coming out of Memphis. During the noonday, at 12 o’clock, we listened to (blues pioneer) Sonny Boy Williamson, coming out of Helena, Ark. (And) I’m listening to Vaughn Monroe and Rosemary Clooney and listening to Hank Williams and Roy Acuff.

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Chicago is just a suburb of Mississippi.

—Otis Clay (Chicago Tribune obituary, January 9, 2016)

 

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