Well, I haven’t posted a new show in a bazillion months, but I want to share this one with you all. Hopefully it will spur me on to more regular posts, but I suppose only time will tell.
For this show I wanted to celebrate the musical legacy of Tom Ardolino, who both arrived and departed in the month of January. I have done a few of these celebrations of Tom and this year I decided to reach out to several people who knew him well and ask for a song or two which made them think of Tom. I told them it could be something he played on, something he sang, something he had shared with them on a mix tape, something they had introduce to Tom, or anything else that made them think of him. I was really touched by the thoughtful responses I got. At least three people suggested “Crazy” by The Hollywood Flames (the flip side of “Buzz Buzz Buzz”) as Tom’s favorite son, so of course I had to play that. The rest of the playlist I’ll let you discover on your own, and of course there is just never enough time to get to everything.
Special thinks to everyone who replied to my request and to the old NRBQ mailing list crew who 20 years ago put together a fan compilation called “Tommy Sings” culled from various radio shows and other recordings over the years.
This week’s “Son of a Preacher Man” is a dub version called “Dub of a Preacher Man” from Count Skylark & Harvey K-Tel; thanks to M. Freddy Stockwell (a/k/a FredWest) for the heads up.
Way way back, probably 20 years or so ago, I heard DJ Greg Reibman play it on his WMBR radio “Rockin’ With Greg” (one of my favorite Boston radio shows of all time). At the end of the song Greg came on the air and said “well, I got 4 calls from people who loved the song and 4 from people who hated it, so let’s play it again!” And then the song played again.
Just weeks after getting a chance to sing with the fabulous Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby at a house party concert in Woods Hole (they asked me to sing some harmony vocals on “Goin’ Back” to close the evening’s entertainment), I got to sing with another great songwriter & performer, Ray Mason. My friend Belinda of Bubbles in the Think Tank captured us on video:
If you get a chance to see any of these fabulous performers in concert or buy their albums … DO IT!
Yet another way over-due appreciation of one of the greats is the announcement that Wanda Jackson has been elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I got to see Wanda play 12 or so years ago on a tour she did with Rosie Flores for Rosie’s album “Rockabilly Flores”. Wanda is still singing these days, belting out her old hits.
Wanda’s one of the true great voices of real Rock & Roll – it’s great to see her finally recognized for it by the Hall of Fame. It’s a semi-dubious recognition, given that their definition of “Rock & Roll” has turned into “post-Elvis dance pop” … it includes heavy metal, funk, disco, etc … this year’s other inductees are Jeff Beck, Chic, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Metalicca, Run-DMC, The Stooges, War, and Bobby Womack. All of which had their impact on the music scene, certainly, but I sure wouldn’t call some of ’em “rock & roll”. That argument aside, every once in a while they do the right thing and give props to someone who truly deserves it and isn’t so well known by modern music fans.
Just heard that Jim Rice was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his last year of eligibility. I’m so glad he finally got in.
There are a few baseball games I remember fairly clearly, here’s an example of one that sticks in my memory purely because of Jim Rice.
My first game at Fenway Park was in the fall of 1980. I went with some MIT fraternity and a group of freshman during MIT’s “rush week”. We sat way in the back of the bleachers section, on honest-to-goodness real bleachers, if I remember correctly (I think that was the last year of real bleachers in the bleachers section at Fenway). I think we were just underneath the front of the centerfield video scoreboard (back then it was still black & white, and if you were looking straight up at it, it was basically unwatchable). The Red Sox were playing the Billy Martin-managed Oakland A’s (this was the height of “Billyball”). The Sox were down in the 9th inning and Jim Rice hit a home run to start a game-tying rally, then another home run in the 10th to win the game.
That second home run was one of the longest I’ve ever seen hit at Fenway. The back of the centerfield bleachers is FAR away from home plate, and I swear it landed just a few rows in front of where I was sitting.
Congrats, Jim-Ed! You deserve it.
Oh, and congrats to Rickey “Hot Dog” Henderson, too – no doubt he deserves it, too. Hell, I half expect him to come out of retirement and play in the majors again after being elected to the Hall of Fame.
I just got back from a Wassail party/Christmas sing at Trout Towers. This has become a great annual tradition for this amazing circle of friends we have here on the cape. We eat, drink, sing – it’s really a fantastic time – thanks, Trouts!
But here’s the really, really cool thing about it … we’re in the house, singing along to the music played by Skip Winter, BerkeMac, Thurston Kelp, and another fellow whom I didn’t get a chance to meet, and we ended the evening with Lady Trout’s favorite ending song “Let There Be Peace on Earth”. At the end of the song, someone yelled out “it’s snowing!”
And so it was – such a wonderful end to a great evening.