So, as long as I have this blog going…
A few weeks back, a post made by a friend on Facebook caught my attention. The post, in the form of a list within a photo, asked for a song that I liked in each of thirty different categories. And I replied at the time with thirty favorites.
But then I got to thinking. (Insert smartass comment here, everybody.) Anyhow…as I thought about it, I realized that there were a lot of songs out there that missed the cut for one reason or another that deserved some love as well. And, to be honest, some of the final entries on the list were actually a tough call. And then it dawned on me…why not expand the list to three songs in each category, and put a few words down about each in the blog?
So here it is…the first of thirty entries based on that list. I am going to try, as much as possible, to use songs from my iPod; there is a pool of six hundred of my favorites right there, and it provides a pretty good cross-section of my musical tastes. Now, this will not always be possible, especially within the confines of a couple of the categories. And a caveat: I have already posted about a few of these songs already, either here or on my Facebook page. Finally, some of the songs that appeared on my original Facebook list of thirty may appear here under a different category. So be it; my game, my rules. And don’t expect a sudden torrent of posts here – or even necessarily a weekly contribution; these will come up as they can.
With that said: The first entry on the list called for a song with a color in the title. Pretty straightforward stuff, so here goes with my three:
ZZ Top: “Hot, Blue and Righteous” – I first heard this one after work one night long ago at Nino’s. At the time, ZZ Top was still nearly a decade from the peak of their fame. To be sure, the album from which this cut was drawn (Tres Hombres) put them on the map; “La Grange” received a good deal of airplay on both the local AM and FM stations, and “Jesus Just Left Chicago” was a late-night staple on the FM side. It was a couple of years later, though, when one of my co-workers brought the album in and played it after our shift was finished…and this one just hit me out of nowhere. The vibe I got the first time I heard it was almost spiritual…a sense that was certainly confirmed a couple of plays later, when I figured out the words:
Waylon Jennings: “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” – So often the first version of a song that a person hears is the one that sticks, regardless of whatever one might hear later. So it is here; this is a Chuck Berry song that was covered by many others (most notably Buddy Holly). And, in fact, ol’ Waylon took some serious liberties with the lyrics, rearranging the verses and dropping one altogether. Normally, that would leave me quite upset…but, as I said, this was the first version I ever heard. And, to be honest, Jennings’ voice seems a better fit for this song than any other I have heard thus far, carrying with it as always that insinuating quality that, in this case, seems to imply that the brown-eyed handsome man would be quite the catch, indeed, for the woman lucky enough to find him:
Rick Nelson: “Promenade In Green” – Teen idol Ricky Nelson was at his peak a few years before I began listening to the radio with any regularity, Still, I had a passing familiarity with his work by the late Sixties, thanks to a four-hour oldies program carried on the local AM station every Sunday night. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when I heard him on the radio one day referred to as “Rick” Nelson; the DJ made it a point that he was no longer “Ricky”. And then, the song. This was nothing at all like what I had ever heard from Ricky, whose music really never did that much for me. Here was a sweet little ballad about a children’s playground game (in which, I later learned, he managed to name-check his three children at the time). And if the song might not have been anything all that consequential in the Big Scheme of Things, it did manage somehow to endear itself to me. If I was not a fan of Ricky, I had just become a fan of Rick: