4

193: The Band, ‘Rockin’ Chair’

“The Band” had a profound timeliness for 1969. But it also has a purity and timelessness, a music that evokes respect for what went before, a modesty and gravitas and resonance rare in popular art. The album is a gift.

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192: Les Double Six of Paris, “Moanin'”

The hard-bop jazz vocal sextet Les Double Six of Paris–their sources, their contemporaries and their followers; and why vocal jazz groups loved singing Count Basie.

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11

195: Hoagy Carmichael, ‘Skylark’

Earworms, crazy loons, the will o’ the wisp, a gypsy serenading the moon, Oliver Twist (the dance), all these and more in this week’s SoTW!
Especially the elegant and passionate songwrighting of Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer.

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6

190: Bob Dylan, ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’

Kids, be careful! One little romp in the back seat, whoops, you’re a parent forever. One untimely text, you’re limping through the Pearly Gates at 21. Write a Protest Song at 22, you’re a Protest Singer forever.

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2

186: The Everly Brothers, ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’

Boudreaux and Felice Bryant wrote 23 hit songs for The Everly Brothers. The couple met when Felice was 19. She saw Boudreaux in a hotel lobby, told him she’d seen him in a dream when she was 8, and had been looking for him ever since. ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ was true autobiography.

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9

078: Paul Simon, ‘The Late, Great Johnny Ace’

John Lennon was murdered 39 years ago today. Paul Simon wrote a song around that event. Even today, my mind gets teary when it lights on John Lennon’s death. He appears in Paul Simon’s song only obliquely, because the song isn’t about John Lennon, and it’s not about Johnny Ace. It’s about Paul Simon, and about you, and about me.

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6

183: Love, ‘Alone Again Or’ (Bryan MacLean)

An obscure legend: the beautiful Bryan MacLean demo, of the indelible opening cut of Love’s “Forever Changes”, a gift that justifies all the mothers of the world cleaning out their garages and discovering their little boys’ lost treasures.

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2

184: Arik Einstein, ‘Ruach Stav’ (‘Autumn Breeze’)

Arik Einstein died six years ago this week. More than a singer, he was a national icon, a symbol of our brand-new little old-fashioned country with its oh-so-long history, its pain, its optimism and its cynicism, its utter belief in itself and its vehement denial of that belief.

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