Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oklahoma Rag

05-24-10... Antagonize an undesirable situation and you give it the very power it needs to work against you. Deny it your power of thought and it crumbles away from you.

More Bob Wills soloists are featured for an instrumental. Oklahoma Rag

05-25-10... Don't know about you, but seeing footage of all that oil gushing into the Atlantic every day depresses the hell out of me. It represents heavy doses of greed, arrogance and irresponsibility wrapped in one, gigantic, all-consuming package. My only hope is that as every coastline along the Gulf of Mexico turns to disgusting muck, it will anger us to the point we're finally ready to get with the program, kick our silly asses into the 21st Century and convert to more sensible methods of heating our homes and fueling our autos.

On a related topic, I see climate change, or global warming as they call it, in the same light. Of course there is climate change. Has been since the Earth came into existence -- before humans, after humans. Do I believe we have an effect on climate change? Little. I liken it to one of George Carlin's lines in a bit he did regarding man versus environment. He suggested (I paraphrase) we ask the people buried under the rubble of Mexico City (after an earthquake, if you recall) if they feel they're a threat to mother nature. He said when the Earth has had enough of the human race, it will shake us off like we're fleas on a dog.

I agree with Mr. Carlin, but again, if our worrying over whether or not we're harming the Earth leads us to more logical forms of energy, then I say let's go ahead and believe we're the cause of climate change. Whatever prompts us to elevate our civilization is okay by me.

Another round of Texas Playboy solos today -- Tiny Moore's mandolin; Herb Remington's steel guitar; Louis Tierney's fiddle -- along with comical lyrics. Devlish Mary. Millard Kelso played piano for these Tiffany Transcription sessions, and while he's undoubtedly talented, his solos tend to sound similar from one song to the next. Bob Wills' pre-WWII pianist, Al Stricklin, was a much stronger musician, in my opinion, and when I get around to featuring the original Playboy band (next month, maybe?) you can formulate your own opinion regarding the two men.

05-28-10... You can only possess two emotions regarding any subject, any person or groups of people, and they are love or hate. Hate is an emotion we attach to things we don't understand. Love is the goal, but if you find you cannot remove hate from a thing, let go of it. Remove your thought from it. When it rears its head to again tempt you, don't give it that pleasure. Think of something else, anything that keeps your spirits high. One of my effective tricks is to think of a song, a melody, any melody, because any tune that can be conjered from memory undoubtedly will be a favorite. Music, to me, is a gift coming directly from the universal power (God, if you wish), and so is love.

I hope you can appreciate the highly-skilled guitar picking of Junior Barnard in this final Tiffany Transcriptions offering. Lazy Day. I will do a post for Memorial Day. Don't know what, yet... probably something flag related.

Links for these mp3 audio samples are HERE

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fiddle Makes you Dance For Reel

05-17-10... Another good reason for tackling a problem head on and immediately is that running away from it only allows it to present itself again, usually in the guise of another problem worse than before.

The lyrics in today's Bob Wills selection contain many problems, and the suggested solution for each is for the good Lord to set you free. This is a simple way of saying a contact with the universal power (Lord, God, or whatever label you wish) will change your consciousness concerning the problem, and it is the change that will lead you to solving it. Oh, Mona

05-19-10... Before radio, people held dances in their homes. They formed clubs and the location rotated week to week, same as we still do for our bridge or poker groups. Keeping things simple, one room was cleared and rock salt or sand scattered about the wood floor. As for music, all they needed at bare minimum was a fiddle player who could play reels while a caller gave couples their direction for the square dance. What are reels? Well, here's one with Tommy Duncan calling and Bob Wills handling the fiddle part himself, same as he did while growing up in the vicinity of Turkey, Texas. Smith's Reel

05-21-10... Late, am I? Sorry, modem went dead and I had to run out and exchange for new one. Honest!

Bob Wills. Country music. Western Swing, but as for his post-WWII instrumentalists, they could play jazz licks with the best of the big band musicians. Not theory. Fact. Proof? Listen to Junior Barnard's guitar and Joe Holley's fiddle talk to one another in I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket.

MP3 samples for these songs are found HERE

Friday, September 3, 2010

Playboy Chimes

05-10-10... An edited instrumental features Herb Remington's steel guitar lead with breaks by players Bob Wills will announce for you. Playboy Chimes

05-12-10... It's usually best to tackle a difficulty as soon as it presents itself. Allowing it to fester, to dig itself into your mentality will only make resolution more challenging with each passing day.

Today's Bob Wills song is about working hard while keeping faith that rewards will come in their due time. I'll Get Mine

05-14-10... The idea behind the Tiffany Transcriptions was to give radio stations a wide range of music, so they could attract advertisers targeting various markets. I don't know exactly which products in 1945-47 might be of interest to people into polkas, but Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys provided the option with this tune. This selection also provides a good chuckle for me when Bob calls Louis Tierney and Joe Holley "you old fiddle pluckers". Jesse Polka

Links to the mp3 samplings of these songs are HERE

Friday, August 27, 2010

Oklahoma Hills

05-3-10... Didn't stay away too long, did I? Guess you could say I kind of missed posting old twangy music, and the pone parts are therapy for me. Helps me to keep in check my temptations to feel resentment, anger, indignation and other self-damaging emotions when things don't go my way... or at least the way I think they should go. With my own explanation of my own reasons for resuming the Corn Pone, I just gave a daily dose of it.

A few months ago I played Jack Guthrie's recording of his own song, Oklahoma Hills, and mentioned that somewhere I had stowed away a rather rare version of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys doing the song western swing-style. This was done as one of the Tiffany Transcriptions recordings from 1945-47. I'll talk more about all of this later, because this entire month will be more of the same. Highlight of this one, other than Bob and lead vocalist Tommy Duncan cracking jokes, is the electric guitar break of Junior Barnard. Oklahoma Hills

05-5-10... This month (and probably next) I'll be featuring the music of Bob Wills, the man known as the King of Western Swing. My posts are not history lessons (you can read about him for days on end if you Google his name), but exposure for both those who have never heard his music and those who have heard his music but perhaps not these particular songs.

The first thing you should know is that Mr. Wills usually spouted spoken comments during the music, most often his falsetto "Ah, Ha!" and musician-named cues for one of them to take a solo break. It might take you awhile to get used to hearing him do this, but the reason he did it should be clear. The talented musicians popping their dance-hall beats excited him. His band members were always top-notch musicians, and his goal was to put together ensembles that were every bit as hot as the swinging jazz bands of the 1930's and 40's, but with the inclusion of fiddles, steel guitars, acoustic and electric guitars.

Today's selection is one of his biggest hits, thanks to Patsy Cline who recorded it in 1963, several years after this recording performed by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in 1947. The melody is a fiddle tune conceived by his father, John Wills, back when Bob was a child and he and his family played for dances held in individuals' homes. Took him over 30 years before he finally decided to write lyrics for the melody and create a full-blown song. As for who actually wrote the lyrics, the matter of royalties created a rift between Bob and some of his band members, most notably his long-time lead singer, Tommy Duncan. More history if you care to investigate further.

Regardless, end result is a beautiful melody with classically-memorable lyrics. And, this is one of the rare occasions when Mr. Wills didn't interject his shout-outs into the recording. He lets the musicians, melody, lyrics and mesmerizing harmonies do his talking for him. Faded Love

05-7-10... The Judgment" is not some great trial that takes place at the end of our lives. It is a process that goes on in our minds all the time. Judgment is deciding upon the truth or falsity of any thought. What we accept as truth and what we reject as false determines our character.

From 1945 to 1947, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys recorded what were known as transcriptions for Tiffany Music, Inc. These 16-inch discs were sold in packages to radio stations across the nation, a system similar to today's syndicated programs, where each radio station could sell their own advertising for the program's broadcast. In all, around 220 (known) songs were recorded, and no collection better exemplifies the versatility of the post-World War II Playboy bands, the variety of music they could play whether traditional or original, and the talented songwriting of Bob and his various band members.

As usual, I won't play the whole song, and for this one I cut out the piano break. Still, there's a steel guitar solo, electric guitar, and lastly, one of the most talented fiddle players ever put to record will take his turn. His name is Joe Holley. Bob Wills called him Jody. He played left handed. He was a jazz man who could play any style Bob asked him to play, and in the 1940's no country music fans had ever heard a fiddle treated this way. If you're not impressed, just wait. There will be even hotter licks in days ahead. I Had a Little Mule

The mp3 audio samples are HERE

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hank's a Long Gone Daddy

03-29-10... It seems rather absurd to say any one Hank Williams song could be my favorite. After all, how many bad ones are there? I'll just say that, for its rhythm, its melody, Hank's soulful voice and his true-to-life lyrics, this might be a top-ten for me. Long Gone Daddy Blues

03-31-10... Cast the burden doesn't mean to toss your responsibilities over to someone else. It's useful, purposeful meaning is to insist upon your own peace of mind... to not give in to worry and anxiety over any issue. That's what Charlie Rich is trying to do with his particular issue. There Won't Be Any More

04-02-10... As I sign off Jasper's Corn Pone for a hiatus either temporary or permanent, I will do my best to leave behind something of use. This suggestion is by far the most difficult to accept and implement into daily living. Believe me, I struggle with it constantly, what with the things heard and seen in all media of actions and words perplexing and vexing. But, if we can remember as individuals that our thoughts control our universe, we can plow through all the negative information which bombards us every day. We can remember that all of us are tiny threads of one garment, tiny sparks from one great fire, and then we can hope and pray that those who seem so hell-bent on creating chaos will snap out of it and understand their road is leading them to their own mental destruction. All we can do is help ourselves. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

The Statler Brothers - Elizabeth

MP3 samples of these songs can be found HERE

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tommy Collins is Not a Drink

03-22-10... Born to Run ... No, not the Springsteen variety, but the Emmylou Harris. A song in no way related to the other, but nonetheless a fine one.

03-24-10... Here's some tips for sure-fire methods of making yours a rotten day: Get excited over every trifling occurrence. Never relax... you don't want your body to recuperate. Never exercise... all it does is promote circulation. Read up on all the latest ailments and diseases. Be sure to discuss yours at length. Wear them with pride. Pay no mind to what you eat. After all, your stomach's just a garbage dump.

On the flip side, get up in time to watch the sunrise. Think about how vast the universe is and marvel at the wonders of nature all around you. Listen to a good song with a catchy melody, foot-tapping beat, clever lyrics, and a kick-ass steel guitar break. Here's one by Conway Twitty. That Kind of Girl

03-26-10... Now, folks, I'm telling you up front that this month will be the last for Jasper's Corn Pone... at least for quite some time. Might bring it back months down the road, but for now, there's stuff going on that requires more of my time and sacrifices have to be made. I figure there's 14 months times an average of 13 song samples per month, plus at least half that many entries of advice pone, so more than enough in the archives to keep a visitor occupied. Besides, little of it is anchored to time, so what's posted in 2009 and this year should be valid forever. I will finish this month and the first Friday of April to end the week.

Awhile back I posted a song by Tommy Collins and probably mentioned some of the famous names who cut their chops in Tommy's bands: Buck Owens, Ferlin Husky, Glenn Campbell, Merle Haggard, Floyd Cramer, and many more.

Tommy was born in Oklahoma, 1930, his real name Leonard Sipes. He was a guitarist, vocalist and prolific songwriter, many of his songs cut by the aforementioned and others, once their own careers were off and running. Tommy made his name in and around Bakersfield, California. His first signing with a major label was with Capitol records in 1953, and his first recording session produced the song I'll sample for you, along with the other one I played earlier, You Better Not Do That.

At the height of his career in 1957, he inexplicably decided to join a theologicial seminary in Oakland, CA and studied to become an ordained minister. After six years as a pastor, he decided returning to music was his true calling, and he again signed with Capitol Records to record songs he'd written those in-between years. Not religious music, still country, and he again hit the charts. A couple years later, he signed with Columbia and continued writing music at an astounding pace, all the way up until his death in 2000. Although Tommy Collins is not necessarily a household name, his music has been and still is recorded by megastars. Buck Owens recorded an entire album of nothing but Tommy Collins songs. Merle Haggard recorded a collection of them, and he wrote a tribute to his good friend Leonard Sipes, called simply, Leonard.

Here's today's selection from the Tommy Collins library. I Always Get a Souvenir

Links to mp3 samples of these songs are HERE

Friday, August 6, 2010

Honky Tonk Man

03-15-10... Let's keep it simple on a Monday, shall we? It's all about the music, which is far from simple, because it's old-time bluegrass from Sonny and Bobby, the Osborne Brothers. Roll Muddy River

03-17-10... Does this guy think he's God or something? Hmm... well, oddly enough, perhaps he is. From 1960, Stuart Hamblen sings Remember Me.

03-19-10... Oops! Well, this is late, but still officially Friday, depending on where you live. I mentioned awhile back how Johnny Horton was so much more than The Battle of New Orleans, and of how he was a major star on the Louisiana Hayride and was long ago inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In other words, the man could sing rock, country and honky tonk styles long before he hit it SUPER big with his themed songs. His personal life was fascinating as well, including some creepy parallels and connections with Hank Williams. Rather than me filling several pages with his bio, I'll direct you to the Johnny Horton page at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame site, and highly suggest you find out all there is to know about this talented and interesting man. Meanwhile, you should have no trouble figuring out why Dwight Yoakam covered this 1956 Johnny Horton classic. Honky Tonk Man

Sample audio links for these songs are HERE