Radio turned to NPR. I listened to a 1986 Fresh Air interview Teri Gross did with Amiri Baraka, the richly talented and controversial writer who died last week. With infectious rapid vocal delivery, he talked about how he wished he was a musician, might have been one, had he not preferred writing. He liked the trumpet lessons he took from a man who wanted him to play Verdi. His heroes were trumpet players. Dizzy Gillespie. Miles Davis.
Music is omnipresent in my life as it was this man's. Part of the fabric. The seamless, unending culture. Up there with oxygen, food, sex, spiritual matters, driving a car, going to work, cleaning the bathtub. It's fitting that I'm writing this early on a Saturday afternoon. When I was a kid, American Bandstand came on at 11:30 a.m., signaling the end of the cartoons. (It would be followed by ABC Wide World of Sports.) I watched "Banstand" a lot at my Grandma Mac's house where I spent a lot of halcyon days in my hometown of Jett, Kan. (pop. 4,000) Around 1980, Grandma got cable TV and I saw Soul Train on WGN.
Funny, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius died in the same year. But music, like the other things of life, goes on. Here are some videos for your Saturday.
I was in a sad mood this morning, thinking about some stuff. This song by this band put me in a happy mood. Only Gram Parsons did decadence melded with poignancy better than the Stones.
I've totally been on a kick for this album, which Jed Beaudoin has been putting in regular rotation on local college radio's "Strange Currency." Wichita State's 89.1 KMUW. The album is a remake of an Everly Brothers album, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, recorded in the '50s. The songs were traditional country, hillbilly and folk classics then. They go back. I'm glad Phil got to see this before he passed on.
You can never have enough Leonard Nimoy and you can never have enough cheese. Some can never have enough Star Trek or '60s. For Nancy.
"Well, the talkin' leads to touchin' and the touchin' leads to sex and then there is no mystery left." So true. Great lyrics. Great hooks. Never saw any TV show this song was featured on, but I've heard stuff.
My friend Crowson raved about the Big Star documentary, Nothing Can Hurt Me. They came from his hometown of Memphis. Crowson was once Elvis's paperboy.
Here's his band, The Crowsons performing at Watermark Books, doing a song from the classic Rubber Soul album. I love the Beatles. Love the Crowsons.
I picked this video by a local band because there's a trombone player and my son plays trombone.
Jim Nabors recently "made it legal," marrying his long-time partner Stan. Good for them. The other gentlemen in this video, the late Andy Griffith and Don Knotts, weren't gay. This is just what entertainment was then. And it was great entertainment. We won't see it again.
Still sad about the loss of Phil. This song is from the brothers' 1968 album, Roots, one of the first roots and country-rock albums, a classic. A Little Less of Me was originally a hit for Glen Campbell, but the Everlys' version is my favorite. I love the steel guitar. And notice how they sound a lot like the Byrds. When my son heard me listening to this song, he asked me if it was the Beatles. I took advantage of a great teaching moment.