That ’70s song, Vols. 32 and 33

Forty years ago, I lived in this house on the south side of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. My bedroom, where my Panasonic AM-FM radio sat on top of a filing cabinet, was upstairs on the right as you look at the picture.

We lived there for only three summers — 1969, 1970 and 1971. The trees were not so overgrown. Just a rental, the house was painted dark red, perhaps crimson. But certainly not that dreadful brown.

One day — had to be that last summer there — I sat on the steps near the sidewalk, a paper grocery bag in front of me. I’d taken football and basketball cards I no longer wanted, put them in the bag and let some neighborhood kids take what they wanted. It wasn’t long before I regretted giving away the basketball cards. I still might not be over it.

The cards were going out because I felt I’d outgrown them. My passion had become the music that poured out of that AM-FM radio, then tuned solely to WOKY, the big Top 40 AM station out of Milwaukee. It all had started, of course, the summer before.

As summer gave way to fall in 1970, the radio told two sad stories.

One was about a boy who had to grow up quickly after his papa died.

“Patches,” Clarence Carter, from “Patches,” 1970. The LP is available digitally and on this 2-on-1 CD with “The Dynamic Clarence Carter,” which came out in 1969. They were Carter’s third and fourth albums.

Though this is the most well-known version of “Patches,” it’s a cover of a tune done earlier that year by the Chairmen of the Board and released on their “In Session” LP. I’ve never heard the original. Jerry Reed did a fairly faithful cover of Carter’s version in 1981.

(By the way, Side 1 of the “Patches” LP was featured last month over at The Midnight Tracker, our other blog.)

The other was about a man on the run, one who can’t go back home.

“Indiana Wants Me,” R. Dean Taylor, from “I Think, Therefore I Am,” 1970. It’s out of print. The tune is available on “The Essential Collection,” a greatest-hits import released in 2001.

Renowned as a songwriter for the Motown labels, Taylor also had a long recording career. He started in his native Toronto in 1961, then moved to Detroit in 1964. He worked there solely as a songwriter until 1970, when he started cutting songs for Motown’s Rare Earth label. The biggest hit, of course, was this one, written with R&B singer Joe Simon.

Truth be told, I bought this LP a couple of years ago, ripped only this single and haven’t listened to it since. I ought to go back and give it a spin one of these days.

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1 Comment

Filed under September 2010, Sounds

One response to “That ’70s song, Vols. 32 and 33

  1. Good day Sir, I would first of all like to appreciate the effort you’ve put in to post these timeless classics. I’m in my early twenties and, I love the “oldies” music. As a matter of fact, most songs of my own generation make no sense to me at all.

    My mama used to play “oldies” all the time at home when I was a kid and I used to lurk around her room anytime my favorites where playing…;)

    There was this version of ‘Indiana wants me’ that my mama used to play but it didn’t have any sirens. Instead, at the ending, there was this most captivating musical (instrumental?) Interlude ever.

    I’ve searched the internet for this version, and found out that only a few people know that there are really two versions of the song (Indiana wants me). The siren version is the more popular. But, I doubt anyone would ever want to listen to the ‘siren version’ again after listening to the other, just once. Lol ;)

    So please Sir, do you know about or have this ‘magical’ version of the song? And if you do, I pray you won’t mind posting the mp3 on ur wonderful site or, directing me to a site where it can be purchased.

    Hope to hear from you soon. Keep up the good work and, stay blessed!!!

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