Week 2 - Fri 13 Jan
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 13th 2023....and no bad luck here, just positive vibes. Over to...
"Hi RPMers, what a nasty, wet, windy week. Looking forward to spring!! Here’s 3 from my weeks listening."
"I thought I should start this week with a tribute to Jeff Beck before moving on to two tracks selected from my albums of the year."
Barabajagal by Donovan - "Instrumental backing provided by The Jeff Beck Group. I have a friend to whom Donovan is a big hero. For me, not so much. Whenever I read an interview with him I feel he gives an impression of immense self-importance, as if he thinks that because he was around at the same time as Dylan and The Beatles, he is of similar cultural significance. Sorry Mr. Leitch, but I can't see it."
Green Peaches by Tami Neilson - "Another song from "Kingmaker," and the one that led me to make a comparison with Bobbie Gentry."
Wishbone by Jim Lauderdale - "Probably the most Country-with-a-capital-C lyrical conceit I've heard in a long time. In fact it's surprising no-one has used it before- unless of course someone has and I'm unaware of it."
"Best wishes and good health to everybody."
"Here's a newly written folk song from the Radio 2 series 21st Century folk..."
"Hi folks. Hope you're all well, thanks for your choices. 3 poem-y types this week, just 'cos."
Stumbled on Jonny Fluffypunk's work recently
Look forward to seeing him perform in Newquay
Home of Cornish Space port + sort of launch of rocket
Shame that the satellite didn't manage to orbit
If 1st attempts fail, try, try again my friends
Such is life + them's are the breaks, on earth as in space
Take care + bests."
"Here's three from my purchases last year."
Every Mothers Son- 'Put your mind at ease' (This from US 7" single released August 1967. MGM label)
"With an intro taking its cue from the Monkees 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' and/or the Beatles, this disc progresses nicely through a series of Simon and Garfunkel harmonies to something approaching the Beach Boys lush vocals. I have the group's self-titled debut album but not, unfortunately, the second album cunningly (or, more truthfully, punningly) entitled 'Every Mothers Son's Back' featuring a 'rear view' of the group! This is 'pop' music, probably not a genre that I usually post but, bearing in mind that I grew up in the Cliff/Beatles era, it's no surprise that there's a lot of this stuff on the shelves!! I ain't ashamed of that either!!!! EMS were yer typical 'boys next door' and were formed by the folk singing brothers Larry and Dennis Larden in 1966 after four years playing the Greenwich Village folk circuit. They expanded to a quintet, signing Schuyler Larsen (bass), Bruce Milner (keyboards) and Christopher Augustine (drums) and, following their debut gig the group were introduced to Wes Farrell, who composed 'Hang on Sloopy', 'Boys' and 'Come a little closer' who placed them in his Senate Records Studio where they recorded a dozen demos. Farrell sent the demos out to the major labels with five expressing an interest in the group. MGM outbid the others with a view to marketing the group as a 'clean cut' alternative to the burgeoning hippy scene. Their first single, the Farrell/Jerry Goldstein 'Come on down to my boat' (originally recorded by the pre-Ohio Express group The Rare Breed) which, within weeks of release, became not only a turntable hit, but also started climbing the Billboard chart, eventually reaching number 6 in July 1967. MGM placed the group on many of its TV shows, including the two part Man From Uncle episode entitled 'The five daughters affair' (AKA the film 'The Karate Killers') and this was followed by the groups debut long player which, despite several good songs by both Farrell and the Larden brothers, struggled to peak higher than number 117 in the album charts. A second album soon followed from which three singles hit the lower reaches of the charts in late 1967 but, despite commencing a third album, the group split in late 1968. Dennis Larden later joined Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band and Bruce Milner was last spotted as a practicing dentist in New York."
Betty Harris- 'Cry to me' (This from US 7" single released August 1963. Jubilee label)
"Orlando born Harris debuted with 'Taking care of business' on the Douglas label in late 1962 before moving to the more prestigious Jubilee label in early 1963. Jubilee had been founded by singer/bandleader Jerry Blaine and soon to be co-founder of Atlantic Records Herb Abramson and had hit the charts many times in the 1950's with The Orioles, Four Tunes, Cadillacs and an early line up of The Meters. The label placed Harris in the studio with Bert Berns (who produced the original hit version of 'Cry to me' by Solomon Burke) and he slowed down the tempo to produce this early example of 'deep soul' which hit number 23 on Billboard and number 10 on the r&b charts. There were just two further singles for Jubilee (plus a reissue of 'Cry to me') before Harris moved to Allen Toussaint's Sansu label in 1964 but, despite the excellence of her ten singles, only 'Nearer to you' hit the charts at number 85 in May 1967. Following these disappointments, Harris retired from music in 1970 before making a comeback in 2005 following a CD reissue of her recordings which proved popular in 1999. Harris had long complained that she had never received any royalties from Toussaint and Sansu and eventually regained the sound recording copyright to her material. Harris continues to tour the US, Europe and Australia, where she performed a duet of her 1968 turntable hit with Lee Dorsey, 'Love lots of loving', with Aussie pop hero John Paul Young of 'Love is in the air' fame."
Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles 'I sold my heart to the junkman' (US 7" single originally released 1962. Newtown label. This from Collectables Label re-issue. Date not known)
"First up, a little about the song and the Patti/Blue Bells recording. Despite the connotations in the title, the 'junkman' in question is a person who uses someone and then throws their love away, a pretty standard theme à la 'Runaround Sue' for example. The song was first recorded in 1946 by The Basin Street Boys featuring Ormonde Wilson and was covered a year later by Etta Jones with J. C. Heard and his Orchestra. There were many later covers including those by Dinah Washington, the Four Tunes, Dee Dee Sharp, Bette Midler, and even the Beautiful South, but controversy surrounded the PL/BB version from the start. In 1962, girl group The Starlets were high in the US charts with 'Better tell him no' on the Pam label but, whilst on tour, the girls were persuaded into the studio by Newtown Records boss Harold Robinson to record a single for his label. However, when the single was released, it bore the name of the recently rechristened Ordettes, now known as the Blue Belles. At this time, things got decidedly murky but, basically, the Starlets saw the Blue Belles promoting the disc on American Bandstand in April 1962 and instructed their manager to start proceedings against Newtown and Robinson and were eventually awarded $5000 each. Also, it is unclear if the 'original' release features the Starlets, or an overdubbed Patti LaBelle, or even if the full PL/BB group did eventually re-record/overdub the song which was released on the original 'Starlets' single, before re-recording and releasing it themselves!! Confusing eh? Certainly Robinson knew what he was doing as he released the single on Newtown, not the Starlets official label Pam Records, hence the substitution of the lip synching Patti and Co on the TV show. The Starlets never recovered their popularity, releasing just one single on Okeh before splitting up in 1962, whilst Patti and the gals soon hit bigger with 'Down the aisle (The wedding song)', a stunning version of 'You'll never walk alone' and 'Over the rainbow' before signing to Atlantic, touring with the Stones, singing backup for Wilson Pickett, appearing on RSG and regularly touring the UK, before they took advice from RSG's Vicki Whickham and rebranded themselves as the grittier, overtly sexual, baco-foiled Labelle in 1971. (PS don't ask me which of the above versions this is!!! I've scoured t'internet and all the videos seem to be of this recording)."
"Thanks Nina for the 'up', takes me bleedin' hours to do this stuff............ now imagine what it was like doing it for a weekly two hour radio show which generally contained 20-25 different artists!!!!
And Tony, don't imagine for a moment all the collection is in alpha. Singles are A-Z and, within that they are also 'alpha'd' (e.g. Cliff Adams Orchestra to Atomic Rooster), but LP's are not. Basically I have one collection of '60's stuff which is split UK/US and then into artists if there are substantial numbers of LP's (Beatles/Stones/Animals/Small Faces etc) and then genres (beat/r&b/mod/psych/girls/instrumentals/soul etc). The 'other half' follows roughly the same pattern but consists of differing decades and genres (indie/blues/rock and roll/prog etc). The result is I can generally find what I want in the dark.......... but anyone else either has to look or ask if they want to hear something. I do, however, list all my records (singles and LP's) on Notepad in UK/other countries and US alpha (took me weeks!) and I additionally list 'this year's purchases' as well as previous years so I can look back for the RPM year end 'best of'!!
And finally......... due to the problems I'd had with the charger, I haven't yet thanked Tim for keeping the community together. So.......... thanks Tim for everything, including correcting the (ahem) occasional mistakes between submission and publication. (e.g. last week's late noticed and uncorrected were.... I was 18 not 17 in '65 and the WCPAEB track was from 'Volume 2' and not 'A child's guide....'). Oh well......................
Hope everyone is flu/Covid free and keeping well generally."
"I’ve been going through all my CDs these last few weeks and I’ve picked 3 tracks that show a different style of song than is usually associated with the artist. Have a good week everyone."
Voice in the Wilderness by The Bee Gees - "A great guitar rocking number."
Cowboys and Angels by George Michael - "Sounds like a sophisticated Burt Baccarat number."
I'll Never Love Again (from A Star Is Born) by Lady Gaga - "Superb lyrics and emotional performance. Far cry from her early days."
"I rarely even think about it, but Bob Dylan has been with me through every step of my guitar playing career. All the way from Blowing in the Wind to Wagon Wheel! I first attempted to play ‘Blowing in The Wind’ after learning the lyrics by playing the single by Peter Paul & Mary over and over again whilst ‘nudging’ the needle. (I had a CND badge on my donkey jacket). That would have been in November 1963! Which means I have been singing his songs for almost 60 years!"
"I first took a crack at 'Boots of Spanish Leather' when I was 14 years old. I have very fond memories of playing this with my friend Janet who lived over the paper shop round the corner…"
Boots of Spanish Leather performed by Nanci Griffith -
"And on Wednesday afternoon my friend John and I played in the North Elmham Memorial Hall for their monthly sponsored ‘Tea Party’. We were even paid for doing so, and not just in tea and cake! The tea was very good and the sandwiches had their crusts removed… yes we played at an event that posh! Towards the end we got the organiser Jenny Cunningham to sing along on with us on ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’, and it was delightful.
In order to find this for you all I went trawling through You Tube to listen to the versions of ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’ by Sandy Denny, and Rod Stewart both of which I know are are nice but very different. I might have come down on Rod's side due to his connection to the late Jeff Beck, but, before I had a chance to decide which to post, I stumbled upon this! I had never heard the version by Elvis before but I think he makes a pretty good fist of it! (All three have great steel guitar accompaniment too!)."
Tomorrow Is A Long Time performed by Elvis Presley -
"Yup, he has been a constant inspiration... Cheers Bob! "
"And finally an ear worm which has been with me so long that I have decided to add it to our set list! (John plays pretty nifty claw hammer banjo!)"
Waterbound performed by Rhiannon Giddens -
"Here's my 3 for the 2nd week of 2023. Very soggy here of late but I've taken the chance to continue to try to sort out my record collection, if only to identify and tag the 'special' ones that my boys definitely shouldn't consign to the local charidy shop if I unexpectedly croak..
I've managed to do the Beatles and Rolling Stones LP's plus a pile of 45's so far and also done a guestimate on a bunch of RCA 78 rpm's (UK and South Africa) which crept a year or two further into the 60's than the last release in1960 in this country (A Mess Of Blues) the last of which was Rock A Hula Baby in 1962 which I've never seen turn up for sale but you never know!
If anybody's interested here's a link to the last page of info on the SA releases."
Take Me Back To My Boots and Saddle by The Ramrods - "Here's the single that made me think of Philip and his penchant for the Wild West in musical and cinematic forms. I always liked 'Riders in the Sky by this group back when we were treated to so many instrumental releases and this one has the same Duane Eddy-like lead. The flip side is essentially "The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" being given the Ramrods treatment complete with a side helping of bagpipes. Neither track bothered the UK or US charts unsurprisingly."
Geraldine by The Fabulous Swingtones - "I have this one on the HMV purple and silver lahel and pleasantly surprised to see it valued at £250 (any potential buyers still alive out there?) in my 2018 Collectors guide. My 2024 guide should be here tomorrow or Saturday."
Heading For The Poorhouse by The Silhouettes - "I also looked up a pair of singles by this group on purple and silver Parlophone - this one and the better known 'Get a Job' ."
"Stop press. My new collectors guide turned up this morning. I checked a few key entries and all appear to have remained the same with one notable exception - First Press Led Zeppelin 1 with Turquoise sleeve was £1500 in 2018 version and now guide is £3000 in 2024 with +£100 on 2nd press (kerching - but who would pay it???) I expected a downward trend in 50's R'n'R given that most of the old teddy boys have now gone to that big street corner in the sky but not the case when sampling Elvis, Fats and Sweet Gene Vincent."
"A collection of midwinter themed tracks that caught my ear this week. Wishing RPM collaborators all good things…"
Diggery Venn The Raddleman by Johnny Collins - ("...pedant alert! of course everyone who’s read Return Of The Native knows that it should be Diggory Venn the Reddleman.")
"Hi RPMers, this week my three tracks are all from albums I haven't played in quite a while..."
Wake Up And Make Love With Me by Ian Dury & The Blockheads -
"R.I.P Jeff Beck. I first heard his LP 'Blow By Blow' in 1975. I played it a few weeks ago and it still sounds as fresh and vital as it did all those years ago. A benchmark of guitar virtuosity."
Flight of the Rat by Deep Purple - "In Rock, Purple's 4th album and first featuring the classic MkII line up....still the best one in my opinion.....was the driving-to-York soundtrack this week..."
Humours of Ennistymon/Rambling Pitchfork performed by T.J. Hull and Jeff Ksiazek - "Humours of Ennistymon was played at what's becoming my regular session; the Maltings pub in York. Decided this was the tune to learn this week (knew it in my head but not in the fingers) and came across this lovely recording which uses Rambling Pitchfork as the second tune in the set....which I already know. Brilliant...another tunes set to play."
They've Got Your Number by Hawkwind - "I noticed sometime end of last year that all HWs output broadcast on the Beeb between 1985-95 had been collected together all in one place and released as Dreamworkers of Time...and nope, I haven't bought it!!! A lot of this had already appeared, so for completists only, methinks. I have, however, listened to this compilation this week which has been posted in it's entirety on jolly ol' YouTube, so here's a favourite song from their Friday Rock Show session of August '85....I remember it well; TV on the radio...if you listened regularly, you'll know what this means."
'Til Next Time....