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Robotic vocals have no emotional impact. Some of the greatest vocal recordings of all time featured less-than-perfect vocals. Percy Sledge was out of tune on "When a Man Loves a Woman." Ben E. King was straining in the upper limits of his vocal range on "There Goes My Baby." Hank Williams' voice wasn't capable of vocal gymnastics, yet his songs pack a powerful emotional punch. The trick is to know when a flaw enhances a performance.
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One of the great lost voices of the 60s. I love her version of "Today I Started Loving You Again," but I couldn't find a video.  
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This is footage from Farm Aid 1990 viked from Youtube. The sound quality could be better. Listen to the studio version; you'll go to pieces over it.
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Hearing that I was planning to attend a k.d. lang concert, a coworker blurted out "She's a lesbian! I'd never listen to a lesbian." Proof that bigots are punished; she's missing out on one of the greatest voices of all time.

This reminds me of an incident involving my late father. I came home one day to find him walking through the house singing "Karma Chameleon" and asked if he'd ever seen Boy George, wondering about his Southern Baptist reaction to George. He shrugged and said, "I like the song. That's all that I care about."  
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An instructor at the local community college was a big fan of Lyle Lovett, and even mentioned him in the title poem of  her poetry collection, The Hillbilly Vampire.  She wrote that some people thought of hillbilly vampires as "Lyle Lovett in a cape," but they're actually people who raid mountain culture and carry off quilts. I loaned the book a long time ago, but I'll try to find the poem and post it.
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The Avett Brothers are based in North Carolina, and their local shows have been sellouts for years. The band is gaining well-deserved national popularity.  Go and see them live if you can; they put on a great show.

"If it's the Beaches" is one of the most beautiful breakup songs ever.  No frills, just great music and these lyrics:

Don't say it's over
Cause that's the worst news I could hear I swear that I will 
Do my best to be here just the way you like it
Even though its hard to hide
Push my feelings all aside
I will rearrange my plans and change for you

If I could go back 
That's the first thing I would do I swear that I would
Do my best to folow through 
Come up with a master plan
A homerun hit, a winning stand
A guarantee and not a promise
That I'll never let your love slip from my hands

If it's the beaches 
If it's the beaches' sands you want
Then you will have them
If it's the mountains' bending rivers
Then you will have them
If it's the wish to run away 
Then I will grant it
Take whatever what you think of
While I go gas up the truck
Pack the old love letters up
We will read them when we forget why we left here

BTW, if you're a vinyl fan, their work is available on vinyl. Their elegantly pure music was perfect for the vinyl revival. Naturally, it's available in digital form also.

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This is Emmylou Harris and the Waybacks with John Cowan, Sam Bush, and Ron Ickes performing "Wild Horses" live at Merlefest. It was amazing; I wish that I had a better quality video to post.  There's a pretty good MP3 making the rounds. Let's hope that they record and release it.
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This site has insructions on how to search for a song when you don't know the title, remember only a snippet of lyrics, etc. I find it helpful when I just have to find out the title of a song before it drives me crazy.
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I got this from twelveoaks, who got it from someone else. Don't you just love it? It made my day.
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I heard Eldon Bishop's "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" on the radio today. I hadn't heard it in long time. I can't believe that he was a physics major. 
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Most people are familiar with Billy Ward and the Dominoes' classic "Sixty Minute Man."  Answer songs were popular in the fifties, and they released their own answer: "Can't Do Sixty No More."  You can imagine the lyrics. A friend recently had a milestone birthday, and I sent him a copy. Priceless!

Note: Clarence Carter released a gleefully lascivious version of "Sixty Minute Man."  I can only imagine what his version of "Can't Do Sixty No More" would sound like. 
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My late father had a fondness for novelty songs. I had the misfortune of having a conversation with a braggart today. You know the kind that is always right, knows everything, and loves himself to a fault? As I stood there listening to this mularkey, I suddenly heard my father's voice in my head: "oh he comes on like Rock Hudson, and he thinks he's superman-he's Waldo P. Emerson Jones." I hadn't thought  of that song in years. Daddy claimed that it was the theme song for one of my classmates in high school.

I ran across a weird question on a music trivia game, but I knew the answer, thanks to Daddy's collection of Coasters songs: "I'm a Hog For You." It's probably one of the corniest, most ridiculous novelty songs ever. If you don't believe me, look up the lyrics on the net. Truly awful. Don't send it to your sweetie!

2 novelty songs that I despise: "Just A' Swinging" and "Achy Breaky Heart."

Which novelty songs irritate you?

Is there one that you like?  
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I should've posted this sooner. Vintage Vinyl News is a great source of info on recording artists who have been around for awhile.  New releases and upcoming concert dates! Thanks again, brak 55.
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My 2 favorite Van Morrison songs are "Astral Weeks" and "Into the Mystic." Ever love a song so much that it's hard to describe that love in satisfactorially extravagant  terms?

I like the whole Astral Weeks  album. It stirs pleasant memories. A friend used to have a convertible, and we'd all pile in and go for drives in the mountains. This album was a favorite on those drives. I associate the music with sunshine, light sparkling on water, and shadows passing over us as we drove along tree shadowed roads. It feels so good to just relax, close my eyes, and relive the feeling. 

You know what would be the ultimate: a solar-powered convertible! All the fun without any guilt about destroying the very environment you're enjoying as you roll along.
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I read a newspaper article that said that the new premium vinyl is becoming trendy  among young music collectors. There was a discussion about the difference in sound quality between analog and digital. I agree that the analog has a warmer sound with more depth. I frequently hear old favorites of mine in digital form for the first time and am disappointed. Older singles were engineered to sound good on the record players of their era and something is lost in the transition to digital. Among others, Sun and Bluebird recordings really should be experienced on vinyl.

I love the easy storage and transportabilty of digital, but I'll always have some vinyl and not just because I'm a dinosaur. 
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I heard Jackson Brown singing "The Pretender" on the radio this week. Although Brown wrote the song, I don't care for his version. I'm not crazy about his voice. I prefer Gary US Bond's version off of Dedication, a Bruce Springsteen and Little Steven Van Zandt produced album from the early 80's. Bond delivers the lyrics with passion, and the backing by members of the E Street Band is superb. Springsteen's vocal can be heard on several tracks, and the great Ben E. King and Chuck Jackson provide backup vocals on "Your Love."  "Daddy's Come Home" is a fantastic song with lyrics by VanZandt and a soulful performance by Bonds. The lyrics suited the mood of the troubled early 80s, but are even more relevant now. There's even a decent version of the Beatles' "It's Only Love."

On the Line, another Springsteen and Van Zandt produced album, was Bond's next album. It didn't sell as well, but got better reviews. Chuck Jackson can be heard  on "Club Soul City."  Once again, Springsteen, Van Zandt, Clarence Clemmons, and Roy Bittan provide their services. "Out of Work" was practically the anthem for the early 80s and would suffice for 2009.

If you buy the 2 albums combined on one CD, the last track on On the Line , "Last Time," is dropped in order to fit the albums onto one disc. It's a very somber song, but I like it. Dinosaur that I am, I have both albums on vinyl.

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Another friend is worried that she'll lose her job.  The economic news just keeps getting worse. These songs come to mind.

"Pouring Water on a Drowning Man"  James Carr  
Dave Marsh wrote that Carr "makes you feel every drop of the inundation metaphor."  I can't describe it any better than that.

"I'm A-Tellin' You"  Jerry Butler
The lyrics say it all: 
                                I got up, I go to work
                                I try real hard to do my job
                                But before the day is done
                                I find out I done something wrong

                                Days are getting longer 
                                And my nights are getting shorter
                                And my way gets softer
                                And my work gets harder 
                                Now in everything I do
                                I'm trying hard to make one dream come true
                                And maybe someday, Lord, I'll find 
                                Satisfaction and peace of mind  

I hope that we all can find some satifaction and peace of mind.
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"Put a Little Love in Your Heart"  Annie Lennox and Al Green. 
Great idea, good beat, wonderful vocals. 


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