This next cd on the shelf is an mp3 collection filed under ‘j’ for Joe because these are all ‘Joe’s.’
Here is Joe Simon’s My adorable one (Vee Jay); Happy Birthday, Baby; Get Down. The first is a compilation of singles when he was recording with Vee Jay. Soulful & sweet & traditional r’n’b. The next two are later in his career and have a great strut disco sound that I love. You know that Blaxploitation movie sound that Isaac Hayes perfected. The songs are more sexual with great make out groove sultriness. His voice is pure sex too.
Joe Tex: The Very Best Of – an amazing combo of gospel, country & soul. Another of those rich commanding voices that gave even indifferent material greater depth of feeling. Music I never heard on my local top 40 radio & now love.
Joe South: Introspect. Another southern soul singer with an amazing voice & also an amazing writer, best known for Game People Play, Never Promised You A Rose Garden – he straddled country & pop. Romantic social commentary.
Big Joe Turner: The Blues Collection – early rock’n’roll – Shake, Rattle, and Roll – soulful rock-a-billy by a performer who influenced nearly everyone starting with Elvis. Good fun stuff that’s great for doing housework 🙂
Jo Stafford – You Belong To Me. Stretching the Jo a little with this fine set of songs by one of the foremost female vocalists of the 50’s/60’s. Jo has a pure voice that is more jazz than pop. She was never in the youth market – this is adult music. Here is a set of a great show/movie songs done well.
Finally Country Joe McDonald: The Vanguard Years. Yes this the Country Joe of Country Joe & the Fish. He did have a solo career before, during & after the Fish. More hippy, folk blues than psychedelic experimental mind you. Just as political, romantic & never escape that faint counter-culture of marijuana. At least then grass was counter-culture.
‘This is Ross Hadley.’ The old gent ran his finger along the newspaper clipping. The photo showed several students surrounding a fellow who had broken his leg in a ski accident. The newspaper was over 50 years old and the old gent was pulled into his past before our very eyes. ‘He was Rob’s best friend. That’s Rob there with the broken leg.’
Rob was on the outer edge of the group. Face `turned toward the camera while most of the other faces where turned in his direction. I knew which one Rob was, as this was Rob’s funeral.
I had selected the group of photos to put out. All of them were from a time when many of us wouldn’t have known Rob. But for this man, only this one was of a time when he knew Rob.
‘Ross and Rob were best of friends. Couldn’t pry them apart. Great chums they where. Ross we called Suit because he would show up in a different suit nearly everyday.’
Turns out they had gone to a proper dress school. Business suits were required.
‘We found out later that Ross’s Dad ran some sort of garment shop – made linens for all the hospitals in the city at that time and supplied uniforms too. So of course he could get decent clothes easily. Suit. Haven’t seen a picture of Suit for years. Not this one ever. You got any others.’
I didn’t. I had wanted a selection for the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s. To bring a memory of a Rob we didn’t know, rather than current ones, they would be reminders of the Rob we would never see again.
‘He wasn’t much a student. I can recall one of his teachers saying ‘It would be nice if Rob would leave his dream world and join us in class.’ ’
I guess teachers don’t change much because I can recall a teacher saying almost the same thing to me years later in another part of the world. Big world, but the details remain the same. Boys would be boys wherever they were in time or place.
‘He was always laughing though. People liked him. You know? Now Ross here married Grace O’Connor. Her Dad owned several bakeries. Wonder what became of them? Haven’t heard of Ross for many years. I read the obits everyday though, so, just like reading about Rob here, I may see what’s become of Ross too.’
every Tuesday 2019
Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise
August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
August 8: Highland Arts Theatre: https://www.highlandartstheatre.com
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Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)
Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors
June – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. capfireslam.org
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