Lonely People was used as the sign off song for a Washington, DC TV station for a time in the late 1970s or early 1980s, back when TV stations actually signed off.
I was reminded that back in the early 1970s, the student government at the State University College of New York at New Paltz put on a bunch of concerts, many of which I attended. But I remember reading about one in the Fall of 1971 by some group I had never heard of. The show cost only 50 cents, but I passed.
That group was America, whose A Horse With No Name went to #1 the very next year. In penance, I bought that first album and played it regularly. They’d later have hits such as Ventura Highway, Tin Man, and Lonely People, which I wrote about here.
In 1995, my girlfriend at the time, Carol – now my wife – and I were meeting my old (as in since kindergarten ) friend Karen and this guy from a local (Albany area) radio station named Johnny. As it turned out, Carol and Johnny were acquainted because they’d lived in the same area. After dinner, Karen and the radio guy invited Carol and me to see this musical act which I had never heard of. I might have gone, but Carol was tired so we opted out.
The artist turned out to be Moby, a descendant of Herman Melville, BTW, who had a massively successful album at the end of the decade called Play. What put me in mind about this story was Pantheon Songs’ tribute to a Moby tune that had come out a few years before that dinner, but I had not heard at the time.
‘Run On’ is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists.
At some point in the 1990s, I bought a box set called Roots ‘N Blues: The Retrospective 1925-1950, “a four-CD box set released on Columbia Records in 1992. The set features five hours worth of early blues, folk/country, and gospel recordings from a variety of American artists. Many of these recordings had never previously been issued in any medium.”
From Wikipedia: “‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’, also known as ‘Run On’ and ‘Run On for a Long Time’, is a traditional folk song which has been recorded by numerous artists… modified to fit the boundaries of diverse genres like country, folk, gospel and techno.”
Subsequently, I got versions of the song by Johnny Cash, on a 2006 posthumous album, and Tom Jones, from his 2010 album. But I had never owned the great 1956 version by Odetta, though my father had possessed several of her albums.
Run On For A Long Time – Bill Landford And The Landfordaires here or here or here
God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Odetta here or here (a slightly different version)
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