Showing posts with label music and musicians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music and musicians. Show all posts

Monday, 17 April 2017

Billy Fury & Eddie Cochran

Billy Fury
Ronald William Wycherley
17th April 1940 - 28th January 1983

Billy Fury was an early British rock and roll star who equalled the Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart, without a chart-topping single or album.
He is also one of my absolute favourite British rock and rollers.

Journalist Bruce Eder stated, "His mix of rough-hewn good looks and unassuming masculinity, coupled with an underlying vulnerability, all presented with a good voice and some serious musical talent, helped turn Fury into a major rock and roll star in short order".

Others have suggested that Fury's rapid rise to prominence was due to his "Elvis Presley-influenced, hip-swivelling and at times highly suggestive stage act."

Today would have been his 77th birthday.
So here's to Billy, happy birthday!

* * *

Today also marks the passing of Eddie Cochran. Last years tribute post can be found here.

Photo taken by Andy

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Chuck Berry

 Charles Edward Anderson
'Chuck' Berry
October 18th 1926 – March 18th 2017

Rest In Peace

"It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell,
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed with TV dinners and ginger ale,
But when Pierre found work, the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records, all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down, the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney, 'twas a cherry red '53,
They drove it down to Orleans to celebrate the anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married to the lovely mademoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell."

Monday, 6 March 2017

Hey! Haven't I Heard This Before? Blue Suede Shoes

Or ... Grammy Done Shook Her Moneymaker To Thissun!

There are songs a-plenty from my favoured musical era, which every one will know, but the chances are, many people will know the cover version better than the original.

Take the extraordinarily well know Blue Suede Shoes. Who do you know that recorded this? Elvis Presley I'm betting in most cases. Did you know though, that Elvis didn't record it until March of 1956, Carl Perkins released it three months earlier  on January 1st 1956.

Johnny Cash gave the idea to Carl in the autumn of 1955 while they and other Louisiana Hayride acts toured throughout the Southern states of America. He told him the story of a black airman, who he had met when serving in the military in Germany, who had referred to his military regulation airmen's shoes as "blue suede shoes." He suggested to Carl that he write a song about those shoes. Carl replied, "I don't know anything about shoes. How can I write a song about shoes?"

However, when Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage. Between songs, he heard a stern, forceful voice say, "Uh-uh, don't step on my suedes!" Looking down, Carl noted that the boy was wearing blue suede shoes and one had a scuff mark. "Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes", thought Carl.

That night he began working on a song based on the incident at the dance. His first thought was to frame it with a nursery rhyme and he considered, but quickly discarded "Little Jack Horner..." and "See a spider going up the wall...", before settling on "One for the money..."

Leaving his bed and working with his Les Paul guitar, he started with an A chord.  "Well, it's one for the money... Two for the show... Three to get ready... Now go, man, go!" he broke into a boogie rhythm. He quickly wrote the song down, writing the title out as "Blue Swade"; "S-W-A-D-E – I couldn't even spell it right," he later said*!

According to Carl, "On December 17, 1955, I wrote 'Blue Suede Shoes'. I recorded it on December 19.**"

Sun Records released the second take of the song with Sun producer Sam Phillips, suggesting that the lyric "go cat go" be changed to "go man go", but the suggestion was not taken.

In Jackson, where Perkins lived, and in Memphis, radio stations were playing the flip side of the record, "Honey Don't." However, in Cleveland, Ohio, disc jockey Bill Randle was featuring "Blue Suede Shoes" prominently on his nightly show, and before January was over, the Cleveland distributor of the record asked Phillips for an additional 25,000 copies of the record.

Blue Suede Shoes became the side of choice throughout the South and Southwest. On February 11 it was the number 2 single on Memphis charts; it was number one the next week and remained there for the next three months.

Carl made four appearances on the radio program Big D Jamboree on station KRLD in Dallas, where he played the song every Saturday night and was booked on a string of one-nighters in the Southwest. The Jamboree was broadcast from the Dallas Sportatorium, with about four thousand seats, and it sold out for each of Perkins' performances. Music shops in Dallas ordered a huge number of copies of the record, and at one point it was selling at a rate of 20,000 copies per day.

On March 17, Carl became the first country artist to reach the number three spot on the rhythm & blues charts. That night, he and his band first performed "Blue Suede Shoes" on television, on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee.

He was booked to appear on The Perry Como Show on NBC-TV on March 24th, but on March 22nd he and his band were in a serious car crash on the way to New York City, resulting in the death of a truck driver and the hospitalization of both Carl and his brother. While he recuperated from his injuries, "Blue Suede Shoes" rose to number one on most pop, R&B, and country regional charts. "I was a poor farm boy, and with 'Shoes' I felt I had a chance but suddenly there I was in the hospital," he recalled bitterly.

Carl Perkins never attained the stardom of Elvis Presley, who, according to Perkins, "had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed, like a lot of us did, Elvis was hitting them with sideburns, flashy clothes, and no ring on the finger. I had three kids."

After Presley hit the chart with his version of "Blue Suede Shoes," Perkins became known more for his song writing than for his performing.

Carl's original version:
I prefer this one.

Elvis's cover:

* As a child, I couldn't spell suede either, I used to spell it swede. 

** My birthday!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Architecture Tart Tuesday: Portsmouth and Chichester

Portsmouth anyone?

All photos taken by me.

When I was a child, I really loved this building.
It used to be a British Telecoms building, but I have no idea what it is now.


Catholic Church


Hayling Island
This building I believe is modern.


Sweet art deco house.
I took this years ago but may have recently bumped into the owners!


How about we move on to Chichester?

I am convinced this now demolished building used to be a cinema.

Don't these doors just scream cinema to you?


Chichester law Courts.
Well alright! The scene of the famous Rolling Stones trial in the 1960's.

Which is your favourite?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Folly Come Lately

My week in three pictures and much waffle.

There has been a lot of Ricky Nelson here this past week as I have become somewhat obsessed with his voice. I've always had a thing for voices, speaking voices in particular but sometimes a singer comes along and makes me melt.

There has been a moderate amount of sewing too. I was ironing and pulled a freshly washed apron from the basket. It was torn, so I pulled it apart and pinned it back together. I then did the same to my other apron as it was sitting a little high when wearing it. I then spent Wednesday putting them back together and also turning Andy's tired work trousers into work shorts. I also did battle with the epic patchwork quilt cover that I started years ago now. I have absolutely had enough of it at this point and have decided that it can stay wonky and rustic, as I'm officially beyond caring.

Ann wanted to see the perfume I got after I told her that the stopper was designed by a glass designer. I may have told a fib as I have since found out the whole bottle was designed by Polish designer Bronislaw Krzysztof. I feel very fancy pants having this. I actually got this free in a goodie bag as an apology. £95 perfume as a freebie isn't to be sniffed at, well technically it is, but you know what I mean!

What else .. Oh yes, I rediscovered my white lace peignoir last weekend. There was me thinking I looked not unlike Christine from Phantom Of The Opera wearing it, but when teamed with my baby doll nightwear, Andy said I looked like I belonged in a 1950's New Orleans brothel. I believe this was meant to be a good thing.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Film Friday: GI Blues 1960

Today on film Friday I bring you 1960's GI Blues.

Elvis Presley stars as Tulsa McLean, a soldier stationed in Germany, who pulls strings to stage a big show for his fellow GI's. He also bets his buddies that he can date "ice princess" entertainer Lili.

U.S. Army Specialist 5 (SP5) Tulsa McLean (Elvis Presley) is a tank crewman with a singing career. Serving with the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division in West Germany, McLean dreams of running his own nightclub when he leaves the army, but such dreams don't come cheap.

 Tulsa and his buddies have formed a band and perform in various German "Gasthauses", night clubs, and on an Armed Forces stage. In one bar, he even discovers the record "Blue Suede Shoes" sung by someone named Elvis Presley on a jukebox.

To raise money, Tulsa places a bet with his friend Dynamite (Edson Stroll) that he can spend the night with a club dancer named Lili (Juliet Prowse), who is rumored to be hard to get since she turned down one other G.I. operator, Turk (Jeremy Slate). Dynamite and Turk have vied for women before when the two were stationed in Hawaii.

Tulsa uses his Southern charm and calls Lili "ma'am." She at first sees Tulsa as another Occupation Duty GI ...
The songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote two song for the movie, "Dog Face" and "Tulsa's Blues", but later withdrew the songs when they didn't like the royalty payments contract that Elvis' manager Col. Tom Parker insisted that they sign.

While Tulsa is singing "Doin' the Best I Can", one soldier puts a coin in the jukebox and choose from the list "Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley".

Princess of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, King of Thailand and other royalties visited on the studio and met  Elvis.

The boat Elvis boards ("Bonn"), is now in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, and is used as a discotheque.

Did you know ... The 3rd Armored Division was Elvis's regiment when he was in the army and in this movie.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

More Flamingos, Gingham, Bunnies and a Bit of Normality

I am a little bit rubbish at getting round to actually taking photos off of my camera and when I have managed such, I usually recall I was meant to take a picture of something else to show too and forgot (red peignoir, scarf from Mim, for instance). I did just this today. So as not to break the habit of a lifetime, here are some random snaps with some I meant to show, missing.

This is the locket Andy got me for Christmas (amongst other things) and as Kezzie expressed an interest in seeing it, here it is! Inside are teeny tiny little charms.

And here are the charms he chose for me.
A black scotty dog. I generally like big dogs, like Irish Wolfhounds, salukis, borzois, that sort of thing, but I really like basset hounds and black scotty dogs. My scotty would be named Mr McCready as I have mentioned before.
A bunny.
A flamingo and a bee.
All things he knows I love.

There on the left is Larry, my Christmas flamingo, next to Pantoni my meetiversary flamingo from last year from Andy and Alexander, my Longleat flamingo. 

The key box we got as a joint gift for Christmas.
It was cream and shabby chic, but Andy painted it for me.
It has since taking this photo, fallen off the wall, hit me and broken the dustpan.

And at last, at last, at last!
Two years ago I started making this 1950's nightwear set.
Two years ago!

You may recall I could not make head nor tail of the pattern for the bloomettes. I wrote and asked my aunt for help and she, well she ignored me.
They sat waiting in my unfinished projects drawer until late last year when I gave them another go and bingo! I finally figured it out!
But then I put them away as it was nearing Christmas.
Recently I got a new sewing box in the sales, which I also forgot to photograph, and as I was gathering up my scattered sewing bits, popped the elastic for the bloomettes inside in the pocket and evidently forgot as I then turned the place upside down looking for the aforementioned elastic.

If any more proof is needed that I have the attention span of a lemur, well I don't know what to say.

I am now struck by just how much they look like something a baby would wear, hence the baby doll nightie label I suppose! Funny how you know it's called that but don't see it till it's right there in front of you!

It's been a noisy old day here so far, yesterday too actually. Workmen have set up camp outside, something to do with water pipes I believe. Consequently I haven't been able to hear myself think. Once the pneumatic drill has stopped I am able to put on some music though, as it quietens considerably to a dull roar.
Speaking of music, I made up a modern music playlist for myself and was playing it at the weekend. "This is modern to you is it?" asked Andy, as The Byrds were playing.
Yes. Yes it is, now hush.
I'm back to my usual music today, all those new sounds were starting to rattle me.

Belle had to go to the vet Sunday morning with suspected GI Stasis and we appear to have been lucky and nipped it in the bud as she was not only eating by the evening, but also getting in everywhere. She's also back to doing a double lap of honour when given a treat, as usual without the treat, as she's far too excited about the whole thing and doesn't realise she hasn't actually got it with her.

Some furniture was moved around Sunday, leaving quite the mess for me yesterday. I got the hall looking pretty good then realised all the moving about of furniture had blocked the convenient plug sockets so, I had to drape the vacuum lead across the bunny tent we made up and into the kitchen. Luckily the schmoos were napping, otherwise it would have been fun and games keeping them away from the Danger Worm aka vacuum lead. Then once finished, I realised I had nowhere neat to put the vacuum cleaner when I had finished (1950's Housewife Problems). This was also when flamingo key box took a tumble.

I've had a hankering to sew, to finish off another item at least from my unfinished projects drawer, this time, the patchwork quilt cover I am making, but in the upheaval, Yarn Crate, which is also where my sewing machine pedal lives, had vanished. So, as I was feeling creative, I decided to sit down and edit some of my novel. Such a novelty doing some writing, it seems an absolute age since I even attempted to do such a thing. There was crochet too, two squares were finished before Bob got his needy knickers on and decided he wanted endless stokes because evidently he was feeling insecure.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Wailing On The Corner Like An Old Tom Cat

I have a some questions for you!

Who was the first band or singer you really liked?
What sort of music did you listen to in your teens?
Who did you like once your teens were behind you?
And did you ever see any of them live?

What sort of music do you listen to nowadays?

My answers:

Who was the first band or singer you really liked?

The first band I really liked, was Culture Club. My adoration for Boy George is probably the reason I grew up to be more accepting of people. My uncle mocked my music tastes, stating Boy George was gay. It was very important to me to defend my idol and I declared very loudly, "I DON'T CARE!" I'm not even sure what I knew what gay was then, but my uncle said the word like it was a bad thing and Boy George was not a bad person. As I grew up, I heard the word more and I decided that people being gay didn't bother me, as there was every chance that person was as nice as Boy George.
Oh bless the younger me!
Seen them live? No, far too young.

* * *

 What sort of music did you listen to in your teens?
I somehow discovered The Quireboys ...
There was eyeliner here also.
Seen them live? I did indeed.

and The Dogs D'amour.
More eyeliner.
Seen them live? Yes, a handful of times.

I then added to the mix Hanoi Rocks...
Oh look. Eyeliner!
Seen them live? No. Shame.

and The New York Dolls.
Are you sensing a theme here?
Seen them live? No.

A change was in the air as I then fell for the charms of Suede ...
Androgyny and make up was evidently my thing.
Seen them live? Yes, and before their first album was released, I was in awe.

It was inevitable that when The Manic Street Preachers came along in their white jeans, copious amounts of eyeliner and fake fur that I would pounce and they would be my idols. 
Seen them live? Yes, a few times, all while Richey was still with them.

* * *

Who did you like once your teens were behind you?
By this point I was completely submerged in the whole Britpop scene, seeing bands on a weekly basis.
Seen them live? I have seen a very long string of bands who flew the Britpop flag, not Oasis, or Blur or any of those big names, my list reads something like: 60ft Dolls, These Animal Men, Menswear, Supergrass, The Bluetones, Marion.
This is Jarvis Cocker, lead singer with Pulp. My sister once declared that Andy and myself danced like we were in a Pulp video. I call that a resounding triumph on our part!

After I had had my fill of Britpop, my tastes started slipping backward and I was obsessively listening to music from the sixties. A standout then was Manfred Mann ... Pretty Flamingo was my absolute favourite song and it was also the song Andy was singing the night we met. I knew I wanted it played at my wedding were we to ever marry.
We did have it played too, along with Procul Harum's Whiter Shade of Pale!
So you see, my love of flamingos goes right back. Long before they became The Hipster Bird as my sister described them this past Christmas, I was a fan.

Seen them live? Obviously I didn't, but I have seen singer Paul Jones, vocalist on Pretty Flamingo and pictured bottom left. I also saw him while window shopping in Guildford.

But my biggest 1960's love were The Zombies.
Seen them live? No, but I have seen lead singer Colin Blunstone and then there was the day I was part of An Audience With The Zombies for BBC Radio 4! I wrote about that here.

Obsessed? Yes I was.
For a little while I listened to four acts almost exclusively. The Zombies,

Richard Hawley
Seen him live? Sadly not and don't believe I ever will.

Billy Fury
You'll now start seeing a pattern which has endured ...

and Eddie Cochran.

* *

What sort of music do you listen to nowadays?

I still listen to The Zombies but my tastes did slip back a bit and I now listen to almost exclusively music from pre 1962 as it all sounds a bit modern to me from then on! I made reference to The Beatles being modern recently, much to Andy's amusement! I like Otis Redding though, a lot. I also like Highway 61 era Bob Dylan.

I still listen to Eddie Cochran and Billy Fury as well as rockabilly, rock and roll, proper R&B, doo wop, some blues, fifties pop. Don't mind a bit of old bluegrass and western swing either.

I quite like a bit of country like Hank Williams, though were you to have said that to me a few years back, I would have laughed at you. For me, it all falls backward as who doesn't want to hear who influenced their favourite bands and singers? I listen to a lot of rock and roll, which leads me on to rockabilly. Listen to enough rockabilly, the proper stuff, not the commercialised releases and I can hear the hillbilly and country influences and then before I know it I'm happily listening to Hank Williams.

I am not over fond of Bill Haley or Little Richard and don't often listen to Elvis Presley, but Elvis is the person most people mention to me when they want to talk to me about music. Nor am I much of a fan of female vocalists, as very few catch my attention.

Some of my favourites:

Billy Lee Riley
*fans self*

Carl Perkins

Ricky Nelson

Fats Domino

Buddy Holly

Bo Diddley

Gene Vincent

Jerry Lee Lewis
He used to scare me as a child, hehe!

Lloyd Price

Warren Smith

The Everley Brothers

Modern acts who have caught my attention, for there are a few, and when I say modern, recall I think The Beatles are modern ...

The Secret Sisters
A rare example of me liking female vocalists.
Close harmonies and a country feel.
Also, really pretty and with a vintage style.

The Civil Wars 
Another female singer here, the harmonies here are just wonderful.
Seriously, these two are far too good looking for their own good.

Leon Bridges
Very authentic old style soul music. I even managed to fool Andy with this album!

and then there's Alex Turner
Oh those hips 💙