Wednesday, July 28, 2021

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Weird Frank Yankovic


 Today is the birthday of a famous accordion player named Yankovic. 

No, I'm not talking about Weird Al. I'm talking about "America's Polka King," Frankie Yankovic, who was born on this day in 1915 in Davis, West Virginia, where his parents worked in a lumber camp.

The Yankovic family moved to Cleveland when Frankie was but a small lad. There he became immersed in Slovenian-style polka. According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune:

After learning to play button accordion from one of the Slovenian boarders in his parents' Cleveland home, Mr. Yankovic got a squeezebox of his own as a teenager and made a name for himself in the region by his early 20s.

In 1943, he left to fight in World War II, where he served in the 1st Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge. The battle proved nearly fatal for Mr. Yankovic and his musical career when he emerged with frost-bitten hands and feet.

"It was a dreadful experience," he said in a 1995 interview. "My limbs were frozen. In Oxford, England, the doctors said they were going to have to amputate my hands and legs. I told them, `No way. I'd rather die.' What good would I be, an accordionist, with no fingers?

"But you know what happened? The gangrene started going away; it started clearing up. Then the doctors told me there was an accordion in the hospital that I could try practicing on, if I wanted to. So that became my therapy."

Frankie died in 1998 at the age of 83

Here is "Just Because," Frankie's first national hit. Elvis Presley recorded this song during his Sun Records period. But Frankie first released it in 1948. (Actually it goes back to the late 1920s when a band called Nelstone's Hawaiians recorded it.)

Here's one called "Tick Tock Polka":

Frankie sings "Julida Polka":


And no, Frankie was not related to Weird Al -- though the parodist has often joked that his parents bought him an accordion as a child because "there should be at least one more accordion-playing Yankovic in the world." The two famous Yankovics combined forces in 1986:

I'm not sure what this video is, but the song is a polka classic by Frankie Yankovic

Sunday, July 25, 2021

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, July 25, 2021
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
Steppin' Out by Paul Revere & The Raiders
Manpower Debut by The Fleshtones
Ain't That Lovin' You Baby by Link Wray
Negativity No by Pocket FishRmen
I Saw The Smokestack Fall by Hipbone Slim & The Knee-Tremblers
Sally Go 'Round the Roses by Question Mark & The Mysterians
96 Tears by Big Maybelle
Psychotic Reaction by Brenton Wood
Dirty Water by Dropkick Murphys
High Shelf Mama by Martha Fields

Drag Queens on Choppers by The Barbarellatones
Night of the Vampire by Ty Segall
You're Crazy for Taking the Bus by Jonathan Richman
Just Around the Bend by Too Much Joy
Distemper by The Ar-Kaics
Singing the Blues Around Booze by Laino & The Broken Seeds
Listening to Gospel Music on the Radio by The Moonlight 5
You Can Count on Me by Sammy Davis Jr.


RIP CHUCK E. WEISS
All songs by Chuck except where noted

Jolie's Nightmare (Mr. House Dick)
Hey Pendejo
Do You Know What I Idi Amin (with Tom Waits)
Chuck E's in Love by Rickie Lee Jones
Piccolo Pete
Spare Parts (A Nocturnal Emission) by Tom Waits
Luigi's Starlite Lounge

Mama Does the Kangaroo by The Flatlanders
Daddy Was a Preacher But Mama Was a Go-Go Girl by Southern Culture on the Skids
Theme from a Summer Place byRoss Johnson
Just Like a Woman by Richie Havens
I'm Going Home by Slackeye Slim
Time by Pozo Seco Singers
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. CLICK HERE

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

THROWBACK THURSDAY: From Sea to Shining Sea

 


On this day in 1893, an English professor at Colorado College sat down and wrote a song about purple mountains, amber waves of grain, spacious skies and shining seas.

And thus did Katharine Lee Bates become a one-hit wonder -- though that one hit, "America the Beautiful," was a doozy. 

Bates, a Massachusetts native born in 1859, never got as famous as Francis Scott Key. But I'm not alone when I say I like her song better.

From the Colorado Virtual Library:

Katharine Lee Bates only spent one summer living in Colorado, but that year she wrote the words to one of the United States’ most famous patriotic songs, “America the Beautiful.” At the time she wrote the song, in 1893, she was living in Colorado Springs teaching English at Colorado College. The words, particularly the phrase “purple mountain majesty,” are said to have been inspired by Bates’ stay in Colorado.

Unless she was thinking of the majestic purple mountains of Massachusetts.

Actually, according to her page at the Songwriters Hall of Fame website, it was one purple mountain in particular that inspired bates to write to the song. It quotes an interview with Bates:

 "It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind. When we left Colorado Springs the four stanzas were penciled in my notebook, together with other memoranda, in verse and prose, of the trip. The Wellesley work soon absorbed time and attention again, the notebook was laid aside, and I do not remember paying heed to these verses until the second summer following, when I copied them out and sent them to The Congregationalist, where they first appeared in print July 4, 1895. The hymn attracted an unexpected amount of attention. It was almost at once set to music by Silas G. Pratt. Other tunes were written for the words and so many requests came to me, with still increasing frequency, that in 1904 I rewrote it, trying to make the phraseology more simple and direct."

"America the Beautiful" in its early days was sung to the tunes of several existing melodies. But the one that stuck was a song by one Samuel A. Ward, a "hymn-tune 'Materna,' previously known as 'O Mother Dear Jerusalem,' which was written in 1888."

No, she wasn't Norman Bates' mom

Bates had graduated in 1880 from Wellesley College in her home state. That was a time in which very few colleges in this great nation were open to women. She later taught at Wellesley.

And though she's best known for this song, Bates also published several books, including books of poetry children's literature. She worked as a New York Times reporter covering the Spanish-American War. She crusaded for various social reforms on behalf of women, immigrants and poor people and worked for attempts to establish the League of Nations, which she told the New York Times was "our one hope of peace on earth."

Bates died in 1929.

I have personal experience with "America the Beautiful." One night back in the early 1980s I was onstage at The Forge performing my regular tacky tunes when I was joined onstage by one of my favorite songwriters Butch Hancock. And guess what song we sang. If I remember correctly we did the first verse, which everybody knows, as well as the verse that begins "O beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress ..."

It wasn't some random event. I'd met Butch a couple of times before through our mutual friend, artist Paul Milosevich. Both Butch and country star Tom T. Hall were in town for one of Paul's art openings that afternoon and both had come to hear me at The Forge. 

I wish someone would have recorded that duet with Butch. (And I wish Tom T. would have joined us on the stage.)

So let's see how others have covered "America the Beautiful.

Most of us grew up with versions like this one:


However, I like a less pomp and a lot more soul. Ray Charles in the early '70s made it grand without being grandiose.  (The Sunday morning gospel show on WWOZ in New Orleans usually ends the show with Ray's recording of this.)

Here's a blusier, funkier version by Bobby Rush (with the Curb Collective and Eddie Cotton

And The Dictators put some rock 'n' roll into the song

Anyway, have a great Throwback Thursday and may God shed his grace on thee.


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

Sunday, July 18, 2021

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, July 18, 2021
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
Busload of Faith by Lou Reed
Headin' for the Texas Border by The Flamin' Groovies
Smash the Fascists by Pocket FishRmen
Gila Monster by The Barbarellatones
The World's a Mess It's In My Kiss by X
Backstreet Girl. by Social Distortion
Ode to a Black Man by The Dirtbombs
The Glory of Love by Joseph Spence

Drunk Stripper by Bob Log III
Hush by The Plimsouls
Aloha Steve and Danno by Radio Birdman
You Can Count on Me by Los Straitjackets with Deke Dickerson
Love is All Around by Joan Jett
Eight Miles High by Husker Du
No Guilt by The Waitresses
Ain't That Lovin' You Babe by The Devils
Sick and Tired by The Ar-Kaics

Roky Erickson Tribute
(All Songs by Roky Unless Noted)

I Think of Demons
Crazy Crazy Mama
White Faces by Blood-Drained Cows
Bumble Bee Zombie
You're Gonna Miss Me by Lucinda Williams
I Met Roky Erickson by Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston
Don't Shake Me, Lucifer
Bermuda
I Have Always Been Here Before by Hickoids
Don't Slander Me by Lou Ann Barton
Creature with the Atom Brain by Quintron & Miss Pussycat
Red Temple Prayer (Two-Headed Dog) by Margo Price
I Walked With the Zombie

Perfidia by Jon Rauhouse with Sally Timms
My Shit's Fucked Up by Kinky Friedman
Keep Me in Your Heart by Warren Zevon
Lonesome Susie by The Band
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. CLICK HERE

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday and a Hound Dog Howdy to William Hanna

 


Today would have been the 111th birthday of William Hanna, who, with partner Joseph Barbera, was part of an animation team that produced some of the most memorable cartoon characters of my childhood. And he was born in what was then New Mexico Territory in the town of Melrose.

Hanna died in 2001 at the age of 90 (while Barbera died in 2006 at the age of 95.) How did they live so long? Maybe a steady diet of pic-a-nic baskets, Boo Boo!

It's true, as was the case of a lot of cartoons of their era, that the Hanna-Barbera cartoons suffered from poor quality, especially compared with the Disney, Warner Brothers and Fleischer cartoons of preceding decades.

But as I said above, so many of the characters Hanna and Barbera created are immortal. And many of  their theme songs still are stuck in my skull.

Here are a few of those, starting with ol' Huck:

Here's one greater than the average theme song


Ya like westerns?

Here's a song my cat, Little Darrell Terrell loves the best, though he insists that he's the top cat around here:


And finally, this one probably is the best known Hanna-Barbera theme. I can't help myself but I'm using the B-52s' version, which was used in that horrible live-action Flintstones movie from the '90s. They were a band that never was afraid of being cartoonish:


Have a Yabba Dabba Doo birthday in the Great Beyond, Mr. Hanna!



Sunday, July 11, 2021

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, July 11, 2021
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
You Made It Weird by Quintron & Miss Pussycat
The Corner Man by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
My Heart Aches (Not Because of Love or Any Other Stupid Thing, I Should See a Doctor) by Nots
Saving Nothing by Imperial Wax
This Train by The Hormonauts
Lucky Chicken Foot by The Tenants
Call the Police by The Oblivians
A Little More Time by Reigning Sound
Almost Nearly Nancy by The Hickoids

Surf City by The Black Angels
Toe Cutter, Thumb Buster by Thee Oh Sees
Vault by Sleeve Cannon
Meeting of the Spirits by The Mahavishnu Orchestra
High Noon in Killville by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies



Cool and Dark Inside by Kell Robertson
Julie's Neon Shoes by Blonde Boy Grunt & The Groans
Go on Home by Jason Ecklund, Mike Good & Tom Irwin
Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee by Kell Robertson

Wine Blues (Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee) by Sticks McGee & His Buddies
Drinkin' Wine Spodyody by Pere Ubu
Walking to You by Dinosaur Jr.
Nancy Sinatra by Johnny Dowd
Sleep Thinkers by Laino & The Broken Seeds

I Saw by San Antonio Kid
No Tellin' When by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Hillbilly Babylon by Martha Fields
Man About Town by Tony Gilyson
Drink to Me, Babe, Then by A.C. Newman
Cast No Shadows by The Mekons
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. CLICK HERE

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Thursday, July 08, 2021

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Pass That Bottle to Me

 


Granville Henry McGhee, nicknamed "Stick" or sometimes "Sticks," was in the Army when he heard what Allmusic describes as "a ribald military chant" about the joys of getting drunk off the fruit of the vine. This tune allegedly had a refrain that went  “Drinkin' wine motherfucker, drinkin' wine, goddamn!"  

But Stick, who was the younger brother of bluesman Brownie McGhee, decided to make it more radio friendly and instead of singing "motherfucker," he substituted a nonsense phrase from an older song -- a wonderful example of creative bowdlerization.

McGhee first recorded "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" in 1947 for the Harlem label. But the song didn't become a hit until 1949 when McGhee signed with Atlantic Records and re-recorded it in 1949. In that second version, McGhee moved the wino action from St. Petersburg to New Orleans.

Here's the original 1947 " 'Petersburg" version credited to "Stick McGhee & His Buddy." (The '49 version was credited to Stick McGhee & His Buddies.")

The mysterious phrase "spo-dee-o-dee" came from a song by that name by Lovin' Sam Theard, a former circus worker from New Orleans who wrote or co-wrote songs including "(I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You" and the Louis Jordan hit "Let The Good Times Roll."   

Not much here in the way of vino in this Theard song, but it's got a similar spirit of wild abandonment as McGhee's tune. (Later Theard would record and perform under the name "Spo-Dee-O-Dee.")


Following McGhee's hit in 1949, several big names recorded the song that same year. It was a natural for jump-blues shaman Wynonie Harris:

Also in 1949, Lionel Hampton brought some good vibes (I sincerely apologize for that) to "Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee":

Besides jazz and R&B artists, the rockabillies became big promotors of the Spo-Dee-O-Dee drink. Here's Johnny Burnette's take:


And here's a guy named Jerry Lee Lewis. I got my first belt of wine spo-dee-o-dee back in the early '70s, with the version the Killer cut with a bevy of British rock stars. But he'd recorded the song before, on his 1966 album Memphis Beat.

One of my favorite latter-day versions is an acoustic version by British folk-rocker Richard Thompson:


Here's where things start getting weird.

Pere Ubu took Spo Dee O Dee to strange galaxies. (Actually, as Ubu fans know, the group is notorious for slapping well-known song titles onto bizarre and seemingly unrelated original songs.)

It's likely that many traditionalists consider Ubu's song to be blasphemous. But come on, you wanna hear some blasphemy? Let me introduce you to a guy named Pat Boone ...

So have some fun, spo-de-o-dee!

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


Sunday, July 04, 2021

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST




Sunday, July 4, 2021
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
4th of July by X
The Outcast by Dave Van Ronk
Violet Crumble Cherry Ripe by The Fleshtones
Wet Bar by Ross Johnson
The Beat Goes On by Giant Sand
Love Hurts by Joecephus & The George Jonestown Massacre with Eddie Spaghetti and Ruyter Suys
Diddy Wah Diddy by Captain Beefheart
Sam the Hotdog Man by Lil Johnson
Who Will Save Rock 'n' Roll by The Dictators

American Music by Violent Femmes
American Music by The Blasters
Daddy Rolling Stone by Phil Alvin
Death Rattle of Love by Martha Fields
Run Through the Jungle by The Gun Club
Shout Bama Lama by The Detroit Cobras
You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover by Bo Diddley

4th of July by Soundgarden
Indoor Fireworks by Elvis Costello
A on Horseback by Charlie Pickett
The Horse by DM Bob & The Deficits
Know Your Rights by The Clash
Melt the North Pole by Negativeland
The Body of an American by The Pogues

One Time One Night by Los Lobos
Mariachi Blues by Joe "King" Carrasco
The Country is Young by Jon Langford
Democracy by Leonard Cohen
Hiawatha by Laurie Anderson
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. CLICK HERE

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Sgt. Barry Sadler: Deep Cuts

  When I think of songs about the Vietnam war, the first one that comes to my mind Country Joe & The Fish's "I F...