Discussion in 'The Off-topic Lounge' started by Bluesville, Mar 14, 2015.
Dave's Song of the Day
Telephone Man – Meri Wilson
Tuesday song of the day: Today we have a novelty song that relied heavily on double entendres.
Meri Wilson was a singer who performed in small clubs until she scored a hit with a novelty song. She was working in nightclubs in the Dallas area, and also recorded commercial jingles and did some modeling to make ends meet. Then in 1977 she recorded Telephone Man, a novelty song about a woman who moves into an apartment and then has a phone installed.
That was the basic premise, but the story was filled with double entendres that made it clear that the singer and the telephone installer had sex. For instance, the lyrics included lines such as:
I got it in the bedroom
And I got it in the hall
And I got it in the bathroom
And he hung it on the wall.
Musically it was nothing special, and the lyrics were pretty childish. Meri Wilson providing a goofy voice for the telephone man was also pretty cringeworthy. But with the work of Weird Al Yankovic being one of the few exceptions. novelty songs rarely become hits based on their artistic merit. For whatever reason, the public liked Telephone Man and bought the record. It reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over a million copies. Over 40 years later the song is mostly forgotten.
Wilson went on to record other novelty songs based on a similar premise, including Dick the DJ, Peter the Meter Reader, and a holiday tune called Santa’s Coming. While these reused the formula of Telephone Man, none repeated its success.
Meri Wilson died at the age of 53 in a 2002 car wreck.
Meri Wilson on the Dutch Top Pop television show, September 1977
Tomorrow: I’d still own the film rights and be working on the sequel
Dave's Song of the Day
Everyday I Write the Book – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Wednesday song of the day: Today’s song uses the process of writing as a metaphor for love.
Elvis Costello is arguably one of the best songwriters of the rock era. Sure, most people would rank Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and several others higher, but it’s not a huge stretch to put Costello in their company. In 1983 Costello wrote a song about love that used various terms and concepts associated with writing as metaphors for love.
The song Everyday I Write the Book appeared on the album Punch the Clock. In addition to his usual backing band, the Attractions, Punch the Clock featured backing vocals by the singing duo Afrodiziak. Surprisingly, Everyday I Write the Book was Costello’s first top 40 hit in the United States, peaking at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983. He was a major star in the UK and had been well known and respected in the US since his 1977 debut, but his earlier classics hadn’t sold well enough to be more than just minor hits in the States.
Costello claims to have dashed off the song quickly while on tour. In a 2004 interview he said, “I wrote it just for a joke. But that’s often the way to write a hit record. We had a group on the road with us that was trying to write these very self-conscious pop jangly kind of songs and that was their trip. So I thought I’d tease them by writing something that was like what they did, only sort of better than them. I wrote it in ten minutes.”
He gives credit to an earlier Nick Lowe song for inspiring the conceit. Lowe had written the song When I Write the Book for Rockpile, his band with Dave Edmunds. It was included on the classic 1980 Rockpile album Seconds of Pleasure. While there are similarities in the titles and the earlier song had given birth in Costello’s mind to using writing as a metaphor, the songs are nothing alike. Lowe’s song is much more literally about writing a book about love, while the Elvis song used the writing process as an analogy for love.
Lowe had produced Elvis Costello’s first five albums, and Costello had covered Lowe’s (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding on the 1979 album Armed Forces. (That song was Song of the Day for August 17th, 2014 here: What’s So Funny (‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding) – Elvis Costello [and the original version by Brinsley Schwarz] ) Incidentally, several of the songs on Armed Forces used military themes as metaphors for love and romantic relationships, so it was a tool Costello had used before Everyday I Write the Book.
Everyday I Write the Book, 1983
When I Write the Book, Rockpile, 1980
Tomorrow: We like our fun and we never fight
Only had a literal 2 second hi to him at Download but he is so tiny I could have snapped him. The timing screwed up on the second stage so they had to stop their set early.
holy shit you met them?! Lucky fucker. Yeah the singer is slim but tall. I have seen them live three times. My absolutely favorite band of all my life. I have been listening to them for almost 20 years. Shame they called it quits
Just bumped into him a few hours before their set, recognised him so said a really quick hello. I didn't meet the whole band. He was going a bit berserk that their set was being cut short. I want my ashes scattered there when I cark it I've had the best times of my life at that festival.
For such a great festival they really do fuck things up sometimes. They put Korn on the second tent one year and the entire crowd was a mosh pit it was so packed out. I'm not into that at all so when I got knocked over thankfully someone managed to pick me up and get me out. Nail marks all over me with him picking me up, thankfully people are nice. And (not to death) a few people got crushed up pretty bad against the barriers. It was a nightmare.
I wouldn't have recognised any of the other members of the band but he's a bit memorable looks wise.
hah you bet, he is one sexy motherfucker
Yeah I would but he’s so skinny I might snap him.
look at the 2005 version of him
fat as fuck
Ha! Think it was 2003/2004 I met him. Not sure. I wasn't a massive fan, but their music was infectious and on Kerrang and Scuzz TV constantly. Wish I could tell you more about him. Shame they had to wrap their set up so quickly. IIRC the main stage finished so I caught their last few minutes but he really wasn't happy.
In Flames only had 20 minutes one year and that was in the middle of the day, Anders the lead singer wasn't best pleased about that either.
I left the country and haven't been since 2010 but they definitely screwed up a lot.
Dave's Song of the Day
Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
Thursday song of the day: Today’s song was written in response to an assault, and later became a hit.
In 1969, keyboardist and singer Sherman Kelly was visiting the Caribbean when he was attacked and beaten by a local gang. He was severely injured, and while recovering, he wrote a song. Kelly explains on his personal web site, “On a trip to St. Croix in 1969, I was the first victim of a vicious St. Croix gang who eventually murdered 8 American tourists. At the time I suffered multiple facial fractures and wounds and was left for dead. While I was recovering, I wrote Dancin in the Moonlight, in which I envisioned an alternate reality, the dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.”
The next year, the band he was in, Boffalongo, recorded an album titled Beyond Your Head. Included on the album was Kelly’s song Dancing in the Moonlight. He himself sang lead on the song. The record did not sell very well.
A few years later, Kelly had left Boffalongo and had joined a new band, King Harvest. King Harvest recorded a version of Dancing in the Moonlight and it was released as a single in Europe in July 1972. On the King Harvest version, Doc Robinson provided lead vocals, giving a much smoother performance than Sherman Kelly had on the earlier Boffalongo record. Initially, it didn’t do much, but after several months Perception Records released the single in the United States and it became a hit. Dancing in the Moonlight eventually rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1973.
King Harvest, 1972
Tomorrow: Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade
Love that track.
furious funkers lol
Dave's Song of the Day
God Bless the Child – Billie Holiday
Friday song of the day: Today’s song originated in an argument over money between Billie Holiday and her mother.
In 1939, Billie Holiday asked her mother for a small loan. Holiday had financed her mother’s restaurant business but at the moment needed a little cash for herself. Even though her mother was the recipient of Holiday’s generosity, she refused to even consider the request from her daughter. At some point, her mother used the phrase “God bless the child that’s got his own,” meaning that children shouldn’t rely on their parents for money. (Totally ignoring, of course, that the child in this case had bankrolled the parent’s business.)
Holiday was understandably angry and later went to her songwriter friend Arthur Herzog with the idea of turning the phrase and the situation into a song. The result was God Bless the Child. Supposedly it took only twenty minutes to write the song. Later, both Holiday and Herzog claimed that they individually wrote the vast majority of the song. Billie Holiday in her autobiography Lady Sings the Blues says that she had the song mostly completed before going to see Herzog for his input, and that he merely suggested a few word changes. For his part, Herzog insists that she had only the phrase and the general concept for the song, and that he wrote God Bless the Child himself, using only the line from Holiday’s mother that inspired the title. There is no way of knowing all these years later what really happened.
Although written in 1939, the song wasn’t recorded until May 1941, and released later that year. It was a moderate hit at the time, peaking at #25 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart (the precursor to the later Hot 100 chart). Since then, however, it has become one of the best-known tunes of the era, listed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment of the Arts as one of the Songs of the Century, and in 1976 received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Since the initial Billie Holiday recording, the song has been covered over 400 times
Tomorrow: I’m not ready to face the light
Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for Rush, died Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica, California at age 67. The cause was brain cancer, which he had been quietly battling for three years, according to Elliot Mintz, a spokesperson for the Peart family. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.