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The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Paul Desmond (alto saxophone) Dave Brubeck (piano) Ron Crotty (bass) Lloyd Davis (drums) “The Trolley Song” Fantasy Records (on Red Vinyl) (1955) What a fun, funny cover from photographer Bill Claxton. I’m a big Paul Desmond fan. (Not sure I need to see him shirtless though). Read the liner notes and listen here to the rehearsal takes of title track:
Here’s this week’s exciting new find. “Black is Beautiful” The Douglass High School Choir, Orchestra, Chorus (Oklahoma City) Century Records – Dimension 70 (1970) “Black Is Beautiful”
Allen Ginsberg Reads Kaddish A 20th Centutry American Ecstatic Narrative Poem Atlantic Records Verbum Series (1966) Front Cover shot by Richard Avedon Back cover is some of Ginsberg’s handwritten manuscript of “Kaddish” and features a photograph of the poet with his mother at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Two-page statement by Ginsberg entitled: “How Kaddish Happened” printed inside gatefold sleeve. Ginsberg wrote the poem about his mother Naomi after her death in 1956, who struggled with mental problems throughout her life. Naomi suffered many psychotic episodes both before Allen was born and while he was growing up. She went in and out of mental hospitals and was treated with medication, insulin shock therapy, and electroshock therapy. She died in an asylum in 1956.
The title Kaddish refers to the mourning prayer or blessing in Judaism. This long poem was Ginsberg’s attempt to mourn his mother, Naomi, but also reflects his sense of loss at his estrangement from his born religion. The traditional Kaddish contains no references to death, whereas Ginsberg’s poem is riddled with thoughts and questionings of death. After her death, a rabbi would not allow the traditional Kaddish to be read with Ginsberg’s Christian and Atheist friends, so he rebelled and wrote a Kaddish of his own. Ginsberg began writing the poem in the Beat Hotel in Paris in December 1957 and completed it in New York in 1959.
Below is an advert for the album.
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup Delmark Records “Look On Yonder’s Wall, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane” (1969). The human voice has rarely been as movingly rich as that of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup nor has the human experience been so thoroughly mirrored as in the simple blues poetry of this big and gentle man from Mississippi. Some have commented that Crudup’s voice sounds similar to that of Elvis Presley but the truth is the other way around; Crudup wrote several of Presley’s hits and seems to have been an early Presley idol. – Delmark Records His last few gigs were with Bonnie Raitt. He passed away in 1974. You can see here in the design, the melding of blues legends into popular music and the youth culture of the sixties.