Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Playlist for Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Strung Out, Upside Down, and Stuffed With Cotten
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Amelia Ettinger

1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders

2. Freight Train - Elizabeth Cotten
3. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad - Elizabeth Cotten

4. Darling Corey - Pete Seeger
5. Poor Ellen Smith - Peggy Seeger
6. Josh Thomas's Roustabout - Mike Seeger

7. Shake Sugaree - Elizabeth Cotten with vocals by her 12 year old grandaughter, Brenda Evans
8. Shake Sugaree & Banjo Story / Rattler - Elizabeth Cotten
9. Guitar Story - Elizabeth Cotten
10. Oh, Babe It Ain't No Lie - Elizabeth Cotten

11. Vastopol - Elizabeth Cotten
12. Spanish Flang Dang - Elizabeth Cotten

13. I'm Going Away - Elizabeth Cotten

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Playlist for Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Bound To Leave You Wanting
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Josee Germain

1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders

2. What Was It You Wanted - Willie Nelson
3. I Want You - Bob Dylan
4. All I Really Want To Do - Bob Dylan

5. I Want To Live & Love - The Maddox Brothers & Rose

The Maddox Brothers & Rose formed in 1933 after parents Charlie & Lula Maddox took their family (Calvin, Fred, Kenneth, Henry & Rose) from Alabama to California, hitchhiking and hopping boxcars, to find work as itinerant field labourers. They were a little ahead of the so-called "great Okie migration" and managed to find work in the San Jaoquin Valley as "fruit tramps". But the second eldest, Fred, hated the work and with his audacious and enterprising spirit convinced The Rice Furniture Company to sponsor the family as a musical act on the local radio station. The Rice Furniture people insisted that the band have a girl singer, so Fred, promising they had the "best girl singer" around enlisted his sister, Rose, to sing their decidedly raucous, rowdy, and sometimes raunchy slap-bass country boogie songs. This was remarkable, in part, since Rose was only 11 years old at the time and knew maybe 3 songs all the way through. Still, despite Rose's age, they managed to use the radio publicity to get jobs playing barrooms and area honky tonks for tips, and eventually won a nationally syndicated radio spot during the California State Centennial Festival in 1939, sponsored by the Anacin Company. Known for their ornately embroidered suits (tailored by the famous Nudie Turk) and outlandishly animated stage antics (dance hall audiences often stopped dancing just to watch), The Maddox Brothers & Rose earned the sobriquet of "Most Colorful Hillbilly Band in America". When the group disbanded in 1956, Rose continued on with an illustrious solo career until she passed away from kidney failure in 1998 at the age of 71.

6. I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart - Patsy Montana & The Prairie Ramblers
7. I Want To Be Good - The Hoofbeats
8. I Want Two Wings - Rev. Utah Smith
9. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll - Gillian Welch

10. I Want A Tall Skinny Papa - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
11. I Want A Man (Who's Gonna Do It Right) - Annisteen Allen & Her Home Town Boys

From the various artist compilation Eat To The Beat: The Dirtiest of Them Dirty Blues. Annisteen Allen was born Ernestine Allen in Champaign, Illinois in 1920 and started her career of jazz inflected blues singing in 1945. She worked with the Lucky Millinder Orchestra, Big John Greer, Wynonie Harris, The Orioles, and Joe Morris' Blues Calvacade, and recorded for Federal, King & Capitol. She had a hit in 1955 being the first to record Earl Burrows' song Fujiyama Mama, before Eileen Barton and Wanda Jackson. Here she wants a man who's gonna do it right and she doesn't care how her man even "looks" as long as he "fooks" nobody but her. Now that's a rhyming couplet!

12. I Wanna Know (What Cha Doin' Down There) - Dolly Cooper
13. I Wanna Waltz - Wanda Jackson

14. I Want You To Want Me - Dwight Yoakam

Yes! Dwight Yoakam sings Cheap Trick! Didn't I, didn't I, didn't I feel like cryin'?

15. When Someone Wants To Leave - The Allen Brothers

The sons of bluegrass legend Red Allen: Harley, Greg & Ronnie. A brother act with actual brothers! Heartbreak and resignation in stupendous vocal harmony. This song was written by Dolly Parton.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Playlist for Wednesday June 11, 2008
Two Little Men In A Flying Saucer
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Tristan O'Malley

1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders

2. Flying Saucer Boogie - Eddie Cletro
3. Mr. Spaceman - The Holy Modal Rounders
4. Holidays In Space - Das Macht Show

Now known as The Dust Poets, Das Macht Show started as a Brandon, Manitoba band in 2001 and changed their name after touring their second album 'Four Legs Good' in 2003. Though the members of the band are scattered across the continent from Manitoba to Toronto and Arizona these days, they still manage to convene, record, tour, and spread their dusty prairie-fed humour and infectiously spirited acoustic music to the winds. Just off a Spring tour of New England, folks in British Columbia can look forward to a few shows in the late Autumn and early Winter.

5. Honeymoon On A Rocketship - Hank Snow
6. Rocket 69 - Todd Rhodes
7. Rocket 88 - Bill Haley & The Saddlemen

Bill Haley called his band The Saddlemen from c.1949 until he changed it to Bill Haley & His Comets in 1952. Rocket 88 was originally recorded by Ike Turner compadre and saxophonist, Jackie Brenston, in Memphis, in March of 1951. Sam Phillips did the recording and sold the rights to Chess Records in Chicago. It was a #1 R&B hit. Sam Phillips asserts Rocket 88 was the first Rock'n'Roll record and used the success of the song to launch the now legendary Sun Records label. Bill Haley & The Saddlemen also recorded the song in 1951 for Dave Miller's Philadelphia based label Holiday Records. Their plan was to leap the race barrier for black music by marketing the song to a broader audience with a white singer. The success of this venture encouraged Miller and Haley to do some further experiments combining R&B with country music. Bill Haley & The Saddlemen's version of Rocket 88, as a result, is also often tagged (along with hundreds of other contenders) as "The First Rock'n'Roll record".

8. Rocket Piano Man - Carolyn Mark & Amy Honey

From Carolyn Mark's 2005 'Just Married: An Album of Duets'. A deliciously witty rewrite of David Bowie's Space Oddity: "Ground Control to Elton John/I hope you've got your platforms on/Ground Control to Billy Joel/Too bad you had to sell your soul..."

9. The Flight Of Astronaut John Glenn - Joe Bussard & Oscar Myers
10. The Voyage Of Apollo 8 - Blind Robert Ward

Two songs written in tribute to the American Space Program. John Glenn was, in 1962, the first American to orbit the earth. Apollo 8 was, in December 1968, the first manned flight to orbit the moon. Both songs were written and recorded for Joe Bussard's Frederick, Maryland 78rpm-only label, Fonotone Records, which he ran out of his basement from 1956 to 1970. Legendary fingerstyle guitarist and eccentric, John Fahey, made and released his first ever recordings there in 1958 under the name Blind Thomas. These and the above tracks can be found on a five CD anthology of Fonotone recordings released in 2005.

11. Two Little Men In A Flying Saucer - Ella Fitzgerald
12. Jet Propelled Papa - Helen Humes

Born in Kentucky in 1913, Helen Humes began her Jazz/Blues recording career in 1927. She was Billie Holiday's replacement as lead female vocalist for The Count Basie Orchestra in 1938, and went on to record as a soloist bridging big band swing music and R&B through the 40s and 50s. After a hiatus through most of the 1960s she returned to the stage at the Newport Jazz Fesitival in 1973, maintaining her career until she passed away from cancer in 1981 at the age of 68. Helen Humes recorded Jet Propelled Papa for the Mercury label in 1949.

13. Walking On The Moon - Lucia Pamela

From Lucia Pamela's 1969 'Into Outer Space' album via Irwin Chusid's anthology 'Songs In the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music'. A former beauty queen (Miss St. Louis 1926), Lucia Pamela claims to have actually recorded her album on the moon because "the air is different up there". She plays all the instruments herself. Sweet!

14. Shoot Me To The Moon - Dan Reeder

15. Happy On The Moon - Willie P. Bennett with Amos Garrett

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Playlist for Wednesday June 4, 2008

Pink Floyd
hosted by Greg Denton with guest Kim Logue

1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders

In 1964 Syd Barrett joined a band in London called The Tea Set. When the band found themselves billed to play a gig with another band of the same name, Syd came up with an alternative name for the band: "The Pink Floyd Sound". They soon dropped "Sound" from the name calling themselves The Pink Floyd, and eventually just Pink Floyd. Syd borrowed the names of 'Pink' and 'Floyd' from the names of two Carolina bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council, having plucked them out of Paul Oliver's liner notes for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller Album which read: "Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen [...] Pink Anderson or Floyd Council -- these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys."

Piedmont Blues is characterised by a fingerstlye guitar method common to many folk and blues traditions where steady rythmic bass notes are thumbed on the low strings and the melody and ornamentation are fingered on the high strings. Piedmont blues musicians tended to employ a lot of older ragtime techniques and rhythms which differentiated them from Mississippi Delta area finger pickers. The Piedmont (literally 'foot hill') refers to the plateau region between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian Mountain range extending from New Jersey down through the Carolinas to Alabama.

2. Big Leg Woman Gets My Pay - Blind Boy Fuller

Blind Boy Fuller was born Fulton Allen in Wadesboro, North Carolina on July 10, 1907, one of a family of 10 children. His mother died while he was young and he moved with his father to Rockingham where he learned field hollers, rags and blues from older singers and started playing guitar. He married as a teen and began working as a labourer but, having lost his sight, turned to playing music full time. There are two stories regarding his blindness: one has a Charlotte doctor offering a diagnosis of ulcers behind his eyes brought on by damage caused by what researcher Bruce Bastin calls "some form of snow-blindness"; the other story is that an ex-girlfriend threw chemicals in his face. In 1935 James Baxter Long, a record store owner scouting for the American Recording Company, took him to New York to record. He was renamed "Blind Boy Fuller" and made over 120 records over the subsequent five years, establishing himself along with Reverand Gary Davis and Blind Blake as a preeminent example of the Piedmont Blues style. He was a heavy drinker with a violent temper and was briefly jailed in 1937 for shooting his wife in the leg with a pistol. He died in 1941 from alcohol related ailments .

3. Runaway Man Blues - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council

Floyd Council was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on September 2, 1911. He started out as a street singer along with his brothers, Leo and Thomas, in the 1920s. In the 1930s, he frequently accompanied Blind Boy Fuller as second guitar, and was taken to New York City in 1937 by John Baxter Long to record with Blind Boy Fuller, though he also recorded six solo tracks during a second visit to New York in December 1937. These were initially issued under the name "Blind Boy Fuller's Buddy", though the record company also tried to promote him with the names "Dipper Boy Council" and "The Devil's Daddy-in-Law". He likely would have become much better known during the 60's Folk & Blues revival if it wasn't for ill health. He suffered a stroke in the 1960s which impaired his motor skills and partially paralyzed his throat. He died of a heart attack in 1976.

4. Greasy Greens - Pink Anderson

Pink Anderson was born in Laurens, South Carolina on February 12, 1900 and raised in the upstate town of Spartanburg. At the age of 14 he became a medicine show musician, entertaining the crowds while Dr. Kerr of the Indian Remedy Company hawked his "medicines". Dr Kerr sold his elixers until his retirement in 1945, employing Pink Anderson for a good 30 years. Pink learned and played the blues "after hours" and, in 1928, recorded a handful of tracks for Columbia Records. His career as a bluesman was resurrected somewhat during the 1960s Folk and Blues revival. He died of a heart attack in October 1974. All the Pink Anderson recordings on this episode of Sugar In The Gourd date from 1961.

5. I'm Grievin' And I'm Worryin' - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council

6. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1 - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
7. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
8. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2 - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
9. Mother - Luther Wright & The Wrongs
10. Goodbye Blue Sky - Luther Wright & the Wrongs

Luther Wright and The Wrongs conceived their project of a full-on Country & Western cover of Pink Floyd's The Wall as they idly picked along to the radio while passing travel hours in their tour van. It was a crazy idea but the more they explored it the more the themes and structure of the songs from Roger Waters' epic 1979 operatic rock concept album seemed to lend themselves to a country adaptation. The band recorded the album over 6 months in 2001 and initially (and quietly) pressed a CD of the first half as Rebuild the Wall Volume One, planning to release Volume Two when they had full licensed clearance on the project. However, when Roger Waters received the project with enthusiasm and wrote to The Wrongs himself saying he enjoyed the CD and offered his blessings, they opted to release the full Rebuild The Wall project on a single CD instead of the initial Volume One/Volume two arrangement.

11. Chicken - Pink Anderson
12. I Don't Want No Hungry Woman - Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council
13. Betty And Dupree - Pink Anderson

14. Two Of A Kind - Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968 after mental health problems exacerbated by stress and psychedelic drugs made him a little unreliable. He was replaced by guitarist David Gilmour. Bassist, vocalist and composer Roger Waters eventually moved to the forefront of the band. Syd continued recording on his own, releasing two albums before retreating into a self-imposed seclusion for over 30 years. He kept busy by making art and gardening. He passed away on July 7, 2006. The song Two Of A Kind was recorded for the BBC in February 1970 and was broadcast on the program 'Top Gear' in May of that year.