Posts Tagged ‘Blind Boys of Alabama’

‘Turn, Turn Any Corner . . .’

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

Thirty-some years ago, as part of a summer I spent in St. Cloud in between things and places and people, my ladyfriend and I decided to put on a Sixties party. Our friends filled the place I was renting – the lower level of a house, usually home to probably ten to twelve students – as we laughed, drew pictures on the tagboard designated a graffiti wall, and took part in a Sixties trivia contest.

There was music, of course. My lady and I spent hours the week before the party creating mix tapes. I borrowed records from the St. Cloud State radio station’s library to supplement my own pretty good collection. (This was in the late 1980s; I had about 250 albums, nothing near what I would eventually have filling the shelves.)

She insisted that the first track of the first tape played be the 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In.” Okay. And then, she said, should come Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Woodstock.” 

Well. I told her – and fifty-seven years after the Summer of Love, I don’t know who would argue – that along with the shininess of Sixties’ utopianism, there was always a shadow side, and if we were setting up a sense of the decade for our guests, that shadow had to be reflected in the first parts of the music.

I persuaded her, so the second track on our first mixtape for that evening was “Long Time Gone” by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Written, it is said, by Crosby upon the death of Robert F. Kennedy, it’s a song of portent, and the first time I heard it – not long after the trio’s first album was released in May of 1969, it spooked me out (and it did so again the other day when it popped up on the radio in the car).

And today, as I sat down to check email and so on first thing this morning (after a series of unsettling early morning dreams), it popped up in iTunes, this time in the cover version recorded and released by Ruthie Foster in 2012, accompanied by the Blind Boys of Alabama.

With nothing else to say this morning, here’s that cover:

Saturday Single 457

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

I “upgraded” overnight to Windows 10.

I write it that way because this morning, everything on my computer looks blurry, and it wasn’t last night.

As to the main features of 10, I imagine I’ll learn them soon enough. I’ve learned enough to get this piece posted. And I’ve found out how to move files from one folder to another. Given my daily sorting of mp3s, it’s maybe the function I use the most as I sit here, and it’s a function that’s seemingly put in a different place every time the operating system changes, so this is the fourth time I’ve had to figure out where it is: Windows 98, XP, 7 and now 10.

But I’ve learned that, and I managed to get the weather tile on the start menu changed from Washington, D.C., to St. Cloud. So we’re making progress.

As to the blurriness, I recall that when I switched from my old ungainly tube monitor to my wide flat sceen about eight years ago, things looked funny for a while. Eventually my eyes will adjust, I suppose. Or I’ll find a fix hidden somewhere deep in the workings of Windows 10.

Or I’ll go blind.

So here are the Blind Boys of Alabama with “Just Wanna See His Face,” a 2001 cover of the Rolling Stones’ tune that I found on the collection The I-10 Chronicles/2. (The songwriting credit is Mick Jagger/Keith Richards although I’ve read some comments from Bobby Whitlock that dispute those credits.)

The vocals are from Clarence Fountain, Jimmy Carter and Joey Williams, and it’s worth noting the backing musicians on the track: John Hammond on guitar, David Lindley on slide guitar, Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, Michael Jerome on drums and Danny Thompson on double bass.

With all of that, here’s today’s Saturday Single: