Tag Archives: Packers

Heads or tails, gentlemen?

Tonight, the Green Bay Packers open their 2008 NFL season at Lambeau Field, and it just doesn’t feel right.

It has nothing to do with a certain quarterback who now plays for the New York Jets.

Rather, it has everything to do with it not being noon on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Opening at 6 p.m. on a cool, overcast Monday lacks a little something.

It’s probably just me. There’s no shortage of people completely geeked up about the Packers and the Vikings getting it on. The tailgate parties probably started around noon.

Here, per our tradition at AM, Then FM — which comes to you from within sight of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin — are a couple of tunes to get you ready for kickoff.

“Go You Packers Go!” The National Football League Marching Band (with Bart Starr’s spoken introduction), from “The National Football League Marching Songs,” 1960. Out of print, but shared last week at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog. Go get the rest of ’em!

“Cheesehead Baby,” Cheeseheads With Attitude, from “Straight Outta Wisconsin,” 1996. Classic Wisconsin-centric lyrics set to Beck’s “Loser.”

1 Comment

Filed under September 2008, Sounds

Plenty cheesy

You may have heard in the news last week that a certain professional athlete seems to be having a tough time making up his mind.

When we last wrote about this athlete, he had decided to retire and leave our town — Green Bay, Wisconsin — for good, or so it seemed. That occasion brought to mind just one tune. I don’t have it, so enjoy this video.

“I’m Tired,” as performed by Madeline Kahn in the 1974 film “Blazing Saddles.”

“I’m tired/Tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired/God dammit I’m exhausted”

“Tired, tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired”

Now, however, this athlete apparently is no longer tired. That brings to mind one more tune, and one tune only. I don’t have this one, either, so enjoy this video.

“Release Me,” Englebert Humperdinck, from his 1969-70 television show.

“Please release me, let me go/For I don’t love you anymore/To waste our lives would be a sin/So release me and let me love again

“Please release me, can’t you see?/You’d be a fool to cling to me/To live a life would bring us pain/So release me and let me love again”

For those of us who must continue to report about this athlete, and for the many fans of his team, the latest news brings to mind another tune, and one tune only. Again, I don’t have this one, so enjoy the video.

“I’m Doing Fine Now,” New York City, from 1973.

“I’m doing fine now, without you, baby”

A perfect song in, oh, so many ways.

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Filed under July 2008, Sounds like bull to me

Tired, but still a champion

Yes, it’s true, as JB mentioned Tuesday, I have been a little busy over the last couple of days because a certain quarterback decided to retire.

Though I watched him practice a few times, watched him play hundreds of times and typed his name thousands of times, I never met Brett Favre.

But I long ago came to regard him as something special, something to be appreciated in the moment because we are not likely to see a player like that again in my lifetime.

Two songs came to mind when the news of Favre’s retirement broke.

One came from a woman who e-mailed me from the Chicago area. Almost distraught, she invoked Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”

The other — lest you think I’m too reverent — popped into my head when I heard Favre say he was worn out mentally: “I’m Tired,” by Madeline Kahn, from the film “Blazing Saddles.” That, of course, is a song about sex.

“I’m tired/Tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired/God dammit I’m exhausted.”

“Tired, tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired.”

Now that you have that image of Brett Favre as seductive dance hall girl seared into your head, let me offer a real tune for your consideration.

In 1997, in the wake of Green Bay’s victory in Super Bowl XXXI, Packers safety Eugene Robinson produced a rather eclectic urban/soul/R&B EP that turned Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown” into “Titletown,” covered McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” and had the Packers’ Reggie White singing “Amazing Grace.”

That EP also featured a slow, smooth, soul- and R&B-tinged version of a familiar sports-rock anthem.

I got the chills when they played Queen’s “We Are The Champions” at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve 1995, after the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first division title in seemingly forever.

Great as that was, and is, I’ve come to like this version better.

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“We Are The Champions,” Darnel Alexander, David Booker and Tracy Harris, from “(Eugene Robinson Presents) Titletown,” 1997. It’s out of print.

Alexander and Booker were in 2nd Nature, an early-’90s R&B group out of Seattle, where Robinson played for a decade before coming to Green Bay. As for Harris, I don’t know anything about her.

5 Comments

Filed under March 2008, Sounds

More tunes for your tailgate party

I was out shoveling this morning and realized I’d forgotten one of the tunes I’d intended to put in Wednesday’s post.

That means bonus tunes for you.

Again, if you’re not into the Green Bay Packers, or not from Wisconsin, you probably have less than zero interest in this post. I understand that. But we are continuing to preserve small slices of regional culture.

“Rock to the Big Game,” Randy Stary, digital single, 2007.

This is kind of a laid-back rockabilly tune, if such a thing is possible. I long ago played basketball with Randy, and he long has been my wife’s family’s investment broker, but I had no idea he was a guitarist, too. It’s not bad for something done on a whim by a local guy who bills himself as an “accidental songwriter.”

Randy also put up a YouTube video over the weekend. If you’re wondering what kind of craziness is going on in Green Bay these days, this will give you a pretty good idea. (Oh, and the guy in the screen grab? I’m pretty sure that’s Phil, who’s on my softball team.)

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“Green Bay Pack City,” the Wedgies, from “The Wedgies,” 1996.

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“Green Bay at 12:00,” the Wedgies, from “Brat Out of Hell,” 1997.

Ah, the Wedgies. Take a DJ from the morning show at one of our local rock stations, add some local musicians and crank out covers with new lyrics. “Green Bay Pack City” is a cover of “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss. “Green Bay at 12:00” is a cover of “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC.

One of the Wedgies’ claims to fame, according to the liner notes, is “being shut down by Packers security for being too loud and being too close to Packer practice” in 1996. Really all you need to know.

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“Be Savage Again” and “A Time for Glory,” narrated by John Facenda and composed by Sam Spence, from “The Power and the Glory: The Original Music and Voices of NFL Films,” 1998.

A little more from the voice of the NFL, anyone?

And in the hour or so it took me to write this post, it started snowing again.

5 Comments

Filed under January 2008, Sounds

Tunes for your tailgate party

As you know, we do requests here at AM, Then FM.

The other day, I got a note from someone seeking a tune called “Go You Packers Go.” It came out in 1996 as the Green Bay Packers were making a long-awaited return to glory.

So, to fulfill that request, here is that tune. Along with it, some others you may enjoy if you’re putting together a mix before the Packers play the Giants in the NFC championship game at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.

When you work at the newspaper in the Packers’ hometown, things get pretty crazy when they go this deep into the season. That’s why this post isn’t going to be particularly long.

Enjoy the tunes. Enjoy the game.

If you’re not into the Packers, or not from Wisconsin, you probably have less than zero interest in this post. I understand that. If nothing else, we’re preserving a small slice of regional culture here today.

“Packers Fight Song,” by the Packers Band, from the 1960s.

They used to play the latter part of this tune on every Packers kickoff well into the mid-1990s. I know. We used to sit behind the band in Section 26, Row 1 at Lambeau Field. This sounds like it was taped by laying a microphone on top of a speaker.

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“Lombardi” and “Golden Boy,” the former composed by Sam Spence and narrated by John Facenda and the latter composed by Tom Hedden, from “The Power and the Glory: The Original Music and Voices of NFL Films,” 1998. Need we say more?

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“Be a Packer Backer,” the Northerners, date unknown, but almost certainly from the 1960s. It’s on the Tropical Records label. It’s fairly straight big band/pep band material for the first 2 minutes, then finishes up with an odd, slightly faster reprise laid over canned crowd noise for the last minute.

I found this obscure 45 in a box of 45s given me by my dad, who’d been given them by his insurance agent, who thought he was a record collector.

It sounds like a vanity pressing, the kind usually done by Tropical Records, which was run out of Deland, Florida. Songwriters or groups would pay to have their songs recorded. (All this information from Phil Milstein’s American Song-Poem Music Archives.)

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“Cheesehead Baby,” Cheeseheads With Attitude, from “Straight Outta Wisconsin,” 1996.

This also is a staple on jukeboxes across Wisconsin. It’s a parody of Beck’s “Loser,” jam-packed with Wisconsin references and Packers references.

CWA is made up of three Wisconsin guys living in L.A. The leader, who bills himself as “St. Evie,” is really Stevie Rachelle. He was the lead singer for Tuff, an ’80s glam metal band. Believe it or not, CWA has put out three CDs, all parodies, and a greatest-hits CD.

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“Go You Packers Go,” the Wizenhiemers, from “The Wizenhiemers,” a 1996 EP on Rhu Records out of Madison. Out of print. Try eBay.

The Wizenhiemers are a rock band from Madison, Wisconsin. This tune is a staple on jukeboxes throughout Wisconsin, even if the Packers references are outdated. Brett Favre is the only player mentioned who’s still at it.

6 Comments

Filed under January 2008, Sounds