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Posts Tagged ‘rockabilly’

Since I'm now an over-fifty, I'm officially old enough to make posts about how youngsters these days don't know how lucky they are, compared to the days of my yoof, when we had to make our own entertainment out of clods of earth, pocket-fluff and string (the hairy Post Office kind). And since I was wittering on, a while back, about it being a good thing that vinyl makes cherry-picking of favourite tracks more difficult, let's consider what we did when we did want to have a bunch of favourites play one after the other.

These days, of course, creating a playlist is easy. Drag 'n' drop as many files as you want into your preferred music playing program, re-order to taste, and Bob's yer aunty's significant other; one playlist, created in seconds or minutes. And if you like the list enough, you can save it as a playlist file (.m3u or whatever), and have your very own compilation album, available for your listening pleasure at a couple of mouse-clicks. And there's no limit on the duration of the thing, either. (Billy music player* informs me that a playlist consisting of all of the contents of my main music folder, for instance, is three weeks, five days, twelve hours, forty-seven minutes and twenty-nine seconds long.)

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Sod The Bloomin’ Beatles!

Something that annoys me, as a lifelong fan of 1950s rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, r 'n' b and so on, is the way that any and every TV or radio documentary on the music of that period—and especially British music—manages to insinuate that it was all just a kind of precursor to the Beatles and their single-handed re-invention of rock music. And they probably invented the 1960s pretty-much on their own too. Without them, so we're led to understand, music would have died sometime around 1963.

British rock 'n' roll and related music of the period was very much alive and well, thank you very much, and just once I'd like to watch a documentary on the subject which treats the music of the period with the respect it's due in its own right; and which doesn't end on the line, spoken in an awed tone, "And in a club in Liverpool, four young men were getting ready to change everything…"

Anyways, having done my part in talking about '50s Brit music without mentioning the dreaded mop-tops by, erm, mentioning them—ahem—here's six slices of rock 'n' roll from the period, all hailing from this side of the pond. Well, I say rock 'n' roll, but… (more…)

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It's something of a truism, Gentle Reader, that conservative types, and especially religious conservative types, tend to think that society should be returned to the state it was in during some supposed golden age. In Britain it's most often Victorian Values™ which get touted. That's the Victorian world of great engineers and inventors and the focus on loving families and espousal of sexual virtue, you understand. The Victorian era of slums, rampant prostitution, opium dens, sweat-shop labour and so on is conveniently forgotten.

In the U.S., on the other hand, it tends to be the nineteen-fifties which gets harkened back to. An era when prosperity was high, the only enemy (commie-nism) was external and almost laughably un-nuanced, authority was respected and "God-fearing Christian" was an unchallenged term of respect. Swept under the rug are the open and systemic racism, the organised crime, the blatant sexism, the almost completely unfounded McCarthy-driven paranoia and anything else which might sully the impression of a prosperous, white, Pat Boone paradise.

So you'd think, wouldn't you, that when seventeen-year-old Tiana Ramos opened her own business (entrepreneurialism, yay!), a nineteen-fifties, rockabilly themed doughnut shop, in Front Royal, Virginia, conservative Christians would have been cheering her on, right? (more…)

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I mentioned, over at Northier Than Thou, the other day, where Daniel had posted a really odd (but rather good; you should check it out) cover-version of of Led Zeppelin's Moby Dick, that I've been meaning to post an occasional piece on rockabilly cover-versions of rock and pop numbers. Because; why not? So here we are with the first of those.

I should, I suppose, say right out front that I'm in no way claiming that such reworked versions are better than, or even necessarily as good as, the originals. I do, though, have something of a soft-spot for cover-versions which radically change the style and feel of a song, rather than the usual method, which often—it seems to me—ends up being more an imitation or, gawd-forbid, an impersonation, with no real creative input. And, of course, I'm a life-long fan of rockabilly music in all its many forms, so that part of my preferred choice of genre-switch is pretty-much pre-ordained.

I'd intended to post four videos in all; two cover-versions and the originals, so that you could compare and contast, if you felt inclined. I'll probably stick to that in future, but this one features six videos—three songs—because a chain of links occurred to me, which I can't resist taking advantage of.

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Simple As That, Just Like A Cat: Growl

Damnit, I forgotted again!

Every year, I mean to do this, then it gets swallowed up in the preparations for Christmas. So I'm doing it this year anyway, even if belatedly.

December the twenty-third is the anniversary of the birth of one of British rock's most overlooked figures. He had few hits, and never progressed past the Transit-van touring stage. The word "influential" is bandied about so much in rock-umentary circles that it's almost lost any real meaning, but he, along with various incarnations of his backing band, really was influential. And, well, what guitar-based band hasn't mucked about with Shakin' All Over at some time?

So anyways, this one's in memory of Frederick Albert Heath. That's Johnny Kidd, to you. And, of course, the Pirates.
Daz

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Okey-dokey, then. It's Halloween. Six numbers from me, of an unashamedly psychobilly bent. Feel free to add your own ghoulish examples, from any genre, in comments.
Daz

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Musical Roots

Sod it, I've had more than enough of the serious stuff for today. Instead, this…

If you want to know where my musical roots lie (you do, you do!), then this is it. My tastes have expanded over the years, but this is my benchmark. Two to three minutes of frenetic guitar and the choppy rhythm of a slapped double-bass. Drums optional.

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