Posted in 1960s, 1963, 1966, 1970s, 1975, 1978

Episode 11: Failing Upward

EDITED to fix the link. Which makes the first sentence of this post just a little more poignant, no? 

Hey, everybody makes a mistake now and then. That’s why they put erasers on pencils, am I right?

But once in awhile, someone will make a mistake that manages to enhance rather than detract (“Eminence Front,” I’m looking at you.). And that’s where we’re going this week: we’ll look at four songs that had mistakes in them where the artists made a conscious decision to keep the error in place because it actually makes the song a little bit better.

 

And, as usual, you can listen to the show via your favorite podcatcher, or you can just play/download it from right here:

 

And any feedback is good feedback…especially if it’s good feedback. so please take the time to leave a rating on iTunes or whatever app you’re using to listen to the show. Much appreciated! And for your efforts, here’s a video clip of the the engineer’s point of view behind one of the stories in the show:

Posted in 1970s, 1973, 1977

Episode 10: Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This was the newspaper headline from the Enterprise-Journal of the nearby town of McComb.

It was on this day in 1977 that a plane went down in southwest Mississippi, in a small town called Gillsburg. Even today, forty years later, Gillsburg looks like little more than a wide spot in the road, but its main claim to fame is that plane crash, which took the lives of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, along with Gaines’ sister Cassie, all members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Also killed in the crash were assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray. Other band members and passengers on the plane suffered serious injuries.

The original cover, which didn’t return to the album until 2005, when the Deluxe CD was released.

The band’s album, Street Survivors, had been released only a few days earlier and had already gone gold. The publicity from the crash helped push the album to multi-platinum status and a spot in the Top Five on the Billboard Album Chart. The unfortunate cover of the album was swiftly replaced until just a few years ago.

But this week we’re looking at a song from their first album, titled (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) that became the band’s signature tune, and the punchline to pretty much any concert-related joke. “Free Bird” was a song that was over two years in the making, and it was assembled through a combination of necessity, serendipity and a flash of Ah-HA! inspiration. And I’ve managed to make this particular podcast longer than any recorded version of the song.

Here’s the clip of the band playing during the Vicious Cycle Tour in 2003. Check out the piano introduction and how sweet the strings make it:

If you’ve got a favorite podcatcher, you should be able to hear this week’s show already, or you can just click the player below:

And, as usual, if you were to go to iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts and leave some feedback, well, that would put me forever in your debt. Until I repaid the favor, of course.

Posted in Cover Songs

Episode 9: Under the Covers

This week we’re going to dive into famous songs that were recorded by other artists first. Some of them you’re going to know about because practically everybody knows about them, but I think there will be a few surprises in there. I know that one of them came as a pretty big surprise to me!

If you hit me up on Twitter and ask real pretty, I may tell you which Stevie Wonder song I was talking about.

As ever, you have a few listening options:

  • Either your favorite podcatcher (iTunes, Castbox, Podcast Republic, etc) already has it,
  • Or you can just play/download it right on this page.

If you haven’t done so already, please go rate the show in iTunes or wherever you’re going, and leave a happy review. Good reviews allow me to work my way upward through the dozens of shows that are out there.

Posted in 1960s, 1965

Episode 8: Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan

This was the song that heralded the Dylan Goes Electric era, and when he first played it live at the 1965 Newport Music Festival, he was met with boos and charges that he’d sold out, or was somehow a “traitor” to his folk roots.

But Bob Dylan stuck to his guns, and “Like a Rolling Stone” became, and remains, his biggest single ever.

This is the picture sleeve of the 45.

If it hadn’t been for a quartet from Liverpool and their obvious cry for Help!, it probably would have gone all the way to Number One on the Billboard chart.

This episode is now available through your favorite podcatcher, or you can download it or you can listen to it right here:

This podcast has the ability to spread through your ratings and reviews, so please take the time to go to iTunes, or Castbox, or whatever you use for your podcasts, and leave me some love.

During the podcast I mentioned an interactive video that’s connected to this song. Here’s the teaser trailer:

But the real fun lies here: you can play with the original video on your own by clicking on this link. I will refund every dime of your money if you don’t think this is cool.