NPR came through for me yesterday with their Heavy Rotation suggestion, a Canadian duo called Whitehorse and this song. When I got home I didn’t hesitate to buy the whole album. Hope you like it. (Does the opening remind anyone of a classic song used as the title for a story and a film employing this imagery?)
Tonight’s a two-fer because I fear that both of these artists are fading or have faded from the collective consciousness of folk music. Show of hands, who knows about Judy Henske? The video isn’t the greatest quality but it does capture the power coiled up in this slender, demure-looking woman.
But I couldn’t resist including an early Richie Havens take on the same classic folk song. Because, hell, Richie Havens.
The music scene in the late 70s and early 80s was one of my mostest favorite.
When I first started posting Music Night, I used musicians’ birthdays as a theme. Everyone once in awhile I’d pull out a plum and this time it’s Henry Rollins. If you don’t know about Henry Rollins, for shame, and do your due diligence. And look up some very early Black Flag videos; Rollins is unrecognizable compared to today.
Honestly, this song was officially an “oldie” even in my day but it’s a doo wop classic and still makes me smile. I love the fact that the Penguins can still pull off the vocals after all these decades. And they still look sharp.
My friends and I made a desperate attempt to get into Fillmore West for the last weekend Janis Joplin would perform with Big Brother and the Holding Company but, to no one’s surprise, it had sold out. (We were forced to trip at the Avalon Ballroom for a performance by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, then with Mick Taylor. Not Janis but still fantastic.)
I hated hearing about Joe Cocker’s death last month, just hated it. I’ve been in love with Cocker since 1969. Thanks to YouTube there is a ton of material available online but this remains one of my favorites, because Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Leon Russell, and 1970 and because The Letter was a great hit song. For years I thought Alex Chilson wrote it but it turns out it was written by Wayne Carson, a country music musician and songwriter. Of course I also thought the Box Tops were a Black group… Cocker’s genius was his ability to reinterpret really really good music, to own it, but to be true to the original. Paul and John reputedly loved his treatment of their songs, and I’m guessing George Harrison did as well.