Thursday, November 14, 2019

THROWBACK THURSDAY: No Mules Were Harmed in the Making of This Blog Post

Don't skin me, bro ..."

Good morning, Captain!

I've been listening to a podcast about Dolly Parton and, the other day while driving around I heard a segment about one of Dolly's greatest early hits, "Muleskinner Blues."

As you'll see here, and probably already know, Dolly wasn't the first to record this song, which was written by country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers with George Vaughan. It's been recorded by Roy Acuff, Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, The Maddox Brothers & Rose, skiffle master Lonnie Donegan and countless others.But some argue Dolly did it best, which is true -- at least until The Cramps.

Here she is on the Porter Wagoner Show in 1970:



Jimmie Rodgers' was the first version of the song to involve mules, but two years before "Blue Yodel #8," a bluesman named Tom Dickson released the strikingly similar "Labor Blues."

While "Muleskinner Blues" is about a guy applying for a job, Dickson's song is about a laborer who's quitting his job because the "captain" isn't great about paying him on time for his hard work.

Like the more famous song, "Labor Blues starts out "Good morning captain / Good morning shine ..." basically a dialogue between boss and worker. It has to be noted that "shine" is a racial slur against African Americans (which Dickson was." Some of the "Muleskinner" versions that followed kept the word "shine" thought some, such as Dolly's changed it to "son" or "sir."


Here's the Singing Brakeman, who wanted to skin some mules. Actually, as Fred Sanders explained on his excellent article about the song a few years ago:

“Muleskinner” is just a funny name for a muleteer or mule-driver; a person who specializes in keeping the mules moving. “I can pop my initials on a mule’s behind” is a comical boast about proficiency with a whip. The mule gave a song full of aural hooks the lyrical hook it needed to catch on.



Bill Monroe turned the song into a bluegrass standard



Dolly Parton was not the first woman to skin a muke. That would be Odetta, who drove the mule back to its black roots



The Fendermen, a rockabilly duo from Wisconsin made it rock



The Cramps, obviously inspired by The Fendermen, took it to Voodoo Island



And Van Morrison made it funky





Sunday, November 10, 2019

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, November 10, 2019
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Organic Frequency by Mean Motor Scooter
Plant the Seed by Imperial Wax
The Double Axe by Thee Mighty Caesars
Murdered Out by Kim Gordon
Yeah! by The Cynics
I Tripped Over the Ottoman by The Dead Milkmen
Earthquake by Butthole Surfers
Look in the Mirror by Gregg Turner
What Now My Love by Stan Ridgway

Breakfast Eggs by Ty Segall
I Like U But Not Like That by The Darts
Don't Be So Easy by The Toy Trucks
Drive By Buddy by Black Lips
Police Brutality by Alien Space Kitchen
My Underwear Froze to the Clothesline by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Get Busy Living by Trixie & The Trainwrecks
Please Abduct Me by The Scaners
Fleshy Boy by Spray Paint

HAPPY QUARTER CENTURY BLOODSHOT RECORDS!!!! 


The Last Honky Tonk in Chicago by Wild Earp
Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers
Mirage by The Mekons
Matadora by Cordero
Bowling Green by Neko Case
My Baby Didn't Come Home by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Trucker's Speed by The Meat Purveyors
Liza Jane by The Dyes
Reason to Believe by The Yawpers
I'm Lonesome Without You by Hazeldine
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
I Was Drunk by Alejandro Escovedo
Be Real by Bottle Rockets
Lonely Ain't Hardly Alive by Robbie Fulks
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Punk Rock 101

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
November 8, 2019

Gregg Turner and Sam Minner, courtesy Gregg Turner

I’ve found punk rock in dingy bars, at big music festivals, blasting out of beat-up old cars. I’ve found punk rock on the radio and on vinyl records, cassette tapes, CDs, iPods, and music streaming services. I’ve found punk rock on left-of-the dial radio, on music videos, and in the movies.

But one place I’ve never seen punk rock is on a university syllabus.

Until now.

Professor Gregg Turner has gotten the green light to teach an actual college class for New Mexico Highlands University called A History of Punk Rock, in the spring semester. It’s a bona fide class, with papers, tests, projects, and three college credits if you don’t flunk out like some stupid punk.

Turner is a founding member of the Southern California band the Angry Samoans, a math professor at Highlands — and a certified Terrell crony. (Full disclosure: Turner and I have been pals for about 25 years. I portrayed the groom in the video for his song “Satan’s Bride.” I’ve frequently done gigs with him at Whoo’s Donuts, where I never made any money, but I’ve been paid with untold numbers of pastries.)

When Turner first mentioned this idea to me a few months ago, I told him it sounded like a great one. But deep down I was thinking, “Yeah, wait until the administration finds out …”

So I was surprised — and more than a little impressed — when I got a written statement from Highlands President Sam Minner.

“Like other music genres, punk rock exploded onto the scene to directly challenge the status quo,” Minner wrote. “Early punk rockers like Gregg Turner and his bandmates in the Angry Samoans said — I would say yelled — ‘We’re going a different way and not accepting that music or culture has to be static.’ ”

Minner continued: “I really think that The Angry Samoans were incredibly influential in the punk movement of the ’70s. I listen to the Stones most every morning as I drive to work, but sometimes, depending on my mood, I play the Samoans and get to work ready to take on the world.”

Turner told me that he, too, was surprised when he went to talk to Minner and learned that the NMHU president had a copy of the Samoans’ classic first LP, Back From Samoa. “He’d bought it in 1983,” Turner says. “He pulled it from his shelves with all his academic books. My jaw just dropped.” Minner told him he’d played in a punk band in Missouri around the same time.

Gregg Turner with Blood-Drained Cows,
Live at CK's 2007
Samoan primer: The Angry Samoans didn’t get as big as other L.A. punk groups like X or Black Flag, or as notorious as The Germs or Fear. In fact, Turner and Samoans frontman “Metal’’ Mike Saunders, along with the rest of the band, basically were outsiders among outsiders. Starting out in Van Nuys in the late ’70s, the group soon gained a high place on the enemy list of influential Los Angeles disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer. It seems the Angry Samoans gave Rodney no respect in their song “Get Off the Air.”

The group broke up in 1991. By this time Turner was becoming more serious about his career in academia. Turner earned his Ph.D. in math and moved to New Mexico a couple of years later to teach at the College of Santa Fe.

Back to the present: It was an appointment with Turner’s urologist, Eric Anderson, earlier this year that inspired the punk history class. Anderson told Turner he was a major fan of The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag. That started the gears turning.

The official class description notes that punk rock was a reaction to “the corporate mass-produced, self-aggrandized pop music offerings that had become standard fare by the late ’60s and the early and mid-’70s.”

The music that Turner will teach (to “explore the anger and rebellion that instigated and fueled the genre at that point in time”) isn’t going to start with The Ramones or the Sex Pistols. According to the course description, the class also will explore “incipient manifestations early on in the ’50s (Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard) and brash counter-cultural outcroppings in the ’60’s (Kinks, Sonics, Seeds, Standells, Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, etc.).”

Also, Turner says the class will “pick apart the historical, sociological, and political contexts that provided the impetus for the outrage and the vitriol indigenous to these different time periods. The evolution of ’70s punk rock to ’80s hardcore and Nirvana will also be discussed.”

And, if he can get a travel budget, Turner hopes to be able to bring in some of his old punk-rock pals from California, who include some well-known musicians he says have expressed an interest.

Turner says — and I don’t think he’s joking — that he’s thinking of requiring students to listen to lengthy sets of recordings by some of the more loathsome prog rock of that era, such as Yes and Genesis, to give the students an idea of what made punk rock necessary.

I don’t know, though. I assume Highlands has strict policies forbidding torture.

Turner’s class will be held at 1 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. Saturdays at the Santa Fe Higher Education Center, 1950 Siringo Road, starting Jan. 18. Sign up through Highlands’ Office of the Registrar (nmhu.edu/office-of-the-registrar). 
(NOTE: The time and day of the class changed after this was originally published. What you see here has been corrected.)

College ain’t cheap. In-state tuition for undergrads is $771 for three credit hours. But for elderly rockers like me, 65 or older, the senior citizen rate is $5 per credit hour, or $15. And no, you won’t need a note from your urologist. 

Video Time!
Turner still performs this Angry Samoans song



Angry Samoans meet The Chambers Brothers




The legendary "Satan's Bride" video, starring the beautiful Kristina Pardue



Anyone remember The Hatchet-Wielding Jews?


Wednesday, November 06, 2019

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Remembering Hank Thompson



On this day in 2007, the greatest country music Hank not named Williams died. Hank Thompson -- whose hits included "The Wild Side of Life," "A Six Pack to Go" and "Oklahoma Hills" -- was 82 when he went to that great honky tonk in the sky..

This sad anniversary falls on Wacky Wednesday this year, so let's celebrate Hank by featuring some of his funniest tunes. In addition to all his other talents, the man knew his way around a novelty song.

A personal note here, if you indulge me in a little name-dropping: I met Hank in the early '80s and even more bitchen, I was introduced to him before his show at the old Line Camp in Pojoaque by none other than Roger Miller. Roger told Hank, "Steve's from Oklahoma City, he said, truthfully. But then he added, "I think he was raised on Reno Street," referring to an old OKC skid row. All three of us laughed out loud.

Anywho, have some laffs and remember Hank.

Here's a seasick song from 1949



"No Help Wanted" was a Top 10 country hit in 1952



Years before Merle Haggard started recording, Hank was singing about strangers.



This one could never be played on the radio today -- perhaps with good reason -- but in 1958 it was a number 2 country hit. Hank was still singing it in 1991.



Finally here's one of his last recordings, a duet with my old Santa Fe High School lockermate, Junior Brown in 1997.




Sunday, November 03, 2019

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, November 3, 2019
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Built Environment by Nots
Air B&B by Kim Gordon
Miss Muerte by The Flesh Eaters
Human Question by The Yawpers
Save My Soul from Hell by Reverend Beat-Man
Texas Ranger Man by Hickoids
Ninety Nine and a Half (Won't Do) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Into the Sun/The Galaxy Explodes by The Mekons
Saying Nothing by Imperial Wax
I Worship the Dog by Ty Segall
Perverts in the Sun by Iggy Pop
I'm Not Like Everyone Else by The Rockin' Guys
I'm Bigger Than You by The Mummies
Busload of Faith by Lou Reed
Schoolbus by Toy Trucks

Dolemite by Ben Taylor
Ding a Ling Dong by Rudy Ray Moore
Go Ahead Baby by Jessica Lee Wilkes
Beat the Drum by Eilen Jewell
Nobody Spoil My Fun by The Seeds
Let it Be Me by Social Distortion
Gigantor by The Dickies
Traces by The Mystery Lights
Police Call by Drywall

Blood by REQ'D
Here Comes the Summer by Fiery Furnaces
Party in My Pants by Barnes & Barnes
Along for the Ride by Alien Space Kitchen
I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day by The Pogues
Dreamin' and Workin' by The Hoth Brothers
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Vintage Halloween Songs


Halloween fell on Throwback Thursday this year, so here are several spooky tunes, some of which go back more than 100 years.

Confession; I first heard this first one in the 1990s on a Tom Waits album, with vocals by William Burroughs, "`Tain't No Sin to Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones" goes back at least to 1930. Here's a version by a sultry-voiced singer named Lee Morse and Her Bluegrass Boys. (No, this ain't bluegrass music. But, according to the All-Music Guide the band included Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey



Here's Louis Armstrong in the early '50s



According to my late grandmother, Rudy Vallee was something of a teen idol in his day. This song would make him more like the Screamin' Jay Hawkins of the Roaring '20s.



Finally, this song by Arthur Collins must have been the hot of every Halloween party in 1912. Beware the Ragtime Goblin Man!



For more Halloween songs check out my latest Big Enchilada podcast



Sunday, October 27, 2019

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, October 27, 2019
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org


SOUND WORLD SPOOKTACULAR!!!
Halloween Spooks 2009
Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
It's Halloween by The Shaggs
Monsters Holiday by Buck Owens
Swamp Gas by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
The Witch by The Sonics
Zombie Dance by The Cramps
Vampire Sugar by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Murder in the Graveyard by Screaming Lord Sutch
Devil Dance by The A-Bones
Monster Blues by Dex Romweber
Frankenstein Meets The Beatles by Dickie Goodman

Bloodletting by Concrete Blonde
Stand for The Fire Demon by Roky Erikson
Satan's Bride by Gregg Turner
You've Become a Witch by The Electric Mess
Halloween by Misfits
(I Lost My Baby to a) Satan Cult by Stephen W. Terrell
It Ain't No Sin to Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around in Your Bones by The Pete Allen Jazz Band

2 Big Pumpkins by Elvira
Evil Hoodoo by The Seeds
Halloween Spooks by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
She's My Witch by Fire Bad!
Don't Meet Mr. Frankenstein by Carlos Casal Jr.
Werewolf by Southern Culture on the Skids
The Witch by Stud Cole
Graveyard by Dead Moon
Hearse With a Curse by Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos
With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm by Rudee Vallee & His Connecticut Yankees

Edgar Allen by Lou Reed
Bo Meets the Monster by Bo Diddley
Hillbilly Zombies by Deadbolt
Demon in My Head by Joe Buck Yourself
Vampiro by Los Peyotes
Ghost Riders in the Sky by Lorne Greene
Corpse Grinder by The Meteors
Spooks by Louis Armstrong

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CLICK HERE

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: No Mules Were Harmed in the Making of This Blog Post

Don't skin me, bro ..." Good morning, Captain! I've been listening to a podcast about Dolly Parton and, the other day w...