Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week In Review: Allen Toussaint, November Weather, Singles Going Steady

The final bargain hunt of the year to Davenport took place and while I didn't stop in at Ragged Records nor the Source Bookstore, somebody donated about 500 juke box 45s at the Salvation Army so I spent an hour sorting through them all while being subjected to Mix 96.1's Christmas Crap Music which they repeated Holly Jolly Christmas twice in a hour that I was there and of course Jingle Bell Rock and the usual suspects.   I had aspirations to get to the Redstone Room to see Wooden Nickle Lottery but they played Friday Night instead of Saturday Night and instead I saw Jason Carl and That Damn Band.  Missing their violin player they managed to do a nice show up till 10 oclock before souring the mood with a so so Ramble On and then a horrendous version of Monkey Man, The Rolling Stones song that rarely gets heard.  But on a plus side Jason Carl did some faithful versions of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and Like A Rolling Stone.   The crowd was beginning to thin out at around 10 PM after the raffle was done.  Outside of finding about 11 45s, the only CD I ended up getting was John McLaughlin's Electric Guitarist.  Slim pickings were noted at Stuff Etc.

While I was out and about, I did not watch the Iowa/Indiana game to which Iowa outlasted Indiana 35-27.  There was uneasiness about this game and where it was played at and Indiana matched Iowa toe to toe, even going out in front on the strength of two long touchdown runs by Jordan Howard, who shredded the defense for 174 yards. However,  C J Beathard, injured body and all then drove the team down to leap over Indiana's Defense for a TD and go ahead score.  Even though the Hawks went out in front 35-20, Indiana did mount one final TD drive before an unsuccessful onside kick ensured a Hawkeyes victory at 9-0.  Again the ESPN naysayers are complaining about the soft teams once again, never taking into fact that Indiana is a much better team than that 0-5 record in the B1G team.  They have played Ohio State tough as well as the Hawks and Michigan State.  While Iowa's defense was a bit shaky, it was the running game of Akim Wadley and Leshaun Daniels, Wadley's 65 yard TD run and 120 total yards of the game and Daniels 2 TDs as well as Beathard's QB play calling.  Next up, the Bacon Bowl with Minnesota on Saturday Night to which they're putting in a request for a change in address for Floyd Of Rosedale.

BTW ESPN, just in case you missed it........

Forty years ago Tuesday, marks the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot in a 1976 hit single.  To which 29 crew members lost their lives in a November storm in Lake Superior.  If anybody lives in the area, when the winds blow from the Northwest this time of year, the shipping lanes usually get closed down due to safety reasons. At that time, a cold front blew through our area which turned the Indian summer weather into a forthcoming windstorm.  Up around Lake Superior it was a occluded front to which winds went from the NE to straight NW with winds from 42 to 60 knots.  An interesting article about the change of weather can be found here. http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/fitz.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_KWWL

75 years ago, a much more dangerous storm hit Minnesota and Wisconsin with the 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard.  This system came from the Pacific and caused the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to collapse before making its way across the US. The balmy 50 degree temps started out in the day with temps here in Anamosa rounded at at 52 degrees before the storms and winds came rushing through.  Two to three inches of rain fell in this area and a report of a tornado west of Davenport. Up to the north in Minneapolis the light rain and 50 degree temps changed with a 25 degree drop in a two hour time frame and Minneapolis getting 17 inches of snow when all was said and done.  49 people from Minnesota lost their lives, most notably duck hunters who wore light clothing.  It's been noted that there were plenty of ducks in that area, which is may have been a double edge sword, they were flying away from the impending storm.  Here, in Iowa this storm gave Winterset a big ice storm which took out the apple crops, at that time Iowa was second in the nation in Apples, with the destruction it was decided it would be too expensive to replace the apple crop and from here on out they would grow corn instead.  In the 52 degrees temp, Anamosa would see the temps drop down to 17 above the next day as most of the Midwest would try to dig out of the wrath of ice and snow that this storm left. http://www.weather.gov/dvn/armistice_day_blizzard

Looking back, The Armistice Storm and the one that took down the Edmund Fitzgerald are what we call the unusual November Storms that can cause major damage. Although most of November's weather is usually placid and uneventful, these two storms make it known even the worst weather does come this time of year.  As it is today, as we have a impeding speeding cold front, with tornado watches to the west and darkening clouds. This storm may not be as extreme as the 1940 storm, nor the 1975 Northern gale, but it is these types of fronts and storm systems that make me pay special attention to the sky and where the wind is blowing from. Basically the storm blew by around 5 30 PM, although with tornado warnings going on, it was strictly a wind and rain producer, one of the best definite looking comma shape storm in quite a while.

On October 30th, a massive fire broke out at a  Bucharest nightclub that killed 55 people, including four members of the metal band Goodbye To Gravity.  Only the vocalist Andrei Galut is still living. Guitarists Vlad Telea and Mihal Alexandru, bass player Alex Pascu and drummer Bodgan Enache all died from injuries substain from bad pyrotechnics display set fire to the stage.  180 folks were also injured.  In the aftermath, the Romania Prime Minister resigned and the club owners were arrested and charged with manslaughter and the mayor was briefly charged and held in jail on corruption and looking the other way as they say but he too later resigned under pressure.

Phil "Animal' Taylor, the original madman drummer for Motorhead passed away at age 61 Wed. He had been suffering from ill health for a time.  Next to Keith Moon, Taylor's wild, one of a kind drumming on such Motorhead classics as Ace Of Spades, Dancing On Your Grave and especially the live version of Overkill gave Motorhead that trademark heavy rock and roll style which cannot be duplicated.  He left Motorhead for a time and came back to play on the Rock And Roll album and up to 1916 which he then got thrown out of the band, even by Lemmy's standards Taylor took things to the extreme.  Taylor did play in other bands, most notably The Web Of Spider  from 2005 to 2008. And did appeared with Lemmy and Fast Eddie Clarke on stage one year ago for Ace Of Spades, only to wave to the crowd and then leaving.  His last and final appearance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPrWVFGJN0g

Passings: Eddie Hoh, session drummer for The Monkees, played on the Super Sessions with Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills and The Mamas and Papas but disappeared once 1970 rolled around died at a nursing home in Illinois November 7.  He was 71.   He also played on recordings from Lee Michaels and Tim Buckley's Goodbye And Hello.  Perhaps his best known moment was Goin Down by The Monkees.  Alas, he became a acid causality and dropped out of the music scene. http://www.knollcrestfuneralhome.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1695972

Allen Toussaint passed away from a heart attack at age 77 Monday night.  One of the giants of New Orleans music Toussaint played a major role in arranging songs for the likes of Lee Dorsey, and even playing piano on some of Fats Domino's Imperial recordings.  He worked being the scenes rather than tooting his own horn, but his sounds are heard in the songs from Ernie K Doe, Chris Kenner, and groomed a up and coming band known as the Meters.  Glen Campbell got a number 1 hit with Southern Nights, a song Allen originally did on the Reprise album titled Southern Nights. He was on tour in Spain and had a heart attack after playing a set.  One of the pioneers and faces of New Orleans music, that is Allen Toussaint. RIP.

Andy White, session drummer who played on the Beatles' Love Me Do debut single and PS I Love You passed away Monday after suffering a stroke.  He was 85. http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-34785987

Carol Doda, legendary San Francisco burlesque dancer and stripper, and an icon in the San Fran area passed away on Monday from kidney failure.  She was 78.  She was one of the original strippers that did enhance her assets, going up to 44 D thereabouts, and was famous for dancing both topless and bottomless before California banned that in 1972.  She continue to dance (fully clothed) up to her passing.  

Sunday was another get together at Rumors for the Sunday Afternoon Jam featuring KICK IT, Dan Hartman and the guys were "kickin it" as they say.  I didn't plan to go up there, spending the afternoon for a long walk from New Bo to around Cedar Lake and back again, but I managed to do the whole thing before sundown and then went to Rumors.  Sure enough Dan got me on stage two songs after coming.  After that, I did the The Revenend Scotty Benefit at Otis Tailgator's, missing Flex but only stayed for three songs for Captain Punch, who did updated songs of Green Day and Blink 182 but it was too loud for this oldster's eardrums and even the drummer of Captain Punch stuck some earplugs in.  And we should have taken heed.  Nevertheless, I was put off by some freaky woman in a wheel chair and a stuffed toy doggie demanding to get out of her way.  To which I would have loved to push her in front of an oncoming truck off Center Point Road.  Still, there was a capacity crowd that came out for a good cause and here's hoping for the best for Scott "Hot Wheels" Hamer.  

And now your dream date of the Month. Alexandria The Red.  Cosplayers have more fun. 

The local news, Family Foods the 24 hour a day grocery shop in beautiful downtown Anamosa is closing up shop, the guess is that an unknown buyer was bought the store but regardless this soon will be closing.  Of course the blame on Wal Mart and Dollar General comes to mind but Family Foods was very expensive, three fifty for a can of Campbell's Chunky Soup?  Even on a good day, hardly anybody would be in the store when I went to pick up a few things.  Certainly it'd be nice to have a Aldi's to replace Family Foods but that's not going to happen.  So for the time being a new empty building will be forthcoming.  (shout out to Carol for noticing the slight misspelled word.  There's no such thing as a Audi's Supermarket, which shows somebody actually reads these blogs, love ya Carol, and thanks for reading) :) http://www.aldi.com/

With Chris Stapleton becoming the toast of the the CMAs last week, the backlash is beginning about him selling out to bro country or cheapen his value.  I doubt that would happen but Trigger at Saving Country Music wrote a thoughtful piece on the advice to Stapleton haters. http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/the-case-against-chris-stapleton-as-country-musics-savior

Al Di Meola master guitar player, checking out the sweets on tour.  


Singles Going Steady Medley: Best of the Davenport Juke Box 45s

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie-The Al Soyka Orchestra (Fontana F-1558)  1966  

Everybody Polka!  It's hard to figure even in 1966 that a major label would be putting out polka 45s, but it's not that rare. Leo Greco had one for Dot. Soyka had a long music career, recording for RCA and Musicor as well as his very own labels Jan and Glo, but this a one off for Fontana.  Of course it bares no relation to the hit by Jay And The Techniques.  Soyka later moved to Florida to become a real estate broker but still found the time to do a polka show once in a while.  He was inducted into the Polka hall of fame in 1979.  He later died in April 5, 2013 at the age of 91.  

Pata Pata-Miriam Makeba  (Reprise 606) 1967 

 A number 12 chart placement on the Billboard, it was Miriam's biggest hit, the title meaning Touch Touch in English. It was one of those songs I always enjoyed hearing on the radio but since nobody mentioned her by name I never came across the record till this weekend in Davenport.  Makeba really lived a very interesting life and recorded for a few labels (RCA thanks in part to Harry Belafonte, also Kapp, Reprise, Warner Brothers). She's also known under the name of Mama Africa, to she partaken a few concerts with Belafonte.  For her big hit it also was her final song she sang; in 2008 she suffered a heart attack after singing it live and died soon afterward.  In my opinion next to Nina Simone, Makeba was one that did things her way.

If You're Gonna Be Dumb You Gotta Be Tough-Jill Hollier (Warner Nashville 7-27881) 1988 

Although she recorded for Warner Brothers for about 8 years, they issued no albums under her name, but she recorded a few singles off and on.  A bit more rocking than country radio wanted it to be, this disappeared without a trace in 1988.  It is a pretty good song, perhaps Carrie Underwood should take a stab at this.

I Wanna Know Her Again-Wagoneers (A&M 1215) 1988   

A&M made a feeble attempt to market this band as country in 1988 and they made two decent if unremarkable albums.  The lead singer was Monty Warden, who would go on into a so so solo career, but in some ways Wagoneers owed a bit to Buddy Holly but more country.  Problem was that this band was too rockabilly for regular country music but not alternative enough for the fledgling style known as Americana.  I've never seen the A&M single before. 

Sweet Little 66-Steve Earle (MCA-53182)  1988  

Basically the country singer moniker didn't work on Mr. Earle.  Even on Guitar Town, Steve was looking more than just to be limped into the hat acts of that time, perhaps Dwight Yoakam was the closest thing to what Earle was putting down, but Earle was more rock than the rockabilly of Yoakam.  This single failed to chart on the country charts and even MCA left it off the Essential Steve Earle.   This time out instead of channel Dwight, Earle was going for John Mellencamp.  Certainly he may have had MCA Nashville executives pulling their hair out trying to market him, but in the end he really a rock and roller at heart.

Me And Millie-Ronnie Sessions (MCA-40705)  1977    

Although history has suggested that Wiggle Wiggle was his claim to fame, this followup actually charted higher, number 15 to the number 16 Wiggle and Me And Millie was written by Bobby Goldsboro.  After that the hits stopped coming, even though I'm wondering if I Don't Go Around Mirrors is the Tom Waits song. A Tim Krekel song Juliet And Romeo made number 25 in 1979 but I don't recall KHAK ever playing it.   However, KHAK did play the B side The Losing End a couple times.  It may have been a double sided hit although the Billboard charts proved that to be false. I think my dad had this as a forty five and on drunken record playing parties he'd sang this with a few friends.  With disastrous results. 

When I Get You Baby-Ruth Brown (Atlantic 45-1140) 1957

The fun of bargain hunts is finding vintage 45s not too scratched up. Finding old Atlantic R and B of the late 50s is always fun although most have seen better days. Ruth Brown along with LaVern Baker were some of the best female R and B singers of the late 50s and had hits with Lucky Lips and Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean but When I Get You Baby went unnoticed on both the Pop and R and B chart.  Perhaps Ray Ellis' military march arrangements may been the reason for the failure, it even sounded out of place in 1957,  B side One More Time, is more standard blues based and might have gotten some chart action but overall, it was a failure after the number 25 chart placing of Lucky Lips.

Ida Red-Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys (Capitol 4332) 1976

A  live performance from the latter day Texas Playboys. Even after the passing of Bob Wills, the Texas Playboys kept performing till most of them passed away.  Produced by Tommy Allsup.

Flash Of Fire-Hoyt Axton (A&M 1811)  1976  

Universal really has made no attempt to preserve Hoyt's A&M singles and albums on CD, which is a shame.  He had hits with When The Morning Comes and Boney Fingers but by 1976 whatever he got on the charts were on the country charts, such as this number 18 song.  Which may be misleading.  I never heard this on the radio.

Can't Change My Heart-The Cate Brothers (Asylum E-45326)  1975

They were an odd fit for Asylum Records, more Memphis R and B than the Eagles/Linda Ronstadt pop country rock and although they got a number 24 hit with Union Man, this followup struggled to hit number 91 for 3 weeks and never cracked higher.  Produced by Steve Cropper and the drums sound like Al Jackson Jr playing them.  Good intentions and fairly good song met with public indifference. 

Look Through Any Window-The Mamas & Papas (Dunhill D-4050)  1966

I really never warmed up to John, Denny, Michelle and Mama Cass, perhaps being burned out by California Dreaming and Monday Monday might have something to do with that, or the corny Words Of Love.  There are some songs I enjoy, Go Where You Wanna Go for one but in all fairness they were never my favorite band.  Out of all the 1966 singles that Dunhill issued, this one only made it to number 24.  It may not have helped for the bizarre 58 second B side of Once There Was A Time I Thought, which screams out no commercial potential.  Even satellite radio has forgotten Look Through Any Window but for a curio single you could do worse.

For those who served.  We salute you veterans.

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