Saturday, May 31, 2008
Let's stay with Wilson Pickett for "In The Midnight Hour":
Next, a guest shot from Cannibal & the Headhunters, doing Chris Kenner's "Land Of A Thousand Dances"!
Now, back in the saddle with Sam and Dave, doing "Hold On, I'm Coming," backed up by the musicians who cut the record on 'em, Booker T. & the MG's with the Memphis Horns, so you may as well say, the legendary Mar-Keys.
OK now ladies (and gents), don't forget this immortal advice from The Drifters, "Save The Last Dance For Me." I went for the best recording here, the original one with Ben E. King singing lead, for which there was no vintage video; so close your eyes, hug your lover, and listen.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Somehow we became buds, and one afternoon I was over at his house on Trigg, I think it was. He kept wanting to demonstrate his new "clapper" switch, turning his stereo on and off by clapping his hands. A pretty young lady opened the front door, wheeling a bicycle in. "This is my daughter Carla," he said. My favorite of hers is "B-A-B-Y":
Another afternoon years later, I had what I thought was a great idea; so I went over to Rufus' new place in the Sharpe Avenue area and laid it out for him. Cable and music television had come about, along with all the ads for obscure products not available in stores. Rufus had had more records about dances than anybody, so it seemed a natural for him to have a videotape preserving all these teen dance steps for posterity. He liked the idea, but asked that question older musicians ask who feel they have been cheated out of royalties, "How much front money can you get me?", figuring that's all the money they'll ever see. Well, I was in no position to produce the damned thing; and unfortunately it never got done. I miss you, my friend.
One final anecdote: I had just read a biography of Jim Morrison which contained the following description of part of the goings-on on the singer's last day alive:
I called Rufus on the phone and asked him, "Have you ever heard of Jim Morrison?" He said no. I added, "Had that group called the Doors?" That didn't help either, so I said, "You remember the song 'Light My Fire.'?" Yeah, he remembered that. So I read him the passage above. Weird. I think he much preferred my call alerting him to WEVL-FM playing his music non-stop when the station got a re-release of Stax records stuff, because less than an hour after I alerted him, he had gotten himself invited down to the station to help DJ the stuff and sounded sooooo happy.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
OK, I might as well do a two-fer, but I'm skipping the white boy/girl covers in favor of giving you another look at Albert doing "I'll Play The Blues For You":
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I never got to meet Big Mama, but I did get to talk to Janis once, backstage at the Mid-South Coliseum in 1968 when she appeared on a big Stax-Volt show. Nervous as hell, she asked me if there were any white people in the Memphis audience. I assured her there were plenty, especially down front in the expensive seats.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Here's a 1965 video version by Big Mama featuring Buddy Guy on guitar accompaniment:
Here's Elvis on national TV in 1956, with Scotty Moore of course on guitar:
Monday, May 26, 2008
Well, little blogger, I'm going to show you this stuff is like falling off a log for me. Check back each day this week, if you dare, to see if I run out of great material as you predicted.
First, the seminal T-Bone Walker (AllMusic bio) (Wikipedia bio), doing his immortal standard "Stormy Monday."
Friday, May 23, 2008
I admit, I share a bit of Jerry Lee's contrariness and orneriness, so in the spirit of good fun, The Killer and I salute my worthy competition!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The World War II generation, whose lives have been greatly prolonged by advances in medical science, has cast an unprecedentedly long shadow over the lives of its children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It's time for their hegemony to end.
Generation X has been a disappointment to me. Generation Y, however, gives me hope. I keep up with them by running across their output on the Internet: MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and the like.
I keep up with the polls -- not just the aggregate numbers, but the breakdowns by age, gender, and so on; and it has been heartening to see that Generation Y displays a remarkable and wonderful ability to follow and digest information and think independently upon it.
I stumbled last week upon one of the latest sensations on YouTube, LisaNova, because of a piece of comedy video she made; but I clicked on her webcam video of her analysis of the current state of the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary season and became even more impressed. Have a look.
I know that millions of women are heavily invested in Hillary Clinton's attempt to break the final glass ceiling in the United States.
Even though Hillary's shot at the brass ring would not have happened had she not been Bill Clinton's marriage partner, she has quite humanly taken advantage of the name recognition and connections that fuel the dangerous, royalist, dynastic trend that brought us Bush II.
Even though Hillary's ambition is more than usually destructive of her party's chances at ending the madness inside the White House, her supporters want that satisfaction and role model for their daughters and granddaughters RIGHT NOW. They want it so badly that they are willing to overlook what has not been good about Hillary. They relate to her "courageousness" at persevering and forgive her lack of courage in voting for a senseless, depression-causing war.
Many women say they will not even vote Democratic if Hillary is not the nominee. I don't believe them. Women care far too much about their offspring to destroy their best chance at more affordable health care, food, and transportation. Withdrawing love when disappointed has perhaps had to be more a woman's strategy, to compensate for lack of economic power at dependent times in her life.
I thought for a moment that our society was going to have to let women's desire for this victory play itself out, that this is so important to them that we have to let them have this one, so that next time they will feel relaxed in voting for the right candidate regardless of sex. Now it seems not. But it is no time to beat up on Hillary Clinton, to gloat or be anything but gracious in victory.
The day will come, and it won't be long, when a woman will emerge as the best hope for America's future; and I will stand in line to vote for her, proudly. I have always supported women's aspirations and achievements, in general and in my own life history.
This gender tension is something we need to get past as soon as possible. There is so much love to be made and given and so much strength to be found in unity.
UPDATE: "Why Didn't More Women Vote for Hillary?" by Amy Sullivan, Time Magazine. "Five reasons Obama won. Five reasons Clinton lost." by Jonathan Alter, Newsweek Magazine.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Uh, could it be the difference in their messages? Barack Obama is not Adolf Hitler. He's not Louis Farrakhan. He's not Malcolm X. And he's not that bombastic "Reverend" Wright.
Barack Obama is a half-white, half-black American man with a Harvard Law degree, a decent wife and two cute daughters, and an ample, peaceful, non-threatening, non-radical track record of his own.
[Tom] Hayden, one of the Chicago Seven who were acquitted of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, said he is disappointed that Clinton has tried to taint Obama with guilt by association.
"Once you introduce the concept of guilt by association, everyone is in trouble because there is no end to it," he said. "The goal is to render Barack so unelectable that the party has to turn to her. Because the goal is so narrow and obsessive, she's not aware that she's also going to be collateral damage."
Maybe this information in the Washington Post is part of what Tom meant: Clinton Quiet About Own Radical Ties: Lawyers Who Knew Her In 60s And 70s Say She Was Hypocritical For Faulting Obama For Ties To William Ayers.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Here are the lyrics in the chorus:
But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reasons for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
If you're too young to remember John Prine, or weren't paying attention back in the day, here are his official site, fan site, Wikipedia bio, and AllMusic bio.
A little "institutional memory" courtesy of Wintermute.
Friday, May 16, 2008
The next is another truly live performance (not a lip-sync), this one on Soul Train, of a song Al co-wrote with my pal Teenie Hodges: "Take Me To The River."
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.
The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fuelled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.
. . . .
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
. . . .
"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," he said.
"And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people."
And he added: "As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."
I've been watching a lot of mind-boggling TV programs on cosmology lately on the Science and History Channels, including one on the end of the universe (The Universe : Cosmic Apocalypse) and one by Carl Sagan (Episode 10 The Edge of Forever) on its beginnings and possible cyclical nature. I just don't see how religious myths of any stripe are going to survive much longer under the onslaught of scientific progress, unless widespread human desire for eternal life (the bottom line of Christianity and Islam) is strong enough to keep the human race stuck on stupid forever.
Monday, May 05, 2008
An Indian guy has a new book excerpted on Newsweek that points this out. The United States has said we want the rest of the world to do the right thing that we do; and now that some very populous countries have actually taken that advice to heart, the U.S. is getting hammered by foreign competition and the balance of payments deficits, employment dislocations, and currency devaluations that have resulted.
Closer to home, I have griped about the Blues Foundation: taking the annual awards and presentations that a brilliant coterie of Memphis blues mavens created to preserve the richest vein of popular music on the planet, and putting them in the hands of the national and international record labels that can still survive selling the blues. A couple of these label heads are friends of mine and superb human beings: David Less and Holger Petersen.
As time marches on, we can find ourselves -- if we are luckier in more ways than we anticipated -- victims of our own successes. We just really need to try to be as cool with that as we can.
UPDATE: I forgot to include one of the most striking examples of this principle at work: the fact that most newspaper and television websites have co-opted the commenting feature that helped make blogs so popular. In so doing, they have drained away some of the energy that went into the non-MSM blogosphere, even to the point of hiring some of the most talented bloggers and capturing their traffic. Again, we are victims of our own success.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Students of legal age at Rhodes College and Midtown beer connoisseurs of every stripe should beeline to the Mini-Mart and take advantage of the deal they're offering: a 12-pack of this delicious California microbrew, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, for the awesome price of $14.
Sierra Nevada describes Summerfest as a Pilsner-style lager, but to me it has exquisite Kölsch notes.
I should keep this quiet in case I decide to buy more than the two 12-packs I've already laid in of this yummy beer; but as a service to Daily Docket readers and to reward my pals at the Mini-Mart for doing such good things, I'm tipping you off to the Memphis beer deal of Spring 2008. Get over there before you get beat out of this score. Tell 'em Wintermute sont ya. They'll know, their lawyer buddy who buys Camel nonfilters.
This post is likely to be only of interest to hip people in Memphis and to musicians and booking agents, but just that makes it worth my effort.
Those of you who don't subscribe to the Memphis Daily News, either hard copy or online via RSS, may have missed a happy story about a new music venue in Midtown.
Some dedicated hometown Grateful Deadhead real estate investors are recycling and expanding the old Strings & Things building (Taystee Bakery) on Madison into a multi-use "Plaza" with retail, restaurant, offices, and a 1,500-seat concert hall.
This has got to breathe new life into nearby businesses like Murphy's, whatever the Antenna Club is called now, and the Poor & Hungry Cafe. And this new development may move the focus away from Cooper-Young back to Madison Avenue, considering that Mike Smith of Young Avenue Deli will take over as general manager of Minglewood Concert Hall.
I don't need to repeat the excellent story by Eric Smith in the News. Just click here to read all about it.
Friday, May 02, 2008
When are the region's non-"classical" music fans going to demand that the date for the Festival be switched with the later and more rain-free weekend for the Sunset Symphony, which attracts far fewer and mainly local attendees who do not pump up tourism coffers?
Thursday, May 01, 2008
"As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care," said Dr. Ronald Ackermann, who worked on the study with Carroll. "More and more, physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to this problem."This rings true to me, because the procedure-oriented surgical "elite" has been making out way better than other doctors.
. . . .
"Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy," Ackermann said in a statement.
The Indiana survey found that 83 percent of psychiatrists, 69 percent of emergency medicine specialists, 65 percent of pediatricians, 64 percent of internists, 60 percent of family physicians and 55 percent of general surgeons favor a national health insurance plan.
Our system is the historical result of the World War II wage freeze, under which employers were still free to compete with health benefits. Insurance companies were more than happy to receive premiums and pocket eventually huge profits under this regime. Meanwhile, Congress sucked up to the new status quo by making health insurance premiums deductible for employers but not counting those premiums as income to employees.
The market for health care is extremely distorted by the super-strong desire of almost all people not to die or stay sick. Free marketeers need to take a look at true market failure in this sector and focus instead on efficiencies available under the inevitable entitlement system we will have sooner or later.
UPDATE: "Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) favor a government guarantee of universal health insurance, even if it means raising taxes; 34% are opposed." See the poll breakdowns by party, religion, and political philosophy on the Pew Research Center website.
Consensus emerging on universal healthcare.