portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Thursday, May 31, 2018

I didn't manage to buy this single either and must have missed it because I bought it later as a re-issue picture sleeve 7" and it remains a favourite. Coupled with 'Rain' this had a very peculiarly special feeling to my emerging newly enlightened and awakened eardrobes (thank you Prof Stanley Unwin) and after a short while (days in my head) came 'Revolver' and we were never quite the same again . . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: May 30, 1966 - “Paperback Writer” / “Rain” by The Beatles is released (UK release is on June 10, 1966). Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the first track to emerge from the recording sessions that produce the “Revolver” album. McCartney comes up with the idea for the song after having a conversation with one of his aunts, asking him if he can write something that wasn’t about love or romantic involvement. During a writing session at Kenwood, John Lennon’s home in Weybridge, McCartney sees an article in the newspaper The Daily Mail about an aspiring author. The pair write the lyrics in the form of a letter to a publisher, with the author asking that they consider publishing it. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios on April 13 - 14, 1966, the basic track of the song is perfected in two takes, with the first take breaking down before complete. The single marks McCartney’s first use of his recently acquired Rickenbacker 4001 bass on a Beatles single, producing a clearer and more defined tone than his venerable Hofner bass. The band having complained about the lack of bass on their records (compared to American R&B records), recording engineer Geoff Emerick devises a way of getting a louder bass sound by using another loudspeaker as a microphone, also using a piece of outboard gear created by EMI’s technical engineers called “Automatic Transient Overload Control” during the mastering process.“Rain” (written primarily by John) is inspired when the band are on tour in Australia in 1965, when they arrive in Melbourne in poor weather. Recorded between April 14 - 16, 1966 at Abbey Road, the song is recorded with the four track machine running at a slightly slower speed with the band playing the rhythm track at a faster pace, so that the track and vocals take on a different texture on playback at normal speed. Lennon also hits upon the idea of having part of his vocal playing back backwards when he takes a work tape home and accidentally puts the tape on upside down. He likes how it sounds so much, that he has George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick to take part of his vocal from the master, copy it and insert the backward vocal into the final master. “Paperback Writer” becomes The Beatles thirteenth US number one single on June 25, 1966 (2 weeks non-consecutive). The B-side “Rain” (written by John Lennon, also credited to Lennon - McCartney), peaking at #23 on the Hot 100 on July 9, 1966.
The Rolling Stones first album is a classic that stands the test of time and no mistake and is probably in my top twenty (at least) of album of all time. The track here 'Route 66' is an absolute unmistakeable peerless classic of British Rock 'n' Roll and one of the best album openers ever committed to vinyl and we have explored the original elsewhere, or earlier rather, by Julie London's husband Bobby Troup as a jazz standard either way it is a classic 12 bar - and no I didn't buy either when they came out I was too young but I bought the album later and still play it today

On this day in music history: May 30, 1964 - “England’s Newest Hit Makers”, the US debut album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, it is recorded at Regent Sound Studios in London from January 3 - February 25, 1964. Recorded in just five days worth of studio time spread over a six week period, the album features mostly R&B and blues covers the band has been performing as part of their live act. The US title of the album is amended from its original eponymous title, and includes the bands first two American singles “Not Fade Away” (#3 UK, #48 US Pop) and “Tell Me (You’re Coming Back”) (#24 US Pop). Original US pressings also include a color reproduction of the cover photo inserted inside the sleeve. Over time, these have become quite rare and are sought after collector’s items among Stones fans. The album is remastered and reissued a hybrid SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc) in 2002. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2003. This vinyl release has been supplanted by the mono reissue of the original UK album, included in the box set “The Rolling Stones In Mono” released in 2016. “England’s Newest Hit Makers” peaks at number eleven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The incomparable Paul Carrack . . . . . . .and yes as a single, still have it . . . . . . . . one hit wonder maybe but what a voice and wherever he is supporting Clapton or Collins, he sings this

  • How Long
  • Ace
  • Five-A-Side

Football and Music?

One I know a fair bit about and, certainly by now, know what I like (it's like art you know! ha ha) Football? I know less than I do about quantum physics . . . . . . do the two ever meet? Art and Football not Football and Quantum Physics, in case I wasn't clear . . . . Well, for some avid fans (of both) it has mystical resonance I am sure. In fact I know . . . . . how do I know? Well I went here and read the wonderful entry at 1 Man Went 2 Moan by my good buddy and lifelong Chelsea fan (well someone's got to!) in his blog Left at Fulham Broadway 

Phylis and Sharon enjoy a kick about in the park

Known football obsessive, Bob Marley

Jumpers for goalposts

Robert "Splendid Tackle" Plant, for pity's sake man put some shorts on, bless 'im, then . . . .

 . . . . .and now

See who you can spot here in this parody of The Verve's 'Bitter Sweet Symphony' by Richard Ashcroft not sure what he would have thought about Paul Kaye's mimicry and and there was a fuss about the Portuguese invented Goan recipe being mocked in a football chant as racist somehow but Keith Allen and Alex James had fun any way as did Matt Lucas, Eddie Tenpole-Tudor, Damien Hirst, Ricky Grover and Rowland Rivron to name but a few.  Originally intended as a parody of football chants it became one itself and was adopted by the FIFA World Cup of 1998. A tournament that was as memory serves won by France to add insult to injury and make the cruellest of ironies as we Brits love to hate one race above all other, the French! 
For reasons best know to someone else I never really 'got' the Moody Blues. 'Go Now' was always my signature hit I enjoyed so when Denny Laine left I paid them no further mind. A friend at tech college after school was a huge fan (dear George wherefore art thou? OZ at last check) and I listened but they always seemed curiously 'straight' and overly contrived somehow, overblown and pompous. That being said I always enjoyed Justin Hayward's extraordinarily beautiful voice so 'Nights in White Satin' was obviously a classic and as for singles well there was maybe only one other . . . . . . . this

  • Question
  • The Moody Blues
  • A Question of Balance

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Fantastic new project over at ''Albums That Never Were'' from soniclovenoise who I have mentioned before when I discovered his recreation of a Beefheart album 'It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper' The notion is simple to recreate classic mythological albums that never somehow made it,. The notes alone are always worth a read

Here he tackles the recreation of what the collaboration between Bob Dylan and The Grateful Dead maybe should have been . . . . . . 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Meshell Ma Belle

Coupla lovelies over at Big O this Bank Holiday morning! The force of nature that is bass player and singer, Meshell Ndegeocello. I first came across her covering Nick Drake's 'Pink Moon' which features here and yet her covers balance against a creative output all her own. Check her here . . . . . 


Track 02. Pink Moon [Nick Drake cover] 3:57


and again more Neil Young from the current tour promoting the new live set Crazy Horse moves over from Fresno to Bakersfield! I know! Go figure right. The fifty year old incarnation of Crazy Horse sets up and blows everyone away including nearly ten minute long version of 'F***in Up'! Old fogey's? I don't think so . . . . more energy and more relevance than much of what is going on right now . . . . . . . . 

Track 202. Only Love Can Break Your Heart 3:48


turn it UP!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Two performances over the weekend that struck me

One/ Ed Sheeran and I realise there is something of a backlash against him and yet at the BBC Biggest Weekend he took the role as opening act consciously presumably as he stated his task was to warm up the crowd, which frankly is astonishingly humble for a superstar who can hold the main stage at Glastonbury on his own (and I am aware people said he wouldn't be able to ) This all so he could do two full sets in a day as he was to play Manchester later on that evening so midday opener at Swansea and frankly watching carefully two things occurred to me 1/ he can hold any size audience with a guitar and a Loop Master on his own. His control of which means he can self harmonise and play backing to himself with guitar and a keyboard featuring on only one track (see below) the other things occurs to me this is no autotune performance and he is a consummate pro in what he does and probably has perfect pitch. I think many people watching this will not fully understand how complicated a job he does of performance and made it look relaxed and easy. I like him! Did you guess . . . . . . . . 


Sigrid was on Sunday Brunch on Chanel 4 and this young woman keeps making me sit up and take notice first on the Graham Norton show and now over Brunch . . . . . 

This again is no pre-recorded autotune performance and with mere guitar & keyboard accompaniment and a harmonising backing singer [who needs must cannot be any slouch in the singing department either] sang one of her 'hits' 'High Five' as live as as it can get . . . . . .this lassie is a wonderment!

UPDATE - performance deleted - Well Channel 4 removed THAT pretty swiftly so here's the official version

Astonishing and reaffirms my faith in humanity, the young folks and the desire and power to create music and to just well,  sing!

UPDATE - two low points were 

Taylor Swift phoning in a six song mini set dressed as a cheap 70's hooker, the sound was appalling and her microphone appeared to not be working from the outset but I consider that a blessing from what we had later on. Stomping around the stage flat footed in your wellies does not make you Beyonce! Truly dreadful monotonous rubbish

Frankly Rita Ora on before put her to shame with energy, choreography, originality of dress, dancing and out performed and out sung. Rita always looks like she is enjoying herself! Despite the sad momentary tribute to Avicii. Great sound and the girl can SING! The headline act was deservedly Florence and The Machine who I enjoyed on the BBC Friday night show but missed here . . . . . . 
SORRY Back to High Points!!!

That and the fact she's gorgeous!

Back to the low points . . . . . . . . 

Liam Gallagher at the Coventry site for the BBC Weekend headline act with Beady Mincers or whatever, who appeared to sing almost entirely through his nose which has obviously taken a battering along the way as he can no longer sing (did he ever? I thought he was a shouter! - ED) a smattering of Oasis songs brightened it up because lets face it there's nothing else in the set worth paying attention too. Truly awful! Meaningless drivel

Nice one for a Sunday morning . . . .and yes this one was a bargain bins ex-jukebox purchase . . . . I don't own any Cure albums but always liked that sound and Robert's lyricism
Singles I loved but it makes me wonder in retrospect why I never bought the albums . . . . . . could have been lack of funds despite how the blog sounds like I bought everything! (First world problems - ED) By this time I had two small children so bargain bins it was . . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: May 26, 1987 - “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”, the seventh studio album by The Cure is released (UK release is on May 25, 1987). Produced by Robert Smith and David M. Allen, it is recorded at Studio Miraval in Le Val, France, Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas, and ICP Studios in Bruxelles, Belgium from September 6, 1986 - January 1987. Following the success of their previous release “The Head On The Door”, Cure frontman and chief songwriter Robert Smith decides that a change of locale to work on their next album is necessary, so the band depart for The Bahamas to record at Chris Blackwell’s (founder of Island Records) Compass Point Studios for the initial recording sessions. The eighteen track double LP set is the result of a very prolific period for the band, who record forty songs for the album before being pared down to the final number used on the finished release. The end result is The Cure’s most stylistically diverse and most accessible album to date. The album spins off three singles in the US (four in the UK) including “Why Can’t I Be You” (#21 UK, #54 US Pop) “Hot Hot Hot!!! (#11 Club Play), and their first US top 40 single “Just Like Heaven” (#29 UK, #40 US Pop). When it is initially released, the original CD version of the album omits the track "Hey You!” in order to release the album on a single disc, since the song would make the running time breach the CD’s then seventy four minute time limit. The song is later restored to the running order. The album is reissued as a two CD deluxe edition in 2006, containing demo recordings of several songs and a live version of “Why Can’t I Be You?” from the final show of the “Kissing Tour” in 1987. In April of 2013, the album is reissued on vinyl (available in the US in that configuration for the first time in over twenty years) in a limited pressing (on red 180 gram vinyl) of only 3,500 copies for Record Store Day in the US and UK. The vinyl LP is subsequently is reissued as a standard black vinyl pressing, and is the current version in print. “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me” peaks at number six on the UK album chart, number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

 I have always been fascinated by photograph of artists as much and in some cases more than their work. Not in this case they are about equal but found this photo the other day and it really intrigued me. The master who Picasso referred to as the 'father of us all'

Paul Cézanne outside his studio at Les Lauves in Provence. 
Photo was taken in April 1906, six months before his death.
Photo by Gertrude Osthaus, colourised 

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906),
Le verger (Hattenville) [The Orchard (Hattenville)], 1882

Accentual versification it may be but I LOVE Benjamin Zephaniah!

he loves his Mummy . . . . . . . as do I

Aaww did you think gender fluidity was somehow something new?

from one of my favourite books 'Paris by Night' by Brassai

Nice set for, some might say the po' man's Dr John, but James Booker is a true Nawleans original from over at the peerless Floppy Boot Stomp

and man can that boy play the piano . . . . . . . . and as Dr John hisself said

"The best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced."

- Doctor John on James Booker

Bought the single and one of my oldest friends from tech college loved FREE and had the album. We played it ALL the time, break out the stack heeled boots and the velvet loon pants. Kossoff's loss was one of those shocks and heroin claims an early master of the Les Paul . . . . . . . co-written by Rodgers and Andy Fraser when the classical trained pianist turned bass player was a mere 15! Andy Fraser died at 62 having fought off cancer and AIDS in March 2015. He had always struggled coming out as gay possibly from having such a male rocker image from the band. Rodgers and Fraser reformed for the Woodstock revisited in 94 and never lost theifriendship 
"The idea for All Right Now came about on a rainy Tuesday night in some godsforsaken minor city in England. We were playing a college that could have held 2,000 but had something like 30 people out of their heads on Mandrax bumping into each other in front of us. They didn't notice when we came on or when we went off. Afterwards there was that horrible silence in the dressing room. To break the intensity, I started singing, 'All right now…come on baby, all right now.'" Andy Fraser

On this day in music history: May 25, 1970 - “All Right Now” by Free is released. Written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, it is the third single release and biggest hit for the London based hard rock/blues band from London, UK. Formed in 1968, the four members of Free, lead singer Paul Rodgers, bassist Andy Fraser, drummer Simon Kirke and guitarist Paul Kossoff are all still teenagers when they play their first live gig at a London pub in April of that year. The band are given their name by musician Alexis Korner, a pivotal and highly important figure in London’s blues/rock scene, with many future superstars including Rolling Stones members Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, as well as future Cream members Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker pass through the ranks of Korner’s band Blues Incorporated. Within several months, Free are attracting big crowds to their live performances and are signed to Island Records in the UK (and A&M Records in the US). Their first two albums sell modestly and yield no major hits. In January of 1970, Free return to the studio to begin work on their third album. Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser form a solid songwriting partnership over the previous albums, and write five of the seven songs for the new album. Fraser writes the music for “All Right Now” after a show at the Durham Students Union at Durham University in about ten minutes. Rodgers writes the lyrics while waiting for the rest of the band to pick him up for a gig. Band mates Kossoff and Kirke initially don’t think much of the song, but agree to record it. The basic track is recorded completely live at Trident Studios in London, with Rodgers overdubbing his lead vocal on the song at another session. Buried at the end of the second side of the “Fire And Water”, the five and a half minute plus track is edited for single release, and issued a month ahead of the album. Initially, the record attracts very little attention, but their fortunes change when US radio stations begin playing the song during the Summer. The turning point in the UK comes after Free play the legendary Isle Of Wight festival on August 31, 1970. From there, the record explodes, quickly rising to #2 on the UK singles chart. In the US, “All Right Now” enters the Hot 100 at #96 on August 15, 1970, peaking at #4 on October 17, 1970. The success of the single propels the “Fire And Water” album to #2 on the UK album chart, #17 on the Billboard Top 200, turning Gold in both countries. Now established as a classic rock anthem, “All Right Now” is covered by numerous artists, including versions by The Runaways, Rod Stewart, The Alarm and former Wham! background vocalists Pepsi & Shirlie. Steve Miller is inspired to write “Rock ‘N’ Me” (#1 Pop) in 1976 as a tribute to guitarist Paul Kossoff after his untimely passing. Free’s original version becomes one of the most played songs in the history of US radio, with more than three million plays by 2006.
Oh you know this was a first and we all bought this not least because it was recorded just up the road from me . . . . . 
There was a fascinating biopic on Mike on the tele recently I watched for the second time and it never ceases to amaze me. The structure alone of the bars of music (one has seven beats and the next 8 is near on impossible to play live and they made it). Despite Mike nearly backing out all the way down the motorway to the Royal Albert Hall to perform it live. Viv Stanshall of the voice over is a legendary choice and the fellow musicians an extraordinary almagam of prog rock and included heavy rockers like Mick Taylor (go figure!)
Still a classic go buy it!
On vinyl! {turning it over was part of the composition IMHO}

On this day in music history: May 25, 1973 - “Tubular Bells”, the debut album by Mike Oldfield is released. Produced by Tom Newman, Simon Heyworth and Mike Oldfield, it is recorded at The Manor in Oxfordshire, UK from Autumn 1972 - Spring 1973. The album consists of two side long movements featuring Oldfield playing nearly all of the instruments. Vivian Stanshall (of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) is featured as the voice of the “master of ceremonies”. The eclectic piece is rejected by numerous record labels as being “unmarketable” and “non-commercial”, until Richard Branson, the owner of The Manor Studios hears the album and agrees to release it. It is the first release on the newly established Virgin Records label. The record receives a major boost when director William Friedkin uses part of the first movement in his film “The Exorcist”. Its exposure in the film (also issued as a edited single #31 UK, #7 US Pop) leads to its worldwide popularity. The albums iconic cover artwork featuring a bent “tubular bell” is designed by graphic artist Trevor Key. “Bells” is also remixed and released in quadraphonic stereo in 1975. Reissued numerous times over the years since its original release, the quad stereo release from the mid 70’s, is remastered and reissued as a multi-channel hybrid SACD in 2001. The album is given new stereo remixes in 2009, that is released as part of a lavish boxed ediiton that contains three CD’s, a DVD-V disc and a vinyl copy of the original 1973 mix. “Tubular Bells” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

BBC4 - Mike Oldfield - The making of Tubular Bells not currently available but ask them, who knows they may make it available again

Friday, May 25, 2018


Here at Big O is the sounds . . . . . . . 

Stones at Wembley 2018

and frankly it's a stormer, great set list, great quality and good good rockin' fer shur! I didn't expect that but if that isn't enough and you want some fine fine photos of the event check out our good friend Johnnyc1959 over at Idea and Images - a fine photographer and rock groover par excellence! [ can you still say "groover"? ED - I just did, I am one and so is he!]

Here at 

Idea & Images from Portsmouth and Beyond . . . . maybe the last time

are the images . . . . . . . . 

Meanwhile 50 years ago . . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: May 24, 1968 - “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones is released (US release date is on June 1, 1968). Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the eighteenth US (seventeenth UK) single by the iconic London based rock band fronted by lead vocalist Mick Jagger. In early 1968, Jagger is staying at band mate Keith Richards countryside home Redlands in West Wittering, Sussex, UK, while the pair are working on material for the next Rolling Stones album. Mick is awoken one morning by the sound of Richards’ gardener Jack Dyer walking past his window. When Mick asks who it is, Keith replies, “Oh that’s Jack, jumpin’ jack”. Jagger takes Richards statement, and is immediately inspired to begin writing lyrics. Keith comes up with main riff and chords that evolve into “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, with the pair finishing the song quickly. The track is recorded at Olympic Studios in London on April 20, 1968 during sessions for the bands next album “Beggar’s Banquet”. Keith achieves the songs unique guitar sound by using a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar tuned to an open D chord, then placing a capo on the neck. He then records the guitar (actually two guitars, with the second tuned to a higher octave) with a Philips cassette recorder using the players external condenser mic, then bouncing it back to multi-track tape. Issued as a stand alone single, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” marks the Stones return to their trademark blues rooted sound after experimenting with psychedelic music on their two previous albums. In time, it is regarded as one of the bands greatest and most often covered songs. The single is backed with non-LP B-side “Child Of The Moon”. At the time of the singles release, it is accompanied by a promotional film directed by Michael Lindsey-Hogg (“Let It Be”), in which The Rolling Stones perform the song with all of the band members appearing with painted faces and heavy makeup. The songs title also becomes the basis of and major plot point of a Penny Marshall directed comedy in 1986 starring Whoopi Goldberg. Aretha Franklin records a cover of the song for the film, produced by Keith Richards, who also plays guitar on the track. The Rolling Stones original version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” hits number one on the UK singles chart, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1968, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Happy Birthday Bob!

 Singer, songwriter, musician and icon Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, MN). Happy 77th Birthday, Bob!!

Just an old Rock 'n' Roller . . . . . . . 

Let's see if this works - this was on facebook and I thought was really well done

Happy Birthday Bob!

Let's have something official . . . . . . to everyone all those agesist youngsters who think music isn't for the oldies!
Listen for that whistle blowing it blows for you too!

Thursday, May 24, 2018


‘I was riding a Greyhound from Montreal down to New York, a woman sitting across from me kept staring. 
Finally, I looked over. 
She smiled, said, “I know you.” 
I said, “Yeah, who am I?” 
She said, “You’re that actor from ‘The Graduate’ - you’re good, very good.” 
I thanked her.”
– Leonard Cohen


Lovely compilation from 
this morning


“If he plays a gig in some club, it’s the talk of the town for the whole year. Who can afford to pay for so much entertainment?… Well, for those who do not know Dudu Pukwana, he is the heaviest of the heaviest alto saxophone players and for many of us coming from South Africa… THE TEACHER. Go on doing the BOOGIE Bra Dudza.” – Joe Malinga (liner notes, One For Dudu)
Here now, “Some For Dudu,” a celebration and glance at Pukwana: the teacher, the exile, the saxophonist, the front man, the collaborator, the pianist, the singer and shouter; two hours of calm, frenzy, jazz and beyond.

Some For Dudu :: A Dudu Pukwana Companion

Playlist . . .

Dudu Pukwana – “Ko-didi”
Assagai – “I’ll Wait For You”
Dudu Pukwana – “Sondela”
Johnny Dyani with John Tchicai & Dudu Pukwana – “Magwaza”
Assagai – “Ayleo”
Gwigwi Mrwebi – “Nyusamkhaya”
Gideon Nxumalo – “Home At Night”
Dudu Pukwana and Zila – “Matume”
Dudu Pukwana – “Flute Music”
Gwigwi Mrwebi – “Mra”
Osibisa – “Inkosi Sikeleli Africa”
Centipede – “Septober Energy Part Two”
Dudu Pukwana And Zila Featuring Pinise Saul – “Ziyekeleni”
Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath – “MRA”
Johnny Dyani with John Tchicai & Dudu Pukwana – “Eyomzi”
Jabula – “Baile – They Are Gone”
Toots & The Maytals ft. Dudu Pukwana – “So Bad”
Dudu Pukwana – “Flute Music” [2]

I first came across Dudu's work through the wondrous Mike Heron's 'Smiling Men With Bad Reputations' and he rapidly became a favourite sax player of mine

so I would have included 'Call Me Diamond' from that album as one of the most joyous and exuberant examples of saxamaphone playing ever laid to vinyl - 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

I note with sadness the passing of Philip Roth at 85 the great American writer of some of the most influential novels on me as a younger man, the scandalous Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral and Goodbye Columbus. I am minded he was married to the iridescent Claire Bloom which always impressed me! 
Roth 1933 -2018

He was also a lifelong friend of the great artist R.B.Kitaj 

R.B.Kitaj and Philip Roth in Kitaj's studio 

Portrait of Philip Roth - R.B. Kitaj Charcoal on handmade paper.1985

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Really fascinating article over at Rockasteria or ''Plain & Fancy'" if you prefer. Regular visitors will know of my mild obsession with all things New Orleans R'n'B starting with Dr John and leading to a lifelong love of Professor Longhair and his contemporaries (Archibald and Tuts Washington especially but all across to Clifton Chenier and the Zydeco sound to Fats Domino and Clarence 'Frogman' Henry' et al). Cajun and Zydeco also featured alongside the more commercial rhythm and blues of the Toussaint era pop of the Louisiana area. Bobby Charles is an extraordinary figure here, a true ethnic Cajun he wrote a few timeless classics. Claiming he became hooked as soon as he heard Fats Domino as a youngster he wrote 'See You Later Alligator' (his version titled 'Later Alligator') which became a world wide classic rock n roll anthem for Bill Haley and The Comets. He also wrote parochial classics like 'Walking To New Orleans'* for Fats himself and beauties such as 'I Don't Know Why I Love You (but I do)' later he fell into more obscurity but 'Plain and Fancy' has an extensive article hear and a wonderful authentic attempt to bring him into more popular circles featuring the best of the New Orleans sound with Mac Rebbenack the good Dr John hisself! It is a softer gentler record and whilst it features super stars like The Band and the Doctor it was met with a limited success. This article also includes a third disc containing an interview which must be as rare as hen's teeth
Great stuff if you are as obsessed with the music of the area as myself!

Robert Charles Guidry
BornFebruary 21, 1938

Bobby Charles - the Rockasteria

largely edited out of The Last Waltz film you can just about see him at the finale . . . . . but this is only appearance with Levon holding vocal as no-one can!


*John Broven's great book 'Walking to New Orleans' was re-titled Rhythm and Blue in New Orleans