First Post

Here is the type of thing I like to talk about and share. Cover versions, that is songs re-recorded from the original or a variation of the original. These particular songs below relate to some of my longest and dearest friends and some of their musical interests.

R.E.M. “There She Goes Again”, REM 1983, Velvet Underground, 1967

“Dust My Broom”

Written by Robert Johnson , released in 1937

Elmo (Elmore) James version recorded in 1951, ZZ Top plays the James adapted version 1979

Graham Parker’s “Turned up too Late”

Pointer Sisters 1979, Parker in 1976

“Gypsy Woman” by the Impressions (Curtis Mayfield) 1961

Brian Hyland (of Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini fame) 1970, Bruce Springsteen in 1994

“Bad is Bad” A song written by Huey Lewis et al but first recorded by Dave Edmunds in 1979 (Repeat When Necessary)

Then Huey in 1983

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, “You Got to Move” 1950 cover count 32 (see more about her below), Rolling Stones 1971

..this is a traditional African American spiritual song like many others the words got changed over the years and by different singers, the Stones started playing in studio just kicking around, then live on stage in 1969 and then recorded it at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama that same year, added to Sticky Fingers in 1971. I read that Mick Taylor said their version was influenced by Mississippi Fred McDowell, a delta blues singer who was likely in his sixties when he recorded this version, he died age 66.

I included Tharpes version which is not the original because if you don’t know about her she was an amazing talent not only singing, writing and acting but a pioneer on guitar that influenced Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash (btw Maybelle Carter-June’s mother was no slouch on guitar either), Carl Perkins and later the likes of Clapton, Jeff Beck, Richards, Taylor and many others. She was ‘doing it’ first on acoustic then switched to electric in the mid 1930’s and through the early 40’s. She was primarily a gospel singer- there is a medley below, she was amazing. One of the earliest masters of the electric guitar, I agree with those that put her up there with T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson and Les Paul. She died from complications due to diabetes in 1973 at age 58 and buried in an unmarked grave.

Click here for another video on Tharpe’s guitar playing.

Going forward I will blog about artists, themes, time periods etc. I will wander around a bit on genres but I will pay more attention to my own areas of interest, that being the roots of rock and roll, blues music and topics relating to cover songs in general. Please check out some of my posts for a bit more detail on particular songs or artists and how they relate through the songs they cover or original songs covered by other artists.

Thanks, Randy

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