Songs

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Usually when we revisit posts from the past, we dig deep into the archives. Today’s re-run is a song which we first posted only a year and a half ago, around the time we bought a collection that was entirely albums by Hank Williams Jr. The owner did not have any records by his father, nor a single record by another country artist at all. She liked them and loved their music, but only collected Hank Jr.’s albums. This episode reminded us that everyone collects records in their own way. Here’s what we wrote about a record she recommended we play…

hank jr and friendsThe song in yesterday’s post, “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” must be one of Tom Petty’s most popular singles. He even shot a typically goofy video for the song at the time, although in it efforts were made to mask the drug reference in its chorus with an overdub.

If anyone else could say we don’t know how it feels to be them, it might be Hank Williams Jr. For so much of his life, he lived in his father’s shadow, even though he was a highly talented multi-instrumentalist.

Hank Jr. took lessons from famous musicians as varied as Fats Domino and Earl Scruggs, and has played on his many albums at least a half dozen different instruments: guitar, banjo, dobro, piano, drums, etc.

Last week we bought a monstrous collection of country records which leaned heavily on the seventies ‘outlaw’ scene. Naturally, there were a lot of albums by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and those great Bakersfield bands of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. There were also more of Hank Jr.’s albums than we’ve ever seen at once. Whole boxes of them. Who knew there were so many?!

His 1975 album Hank Williams Jr. and Friends is a country-rock classic. It’s last song, “Living Proof,” is one of the most heartbreaking country tunes we’ve ever heard.

 

Following up on yesterday’s goofy post, in which we have always enjoyed collecting songs which have the same title as another, more well-known hit, there are those “mistaken identity” singles — bands and artists with the same name as someone more successful.

For instance, Starship here should not be mistaken for the post-Kantner Jefferson Starship. This group was a short-lived collaboration between one of the Monkees and a producer best known for his work with pop idols like Shaun Cassidy.

While its hardly an essential addition to any collection — unless you’re really, really into Mickey Dolenz — their cover of “Johnny B. Goode” is a little more rockin’ than those bloated Starship albums.

 

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.

Minneapolis is known as a city of bicycling enthusiasts. We certainly love riding around this neighborhood ourselves — in fact, we have a sidecar bike on which our shop dog, Irene, often rides to work.

This 1961 B-side by Fats Domino is a pretty fun bicycle song. We like it better than the spooky version of “Bicycle Built for Two” from 2001: A Space Odyssey which we posted about last month.

Sonny Bono said he wrote “Laugh at Me” after being refused service at Montoni’s Restaurant in Hollywood because of his hippy attire. The owner later claimed he called Bono a “clown.” It was the first of only two solo singles by Sonny, and in his spoken introduction he says, “I never thought I’d cut a record by myself but I’ve got somethin’ I want to say.”

Mott the Hoople covered the song on their first album several years later. It provided a perfect vehicle for Ian Hunter’s Dylanesque delivery and the band’s early glam styling.

On Monday mornings Garfield often makes remarks about coffee, and today was no exception. Our family had a little trouble getting the motor started this morning as well, and its the first day of summer camp for the kids which meant early alarm clocks and lunches to pack. All this morning activity needed some coffee.

We thought of this Dave Dudley single from the album Oh Lonesome Me. It was one of his first collaborations with songwriter Tom T. Hall. Their work together is best known by the 1970 hit “Day Drinkin’,” but this 1966 tune is a favorite of ours.

From the liner notes to this 1976 community theater production written by Agnes Helenius Luoma:

Land of the Sleeping Giant is the musical epic of the rugged northern frontiersmen — the Chippewa, the Voyageur, the Lumberjack and the Miner — as they challenge the grotesquely beautiful northern frontier of America … creating a legend unsurpassed as tehy left their marks along the way in search of life and livlihood.

The Mesabi Daily News reported in Ms. Luoma’s obituary that she received a federal grant to write Land of the Sleeping Giant, which was part of our nation’s bicentennial commemorations. She also wrote two unpublished novels.

For your listening enjoyment we’ve recorded the prologue (“Minnesota, Land of Charm”) and the three songs which make up Part I of this epic story.

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