Halloween

 
 
 
 

All Killer No Filler

All Killer No Filler

The Days of Wine and Roses by the Dream Syndicate was, and is, one of my favorite albums.  Influenced by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, but distilling all the elements into a mix that outshines the source. “Then She Remembers” is a song both the Velvets and the Stooges wish they wrote. Unfortunately this original lineup’s instability proved to be their undoing. Nothing else in their catalog comes close to the cohesiveness of  this  first release.
I had the good fortune to see them at Club 88 or some other West LA dive shortly before the departure of Kendra Smith.
Near the beginning of the first set Karl Precoda got mad at his guitar, or Steve Wynn, it was hard to tell, and walked offstage in a huff. The rest of the band followed. After a minute or two, Wynn came back alone, and played a solo set accompanying himself on electric guitar. It was cool, I guess. I stayed for the second set to see what would happen.
The whole band came out and just tore it up. Whatever pent up frustration there was backstage was let loose in a blistering, and unforgettable, set.

Steve Wynn, hogging the covers

Steve Wynn, hogging the covers

While attending the University of California, Davis, Steve Wynn and Kendra Smith played together (with future True West members Russ Tolman and Gavin Blair) in The Suspects. Moving back home to Los Angeles, Wynn recorded a single called “15 Minutes” (as in 15 minutes of fame) as his intended farewell to music. Instead, while rehearsing in a band called Goat Deity, Wynn met Karl Precoda, who had answered an ad for a bass player, and the two joined to form a new group, with Precoda switching to guitar. Smith came to play bass, and brought in drummer Dennis Duck, who had played in the locally successful Pasadena-based Human Hands.

Duck suggested the name “The Dream Syndicate” in reference to Tony Conrad’s early 1960s New York experimental ensemble (better known as the Theater of Eternal Music), whose members included John Cale, co founder of the Velvet Underground.

On February 23, 1982, The Dream Syndicate performed its first show at Club Lingerie in Hollywood. A four-song EP was recorded in the basement of Wynn’s house and released on his own Down There label, and the band quickly achieved local notoriety for its often aggressively long, feedback-soaked improvisations. Obvious sources were The Velvet Underground (the Dream Syndicate could be called early VU revivalists) and Television, but echoes of the Quicksilver Messenger Service and Creedence Clearwater Revival could also be discerned. “It was an overnight thing,” Wynn recalled of their success. “There was no dues paying. It was very weird, and it screwed us up in some ways.

The band was signed to Slash Records, whose subsidiary Ruby Records released its debut and by far best-known album, The Days of Wine and Roses, in 1982. The next year saw the UK (Rough Trade Records) release of the album’s anthemic lead track, “Tell Me When It’s Over,” as the A-side of an EP which also included a live cover of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul.”

Halloween
Tell Me When It’s Over
Then She Remembers
Until Lately

Hats Off To (Roy) Harper

 
 
 

All Killer, No Filler

All Killer, No Filler

The greatest music geek I’ve ever known turned me onto the whole underground british folk scene back in early ’70′s, and one of the albums he used to seal the deal was Roy Harper’s HQ. Within seconds I was sold on “The Game”. “This is folk music?”, I asked. Well, folk rock, anyway.

It was pretty hard to find until it’s US release as When An Old Cricketeer Leaves The Crease. This was yet another album my dorm roomate had to embrace, because I played it all the time. It wasn’t easy finding the cd. For years, this was one of a handful of albums I looked for everytime I walked into a cd shop. When I tried to order it at my home store, they couldn’t get it. I finally found it at the Virgin Megastore at Times Square, as they were going out of business.
The band on “The Game” is a supergroup worth noting. John Paul Jones on bass, David Gilmour on guitar, and Bill Bruford behind the drum kit. All were at the top of their game (!). The guitar solo was played by Chris Spedding as Gilmour couldn’t get one together for whatever reason. Word was Spedding came in like a gunslinger with a white Strat and a black Les Paul and did it in one take. At over 13 minutes long, it’s really an epic suite of five related parts, rather than just a song. It nearly made Roy a rock star.
Also included are two other favorites, “Don’t You Grieve” from Flat Baroque and Beserk, and “One For All” from Fokejokeopus.

Flat Baroque and Beserk

Flat Baroque and Beserk

An idiosyncratic British singer/songwriter acclaimed for his deeply personal, poetic lyrics and unique guitar work, Roy Harper was born June 12, 1941, in Manchester, England. As a teen he tenured with De Boys, his brothers’ skiffle band, before leaving home at the age of 15 to enter the Royal Air Force; he subsequently secured a discharge by claiming insanity, resulting in a long period marked by frequent stays in mental institutions (where he was the subject of ECT treatments) and prison. Harper later drifted throughout Europe, and by 1965 was a mainstay of London’s Les Cousins folk club, performing alongside the likes of Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Nick Drake.

Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey

Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey

In 1966 the tiny indie label Strike issued Harper’s debut LP, The Sophisticated Beggar; the record brought him to the attention of Columbia, which released his sophomore effort, Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith, the following year. In 1968, Harper mounted a series of free concerts in London’s Hyde Park, which greatly expanded his fan base in preparation for the release of 1969′s Folkjokeopus, which included “McGoohan’s Blues,” the first of his many extended compositions.

What a Bill!

What a Bill!

After meeting Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner, Harper was signed to EMI’s Harvest subsidiary, and in 1970 he issued Flat Baroque and Berserk, recorded with contributions from members of the Nice; that same year marked the appearance of Led Zeppelin III and its track “Hats Off to Harper,” a tribute penned by longtime friend Jimmy Page. According to Jimmy Page, the band admired the way Harper stood by his principles and did not sell out to commercial pressures. In a mutual appreciation of their work, Harper would often attend live performances by Led Zeppelin over the subsequent decade as well as contribute sleeve photography to the album Physical Graffiti. He also appears, uncredited, in the 1976 film, The Song Remains the Same.
Upon relocating to the Big Sur area of California, Harper began writing 1971′s Stormcock, regarded by many as his finest record, featuring Jimmy Page on guitar (credited as ‘S. Flavius Mercurius’) and David Bedford’s orchestral arrangements. David Bedford would collaborate on future releases. In 1972, Harper made his acting debut playing Mike Preston alongside Carol White in the John Mackenzie film Made. The soundtrack for this film appeared in the following year with the title Lifemask. His next album ‘Valentine’, was released on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1974 and featured backing by Led Zeppelin. A concert to mark its release was held at London’s Rainbow Theatre with Page, Bedford, Ronnie Lane on bass and Keith Moon on drums. The live album Flashes From The Archives Of Oblivion soon followed.

Between 1975 and 1978, Harper spent considerable time in the United States. Pink Floyd’s 1975 release Wish You Were Here saw Harper as lead vocalist on the song ‘Have a Cigar’. Floyd’s David Gilmour returned the favour by appearing on Harper’s next album, HQ, along with Harper’s occasional backing band called Trigger (Chris Spedding on guitar, Dave Cochran on bass guitar, and Bill Bruford on drums) along with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. The single ‘When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease’, taken from the album, is Harper’s biggest selling and best known solo record to date. Harper also co-wrote the song, ‘Short and Sweet’ with Gilmour for Gilmour’s first solo record released in 1978. He performed the song live with Gilmour at least once in the 80s singing the lead vocal.

Controversy followed the release of 1977′s Bullinamingvase, with Watford Gap service station objecting to the lyrics in the song ‘Watford Gap’, which criticised their food (“Watford Gap, Watford Gap / A plate of grease and a load of crap…”). Harper was forced under duress to drop it from future UK copies of the album, though it reappeared on a later CD reissue and remained on the U.S. LP. Bullinamingvase also featured ‘One of Those Days in England’, with backing vocals by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, which became a Top 40 hit. Flat Baroque And Berserk, Lifemask, Valentine, Flashes from the Archives Of Oblivion, HQ and Bullinamingvase were all top 20 albums (in England-Ed).

Roy is apparently alive, well, and still fighting the good fight.

The Game (parts1-5)
Don’t You Grieve
One For All

The Man With The Foldback Ears

 
WTF?

WTF?

I heard this song in the same set as “Bim Bam Baby”, on WFMU, late one night in in early 1989. Posting that song caused the memory of “The Man With The Foldback Ears” to surface. At the time I always had a cassette in the machine so I could snag anything interesting.  The next day I brought the tape to work and made everyone listen.  No one knew what to make of it, the delivery was matter of fact, the content utterly surreal. One co-worker stopped being friendly to me. Later I caught her looking at me like I was a critter. There was no Google back then so finding out more information was out of the question.

I thought about going down to the basement and trying to dig up the cassette, but knew the search would be futile, I was just down there and none of the WFMU cassettes are labeled with anything but the date.

Out of curiosity, a few minutes ago I typed in “The Man With The Foldback Ears”, hit Enter, and within a minute had the song.
Then within another minute had the background, some of which can be found below.  Next I had the pictures.

Sounds like it looks

Sounds like it looks

Bible Belt Surrealist

In 1988, a mysterious album appeared in record stores. At first glance, Car Radio Jerome was full of silly nonsense with songs like “Upper Lip Of A Nostril Man,” “The Man With The Foldback Ears,” and “Hittite Hot Shot.” Listening to it though, one discovered darker undertones in songs like “White Woman,” which became downright ominous in “Car Radio Jerome.” By the time the album wrapped up, the “French Toast Man” was selling kids tasty goodies so rank that rats dragged it out of garbage pails and keeled over dead. In the last cut, a clinically depressed relative of Elvis croons his weepy ballad of woe “Pneumatic Eyes”—and blows himself up. The records ends with a hand grenade going off. Whether one loved, loathed or feared it, everyone had more or less the same question: What kind of human being had perpetrated Car Radio Jerome? It was attributed to Fred Lane and the Hittite Hot Shots. But who were they? No one had ever heard of the group. They never toured, never made videos, never once appeared on Johnny Carson.

In fact, the Reverend Fred Lane did make public appearances, though not many and none outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He first appeared at the Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue in 1975, a show mounted by Raudelunas, a group of artists in Tuscaloosa. The origins of their name is as obscure as those of Lane. According to Ron ‘Pate, the leader of the band the Debonairs which accompanied Lane at the Revue, “it was an Armenian family name meaning ‘moonlight’ or ‘worship of the moon as a deity.’ ”

Fred Lane was called upon to emcee the Pataphysical Revue, which was a stage show held on the opening night of an exhibit of Raudelunas art at the University of Alabama. He took the stage in a form that would soon be familiar to a few friends and aficionados, if not the country at large: a snap-brim fedora, sunglasses, cutaway tux, boxer shorts, pink socks, and wing-tip brogues, all accented by a few Band-Aids on his face. Lane, backed by Ron ‘Pate and the Debonairs, opened the show with a swinging cover of “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is).” After performances by the Blue Denim Deals Without the Sleeves, the Nubis Oxis Quarum doing the music of ancient Rome, the Captains of Industry all-appliance orchestra, and the world premier of Anne LeBaron’s “Concerto for Active Frogs,” Lane sang “Volare” to close the show.

A recording of the show, entitled Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue, was released on the local Say Day Bew label. Despite an original pressing of only 500 copies, the disc had a remarkably wide impact. It was picked up eventually by Recommended Records in England; their catalog read “Nothing I’ve ever heard is remotely like this.” As a result Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue sold more in Europe than the United States. Ironically, most orders were from American customers. In 1998, The Wire, an English music magazine, named the Pataphysical Revue one of the “100 records that set the world on fire.” The record has never been completely out-of-print—some 20 copies were still available in the summer of 1999—and tentative plans are afoot for a CD re-release.

Fred Lane wrote another play around the same time, I Talk To My Haircut. It was never staged but the songs Lane wrote were released along with those from the earlier show in 1983 on a Day Bew album, From The One That Cut You. The story of I Talk To My Haircut— what folks remembered of it more than 20 years later—took place in a hotel and involved the bellhop in the title song. That song and “Rubber Room” are two of the most remarkable big band arrangements on vinyl. The first features a brilliant Dick Foote solo, described by ‘Pate as “the sound of a tenor sax being strangled.” “Rubber Room,” a Lane masterpiece, opens with the Reverend crooning over a lounge piano, before he starts to swing: “I’m sick of my job/I’m sick of my wife/I’m sick of your face/I’m sick of this life/Gonna go to the store/Buy me some hardware, my dear.” Lane sings of his plans for the hardware while ‘Pate and the Debonairs vamp like an asylum orchestra. For a moment one hears people laughing, glasses tinkling, like there’s a party going on. Lane doesn’t notice it; he’s too busy singing off the contents of his shopping bag, or his mind, who knows which. The Debs slide down a few ragged glissandi and Lane wraps up it up: “I’m a happy, sappy son-of-a-gun/Living in a rubber room!” The Debonairs bray out one final blast.

Lane’s last record, Car Radio Jerome, was recorded in December of 1985, using the core of the Debonairs, including Cyd Charisse, Don “Pretty Boy” Smith, and Dick Foote, performing as the Hittite Hot Shots. There was no show, no art exhibition behind the album. “We were just trying to get a record company to sign us up,” Lane said. It must have worked. Shimmy Disc released it in 1988 and followed it up with the re-release of From The One That Cut You the next year. Car Radio Jerome was a catalog of styles: big band, country, kid songs, free jazz, spaghetti western, and a little musique concréte.

In the summer of 1999, Lane had laid his own basic tracks for a new album to be called Ice Pick To The Moon. He had finished about 12 songs for the record, including a gospel number entitled “I’m Gonna Go To Hell When I Die,” and he writes new pieces regularly. Asked what his message would be to the youth of America, Lane thought for a moment. “I guess it’s like the French Toast Man said,” he answered, “evacuate your bowels, eat a hot lunch, and don’t be late for school.”

—Gerald E. Brennan (article shortened for space consideration-Ed)

The Man With The Foldback Ears

Bim Bam Baby

 
Couldn't wait to get out of Hoboken

Couldn't wait to get out of Hoboken

My parents took me to see Frank Sinatra perform sometime in the early ’80′s, somewhere behind the “Orange Curtain” in So-cal.  They thought it was important for my development somehow.

He was pretty far past his prime, and I can’t say I appreciated the experience.  I’m not a fan, to me Frank is like smoking a cigar, an acquired taste I never will.  Acquire, that is.

I think this song is funny, but I can’t help thinking there’s an implication of domestic violence lurking just beneath the surface, and that the object of desire in the lyrics considers his return a mixed bag.  Kind of like Frank himself.

It was one of the very last sides he cut for Columbia, in 1948.

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor.

Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became a successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, being the idol of the “bobby soxers.” His professional career had stalled by the 1950s, but it was reborn in 1954 after he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the only child of Italian/Sicilian immigrants Natalie Della (née Garaventa) and Anthony Martin Sinatra. He left high school without graduating, having attended only 47 days before being expelled due to his rowdy conduct. His mother, known as Dolly, was influential in the neighborhood and in local Democratic Party circles, but also ran an illegal abortion business from her home; she was arrested several times and convicted twice for this offense. Frank, himself, was arrested for carrying on with a married woman, an illegal offense at the time. Frank’s father Tony served with the Hoboken Fire Department. During the tough years of the 1930s, when the Great Depression hit North America very hard, Dolly nevertheless provided ready pocket money to her son Frank, the family’s only child, for outings with friends and fancy clothes. Frank then worked for some time as a delivery boy at the Jersey Observer newspaper, and as a riveter at the Tietjan and Lang shipyard. It was in the early 1930s that Sinatra began singing in public.

Bim Bam Baby

Yes/America

 

Yes onstage '78 tour? Looks to be post Bruford.

Yes onstage early '70's. Looks to be post Bruford.

This is a fantastic piece of music. I’ve managed to avoid the original, by Simon & Garfunkel, so far. The song itself is a little dated, no one has to look for America anymore. It’s the same strip malls full of chain restaurants and stores everywhere.

I have the compilation, “New Age Of Atlantic”, on which this originally appeared .  It’s another Malibu house fire survivor. This particular file is a bonus track on the latest edition of “Fragile”.
I lifted the following from Sakalli music blogspot, and it is obviously the same source as wiki, it’s word for word in places, except there it’s stated this came from a session between “Fragile” and “Close to the Edge”. The liner notes on the cd do nothing to clear this up. I’m going with the version included here. Nothing like a little controversy. Keep the comments flowing.

Tony Kaye was replaced by the classically-trained Rick Wakeman, who had just left Strawbs, and proved to be the last piece in the puzzle of the ultimately best line-up of the band. As a soloist, Wakeman proved to be a good foil for Steve Howe. He also brought two vital additions to the group’s instrumentation: the Mellotron (which Kaye had been unwilling to employ) and the Minimoog synthesizer. Surrounded by banks of keyboards, Wakeman’s flowing blond hair and sequened cape provided a strong visual focus on stage.

The first recording by this lineup (Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Squire and Wakeman) was a dynamic ten-minute interpretation of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”, which originally appeared on a compilation album (“New Age Of Atlantic” 1972). The mellotron work (end of track) was actually played by Bruford. It was both the end of one era (their last non-original track) and the beginning of another, showcasing all the elements of the new Yes sound in place.

America

Bo Diddley-itis

 
Where it all began is right

Where it all began is right

A quick post to share this smokin’ track from 1972, long after Bo’s initial success. Anyone with a beat named after him is heavy, even if it’s only an approximation of a latin clave, or five beats stuck into four.
This album, which I’ve never heard, save for this song, was produced by Johnny Otis, with Shuggie Otis on lead guitar. What a party!

You don’t have to turn it up. Does that all by itself.

Bo Diddley-itis

Car Rhumba

 
 
 
 

Not my car, but one just like it

Not my car, but one just like it

I moved from New York City to Jersey City 1n 1993. I went from not needing a car at all to only technically not needing a car. After a year and a half of hauling groceries all the way from the upper west side where I worked, it became clear an automobile could be helpful. Since I didn’t need it for commuting, I wasn’t that concerned with gas mileage. I just wanted to drive to the store 2 miles away once a week. I got this bright idea that maybe I could get a big old gas guzzling luxury car on the cheap. There were plenty of them around. A 1981 Buick Park Avenue turned up on my street with a FOR SALE sign.
I managed to get it for only $600. What a car! Power everything. I called it the Land Barge. After three weeks of cruising in style, the cassette deck died leaving me with the radio. I hadn’t been a regular listener of commercial radio in decades and was a little worried. There was always WFMU, but the signal was intermittent, and half the time they play dumb hipster trash.
I found La Mega, the big Spanish station, at 97.9. Listening to it made me feel as if I was on vacation all the time, and I liked it. After a while I was able to tell the difference between the good songs and not as good ones. At the time I belonged to the BMG record club and went on a Latin music buying spree. It was my music for over a year.  The “Barge” began to rapidly disintegrate, so I sold it for what I paid for it to a friend of a friend.  Periodically I’d hear it was still on the road.  It was replaced by a 1986 Toyota Camry with a sun roof and a working cassette deck.

Soul Drummer Ray Barretto

Soul Drummer Ray Barretto

One weekend I’d gone to Rickels, a long out of business chain of home improvement centers, to buy some mesh to keep the basketballs out of my yard. I can’t remember the details, but I decided I’d been ripped off somehow and furiously drove back to the store to yell at incompetent employees. My blood boiled as the Land Barge hurled toward the store. I swore out loud to nobody. I had La Mega cranked and just as I pulled into the parking lot “Soul Drummers” came on. It caught my attention. I sat in the car listening in awe. I forgot to be angry. I went into the store and on closer inspection realized I was the incompetent boob. I didn’t yell at anyone. I got back into the car and drove home. I worked with Spanish speakers from all over the Carribbean. Soon I found out Ray Barretto was responsible for “Soul Drummers”.

Ray Barretto (April 29, 1929 – February 17, 2006) was a Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican jazz musician, widely credited as the godfather of Latin jazz.
In 1946, when Barretto was 17 years old, he joined the Army. While stationed in Germany, Barretto met Belgium vibist Fats Sadi, who was working there. However, it was when he heard Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca” with Cuban percussionist, Chano Pozo, that he realized his true calling in life.

El Rey de Mambo Perez Prado

El Rey de Mambo Perez Prado

Perez Prado (b. December 11, 1916, Cuba – d. September 14, 1989, Mexico City, Mexico) was a Cuban/Mexican bandleader and composer. He is commonly referred to as the “King of the Mambo”.

The mambo, reinvigorated under the name salsa, is still the signature dance of Latin popular music, and his son, Perez Prado, Jr., continues to direct the Pérez Prado Orchestra in Mexico City to this day.

I found Perez Prado when I watched “Parents”, a creepy, but interesting movie starring Randy Quaid. His hit “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom Time” was used during the opening credits. It was a bit of a novelty hit, and “Caballo Negro” is not.

El Cumbia del Sol from East LA

El Cumbia del Sol from East LA

Don’t know much about the Blazers. They’re from East LA and their 1995 album “East Side Soul” was produced by Cesar Rojas of Los Lobos. It contains the very rockin “Cumbia Del Sol”. They Are Manuel Gonzales-vocals, guitars, bass, drums & percussion, Ruben Guaderrama, vocals,guitars, tres, piano, Lee Stuart-vocals, bass, and Mando Goss drums
This song was featured on the soundtrack of “Curdled”, another creepy movie, this time starring a nondescript Baldwin brother.
It was a cutout I bought for it’s Latin content.

Manteca Rocks

Manteca Rocks

I have several versions of this, none are the original with Chano Pozo. The one by Dizzie Gillespie I have is a concert from 1961 and sounds too much like Jazz. Cal Tjader’s is very “cool”. I picked this 1967 version by Chico O’Farrill because it rocks pretty damn hard. Manteca, with it’s anchoring riff, is kind of like the “Louie Louie” of Afro-cuban music.

Arturo “Chico” O’Farrill (October 28, 1921, in Mexico – June 27, 2001, in New York City, New York USA) was a musician who led an Afro-Latin big band, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in New York City.
He composed and arranged, and played the trumpet. He also composed many works for Machito (Afro-Cuban suite with Charlie Parker, 1950) and Benny Goodman’s Bebop Orchestra.
From 1995 the orchestra, which took up residence at New York’s famous Birdland nightclub, was led by Chico’s son, a pianist who is also named Arturo O’Farrill. Arturo went on to form the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, which played at Lincoln Center. Under his direction the group recorded the Grammy-nominated album Noche Involvidable in 2005, and Song for Chico in 2008. He was also a professor of jazz at The University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Manteca is Lard, but actually translates to Grease. Also slang for heroin, which one the composers, Chano Pozo had a taste for.
He was was killed in a fight in a Harlem, New York bar at the age of 33, on December 2, 1948, allegedly in an argument over the quality or authenticity of a bag of marijuana he had bought from his murderer. He is buried in the Colon Cemetery, Havana.

Chano Pozo

Chano Pozo

Soul Drummers
Caballo Negro
Cumbia Del Soul
Manteca

Link Wray “Switchblade”

 
 
 

A fine effort, but every song is overshadowed by "Switchblade"

A fine effort, but every song is overshadowed by "Switchblade"

Everyone knows “Rumble”, Jimmy Page plays air guitar to it, Pete Townsend has cited it as an early influence, but how many know “Switchblade”, from Link’s 1980 “Bullshot” Lp? This is equally Badass, maybe more so. My friend McShiva and me played it over and over one night while tripping out of our skulls. You don’t need chemical enhancement to appreciate the power Link Wray creates with the most stunning show of restraint imaginable. He implies shredding through the creative use of sound and space. It’s what he plays and what he doesn’t play. It’s all about tension and release.
Restraint and taste, thankfully, go right out the window with his performance on Robert Gordon’s version of Billy Riley’s “Flyin’ Saucer Rock and Roll” as Link tears it up with reckless abandon.

(Bass and Drums are Rob Stoner and Howie Wyeth, who previously anchored Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue-Ed)

Link, right, with Rob Stoner, Robert Gordon, and Howie Wyeth

Link, right, with Rob Stoner, Robert Gordon, and unidentified dude

And as long as we’re on the subject, omitting “Rumble” would be downright cruel.
(Link Wray-Guitar, Shorty Horton-Bass, Doug Wray-Drums, Vernon Wray-rhythm guitar)

wiki

Fred Lincoln “Link” Wray Jr (May 2, 1929–November 5, 2005) was an American rock and roll guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer.
Wray was noted for pioneering a new sound for electric guitars, as exemplified in his hit 1958 instrumental “Rumble”, by Link Wray and his Ray Men, which pioneered an overdriven, distorted electric guitar sound, and also for having, “invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarist,” “and in doing so fathering,” or making possible, “punk and heavy rock”.

After discharge from the Army, Wray and his brothers Doug and Vernon Wray, with friends Shorty Horton and Dixie Neal, formed Lucky Wray and the Lazy Pine Wranglers, later known as Lucky Wray and the Palomino Ranch Hands. They had been playing country music and Western swing for several years when they took a gig as the house band on the daily live TV show Milt Grant’s House Party, a Washington, D.C. version of American Bandstand. The band made their first recordings in 1956 as Lucky Wray and the Palomino Ranch Hands for Starday Records.

For the TV show, they also backed many performers, from Fats Domino to Ricky Nelson. In 1958, at a live gig of the D.C.-based Milt Grant’s House Party (the regional version of American Bandstand) in Fredericksburg, VA, attempting—at the urging of the local crowd—to work up a cover sound-alike for The Diamonds’ hit, “The Stroll”, they came up with the stately, powerful 12-bar blues instrumental “Rumble”, which they originally called “Oddball”. The song was an instant hit with the live audience, which demanded four repeats that night. Eventually the song came to the attention of record producer Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records, who hated it, particularly after Wray poked holes in his amplifier’s speakers to make the recording sound more like the live version (see “Rocket 88″ for Ike Turner’s similar story). Searching for a title that would hit home with radio listeners, Bleyer sought the advice of Phil Everly, who listened and suggested it should be called Rumble, as it had a rough attitude that reminded him of a street gang. Rumble is slang for a “gang fight”.

The menacing sound of “Rumble” (and its title) led to a ban on several radio stations, a rare feat for a song with no lyrics, on the grounds that it glorified juvenile delinquency. Nevertheless it became a huge hit, not only in the United States, but also Great Britain, where it has been cited as an influence on The Kinks and The Who, and Jimmy Page among others. Jimmy Page cites the song in the Davis Guggenheim documentary “It Might Get Loud” and proceeds to play air guitar to the song in the movie. Pete Townshend stated in unpublished liner notes for the 1970 comeback album, “He is the king; if it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble,’ I would have never picked up a guitar.” In other liner notes in 1974, Townshend said, of “Rumble”: “I remember being made very uneasy the first time I heard it, and yet excited by the savage guitar sounds.”

Jeff Beck, Duff McKagan, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Neil Young and Bob Dylan have all cited Wray as an influence.

Link Wray was named as one of the hundred greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine, but still has not yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is, however, a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Switchblade
Flyin’ Saucer Rock and Roll
Rumble

Red Foley/Kitty Wells

 
 

Red Foley

Red Foley

I’m not crazy about what passes for Country Music these days. It bears little resemblance to  it’s roots. Gram Parsons pioneered Country Rock in the ’60′s and early ’70′s with The Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros, and his incredible pair of solo albums, but much of the progeny is pretty ugly. Garth Brooks, aka Chris Gaines, would confuse both Gram and Hank Williams.   Mix equal parts Country and Blues and you’ve got the raw ingredients for Rock N Roll.

“One By One”, the 1954 duet of Red Foley and Kitty Wells I’ve included sounds like the prototype for Gram and Emmy Lou Harris on songs like “We’ll Sweep Out The Ashes” from 1972′s “GP”.  Speed up”Midnight”, Red’s 1952 #1 Country Music hit and you’ve got rockabilly, even though it predates Elvis at Sun by two years.   Give these great tunes a spin and enjoy!

Rockin prototype

Rockin prototype

Here’s wiki:

Clyde Julian Foley (June 17, 1910–September 19, 1968), better known as Red Foley, was an American singer, musician, and radio and TV personality who made a major contribution to the growth of country music after World War II.

For more than two decades, Foley was one of the biggest stars of the genre, selling more than 25 million records. His 1951 hit, “Peace in the Valley,” was the first million-selling gospel record. A Grand Ole Opry veteran until his death, Foley also hosted the first popular country music series on network television, Ozark Jubilee.

He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, which called him “one of the most versatile and moving performers of all time” and “a giant influence during the formative years of contemporary Country music.”

Kitty Wells

Kitty Wells

Ellen Muriel Deason (born August 30, 1919), known professionally as Kitty Wells, is an American country music singer. Her 1952 hit recording, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s.

Wells’s success in the 1950s and 1960s was so enormous that she still ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of the Billboard country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn’s book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. Wells was the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, as well as being the eighth woman and first Caucasian woman to receive the honor. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She is as of 2009 — at age 90 — the oldest living member of the C&W Hall of Fame. Wells’ accomplishments earned her the moniker The Queen of Country Music.

One By One
Midnight

Art Ensemble of Chicago

 
Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Art Ensemble Of Chicago

In general, I hate Jazz, probably because I’m a “musician” and I can’t play it. I found the Art Ensemble Of Chicago in the ’70′s when I was a punk. Something about them clicked with me, maybe it was the sheer disregard for dogma and that “anything goes” seemed to be the rule. Anyway, this is one one my all-time favorite pieces of music.
I call it “All Aboard For Duffy Town” because I don’t know the real title. This comes from a cassette copy of a long gone Delmarc double album. I bought it in the early ’80′s, but it dates from much earlier. I remember the two record set was mostly squalling noise, except for this. It’s evocative of a train ride through small town America, the spoken words are billborads, or the conductor announcing available stops. It morphs into a near parody of Jazz, not unlike cartoon music, but it swings like a mutha. I love it. Enjoy!

Wiki:

Members of what was to become the Art Ensemble performed together under various band names in the mid-sixties, releasing their first album, Sound, as the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet in 1966. The Sextet included saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, who over the next year went on to play together as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble. In 1967 they were joined by fellow AACM members Joseph Jarman (saxophone) and Phillip Wilson (drums), and made a number of recordings for Nessa.

As noted above, the musicians were all active multi-instrumentalists: Jarman and Mitchell’s primary instruments were alto and tenor saxes, respectively, but they played many other saxophones (ranging from the tiny sopranino to the large bass), flutes and clarinets. In addition to trumpet, Bowie played flugelhorn, cornet, shofar and conch shells. Favors added touches of banjo and bass guitar. Over the years, most of the musicians dabbled on piano, synthesizer and other keyboards.

In 1969, Wilson left the group to join blues singer/harmonica player Paul Butterfield’s band. That same year, the remaining group travelled to Paris [2], where they became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The immediate impetus for the name change came from a French promoter who added “of Chicago” to their name for purely descriptive purposes, but the new name stuck because band members felt that it better reflected the cooperative nature of the group. In Paris the ensemble were based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier [3] and their distinctive music with percussion roles dispersed throughout the quartet was documented in a range of records on the Freedom and BYG labels. They also recorded “Comme à la radio” with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem as a drummerless quartet before welcoming percussionist Famoudou Don Moye to the group in 1970.

In 1970 the ensemble recorded Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass and Les Stances a Sophie with singer Fontella Bass, then Lester Bowie’s wife. The latter was the soundtrack from the French movie of the same title. Bass’ vocals, backed by the powerful pulsating push of the band has allowed the “Theme De YoYo” to remain an underground cult classic ever since.

The ensemble returned to the United States in 1972, and the quintet of Mitchell, Jarman, Bowie, Favors and Moye remained static until 1993. Upon their return to the States, they came to prominence with two major releases on Atlantic Records: Bap-Tizum and Fanfare for the Warriors. Members of the group made the decision to restrict their appearances together, allowing each player to pursue other musical interests. It seems likely that this has contributed to the longevity of the ensemble. Despite the self-imposed limitations the Art Ensemble managed to release more than 20 studio recordings and several live albums between 1972 and 2004.

On Stage

On Stage

All Aboard for Duffy Town!