Sunday, November 19, 2017

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017
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
The Wasp by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Bunny Run by The Ghost Wolves
The Ladder by Travel in Space
My Life My Love by Flat Duo Jets
No Stoppin' by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
No Going Back by The Yawpers
Animated Violence by Thee Oh Sees
Everybody Eats When They Come to My House by Cab Calloway
Lonesome Electric Turkey by Frank Zappa & The Mothers

Tales from the Megaplex by Count Vaseline
Rocking Farmers by Dow Jones & The Industrials
Hootchie by The Why Oh Whys
Walking The Streets by Oh! Gunquit
Why I Cry by The Howlin' Max Messer Show
Here and There by Phil Hayes & The Trees
That Reason Why by The Blues Against Youth
Let's Get Funky by Hound Dog Taylor

November by The Rockin' Guys
Memories of Kennedy by Hasil Adkins
I Tried Not to Cry by Johnny Young
Lee Harvey by T. Tex Edwards

Never Learn Not to Love by The Beach Boys
People Say I'm No Good by Charles Manson
The Sheik of Araby by Fats Domino
Sail on by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

Pain for Pretty by Dead Moon
The Doorway by Pierced Arrows
Get Messy by The Darts
Rodeo Chica by Boss Hog
Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson
You Are My Sunshine by Jackie Shane
Thanksgiving by Loudon Wainwright III
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, November 17, 2017

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST



Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Barstool Mountain by Johnny Paycheck
The Road Goes on Forever by Joe Ely
Moonshiner by Uncle Tupelo
Deep Red Bells by Neko Case
Smilin' Ed by The Imperial Rooster
That's Just What I Am by Hellbound Glory
Homesick Blues by Ed Sanders
Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down by Jello Biafra & Mojo Nixon

New Polly Wolly Doodle by Peter Stampfel
Amarillo Highway by Terry Allen
Pay Day by Peter Case
Fun All Night by Banditos
Jump in the River by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
The Streets of Bakersfield by Jon Langford & Sally Timms
I Can Talk to Crows by Chipper Thompson
Lost On the Desert by Marty Stuart

Only the Lonely by NRBQ
The Comedians by Roy Orbison
When That Helicopter Comes by The Handsome Family
Sing a Worried Song by Legendary Shack Shakers
Florida by The War and Treaty
Blood Red Velvet by Joe West
How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
The Poor Girl's Story by Eilen Jewell

Put 'em Up Solid by David Rawlings
Learning to Lose by Margo Price with Willie Nelson
Funny How Time Slips Away by Willie Nelson
No Good for Me by Waylon Jennings
Same God by Calamity Cubes
Going Where The Lonely Go by Merle Haggard


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Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Another Year of Great Old Songs



It's just about the third anniversary of Throwback Thursday on my music blog, my humble effort to explore the music and musicians of decades past, and, when appropriate, to show how that music reverberates in contemporary music. As always, this comes a day after the just-about third anniversary of Wacky Wednesday here. (I don't know what got into me three years ago ...)

Here are the wonderful old tunes I looked at this past year, including one from Wacky Wednesday. Enjoy them all again.

And here's something new: I've created a new page, The Stephen W. Terrell Web Log Songbook where you can find all the links to all the songs any time. I'll update as I go along. You can find that HERE.

But here are the songs I looked at in the last 12 months:

The Throwback Thursday Songbook, Volume 3

Are You Lonesome Tonight

Artificial Flowers

The Band Played On

Big Bad John



Darktown Strutters' Ball

Flora The Lily of the West

Gotta Travel On

Hanging Johnny



I'll See You in My Dreams (part 2)

Long Black Veil

Pablo Picasso (Wacky Wednesday)

Sinner Man



This Train

True Religion

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: 12 More Months Worth of Wacky


On Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 I unleashed a new weekly feature on this here web log.

As I wrote back then, Wacky Wednesday, was created,  "to introduce you, the reader to strange, funny and/or confounding music -- the type of "unclaimed melodies" that the Firesign Theatre's Don G. O'Vani was talking about when he said, `if you were to go into a record store and ask for them they would think you were crazy!' "

I've tried to live up to that mission statement, doing my best to fill your hearts with wackiness each Wednesday this past 12 months. Some weeks I spotlight music that's supposed to be funny, sometimes it's music by artists who aren't comedians but make music that can't help but make you smile.

Sometimes I just throw pies of weirdness in your face and hope nobody gets injured.

Below is a small sampling of the music that hopefully made your Wednesdays a little wackier.

Early in the year, I explored Korla Pandit's Universal Language of Music.



Inspired by Dan Taberski's podcast Missing Richard Simmons, I explored Richard's contributions to modern music.



I wished Monty Python's Eric Idle a happy birthday.



The world of Golden Throats is always a goldmine.



And so is the realm of outsider music.



Late last November we had a 1960s Battle of the Bands between Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos and The Weird-ohs in Airplane Glue Rock 'n' Roll. Here's Gasser and the boys ...



One Wednesday a few months ago I devoted a post to songs about serial killers. And a few months before I did one with songs about Jeffrey Dahmer. Both posts included this video from Dead Moon, featuring the late, great Fred Cole, and their ode to  Dahmer, "Room 213."



The Found Footage Festival is a fountain of weirdness -- including lots of musical weirdness.

And speaking of the Irish I caught some (probably deserved) flack for even calling attention to this culturally insensitive band of Micks who have a thing for (fake) Native American culture. (I can call them "Micks." I'm part Paddy.) Someone should have given these guys the advice in this song -- Don't go near the Indians!!!




Sunday, November 12, 2017

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST





Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017
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
Dead Moon Night / Don't Burn the Fires by Dead Moon
Funk 49 by Pere Ubu
Funk #49 by The James Gang
Don't Be Afraid to Pogo by The Gears
Squatting in Heaven by Black Lips
She's Alright by Bo Diddley
It's Still You/Running Out Of Time by Fred & Toody Cole

A Decision is Made by The Yawpers
Then Comes Dudley by he Jesus Lizard
I'll Be Your Johnny on the Spot by Count Vaseline
Crazy to the Bone by Dead Moon
Do You Understand Me by The JuJus
She's Like Heroin to Me by The Gun Club
Lost in Music by The Fall
Pineapple Mama by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
A Message from Firmin Deslodge by Churchwood

I Hate the Blues by Dead Moon
Black Rat by Big Mama Thornton
What is Wrong With Your Mind by Mark "Porkchop" Holder
Hills on Fire by Pierced Arrows
Sin by Lollipop Shoppe
Daddy's in the Shadows by The Rats
Who'll Read the Will by The Weeds
Room 213 by Dead Moon
We Won't Break by Fred & Toody Cole


DeControl by Maiorano & The Black Tales
Here Come the Mushroom People by The Molting Vultures
Mop Mop by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
These Tears by The Howlin' Max Messer Show
Thrift Baby by JJ & The Real Jerks
Fools Gold Rush by Datura
In Oxford Mississippi by Jon Langford & Four Lost Souls
It's OK by Dead Moon
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, November 10, 2017

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST



Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
I Fought the Law by The Waco Brothers
Joy by Harry Nilsson
Coulda Shoulda Woulda by Peter Case
Run Mountain by Flathead
Don't Leave Poor Me by Eilen Jewell
Keeper of the Light by Joe West
Put Your Teeth Up on the Window Sill by Southern Culture on the Skids
Banded Clovis by Tyler Childers
New Johnny Get Your Gun by Peter Stampfel

Cocktails by Robbie Fulks
Corporate Man by Honky Tonk Hustlas
Silver City by Ugly Valley Boys
Down to the River by Rosie Flores
Second Fiddle by Rodney Crowell
Nobody to Blame by Chris Stapleton
Oh You Pretty Woman by Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel
Lovesick Blues Boy by Paul Burch
The Losing Kind by The George Jonestown Massacre

Pay Gap by Margo Price
The Morning After by Ashley Monroe
I'm Over You by Tommy Miles & The Milestones
The Trouble With Angels by Bobby Bare
Mother's Chile by The War & Treaty
Yes I Have a Banana by NRBQ
Healin' Slow by Banditos

Love Me by Flat Duo Jets
Town by Dashboard Saviors
Come on Over My House by David Rawlings
Powder Blue by The Cactus Blossoms
House of the White Rose Bouquet by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Hippie Boy by Flying Burrito Brothers
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets


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Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Monkeys & Clowns ... Sex Clowns!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Nov. 10, 2017

Monkeys and clowns. They’ll bounce around. At least that’s what Pere Ubu’s David Thomas tells us on the first track of Ubu’s new album 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo. It must be an important message. In that song, “Monkey Bizness,” he repeats it over and over again, sometimes exclaiming, “Sex clowns! Bounce around!”

Nonsense? Probably.

But it’s inspired nonsense. And most important, it’s rocking nonsense. In fact, 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo, by my estimation, is the most outright rocking studio album Pere Ubu has unleashed in about a decade, maybe longer.

No, the band hasn’t forsaken its heritage of avant-garde, experimental, atmospheric sounds.
But they also haven’t forgotten how to make your feet move and head bang either. As Thomas himself explains in the official press release, “To my way of thinking, the new album is The James Gang teaming up with Tangerine Dream. Or something like that.”

For those who haven’t followed Ubu for all these decades (the 40th anniversary of the group’s first album, The Modern Dance, is coming up next year), this Cleveland band emerged during the punk and New Wave scare of the late ’70s, even though they’d been around several years before they made their first album. But they didn’t sound like your typical punk outfit. Their foundation was clearly garage and surf rock, but with their darkly bizarre lyrics, Thomas’ warbling vocals, and Plan 9 From Outer Space-esque synth noises, Ubu was a unique force.

Despite countless personnel changes, the band has remained true through all these years to its original vision. Thomas is the only original Ubu in the current line-up, though three members — bassist Michele Temple, synth man Robert Wheeler, and drummer Steve Mehlman — have been in the band since the mid-’90s.

Pere Ubu: David Thomas in his Big Sombrero
Photo by K. Boon
After that blast of joy and weirdness that is “Monkey Bizness” comes one that may explain Thomas’ reference to the James Gang.

For you youngsters who might not remember many Nixon-era bands, the James Gang was a popular power trio that was the pre-Eagles launching pad for Joe Walsh. Probably their best-known tune was one called “Funk #49,” which also is the title of one of the songs here.

But even though the opening guitar riff is kind of similar to the James Gang sound in a mutated, otherworldly way, it’s not the same song. I can’t imagine Walsh singing lyrics like “It’s a bird of prey/It hunts for blood/I let it hunt for blood. … It’s not a song you want to sing along to/You don’t want to get these thoughts inside your head.”

Nope, that’s a pure Pere Ubu sentiment.

Thomas has a knack for appropriating titles of old rock, soul, and country songs. Back on Ubu’s second album, Dub Housing, they did a song called “Drinking Wine Spodyody,” which definitely was not the old R&B pounder. On 1991’s Worlds in Collision, they took the great notion to do a song called “Goodnite Irene,” which wasn’t anything like Leadbelly’s tune. They’ve also recorded songs called “Memphis,” “Woolie Bullie,” and “Blue Velvet” that are nothing like the originals. And here, besides “Funk 49,” they borrow a James Brown title, “Cold Sweat.” Ironically — or perhaps not — this song, which ends Missile Silo, is one of the slowest, prettiest ones on the album. It doesn’t sound much like the Godfather of Soul, but it’s got an odd soul of its own.

There are a few slower, less frantic moments on this record.“The Healer” is one. But the better one is the creepy “Walking Again,” which has subtly ominous lyrics like “C’mon, baby, that’s what I say/C’mon, baby, you’re gonna walk this way/We’re gonna see/We’re gonna say what’s on our mind/We’re gonna see/Gonna be a good time.” And that’s followed by the eerie “I Can Still See” (“I can still see/that picture of you and me/It’s carved in my head/with a knife that’s kept in my head”).

But my favorites are the rockers, like the fast-and-furious little number called “Toe to Toe.” Here Thomas not quite sings but shouts, “20 years of a living hell/At the bottom of a missile well/20 years a forgotten son/Staring at the border of the Kingdom Come/20 years toe to toe with Uncle Joe.” This might be some nightmarish remembrance of the Cold War — “Uncle Joe” being Stalin? I dunno.

The whole song lasts less than two minutes, which is the case of a couple of the other coolest rockers on Missile Silo, “Swampland” and “Red Eye Blues (“I’m snowblind in the hollering dark/I’m chasing time and I’m coming apart”). Though these guys aren’t strangers to epic tracks that last five or six minutes, many songs here are on the shorter end of the spectrum. And that serves them well.

I guess my problem is that I’ve let Pere Ubu’s thoughts into my head. I hope they stay around spreading their strange glory and rocking like maniacs for another 40 years.


Here's some videos.


I've always been a sucker for sinister pinball, so I love this one.



Here's another one from 20 Years in a Missile Silo



And just for the heck of it, here's a clip from David Sanborn's Night Music, circa 1989. Here Ubi does "Waiting for Mary" -- with Debbie Harry on backup vocals



Thursday, November 09, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Tale of The Edmund Fitzgerald



On this day in 1975, the final voyage of the freighter called the Edmund Fitzgerald began.

It was a tragic trip in which a terrible storm pounded the Detroit-bound ship loaded with 26,116 long tons of taconite pellets, made of processed iron ore. On Nov. 10 the Edmund Fitzgerald sank, killing its entire crew of 29 men.

Some trivia, courtesy of the Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Mich.: The doomed ship was named for the president and chairman of the board of Northwestern Mutual, the company that owned it. It  was launched June 8, 1958 at River Rouge, Michigan. At 729 feet and 13,632 gross tons the Fitzgerald for more than a decade was the largest ship on the Great Lakes.

But chances are, that's not why you remember it. If you're like most of us, you know it from the hit song by Gordon Lightfoot.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and crew was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

Lightfoot's haunting shanty was a big pop hit in 1976, only months after the actual shipwreck. It's a wonderful example of an instant folk song.

The singer spoke of his song on Reddit a few years ago

Topical songs, you know... are very difficult to come by. Every once in a while. And the Edmund Fitzgerald really seemed to go unnoticed at that time, anything I'd seen in the newspapers or magazines were very short, brief articles, and I felt I would like to expand upon the story of the sinking of the ship itself. And it was quite an undertaking to do that, I went and bought all of the old newspapers, got everything in chronological order, and went ahead and did it because I already had a melody in my mind, and it was from an old Irish dirge that I heard when I was about three and a half years old, I think it was one of the first pieces of music that registered to me as being a piece of music. That's where the melody comes from, from an old Irish folk song.

Lightfoot, while taking a few poetic liberties in the lyrics, tried to stay true to the actual story. But, as he explains in this article, he's updated it through the years as new facts about the wreck became known.

The original lyrics refer to a hatchway caving in shortly before the disaster. But in 2010, an investigation for the National Geographic Channel's TV show Dive Detectives suggested three rogue waves broke the ship in half.

Lightfoot soon revised the lyric from:

"At 7 p.m. a main hatchway caved in, he said, 'Fellas, it's been good to know ya'"

To

"At 7 p.m., it grew dark, it was then he said, 'Fellas it's been good to know ya.""

That brought relief to the mother and daughter of crew members in charge of manning the hatches.

"With the mystery resolved, I made the women very happy. The new line takes the onus off the deckhands," Lightfoot told MLive and the Saginaw News ...

Here's Lightfoot performing the song live in Reno 2000



The best cover of Lightfoot's song was by another Canadian named Gordon -- Gord Downie, who sang it with his band, The Tragically Hip. (Downie died just last month at the of 53.)



Finally, here's an irreverent, goofball cover by NRBQ in Louisiville in 1982. Too soon? Watch at your own risk.




Wednesday, November 08, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: David Liebe Hart & Chip the Black Boy

David Liebe Hart is an actor, musician, painter, and alien abductee.

If you don't believe me, Hart says so himself on his website.

He sometimes performs with his son, Chip the Black Boy.

Yes, Chip is a ventriloquist dummy.

And for about 20 years, Hart had his own public access religious show in Los Angeles, The Junior Christian Teaching Bible Lesson Program, But he got better known from his appearances on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Adult Swim.

You can find Hart's music, including a couple of Chip albums on his Bandcamp site.

And you can see some of Hart's videos below:

Here's one from Chip's first self-titled album



And here's another:



Chip appears is this recent video by Hart, a love story about a beautiful Insect Woman, (There's another version of this classic HERE.)



Chip's not on this one, but I felt the message is important enough to include here.



And here's a promo for a DVD collection of The Junior Christian Teaching Bible Lesson Program. (You can buy it on Hart's website.)




Monday, November 06, 2017

Jam for George

GEORGE ADELO
Adelo at the 2007 Thirsty Ear Festival, Santa Fe
As previously threatened, friends of the late George Adelo have planned a musical memorial for the lawyer/guitar slinger.

The George Adelo Memorial Jam is scheduled to begin 7 pm Friday at Skylight Santa Fe.

From the event's Facebook page:

Please join us for an evening of music to celebrate the life of our dear friend George Adelo. The jam will be sign-up style. There will be a backline and house backing band: Mikey Baker-Guitar, Susan Hyde Holmes-Bass, Kirk Kadish-Keyboards, Baird Banner-Drums.

Musicians please bring your instruments for plug and play set up (except drums and keys) and have 1-2 songs ready to go. We encourage collaborations, back up singing etc. Let's make a joyful noise for Georgie Angel!

Here's a video by Jim Terr of George and White Buffalo playing Santa Fe Bandstand in 2010



Sunday, November 05, 2017

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017
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
Remember by John Lennon
Tunnel Time by Thee Oh Sees
She Was a Mau Mau by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
New Kind of Kick by The Cramps
New Thing by Skip Church
Sonic Boomerang by Bee Bee Sea
Get Straight by Lynx Lynx
Don't Play Cards with Satan by Daniel Johnston

Hail Hail, John Cale by Count Vaseline
Swamp Thing by The Meteors
96 Tears by Garland Jeffreys
Maybe Your Baby by The Dirtbombs
Foreign Body by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Crybabies Go Home by The Ghost Wolves
Turn My Head by The Molting Vultures
Boogie Tale by Laino & The Broken Seeds
Beaver Patrol by Wild Knights

Jonestown by Concrete Blonde
Rock 'n' Roll Murder by Chesterfield Kings
My Hardened Skin by The Routes
Freedom by Ty Segall
Signal by Boss Hog
Incubus by The Howlin' Max Messer Show
Skintrade by The Mekons
Exercise Man by The Dean Ween Group
Teach Me Tonight by Louis Prima & Keely Smith

Set My Soul on Fire by War & Treaty
Lips of a Loser by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
In Your Hands by Phil Hayes & The Trees
Demon in  Profile by Afghan Whigs
I Can Still See by Pere Ubu
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, November 03, 2017

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST



Friday, Nov. , 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Look at that Moon by Carl Mann
Old Wolf by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Rolling River by Joe West



Keep Your Mouth Shut by Beth Lee & The Breakups

Beth Lee Live 

Right Back
You Remind Me
Wouldya Wanna
Beautiful Losers

Drivin' by Beth Lee & The Breakups

Another Bender Might Break Me by Hellbound Glory
I Don't Give a Shit by Shinyribs
Just Like Geronimo by Marlee McLeod
Long Way to Hollywood by Steve Young
Legend of Kye LaFoone by Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders
Delilah's Barber Shop by Jonny Barber & The Rhythm Razors
I Swear I Was Lyin' by Kim Lenz

Life, Love, Death and The Meter Man by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
White Devil by Legendary Shack Shakers
Nothing in Rambling by Eilen Jewell
The Sound of Laughter by Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre
Sweet White Van by Two Tons of Steel
Lookin' for a Woman by Steve Earle
Low Down, Broke Down Fool by Paula Rhae McDonald
Sinkhole by Drive By Truckers
Chaos and Clothes by Jason Isbell

Whitehouse Road by Tyler Childers
Cocaine Cowboys by Margo Price
Time Heals by Gear Daddies
I Stole the Right to Live by Michael Hurley
Spring of '65 by Blue Mountain
Cold Black Sea by Peter Stampfel
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets


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Thursday, November 02, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Band Played On

UPDATED

Maybe I heard it on TV.

Maybe someone who seemed to know what he or she was talking about told me and I believed it.

Maybe it came to me in a dream.

I don't know where I got this idea, but somewhere I heard that Frank Sinatra -- yes Frank Sinatra, dammit -- once said that the saddest song he ever heard was a strange old American song from 1895 called "The Band Played On."

Even with the magic of Google I can't verify if this is true. I cant even find any Sinatra covers of the song.

And damn, I want to believe it!

Most of the versions of this tune -- with lyrics by John F. Palmer and music by Charles B. Ward -- don't play it for the sadness. Often it's played for laughs.

But when you think about it -- it's there. While Palmer's lyrics allude to love and good times, there is tension just under the surface. Disaster is just around the corner.

The song is about this guy named Casey who's on the dance floor with a "strawberry blonde" -- "the girl he adored."

But things aren't going well for poor Casey. He's whacked out of his mind on booze or who knows what.

... his brain was so loaded it nearly exploded;
The poor girl would shake with alarm.

He loves this woman but he's not sure what to do and he's only succeeding in terrifying her. But Casey is determined.

He'd ne'er leave the girl with the strawberry curls
And the band played on.

Maybe she can escape his clutches after he falls on his face. Or maybe they're married and there's no way out for her

But it's obvious there will be no happy ending here for Casey or the blonde.

Of course I'm just talking about the chorus of the song. Most folks in the modern era who know the song are not familiar with the verses. But as far as I'm concerned, that's just as well. The song's power is in the image of Casey about to spin out of control as his partner hangs on, trying not to panic.

One of the first, if not the first, to record "The Band Played On" -- in 1895 -- was a singer named Dan W. Quinn (1859-1939), promoted in his day as "The King of Comic Singers" (though he could also be known as "The King of Racist Singers.")



Here's a 1941 version by a group called The Jesters



You know if the Hoosier Hot Shots covered something I'm writing about, I'm going to include it. Are you ready, Hezzie?



Here's a swinging hepcat version by a guy named Frank D'Rone



And this is a fairly recent one by Richard Thompson from a 2013 compilation of "turn-of-the-century" songs called The Beautiful Old. I love Thompson and I love this version, even though he tacks on a sappy ending, undercutting the beautiful terror of Casey's drunken waltz.



Update 11-7-17: 

Sean at KSFR did some fancy Googlin' and found a Frank Sinatra fan forum that shows Ol' Blues was at least familiar with this song and apparently had performed it a couple of times.

A guy named Larry posted in 2007:

Back in the 70s I caught Frank Sinatra several times at the Westchester Premier Theater. In one show he stunned the audience by turning down the lights except for maybe a single spot light, sat on a stool, and sang the oldie "Casey Would Waltz With the Strawberry Blond". Very little, if any, accompaniment as I recall. It is one of the memories I've treasured through the years. He may have sung another song along with it but I don't remember what it was.

Another guy, Bob, responded:

Larry, it may interest you to know that Sinatra FIRST sang "The Band Played On" in a Songs By Sinatra (Old Gold Cigarettes) CBS radio show, as part of a medley with solo piano accompaniment by André Previn, September 25, 1946.

The Westchester Premier Theater performance which you mention (second show of the day) occurred 30 years later TO THE DAY, on September 25, 1976, with Bill Miller doing the solo piano honors.

Those are the ONLY two documented performances of this song by FS.

Unfortunately, in a later post Bob says there is no known recording of this radio show.

I did a little Googling myself and found a mention of the 1946 radio set on a German site.

September 25, 1946 Songs By Sinatra (CBS)
Sponsor: Old Gold Cigarettes
Ansager: Marvin Miller
Orchesterleitung: Axel Stordahl 
Künstler: Frank Sinatra, The Pied Pipers
Gäste: Sandra Gould

1. Night And Day
2. Blue Skies
3. And The Band Played On 
4. I Wonder What's Become Of Sally
5. After The Ball
6. I Wonder Who Kissing Her Now
7. On The Boardwalk In Atlantic City
8. The Things We Did Last Summer
9. September Song
10. Put Your Dreams Away

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: A Belated Birthday Celebration of Peter Stampfel

Photo by Joe Mabel
Last Sunday was the 78th 79th birthday of a musician who I believe has done more to keep folk music
alive, relevant and fun as much as anyone alive. I love practically every song I've heard him sing.

Happy late birthday, Peter Stampfel!

With his most famous band, the psychedelic-folk crusaders known as The Holy Modal Rounders, as well as the various groups that followed (The Du-Tells, The Bottle Caps, The Worm All-Stars, The Ether Frolic Mob ... and let's not forget a stint with The Fugs back in the Daze), Stampfel discovered an important secret about folk music:

It sounds so much better when it sounds a little crazy.

Here's a bunch of my favorite Stampfel songs. Listen, sing along and share with your friends

Let's start off with an appearance by The Rounders on -- you bet your sweet bippy -- Rowan & Martin's Laugh In. (Yes, Laugh-In was a lot hipper than many people gave it credit for. That probably was the first time I ever saw Stampfel. Laugh In was the first place I ever heard The Legendary Stardust Cowboy too.) Too bad The Rounders never took Ruth Buzzi on the road with them.



I'm not sure why this Rounders favorite "Spring of '65" -- based on an old folk tune about drunken craziness -- works so well with The Fabulous Fury Freak Brothers. But it does.



One of the greatest records that Stampfel had anything to do with was Have Moicy!, which he recorded as The Unholy Modal Rounders along with Michael Hurley and Jeffrey Frederick. We're a day late for Halloween, but I've always loved that album's "Hoodoo Bash."



Stampfel goes disco!



I played Stampfel's version of this Stephen Foster song a few months ago when my old dog Rocco died and cried like a baby, God dammit to Hell, the same thing happened when  I played it a couple of days ago.

 

And speaking of death, here's Stampfell covering one of Lou Reed's greatest under-appreciated songs, a sweet little meditation on mortality called "Cold Black Sea"





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Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM Ema...