Posts Tagged ‘Casey Kelly’

Found Deep In The Hot 100

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

So who was Casey Kelly?

Maybe I should have known better, but that’s exactly what I thought this morning as I scanned the Billboard Hot 100 from September 23, 1972, forty-two years ago today. Parked at the bottom of the Bubbling Under section was “Poor Boy” by Casey Kelly, which turned out to be a decent record that peaked at No. 52:

Kelly hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was born Daniel Cohen, and he’s had a long and successful career as a performer and as a songwriter. And it turns out that during my B.W. Stevenson immersion this summer, I heard one of Kelly’s earliest credited songs several times: “A Good Love Is Like A Good Song,” showed up on Stevenson’s 1973 My Maria album. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard the song: I notice as I look at Kelly’s credits that Johnny Rivers covered the same tune on his 1974 album Road (an album I wrote a little bit about long ago).

The list of Kelly’s credits as a songwriter go on through the years from the 1970s, with his work showing up on albums by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Loretta Lynn, America, Potliquor, the Neville Brothers, Stevenson again, Irma Thomas, Lorrie Morgan, T.G. Sheppard, Kenny Rogers, George Strait, Tanya Tucker and more. Most of the recent credits seem to be for reissues, but from the 1970s into the 1990s, it seems as if Kelly’s talents were called upon frequently.

I’ll likely dig deeper into Kelly’s writing in the next few weeks, but it’s his own performances – his 1972 self-titled album and his 1974 album For Sale – that intrigue me today. I haven’t listened to anything from the 1974 album yet and I’ve heard only a few tracks from the debut album, but those few tracks have grabbed hold of me.

That includes another single from that 1972 album, “You Can’t Get There From Here,” which in early 1973 bubbled under the Hot 100 at No. 110:

The attraction likely stems from the music’s early 1970s vintage, an era during which my tastes were honed. In any case, there are a few more Kelly tracks at YouTube that I’ll check out, and if I decide I want to invest, both albums are available as mp3s at Amazon. And while I was pondering that investment, I dropped in at AllMusic to see who was in the studio with Kelly for that first album.

The names are familiar and, given the sound of the tracks I heard, unsurprising: Russ Kunkel on drums, Leland Sklar on bass, Craig Doerge on keyboards, Jim Messina on guitar, Sneaky Pete Kleinow on pedal steel, and a couple of names that are less familiar, Danny Cohen on accordion and Al Garth on violin (although Garth’s list of credits shows many familiar album titles).

So I’ll add Casey Kelly’s name to the list of musicians whose work I want to explore, as if I needed to make that list longer.

Another Fine Visit
The Texas Gal and I made a quick trip to Middleton, Wisconsin, this past weekend to visit our friends jb (of The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ ) and his Missus. From Middleton, we headed south on Saturday to jb’s hometown of Monroe and this year’s edition of Green County Cheese Days, where we ate some cheese curds, drank some beer, heard some music, and wrote another chapter in our friendships. We came home with plenty of cheese and plenty of good memories.