July 27: Happy 74th Birthday Bobbie Gentry

bobbie gentry

Can a song be so perfect, so successful, that it eclipses its creator? It can if it’s Bobbie Gentry’s Grammy-winning 1967 chart-topper Ode to Billie Joe, one of the most elegantly powerful pieces of storytelling ever to travel the airwaves.
~Dorian Lynskey (The Guardian)

Ode to Billie Joe:

Continue reading “July 27: Happy 74th Birthday Bobbie Gentry”

Great Tom Waits Song – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

Hey Charley I’m pregnant
Living on 9th Street
Right above a dirty bookstore
Off Euclid Avenue
I stopped taking dope
And I quit drinking whiskey
And my old man plays the trombone
And works out at the track

One of Tom Waits’ most beloved songs from one of his more obscure albums, Blue Valentine, “Christmas Card…” is a live standard. The song showcases Waits playing a barroom piano melody, weaving words together — in essence, doing what he does best in one long, bittersweet song. The lyrics are essentially a reading aloud of what the title says it is — a Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis. Waits takes the voice of the female character: “Hey Charley, I’m pregnant…”; you can guess the rest. The song is littered with characters with names like Mario. There are references to the track, a filling station, and a used car lot. There is whiskey, dope, grease, a trombone, and Little Anthony & the Imperials. What more could you want from a Tom Waits song?
– Denise Sullivan (allmusic.com)

Studio version:

Continue reading “Great Tom Waits Song – Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis”