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Charles H. Gabriel

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tadpole (1/19)



  1. The 1910s gave us the first jazz recordings, possibly the first country fiddle recordings (Don Richardson, on Columbia), and the first big bands: Art Hickman, Earl Fuller, W.C. Handy, Wilbur Sweatman, and a host of others. The Jazz Age of the 1920s really began in the teens.
  2. 1) Laura 2) Stella By Starlight 3) It Had to Be You 4) Tea for Two 5) Misirlou 6) Alfie 7) (You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman 8) How High the Moon 9) Narcissus 10) God Only Knows 11) Daybreak 12) Rose Room
  3. Well, I wouldn't list Link Wray, Keith Richards, John Lee Hooker, whoever the guy was who did the awful solo on the Kinks' "All Day and All the Night," or "outsider" artist Jandek. Rock journalists, however, have a track record of praising lousy guitar work--the Byrds' "Eight Miles High," for example. Or the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil." So, what does "best" mean, really, in a rock context? I should mention that I love Hooker and Wray. However, they weren't exactly nimble-fingered pickers! (Is Wray still around? I hope.) Lee
  4. Hard to say. Country derives, in part, from fiddle tunes that, in some cases, date back to the time of Thomas Jefferson. Its lyrics derive from pop songs of the latter 19th century such as, "Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight," "A Picture from Life's Other Side," "The Vacant Chair" (1861), "Father's a Drunkard and Mother Is Dead" (1866), "Life's Railway to Heaven," "My Mother's Bible," and so on. Plus, any number of ballads from the late 1800s and early 1900s re dying children, young mothers dying on trains ("In the Baggage Car Ahead"), murdered pregnant women, and similarly cheerful subjects. And there's the cowboy-song aspect, which sort of went out with Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Eddie Dean. And you have a connection to Sacred Harp, a.k.a shape-note, singing in the South during the Civil War and post-Civil-War period. Complicated!! My theory is that what we call Country music was, in the not-too-distant past, simply pop music. It was part of the popular music environment of its time and, as such, didn't stand out. But that would have been quite some time ago, so who's to say?
  5. Believe it or not, Peggy Lee recorded a Louis Prima jump-blues song called "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" in 1951 (Capitol F1428). Five years later, this kind of music was being labeled as "rock and roll." An amazing record. Lee would have been right at home on the Atlantic label, or as a vocalist with Johnny Otis!
  6. "Lion," in its original African version, was called "Mbube," and was recorded as early as 1939. Pete Seeger popularized the song as "Wimoweh" and cut it with the Weavers in 1952 on Decca. The Weavers' version is VERY close to the Tokens' 1961 version--and much better, in my opinion. The Kingston Trio also did a pre-Tokens version (in 1959).
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