Monthly Archives: March 2007

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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Come a day when you’ll be gone

Boston’s lead singer, Brad Delp, died Friday. He was 55.

I’m not going to post anything by Boston. You know it all well enough already.

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When “Boston” came out in 1976, I was blown away by it like almost everyone else. I have only the first two albums, and I’ve rarely listened to them since the ’70s. Rather, I most enjoy hearing Boston as I did back then — blasting through the radio in the car, played completely at random.

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We saw Boston when they played here three summers ago. I thought I’d never have the chance.

The guy who covered it for our paper reminded me that Delp amiably confessed in their interview that he couldn’t hit all the high notes anymore, and that they had another singer to lend support. Everything I read said Delp was a nice guy. He must have been, to fess up to something like that.

Delp hit enough of the high notes that night. They played all the hits, and I especially remember two things.

Before the show, a guitar tech stood with his back to the crowd, noodling around with the gear. He kept noodling and noodling, and then he turned around. It was Tom Scholz, starting the show.

That, and Delp’s voice, high and clear over an otherwise muddy sound mix.

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Sleepy Sunday, Vol. 2

I forgot to add this disclaimer first time out: Sleepy Sundays are not necessarily sleepy.

Jason enjoyed our first selection, but confessed: “I was not expecting to be rocked this hard.”

Oh, yeah, Sleepy rocks.

Today’s selection was cut for Sun Records during a session in Nashville on July 3, 1979. It’s a cover — Sleepy does almost nothing but covers — of a tune written by Doc Pomus and Reginald Ashby.

Big Joe Turner did it first, scoring a No. 2 R&B hit in 1956. Bob Dylan also covered it on a 1995 tribute album featuring the songs of Doc Pomus.

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“Boogie Woogie Country Girl,” Sleepy LaBeef, from “A Rockin’ Decade,” 1997.

Enjoy the rest of your Sleepy Sunday.

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Been one of those weeks

The good news is that I’ve been busy ripping away, stashing a bunch of tunes for future use.

The bad news is that I sit here at the Mac on Friday morning with no coherent notion for a post. It is entirely possible it’s too early in the morning.

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“Early In The Mornin’,” Louis Jordan, 1947, from “The Best of Louis Jordan.”

Nothing like some smooth, syncopated rhythms from a swinger who helped launch rock ‘n’ roll. This is the same tune Harry Nilsson did on “Nilsson Schmilsson,” another of my faves from my younger days.

This selection comes from my dad’s collection. Dad is 81 and still swinging … musically, that is. We’ll be hearing more from Dad’s collection as we go.

I also promised guilty pleasures. Here’s one. You seemed to like the recent Isaac Hayes, so here’s some more. Hope you have a weekend exciting enough to have this be the theme for it.

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“Truck Turner,” from “Truck Turner” soundtrack, Isaac Hayes, 1974.

This comes from a CD full of soundtrack music that came with Mojo magazine a while back. It’s the only music magazine I read.

Mojo comes from England, and it’s pricey — almost $10 at the newsstand — but is well worth it for the writing, for its appreciation of great music and rock history and for the compilation CDs that come with it every month. Not all the CDs are my cup of tea, but they may be yours. Enjoy.

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Frank Zappa’s big hit record?

No, it’s not “Valley Girl.”

That came almost a decade after “Fillmore East — June 1971,” an album so popular among my friends that one borrowed my copy in 1974 and didn’t return it for almost a year. When I got it back, it had his initials and a star on it. We called the guy “Star” because he was the best athlete in my high school class. That is, until he discovered beer, dope and girls, and not necessarily in that order.

When Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention played the Fillmore East in New York in June 1971, recording it for a live album, they did so with a couple of special guests.

Vincent from Fufu Stew figured it out. (His prize? Yes, indeed, dinner for two at the parish of St. Alphonzo for some pancakes and a couple of abused sausage patties.)

The guests were Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. Both former members of the Turtles, they helped Zappa mount a stage show that spoofed fame, the music business, sex, groupies … and hit records.

So, with Volman and Kaylan — the future Flo and Eddie — doing the vocals, the show climaxed with … “Happy Together,” a big hit record for the Turtles in 1967.

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“Happy Together,” from “Fillmore East — June 1971,” Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, 1971.

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