Music Videos

I play guitar. Fairly well. And I love to play the Blues (see post of April 20, 2012). I play some drums learned from my old friend Paul S. of the “Shadows of Knight” (I went to high school with the Shadows).  I sometimes sit at the computer and play along with music videos or downloads.  And sing.   Do you ever log on to music videos? Some of the best I’ve seen are the following – some of which have literally millions of “listens.”  Oh come ON.  Check it out.  At least, check out Little Richard:
Spencer Davis – “Gimme some Lovin'” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxA3atHD2QM  (1966 – really good stuff)

“Rock Me Baby” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4OXrmxDp44 (the original was taken down – now see BB King) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK_AwCjK0Ak  

Little Richard  – “Good Golly Miss Molly” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ6h0kyqSRk  (you have got to watch this!  Please!  You will not regret it.  I promise you will smile)

Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls of Fire” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IjgZGhHrYY  (for a 3 piece group – an amazing presentation)

Billy Lee Riley – “My Gal is Red Hot” –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KylmByeB6bg      

Kenny Chesney – “She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWu4aynBK7E (there are several iterations of the video.  This is a good one.  Great for boot scootin’)

Michael Jackson – “Thriller” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG6oy46qKE4 (best music video of the ’80’s.  I miss MJ’s creativity)

Lady Gaga (Yeah – Lady Gaga) – “Poker Face” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bESGLojNYSo  (her best. . . nearly 200 million hits!)

I continue to tell Donna I should get my old group back together (I played in college with “Scott and the Bookends” – two girls and me – and the “Corydon Trio’).  But Donna keeps saying “Don’t quit the day job, Elvis.”  (Sigh)  Wait a minute. . . . maybe Lady Gaga needs a backup guitarist. . . . .

Robert Johnson

What do Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and Scott Petersen have in common?   We have all been inspired by Robert Johnson — the godfather of the Blues. 

In my post of April 20, 2012 (“Martin O-18”), I talked about how I enjoy playing the guitar; how I played years ago in a group; and how I still play nearly every day.  And I love to play the Blues.  The  grand master of the Blues and inspiration to so many of the greats was Robert LeRoy Johnson.  Robert Johnson was born in Hazelhurst, MS in 1911.  At an early age, Robert began playing the harmonica, the “jaw harp” and the guitar.  Soon, he settled into life as an itinerant musician — playing in bars, juke joints and dance halls in the Mississippi Delta.   He would often arrive in a new town and stand in front of a barber shop or restaurant where he would serenade the town folk with Blues, pop standards, jazz or country music.  He was versatile and proficient. 

There are only two known recording sessions of the works of Robert Johnson:  in 1936 in the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX; and in 1937 at the Vitagraph Building in Dallas.  The songs are grainy and yet iconic.   At the 3 day San Antonio session, Johnson recorded 16 selections, a few with alternate “takes.”  In Dallas, 11 recordings were made.  It is believed he did the sessions playing a Gibson L-1.  The complete collection of Johnson’s “discography” can be had for a few dollars (see  http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Collection-Robert-Johnson/dp/B001DA9VJW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1368741022&sr=8-3&keywords=robert+johnson ).    

Robert Johnson enjoyed the company of ladies and he is known to have fathered several children.  And his dalliance got him into trouble.  On August 16, 1938, at the age of 27, Robert Johnson while playing in a dance hall in Greenwood, MS was poisoned by a jealous husband.  Johnson died and was buried in an unmarked grave nearby.

Robert Johnson is known for a series of wonderful songs but his most famous are Cross Road Blues, Hellhound on my Trail and – Sweet Home Chicago.  I would still like to get my old group back together but Donna has clearly advised “Don’t quit the day job, Elvis.”         

Martin O-18

In 1962, my parents bought me a guitar.  Not just any guitar but a Martin O-18.  A pristine, unused 1960 model.  It was an extravagence they could not afford — but did. 

My Martin traveled to college with me.  To law school.  I played in a group early on with two girls from my church — “Scott & the Bookends” (yes I know).   If we couldn’t get a gig as “Scott & the Bookends,” we went by the name “The Corydon Trio.”   For my daughter, I played every night when she went to bed — from the day we brought her home from the hospital and for years (see post of 8/14/11). 

I love my guitar and I still strum it nearly every day.  Usually the same old stuff (mostly the Blues) but sometimes new stuff to stretch my brain.   Ten years ago, I started taking lessons — every Monday until shortly before my daughter got married.   What a hoot! 

A few years ago, I called the Martin Guitar Company about doing a little fixup (tuning keys, frets, etc.) and they said that if I was the original owner, it was still under (lifetime) warranty.  I found the paperwork and got a “new” guitar back.  

I’ve told Donna that maybe I should try and get the Bookends back together and we could go on the road.  Her response?  “Don’t quit the day job, Elvis.”  (Sigh)  Rock on. . . . . .