1961: 20 Songs Released in 1961 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)

Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1961 in the comments section…

Here we go…

October 7: Steve Earle released El Corazon in 1997

This album sort of wrote itself. It was bigger than me and faster than me and so it took me awhile to get a handle on what it was about. Basically, it comes down to stuff I care about. That’s where the title comes from.
-Steve Earle (steveearle.net)

.. the album kicks off with a tremendous one-two punch, the rousing acoustic ballad “Christmas in Washington” and “Taneytown,” a harrowing story of race and violence backed with gale-force electric guitars. El Corazón is also a good bit more eclectic than much of Earle’s previous work, dipping into bluegrass (“You Know the Rest,” featuring backing from the Del McCoury Band), old-school country (“The Other Side of Town”), hard rock (“N.Y.C.,” co-starring the Supersuckers, and “Here I Am”), and vintage R&B (“Telephone Road”). As its title suggests, El Corazón often deals with matters of the heart, expressed with particular eloquence on “Poison Lovers” and “If You Fall,” though the song’s most emotionally resonant moment comes with its closing song, “Ft. Worth Blues,” a moving farewell to Earle’s longtime friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt.
-Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Great album, one of Earle’s best!
It’s a mix of country, folk, rock, soul, pain, redemption and politics. What a magnificent brew it is ! Truly remarkable.

Taneytown (live, Sidney, 2013):

This song, which is graced with Emmylou Harris singing backup, is told from the point of view of a 22 year old retarded black man. I also wrote it in the form of a short story that will be in my book. Taneytown is a real place – you can see it on maps of The Battle Of Gettysburg – but it (the story) could reallytake place anywhere racism exists. I took a risk writing the story and a risk doing this song and I don’t claim to have it well…. But just taking the chance made it worthwhile for me.
-Steve Earle (steveearle.net)

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September 13: The Late Great Bill Monroe Was Born in 1911

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I’m a farmer with a mandolin and a high tenor voice.
~Bill Monroe

“To me there’s no difference between Muddy Waters and Bill Monroe.”
~Bob Dylan (to John Pareles, Sept 1997)

Bill Monroe & The Blue Grass Boys – Uncle Pen (1965):

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September 8: The Father of Country Music – Jimmie Rodgers Was Born in 1897 – 121 Years Ago

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“Jimmie Rodgers’ name stands foremost in the country music field as the man who started it all.”
– brass plaque at the Country Music Hall of Fame

The most inspiring type of entertainer for me has always been somebody like Jimmie Rodgers, somebody who could do it alone and was totally original. He was combining elements of blues and hillbilly sounds before anyone else had thought of it. He recorded at the same time as Blind Willie McTell but he wasn’t just another white boy singing black. That was his great genius and he was there first… he sang in a plaintive voice and style and he’s outlasted them all.
~Bob Dylan

He was a performer of force without precedent with a sound as lonesome and mystical as it was dynamic. He gives hope to the vanquished and humility to the mighty.
~Bob Dylan

He is the voice of wilderness in our heads.
~Bob Dylan

James Charles “Jimmie” Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933) was an American country singer in the early 20th century known most widely for his rhythmic yodeling. Among the first country music superstars and pioneers, Rodgers was also known as “The Singing Brakeman”, “The Blue Yodeler”, and “The Father of Country Music”.

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August 16: Happy 79th birthday to Billy Joe Shaver

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‘Cause movin’s in my soul, i guess a gypsy boy got a hold
Of somebody in my family long ago
If some night while half asleep you hear the back door softly squeak
You’ll touch my empty pillow, then you’ll know
That restless wind, is calling me again
– Billy Joe Shaver (from “Restless Wind” (one of his best songs))

“He may be the best songwriter alive today”
– Willie Nelson

«He’s a real writer like Hemingway. He’s timeless»
– Kris Kristofferson

«Billy Joe is unique. One of a kind. They threw away the mold. The best.»
– Robert Duvall

I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And i’m reading James Joyce
-Bob Dylan (I Feel a Change Comin’ On)

Restless Wind:

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August 7: Happy 68th Birthday Rodney Crowell

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… When I was 12 years old, or however old I was when Bringing It All Back Home came out, I’d just skip back and forth endlessly between ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ and ‘Mr. Tambourine Man,’ and now my Dylan roots are showing big time.
— Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell & Emmylou Harris – Shelter From The Storm (live 2006)

From Wikipedia:

Born August 7, 1950 (age 68)
Houston, Texas United States
Genres Country
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Guitar
Years active 1978–present
Labels Warner Bros., Columbia, MCA, Sugar Hill, Epic, Yep Roc
Associated acts Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, The Notorious Cherry Bombs, Los Super Seven
Website Official Site

Continue reading “August 7: Happy 68th Birthday Rodney Crowell”