Saturday, January 19, 2013

Observations: Earl Weaver, NLFM, Patsy Cline etc

Well I guess it had to happen sooner, the novelty has wore off and we'll lose that 3,000 views bubble.  Started on the 20th and lasted through Christmas we averaged a 150 views and then it dropped down.  Maybe we'll never top the 214 views that happened on the 23rd.  You can promo it as much as you can and it really doesn't matter.  You gotta make this a labor of love or otherwise this would be history.

Link of the day:

No Longer Forgotten Music goes even more further than I could ever do in searching for forgotten music over the years. Even I haven't heard half of what they posted for songs.

Even the with easing of the comments rule only Tad has figured out the captcha puzzle.  Thought about doing away the whole thing and let everybody make a comment but then again I'd end up with trolls or Nicki No Talent robots invading the inbox with empty headed nothingness.  She really sucks although she does rap competent.

Janis Joplin would have been 70 today.   I have to admit I have never been a big Janis fan, I do have Cheap Thrills but never play it all that much, there was another later cd of her live performances that had better songs but for the most part they're dust collectors.  She could sing, too bad the booze and the drugs and the heartbreaks finally took her down.

But take this in consideration, Patsy Cline would have turned 81 a couple months ago.  Listening to her overview The Patsy Cline Story, I have to conclude that Patsy is the greatest singer of heartbreak ever.  She makes Ian Curtis sound like a choir boy, the desperation that she sings of Sweet Dreams the song that Don Gibson wrote but makes it her own with the way she sings 'you don't love me anymore' sent a strange shiver up my spine while listening to it at work the other day.  I don't believe the brat cared much for The Wayward Wind and she may have a point, Gogi Grant still owns that.  I still like Patsy's more uptempo numbers and Tra La La Triangle song brings a smile to this face.  But tell you one thing, when she sings the songs of heartbreak or She's Got You, it sure tears my heart out hearing that.  You hear the pain in her voice.  More so than Ian.

Bob Lefsetz does a fine job on his podcast of The Harder They Come soundtrack featuring Jimmy Cliff, which remains the first definitive Reggae album that ever came out and yes I have the movie too.  What Bob may not told you but I will that Jimmy's latest album Rebirth is almost as good as that soundtrack.  The 70s was a great time for Reggae music with ground breaking stuff from the likes of Cliff, The Wailers, Toots And The Maytals, Burning Spear and Johnny Nash who at one time was a up and coming teen idol.  His Hold Me Tight album (JAD) was really the first overall reggae album that I ever known, brought for 44 cents at Kresges' years ago.  Peter Tosh wrote a couple cool number on that record.

Earl Weaver, the iconic manager of the Baltimore Orioles passed away at age 82. As a long time fan of the Orioles (goes all the way back to 66 when they upset and swept the Dodgers in the world series) he managed to take the O's to a few World Series, the infamous fuck you Mets of 1969, the two series with the Pirates to which both Pittsburgh won, including the dammed We Are Family craze of 1979 and the 1970 they won it all by beating Cincinnati 4 games to 1 on the strength of Brooks Robinson unbelievable plays at 3rd base.  Even when they didn't win the division, Weaver always had them playing past their potential even though the players would love to kill him, as well the umpires, Weaver got thrown out of 98 ball games in his career.  A sore loser?  Naw, a winner and  my favorite all time manager.  You can't replace him.

Record review:
The Cruisin' Story 1960  (One Day)

One thing about compilations from the golden age of rock and roll is that there's plenty of them out there and most of them repeats the same songs over and over and sometimes throws an obscure classic in there.  Now I grew up with 45s of that era courtesy of my mom and her dead sister and their eccentric tastes are the basis of what I listen to, it's a blurred line and if it sounds good to me then that's what it is.   Back then the local Woolworth's had the 3 for a dollar special or whatever Mom would bring home.  Before the Rolling Stone review guide, this what prepared us for our endeavor of music. Even back then, the bizarre findings of Oscar Peterson Singers to Ben E King or Ray Charles to compare with Bobby Rydell, Elvis and The Hollywood Argyles.

Time Life in their defense continues to do a good job with their big box sets which has been reissued and manipulated on late night TV so many times they have become a parody upon themselves but in reality based upon the original American Graffiti soundtrack, capturing the sights and sounds of an era long ago and far away that we cannot return to that garden of Eden anytime soon.  Time Life does have it right, but I have come to find that the labels across the pond tend to their rock and roll a bit more seriously, such as the case of One Day Records and their Cruisin' Story Series.

One Day has done a superb job of reissuing 2 CD sets of The Cruisin Years which is a variation of the Crusin' series that Increase Records does, only the latter label adds radio airchecks and commercials to the songs although their albums never seem to go past the half hour mark.  Rykodisc issued a Cruisin comp, that kinda reminds me of late night radio, but they go from the late 50s and end around 1968 thereabouts.  It's definitive and worth a listen even though the songs they choose have been played to death on the radio. But One Day sticks to the songs of a particular year and even though the 1960 Story has the usual suspects (Elvis gets three songs, Sam Cooke gets two) and tend to overdo the pop side of things (Paul Anka, Kathy Young) it does give a peek into the developing Motown era with The Miracles' Shop Around, gives a nod to Atlantic soul with Ben E King's Spanish Harlem and I Count The Tears by The Drifters, and of course Ray Charles Georgia On My Mind To boot.  Then the novelty of Alley Oop, Volare, You Talk Too Much and even Johnny Bond's Hot Rod Lincoln.

The second cd is where the fun begins which is when One Day begins to tap the British side of music, Johnny Kidd's Shakin All Over which even sounds dangerous in this 1960 version, Cliff Richard and Billy Fury add their hits here. To the guitar rock of Fendermen's Mule Skinner Blues, The Ventures Walk Don't Run and the original I Fought The Law by The Crickets and Sonny Curtis making Buddy proud although Bobby Fuller would take it one step further. And the reason why I bought this comp, I figured it's cheaper than trying to locate the original 45 of said song.  For the most part we get the original versions, although I find it odd to see Hank Ballard's Finger Poppin Time on one cd and the other The Twist, a song he wrote, is done by Chubby Checker.  Not sure if the Brook Benton/Diana Washington's Rocking Good Way is the original but what I can tell you is that Baby, You Got What It Takes, isn't original, it's Benton only and sounds way past 1960.

But even in the good vibes of the songs of this album, it does end on a bittersweet note with Buddy Holly's True Love Ways ending the whole thing, like the party's over.  Another quibble is the absolute shoddyness of the annotation or songs, no mentioning of the labels or where they came from and the credits to the songs are all wrong, which is getting into Charly Records territory.  Remember them?  They put out some great albums of blues artists and rockers and put up a front for where they got their masters to which Universal went and shut them down, or they simply vanished to some remote place to continue to put out product.  But One Day (A division of Not Now Music) has really done their homework and have issued some fine fine music from forgotten labels (their rockabilly series are worth seeking out) and on this album, added a few missing links from the music of the AM rock era.  Their American London series to which London UK licensed some US records for the UK audience are worth seeking out although there's a few duplications from that as well.  Basically buyer beware but for a decent overview of your parents rock and roll, you could do worse.

Grade B+

The lateness of the hour caused me to forgot about Stan Musial deciding to check into the big ball park in the sky.  He was 92.  Stan the Man lives!

If you're still interested, Bob Dorr's Backtracks is now on Saturday Afternoon from 3 from 5.  Seems like Public Radio has cut his hours down two from three hours he used to have on Saturday Nights.  He always have  a good sense of music.......

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