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Catamount Community Radio - January 8, 2012

It was a little raggedy around the edges, but I'm still convinced that the show was a good one.

The original idea was to feature vocalists, so I played Sarah Vaughan, Anita O'Day, Tony Bennett, Billie Holliday and the Gordons, with Hank Jones: He's got on his beret and his dark glasses, he knows all the latest riffs, but he's misunderstood because language like his hasn't been heard before.

I played Fairground Attraction's "A Smile and Whisper" because I like the lyrics:

All of the letters in all of the words
In all of the books all over the world
They're nothing but sounds and vowels and nouns
For talking to strangers, that's all they were


Orchestra of tiny hearts
It's like pepper sprinkled on our hearts
We're threading a needle with boxing gloves
When we try and talk about love

It is a gray day in Cullowhee. But inside your radio the skies are blue, because Tom Waits tells us so.

Blue skies over my head
Give me another reason to get out of bed
And blue skies shine on my face
Give me another woman to take her place

For my intermission music I played an electronica tune I heard the other day on WFMU, "Time Bird." We emerged from it, like so many zombies coming out of their torpor, tearing ourselves out of the trance the music induced, and kicking off another hour of music with the keyboard manipulation of Bebo Valdés.

We heard Phil Ochs, doing "Pretty Smart on my Part." Here's Ben Greenman:

"Ochs’ sixth album, Rehearsals for Retirement (1969), was recorded after Ochs appeared at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It’s at once a document of the deepest despair—it grew out of terror and sorrow over the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, and the cover image was of Ochs’s tombstone—and a rollicking good time. “Pretty Smart on My Part,” the leadoff track, skips along on a fleet acoustic riff before descending into a disturbing, if hilarious, series of psychosexual portraits of America. Phil, in chracter, is menaced by a hitchhiker, whips a woman with big breasts, is terrorized by an intruder, experiences humiliation at the hands of the cops, and plots to assassinate the president."

We heard a couple different versions of Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazy River." We didn't hear the classic interpretation of the tune by Louis Armstrong, with its perfect trumpet solo, but we did hear Bing Crosby and les freres Mills goof on it, followed by Benny Goodman's trio version featuring the ineffable piano of Teddy Wilson.

We did a little study of Jelly Roll Morton's "King Porter Stomp." We heard Jelly play it, then we heard him talk about it with Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress (1938), then we heard Benny Goodman's version, which basically just capitalizes on the amazing riff that anchors the tune. I don't know who wrote Goodman's arrangement, whether it was Fletcher Henderson or not.

Bob Dylan shared his recipe for Figgy pudding, which includes suet, and we also listened to him expound on mistletoe ("like athletes foot for astronauts").

I dreamed about Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman," so I figured that was a sign that maybe I should give it a spin over the airwaves.

John Lennon sang his song for Sean, "Beautiful Boy," "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

All this and more. Doesn't it sound like fun? More fun than a barrel of monkeys. Catamount Community Radio, Sunday mornings 10-12 (East Coast) on WWCU-FM.

1. Lee Konitz – Fooling Myself
2. Sarah Vaughan – Prelude to a Kiss
3. Sarah Vaughan – Mean to Me
4. Garnet Mimms – Cry Baby
5. Anita O’Day – The Man With a Horn
6. Clifford Jordan – Glass Bead Games
7. Fairground Attraction – A Smile in a Whisper
8. Jelly Roll Morton – King Porter Stomp
9. Jelly Roll Morton w/ Alan Lomax – The Story of King Porter Stomp
10. Benny Goodman – King Porter Stomp
11. Tom Waits – Blue Skies
12. Bob Dylan – Figgy Pudding
13. Arthur Prysock – What a Difference a Day Makes
14. Duke Ellington – The Intimacy of the Blues
15. Bert Williams – Play that Barbershop Chord
16. John Coltrane – Why Was I Born
17. Desto, Clouds & Jimi Tenor – Time Bird
18. Bebo Valdés – La cumparsita
19. Tony Bennett – Last Night When We You Were Young
20. Phil Ochs – Pretty Smart on my Part
21. Billie Holliday – He Ain’t Got Rhythm
22. Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys – Bubbles in my Beer
23. Ray Charles – I Wonder Who’s Kissing her Now
24. Coleman Hawkins & Art Tatum – My Ideal
25. Hank Jones Trio & the Gordons – Beboppers
26. Bing Crosby & the Mills Brothers – Lazy River / Paper Doll
27. Benny Goodman Trio – Lazy River
28. Frank Sinatra – Cycles
29. John Lennon – Beautiful Boy
30. Bob Dylan – Mistletoe
31. Billie Holliday – Miss Brown to You
32. Ornette Coleman – Lonely Woman

Jelly Roll Morton



April 2019



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