Monthly Archives: March 2007

A visit to Ray’s Corner

Some fathers and sons bond through sports. My dad and I bonded through television.

Specifically, the 10 p.m. news, then Johnny Carson. I started watching Carson with Dad when the show was still in New York, before 1972. Dad loved — and still loves — comedians and any musician who swings. My tastes were shaped along the same lines.

I mention that just so you’ll know where I’m coming from as I roll out selections from Dad’s collection from time to time. Dad is 81. He has the apartment with the loud music.

That said, welcome to Ray’s Corner, where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.

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“Ain’t That A Kick In The Head,” Dean Martin, 1960, from “Dino: The Essential Dean Martin.”

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Let’s get Waxed

Not everything here is older than dirt. Me, perhaps, but not all the music.

I’ve really enjoyed some of the mashups I’ve found while surfing through the music blogs over the past year or so. Take one song, lay it over another and start slicing, dicing and chopping.

I came across Tom Compagnoni’s work last year when I read somewhere about “Imagine This,” an anti-war piece that mashes John Lennon, the Beatles and George W. Bush. Highly recommended, and available on Tom’s web site, Wax Audio.

I stopped by the site last week when I realized “Imagine This” hadn’t made the trip from my old Mac to my new Mac. So I downloaded it again, then found Tom has some new mashups on his MySpace site.

Tom, who’s from Australia, describes these new mashups as “lighthearted.” Indeed.

Can you imagine mashing AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” and Ray Parker Jr.’s “Ghostbusters?” Didn’t think so. Makes me smile every time I hear it.

There’s more where this came from, so follow the links above to Tom’s sites.

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“Thunder Busters,” Wax Audio (Tom Compagnoni), MySpace page, 2007.

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Sleepy Sunday, Vol. 3

Every “Boogie Woogie Country Girl” needs a “Boogie Woogie Country Man.”

OK, not necessarily, but you have to admit it is a nice little bit of symmetry.

This is another cut from Sleepy’s fabulous live album. It’s a cover of a Jerry Lee Lewis tune written by Troy Seals and released in 1975.

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“Boogie Woogie Country Man,” Sleepy LaBeef, from “Nothin’ But The Truth,” 1987.

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Hard to believe, I know

Once, there was a time when you could say you liked REO Speedwagon, even say REO rocked, and not get looks ranging from disbelief to dismay to disgust.

Homercat discussed this in more passionate detail on his blog Good Rockin’ Tonight last year.

I’ll just add this. Those of us who grew up in the upper Midwest in the early ’70s remember REO — fellow Midwesterners — as a hard-rocking fixture on the FM radio of the day. It was a time long before their power ballads.

“R.E.O. T.W.O.” was one of my early album purchases. I probably bought it in the record department at Prange’s in Wausau, Wisconsin.

It’s still one of my faves. Homercat offered the last cut, “Golden Country,” when he wrote about REO last year. That’s a good one, and probably the one that got the most airplay. Lead guitarist Gary Richrath wrote that one, and he wrote this one — my favorite cut.

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“Like You Do,” REO Speedwagon, from “R.E.O. T.W.O.,” 1972.

Thanks to Homercat for getting the ball rolling on this discussion. He’s long been a friend of AM, Then FM. Sorry it took so long to follow up.

But, as we say, late to the party as usual.

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All downhill from here

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So I took a couple of 12-year-olds tubing on Sunday afternoon. It was 45 degrees and sunny, so we didn’t need heavy jackets, hats and gloves to enjoy the day. This is Winter Park near Kewaunee, Wisconsin. (This is not my picture. It came from the Chamber of Commerce photo gallery.)

The shack on the right is where you catch the tow rope to the top of the hill. They had a giant boom box (this is Wisconsin, after all) playing a local FM classic rock station.

I don’t recall hearing anything by an artist who was anything but white. There must have been, but if so, it didn’t stick in my head.

We should have been listening to something closer to the speed at which we flew downhill … something so scorching it could have melted all the snow on the hill … something from a show recorded live on April 1, 1971 …

“Sweet Soul Music” and “I Want To Take You Higher”

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Both by Ike and Tina Turner, from “What You Hear Is What You Get: Ike and Tina Turner Live At Carnegie Hall,” 1971.

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