November 5: The late great Gram Parson was born in 1946

Gram Parsons, originator of Country Rock music and member of The Flying Buritto Brothers playing at the Altamont Speedway, Livermore, CA December 6, 1969

 

“I think pure country music includes rock and roll. I’ve never been able to get into the further label of country-rock. How can you define something like that?”
~Gram Parsons

“I just say this – it’s music. Either it’s good or it’s bad; either you like it or you don’t.”
~Gram Parsons

In a way, it’s a matter of lost love. Gram was everything you wanted in a singer and a songwriter. He was fun to be around, great to play with as a musician. And that mother-fucker could make chicks cry. I have never seen another man who could make hardened old waitresses at the Palomino Club in L.A. shed tears the way he did.
It was all in the man. I miss him so.
~Keith Richards (Rolling Stone Magazine, 2005)

Keith Richards on Gram Parsons:

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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):

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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.



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August 7: Happy 67th Birthday Rodney Crowell

RodneyCrowell

… 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 67)
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

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July 19: Hank Williams released “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” in 1952

hank williams Jambalaya (On the Bayou)

Goodbye Joe me gotta go me oh my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne the sweetest one me oh my oh
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou
Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Wikipedia:

A-side “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”
B-side “Window Shopping”
Released 19 July 1952
Format 7″
Recorded 13 June 1952
at Castle Studio, Tulane Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Country
Length 2:52
Label MGM
K-11283 (U.S. 7″)
Writer(s) Hank Williams

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Hank Williams that was first released in July 1952. Named for a Creole and Cajun dishjambalaya, it spawned numerous cover versions and has since achieved popularity in a number of music genres.

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10 Great Country songs from the 1970s (videos & spotify playlist)

The 1970s brought us many great country songs, here are 10 I´m listening to today.

I´ve also added a spotify playlist at the end of the post.

Kris Kristofferson – Help me make it through the Night (1970)

Take the ribbon from your hair
Shake it loose and let it fall
Layin’ soft upon my skin
Like the shadows on the wall

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