Bubbling Under Billboard Hot 100 #2

Most of these I have on vinyl

Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin
More from Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100, 1959-2004. These are songs, which didn’t quite make it to the promised land on the primary US singles chart, that I own. I find this to be an interesting way for me to rediscover music I haven’t played in a while.

Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing – Buffalo Springfield, #110 in 1966. Written by Neil Young.
I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better – The Byrds, #103 in 1965, B-side of All I Really Want to Do (#40)

Johnny Cash

I own a LOT of John R.’s music
The Rebel -Johnny Yuma, #108 in 1961, theme from The Rebel TV Series. Country #24
Boa Constrictor, #107 in 1966,. Country #39
Papa Was a Good Man, #104 in 1971. Country #16

Why Does Love Have To Be So Sad – Derek and the Dominoes, #120 in 1973. Listed under Eric Clapton
Walking After Midnight – Patsy Cline, #108 in 1963 on Everest Records; reissue of her #12 hit in 1957 on Decca
In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins, #102 in 1984; reissue of the #19 hit from 1981 on an Atlantic oldies label. Popularized again because of the TV show Miami Vice.

Baretta’s Theme – Sammy Davis, Jr., #101 in 1976, Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow, from the TV series starring Robert Blake
Jesus Freak – DC Talk, #109 in 1995
Heartbreak Town – Dixie Chicks, #102 in 2001, #23 country
If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself) – Pete Droge, #119 in 1995. I’ve met Droge at least thrice, twice in Albany and once in Boston.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again – Bob Dylan (live), #110 in 1977

Do What You Gotta Do – Roberta Flack, #117 in 1971
Today I Sing the Blues – Aretha Franklin, #101 in 1969; originally #10 RB in 1960
A Funky Space Reincarnation – Marvin Gaye, #106 in 1979; this is the album version
Love and Happiness – Al Green, #104 in 1977, RB #92

Do It for Love – Daryl Hall and John Oates, #114 in 2002, AC #1
Watermelon Man – Herbie Hancock, #121 in 1963
Stone Free – the Jimi Hendrix Experience, #130 in 1969; all I could find were live versions
Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing – Chris Isaak, #125 from 1999, from the movie Eyes Wide Shut
It’s Different for Girls – Joe Jackson, #101 for two weeks in 1979

Jefferson Airplane

Most of these I have on something called vinyl
My Best Friend – #103 in 1967
Two Heads, #124 in 1967, B-side of Ballad Of You & Me & Pooneil (#42)
Plastic Fantastic Lover, #133 in 1969, originally the B-side of White Rabbit (#8)
Mexico, #102 in 1970
Have You Seen the Saucers, #102 in 1970 (the flip side of Mexico)
Long John Silver, #104 in 1972

Janis Joplin

Her version of Me and Bobby McGee was the second posthumous #1 pop song
Bye, Bye Baby – Big Brother and the Holding Company, #118 in 1967
Try (Just a Little Bit Harder), #103 in 1970
Maybe, #110 in 1970

By the time we got to Woodstock

one of the greatest moments in popular music history

Woodstock posterThe Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place August 15 to August 18, 1969, on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York owned by Max Yasgur. Over 30 acts performed over the sometimes rainy weekend in front of at least 400,000 concertgoers.

I didn’t get to go to “one of the greatest moments in popular music history,” though I surely wanted to. However, my friends and I saw the movie that was released in March 1970, fairly early in its run. And then we watched the three-hour movie AGAIN, back when theater owners didn’t care if you did that.

The second time, I remember looking at the purple of the light projecting onto the screen as Sly and the Family Stone was performing. And I wasn’t even TAKING anything – really!

The soundtrack to the movie was released on May 1970. I surely bought the 3-LP set before the summer was out, and played it incessantly. A second album of two LPs came out the following year, a lesser collection.

Some artists did not appear on either set, because their record label wouldn’t allow it, or because they didn’t think they sounded good enough, or because the artist wanted an album of just their music.

In 1994, Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music a 4-CD set with additional tracks came out. In 2009, Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm, a 6-CD collection was released.

I thought I’d pick some artists not represented in the first two albums. This proved to be more difficult than I thought. I found three “complete” sets of one artist that ran from 30 to 75 minutes.

Day 1

Sweetwater – Look Out or Two Worlds
Bert Sommer – Jennifer
Tim Hardin – If I Were a Carpenter; more Tim
Ravi Shankar – Evening Raga

Day 2

Quill – Waiting For You
The Keef Hartley Band – Spanish Fly/ Think it Over/ Too Much Thinking/ I Believe in You; to my knowledge, the band has never been featured on any Woodstock recording, nor were they featured in the film.
The Incredible String Band – The Letter
Grateful Dead – part 1
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born on the Bayou/ I Put a Spell On You/ Keep on Chooglin’
Janis Joplin – Try/ Ball and Chain

Day 3

The Band – full set
Johnny Winter – full set
Blood, Sweat & Tears – full set

Oh, what the heck: two songs about Woodstock

The song – Joni Mitchell
Who’ll Stop the Rain – CCR; John Fogerty on the musical legacy of the concert

Music, February 1971: Tapestry

Producer Lou Adler wanted the listeners to visualize Carole King sitting at the piano just for them.

More random music recollections based on the book Never A Dull Moment.

Carole King was in the music business for a lot of years. As a kid who used to read the liner notes, I discovered she was the King in (Gerry) Goffin-King songwriting duo. But in 1971, she invented the album business. Tapestry was recorded in January of that year. A&M house photographer Jim McCrary had tried various pictures around the house before adding the cat Telemachus into the shot.

Tapestry was released on February 10, 1971, the day after her 29th birthday. This is the first ad, from Billboard Magazine. I know that I didn’t purchase it until the summer; I bought the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers the same day. Some years later, I got it again, because I had worn out the grooves. Finally, I acquired it on CD.

Producer Lou Adler wanted to make an album with that demo quality. “He wanted the listeners to visualize Carole King sitting at the piano just for them.” It spent an astonishing 15 weeks at #1 on the US album charts, long after the singles had faded. “By the end of the year, it was still selling 150,000 copies a week in the United States alone.” It was the first “evergreen” album that wasn’t a movie soundtrack or the like.

Two other albums recorded in the same studio the same month were Joni Mitchell’s Blue, one of my favorite albums of all time, and the only Carpenters album I owned, their third. Liking Carpenters’ music was REALLY uncool in the day.

Jesus Christ Superstar was #1 for three weeks during this time. It was a hugely significant source of my understanding/debate about theology and religion, particularly with my friend Pat. It seemed she and I would debate its merits for hours. I knew this album like my daughter knows Hamilton. I always wanted to play Peter.

Pearl, the posthumous album by Janis Joplin, spent nine weeks at #1. I recall working at a factory in 1972 and singing Mercedes Benz, one of the few songs written by Janis. Someone asked me if it were a song by the Temptations; I found that extraordinarily amusing at the time.

Listen to:
Coverville 1159: The Carole King Cover Story II
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow – Carole King with the Mitchell-Taylor Boy-and-Girl Choir
You’ve Got a Friend – James Taylor
Little Green – Joni Mitchell
Rainy Days and Mondays – Carpenters
Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin
Just My Imagination – the Temptations
What’s the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying – Jesus Christ Superstar

Knowing stuff

Janis Joplin was the second artist to have a posthumous #1 single on the US Billboard charts.

DiMaggios.Williams
I tell these, not out of boastfulness, but to show how my mind works. It seems to like knowing stuff.

Baseball and WWII

Someone posted this picture on Facebook, with the caption “Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Dom DiMaggio, 1942.” A response: “Joe was not with the Yankees in 1942. He was wearing Uncle Sam’s uniform.”

I didn’t think the “correction” was right, but I didn’t know why. Maybe I read an old bio. So I checked with Baseball Reference and confirmed it: Joe DiMaggio played for the New York Yankees in 1942, and the warrior Yanks in 1943-1945. The same was true, BTW, of the two Boston Red Sox pictured, Williams and Dom DiMaggio.

Commonwealth

At the Olin family reunion last Sunday, someone asked their electronic helper how many states in the US are designated as commonwealths. Before the Siri-like device could respond, I said four and named them. An Olin high-fived me. BTW, these are essentially nominal differences, whereas the commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a whole ‘nother issue.

Before Janis

This issue came up a week ago Friday night when The Wife and I went to see A Night with Janis Joplin at the Capital Repertory Theatre in downtown Albany. We ran into a couple from the neighborhood, and like me, they railed at the reliance on Google, noting that it had been an issue professionally.

I asked them a trivia question. Janis Joplin was the second artist to have a posthumous #1 single on the US Billboard charts. Who was the first? (Dustbury: do not answer!)

They had no idea, but as they said, it was FUN to try to guess, not just pull out a device. Was it one of the people from The Day The Music Died? No, much later, but the artist died the same way. They guessed Jim Croce (d. September 20, 1973), but in fact, his posthumous #1 (Time in a Bottle – December 29, 1973) was AFTER Janis.

I finally indicated it was an individual on Stax Records, and while they didn’t know he had died in a plane crash, they eventually got to Otis Redding (d. December 10, 1967) and Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay (March 16, 1968).

Not incidentally, A Night with Janis Joplin was quite fine, although it’s interesting/strange that the performances her “influences” (Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Nina Simone, Odetta, et al, played by Jannie Jones, Danyel Fulton, Nikita Jones, Kimberly Ann Steele) often outshone Kelly McIntyre as Janis, who was nevertheless very good.

Summer Songs: Summertime

The summer songs are over, as the season begins to fade…

I’ve long been a sucker for those Red, Hot, and Blue albums. Not only are they generally great compilations, but they aid AIDS research.

At some point, I purchased By George & Ira: Red Hot on Gershwin, which I was quite fond of. Some critics complained about the multiple versions of a few songs, but I love the way Nina Simone’s version of I Loves You Porgy segues into Bill Evans’ instrumental take, e.g.

There are four versions of Summertime. The first is by an unlikely participant on this mostly jazz album: Janis Joplin [listen], who, according to one reviewer, “will certainly get the listener’s attention as she twists and turns the lyrics in a raspy interpretation.” Of course, as it’s probably the first version of the song I owned, from Cheap Thrills, the Big Brother and the Holding Company album, I have a particular fondness for it. Of course, she died in 1970 at the age of 27 from a drug overdose.

Though a quite different take, I also loved the Billy Stewart version [listen]. I realize it’s the trilling of the tongue bit that I found so entrancing (and one of my former co-workers found it so irritating; she wouldn’t allow me to play it if she were around). His “Summertime” was a Top 10 hit on both the pop and R&B charts in 1966. He died in a car crash in 1969 at the age of 32.

A more traditional jazz version came from The Stan Getz Quartet [listen]. Getz died in 1991 at the age of 64 from liver cancer.

Charlie “Bird” Parker [listen] performs the final version of the song. He too died young, at the age of 34. “The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer but Parker also had an advanced case of cirrhosis and had had a heart attack.”

The summer songs are over, as the season begins to fade…