Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wolf Call

Mrs. Illinois Jacquet hits the dance floor with the big bad wolf, via JET magazine, 1958.

Earl Washington  -  Wolf Call  (2:07)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Too Many Mini-Skirts

Jimmie James  -  Too Many Mini-Skirts

Too many mini-skirts?  Well, let's not get all carried away. Further study on the topic of country music and mini-skirts awaits you over on the main WFMU blog.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Sandals

The Endless Summer  (mp3s)

Side 1:
Theme From The Endless Summer
Good Greeves

Side 2:
Out Front
Wild As The Sea
Jet Black
Lonely Road

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls (MP3)

The generation gap was a truly colossal chasm in 1969, as evidenced by this snippet of a Dear Abby column, which is guaranteed authentic!

Lester Flatt  -  I Can't Tell The Boys From The Girls

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The House Where Jerry Byrd Lived

On a recent trip to Nashville, I headed for the library to dig around some old city directories in an effort to find out if the houses where Homer & Jethro used to live might still be around, but I came up empty. I couldn't find a listing for either of those guys for some reason.  I did, however, discover that Jerry Byrd lived here, at 4849 Aster Drive, in 1962.

Byrd (1920 - 2005) made a name for himself as one of the nation's top (non-pedal) steel guitar talents in the 1940s and '50s.  He spent time playing in Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours before departing to join up with Red Foley and play steel in his band for several years.  In the early '60s, he began exploring Hawaiian music and recorded several LPs in that vein.  Byrd eventually relocated to  Hawaii in the late '60s and remained there until his death.

Here's a track from his 1964 Monument LP, Admirable Byrd.

Jerry Byrd  -  Theme For A DJ   (2:06)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Get Out Of The Car (MP3)

Sammy Davis Jr.  -  Get Out Of The Car

In 1956, Sammy Davis Jr. headed for Broadway to headline a musical production called Mr. Wonderful, written expressly for him and giving him the opportunity to transplant his talents from the nightclubs he usually played to what is sometimes called the "legitimate stage."  In any event, the other side of this 45 featured Without You, I'm Nothing, a song featured in the play.  We're not going to worry about that one.  Instead, here's Sammy Davis' take on Get Out Of The Car, The Treniers' irredeemably insensitive song made a bit less appalling here by adding an extra verse (invoking Sgt. Joe Friday!), in which it's made clear that the young lady in question won't have to walk back to town after all.

Monday, November 26, 2012

I've Got A Polecat By The Tail (MP3)

Abbie Gaye with Ken & Mel  -  I've Got A Polecat By The Tail

I don't know what Buck Owens would say about this take-off on his Tiger By The Tail, but I approve wholeheartedly.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Old Man's Drunk Again

Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys  -  The Old Man's Drunk Again

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Branded A Tramp (MP3)

Linda Lee  -  Branded A Tramp  (2:35)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Doug Sahm Month Ain't Over Yet

Doug Sahm  -  Oh No Not Another One

Doug Sahm's final studio album, The Return of Wayne Douglas, was released not long after his death from a heart attack in Taos, New Mexico hotel room in 1999.  The name of the disc was a reference to an alias he'd used to release a cool 1970 Mercury honky-tonk 45, and as you'd expect with a title like that the album itself was pure deep-fried country music from beginning to end.  Not surprisingly, Sahm, like a lot of people, was completely disenchanted with the pop and rock sounds that were becoming the hallmark of hit country records and used this track to blow off a little steam.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sir Douglas Quintet - Nitty Gritty

Sir Douglas Quintet  -  Nitty Gritty

The shiner Doug's sporting in the photo above was the result of a fractious 1973 run-in with police in Balcones Heights, just outside of San Antonio.  Doug was enjoying an evening out with some friends at La Rosa Mexican Restaurant, when some clearly over-aggressive policing led an officer to ask who owned the gold and black Oldsmobile Cutlass with the California license plates.  When Doug volunteered that he owned the car in question, the cop asked him to step outside while his fellow officers stayed inside to hassle Sahm's companions in the hopes of getting a low level drug bust.  A moment later, drummer George Rains looked outside and witnessed a cop take Sahm, handcuffed at the time, and slam his head into the hood of his car.  The police never did find any drugs on Sahm or in his car, so they settled for a charge of public intoxication, but that was quickly thrown out of court.  The whole incident was a catalyst for Sahm's decision to relocate to the friendlier town of Austin.

Source: Texas Tornado: The Times & Music Of Doug Sahm by Jan Reid.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Doug Sahm Month - Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

Alvin Crow & The Pleasant Valley Boys (w/ Doug Sahm on guitar & vocals) -  Pick Me Up On Your Way Down

In the late 90s, Doug Sahm spent some time occasionally sitting in on steel guitar on gigs with his old pal Alvin Crow & The Pleasant Valley Boys.  In fact, one of my fondest musical memories is seeing Sahm play steel for Crow all evening at a show at a honky-tonk called the Broken Spoke in south Austin back in about 1996 or so.  As I recall, the entire evening Crow referred to Sahm as Wayne Douglas, which is the pseudonym Sahm used on a Mercury country 45 released in 1970, which is audible here.  In fact, at the end of this performance Crow can be heard acknowledging Sahm's performance by enthusiastically calling out "Sir Wayne!"

I'm not 100% sure but I think he may have been playing lead guitar, as opposed to steel, at this particular gig, which was recorded in Dallas in January 1997.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Doug Sahm - High School Greaser

Doug Sahm & The Markays  -  Why Why Why

If you ever want to immerse yourself in some of Sahm's most formative early rock & roll efforts, you should definitely make it a point to check out the CD San Antonio Rock (Norton), which shines the spotlight on his hard to track down 45s cut between the years '57 and '61.

Andrew Brown's illuminating liner notes set the stage for the smouldering Why, Why, Why, a San Antonio favorite and Doug's big breakout local hit:  "....Doug (now a senior in high school) recorded Why, Why, Why at Texas Sound Studios in early 1960 with the great tenor saxophonist Rocky Morales and his band, the Mar-Kays.

Why, Why, Why was the first big hit, Doug told Deron Bissett.  "Funky record, I love it.  It was goin' up the charts when school was out.  It bugged me 'cause then I couldn't go to school to say, 'Hey look at me, boy....cruise around the drive-in and say 'Hey, I got a hit.  What are you doing?' "

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Adios Mexico

Sir Douglas Quintet  -  Adios Mexico

Look, I know musical taste is something that's inherently subjective, but I defy you not to love this song.

Kitty Wells, R.I.P.

Kitty Wells  -  Jesus Loved The Devil Out Of Me 

Image borrowed from CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla's flickr stream.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Doug Sahm - I'll Be There

Sir Douglas Band  -  I'll Be There

Doug tips his cap to one of the all-time Texas greats, Ray Price....

Photo: Huey Meaux and Doug Sahm in the studio.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wayne Douglas aka Doug Sahm

Wayne Douglas - Be Real 

Released under a half-hearted pseudonym (he inverted his first & middle names), Be Real is an interesting gem from the Doug Sahm archives.   Sahm recorded it in Nashville with some Music City studio aces and it came out on Mercury, which was handling Doug at the time.  Unfortunately the record went nowhere but it's solid Texas honky-tonk shuffle that's sure to please any hard country fan.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Doug Sahm - She Purt The Hurt On Me

Doug Sahm  -  She Put The Hurt On Me

Juke Box Music has to be one of my favorite Doug Sahm LPs.  Released on Antone's Records in 1988 out of Austin, it gives Sahm the opportunity to send a big wet kiss to the classic R&B and doo-wop sounds that he loved.

She Put The Hurt On Me comes from the pen of Otis Redding and if you'd like to hear his version, here you go.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Gary Usher Month - Ridin' Trails

The Kickstands  -  Ridin' Trails

In 1964, Gary Usher was a hired hand on The Kickstands' motorcycle-themed Capitol LP Black Boots And Bikes.  The record ended up featuring four tunes written by Usher and frequent co-hort Roger Christian, as well as another by Usher only.  The album featured the vocal talents of Gary Usher, as well as a couple of the guys in the photo above - Dennis McCarthy and Dick Burns, who handles lead vocals on this track.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Papa Ooh Mow Mow

Shoot the tube

Years back there was a great fad among the younger set to punctuate their speech with "bop" or so-called hip expressions.  The new fad is even more way out and that is surfin' talk.  This glossary will give you a basic insight into the world of the surfer.

Baggies - Trunks that Surfers wear.
Boss - The greatest.
Gremmie - Pseudo surfer.  He plays the role but doesn't really surf.
Hang Ten - Standing on front of the board with toes over the edge to increase speed.
Hanging Five - Hanging five toes over the nose of the board.
Hoedad - Anyone who puts down surfing or surfes:  An enemy of surfers.
Hot Dog - Wide and heavy board.
Hot Dogger - Expert surfer.  Does tricks and shows off.
Kaha Huna - Mythical Hawaiian goddess of surfing.
Pipeline - The hollow tubelike middle of a wave just prior to breaking.
Sand Flea - Person who avoids the water, just lies on the sand.
Shooting The Curl - Catching the wave at just the right moment and riding it out.
Shooting The Pier - Dodging in and out of pilings.
Stein - Worst kind of surfer.
Tube - Hollow part of the wave
Waikiki Kuks - Another name for pseudo surfer.
The Wedge - Another name for a wave.
Wipeout - Catching the wave at the wrong time and being thrown from the surfboard.
Woodie - Car that carries surfboard.