Longtime readers know we occasionally stop by Ray’s Corner to listen to tunes spirited from my dad’s music collection.
So we’re back there on this Father’s Day, which this year follows Dad’s birthday by exactly one day. Dad turned 83 yesterday. He doesn’t get around too well anymore, but he’s still sharp.
Here, then, are a couple of tunes you might hear at Ray’s Corner. It’s the apartment with the loud music, and the place where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away.
They’re kind of laid back. Perfect for a lazy summer Sunday.
“Night Train,” Louis Prima, from “The Wildest,” 1957.
Dad was 31, and he and Mom had probably just learned I was on the way when this album was released in January 1957. It really is the wildest! It’s mostly swing, jazz and blues, but you can see rock and roll in the distance.
“Blue Light Boogie,” 1950, Louis Jordan and Trio, from “The Best of Louis Jordan,” released on vinyl in 1977 and on CD in 1989.
Dad was 25, still a single guy, when this tune hit the charts in August 1950. He was working as the agent at the Railway Express Agency office in the depot in his hometown of Elroy, Wisconsin. He was living at home, but you can be sure he got out and heard this tune on the jukeboxes of the day.