Baseball season is here! Well, here for some baseball fans that is- Me, i gotta wait till tomorrow to see my teams since neither of them play today. It's been a long and cold winter either way, so another 24 hours is no big deal...
I'm not a Brewers fan, but maybe i am today. Since i don't have the White Sox song on 45, and the Red Sox record i own is an LP, this will have to do. I'm not into national league ball in general, (What's up with the pitcher swinging the bat anyway?! It just aint natural) but if i did have to root for an NL team, i guess i'd go with the Brew-crew.
As far as random baseball teams that i have no allegiance to go- the Brewers do have a quite a bit going for them: First of all, Bob Uecker is their radio announcer, and has been since the dawn of history. They have a nice friendly park in a nice friendly city, they are one of the Cubs' rivals, and they are from the place where they make all the beer (and named for the act of doing so!) Not only that, this record is a real gem. They got me because of this corny old song alone... What am i, gonna be a Mets fan?! Please. I don't even own their stupid old record. That's if they even have one...
So today, i'll say: Catch the fever. Brewer fever!
Tomorrow, it's all about The Sox.
I guess it's a big deal time of the year for basketball fans right now. "March Madness." What that means, i really don't know. I don't get into basketball, it's just never been my bag. As far as i'm concerned, this isn't even the real-deal either, we're talking college basketball here. Seriously? College sports? I'd rather be visiting the dentist. But what do i know- I'm a baseball guy. For whatever reason some folks seem to really get into it though, and hey- power to em. I'm not here to judge anybody... Here's a song for those people. It's the only tune i have about basketball, and i think it's pretty fitting given my opinion on the game.
On a more rock and roll note, the line up of musicians on this song is unbelievable. I always knew that it was George Harrison on guitar and obviously Cheech on lead vocals, but didn't realize until looking it up that the group who recorded this track also included: Klaus Voorman on bass, Darlene Love, Ronnie Spector, and Michelle Phillips as the cheerleaders, and also Carole KIng, Nicky Hopkins and Billy Preston on assorted electric and non-electric pianos. Nice.
Now i gotta work on finding a copy of Sweet Georgia Brown for next March...
Also- here's a LINK to the video. If you've never seen it, check it out, it'll change your life.
There aren't enough parody records in popular music these days. Or maybe there are, and i'm just not hip to anything made after the mid 1980s. Either way, we got a pair today that have to be heard together. The original, and the spoof.
Before he got into the sausage business Jimmy Dean was a singer, and Big Bad John was a huge hit for him in the US. It's the story of a heroic coal miner who risks and ultimately loses his life saving his fellow miners from disaster. Not only did it top the Pop charts for 5 weeks in 1961, but it was also #1 on the Country charts for 2 weeks, and #1 Adult Contemporary for 10 weeks. Most importantly, it inspired a parody.
Big Bad John
Small Sad Sam is the exact opposite. It's the story of a snivelling wimp who saves his own ass while letting everyone else perish in an elevator crash.
RobGems.ca Wrote: Phil McLean's only top 40 hit as an artist/parodiest came in 1961 with "Small Sad Sam", a parody of the late Jimnmy Dean's country/pop smash "Big Bad John",with "Chicken" destined as the obligatory non-descript B-side. (Hear Chicken HERE.) The record hit #21 on the Billboard National Charts. Three more singles followed on Versatile Records, but McLean was never heard from again by the national public, except in Cleveland, where he remained a popular DJ throughout the rest of the 1960's & 70's before retiring in 1978.
I wouldn't necessarily call myself a fan, but i've yet to hear a polka i didn't like. It's party music for beer swilling midwesterners. What's not to like about that? Sure, i only own a few polka records, but every one of them is fun. This one's no exception. It's just a guy talking shit about hippies and getting drunk with his buddies in his hometown. Simple. To the point. And fun.
Here's another one called the BARTENDER POLKA that i posted a few months ago, if you're really feeling the polka groove...
This record cracks me up. The band actually kind of, almost, has their shit together. They are competent musicians who can follow the sheet music at least, but the off-key lead vocals are sooo bad... I mean, bad. As in- not good. What could they have possibly been thinking? What studio engineer decided that this was the take. "That's a wrap boys, we got us a keeper- smoke em if ya got em." If i was a kid and ended up with this piece of crap while the fab-four's version was on the radio, i woulda felt totally hosed.
"Hit" records was a label in the sixties who specialized in releasing half-assed covers of popular songs of the day, aimed at the music buyer on a budget (or the young music lover's thrifty and/or square parents, who didn't know any better.) These records went for like 30 cents, where as an actual Beatles single probably would have ran upwards of a whole dollar at the time. These records usually used the name of a band that didn't actually exist. This one's credited to 'The Bugs.' Clever. I read something about prominent Nashville studio players on some of these (who's names i don't remember.) They were just working for paychecks at the time and wanted to be able to still get real gigs backing real artists, so they used the fake names on these. The flip side is Frankie Valli's 'Stay' as performed by The Chellows. It's probably the same bunch of musicians as this one....
It is what it is. An artifact of a bygone era, but it definitely has a certain charm about it.
I have this one on one of the many Nuggets and/or Pebbles type compilations i own, but it's also nice to have the actual single. It's even nicer to have the b-side, which i don't think i had heard before (I'll get it up here eventually.) I went with the A-side this time for two reasons- 1) Its the better song, and 2) It's the original version of a song included on a punk ep that i posted almost a year ago. If you dig that 1990's punk/garage-revival sound, go check THIS RECORD out. It's a good un.
Right now enjoy a little Shapes of things to come, plus an added bonus.
I had no idea what to expect when i found this one. I liked the look of the little indian on the label and the fact that it was a two part version of the Dovell's song that i'd never heard. So, like i often do- I took a chance.
After a little investigation i learned that this was actually the original version, and the Dovells did the cover, adding the lyrics. Who knew? It's Phil's first record as bandleader, and at the time (1961) it sold over a million copies. He had previously worked as a side-man for the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, etc before striking out on his own. HERE is his wikipedia page if you care to read more about him. He's got a hell of a resume. Not a bad debut record either. Way to go Phil.
Last year i found two singles by this band. I had never heard anything by them other than their hit Green Tambourine (this is the flip-side) so i grabbed them. I like to hear the b-sides....
Turns out the other record, who's song titles i don't even remember, was a total waste of my time and money. Just plain awful. But i did get lucky with this one.
It's just two and a half minutes of groovy psychedelia. Nothing too fancy about it, but i dig it anyway.
After a night of drinking as if you were actually an Irishman, most likely you woke up this morning with a wee bit of a hangover. It's gonna happen sometimes, there's no shame in it... Or IS there..?
That's your problem.
Either way, i got your medicine right here... Just what the doctor ordered.
Take this, and don't call me in the morning- or ever.
I'm not crazy about Irish music. It can be fun if you're sitting in a bar and you're drunk while some guys are playing it live, but as far as records of it go.... You can have em.
With that said, here's the only record of Irish music i own (other than Thin Lizzy of course), i only grabbed it because of the great label artwork, i had never actually listened to it until just now. Meh... Like i said before, i can take it or leave it. You can have it.
Figured it get this one in for amateur hour tonight, otherwise i'm gonna be sitting on it for another solid year..
Headed downstate from Chicago into that giant farm that they call Illinois today. This tune isn't about driving, but it's got that olde-timey car horn sound effect all over it, Ah ooo gah- get it? I think zany sound effects in old songs are hilarious, so it's a good enough reason as any for me to share it.
I'm only going to be in Springfield for a day, but i'm hoping to squeeze in a visit to the bookshop pictured at the bottom of the page, and where i found this record actually. We'll see if i can find the time...
John Hardy is a traditional American folk song based on the life of a railroad worker in West Virginia. In 1894 the historical John Hardy killed a man during a craps game, was found guilty of murder, and was hanged.
Much like his pal Stagger Lee, John Hardy was undoubtedly a bad bad man in real life... So of course somebody wrote a song about him, because apparently that's what you did back in those days, you sang odes to thieves and murderers.
Fast forward 30 years or so- Alan Lomax came along, recorded someone singing it, and the rest they say, is history.
This guy digs girls who wear a ponytail, short fat fanny or as thin as a rail. He don't care, she could be a dream lover or a nightmare... A Tallahassee lassie or a Sioux City Sue.... Doesn't matter to old Bobby, he'll take what he can get.
I wonder how many hits this one will get from dirty perverts trolling the internet looking for porn... I noticed that one of my old posts (8-teen by ? & the mysterians) has gotten, and continues to get a ton of hits, and it took me forever to figure out why. Once i did, it was like oh yeah, no shit...
I dig girls- this one ought to see some action too.
I know less than nothing about vintage gospel records. I don't know artists, i don't know what labels to look for, nothing at all. All i do know is that i dig the sound of the church scene in the Blues Brothers. The one where James Brown is the preacher. You know the scene: "I see the light! Jesus H tap dancing Christ- i have seeeen the light!!"
Once in a great while i'll spot something with the word Jesus, lord, or whatever in the title and take a chance. I have a pretty shitty record (no pun intended) in this department. Fact is, finding this here platter was the first time in all my travels that i scored a keeper. And only one side of it is worth listening to. This tune is exactly what i've hoped to find since the first time i bought one like it many a year ago. So yeah, i'm not exactly batting a thousand when it comes to gospel music, but finding this one was like hitting a grand slam.
I did a little investigating on the innerwebs and learned that there is a St Paul church of god in christ right here in Chicago (churches tend to hang around for a long time), so we know that it's a local record that didn't stray too far from it's home. Info i am finding about the Cimude label is that they seem to be worth a few bucks among folks who collect vintage gospel records. Score. Not like i'm going to try to sell this anyway, so it doesn't really matter. But it sure is fun to learn that there are people shelling out 20 or more bucks, plus shipping, for a record that i picked up for less than a dollar. One man's trash truly is another man's treasure.
This one's pretty noisy, as a lot of my junk-shop finds are. I washed it in the sink with dish soap before i played it, and there was so much crud in the grooves that it turned the suds brown! It truly is a miracle that it plays all the way through without skipping. Guess that's the power of the lord talking right there....
Here's one i really should have included in my month long appreciation of music made by black folks. February was 'black history month' after all- What did you do to celebrate? There were only 28 days, so a fella couldn't play em all you know...
Music this funky doesn't get this silly very often, but when it does, you got a real keeper on your hands. I like to yuck it up. When i spin this one it makes me chuckle, chortle, and/or guffaw every time... And there aint not a damn thing wrong with that.
I don't know if this would have been the A-side, or if the flip 'Love Aint Enough' was. I haven't played the other one in a while because i remember that it wasn't very good. Personally, i'll take the rocker over the ballad any day of the week. It's just how i roll. So that's what we got for you today- The rocker. And a rocker it is. It's hard to believe that this is the same band who had the mega-huge pop hit 'Kind of a drag' within a year of this records release. If you care, you can read the whole story HERE.
I'm diggin the low-rent Kinks style guitar on this one, and the fact that they were a Chicago group on a Chicago label (this was recorded at Chess studios) makes it even better (to me anyway.) I'm also a big fan of the mis-used apostrophe in the band's name. Nobody ever said you had to have perfect grammar to be a rock and roller...
Well geez, shows what this dumbass Chicagoan knows, i thought yesterday was the beginning of the Mardi Gras celebration- it seems that it's actually over. Fat Tuesday... What the hell do i know..? Not a whole lot evidently.
Anyway, HERE are some fun facts about this tune that you may or may not already know. It was written by a an Arkansas high school history teacher? I had no idea. Gotta love the interweb and all of it's infinite wisdom....
I guess i'll save the other two records i had lined up for another time. They aren't going anywhere...
Whaddya know, it's Mardi Gras time again. Me, i've never had the pleasure of attending the festivities, but it sounds like a real boss time. Hey why not..? I like drinking beer outside-of-doors all day long. Good an excuse as any i suppose. And let's be honest here, Who doesn't love a parade... It also sounds like something i would have enjoyed a lot more, say 12-15 years ago, before i got old. "Goddamn frat-boy douche bags!" **Shaking fist in the air** "Stop pissing in my alley!"
I got a few that fit the New Orleans theme (and no Arlo Guthrie), so if you can't make it there, you can hear about it here for a few days anyway... Hey- whaddya want for nothing?!
Sorry about all the sizzlin bacon surface noise on this record. In some cases i think it adds to the charm of an old tune like this, and considering that i probably only paid like 20 cents for it, i can deal...
This one goes out to Ana-B who posts some not so noisy, vintage New Orleans funk and/or soul 45s on her Singing Bones blog. Go pay her a visit. She delivers the goods. Me, i'm just some hack with some random shit.
Here's one of those 'adult party records' you've heard about. I have found a lot of oddball crap like this in my recent travels. It's great because it seems like nobody wants this stuff, they can be found in the bargain bins for next to nothing. I think i paid a quarter for this one, and it's in near mint condition. It was probably never even played before i got my hands on it.
As usual, i don't know anything about the (and i use the term loosely) artist, but it doesn't really matter anyway. You get what you pay for, And i got my moneys worth on this one for sure.
Who knew? The b-side of the AM gold oldies hit 'Expressway to your heart' is a pretty righteous take on the Donovan/Animals number Hey Gyp. Actually i did know, it's just been a good long while since i put it on so i'd forgotten how damn good a song this was. File this one under: Reasons to spin the b-sides of your favorite hits, because you may have forgotten what a great tune was hiding under there waiting to be re-heard...
The original of this one is typical Donovan. Stripped down, with folky acoustic guitar and harmonica and not much else. It was the Animals who really kicked the song into high gear, and The Soul Survivors, well they pretty much just covered the Animals version... It's not a bad thing though, because i like this one even more. It gets pretty wild toward the end.
I don't know much, but i'm convinced that this song was written because Okefenokee is just such a fun word to say over and over again. Go ahead, say it: Okefenokee. Its a good one. Makes for great rock and roll lyrics. Being the New Englander-turned Mid Westerner that i am, i had no idea what or where Okefenokee was. So like the modern man that i am, i went to the internet box and asked the googles. Here's what i found out: OKEFENOKEE.
Fun fact- after 42+ years in show business Mr. Cannon still controls the rights to all of his music, and can be contacted directly for licensing. In theory, i guess i should have gotten in touch with him for permission to do this post... Ah well, ole 'Boom-Boom' will understand... It's all there on his official website, which i am not including a link to for obvious reasons.
The drummer gets no respect. He's the rhythm section of the band, along with the bass and the guitar man. He's the drummer, just a drummer, doin his thing.
As i was pretty sure it wouldn't, the internet was no help in providing any information on Chuck Robbins, or this record. Key words 'drummer' and the unimaginatively named 'country' label are pretty general terms, so i wasn't able to narrow down my search much. WHatever. It's still a nifty little honky-tonk bopper that pays homage to the most under rated member of the group. And that's what matters most.
As always, if anyone has any info on anything to do with this one- speak up. Comments are welcome.
I read somewhere that it was Sam The Sham's birthday yesterday. Whether it's true or not is anyone's guess. I couldn't confirm it. In fact, i couldn't even pin down a definite year of birth on the guy. Somewhere between 1937 and 1940 is the best i could do. Either way it's a good enough excuse to dig on a little vintage garage rock goodness. If anyone out there can confirm or deny that it was his birthday, please feel free to chime in...
This one's the b-side of the 1966 hit Little Red Riding Hood, with a little added bonus at the end.
"Aside from pornography, stalking ex girlfriends, tv commercials from my youth, and new and interesting ways for me to ignore my family- this blog has to be the best thing on the internets." -E.S.U. III
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