Classic TV: Townes Van Zandt tribute at Austin City Limits 1997

Tribute to Townes Van Zandt
Austin City Limits
Recorded in December 7, 1997.

Townes Van Zandt, was an American singer songwriter. He is widely held in high regard for his poetic, often heroically sad songs. In 1983, six years after Emmylou Harris had first popularized it, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song “Pancho and Lefty”, scoring a number one hit on the Billboard country music charts. Much of his life was spent touring various dive bars, often living in cheap motel rooms and backwoods cabins. For much of the 1970s, he lived in a simple shack without electricity or a phone.

He suffered from a series of drug addictions, alcoholism, and the psychiatric diagnosis bipolar disorder. When he was young, the now discredited insulin shock therapy erased much of his long-term memory. Continue reading “Classic TV: Townes Van Zandt tribute at Austin City Limits 1997”

October 16: Emmylou Harris released Brand New Dance in 1990

brand new dance

Brand New Dance was an album which Emmylou Harris released on October 16, 1990. Produced by Richard Bennett and Allan Reynolds, the album mixed a rather eclectic collection of covers, including Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest”, and Dave Mallett’s “Red, Red Rose”. Though it sold reasonably well, it was Harris’ first studio album in fifteen years to yield no top forty country singles, and marked the beginning of a commercial decline for the singer, which would ultimately lead her to redirect her music away from mainstream country, a few years later.

It was one of my first conscious country music buys, with that I mean that before I had just listened to my fathers record collection when playing country (or radio). This was a big step for me, I had bought country-rock albums and rock albums with country elements, but this was pure country. I still love the album, it has a very special place in my musical upbringing.

…and I think it has one of the best covers of Springsteen’s Tougher than the rest (audio):

Continue reading “October 16: Emmylou Harris released Brand New Dance in 1990”

1974: 20 songs released in 1974 you must hear





The Year 1974 summary

  • OPEC ends the oil embargo begun in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War (Mar. 18).
  • Nixon and Brezhnev meet in Moscow to discuss arms limitation agreements. Background: nuclear disarmament
  • Leftist revolution ends almost 50 years of dictatorial rule in Portugal (launched Apr. 25).
  • India successfully tests an atomic device, becoming the world’s sixth nuclear power (May 18).
  • Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia is deposed. A collective military dictatorship assumes power (Sept. 12).
  • House Judiciary Committee adopts three articles of impeachment charging President Nixon with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee (July 30).
  • Richard M. Nixon announces he will resign the next day, the first President to do so (Aug. 8).
  • Movies: Chinatown, The Godfather Part II, Day for Night, Blazing Saddles, The Towering Inferno
  • Deaths: Bud Abbott, Dizzy Dean, Duke Ellington, Charles Lindbergh, Ed Sullivan

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A lot of wonderful music was released in 1974, here are 20 essential songs.

  • Forever Young – Bob Dylan

    Written in Arizona in 1972 and recorded in California in November 1973. The song first appeared (in two different versions, a slow and a fast) on Dylan’s 1974 album Planet Waves.
    A demo version of the song, recorded in New York City in June 1973, was included on Dylan’s 1985 compilation Biograph.

    May God bless and keep you always
    May your wishes all come true
    May you always do for others
    And let others do for you
    May you build a ladder to the stars
    And climb on every rung
    May you stay forever young
    Forever young, forever young
    May you stay forever young.



    Continue reading “1974: 20 songs released in 1974 you must hear”

1975: 20 songs released in 1975 you must hear





The Year 1975 summary

  • Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge take over Cambodia (April).
  • The city of Saigon is surrendered and remaining Americans are evacuated, ending the Vietnam War (April 30).
  • American merchant ship Mayaguez, seized by Cambodian forces, is rescued in operation by US Navy and Marines, 38 of whom are killed (May 15).
  • Movies: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jaws, Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, Barry Lyndon

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

Continue reading “1975: 20 songs released in 1975 you must hear”

1976: 20 Songs you Must hear from 1976






The Year 1976 summary

  • Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot becomes prime minister (and virtual dictator) of Cambodia after Prince Sihanouk steps down (April 2).
  • Israeli airborne commandos attack Uganda’s Entebbe Airport and free 103 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers of Air France plane; one Israeli and several Ugandan soldiers killed in raid (July 4).
  • 19-month civil war ends in Lebanon after threatening to escalate to global level (Nov.).
  • US: US Supreme Court rules that blacks and other minorities are entitled to retroactive job seniority (March 24).
  • US: US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is not inherently cruel or unusual and is a constitutionally acceptable form of punishment (July 3).
  • US: Jimmy Carter elected US President (Nov. 2).
  • Movies: Rocky, Taxi Driver, Network, All the President’s Men
  • Deaths: Agatha Christie, Andre Malraux

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

As usual.. a lot of wonderful music was released in 1976, again hard to pick only 20.

Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler Real Live Roadrunning 2016 (full concert video)

Real Live Roadrunning is a collaborative live album by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, released on 14 November 2006. The album was recorded live on 28 June 2006 at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, at the end of their summer tour in support of their critically acclaimed album, All the Roadrunning. Real Live Roadrunning was released as a combined CD/DVD. This is the video version  of  the concert : Continue reading “Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler Real Live Roadrunning 2016 (full concert video)”