Sunday, June 17, 2018


Sunday, June 17, 2018
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Wavespotting by Mean Motor Scooter
Lusty Little Lucy by Nick Curran & The Lowlifes
Sugar Bee by The Sir Douglas Quintet
Mon Nom by The Yawpers
On Broadway by Esquirita
Throw Me a Line by The Ugly Beats
Shortnin' Bread by The Ready Men
I Have Enough by Reverend Beat-Man
Wild and Free by Hank III

I Am What I Am by The Fleshtones
Plastic Jack by The Electric Mess
Tropical Hotdog Night by Captain Beefheart
You on the Run by Black Angels
Annie by Elastia
Blue Ticket by Ratannson
Shot Down by The Sonics
The Bottle Never Lets Me Down by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
He's Making a Tape by Wild Billy Childish & Musicians of the British Empire

Wild America by Wayne Kramer
Feels Good by Stud Cole
Sex Cow by Teengenerate
Voodoo Got Me by The Goon Mat & Lord Bernardo
I'm Your Witch Doctor by Them
Lost in Today by Archie & The Bunkers
Mad Love by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies
Polk Salad Annie by Jason & The Scorchers
Victoria by The Fall
Ants on the Melon by The Gourds

Stewball by Holly Golightly
How Does That Grab You Darlin' by The Empress of Fur
Lightning's Girl by Nancy Sinatra
Papa Won't Leave You Henry by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
I Only Have Eyes for You by The Flamingos
Love Letters by Kitty Lester
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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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

Friday, June 15, 2018


Friday, June 15, 2018
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
The Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum
Tell the King The Killer's Here by Ronny Elliott
Life of Sin by Sturgill Simpson
Bloody Mary Morning by Willie Nelson
Life, Love, Death and The Meter Man by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Fruit of the Vine by Nancy Apple
I Will Stay With You by Emily Kaitz with Ray Wylie Hubbard
Snake Farm by Ray Wylie Hubbard

I Ride an Old Paint by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Pigfork Jamboree by The Imperial Rooster
Crazy Mixed Up World by Ray Condo and His Hardrock Goners
LSD by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
I'm Home Gettin' Hammered While She's Out Gettin' Nailed by Jesse Dayton
The Hand of The Almighty by John R. Butler
This Town Gets Around by Margo Price
Hillbilly Town by Mose McCormack
Wine Spo Dee Odee by Kell Robertson
Hello Trouble by Bill Hearne

See Willy Fly By by The Waco Brothers
Nashville Radio / The Death of Country Music by Jon Langford's Hillbilly Lovechild
Wild Wild Wild by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis
Mighty Lonesome Man by James Hand
God Has Lodged a Tenant in My Uterus by Tammy Faye Starlite
Daddy Was a Preacher, Mama Was a Go Go Girl by Southern Culture on the Skids

Ode to Billy Joe by Bobbie Gentry
Roadmap for the Blues by Butch Hancock
Long Way to Hollywood by Steve Young
I Hate These Songs by Dale Watson
(Out on the Streets) Junk is Still King by Gary Heffern
In Tall Buildings by John Hartford
Someday We'll Look Back by Merle Haggard
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page

Want to keep this hoedown going after I sign off at midnight?
Check out The Big Enchilada Podcast Hillbilly Episode Archive where there are hours of shows where I play music like you hear on the SF Opry.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Still Riding Old Paint

An unnamed cowboy was passing through Santa Fe on his way toward the Mexican border many years ago. Here he met up with a couple of women, both of whom being poets with ears for folk songs. The mysterious stranger gave then a song they wouldn't forget.

It was full of colorful cowboy lingo about throwing the hoolihan, and feeding the coulees, as well as black humor about a guy's wife who was killed "in a poolroom fight" and a cowpoke who asks that when he ties, tie his body to the back of his horse so "we'll ride the prairies /That we love the best ..."

Poet Carl Sandburg learned the song from one of the women, Margaret Larkin, who lived in Las Vegas, N.M. He published it in his American Songbag collection in 1927. There, he wrote of the song:

“This arrangement is from a song made known by Margaret Larkin of Las Vegas, New Mexico, who intones her own poems or sings cowboy and Mexican songs to a skilled guitar strumming, and by Linn Riggs, poet and playwright, of Oklahoma in particular and the Southwest in general. The song came to them at Santa Fe from a buckaroo who was last heard of as heading for the Border with friends in both Tucson and El Paso. The song smells of saddle leather, sketches ponies and landscapes, and varies in theme from a realistic presentation of the drab Bill Jones and his violent wife to an ethereal prayer and a cry of phantom tone. There is rich poetry in the image of the rider so loving a horse he begs when he dies his bones shall be tied to his horse and the two of them sent wandering with their faces turned west.”

Ah! The old mysterious-buckaroo-passing-on-songs-in-Santa-Fe ploy. Happens all the time. That's how I learned the tune "Hang on Sloopy" many years ago ...

But Ken Bigger, writing about the song for the Murder Ballad Monday blog, expresses some skepticism about Larkin's Santa Fe story. "Given the song’s themes and history, I was led to wonder whether Larkin might have written the song herself," he wrote. "I thought perhaps that she hid her authorship in order to avoid compromising the song’s perceived authenticity."

But Bigger admits his suspicion is theory is "purely speculative, and there are compelling arguments against  it. "Hiding her authorship would have involved at least Larkin and probably Sandburg in levels of deception inconsistent with their other work."

More than a decade after publishing American Songbag, Sandburg recorded the song. Here it is:

"Old Paint" became a staple in the Hollywood heyday of the singing cowboy. Roy Rogers & Dale Evans covered it. So did Rex Allen.

And, with help from Woody Guthrie, the song became a favorite of mid-century American folksingers.

Woody took some liberties with the lyrics, adding a verse that goes "I’ve worked in your town, I’ve worked on your farm / All I’ve got to show is this muscle in my arm / Blisters on my feet and callous on my hand /Goin’ to Montana to throw the hoolihan." He also changed details about Old Bill Jones' family, giving him a daughter and a son instead of "two daughters and a song." And though Old Bill's wife still died in a free-for-all fight, Woody doesn't mention that the tragedy occurred in a sleazy old poolroom. ("He preserves her virtue, perhaps, without diminishing the tragedy," Bigger wrote.)

"Old Paint" has been recorded by numerous artists. Johnny Cash, Michael Martin Murphey, Linda Rondstadt, Chris LeDoux, underground country renegades The Pine Hill Haints have all thrown that hoolihan.  Recently Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs included a rocking version on their new horse-oriented album Clippety Clop (which you can read about in my next Terrell's Tune-up column.)

But my favorite version remains the first one I heard, the one by Loudon Wainwright III in the early '70s.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Unhappy Birthday to Nathan Bedford Forrest

Today is the birthday of the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan -- and namesake of Forrest Gump, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Born in Chapel Hill Tennessee on July 13, 1821, Forrest was a general in the Confederate Army.

Even before his Klan years, Forrest was not a nice guy. Rebel soldiers under his command committed what came to be known as one of the worst atrocities of the Civil War, the Fort Pillow Massacre.

There, in 1864, Forrest's troops slaughtered nearly 300 Union soldiers who had surrendered after the battle of Fort Pillow. Most of those were African Americans.

Forrest died and went to Hell in 1877.

So let's give the evil old bastard and his twisted, hateful legacy  a one-fingered musical birthday salute.

This ditty by singer Billy Frisch was recorded in 1922. It's called "Ku Ku, (The Klucking of the Ku Klux Klan)."

In the late 1970s, the reggae band Steel Pulse had some thoughts about the group Forrest led.

The most memorable scene from one of my favorite movies O Brother Where Art Thou (2000) was a Klan rally. In the same way that David Lynch's Blue Velvet forever changed the way we hear Roy Orbison's "In Dreams," this scene added terrifying new dimensions to the old folk song "O Death," sung by bluegrass great Ralph Stanley in O Brother. (Actor Wayne Duval, who portrayed the Imperial Wizard, lip-synched Stanley's song.)

And of course, The Ramones.

Monday, June 11, 2018


Country singer James Hand and me at KSFR, July 2013
For those of you who didn't hear my startling announcement on KSFR over the weekend, here's the news:

I've decided to pull the plug on my Friday night show, The Santa Fe Opry. The last lonesome show will be this Friday.

I've been doing this hillbilly/alt-country/ rockabilly/bluegrass/roots-rock show for more than 20 years. I love the music and I love doing the show.

But after much consideration following my recent health scare, I’ve decided to cut my time on the radio back to one night a week.

I decided to ax the Opry rather than Terrell's Sound World on Sunday for a few reasons.

First of all, having a Friday night slot made it stressful at work whenever it was a heavy news day. Anyone involved in the journalism racket knows that some government officials delight in what's known as the "Friday night news dump" -- waiting until 5 pm to make important announcements and or answer public-records request.

Secondly, while all us DJs have our own styles, there are other programs at KSFR that specialize in country and folk sounds -- Acoustic Explorations on Thursday nights, Tom Adler's Folk Remedy on Sunday mornings. And Donna Howell often dips in these waters on her Gotta Dance show on Sunday night. Meanwhile over at KUNM, The Home of Happy Feet -- which is a major influence on The Santa Fe Opry -- is still going strong.

But there isn't really any other show around these parts that specializes in the garage/punk music that is the basis for Terrell's Sound World. So that's a big reason I decided to keep my Sunday night slot.

However, as I said this weekend, from this point on more hillbilly sounds will surely creep into the Sound World mix.

Also, despite all the fun I had doing to the show, I failed to achieve one of the goals I had for the program -- getting a cease-and-desist letter from the Santa Fe Opera.

So as of last week, KSFR is looking for a replacement for my 10 p.m.-midnight slot on Fridays. My hope is that someone steps up and continues The Santa Fe Opry -- or something close to it. Of course, that might not happen. If you or someone you know is interested, contact operations manager Sean Conlon at

Thanks to all those who tuned in over the years, called me at the station or dropped me an email or Facebook comment. Please tune in 10 p.m. Friday, June 15, for a special farewell Santa Fe Opry show.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Sunday, June 10 , 2018
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Back from the Shadows Again by Firesign Theatre
The Roaring 20s by Archie & The Bunkers
Tiki Man by Deadbolt
Interlude: Got Me All Alone by Black Lips
Take Off Your Clothes by The Goon Mat & Lord Bernardo
He's Unhappy by Freak Genes
Chem Farmer by Thee Oh Sees
Stroke by Kazik
Mule Skinner by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

Dead Moon Night by Dead Moon
Heartbreak Boogie by Hillbilly Moon Explosion
Dirty Photographs by The Bonnevilles
Here Comes That Sound Again by The Dirtbombs
Cat in Hell's Chance by Sir Bald Diddley & His Wig Outs
Flamboyant Duck by The Melvins
Guts is Enough by The Devils

Happy Birthday Howlin' Wolf!

I'm the Wolf
I've Been Abused
Coon on the Moon

The White Wolf is Back in Town by Reverend Beat-Man
Tall Black and Bitter by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
I'm Gone by The Electric Mess
The Projects by Baronen & Satan
You Got Good Taste by The Cramps
Wild Man by Hasil Adkins

It's Nothing New to Me by San Antonio Kid
My Heart by De Los Muertos
Mean Blue Spirits by The Dead Brothers
Town Without Pity by Gene Pitney
Old by Bettye LaVette
I Just Left Myself Today by The Hickoids
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

Friday, June 08, 2018


Friday, June 8, 2018
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Two White Horses by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Charlottesville by Jesse Dayton
Long Hauls and Close Calls by Hank 3
Outlaw State of Mind by Chris Stapleton
No Heart by The Waco Brothers
Will You Wait for Me by Ramblin' Deano
Your Red Wagon by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis
God Damn USA by Trixie & The Trainwrecks
New Ways to Fail by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers

Big Dummy by Tommy Collins
Drinkin' Champagne by Jerry Lee Lewis
High on a Mountain Top by Loretta Lynn
My Huckleberry Friend by The Gibson Bros
Big Time by Hellbound Glory
At Least I'm Genuine by Stevie Tombstone
Reservation Radio by Eric Hisaw
Blood on the Bluegrass by Legendary Shack Shakers
Mountain Man by Ugly Valley Boys

Knockin' on Your Screen Door by John Prine
Sam Stone by Swamp Dog
Strangest Stranger by Salty Pajamas
Coulda Woulda Shoulda by Peter Case
Like a Hole in My Head by The Tillers
Demon in my Head by Joe Buck Yourself
Ode to Billy Joe by Joe Tex
Dignity by Bob Dylan

Will You Miss Me by Peter Rowan
More Pretty Girls than One by Doc & Merle Watson
Louise by Jerry Jeff Walker with Nicolette Larson
Don't Blame Me by The Everly Brothers
I Drink by Bobby Bare
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page

Want to keep this hoedown going after I sign off at midnight?
Check out The Big Enchilada Podcast Hillbilly Episode Archive where there are hours of shows where I play music like you hear on the SF Opry.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

Thursday, June 07, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday, Dino!

It's no secret that Dean Martin was the coolest guy in the world. Today would have been his 101st birthday.

Happy birthday, Dino!

As I wrote a couple of years ago:

Elvis Presley idolized him and I loved him too. When I was a kid, Dino and his devilish grin made me suspect that my parents' generation might not be as square as they'd have you believe.

To celebrate here are some live videos.

Let's start off with this classic. a medley of "Volare" and "Evening in Roma."

I first heard this song on a Jerry Lee Lewis (not Jerry Lewis) record. Dino does a great job on it also.

This is Dean's signature song. Listen close. He's not always reverent with the lyrics.

Here's a song from the original Oceans 11 featuring Red Norvo on vibes.

I also posted about Dean Martin's birthday a couple of years ago. You'll find more videos HERE.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Revenge of the Son of Bad Karaoke

I haven't explored the dangerous jungles of bad karaoke in a couple of years. So let's jump in!

This funky dude seems to be having a great time attempting to sing "Kiss Me Deadly."

"I Will Always Love You" is a staple of bad karaoke. Someone get the stapler!

Unfortunately only 60 seconds of this karaoke take on Neil Diamond's "Holly Holy" made it on to video. But what a wild minute it is!

I'm not sure what this is ...

But just for having the courage to get up and sing, I believe these folks should be celebrated. Let's have a Celebration!

For previous "Bad Karaoke" posts check  HERE and HERE 

Friday, June 01, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: The Voodoo Gospel of Rev. Beat-Man

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
June 1, 2018

The Swiss singer/songwriter/trash rocker/record-company owner/philosopher/holy man known as Reverend Beat-Man was speaking for himself in an interview more than a decade ago. But he could have been talking for untold numbers of unsung, underpaid heroes of modern music when he said:

“I have to get up in the morning out of the bed, and I have to play guitar. I have to go to the office and put out records that nobody buys. I just have to do it. I don’t know why.”

Obviously Beat Zeller is possessed by a very demanding creative spirit that won’t let him live any other way. His new album, Blues Trash (Voodoo Rhythm Records), is testament to that. The title is similar — probably too similar — to that of the two-volume Surreal Folk Blues Gospel Trash, the good reverend’s solo project from 2007. But the new album is no rehash. Beat-Man’s sound is evolving.

On Blues Trash, he’s backed by a band dubbed the New Wave. Members include Bosnia-born accordion player Mario Batkovic, a couple of Bern homeboys (drummer Julian Sartorius and Resli Burri, who plays several instruments), and Los Angeles native Nicole Izobel Garcia, who in recent months has toured with Beat-Man as a drummer. On the album, she also plays organ and sings.

The first track, “I Have Enough,” sounds like classic Beat-Man. It’s a growling rocker built around a raunchy blues lick, the kind Howlin’ Wolf used to hear in his skull when he closed his eyes at night. This is followed by “I’m Not Gonna Tell You,” a tasty slice of garage-punk that would easily fit in with the crazed repertoire of Beat-Man’s longtime band The Monsters. As usual, Beat-Man’s vocals sound like Popeye auditioning for a German industrial band.

Beat-Man in Santa Fe, 2009
But then things start getting weird on the third track, “Today Is a Beautiful Day.” With a lilting beat, a sinister guitar, and what sounds like a tooting tuba, Beat-Man takes a cue from his pals the Dead Brothers, who have billed themselves as a “funeral orchestra.” (New Waver Burri has played with that band.) The Rev croons:

 “Well, today is a beautiful day/Today is a wonderful day/’Cause today, baby, I feel like a newborn child/’Cause today, baby, I’m gonna die.” 

The same morbidly fatalistic doomsday spirit returns a few tracks later with a song called “Then We All Gonna Die.” Here Beat-Man sings over a harmonium and ominous drums that eventually turn into a troubling rumble:

 “When I see the flowers laying on my grave/When I see the sky turn from blue to black/Then we’re all gonna die.”

Even spookier is a stark but alluring love song in Spanish featuring Garcia on lead vocals, with Beat-Man singing a gruff “But I love you” four times at the end of each verse. “But I Love You” has to be the prettiest song to ever appear on a Beat-Man album — or in the entire Voodoo Rhythm catalogue.

Accordion man Batkovic steps out into the spotlight on a couple of tracks. There’s the jaunty Balkan-sounding “I’ll Do It for You,” a dance tune, sung by Beat-Man, that would have fit in the Borat soundtrack.

Then, the final track, “Lass Uns Liebe Machen” (German for “Let’s Make Love”) sounds like a damaged relic from the Weimar Republic. With Beat-Man singing, Batkovic’s accordion is the main instrument, at least until the musical saw (I assume played by Burri) comes in.

But while I appreciate Beat-Man’s multicultural excursions, the best song on Blues Trash is a prime example of, well, blues trash. That’s “The White Wolf Is Back in Town.” It’s a slow-burning howler — literally. Beat-Man howls at the outset of every verse. He plays a steady, repetitive blues lick punctuated by scary sounds from Garcia’s organ and a screaming sax. We never find out who or what the White Wolf is. But I would guess the town has cause to be nervous.

So once again, Beat-Man has followed his compulsions and indulged his obsessions, releasing an album full of wild, unsettling music. And probably, like all its predecessors, not that many people will buy it. But for those of us who have heard the call of the White Wolf, it’s comforting just to know the good Reverend Beat-Man is still in the game.

Also recommended:

* Songs from the Lodge by Archie & The Bunkers. Sometimes I worry about the youth of the 21st century.

I don’t have any exact statistics, but there are a disturbing number of youngsters who don’t give a rip about rock ’n’ roll.

They’re into hip-hop or techno, and many, we’re told, don’t really give a rodent’s posterior about music in general, and will give you blank stares when you mention Little Richard, Bo Diddley, or The Ramones, assuming all that talk is nothing but geezer babble.

Fortunately, this is not completely true. Despite changing times and priorities, rock ’n’ roll is still a guiding light for millions of young people. And there are even some bands ready to carry the torch.

In fact, one of my favorite groups in recent months is Archie and the Bunkers, a pair of teenage brothers from Cleveland. Drummer Emmett and organ player Cullen O’Connor have a unique high-energy sound they call “hi-fi organ punk.”

Their new album is even more impressive than their debut, Mystery Lover. The opening tune, “Bill’s Bad Day,” sets an urgent tone that never lets up. Other highlights include “You’re My Pacemaker,” the frantic “Lost in Today” and “122 Hours of Fear,” which is a cover of a song by The Screamers, a California “techno-punk” band from the late ’70s.

Plus, The Bunkers give us not one, but two songs about Twin Peaks, “Fire Walk With Me” and “Laura.”

These boys not only have talent, they have taste!

Let's see some videos:

Here's a song from Blues Trash

And here's a live song by Reverend Beat-Man, sung by Nicole Izobel Garcia

And here are couple by Archie & The Bunkers

Thursday, May 31, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Night of the Johnstown Flood

One hundred and twenty nine years ago the South Fork Dam near Johnstown, Pennsylvania broke. creating a flood that killed at least 2,200 people.

A little history from

Johnstown is 60 miles east of Pittsburgh in a valley near the Allegheny, Little Conemaugh, and Stony Creek Rivers. It is located on a floodplain that has been subject to frequent disasters. Because of the area’s susceptibility to floods, a dam was built in 1840 on the Little Conemaugh River, 14 miles upstream from Johnstown. Nine hundred feet by 72 feet, it was the largest earth dam (made of dirt and rock, rather than steel and concrete) in the United States and it created the largest man-made lake of the time, Lake Conemaugh. The dam was part of an extensive canal system that became obsolete as the railroads replaced the canal as a means of transporting goods. As the canal system fell into disuse, maintenance on the dam was neglected.

In 1889, Johnstown was home to 30,000 people, many of whom worked in the steel industry. On May 31, the residents were unaware of the danger that steady rain over the course of the previous day had caused. A spillway at the dam became clogged with debris that could not be dislodged. An engineer at the dam saw warning signs of an impending disaster and rode a horse to the village of South Fork to warn the residents. However, the telegraph lines were down and the warning did not reach Johnstown. At 3:10 p.m., the dam collapsed, causing a roar that could be heard for miles. All of the water from Lake Conemaugh rushed forward at 40 miles per hour, sweeping away everything in its path.

Floods this devastating frequently end up being the subject of folk songs and even pop songs. The website for the Johnstown Flood Museum lists three such songs that were written not long after the tragedy. These include "That Valley of Tears," composed by William Thomas, "My Last Message" by J.P. Skelly, and Joseph Flynn's "The Johnstown Flood," which possibly is the song Bruce Springsteen refers to in "Highway Patrolman." ("Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played `Night of the Johnstown Flood' ,,,")

I searched but couldn't find any versions of these songs. However, on YouTube I did come across three Johnstown flood songs, all by artists I'd never heard of. But they sound pretty cool, so here they are.

This one by a Nashville group called Chicken Little. (Another chicken song?)

This is by the Rock Creek Jug Band from Chico, California.

And this song, billed as "relaxing blues" is by a New England group called Delta Generators

(belated) Wacky Wednesday: Tastes Like Chicken

It's still Wednesday, no?

I was at a medical appointment this morning when it occurred to med that I hadn't posted this week's Throwback Thursday. A couple of seconds later I realized I hadn't posted Wacky Wednesday either.

Maybe blame the medication?

Anywho, this week is kind of a sequel to a relative early Wacky Wednesday, in which I posted songs about ducks. Here's some equal time for chickens.

Let's start with the Louis Jordon classic :Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens."


This 1940 Cab Calloway tune has long been one of my favorites

Moving deep into the rock 'n' roll era here's "Psycho Chicken," a spoof of a Talking Heads song by a band called The Fools.

But nobody captured the essence of chickens better than the genius, Ray Stevens.

Throwback Thursday coming soon. Watch this blog!

Thursday, May 24, 2018



One hundred and four years ago this week -- May 22, 1914 -- Herman Poole "Sonny"  Blount was born in Birmingham, Alabama. In the early 30s he began a career in music. Moving to Chicago in 1945, Sonny played piano with R&B shouter Wynonie Harris and jazz greats like Fletcher Henderson and Coleman Hawkins.

By the early 1950s, Sonny transformed into Sun Ra, a visionary emissary from the planet Saturn, sent to earth to preach a cosmic philosophy of peace and love.

Like Sonny Blount, Sun Ra was a great musician. He formed an amazing musical collective called the Arkestra that played with him, in various forms, for the next 40 years.

Here's what The New York Times said about Sun Ra in its 1993 obituary:

Sun Ra was jazz's most theatrical band leader. A performance of his would feature anything from large drum choirs and African-style chants to orchestral be-bop, free expressionism and swing pieces. He had singers, dancers and acrobats and sometimes film and light shows ...

He and his band, usually called the Arkestra, dressed in a funny version 1950s intergalactica, with glittering hats (which, in fact, were spandax tank tops), robes and amulets that signified everything from Egyptology to outer space surrealism. Sun Ra made his performances a mixture of camp, pandemonium, seriousness and musical intelligence.

Below are a couple of lengthy performances by Sun Ra and crew. The first includes two songs from a 1989 appearance on the syndicated Night Music.

And here is part of his set at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival

Finally here's a fun little tune from Sun Ra's Walt Disney tribute album, Second Star to the Right.

R.I.P Saturn man. May Mr. Bluebird always be on your shoulder.

Correction: The earlier version if this post said Sun Ra was born 114 years ago. Actually it's a mere 104 years. Thanks to Facebook friend Russ for pointing it out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: So Goes the Legend of Bonnie & Clyde

On this day 84 years ago a team of law enforcement officers led by the Bureau of Investigation (back before they were known as the FBI) killed Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Park in an ambush near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

According to the FBI website:

Before dawn on May 23, 1934, a posse composed of police officers from Louisiana and Texas, including Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, concealed themselves in bushes along the highway near Sailes, Louisiana. In the early daylight, Bonnie and Clyde appeared in an automobile and when they attempted to drive away, the officers opened fire. Bonnie and Clyde were killed instantly.

And thus ended the bloody career of the armed and dangerous couple known as Bonnie & Clyde.

At least until they were reborn as Hollywood legends in the 1960s.

Here's what the feds have to say about Bonnie & Clyde's earthly career:

At the time they were killed in 1934, they were believed to have committed 13 murders and several robberies and burglaries. Barrow, for example, was suspected of murdering two police officers at Joplin, Missouri and kidnapping a man and a woman in rural Louisiana. He released them near Waldo, Texas. Numerous sightings followed, linking this pair with bank robberies and automobile thefts. Clyde allegedly murdered a man at Hillsboro, Texas; committed robberies at Lufkin and Dallas, Texas; murdered one sheriff and wounded another at Stringtown, Oklahoma; kidnaped a deputy at Carlsbad, New Mexico; stole an automobile at Victoria, Texas; attempted to murder a deputy at Wharton, Texas; committed murder and robbery at Abilene and Sherman, Texas; committed murder at Dallas, Texas; abducted a sheriff and the chief of police at Wellington, Texas; and committed murder at Joplin and Columbia, Missouri.

But like I said, Bonnie & Clyde staged a spectacular comeback in 1967.

Filmmaker Arthur Penn directed Bonnie & Clyde, starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. It became a box office smash. There were questions about the movie's historical accuracy and controversy over what some saw as a glamorization of criminals. But soon after it's release, everyone knew who Bonnie and Clyde were.

Besides the movie, several musicians jumped on the Bonnie & Clyde bandwagon in 1967 and 1968. Here are some of them.

Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames had a big hit with "The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde."

Merle Haggard wrote and performed "The Legend of Bonnie & Clyde."

Even Mel Torme couldn't resist. His song is called "A Day in the Life of Bonnie & Clyde."

Meanwhile, French pop star Serge Gainsbourg teamed up with the one and only Brigitte Bardot (!!!) on a song called "Bonnie & Clyde." This tune borrows heavily from the poem Bonnie Parker wrote about her exploits with Barrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Here's a musical tribute to one of my favorite actors, the late Dennis Hopper. His 82nd birthday would have been today.

Hopper was not a musician. But his greatest films were full of unforgettable music. Here are a few of the songs that helped make those movies resonate.

The 1969 hippie odyssey Easy Rider was full of great music from the heyday of the counter culture. While many tunes in the soundtrack had been big hits before Easy Rider, this one, by a group called The Fraternity of Man, became well-known because of the movie.

This tune by ex-Byrd Gene Clark was the theme song of a 1971 documentary about Dennis Hopper.

Hopper directed a 1988 movie called Colors, which dealt with the Los Angeles gang wars. The title song, by Ice T, is an early example of gangsta rap.

For my money, Hopper's greatest role was the evil Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. With the help of lip-syncher Dean Stockwell, Blue Velvet made a perfectly decent Roy Orbison song into something twisted and perverse.

The candy-colored clown returned with a vengeance in this subsequent scene.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Birthday Salute to Ray Condo

The late Canadian rockabilly Ray Condo, born on this day in 1950, was a natural rocker, mastering that sweet spot where rockabilly intersects with western swing and post-war honky-tonk.

And he also had a humorous edge to his music -- as shown in the title of his album Door to Door Maniac -- which was the title of a 1961 crime movie starring Johnny Cash as a kidnapper. (It was originally released under the name Five Minutes to Live.)

As Condo said in a CBS interview in 2000, "We like to keep a sense of humor about it and kind of keep it on the light side.

Condo was born Ray Tremblay in Quebec. After a stint in a Vancouver punk band called The Secret Vs, the Condo persona didn't emerge until he moved to Montreal in the 1980s. Forming a band called the Hardrock Goners (a play on the name of proto-rockabilly Hardrock Gunter). By the early '90s, Condo moved back to Vancouver, where he started a new group, The Ricochets.

Condo died of a heart attack  in 2004 at the age of 53.

Here are a few samples of Ray Condo's music -- the first two videos being cartoons.

Here is a live video of Ray and boys covering a long-forgotten country novelty song, "I Lost My Gal in the Yukon."

And here's that CBS interview I mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Yes, There IS a Brand New Big Enchilada Episode


I'm back! I was laid up in the hospital for nearly a month -- and I missed the April episode -- but I'm healing up at home now and chomping at the bit to bring you some crazy rock 'n' roll.

So in the tradition of Big Enchilada 47, which I recorded while recovering from a hip replacement, I give you Music to Heal By 2. (I even borrowed the opening sound collage from that show.) Soak in the sweet healing sounds of The Dirtbombs, Archie & The Bunkers, The Cramps and more.

And remember, The Big Enchilada is officially listed in the iTunes store. So go subscribe, if you haven't already (and gimme a good rating and review if you're so inclined.) Thanks. 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Wipeout by The Eliminators)
Pray for Pills by The Dirtbombs
Fire, Walk With Me by Archie & The Bunkers
End of Nowhere by Trixie & The Trainwrecks
Don't Torment Me by The Masonics
Crazy Pills by Quan & The Chinese Takeouts

(Background Music: Sardonic Recovery by Vinnie Santino)
I Ain't Dead Yet by Mondo Topless
I Bring Home the Bacon by The Dappers
Half Nelson Headlock by The Common Cold
Hospital by Skip Church
Shake That Bat by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
White Wedding by Herman's Hermits

(Background Music:Ya Move Ya Lose by Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band)
Bop Pills by The Cramps
The Ugly Side of the Face by Hang On the Box
Dr. Boogie by Flamin' Groovies
Mystic Waves by San Antonio Kid
St. James Infirmary by Johnny Dowd
(Background Music: General Hospital Theme)

Play it below:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: I am Normal and I Dig Bert Weedon!

I'd never heard the name "Bert Weedon" until I heard the Bonzo Dog Band's immortal song "We Are Normal" in the late '60s or early '70s. 

It's toward the end of the song, when after  one of the many times they shout, "We are normal and we want our freedom," one of the Bonzos proclaims, "We are normal and we dig Bert Weedon."

I didn't know who he was, but I figured Weedon was some obscure Brit celebrity -- and that it probably wasn't "normal" to dig him

Decades later I stumbled across a used CD compilation of Weedon's music.

And damn if I didn't dig him too.

Weedon was born 98 years ago today in London. He died in 2012, just shy of 92. He started his musical career as a teen in the 1930s. In 1959 he became the first solo guitarist to have a hit in the British charts.

Besides his recordings, Weedon was influental as the author of guitar instruction books like Play in a Day and Play Every Day.

Here are some Weedon songs in honor of his birthday.

In conclusion, The Bonzo Dog Band stands by its original contention.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Songs of the Vast Wasteland

On this day 57 years ago, Newton Minow, the nation's new chairman of the federal Communications Commission -- appointed earlier that year by President John F. Kennedy -- gave a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters' convention in which he called commercial television a "vast wasteland."

Though TV still was fairly new back in 1961, that phrase stuck.

Here's what Minow said:

"When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.
"But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your own television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

"You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it."

Pretty strong stuff.

Luckily all the broadcasting heavies in the audience paid heed to Minow's words and immediately set out to make sure television truly lived up to its potential.

Just kidding. They didn't.

I don't know whether the musicians whose work is shown below actually listened to Minow's famous speech, but it's obvious they agree with the sentiment.

Let's start with Frank Zappa, who's 1973 album Over-Night Sensation included this little gem called "I'm the Slime."

I've always liked Bruce Springsteen's take on TV from the early '90s -- although the idea of "57 channels" now seems rather quaint.

The late Gil Scott-Heron lampooned the Wasteland in his first hit "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."

Then there was this sardonic ode to the one-eyed God from Black Flag:

But nobody took on TV like the proto-punk wonders Figures of Light. At their debut concert in 1970 at Rutger's University, the band smashed 15 television sets on stage. Unfortunately I couldn't find video, but there is audio of the event.


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