With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“They told me he was bad but I knew he was sad” August 12, 2017


A couple of my recent posts have mentioned session players, notably Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell. But did you know that Billy Joel also played on a few sessions in his early years. The stand outs were two Shangri-Las hits; “Leader Of The Pack” and “Remember (Walking In The Sand)”. Although it was most probably demo versions.

 

“And I Need You More Than Want You And I Want You For All Time” August 10, 2017

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 11:06 pm
Tags: , ,

I know I am a little late with this as I am sure that you are all aware of the sad passing of music legend Glen Campbell earlier this week. But I couldn’t miss a chance to say something of the great man. For me growing up meant that it wasn’t cool to like anything that was in my Mum and Dad’s record collection. But they had two Glen Campbell albums, one of which was a best of compilation. I snuck that into my room a few times while my parents were away. Those songs and that voice were simply magical. On top of that Glen Campbell was a talented guitar player and session man. The world will be a lesser place without him but we will always have his music. So enjoy some of that now as the Rhinestone Cowboy rides out on his horse one last time. RIP Glen Campbell.

 

 

“You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing” August 7, 2017


Carol-Kaye-opener

Who is the bass session player that has played on more sessions than any other bass player? Well according to the Berklee College of Music in Boston it is Carol Kaye who has played on more than 10,000 sessions over four decades.

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She contributed to the Beach Boys classic album ‘Pet Sounds’, songs by Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees, Ray Charles, Love, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Ike & Tina Turner, Nancy Sinatra and Johnny Mathis to name but a few. She also played on many Phil Spector productions as well as a number of film soundtracks from the likes of Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. In addition to bass guitar she also plays guitar and banjo. The now 82 year old Carol Kaye is without doubt one hell of a talented lady. Now enjoy just a small selection of the hits that she played on.

 

“You ask how much I need you, must I explain?” – Advent day 12 December 12, 2013


5978003639_50e93ae9fbI’m getting just a little bit more excited now it is the 12th of December after all. In keeping with this years With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts I have two diametrically opposed songs for you today. But obviously two that have the number twelve in their titles.

250px-Johnny_NashFirst up is the timeless song “Twelfth Of Never” which was initially recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1957. He apparently didn’t like the song and it was demoted to the B Side of “Chances Are”. The song has been recorded by many, many artists since then. The Mathis version made it to number 9 in the US charts and Donny Osmond took it to number one in the UK and number 8 in the USA in 1973. The list of cover versions is almost endless and includes; Nina Simone, Barry Gibb, Cliff Richard, Tammy Wynette, Chi-Lites, Glen Campbell, Cher, Dolly Parton, Roger Whittaker, Barry Manilow, Andy Williams, Olivia Newton John, Hank Marvin and Jeff Buckley. Jeff’s version can be found on the Legacy edition of ‘Live At The Sin E’ and remains very faithful to the Nina Simone version of the song. The regular readers among you will know that I am a big fan of Texan crooner Johnny Nash. In fact I would go as far as saying that his singing voice is my favourite voice ever. Anyway I haven’t posted about Mr Nash for quite a while so I thought I would use his version of the “Twelfth Of Never” taken from his 1968 album ‘Soul Folk’.

strokesThe second song today flows from the Julian Casablancas post from yesterday. It is “12:51” by the band that Julian is a big part of; the Strokes. The song was written by Mr Casablancas and was the first single released from the bands second album ‘Room On Fire’ in 2003. The song made it to number 7 in the UK and reached the top 40 in Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden. The songs original title was “Supernova”. The video for the song was directed by Roman Ford Coppola, the son of Francis Ford Coppola and the cousin of Nicolas Cage. It has a theme that is very reminiscent of the ‘Tron’ the 1982 movie. When the band played a number of Japanese dates to support the release of the ‘Room On Fire’ album in 2003 they included a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic written by Paul Anka “My Way”, only they sang it with Japanese lyrics!

 

“The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdinck, or the Rare Earth” May 28, 2011


News broke earlier today that the immensely talented Gil Scott-Heron passed away yesterday in New York aged just 62. He fell ill after returning from a European trip. He was perhaps more poet than anything else, but was also seen as a pioneer of rap and hip hop with his mainly spoken word recordings. In fact his first album came about after his first book of poetry was published and he suggested to his publisher that it would be a good idea to record a backing for his readings of his words.

He also had a great talent for intelligent and clever protest in his lyrics. Classics of that genre would be songs like “The Revolution Will Not be Televised” which is still quite pertinent today. The first time I ever heard anything by him was when I heard “Johannesburg” on the radio in 1976. That was probably my first experience of what apartheid was all about as well and added to my political views, which were very much shaped by the music I listened to in my formative years; Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Bob Marley, The Clash and John Lennon among others.

He worked regularly with Brian Jackson who helped provide the fusion of soul and jazz that backed a lot of Scott-Heron’s work. After a couple of spells in prison for cocaine possession and alleged parole violation he returned with an excellent new album early last year. The album was ironically titled ‘I’m New Here‘ and received widespread acclaim. A remix of the album retitled ‘We’re New Here’ was done in collaboration with Jamie Smith aka Jamie xx of the band the xx.

He has been described as the Godfather of Rap and the black Bob Dylan. His influence runs very wide and he will be sorely missed. My condolences go to his family, friends and all his fans around the world. Gil Scott-Heron RIP. I would like you to celebrate his life with some of his greatest songs, well my ten favourites at least. Let me know what you thought of Gil’s work.

 

“My hopes, my dreams come true, my one and only you” December 9, 2010


That has to be a syrup, right?

December 9th is where we are, almost into double figures! Todays little chocolate delight (well ok chocolate substitute then) behind the cardboard on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar is the song that was number one in the UK on the day I was born and was also the UK Christmas number one at Christmas 1958. For those of you that are curious I was born on Thursday January 1st 1959 and as I said this very song was the UK number one. It is Conway Twitty‘s “It’s Only Make Believe”. Considering what might have been number one when I was born I have never been too disappointed with this. What was number one the day you were born?

This is me with my Grandfather mere weeks after Conway Twitty held the UK number one spot!

Conway was born Harold Lloyd Jenkins in 1933, he died aged just 59 in 1993. He was turned on to rock n roll after hearing Elvis Presley’sMystery Train“. He made his way to Sun Studios in Memphis and actually recorded with head honcho Sam Phillips. Twitty resided near Nashville and built his own country music entertainment complex, as many country stars seem to do, his was called in a mildly amusing kind of way, Twitty City.

Conway on stage with Loretta Lynn. Any man who can openly wear a suit like that can only deserve our admiration and respect!

Chubby Checker teaches Conway Twitty and Dick Clark how to do the Twist

As with many big hits the song started out as a B Side to “I’ll Try” but radio stations just flipped the disc and played “It’s Only Make Believe” instead, which just goes to prove what poor judgement record companies often have! The song has been covered by many acts including Billy Fury, Glen Campbell, Gary Glitter and the Misfits. Twitty also rerecorded it as a duet with Loretta Lynn in 1970. You can check out the original and some of those covers below.

Incredibly you can actually purchase a Conway Twitty tribute pistol. It includes 5 portraits of him etched into the 24 carat gold!

 

 
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