* While a struggling student at New Orlean's Jesuit High School, this artist was already playing in night clubs...something the Jesuit Fathers disapproved. They gave him an ultimatum...stop playing or leave the school.
They ended up expelling him (in 1954) and music became his career. An injury to his ring finger basically made him switch from guitar to piano. Name the artist...
*This artist passed away from a heart attack last year at the age of 75. He struggled to make it in the business until listening to Bobbie Gentry's self-penned, Ode To Billy Joe. Her success led him to the belief he should write about what he knows...and that is exactly what he did on the track we'll play. The subject of the song harkens back to a favorite meal of his growing up.
*The 10th studio album by this artist in 1991 was heralded as a comeback album for him. He enlisted some great artists to assist him on the album...Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Phil Everly and Bruce Springsteen to name a few. The artist prepared 12 songs and then was told to come up with 1 or 2 more so the album could be released. The artist was tapped out, but ultimately obliged and put one more together. Name the artist.
*These two artists were participating in a Battle Of The Bands at a ballroom in Philadelphia in 1967. They were in different bands, but the competition was halted when rival gangs literally got into a gun battle. The two artists found themselves trying to escape the scene in the same service elevator. That started a relationship that became incredibly successful. We'll play a track from their 17th studio album released in 2004. Name the artists
Battle Of The Bands!
Moondance by Van Morrison vs Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison
1. Dr. John 2. Tony Joe White (Polk Salad Annie) 3. John Prine 4. Daryl Hall & John Oates
Listeners sided with Roy Orbison with 53% of votes
Inside The Gates Radio Embraces Cover Songs
BY: MIKE PODSEDLY
Cover Songs have an important place in the rock music universe. I have looked for cover versions of songs because the interpretations by other artists are fascinating listening. Covers range from duplicating the original performance to putting a whole new spin on the song.
In popular music, a cover version, remake, cover song, revival, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a song. No matter how unique and different your version is, someone else legally owns the song and is therefore entitled to royalties. By requesting a mechanical license, you are ensuring that the original creator of the song is getting their fair share of the sales of the cover.
The advent of the singer/songwriter era, around the late 60s or early 70s, many artists’ songs had greater lyrical and musical depth leaving room for an evolving re-interpretation of a song’s feel or meaning. Using someone else’s hit song has often been a way for a new act to get heard and recognized.
Nowadays, a “cover-version” of a writers’ song is considered a high compliment. It means that the effort has garnered attention and appreciation to the point of other stylists wanting to add their interpretation to a song they find appealing.
I have selected a list of cover songs that I consider significant in some way. I have added some comments to each song of interest.
“Twist And Shout” (1963) cover by The Beatles of The Isley Brothers: In the beginning of their career The Beatles covered a lot of songs. This one was especially attention getting.
“House Of The Rising Sun” (1964) cover by The Animals of Unknown: This song is so old, its origin is unknown with many theories.
“With A Little Help From My Friends” (1968) cover by Joe Cocker of The Beatles: These versions couldn't sound less alike. The Beatles version sounds vanilla, while Joe's is gospel soul bliss.
“Everybody’s Talkin’” (1968) cover by Harry Nilsson of Fred Neil: Nilsson had been a computer programmer at a bank in Los Angeles. He released “Everybody’s Talkin'” on his 1968 album, “Aerial Ballet”. The next year it stole the show as the featured theme song of the 1969 cult classic film, Midnight Cowboy. The song helped solidify Nilsson’s career as a countercultural poet with no master.
“Woodstock” (1970) cover by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young of Joni Mitchell: Joni Mitchell wrote and recorded the definitive song about the Woodstock festival. She did not attend but watched the TV coverage from her hotel room. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young did appear, playing an acoustic set followed by an electric set around 3 a.m.
“Me and Bobby McGee” (1971) cover by Janis Joplin of Kris Krisofferson: This was written by Kris Kristofferson, but it was Janis Joplin's hit cover that gave his career a lift. The song was released after she died of a heroin overdose. It was the second song that was #1 in US after the artist had died.
“Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds” (1974) cover by Elton John of John Lennon: As the story goes, Elton made a bet with Lennon that he could make a #1 hit with it. After he lost, Lennon came out of retirement during Elton's show got up on stage for 3 songs.
“Blinded By The Light” (1976) cover by Manfred Mann's Earth Band of Bruce Springsteen: This cover version from went #1 in 1976. Ironically, Bruce used to perform the Manfred Mann hit “Pretty Flamingo” in early concerts.
“Cocaine” (1977) cover by Eric Clapton of J J Cale: Another song that was recorded and released originally by J J Cale. The success of the song led to Cale getting a record deal enabling him to have enough money to make music on his own terms.
“Ooh Baby Baby” (1978) cover by Linda Ronstadt of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: Linda was not a songwriter, so it was about picking the right song. Her styling was the key to her success. She covered many songs but this was a perfect choice for her.
“Walk Away Renee” (1983) cover by Rickie Lee Jones of The Left Banks: Rickie was a great interpreter of Rock and has done an entire album of covers. This one is from the highly praised "Girl At Her Volcano" LP.
“Alone” (1987) cover by Heart of i-Ten: “Alone” first appeared on i-Ten's 1983 album with little success. They heard that Heart was looking for a power ballad and Alone came to mind. They liked everything about the song except for the first line of the chorus.
After investigating cover songs I wanted to get reactions from the Inside The Gates DJs, a most knowledgeable group.
Dinnis Keefe has a live show on Saturday evenings at 6:30pm titled SoundSense. He has been in the radio and recording business for years and his experience is reflected in his show commentary.
“Everybody wants to cover a Dylan song. First off, the songs are almost all lyrically marvelous and melodically obliging. It’s hard not to look and sound good with one of these tunes coming out of your mouth. And frankly, Mr D’s original renditions usually leave some room for refinements.”
Keefe described what he looks for in a cover saying “For taking a song as far as conceivable from its original intent and turning it into something astonishing, if not unrepeatable. Bettye Lavette’s ‘Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook’ takes the gold. Start with George Harrison’s ‘Isn't It A Pity.’ Listen sitting down to avoid injury when your knees buckle.”
Alikhan shares his favorites
Shiraz Alikhan has a live show on Sundays at 4:30 pm named San Francisco Nights. He was in a cover band here in Big Canoe for several years called Off the Record. He also performs a lot of covers at the Acoustic Showcase performances
Alikhan commented about “’With a Little Help From My Friends’. John and Paul wrote this for Ringo to sing on ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and deliberately wrote a melody with limited range. Cocker put himself on the rock music map with his aching, soulful version at Woodstock which became a kind of anthem. That concert and the movie documenting it displayed Cocker's rather eccentric singing style that some people mocked. He was good natured during his ‘Dueling Cockers’ appearance on SNL in 1976. Then John Belushi joined him on another great Cocker cover, Dave Mason & Traffic's ‘Feeling Alright’”.
Alikhan further pointed out that “We have a great cover of Procul Harum’s ’A Whiter Shade of Pale’ by Annie Lennox and also have a terrific cover of ‘Ain't No Sunshine’ a Bill Withers classic by Joan Osborne in our library. My wife really likes this version.”
Looney’s Tunes too
Craig Looney has a Live Show on Sundays at 6:30 pm appropriately called Looney’s Tunes
Looney remarked that “Cover songs are the topic and I think all of the ITG Radio DJ's are huge fans of them. I enjoy them so very much that I started a new regular segment on Looney's Tunes, Cover Me Up.
Each week I play an original track from an artist/band and go to great lengths to find an interesting cover version. The covers I most enjoy are versions that consider the original as a foundation and build it into something unique, respectful of the original, but distinct in their own interpretation.
I have found some great ones during my research, including Simon & Garfunkel's ‘Scarborough Fair’ covered by the band Sea Level, Simon & Garfunkel's ‘Sound Of Silence’ covered by the artist, Disturbed, Aerosmith's ‘Sweet Emotion’ covered by Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon and Johnny Cash's ‘Ring of Fire’ covered by Ruthie Foster”
Please visit our website insidethegatesradio.com for information about connecting options, download apps, live show schedules and station news. Send us an email to TGRadio@bigcanoepoa.org to express your questions, comments or suggestions.
* The subject person of this song is David Geffen...the braintrust and frontman of his record label, Asylum Records. The song is about the pressures the music industry puts on their artists. Geffen had some outstanding artists on his label and quite a few played on this song from 1974, with backing vocals to the original artist. Name the performer who released the song and extra credit for the name of the tune...
*Ben Orr was the bassist and vocalist of this band, but prior to joining them, he kicked around in the Cleveland, Ohio area with a band named The Grasshoppers. That band was pretty successful opening for The Beach Boys at times and had a loyal fan club. But, eventually, Orr met another artist who had dropped out of both Antioch College and Bowling Green University and they started this notable and successful band. Name the artist he met and the band they started together.
*When The Beatles established Apple Records, they didn't want it to be all Beatles...they wanted to sign other bands. This was one of the very first they signed. In fact, George Harrison played with them and even helped produce one of their first albums. Name the band...
*This 4-time Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductee was raised a Quaker and spent eight childhood summers attending a Quaker camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Claiming those summers as 'life-changing' experiences, the artist developed all kinds of appreciation for nature, a love of music and social justice. Name the artist...
Battle Of The Bands!
Undun by The Guess Who vs Blue Collar by Bachman – Turner Overdrive
1. Joni Mitchell, Free Man in Paris 2. Cars 3. Badfinger 4. Bonnie Raitt
Listeners chose The Guess Who with 57% of votes
I’m sure many listeners and other fans were elated by my Michigan State Spartans victory over the vaunted Michigan Wolverines in the Big House!
* We'll go to the first single released from this artist's first solo album in 1996. While the track did not chart exceptionally well, it caught the attention of someone responsible for the soundtrack of the movie, Twister, starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. Name the artist and the song if you can...
*This terrific song was released as a B-side to a single, not once, but twice in a span of 2 years. The 1st time was with the song, After Midnight, the 2nd time with Let It Rain. It has been described as 'a very underrated love song'. Now you should be able to guess the artist, but name the track...
*These related artists formed a band when they first started in 1974. The band's name? The Army which later transformed to the name White Heart. One of the artists had a stutter all pretty much through her formative years, but oddly enough, it disappeared when she started singing. Name the artists and their final band name...
*This well-known performer cut his first solo album in 1970 and one of the songs we'll play was released as a single that was actually inspired by a new relationship with Rita Coolidge. He had help on this song from 5 other well-known artists, including John Sebastion and Cass Elliott to name just two of them. Name the artist and real extra credit if you can guess the song...
Battle Of The Bands!
One on One by Hall and Oates vs Handbags and Gladrags by Rod Stewart
1. Mark Knopfler, Darling Pretty 2. Eric Clapton, Easy Now
3. Ann (stuttered) and Nancy Wilson became Heart 4. Stephen Stills, Set Yourself Down
Listeners chose Rod Stewart with 53% of votes
* This band's lead singer was in a long-term relationship in 1978 when he walked into a clothing store where a high school student (who had a boyfriend herself) worked. The age difference between them was 8 years, but that didn't deter the artist. With his girlfriend looking on, he invited the younger girl to a show. Ultimately a year later after they met, they started dating, even getting engaged at one point, but his lifestyle was just too much and after 5 years, everything ended. But not before this song that included her name became very popular. Name the band and song
*This band cut a follow-up album to their immensely successful 1974 album the following year, but the process was plagued by creative and artistic differences with members walking out on 3 different occasions. The band had lost its drummer in 1974 due to a drug overdose and that was a huge blow to the remaining members. The producer persevered and got the band through the recording of the new album. Name the funk and R& B band
*This band's singer and guitarist wrote the lyrics to this popular song while in a cab on the way to Heathrow airport. He just wrote down what he saw and how he felt as the cab was winding the way through traffic. He didn't end up singing the lead on this track, but that honor went to a singer that also sang with the band Ace and Mike And The Mechanics. Name the song, the band and extra credit for the dude that sang it
*We'll play a song that was released as a single only in the US as the record label elsewhere wanted to encourage people to buy albums rather than 45s. The artist, who changed his name in 1977 and stopped making secular music in 1979, actually released a boxed set of his old songs as he came to realize that people found strength and inspiration in his older songs. Name the artist (both names)
Battle Of The Bands!
Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ by Journey vs Imaginary Lover by Atlanta Rhythm Section
1.The Knack, My Sharona 2. Average White Band 3. Tempted, Squeeze, Paul Carrack
Listeners chose Atlanta Rhythm Section by a single vote
* Robby Krieger, guitarist of The Doors wrote this song we'll play tomorrow. He originally named the song something else based on fights he had with his girlfriend. The lyrics were a bit more severe until, Jim Morrison, of all people, showed some restraint and insisted on changing the lyrics and ultimately, the song title. At the end of the track, Morrison chants, 'Stronger Than Dirt' from the popular Ajax commercial. Name that tune!
*The country of Spain made a fine contribution to the rock scene back in the year of 1966. The colorful song I refer to finds the singer utterly flummoxed by a girl who has left him. He wants her back, but then considers that she'll only leave him again. Name the tune...the title of which confirms the shade of the color.
*Mick Jagger went into a local drugstore of a town on their first US tour in 1964. He wanted a cherry coke (back then, it was a regular coke with real cherries in it), but the drugstore, despite having soda fountains, did not have cherry cokes. A local character, by the name of Mr. Jimmy, standing behind Jagger made a comment...a line that became a famous Stones tune...Name that tune!
*This singer/songwriter back in the 60's/70's became more famous writing songs for others like The Carpenters, Helen Reddy and even 1 track for David Bowie. But the group he wrote the most songs for was Three Dog Night.
He is still alive today at 80 years old. Name the singer/songwriter
Battle Of The Bands!
This week’s contest combined the Battle and Cover Me Up segments. It featured the original artist against 3 covers versions. The song was Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Listeners voted in the following Proportions :
Bob Dylan 31%, Bryan Ferry 12%, The Persuasions 21%, Eric Clapton 36%
BY MIKE PODSEDLY
I watched a TV documentary on EPIX recently titled “Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time” directed by Alison Ellwood that sought to capture one of rock music’s greatest eras. Constructed from old videos and photos augmented by new interviews, it told the story of this landmark music scene. Many of the songs generated during this time are mainstays in the Inside the Gates Radio vast music library.
The golden years of the Laurel Canyon scene, roughly 1967-74, saw the birth of the singer-songwriter movement and the rise of huge stars, from folk-rock bands like the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas to Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, the Flying Burrito Brothers, America, and the Eagles—many of whom played on each other’s records.
Artists didn’t initially move to Laurel Canyon because it was a musical mecca. They moved there because it was a cheap place to live, with easy access to L.A. and clubs like the Troubadour and Whisky A-Go-Go that would give new artists a shot. Musicians gravitated to places that were inexpensive and then their friends gravitated there. Pretty soon, no one but musicians lived there.
There were so many artists that had gotten out of folk music because folk had gone out of fashion. The music produced there has often been labeled as folk or soft rock for its mellow sound, but the canyon was a melting pot, cross-breeding the genres of folk, psychedelia, pop, blues, country and rock. Laurel Canyon bloomed with melodic, atmospheric and politicized songs that defined the moment, made by artists who defined a generation.
Laurel Canyon was an idyll for musicians, a place secluded from the bright lights of Los Angeles, where they could breathe the same air and create freely, together. During the show photographer Henry Diltz, who saw and documented much of the scene, narrates the encounter where David Crosby recalls inviting his protégé, an unknown Joni Mitchell, to a party arranged by Cass Elliott to welcome Eric Clapton on his first visit to America. Clapton sat mesmerized, Crosby recalls, by Mitchell’s unique guitar-fingering style.
In a new interview for the show, “We were living in the very center of this beautiful bubble of friendship, sunshine, sex, drugs and music,” says Graham Nash, the British Invasion veteran who defected to Southern California, where he became a charter member of Laurel Canyon society, hooking up with David Crosby of the Byrds and Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield at the Laurel Canyon home of Joni Mitchell, Nash’s girlfriend at the time, to form Crosby, Stills & Nash.
The heyday of the Laurel Canyon music scene may be over, but that’s the point. Lisa Robinson wrote in a February 8, 2015 Vanity Fair article entitled “An Oral History of Laurel Canyon, the 60s and 70s Music Mecca”, “Scenes aren’t meant to last. They sparkle with activity, flourish, then burn out.” It’s never forgotten though — the musical style and sound lives on, continuing to inspire and influence the artists of today.
Gary Tripp from Long Live Vinyl.net compiled a list of 40 albums in terms of Laurel Canyon-ness. I have selected some of the great albums released from his list during this time have endured time and genre changes. They are big part of “the Greatest Music of our Lifetime” played on the Inside The Gates Radio rotation.
“Buffalo Springfield” (1967): Buffalo Springfield’s songwriting power trio of Young, Stills and Richie Furay combined to produce a timeless and stupidly influential release.
“Crosby, Stills & Nash” (1969): The harmonies and the confessional songwriting of CSN’s debut has come to define the Laurel Canyon sound.
“Sweet Baby James” James Taylor (1970): After recording his debut in the UK for The Beatles’ Apple label, Taylor decamped to Laurel Canyon, adding to the ranks of straggly-haired, denim-clad, introspective singer-songwriters.
“Ladies of the Canyon” Joni Mitchell (1970): Moving away from the airy folkiness of her first two albums, the singer-songwriter’s transitional third opens her up as an artist of boundless talent.
“Déjà Vu” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970) Crosby, Stills and Nash were bolstered by the arrival of Neil Young into their fold. the album’s magical harmonies and memorable songs mark it out as a milestone of the movement. It remains the quintessential Laurel Canyon LP.
“If I Could Only Remember My Name” David Crosby (1971)
Surfing the wave of Déjà Vu, David Crosby invited his mates to help him out on his solo debut and Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Grace Slick and Jerry Garcia, among others, answered the call.
“Tapestry” –Carole King (1971)
Carole King had written a string of hits for others as a songwriter in New York’s Brill Building, but on “Tapestry”, she was singing for herself. Its perfectly crafted songs marked it as one of the quintessential singer-songwriter albums of the 70s.
“Songs For Beginners” Graham Nash (1971) Nash recorded his first solo album in the wake of his split with Joni Mitchell, and many of the songs lament the time spent together.
“For Everyman” Jackson Browne (1973) Equal parts bluesy folk and piano-driven ballads, Laurel Canyon resident Jackson Browne. The serene songwriter was able to enlist a star-studded supporting cast including his buddies Glenn Frey and Don Henley, while Elton John, credited as “Rockaday Johnnie,” contributes some piano. As a side note, the genius of Jackson Browne was presented in a midweek special show by Craig Looney on Inside the Gates Radio Live.
Please visit our website insidethegatesradio.com for information about connecting options, download apps, live show schedules and station news. Send us an email to ITGRadio@bigcanoepoa.org to express your questions, comments or suggestions.
* Said this artist of one of his most famous tracks..."It was interesting as I was becoming a Christian at that time and we never thought a thing about it. We never thought that doing something semi-religious was any big deal. We didn't think of it as being politically incorrect or anything like that...we just did what felt right" The year was 1968...Any guesses as to the artist and the quite popular song?
*A two-part track with two distinct sections bridging them will play today. The second part was originally written for Buffalo Springfield and appeared on their 1968 album. With both parts merged, this song became the opening track of a most significant album in 1970. Lots to guess here...The band, the album and extra credit if you know who wrote the 2nd merged part for Buffalo Springfield...
*We are going to play the most negative song ever recorded as the word 'no' appears 100 times and 'nobody' gets sung 46 times. Name the bar band from Youngstown, Ohio that sang it and the song.
*Yacht rockers will delight as we play a track with a mellow 70's vibe that has specific references to sailing. Yacht rock became a quite popular genre in America in the decade of the 2000's and it helped revive the music of this band. Name the band and the track
Battle Of The Bands!
Gloria by Van Morrison vs Roll with It by Steve Winwood
1. Tommy James & The Shondells Crystal Blue Persuasion 2. Carry On, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Déjà Vu, Stephen Stills 3. Human Beinz, Nobody But Me
4. Little River Band, Cool Change
Listeners picked Steve Winwood with 53% of the votes
* A track we play early on has been called 'Soul Perfection' and rightly so. It was written by the artist who actually wrote it with the intention of giving the song to singer Kim Carnes (rolling with the success of Bette Davis Eyes), but it did not work out and the writer ended up recording it himself. Name the artist and the song if you can.
*The songwriting team of Glenn Frey and Don Henley actually started writing this song in 2001, but it was not completed and ultimately recorded until 2007. They both admitted that they were never quite sure they would ever finish the song, but a late revelation provided a burst of inspiration and they got it done. Name the song
*This track makes a statement involving satire and humor, poking fun at the incredibly silly lifestyle that someone in the artist's position is faced with...that being despite having a really nice house, he's on the road so much...it is really hard to even feel he lives there. The road life for any musician is not always wine and roses according to this track...Name the artist and the song
*47 years ago, this song appeared on this group's 5th studio album. It's been described as 'the infectious title track' of the album, as its lyrics are 'skillfully depicting the love for a woman or a commitment to God, depending on how one interprets them.' The latter aspect is no surprise, given that the duo was famously affiliated with the Baha'i faith. Name the band and the song
Battle Of The Bands!
Every Breath You Take by Sting vs All About Soul by Billy Joel
1. Smokey Robinson, Being With You 2. Long Road Out of Eden
3. Joe Walsh, Life’s Been Good 4. Seals & Croft, Diamond Girl
Listeners picked Sting with 53% of the votes
* Phil Collins recorded a demo of this track for 2 purposes...one to share with Stephen Bishop (remember the song On And On) so that Bishop would have an idea for recording it himself...and two...for the soundtrack of the movie Buster. He eventually found out that the film used the demo recording and decided to record it himself as he accepted a starring role in the movie. Name the song.
*This band was not the first group to use a horn section, but they were the first to fuse it with rock, jazz and some blues thrown in for good measure. They practiced in a loft on Bleeker Street in New York's Greenwich Village, as crowds gathered and cheered them on any time they did practice. They knew they were on the right track. Name the band
*The title of this track is kind of pure nonsense with a few possible theories on what it meant. Was it an expression used as a way of congratulating each other or perhaps it was simply the name of the artist's pet cat. Name the artist and the song.
*This song was written long before climate change became a hot topic, but even in 1970, some ecologically minded songwriters were concerned about Mother Earth. The track is a reflection on mortality, and also a lament for the fate of the Earth. Name the song and band that performs it.
Battle Of The Bands!
You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon vs Carolina In My Mind by James Taylor
Listeners picked James Taylor with 52.5% of the votes