Wednesday, November 14, 2018


In that blurry period of early childhood, music from the family console radio was just a taken-for-granted aspect of life around the house; the presence of recorded sound was mainly pleasant background to the daily goings on. But memories of a few songs from those early days remain. One was a line from an early Eddie Fisher hit, “I Need You Now.” The lyric was mystifying . . . “I can’t eat my egg in heart” . . . but the person he was singing to obviously knew how. Of course, later the real line, “I can’t ease my aching heart,” made the whole affair much more mundane if still a little out of reach for a 7-year old.

One time a few years later, the radio was tuned to a rock’n’roll station seemingly by accident, and that’s when things began to get way less mundane. “Searchin’” by the Coasters came blasting out of the speaker and this now 10-year old was instantly hooked. All the name-checked detectives were beyond his ability to get the joke, but the feeling was there and the rollicking whorehouse piano moved everything along nicely. The flip side, “Young Blood,” was broadcast a lot that summer also, and again, though the jailbait aspect of the lyrics was missed, all the funny high-to-low “look-a-theres” got it over. By the end of summer and the start of fifth grade a lifetime music lover had been born and baptized and from there on out his ears were consecrated to the sounds emanating from the radio, and the DJ’s exhortation, “Don’t touch that dial” was obeyed no questions asked.

The Coasters • Searchin’ • 1957

The Coasters • Young Blood • 1957

Find it: 50 Coastin’ Classics

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Aretha Franklin • Chain Of Fools
(unedited version) • 1967

Photo: Aretha Franklin by Art Kane, for Esquire magazine, 1967.

Monday, July 16, 2018


“Oh, child, you killin’ me . . . you killin’ me graveyard dead, yeah yea-yeah!”

When I first started getting interested in blues music in the mid sixties, a friend played me an Elmore James track off the pictured LP and that sure shook my nerves and rattled my brain. I subsequently went out and bought said LP and one of my favorite tracks was this week’s feature: Munroe Moe Jackson’s “Go Away From My Door.” Little did I know at the time Mr. Jackson was a white guy, more a country singer than a blues artist. All I know is that this song was pretty batsh*t crazy, and having grown up listening to early rock & roll and having an affinity for the novelty songs of the era, from “Flying Saucer” to “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour” to “Say Man” I was riding shotgun on this one, no questions asked. 

Anyway, we’ve been doing this Blues All Kinds gig for a long time, and we’re tired, and this seems like as good a song as any to ride out on. We may reappear somewhere down the line mixing up blues with country and then again we mightn’t. If you were to check in every now and again, old Frank Jive and I, we’d like that. . . .

Monroe “Moe” Jackson • Go ’Way From My Door • 1949

Sunday, July 15, 2018


Although June Cheeks was way past his 1950s Nightingales prime when he cut this 1963 track, he could still be a terrifically scarifying singer. . . .

Rev. Julius Cheeks (Four Gospel Knights) 
Last Mile Of The Way • 1963

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Hey, kids, it’s Woody’s birthday today. . . .

Odetta with Will Geer & Peter Fonda
Why Oh Why & “A Kid Is...” (Narration) • 1970

Friday, July 13, 2018


He was a man and a friend always
He stuck with me in the hard old days

Tom Paxton • Rambling Boy • 1963

Get it: Newport Broadside

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Marge Tillman • The Little Miracle • 1950

Get it: Floyd Tillman - I Love You So Much It Hurts
Image: I Love You So Much It Hurts