Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary

I love this song by Creedence but it’s probably the song I seek out the least…only because I’ve probably heard it the most. If I hear it on the radio I like it though all over again. This song was the game changer for CCR.

Fogerty refused to play his Creedence songs that he wrote for years because of bitter memories and bad contracts he signed with Creedence. He didn’t think about relenting until a stage appearance on February 19. 1987 with Dylan and George Harrison at a Taj Mahal concert at the Palomino, a Los Angeles club.

Dylan told him ‘Hey, John, if you don’t do these tunes, the world’s going to remember “Proud Mary” as Tina Turner’s song.” That got John thinking that ignoring his back catalog probably harmed his career and started to play those songs again.

When CCR recorded this song, John Fogerty wasn’t happy with the harmony vocals so when the band was at dinner…he recorded them himself and overdubbed them onto the track. This caused further tension in his already tension filled relationship with his bandmates.

The song was on Bayou Country released in 1969 and it peaked at #7 in the Billboard Album Charts, #14 in Canada, and #62 in the UK.

The song peaked at #2 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, #8 in the UK, and #3 in New Zealand.

The song came together on the day that John Fogerty got his discharge papers from the US Army. Fogerty had been drafted in 1966 and was part of a Reserve unit, serving at Fort Bragg, Fort Knox, and Fort Lee. His discharge papers came in 1967.

John Fogerty: “The Army and Creedence overlapped, so I was ‘that hippie with a record on the radio.’ I’d been trying to get out of the Army, and on the steps of my apartment house sat a diploma-sized letter from the government. It sat there for a couple of days, right next to my door. One day, I saw the envelope and bent down to look at it, noticing it said ‘John Fogerty.’ I went into the house, opened the thing up, and saw that it was my honorable discharge from the Army. I was finally out! This was 1968 and people were still dying. I was so happy, I ran out into my little patch of lawn and turned cartwheels. Then I went into my house, picked up my guitar and started strumming. ‘Left a good job in the city’ and then several good lines came out of me immediately. I had the chord changes, the minor chord where it says, ‘Big wheel keep on turnin’/Proud Mary keep on burnin” (or ‘boinin’,’ using my funky pronunciation I got from Howling’ Wolf). By the time I hit ‘Rolling, rolling, rolling on the river,’ I knew I had written my best song. It vibrated inside me. When we rehearsed it, I felt like Cole Porter.”

John Fogerty liked Ike and Tina’s version: “When it ended, if they had a camera and came back to me it’d be like, when Shrek and the donkey go to Far, Far Away and they push the button for that little arcade machine and it tells the whole story of their town! And the Donkey’s like [Eddie Murphy impression] ‘Let’s do that again!’ That’s how I felt when that ended. I loved it, and I was so honored. I was like, ‘Wow, Ike and Tina!’ I had actually been following their career for quite some time. Way back in the day, when Janis and Grace Slick started to get known by the kids who were my age, I’d be like, ‘Man, Tina Turner, c’mon!’ She finally got her due, but for a while there, she wasn’t noticed. It was a really good version, and it was different. I mean, that’s the key. Instead of the same thing, it was really exciting.”

From Songfacts

In the beginning, “Proud Mary” had nothing to do with a riverboat. Instead, John Fogerty envisioned it as the story of a woman who works as a maid for rich people. “She gets off the bus every morning and goes to work and holds their lives together,” he explained. “Then she has to go home.”

It was Stu Cook who first introduced the riverboat aspect of the song. The idea came to him as the group watched the television show Maverick and Stu made the statement, “Hey riverboat, blow your bell.” John agreed that the boat seemed to have something to do with the song that had been brewing in his mind for quite some time, waiting to take conscious shape. When he wrote the music, he made the first few chords evoke a riverboat paddlewheel going around. Thus, “Proud Mary” went from being a cleanup lady to a boat.

Fogerty wrote the lyrics based on three song title ideas: “Proud Mary,” “Riverboat,” and “Rolling On A River.” He carried around a notebook with titles that he thought would make good songs, and “Proud Mary” was at the top of the list.
So it was that an all-American classic was born from the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the late 1960s. Fogerty suspected right away that his “Tin Pan Alley” song was a radio-friendly hit, and he was right. The song hit #2 in the US, reached #8 in the UK, and #1 in Austria.

This was the first of five singles by Creedence that went to #2 on the US chart; they have the most #2 songs without ever having a #1.

Despite popular belief, John Fogerty was not writing from experience when he wrote this. Thanks to his military commitment, he hadn’t ventured further east than Montana. After the song was recorded, he took a trip to Memphis so he could finally see the Mississippi River.

The original CCR version peaked at #2 in March 1969. In June, Solomon Burke’s rendition hit #45. His was the first to include a spoken into:

I know a lot of you folks would like to know what the old Proud Mary is all about
Well, I’d like to tell you about her
She’s nothing but a big old boat
You see, my forefathers used to ride the bottoms of her as stokers, cooks, and waiters
And I made a vow that when I grew up, I’d take a ride on the old Proud Mary
And if you’d let me, I’d like to sing about it

Burke then sings, “looking for a job in the city,” as opposed to “left a good job in the city.”

This was a #4 hit in the US for Ike & Tina Turner in 1971, and a highlight of their live shows. Tina Turner recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 1971 how they came to record this on their Workin’ Together album: “When we cut the album, we were lacking a few tunes, so we said ‘Well, let’s just put in a few things that we’re doing on stage. And that’s how ‘Proud Mary’ came about. I had loved it when it first came out. We auditioned a girl and she had sung ‘Proud Mary.’ This is like eight months later, and Ike said, ‘You know, I forgot all about that tune.’ And I said let’s do it, but let’s change it. So in the car Ike plays the guitar, we just sort of jam. And we just sort of broke into the black version of it. It was never planned to say, ‘Well, let’s go to the record shop, and I’d like to record this tune by Aretha Franklin’… it’s just that we get it for stage, because we give the people a little bit of us and a little bit of what they hear on the radio every day.”

“Proud Mary” attracted 35 covers in the year 1969 alone. Over 100 have been made since.

These are the US charting versions:

Creedence Clearwater Revival (#2, 1969)
Solomon Burke (#45, 1969)
Checkmates, Ltd. feat. Sonny Charles (#69, 1969)
Ike & Tina Turner (#4, 1971)
Glee Cast (#115, 2009)

The line, “Pumped a lot of pain down in New Orleans” is actually “Pumped a lot of ‘Pane,” as in propane. He was pumping gas.

The Checkmates, Ltd. did a horn-powered, gospel inflected version of this song that was produced by Phil Spector and featured Sonny Charles on lead vocals. Running 4:30, it’s substantially longer than the 3:07 original, and went to #69 in November 1969.

This arrangement was clearly an influence on the Ike & Tina Turner version, which they started performing soon after. There was speculation that Spector, who produced Ike & Tina on their 1966 single “River Deep – Mountain High,” brought this version to Ike Turner’s attention.

Fogerty came up with the famous chord riff on guitar when he was playing around with Beethoven’s “5th Symphony.” That one goes “dun dun dun duuunnnnn…,” but Fogerty thought it would sound better with the emphasis on the first note, which is how he arrived at “do do do do.”

This part reminded him of the paddle wheel that impels a riverboat. “‘Proud Mary’ is not a side-wheeler, it’s a stern-wheeler,” he explained.

Even though Creedence Clearwater Revival was from El Cerrito, California, many people thought they were from New Orleans or some other part of the South because of their swamp rock sound. They helped feed the rumor by naming their second album Bayou Country.

Tina Turner recorded a solo version for her 1993 album What’s Love Got To Do With It, which was the soundtrack to her biopic of the same name. In the film, it was lip-synced by Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne (who played Ike and Tina), but on the recording, Tina’s sax player Tim Cappello did Ike’s bass vocals. By recording her own version with no trace of Ike, it made sure he could not profit from its use in the film or soundtrack – an important distinction considering Tina’s accusations of spousal abuse.

When Tina performed the song live, she would usually do a variation on the spoken part, but without the male vocal.

Ike & Tina Turner’s version charted for the first time in the UK on the chart dated October 2, 2010 after it was performed on X-Factor by auditioneees Diva Fever. This version was credited to Tina Turner only.

Ike and Tina performed their version on the Season 2 premiere of Soul Train in 1972, becoming the first big act to appear on the program. The show became very popular its first season because of the dancers, but they were able to book many famous guests in subsequent seasons.

The occasion didn’t inspire Fogerty to start regularly performing CCR songs again, but it did break it for that one evening as four legends of rock jammed together.

According to the book Bad Moon Rising, Bob Dylan called “Proud Mary” his favorite song of 1969.

A film about a hitwoman titled Proud Mary was released in January 2018. Not only does the action movie take its name from the song, but altered lyrics from the tune appear on the poster promoting it, with the tagline, “Killing for the Man every Night and Day.”

John Fogerty took to Twitter to complain:

“I wrote the song ‘Proud Mary’ 50 years ago, and I was very excited to have written such a good song. In fact, it was my very first good song.

My songs are special to me. Precious. So it irks me when people seek to capitalize on the popularity of my music and the good will it has earned with the public for their own financial gain. Over the years, I have often found myself directly opposed to these uses.

This movie has nothing to do with me, or my song. They simply picked the title and wrote a completely fictitious story around it.”

He added: “No one ever asked me about using my song this way, or even about the meaning of Proud Mary.”

The film, as well as the trailer, features the Tina Turner version of the song. Fogerty lost the rights to his CCR songs in 1973, so there was nothing he could do about having a cover version of the song used in the film.

Leonard Nimoy, who played “Mr. Spock” on Star Trek, recorded an infamous cover of this song. Near the end, he sings the chorus Elmer Fudd style – “Big wheel keep on toynin’, Pwoud Mawy keep on boinin’…” It is included on a CD called Golden Throats.

This song was used to disastrous effect to open the 1989 Academy Awards ceremony in a bit where host Rob Lowe sang it with an actress playing Snow White, with the lyrics changed to be about Hollywood:

Klieg lights keep on burnin’
Cameras keep on turnin’
Rollin’ Rollin’
Keep the cameras rollin’

Proud Mary

Left a good job in the city
Workin’ for the man ev’ry night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleepin’
Worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis
Pumped a lot of pane down in New Orleans
But I never saw the good side of the city
‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give

Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

This song is for Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt is Odor/Scent/Smell/Taste… Good Morning to everyone!

A friend of mine moved to Seattle in the early 90s for a job. He called me at some point and told me about the music scene there and something big was happening. He said he had just seen a band in a dingy club with a left handed blonde guitar player who had a strong voice named Nirvana.

I was the same age as Kurt Cobain. When this song came out it was more than popular. It was instantly embedded into the culture. I did like the rawness of it but I would have never guessed it would have been so popular. I just didn’t click with grunge music. I did like the rawness of it…but usually not the songs as much.

When I first heard it…what did I think of? More Than a Feeling by Boston.

Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer of the group Bikini Kill, gave Cobain the idea for the title when she spray painted “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” on his bedroom wall after a night of drinking and spraying graffiti around the Seattle area. In his pre-Courtney Love days, Cobain went out with Bikini Kill lead singer Tobi Vail, but she dumped him. Vail wore Teen Spirit deodorant, and Hanna was implying that Cobain was marked with her scent.

Kurt Cobain said that he was trying to write the ultimate pop song. He said he was basically trying to rip off The Pixies.

The video was just as famous as the song. The shoot took more like 12 hours, with the extras ordered to sit in the bleachers and look bored while the song played over and over. The director Samuel Bayer said that nobody wanted to be there for more than a half hour, and he needed them for 12 hours. By the 11th hour when the band had had it with the shoot and the kids were so angry, they said, ‘Can we destroy the set?'”

Bayer let the kids come down and form a mosh pit, and with all that pent-up energy they proceeded to smash up the set. This impromptu and genuine destruction provided a nice finale for the clip.

The video was inspired by the movie and song Rock And Roll High School by the Ramones, and was also influenced by a 1979 movie called Over the Edge, which was a favorite of Cobain and showed rebellious kids destroying a high school.

The song peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #9 in Canada, #7 in the UK and #1 in New Zealand.

Butch Vig (Producer): “Even though we’re not really sure what Kurt is singing about, there’s something in there that you understand; the sense of frustration and alienation. To me, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ reminds me a little bit of how Bob Dylan’s songs affected people in the ’60s. In a way, I feel the song affected a generation of kids in the ’90s. They could relate to it.”

From Songfacts

Hanna explained that early in the night, she was Cobain’s lookout as he spray pained “God Is Gay” on the wall of a religious center that they believed was posing as an abortion clinic and telling women they would go to hell if they aborted their child. They got quite inebriated that night, and Hanna said, “We ended up in Kurt’s apartment and I smashed up a bunch of s–t. I took out a Sharpie marker and I wrote all over his bedroom wall – it was a rental so it was really kind of lame that I did that. I passed out with the marker in my hand, and woke up hung over.” Six months later she got a call from Cobain, asking her if he could use what she wrote on the wall for a lyric. Said Hanna, “I thought, how is he going to use ‘Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit as a lyric?”

Cobain didn’t know it when he wrote the song, but Teen Spirit is a brand of deodorant marketed to young girls. Kurt thought Hanna was complimenting him on his rebellious spirit, as someone who could inspire youth. Sales of Teen Spirit deodorant shot up when this became a hit, even though it is never mentioned in the lyrics.

This was the first “alternative” song to become a huge hit, and in many ways it redefined the term, as “alternative” implies lack of popularity and the song was embraced by the mainstream. In an effort to save the label for acts like Porno For Pyros and Catherine Wheel, some industry folk referred to the genre as “modern rock,” which became a common radio format. “Alternative” became more of a catchall for music played by white people that didn’t fit the pop or country formats, and Nirvana quickly became a “classic alternative” band.

With this track, Nirvana helped ignite the grunge craze, which was characterized by loud guitars, angst-ridden lyrics, and flannel. Grunge was a look and sound that was distorted and emotive, led by bands coming out of the Northwest. Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were other top grunge bands of the era. Cobain would often dismiss the term as a meaningless label when asked about it in early interviews, but their bass player Krist Novoselic explained that it was a growling, organic guitar sound that defined it.

Cobain said he wrote this song because he was feeling “disgusted with my generation’s apathy, and with my own apathy and spinelessness.” This feeling of detachment is what led to lyrics like “Oh well, whatever, nevermind.” Krist Novoselic added: “Kurt really despised the mainstream. That’s what ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was all about: The mass mentality of conformity.”

The video was a huge hit on MTV. The concept was “Pep Rally from Hell,” and it was shot at Culver City Studios in California on August 17, 1991, directed by Samuel Bayer, who was a 1987 graduate of the New York City School of Visual Arts. The kids were recruited at a show the band played two days earlier at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, where flyers were handed out saying, “Nirvana needs you to appear in their upcoming music video. You should be 18-25 year old and adopt a high school persona, i.e. preppy, punk, nerd, jock. Be prepared to stay for several hours. Come support Nirvana and have a great time.”

According to Bayer, Cobain was getting very frustrated with the shoot, but Bayer needed another take. Cobain channeled his frustration into the performance that you see near the end of the video, where he is screaming and mashing his face near the camera. It was great acting trigger by his real anger.

Bayer did the first edit of the video, which Cobain didn’t like – he used a principal character in a lot of shots and cut it too literal, with the music synching up to the playing. Cobain worked with him to recut the video and make it much more surreal, inserting his crazy look as the second to last shot, and making sure that for his guitar solo, his hands were in the wrong place on the guitar.

The girls who played the cheerleaders in the video were originally supposed to be very fat and unattractive (Cobain’s idea). The director Samuel Bayer did not like this idea, but still allowed the cheerleaders to have “sleeve” tattoos and the symbol for anarchy on their shirts. He says he recruited them from a local strip club, which helps explain their unorthodox cheers. >>

Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of this called “Smells Like Nirvana.” He shot his video in the same gym with the same janitor, but in his video, the janitor was wearing a tutu. Cobain said he was flattered by the parody: “I loved, it, it was really amusing.”

The distinctive bridge was originally at the end of the song. Producer Butch Vig had them move it to the middle.

A lot was made of Cobain being a spokesperson for Generation X when this song became a hit. Cobain responded by saying, “I don’t have the answers for anything. I don’t want to be a f–king spokesperson.”

Producer Butch Vig explained, “That ambiguity or confusion, that’s the whole thing. What the kids are attracted to in the music is that he’s not necessarily a spokesman for a generation. He doesn’t necessarily know what he wants but he’s pissed. It’s all these things working at different levels at once. I don’t exactly know what ‘Teen Spirit’ means, but you know it means something and it’s intense as hell.”

The line, “Here we are now, entertain us,” was something Cobain used to say when he entered a party.

In a sign of the cultural apocalypse, the February 20, 1992 issue of Rolling Stone magazine featured the cast of the TV show Beverly Hills 90210 with the tag line “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” turning Kurt Cobain’s diatribe against the culture of conformity into a convenient headline for a story about a TV series about rich kids. Here’s the cover.

For a while, MTV refused to air the video. When they finally did, it was on their alternative show 120 Minutes. When the song became a hit, the video went into hot rotation.

The album cover shows a baby swimming toward a dollar bill. Cobain and Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic had seen a documentary on underwater birth and wanted to use that image on the cover. Pictures of babies being born underwater were too gross, so they hired a photographer to take some underwater shots during a water babies class. The baby they chose was Spencer Elden, who was 4 months old at the time.

At many of their later shows, Nirvana did not play this song, helping root out the people coming just to hear a hit.

Courtney Love deliberated a long time before allowing this to be used in the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge. Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who along with Love control the Nirvana catalog, claimed Love was trying to get the title role in the movie, which went to Nicole Kidman.

The song was later used in the 2011 movie The Muppets (where it is performed to a captive Jack Black by The Muppet Barbershop Quartet), and in the 2015 film Pan, where it is sung by a large group of rebellious child slaves. It’s use in this last film was, er… panned by Entertainment Weekly, which wrote, “The song’s satirical lyrics make an already gauche movie even dorkier.”

The opening guitar part is a small variation on the main riff of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” This was noted by a Rolling Stone magazine writer years later, but not as an accusation of plagiarism. Influences and similarities like this are everywhere in rock music. 

The Nevermind album title is taken from the song’s lyric: “And I forget just why I taste / Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile / I found it hard, it’s hard to find / Oh well, whatever, never mind.”

Dave Grohl recalled to Mojo magazine March 2011: “‘Teen Spirit’ definitely established that quiet/loud dynamic thing that we fell back on a lot of the time. It did become that one song that personifies the band. But the video was probably the key element in that song becoming a hit. People heard the song on the radio and they thought, ‘This is great,’ but when kids saw the video on MTV they thought, ‘This is cool. These guys are kinda ugly and they’re tearing up their f–king high school.’ So I think that had a lot to do with what happened with the song.

But do I think it’s the greatest single of all time? Of course not! I don’t even think it’s the greatest Nirvana single. And compared to Revolution by The Beatles or God Only Knows by The Beach Boys?! Give me a break! Smells like Teen Spirit was a great moment in time… but there’s better.”

A version by Miley Cyrus performed by the pop singer on her Gypsy Heart tour topped Rolling Stone’s 2011 reader list of the top 10 Worst Cover Songs of All Time. It was so bad that it even outranked Britney’s much-maligned version of “I Love Rock and Roll!”

Tori Amos did a popular cover of this song in 1992 that Nirvana sometimes played as their introduction music when they took the stage.

Amos was on tour when Cobain died in 1994 and performed her version two days later at a show in Dublin. Patti Smith also recorded the song for her covers album Twelve.

The song was re-released as a limited edition 7-inch vinyl single in December 2011 for an online campaign to get it to the Christmas number one in the UK Singles Chart. However, the track only reached #11 – four places lower than the peak originally scaled by the song 20 years previously.

Jay-Z disfigured some lines from this song on his 2013 track “Holy Grail,” where he raps about the price of fame:

I know nobody to blame
Kurt Cobain, I did it to myself
And we all just entertainers
And we’re stupid and contagious

Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, who are the songwriters credited on “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” were all included on the writer’s credits to “Holy Grail” because of the interpolation. When “Holy Grail” debuted at #8 on the Hot 100, it gave Cobain and Novoselic their first Top 10 writing credits since “Smells Like Teen Spirit” charted. (Dave Grohl charted a number of times with Foo Fighters.)

When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, the surviving members performed a selection of songs with various female singers. For this song, Joan Jett joined them. The following year, Jett was inducted into the Rock Hall.

Television, and particularly MTV, have always been the domain of pretty people with trendy looks. With the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video, Nirvana made it possible for people with a less traditional look to get on the network, including Matt Pinfield, an influential disc jockey with a classic “face for radio.” Soon after this video was released, MTV started giving him gigs, and eventually make him host of their show 120 Minutes. In a Songfacts interview with Pinfield, he said: “It opened the door for people not needing to have a certain look. You could do what you wanted to do. On a personal level, it certainly opened the door for me to do television.”

How do the Pixies feel about this song, which they inspired musically? When Songfacts posed that question to their frontman, Black Francis, his answer echoed Kurt Cobain’s take on music and inspiration. “It certainly was very popular,” he said. “It was catchy. I don’t really get involved in so-called discussion or whatever, because from my point of view, it’s just band stuff. Some musicians or some bands say, ‘They were influential on me.’ Sometimes you can hear it, sometimes you can’t, but that’s just the way it works.

It’s not a big mystery. At the end of the day, everyone is just a musician. We’re all just working musicians. We all play different styles. That’s who we are: We’re just a bunch of music geeks. Or proactive music listeners that are so proactive we actually feel the need to do it ourselves.”

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Load up on guns, bring your friends
It’s fun to lose and to pretend
She’s over bored and self assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah, hey, yay

I’m worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido
Yeah, hey, yay

And I forget just why I taste
Oh yeah, I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard, it’s hard to find
Oh well, whatever, never mind

Hello, hello, hello, how low? [x3]
Hello, hello, hello!

With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

A denial! [x9]

Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody

Merry Christmas Everybody… for all of the UK readers…I know I know…you are so tired of it. I’ve only heard it for the past two years or so. One of the comments from the past … (NO not that song again!)… there are a few Christmas songs along with Alices Restaurant that I reblog every year…and this is one of them.

This is fast becoming my favorite rock Christmas song second only to John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

This is a great Christmas song that was released in 1973 and ever since it re-enters the charts every December in the UK. The song never hit in America but it went to #1 in the UK Charts. I first heard it on a Doctor Who episode in the mid-2000s and have liked it ever since.

This went straight in at #1 in the UK, selling over 300,000 copies on the day of its release, making it at the time the fastest ever selling record in Britain. It eventually became Slade’s best-ever selling single in the UK, selling over a million copies.

In the UK this has become a standard, and it is usually reissued in its original form each Christmas. On several occasions, the song has re-entered the Top 40.

UK copyright collection society and performance rights organization PRS For Music estimated in 2009 that 42 percent of the earth’s population has heard this tune.

The song was written by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea of Slade. It was produced by Chas Chandler formerly of the Animals.

From Songfacts.

This was based on a psychedelic song, “My Rocking Chair,” which Noddy Holder wrote in 1967. In 1973 the Slade vocalist decided to convert it into a Christmas song after a night out drinking at a local pub. He and the band’s bass player and co-writer Jimmy Lea camped out at Noddy’s mother’s house and got down to changing the lyrics to make them more Christmassy. Jimmy Lea incorporated into the verse parts of another song which he was then writing and Noddy re-wrote the words incorporating different aspects of the Christmas holiday season as they came to mind.

When Noddy Holder wrote the line “Look to the future now, it’s only just begun,” he had in mind the strikes that were blighting Britain at the time. He told the Daily Mail On Sunday November 10, 2007: “We’d decided to write a Christmas song and I wanted to make it reflect a British family Christmas. Economically, the country was up the creek. The miners had been on strike, along with the gravediggers, the bakers and almost everybody else. I think people wanted something to cheer them up – and so did I. That’s why I came up with the line.”

The harmonium used on this is the same one that John Lennon used on his Mind Games album, which was being recorded at the studio next door.

This was recorded at the Record Plant studios in New York while the band were on a tour of the States in the summer of 1973. When they recorded the vocals, they sang the chorus on the stairs in order to achieve the echo that they required. Guitarist Jimmy Lea recalled to Uncut magazine in 2012: “All these Americans were walking past in their suits thinking we were off our rockers singing about Christmas in the summer.”

Producer Chas Chandler opened the song with a howl recorded during some of Noddy Holder’s vocal exercises.

A few months before Slade recorded this song, drummer Don Powell was badly injured in a car crash. Though his physical recovery was quick, the mental scars took longer to heal. Noddy Holder explained to The Daily Mail December 18, 2009: “The doctors told us to get him playing drums again as soon as possible to boost his confidence. But he was suffering from short-term memory loss – he could remember our old songs, but not the new ones. So, instead of recording live, we built up Merry Xmas Everybody layer by layer. That gave it a more poignant, restrained sound. It was something new for us. But the fates were with us and it became our biggest hit.”

Noddy Holder explained to Q magazine January 2013 how the song was originally inspired by The Beatles: “I wrote the original verse with the lyrics, ‘Buy me a rocking chair, I’ll watch the world go by. Bring me a mirror, I’ll look you in the eye,’ in 1967 in the aftermath of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper,” he said. I was being psychedelic. Dave (Hill) wrote another part to the song but it didn’t work so we put it away. Then in 1973 he remembered my verse one day when we were trying to write a Christmas single. We changed the words to, ‘Are you hanging up your stocking on the wall?’ and the rest fell into place.”

Noddy Holder’s earliest childhood memory served as inspiration for one of the song’s lines. He recalled to the Mail On Sunday’s Live magazine: “As a lad we used to knock sleds with old orange boxes and go tobogganing down this big old quarry in the snow at Christmas. It was the inspiration for the line ‘are you hoping that the snow will start to fall.’”

I want that hat he starts off with… in this video…very subtle.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball
Does he ride a red nosed reindeer?
Does a ‘ton up’ on his sleigh
Do the fairies keep him sober for a day?

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

Are you waiting for the family to arrive?
Are you sure you got the room to spare inside?
Does your granny always tell ya that the old are the best?
Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rollin’ with the rest

Chorus:
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

What will your daddy do
When he sees your Mama kissin’ Santa Claus?
Ah ah

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
Are you hoping that the snow will start to fall?
Do you ride on down the hillside in a buggy you have made?
When you land upon your head then you’ve been slayed

Chorus (4x)
So here it is merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun

“The Perfect Pop Song”

I found this article about The Max Planck Institute in Germany conducting a study on the perfect pop song… the winner was Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

As everyone here knows I’m a huge Beatles fan…but this one? I couldn’t disagree more with their conclusion but it is interesting on how they made the choice… I posted a couple of links.

‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is the most perfect pop song ever, science proves

The Beatles ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is “the perfect pop song”, according to science

Over The River And Through The Wood

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it. I thought this would be a cool traditional song/poem to trace back.

“Over the River and Through the Wood” was originally published in 1844 as a poem written by Lydia Maria Child. It celebrates Lydia’s childhood memories of visiting her grandparents.

The poem was published in her book of poems called Flowers for ChildrenVolume 2, and was originally titled “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day.” The poem was set to music by an unknown composer, and over the years many children have grown up singing the song in school or community holiday programs.

The song became popular after the Civil War. By the turn of the century it was a classroom standard.

The house of which she wrote, Grandfather’s House (the Paul Curtis House), is located at 114 South Street in Medford, Massachusetts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

The original poem by Lydia Maria Child.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    To grandfather’s house we go;
        The horse knows the way,
        To carry the sleigh,
    Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    To grandfather’s house away!
        We would not stop
        For doll or top,
    For ‘t is Thanksgiving day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    Oh, how the wind does blow!
        It stings the toes,
        And bites the nose,
    As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    With a clear blue winter sky,
        The dogs do bark,
        And children hark,
    As we go jingling by.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    To have a first-rate play —
        Hear the bells ring
        Ting a ling ding,
    Hurra for Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood —
    No matter for winds that blow;
        Or if we get
        The sleigh upset,
    Into a bank of snow.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    To see little John and Ann;
        We will kiss them all,
        And play snow-ball,
    And stay as long as we can.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    Trot fast, my dapple grey!
        Spring over the ground,
        Like a hunting hound,
    For ‘t is Thanksgiving day!

Over the river, and through the wood,
    And straight through the barn-yard gate;
        We seem to go
        Extremely slow,
    It is so hard to wait.

Over the river, and through the wood,
    Old Jowler hears our bells;
        He shakes his pow,
        With a loud bow wow,
    And thus the news he tells.

Over the river, and through the wood —
    When grandmother sees us come,
        She will say, Oh dear,
        The children are here,
    Bring a pie for every one.

Over the river, and through the wood —
    Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
        Hurra for the fun!
        Is the pudding done?
    Hurra for the pumpkin pie!

Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacree

Every Thanksgiving I listen to Alice’s Restaurant and this is the third year in a row that I’ve posted it on the 4th Thursday of November. Sorry if you are tired of it but it’s not Thanksgiving until Alice’s Restaurant is played…and the Last Waltz is watched but that is a different story.

The movie that Arlo movie made called Alice’s Restaurant is a fun watch.

It’s not Thanksgiving without listening to this 1967 song. This song did not chart but he did have another version that did chart…it was called Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant that peaked at #97 in the Billboard 100.

Many radio stations play this on Thanksgiving. This is usually the only time they play it, since the song is over 18-minutes long.

There have been mixed reviews about the movie that was made…I’ve always found it enjoyable. It’s not going to be confused with Gone With The Wind but it’s a fun period movie.

In 1991, Arlo bought the church where this took place and set up “The Guthrie Center,” where he runs programs for kids who have been abused.

From Songfacts

Running 18 minutes and 34 seconds, this song is based on a true story that happened on Thanksgiving Day, 1965. Arlo was 18, and along with his friend Rick Robbins, drove to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to have Thanksgiving dinner with Alice and Ray Brock. Alice and Ray lived in a church – the former Trinity Church on Division Street in Stockbridge – and were used to inviting people into their home. Arlo and Rick had been traveling together, Arlo working his way up in folk singing and Rick tagging along. A number of people, Arlo and Rick included, were considered members of the family, so they were not guests in the usual sense. 

When Ray woke up the next morning, he said to them, “Let’s clean up the church and get all this crap out of here, for God’s sake. This place is a mess,” and Rick said, “Sure.” Arlo and Rick swept up and loaded all the crap into a VW microbus and went out to the dump, which was closed. They started driving around until Arlo remembered a side road in Stockbridge up on Prospect Hill by the Indian Hill Music Camp which he attended one summer, so they drove up there and dumped the garbage.A little later, the phone rang, and it was Stockbridge police chief William J. Obanhein. “I found an envelope with the name Brock on it,” Chief Obanhein said. The truth came out, and soon the boys found themselves in Obanhein’s police car. They went up to Prospect Hill, and Obie took some pictures. On the back, he marked them, “PROSPECT HILL RUBBISH DUMPING FILE UNDER GUTHRIE AND ROBBINS 11/26/65.” He took the kids to jail.The kids went in, pleaded, “Guilty, Your Honor,” was fined $25 each and ordered to retrieve the rubbish. Then they all went back to the church and started to write “Alice’s Restaurant” together. “We were sitting around after dinner and wrote half the song,” Alice recalls, “and the other half, the draft part, Arlo wrote.”

Guthrie, the son of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, greatly exaggerated the part about getting arrested for comic effect. In the song, he is taken away in handcuffs and put in a cell with hardened criminals. 

In the song, Guthrie avoids the draft and did not have to serve in Vietnam because of his littering arrest. In reality, he was eligible but wasn’t drafted because his number didn’t come up.

Guthrie performed this song for the first time on July 16, 1967, at the Newport Folk Festival.

This reflected the attitude of many young people in America at the time. It was considered an antiwar song, but unlike most protest songs, it used humor to speak out against authority.

After a while, Guthrie stopped playing this at concerts, claiming he forgot the words. As the song approached its 30th anniversary, he started playing it again.

Guthrie made a movie of the same name in 1969 which was based on the song.

Over the years, Guthrie added different words to the song. He recorded a new, longer version in 1995 at The Guthrie Center

Alice’s Restuarant

This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the
Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,
That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s
Restaurant.

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on
Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the
Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be
A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red vw
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the
Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump
Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off
Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving
Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the
Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,
We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of
Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it. ” And
I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope
Under that garbage. ”

After speaking to Obie for about forty-five minutes on the telephone we
Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down
And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the
Police officer’s station. So we got in the red vw microbus with the
Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the
Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at
The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for
Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and
We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out
And told us never to be seen driving garbage around the vicinity again,
Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station
There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was
Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I
Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on. ” He said, “Shut up, kid.
Get in the back of the patrol car. ”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the
Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of
Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop
Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the
Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,
Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to
Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of
Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.
They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and
They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each
One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,
The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to
Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put
Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your
Wallet and your belt. ” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my
Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you
Want my belt for? ” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings. ” I
Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”
Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the
Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took
Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the
Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie
Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice
(remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few
Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back
To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,
And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back
Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,
And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he
Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the
Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows
And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.
And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,
’cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,
Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,
Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one
Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so
I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to
Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted
To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,
And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all
Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave
Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”

And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I
Wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and
Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,
Kill, kill. ” And I started jumping up and down yelling, “kill, kill, ” and
He started jumping up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down
Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the Sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,
Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”

Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,
Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me
At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four
Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty
Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was
Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no
Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the
Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,
And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got
One question. Have you ever been arrested? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,
With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all
The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever
Go to court? ”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten
Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on
The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want
You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W…. Now kid!! ”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s
Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly
Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father
Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And
They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the
Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest
Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly
‘n’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me
And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay
$50 and pick up the garbage. ” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid? ”
And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench
There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I
Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,
And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,
Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the
Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of
Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it
Up and said.

“Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-
Know-details-of-the-crime-time-of-the-crime-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-
You-gotta-say-pertaining-to-and-about-the-crime-I-want-to-know-arresting-
Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for
Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had
Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,
And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony and wrote it
Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the
Pencil and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the
Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on
The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the
Following words:

(“KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?”)

I went over to the Sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m
Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sitting here on the Group W bench
’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug. ” He looked at me and
Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington. ”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a
study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m
singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar
situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a
situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into
The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get
Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant. “. And walk out. You know, if
One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and
They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,
They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an
Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said
Fifty people a day walking in singing a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and
Walking out. And friends they may think it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it comes around on the
Guitar.

With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and
Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.
I’ve been singing this song now for twenty-five minutes. I could sing it
For another twenty-five minutes. I’m not proud… Or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part
Harmony and feeling.

We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Excepting Alice
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant
Walk right in it’s around the back
Just a half a mile from the railroad track
You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum
At Alice’s Restaurant

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

I like this song a lot and I was drawn to it right away when I listened to it on my copy of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits…but I cannot connect to it like the listeners did in 64-65. It was more than a pop song.

Dylan wrote this in 1963 when the civil rights movement was underway and demonstrations against the Vietnam War were gearing up. It would become the anthem of his generation.

Sometime songs can sum up the generation and time they are released in and this one is one of the very few that does it.

The song was on Bob Dylan’s 3rd album The Times They Are a-Changin’ released in 1964. The song wasn’t released as a single until 1965 and it peaked at #9 in the UK.

On December 10, 2010 Sotheby’s in New York sold a single rather worn sheet of binder paper on which Bob DylanOffsite Link wrote the original lyrics of his most famous song, The Times They Are A-ChanginOffsite Linkprobably in October 1963. This battered piece of paper with messy writing sold for $422,500.

Bob Dylan

https://www.historyofinformation.com/detail.php?id=2750

The song was ranked number 59 on Rolling Stone‘s 2004 list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Bob Dylan: “I wanted to write a big song, some kind of theme song, with short, concise verses that piled up on each other in a hypnotic way. This is definitely a song with a purpose. I knew exactly what I wanted to say and who I wanted to say it to.” 

From Songfacts

A call to action, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” became an anthem for frustrated youth. It summed up the anti-establishment feelings of people who would later be known as hippies. Many of the lyrics are based on the Civil Rights movement in the US.

Dylan recorded this song in October 1963. He first performed the song at a Carnegie Hall concert on October 26 that year, using it as his opening number.

On November 22, 1963, United States president John F. Kennedy was assassinated, which made this song even more poignant. This also presented a quandary for Dylan, who had to decide if he would keep playing the song; he found it odd when audiences would erupt in applause after hearing it, and wondered exactly what they were clapping for.

Dylan kept the song in his sets. It was issued on the album of the same name on January 13, 1964.

Dylan covered the Carter Family Song “Wayworn Traveler,” writing his own words to the melody and named it “Paths Of Victory”. This recording is featured on “Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3”. After writing that song, he re-wrote the words again, changed the time signature to 3/4, and created this, one of his most famous songs ever.

This was released as a single in the UK in 1965 before Dylan went there to tour. It became his first hit in that territory, climbing to #9 on April 21. British listeners liked what they heard from Dylan and made a run on his second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (released in 1963), sending it to #1 on April 11. This marked the first time in two years that an album by a group other that The Beatles or Rolling Stones was #1 in the UK.

Dylan allowed this to be used in commercials for accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand in the ’90s. In 1996, he also licensed it for commercial use by the Bank of Montreal. 

This song appears on the official soundtrack of the 2009 movie Watchmen. A cover of Dylan’s “Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance also appears on the soundtrack. >>

Simon & Garfunkel covered this on their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., in 1964. They were produced at the time by Tom Wilson, who also produced Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ album.

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls Of Fire

The wild man Jerry Lee Lewis. There is no mistaking who this is…they call him The Killer for a reason. Pam from All Things Thriller wrote a great piece about Jerry Lee… here.

This song became Lewis’ signature tune, as well as the title of the movie about Lewis. Otis Blackwell, a prolific songwriter who wrote many hits for Elvis Presley, wrote this song with Jack Hammer.

This was released in England the same month that Lewis married 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, who was the daughter of his cousin (and bass player) J.W. Brown. At the time, Lewis was headlining shows with Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry, but when the UK press found out, public outrage forced Lewis to leave the country.

Back in the States, his career started to spiral as radio stations refused to play his records and stores refused to sell them. Jerry Lee turned to country music in the late sixties and made a very successful comeback and started to appear on the charts again.

The peaked at #2 in teh Billboard 100, #1 in the Billboard Country Charts, and #1 in the UK in 1957.

Eric Clapton: “I remember the first Rock & Roll I ever saw on TV was Jerry Lee Lewis doing ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ That threw me – it was like seeing someone from outer space.”

From Songfacts

Like Lewis’ previous hit, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” this song is filled with sexual innuendo (” let me love you like a lover should…”), which was shocking for a southern musician in 1957. Lewis grew up in a religious household and was conflicted over whether or not he should record this. He and Sun Records owner Sam Phillips argued as Phillips tried to convince him to sing it. Tape was rolling during the spat and the exchange can be heard on some Sun Records collections. “I thought it was funny because I could see both of them,” recalled house drummer JM van Eaton to Uncut magazine April 2012. “Sam’s as serious as he could be, and Jerry’s as heated as he could be.”

This song made the Top 5 of the Pop, R&B, and Country charts simultaneously with “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” Both hit #1 on the Country charts, and while this sold 5 million copies, which was less then its predecessor, it still charted higher.

In the UK, a similarly raucous version by the female singer Georgia Gibbs was released in 1957 before Lewis’ version was issued. It didn’t chart, and Jerry Lee’s recording became a huge hit, topping the UK chart and becoming the first Sun Records recording to score there.

In 1989, Dennis Quaid portrayed Lewis in the movie Great Balls Of Fire, which told the story of his life.

The film took a few liberties, including a scene where Lewis sets his piano on fire while performing this song – a tale often told by Lewis but never verified.

In America, the song was released on November 11, 1957, just one day before the movie Jamboree hit theaters. Lewis performed the song in the film, which gave it great exposure. Other singers appearing in the movie were Carl Perkins, Fats Domino and Frankie Avalon.

In the movie Top Gun, “Goose” (Anthony Edwards) and “Maverick” (Tom Cruise) sing this while “Goose” plays a piano that still sits at the Kansas City Barbeque Restaurant in San Diego, California where the scene was filmed.

Dolly Parton made “Great Balls Of Fire” the title track to her 1979 album. Her cover was used in the 1985 Miami Vice episode “Golden Triangle (Part I).” Other artists to cover the song include Conway Twitty, Sha Na Na, Mae West, Rolf Harris and the Misfits.

Great Balls of Fire

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
Too much love drives a man insane
You broke my will, oh what a thrill
Goodness gracious great balls of fire

I learned to love all of Hollywood money
You came along and you moved me honey
I changed my mind, looking fine
Goodness gracious great balls of fire

You kissed me baba, woo…..it feels good
Hold me baba, learn to let me love you like a lover should
Your fine, so kind
I’m a nervous world that your mine mine mine mine-ine

I cut my nails and I quiver my thumb
I’m really nervous but it sure is fun
Come on baba, you drive me crazy
Goodness gracious great balls of fire

{ piano solo }

Well kiss me baba, woo-oooooo….it feels good
Hold me baba
I want to love you like a lover should
Your fine, so kind
I got this world that your mine mine mine mine-ine

I cut my nails and I quiver my thumb
I’m real nervous ’cause it sure is fun
Come on baba, you drive me crazy
Goodness gracious great balls of fire

I say goodness gracious great balls of fire…oooh…

The Who – Acid Queen

I’ve always liked when Pete would take the lead vocals in songs. This song is on the album Tommy…In the movie Tommy, Tina Turner plays the part and sings it like only Tina can.

In the story the Acid Queen tries to cure Tommy the deaf, dumb, and blind kid but fails. The Acid Queen fails to heal Tommy, just as the way of excess and indulgence never brings lasting spiritual transformation. Pete wanted it known it was a dead end.

Pete followed the teachings of Meher Baba…an Indian guru that Townshend had been studying under since 1968. Meher Baba believe that acid and the like were unproductive for spirituality, he felt they were immensely detrimental and destructive.

Tina Turner also released a cover of this song as the third single from her The Acid Queen album.

Tina Turner - Acid Queen (single).jpg

The Tommy album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts, #6 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1969.

From Songfacts

“The Acid Queen” is an important song in the Who’s rock opera Tommy. In that album, the title character is “deaf, dumb, and blind,” with “dumb” being an archaic (and, in modern times, offensive) way of saying “mute.” Tommy eventually becomes a master at the game of pinball, as summarized in the album’s signature song “Pinball Wizard.”

In their quest to cure their son, Tommy’s parents take him to see a character called the Acid Queen. She’s an outsider figure who offers to liberate Tommy’s mind with drugs and sex.

The word “acid” is almost universal slang for the psychedelic drug LSD, which was the biggest shaping force of the ’60s counterculture. In the ’60s, rightfully or wrongfully (probably wrongfully), acid wasn’t looked at as a recreational drug so much as a way to elevate consciousness and “free” one’s mind.

The Acid Queen, as with the Tommy story as a whole, seem almost ridiculous until you understand what Who guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend was doing with them.

The character Tommy is meant to represent the average human being who is spiritually and psychologically deaf, blind, and mute in the sense that we are clouded by petty ambitions and lusts and are unable to see the full depth and breadth of reality.

The Acid Queen, meanwhile, represents one method for escaping those limitations – the way of drugs and excess, or “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” as a popular slogan of the era went.

This isn’t the only Who song Baba influenced. His name is even right there in the title of “Baba O’Riley.”

Townshend sings lead vocals on this one. That arrangement wasn’t entirely unheard of for The Who, but Roger Daltrey was the official lead singer of the band and is the voice of most of their songs.

The Acid Queen

If your child ain’t all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I’ll show him what he could be now
Just give me one night

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy and I’m guaranteed
To mend his aching heart

Give us a room, close the door
Leave us for a while
You won’t be a boy no more
Young, but not a child

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To tear your soul apart

Gather your wits and hold them fast
Your mind must learn to roam
Just as the gypsy queen must do
You’re gonna hit the road

My work’s been done, now look at him
He’s never been more alive
His head it shakes, his fingers clutch
Watch his body writhe

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To break your little heart

If your child ain’t all he should be now
This girl will put him right
I’ll show him what he could be now
Just give me one more night

I’m the gypsy, the acid queen
Pay me before I start
I’m the gypsy, I’m guaranteed

To tear your soul apart

The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

 I love watching this from time to time. Yes, it’s bad…really bad but it’s so bad it’s good. All the celebrities who are in different phases of their careers, cross paths in this epic of a show. First, let’s go through all of the stars. It’s probably remembered most for KISS’s first television appearance. 

Paul Lynde of course,

Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo from H.R. Pufnstuf)

Margaret Hamilton (The witch from Wizard of Oz)

Tim Conway (No seventies variety show was right without Tim Conway)

Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch mom)

KISS (their first TV show appearance)

Billy Barty (was in many films)

Betty White (and still going)

Roz Kelly (Pinky Tuscadero from Happy Days)

Donny and Marie Osmond! (just to top it off)

The plot… which really doesn’t matter.

I always thought Paul Lynde was wickedly funny. In this, he was watered-down and could not be his Hollywood Squares best. He had a quick campy wit at times and the writers probably toned it down for prime time. I first noticed Lynde on Bewitched as Uncle Arthur and he was great in that role. It was his delivery that made everything work in his comedy.

This special has comedy bits and music…oh yes the music. You have KISS, you have the disco and you have Florence Henderson singing “That Old Black Magic…” Most of the comedy bits fail but the real comedy is how bad it is… The only thing missing from this extravaganza was a guest appearance from Harvey Korman and/or Don Knotts.

The main reason many people have watched it since it aired is it was KISS’s first TV show appearance…not including concert material.

It is a train wreck but one I like watching over and over again. At no other time could a show like this have been aired. It only aired once…for good reason.

What other show does Paul Lynde play a trucker who wants to marry Pinky Tuscadero?

The complete show is second one down.

If you have time…here is the complete show

 

 

 

Wait Til Your Father Gets Home…

An adult primetime cartoon in the early seventies. The father is voiced by Tom Bosley who is better known as Mr. C or Mr. Cunningham. In this show, he voices Harry Boyle.

This program was about the Boyle family who had a common-sense father, a loyal wife (Irma), a lazy hippie son (Chet), a progressive thinking daughter (Alice) and a younger more conservative son (Jaime) who predated Michael J Fox on Family Ties.

Harry has conservative views from the fifties but he is not overboard while his two oldest children have no intention of following the rules and morals of their father’s generation. The youngest son is just out for money.

The show also features an ultra-right winged conspiracy-minded McCarthy influenced neighbor (Ralph Kane) who resembled Richard Nixon (to me anyway) and he is always thinking the communists are out to get him and his neighbors.

The show ran 3 seasons from 1972-1974 with a total of 48 episodes.

If you lived in the seventies or if you are a student of that time… you might enjoy it. What I remember most about it was the theme song. I was too young to get the references…I just remember, hey it’s a cartoon and it’s not Saturday morning or a Disney special.

One thing that struck me about this show was the minimalist animation. The backgrounds were simple but effective.

The show is topical just like the show that inspired it…All In The Family.

It is a fun time capsule…and I still watch it from time to time.

wait til adver.jpg

Bob Dylan – Knocking On Heaven’s Door

This song is one of Bob Dylan’s best known songs. There has been many covers but I’ll take this one over all. I read a review Thursday of the soundtrack of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid by Bob Dylan written by Cincinnati Babyhead.

Dylan  wrote the lyrics of the song from the perspective of a dying sheriff living his last moments played by Slim Pickens. The song plays beautifully to that scene in the movie

Last night I decided to watch the movie again. It’s a great movie and if you get a chance… watch it. Dylan had a part in the movie as the character, Alias. Knocking On Heavens Door peaked at #12 in the Billboard 100, #14 in rhe UK, and #12 in Canada in 1973.

Booker T. Jones (musician on the album): “He [Dylan] lived over in Paradise Cove and I lived on Winding Way in Malibu. I bought Lana Turner’s old house and I’m not sure where he lived, but he had a house just across the road there and he would come over and pick up my guitar and work on songs and stuff. They were working on the movie with Jason Robards late one night, and for some reason [Dylan] just called me up and asked me to come over to the studio and to play on the song, and I played bass on it.”

The other musicians on “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” are:

Vocals, Guitar: Dylan
Guitar: Roger McGuinn
Drums: Jim Keltner
Harmonium: Carl Fortina
Flute: Gary Foster
Backup Vocals: Brenda Patterson, Carol Hunter, Donna Weiss

From Songfacts

Dylan wrote it for the 1973 Western film, Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid. It plays while Sheriff Colin Baker is dying from his gunshot wounds. 

Guns N’ Roses covered this on their 1991 album, Use Your Illusion II. They played it in 1992 at a tribute concert for Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, who had died of AIDS. 72,000 people attended the concert, which was held in London’s Wembley Stadium. In case you’re wondering, towards the end of the end of this version, the man on the telephone says, “You just better start sniffin your own rank subjugation Jack, ’cause it’s just you and your tattered libido, the bank and the mortician, forever man and it wouldn’t be luck if you could get out of life alive.”

In 1996, Bob Dylan allowed the Scottish musician Ted Christopher to record a new verse for “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” which Christopher had written in memory of the schoolchildren and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre. This is one of the rare times Dylan has officially permitted someone to add to or change the lyrics to one of his songs. Christopher’s version reached #1 in the UK.

One of the few times Dylan authorized a sample was when he let the British singer Gabrielle use this song as the basis of her 1999 track “Rise,” which went to #1 in the UK. According to Gabrielle, Dylan not only allowed it, but waived some of the royalties he was entitled to.

Warren Zevon recorded this for his 2003 album The Wind. Zevon was dying of lung cancer when he recorded the track, and died shortly after the album was released.

This song has been covered in reggae style by multiple artists including G.T. Moore & The Reggae Guitars, Arthur Louis and Eric Clapton.

Other artists to have covered this song include Avril Lavigne, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Cold Chisel, Neil Young and Aretha Franklin.

The title of the song was used as the original title for the Cowboy Bebop movie. Cowboy Bebop is a popular Japanese Anime that made a big hit in America when the dubbed version (done in the late ’90s) was broadcast on Cartoon Network in 2001. Bebop was known for taking influences from pop culture (example: The title of episode 6 is “Sympathy for the Devil,” obviously a take off of the Rolling Stones Song). When a full length Bebop movie was made in Japan, it was titled Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. When it was dubbed and brought to theaters in America for a short time, they changed it to Cowboy Bebop: The Movie so Dylan wouldn’t take any legal action against them. 

This song is musically similar to Neil Young’s “Helpless,” which was recorded in 1969 and features on the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album, Déjà Vu.

In October 2007, 1,730 guitarists in Shillong, India strummed this song for five minutes to set a world record for the largest ever guitar ensemble.

Knocking On Heavens Door

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can’t shoot them anymore
That long black cloud is comin’ down
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door

Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door
Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door

The Peanuts

The Peanuts lived in a world where adults didn’t matter as much. The world was for kids only and anytime an adult came around and talked… all you heard was a wah, wah, wah wah… no words. All the kids owned their day to day activities. The Peanuts didn’t talk down to us…no they talked to us. They were also clever enough for adults to like.

Nobody ever wins every time in this life. Everyone loses sometimes…therefore everyone is Charlie Brown to an extent. Every person has failed at a big moments or at small moments. We felt for Charlie Brown because we felt for ourselves.

When my son was born…I thought oh great…Now I’m a grown up and I’m a wah, wah, wah, wah adult…My son will live his life and sometimes I will be just noise in the background.

Growing up, there was no other cartoon I looked forward to more than the Peanuts. Every holiday and any time one of the networks decided to show one… I was there. I would also read the occasional Sunday paper to see the Peanuts strip.

Everything from Linus telling us the true meaning of Christmas, Sally and Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, Lucy pulling that football from Charlie Brown, Snoopy being cool and taking care of Woodstock, Lucy being a Psychiatrist and Charlie Brown getting that sad looking Christmas tree…we got to peek into that world and listen to the wisdom that was going on while propped up on that brick wall.

Charlie Brown and Linus wall

Charlie Brown, one day when you grow up… I hope you end up with the little red head girl that you like so much and win just for once…for all of us.

Little Red-Haired Girl | Charlie brown characters, Charlie brown and  snoopy, Charlie brown cartoon

All In The Family / Archie Bunker

A couple of years ago I was at Pam’s (All Things Thriller) site and read her character profiles on The Soprano’s characters…I liked it so much that when I thought about covering All In The Family…I asked Pam if she would consider covering Archie, Edith, Gloria, and Mike in the same way.

She not only agreed, but she has given me permission to post her writing on my site.

All In The Family changed the landscape of television and pop culture in the 70s.  Some have said All In The Family was essentially a mirror held up to America at the time. It ran from 1971 – 1979 on CBS. The show was based on Til Death Us Do Part, a British sitcom about a conservative father and his liberal son-in-law. All In The Family may have been the most important television show in the 20th century.

The series spent five consecutive years at number one in the Nielsen ratings.

We will do these in installments on a Saturday. Today will be featuring Archie Bunker. The next will be following in the coming weeks. Hope you enjoy.

Flourish Line Border - Free vector graphic on PixabayAll Things Thriller

Remember Archie Bunker? If you’re around my age–mid forties to mid fifties–or older you do. And if you didn’t know him personally, you knew someone like him.

Your uncle…Your grandfather…The neighbor across the street.

The country was full of men like him back in the day.

Archie was a grumpy old man, except he really wasn’t that old. He was a middle aged guy stuck in a time warp of sameness…prematurely gray, paunchy, always in work pants, he looked the same when he was fifty as he did when he was thirty and vice versa

He enjoyed his paper, his beer…boxing and baseball on television….fat cigars and his chair. Especially his chair. Nobody could sit in that chair but Archie. Nobody.

And it wasn’t even that great of a chair…at least it was better than his wife’s. Edith. Her chair looked flat out uncomfortable.

Edith was a nice lady. And Archie loved her. He really did…Oh, he talked badly to her. Abusively… He was so domineering. And controlling.

I’m not saying that he cursed her, or, God forbid, raised his hand to her. He didn’t…He would have never done that, but the way he would tell her to stifle herself when she said something he didn’t like or if she was just getting on his nerves..

That kind of stuff wouldn’t fly today. And it shouldn’t.

Should have never flown then. Sadly, those attitudes weren’t that unusual in the 70s. There was a lot of backlash to the civil rights movement in the suburbs then…to women’s lib…to the intelligentsia…There were a lot more blue collar middle class people in the suburbs then.

The Bunkers lived in Queens, in a two bedroom, one bath, row house. They were probably about two rungs, on the plus side, from being lower middle-class. But they weren’t and that’s what counted.

Archie worked hard as a dock foreman to provide for his family. He really did. And he took good care of them.

It wasn’t easy for him either. He had to drop out of high school so he could work and take care of his mother when his dad died. From there he served in the Army Air Corps during WWII where he received the purple heart for being shot in the butt…

Yeah, that’s right. Archie got shot in the butt, but here’s the deal…he was on some cushy gig where he didn’t have to see combat, only he did see it. And when he saw it, he defended his country. And his friends. And himself.

He was a good father to Gloria, too. Of course, he wanted a boy, but from the moment she was born she had him wrapped around her finger.

Oh, he groused at her, too. A lot. But when Gloria miscarried her first baby–Archie’s grandson that he was so excited about–all he really cared about was her.

The way he sat on the side of her bed…and for the first time in his life, probably, he was speechless…the way he looked at her, so worried, just wanting her to be okay, said it all.

He was like that with Edith too. Very loyal to her.

And sometimes, ever so rarely, Edith would let him have it. She’d put her foot down and put him in his place. Those times were priceless.

But in the same way that Archie was misogynistic–because, make no mistake, he was–he was racist, too. He was unapologetically racist, though he would tell you that he wasn’t.

The fact is, Archie Bunker was so racist–it came so naturally to him–that he didn’t know the difference. To him, the Ku Klux Klan was racist, yes, but he was completely numb to the reality that they–the Ku Klux Klan–espoused 90% of his own political views…

That he was an equal opportunity insulter…he ribbed his son-in-law Mike, mercilessly about being Polish…he upbraided Catholics for being Catholic and Puerto Ricans for being Puerto Rican…that he believed there should be no violence and that there were some good people who were minorities was enough to keep him humane, but just barely.

Racism. Misogyny. Inexcusable then and inexcusable now.

Should it matter that he was a hard working, faithful husband and father that was wounded while serving his country during wartime? Are those enough attributes, enough mitigating factors to push Archie over the Mason/Dixon Line and onto the good side?…

That’s right, fellow Southerners, I said the good side. The South–during the Civil War–were the bad guys. Get over it..

I say yes.

Then again, I’m a middle aged white woman. I would say yes.

Modernettes – Barbra

This 1980 song is from a Vancouver punk band called The Modernettes.

I ran across this song searching for power pop songs. This one is VERY Ramones like. It’s a fun song. They did play more than punk… they ventured into power-pop recordings.

There is a documentary about the Vancouver punk rock scene in the late 70s and early 80s with Henry Rollins and Duff Mckagan that includes the Modernettes called Bloodied and Unbowed…this is the trailer but the documentary is on there also.

The Modernettes were formed in 1979, with John Armstrong, aka Buck Cherry, and Mary Armstrong, aka Mary-Jo Kopechne (yea tasteless). John formed the Modernettes soon after drafting drummer John McAdams and Mary to form the three-piece lineup.

In 1980, the Modernettes recorded the debut EP Strictly Confidential. It was released under the Quintessence Records label. A second EP, Teen City, followed quickly. It included the band’s strongest and probably most popular song, “Barbara.” Though the group pulled together a strong following, true success eluded them.

The Modernettes only completed one full album, Get It Straight.

Barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks that she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
we’ll spend our lives together
barbra

well the dogs are gonna slide so she can pass
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys looking and thats such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra
i envy the guy she kiss last
i just wanna skip class with barbra

there’s a new little girl in my home class
you know i’m talking about barbra
and everybodys thinks she’s such a gas
b-a-r-b-r-a barbra

shes the girl i love forever
you know im talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra
talking about barbra