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Category Archives: oldies

50 Years Ago Today…

Thanks to Cocodrie Pat for bringing this to my attention!

It’s the Golden Anniversary of the release of this 1959 classic.

I made reference to Sleepwalk in an earlier post about Shelby Lynne’s Where I’m From, but didn’t expand on the Johnny & Santo eclectic composition that has been an inspriation for many steel guitar riffs in popular music.  While steele guitar was a staple in Country Music, it was not a factor in “Pop” music until the Farina brothers’ 1959 chart topper.

While it might be a bit of a stretch, I’m thinking that Sleepwalk may have been a bit of an inspiration to Robert Randolph, no?

  The March, Robert Randolph

 

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R.I.P. Bob Bogle

bob bogle

 

 

Bob Bogle, lead guitarist for the legendary surf-rock band, The Ventures, lost a battle to leukemia at the age of 75. 

Considered pioneers of hard guitar laced, instrumental “surfer” rock of the very early 1960’s, The Ventures are the guys responsible for such surf-rock staples as:

  Wipeout

  Perfidia

walk-dont-run-the-very-best-of-the-ventures

Perhaps their most well known “hit” was courtesy of Steve McGarrett:

  Hawaii Five-O Theme

However, the genesis of surf-rock actually started with the Tacoma, Washington band’s release and hit of Walk, Don’t Run in 1960.

Typical of musical kun-NECK-shuns, Walk, Don’t Run was actually a cover for The Ventures.  The song was originally done by the one and only Chet Atkins. 

One of the bandmembers had been listening to the guitar impresario and it was decided to update Walk, Don’t Run to their signature sound.  The rest is history.  The Ventures (and Bob Bogle) were signficant influencers to many rock legends to come.  In 2008, they were indcuted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Bob Bogle was too ill to attend.

  John Fogerty induction of The Venture  into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2008

So, a tip of the hat to one of the guitar legends of rock.  May he rest in peace.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day

This is my Mother.  Despite popular belief that I was hatched from some quasar during a particularly spectacular Libra Dragon season, I was actually conceived and delivered the normal way by two pretty great parents.

IMG_3365

At 77, my Mother is in seriously good shape for her age.  (And, if you need confirmation, just ask her.  ;) )  She’s been through polio at 2 years old, leaving her with a paralyzed left arm, her oldest child was found to be deaf at 9 months old, she had a major brain surgery in her early ’50s that would have killed a weaker person, and she watched her loving husband of 57 years suffer extreme pain for over ten years and die an agonizing death.  She’s been rich, poor and in between, but she never lost faith nor wavered in her love of life….and of her children.

At an early age, she instilled a love of music in me that I’m eternally grateful for.  My childhood was filled with wonderful harmonies and encouragement to sing and play musical instruments.  I never did have the patience to master piano and guitar, but I was definitely given the opportunity.  The house was always filled with tuneage growing up, either from the radio in my nursery (the ’60s version of white noise) or the actual “live” music with friends on Friday nights.

There are several songs that, for me, are forever linked to my mother.

  All I Have to do is Dream, The Everly Brothers

Many times, in the car, driving around, I’d beg my mother to sing “Dream” with me.  She taught me the harmonies and it is one of my favorite and most indelible memories of my mother.

  Prisoner of Love, Billy Eckstine

A family favorite, Prisoner of Love still holds a special place in my heart.   My Godmother, her daughter, my Mother and I all have sung this song 100 times — in four part harmony.  Those times are among my favorite memories.

C C Rider, Elvis Presley

Another memory from those Friday night “jam sessions”, C C Rider seemed to be my Mother’s “riscque” song.  Must say, she sang it with conviction.

  A Good Man is Hard to Find

My Mother and Godmother actually worked out the Cajun French version of this…Et Bon Homme et Deur a Trouvier.  I mastered both versions before my 13th birthday.  To this day, it is Mr. D’s favorite song.

  Whole Lotta Shakin’, Jerry Lee Lewis

My Mother adores piano and piano players.  Since “The Killah” is from Ferriday, Louisiana, he is/was like a local god for the Cajun folks in the 50s and 60s.

I am her baby, the youngest of three.  For years, I denied my obvious resemblance and now I’ve come to realize that it’s an honor.  While she is the most aggravating person I have ever come across, she is also the most loving and endearing.  She is passionate and caring, independent and sensitive.  And, I’m sooooooo glad that she’s still here.

To my wonderful Mother and all the Mothers out there, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing Mother’s Day with the peace that you are loved unconditionally by your children. 

And, Mamma, thanks for the music.

 

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Rat Pack Tuesday

 

 

ratpack

 

Martin.  Davis.  Sinatra.

In the early ’60s, every man wanted to be them and every woman wanted to be with them.  They epitomized the swingin’ sixties and reigned over the short, yet prolific time between 1959 and the Kennedy assasination when “The Summit” was the height of cool.

Tonight’s feature of Rat Pack songs on American Idol will likely fly way over the heads of the younger audiences and I’m thinking that even the performers will have a difficult time with the material.  Can’t help but wonder if Idol was influenced by John Mayer’s recent performance of Sinatra. 

In the spirit of the theme, here are some of Music Maven’s favorite Rat Pack performances…we’ll see if they make an appearance tonight.

  Memories Are Made of This, Dean Martin

  Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra

  What Kind of Fool Am I?, Sammy Davis, Jr.

  That’s Amore, Deano

  That’s Life, Ole Blue Eyes

  Mr. Bojangles, Sammy

  Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes (with banter), Deano

  The Tender Trap, The Chairman

  Candy Man, Sammy

  Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, Deano

  Three Coins in the Fountain, Sinatra

  Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (Baretta’s Theme), Sammy Davis, Jr.

….I could go on and on and on….

 
 

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I’m Your Puppet…

 

For two solid days, four plane rides, 13 hours in airports, through three client meetings, in my dreams at night and of course, while driving…I have had this tune incessantly playing in my head.

Yesterday, on the way to the airport, I was singing it out loud under my breath.  After we returned the rental car and were walking to the terminal, my boss began to sing it.  I think he now has the “Puppet Blues”, as well.  Somewhere in Omaha, a guy is walking down the street humming this…

  James & Bobby Purify

Originally released in 1966 by James & Bobby Purify, I’m Your Puppet was written by FAME studios legend, Spooner Oldham (with Dan Penn).  If Spooner’s name isn’t familiar to you, other songs that he has written will be….When A Man Loves a Woman, Mustang Sally, I Never Loved a Man….you get the picture.

I’m Your Puppet stayed on the charts for 14 weeks in 1966 and sold over a million records, getting as high as #6 on the Billboard charts.  Mr. D was a senior in high school and the song takes him right back to Prom.

Evidently, my subconcious is talking to me for some reason.  Cosmically, who knows?  All I know is that it goes on an on…

Pull the string and I’ll wink at you, I’m your puppet
I’ll do funny things if you want me to, I’m your puppet

I’ll be yours to have and to hold
Darling you’ve got full control of your puppet

Pull another string and I’ll kiss your lips, I’m your puppet
Snap your finger and I’ll turn you some flips, I’m your puppet

Your every wish is my command
All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand
I’m your puppet, I’m your puppet

I’m just a toy, just a funny boy
That makes you laugh when you’re blue
I’ll be wonderful, do just what I’m told
I’ll do anything for you
I’m your puppet, I’m your puppet

Pull them little strings and I’ll sing you a song, I’m your puppet
Make me do right or make me do wrong, I’m your puppet

Treat me good and I’ll do anything
I’m just a puppet an you hold my string, I’m your puppet
Yeah, I’m your puppet

Walking, talking, living, loving puppet
I’m hanging on a string girl, I’ll do anything now

I’m a walking, talking, living, loving puppet, and I love you

I’m a smiling happy face when you want me to
Even make you happy when you’re feeling blue

I had no idea about the eclectic group that have covered I’m Your Puppet.  Most recently, the song was featured on Bernie Mac’s last movie, Soul Men.  The background singers are a little rough, but John Legend saves it.

  Bernie Mac, Samuel L. Jackson, John Legend

A lovely rendition by Motown royalty:

  Marvin Gaye & Tammy Terrell

Now, this brings me back….1971.  Posters on the wall.  Heavy sighing.   Dear Donny….

  Donny Osmond

Sir Elton?  Who knew?

  Elton John & Paul Young

And a nice touch by the Drive-By Truckers with Kelly Morris….

  Drive-By Truckers

I guess there’s worse songs to have philandering around in your head than I’m Your Puppet.  It could be Soft Cell’s Tainted Love.

Have a great day.  :)

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2009 in cover songs, motown, Music History, oldies

 

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Have Mercy, Percy!!

sledge

Spotlight on Percy Sledge, y’all.

While most well-known for When A Man Loves A Woman, Southern soul legend Percy Sledge is a master of delivering smoldering, aching love songs that young lovers have been rubbing bellies to for generations.  I grew up on Percy music and he’s one of my all-time favorite artists.  The Alabama native was honored by being inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. 

Enjoy.

  Warm & Tender Love

  My Special Prayer

  Set Me Free

  Bring it on Home to Me

  Take Time to Know Her

  A Sweet Woman Like You

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 18, 2009 in music legends, oldies, Soul

 

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Bigger Winner of the Night

The Grammys took a baby step to redemption in recognizing Robert Plant & Alison Krauss’s awesome CD, Raising Sand, as Album of the Year, and Please Read the Letter as Record of the Year.  But perhaps my favorite on the CD is a cover of the Everly Brothers’ Gone, Gone, Gone

Contrast and compare.

 

  Gone, Gone, Gone — The Everly Brothers

 

  Gone, Gone, Gone  — Alison Krauss & Robert Plant

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2009 in grammys, Music History, music legends, oldies

 

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