Every Morning Coming Down

Ray Stevens (The Streak, Guitarzan, etc.) was the first person to record the seminal Kris Kristofferson song “Sunday Morning Coming Down“, in1969. It is a true testament to one of the great songs of the era (or ever really) that it doesn’t lose any of its power no matter who recorded it. Here it is, if you must:

Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, was the first artist to record “Midnight Train to Georgia, a year before the version by my second-favorite female singer of all-time, Gladys Knight. Here it is, if you insist:

“Twist and Shout” was originally recorded in 1961 by an anonymous group of hipsters named The Top Notes, and produced by Phil Spector. I like it, but as you can hear yourself, it bears little resemblance to what it became. Covered by everyone including The Beatles, The Who, The Mamas and the Papas, and Doris Pandolfi, a folk singer from Tonawanda, New York whose act was a precursor to that of GG Allin. Really? You want to? Ok, slow-boat:

Here’s a song that you hear every few fucking minutes, either for a Cialis commercial, or Enzyte, or Zoloft or Percocet or Cymbalta or Depends Adult Undergarments (with the fresh Rose-Scent® release pouch). “Vacation” by The Go-Gos. Like I discussed in a previous post, bands who burst onto the scene with big debut releases often find themselves desperate for ways to repeat their initial success. So when they needed a follow-up to “Beauty and the Beat”, I would imagine a band meeting ensued wherein they all looked at each other and asked, nervously, “Anyone got anything?” And one of them piped up “Well, my old band recorded a catchy tune that didn’t really go anywhere…”  And the producer said “GIMME!!!!!!” Like to hear it? Here it goes…

This guy works at my office.  And a couple of his bitches, too.

And finally, here’s yet one more thing I can’t really talk to anyone about. From Wikipedia:

Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet is a 1971 composition by Gavin Bryars. It is formed on a loop of an unknown homeless man singing a brief stanza. Rich harmonies, comprising string and brass, are gradually overlaid over the stanza. The piece was first recorded for use in an Alan Power documentary which chronicles street life in and around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo, in London. When later listening to the recordings, Bryars noticed the clip was in tune with his piano and that it conveniently looped into 13 bars. For the first LP recording, Bryars was limited to a duration of 25 minutes; with the invention of the cassette tape, Bryars was able to complete a 60-minute version of the piece; and later, with the advent of the CD, a 74-minute version.

The version below features Tom Waits, but the original is just as moving, if not more. But I can’t find it. Isn’t it funny that humans do this?

It’s me. Again.
Your super-ego.
I have not written to you in a while because I’ve been laughing so hard whenever I think of your exploits. Your pathetic exploits. If only you could see what others see as soon as you walk into a room. If only you could grasp just how universally loathed you are. People at work tolerate you because you’re there and they’re there, and they simply have no choice, but truth be told, you’re no different than all the others who’ve come before you. When you leave, you’ll barely register as a memory, for a while. Then you’ll be forgotten entirely. That is, unless, like all the other places you’ve been, you burn your bridges in some fantastic fashion. Forever. How many people are still in touch with you from your old jobs? Two? Three?
The only friends you think you might have are the ones who can like you from a distance, turn you off or shut you off with a flick of a switch, a click of a mouse. BELIEVE me- they’d run just as fast and hard as the others have, away and safe from your contemptible noise.

5 thoughts on “Every Morning Coming Down

  1. Duncan Walls says:

    Thanks for the reference to Ray’s version. I had a promo 45 I received VERY early on pre-release of the LP and always measured EVERY version I heard of the song (Cash, Roger Miller, etc) by Ray’s version. The arrangement is perfect as far as I’m concerned. Nice to hear the Cissy Houston version of Train and the Top Notes which somehow never crossed my radar all the years down the line. Enjoying you r blog and observations VERY much!

  2. Duncan Walls says:

    oops! make that duncanmusic@frontiernet.net
    just noticed the typo as the window closed.

  3. Thanks so much for your kind words. I have lots more music stuff to post this week. I like Cissy ok. She of course is a lot like Mavis Staples career wise, but Mavis was one of the first female artists to cover George Clinton (Chocolate City on her LP A Piece of the Action, soundtrack produced by Curtis Mayfield 1976) which predated their pairing in that horrible “Graffiti Bridge” movie by 14 years.

  4. Duncan Walls says:

    Yeah, just heard the live World Cafe on Thursday with Mavis; interview and performance were awesome…her last two CDs with Ry Cooder and the new one with Jeff Tweedy only cement her place in Americana. She’s the real deal and has been so in my book for a long time. I wish someone had given Cissy the same treatment.

  5. it’s like MLK used to say ….

    “Pop music…………is a bitch goddess…”

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