Goodbye Pork Pie Hat or the "Theme For Lester Young" as it was later renamed, was composed in 1959 by jazz juggernaut CharlesMingus. The song was composed as an elegy for the then recently deceased saxophonist, and was originally recorded on the landmark album, Mingus Ah Um. Since it's debut, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat has stood as a monument; it's musical worth cannot be overstated. It is a track and a composition that always strikes to the core of me.
Recently, I found this performance of the incomparableDaveHolland performing the tune on solo bass. The composition's evocative and sentimental melody takes on a powerful new life in the hands of Holland. If this performance inspires you to hear more, you can find his studio recording on the album One's All, but good luck trying to find a digital copy of the record.
I don't know where it is you are reading this, but in Baltimore, this performance is perfect for an evening such as tonight. You dig?
Dolly Parton's third studio album, In The Good Old Days (When Times Where Bad) was released in 1969. I found this record in Arbutus MD at their record trade show a couple years back and have been in absolute love with it ever since. This is the kind of classic country that wields pun and tragedy alongside infectious hooks and a backing band that any performer would take into battle.
I think it's incredible that this album came out in the same year as the summer of love, Johnny Cash's San Quentin concert, the Beatles Abbey Road, and the Apollo 11 moon landing. What a watershed year - I'm not sure my generation has seen anything like it.
Regardless, this can be a tricky record to track down unless you're willing to drop some serious coin. It looks like amazon has a couple of copies both new and used, but I suggest you get out into your community of vinyl enthusiasts and dig around. When you uncover your copy it will sound ever sweeter. Go out and dig. You dig?
Wow. It has certainly been awhile, hasn't it? I've had a nice little 3 week vacation from Those Who Dig, and in the meantime I've moved to a little town (Kennebunk) in a big state (Maine). I've started at a new trade school, started biking everywhere, rehurt my shins running, ate a lot of tofu, and learned to make Old Fashioneds. It's been an eventful month. I have definitely missed the ol' Dig so hopefully this gets me back in the groove.
What do I have for you today, you ask? How about a little Stevie Wonder. Actually how about Little Stevie Wonder. I picked up 12 year old Stevie's Tribute To Uncle Ray at a record shop and hot damn it's a fun time. People get down on this record for the whole "making a blind, black kid cover a blind, black guy" schtick and because Stevie's voice wasn't yet what it would become, but come on dudes. Get that big pole out of your backside. Kid was picked up by Berry Gordy and sings his heart out to tunes written by (or inspired by) Ray Charles. Did I mention he was 12?
"I Can't Stand It" is a stand-out track from The Chambers Brothers' 1967 release, Time Has Come. This is the album where the Brothers' Chamber came alive. They had been moving through the folk scene gaining notoriety (even singing back-up for Dylan on some unreleased tracks), but with Time Has Come, the boys electrified and funkified.
This radio-ready single is usually overlooked since this album also contained the Brothers' biggest hit "Time Has Come Today". The guys were often called the East Coast Sly Stone, and you can hear that in this one. I like the big cavernous drums, harp breakdown, and The Who-sounding high harmonies. Bangin' track, guys.
Ray Charles was really three people. Little known fact. There was Jazz Ray, Blues Ray, and Country Ray. Here's a gem from Jazz Ray during his heroin-fueled Atlantic days. "Deed I Do" is a track from The Genius Of Ray Charles that doesn't get much attention, maybe because it's an oft-covered jazz standard that's been played by everyone from Ella to Les Paul. The band provides plenty of bombast and swing in equal measures and Ray catwalks his way through the vocal delivery going from hushed to yell, low-down to up-high. At it's core it's a loungy rendition that ends in slowed down theatrics.