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[Country]鄉村與西部音樂
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From: elvis (西部牛仔)
Board: Country
Subject: Emmylou Covers #10: Cimarron songs
Date: Thu Aug 9 16:07:13 2001
X-Originator: ebx.board@/srv/bbs/m543
Message-ID: <20010809160713.JVAm4sYuWtdS1QsgK7VFZw@bbs.elixus.org>

Emmylou Covers #10: Cimarron songs

Emmylou's tenth album, Cimarron, was assembled mainly from songs that did
not fit thematically on any of her recent releases. Several different
lineups of the Hot Band are represented, but Cimarron maintains a remarkably
consistent style throughout. Songs such as the old cowboy ballad, Spanish
Is A Loving Tongue, the Western Swing pop classic, Tennessee Waltz, Texas
folksinger Townes Van Zandt's If I Needed You, and Poco's modern epic, Rose
Of Cimarron, lend the album an aura of the American Southwest. Taken as a
whole, Cimarron's songs combine to create a mood that is a bittersweet
mixture of longing, loss and resignation. This consistency, however,
disguises the trademark eclecticism of the songs' origins. Cimarron
includes material drawn from folk music, bluegrass, modern country, Western
Swing, cowboy songs, country-rock, pop and contemporary rock, as well as
several new songs. The result is probably the closest that Emmylou had come
to making a conventional, contemporary country record (even acknowledging
country pop and the recent urban cowboy phenomenon in her covers of Son Of A
Rotten Gambler and The Last Cheater's Waltz). Gone also are the Gram and
Rodney songs - almost all of the covers on Cimarron come from artists whose
work Emmylou was exploring for the first time (Townes Van Zandt being the
obvious exception). Poco would not have been out of place on Evangeline,
and it is surprising that the work of the Seldom Scene had not found its way
onto an Emmylou album before now. It is also, in retrospect at least, a bit
surprising that Anne Murray's catalog had not previously been mined for a
song or two, given Brian Ahern's prior involvement with Murray. But Bruce
Springsteen was an unexpected and welcome find whose uncompromising songs
would grace several future albums. Paul Kennerley also made his first
appearance on this album. One similarity to the previous album, though, was
the inclusion of two oldies in an otherwise contemporary collection - and
Patti Page's Tennessee Waltz unavoidably recalls the vocal layering effects
found in both How High The Moon and Mr. Sandman (a nice touch). This was
still a transitional album, though, nodding both in the direction of
Emmylou's past and country music's present. The future still was somewhat
unclear.

One bonus song is included in this installment of "Emmylou Covers". Mama
Help was released on the B-side of the Tennessee Rose single, and has never
appeared on any of Emmylou's albums.


1. Rose Of Cimarron (written by Rusty Young)

ORIGINAL (CHARTED) VERSION: Poco
This song was first recorded by the country-rock group Poco for their 1976
album, Rose Of Cimarron (released by ABC Records). Original group member
and pedal steel virtuoso Rusty Young wrote the song. Rose Of Cimarron was
also released (7/76) as a single, which appeared on Billboard's pop charts
8/76 and just scraped into the Hot 100, peaking at #94. It has appeared on
several Poco greatest hits collections, including 20th Century Masters - The
Millennium Collection and Poco's Ultimate Collection (probably the best
place to obtain the song, as this CD includes material from all stages of
the band's history). The Rose Of Cimarron album was also available on CD at
one time, but now appears to be out of print.
Poco was formed in 1968 by Ritchie Furay and Jim Messina, two members of the
recently-defunct Buffalo Springfield (the group that was, after the Byrds,
probably the leading folk and country-influenced rock band of the Sixties).
The group was originally called Pogo, after Walt Kelly's good-natured
cartoon character, but legal difficulties resulted in a slight change of
consonants. Other members of the original lineup included bassist Randy
Meisner, drummer George Grantham and Rusty Young, whose amazing pedal steel
playing was occasionally augmented to produce the sound of an organ, horns
or a lead guitar. Young, formerly of the group Boenzee Cryque (along with
Grantham), had helped Furay and Messina finish the final Buffalo Springfield
album and stayed on. Poco was, in some ways, the flip side of the Flying
Burrito Brothers - cheerful, laid back and emotionally open - but they were
probably equally ahead of their time. Their music received high marks from
the rock press, but their albums didn't sell and the group's membership
changed frequently. Meisner left to work with Rick Nelson before the first
album was released. His place was later taken by Timothy B. Schmit. Before
Messina departed, he arranged for his own replacement in the form of Paul
Cotton, once a member of the Illinois Speed Press. Eventually, even a
discouraged Furay left to work with Chris Hillman and J. D. Souther. The
group experienced some successes as its sound continued to evolve (becoming
less and less country along the way), and reedman Al Garth came aboard
briefly (this was the lineup that recorded Rose Of Cimarron - Young,
Grantham, Schmit, Cotton and Garth), but Poco nearly broke up following the
release of the Rose Of Cimarron album. Garth left, Schmit replaced Randy
Meisner (again) in the Eagles, and Grantham ended up working with Ricky
Skaggs, leaving Young and Cotton to recruit a new group. Ironically, this
version of Poco would record one of the group's most successful albums,
Legend, and although subsequent LPs were less successful, Young and Cotton
have continued to tour periodically. The original quintet reunited briefly
in 1989. (Two other members of the Buffalo Springfield, Steven Stills and
Neil Young, went on to work together in various assemblages, one of which
contributed a song to Emmylou's next album, Last Date.)


2. Spanish Is A Loving Tongue (Traditional)

ORIGINAL VERSION: Richard Dyer-Bennet
The words to this enduring cowboy love ballad were written by the well-known
western poet Charles Badger Clark, Jr. and first published in his 1915
collection, Sun and Saddle Leather. The ballad, whose original title was A
Border Affair, told a story of true love thwarted by the barriers of race
(the line "she was Mex and I was white" is nowadays frequently replaced by
"they want me for a gamblin' fight", somewhat obscuring the song's original
meaning). The song became popular with cowboys, who sang it on the open
range. It is not known who composed the original melody, but today the most
commonly used tune comes from the singing of Richard Dyer-Bennet, who wrote
that he learned it from some Swarthmore College students, who in turn
learned it from Sam Eskin. Dyer-Bennet recorded the song (as Spanish Is The
Loving Tongue) for his 1958 album, Richard Dyer-Bennet No. 5 (Requests).
This was one of a series of LPs released by Dyer-Bennet on his own label,
which he founded with Harvey Cort in 1955 to ensure that his recordings
would accurately reproduce the sound of his voice and guitar, and present
the songs in order as they would appear in his concert programs. The album
is not currently available through normal channels, but Smithsonian-Folkways
(the current owner of these recordings) offers CDs on a special
made-to-order basis through their mail order department at 1-800-410-9815.
The original liner notes to the 1958 album indicate that Dyer-Bennet had
recorded the song before, but that the earlier recording was already out of
print, or had not been very well recorded. Nothing is known of the earlier
recording at this time.
Classically trained singer/songwriter Richard Dyer-Bennet was one of the
leading figures in the folk music revival of the 1940s. His large
repertoire of English ballads, sea chanteys, spirituals, cowboy songs,
French love ballads and folk songs from Europe and America were sung in a
sweet counter-tenor voice laden with vibrato, and it is said that the modern
treatments of many of these traditional songs owe a significant debt to
Dyer-Bennet. He also wrote over one hundred songs. Dyer-Bennet was born in
England and moved with his family to California when he was ten. While
studying voice, he traveled widely throughout the world collecting songs,
teaching himself to play guitar and performing. Upon his return,
Dyer-Bennet worked frequently in New York and in 1944 became the first folk
performer to present a solo concert at a major venue, New York's Town Hall.
His political awareness had also heightened during his travels, and
Dyer-Bennet contributed anti-Nazi songs and skits to the war effort (only to
find himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee at the war's
end). In 1947, he and his wife opened an experimental school devoted to
keeping alive the traditions of minstrelsy. In 1955, Dyer-Bennet founded
his own independent record label. He continued to be an important figure in
the folk music scene of the 1960s, and taught a voice training class for
actors starting in 1970. A cerebral hemorrhage in 1972 ended his performing
career, but Dyer-Bennet remained involved in various musical projects until
his death in 1991.
INFLUENTIAL VERSION: Ian & Sylvia
As with Wayfaring Stranger, the source of this old song is hard to identify
with any certainty. Richard Dyer-Bennet's recording seems to be a
reasonable candidate for the first popularization of the song. So many
artists have since recorded it, though, that all I can do is make hopefully
reasonable guesses as to influential versions. One that seems like a
particularly good choice is the early-sixties recording by Ian & Sylvia.
This appeared on the duo's second LP, Four Strong Winds, released on
Vanguard in 1964. The song is sung by Ian Tyson solo (with only a bit of
wordless harmonization from Sylvia), and it bears a reasonable resemblance
to Emmylou's interpretation of the song (following the breakup of Ian &
Sylvia, Tyson would go on to become one of the finest authentic interpreters
of cowboy and rodeo songs). Four Strong Winds contained a strong, diverse
mix of traditional material that included gospel, bluegrass, French-Canadian
standards, folk songs and spirituals, as well as a cover of a Bob Dylan
song. The title cut (an original) was covered by The Searchers and Neil
Young. The album is currently available on CD. Spanish Is A Loving Tongue
also appears on one of Ian & Sylvia's Vanguard Greatest Hits collections.
Canadian Ian Tyson learned to play the guitar while recovering from a rodeo
injury, and began performing as a folk singer in the late 1950s. He met and
teamed up with fellow Canadian Sylvia Fricker in Toronto (they were married
in 1964), and in 1960 the duo moved to New York where they were signed by
Albert Grossman, who managed both Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Their first album was released in 1962 by Vanguard, beginning a series of
fine and influential recordings for that label. The duo's harmonies, backed
by Ian's guitar and Sylvia's autoharp, would serve as a model for later
folk-rock groups such as The Mamas and The Papas, We Five (who recorded
Sylvia's You Were On My Mind), Jefferson Airplane and Fairport Convention,
and they expanded folk's boundaries by recording a wide array of
non-traditional material and employing extra musicians on their albums.
They were also among the first to cover songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell,
Gordon Lightfoot and others. After 1966, Ian & Sylvia began to rely more on
original material and included electric instruments on their albums. They
also began to experiment with country and country-rock, teaming up with a
young guitarist, Amos Garrett, and producer Todd Rundgren to release the
Great Speckled Bird album in 1970. In the mid-seventies, Ian & Sylvia split
up to pursue solo careers. Ian Tyson has been the more successful of the
two. He retired from music after the split to take up ranching, but
returned to recording in the 1980s, producing a critically acclaimed series
of albums detailing the life of a cowboy.
NOTES:
I've encountered a number of other recordings of this song. One of the
earliest was a duet between Milt Okun and Ellen Stekert, recorded for the
1956 Riverside LP, Traditional American Love Songs. Several of the duo's
recordings for the label are included on a recent Riverside compilation, but
this song is, unfortunately, not among them. This recording is particularly
interesting because it was recorded before Richard Dyer-Bennet's version,
and also because it is sung as a duet. Emmylou may well have met Milt Okun,
who was in 1975 the co-owner of RCA's Windsong Records, the label that
signed her friend Bill Danoff's group, The Starland Vocal Band. Further
information on this recording is needed.
The Mitchell Trio, led by Chad Mitchell, included the song (known here as
Adios Mi Corazon) on their fourth LP, Blowin' in the Wind, which was
released in 1962 on the Kapp label. Another folk group, The Limeliters,
recorded the song for their 1963 RCA LP, Fourteen 14K Folk Songs. English
folk/rock star Marianne Faithfull included Spanish Is A Loving Tongue on her
second album, Come My Way, released in 1965 by Decca. Closer to the
present, Judy Collins' Elektra LP, Bread and Roses, released 8/76, contains
her interpretation of the song. Progressive bluegrass group The Dillards
have also reportedly recorded it, although I have no details on this
version.
One of the more notorious contemporary recordings of the song was committed
to vinyl by Bob Dylan. In 1973, after Dylan left Columbia Records to record
for Asylum, his old label took several outtakes from the Self Portrait
sessions and released them, against Bob's wishes, on the album, Dylan,
against Dylan's wishes. Spanish Is A Loving Tongue (recorded 4/69) is
probably one of the more listenable efforts among this album's
deconstructions of pop standards, although Bob, crooning in his best
Nashville Skyline voice, attempts to turn the song into Ben E. King's
Spanish Harlem. A single version was recorded 6/70 at a separate session,
with David Bromberg, Al Kooper and Russ Kunkel replacing the Nashville
Skyline musicians heard on the album version. I haven't heard the single
and can't speculate on its possible influence on Emmylou's recording.


3. If I Needed You (written by Townes Van Zandt)

ORIGINAL VERSION: Townes Van Zandt
The first recording of this song appeared on the author's oddly-titled
album, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt (which also included his original
version of Pancho And Lefty). This album, released in 1972 on Poppy
Records, was Van Zandt's sixth in five years. It featured a new version of
Sad Cinderella from his first LP and three covers (including one by Van
Zandt's hero, Hank Williams), but the remaining songs were among Van Zandt's
finest. The album is currently available on CD from Tomato Records.
Townes Van Zandt never came close to having anything like a hit record, but
he is widely admired as one of the finest songwriters of his time. Songs
such as Pancho And Lefty and If I Needed You have, through others'
recordings, introduced many listeners to Van Zandt's warmth, humor and
deeply personal songs. Van Zandt was born in Texas, but his father was in
the oil business, so the family moved around frequently. Townes spent some
time at a Colorado college before dropping out to become a folk singer (he
returned often to Colorado, sometimes spending the summer in the mountains,
alone on horseback). In the mid-sixties, he moved to Houston, where he met
lifelong friend Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker and other local songwriters,
and got his first paying gigs in the folk music clubs there. An offer to
record took Van Zandt to Nashville, where his first album, For The Sake Of
The Song, was recorded and released by Poppy Records in 1968. Five
additional albums would follow between 1968 and 1972, and these included
many of the songs that would make Van Zandt a legend. A dry spell followed,
broken only by a couple of LPs for Tomato Records in the late 1970s. In
1987, after If I Needed You and Pancho And Lefty had become country radio
staples, Van Zandt signed with Sugar Hill and released a new studio album,
At My Window. He continued to tour (frequently with Guy Clark) and released
several additional live albums. No Deeper Blue, recorded with a group of
Irish musicians, was released in 1994 (this was only Van Zandt's third
studio album since 1972). Townes Van Zandt died suddenly on New Year's Day,
1997.
NOTES:
A notable early cover of If I Needed You was recorded by master flatpicker
Doc Watson and his son Merle on their 1973 LP, Then and Now. This album was
released on the Poppy label, as had Townes Van Zandt's original version.


4. Another Lonesome Morning (written by Clinton Codack Adcock & Wendy
Special Thatcher)

ORIGINAL VERSION: The Seldom Scene
The song's writer, Eddie Adcock, was a member of the pioneering progressive
bluegrass band, The Country Gentlemen. Adcock learned to play the banjo at
a very young age and worked in a number of groups (including a short stint
with Bill Monroe) before being invited by Charlie Waller and John Duffey to
join the Washington D.C.-based Country Gentlemen in 1959. Adcock was an
innovative and accomplished banjo player, and was also one of the leading
advocates of bringing contemporary material, such as the songs of Bob Dylan,
into the group's repertoire. He left in 1970 to experiment with other
musical genres, moving first to California where he formed the country-rock
band, the Clinton Special. While performing with this group, Adcock used
the pseudonym Clinton Codack. After releasing one single, the Clinton
Special broke up and Adcock moved back east to form II Generation with Wendy
Thatcher, Jimmy Gaudreau and others. (Although I haven't been able to
confirm this, it's hard to resist speculating that Wendy Thatcher, who
co-wrote Another Lonesome Morning with Adcock, might also have been a member
of the Clinton Special, possibly using a pseudonym herself - Wendy Special.
It also seems likely that Another Lonesome Morning was written during the
period of time when Adcock and Thatcher were members of either the Clinton
Special or II Generation - the copyright date of 1982 is obviously
misleading). Multi-instrumentalist Adcock has continued to perform with
various bands and as a solo artist, and is one of the most popular musicians
in bluegrass. The Eddie Adcock Band recorded Another Lonesome Morning for
their 1995 CD, Talk To Your Heart.
The first recording of Another Lonesome Morning, however, seems to have been
made by another Washington D.C. bluegrass band - The Seldom Scene. This
group, which included John Duffey and Tom Gray (formerly of the Country
Gentlemen), Mike Auldridge and Ben Eldridge (from Cliff Waldron's New Shades
of Grass) and Emmylou's friend John Starling, began as a part-time jam band
(their name was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that all five group
members held down day jobs). They quickly became an institution in local
bluegrass circles, though, and the Seldom Scene continued to perform
regularly until the mid 1990s. The group's third album, Act Three, was
released on the Rebel label in 1973. This album (currently available on CD)
included the Seldom Scene's version of Another Lonesome Day, which was the
original title of Cimarron's Another Lonesome Morning. This was, as far as
I can determine, the first recording of the song. It is also currently
available on the Rebel CD, Vol. 1-The Best of The Seldom Scene. The group
also recorded a live version 11/91 that appears on their CD, Scene 20 -
Twentieth Anniversary Concert.
INFLUENTIAL VERSION: The Whites
The Whites also recorded this song for their 1978 Sugar Hill LP, Poor Folks'
Pleasure. Their version might have influenced Emmylou's vocal arrangement
(sisters Sharon Hicks and Cheryl White would soon be singing harmonies on
Emmylou's albums). The song is shown as "Another Lonesome Day" here, but
the authorship is attributed to "Jan" Thatcher.


5. The Last Cheater's Waltz (written by Sonny Throckmorton)

ORIGINAL (CHARTED) VERSION: Sonny Throckmorton
This song was written and first recorded by Sonny Throckmorton. It was
released in 1978 by Mercury Records on the B-side of Throckmorton's biggest
hit, Smooth Sailin'. The two songs charted as one, first appearing on
Billboard's country singles chart 2/79 and peaking at the #47 position.
Last Cheater's Waltz was recently available in the boxed set, Fifty Years Of
Country Music From Mercury 1945-1995, but this now appears to be out of
print.
James "Sonny" Throckmorton was one of the most successful songwriters in
country music. After an early attempt at playing rock 'n' roll in the clubs
around San Francisco, he switched to country music and moved to Nashville in
1964. He eventually landed a job as staff writer for Tree Music, but none
of the songs he wrote there became hits and he was let go. Throckmorton
gave up on the music business in 1975 and returned to Texas, where he had
grown up. He was soon re-hired by Tree Music and moved back to Nashville,
where it now seemed he could do no wrong. Between 1976 and 1980, one of
Throckmorton's songs appeared on the charts almost every week, including
Jerry Lee Lewis's Middle Age Crazy, which was turned into a motion picture.
Throckmorton was also named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville
Songwriters Association three years in a row, from 1978 through 1980. He
had some minor success recording his own songs for the Starcrest, Mercury
and MCA labels between 1976 and 1981, but it was as a songwriter that he
made a lasting mark. Throckmorton retired to his Texas farm after making a
1988 album for Warner Brothers.
OTHER CHARTED VERSION: T.G. Sheppard
The most successful recording of this song was the one made by T.G.
Sheppard, one of the most popular singers to emerge during the 1970s urban
cowboy phenomenon. His Warner Brothers single charted 8/79 (six months
after its composer's), and climbed to the top of Billboard's country chart.
This recording is currently available on T.G. Sheppard's All-Time Greatest
Hits CD and other best-of packages.
T.G. Sheppard was born William Neal Browder in Tennessee. He has said that
the initials in his stage name stand for either "The Good Sheppard" or "The
German Sheppard". He first recorded as Brian Stacey for Atlantic in 1966,
and spent the next several years working within the record industry in
various capacities. While promoting records to radio stations, Sheppard
came upon the song Devil In The Bottle. When he couldn't interest anyone
else in the song, he recorded it himself in 1974 for Motown's new country
label, Melodyland. Devil In The Bottle became Sheppard's first #1 hit in
1975. After Melodyland (later renamed Hitsville) closed its doors,
Sheppard, already a rising star, was signed by Warner Brothers. Between
1977 and 1985, he released a steady stream of hits that served up a smooth
combination of country, pop and R&B sounds - eleven of these, starting with
The Last Cheater's Waltz, reached #1 (one of these was a 1982 duet with
Karen Brooks, Faking Love). Sheppard's success continued through the 1980s
at his new label, Columbia, but his popularity diminished with the arrival
of the New Traditionalists such as Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam.
NOTES:
Popular 1970s country singer Johnny Duncan also recorded the song for his
1979 LP, See You When the Sun Goes Down.
On a side note, The Last Cheater's Waltz appears to borrow its lovely fiddle
melody from the middle section of Westphalia Waltz, written by Cotton
Collins. There is a very strong resemblance, at least, to a version of
Westphalia Waltz that was recorded 12/47 by Floyd Tillman for Columbia (this
was once available on a Columbia Historic Edition LP devoted to Tillman's
music). All three versions of The Last Cheater's Waltz (Throckmorton,
Sheppard and Emmylou) use basically the same arrangement, so Sonny
Throckmorton appears to have written it into the song. However, I don't
know whether Tillman's recording is representative of other recordings of
the Westphalia Waltz - there is a version recorded by Mark O'Connor on his
Championship Years CD that does not contain this middle section.


6. Born To Run (written by Paul Kennerley)

Correction: ORIGINAL VERSION: Born To Run is a reworked version of a song
that originally appeared on English musician and songwriter Paul Kennerley's
1980 country opera, The Legend Of Jesse James. The Death Of Me, sung by
Johnny Cash and Levon Helm, supplied the melody and basic arrangement for
what would later become Born To Run (with an entirely new set of lyrics).
Emmylou was probably the first to record Born To Run in its new form. She
had sung the part of Zerelda, Jesse James' cousin and wife, on The Legend Of
Jesse James, and would later collaborate with Kennerley on the songs for The
Ballad Of Sally Rose. She has also recorded other Kennerley songs for White
Shoes, Thirteen, Bluebird and Brand New Dance. The two were married in 1985
and separated in 1993. Kennerley's concept album is currently available on
CD.

Paul Hardy Kennerley was born in Hoylake, Wirral, England in 1948. He moved
to London and worked in advertising before opening a small booking agency.
Kennerley also managed the pub-rock band, The Winkies. He became interested
in country music after hearing Waylon Jennings sing Let's All Help The
Cowboys (Sing The Blues) on the radio. After writing two well-received
historical concept albums, White Mansions (1978) and The Legend of Jesse
James (1980), both set in the American Civil War period, Kennerley relocated
to Nashville in the fall of 1983 to sell his songs. Emmylou recorded two of
his compositions, Born To Run and In My Dreams, before asking him in 1983 to
help her finish the song cycle she had been working on for several years.
After their collaboration on The Ballad of Sally Rose, she would record
Kennerley's Sweetheart of the Pines, When I Was Yours, I Had My Heart Set On
You, I Still Dream of You (the B-side of Back In Baby's Arms), When He
Calls, Heaven Only Knows, Heartbreak Hill, Sweet Dreams of You, Brand New
Dance, Mary Danced With Soldiers (from Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume
2) and He Was Mine (several of which she co-wrote). Kennerley also produced
and played on her records. The two were married in 1985 but separated in
1993. Kennerley also wrote Have Mercy, Cry Myself To Sleep, Let Me Tell You
About Love, Young Love (Strong Love) and Give A Little Love for The Judds.
Other artists who have recorded his songs include Nanci Griffith, Marty
Browne, Patty Loveless, John Anderson, Johnny Cash, Jann Browne, Glen
Campbell, Kelly Willis, Ray Charles, Barry and Holly Tashian, Dave Edmunds,
Tanya Tucker and the Seldom Scene.


7. The Price You Pay (written by Bruce Springsteen)

ORIGINAL VERSION: Bruce Springsteen
The Price You Pay first appeared on Bruce Springsteen's fifth album, The
River. This two-record set, which was released in October of 1980 by
Columbia Records, produced Springsteen's first Top Ten hit, Hungry Heart.
The album itself became Springsteen's first number one LP, and it
established him as bona fide superstar. The River is available on CD.


8. Son Of A Rotten Gambler (written by Chip Taylor)

ORIGINAL VERSION: Chip Taylor
The song's author, Chip Taylor, recorded Son Of A Rotten Gambler for the
album Chip Taylor's Last Chance (released on Warner Brothers in 1973). This
album was overlooked when it was first released, but Last Chance was an
early and accomplished forerunner of what is now termed alternative country
or Americana. It was recently reissued on CD.
Chip Taylor is another artist who has been much more successful as a
songwriter than as a performer. Born James Wesley Voight (the actor Jon
Voight is his older brother), Taylor was raised in Yonkers, NY and began
playing country music while attending high school there. He signed with
Warner Brothers in 1962 and released what would be his only charting pop
single under his own name, Here I Am, which 'bubbled under' at #113 on the
Billboard pop charts in November 1962. Taylor did somewhat better recording
as half of the duo, Just Us, which he formed with Al Gorgoni. Their cover
of a minor single by The Browns, I Can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree, made
the Top Forty in 1966 after it was reissued by the Colpix label (a second
song bubbled under in 1971). It was during this time, however, that Taylor
found his songs reaching a huge audience through recordings by other
artists. His fame would have been assured had Taylor written only one
song - Wild Thing. First recorded by Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones in
England, the song became an instant classic when recorded by another British
group, The Troggs, in 1966. The song was quickly parodied by "Senator
Bobby", and Jimi Hendrix performed it at the Monterey Pop Festival (a 1974
remake by the group Fancy was also a hit). Taylor's second classic was
Angel Of The Morning, a song which pushed the boundaries of sexual frankness
on Sixties radio. This was first recorded by Evie Sands (a fine singer who
made something of a career of debuting songs that later became hits for
others), but it was a Top Ten hit in 1968 for Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts
(and later a pop/country hit for Juice Newton). Taylor's other songs from
this period include Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) (Lorraine Ellison, Janis
Joplin), I Can't Let Go (Evie Sands, The Hollies, Linda Ronstadt), I Can
Make It With You (The Pozo-Seco Singers, Jackie DeShannon), Storybook
Children (Billy Vera & Judy Clay, Bette Midler), Any Way That You Want Me
(Evie Sands, Walter Jackson), Country Girl, City Man (Billy Vera & Judy
Clay), Make Me Belong To You (Barbara Lewis), Step Out Of Your Mind (The
American Breed), I'll Hold Out My Hand (The Clique), and Welcome Home
(Walter Jackson). Taylor made another try for a solo career in the 1970s,
releasing a series of albums on Warner Brothers. He placed five songs on
the country charts between 1975 and 1977 (the last of these was recorded for
Columbia). Taylor continued to write for other artists including Eddie
Arnold, Bobby Bare, The Browns, Floyd Cramer and Waylon Jennings, whose
recording of Sweet Dream Woman reached the country Top Ten in 1972. He gave
up music for several years to become a professional gambler, but has
recently returned to tour and release several new albums.
CHARTED VERSION: Anne Murray
Son Of A Rotten Gambler was a #5 country hit for Anne Murray. The Capitol
single, produced by Brian Ahern, appeared on the Billboard country charts
9/74. Its flip side, a cover of Just One Look, was a #86 pop hit (several
of Murray's singles managed to assault the pop and country charts from
opposite sides of the 45 - a trick that Linda Ronstadt pulled off with even
greater success). Son Of A Rotten Gambler was also released on the 1974
Capitol album, Love Songs. This LP, which also contained Murray's original
version of the Emmylou B-side, Another Pot O' Tea, is currently available on
a Canadian CD that pairs it with the Highly Prized Possession album.
Born in Nova Scotia, Anne Murray first pursued a career as a physical
education instructor. In 1964, while in college, she auditioned for a spot
on a weekly television show, Singalong Jubilee, but was turned down because
they already had an alto singer. Two years later, the show's producer
called Murray and asked her to audition again. She continued to teach high
school while performing in the chorus but decided to temporarily give up
teaching after becoming a featured soloist. Singalong Jubilee's musical
director was Brian Ahern, who was also producing albums for a small Canadian
record company named Arc in Toronto. In 1968 Ahern convinced Murray to come
and record an album for Arc. The result, What About Me, was sufficiently
popular to draw the attention of the Canadian division of Capitol Records,
who signed Murray in 1969. Her debut single, Snowbird, reached the Top Ten
on both the pop and country charts, as well as the Top Forty in Britain.
The gold record Murray received for Songbird was the first awarded to a
Canadian solo female artist in the United States. Ahern continued to
produce Murray's recordings until the mid-1970s, shortly after the release
of Son Of A Rotten Gambler. In 1975 Murray married Bill Langstroth (the
producer of the Singalong Jubilee program), and for the next three years her
records declined somewhat in popularity as Murray focused her attention on
establishing a family. When she returned to recording in 1978, it was with
a new producer, Jim Ed Norman, and a hit version of the Everly Brothers
song, Walk Right Back. The following years (especially the period from 1978
through 1986) would be a time of almost uninterrupted commercial success for
Murray. This was the era of the urban cowboy, and Murray's easy listening
and pop sounds appealed to this new audience for country music. Her
popularity suffered, though, with the advent of the New Traditionalists in
the late 1980s. Murray has admitted that she initially hated country
music - it seemed more important to her that a person could sing than what
they were saying. She began listening to country music seriously, however,
and developed an appreciation for it after she took her first steps toward a
career in music. Murray would continue to insist that she was not a country
artist and preferred not to be categorized as such, although she was happy
to be a part of the contemporary country music scene. Murray was - like Don
Williams, Kenny Rogers, John Denver and Glen Campbell (on whose television
program she was regularly featured) - a product of the folk revival of the
mid-1960s. In a sense, these new country stars (and many others) were, in
the Seventies, creating a new American pop music. To some extent, they were
returning it to the days before rock 'n' roll - the lost time when singers
such as Perry Como and Doris Day entertained their parents - although they
were unable to completely remove the traces of stylistic eclecticism and the
new openness that appeared in the music of the 1950s and 1960s.
NOTES:
Chip Taylor contributed guitar and backing vocals to an album by singer Niki
Aukema which contains a recording of this song. The album, Nothing Free,
was released by Paramount. The Hollies also recorded the song.


9. Tennessee Waltz (written by Pee Wee King & Redd Stewart)

ORIGINAL (CHARTED) VERSION: Pee Wee King & His Golden West Cowboys
Tennessee Waltz was first recorded by Pee Wee King and his Golden West
Cowboys for RCA. The song, which was conceived by King as a sequel to Bill
Monroe's recent hit, Kentucky Waltz, was written by King with Redd Stewart,
the Golden West Cowboys' singer, who also played fiddle on the 12/47
recording. Tennessee Waltz debuted on Billboard's country music charts
4/48, reaching #3 on the Best Seller charts and #4 on the Juke Box listings.
It also crossed over to the pop charts, where it peaked at #30. King's
version was re-released following Patti Page's hugely successful remake, and
the song re-entered the country charts 2/51 (Jockeys #6, Juke Box #7). The
song can be found on several various artists collections, such as Rhino's
Heroes Of Country Music - Vol. 3 (Legends Of Nashville). A much bigger
helping of King's music can be found in Bear Family's boxed set, Pee Wee
King & The Golden West Cowboys.
Polish-American country star Pee Wee King was a bandleader, songwriter,
accordionist, actor and business man. Born Julius Frank Kuczynski in
Wisconsin, he learned to play the accordion and fiddle while playing in his
father's polka band. King worked with future cowboy singing star Gene Autry
in Louisville until Autry departed for Hollywood in 1934. King then joined
the Log Cabin Boys and remained with them for several years before forming
his own band, the Golden West Cowboys, in 1936. The band played Western
Swing, a hybrid of jazz, country, blues and pop that was popular primarily
in the Southwest, but King's arrangements emphasized the pop aspects of the
music and significantly widened its appeal. The Cowboys were invited to join
the Grand Old Opry in 1937, where they were one of the first to employ drums
and electric instruments. Over the next few years, the band would feature a
number of vocalists (including Eddy Arnold and Cowboy Copas), but Redd
Stewart, who had joined in 1937, would be featured on most of the band's
hits. Tennessee Waltz, which Stewart co-wrote, would be the first. This
was followed by the hits Tennessee Tears and Tennessee Polka (establishing a
precedent of sorts for Emmylou's juxtaposition of the songs Tennessee Waltz
and Tennessee Rose, which were almost run together on the original vinyl
LP). King's biggest hit was Slow Poke, a #1 country and pop hit. Other
well-known songs written by King include Bonaparte's Retreat, You Belong To
Me and Changing Partners. The band's last hit was in 1954, but the Golden
West Cowboys continued to tour until 1969, when King moved behind the scenes
to work within the music industry. He has served as director of the Country
Music Foundation, and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall
of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
OTHER CHARTED VERSIONS: Patti Page
Patti Page's 10/50 recording of Tennessee Waltz, made for the Mercury label,
was the biggest pop hit of the decade, selling over six million copies. It
was also the biggest-selling record ever by a female performer. Page and
her manager Jack Rael (who led the orchestra on the recording) originally
selected the song to be the B-side of her recently-recorded holiday number,
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus, but when the record was released in October,
Tennessee Waltz was the A-side. It appeared on Billboard's pop charts 11/50
and spent thirteen weeks at the #1 spot. The song also crossed over to the
country charts, debuting 1/51 and reaching #2 on the Juke Box chart, #5 on
the Best Selling chart and #5 on the Jockeys chart. It was named the state
song of Tennessee in 1965. Page's recording demonstrated the enormous
crossover potential of country songs. Tennessee Waltz was also the last
piece of sheet music to sell a million copies, an indication of how the
music business was changing in 1950. The song is currently available on a
variety of Patti Page collections (such as The Mercury Years, Volume 1,
Golden Hits, and the boxed set, Golden Celebration), as well as numerous
compilations.
Clara Ann Fowler was born in Oklahoma and first performed on radio with Al
Clauser & His Oklahomans under her own name. She replaced another singer
who was using the stage name Patti Page while performing on the Page Milk
Company's radio show, and kept the name after she too left the program.
Page toured with the Jimmy Joy band in 1947 and sang briefly with Benny
Goodman's bop sextet before being offered a contract by Mercury Records.
Her first hit, Confess, released in 1948, made Page one of the first artists
to overdub harmonies on top of her own lead vocal (on some of her records,
she was billed as "the Patti Page Quartet"). She sold more records than any
female performer of the 1950s, recording somewhat sanitized pop versions of
country hits, show tunes and novelty numbers (such as The Doggie In The
Window, a song that is often pointed to as justification for the anarchy and
rebellion that were unleashed during the rock 'n' roll takeover - although
I'm told I was rather fond of the song at an age much too young to be held
accountable for my tastes in music). Page withstood the rise of rock 'n'
roll reasonably well, and continued to chart throughout the 1960s (she
switched from Mercury to the Columbia label in 1963). She also starred in
several of her own television shows and made movie appearances. After 1968,
though, Page was no longer able to reach the pop charts. From 1970 to 1982,
she made a long-delayed return to the country charts (she also returned to
Mercury Records for several years, though her final recordings were made for
Epic and several smaller labels). She continued to tour into the 1990s.
NOTES:
Tennessee Waltz has become a standard that has been recorded many times.
Quite a few of these versions have become popular in their own right. Pee
Wee King's original hit quickly inspired several cover versions. The most
successful was by Cowboy Copas, a singer who had once worked in King's band
(replacing Eddy Arnold as the singer in the Golden West Cowboys). His cover
version, released on Cincinnati's King label, was Copas's third hit. It
charted a month after King's (5/48), and matched the original version for
position (#3 Best Seller and #4 Juke Box), but its 17 weeks on the charts
fell far short of King's 35 weeks. Copas's next hit was Tennessee Moon
(following a pattern that has, by now, become fairly predictable). Cowboy
Copas died in the 1963 plane crash that also claimed the lives of Patsy
Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins. A third charting version of Tennessee Waltz was
recorded by "The King of Country Music", Roy Acuff. This cover, recorded
for Columbia, charted about half a year later (11/48) and reached #12 on
Billboard's country Juke Box chart.
Patti Page's success with the song in 1950 inspired even more cover
versions, seven of which were themselves bona fide hits. Les Paul & Mary
Ford's Capitol recording was their first hit as a duo. Their version was
released 11/50 and charted the following month, peaking at #6 on the pop
charts. The song was paired with the #18 instrumental hit, Little Rock
Getaway, which featured Les Paul solo. Paul has said that when he heard
Patti Page's record, he told everyone it sounded like she was using his
multiples trick, so he and Mary recorded Tennessee Waltz to try and beat her
version. When Page's was the obvious hit, Paul told Capitol to pull the
record early and get the duo's next song, Mocking Bird Hill, out quickly.
This reversed the friendly competitors' fortunes - Page quickly copied
Mocking Bird Hill, but could not catch Les & Mary. Tennessee Waltz is
included in the Les Paul boxed set, The Legend And The Legacy, and also
appears on the single disc of highlights, The Best Of The Capitol Masters.
Other hit versions (with label, date of the first chart appearance, and peak
position noted in parentheses) included recordings by Jo Stafford (Columbia,
12/50, #7 POP - this was Stafford's first hit for her new label after many
successful years at Capitol - it was paired with a cover of Lefty Frizzell's
If You've Got The Money, I've Got The Time that also reached #14), Guy
Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (Decca, 12/50, #6 POP - with vocals by Kenny
Gardner), Erskine Hawkins & His Orchestra (Coral, 12/50, #6 R&B Best
Seller - trumpeter and composer Hawkins was born in Alabama and led his own
band since 1934 - Tennessee Waltz was his last hit), the Fontane Sisters
(RCA, 1/51, #20 POP - the first hit for the singing group that frequently
backed singer Perry Como), Spike Jones & His City Slickers (RCA, 1/51, #13
POP - a novelty version of the song), and Anita O'Day (London, 2/51, #24
POP - this was one of only two chart appearances as a solo artist for superb
jazz singer O'Day, who had sung with Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton).
Tennessee Waltz has been revived several times over the years. Two rock
artists had simultaneous minor hits with the song in 1959 - Bobby Comstock &
The Counts (Blaze, 10/59, #52 POP - this was the group's first hit) and
Jerry Fuller (Challenge, 10/59, #63 POP - one of the few chart appearances
as a performer for Fuller, who would have much more success as a songwriter,
crafting Travelin' Man, Young World and A Wonder Like You for Ricky Nelson,
and Young Girl, Lady Willpower and Over You for Gary Puckett & The Union
Gap). Additional recordings have charted by Don Robertson (RCA, 7/61, #117
POP), Sam Cooke (RCA, 6/64, #35 HOT - soul great Cooke reached the
temporarily-combined pop and R&B charts with the B-side of his #11 hit, Good
Times - this was one of Cooke's last hits before his murder), Johnny Jones
(Fury, 7/68, #49 R&B - by Nashville soul singer) and - closer to Emmylou's
recording - Lacy J. Dalton (Columbia, 2/80, #18 COUNTRY - her second country
hit).
Finally, although it wasn't one of her hits, Anne Murray recorded the song
for her 1975 Capitol album, Love Songs. This would probably have been
recorded shortly after Son Of A Rotten Gambler, but I don't know if she was
still working with Brian Ahern at this time.


10. Tennessee Rose (written by Karen Brooks & Hank DeVito)

ORIGINAL VERSION: The song Tennessee Rose was probably recorded first by
Emmylou. It is a new song (copyright 1981), and is the closest we come to a
Rodney Crowell song on Cimarron. Songwriter Karen Brooks (born in Dallas,
Texas in 1954) was originally part of the Austin Scene, but moved to
California to be part of Crowell's backup band. She had some solo success
in the early 1980s, recording three albums for Warner Brothers and a Top
Twenty country hit, New Way Out. A 1982 duet with T.G. Sheppard, Faking
Love, was a #1 hit. Her songwriting partner, Hank DeVito (born 1948),
played pedal steel on many of Emmylou's early songs and also worked in
Rodney's band, the Cherry Bombs.


11. Mama Help (written by Dale Thomas)

ORIGINAL VERSION: This forgotten song, an affable Texas Swing number, is
probably another Emmylou first. I have been unable to find any references
to its writer, Dale Thomas, but the song was copyrighted in 1981 and was
published by Brian Ahern's Happy Sack Productions. ASCAP does not list any
other performances of the song.



I'm going to stop ending these posts with what's coming up "next week",
since it's been very difficult getting back to a weekly schedule,
unfortunately. The next installment, however, will take a look at Emmylou's
first live album, Last Date. Everybody gets a good seat, so see you then!

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