Saturday, August 29, 2009
A little rock and roll trivia: The movie inspired Bruce Springsteen's 1975 song Thunder Road and is referenced in 1988's Copperhead Road by Steve Earl.
Mitchum's character - Lucas Doolin - dies in the song, not to mention the movie - a familiar tune storyline of such 50s and 60s hits as Leader of the Pack, Tell Laura I Love Her and Deadman's Curve.
BALLAD OF THUNDER ROAD
Let me tell the story, I can tell it all
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol
His daddy made the whiskey, son, he drove the load
When his engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road.
Sometimes into Ashville, sometimes Memphis town
The revenoors chased him but they couldn’t run him down
Each time they thought they had him, his engine would explode
He'd go by like they were standin’ still on Thunder Road.
And there was thunder, thunder over Thunder Road
Thunder was his engine, and white lightning was his load
There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the Devil’s thirst
The law they swore they'd get him, but the Devil got him first.
On the first of April, nineteen fifty-four
A Federal man sent word he’d better make his run no more
He said two hundred agents were coverin’ the state
Whichever road he tried to take, they’d get him sure as fate.
Son, his Daddy told him, make this run your last
The tank is filled with hundred-proof, you’re all tuned up and gassed
Now, don’t take any chances, if you can’t get through
I’d rather have you back again than all that mountain dew.
Roarin’ out of Harlan, revvin’ up his mill
He shot the gap at Cumberland, and screamed by Maynordsville
With T-men on his taillights, roadblocks up ahead
The mountain boy took roads that even Angels feared to tred.
Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,
Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.
He left the road at 90; that’s all there is to say.
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The most famous version of the song was performed by Tex. Other versions include those by Sammy Davis Jr., Willie Nelson, Phil Harris, Jimmy Dean, Commander Cody and Asleep at the Wheel. Here's a latter-day live performance by Tex Williams...
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!(That Cigarette)
Now I'm a fellow with a heart of gold
And the ways of a gentleman I've been told
Kind-of-a-guy that wouldn't even harm a flea
But if me and a certain character met
The guy that invented that cigarette
I'd murder that son-of-a gun in the first degree
It ain't cuz I don't smoke 'em myself
and i don't reckon that it'll hinder your health
I smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet
But nicotine slaves are all the same
at a pettin' party or a poker game
Everything gotta stop while they have a cigarette
Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
Puff, puff, puff until you smoke yourself to death.
Tell St. Peter at the Golden Gate
That you hate to make him wait,
But you just gotta have another cigarette.
In a game of chance the other night
The kings and queens they kept on comin' around
Aw, I was hittin' em good and bettin' 'em high
But my bluff didn't work on a certain guy
He kept callin' and layin' his money down
See, he'd raise me then I'd raise him
and I'd say to him buddy ya gotta sink or swim
Finally called me but didn't raise the bet!
--Hmmph! I said Aces Full Pal -- I got you!
He said, "I'll pay up in a minute or two
But right now, i just gotta have another cigarette."
Now the other night I had a date
with the cutest little gal in any state
A high-bred, uptown, fancy little dame
She said she loved me and it seemd to me
That things were sorta like they oughtta be
So hand in hand we strolled down lovers lane
She was a long way from a chunk of ice
And our pettin' party was goin' real nice
And I got an idea I might have been there yet
So I give her a kiss and a little squeeze
Then she said, "Tex, Excuse me Please
But I just gotta have a cigarette."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
At the age of 94, Les Paul passed away yesterday. Lester William Polfuss has often been referred to the "father of modern music". He was not only an extraordinary jazz guitarist but a pioneer in the development of the solid-body guitar, not to mention an innovator in the studio, developing such techniques as overdubbing, delays and phasing and multi-track recording.
Paul and his wife Mary Ford, toured and performed for 13 years together until 1962, earning 36 gold records and 11 #1 pop hits. They divorced in 1964, she tired of the hectic pace of touring. In 1952, Gibson began production of the Les Paul Gibson guitar. Here's a Les Paul Custom from 1980.
Guitarists who made the Les Paul their axe of choice include The Who's Pete Townsend, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al Dimeola and Led Zep's Jimmy Page. Eric Clapton was responsible for the guitar's resurgence when he played one in the early sixties.
Paul and Ford were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978 and when Jeff Beck inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 he said, "I've copied more licks from Les Paul than I'd like to admit".
Les Paul and then wife Mary Ford demonstrate multi-track recording in this vintage version of How High The Moon
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
In August of 1967, the Brit-mod group the Small Faces released one of the most popular songs of their career. There are several stories behind the origins of Itchycoo Park, a song originally banned by the BBC because of its overt drug references. The true one seems to be that the song's title is based on the nickname of a public park known for it's scratchy nettles (Itchy Park).
The Small faces were formed in 1965 and broke up in 1969. Steve Marriott went on to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton. The remaining members were joined by former Jeff Beck Group members Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood and peformed as the Faces then Rod Stewart and the Faces until 1975. By then Stewart was enjoying phenomenal popularity as a solo artist and Wood was touring with the Rolling Stones.
Here's the original line up peforming Itchycoo Park.