The Mixed CD cavalcade

“new” music

The Mixed CD cavalcade solves two of life’s little problems for me. But first, what IS it?

In 2005, when I first started blogging, I went to my friend Fred Hembeck’s roster of links. I visited several of my fellow bloggers, often leaving comments.

One of them, Lefty Brown, organized a mixed CD swap with a bunch of us, including Fred, Eddie Mitchell, SamuraiFrog, Mike Sterling, and even Greg “living in a desert”  Burgas. I reviewed some of these collections back then in my blog. We almost always created a list of the enclosed songs. 

Fred and I also had our private exchange of music. Several of Fred’s involved Beatles covers, so I reciprocated.

Then, I got so into curating music that I started making mixed CDs for myself. Oddly, though, I never included a playlist. So I have about 30 discs, and I have no idea what’s on them other than the title. (1966/67, War, Troublemakers)

Also, I need “new” music to augment the playing of albums tied to the artists’ birthdays. So I’ll play some of these, and they’ll become blog content. And when I run out of mine, I’ll play those discs from Fred and probably the others. Some of them are very good. Some are weird. These are not mutually exclusive terms.

One reality is that I have no computer with a disc drive presently, so I can’t make more of these. I suppose it could make me sad. Instead, I’m grateful for the ones I already created. Call it a smidgen of musical nostalgia.


If I had to play only one year of music, it would be 1966. It was the year I turned 13. When I used to listen to an oldies station in the early 1980s that played songs from 1955 to approximately 1974, about 30% of my favorites were from 1966. I’m not saying the music was better, but it did resonate more for me.

Here are the first ten, with the remaining 16 coming up soon—all of them I still own on CD.

Cool Jerk – the Capitols. I wrote a whole post about this track. My, I love this song. Incidentally, Grammarly wanted to change Cool to Fantastic.

Keep On Running– The Spencer Davis Davis Group. This song has long been in my head. This is the first song of an unauthorized collection called Winwood, which I bought in a store then.

Along Comes Mary– the Association

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – John Lee Hooker

Till The End Of The Day – the Kinks

I Feel Good – James Brown

Got To Get You Into My Life – The Beatles. It’s probably my second favorite Fab Four song.

Hold On, I’m Coming – Sam and Dave

Everlasting Love – Robert Knight. This song by Jamie Dornan was one of the best things in the movie Belfast.

Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – the Supremes. This is my favorite Supremes song, and I never understood why it only went #9 pop, #7 RB on the Billboard charts. I have this extended version from a Supremes anthology.

Songs about war and peace

“The latest things in clothes will be black.”

I made a series of mixed CDs from my CD collection in the first decade of the 21st century. (The whys I’ll write about next week.) They are songs about war and peace in honor of the Veterans Day weekend.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall – Bob Dylan. This is the Rolling Thunder Revue version from 1975.

Shades of Grey – Billy Joel. I was surprised I went with this song instead of his Goodnight Saigon.

The Ostrich – Steppenwolf. I’ve loved this song and the eponymous album it comes from for a long time.

The Call Up – the Clash. Here’s what the song from the triple album collection Sandinista! is about.

One More Parade – They Might Be Giants—the great Phil Ochs song.

The big fool says to push on.

Waist Deep In The Big Muddy – Dick Gaughan. This is from Where Have All The Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, a compilation double CD that I bought at the Old Songs Festival near Albany in the early aughts. For a time, Seeger was banned from singing it on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

War – the Temptations. Recorded first by the Tempts, Berry Gordy thought the song might be too controversial for one of Motown’s premiere artists. But Norman Whitfield was allowed to get Edwin Starr, a second-tier in the Motor City hierarchy, to release it as a single, which went to #1 pop for three weeks.

Wooden Ships – Jefferson Airplane. The song is credited to David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and the Airplane’s Paul Kantner. But on my CSN LP, it lists only Crosby and Stills.

If I Had A Rocket Launcher– Bruce Cockburn. I have a LOT of Cockburn on vinyl. Grammarly wants me to change the first word to Suppose. 

The Unknown Soldier – the Doors. From the Waiting for the Sun album, the first Doors album I owned.

The War Is Over – Phil Ochs. I didn’t have my first Ochs album until after he died in 1976.

Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution – Living Colour, live at The Ritz. The great Tracy Chapman song. I have this on some compilation CD.

Business Goes On As Usual – Roberta Flack. It’s a great song on her Chapter Two album,  written by Fred Hellerman of the Weavers and Fran Minkoff. It was recorded by The Chad Mitchell Trio; John Denver, David Boise & Michael Johnson; and others.

Give Peace A Chance – Louis Armstrong. And why not? (I didn’t pick Mitch Miller, thank your lucky stars.)

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