February 12: The late great Screamin’ Jay Hawkins died in 2000

screamin jay hawkins

 

“To me he was like a natural treasure”
– Jim Jarmusch

I came into this world black, naked and ugly. And no matter how much I accumulate here, it’s a short journey. I will go out of this world black, naked and ugly. So I enjoy life.
~Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Screamin Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You:

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February 11: Gene Vincent was born in 1935

gene vincent

“When I first started I never meant to make money. My only thought was to make a living singing, but all of a sudden I was getting $1500 a night. And if you take a 19-year-old boy and put him in those circumstances…it was a bad scene, it shouldn’t have happened on that first record. I didn’t know how to handle a hit: I was only a child, a boy.”
~Gene Vincent in 1969

Gene Vincent only had one really big hit, “Be-Bop-a-Lula,” which epitomized rockabilly at its prime in 1956 with its sharp guitar breaks, spare snare drums, fluttering echo, and Vincent’s breathless, sexy vocals. Yet his place as one of the great early rock & roll singers is secure, backed up by a wealth of fine smaller hits and non-hits that rate among the best rockabilly of all time.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)

Be-Bop-a-Lula:

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February 11: Hank Williams Lovesick Blues was released in 1949

hank williams lovesick blues

I got a feelin’ called the blues, oh Lord
Since my baby said goodbye
Lord I don’t know what I’ll do
All I do is sit and sigh, oh Lord

Hank Williams signature song was released 69 years ago today.

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February 9: Joe Ely was born in 1947

Joe-Ely

You sure look fine tonight, in the beer sign light.
Why did you seem surprised when I saw through your disguise.
All your friends were there and no one had a care.
They all just looked away in this Honky Tonk Masquerade.
– Joe Ely

“I think I’ll always be restless, always trying new stuff, I gotta do that. I like the unknown. I like to see what’s going to happen without knowing what the outcome will be. For some reason, I like jumping off into new places where I have no clue what will happen.”
– Joe Ely

The Road Goes On Forever:

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Feb 7: The Who recorded Pinball Wizard in 1969

From the opening minor chords to the upward key change near the end, ‘Pinball’ is a rock tour-de-force, brimful of ideas, powerchords, great lyrics and tight ensemble playing.
~From “The Who – The Complete Guide To Their Music” (Charlesworth & Hanel)

Today we celebrate one of The Who’s best songs – Pinball Wizard.

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February 6: Neil Young recorded Old Man in 1972

Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.
Old man look at my life,
I’m a lot like you were.

“Old Man” was one of the highlights of Neil Young’s Harvest album, with a haunting melody strong enough to have made it a good choice as a single. It was indeed released as a single in 1972, but it made only #31, possibly because it came just a few months after the chart-topping “Heart of Gold,” which might have blunted its commercial impact a bit. Nevertheless, it got mucho airplay on FM radio and is one of Young’s more familiar songs, especially to those who prefer the more gentle singer-songwriting face of his work. ..
~Richie Unterberg (allmusic.com)

Neil Young – Old Man, original 1971 version:

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