Summer Song: Summertimes Blues

I’m not positive, but I believe the first version of Summertime Blues I heard was by The Who from their Live at Leeds album; the single hit the pop charts on July 11, 1970, got to #27, and remained on th charts for nine weeks. THe song had been part of their live show for three years before that.

It was only then that I heard the original by Eddie Cochran, who co-wrote it; the song charted 8/4/1958, stayed for 16 weeks, and got to #8. I really like it, especially this rendition where Eddie giggles a couple times.

Another wonderful version is by Blue Cheer. From the Wikipedia: “The American psychedelic blues-rock band …recorded their version…in 1967…The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100…While not as widely played or recognized as The Who version, it certainly is more distorted with a far more intense guitar sound. This version was ranked #73 on the list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’ of Rolling Stone. This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick solo.”

A less-than-great iteration appears on the Beach Boys’ first album, Surfin’ Safari, released October 1962. “Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist Dave Marks, just turned 14. Never released on a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country’s hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly ‘Hits of the World’ charts.” This was new to me.

I don’t listen to enough country, evidently, because I was also unfamiliar
with the Alan Jackson rendition, which went to #1 on the country charts in 1994.

Advertisements

Movie Review: Beginners

If you like your movie to start at the beginning, and end at the end, you’ll hate Beginners.

Let me back up. Around the 4th of July, when the Wife and Daughter went to visit my parents-in-law, I asked the Wife what films she wanted to see together, and she picked Midnight in Paris and Beginners. Then a couple weeks later, she said, “Guess what film I saw at the movies today? ‘Beginners’.”

OK. So I ended going alone on a hot Sunday afternoon to the Spectrum Theatre, using an old movie pass I discovered in a drawer not that long ago.
Continue reading

July Rambling

There was a front page story in the (Albany, NY) Times Union this past Saturday, in anticipation of the same-sex marriage laws kicking in on Sunday. My pastors were highlighted:
Church views vary on same-sex vows; Locally, some pastors support weddings, but still wait for official word
By BRYAN FITZGERALD

The Revs. Glenn and Miriam Lawrence Leupold have been married for 24 years. As co-pastors of First Presbyterian Church in Albany, they have advocated for the right of gay men and lesbians to marry.

“When you think about the civil rights movement, so much of it was because of the churches,” she said. “The church was at the middle of the fight for civil rights. In fact, the church preceded the government.”

Sunday, when New York’s Marriage Equality Act takes effect, will be a day of celebration and chagrin for the Leupolds. The Presbyterian Church USA is still debating whether to lift their prohibition on ministers marrying gay couples.

“State law is ahead of our church law,” Glenn Leupold said. “And that’s unfortunate.” Continue reading

Regret the Error

One of my favorite websites is Regret the Error, which “reports on media corrections, retractions, apologies, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the press. It was launched in October 2004 by Craig Silverman, a freelance journalist and author based in Montreal.”

Initially, or at least when I first came across the site, it merely linked to the foibles of of the press; hey, as the logo notes, “Mistakes happen.” For instance, recently, the New York Times accidentally traded Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees to the Phillies.

But in recent months, the site has taken a more meta approach.
Continue reading

Sherwood, Betty and Rob

The great thing about Sherwood Schwartz, who died earlier this month, is not just that he created two popular TV shows. He also wrote, or co-wrote, their iconic themes.

I never, not once, did I see The Brady Bunch, during its initial run. But I knew exactly what it was about, just by watching the theme. It was the story about two widowed people, each with three kids, each the same gender as the parent, who, along with the housekeeper, became a blended family.

The theme to Gilligan’s Island, a show I admit to watching in my callow youth, also let us know the entire plot, though it changed somewhat Continue reading

The Lydster, Part 88: Dead Ant


For some reason, this spring, we had an infestation of black ants. Those big carpenter buggers. We’ve had a few before, but this rainy spring brought in more than usual. They’d get into everything. Especially the food in the pantry, which is near the back door.

One day, I discovered ants in a box of Froot Loops, but they did not bother either the Cheerios or the shredded wheat; the FL cereal ended up in the refrigerator for a time.

Conclusion Continue reading

B is for Big Daddy

There was a music group called Big Daddy. Perhaps more than one group. The one I’m talking about had this particular shtick, which you can read about here and here, which was that, basically, the group allegedly toured Southeast Asia in 1959, got stuck there, and were finally rescued in 1983. They heard the modern music and hated it, and so decided to “fix” it by recording the newer songs in the ways familiar to them.

Charles Hill put together a nice discography. Pop culture writer Mark Evanier has been a booster of the group.

The first album, which I own on vinyl, was BIG DADDY, aka What Really Happened To The Band Of ’59 (1983), which featured:

I Write The Songs, the Barry Manilow song actually written by Bruce Johnston, “Evoking Danny and the Juniors”
Star Wars. “Duane Eddy sits in with the Ventures”
Whip It. The Devo song is “Truly a standing-on-the-corner song for once” Continue reading

Song: Hot Fun in the Summertime

A song from the summer of 1969, Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly & Family Stone entered the Billboard charts on August 9, remained there for 16 weeks, and got up to #2 for two weeks, blocked from the top spot by the Temptations’ Can’t Get Next To You.

It also entered the soul charts on August 23, and got up to #3.

In a clever bit of marketing, the first time this song appeared on an album was the greatest hits collection. Unless you owned the singles, and you wanted this song, Everybody is a Star, and Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin), you needed to buy the LP. And so I did.

The song.

A religious experience.

Leslie

My father’s cousin Ruth sent this picture of my sister Leslie, her friend Linda, our cousin Debby, and Leslie’s friend Nita. We all went to Trinity AME Zion Church in Binghamton when we were growing up, which was two very short blocks from our house.

Not sure of the vintage of the photo. I’m guessing that Leslie’s in 8th or 9th grade Continue reading

Call Me Mr. Versatility

My goodness. I’ve awarded one of those blogging award things, this one called the “Versatility Award” from Jaquandor at Byzantium Shores. This is because I guess I’m a versatile blogger. Surprising since I write about the same thing every day. Anyway, the award is GREEN, so I MUST accept it.

As is usual with this type of thing, I’m supposed to provide seven facts about myself and then give the award to several other bloggers. I’ve often skipped these steps, but I’m feeling agreeable. The problem is, after six-plus years of blogging, it’s difficult to find facts I still can ‘reveal’ about myself that aren’t either common knowledge to those who read this blog, or things I don’t feel like revealing. So a couple of these are rather arcane.
Continue reading