That’s what the say, anyway. And since this is the third Beatles-related news item in a row (interrupted only by Thanksgiving) who are we to argue. This one has to do with the famous Beatles song, Eleanor Rigby. As you can imagine, right from the get-go everyone yes and no. Here’s the skinny:
LONDON (Reuters) – A 97-year-old document that contains clues to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the subject of one of the Beatles' best-loved songs, sold for 115,000 pounds ($177,000) at auction on Thursday.The total fell well short of high estimates of around 500,000 pounds for the piece of Beatles memorabilia.
The money will go to the seller Annie Mawson and her charity the Sunbeams Music Trust (www.sunbeamsmusic.org), which uses music to help people with special needs. The manuscript is a salary register from Liverpool City Hospital and features the name and signature of E. Rigby, a scullery maid who has signed for her monthly wage. Her annual earnings were 14 pounds.According to Mawson, the document was sent to her in 1990 by former Beatle Paul McCartney when she wrote to him on behalf of her charity.
"I wrote ... to Paul and asked him for half a million pounds. But by the end of the letter I just said 'Look, I know you're a very caring person and I feel it's a privilege to share my story with you'," she told Reuters before the sale. "Nine months later, in June 1990, this amazing envelope arrived in the post. It was nine months after I'd written to him, which was part of the mystery because you always think it ended up in the waste paper basket."
She said the envelope containing the document dated 1911 featured an official Paul McCartney tour stamp. The singer was on a world tour around that time. Mawson did not immediately realize the importance of the register until she read the list of names and spotted E. Rigby.The document offers one of the clearest clues yet as to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the woman in the song of the same name who dies alone with no one to mourn her. According to music Web sites, previously McCartney has said the heroine of the poignant song was fictional.
The grave of an Eleanor Rigby was also discovered in the churchyard of St. Peter's in Woolton, Liverpool, close to where McCartney met John Lennon in 1957. "I wonder just how much Paul McCartney meant to unmask when he passed it on," said Ted Owen, managing director of the Fame Bureau which sold the manuscript in London.
So it looks like another case of unconscious influence. Fellow Beatle George Harrison also wrote a song under such an influence (My Sweet Lord) but his unconsciousness was deemed plagiarism, and he had to ante up a boatload of money. Anyway, the overlooked person is all of this is Eleanor herself. I wonder what she wold make of all this world-wide fame!
Photo at www.ken-jennings.com (Yes,the brainiac Jeopardy champ) Video by YT member jromey5
Here we have something that is all the rage this Thanksgiving. Why have plain old turkey when you can have…turducken! (although if you’re just hearing about it now, it’s probably too late for this year). Anyhoo, I first heard about this a while ago, but thought it was a joke. Then I saw it on CNN and thus realized that it had to be a complete absolute and utter reality. And so it is. What is turducken? Vegetarians, read no further. Turducken is a TURkey that has been stuffed with a DUCK, which in turn has been stuffed with a chickEN. Get it? (of course there are three kinds of regular stuffing as well as the meat). That’s a turducken. Oh, and then you deep-fry the whole thing. Well, whatever you call it, it sounds like a mountain of work, because obviously (at least I hope it’s obvious) you have to remove a lot of bones before you stuff anything anywhere. Then, as I channel surfed away from CNN, I saw a commercial for a restaurant that offered a “Surf and Turf” special. Of course, Surf and Turf means Lobster (surf) and steak (turf). Hmmm. I think I see an opportunity to put together an even more obscene amount of fat and protein! Wrap the whole thing in a side of beef and clip it together with lobster claws, with a bucket of drawn butter on the side. Let’s call it SU for surf, TU for turkey, RF for turf, and of course UCKEN for the duck and chicken. What? Why are you snickering like that? You don’t think it sounds good?
There are quite a few videos on YouTube offering instructions on making a Turducken, including the one from CNN featuring Chef Paul. But I like this one, for reasons which you will probably be able to guess.
HAVE A HAPPY, WHICHEVER SIDE OF THE BORDER YOU'RE ON!
Video from YT member MrJeremiahWeed Photo of Turducken (aka “a heart attack on a plate”) from Wikimedia Commons
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the release of the White Album (but probably a coincidence) the Vatican has released a statement praising the Beatles music, and chalking up Lennon’s 1966 comment about Jesus as the bragging of a young man wrestling with unexpected success. And to the Vatican we say, Dudes, what took ya so long?!
If you are a baby boomer like me, or a student of musical history, then you will most likely be familiar with the big kafuffle involving John Lennon’s remark about the Beatles and Jesus. The controversy was huge. It was the Dixie Chicks/George Bush go-round of its day. Here’s the backstory. In an interview reported in 1966, Lennon was asked about Beatlemania, and he quipped that they were “more popular than Jesus now.” I remember hearing it at the time and thinking it merely meant that you could probably walk up to a group of tribal people living in one of the few remaining isolated areas of the planet and ask who Jesus was and get a blank stare, but mention the Beatles and they would break into broad grins and start chanting, “Yeah-yeah-yeah!” Okay maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.
After Lennon’s remark – which, in a situation eerily similar to the Dixie Chicks, was made in London but didn’t gain traction until is was reported stateside – the Bible Belt and conservative groups went nuts, just like they did with the Chicks, and burned loads of Beatles albums. Beatles music was banned on some radio stations, and concerts were cancelled. Even the KKK got into the act, burning the Beatles in effigy and nailing their albums to burning cross. At first, the Beatles’ reaction was to wryly observe that they had to purchase the albums first in order to burn them, but eventually, as things kept on getting worse, Lennon issued an apology, which the Vatican accepted at the time. Actually, Lennon was often misquoted as having said the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus” but personally, I don’t think the results would have been much different either way.
Anyway, in their recent statement, the Vatican also said that Beatles music is much better than the “standardized, stereotypical” music of today. Well, gotta say Amen to that!
Here's a Beatle selection that kind of fits the occasion, "I Should Have Known Better"
Video by YT member Beetulz Photo at www.planetware.com
They say timing is everything, and who are we to argue. I mean, they were right when they said, “Let the buyer beware” “Don’t wash your dirty linen in public” and of course, “You win some, you lose some.” On that note, I recently read that former Beatle Paul McCartney wants to release an obscure 1967 Beatles tape, a rather lengthy 14-minute song titled “Carnival of Light.” From the description (distorted guitar and organ, someone gargling, Paul and John shouting things like “Barcelona!” and asking, “Are you all right?” and other general random mayhem from the other group members) it sounds like a real post-Sgt. Pepper Dali-esque free-for-all. It’s been referred to as avant-garde, but isn’t that really just another way of saying post-Sgt. Pepper Dali- etcetc?
If one is a real solid Beatles aficionado, then this is probably a must-hear, and probably a must-have. I don’t quite fall into that category, but I might be inclined to listen to it on YouTube first, and then decide if I can’t live without it. What amuses me most is that McCartney is quoted as saying that, “…the time has come for it (Carnival of Light) to have its moment.” Well, that may be. But for me it’s kind of like a respected Hollywood actor doing a part in some goofy lightweight comedy that goes from theaters to DVD so fast the breeze lifts your hair. When those movies come out, I usually think: Oh man, So-and-so must want to put an addition on his swimming pool real bad. So here, we have Sir Paul, master tape of the original song in tow. It’s not a done deal yet; he needs to get permission from Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia Harrison first. So why would Paul need to earn himself some extra mo… Ooooh yeah (lightbulb clicking on). Like that old saying goes, “True love never runs smooth.”
Anyway, here’s one of my very favorite fun Beatles songs, while we’re waiting for Carnival of Light.
Video by YT member irenelemejo Marketplace photo from Wikimedia Commons
A friend of mine in Toronto just sent me a clipping from the Globe and Mail. It was an account of the troubled times, make that the very troubled times, of the Eagles. Now that I think of it, I vaguely remember hearing something along those lines, maybe it was back when they had the Hell Freezes Over tour (as in, This band is never getting back together unless…). But I have to admit, much as I enjoy their music, I just never got into the band’s trivia and personal details. I couldn’t point to their group photos and name you all the members. Don Henley is really the most recognizable to me. That may be heresy to some staunch Eagles fans, but what can I tell you. We all have our faves; I could put names to a good-sized lineup of doo-wop personnel.
Anyway, it seems the boys in the band were just too many large and robust egos under one roof. Or on one tour bus. Apparently they disagreed and fought over a lot of different things which all ultimately came down to money. Surprise! And now, Don Felder (is he the one with the really long hair?) has written a book titled Heaven and Hell: My Life with The Eagles (1974-2001). I suppose now that he’s had his say, other books by other Eagles will follow. So, if you’re a diehard fan, start hinting for Christmas.
For our musical interlude, here is one of my very favorite Eagles tunes – Seven Bridges Road. It’s a really great country-esque song that I first heard it done by Rita Coolidge. The Eagles do it a cappella, and the audience is loving it. So give us a little smile, Don.
Photo from www.frontrowking.com Video by YT member DrMabuse06
The term “Daddy” and its variants, “Daddy-O” (or Daddio) and “Dad” have been through some time and changes. It goes back at least to the 1940s when NOLA disc jockey Vernon Winslow used it as part of his on-air moniker. I remember it mostly from the 1950s and the hepcat-beatnik era. In 1957, the doo-wop group The Rays released what would become their big hit, “Silhouettes” with “Daddy Cool” on the flip side. Flip side. There’s a term that the iPod generation won’t understand. It means the song on the other side of a record, sometimes called the B-side. Records are flat discs that look something like CDs but are way cooler. Then, if you’re of a certain age, like me, you probably remember the TV show 77Sunset Strip (1958-64) and Kookie, the Edd Byrnes character Kookie was the valet-parking-detective-wannabe-hair-combing-heartthrob of the show. Kookie called everybody Dad, the same way kids today call everybody Dude. I think Dude is fine, but I’m secretly hoping Daddio will make a comeback. In fact, I think I’ll start using it on my male friends and see what happens. I invite any of you out there in the Blogiverse to do the same. Daddio hasn’t really gone away; it’s just waiting there for someone to re-cooligize it. We can do it!
Here are the two YouTube videos for our double bill of hits. I think they’re both real gone, daddio. (Now doesn't that sound great?!)
Daddy Cool video by YT member ladyrockndoowop Kookie, Kookie video by YT member GjuroKaiser Photo at www.tvparty .com
If you like snappy 60s R&B, then you know The Orlons. While I’m sure there are plenty of other groups named after cloth, The Orlons are probably the best remembered. They started out in the late 50s as a five-member girl group, Audrey and the Teenettes. After losing a couple of the girls down to a trio, they added a guy (and what a guy, what a voice!) and became The Orlons. They took their name from a popular 60s manmade fabric as a kind of spoof on a rival school group, The Cashmeres. Well, if we’re talking fabrics, cashmere has the rep for being real pricey and aristocratic compared to lowly synthetic Orlon, but since we’re talking about music…the Orlons win hands down. I’m not saying the Cashmeres didn’t have a sound, but …how many hits by The Cashmeres do you remember? As for durable Orlons, there’s “South Street” “The Wah-Watusi” “Don’t Hang Up” “Cross Fire” and my particular fave, “Not Me.” Not bad for a group named after a synthetic fiber. You know what they say: Better living through chemistry.
The Orlons: Rosetta Hightower, Shirley Brickley, Marlena, Stephen Caldwell. "Don't Hang Up" - a song about a phone call between a teen girl and boy. The girl innocently goes out with some friends, winds up at a dance (not her idea) and decides, as long as she's there, to "be a sport" and have a dance. Wouldn't you know it - her boyfriend walks into the dance and catches her! But wait a sec, who was that chick he had clinging to his arm?!! Too bad we didn't get to hear the rest of the conversation. Is it too late for an 'answer song'?
Video by YT member hwaj5300 Photo at www.fasttrackproducts.com
I came across this video on YouTube a while back, and thought it was some of the coolest dancing I'd ever seen: I had discovered Northern Soul dancing. Apparently, Northern Soul dance moves can sometimes be quite similar to break dancing, but these look more like 60s moves, which is where Northern Soul got its start. It's too bad the video is so fuzzy. I wouldn't normally choose a video this poor to use in a post, but like I said, it's just so cool. And it looks pretty aerobic, too. Makes me wonder if any of those young people could be smokers and still dance like that! Northern Soul looks like a good workout. I'd give it a try myself, but I don't think I have the brain-foot coordination for it; it looks too much like that old 60s dance craze, the Mashed Potatoes, and I never could master that one. I've seen the instructional videos, watched plenty of people do it, and...nothing. To save myself some face, I can assure you that I am pretty good at just about every other 60s dance craze dance, but somehow the Mashed Potatoes still eludes me.
NORTHERN SOUL DANCING
MASHED POTATO TIME, by Dee Dee sharp
Mashed Potato video by YT member soulrocket N. Soul video by YT member keepingthefaith72
Miriam Makeba, Mama Afrika, Dies at 76 After Concert (Update2) By Nicky Smith
Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Miriam Makeba, the South African recording artist known as ``Mama Afrika'' who was exiled from her own country during apartheid, died of a heart attack last night after giving a concert in Italy. She was 76.
The Grammy-winning Makeba ``collapsed as she was leaving the stage,'' South African Minister of Foreign Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in an e-mailed statement today. Makeba, who brought the music of her continent to a global audience in the 1960s, had been performing at the Vastel Volturno in the province of Caserta, 35 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of the city of Naples.
``One of the greatest songstresses of our time, Miriam Makeba, has ceased to sing,'' Dlamini Zuma said. ``South Africa's goodwill ambassador died performing what she did best -- an ability to communicate a positive message through the art of singing.''
For complete article click HERE Photo from zar.2.za/makeba/htm Video by YT member jameycruz
Okay, this is where we separate the sheep from the goats, the men/women from the boys/girls, the mere trivia freaks from the truly gifted trivia geeks. Whoever and wherever you are, I need your help. I am trying to think of some trivia connected to a particular piece of music from the 60s, and can’t come up with the answer. It hasn’t quite kept me up at night, but that might not be far off. I can get really obsessive about these things (oh really?). And I’ve come across this quest up there in the dusty recesses of my musical memory, off and on, for a long time. Here’s what I can tell you:
The song is called either “La Montana (If She Should Come To You)” or maybe it’s “If She Should Come To You (La Montana).” I tried Googling it, but almost everything I got is either beyond my meager capabilities in Spanish, or Hannah-related.
Several musicians have recorded it, with lyrics (including Anthony Newley) and as an instrumental (Roger Williams, for one). It’s the instrumental version I’m interested in. I am convinced it was used in a movie, perhaps as the movie’s main theme. I’m going crazy; I’m wracking my brain. I thought the movie might have been The Sundowners, but once I listened to that theme again, I remembered it, and it isn’t the one.
So my question to all you music trivia freaks and geeks out there, what movie is this from? Or, if not a movie, where do I know it from? Maybe it was just one of the many instrumental hits in the 60s and not from a movie? Help! If anyone can tell me, please send me a website or any kind of documentation, and put an end to my many years of wondering and searching. I will be forever in your trivial debt. So much so that I would be pleased to reward you by sending one of your kids to college. Kidding! How about I send you a copy of my music trivia book, "Papa Do Run" instead?
About four posts ago (Nov 1st) I mentioned a few country crossovers in the vintage years. One glaring omission (mea culpa!) was Sonny James. How I could forget this is beyond me. Chalk it up to Boomer Brain or something, because I totally dig this song! Anyway, Sonny had a huge hit back in 1957 with “Young Love” He didn’t write it, however. It was penned in 1956 by Ric Cartey and Carol Joyner. I discovered in my research that Cartey actually recorded it first, but it didn’t really gain attention until Sonny recorded it on January 5, 1957. Then it became the first country song to ascend both the country and pop charts. He wasn’t the only one to have a big hit with this. The same song was a simultaneous (January 19, 1957) hit for teen movie heartthrob Tab Hunter – and actually charted higher than Sonny’s version. That’s how it was done back then. A song was often recorded by more than one artist at the same time, and they let them battle it out on the airwaves. I don’t mind Tab’s version, I guess. It’s hard to totally mess up such a great love song like this one, but it is kind of white bread. Not as white bread as Pat Boone’s covers of Little Richard tunes, mind you, but close. Sonny James, on the other hand, really puts his heart and soul into it. Sonny has had a long and full career, with plenty of well-deserved recognition. He continued to record until his retirement in 1983, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006. He never had another pop crossover hit like “Young Love” but that one gets played regularly on the oldie stations. And you can’t keep a good song down. It’s also been covered by The Crew-Cuts (also 1957), The Rolling Stones, Ray Stevens and Donny Osmond, and others. Here’s some great b/w footage of Sonny in country attire, sing about that young love. Sigh.
Video by YT member DKenUCLA Photo from www.top40db.net
Last night I was watching that special by the crew at SNL, pulling together all their wonderful spoofs on the current election, and moments from elections past. It occurred to me that so much has changed over the years since I was old enough, it not to vote, at least to be paying attention to politics. The first US presidential election that made any impact on me was the 1960 one between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. I remember we had a "mock debate" at my grade school (and it got pretty heated, as I recall, at least for a bunch of 13-year-olds). And on the radio, we had a cute little novelty song, called "Report to the Nation." This was a spoof interview with candidate named (I think it was) Finnerty as John F. Kennedy, by newscasters Nutley and Winkly (aka Huntley and Brinkley). The interviewers asked questions and the candidate's answers were all spliced bits of lyrics from well-known songs of the day. It was a laff-riot...back then anyway. Then we advanced to the silly and sophisticated era of SNL, and their hilarious election spoofs, in the heyday of Chevy Chase et al, with folks gathered around the TV. And now we have YouTube, and a media culture that's completely portable. Everybody is getting into the act, and items can be around the world in literally minutes. I looked in vain to find Nutley and Winkly on YouTube, so I can't post it for you here. Oh well, some of the references would be pretty obscure to the younger set. Even some of the early SNL material would be pretty out-of-date by now. So today, the big Election Day, I'll just post one of my favorites. It's made the rounds, and been on a few blogs, but it's just too good to miss, so if you haven't seen it before, you'll be glad you did. Even if you're of a different political persuasion, you have to admit, in your heart of hearts, this is funny. Plus, there's some real genuine talent here!
Video by YT member pfte1 Photo at www.davidsarnoff.org.com
“I got the boogie-woogie like a knife in the back”
We’re introducing a new feature here at Papa Do Run, called Great Lines of Rock and Roll. Every so often, on a completely irregular and wholly unpredictable basis, we’ll be posting a line from a popular vintage song, and we can all appreciate its verbal dexterity, marvel at its ability to describe exactly how-it-is, and generally be amazed at how lucky we are to have been born in a time of such life-enhancing wisdom, not to mention coolness.
Today’s feature is from this irrepressibly rockin’ song. You might want to test yourself first and see if you can remember the title - no one is going to ask how you did. Honest.
Video by YT member DKenUCLA It's true, there are better versions of this song on YouTube, but this one is such a fifties artifact, even with that annoying counter, I just had to go with it.
What’s rock and roll without a little bit of country? Just think about how many of the early singing sensations and teen heartthrobs were country crossovers: the Every Brothers, Brenda Lee, Jim Reeves, Jimmie Rodgers, Bobbie Gentry, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, on and on. And happily, the tradition is still alive and well. Mellow-voiced singer Darius Rucker, better known as Hootie of Hootie and the Blowfish, has achieved a real milestone in his career recently when he became only the third African-American to have a number 1 hit on country radio (USA Today’s country singles airplay chart). With his song, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” Darius joins some big names. Charley Pride, probably best known for “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” had several dozen number 1 hits from the late 60s until 1983. The second black singer to top the country chart was Ray Charles (along with Willie Nelson) in 1985, with “Seven Spanish Angels.” But don’t worry, all you H&TBF fans; Hootie says he will still record and perform with the Blowfish band when the time and material are right. But for now, he’s gone country. And we’re glad he did. Here’s some great old footage of Charlie, Ray and The Hootster. What? You mean it’s not hip to use “ster” any more? Oh, I’m glad you told me.
Here's three videos of the for your viewing and listening pleasure. The one of Ray and Willie is especially neat, with the two of them goofing around at the piano. Man, there just isn't anyone quite like Ray Charles!
CHARLEY PRIDE - KISS AN ANGEL GOOD MORNING http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9Fy6SQosQs
RAY and WILLIE - SEVEN SPANISH ANGELS http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63A__INJecI
DARIUS RUCKER - DON'T THINK I DON'T THINK ABOUT IT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ9MHFr89NM
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.