Going back over the songs I recorded on Fire and Fall Back (solo acoustic/voice), I find that I must, after the space of, what, 8 years+?, reinvent the songs in order to sing them, so great has been the change in consciousness. It is like singing the songs of another person. Which is entirely true. But some (not all) of the songs (I speak of my own) are still worth singing.
Anyone who has undergone a radical life change will get what I mean, I am certain. It is not simply vocal pitch and tone, which has deepened considerably and become less nasal and more resonant (and was already going through the change at the time of recording — I can hear it now). It is the state of consciousness which was recorded then, and is not available to me now.
So those songs of my own which I can still understand and express, but with the new understanding, I will adapt to this new person who is singing them, who is still me, nonetheless. A delightful discovery!
New songs for the solo show:
Luther Played the Boogie Woogie (Johnny Cash)
You Do Something to Me (Sammy Davis, Jr.)
Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell)
Me and My Shadow (Peggy Lee)
Jim and Jack and Hank (Alan Jackson)
Although I’ve known Wichita Lineman since it came out in ’67 (when still in the womb, of course), I’d never been able to do the song justice with just guitar and voice, but suddenly, I heard it — a Eureka moment after prolonged gestation. It took me 6 months to discover the right arrangement for La Mer (Charles Trenet). Far longer for this song!
Look at what I picked up for a song… Published, 1942. (But the uke chords are all wrong for many tunes — they used to do this on purpose.)
Has the famous JIVE DICTIONARY in the back, too!
CANARY: Girl vocalist
HIDE BEATER: Drummer
MITT POUNDING: Applause
Thank you to WSNC, Winston-Salem Public Radio, for putting The Last Whoop-dee-doo! in rotation on the Afternoon Jazz Show with Jim Steele
New songs added to the solo show repetoire:
I See the Want To in Your Eyes (Conway Twitty, 1974)
Who’ll Chop Your Suey? (Cleo Brown, 1936)
It Won’t Be Long (The Beatles, 1963)
Detour Ahead (Billie Holiday, 1949)
Careless Love (Snooks Eaglin, 1958)
And a couple of new originals, as well, to be recorded this year.
WBCQ will play my slapstick version of Walter Donalson’s “Makin’ Whoopee,” recorded many years ago. I’d not released it before. I found it lingering on an old hard drive and, yes, it made me laugh. So pleased it will go out on the airwaves and my thanks to the management (you know who you are!).
If you never heard me do Jimmy Durante, Barry White and Judge Judy in the same clip, you’re in for a treat. Well, you’re in for something, anyhow.
For fans in Europe and Japan, listen in tomorrow (March 16, 2017) between 2300 and 2330 UTC on 7390 kHz. For those stateside, that translates to 5:00-5:30pm Eastern. If you don’t have a shortwave radio, you can listen here.
I’ll be in great company with lots of novelty songs you’ve not heard in decades. Grab an ice cold Cheerwine or a hot toddy if you’re still stuck in the northeast and be prepared to laugh.
I always liked Reba McEntire’s voice and stage personality, but now I admire her. If you love and respect your audience, you want to please them. Today on TV:
Behar asked McEntire, “If you ever went on a political rant in the middle of your act, what would happen?”
“My fans would be shocked,” the two-time Grammy-winner said. “I take it this way: they have paid their hard-earned money to come in there and fill a seat — parking, getting something at the concession stand, go and eat before the concert — I am there to entertain them, to take their worries away from them, so when they walk out, they can kind of have a little lift in their step and go, ‘Aw, that was such a great break from all the problems I have to deal with during daily life.’ So I’m not going to give them my political views.”