1927 (1) “Potato Head Blues,” Louis Armstrong
they come back to see Uncle Satchmo and Aunt Lucille
Every singer in the world owes Louis Armstrong because he taught everybody to sing with swing
say goodbye right here
a leisurely and enjoyable stroll
Lucille and I, ever since we’re married, we’ve been right there in that block
“It sure feels good to be up there with those Beatles.”
just wish there was more than an hour
Armstrong as pop star
Which means, Louis was dubbed an Uncle Tom until the mid 1960swhen people came to their senses. As Tony Bennet once put it, “The bottom line of any country is ‘What did we contribute to the world?’ We continued Louis Armstrong”
With Sam Smith releasing a teaser fifteen seconds from his James Bond song, “Writing On The Wall” here, it seemed like an opportune time to go through all the songs we’ve ever heard. In order of preference. My bet is Sam Smith will go quite high: like #9. Adele would go pretty high as well #13 or #14
I love Dr. John and I worship the ground Armstrong walked on, so what’s not to like, right? How about starting with this: I wasn’t crazy about Ske –Dat- De -Dat The Spirit Of Satch when it was released. “He came to me in this dream and said, ‘Do my stuff — your way,'” said the 73-year-old pianist
A song about a song about being in love, the melody written in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael, the lyric by the sublime Tin Pan Alley lyricist Michael Parrish, Hoagy was 28 at the time! Covered and covered and covered, this is the version to find with Armstrong half mumbling, half emoting the sweet dream of a dream of a memory lyric “Sometimes I wonder why I spend the lonely nights dreaming of a song, the melody haunts my reverie and I am once again with you.”
Outside of Amarillo is a weird roadside attraction known as Cadillac Ranch – a line of ten Cadillacs buried nose first into the ground. Visitors are encouraged to spray paint graffiti on the Detroit relics. Noting one of the cars already was tagged with “Steve,” no work was required on my behalf.
Bing Crosby, the Ink Spots, and the Andrew Sisters provided the safe pop fare, while Duke Ellington and Count Basie played sophisticated jazz pop for white and black audiences.
Rock With You – Ledesi – Hot and soulful, Ledesi may well be an everywoman making a sound we hear all day long, but she sings to the beat like nobodies business and references Dione warwick so you gotta think she ain’t afriad of comparisons – B+
In 2012 I watched Neil play a heavy duty no nonsense Crazy Horse gig at MSG and my ears are still ringing, so take it from me folks, he didn’t need to do the Carnegie Hall gigs. Listening to him sing “A Man Needs A Maid” in 2014 takes me back to being a teenager and also, its soft strange beauty puts me at ease. It’s like not all memories end up with a bad ending.
Blue Collar Jane – The Strypes – we had a word for this when I was a whippersnapper, pub rock. By which we mean rhythm and blues with rock drums by proles, here proles out of Ireland and no wilko Johnson’s legacy isn’t in question. Actually it is enhanced – B+
The last time the True Groove All Stars performed was a more than memorable gig at the Blue Note last year, but this one promises to be even better. Not only does Marla Mase have an excellent new album just released but latest True Groove signee James Chance will be there. Shout for “I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing”. On Tuesday at the Cutting room
Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding – Her breakthrough song was “Lights” but this one made her the real deal, a brilliant hooting track and a study in excitation that turned a dance track into a modern anthem and if the beat was less house and more disco, so much the better – A
Sour Times – The Civil Wars – Are we sure these guys weren’t married? I really think they may have been. This outtake from the dear departed last album has something of the Kills about it but more acoustic. Fabulous, of course – A
The solos that intro and outro the 20s masterpiece written by the great man himself are there for dancing but once the vocal kicks in the song changes tempo and Louis growls an entreaty and a promise “If you just listen to me honey, I’ll tell you something you don’t know…” – A+
Reflecting the diversity of the era, there are entries by Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Muddy Waters, and Hank Williams. Elvis Presley deservedly owned the era commercially and artistically, but one Charles Edward Anderson Berry could play a guitar just like a ringing the bell.
I’ve written about musicians I’ve never seen but wish I had but that isn’t this article! This is about musicians I didn’t see on specific tours or even concerts that I wish I’d caught. I mean more than wish, like dream of having been to