Song of the day: Kay Starr – "Wheel Of Fortune"

July 5, 2013

I heard this somewhere* for the first time the other day, and it’s been haunting me ever since.

“Spinning, spinning, spinning…”

Kay Starr – “Wheel Of Fortune (1952)

Here’s the original version:

The Cardinals – “Wheel Of Fortune (1952)

(*I think it may have been in the background of a TV show I wasn’t paying much attention to.)

Song of the day: Anita O’Day with Gene Krupa – "Watch The Birdie"

April 6, 2013

Somebody* posted this on Facebook the other day. I’m glad they did.

Anita O’Day with Gene Krupa – “Watch The Birdie” (1941)

One of my favourite drummers with one of my favourite singers, playing one of my favourite styles of 20th-century popular music. As teenagers where I live used to say about five years ago: “Score!”

And from 4:51-8:09 in this video is one of the most amazing vocal performances I’ve ever heard:

Anita O’Day – “Sweet Georgia Brown” / “Tea For Two (1958)

(*That somebody was Chuck. Thanks, Chuck!)

Song of the day: A band – "Silver Threads And Golden Needles"

December 28, 2012

I hope your Christmas was a mighty fine one. (If it wasn’t mighty fine, then I hope it was at least mighty tolerable.)

Over the next few days I’d like to share with you some of the music on the CDs and DVDs I received. (I like sharing. And I’d like to say that, no matter how small or large, I’m always grateful for whatever comes my way. I might change my online name from Mr. Happy to Mr. Thankful.)

I’ll start with a track from a CD by a band that I’ve played on the blog before, but got into trouble for doing so by naming them. (I guess the record company said “Bah humbug!”)

The band is an Australian folk group who were immensely popular in the 1960s, and who have just reformed for their golden jubilee. Their record company recently released a 2-CD compilation of their hits. (They needed two CDs because they had a lot of hits.) It’s one of the CDs I received. And it’s great.

I’ll attempt to circumvent Blogger’s unhelpfulness by renaming this particular band. I’ll play you a track they recorded this year for that brand new golden jubilee compilation. It’s a remarkably pleasant remake of a very well known song, and I think it might now be my favourite version:

The Peekers – “Silver Threads And Golden Needles (2012)


And here’s the original:

Wanda Jackson – “Silver Threads And Golden Needles (1956)


Song of the day: Justin Kline – "Once A Year"

December 11, 2012

Today’s song holds the distinction of not only being the first Christmas song for this blog, but for being an incredibly catchy Christmas song.

The song is called “Once A Year”, and it comes to you courtesy of American popster Justin Kline (hi, Justin!) who contacted me (and everyone else on his mailing list) to say he’s recorded a Yuletide ditty. (He didn’t actually use the words “Yuletide ditty”.) I’m glad he did, because it’s by far the catchiest new Christmas song I’ve heard so far this year.

Justin Kline – “Once a Year – Single by Justin Kline (2012)

By the way, all the money received from people buying “Once A Year” (for one dollar) goes to a charity called Toys For Tots.

Trivia Time: I’d only ever heard the name “Toys For Tots” once before. It’s an ad from 1956 that appears on a fabulous Christmas compilation album called Christmas Cocktails. The album is part of the Ultra-Lounge series of ultra-hip easy-listening music from the 1950s.

Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone – “Toys For Tots (1956)


Mighty good.

And here’s Mr. Cole singing it on his own:

Nat King Cole – “Toys For Tots (1956)


Musical coincidences # 345

December 10, 2012

This coincidence is quick ‘n’ easy but the post will be long-winded. Sorry about that.

I was over at the illustrious Powerpopaholic blog (Hi, Aaron!) which is now even more illustrious courtesy of a new review of my beloved Peelgreems‘ album, Big Adventure. (Thanks, Aaron!)

Anyway, the reason I’m mentioning Powerpopaholic is that Aaron also reviewed Men Of La Mancha, an EP by a band called The Mockers.

One of the songs, “Que Vida“, begins with this little melody:

The Mockers – “Que Vida (2012) (excerpt)


That instantly reminded me of:

Cheap Trick – “Don’t Be Cruel (1988) (excerpt)


As well as the original:

Elvis Presley – “Don’t Be Cruel (1956) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

The Mockers – “Que Vida (2012)

Cheap Trick – “Don’t Be Cruel (1988)


Elvis Presley – “Don’t Be Cruel (1956)


By the way, that little melody was also used by a band called Middle Brother, and that coincidence was featured in a previous Musical coincidence.

Déjà vu, baby.

Musical coincidences # 334

November 15, 2012

My friend Steve (Hi, Steve!) asked me if I’d ever had a post that featured songs using the riff from T. Rex‘s “Get It On“. My immediate answer was “Nope”, so Steve supplied some tracks he knew of that borrowed the riff, and I found some others.

First of all, here’s the T. Rex riff:

T. Rex – “Get It On (1971) (excerpt)


Apparently, that riff stemmed from a much earlier song. Wikipedia says:

[T. Rex’s Marc] Bolan claimed to have written the song out of his desire to record Chuck Berry‘s “Little Queenie”, and said that the riff is taken from the Berry song.”

My guess is that this is the part of “Little Queenie” that Marc Bolan appropriated:

Chuck Berry – “Little Queenie” (1959) (excerpt)


Here’s a cavalcade of copycats:

The Rolling Stones – “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) (1974) (excerpt)


AC/DC – “High Voltage (1975) (excerpt)


The Cars – “Dangerous Type” (1979) (excerpt)


Andy Taylor – “Take It Easy” (1986) (excerpt)


The most litigious musician on the Internet – “Cream (1991) (excerpt)


Oasis – “Cigarettes & Alcohol (1994) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

Chuck Berry – “Little Queenie” (1959)


T. Rex – “Get It On (1971)


The Rolling Stones – “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) (1974)


AC/DC – “High Voltage (1975)


The Cars – “Dangerous Type” (1979)


Andy Taylor – “Take It Easy” (1986)


The most litigious musician on the Internet – “Cream (1991)


Oasis – “Cigarettes & Alcohol (1994)


Song of the day: Columbus Short – "My Babe"

November 15, 2012

I’m a semi-fan of the blues – i.e., I have to be in the mood for it, otherwise I find it a bit dull.

But when I am in the mood I love it, even when it’s a remake of an old blues song recorded for a movie:

Columbus Short – “My Babe (2008)


Here’s the original:

Little Walter – “My Babe (1955)


Thanks to Stephen for letting me know about “My Babe”. Thanks, Stephenita!

By the way, the drumming in Columbus Short’s version of “My Babe” reminds me of a Squeeze song:

Squeeze – “Messed Around (1981)



Commenter Duncan (Hi, Duncan!) mentioned that “My Babe” was based upon an old spiritual called “This Train” that was recorded by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Thanks to Duncan’s comment I’ll present you with “This Train”. Sister Rosetta Tharpe recorded it four times in her career: in 1939, 1943, and twice in 1947.


Being the completist I am, here’s the first recorded version of “This Train”:

Wood’s Famous Blind Jubilee Singers – “This Train Is Bound For Glory” (1925)