Rock and Roll

120: Sam Cooke, ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’

I can see your reaction – “Ho hum, another old singer from the early 1960s doing another version of that hackneyed antique.”
Okay, I’ll stake my reputation on this one. You listen to this cut and tell me you weren’t shaking your shaker, bopping your boppers, grinning from ear to ear. I dare you! It’s sparkling, ebullient, irresistible. It’ll make you shake, rattle and roll.

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170: Laura Nyro, ‘Luckie’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

50 years ago this week, Laura Nyro’s “Eli & the 13th Confession” was released. The unadulterated passion—pain and ecstasy–the ebullience, the brilliance, the humor, the candor, the funk, the mystic and the mythic of this masterpiece have been an integral part of my inner world ever since. It’s guided me and inspired me and comforted me and intrigued me through so many of the hills and valleys of my entire adult life. Laura, on this yovel (jubilee) birthday, I embrace you and salute you. Thank you for this music.

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089: Jackson Browne/Maurice Williams, ‘The Load-Out/Stay’

Jackson Browne circa 1977 would end his show with a long, lovely, rambling tribute to his roadies. It’s done on solo piano, and talks about the post-show weariness, the packing up, and that lingering adrenalin. His band slowly rejoins him on-stage, and the song mashes into ‘just one more song’–a revisit to Maurice Williams’ iconic doo-wop hit, with the object of affection transformed from that unnamed Little Darlin’ to The Audience.

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