Hard for me to believe that Trump attacking Biden for being senile is effective, given how obviously senile Trump is. I also question the wisdom of idiotic personal attacks during what could be the beginning of a pandemic that the Trumpies have aided and abetted with their incompetence.
Here’s the music topic of the day….The other day at the supermarket I heard the One Eskimo song “Kandi”, which samples from Candi Staton’s cover of Patsy Cline’s “He Called Me Baby”. It got me to thinking of one of my favorite musical topics: soul covers of country songs. My favorite of all time is the holiest of holies, Al Green doing “For the Good Times”. Second is Etta James doing “Almost Persuaded”. What are your favorites?
Any good examples of country covers of soul songs — there’s a bunch of Gram Parsons related ones both with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers…any others? And what do people think of that cover of “Tennessee Whiskey” Chris Stapleton does where he changes the tune so that it sounds like “I’d Rather Go Blind”? It’s halfway to being a soul cover of a country song, and I like it a lot.
Trying to double down on the Senate fundraising here. I think it’s the most important thing we can do right now for November.
Give here to the Balloon Juice Senate fund which is split between the eventual Democratic nominees in Maine, Iowa, NC, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado and….just added Montana! Feel free to split it up however you like. And you can use a burner email, as the kids say, if you don’t want to get too much campaign email. (You can also unsubscribe.)
I did not know there was such a thing. And I can’t imagine why there would be, either.
Of course, my mental image is James Brown doing… what? “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”?
I’ve yet to see any reason to believe it is. That it is the current Sandersite whine doesn’t mean anything except that they’re mean-spirited sore losers, which we already knew.
But even the liberal Bernie Sanders says Joe is sundowning!
“Night Life” by Aretha and by B.B.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@WereBear: Ray Charles did an entire album of them and it’s considered one of the greatest albums of all time: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.
Also, while The Band were not considered main stream country, they were definitely country-esque and Aretha Franklin did a great cover of The Weight.
Dorothy A. Winsor
If we’re talking about music, can I also talk about another entertainment? This woman interviewed me about writing and then wanted an interview with one of my characters. Here’s the results. I warn you the blog is white font on a black background. Why do people do that?
As for Biden sundowning, they probably all are. I live among old people. It happens.
That’s a great one. Willie songs make great soul songs.
A Ghost to Most
Chris Stapleton. His wheelhouse is mixing country, soul, and blues.
Major Major Major Major
And of course because Biden is not senile.
As for the actual topic of the post, nothing springs immediately to mind, though there are plenty of good songs that are sort of the opposite. I posted Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer’s Redemption Song a while back for instance. I know it’s not quite soul but it’s what popped into my head!
O.C. Smith, “Little Green Apples.” The song (composition) won two Grammys (best song, best country song) and Roger Miller recorded it first, but Smith got it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Biden needs to hit back and hit back hard at the senility bullshit. Don’t let this become another swiftboating — which is exactly what Trump’s campaign is trying to do, counting on the MSM to suddenly start scrutinizing every one of Biden’s stutters or slips of the tongue while continuing to twist themselves into knots to normalize Trump’s dementia-addled rantings.
@DougJ: Heard some old version of Pretty Paper by him over the holidays that was very soulful
There’s a great album and documentary called “Rhythm, Country and Blues” — my favorite is Clint Black and the Pointer Sisters doing “Chain of Fools.”
I’m looking at a CD I bought at a yard sale more than ten years ago, Rhythm Country and Blues, which pairs artists like The Staple Singers and Marty Stuart singing The Weight, Patti Labelle and Travis Tritt covering When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, and Al Green with Lyle Lovett doing a truly good version of Funny How Time Slips Away. I bought it on a lark for a buck or so, but overall, it’s a pretty good selection of music.
@Crosspalms: Beat me to it. Nice.
For whatever reason, Trump and his team seem 100 percent indifferent to the risk of making arguments against an opponent that ought to expose Trump’s own greater vulnerabilities. Corruption, nepotism, senility, ignorance, extremism, it just doesn’t seem to matter. His core of supporters don’t care, so he is invulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. We can ask all day, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” They just laugh. So we can expect to hear endlessly about Biden’s supposed mental state. I pray that won’t be the email server of 2020, but that’s up to the media.
I guess Whitney Houston’s rightfully famous version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” is more pop than soul/R&B, but that is always a song a think about as a great crossover.
Going the other way, the Derailers have a fun version of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret.”
Ska, not soul, but Desmond Dekker’s cover of “Tips of My Fingers” is very fine.
The Byrds’ cover of William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” It just sounds like a country song, not a cover of a soul song. It’s a great reminder that all American music comes from the blending of African and Western cultures that arose in the South, and all of it owes a great debt to the Negro Spiritual. Country and soul are just two of the close kindred of Mother Gospel.
I first heard a cover of the Byrd’s cover by a group called “Emerson’s Old-Timey Custard-Sucking Band” and I thought it was a centuries-old country ballad. It took me several more decades to learn that it was actually younger than I am (written in 1961).
@PST: It’s an all-projection, all the time strategy. Biden does ramble incoherently sometimes, but god knows, it’s nothing in comparison to Trump’s word salad chucked through a jet engine.
@Betty Cracker: I loled at your metaphor. You has a funny.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Since Trump has no accomplishments beyond not getting impeached I predict Trump will try to pretend Biden is president and Trump is the challenger. “Why did Biden not listen to experts on the Convid virus last may?” “Ask yourself are you better off that four years ago before voting for Biden again” and “Why did Biden cheat Hillary in 2016?” will be coming to a Facebook page near you soon.
My favorite example is even older than I am: “Bloodshot Eyes,” written and recorded by Western swing banjo player and singer Hank Penny in 1950, and then covered the next year by R&B singer Wynonie Harris, best known today for “Good Rocking Tonight.” (Within my lifetime Pat Benatar sang it on her 1991 jump blues album True Love. There’s also a solo rendition by Richard Thompson up on YouTube.)
It’s part of the Karl Rove playbook. You accuse your opponent of whatever you see as your biggest weakness before he can accuse you of it. By getting in ahead of your opponent, you make it look as if they’re copying you. It depends on the media jumping straight to “both sides accuse their opponents of X” rather than bothering to investigate which side is being truthful.
Just One More Canuck
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Richard Manuel did an awesome version of “You Don’t Know Me”, a song written for Eddy Arnold by Cindy Walker. Ray Charles and a whole bunch of others covered it too
@dexwood: That’s a great, great record. Put together by Don Was. To me, the killer track is Aaron Neville and Trisha Yearwood doing “I Fall to Pieces.”
Cathie from Canada
@jonas: Exactly! This is what Republicans do – they take their own candidate’s weakness and project it onto the Democratic opponent. Its an “I know you are but what am I” strategy which undercuts accurate criticisms of the Republican by making it come across like just Dem sour grapes.
Most famous example, of course, is “swiftboating”, where they undercut Bush’s cowardice in not going to Vietnam by making Kerry into the villain because he did go, and got a purple heart. They replied to Dem criticisms about Trump’s manifest unfitness for office by making up stories about Clinton’s health. They’re now trying to do the same thing with Biden – making up stories about corruption, Hunter, and his mental state.
Its become a “tell” — anything Republicans criticize about a Democrat is actually an admission of what the Republican themselves have done.
This one’s more alt-rock than soul, but both Johnny Cash and Michelle Shocked have covered Jean Ritchie’s “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore”.
this is where all of bloomberg’s ad money would really come in handy, saturating the airwaves, social media, and the rest of the internet with ads showing trump’s senility.
@wizend_guy: Agree, that track is terrific.
I think the music topic of the day is Led Zeppelin’s victory in the 9th Circuit on “Stairway to heaven” allegedly being stolen from Spirit’s Taurus. If the plaintiff had prevailed, the copyright police would have been incentivized to go after virtually every song.
No one’s going to mention Whitney doing Dolly’s “I Will Always Love You”? No? Just me? Okay.
Well, someone already, rightly, cited the entire album it’s from, but I want to single out Ray Charles’ cover of “You Don’t Know Me” as just a stunningly beautiful recording.
Cassandra Wilson does a very nice version of “I’m so lonesome I could cry”
@Yutsano: Hey, hey, hey! First thing I thought of was Whitney/Dolly. Posted it earlier. Both are great versions.
I went for a lunchtime walk, and could not figure out why the “Sundown….” song was stuck in my head.
It’s Doug’s fault, I see.
@patroclus: AC/DC could’ve sued themselves and won!
@jonas: Jill Stein, a Putin puppet if there ever was one, has tweeted on the Biden acuity topic eight times in the past day or so. She’s an evil fucker.
@patroclus: Good. There are some similarities, but Jimmy Page’s take on it has contrary motion that utterly transforms the progression.
If Taurus had the top note of that little, unforgettable riff go UP to a high note the same way ‘Stairway’ does, I would think there was a point. But it doesn’t.
This reminds me of a favorite Dolly moment; after Whitney’s version was the colossal hit it was, Dolly was on some morning show and the host asked her if it didn’t make her upset that Whitney’s version was the bigger hit. Dolly just laughed that gorgeous, tinkly laugh, patted his hand and said “Oh, honey. Have you ever heard of royalties? Whitney can record ANY of my songs she likes.”
I love her.
not exactly ‘country’, but My Morning Jacket does a nice version of Erykah Badu’s “Tyrone”
Wait! Stop! Gotta be “Born to Lose” written by Ted Daffan, covered by Ray Charles.
Is there a way to donate through Act Blue yet that doesn’t get you on every politician’s mailing list for life? Some of them won’t let you unsubscribe.
@Raoul: Yeah Stein seriously pisses me off with her Biden Cognitive Decline borscht.
@Victor Matheson: HA! Sorry. This is what I get for glancing through the comments too quickly. Mea maxima culpa.
@PST: Projection is the primary conservative attack technique–you attack your opponent for your own weaknesses, and accuse them of the same crimes you’re actually committing, so that if they come back at you it just seems like a petty “you too” response. Remember when Gingrich was committing adultery while he was impeaching Bill Clinton for the same thing?
Joanna Serenko sang a very nice jazz version of All My Loving on the Voice the other night.
they’re variations of the same basic scheme: start with a slowly arpeggiated, finger-picked, minor chord and transform it chromatically into another chord.
seems likely that Page heard that Taurus song, picked up on that idea, and made one of his own.
inspiration, not copying, in other words.
Stairway to Heaven does sound a bit like the opening notes of the Taurus riff. But there is an even closer resemblance between the StH chord-changes and the chord-changes in “Chim-Chim-Cher- ee.” (First five notes of each; then STH goes up and CCC goes down.)
I think that the Sherman Brothers should sue Led Zeppelin.
The Blind Boys of Alabama did “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “There is a House in New Orleans”. That has to count for something.
It was just a few years ago I learned that Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” was actually a cover of a country song — Jim Weatherly’s “Midnight Plane to Houston.”
And I JUST NOW learned that it’s about (well, extrapolated from) Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors, and that the first version of the repurposed “Midnight Train” was by Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mom!
That’s a terrific album! It was in regular rotation on the jazz radio station I listened to at the time. Fans of all music should like it.
I thought of her first. She’s also covered “Wichita Lineman” and “Tennessee Waltz,” among other country and country-like songs (“Last Train to Clarksville”).
@Carolina: I have never seen an Act Blue donation that didn’t let me unsubscribe. Never.
Speaking of Georgia, “Rainy Night in Georgia” was a big soul hit for Brook Benton, but was written by a country songwriter whose name escapes me at the moment*. I heard the writer’s version of it once, and it’s very nice –he and Benton have similar voices.
* Tony Joe White, according to the video notes. And corrected “Brooks” to “Brook.” And, nice edit interface.
“Proud Mary” is a soul/R and B cover of a country rock song, I think.
@cckids: never forget that within that over the top exterior, Dolly is one sharp cookie.
Once my dad caught me smoking reefer and listening to the Grateful Dead. Turns out he was cool with the weed but complained, “Why are you listening to that country western bulls**t?”
in a way the soul versions of dan penn songs like “you don’t miss your water,” “do right woman,” “dark end of the street,” and others are country covers. i recommend that you check out his versions which are more county soul than soul country…