Thursday, September 28, 2023

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Fall Fashions, Zoot Suit Edition

A zoot suit with some Hi-De-Ho!

On this Throwback Thursday let's celebrate the zoot suit, a type of apparel that's inspired many musicians -- as well as sparking a bloody, racist 10-day riot in Los Angeles.

A 2016 article in Smithsonian Magazine described the suit and its significance,

With its super-sized shoulder pads, sprawling lapels and peg leg pants, the zoot suit grew out of the “drape” suits popular in Harlem dance halls in the mid-1930s. The flowing trousers were tapered at the ankles to prevent jitterbugging couples from getting tripped up while they twirled. By the ’40s, the suits were worn by minority men in working-class neighborhoods throughout the country. Though the zoot suit would be donned by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, it was “not a costume or uniform from the world of entertainment,” the Chicago big-band trumpeter and clothier Harold Fox once said. “It came right off the street and out of the ghetto.’’

Maybe the first song with "zoot suit" in the title was "A Zoot Suit (for my Sunday Girl)." It was recorded by all sorts of folks in the '40s including the Kay Kyser Orchestra (who did the original in early 1942), Benny Goodman, The Andrews Sisters and, later, even Dave Van Ronk. 

My favorite version is the one by Dorothy Danridge and Paul White:

Then there's these guys, whoever they are. (Seriously, does anyone know? Please tell me!)

WARNING: This video probably is illegal in Florida!

Skip ahead to the early 1960s and we'll find a little combo called The High Numbers. 

The who? 

That's right! It's the band later known as The Who. I don't think Pete and Roger and the boys actually ever wore an actual zoot suit though:

Known as the first Chicano play on Broadway, Luis Valdez's 1979 musical Zoot Suit (made into a movie starring Edward James Olmos in 1981) was based partly on the 1943 zoot suit "riots" in Los Angeles, in which U.S. Navy members stationed in southern California attacked zoot-attired Chicanos (and Filipinos. And Blacks) in East L.A., as the cops turned a blind eye. Because, you know, patriotism. (Just a few months ago, the Los Angeles City Council formally apologized for "effectively sanctioning the violence perpetuated eight decades ago.") 

The Cherry-Poppin' Daddies had a huge hit in 1997 with their own song about that ugly little stain on American history. 

Now those sailors know where their women went for love!

Monday, September 25, 2023

Mark Jr.'s Hi-Fi House Party Playlist


Monday, September 25, 2023
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 
Email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's my playlist :

I'll Be Gone by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Hook Line and Sinker by Nick Shoulders
Freakin’ Out by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Rockin' Bones by The Cramps
Burn Baby, Burn by Stud Cole
Go Go Go For Louie's Place by The A-Bones
Hot Skillet Momma by Yochanan
Get In The Groove  by The Mighty Hannibal  
Swingin' Little Chicky by The Beltones
I Couldn't Spell !!*@!  by Roy Loney And The Young Fresh Fellows

Bang Bang Bang by Eilen Jewell 
Please Come On Home by Esquerita 
Pumping (My Heart) by Patti Smith
Honky Tonk Merry Go Round by Patsy Cline
Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts) by BR5-49 
Ramona by The Ramones
Deputy Dog  by Great Gaylord & The Friggs 
Lonely Street by Bobby Charles 
Hey! Sister Lucy (What Makes Your Lips So Juicy?) by The Treniers
Rocket To The Moon by Lenny Welch

Marie by Martin, Bogan & Armstrong
The Jim Rob Song by Miss Tammy Faye Starlite
Daddy Rockin' Strong by The Dirtbombs
Little Red Book by Benny Joy 
Flesh Eating Cocaine Blues by Daddy Long Legs
Harlem Shuffle by The's
Jungle Fever by Charlie Feathers
Shanty Tramp by Betty Dickson
Flyin' Saucers Rock And Roll by Billy Lee Riley & The Little Green Men

DooI'll Never Be Mean by The Radiants
The Jones Girl by The Five Satins
Teenage Bells by The Loungers
Love In The Afternoon by The Dreamtones
Your Tender Lips by The Syncopates
Bob-O-Link by The Smart Tones
What's Your Name by Don & Juan 
School day Crush by Nicky & The Nobles
She's Gone (with the wind) by Fred Parris & The Scarlets
The Voice of an Angel by The Mifflin Tripletts
Thrill Of Romance by The Gaytunes 
WPLJ by The Four Deuces

Sunday, September 24, 2023


Sunday, September 24, 2023
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
I'm Ready by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Bad Boy by The A-Bones 
Baby Baby Baby by Barreracudas
Mera Naam Bano Hey by Tandoori Knights 
Everyday Vacation by Alien Space Kitchen
Go Go Gorilla by The Ideals
Walkin' With The Beast by Gun Club
Vegas by Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives

Tower Of Song by Tom Jones
I'm Your Man by Leonard Cohen
Dirt Bag Fever by Quintron
Burning Down The House by Talking Heads 
Rough And Tumble Guy by Webb Wilder 
The Sea by Sierra Ferrell 
Robot Man by Jamie Horton
Voodoo Eyes by The Silhouettes 
Rat Fink by Ron Haydock & The Boppers 

(all songs by GP except where noted)
Still Feeling Blue 
The New Soft Shoe by Polly Parsons & Eden
Hearts On Fire 
Hickory Wind by Bob Mould & Vic Chesnutt
Boulder To Birmingham by Emmylou Harris
Hot Burrito #1 by The Mavericks 
Sin City by The Mekons
In My Hour Of Darkness by Gram Parsons

Is Heaven Real? by Johnny Dowd 
By The Fire by Jon Dee Graham
If I Had You by Johnny Gimble with Emily Gimble 
Whalebone by The Dead Brothers
Steadfast, Loyal And True by Elvis Presley 
All Bad by Nick Shoulders
Crow Hollow Blues by Stan Ridgway
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Thursday, September 21, 2023

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The History of "Happy Birthday to You"


Tomorrow, September 22, 2023, will mark the 8th anniversary of a federal judge's landmark decision that declared the song "Happy Birthday to You" to be in the public domain. That decision led to a subsequent settlement in which Warner/Chappell, the giant media corporation that claimed to have owned the copyright, agreed to repay, to the tune of $14 million, those who had licensed the song.

But, contrary to a rumor I just made up, Judge George H. King, did not admonish Warner/Chappell by declaring, "You look like a monkey and you smell like one too."

"Happy Birthday to You" undoubtedly is the most sung 10-second song in the USA. 

Yes, 10-seconds. Remember singing it -- twice -- while washing your hands every few minutes during the early months of the COVID pandemic? As a 2020 article in Billboard noted:

This has led to some strained attempts at humor, as people try to defuse the tension we’re all feeling. Mark Ronson tweeted: “Been washing my hands for 7 minutes singing ‘happy birthday’ by @StevieWonder x2. I didn’t know they meant the ‘other’ birthday song… smh.”

The melody that everyone loves while someone brings a flaming cake to the table was written by a couple of sisters, Patty and Mildred Hill in Kentucky back in 1893.

The first version was titled "Good Morning to All," and was meant to be sung in the classroom. (Patty was the principal of the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School, while Mildred was a teacher there.) This early version of the song, which didn't mention any birthdays, was published in Song Stories for the Kindergarten and Primary Schools a book written by the sisters. But, according to The Farmer's Almanac:

Nearly ten years after their first song book was published, the Hill sisters were invited to a neighbor’s birthday party. It was then that Patty changed the words of “Good Morning to All” to “Happy Birthday to You,” in an effort to make the occasion more festive. The song was the highlight of the party, and obviously caught on.

Sounds like some party!

Oklahoma City's beloved Ho Ho the Clown, about to
sing "Happy Birthday" to my brother, back in the
days when we weren't all afraid of clowns.

Billboard, however, noted that "There are various accounts of how `Good Morning to All' morphed into `Happy Birthday to You'."

The Songwriters Hall of Fame website says:

The sisters copyrighted their original song in October 1893 but years later in March of 1924, it appeared without authorization in a songbook edited by a Robert H. Coleman. In the book, Coleman used the original title and first stanza lyrics but altered the second stanza’s opening line to read, “Happy Birthday To You.” Thus, through Coleman, the sisters’ line “Good Morning dear children,” became “Happy Birthday dear (name).”

During the next decade, the song was published several times, each time with minor alterations in the lyrics. By 1933, the widely accepted title was “Happy Birthday To You.” When the song was soon being belted nightly in the Broadway musical, As Thousands Cheer, a third Hill sister, Jessica, tired of the ongoing theft of the melody and total lack of royalty payments, took the case to court.

And apparently she won. The tune was dropped from As Thousands Cheer, and, as the Songwriters Hall of Fame notes, "...Western Union and Postal Telegraph both ceased using the song in singing telegrams. A Broadway hit play with Helen Hayes, `Happy Birthday,' arranged for the star to speak the lyrics so the producers might avoid paying royalties to the authors."

The copyright saga of "Happy Birthday to You" serves as a great example of corporate greed. The publisher of the Hill sisters' Song Stories for the Kindergarten and Primary Schools was the Clayton F. Summy Company, which became the Summy-Birchard Company in 1957, and became a division of the Birch Tree Group in 1970, only to be gobbled up by Warner/Chappell in 1988.

But that lawsuit against Warner/Chappell, originally filed in 2013 by documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson returned the song to the people two years later.

Just a week after Nelson filed her suit in New York, a singer named Rupa Marya, singer with a band called Rupa & The April Fishes, filed a similar suit in California, where the cases were combined.

Marya told The Hollywood Reporter that a San Francisco audience had sung the song to her on her birthday in 2013. But... "When the band tried to add that live rendition to an album, she was hit with a lawyers demand for payment to license the song."

Here is Rupa, in the center, with her lawyers and others at the law firm singing the song they fought for:

Here is what is song has to be the most famous performance of this song. Marilyn took more than the mandatory 10 seconds. Nobody complained:

Kermit Ruffins does a version of "Happy Birthday to You," that features lyrics I first heard in elementary school:

For more deep dives into songs, check out The Stephen W. Terrell Web Log Songbook

And, oh yeah, today is my birthday. I guess
I've been hearing this song for 70 years now.

Sunday, September 17, 2023


Sunday, September 17, 2023
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Right Hand Man by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Ookami Otoko by Horror Deluxe
Girls on Bikes by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Threat Landscape by Robert Shredford 
Pauline by Eleni Mandell 
Gino is a Coward by Gino Washington
Leave Me Alone by Esquerita
Funky Cowboy by Goober & The Peas
Little Girl by John & Jackie

Jim Thompson by Movie Star Junkies
Uh Oh by Pere Ubu 
Poison Ivy by The Coasters
Get off the Road by The Cramps
My Girl's Pussy by R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders
Shave 'Em Dry II by Lucille Bogan
Ten Feet Tall by Little Dion
Special Place In Hell by Suzi Moon 
Teenage Clementine by The Belmonts

Happy 100th Birthday, Hank Williams! 
 (All songs by Hank, except where noted)

Ramblin' Man 
Has Anybody Here Seen Hank by The Waterboys
Cold Cold Heart
Mrs. Hank Williams by Fred Eaglesmith
Lost Highway
Tee Makhuea Pok (Your Cheatin' Heart) by Pairote
Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way by Waylon Jennings
Alone and Forsaken
Hank Williams' Ghost by Darrell Scott

Ma by Tom Zé 
Toast First by Nick Shoulders
Don't Talk to Strangers by Miriam 
Everybody Knows Concrete Blonde
If You Call by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Are You Sincere by Bobby Bare 
Loser's Lullaby by Ronny Elliott 
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Fall Fashions, Zoot Suit Edition

A zoot suit with some Hi-De-Ho! On this Throwback Thursday let's celebrate the zoot suit, a type of apparel that's inspired many mus...