Odetta – It’s A Mighty World (1964)

FrontCover1.jpgOne of the strongest voices in the folk revival and the civil rights movement, Odetta (Gordon) was born on New Year’s Eve 1930 in Birmingham, AL. By the time she was six years old, she had moved with her younger sister and mother to Los Angeles. She showed a keen interest in music from the time she was a child, and when she was about ten years old, somewhere between church and school, her singing voice was discovered. Odetta’s mother began saving money to pay for voice lessons for her, but was advised to wait until her daughter was 13 years old and well into puberty. Thanks to her mother, Odetta began voice lessons when she was 13. She received a classical training, which was interrupted when her mother could no longer afford to pay for the lessons. The puppeteer Harry Burnette interceded and paid for Odetta to continue her voice training.

When she was 19 years old, Odetta landed a role in the Los Angeles production of Finian’s Rainbow, which was staged in the summer of 1949 at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. It was during the run of this show that she first heard the blues harmonica master Sonny Terry. The following summer, Odetta was again performing in summer stock in California. This time it was a production of Guys and Dolls, staged in San Francisco. Hanging out in North Beach during her days off, Odetta had her first experience with the growing local folk music scene. Following her summer in San Francisco, Odetta returned to Los Angeles, where she worked as a live-in housekeeper. During this time she performed on a show bill with Paul Robeson.

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In 1953, Odetta took some time off from her housecleaning chores to travel to New York City and appear at the famed Blue Angel folk club. Pete Seeger and Harry Belafonte had both taken an interest in her career by this time, and her debut album, The Tin Angel, was released in 1954. From this time forward, Odetta worked to expand her repertoire and make full use of what she has always termed her “instrument.” When she began singing, she was considered a coloratura soprano. As she matured, she became more of a mezzo-soprano. Her experience singing folk music led her to discover a vocal range that runs from coloratura to baritone.

Odetta’s most productive decade as a recording artist came in the 1960s, when she released 16 albums, including Odetta at Carnegie Hall, Christmas Spirituals, Odetta and the Blues, It’s a Mighty World, and Odetta Sings Dylan. (by Philip Van Vleck)

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This LP by Odetta on RCA dates to around 1964 and never made it to CD . Odetta was part of the whole Dylan, Baez, Ochs, St Marie, Seeger 60s voice,but she always seemed more positive to me. With a huge, powerful voice, she sang of “love and things”. The title song puts later songs (the sappy “What a Wonderful World” comes to mind) to shame. But this album also includes a delightful version of “Froggy Went A-courtin.”  (by Richard Brickwell)

Odetta changed the music world and still stands as a powerful, unique voice. (by jwelkin)

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Personnel:
Leslie Grinage (bass)
Bruce Langhorne (guitar)
Odetta (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s A Mighty World (Gordon) 2.22
02. I’ve Been Told (Traditional) 2.48
03. Reminiscing (Traditional) 2.23
04. Hush Hush Mamie (Traditional) 2.11
05. Camphorated Oil (Traditional) 1.34
06. Bull Jine Run (Traditional) 2.11
07. Come A Lady’s Dream (Traditional) 1.48
08. Sweet Potatoes (Traditional) 2.02
09. Chevrolet (Young) 2.46
10. Love Proved False (Traditional) 4.24
11. One Man’s Hands (Comfort/Seeger) 3.52
12. Got My Mind On Freedom (Traditional) 3.59

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The Voice of Civil Rights Movement:

Odetta (December 31, 1930 – December 2, 2008)

Joanna Connor – Rock And Roll Gypsy (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgWhat sets Joanna Connor apart from the rest of the pack of guitar-playing female blues singers is her skill on the instrument. Even though Connor has become an accomplished singer over time, her first love was guitar playing, and it shows in her live shows and on her recordings.

Brooklyn-born, Massachusetts-raised Joanna Connor was drawn to the Chicago blues scene like a bee to a half-full soda can. Connor, a fiery guitarist raised in the 1970s — when rock & roll was all over the mass media — just wanted to play blues. She was born August 31, 1962, in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised by her mother in Worcester, MA. She benefitted from her mother’s huge collection of blues and jazz recordings, and a young Connor was taken to see people like Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder and Buddy Guy in concert.

Connor got her first guitar at age seven. When she was 16, she began singing in Worcester-area bands, and when she was 22, she moved to Chicago. Soon after her arrival in 1984, she began sitting in with Chicago regulars like James Cotton, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and A.C. Reed. She hooked up with Johnny Littlejohn’s group for a short time before being asked by Dion Payton to join his 43rd Street Blues Band. She performed with Payton at the 1987 Chicago Blues Festival. Later that year, she was ready to put her own band together.

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Her 1989 debut for the Blind Pig label, Believe It!, got her out of Chicago clubs and into clubs and festivals around the U.S., Canada and Europe. Her other albums include 1992’s Fight for Blind Pig (the title track a Luther Allison tune), Living on the Road (1993) and Rock and Roll Gypsy (1995), the latter two for the Ruf Records label. Slidetime on Blind Pig followed in 1998 and Nothing But the Blues, a live recording of a 1999 show in Germany, appeared on the German Inakustik label in 2001. Connor left Blind Pig and signed to small indie label M.C. in 2002. Her first release for her new label, The Joanna Connor Band, finds Connor expanding her sound a bit in an attempt to reach a more mainstream audience.

Connor has blossomed into a gifted blues songwriter. Her songwriting talents, strongly influenced by greats like Luther Allison, will insure that she stays in the blues spotlight for years to come. (by Richard Skelly)

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And here´s her second album for the German label Ruf Records and it´s a down to earth album, raw, old time blues with some fine Gospel and soul elements. Good for the soul and mind.

This album included a fine version of “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix and a guest appearance of Luther Allison.

And we can hear this superb slide-guitar by one of the finest Blues ladies from the last decades.

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Personnel:
Joanna Connor (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Stan Mixon (bass)
Larry Ortega (drums, percussion)
Tony Palmer (guitar)
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Luther Allison (guitar, vocals on 04.)
Johann Janssen (pedal steel-guitar)
Buzz Killman (harmonica)
Frank Niedlander (saxophone)
Roel Spanjers (keyboards)
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background vocals:
Andrea Variames – Bertram Brown – William Brown

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Tracklist:
01. Never Been Rocked Enough (McClinton/Seals) 3.27
02. Rock & Roll Gypsy (Connor) 4.04
03. Howlin’ (Traditional) 3.55
04. Slipping Away (Allison) 5.26
05. Rain On My Window (Walker) 4.53
06. Think About Me (Seay/Derek) 5.13
07. Driving Wheel (Sykes) 3.47
08. You’re So Fine (Connor/Rogers) 5.08
09. Fire (Hendrix) 2.52
10. You’re Going With Me (Pomus) 5.04
11. Child Of Two Worlds (Connor) 3.29

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Buck Clayton – How Hi The Fi (1954)

FrontCover1.jpgA cornerstone of jazz culture has been the jam sessions. Many groups (regardless of stature) that appeared in the same town concurrently gathered for late-night, jam festivities. Amid the aura of improvisation and camaraderie, legends (and future legends) refined their craft as soloists and ensemble performers. Unfortunately, the results of these collaborations were rarely preserved on vinyl (adding to the legend). But in the early fifties, Columbia Records captured all-star glory with its Buck Clayton jam catalog. Now, Pure Pleasure Records has re-mastered How Hi The Fi to 180-gram vinyl.

Following the success of Buck’s first jam session, Huckle-Buck And Robbins’ Nest (Columbia CL 548), producer George Avakian (with the help of John Hammond) Buck Clayton02assembled a veteran cadre of musicians. Many of these players were part of Count Basie’s band and the group dynamics are present. A last-minute surprise addition (on two sides) was clarinetist Woody Herman, in town on his way to Europe. How High The Fi was recorded in two dates, with an emphasis on spontaneity.

Pure Pleasure Records has brought this mono fidelity session to life on 180-gram vinyl. The original, meticulous engineering sounds flawless. The instrumentation (both individual and combined) is pristine in clarity and mixing. All of the horns and reeds sound great, without a trace of shrillness. The reproduction of the original gatefold is top-notch (including the plug for Columbia needles). [Interesting how the audiophile vinyl reissues often look so much like the original LP release (if someone has it) that even the name of the repressing label doesn’t appear anywhere, even on the vinyl’s center label…Ed.] How Hi The Fi is jazz at its best! (audaud.com)

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Personnel:
Buck Clayton (trumpet on 03. + 04.)
Al Cohn (saxophone on 01. + 02.)
Julian Dash (saxophone)
Lem Davis (saxophone)
Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone on 03. + 04.)
Freddy Green (guitar on 03. + 04.)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Woody Herman (clarinet on 01 – 02.)
Jimmy Jones (piano on 01. + 02.)
Jo Jones (drums)
Steve Jordan (guitar on 01. + 02.)
Joe Newman (trumpet on 03. + 04.)
Walter Page (bass)
Benny Powell (trombone on 03. + 04.)
Joe Thomas (trumpet on 01. + 02.)
Sir Charles Thompson (piano on 03. + 04.)
Trummy Young (trombone on 01. + 02)

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Tracklist:
01. How Hi The Fi (Clayton) 13.50
02. Blue Moon (Hart/Rodgers) 14.11
03. Sentimental Journey (Green/Brown/Homer) 13.47
04. Moten Swing (Moten) 12.47

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Wilbur Dorsey “Buck” Clayton (November 12, 1911 – December 8, 1991)

The British Modbeats – Mod Is (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgFormed in 1963 by Fraser Loveman. They were a Beat/Mod band from St. Catharines, Ontario, The Modbeats got signed to the Red Leaf Label after finding popularity and acclaim within the Canadian Mod scene with the label hoping to use the band to ride the British Invasion wave at the time.

They disbanded in 1967 when Loveman left to start a new group, The Foundation.

The band was heavily influenced from bands and artists like Doris Troy, Cilla Black, Lulu, The Merseys, Manfred Mann, Spencer Davis Group, The Pretty Things, The Merseys, The McCoys, Chris Kenner, Cannibal And The Headhunters, Wilson Pickett.

I guess the most important musician in this short-lived Beat group was Fraser Loveman (November 01, 1946 – April 06, 2018) and so I include a intensive portrait of him (8 pages).

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Besides an inordinate amount of time spent studying 45rpm records and, rehearsing his singing via those records , Fraser had to spend a fair bit of time sewing these one of a kind, self invented fashions ! As a self taught artist in more ways than one, thousands of aural and, visual influences were dissected and, lovingly absorbed by the time he was 20 and, was becoming a known performer.

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Curtains that had been deaccessioned by some of the British Modbeats mommies were turned into giant bell bottomed trousers and, vests for himself and, his bandmates. Pre- Janis Joplin, perhaps influenced by British pop songstress Sandie Shaw, Fraser/Modbeats began a habit of performing in bare feet.

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At their mid 60’s gigs at Ontario teen dances at fairgrounds, community halls and, hockey arenas, their unexpected visual appearance and, garage band sound caused a furor that delighted the youngsters and, worried the older folks. Fraser’s well rounded vocal sound took some of the edge off of the raw vibe of the group. It was a highly original, exciting mix. Fraser’s affable dad managed his son’s new fangled singing group, The British Modbeats, who at one point, travelled all the way to New York City to perform with poppa in tow to supervise the tour.

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Because of his British roots (his family had moved to Canada in 1953) , Fraser travelled back to Britain in those days of “Swinging London” and, besides his already extensive knowledge of the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, he was, he was now hip to what was going on in the new music that was then emanating from England. Of course all of the new, 1960’s English popsters were influenced by the American 1950’s music that Fraser Loveman already knew so well. Relatives in Scotland also sent the latest UK records to him and, the record collection that Fraser’s older sister, Mae Loveman had started him on when he was a pre-teen was by then growing out of control. (johnmars.com)

The British Mod Beats wern´t the best Band in the Beat-Scene … but you´ll hear that they love this music … And that´s the most important thing about music ! And we can hear some strong cover versions (“L.S.D.”, “Somebody Help Me” and “More Love”)

This entry is dedicated to all these countless more or less unknown Beat Bands from this very important decade of music !

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Personnel:
Joe Colonna (bass)
Greig Foster (guitar)
Mike Gorgichuk (guitar)
Robbie Jeffrey (drums)
Fraser Loveman (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Whatcha Gonna Do About It (Payne/Carroll) 2.21
02. Love’s Just A Broken Heart (Lynch/Bendome/Shuman) 2.14
03. The Price Of Love (Everly Brothers) 2.07
04. Ain’t Nobody Home But Me (Scott) 2.22
05. L.S.D. (Taylor/May) 1.56
06. Land Of A 1000 Dances (Kenner) 2.49
07. Somebody Help Me (Edwards) 1.56
08. Sorrow (Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer) 2.31
09. More Love (Blaikley) 2.09
10. Try To Understand (Burton/Sawyer) 2.21
11. Don’t Answer Me (Zambrini/Enriquez/Callander) 2.19

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David Clayton-Thomas – Same (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgDavid Clayton-Thomas (born David Henry Thomsett, 13 September, 1941) is a Canadian Juno Award-winning musician and singer. As the lead vocalist for the band, Blood, Sweat & Tears he rose to fame, and maintained a busy solo career over the years as well.

Clayton-Thomas was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK, the son of a decorated Canadian soldier of World War II who met his piano-playing mother when she came to entertain the troops at a London hospital. They were married, and when the war ended, the family moved to Willowdale, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, when Clayton-Thomas was not yet school-aged.

Growing up, he was taught music by his mother but had difficulties in what was a dysfunctional family. He left home in his early teens. He idolized the music of John Lee Hooker and began playing guitar and singing, and by the time he was 21 had his own band, The Shays. David Clayton-Thomas & The Shays recorded for Roman Records of Toronto. Clayton-Thomas released two albums on the record label, “A Go Go” (with The Shays) and “Like It Is” (with The Bossmen).

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In February 1966, he joined a new band, The Bossmen, fronted by the child prodigy, pianist Tony Collacott, who had played with Sarah Vaughan at New York’s Carnegie Hall at the age of 14. The group recorded a lone single, the jazz-rock song “Brainwashed,” which was a Canadian hit record in June 1966 and gave an indication of his future work.

The band broke up soon afterward and he traveled to New York. In October 1967, he joined forces with former members of the Toronto R&B outfit, Jon and Lee & The Checkmates and renamed them his new backing band, The Phoenix. The group started a residency at a New York nightclub, Steve Paul’s The Scene, but he was soon deported for working illegally in the States.

In February 1968, Clayton-Thomas formed a new band in Toronto, the David Clayton-Thomas Combine with former Bossmen guitarist Jack Mowbrey, ex-Phoenix bass player Peter Hodgson, and drummer Pat Little from Luke & The Apostles. The group recorded the original version of his hit “Spinning Wheel” but the band broke up a few months later when Clayton-Thomas was offered a more attractive offer from Bobby Colomby, the drummer with Blood, Sweat & Tears. (by wikipedia)

Clayton-Thomas02.jpgA few years before he joined Blood, Sweat and Tears, David Clayton-Thomas was the lead vocalist with the Shays in Canada. In 1964, David-Clayton Thomas and the Shays recorded the single “Boom Boom.” In 1965, the album “David Clayton-Thomas And The Shays: A Go-Go” was released in Canada. The songs on this “David Clayton-Thomas” album date from around that time. Young David’s vocals were somewhat raw, yet very strong. Even at that age, his gritty voice was best suited for covering blues songs. That makes the song selections on this album uniformly great. Below is the track listing for the album.

Later, David Clayton-Thomas became the lead vocalist of the Bossmen. In 1966, they had a number one hit single in Canada with “Brainwashed,” an anti-Vietnam war anthem. In 1968, David Clayton-Thomas became the lead singer of Blood, Sweat and Tears. The rest, as they say, is history. (by Michael King)

And yes, this a real great album from the early days of David Clayton-Thomas with great versions of classic Blues & R&B tunes !

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Personnel:
David Clayton-Thomas (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. I Got A Woman (Charles) 4.30
02. Say Boss Man (McDaniels) 3.07
03. Who’s Been Talkin’ (Clayton-Thomas) 2.29
04. Call It Stormy Monday (Walker) 4.56
05. Done Somebody Wrong (Clayton-Thomas) 2.27
06. Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) 5.11
07. Boom Boom (Hooker) 2.38
08. Good Lovin’ (Kirkland/Taylor/Jesmet) 2.03
09. Poison Ivy (Leiber/Stoller) 2.12
10. Howlin’ For My Darling (Dixon/Burnett) 2.34

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Joni Mitchell – Hejira (1976)

FrontCover1.jpgHejira is the eighth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

The songs on the album were largely written by Mitchell on a trip by car from Maine back to Los Angeles, California, with prominent imagery including highways, small towns and snow. The photographs of Mitchell on the front and back cover were taken by Norman Seeff and appear against a backdrop of Lake Mendota, in Madison, Wisconsin, after an ice storm.

Characterized by lyrically dense, sprawling songs, and graced with the overdubbed fretless bass playing of Jaco Pastorius, whom Joni had just met, Hejira continued Mitchell’s journey beyond her pop records towards the freer, jazz inspired music she would implement on later recordings.

The album did not sell as well as its predecessors, peaking at No. 22 in her native Canada. It reached No. 13 on the Billboard 200 pop album chart in the United States, where it was certified gold by the RIAA, and No. 11 in the UK, where it attained a silver certification. Critically, the album was generally well received, and in the years since its release, Hejira has been considered one of the high marks of her career. (by wikipedia)

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Joni Mitchell’s Hejira is the last in an astonishingly long run of top-notch studio albums dating back to her debut. Some vestiges of her old style remain here; “Song for Sharon” utilizes the static, pithy vocal harmonies from Ladies of the Canyon’s “Woodstock,” “Refuge of the Roads” features woodwind touches reminiscent of those in “Barangrill” from For the Roses, and “Coyote” is a fast guitar-strummed number that has precedents as far back as Clouds’ “Chelsea Morning.” But by and large, this release is the most overtly jazz-oriented of her career up to this point — hip and cool, but never smug or icy. “Blue Motel Room” in particular is a prototypic slow jazz-club combo number, appropriately smooth, smoky, and languorous. “Coyote,” “Black Crow,” and the title track are by contrast energetically restless fast-tempo selections. The rest of the songs here cleverly explore variants on mid- to slow-tempo approaches.

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None of these cuts are traditionally tuneful in the manner of Mitchell’s older folk efforts; the effect here is one of subtle rolls and ridges on a green meadow rather than the outgoing beauty of a flower garden. Mitchell’s verses, many concerned with character portraits, are among the most polished of her career; the most striking of these studies are that of the decrepit Delta crooner of “Furry Sings the Blues” and the ambivalent speaker of “Song to Sharon,” who has difficulty choosing between commitment and freedom. Arrangements are sparse, yet surprisingly varied, the most striking of which is the kaleidoscopically pointillistic one used on “Amelia.” Performances are excellent, with special kudos reserved for Jaco Pastorius’ melodic bass playing on “Refuge of the Roads” and the title cut. This excellent album is a rewarding listen. (by David Cleary)

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Personnel:
Max Bennett (bass on 03. + 06.)
Larry Carlton (guitar on 01., 02, 04., 07. + 08.)
Chuck Domanico (basss on 08.)
Victor Feldman (vibraphone on 02.)
Chuck Findley (horn on 09.)
John Guerin (drums on 06., 08. + 09.)
Bobbye Hall (percussion on 01., 04. + 05.)
Jonui Mitchell (vocals, guitar)
Abe Most (clarint on 05.)
Jaco Pastorius (bass on 01., 05., 07. + 09.)
Tom Scott (horn on 09.)
Neil Young (harmonica on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Coyote 4.58
02. Amelia 5.57
03. Furry Sings The Blues 5.03
04. A Strange Boy 4.15
05. Hejira 6.36
06. Song For Sharon 8.28
07. Black Crow 4.12
08. Blue Motel Room 5.03
09. Refuge Of The Roads 6.37

All songs written by Joni Mitchell

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Old Beale Street  is coming down
Sweeties’ Snack Bar boarded up now
And Egles the Tailor and the Shine Boy’s gone
Faded out with ragtime blues
Handy’s cast in bronze
And he’s standing in a little park
With a trumpet in his hand
Like he’s listening back to the good old bands
And the click of high heeled shoes
Old Furry  sings the blues
Propped up in his bed
With his dentures and his leg removed
And Ginny’s there
For her kindness and Furry’s beer
She’s the old man’s angel overseer

Pawn shops glitter like gold tooth caps
In the grey decay
They chew the last few dollars off
Old Beale Street’s carcass
Carrion and mercy
Blue and silver sparkling drums
Cheap guitars eye shades and guns
Aimed at the hot blood of being no one
Down and out in Memphis Tennessee
Old Furry sings the blues
You bring him smoke and drink and he’ll play for you
lt’s mostly muttering now and sideshow spiel
But there was one song he played
I could really feel

There’s a double bill murder at the New Daisy
The old girl’s silent across the street
She’s silent waiting for the wrecker’s beat
Silent staring at her stolen name
Diamond boys and satin dolls
Bourbon laughter ghosts history falls
To parking lots and shopping malls
As they tear down old Beale Street
Old Furry sings the blues
He points a bony finger at you and says
“I don’t like you”
Everybody laughs as if it’s the old man’s standard joke
But it’s true
We’re only welcome for our drink and smoke

W. C. Handy * I’m rich and I’m fey
And I’m not familiar with what you played
But I get such strong impressions of your hey day
Looking up and down old Beale Street
Ghosts of the darktown society
Come right out of the bricks at me
Like it’s a Saturday night
They’re in their finery
Dancing it up and making deals
Furry sings the blues
Why should I expect that old guy to give it to me true
Fallen to hard luck
And time and other thieves
While our limo is shining on his shanty street
Old Furry sings the blues

 

Sammy Davis Jr. – Closest Of Friends (1984)

FrontCover1.JPGSamuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, musician, dancer, actor, vaudevillian, comedian and activist known for his impressions of actors, musicians and other celebrities. At age three, Davis Jr. began his career in vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally.

After military service, Davis Jr. returned to the trio and became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro’s (in West Hollywood) after the 1951 Academy Awards. With the trio, he became a recording artist. In 1954, at the age of 29, he lost his left eye in a car accident. Several years later, he converted to Judaism, finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities.

After a starring role on Broadway in Mr Wonderful (1956), he returned to the stage in 1964’s Golden Boy.

Davis Jr.’s film career began as a child in 1933. In 1960, he appeared in the Rat Pack film Ocean’s 11.

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In 1966, he had his own TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. While Davis’ career slowed in the late 1960s, he did have a hit record with “The Candy Man” in 1972 and became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname “Mister Show Business”.

Davis had a complex relationship with the black community and drew criticism after publicly supporting President Richard Nixon in 1972. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. “Handicap?” he asked. “Talk about handicap. I’m a one-eyed Negro Jew.” This was to become a signature comment, recounted in his autobiography and in many articles.

After reuniting with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli internationally, before his death in 1990. He died in debt to the Internal Revenue Service,[8] and his estate was the subject of legal battles. Davis Jr. was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television performances.

He was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1987, and in 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, he was inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame for being the Greatest Entertainer in the World, said founder Lamont “ShowBoat” Robinson. (by wikipedia)

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In 1982, Sammy Davis, Jr. made the musical move to Nashville. Perhaps the last place you would expect the diminutive wonder to turn up, but he cut ten songs there for the Applause label and the Closest of Friends album was the result. The songs assembled for Davis to sing come from some of the finest writers the town had to offer (“Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson, “Come Sundown” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” by Kris Kristofferson, “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” by Tex Williams and Merle Travis) and while the aging Sammy did what he could vocally, the wooden arrangements and pedestrian playing really bring the album down.

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The best of the songs, like Sammy’s light bounce through “Hey, Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)” and his knowing take on “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” (which contains the cruelly foreshadowing lyric “I’ve smoked ’em all my life and I ain’t dead yet”) are miles away from his best work and have only the slightest glimmer of what made Davis so spectacular in his prime. Only a true Davis fanatic would ever want to hear these songs. It was one of his last forays into a recording studio and should probably just be forgotten. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Davis sessions that turns up time and time again on cheap reissue labels, often with mis-leading titles and cover shots. (by Tim Sendra)

In other words: A Sammy Davis trip into this sentimental Country music …

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Personnel:
Larry Butler (piano)
James Capps (guitar)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Stebve Chapman (guitar)
Sammy Davis Jr. (vocals)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Leon Rhodes (bass)
Hargus Robbins (piano)
Bily Sanford (guitar)
Jerry Shook (guitar)
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Sheldon Kurland Strings

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Tracklist:
01. What I’ve Got In Mind (O´Dell) 2.48
02. Come Sundown (Kristofferson) 3.22
03. Mention A Mansion (Hupp/Morrison) 2.19
04. You’re Gonna Love Yourself (In The Morning) (Fritts) 3.15
05. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) (Travis/Williams) 3.03
06. Oh Lonesome Me (Gibson) 2.24
07. We Could Have Been Closest Of Friends (Pippin/Slade) 3.15
08. Hey Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) (Buitler/Moman) 3.23
09. Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends (Kristofferson) 3.25
10. The River’s Too Wide (Morrison) 2.43

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Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990)

 

I got this album from greygoose … thanks a lot !!!