Tag Archives: Jim Croce

A Musical Story About Georgia

11 Jun

My wife had to go to Atlanta for business, so we drove down for an overnight stay. On the way back, I started thinking about songs with Georgia in their titles. This post is the result of the string of ideas that my mind put together. As you can tell, strange things run through my brain when I am driving.

Ray Charles called Jim Croce and said, “I’ve got Georgia on My Mind.” Jim replied, “Let’s start Walkin’ Back to Georgia.” As they walked down the road, Gladys Knight and the Pips passed on their way to the station. She yelled out of the window, “We’re taking the Midnight Train to Georgia. You guys should come with us.”

Ray and Jim jumped into the car with Gladys and the Pips. Before boarding the train, Gladys got a text from Brook Benton saying that it was a Rainy Night in Georgia. Despite the news, they still wanted to go. However, things would get worse.

When they disembarked, the station was totally dark. People were scrambling. Then, they ran into Vicki Lawrence who told them the bad news. This was The Night That the Lights Went Out in Georgia. Nobody knew what happened. The lights just went out. It was almost supernatural.

Suddenly, a bell sounded throughout the station. Someone spoke through a megaphone. The voice sounded familiar.

Ladies and gentlemen, please do not be alarmed. We are working on the lights, and we have discovered the problem. The Devil Went Down to Georgia and blew out all of the transformers.

They looked up and saw Charlie Daniels assuring people that everything would be alright.

With nothing else to do, Ray, Jim, Gladys and the Pips sat on benches, and someone finally asked Ray an important question. Why did you want to come to Georgia? He simply answered that he wanted to meet up with Sweet Georgia Brown.

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My iPod Has Issues – Brain Block

7 Oct

There are several ideas rattling around in my brain, but they are all being blocked by my thoughts on long pants and socks. The problem is that I am not ready to write that post because it has not properly formulated itself in my mind. It will contain important information, and I want it to come out right.

Here I sit. Laptop in my lap. Television on some documentary that is not interesting. An almost empty glass of orange juice on the table. What to do? What to do?

I know. I will turn on the iPod and see what it going on inside its brain. Hopefully, there are no long pants or socks blocking it from thinking.Block Brick

“Pipe Dreams” by Jimmy Beck and His Orchestra

“Melissa” by The Allman Brothers Band

“Miami Vice Theme” by Jan Hammer

“Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie

“Ignition” by R. Kelly

“Go Speed Racer Go” by Sponge

“Little Joe” by Red Sovine

“Numb” by Linkin Park

“I Ka Barra” by Habib Koite and Bamada

“Philadelphia Lawyer” by Red Smiley and the Bluegrass Cut-Ups

“You Really Got Me” by The Kinks

“I Fought the Law” by The Bobby Fuller Four

“Reach for It” by George Duke

“Baby Love” by The Supremes

“American Roulette” by Robbie Robertson

“Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi

“The Streak” by Ray Stevens

“Drops of Jupiter” by Train

“Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

“I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song” by Jim Croce

Songs of the Week

30 Jun

I was driving down the road when an old song came over my Sirius XM that I have not heard in a while. “Blue Monday” by Fats Domino is one of my favorites. That is probably because my dad is a fan of the piano player, which is a big deal because my dad is not a huge music person.

As the song played, my mind wandered to other songs about Monday. Then, it wandered to songs about other days of the week. Before realizing it, I conceived of a blog post about my favorite song for each day of the week.Week

This is not an original idea, but that keep me from this endeavor.

Sunday – This song came to mind in a nanosecond. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was written by Kris Kristofferson and best sung by Johnny Cash. When I hear it, I visualize wannabe country music star walking the streets of Nashville.

Monday – Fats Domino’s Monday song inspired this post, but “Stormy Monday Blues” is my favorite song for this day. It has been recorded by a ton of people, but Bobby “Blue” Bland did it best.

Tuesday – “Tuesday’s Gone” is not about the day. It is about a woman being left behind. Lynyrd Skynyrd had more famous tunes, but, for me, this one ranks at the top. It was also on their first album.

Wednesday – Honestly, I cannot remember hearing a song about Wednesday. Upon searching, I found several but did not know any of them. I am not going to force it. I do not have a favorite Wednesday song. If you know of any let me know.

Thursday – Well, this post is falling apart. I cannot think of a Thursday song, either. However, I went searching and found “Thursday” by Jim Croce. Since Jim Croce does not have any bad songs, this one is my new favorite.

Friday – I am going deep for this one. Ward L. Chandler created the theme for Friday Foster, the movie starring Pam Grier. If you have never seen a Pam Grier movie, then I suggest you get on with it. She is awesome.

Saturday – There are a ton of Saturday songs, and I like a bunch of them. However, I am going to take it into the deep tracks with “Saturday Night in Oak Grove, Louisiana” by Tony Joe White. He never duplicated his “Polk Salad Annie” success, but this one is good because it perfectly describes a big night in a small southern town.

There you have it. A week of songs. What would your week look like?

Hilton Head – Driving Down the Musical Highway

23 Oct

We got a late start on our trip to Hilton Head because I had a midday meeting. This meant that we would be driving through the late afternoon and into the night. On top of that, we had to hit five different interstates to get there.

Whenever I am on a long drive, my mind starts to entertain itself. This means that useless trivia moves from the back of my brain and dominates my mind. It is a good way to stay awake and a good way to go crazy. On this drive, music was the category of choice, and it all started as we made our way over Monteagle.

For those who do not know, Monteagle is a ridge that has to be crossed just north of Chattanooga. The grade is steep and trucks have a hard time making their way up one side and down the other. Each time I drive over Monteagle, I think about the opening song of Smokey and the Bandit and start singing it under my breath.

In case you do not remember the opening to one of the greatest movies in cinema history, the song recounts how the Bandit became famous in the truck driving world. I wrote an entire post about it, but, simply, it talks about how he lost control of his rig on Monteagle. With heroic driving skills, he was able to make it to the bottom.

(Brief Interlude: While writing that post, I looked up the lyrics of the song. All of the sites had him crossing something called Montvale. It is not Montvale. One of my life’s goals is to get those lyrics corrected and give Monteagle is rightful place in Smokey and the Bandit history.)

Of course, driving through Chattanooga brought to mind “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, but the route through north Georgia made my mind go musically dead. Atlanta played a big role in that. It does not matter what time you drive through Atlanta. The traffic is always bad, and your focus needs to be on the road. However, I still heard Ronnie Van Zant telling Billy Powell to “play it pretty for Atlanta.”

Eventually, we made our way to Macon and hit a desolate stretch of road toward Savannah. It was getting later. It was getting darker. That is when I saw a sign for Statesboro, Georgia, the subject of “Statesboro Blues” by the Allman Brothers. That meant that the next several miles were filled with an internal soundtrack of their tunes.

After several days in Hilton Head, which I will write about in the next post, we retraced our journey. This time, the excitement of a vacation was behind us, and we were making that long, tired drive toward home. That does not mean that the musical journey was over. As the miles passed, I tried to think of songs that have Georgia in their titles.Georgia

I ended up with the following.

“Sweet Georgia Brown” (I can see Curly Neal dribbling around Meadowlark Lemon.)

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (Charlie D. lives not too far down the road.)

“The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” (Yep, Vicki Lawrence can sing, too.)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (The Pips make this song stand out.)

“Rainy Night in Georgia” (The Tony Joe White version is the best.)

“Georgia on My Mind” (It is hard to beat Ray Charles.)

“Marching Through Georgia” (I only know this one because it was mentioned in a John Wayne movie.)

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” (One of Jim Croce’s lesser known songs.)

Before I knew it, we were back at Monteagle, but it was not before I thought of something else. Does anyone remember a television show called Carter Country?

 

 

 

My iPod Has Issues – In Their Place

9 Oct

After several hours of grading papers, my eyes are imprinted with words typed in Times New Roman, and my mind is a mash-up of everything from Pocahontas to Mel Gibson. Honestly, I doubt that I can write coherent sentences, and I know I can’t type a coherent post. So, I have decided to rely on Old Faithful and dip into a playlist on my iPod to see what is happening in there.

At some point, I made a list of songs that have the names of places in their titles. Weird? True. What can I say? I’m kind of weird. There are probably a lot of weird places, too.

This qualifies as a weird place, and it’s one that I have actually visited.

Here is a list of twenty random songs from the playlist called “Location, Location, Location”.

“The Man From Laramie” by Al Martino

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

“Walkin’ Back to Georgia” by Jim Croce

“Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell

“Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King

“Chattanooga Dog” by Jimmy Martin

“Soul Francisco” by Tony Joe White

“Kentucky Woman” by Neil Diamond

“Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles

“Hotel California” by The Gipsy Kings

“Jackson” by Johnny Cash

“Ramblin’ Man From Gramblin'” by Sam Spence

“Texas” by Chris Rea

“European Swallow” by The Refreshments

“Tennessee Hound Dog” by The Osbourne Brothers

“If Hollywood Don’t Need You” by Don Williams

“California Love” by 2Pac, Roger Troutman and Dr. Dre

“Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks

“Good Time in London” by Big Mama Thornton

So, check out these songs. You might want to download them in your place.

Deadaroo

18 Jun

Last weekend, my state hosted Bonnaro, the music festival that has become a destination for those looking for a good time and good music. They have a wide variety of acts, and I have often said that I would like to go if I could fly in on a helicopter for a few hours. Listening to music would be awesome, but I am too well into my years to be hanging out in a field without a hot shower.

After reading a lot of blogs and tweets about Bonaroo, I began to think about what performers I would like to see at a festival. Then, I took it a little further. What performers have I never seen live but would like to see? Then, with an idea string going, I began to think about the performers I would like to see live but never will because they are, well, not live. They are dead.

After coming up with a list of dead performers that I wished I had seen, I came up with my own music festival fantasy -Deadaroo. These are not zombie versions of famous people. This is a collection of people in their primes. This is a music festival of some of my favorites at the top of their game.

The following is a list of acts; the stage where they will perform; and, the thing I would most want to see them do (with links).

Appearing on the “Knockin’ ‘Em Dead” Comedy Stage:

Jerry Clower, the Mouth of the South, telling his greatest stories, including A Coon Huntin’ Story.

Rodney Dangerfield with his self-deprecating routine and trademark line, “I get no respect.”

Jackie Gleason, famous for television and movies, was also great at stand up comedy and was known for the signature line,”How sweet it is.” The video is from The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (begin watching at 5:03).

The Rat Pack, consisting of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and others, brings their Vegas act to the stage.

Scheduled for the “Dead Zone” Music Stage:

Big Joe Turner, early R&B and Rock and Roll pioneer, performing his hits, including “Shake, Rattle and Roll“.

Jim Croce, folk singer extraordinaire, singing “I Got a Name” and the rest of his classics.

Waylon Jennings, one of the original Outlaws of country music, with a passel of hits including “Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys“.

Johnny Cash – the Man in Black, the legend, and someone I actually met – singing songs that span decades but ending with one of the early ones, “Folsom Prison Blues“.

Sam Cooke, paragon of R&B and Soul, bringing his best and “Bring It On Home to Me“.

As the finale, THE country legend known to many as Luke the Drifter, Hank Williams singing “Hey Good Lookin’” and many more classic songs.

At “Rock in Pieces”, the main stage, Deadaroo brings you:

Isaac Hayes, Black Moses of 70s Soul, with his Academy Award winning theme, “Shaft“.

James Brown, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, performs all of his hits, including “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag“.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the greatest bluesmen ever, breaks out his guitar and plays “Mary Had a Little Lamb“.

The Reggae man himself, Bob Marley, straight from Jamaica with songs such as “No Woman No Cry“.

Ray Charles, genius and master of all musical genres, performs songs known to all and promises to stoke the crowd with “What’d I Say“.

Who could top those legends? Who is worthy to close the show of such greatness? Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitar player of them all, as he electrifies Deadaroo with “Purple Haze” and other songs of psychedelic form.

That’s Deadaroo. The End

The State of Music – Part 4

23 Apr

The analysis of states and their musical equivalents continues, but I must throw out some thank you’s before moving ahead. The Snob and Trask have offered some great alternatives to my choices, and I appreciate their input. You can find their favorites at One, Two, Three – Turn it Up.

New Mexico – This is one of my favorite states, and I will be heading into “The Land of Enchantment” in a few weeks. There is a different feeling that comes over me when I cross its state line and wanted to find a song that embraced that feeling. I am not sure that I found it with Michael Hearne’s “New Mexico Rain” because I’ve never really seen it rain there.

New York – Countless songs have been written about New York, but most of them are about the city and not the state. However, that really isn’t the point of this project. Songs do not have to be ABOUT the state. They only need to be named for the state. With that in mind, I choose a song from my iPod called “New York’s Not My Home”. Jim Croce’s song does not provide a positive view of New York, but that really isn’t the point, either.

North Carolina – Do you realize how many songs have been written about Carolina? They are everywhere. After a long search, I finally found “North Carolina Line” by Gene Vincent. Weirdly, it’s more about Norfolk, Virginia.

North Dakota – Another state that provided a difficult search, North Dakota does not lend itself to easily penned songs. It’s a good state and provides a lot more enjoyment that most may realize, but the only decent song I could find is Lyle Lovett’s “North Dakota”. Please allow me to apologize for creating a list with Lyle Lovett on it.

Ohio – With the first state in the alphabet, Alabama, I used a song that replied to a song by Neil Young. With Ohio, I use a Neil Young song…well, a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. “Ohio”, one of the most famous protest songs, was inspired by the tragic shooting of protesters at Kent State University.

Oklahoma – There’s a musical. There are cowboy songs. Then, there is a native son, Leon Russell, singing about “Home Sweet Oklahoma”.

Oregon“Portland, Oregon” is the result of one of the coolest collaborations I know of. Jack White, who owns a record store in Nashville, teamed up with Loretta Lynn, “the Queen of Country Music”, to create an award-winning body of work. I know it seems weird, but it sounds great.

Pennsylvania – Remember when I said that a song does not have to be ABOUT the state. This pick is a great example of that. “Pennsylvania 6-5000” is named for the phone number of a New York hotel. It is a classic by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. For those who may not know, Glenn Miller’s plane was shot down during World War II and was never found.

Rhode Island – I was hoping to go with the theme song from Family Guy, but my efforts were thwarted. If it hadn’t been for those meddling kids I would have gotten away with it. Instead, I went with “Exeter, Rhode Island” by Jennifer O’Conner.

South Carolina – South Carolina provides the same complications as North Carolina. Everybody wants to sing about Carolina and not specify which one they are talking about. Perhaps, it would have been easier if the colonies/states had never developed separately in the first place. With that in mind, the Outlaws recorded “South Carolina”.

That’s it for forty states. I’ll be back next time with the last ten. Until then, remember what they say down at the fire hall. Always shake off your hose before you roll it back up.