Summer Song: Summertimes Blues

I’m not positive, but I believe the first version of Summertime Blues I heard was by The Who from their Live at Leeds album; the single hit the pop charts on July 11, 1970, got to #27, and remained on th charts for nine weeks. THe song had been part of their live show for three years before that.

It was only then that I heard the original by Eddie Cochran, who co-wrote it; the song charted 8/4/1958, stayed for 16 weeks, and got to #8. I really like it, especially this rendition where Eddie giggles a couple times.

Another wonderful version is by Blue Cheer. From the Wikipedia: “The American psychedelic blues-rock band …recorded their version…in 1967…The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100…While not as widely played or recognized as The Who version, it certainly is more distorted with a far more intense guitar sound. This version was ranked #73 on the list of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time’ of Rolling Stone. This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick solo.”

A less-than-great iteration appears on the Beach Boys’ first album, Surfin’ Safari, released October 1962. “Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist Dave Marks, just turned 14. Never released on a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country’s hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly ‘Hits of the World’ charts.” This was new to me.

I don’t listen to enough country, evidently, because I was also unfamiliar
with the Alan Jackson rendition, which went to #1 on the country charts in 1994.

Movie Review: Beginners

The Jack Russell terrier got the best lines.

If you like your movie to start at the beginning, and end at the end, you’ll hate Beginners.

Let me back up. Around the 4th of July, when the Wife and Daughter went to visit my parents-in-law, I asked the Wife what films she wanted to see together, and she picked Midnight in Paris and Beginners. Then a couple weeks later, she said, “Guess what film I saw at the movies today? ‘Beginners’.”

OK. So I ended going alone on a hot Sunday afternoon to the Spectrum Theatre, using an old movie pass I discovered in a drawer not that long ago.
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July Rambling

If you’re ever in a Finnish disco, you’ll know just what to do. This is funnier to me than what’s on the video, for reasons I shan’t get into.

There was a front page story in the (Albany, NY) Times Union this past Saturday, in anticipation of the same-sex marriage laws kicking in on Sunday. My pastors were highlighted:
Church views vary on same-sex vows; Locally, some pastors support weddings, but still wait for official word
By BRYAN FITZGERALD

The Revs. Glenn and Miriam Lawrence Leupold have been married for 24 years. As co-pastors of First Presbyterian Church in Albany, they have advocated for the right of gay men and lesbians to marry.

“When you think about the civil rights movement, so much of it was because of the churches,” she said. “The church was at the middle of the fight for civil rights. In fact, the church preceded the government.”

Sunday, when New York’s Marriage Equality Act takes effect, will be a day of celebration and chagrin for the Leupolds. The Presbyterian Church USA is still debating whether to lift their prohibition on ministers marrying gay couples.

“State law is ahead of our church law,” Glenn Leupold said. “And that’s unfortunate.” Continue reading “July Rambling”

Regret the Error

The lowered standards are a function of cost-cutting, doing it fast, and a different ethos of publishing than what existed in the past.

One of my favorite websites is Regret the Error, which “reports on media corrections, retractions, apologies, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the press. It was launched in October 2004 by Craig Silverman, a freelance journalist and author based in Montreal.”

Initially, or at least when I first came across the site, it merely linked to the foibles of of the press; hey, as the logo notes, “Mistakes happen.” For instance, recently, the New York Times accidentally traded Alex Rodriguez from the Yankees to the Phillies.

But in recent months, the site has taken a more meta approach.
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Sherwood, Betty and Rob

Amish Paradise, a parody of Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise, which in turn was a remake of Stevie Wonder’s Pastime Paradise.

The great thing about Sherwood Schwartz, who died earlier this month, is not just that he created two popular TV shows. He also wrote, or co-wrote, their iconic themes.

I never, not once, did I see The Brady Bunch, during its initial run. But I knew exactly what it was about, just by watching the theme. It was the story about two widowed people, each with three kids, each the same gender as the parent, who, along with the housekeeper, became a blended family.

The theme to Gilligan’s Island, a show I admit to watching in my callow youth, also let us know the entire plot, though it changed somewhat Continue reading “Sherwood, Betty and Rob”