Hi everyone, here is our bi-weekly recommended listening posting for Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
The next Suggested Listening posting will be out on Friday, June 12.
On a pop culture note, Donald Duck first appeared in the short The Wise Little Hen, part of the Silly Symphonies series on June 9, 1934.
So, in honor of Donald, here is the short The Wise Little Hen!
And I have to say, it is too bad Peter Pig and Donald Duck weren’t wise as they could have shared in the delicious corn bounty after the harvest!
And onto the music suggestions for today!
Early This Morning by Blind Blake (Genre: Blues)
Blind Blake is a somewhat mysterious early blues recording artist. When and where he was born and grew up remain a mystery. He recorded around 80 songs for Paramount Records in the late 1920s and early 1930s. And he became known as King of the Ragtime Guitar, in deference to his finger-style guitar playing. He died of tuberculosis in the mid nineteen thirties, but fortunately left us with some great music before he went.
It’s Been A Long, Long Time by Bing Crosby with Les Paul & His Trio (Genre: Vocal, Guitar, Jazz, Pop)
Pioneer electric guitarist Les Paul began recording in 1936, playing acoustic guitar behind the blues singer Georgia White. In those days, the early days of amplified music, bands were usually set up around a single microphone that the singer sang into; so guitars and other instruments were softly heard in the background and the vocals were front and center. Paul wanted to change that! He wanted to create an electric guitar that could be amplified and thus heard as a equal player in the music – and he did so – he was so successful at working with early electric guitar technology in the 1930s and 1940s that he wound up with a very influential guitar named after him – Gibson’s Les Paul model – which is still in production today.
And in the video clip you can clearly hear Paul’s fluid guitar playing front and center with the vocals provided by Bing Crosby – very cool!
Kidney Stew Blues by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson (Genre: Blues/Jazz)
Jazz and blues saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson hailed from Texas, and began playing jazz and blues at a young age. His best recordings include his 1957 album Cleanhead’s Back in Town, which features the song Kidney Stew Blues.
On an interesting side note: Vinson acquired the nickname “Cleanhead” in his youth, after a failed experiment with a lye-based hair straightening product caused him to lose most of his hair.
Lido Shuffle by Boz Scaggs (Genre: Rock, Seventies Rock)
Boz Scaggs is a blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter and guitarist who played with the Steve Miller and in the sixties, and then launched solo career in the seventies. He is best known today for his smash 1976 album Silk Degrees, which features the hits Lowdown and Lido Shuffle.
The Low Sparks of High-Heeled Boys by Traffic (Genre: Rock, Classic Rock, Jazz)
Steve Winwood and company with the long, flowing seventies classic – The Low Sparks of High-Heeled Boys – all thirteen minutes and forty seconds of it!
Scarcely Cricket by Stuart Duncan, You-You Ma, Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer Thile (Genre: Classical, Country, Folk)
Scarcely Cricket is from a brand-new album, Not Our First Goat Rodeo, by a super group consisting of bluegrass fiddler Stuart Duncan, classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, double bassists Edgar Meyer & mandolinist Chris Thile.
These Boots Are Made For Walking by Nancy Sinatra (Genre: Vocal, Sixties Pop)
Actress and singer Nancy Sinatra was born on June 8, 1940, and celebrates her 80th birthday this week. Sinatra is the daughter and eldest child of the great singer Frank Sinatra and his first wife also named Nancy. The younger Nancy Sinatra hit the charts with great, upbeat pop songs during sixties, including Sugar Town, Somethin’ Stupid, Summer Wine and her most popular song – this one – These Boots Are Made For Walking!
Walking The Blues by Willie Dixon (Genre: Blues)
A classic blues song by the great blues singer, songwriter, bassist and producer Willie Dixon!
What A Difference A Day Makes by Dinah Washington with Louis Jordan and his Orchestra (Genre: R&B, Vocal)
A classic song by the great R&B singer Dinah Washington recorded live for TV in 1960.
You’re The Top by Cole Porter (sung by the man himself!) (Genre: Showtunes)
Cole Porter was one of the two best American song writers of the early Twentieth Century, the other, of course, being George Gershwin. Porter’s influence on popular music is inestimable. Like Gershwin, Porter composed songs that later became standards for many musical shows, a super popular format of the day. His musicals included Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes, You’re The Top and Begin the Beguine. Since he’s more know for writing popular song than singing them, I’m going to include two of his compositions as performed by other artists as well – Artie Shaw and Fred Astaire!
Cole Porter’s Begin The Beguine by Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (Genre: Showtunes, Jazz, Big Band)
Cole Porter’s Night and Day by Fred Astaire (Genre: Showtunes, Film Music)
Be well & happy listening!
Linda Reimer, SSCL
The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn
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