Saturday Single No. 181

It was twenty years ago today that I watched a Bekins van pull away from my door with almost everything I owned inside of it. Fifteen minutes later, I gave my apartment key to my landlady, put three cats in carriers into my car and then followed the van’s path toward the highways that would take me from Anoka, Minnesota, to Conway Springs, Kansas.

I wasn’t in Kansas long, just about three months, and at the time, my moving there and then away in such short order felt like random events that life was throwing at me. Looking back, those moves – and a few that followed – look more like mid-course corrections that brought me back to the path where I belonged.

Perhaps that’s one reason I so enjoy a random tour through the music files on a Saturday morning: We end up someplace we might not have thought about but it’s the right place nevertheless. But it will be a shorter road this week; just as the frequent Baker’s Dozen feature from early days in this blog morphed into the Six-Pack, so will this random list move from thirteen to six. (I’ve had a sense that the random trail posts were getting too long, so this change should resolve that.)

And I’m going to be a brazen thief for a moment, taking an idea from Jon at The Vinyl District, who in the past had a feature he called “Shuffle Bored,” and from Michael at Ickmusic, whose “Friday Five” is still going strong: Should any readers want to supply their own random Six-Pack in the comments, they should feel free to do so.

With that, let’s see where we go:

First up is a tune by one of the last surviving links to Robert Johnson. Dave “Honeyboy” Edwards recorded Charley Patton’s “Pony Boy” and twelve other tunes in 1979 for a Folkways album titled Mississippi Delta Bluesman. The album was released on CD in 2001 by Smithsonian Folkways, when Edwards was 86. He’s still alive today, at the age of 94.

One of the most popular recordings I ever shared here was the concert by Delaney & Bonnie & Friends that took place at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on February 22, 1970. This morning, we touch on “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way” from that remarkable performance.

I went on a minor spree at Amazon and its related shops about a month ago, and one of the CDs that the mailman subsequently brought me was a collection of Maybelle Smith’s sessions for OKeh from 1952 through 1955. Otherwise known as Big Maybelle, Smith was a blues and R&B singer whose voice could bring both honey and grit. This morning, the player stops on “Ain’t To Be Played With,” a previously unreleased recording from a session on September 23, 1954.

From Big Maybelle’s blues, we head on to some easy listening with a Latin tinge. For years, the only thing I knew about Percy Faith was that he and his orchestra had a No. 1 hit in 1960, when “The Theme From ‘A Summer Place’” took over the top spot on the pop chart for nine weeks. I’ve since learned that Faith had another Top 40 hit with “Theme For Young Lovers,” which went to No. 35 later in 1960, and that he and his orchestra released album upon album of easy listening music – some with central themes and some without them – in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Our fourth stop this morning is “Mama Inez” by Percy Faith and his orchestra from the 1959 album Malaguena: Music of Cuba.

So far, we’ve had some Delta blues, some driving rock, a bit of classic R&B and a bit of Latinish MOR pop. So it’s time for some country, with Charlie Rich and “Who Will The Next Fool Be?” from 1961. It’s not quite classic country with the jazzy piano riffs Rich throws around, but it’s a nice way station on the way to our final stop of the morning.

And that stop is a cover of a song I featured here not long ago, this version pulled from the soundtrack to the 2003 film Masked and Anonymous. The cryptic film starred Bob Dylan as musician Jack Fate and offered a soundtrack full of Dylan tunes, performed both by Dylan and an intriguing list of performers. One of the most interesting performers on that list was Turkish singer Sertab Erener, whose startling and haunting version of “One More Cup Of Coffee” is today’s Saturday Single.

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2 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 181”

  1. Paco Malo says:

    This version of “One More Cup of Coffee” is too cleaned up for me. In the Dylan (w/ Emmylou) original on Desire I can feel the doom waiting for him “in the valley below”.

  2. Ann says:

    It’s as if Dylan’s and Emmylou’s voices blend with a an eeriness to them but quite beautiful. Thanks for the music education. lol

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