Archive for Deep Purple

Joe South, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags , , on September 6, 2012 by 30daysout

Joe South

Singer-songwriter Joe South, who performed hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s such as “Games People Play” and “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” and also penned songs including “Down in the Boondocks” for other artists, died Wednesday. South was 72.

Early in his career South was best known as a session guitarist (he played on Tommy Roe’s “Sheila,” Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

But he had a string of hits of his own starting in the late 1960s that made his booming voice a familiar one on radio stations, with a style that some described as a mix of country and soul.

South was inspired by the social upheaval of the day for “Games People Play,” which became his biggest hit in 1969.  “Games People Play” reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts in 1969 and won him two Grammys for Best Contemporary Song and Song of the Year.

He wrote another socially aware number, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes,” which was covered by Elvis Presley; a soulful “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home,” covered by Brook Benton; “Hush” for Deep Purple; “Down in The Boondocks” for Billy Joe Royal; and perhaps biggest of all, the smash “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” for Lynn Anderson.

Joe was a prolific album artist as well, he had a bright career in front of him as the 1970s dawned. But in 1971 South’s brother Tommy, who backed Joe on drums, committed suicide and it drove Joe into a deep depression.  At the peak of his career South basically quit the music business; although he still lived outside Atlanta and continued to write music, he rarely performed in his later years.

MP3: “Games People Play”

MP3: “Drown In My Own Tears”

MP3: “Revolution of Love”

MP3: “Hush” by Deep Purple

MP3 “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” (live) by Elvis Presley

Deep South: Jeannie C. Riley and Joe South

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on September 19, 2011 by 30daysout

Jeannie C. Riley

I once read an article that called singer Jeannie C. Riley a “corn-pone Nancy Sinatra.” Funny, but that’s not far off the mark. Riley, a Texas gal, hit it big in 1968 with the anthem-of-sorts “Harper Valley P.T.A.” That made her the first woman to top the Billboard Top 100 charts and the country charts at the same time.

She followed up that smash with a number of other successful tunes, like “The Girl Most Likely” and “The Back Side of Dallas.” Often seen on TV wearing a miniskirt, Riley sold a pre-fab countrypolitan sex appeal just a few steps ahead of the corn-pone cheesecake of “Hee Haw.” (Sorry.) Although that image was kind of groundbreaking for Nashville at the time, it pretty much locked her and stunted her artistic growth.

Riley was admired as a strong-willed individual, probably for the in-your-face rebelliousness and self-righteousness of “Harper Valley” and “Generation Gap.” But she more likely a producer’s plaything – after all, most of her tunes were penned by Nashville pros (Tom T. Hall wrote “Harper Valley P.T.A.”) and her albums each had a handful of more traditional songs calculated to balance out Riley’s more progressive numbers.

On 1970’s The Generation Gap, perhaps Riley’s finest, for each “Generation Gap,” the sassy “To The Other Woman” and even the weirdly psychedelic “Words, Names, Faces,” there are a handful of tunes more typical of conventional country music. On that album Riley even launches a version of Merle Haggard’s right-wing classic “Okie From Muskogee,” making for a perfectly schizoid experience.

Jeannie C. Riley kept performing into the 1980s, even though she became a born-again Christian. Sometime in the 1990s she suffered clinical depression and pretty much dropped out of the spotlight.

MP3: “Generation Gap”

MP3: “Fine Feathered Friends”

MP3: “Words, Names, Faces”

MP3: “To The Other Woman”

YouTube: “Harper Valley P.T.A.”

One of the best tunes on Riley’s The Generation Gap was a song by singer/songwriter Joe South, “Games People Play.” South was best known as a session guitarist (he played on Tommy Roe’s “Sheila,” Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

South was inspired by the social upheaval of the day for “Games People Play,” which became his biggest hit in 1969. He wrote another socially aware number, “Walk A Mile In My Shoes,” which was covered by Elvis Presley; a soulful “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home,” covered by Brook Benton; “Hush” for Deep Purple; “Down in The Boondocks” for Billy Joe Royal; and perhaps biggest of all, the smash “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden,” for Lynn Anderson.

Joe South

Joe was a prolific album artist as well, he had a bright career in front of him as the 1970s dawned. But in 1971 South’s brother Tommy, who backed Joe on drums, committed suicide and it drove Joe into a deep depression.  At the peak of his career South basically quit the music business; although he still lives outside Atlanta and continues to write music, he rarely performs.

MP3: “Games People Play”

MP3: “Drown In My Own Tears”

MP3: “Revolution of Love”

MP3: “Hush” by Deep Purple

MP3 “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” (live) by Elvis Presley

YouTube: “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” by Joe South

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: The Velvet Underground?

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by 30daysout

I’ve been sneaking into my big sister’s room to check out her record collection for some time now, and I have begun to notice that her musical tastes might be changing.  Where’s that coming from?  I will explore that later – today, I found a record – an import, no less – that on first sight made my heart jump.  But when I listened to it …

It’s Squeeze, which came out in 1972 as an album by the Velvet Underground.  Wow! I thought, a lost Velvet Underground album … but no.  The album is really a solo effort by bass player Doug Yule, who replaced John Cale in the Velvet Underground after Cale quit around 1969.  Yule had a nice voice and a bit of a pop music sensibility to balance the experimental impulses of Lou Reed, who was more or less the Velvet Underground’s front man.  Reed bolted from the group upon finishing Loaded in 1970, leaving drummer Maureen Tucker and guitarist Sterling Morrison as the only original members left.  Morrison soon left, though, to pursue a degree then a professorship at the University of Texas.

So the group toured Europe with Yule, Tucker, and a couple of replacement dudes when the Velvets’ sleazeball manager scored the group a record deal with Polydor in Europe.  To save money, Tucker and the replacements were sent back to the States (pretty much ending their membership in the Velvet Underground) and Yule wrote, sang and played all the songs on the album Squeeze along with drummer Ian Paice of Deep Purple and some other, anonymous studio players.  The album was released in Europe and it was pretty much a flop; it never came out in the United States.

And it’s no wonder, when you start listening.  Yule is certainly no Lou Reed, and his pop-music approach sweeps away all of Reed’s glorious dark explorations with songs that sound like rejects from Loaded (“Little Jack,” “Caroline”), songs that rip off the Beatles (“Crash”) or songs that try and fail miserably to replicate Lou Reed’s sound (“Mean Old Man,” “Dopey Joe”).  So Squeeze is definitely not a Velvet Underground album – honestly, it’s a Doug Yule solo record and not a very good one, at that.

MP3: “Little Jack”

MP3: “Caroline”

MP3: “Crash”

MP3: “Mean Old Man”

MP3: “She’ll Make You Cry”

MP3: “Louise”

Sampler Daze: WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 5

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2009 by 30daysout

burbank daysofwine

Warner/Reprise accounted for the second half of 1972 with two more double-LP samplers, both with the variety that characterized the previous offerings.  The wide range of musical styles was heightened by the fact that the label also distributed records from other imprints including Bearsville (Foghat), Bizarre (Frank Zappa & the Mothers), Brother (Beach Boys), Capricorn (Allman Brothers), Chrysalis (Jethro Tull), Pentagram, Raccoon and Viva.

On Burbank, we got to hear some more rock from Alice Cooper, with “Public Animal #9,” some bloozy boogie from Foghat, some New Orleans from The Meters with “Cabbage Alley” and good ol’ Arlo Guthrie and Van Dyke Parks.  Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, fresh from the Turtles, tips their hat with “I Been Born Again.”  That song came from an album titled The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie, after which the duo would come to be known simply as “Flo and Eddie.”  Throughout the 1970s they continued to release albums as Flo and Eddie, and did backup studio work for the likes of Stephen Stills, Blondie, Duran Duran, the Ramones and many others.  Flo and Eddie sing backup on Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.”  These days the boys work in radio and occasionally surface as “The Turtles … featuring Flo and Eddie.”  Burbank also dipped its toe into the emerging soul/funk waters with the powerful San Francisco group Tower of Power, which would venture into the 1970s producing its own work as well as a ton of session work with other artists, making them a somewhat funkier Flo and Eddie.

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