Tag Archives: Music

The End Of An Old Song, Appalachian Mountain Music Documentary by John Cohen, 25min., 1970

“The End of an Old Song” by John Cohen, is a movie about Dillard Chandler an American Appalachian Folk singer and the mountain people in North Carolina. Cohen himself is know for being a founding member of the New Modal Rounders and maker of the documentary “The High Lonesome Sound”.  Cohen’s recordings of Dillard Chandler were released by Folkway records and later reissued by Tompkins Square. –dying for bad music Continue reading The End Of An Old Song, Appalachian Mountain Music Documentary by John Cohen, 25min., 1970

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Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson & Sunday Morning Coming Down: The Story Behind The Song

 “Actually,” Kristofferson told NPR last year, “it was the song that allowed me to quit working for a living.”

-40 Saddest Country Songs of All Time, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sept. 26, 2014

Kris Kristofferson wrote this song while living in a run-down tenement in Nashville when he was working as a janitor for Columbia Records – a strange occupation considering he had a master’s degree from Oxford University and risen to the rank of captain in the US Army. But Kristofferson wanted to be a songwriter, so he turned down a professor position at the US Military Academy at West Point and swept floors at Columbia waiting for his break.

In the military Kristofferson learned to fly planes and he worked as a commercial helicopter pilot in Nashville, and the story of how he got his demo tape of this song to Cash has become legend: He flew his National Guard helicopter to Cash’s front yard, where he landed and delivered the tape. The story is often skewed to imply that Cash had never met Kristofferson, but they had known each other since 1965. In a 2008 interview with the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Kristofferson explained: “I knew John before then. I’d been his janitor at the recording studio, and I’d pitched him every song I ever wrote, so he knew who I was. But it was still kind of an invasion of privacy that I wouldn’t recommend.

To be honest, I don’t think he was there. He had a whole story about me getting out of the helicopter with a tape in one hand and a beer in the other.

John had a pretty creative memory but I would never have disputed his version of what happened because he was so responsible for any success I had as a songwriter and performer. He put me on the stage the first time I ever was, during a performance at the Newport Folk Festival.”

This song is about a hangover, with Cash singing about “coming down” on a Sunday morning after being “stoned” on Saturday night. Many of Kris Kristofferson’s songs deal with what happens after the fun, and it’s usually not pretty. In this song, our hero puts on his cleanest dirty shirt, drinks a few beers, and heads out to face a lonely day.

This song was #1 on the Country charts for two weeks in September 1970. It was Kristofferson’s first Country #1 as a writer.

In a 2009 Rolling Stone article about Kris Kristofferson that was written by Ethan Hawke, it explains that Kris made Johnny Cash listen to the song before removing the helicopter. After hearing it Cash said he “liked his songs so much that I would take them off and not let anybody else hear them.”

Cash recorded the song live on The Johnny Cash Show, and before the show, ABC censors asked him to change the lyrics, “Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned” to “Wishing, Lord, that I was home.” Cash sang it the way Kristofferson wrote it, and even stressed the word “stoned.”
The original version of this song was recorded by Ray Stevens in 1969. At the 2009 BMI Country Awards, where Kristofferson was honored as an icon, he recalled how Stevens took a chance on his tune, when he was still an unknown songwriter. “Nobody had ever put that much money and effort into recording one of my songs,” Kristofferson said. “I remember the first time I heard it – he’s a wonderful singer – I had to leave the publishing house and I just sat on the steps and wept because it was such a beautiful thing.”

Stevens added that he was drawn to the song because he felt Kristofferson had a “spark.”
“He was very talented, very smart and right on time with his style,” Stevens recalled. “A lot of people since then have copied those songs that he put out so at this point in time it doesn’t seem all that different. It still is of course. There are very few writers who get that spark at the right time.”
-from songfacts.com   http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3904

Bob Dylan: San Francisco Press Conference, 1965, video, 51 min

Bob Dylan’s 1965 San Francisco televised press conference in full. Recorded on 3 December 1965.

This is the only full length press conference by Dylan ever televised in its entirety. The transcript was made from an audio tape of the conference, and the only editing has been to take out statements concerning ticket availability and times of the local concerts – Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone Magazine, December 14, 1967.

When Bob Dylan‘s five concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area were scheduled in December 1965, the idea was proposed that he hold a press conference in the studios of KQED, the educational television station.

Dylan accepted and flew out a day early to make it.

Continue reading Bob Dylan: San Francisco Press Conference, 1965, video, 51 min

DEVONTE HYNES & PHILIP GLASS: When You Gonna Get A Real Job?, NPR MUSIC, video 6.5 min.

‘When You Gonna Get A Real Job’: Philip Glass And Devonté Hynes Compare Notes

by THOMAS HUIZENGA

At first glance, Devonté Hynes and Philip Glass might appear like musical opposites. Hynes, the 31-year-old British producer and songwriter who performs under the name Blood Orange, makes hit records with Solange and Carly Rae Jepson. Glass, the 80-year-old Baltimore-born New Yorker who writes operas and film scores, is one of classical music’s legendary artists.

But walk into Hynes’ third floor loft in New York’s Chinatown and you’ll find a photo of Glass on his piano. Hynes, it turns out, is a fan. He discovered Glass’ music by chance as a London teenager, when he bought the 1982 album Glassworks on the strength of its crystalline cover image alone. What he heard after he brought it home transfixed him. Today, he says Glass’ influence “seeps” into his music — the interlocking marimba parts in “Best to You” or the feather light ostinato that ignites “Better Than Me.” Last year, he surprised a few ears when he played excerpts from Glass’ solo piano suite Metamorphosis during a live session on SiriusXM.

This spring, Hynes invited Glass to his apartment where they sat at a piano, compared chords and traded stories. Ninety minutes later, their wide ranging conversation had touched on the pulse of New York City, the pains of striking out on your own as a musician, what role the arts play in society today and Hamilton. Plus about a hundred other ideas.

Perhaps the most potent virtue Hynes and Glass share is an instinctive ear for collaboration. Glass has worked with everyone from Ravi Shankar and Paul Simon to dozens of filmmakers, dancers, poets and visual artists. Hynes moves adroitly, too. These days he pairs up with Sky Ferreira, FKA Twigs, Haim and ballet dancer Maria Kochetkova, but in his teens he joined a dance-punk band named Test Icicles, then moved on to the quirky folk-pop of Lightspeed Champion.

Maybe it’s that willingness to let something unknown percolate into a new idea. And maybe that’s why these two musicians, some 50 years apart in age, decided to meet on a cloudy April afternoon in Chinatown to let yet another intriguing collaboration blossom.

 

LEONARD BERNSTEIN: THE UNANSWERED QUESTION, Harvard Lecture Series, 1973, excerpt from Lecture #1 , 5min.

The Unanswered Question is the title of a lecture series given by Leonard Bernstein in the fall of 1973. This series of six lectures was a component of Bernstein’s duties as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry for the 1972-73 academic year at Harvard University, and is therefore often referred to as the Norton Lectures. The lectures were both recorded on video and printed as a book, titled The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard.

During his year as visiting professor at Harvard University, Leonard Bernstein had various duties, such as being in residence and advising students, but historically the most significant of these was to deliver a series of lectures. This series comprised six lectures on music, which cumulatively took the title of a work by Charles Ives, The Unanswered Question. Bernstein drew analogies to other disciplines, such as poetry, aesthetics, and especially linguistics, hoping to make these lectures accessible to an audience with limited or no musical experience, while maintaining an intelligent level of discourse.

MIXTAPE: FUTURES & PASTS, weekly from FreeformPortland, 90.3fm, via Mixcloud

Futures & Pasts is a weekly radio show from Portland, Oregon which provides an enlightening mix of late’70’s DIY punk, femme punk, postponk & current music exploring the same kinda noisemaking. It’s hosted by Erika Elizabeth who has an impressively deep knowledge of her subject matter.  She also contributes articles to the music zine Maximum RockandRoll.

The show broadcasts live every Thursday night from 8-10pm PST at 90.3FM in N/NE Portland, or worldwide at freeformportland.org. Complete shows are available on Mixcloud.

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