Mistaken identities

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Yesterday’s post featured one form of “mismatch” we often find around here and enjoy sharing, that of performers with the same or similar names.

For today’s post we have a song with the same title as a more famous recording. This record by Paul Cunningham and the Country Stringmasters was released in 1970, long before the Barenaked Ladies song of the same name became a fan favorite, but it has a similar sentiment.

As a side note, we read on Wikipedia that fans of the Canadian pop group would bring Kraft macaroni and cheese and throw it on stage during performances of the song. The cheese packets would sometimes be opened and, under the stage lights, would become stinky. Some fans would prepare the food before throwing it, causing the band to request the practice be put to rest (“Those in the know don’t throw”) and donate the boxes of Kraft dinner to a food shelf instead. The whole story proves you can have too much of a good thing.

Mistaken identities are a favorite find around here.

This keyboardist is not to be mistaken for the Grammy-winning jazz performer frequently heard sampled in classic hip hop albums — Bob Kames is not as famous as Bob James, but he did have an extraordinary and successful career. Kames is credited with helping to popularize “The Chicken Dance” in the United States. He also ran a Wisconsin chain of record shops called Bob Kames Wonderful World of Music, where one could almost certainly have found a copy of Touchdown.

Kames recorded over seventy albums during his long career. His first single, “You Are My One True Love” was reissued by London Records and became a hit in 1949. He also briefly performed with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and produced a number of television specials based in Milwaukee.

Nope, it’s not the J.J. Cale tune which was a two time hit for Eric Clapton. Brook Benton’s “After Midnight” was a hit itself about ten years earlier. It was co-written by country songwriter Margie Singleton, who wrote songs for (and sang with) George Jones, Faron Young and others.

Songs with the same title are a favorite theme here on the Hymie’s blog.

A follow up to a 2013 post “Um, Wrong Song,” in which we have a little fun with the confusion of songs with similar titles. For instance, a DJ would likely disappoint his audience if he played the wrong song, like for instance Neil Sedaka’s “Bad Blood” may have been a #1 hit when it was released in 1975 but most listeners would expect the song from Taylor Swift’s 1989.

The backing vocals on “Bad Blood” (the Sedaka one) are by Elton John, by the way. The single was released on John’s MCA subsidiary, the Rocket Record Company. bad blood by neil sedaka

And if you were in a strip club (it’s okay, dear reader, we won’t tell) and the DJ accidentally played this version of “Cherry Pie,” it wouldn’t set quite the same mood as Warrant song. This version was recorded by Marvin and Johnny in 1954.

There are so many various songs with a ‘rolling stone’ theme, but this 1955 cover by the Fontaine Sisters (the original was recorded by the Marigolds) is not the first to come to mind.

The 1950 song by Muddy Waters, which he based on a 20s tune called “Catfish Blues,” is the presumed namesake for both the music magazine and the band.




Today’s post is sort of a sequel to this one from 2013 which we called “Um, Wrong Song.” In it we collected a playlist of songs like Neil Sedaka’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which might be mistaken by a listener for a cover of a very different tune.

Today we thought we’d look at a few potential cases of mistaken identity, such as pianist Dr. John Harris over there, who could be mistaken for Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack, ie Dr. John.

mr winter

And Little Stevie Kelton must have been hoping some people wouldn’t look too closely at the label for his 45. He covers “Okie from Muskogee” on one side, which is a song we can safely assume Stevie Wonder has never sung. On the side above we hear “Mr. Winter,” which was written by the awesome-ly named Don McCool.

This next guy had a little fun with the confusion caused by his name. Ray Charles wrote and arranged for Perry Como, briefly worked on The Muppet Show, and had a healthy stack of top-selling albums leading The Ray Charles Singers (helping invent easy listening along the way), but he still jokingly billed himself as “The Other Ray Charles,” as on this 1968 album of film favorites.

the other ray charles

We have posted The Ray Charles Singers in the past (here) because he wrote and arranged a great theme for the City of Minneapolis. Charles actually worked with Ray Charles, the Georgia-born piano player who pioneered soul music, on several occasions. And neither were actually born Ray Charles.

carl burnett

We recently read that ABC is developing a new television series starring Carol Burnett, who hosted a highly successful variety show for more than a decade. Maybe they could hire the Carl Burnett Quintet to write the theme.

And the cellist from the Mellos Quartet, whose recording of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” quartet we posted this summer, was Peter Buck, but not the same Peter Buck who played guitar for REM.

Death and the Maiden


dsc09058Steve Millar recorded parts of his album I Want Your Love at the former Sound 80 studio here in our neighborhood, and also at Cookhouse Studio here in Minneapolis. He also made a second album with his backing group Diamondhead. This copy had an autograph!

Another record with a ‘local connection’ of sorts is this 50s R&B single by the Jayhawks. Of course it couldn’t be the Twin Cities’ own Jayhawks because they didn’t make their first record until 1986. The Jayhawks on this 45 recorded “Stranded in the Jungle” thirty years earlier.

jayhawks stranded in the jungle

And last for today we have guitarist Robert Johnson, who is of no relation to the enigmatic blues performer whose influence cannot be overstated. This Robert Johnson already had a pretty impressive resume by the time he recorded Close Personal Friend, his debut album. As a Stax Records session regular, he performed on records such as Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul and Luther Ingram’s huge hit “If Loving You is Wrong I Don’t Want to be Right.” Johnson also auditioned for the Rolling Stones after Mick Taylor left the band, and toured with John Entwistle of the Who and Ann Peebles. Close Personal Friend was released in 1978 and features some catchy new wave oriented pop.


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