Continuing the series with clue #5. Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.
I was saddened to hear of the death of George “Pops” Chambers earlier this week. George was of course, part of the late 60’s and 70’s “soul” band, The Chambers Brothers. The news immediately brought this song to mind, and it’s been in and out of consciousness ever since.
Originally from Carthage, Mississippi, the Chambers Brothers first honed their skills as members of the choir in their Baptist church. This set up ended in 1952 when the eldest brother George was drafted into the Army. George relocated to Los Angeles after his discharge, and his brothers soon settled there as well. As a foursome, they began performing gospel and folk throughout the Southern California region in 1954, but they more or less remained unknown until appearing in New York City in 1965.
Consisting of George (September 26, 1931 – October 12, 2019) on washtub bass (later on Danelectro bass guitar), Lester (b. April 13, 1940) on harmonica, and Willie (b. March 3, 1938) and Joe (b. August 22, 1942) on guitar, the group started to venture outside the gospel circuit, playing at coffeehouses that booked folk acts. They played at places like The Ash Grove, a very popular Los Angeles folk club. It became one of their favorite haunts and brought them into contact with Hoyt Axton, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Reverend Gary Davis, and Barbara Dane. Dane became a great supporter, performing and recording with the brothers. With the addition of Brian Keenan (January 28, 1943 – October 5, 1985) on drums, Dane took them on tour with her and introduced them to Pete Seeger, who helped put the Chambers Brothers on the bill of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. One of the songs they performed, “I Got It”, appeared on the Newport Folk Festival 1965 compilation LP, which was issued on the Vanguard label.
They were becoming more accepted in the folk community, but, like many on the folk circuit, were looking to electrify their music and develop a more rock and roll sound. Joe Chambers recalled in a May 1994 Goldmine article that people at the Newport Folk Festival were breaking down fences and rushing to the stage. “Newport had never seen or heard anything like that.” After the group finished and the crowd finally settled down, the MC came up and said “Whether you know it or not, that was rock ‘n’ roll.” That night they played at a post-concert party for festival performers and went to a recording session of the newly electrified Bob Dylan. Shortly after appearing at Newport, the group released its debut album, People Get Ready.
The (radio) edit version of this track reached #11 in the fall of 1968 (I was all of 10 years old then!), spending a total of five weeks at that spot. There were actually two edited versions of the song produced, one runs 3:05 and the other 4:45. The original clocks in at over 11 minutes.
Continuing the series with clue #4. Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.
I heard this song yesterday on the way into work and it’s been stuck ever since. This may be a new one for some folks as it only reached #111 in 1971, it’s from one of my favorite named albums, Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Their biggest hit was I Got A Line On You, which peaked at #25 in 1968.
An interesting note about this group, Spirit, is during several shows in 1968 and 1969 their opening act was none other than Led Zeppelin. I bring this up only because I posted about this connection in November of last year. As I understand it, the copyright infringement lawsuit is once again in the courts. I won’t post the quote again here, it’s available at the link above or at the Wiki page for the band.
I’m not going to get into any discussion about climate change, but this song was released in 1971. And it’s still valid today, some 48 years later. Enjoy!
Continuing the series with clue #3. Remember, if I’ve already told you about this DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! There will be 8 posts all together, and the last post will be on Friday, 25 October where I’ll “spill the beans”.
OK. It’s not quite that classic Beatles song. But! You have the correct band.
On 12 October 1969 the Rock and Roll world went crazy. Why? Because Paul was dead. Yes, it all began at a Detroit radio station WKNR and DJ Russ Gibb. All it took was a phone call from a listener.
Fifty years ago, a Detroit DJ accidentally started the biggest hoax in rock & roll history: the “Paul is dead” craze. It blew up on October 12, 1969, when Russ Gibb was hosting his show on WKNR. A mysterious caller told him to put on the Beatles’ White Album and spin the “number nine, number nine” intro from “Revolution 9” backwards. When Gibb tried it on the air, he heard the words, “Turn me on, dead man.” The clues kept coming. At the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John says, “I buried Paul.” What could it all mean?
The link above has the story, I’m just going to post the videos that go along with it. But I would suggest going to the original article so you can listen to the audio as the story progresses. I won’t just copy and paste the entire article here. That little thing called plagiarism you know.
I can remember my sister showing me all the hints on the Beatles albums. They were some very serious discussions we had. Many theories were discussed. Then I had to pass them on to all my friends. And still do today! This may have been the beginning of my intense study of music and musicians. No, lets not call it study, but obsession is too heavy. Maybe immersion. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
It was a lot of fun looking at the album covers and talking about them. A rough estimate is 4 stylists or needles on my turntables that I destroyed listening to backwards music.
As I mentioned yesterday, my brother and I were discussing the greatest American songwriter. He settled on Paul Simon while I thought Bob Dylan. We both agreed that, in our opinions, the greatest songwriter of our time was John Lennon. Wifey, said that Sir Paul McCartney is a better songwriter. To which both my brother and I replied (almost in unison); “silly little love songs”.
Look at the list of songs John has either written or co-written, mostly with Sir Paul as a member of the Beatles. The lists are quite long. And today, 9 October, just happens to be his birthday. He would have been 79 today.
Some of my favorites (in no particular order);
And Your Bird Can Sing
Baby’s In Black
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – my brother doesn’t care for the song due to the political aspects. I like it since Christmas doesn’t start until I hear this played.
Fame (Yes, the David Bowie song)
The Ballad of John and Yoko
I could go on and on. But the lists are linked above if you wish to check them out. The video below is just a representative sample of John’s talent. It’s a Lennon-McCartney written piece, and showcases George Harrison on guitar. This track, along with Day Tripper are the guitar riffs I hear in my head all the time.
One of things my brother and I talk about, a lot, is music. We talk about individual songs, musicians, bands, and songwriters. Anything and everything;
One of the discussions we had not long ago was “Who is the greatest American Pop songwriter?” He popped this question on me while we were painting my living room, so neither of us were going anywhere soon. As qualifiers, this person had to have longevity, numerous hits, and also had to be a performer. He also threw a curve saying “You’ll never guess who I think it is.” I had to think this over.
Some names came to mind immediately; Stephen Stills, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Carole King, Brian Wilson. We threw around some other names, but they didn’t have the longevity factor; Dan Fogelberg and Jim Croce, even Buddy Holly. The list went on for some time. My choice was Bob Dylan.
Finally I had to ask who is choice was. “Simple” he says, “Paul Simon”. And he was right; that name never came to mind. But why not? He has written so many great songs.
The duo split up in 1970 at the height of their popularity, and Simon began a successful solo career, recording three acclaimed albums over the next five years. In 1986, he released Graceland, an album inspired by South African township music, which sold 14 million copies worldwide on its release and remains his most popular solo work. Simon also wrote and starred in the film One-Trick Pony (1980) and co-wrote the Broadway musical The Capeman (1998) with the poet Derek Walcott. On June 3, 2016, Simon released his 13th solo album, Stranger to Stranger, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album Chart and the UK charts.