January 29, 2010

"Why Try to Change Me Now"

Sinatra with Ava Gardner in 1952

"Why Try to Change Me Now" was composed by Cy Coleman (the music) and Joseph Allan McCarthy (the words) for Frank Sinatra. Sinatra recorded it on September 17, 1952. It was arranged by Percy Faith. More from Sinatra 101: The 101 Best Recordings and the Stories Behind Them:

Sinatra's last recording for Columbia Records--and appropriate in the context of his life. Gone was the innocent, naive singer of the previous decade. Burned by love, the singer is able to convey the darkness, the sadness, and the cynicism that would characterize much of his work in the years to come. (p. 35)

Sinatra would re-record it while under contract with Capitol Records for the No One Cares album in 1959.

Cy Coleman

Here is Cy Coleman's utterly charming, 1957 performance of "Why Try to Change Me Now," from something called "Art Ford's Greenwich Village Party," which appeared to be somewhat like a precursor to the Playboy After Dark TV program of the late '60s. Coleman, by the way, also wrote "Witchcraft" for Sinatra:

January 28, 2010

"Comin Thro' the Rye"

Holden Caulfield

This is great. I'm rerererereading (that's at least four times) The Catcher in the Rye. Anyway, that's a nice interpretation of Holden, complete with red hunting cap and the copy of "Little Shirley Beans" he bought for Phoebe. It was done by artist Carmela Alvarado. Check out more like it here. And this is an older, Geocities site, but it has a pretty cool photo tour of NYC as Holden knew it.

January 26, 2010

Psychedelic Prince

Ha ha, Prince was so "elusive" Rolling Stone had to settle for a still from the "Raspberry Beret" video on this September 1985 cover.

Ahh, this is a great, live medley of two of my fave Prince tunes, "Around the World in a Day" and "Christopher Tracy's Parade." He is dressed in his Parade gear, so I'm assuming this is during his 1986 tour for that album. Of course "Around the World in a Day" is the opening track to his first, post-Purple Rain album, Around the World in a Day. That album was a clear line drawn in the sand, separating true Prince fans from those who weren't.

I have a crystal clear memory of having a friend over at my house, excitedly ripping open the just released album's cellophane wrapper, putting the needle down on the record, and hearing those first great sounds. My friend had a disapproving sneer on his face, but I loved it. The problem was he just didn't get it. I understood at that moment what it must have been like being a Beatles fan in 1966 and hearing "Strawberry Fields Forever" for the very first time. "Christopher Tracy's Parade" is a similarly psychedelic opening track to his follow up album (the soundtrack to Under the Cherry Moon), Parade. What a logical (and awesome - there's an '80s word for you) pairing!

An excuse to use this Audrina Patridge pic!

January 23, 2010

The Tee Pee Motel

tee pee motel neon at night
The Tee Pee Motel, in Wharton, built in 1942, was abandoned in the '80s and renovated in 2005. There are obvious similarites to the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars:

Scenes from the remake of Lolita were filmed in tee pee #2. More history and information can be found here. I took these pictures in February 2007. The first picture (the neon sign pic above) was taken my first night there. The rest were taken the following morning at sunrise and then a couple of hours later as I left Wharton.

side view of tee pees lined up
closer on tee pee motel sign at sunrise
tee pee motel sign morning
tee pee motel sign with sun just rising
tee pees
tee pee motel sunrise sky
tee pee lined up with sunrise sky
tee pee motel on the horizon
tee pee motel birds

January 21, 2010

"Red House"

red house over yonder
From the Wikipedia entry:

"Red House" is a blues song, written by famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix and originally recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

There are two different takes of this song: the original album version that appeared on the European issue of the Are You Experienced? album, and the alternative take on which bass player Noel Redding plays electric guitar tuned to resemble a bass guitar. Despite Hendrix's complaints, the song was omitted from the USA compilation release of the album because the recording company reportedly argued that "America does not like blues."

That sounds sort of like when Decca told Brian Epstein "guitar groups are on the way out."

I've heard this a hundred times, and that last line still makes me chuckle. Almost as good as "Move over Rover, and let Jimi take over."

At the Woodstock Music Festival:

January 18, 2010

"You're Mine"

"You're Mine" was recorded and released in 1956 by Robert & Johnny, a rare duet blues group of the mid-50s blues explosion. It was used (at 5:00) in the 1985 Scorsese film After Hours.

January 15, 2010

Galveston in a fog

the john gross house
The John Gross House, built in the Greek Revival style in 1866, expanded in 1889 in the Queen Anne/Victorian style, with among other things, a turreted ballroom by Nicholas Clayton. This was the summer home of Texas Governor Richard Coke through 1876. It survived the 1900 Storm relatively unscathed.

the henry beissner house
Located in a "rough" neighborhood where housing projects were leveled due to Hurricane Ike damage, this is the Henry Beissner House. Built in 1890-91 in a mixed Victorian (Stick, Eastlake, and Queen Anne) style, it was once known locally as "Noah's Ark" due to its use as a sanctuary during the 1900 Storm.

trube castle
Trube Castle, c. 1890, Victorian, Eclectic style

apartments across the street from trube castle
These are across the street from Trube Castle, probably Art Deco.

the j.c. league house
the j.c. league house
The J.C. League House, c. 1892-93, architect, Nicholas Clayton

1709, 11 & 15 ball
1709, 11 & 15 Avenue H, c. 1894, Victorian

the beissner house
the beissner house
The Beissner House, c. 1887, Eastlake Victorian style

the joel b. wolfe house (house at 1602 ball street)
The Joel B. Wolfe House, c. 1894, Queen Anne Victorian

1701 ball street
House at 1701 Avenue H, c. 1880s, Victorian

"the cottage"
"the cottage"
"The Cottage," built 1882, late Greek Revival, high Victorian, survived many storms, including the 1900 Storm.

m.w. shaw house
The M.W. Shaw House, c. 1900

the julius ruhl house
The Julius Ruhl House, c. 1874, Italianate Victorian

the george fox house
the george fox house
The George Fox House, c. 1903, Queen Anne Victorian

1301 avenue j
1301 avenue j
Charming little house at 1301 Avenue J (Broadway), c. 1885, mixed (Queen Anne, Eastlake, Italianate) Victorian style

former coca-cola factory
former coca-cola factory
This is the former Coca-Cola factory, designed by architect Ben Milam in the late '30s or early '40s. It was a couple of different Mexican food restaurants during the time period when I was growing up in Galveston ('70s and '80s).

January 13, 2010

January 1, 2010

"Hey Bulldog"

"Hey Bulldog" is a song by The Beatles which first appeared on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album in 1969. Written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney), the song was recorded during the filming of the "Lady Madonna" promotional video, and is one of the few Beatles songs to revolve around a piano riff. (source)

During the recording, Paul McCartney started to bark without warning. The next lines, initially written as "Hey Bullfrog", were changed mid-song to "Hey Bulldog". This became the song's title. (source) Geoff Emerick, the Beatles' engineer, would subsequently claim this was the last song the band recorded that featured a team dynamic with enthusiasm from every member. When the group reconvened in the studio in May 1968 for the The Beatles sessions, their group cohesion had already been undermined by the business, artistic, and personal differences that would culminate in their eventual breakup. (source) During these sessions, a film crew photographed the four Beatles recording the song. It was one of the few times they allowed themselves to be extensively filmed recording in the Abbey Road studios, for a promotional film to be released during their scheduled four-month retreat to India (which was later edited together as a promotional film for the single "Lady Madonna"). (source) The song was used in an animated segment of the Yellow Submarine film which initially appeared only in European theatrical prints. It was restored and seen for the first time in 30 years for the film's 1999 re-release. To promote the reissue, Apple went back to the original footage shot for the "Lady Madonna" promo film and restructured it for use as a promotional clip for "Hey Bulldog" (as it is possible to identify what they were playing, and therefore possible to synchronize the music with the original footage). (source)