Posts Tagged ‘Waylon Jennings’

‘Living On Free Food Tickets . . .’

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

We mentioned briefly last week the minor hit the Winstons had in the fall of 1969 when “Love Of The Common People” went to No. 54 in the Billboard Hot 100 (and to No. 19 on the Easy Listening chart). By then, the song had been around for couple of years. In the autumn of 1967, versions by Wayne Newton (No. 106) and the Everly Brothers (No. 114) had bubbled under the Hot 100.

I’ve never been much of a Newton fan, so his version doesn’t move me much. Nor does the Everlys’ take on the tune grab me. So I dug a little deeper and found the original version of the tune, recorded in October 1966 and released in January 1967 by the Four Preps. That one was okay, and I liked the delivery of lead singer David Somerville (one-time lead singer for the Diamonds). But I kept digging anyway, and I found a countryish version from 1970 by John Hurley, one of the song’s two writers.

That was okay, too, but I’m still liking the Winstons’ version most, and I wonder if that’s because of my vague memories of hearing it in 1969. I’m not sure where that would have been; neither the Twin Cities surveys at Oldiesloon nor the collection of surveys at Airheads Radio Survey Archive show the record on a KDWB survey (and the same is true for the Twin Cities’ WDGY, which I could not get in St. Cloud). Neither of those collections is complete, of course, and it’s quite possible that the record showed up for just one or two weeks on KDWB and I heard it once or twice.

Anyway, beside the Winstons’ take on the song, what versions move me? There are plenty to choose from, based on the list at Second Hand Songs. I liked the 1967 cover from Waylon Jennings, but was even more impressed by the version that Jim Ed Brown released the same year. And there are plenty of covers listed at Second Hand Songs that I didn’t check out. Some of the familiar names there were Sandy Posey, Lynn Anderson, the Gosdin Brothers, John Denver, Wanda Jackson, B.J. Thomas, and Paul Young, whose 1984 take on the tune went to No. 45 on the Hot 100.

But I suppose I should close with the version of the song that reminded me the other week of the Winstons’ charting version. Here’s Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band from the 2007 release Live In Dublin:

‘You Done Your Daddy Wrong . . .’

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Back when I was a little horn-playing sprout, listening to my Herb Alpert and Al Hirt records on our RCA stereo, I found myself wanting to dance every time the needle got to the last track on Hirt’s 1963 album, Honey In The Horn. With its rapid tempo, its lip-rippling horn riffs, and its background singers chants of “Go along, go along,” I loved Hirt’s cover of Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On.”

Of course, at the age of twelve or so, I had no idea it was a cover. I had no idea who Hank Snow was. And I had no idea that Snow’s 1950 original had topped the country chart for a record-tying twenty-one weeks, matching the performance of Eddy Arnold’s 1947 release, “I’ll Hold You in My Heart (Till I Can Hold You in My Arms).” (In 1955, Webb Pierce tied Arnold and Snow when his “In The Jailhouse Now” was No. 1 for twenty-one weeks, and in 2013, notes Wikipedia, the three records were dropped from their record-holding positions when “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line spent twenty-four weeks at No. 1.*)

I’m not sure when I learned about Snow’s original – sometime between 1965 and 2000, I guess – but it’s without a doubt one of the classics of country music:

The record came to mind the other day when I heard a version of “I’m Movin’ On” by Johnny Cash with Waylon Jennings that was recently released on Out Among the Stars, a collection of recently discovered Cash recordings from 1981 and 1984. And I wondered what other covers might be out there, expecting the list to be lengthy.

And I was right: Second Hand Songs lists more than fifty covers of the Snow song, and there are others at Amazon (though many of those listings are the Rascal Flatts song with the same title). And Wikipedia references a few other covers. I don’t entirely trust that list, however, as it cites covers by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin, and I can find no indication that either Dylan or Zep recorded the song. (Dylan’s official website does note that he performed the song in concert nineteen times between 1989 and 1993.)

Some of the covers have hit the various charts. On the country chart, Don Gibson took the song to No. 14 in 1960, and a live version by Emmylou Harris went to No. 5 in 1983. (The Harris version linked here is from an anthology, and I believe it’s the single version from the live Last Date album, though I imagine the single might have had the introduction trimmed. If it’s the wrong performance, I’d appreciate knowing about it.)

Three versions of the tune have also hit the pop chart: A jaunty cover by Ray Charles went to No. 40 (and to No. 11 on the R&B chart) in 1959, singer Matt Lucas took the song to No. 59 in 1963 in his only appearance on the chart, and John Kay saw his Steppenwolf-ish cover of the tune go to No. 52 in 1972.

And that’s enough for today. We’ll be back later this week with some more.

*Based on what I read at Wikipedia, I have some reservations about “Cruise” holding the record for most weeks at No. 1, as some of those twenty-four weeks belong to the original release and some of them belong to a remix by hip-hop artist Nelly. If there’s a remix, is it the same record?

Chart Digging: October 4, 1975

Friday, October 4th, 2013

So, picking up where we left off yesterday, here’s the Billboard Top Ten from October 4, 1975, thirty-eight years ago today:

“Fame” by David Bowie
“I’m Sorry/Calypso” by John Denver
“Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Campbell
“Run Joey Run” by David Geddes
“Mr. Jaws” by Dickie Goodman
“Bad Blood” by Neil Sedaka
“Ballroom Blitz” by the Sweet
“Dance With Me” by Orleans
“Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady” by Helen Reddy
“Rocky” by Austin Roberts

Wow. That’s a sorry Top Ten, given that the autumn of 1975 was one of the better seasons of my life. One of the records – “Dance With Me” – ranks among my all-time favorites, and I like well enough the Bowie, Campbell, Sedaka and Reddy records, but the other five? I can live without hearing any of them ever again, and I’ve felt that was since the autumn of 1975.

Not that far down the chart, though, come bunches of records that help make the memories of that season so special: The Spinners, Janis Ian, Jefferson Starship, Paul Simon with Phoebe Snow, Leon Russell, Earth Wind & Fire and more. (And if you’re a fan of the autumn of 1975, you can figure out the titles of the records pretty easily.)

As usual though, our task is lower down, but instead of our usual six records, we’re going to look at only three today.

Sitting at No. 98 is a record I don’t recall from that autumn of 1975 even though it eventually rose to No. 35: “Let’s Live Together” by the Road Apples. The group hailed from Boston and had the record originally released on the Mums label before Polydor picked up the track. The various surveys available at the Airheads Radio Survey Archive show the record unsurprisingly strong in Boston, going to No. 1 on WBZ and to No. 2 on WRKO. It also hit the Top Ten on stations in Brunswick, Maine; Albany, Georgia; and Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s a decent record, but I don’t feel as if I missed out on anything not having heard it back then.

Singer Evie Sands has popped up in this space once before, when I was scanning a list of artists who’d had records on the Cameo label; Sand’s 1968 record, “Billy Sunshine” (No. 133) was one of those, the second of seven records the Brooklyn-born singer would put in or near the Hot 100. The last of her hits was at its peak during the first week of October 1975 when “I Love Makin’ Love To You” was sitting at No. 50. According to the surveys at ARSA, the record made the Top Ten at KISN in Vancouver, Washington, and just missed the Top Ten at KNMS in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Again, it’s a decent record but nothing that would make me fire up the time machine for a trip to 1975.

Having looked around near No. 100 and at No. 50, let’s split the difference for our third record of the day. Right at No. 75 we find Waylon Jennings’ thumping critique of 1970s country music: “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way” was on its way to a peak of No. 60 and to a week on the top of the country chart. I find the song a little ham-handed and old fogy-ish, and I wonder as I write what Jennings – whose last hit came in 1983 and who passed on in 2002 – would think of today’s country music, which, as I’ve said at least once in this space, sounds an awful lot like 1970s Rolling Stones tracks with an occasional fiddle or steel guitar splashed on top. Just to be consistent, we’ll check survey action; ARSA shows that the record hit No. 9 in, unsurprisingly, Nashville.

‘Dreamin’ Those Dreams Again . . .’

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

One can tell, just by looking at the cloud of artists’ names here and at Echoes In The Wind Archives, that one of the main pillars on which this blog has rested is Johnny Rivers. There are a few artists whose names are larger in those two clouds, but not many.* I think I know his catalog pretty well, but I was reminded again this morning how vast that catalog is.

Poking through the Billboard Hot 100 from January 22, 1966 – forty-seven years ago today – I saw Rivers’ name listed at No. 35 with “Under Your Spell Again.” I didn’t recognize the title, and I wandered off to YouTube to dig.

I’d never heard Rivers’ version, but at that point, I recognized the song (though I do not know when or where I’ve ever heard it) and learned rapidly that Buck Owens wrote it and took it to No. 4 on the country chart in 1959.

Just to wrap things up before I go deal with the minor tasks of real life, Rivers’ version went no higher in 1966, peaking at No. 35. The website Second Hand Songs lists twenty-seven versions of the song (although there are likely more out there).  Lloyd Price’s version bubbled under at No. 123 in 1962, while on the country chart, Ray Price’s version went to No. 5 in 1959 and a duet by Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter went to No. 39 in 1971. Here’s that duet (which I like a lot):

And we’ll leave it there this morning (although I think I’d like to dig up the version of the tune that the band Southern Fried released in 1971). Unless the bottom drops out, I’ll be here tomorrow, most likely looking at versions of “Spanish Harlem.”

*After writing this post, I did a quick bit of research. Between this site and the earlier locations of Echoes In The Wind (with about nine months’ worth of posts yet to be revived at the archives site), Rivers’ music has been featured twenty-six times. Only three other artists and one group have been featured more. Here’s the top five:

Bob Dylan (57)
Bruce Springsteen (40)
Richie Havens (29)
The Band (28)
Johnny Rivers (26)

Saturday Single No. 253

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

As have the other posts this week, this will be brief; we’re on vacation. Thus far, this week of vacation has seen a lot of time spent in the kitchen, dealing with the surplus of tomatoes from the garden. The Texas Gal, admittedly, has put in more effort there than have I, but I’ve taken care of most of the literal heavy lifting, moving the filled and very hot canner off the burner when the time comes. We added more canned tomatoes and spaghetti sauce to our larder yesterday.

With our shelves stocked, the garden is down to green tomatoes – possibly en route to green tomato relish, but we’ll see – and tomorrow, we’ll pick those and pull up the plants and then the fences. We’d planned on doing that today, but WeatherBug says that the odds are 50-50 that we’ll have a thunderstorm, so we decided to stay dry and take a day off from the garden and canning.

Still, vacation or no, I wanted to post something today. Two days ago, as it was 9/1, I dug into the Billboard pop charts for a record ranked No. 91 on September 1, and I thought I’d play the same numbers game today: Find a record ranked No. 93 on some September 3 – or at least in the same week – in years past. With no real roadmap, I thought I’d start with 1970 and then shift away a year at a time until I found a record that fits three criteria: First, I like it. Second, it’s a little obscure. And third, it’s available for embedding here.

And it only took two tries to find what seems to be a gem. In 1969, country stalwart Waylon Jennings teamed up with the Kimberlys, an Oklahoma foursome made up of two brothers wed to two sisters. One of the results was a cover of Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park,” which RCA Victor released as a single. The record was at No. 93 on the pop chart during the week of September 3, 1969, and it would stay in that spot one more week before falling off the chart.

Things went a little better on the country chart: “MacArthur Park,” credited to “Waylon Jennings & The Kimberlys,” went to No. 23 and eventually earned a Grammy for “Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.” And it’s today’s Saturday Single.

“And A Thousand Miles Behind”

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

My list is long and my tank is empty. But, as reluctant as I am to leave this space blank on those mornings when I normally offer something, I listened to the tune running in my head and went in search of cover versions. I might write about the tune in the future, but today’s a good time to start thinking about it. So here’s a cover of Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings” from the 1986 album Heroes by Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings.