The San Francisco Bay Blues by Jesse "Lone Cat" Fuller has become something of a standard blues tune covered by everybody from Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan to Eric Clapton and Sir Paul McCartney - #quarantinehootenanny #69 of ???
A TV theme song? Well, yes. But it's much more than that. In 1968, when John Lennon was asked what American artists he was listening to, Beatle John replied, "Harry Nilsson." The other day I maligned Harry's over-blown cover (IMHO) of Badfinger's Without You, but this simple little song shows why I agree with John's admiration of Nilsson. It perfectly and memorably captures the playfulness, love, and range of emotion of the series in barely a minute. This song is also probably the first time I was a fan of a Harry Nilsson song, as I loved the show when it aired, and sang along with it each week. #quarantinehootenanny #63 of ??? is My Best Friend (Nilsson), aka The Courtship Of Eddie's Father Theme Song.
Another Badfinger song today, Without You (Pete Ham/Tom Evans). It was Pete Ham’s girlfriend who gave up a date night so he could go back to the studio and work that inspired the verses, but Pete didn’t have a good chorus. And then Tom Evans had a near breakup with his future wife, and wrote the chorus that brought the song together and gave it a title.
Paul McCartney called Without You as “the killer song of all time,” and I find it hard to disagree with Sir Paul’s assessment. It’s been covered literally hundreds of times, and the first massive hit with it, by Harry Nilsson, set the pattern for how it would be interpreted. I love Nilsson, and his vocal range is amazing, but frankly, I always found his version (and most of the versions since) to be a bit schmaltzy and over-produced. For me, the song is beautiful and powerful enough to work in a more restrained and simple arrangement, and nobody can ever top Badfinger’s original. #quarantinehootenanny #61 of ???
This is #quarantinehootenanny #60 of ???, and they've all just been Licks Off Of Records that I've learned. Specifically, this one is from a record by Martin Mull (and his Fabulous Furniture). I'd actually forgotten about this song many years ago. Then this week comic actor Fred Willard died. I first remember seeing Willard when he played Martin Mull's sidekick on Fernwood Tonight. One link led to another, and here we are.
During shelter-in-place, the local kids have been painting positive messages and pictures on small stones and "hiding" them around the neighborhood to be discovered by folks walking by. Photos set to original music.
"'Rock and Roll' is about me. If I hadn't heard rock and roll on the radio, I would have had no idea there was life on this planet. Which would have been devastating - to think that everything, everywhere was like it was where I come from. That would have been profoundly discouraging. Movies didn't do it for me. TV didn't do it for me. It was the radio that did it." - Lou Reed
Rock and Roll (Lou Reed) was the b-side Sweet Jane, from the Velvet Underground. #quarantinehootenanny #56 of ???
One of the first songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (along with manager/producer Andrew Loog Oldham), As Tears Go By was first recorded by Marianne Faithfull (who recently survived COVID-19 associated pneumonia). Also, one of the first songs I ever learned to play on guitar. #quarantinehootenanny #54 of ???
Reaching way back to 1967 for To Love Somebody (B and R Gibb) from Bee Gees First, which was, oddly, their third album (the first two were only available down under). Even more odd, although I've been listening to this song nearly my whole life, I never thought to try to play it until this morning. #quarantinehootenanny #52 of ???
Carole King was already an extremely successful composer (with ex-husband, lyricist Gerry Goffin) when she embarked on her solo recording career. Tapestry, her second LP, became one of the best selling records of all time. This song, It's Too Late (King/Stern), is about lyricist Toni Stern's breakup with James Taylor. #quarantinehootenanny #51 of ??? #quarantunes
I can't believe I've done this 50 days in a row! #quarantinehootenanny #50 of ??? is The Psychedelic Furs' Love My Way (Ashton/Butler/Butler/Ely). Trivia: Todd Rundgren produced and played the marimba on the original.
I've played several Warren Zevon songs over the last 49 days, but today I want to focus on Warren's good friend and frequent collaborator, Jorge Calderon. Jorge's wife, Yvonne, passed away this last weekend from "complications of COVID-19." Jorge is also sick, but still fighting. This is a song from Warren's last album, The Wind, called El Amor de Mi Vida (Zevon/Calderon) for #quarantinehootenanny #49 of ???