I was just listening to this compilation I made of gospel music from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. It’s just, if you’re open and in the right mood, there’s nothing better. Sunday morning songs, for you, here. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anything as hair-raising and heavy as Rev. Anderson Johnson’s Death In The Morning.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
OLD TIME RELIGION
01. Son House : John The Revelator
02. Roosevelt Graves & Brother : Woke Up This Morning
03. Chuck Wagon Gang : As The Life Of A Flower
04. Washington Phillips : Lift Him Up That’s All
05. The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet : Rock My Soul
06. Mahalia Jackson : God’s Gonna Separate The Wheat From The Tares
07. Rev.Gary Davis : I Belong To The Band-Hallelujah!
08. Thomas A. Dorsey : How About You
09. The Trumpeteers : Milky White Way
10. The Johnson Family Singers : Deliverance Will Come
11. The Empire Jubilee Quartet : Get Right Church
12. Uncle Dave Macon : The Bible’s True
13. James & Martha Carson : I’ll Fly Away
14. Flatt & Scruggs with the Foggy Mountain Boys : That Home Above
15. Washington Phillips : What Are They Doing In Heaven
16. Rev. Anderson Johnson : Death In The Morning
17. The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet : Found A Wonderful Savior
18. Ernest V. Stoneman & His Dixie Mountaineers : I Remember Calvary
19. Blind Willie Johnson : Take Your Burden To The Lord And Leave It There
20. Rev. W.M. Moseley : If You Follow Jesus
21. The Brown’s Ferry Four : Keep On The Firing Line
22. Blind Willie McTell : I Got To Cross The River Jordan
23. Mahalia Jackson : Amazing Grace
24. The Carter Family : Keep On The Sunny Side
25. Sister Rosetta Tharpe : Strange Things Happen Every Day
26. Rev. T.T. Rose & Singers : Goodbye Babylon Pt.II
27. Dorothy Melton : I Want Jesus To Walk With Me
Until now, I haven’t ever thought about why I enjoy collecting Christmas records. Most of them are pretty lame, so they’re easy to get, at thrift stores ( did every single member of the WWII generation listen to nothing but Mantovani, Sing Along With Mitch and Al Hirt? Jesus. ) or when the vinyl shops put out a box or two of them around the holidays .. I guess that’s part of it, but here‘s a collection of yule-time tunes ( mostly from my old records, and a few from other places ) which I really, genuinely like, for a number of different reasons.
J.’S VINYL XMAS CARD
01. The Beach Boys : Merry Christmas, Baby
02. Ed Harcourt : In The Bleak Midwinter
03. Lead Belly : Christmas is-A-Coming
04. Akim & Teddy Vann : Santa Clause Is A Black Man
05. Merle Haggard : If We Make It Through December
06. Rotary Connection : Silent Night Chant
07. Claudine Longet : Snow
08. Butterbeans & Susie : Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus ( And Mama Ain’t No Christmas Tree )
09. Jimmy McGriff : The Christmas Song
10. The Handsome Family : So Much Wine
11. Lord Beginner : Christmas Morning The Rum Had Me Yawning
12. The Moog Machine : Little Town Of Bethlehem
13. Little Cindy : Happy Birthday Jesus ( A Child’s Prayer )
14. Lou Rawls : The Little Drummer Boy
15. Kelly Pace, Aaron Brown, Joe Green, Paul Hayes, & Matthew Johnson : Holy Babe
16. Paul Revere & The Raiders : Rain, Sleet, Snow
17. Lou Rawls : Good Time Christmas
18. Leroy Carr : Christmas In Jail – Ain’t That A Pain
19. Rotary Connection : Santa’s Little Helpers
20. The Beach Boys : Auld Lang Syne
21. Lightnin’ Hopkins : Happy New Year
What : Strike Under’s 1981 Immediate Action 5-song EP, important and very good early Chicago punk record, 12″ 45rpm, hand-screened cover
Label : The first release by Wax Trax! Records
Purchased : 1981, Wax Trax!, 2449 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, by J.Yuenger, 14 years old
Your price : free
.. and it was recorded in 1967 on borrowed studio time in Los Angeles by a crew of eccentric, heroin-addicted, paranoid New Orleanians led by Malcolm John ‘Mac’ Rebennack, Jr., who was on the run from the cops, sleeping on floors, and, for the first time, playing the character of mystic /shaman /voodoo priest Dr.John.
Gris-Gris is one of the most psychedelic records I’ve ever heard, but not in a rock n’ roll fuzz-wah-wah-acid sort of way. Dr.John conjures up a timeless, dark, magic place – literally, this sounds like it could have been recorded in a swamp to an audience of frogs, blinking in the moonlight. You can download the tracks here, which are taken from my original vinyl copy. Note : if you’re a windows user and are having problems opening files from this site, try 7-Zip.
Here’s more, from Rebennack’s excellent autobiography Dr.John : Under A Hoodoo Moon :
” In 1967, after a couple of years of studio and other kinds of sidetripping in L.A., me and my New Orleans partners-in-exile finally fell into a situation where we could cut an LP on an idea I’d had since before I left New Orleans. I had always thought we could work up an interesting New Orleans-based concept behind the persona of the legendary conjureman Dr.John. This would not only allow for a dash of gris-gris in the lyrics but would also let us musicians get into a stretched-out New Orleans groove. With the help of Harold Battiste, we recorded at Gold Star Studios between sessions Sonny & Cher were doing there for Atlantic Records. The album we created, Gris-Gris, was heavy on rhythm, percussion, and guitar, and light on keyboards. I did play some organ, as on songs Mama Roux and Danse Kalinda, but stuck mostly to guitar. Steve Mann and Ernest McLean also played guitar on the session. On some songs we used two basses ( Harold Battiste and Bob West ), and our percussionist, Didimus, also doubled up on a bunch more instruments with the rest of the cats.
We were looking for an unusual, textured sound, and the cats nailed it. Naturally, we wanted the album to sell, but we weren’t into bending our music to fit somebody’s idea of what the market was about. First and foremost, we were into it for the music. This attitude isn’t often appreciated by record companies. To give you a for instance, at one point later on, I was doing a session for Bobby Darin when Ahmet Ertegun walked into the studio looking for me. ‘ Why did you give me this shit? How can we market this boogaloo crap? ‘ He was stuck with a record that was done on the sly, and he was acting as if he wouldn’t release it.
But we was of the mind that a hip record might sell if it was pitched the right way. The way we was looking at music was that it was circular in its groove, with no corners. That was what the old-time hipsters had meant by hip — something that hadn’t been squared off to fit into some kind of computerized, market-ized nightmare. In any event, Ahmet must have sensed something happening. We made five more albums for Atlantic before the deal fell through. Our theme song of that time, the first cut on the album, was Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya-Ya. It framed a mental picture of an imaginary New Orleans, and put our main character, Dr.John, out front and center. “
I recently managed to get my hands on a tape of an old college radio show – 72 minutes of music and DJ banter – from WTUL, which is the station at Tulane University in New Orleans. I edited and smoothed things out a little bit, but what you have here is pretty much what went out over the airwaves on November 29th, 1978.
There’s a lot of music that you’ll be familiar with if you’re a fan of early punk and postpunk, but there are also some obscure treats – The Normals are widely considered, along with the Red Rockers ( who came along in 1979 ), to be the most happening early New Orleans punk band, and you can listen here to Almost Ready, the ultra-rare, ultra-great 45 that was their only release.
It’s easy to forget what an exciting time this was, with fresh records arriving weekly from the UK and underground American bands starting to pop up all over the place. When the DJ ( Jay Hollingsworth wrote in to identify him as John Guarnieri, who went on to work at IRS Records ) says, casually, that Captain Beefheart is playing at Tipitina’s that night, I think, God, I’d give my right arm to be able to travel through time and see that show. Anyway, you can download the whole thing here.
THE WTUL NEW WAVE HOUR * 1978
01. DJ : Elvis Costello – ” Emotional Fascism “
02. Elvis Costello : Tiny Steps
03. The Jam : I Need You
04. Sid Vicious : My Way
05. WTUL Kraftwerk promo : ” Your FM alternative .. in stereo “
06. The Stranglers : No More Heroes
07. The Normals : Almost Ready
08. The Damned : New Rose
09. The Adverts : Gary Gilmore’s Eyes
10. DJ : playlist – station ID – import album hour – Johnny Thunders
11. New York Dolls : Who Are The Mystery Girls?
12. DEVO : Social Fools
13. The New Hearts : Plain Jane
14. The Radiators : Million Dollar Hero
15. Chelsea : High Rise Living
16. Blunt Instrument : No Excuse
17. DJ : playlist – station ID – import album hour – ” riding streetcars at strange hours ”
18. Jilted John : Jilted John
19. Split Enz : Crosswords
20. Ultravox : The Quiet Man
21. Brian Eno : Alternative 3
22. Brian Eno : Strange Light – DJ : station ID – import album hour – playlist – Captain Beefheart at Tipitina’s – The Shirts
23. The Shirts – Lonely Android
24. The Clash : Tommy Gun
25.The Boomtown Rats : Like Clockwork
26. Peter Hammill : Pushing 30
27. DJ : playlist – station ID – import album hour – musical entertainment at The Contemporary Arts Center
So, sometimes, if there’s no work, I get restless, I get in the car, and I go. Road trips aren’t for everyone, and I don’t know if I would have gravitated to it had it not been for all the touring I did in my 20s, when we hit all 50 states relentlessly, some more than others – Alaska once, Detroit, I don’t know, 20 times? MiamiAlbuquerqueDesMoinesTacoma. Houston was White Zombie central, the first city that really got the band ( Really. We were like the fucking Beatles there. ) – and if you’re going to play Houston, which we did, again and again, why not play Dallas and Austin and San Antonio and Lubbock and El Paso and, good God, Corpus Christi?
Touring in a van is a grind, and you would imagine that trading up to a nice tour bus and hotel rooms would make things easy, but it’s not true. You’re still tired and disoriented all the time, you’re still always getting sick, but now you’re totally isolated, except for when you get caught — and what I mean by that is, you know what it’s like to wake up in the dark and stumble into the bathroom to brush your teeth, right? Now imagine waking up in the dark, which is humid and diesel-scented, and having to find out where your bathroom is ( this is before cell phones, by the way ) ,opening a door to a blazing hot parking lot, and encountering 20 people who are fascinated by you. You appreciate these people, you really do, and when you’re in a good mood you’re downright fond of them, but you really, really want to brush your teeth. You know from your own experiences of meeting bands you loved – who turned out to be gigantic assholes – that if you don’t sign everything that’s put in front of you and listen to every story about where they were when they first heard your music, you’re going to ruin the show for these kids, and their week, and they will waste no time telling everybody they know, ” That dude’s a DICK! “