Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Smith’

A Look At The Standings

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

I was loading some mp3s into the RealPlayer the other evening when I began to get an error message that shut down the program. I rebooted, loaded the collection – one of the Nuggets collections of mid-1960s stuff – in smaller batches but still had problems and eventually ran into a wall. The program would not work.

I wondered if I’d hit the program’s limits with more than 90,000 mp3s, given that I was using a version of the player from a few years ago. (When I got my most recent computer eighteen months ago, I installed the newest version but found it clunky, so I went to the site oldversion.com and grabbed, well, an older version of the program.) And as I retired for the night, I wondered what to do next, assuming that I had hit a limit.

By morning, I decided that I’d go back to oldversion and check out what was available for RealPlayer and, if I found a different release that had good reviews, I’d uninstall the version I had, download the new older version and then spend a few hours reloading the mp3s in the main collection. That worked, and as a bonus, it gave me an accurate count of the mp3s in the main collection. (I’ve learned over the seventeen years I’ve been using various versions of RealPlayer that after a while, it can duplicate mp3s and its arithmetic can then get fuzzy.)

As of this morning, the total number of mp3s on the main digital shelves is 93,499. And here are the totals for the fifteen most popular artists:

Top 15

(In compiling that chart, I’ve tried to include the various pairings and combinations, both frequent and infrequent. The obvious ones are Springsteen with the E Street Band and the Sessions Band and Dylan with The Band, but there were lots of one-offs on the digital shelves, like – to give one example – Clapton on a track by Buckwheat Zydeco. I might have missed a few.)

And in that list of fifteen, we find rock, jazz, soundtracks, Danish folk/pop/rock, blues, Americana, easy listening and more. The only genre that I listen to on a regular basis that is unrepresented there, I think, is country. Still, not all of those musicians show up here regularly. Organist Jimmy Smith has been mentioned three times over the ten-year span of this blog and has been featured once. Fellow organist McGriff has been mention three times and featured twice.

That obviously means we need to listen to more jazz organ around here. We’ll start today with Jimmy Smith, to pull him even with his fellow organist McGriff and to mark his ascension into third place in the RealPlayer standings. So, chosen not quite at random but without much digging into the files, here’s Smith’s stellar version of “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts of Town.” It’s from his 1968 album Stay Loose.

‘That Big Eight-Wheeler . . .’

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

So what other covers did I run across this week as I dug into Hank Snow’s 1950 classic song “I’m Movin’ On”? Well, using the list at Second Hand Songs and the list of performers available at BMI, I found a bunch that I thought were interesting and a couple that I really liked.

My favorite? Well, that can wait for a bit, but second place goes to the version that Leon Russell released in 1984 recording as his alter ego, Hank Wilson. Here’s that rollicking cover, from Hank Wilson Vol. II.

As I dug, I was particularly interested in giving a listen to the first cover listed at SHS, a performance by Hoagy Carmichael, but I think that’s an error, maybe a different song with the same (or a similar) title, as Carmichael is not included in the BMI list of performers who’ve recorded the song. Given that, it seems – and I’m not at all certain, as the BMI listings don’t include dates – that the first cover of “I’m Movin’ On” came in 1955 from Les Paul and Mary Ford.

In 1961, a rockabilly musician named Dick Hiorns – whose resume included a couple of daily performances during the early 1950s on WBAY in Green Bay, Wisconsin – recorded a version of Snow’s song for the Cuca Record Company of Sauk City, Wisconsin. A year later, Jerry Reed – at the time a session guitarist in Nashville – teamed up with some background singers who were called the Hully Girlies for a version of Snow’s tune, and a few years after that, in 1965, the Rolling Stones took on the tune and released it on the EP Got Live If You Want It!

Genius organist Jimmy Smith took a whack at the tune in 1967, and two years later, Elvis Presley included it on his From Elvis in Memphis album. In 1978, New Orleans’ Professor Longhair (aka Henry Byrd) took Snow’s song, altered the verses and made it into a Crescent City shuffle. It’s included on Big Chief, a 1993 Rhino album. (And I have no idea if the fourteen tracks on Big Chief were released during the intervening fifteen years).

There were others, of course: Versions that I didn’t track down or that didn’t grab me came from, among other, Del Reeves, Clyde McPhatter, Timi Yuro, Connie Francis, Johnny Nash, Burl Ives, the Box Tops, Sammy Kershaw, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Mickey Gilley, Loggins & Messina and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

But after all of that, I think my favorite cover of Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On” that I found this week was actually a rediscovery. Rosanne Cash included the tune on her 2009 CD The List, an album of songs pulled from a list her famous father once gave her of essential American music. I’ve often thought that too many versions of the song – Snow’s included – have sounded almost celebratory. Not Cash’s. She pulls the tempo back, and amid a nest of atmospheric guitars and percussion, she makes the song something closer to a dirge, and that fits.