Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week: Wednesday 13th June

Rick Danko, Unfaithful Servant, LA, 1979: “Easy with him, he’s a human…”
As Eric Andersen wrote, in a farewell letter to Rick: “Your singing remains one of the everlasting glories of American music.” And, though it’s ragged and rough, this is as glorious as it gets. A sweaty club, a febrile atmosphere (it’s not beautifully recorded, but the room fairly crackles—I’ve rarely heard something sound so present). Blondie Chaplin, ex-Beach Boy, is on piano, Rick just singing, not playing bass, someone loosely slapping a tambourine. The crowd is rowdy, and inappropriate for such a heartfelt song. There’s an Elvis-like foldback on the vocal mike, almost sounding like it’s hitting the back wall and touring the room. From Caledonian Mission to It Makes No Difference Rick defined a way of ballad singing that’s unique—a high, white, hilltop soul man, singing American music. Here, he leans in hard, perhaps as a response to the low-down, boozed-up crowd. He fumbles some lyrics, oversings others, but it’s fantastic. Just after he sings “Farewell to my other side, Well, I’d best just take it in stride” he makes the above plea to the crowd, but doesn’t miss a beat. The crowd whistles & whoops and Rick turns it on until the words run out and Paul Butterfield steps up to take the song home with a searing harp solo.

Jo Stafford, Paul Weston, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards
Flicking through an illustrated biography of Frank Sinatra I came across a reference to Jo Stafford (the No 1 singer of the ‘pre-rock’ era, apparently). I’ve got various tracks by her, including a great version of You Belong To Me—a wonderful song nicely covered by Bob Dylan and included on the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers. The book mentioned that she recorded several albums with her husband Paul Weston, spoof records that grew out of a party turn, where he would play bad cocktail piano and she would sing high and out-of-tune. Proustian rush time! These albums were a favourite of my parents, alongside others by Jonathan Winters and Bob Newhart. My dad also had a 78 of Red Ingle & His (Un)Natural Seven’s Tim-Tay-Shun (a spoof of Perry Como’s Temptation). And who is the female vocalist on Tim Tay Shun? Jo Stafford. And they still sound pretty great.

Weird iPod Synchronicity Pt2: June 12th, Victoria Station, London
A song I don’t recognise starts playing, a kind-of bluesy shufflin’ riff with slight Beatles-y overtones in its swirling guitars, as I turn to the G2 section of The Guardian. Steve Miller starts singing: “Way down in Alabama there’s a girl just a waitin’ for me, She don’t have to worry, she don’t have to hurry, Lord, I keep her so happy, she’s my…” And at this point I read the cover line: THIS DRUG RUINS LIVES: HOW SUGAR BECAME A LETHAL ADDICTION by Jacques Peretti. And Steve sings: “Sugar baby, Sugar, sugar baby, Sugar baby, Sugar, sugar baby…”

Really?
World’s Richest DJs:
#10: Moby Net Worth $28 million
#9: Daft Punk Net Worth – $30 million each
#8: Pete Tong Net Worth – $30 million
#7: Judge Jules Net Worth – $40 million
#6: Sasha (DJ) Net Worth – $40 million
#5: Armin Van Buuren Net Worth – $40 million
#4: John Digweed Net Worth – $45 million
#3: Paul van Dyk Net Worth – $50 million
#2: Paul Oakenfold Net Worth – $55 million
#1: DJ Tiesto Net Worth – $65 million

Really 2?

Black and Grey Mesh Eye Logo Trucker Cap, thanks. Oh, on second thoughts…

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