Thursday, September 17, 2020

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Celebrate Batman Day with Sun Ra



This coming Saturday is one of America's greatest obscure holidays: Batman Day

And what better way to celebrate the life and work of the Caped Crusader than the music of one of his most iconic devotees, Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount, better known in this sector of the cosmos as Sun Ra.

Sun Ra and Batman? It's true. According to WFMU's Beware of the Blog, (which thankfully is still online, despite having stopped adding new content  few years ago):

In 1966, a toy company in Newark, New Jersey released a children's record called Batman and Robin to cash in on the popular Adam West TV series of the same name. The music on the LP was credited to "The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale," but in fact the band was one of the greatest uncredited session combos of all time, including the core of Sun Ra's Arkestra and Al Kooper's Blues Project. To keep the music licensing fees to a minimum, all the tracks were based on public domain items like Chopin's Polonaise Op. 53, the horn theme from Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony and the love theme from Romeo and Juliet, and generic rock riffs. 

("Dan" and "Dale," according to the Sounds of the Universe website were blues guitarist Danny Kalb and Steve Katz (who a few years later would be a founding member of Blood, Sweat & Tears). Arkestra sax men Marshall Allen and John Gilmore also played on the record. Sun Ra, his cosmic self, played organ, as did Al Kooper. The album was produced by Tom Wilson, who also produced works by Bob Dylan, The Mothers of Invention, The Velvet Underground and Simon & Garfunkel.

As I wrote a few years ago, "It's jazzy, kinda cheesy, mostly instrumental rock — with song titles referring to the Dynamic Duo and the villains they fought." And the album still is available on Amazon and iTunes. 

Here is one of my favorites from Dan and Dale:

But that's not the only time Sun Ra met Batman.

Jazzman Ra loved rhythm & blues, doo-wop and soul music. In fact his first recordings were with R & B wild man Wynonie Harris. He and the Arkestra backed up bluesman (and Sun Ra's brother-in-law) Lacy Gibson on his 1969 single. "I Am Gonna Unmask The Batman." 

There are two versions of the tune on the Norton Records compilation Rocket Ship Rock, (my review of that crazy compilation is HERE). Below is the shorter version. The longer one can be heard HERE

But Sun Ra's fascination with Batman wasn't over. In the mid 1970s, he performed a radically different version of "Unmask the Batman" with Arkestra member James Jacson on vocals. This performance wasn't released until 2018, when it appeared on an album called Of Abstract Dreams.

According to the All About Jazz website, that album consist of:

an unreleased radio broadcast from Pennsylvania dating from either 1974 or 1975. That the exact location—stated as "probably" WXPN FM Studios, University of Pennsylvania"—and even the year are a matter of doubt might seem odd at first, but in fact many of Sun Ra's extensive recordings weren't properly documented. 

Paul Griffiths' liner notes describe Jacson's vocals as "a cross between Louis Armstrong and Screamin' Jay Hawkins", but All About Jazz notes "others may prefer to think Animal from The Muppet Show, which would be entirely in tune with this raucously fun workout." 

Here's "Unmask the Batman."

Have a safe and happy Batman Day!



Sunday, September 13, 2020

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, September 13, 2020
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Venus by Shocking Blue
Teenage Maniac by The Spook Lights
Old Brown Shoe by Chuck Mead
Little Bo Pete by The A-Bones
White Trash Party by The Afghan Whigs
Kung Foo Cowboy by Alan Vega
Hollywood High by Alien Space Kitchen
I Wanna Be Your Lover by Bob Dylan 
Diddy Wah Boogie by Al Dexter
(Background Music: Dratenik (Tinker Polka) by Bacova's Ceska Kapela)

Weird and Twisted Nights by Hunter S. Thompson with Ralph Steadman & Mo Dean
Step Aside by Slaeter-Kinney
Like Flies on Sherbert by Alex Chilton 
Broke My Baby’s Heart by Hazmat Modine
Lonesome Town by The Monsters
I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart by Alice Wallace
(Background Music: Cool Cat by Angelo Badalamenti & Kinny Landrum)

You Are My Sunshine by Spider & The Crabs
Bumble Bee by The Casual Dots
Island of Lost Souls by The Tallboys
Kidney Stew by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson
Wildman by The Tamrons
Hollywood Bungalow by Alien Fashion Show
Drink Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee by The Treniers
Flower of My Heart by Sparkle Moore
(Background Music: Pig Meat by Baby Sticks & The Kingtones)

Unforgiven by Hazeldine
Down Among the Dead Man by Steve Train & His Bad Habits
Big Belly Giant byThe Tandoori Knights
Sad and Dreamy by Alejandro Escovedo
Ode to Billy Joe / Hip Hug Her by Wiley & The Checkmates
Coca-Colonialism by Dbuk
Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight by The Spaniels
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page


Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Return to the Planet of Bad Karaoke



As I've written before, I'm very thankful that nobody was recording me that fateful night back in the late '90s, when I basically cleared out an after-hours party at Burt's Tiki Lounge in Albuquerque with my stunning karaoke rendition of "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma."

Still, I get a weird kick from watching bad karaoke videos. 

So here are a few just to make your Wednesday a little wackier. (And links to more at the bottom of the page.)

To begin, I'm not sure what's going on in this one:



Had Elvis been alive in 2010, he'd have killed this guy

This version of The Champs' "Tequila" took some real talent.



I will always love bad karaoke

Sunday, September 06, 2020

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, September 6, 2020
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
White Riot by The Clash
I’m Ready for the Mountain by The Fleshtones
I’m a Clown by The Lazy Eggs
Who the Heck by The A-Bones
Voodoo by Screaming’ Jay Hawkins
Don’t Send Me No Flowers, I Ain’t Dead Yet by The Reigning Sound
The First Vietnamese War by The Black Angels
Sick! Sick! Sick! By Fuzzstainz
Jinx by TAD
Looking for Somebody by Any Dirty Party
I Like Gumby by Jonathan Richman
(Background Music: 77 Sunset Strip Cha Cha by Warren Barker)

Out of Our Tree by The Wailers
Blood Robot by Lex Streepthroat
Coo Coo by Big Brother & The Holding Company 
Bo Bo Boogaloo by Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds
Gonorrhea by Gibson Bros & The Workdogs
She Ain’t the One by The Tex Offenders
What Would Ernest Tubb Have Done by Cornell Hurd
Rub My Root by Memphis Slim & Willie Dixon 
Barney Google by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
(Background Music: Hey Amigo by Havana 3 AM)

Run Rabbit Run by Bantam Rooster
All the Time in the World by X
Schrodinger’s Puss by Crappy Dracula
Slander by Ty Wagner
White Rabbit by The Frontier Circus
Evening Gown by Frontier Dan & The Hickoids
The Inhuman by The Mekons
Roaches by Masked Man & The Agents
The Evil Dope by Phil Phillips
(Background Music: Mess Around by Professor Longhair)

Gaslight by Hamell on Trial
The Moon and Six Pence by Archie & The Bunkers
Night of the Sadist by Larry & The Blue Notes
Tipi Tipi Tin by Baby Gaby
I Made the Prison Band by Bill Hearne
First We Take Manhattan by Jennifer Warnes
Yes it Is By The Beatles
Leave Her Johnny by Dave Van Ronk
Noble Experiment by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page


Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Thursday, September 03, 2020

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday Memphis Slim:


Today, Thursday Sept. 3,  would have been the 105th birthday of a Memphis-born bluesman born John Len Chatman, who blues fans know as Memphis Slim.

According to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame:

Chatman was exposed to the blues at a very young age by his family, whose members were some of the earliest blues musicians in the Mississippi Delta. His father Peter Chatman led a group called the Washboard Band, which featured the influential blues pianist Roosevelt Sykes. Inspired by Sykes, the young Chatman began to teach himself the piano and was soon touring in juke joints and dancehalls throughout the Southeast.

Like the story of many many blues artists, Slim migrated from the South to Chicago in the late '30s. He became cronies with other giants like Sonny Boy Williams and Big Bill Broonzy and later the likes of Willie Dixon and Matt "Guitar" Murphy.

He initially recorded under his father's name, and "Peter Chatman" was the name on his songwriting credits.

In the early 1960s, following his playing in the American Folk Blues Festival a European tour of American blues greats organized by Dixon, Slim decided to become a expatriate and move to Europe permanently. 

Again, from the Memphis Music Hall of Fame:

In 1962, Memphis Slim decided to settle permanently in Paris, a city that had captured his heart and imagination during his European tours. “Back home I’d either be sitting around or hustling, but here I work all I want, eat tons of great food, and keep on having fun,” he told a reporter during this period.  ... “I don’t think anything I’ve done would have been possible here if I had stayed here,” he said during a 1976 trip to America.

He stayed in Paris until his death in 1988.

Below are some of my favorite Memphis Slim songs.

Slim recorded "Every Day I Have the Blues" in 1947, though he originally titled it "Nobody Loves Me."  Basically Slim's tune was was a reworking of the song "Every Day I Have the Blues" by St. Louis blues pianist Pinetop Sparks, who recorded it in 1935.) A few years after Slim's recording, blues and jazz artists like Lowell Fulson, Joe Williams, Count Basie and B.B. King recorded and had hit with it.


Here's his first hit single, called "Beer Drinking Woman," in which you can hear the direct influence of underrated bluesman Jack Webb. 


This is a song he did with Willie Dixon. It's called "Rub My Root."


In 1973, Slim collaborated with Canned Heat for a record called Memphis Heat. That album wasn't as big as the band's work with John Lee Hooker, Hooker 'n Heat, (or as many of us wise asses called it "Hooker in Heat"), but it's worth hearing.


"Chicago Seven" is the very first Memphis Slim recording I ever heard as a budding blues fan back in the early '70s. KUNM used to play it regularly. Anyone following current events should realize the tune, despite being topical, is no less relevant  today.


But my favorite Slim tune has to this one, which basically became his signature song. Slim went back to Mother Earth in 1988, but, at the risk of sounding corny, his music is immortal.



 

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Celebrate Batman Day with Sun Ra

This coming Saturday is one of America's greatest obscure holidays: Batman Day !  And what better way to celebrate the life and...