Sunday, November 30, 2008

St. Louis Blues


No, another "St. Louis Blues", recorded by Al Bernard and The Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

Al Bernard, "the boy from Dixie", was a recording artist from the vaudeville era. He was one of the most famous blackface performers in the days of minstrel shows, so was something of a pariah to the politically correct and those sensitive about racial issues.
His work has been reappraised by music historians who feel a link exists between the minstrel show styles and western swing music.

The Original Dixieland Jazz Band billed themselves as "The Creators of Jazz", but were often dismissed as "the White guys who copied African-American music, and called it their own" (sound familiar?).

"St. Louis Blues" (1921):

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One Of Music's Finest Songwriters And Social Critics

Ray Davies: Life's Great Balancing Act, the Possibility of a Kinks Reunion and More
A fantastic article (by Chris Parker) on the man behind the Kinks.
In other Kinks news, the December 8 release of Picture Book, a six-disc box set that tacks rarities, live cuts and demos onto the typical array of classic singles and fan favorites. More than 130 tracks made the final tracklisting, which is backed by a 60-page booklet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Birthday Toast!

... to Mr. Brian Roach, the best thing to come out of England since The Beatles.

Alright, perhaps I may exaggerate just a bit, but it is his birthday, and besides the Beatles have never bought me a beer.
So buy him a beer and be sure to see his band play.

(Brian, seen here with the author)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers

Charlie Poole & the North Carolina Ramblers were one of the most popular string bands of the 1920s.The band recorded prolifically from 1925-30 a variety of songs and tunes in various styles.
Charlie Poole was born in 1892 in Spray, North Carolina.
He learned to play the banjo at an early age and developed his own style of three fingerpicking which was instrumental in defining the sound of the North Carolina Ramblers. He was joined initially by guitarist Norman Woodlief and later by Roy Harvey from West Virginia. Posey Rorer fiddled in the earlier sessions, and Lonnie Austin or Odell Smith in the later sessions.

Charlie was a bit of a wild man. Like many country performers to follow, Poole lived a fast life. He was a hard-drinking man, rowdy and reckless. This ultimately resulted in a premature death following a three week binge in celebration of a bit part in a Hollywood movie.
He went on a bender and died of heart failure before he could get to Hollywood.

"White House Blues":Recorded on September 20, 1926 in New York City. Poole sings and plays the banjo with Posey Rorer on fiddle and Ron Harvey on guitar on this tune about the McKinley assassination.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


The 35th president of the United States was assassinated in Dallas, Texas 45 years ago, today.

Al's Palace has a great post on the matter.
It really is good, once you get past the crude title.
I was pleasantly surprised.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Steamboat Willie

It was 80 years ago, today, that the animated short Steamboat Willie was released by Walt Disney Productions.Contrary to what many hold as truth, Steamboat Willie was not the first Mickey Mouse cartoon made, nor the first cartoon to use sound, but it was the one that made Mickey Mouse famous, and the first sound cartoon to attract widespread notice and popularity.

Believe it or not, there is a Mickey Mouse connection to radical Islam.
(via Jihad Watch)

Keeping Up With The Joneses - It Was 30 Years Ago Today

Today marks 30 years since the horrific deaths of more than 900 people at Jonestown.
The massacre was orchestrated by "Reverend" Jim Jones.The men, women and children died after drinking a fatal cyanide-laced potion of Flavor-Aid (not Kool-Aid, as widely reported) at Jones' compound in the jungles of Guyana.
The event, termed "revolutionary suicide" by Jones, was the greatest single loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001.
These poisonings at the compound followed the murders of five others by Temple members at a nearby airstrip. Those victims included Leo Ryan, the first (and only) U.S. Congressman murdered in the line of duty in the history of the United States.

I must confess, sometimes I'm a bit jealous of cult members. Those poor
deluded fuckers, at least they have a sense of purpose.

Hear the "Jonestown Death Tape", an audio recording made on November 18, 1978, at the Peoples Temple compound immediately preceding (and during) the mass suicide of the cult:

Here's a transcript of that tape.

Here's a related video.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gene Clark

A gifted American singer-songwriter, Gene Clark (born Harold Eugene Clark in Tipton, Missouri, November 17, 1944) was one of the founding members of the folk-rock group The Byrds.

Gene Clark is best remembered for his association with the Byrds between 1964 and 1966 but there was much more to his body of work than that legacy. A prolific songwriter and singer with a distinctive style, he created a large catalog of music in several genres. He was one of the earliest exponents of baroque pop, newgrass, country rock and alternative country. Sadly despite this, he failed to achieve great commercial success.
Gene announced on March 1, 1966 that he was quitting the Byrds.He already had a backlog of hundreds of songs, was writing new material all the time, and was eager to start a solo career.
In late 1966 Gene recorded his first solo album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers.
Unfortunately, bad timing at Columbia put the album out the same week of February 1967 as the newest Byrds album, creating an unnecessary competition between the two camps.This was a shame, as it was a fine release with several strong tracks.

In the late 1980's, Clark began to develop serious health problems; he had ulcers, aggravated by years of heavy drinking (often used to alleviate his chronic travel anxiety, caused by undiagnosed Bipolar disorder), and in 1988 he underwent surgery, during which much of his stomach and intestines had to be removed.A period of abstinence and recovery followed until Tom Petty's cover of "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better," on his 1989 album Full Moon Fever, yielded a huge amount of royalty money to Clark who quickly reverted to massive drug and alcohol abuse.Clark's health continued to decline as his drinking accelerated and on May 24, 1991 Gene Clark died at the age of 46, the coroner declaring that he succumbed as a result of "natural causes" brought on by a bleeding ulcer.
In 2007, two of his songs were recorded by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant on the T-Bone Burnett produced Raising Sand: "Polly Come Home" and "Through the Morning, Through the Night."

(click photos for music video)

No More Bailouts!!!

Bob rants about the bailout situation

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Semper Fi

This week's installment of Sunday Morning 78's And Such pays tribute to the U.S.M.C.

This past Monday (11/10/08) was the 233rd anniversary of the formation of the US Marine Corps.

To honor this milestone, here are three recordings by The United States Marine Band (1890)

"Semper Fidelis"

"The Thunderer March"

and "Washington Post March"

Friday, November 14, 2008


Perhaps this pristine isolation is beginning to warp me some.
I stumbled upon this page earlier today and was quite amused.
The fun of karaoke meets the word power of the dictionary.
Audio clips from online dictionaries sing the hits of yesterday and today.

I think I really need to get out more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

R I P: Mitch Mitchell

John "Mitch" Mitchell (July 9, 1947 – November 12, 2008) was an English drummer, most famous for his membership in The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Mitchell played in Hendrix's Experience trio from October 1966 to mid-1969, his Woodstock band in August 1969, and also with the later incarnation of the "Jimi Hendrix Experience" in 1970, with Billy Cox on bass, known as the "Cry of Love" band.
Mitchell played in the band The Dirty Mac which was assembled for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in 1968. The band contained John Lennon as "Winston Leg-Thigh" as vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Eric Clapton as guitarist, Keith Richards as bassist, and Mitch Mitchell as drummer.
His last days were spent celebrating the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix with old and new friends on the 2008 Experience Hendrix tour. The tour ended 5 days before Mitchell was found deceased at appoximately 3 a.m. on November 12, 2008 in his room at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland. Mitchell, 61, apparently died of natural causes, the Multnomah County Medical Examiner said.

So Many Birthdays...

There are many birthdays to acknowledge today.
Neil Young, the Singer/songwriter with many different styles (at various times he recorded with the bands Buffalo Springfield, Crazy Horse, and Crosby, Stills & Nash&Young), is 63 today.

Turning 64 today, Booker T. Jones, the multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and arranger, best known for fronting the band, Booker T. and the MGs.

In honor of these two, I present this video in which they perform together.

November 12 also marks the 74th birthday of Charles Manson, leader of the "Manson Family" convicted of killing actress Sharon Tate among others,a "nut case who will never get out of jail".

But wait!, there's more.
My friend Tom Vizi (seen here with the Duke) also celebrates today (damned if I know how old he is), and finally, a happy birthday to my friend Rachel Connolly!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band

AKA, the Dixieland Jug Blowers

At the turn of the century, African American musicians in Louisville walked the streets playing tunes on "found" or homemade instruments like empty liquor jugs ("the poor man’s tuba"), kazoos and washboards. They started a craze, "jug music".

Earl McDonald was born in South Carolina.His family moved to Louisville in 1885 when he was two years old. He grew up listening to jug bands playing on the street, and started his own band while still in high school. His Louisville Jug Band first played at Churchill Downs in 1903.
By 1913, fiddler Clifford Hayes had joined McDonald's band. The two would start a long collaboration, doing live shows and recording as both the Louisville Jug Band and (for contractual reasons) the Dixieland Jug Blowers.

She Won't Quit But She'll Slow Down (1927):

He's In The Jailhouse Now (1927):

Hayes and McDonald eventually split as bandmates because of disputes over money (some things never change).

Here are two tacks from Clifford Hayes:

Frog Hop (1929),w/ The Louisville Stompers:

Skip, Skat, Doodle-Do:

Friday, November 7, 2008

"... more class than Richard Nixon, Mick Jagger, and Gomer Pyle combined! "

Joni Mitchell turns 65 years old today.

Mitchell's work is highly respected
both by critics and fellow musicians. Rolling Stone magazine called her "one of the greatest songwriters ever," while Allmusic said, "When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century."

Joni Mitchell had a profound influence on genres ranging from R&B to alternative rock to jazz.

Mitchell is also a visual artist. She made the artwork for each of her albums.

A blunt critic of the music industry, Mitchell had stopped recording over the last several years, focusing more attention on painting.

... and a treat for the Deadheads:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The "Indian Of The Group" Has Gone To The Happy Hunting Ground

Former Frank Zappa Drummer Jimmy Carl Black has Passed Away.

Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, passed away this past weekend after a bout with lung cancer. He was 70.
Black, the self-proclaimed “Indian of the group", served with the Mothers from their acclaimed 1966 debut Freak Out! (a sneering farce about rock music and America as a whole) until Zappa’s 1970 album Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
Black also played a noticeable role in the Zappa film 200 Motels, where he sang “Lonesome Cowboy Burt”.

In his post-Mothers career, Black played in several bands, including a stint with Captain Beefheart, Geronimo Black (which Black fronted) and the Zappa tribute bands like the Grandmothers and the Muffin Men.
Jimmy passed away peacefully Saturday (11/01/08).

A benefit for Black will be held November 9th at the Bridgehouse II in London.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Sorry for the inconvenience.

A good deal of the audio and video media displayed on my page is hosted by Internet Archive.Org and their site seems to be down at the moment.
I thank you for both your patience and understanding, and your continued patronage.

update: Problem Solved!

Thanks for your support.

Gram Parsons

Pioneering Country-Rock musician Gram Parsons was born 62 years ago today.
Parsons was born Ingram Cecil Connor III in Winter Haven, Florida, the grandson of a citrus fruit magnate.
Gram had attended Harvard University, studying theology but dropped out after one semester.

Parsons was a member of the International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. He was later a solo artist who recorded and performed duets with Emmylou Harris.

Parsons died of a drug overdose at the age of 26 in a hotel room in Joshua Tree, California. Since his death, his influential songwriting has been attributed to the birth of 1970s country rock and the early 1990s alt-country movement. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him #87 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

"Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat"

Animated SATIRE from the 1940's

"Scrub Me Mama With A Boogie Beat":Lazy black folks in Lazy Town (Pop. 123½) are napping and attracting flies. They are so lethargic they even fight in slow motion. Then a riverboat arrives with a red hot mama on board and she quickly has everyone moving to a Harlem boogie beat, dancing, scrubbing clothes, and eating watermelon.

Directed by Walter Lantz (Woody Woodpecker), with voices by Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny, etc.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Betty Boop for President (1932)

Election Day '08

The time has come to "get all liquored up, get in the booth and start hittin' buttons"... OR if your withered heart still contains a drop of concern about our doomed nation, you'll listen to this final plea from Dunlap,and cast your write-in vote for Jackie Broyles!

Write-In Jackie Broyles For President

Monday, November 3, 2008

Watt Honored

Bassist Mike Watt was presented with the Bass Player Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award this past Saturday night!
A blue-collar hero in an art-school world, bassist and conceptualist Mike Watt has been a huge presence on the avant-rock scene since the dawn of the '80s — when he, guitarist D. Boon and drummer George Hurley formed the Minutemen.

Watt is now the bassist for the reunited Stooges and a member of the art rock/jazz/punk/improv group Banyan as well as many other post-Minutemen projects.

Though Watt has not had much mainstream success or visibility, he is often cited as a key figure in the development of American alternative rock: the Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicated their hugely successful Blood Sugar Sex Magik to him.

Below is Watt, with violinist Chris Murphy, performing "Blues For Bukowski".

Here's a link to a past post on Mike Watt.

"If you don't vote for McCain, you're a moron!"

"This is my final plea before the election on Tuesday, November 4th 2008. This vlog was just supposed to recap my points over the last two years, however even in the final days and hours before the election, Obama's true nature is becoming more apparent. For those who are still undecided, I hope this helps make your decision. For those who already have made up their minds for Obama, let this serve as a warning. If Obama is elected, this is a preemptive "Told-you-so", a prologue to 4 long years. "

"I Wonder What's Kenyan For Under The Bus?"

One More Day...

... and this campaign is finally over.

Carbonic Beverage - Albany, NY

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Prairie Fire" in PDF

Little Green Footballs links to the PDF version of B.O.'s associates, “Billy” Ayers’ and Bernardine Dohrn’s 1974 communist declaration of war against the United States.
You cannot appreciate how radically insane and violent it is until you read it for yourself.
Don't miss the dedication to Sirhan Sirhan on page 5!

Zomblog has obtained a copy of the first issue of Osawatomie, a newspaper published by the Weather Underground, which was written at a time when the Weather Underground was transitioning from terrorism to “working from the inside” for revolution, concerns itself with the need to encourage “organizers” who will work in “communities” and use “audacity” to bring about “socialism” in America.

Are you scared yet?

Cannon's Jug Stompers

Early jug bands played a mixture of jazz, country and pop that had its roots in ragtime.

Cannon's Jug Stompers, along with the Memphis Jug Band (see earlier post), was one of the greatest jug bands of the 1920's.

Gus Cannon was a banjo-playing jack-of-all-trades whose musical abilities included trombone, fiddle, piano, and guitar.
Gus ran away from home at the age of 15 and began his career entertaining at sawmills and levee and railroad camps in the Mississippi Delta around the turn of the century.He supported his family through a variety of jobs, including sharecropping, ditch digging, and yard work, but supplemented his income with music.
During the 1910s and 1920s, Cannon performed at medicine shows, playing, juggling, and doing comedy routines in the role of "Banjo Joe."
Cannon recorded as "Banjo Joe" in November 1927 for Paramount Records but soon strapped on a jug (Gus made a harness for his jug so that he could wear it around his neck and play banjo at the same time.) and assembled a jug band after the success of the Memphis Jug Band's first records.

"Minglewood Blues":
Recorded on January 30, 1928 in Memphis, Tennessee. This recording features Gus Cannon on banjo and jug, Ashley Thompson on vocals and guitar and Noah Lewis on the harp. Minglewood was a lumber camp in Ashley, Tennessee, which was popular amongst musicians in the Mississippi Delta as a "hot spot." (This tune became a popular staple of the Grateful Dead).

"Viola Lee Blues": Recorded on September 20, 1928 presumably in Memphis. The lineup is the same as on "Minglewood Blues". Noah Lewis sings. (also an early Grateful Dead staple)

"Pig Ankle Strut":Recorded on September 5, 1928 in Memphis.

"Bring It With You When You Come":

Drums Along The Mohawk

Just thought I'd mention that...

... it was one year ago on this vary day, that (for good or ill) I made my exodus from the Nutmeg State.

Things have been quiet up here in the Mohawk Valley.There's not much to report right now, other than the 4" of snowfall last Tuesday.
I'm still "freelancing", whilst I seek more stable employment.

Where does the time go?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Hemp for Victory (1942)

"Hemp for Victory" was a U.S. government propaganda film made during WWII touting the virtues of hemp.
This informational film was produced to encourage farmers to grow hemp for the war effort during WWII. The film details the many industrial uses of hemp, including cloth and cordage, as well as a detailed history of the plant's use.

Watch the video below!

The Makers Vs The Takers