Saturday Single No. 588

Because I create and post videos at YouTube (mostly for this blog but sometimes just for the fun of it), I have a channel at the website. It’s called “whiteray1,” because “whiteray” was not available when I began to post videos back in 2011. And as of this morning, there are 385 videos available on my channel.

That’s not the stunning number. Given my tastes, the stuff available on my channel comes from a wide swath of performers and styles, ranging from Liberace (one video) to Levon Helm (many videos) with a lot of stuff in between. It’s not a mix I would think would appeal to a lot of people. Yet, YouTube notes that as of this morning, my channel has 6,026 subscribers. And my 385 videos have generated a total of 7,001,011 views. That, to me, is the stunning number.

And stuff happens fast. Just a couple days ago, I put up a piece with the audio of Toni Brown’s 1974 album Good For You, Too. (Brown was one of the lead singers of Joy Of Cooking, the early 1970s band from the Bay Area that’s been the topic of quite a few posts here.) A few years ago, I’d put up a track from Brown’s album – “Hold On To Your Happy Days” – and this week, I got a note from a listener, asking if I had any other tracks from the album.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to create videos the way I do them – the visual is almost always the album cover or a picture of the 45 – so I took a little bit of time and put together a video of Brown’s entire album and dropped it at YouTube. I haven’t yet heard from the young woman who left the note, but in less than forty-eight hours, Good For You, Too has gotten fifty-nine view. That seems like a lot of views in less than two days.

What are the most-viewed pieces? Well, generally the ones that have been up longer. My second video, offering “Bittersweet” by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, leads the way with 1,195,314 views this morning. (My first video, Al Hirt’s “I Can’t Get Started,” has been viewed 105,275 times, which is a decent total.) And the rest of the most-viewed videos are generally from the first couple years I was putting stuff up. Here’s the rest of the top five:

“Tangerine” by Eliane Elias, 325,674 views (November 2013)

“Misty” by Groove Holmes, 291,055 views (July 2013)

“Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King of Rock & Roll” by Long John Baldry, 264,938 views (July 2013)

“Nantucket Sleighride (Live)” by Mountain, 258,776 views (May 2014)

It’s an interesting mix. And to look at the other end, the least-viewed piece (out of anything that’s been up for more than a year) is Cat Stevens’ lovely meditation “Where Do The Children Play?” Since it went up in April 2014, it’s gotten only seventy-six views. I’m not sure that posting it here is going to bring about many more hits; nevertheless, “Where Do The Children Play?” from Stevens’ 1970 album Tea For The Tillerman is today’s Saturday Single.

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