“I Don’t Want To Live Like This, But…”

Monday morning, Josh and Carson get locked out of their apartments.

In this cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Harmony Hall,” Josh figured that virtuoso singing and guitar-playing was too easy, so let’s throw in taking off and putting on the guitar capo a few times without losing a beat.

More at Josh Turner Guitar

“Who Wants Their Mind Changed?”: Roy Zimmerman, Part Two

And here’s Part Two of our interview with singer/songwriter Roy Zimmerman. Last week in Part One we talked with Roy primarily about his more comical satirical songs. This week, in the final part, the conversation takes a turn as Roy talks about how he writes a song with heavier political content–maybe songs that can change some minds.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear Part Two of my interview with Roy as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Part One can be found here: https://jackshalom.net/2021/02/16/yer-a-socialist-satirist-roy-zimmerman/

More Roy at Roy Zimmerman

“Dear Number 1036924053887”

In which your friendly neighborhood healthcare insurance company sends a letter of mild request to Roy Zimmerman…

One more example of Roy’s great witty songs.

More at Roy Zimmerman

Small Day Tomorrow: Janis Siegel

Janis Siegel’s name is new to me, but after hearing her sing this Fran Landesman/Bob Dorough song, I am definitely a fan.

Sometimes I hear a strong lyric and I smile, because I can imagine the songwriter knowing she has hit gold with a great idea. Bob Dorough, the composer of this song, told in an interview how his writing partner, Fran Landesman, came upon the lyric. One night Fran and her husband were out drinking with some wealthy business people, and one of the puffed-up men suddenly downed his drink and peremptorily said, “Folks, I have to get going, I have a big day tomorrow” And Fran’s husband drawled, “Well, I think I’ll stay. I have a small day tomorrow.” And of course, as soon as they got home, Fran knew that was the hook of a great song, wrote down the line and finished writing the lyrics. Bob Dorough says as soon as he got the lyrics from Fran, the melody practically wrote itself.

More at Janis Siegel – Topic

Rehearsing the Bridge

Monday morning, peeking through the bedroom blinds. Art Garfunkel and pianist Larry Knectal did 72 takes for the studio version of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the last of which eventually landed on the best-selling album. Above is an early version which has some different lyrics from the final version, and a lot less orchestral backing. While the lyrics in this version are a bit more filled with college-level angst, especially the cheesy “bedroom blinds” line, I like the simpler music arrangement a whole lot more, with less bombast than the released album version.

Thanks to YouTuber Simon and Garfunkel News

“A Crazy Carousel”

Ellie Stone’s version of this Jacques Brel song from the Off-Broadway play was mesmerizing, but here Geraldine Turner amps it up to the truly spooky and horrifying. And to think she recorded it *before* this week.

I wasn’t familiar with Geraldine Turner, but evidently she is a big musical theater star in Australia, kind of on a par with Angela Lansbury. She was the federal President of Actors Equity (MEAA) in Australia.

Thanks to YouTuber Brian Castles-Onion

“Summer’s End” Again

I recently posted John Prine singing his song “Summer’s End.” I ran across this cover done by Brandi Carlile who has performed with Prine in the past, and I’ve been playing it non-stop all week, so I thought I’d share it with you. The purity of her voice makes a nice contrast to John Prine’s growl.

Thanks to YouTuber Tu Mouton

What Kind of Fool Am I?: Sammy Davis Jr.

Monday morning, Sammy does Newley. One thing about Sammy, he always delivered when it required a big finish.

I LOL’d when I realized that he undoes his tie as he turns his back to grab the stool. “Cultivated casualness,” is the term Steve Spill coined and recommends for performers.

Thanks to YouTuber JoeWellington

Fascinatin’ Rhythm: Eleanor Powell

And let’s end the year with this amazing clip of Eleanor Powell tap dancing. What she does, just from a percussion point of view, is incredible. I recently interviewed tap dancer Rusty Frank, a tap dance historian and preservationist, and a tap dancer herself, who maintains that it was the tap dancers who moved popular music forward with their taps. The innovative percussive rhythm steps of the tap dancers were picked up by the drummers, pianists and guitar players of the bands who in turn shaped the new ideas in music. Watch and listen to what Eleanor Powell does with this George Gershwin song from Lady Be Good. It’s a long way from “Tea for Two.”

Thanks to YouTuber Ms2doggies

Sounds of Silence

Mr. Simon, 76 years old, in his last song at the last performance of his farewell tour 2018, Corona, Queens.

When Paul says, “Hello darkness, my old friend,” it’s totally believable.

Stay until the end. “Means more than you can know.”

Thas to YouTuber Josinho1989

Have Yourself A Very Merry Christmas

Monday morning, Carson McKee makes with the crooning, and Josh Turner futzes with his guitar, performing one of my favorite Christmas songs.

And here’s some cheery news. It seems the original lyrics to the song were much darker, but Judy Garland who sung it originally in Meet Me in St. Louis, asked that the lyrics to the song be made more upbeat. Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane changed the lyrics to the more upbeat ones heard today.

But for fun, here are the old nasty lyrics. I like them better:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
It may be your last.
Next year we may all be living in the past.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Pop that champagne cork.
Next year we may all be living in New York.
No good times like the olden days.
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who were dear to us.
Will be near to us no more.
But at least we all will be together.
If the Lord allows.
From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

See https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/occasions/christmas/original-lyrics-have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas-judy-garland/ for more about the change in lyrics.

More Josh and Carson at Josh Turner Guitar