Posts Tagged ‘Pozo-Seco Singers’

‘If Tonight Was Not A Crooked Trail . . .’

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

There’s a little note on top of the file in which I write this blog. It’s been there a while, three years maybe. Long enough, anyway, that my eyes tend to slide right past it when I open the file to write a post.

It says, “Tomorrow Is A Long Time.”

I assume it’s a reminder for me to write about the Bob Dylan song, not just a pithy bit of wisdom meant to help me focus on today’s tasks. I further assume the post I had in mind when I typed that potentially enigmatic title – it’s in quote marks, so it has to be a title – was a brief examination of covers of the Dylan song. If so, it’s an example of poor institutional memory, since I did a post like that in 2013.

But that was eight years ago, and my rereading of the post tells me that the Dylan version I would have liked to share wasn’t available in good form at YouTube. (The audio was fine, but the visuals were portions of a show about zombies, which never made sense to me.) So, let’s just review some of the versions of the song I have here in my files.

We start with four versions by Dylan himself: One from around 1962, maybe 1963, included in the 2010 Bootleg Series release The Witmark Demos; one from a 1963 solo performance at New York City’s Town Hall (that would be the first official release of the song, coming out on Dylan’s second greatest hits collection in 1972); and two versions with a band from the 2021 Bootleg Series release 1970.

Here’s that 1963 performance as released on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, this time without zombies.

Other artists jumped on it right away, of course, with Ian & Sylvia being the first, releasing it in July 1963 on their Four Strong Winds album. That one’s here, as are a few other covers from the Sixties by Odetta (1965), Elvis Presley (1966), the Pozo-Seco Singers (1966), Glenn Yarbrough (the first version I ever heard, from 1967), Dion (in a medley with Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’,” 1968), an obscure group named Street (which included the Dylan song in a medley with a stentorian version of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone” in 1968), and by the country-rock duo of Levitt & McClure (1969).

My favorite of those is likely the Yarbrough simply because I heard it first, but I’m certain I long ago featured that one here. After that, I like the version by the Pozo-Seco Singers from their 1966 album Time. There are other, later, versions of the song, but we’ll close things today with the Pozo-Seco Singers.

The Last ‘Time’

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Somewhere around the beginning of 1965, my dad subscribed to Time magazine. I seem to recall President Lyndon Johnson on one of the first covers that we saw. And I imagine that I – then eleven years old – poked through each of the magazine’s weekly editions a little bit as they came through the mail slot.

Dad read each week’s edition carefully, a few pages each evening before bedtime. And a lot of what he – and I, when I took advantage – read was something we found nowhere else: coverage that supplemented the St. Cloud and Minneapolis newspapers with a wider variety of national and international news. (That news came, I now know, with a great helping of Timesnark, the right-wing and elite attitudes fostered in the weekly by founder Henry Luce just forty years earlier.)

(Some of that coverage we might have been able to get from any of the evening news shows, but watching television news was not part of our evening routines. The only broadcast news we absorbed on Kilian Boulevard during the 1960s and early 1970s was the CBS News morning report on WCCO radio, generally running in the background as we had breakfast and prepared for school and work.)

As I grew into a news junkie, I read the magazine more and more frequently. Once I started college, I added regular reading of Newsweek at the St. Cloud State library, and a few years later, when I left home for the world of work, that’s the magazine I subscribed to, seeing it as less snarky and slightly more hip to pop culture.

Still, at Kilian Boulevard, Time fell through the mail slot every week. Sometimes Dad would pass them on to me; during my college year in Denmark, he clipped stories he thought would interest me and packaged them weekly with clippings from the daily newspapers and Sports Illustrated to keep me entertained and at least a little up-to-date. (Those thick envelopes, probably about thirty of them, are still with me, tucked away in a box full of other stuff I brought back from my adventure in Denmark.)

And week after week, month after month, year after year, the magazine kept coming to Kilian Boulevard. When Dad died in 2003, I helped Mom change the account into her name. And the magazine would eventually come to her at her Waite Park home, at her Ridgeview Place assisted living apartment, and finally, at Prairie Ridge, the facility’s memory care unit.

Somewhere during the last years of her life, Mom had renewed her subscription to Time into mid-2020, when she would be 98 years old. (I think she got stung by one of those companies that offers to renew a subscription and then charges an additional $50 or so for the renewal.) Anyway, after Mom died, I just switched the subscription into my name, and Time kept coming to the East Side and, most recently, to the North Side.

When Dad first subscribed during the mid-1960s, a news consumer’s options beyond daily newspapers were limited. There was some radio news, three national television broadcasts at dinnertime and the three main newsmagazines, Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report. And Dad read his editions of Time from cover to cover.

Now, in 2020, the information that Time brings me is dated. I have twenty-four-hour news from multiple sources on my TV and my computer. I glance at the first few pages of each edition, but almost always, it gets set aside and sits on my end table until the next weekly edition arrives. There’s nothing wrong with the magazine’s coverage – it quit being snarky (for the most part) years ago – but in general, the magazine offers nothing I can’t get elsewhere for a cheaper price. So I haven’t renewed the subscription.

That’s why the edition of Time that came late last week will be – I think – the last one. (I maybe wrong, and one more may come my way, but no more than that, I’m sure.)

After Mom died in 2017, we sold her things, closed accounts at her bank and elsewhere, disconnected her telephone and took care of other, similar, tasks. I think the subscription to Time is the last bit left of Mom and Dad’s life on Kilian Boulevard. And after more than fifty-five years and about 2,880 weekly editions, that’s ending this month.

Here are the Pozo-Seco Singers and their 1966 track “Time.” (I thought about the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time,” but I’ve never really liked the record.)

‘I Can Make It With You . . .’

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Just as readers getting to know one another check out each other’s bookshelves, so, too, do music lovers cast inquiring eyes on the record and CD collections of folks new to their lives. And I was rifling through the LPs owned by my new lady in June 1987 when I came across an album by a group I’d never heard about: The Pozo-Seco Singers.

The album was I Can Make It With You.

“Oh, that’s one of my favorites,” my ladyfriend said. And when I heard the album later that day or maybe that week, her love of the record made sense. The folk rock of the Pozo-Seco Singers’ second album, a 1966 release, fit right in with the folk and the folk-rock that made up most of her collection: Joan Baez, the Kingston Trio, the Brothers Four, Gordon Lightfoot, Simon & Garfunkel, the We Five and more.

And I Can Make It With You became one of the albums we played on occasion when we whiled away time at her place that late spring and summer. After that, I doubt that I heard it again until sometime during the last few years, when a digital copy of the album came my way. And when the title track popped up the other night as the RealPlayer rolled on, I got to thinking about the Pozo-Seco Singers and I did some digging.

The group released a total of four albums, according to All Music Guide. In 1966, Time went to No. 127 on the Billboard 200, and the following February, I Can Make It With You went to No 81. The group’s last two releases, 1967’s Shades Of Time and 1970’s Spend Some Time With Me, did not chart.

The group – perhaps better remembered these days for the presence of eventual country star Don Williams – had eight singles in or near the Billboard Hot 100, starting with “Time,” which went to No. 47 in early 1966 and ending with “Strawberry Fields/Something” (credited to simply Pozo Seco), which bubbled under the chart at No. 115 in late 1970. Of their eight charting or near-charting singles, the best performing was “I Can Make It With You,” which peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard chart on October 22, 1966, forty-seven years ago today.

I don’t recall the record from its time on the chart, but I wasn’t really listening in the autumn of 1966, and from what I see at Oldiesloon, “I Can Make It With You” never charted at KDWB anyway. A few years later, I might have heard it late at night on WLS, but as it happened, I likely never heard the record until I heard it on my lady’s stereo some evening late in the spring of 1987.

And I learned as I dug around during the past few days that the Pozo-Seco Singers weren’t the only ones who released “I Can Make It With You” as a single. Jackie DeShannon also recorded the Chip Taylor song, and her version reached the Hot 100 the same week that the Pozo-Seco Singers’ version did, on September 10, 1966. But DeShannon’s version – a slower ballad-like take backed with a near Wall of Sound – peaked at No. 68 in early October and was gone from the chart by the time the Pozo-Seco Singers’ version was at its peak.

If I were forced to do so, it would be hard to choose one of the two. I love almost everything I’ve ever heard from DeShannon’s catalog, and her take on “I Can Make It With You” is no exception. But the visceral tug of memory is hard to resist, so I’d probably go with the Pozo-Seco Singers on a warm late spring evening.