Favorites: Harry Belafonte (1961-1964)

The listener actively looks forward to listening to the favorite band’s music more than any other music

J. Eric Smith, a blogger of my acquaintance, tried to answer the question, “So, who’s your favorite band?” Now I could answer The Beatles and be done with it. But like Eric, “I am so musically omnivorous.”

Moreover, there were periods when I was listening to TONS of compilation albums. The Warner Brothers Loss Leaders. A series of Atlantic Records collection of R&B, jazz, and blues. Actually several collections of blues (Chess, Alligator) and rock, pop, jazz, and country.

But I’m up for the challenge anyway. Eric’s rubric:

The listener actively looks forward to listening to the favorite band’s music more than any other music, and does so weekly, if not daily;
The listener seeks to have a complete collection of the favorite band’s work, and is willing to spend a little bit more money than usual to acquire it, with special attention paid to albums or singles that less-enthusiastic fans might never find or hear;
The listener never grows tired of the favorite band and its works, and anytime they come on the stereo or radio, no matter what the song, it is greeted with volume rising and singing along;
The listener seeks to learn more about the favorite band, and will often buy books or magazines or watch television or internet shows related to its members and their music;
The listener makes an effort to see the favorite band in a live setting as often as practically possible.

I’ll start at the very beginning. But 1) I’m not going to create links UNLESS I’ve not done it before, 2) I’m not going to limit it to bands.

The Everly Brothers (- 1960). My father had a bunch of singles. at least a couple of them were the Everly Brothers. So I began to recognize them on the radio.

Harry Belafonte (1961-1964). Most of these are from the My Lord What A Mornin’ album, which I finally bought on CD in the 2010s. From #10-#1:

Mama Look A Boo Boo
Matilda
Jamaica Farewell
March Down to Jordan
Mary’s Boy Child

Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)
Wake Up, Jacob
My Lord What A Mornin’
Banana Boat Song
‘Buked and Scorned

I should make a special note of There’s A Hole in My Bucket, which he performed with the late, great Odetta. I don’t recall hearing it at the time, but it was a song my father used to sing before my sister Leslie and I stole it from him.

BTW, if I had to pick a GROUP for the early 1960s, I’d be hard-pressed. Maybe The Drifters, based entirely on hearing them on the radio.

E is for the Everly Brothers

I wonder if Take A Message To Mary by the Everly Brothers influenced the Bee Gees’ I’ve Got To Get A Message To You?

The Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Bob Dylan, the Byrds, and Simon & Garfunkel all listed them as influences. In fact, Paul Simon described his solo hit Graceland as an Everly Brothers song. The bonus tracks on Rockpile’s Seconds of Pleasure album features Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds sing songs by the duo.

Isaac Donald “Don” Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip “Phil” Everly (born January 19, 1939) were known for “steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing.” They were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first class, in 1986.

I remember seeing my father’s single of Bird Dog/Devoted to You on Cadence Records in the house. The brothers got some great songs from the husband and wife Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, as well as tunes they penned themselves. Unfortunately in the early 1960s, the Everlys were shut off from Acuff-Rose songwriters. “These included Felice and Boudleaux Bryant… as well as Don and Phil Everly themselves, who were still contracted to Acuff-Rose as songwriters.” But they remained popular in England and the European continent well after their US popularity waned.

For a time, they had a major falling out, but eventually got back together to play the oldies circuit. Still, their impact on popular music was already settled.

Sadly, Phil Everly died on January 3, 2014 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.

My favorite Everly Brothers songs Continue reading “E is for the Everly Brothers”