19 September 2010
In 1977, it was like a bolt out of the blue. It was the album you had to have, the band you had to hear. The thing was, if you lived in the United States you could only get the album as an import. By the time CBS got around to releasing the self-titled debut album from the Clash in the US, it was two years later. Four tracks from the original album had been removed, and five new ones had been added.
Read more: Cratedigger: The Clash, "The Clash" | Popdose
“Show and Tell” is just one of those songs that thrills me whenever it comes on the radio. It’s been doing that since Al Wilson released it in 1973. I was only vaguely aware of the original version, written by Jerry Fuller and released by Johnny Mathis the previous year. It’s Wilson’s version that has stuck with me, and no wonder. The single was a massive hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 19, 1974, and selling over two million copies. Cashbox named “Show and Tell” a top single of the year.
Read more: Soul Serenade: Al Wilson, "Show and Tell" | Popdose
I don’t think I’ve used the word ‘astonishing’ in relation to an album in a long time. But the new Ryan Bingham album, Junky Star (Lost Highway), merits that kind of acclaim. Another thing that I never do is compare any songwriter to Bob Dylan. But the inescapable fact is that Bingham may be the songwriter who finally justifies the “new Dylan” tag that has cursed so many talented songwriters in the past. It’s not just the songs, which are powerful in their own right, but the way that they’re delivered. Bingham is possessed on a raspy, heartbroken voice that provides every ounce of world-weary despair that the occasion calls for.
Read more: CD Review: Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses, "Junky Star" | Popdose
Last week, as you will no doubt recall, Soul Serenade focused on the great Laura Nyro and her song “Timer.” This week’s column has a Laura Nyro connection as well. When I first heard “The Bells” it was Laura’s version from her wondrous 1971 covers album Gonna Take A Miracle, which she recorded with the vocal group LaBelle. I liked the song so much that I went in search of the original version which was by, oddly enough, the Originals.
Read more: Soul Serenade: The Originals, "The Bells" | Popdose
The Ed Sullivan Show ran on CBS from 1948 – 1971. The show was broadcast live in the Eastern and Central time zone. Fortunately for us, it was shown on tape to in the Pacific and Mountain time zones. Sullivan presented a potpourri of the leading show biz acts of the day, including singers, dancers, comedians, acrobats, jugglers, and a small Italian mouse called Topo Gigio. It was the biggest tv show of its time, and a must for any ambitious performer.
Read more: DVD Review: "The Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles" | Popdose
The first guy I met in college had a plastic bag filled with powdered mescaline (at least that’s what he said it was), and a plastic jug filled with empty capsules. The second guy I met was a veteran of the hallucinogenic wars who was determined to instruct me on the proper use of the aforementioned powder and capsules. Hey, what can I tell you? It was the ’60s. Number one on my would-be mentors list was the music of the Grateful Dead. In his opinion, their music was a must for any successful trip. I had heard their first three albums, and I wasn’t a fan. When it came to San Francisco bands, I preferred the hard-charging fury of the Jefferson Airplane to the psychedelic ramblings of the Dead.
Read more: Cratedigger: Grateful Dead, "Workingman's Dead" | Popdose