Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bob Wills - Plays The Greatest String Band Hits

In September 2009, I posted a 2-part article (part 1 and part 2) about the mother of all country and western albums, "Wagon Wheels - Legendary Songs of the Old West". The album is still my most treasured album to date. In that album, I got to know so many legendary country and western singers of the 20s, 30s and 40s. One of the singers was Bob Wills (1905 - 1975).

There is only one Bob Wills' song in that album. The title of the song is "Cherokee Maiden". This song was in Bob Wills' singles released in 1941. I was quite amused by the funny sound made by Bob Wills in that song. I subsequently I looked up Wikipedia for Bob Wills and learned that the funny sound was termed by Wikipedia as "hollering and wisecracking". I don’t know whether the hollering and wisecracking enhance or spoil the songs but I know for sure that they add the uniqueness of Bob Wills to his songs.

Here's what Wikipedia describes about Bob Wills hollering and wisecracking, "Wills was known for his hollering and wisecracking. One source for this was when, as a very young boy, he would hear his father, grandfather, and cowboys give out loud cries when the music moved them. When asked if his wisecracking and talking on the bandstand came from his medicine show experience, he said it did not. Rather, he said that it came directly from playing and living close to Negroes, and that he never did it necessarily as show, but more as a way to express his feelings".

Bob Wills was a pioneer in American Western swing music. The note at the back cover of this album describes western swing music "enriches the country music field", "is rich in blue" and "provides a rich repertoire for dance engagements at countless auditoriums and dance halls". I find that the songs and music in this album are so easy going and I tend to tap my hands along when listening to the songs.

Bob Wills was a great fiddle player and band leader of The Texas Playboys. The album contains songs and music performed by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Song List:

Side A - Milk Cow Blues, Slow Poke, Song of the Wanderer (Where Shall I Go?), My Mary, Whose Heart are you Breaking now?, San Antonio Rose

Side B - Talkin' Bout You, Shame on You, No Letter Today, Pan Handle Rag, Brown Skin Gal

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Rick Nelson - Singles 1963 - 1974 Album

A few months ago, Andy Young of "Singapore 60s Andy's Pop Music Influence" posted an article on popular songs of late 50s in Singapore. As I like to listen to oldies, I checked out all the songs listed by Andy on You Tube. I enjoyed listening to many of the songs and I liked 2 particular songs, namely Rick Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” and David Seville’s “Witch Doctor”.

“Garden Party” was the song that I remembered by heart when I was in secondary school. However, I did not Rick Nelson was the singer of this song until I checked it out on You Tube then.

I found an album of Rick Nelson just a few weeks after Andy Young’s post. The album, “The Rick Nelson Singles 1963-1974 Album” contains 16 tracks. I think all the songs can be classified as pop/rock. There are 3 songs that I like in particular, “Gypsy Woman”, “Take a City Bride” and “Garden Party”.

Song List:

Side A – You Don’t Love me Anymore, I Got a Woman, String Along, Gypsy Woman, Fools Rush In, For You, The Very Thought of You, There’s Nothing I Can Say

Side B – A Happy Guy, Mean Old World, Take a City Bride, She Belongs to me, Easy to be Free, Garden Party, Palace Guard, One Night Stand

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rolf Harris - Rolf on Saturday o.k?

When I posted an Australian singer Slim Dusty's album on 4th October 2009, my friend Andy Young of "Singapore 60s Andy's Pop Music Influence" mentioned another famous Australian artist, Rolf Harris, to me.

The name, Rolf Harris, brought my memory back to the 70s. During that period, The Malaysian TV station broadcasted "The Rolf Harris Show" on weekly basis. The Rolf Harris Show has all the entertaining elements such as dancing, singing, stories/jokes telling and even painting in it. Rolf Harris was a skillful and creative that he painted with all sizes all paint brushes. More interestingly, he sang or told stories/jokes and painted at the same time. And by the time he finished his a song, he also completed his painting. I love the show very much.

Back to October 2009, I told myself that I would like to get a Rolf Harris LP or two. My lucky star was definitely shinning on me because a week later, I found this album of Rolf Harris, "Rolf on Saturday o.k?"

Rolf Harris ran his "Rolf on Saturday o.k?" in school halls all round England. I presume all the songs in this album were recorded live. This is a highly entertaining LP.

Song List:

Side A - Sig: It's a Saturday, ok?, Boiled Beef and Carrots, The Gasman Cometh, Turkey in the Straw, Papillon, On Ilkla' Moor Bah'at, A Windmill in Old Amsterdam, Best Foot Forward

Side B - The Laughing Policeman, Herrin's Head, Hole in the Ground, Portsmouth, Sunday by the Sea, The Tailor & The Mouse, Sig: It's Saturday ok?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Charley Pride - In Person

When I bought records crazily in 2006, a vendor even sorted out all his newly acquired country and western albums and let me previewed and bought them on Saturday, which is one day before he put them up for sale on Sunday.

During one of our meetings on one Saturday morning in October 2006, he introduced Charley Pride to me. I was very surprise when I heard that Charley Pride was a black country and western singer because I had the impression that there were only white cowboys around.

I bought Charley Pride’s record with a few other country and western records on that day. When I spun the record on my record player, I was pleasantly surprised by his voice because he sounded just like other country and western singers. In fact, he even sounded a bit like Hank Williams. Needless to say, I fell for Charley Pride

This LP was recorded live in Panther Hall, Fort Worth, Texas in 1969. In this concert, Charley Pride even joked about how he sounded. He drew a lot of laughter when he mentioned that many people asked him why he didn’t sound like he’s supposed to sound. And Charley Pride’s answer was, “Well it is a little unique I admit but I have been singing country music since I was about 5 years old and that’s why I sound like I sound”.

Charley Pride was born in 1938. A check on Internet indicates that he is still performing in USA and Europe today. Charley Pride’s greatest achievement is having 36 number 1 hits on Billboard Country Chart. His first singles “Snakes Crawl at Night” was released in 1965.

This record was released in 1969.

Song List:

Side A - Intro by Bob Powell, The Last Thing on My Mind, Just between You and Me, I Know One, Lovesick Blues, The Image of Me, Kaw-liga

Side B - Shutters and Boards, Six Days On The Road, Streets Of Baltimore, Got Leavin' On Her Mind, Crystal Chandeliers, Cotton Fields