Weekly Recommended Listens: February 2017: Week 3: Sixties Rock: Twangy Guitars Continued

Hi everyone, here’s our recommended Sixties Rock: Twangy Guitar posting for the third week of February.

As you’ll recall, each week we’ll be offering suggestions of music you can listen to both through the library’s digital Freegal Music Service* and via the library’s compact disc collection.

This weeks’ posting has six  sections:

I. Brief Artist Bios

II. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week

III. CD Music Recommendations Of The Week

IV. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups

V. Wild Card Print Book Recommendation Of The Week (a print book that focuses on a musician, band, songwriter or musical genre, styles etc. from any musical era)

VI. References (for those who’d like to know a bit more about the artists of the week).

And this week our recommended trios of twangy guitar players, and their bands, are: Sandy Nelson, The Mar-Keys and Booker T. And The MGs!

I. Brief Artist Bios:

Sandy Nelson (12-1-1938): Sandy Nelson was born in Santa Monica, California. Nelson began playing drums professionally in Los Angeles in the mid-1950s. He remains one the few drummer front men of the rock era and made his mark during the instrumental craze of the early sixties. He had several hit singles from 1959 to 1962 including the songs Teen Beat, Drums Are My Beat and Let There Be Drums. Nelson is best known, among non-drummers, for both the song and album with the same name – Let There Me Drums; and his music is frequently classified as Surf Music – but really it is just great music! Nelson continues to perform to this day.

If you like the sound of classic rock drumming Sandy Nelson’s music is for you!

The Mar-Keys: The Mar-Keys were a swinging instrumental group formed in Memphis in the early sixties and, were the original house band for the great record label Stax. The group including some great guitar playing and a swinging horn section! The players in the band included Charles Axton and Don Nix on saxophones, Wayne Jackson trumpet, Jerry Lee Smith on piano, Terry Johnson on drums, Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass and guitarists Steve Cropper and Charlie Freeman. Dunn and Cropper went on to co-found the even more popular instrumental group Booker T. & The MG’s. During the sixties, and a few subsequent reunions, the Mar-Keys released several fun, swinging albums including: The Last Night!, Do The Pop-Eye and The Great Memphis Sound.

And although they only had one hit during their original tenure together, the 1961 top five smash Last Night, they are notable because they played behind many of the great Stax artists of the early sixties and remain a great example of the 1960’s Memphis Sound. Dunn and Cropper are, of course, much better known as members of Booker T. & The MGs.

Booker T. & The MGs: Booker T. & The MG’s formed in Memphis in the early 1960s and succeeded The Mar-Keys as the main house band for Stax records. The band can be heard on many recordings made by quintessential R&B artists including Carla Thomas, Albert King, Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. Additionally, they released a number of popular albums and singles on their own including: Green Onions, Hang ‘Em High, Soul-Limbo, Groovin, Hip Hug-Her, Mrs. Robinson and Time Is Tight.

And as a final note, music made by Sandy Nelson, The Mar-Keys and Booker T. & The MGs is great for parties!

II. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week:


1. Sandy Nelson – The Collection 1959 -1962:

This collection includes more than 80 songs including: Let There Be Drums, Teen Beat, Drums Are My Beat, Let The Four Winds Blow and The Battle of New Orleans.

Here’s a link to stream the album:


2. The Mar-Keys – Soul History:

This album features a number of great songs by this classic Memphis group including: Last Night, Pop-Eye Stroll, Wimp Burger, Sailor Man Waltz and About Noon.

Here’s a link to stream the album:


3. Booker T & The MGs – That’S The Way It Should Be

(and yes, the S is supposed to be big!):

 In looking up the availability of Booker T. & The MG’s music you can stream from Freegal, I came across the newest Bruce Springsteen album – Chapter And Verse.

The Springsteen album has nothing to do with the subject of the week! Bruce’s guitar playing isn’t the least bit twangy nor did he release an album in the sixties, however, if you’d like to stream the Springsteen album here is the link:


And the only Booker T. & The MGs album I found in the Freegal Music catalog is the second to the last album they recorded in 1994! It is titled That’S The Way It Should Be. And even thought it was recorded well after the sixties it is well worth a listen – the album includes the songs: Slip Slidin‘, That’s the Way It Should Be, Just My Imagination, I Can’t Stand The Rain, their version of the U2’s now classic song I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For and more.

Check it out! Here’s a link to stream the album:

Freegal Notes:

To access Freegal Music from a desktop or laptop simply click on the following link:

The Freegal Music Catalog homepage will display — it looks like this:


The Freegal Music app can be found in your app store and it looks like this:


Freegal Wild Card Pick Of The Week:


The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper by Bloomfield and Kooper:

This album was released in 1969, was recorded live and features Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on keyboards. Mike Bloomfield is best known as an original guitarist for The Butterfield Blues Band and Al Kooper is best known as a founding member of both The Blues Project and Blood Sweat And Tears. This is a great classic rock album and follows another great album the duo did a year previously with Steven Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash titled Super Session – that album too is available to stream through the Freegal Music Catalog.

Here’s the link to stream the Bloomfield & Kooper album:

And here’s a link to stream the Super Sessions album:

III. Compact Discs Recommendations:

1. 8 Classic Albums by Sandy Nelson:

This CD set 88 songs originally issued on the following eight Sandy Nelson albums: Drummin’ Up A Storm, Drums Are My Beat, Golden Hits, He’s A Drummer Boy, Compelling Country, Country Style, Let There Be Drums and Sandy Nelson Plays Teen Beat. Song’s include: Early In the Morning, Kansas City, What’d I Say, Drummin’ Up A Storm, Wolverton Mountain Splish Splash, Let There Be Drums and more.
Here’s the link to the request page for the CD:

2. The Great Memphis Sound by The Mar-Keys:

This CD is considered a classic! It includes the following songs: Honey Pot, Plantation Inn, I’ve Been Loving You Too Long, Cleo’s Back, Willie Woods, Grab This Thing, Philly Dog, Walking with the Duke, The Girl from Ipanema and In the Mood, Dear James Medley: I’ll Go Crazy/Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag/I Got You.

This CD should be available for checkout soon! I’ll update this posting when it is – our processers just need a little more time to get it ready to circulate.

3. Green Onions by Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions is the first album by Booker T. & The MGs and was first released in 1962. The album contains 35 minutes of great instrumental R&B rock! Songs include: Green Onions, Rinky-Dink, I Got a Woman, Mo’ Onions, Twist and Shout, Behave Yourself, Stranger on the Shore, Lonely Avenue, Doc Pomus, One Who Really Loves You, Can’t Sit Down, A Woman, A Lover, A Friend, Comin’ Home Baby, Green Onions & Can’t Sit Down.
This CD too will be available for checkout soon! I’ll update this posting when it is – we just need a little more time to get it ready to circulate.

Wild Card CD Pick Of The Week:

Heart Food by Judee Sill:

Heart Food is the second album by the very creative singer-songwriter Judee Sill. She had a great clear voice and her style can be classified as folk-pop, although I hate to classify music – great music is just great music! Judee isn’t well remembered today because she only recorded two albums during her short career and died at the very young age of 35. However, if you like folk music and haven’t heard this album I recommend you check it out. The songs on the LP include: There’s a Rugged Road, The Kiss, The Pearl, Down Where the Valley’s Are Low, The Vigilante, Soldier of the Heart, The Phoenix, When the Bridegroom Comes and The Donor.

Here’s a link to the request page for the CD:

And if you want to stream her music, there is a nice live collection in the Freegal Music catalog titled Live In London – The BBC Recordings 1972 – 1973 – here’s a link to it: https://goo.gl/o6QWuP

IV: Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups:

Booker T & The MG’s: Green Onions

Sandy Nelson: Let There Be Drums

The Mar-Keys –Last Night (live)

V. Wild Card Print Book Recommendation Of The Week:

pretty-good-for-a-girl-cover pretty-good-2

Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass (Music in American Life)

by Murphy Hicks Henry:
If you want to know more about the great female musicians who have and do play Bluegrass music then this book is for you!

Here’s a summary provided by the publisher: The first book devoted entirely to women in bluegrass, Pretty Good for a Girl documents the lives of more than seventy women whose vibrant contributions to the development of bluegrass have been, for the most part, overlooked. Accessibly written and organized by decade, the book begins with Sally Ann Forrester, who played accordion and sang with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys from 1943 to 1946, and continues into the present with artists such as Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, and the Dixie Chicks. Drawing from extensive interviews, well-known banjoist Murphy Hicks Henry gives voice to women performers and innovators throughout bluegrass’s history, including such pioneers as Bessie Lee Mauldin, Wilma Lee Cooper, and Roni and Donna Stoneman; family bands including the Lewises, Whites, and McLains; and later pathbreaking performers such as the Buffalo Gals and other all-girl bands, Laurie Lewis, Lynn Morris, Missy Raines, and many others.

VI. General References & Artist Specific References:

General References:
Judee Sill Artists Biography by Alex Stimmel. All Music.

Santelli, Robert. Sixties Rock: A Listener’s Guide. Contemporary Books. Chicago. 1985.

Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books. New York. 2009.
Stax Records. http://www.staxrecords.com

Artist Specific References:

Booker T. & The MG’s:
booker t. & the mg’s. NPR. Accessed 2-25-2017.

Duck Dunn, Bassist in Booker T. and the MG’s, Dies at 70 By PETER KEEPNEWS (MAY 13, 2012)

Memphis sunset: The Mysterious death of Stax heartbeat Al Jackson, Jr. by Andria Lisle (11-25-2015)

Sandy Nelson:
At 76, the beat goes on for drummer Sandy Nelson. (11 20 15)

Sandy Nelson: Artist Biography by Richie Unterberger.

The Mar-Keys:
The Mar-Keys – Biography by Jason Ankeny.

Stax: The Mar-Keys
And those are our music recommendations for the third week of February.

Have a great day!
Linda, SSCL

P.S. If you have any questions about how to download or stream free music through the Freegal Music service to a desktop or laptop computer or how to download and use the Freegal Music app let us know! Drop by the library or give us a call at: 607-936-3713

*You must have a library card at a Southern Tier Library System member library to enjoy the Freegal Music Service. Your card can be from any library in the system, and the system includes all public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegheny Counties and including our own Southeast Steuben Count Library in Corning, New York. Library cards are free and at our library you can obtain one by visiting the Circulation Desk and presenting staff with a form of ID that features both your name and your current address.

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