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:

Continue reading “November 5: The late great Gram Parson was born in 1946”

1968: 20 Songs Released in 1968 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
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

A shitload of great music was released in 1968, here are my 20 chosen songs.

  • Madame George – Van Morrison

    Madame George is the album’s whirlpool. Possibly one of the most compassionate pieces of music ever made, it asks us, no, arranges that we see the plight of what I’ll be brutal and call a lovelorn drag queen with such intense empathy that when the singer hurts him, we do too.
    -Lester Bangs

    A song from the album Astral Weeks, released in 1968. It was recorded during the first Astral Weeks session that took place on September 25, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer.

    In 1974, after he had recorded eight albums, Morrison told Ritchie Yorke when he asked him what he considered his finest single track and the one that he enjoyed the most that it was: “Definitely ‘Madame George’, definitely. I’m just starting to realize it more and more. It just seems to get at you… it just lays right in there, that whole track. The vocals and the instruments and the whole thing. I like that one.”

    Down on Cyprus Avenue
    With a childlike vision leaping into view
    Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
    Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
    Marching with the soldier boy behind
    He’s much older now with hat on drinking wine
    And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
    The cool night air like Shalimar




    Continue reading “1968: 20 Songs Released in 1968 You Must Hear”

Dec 4: Chris Hillman was born in 1944

Christopher “Chris” Hillman (born December 4, 1944 in Los Angeles, California) is an American musician. He was one of the original members of The Byrds, which in 1965 included Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby and Michael Clarke. With frequent collaborator Gram Parsons, Hillman was a key figure in the development of country rock, defining the genre through his work with The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas and the country-rock group Desert Rose Band.

Continue reading “Dec 4: Chris Hillman was born in 1944”