I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again
by Maddox Bros & Rose
Played 29 Times
You sick’uh bein tied down? You remember how fondly those daffodils of partnership sounded back when you was playin’ in a solo duet? Don’t feel none too good now, now does it!?
I’m sorry if I sound bitter, but my husband chaw’s tobaccah and he snores in his sleep.
Here’s a fucking wollup of a doozey from the Maddox Bros. and their special flower of a sis, Rose. Remembered affectionately as America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band, this heroic assemblage of boppy brethren consisted of four brothers and their sister (Rose) who were born in Alabama and eventually hitchhiked their way to California. They fucking did this during the Great Depression when they were just children. Eventually their musical leanings made their way onto the radio in 1937 for a furniture commercial, then after some mild recognition recorded from ‘46 to ‘51 on Four Star Records.
“We were called hillbilly singers - not country - then. No, none of this country music then. People just called us hillbilly… People tell me that I was one of the first women to sing what I sang - country boogie. I guess I was. There was no rock ‘n’ roll in those early days, before 1955. Only country boogie. My brothers also played that way. We called it country then.” —— Rose
Ah, ngai nzambe
by Luyeye Gaston
Played 29 Times
Rumba in the Jungle
Aaand we’re back!
Keen followers may notice that I tend to be more interested in music from the African diaspora than music from Africa itself. Part of it has to do with how huge and diverse the styles of African music are, and it’s not something I’ve really delved into much.
A while back I picked up a compilation of Congolese pop from the early-to-mid 50s called “The Roots of Rumba Rock.” What’s really striking about the music is how much obvious Afro-Cuban influence there is to it.
If I listened to this without focusing on the lyrics, they could pass for Spanish, and I would not for a second guess that this came from Central Africa, and would think it was an old Cuban rumba group.
It’s interesting to me that African rhythms had such a big influence on Cuban music, but then the tables got turned. Musicians in the Belgian Congo (later Zaire, currently DRC) used their own musical heritage while using the newer Cuban sounds to complement them. Sez Crammed Discs:
“In the early Fifties, Kinshasa (then called Léopoldville) became a musical beehive. Being the capital of a country the size of a continent, it was a meeting point for a wide variety of ethnic groups which soon merged their traditions to create new musical styles. But the main reason why the music of Kinshasa grew so strong and conquered all Africa lies in its spectacularly successful reappropriation of Afro-Cuban music, which was instantly recognized and adopted as a prodigal son coming back home. Which of course it really was: only two generations had passed since the end of the slave trade from Congo to Cuba, and most elements in Cuban music sounded very familiar to Congolese ears.”
Unfortunately, I can’t find any information about Luyeye Gaston, the group or individual who does this tune. But I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
by Brenda Lee
Played 109 Times
Brenda Is My Mes Chers Amis-o
When she’s not rockin’ around the Christmas tree, Atlanta native Brenda Lee is apparently wailing on this Williams classic. She manages to make that stunted-rockabilly-hiccup sound hotter than Charlie Feathers while getting as low and gritty as Wanda Jackson. I can’t say the latter is something she does on the regs (considering her fucking gargantuan discography), but when she shines - she shines. Enjoy!
by Alemayehu Eshete
Played 39 Times
This tune is my favorite number of the amazing French compilation “Ethiopiques,” which highlights some of the incredible jazz, funk, and pop recorded in 60s-70s Ethiopia. Some of the comps feature various artists, while others are solo artists.
I haven’t heard all of the 27 (!) volumes of the series, but it’s well worth checking out. I recommend volume 14, which features the eerie jazz-ish sounds of Gétatchèw Mèkurya, who later recorded with The Ex, and volume 8, “Swingin’ Addis, 1969-74,” which is where today’s sauce originates..
It’s a wonderful mystery to me how music is able to make its way into war-torn dictatorships through certain channels. In 1948, Ethiopia banned music that wasn’t distributed by the government, but as the Ethiopiques series highlights, subversive folks like Amha Eshete were able to record and distribute tons of Western-themed tunes in the late 60s and early 70s.
Sez Bob Tarte:
“Risking imprisonment, Eshèté gambled that the time was right to spin the momentum of a tape underground into a vinyl defiance of the recording ban. By 1970, the declining power of Emperor Haile Sellassie coupled with the huge commercial success of Amha Records sunk the 1948 edict under its own weight. Sellassie chose to bless the homegrown recording industry, spurring an artistic explosion unlike anything else on the continent. The intensity was so great, it was as almost as if the producers and performers recognized that they had only a short while to get as much music released as possible.”
However this tune came to be, there’s no doubt in my mind that James Brown’s influence had made it all the way to the Horn of Africa. It’s by Alemayehu Eshete, who was part of that recording boom, and remains one of Ethiopia’s best-known pop stars. He was one of many who fled the country when the Communist Derg party took over in 1974, leaving a trail of funkiness in his wake.
by Red Shadow (The Economics Rock & Roll Band)
Played 20 Times
Marx & Lenin Will Really Turn You Loose!
Fellow worker, have you been beaten down by your boss? Are you tired of the proletariat not controlling the means of production?
Well, let’s take it back to a groovier time, 1975, when this group of college professors called The Red Shadow recorded this song ostensibly to show kids that Marx is as hip as bell-bottoms and pet rocks. (My timeframe might be off for that image…)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever met a janitor who addressed you as “fellow worker” and just happened to have an extra copy of “State and Revolution” to give you.
I Want To Live And Love 
by Hank and Audrey Williams
Played 31 Times
V-Day Just One Step Closer To D-Day
Hank and Audrey’s marriage was as fiery and short-lived as their lives. During the handful of years they were together, both struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. In the beginning, it seemed to have been a lot of ‘the-bottle-or-me’ ultimatums from Audrey, who couldn’t bear the chaos of Hank’s fame and substance-abuse. Country biographer Colin Escott wrote:
“Her duets with Hank were like an extension of their married life in that she fought him for dominance on every note.”
After their second divorce in June, 1952 Hank allegedly responded “Audrey, I won’t live another year without you.” He died six months later due to insufficiency of the right ventricle of the heart at age 29. Audrey died 22 years later from a substance-abuse related heart failure.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I Ain't Never
by Webb Pierce
Played 29 Times
Webb, What’s Wrong With You?
I first heard Webb’s liver-bustin’ “There Stands The Glass” (apparently composed by Audrey Graham, Mary Jean Shurtz, and Russ Hull but first performed by Webb) from my own grandpa’s guit-box. I grew up thinking it was just about pouring drink after drink and still being thirsty.
This song was featured on the cherished Hound, was first recorded in 1959, and was composed by Pierce and Mel Tillis.
I’m back, ladies and gents, this time with another Sauce mix. This one pays tribute to two of the greats of Jamaican pop music, Desmond Dekker and Derrick Morgan.
Desmond died in 2005, but Derrick is still around and kicking. Both of these dudes were instrumental in giving Jamaican music an international appeal, starting with the ska explosion of the early-60s.
The Derrick Morgan tune “Forward March” is a triumphant anthem celebrating Jamaican’s 1962 independence from Britain. The Morgan song “Tougher than Tough” actually features Desmond Dekker, and was one of the first to popularize a trend of “rude boy” songs that sang about Kingston’s gangster culture. And of course Dekker songs like “007” and “The Israelites” have become classics that you will hear blasting from sound systems all around the world.
There Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down
by Brother Claude Ely
Played 133 Times
Man of Constant Sorrow
by The Stanley Brothers
Played 52 Times
Meet The Real ‘Soggy Bottom Boys’
This song (and a slew of other stringed/gospel gems) reentered the modern database with the Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” - an amazingly American adaptation of The Odyssey. This (original) recording has that same powerful declaration at the start and sweet, sweet harmonies throughout.
Ralph and Carter Stanley were born in Virginia, recorded this tune in 1950, and are active today in Ralph’s bluegrass revival band, The Clinch Mountain Boys.
Check this compilation from their Starday/King Records years (1958 - ‘61)
by Johnny Guitar Watson
Played 119 Times
A Surfy-Rock-Guitar-Instro Gem!
While I can definitely get down with the occasional instrumental rock jam, I don’t do it very often. I mean you can’t touch guys like Link Wray or Dick Dale. They (and guys like them) are untouchable. But the standards get multiplied when there are no words, and this song passes the damn test. Johnny released other instrumental tunes, but he’s probably best known for songs like ‘Gangster of Love’, where he sings just as well. This compilation of his early hits is where you’ll want to start if you’re new to him.
Bottom line here: His early 50’s-60’s stuff is some ass-rockin R&B. Do not soil the positive image of this man by exploring his funky days in the 1970’s.
Born John Watson in Houston, TX, February 3, 1935; Died on stage of a heart attack, May 17, 1996, in Yokohama, Japan.
Cold Cold Heart
by Charlie Feathers
Played 19 Times
Many A Crooner Has Covered This Beaut
Johnny Cash. Dinah Washington. Even Louis Armstrong! All have taken a croon’n crack at Hank’s timeless composition. But Charlie Feathers’s version is the most downright swaggerworthy. I mean it’s Charlie Feathers, yall. Come on. He sounds cool as a cucumber even when he’s singing a heartbreaker.
This recording comes to you via Norton’s ‘08 release of the Mississippi Man’s rare and unissued tracks, Honky Tonk Kind, and is pt. 1 in a 3-pt. compilation series..