Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ear to Ear. It's about music 'n stuff.

Well, this blog has been a long time coming. I have been a music lover since I was a little kid, and got through high school by listening to AM Top 40 Radio and buying second- and fifth-hand 45s from the thrift store near the bus stop. They sounded awful, but the music was amazing.

I played those records on an old Montgomery Wards Airline turntable record changer scavenged out of someone's old console stereo they'd left out for the garbage man. Since it had no base, I placed its four mounting springs on Testors Paint spray cans on my dad's garage workbench, and then hid some cast-off speakers in the rafters, strung up with Zip cord, and amplified by an old Dynaco amp. Along the way I acquired an old Voice of Music quarter-inch tape deck, and I was off to the races... music and audio were in my veins.

After high school, I decided I wanted to be a radio DJ, and I did just that. I spent the next 20 years on the radio in San Diego, most of it as a station Music Director, and it was great. Along the way, I kept collecting. I wrote music reviews for local papers for a few years, too.

Somehow, I guess, I got a little carried away. I had to build a new office to hold my music. There's a wall full of vinyl Lps, a few racks of CDs, miscellaneous other junk scattered around -- oh, and the 45s, which currently live in the garage... ironically enough, on the workbench, where it all started.

Yeah, not the best picture in the world, but you get the idea. (Is it just me, or do I seem to be leaning to one side in all my photos?) Today, there's not a day goes by that I don't listen to at least one album or CD. And since I've still got the urge to write... well, here's this blog. I love soul music, funk, early rock 'n roll, '60s and '70s rock, blues, early R&B, and lately I've been developing a liking for Henry Mancini. Go figure. And like a good MD, I try to keep up with today's new stuff too as much as time permits.

So, as I listen to music new and old, I'll be blogging about it. Vinyl finds, new CDs, old stereo gear, occasional rants about Quadraphonic discs; it'll all be here. I hope you enjoy, and feel free to comment.

I saw a piece last Sunday on CBS Sunday about Glen Campbell's recent Alzheimer's diagnosis. It struck a nerve, as my mom died of Alzheimer's. It's an ugly, nasty disease that strips away the patient's humanness bit by bit, and crueller because they're ofttimes aware of it happening.

The interview prompted me to pull out my copy of The Best of Glen Campbell, issued by Capitol in 1976. Campbell was a big name in the '60s and '70s, having first been a session player known for his guitar abilities; his first album was a showpiece for his pickin'. He played on sessions for everyone from Elvis to the Beach Boys. Then he hooked up with songwriter Jimmy Webb for "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" in '67 and it was off to the races from there. He had subsequent hits with more Webb material - "Galveston" and the frighteningly good "Wichita Lineman". There was also "Gentle On My Mind," "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" and more. He got his own TV show for a while, married Tanya Tucker... and kind of faded away.

This album reminds me just how great Campbell really was at his peak. It's got all the stuff you know on it - "Lineman", "Gentle", "Phoenix" - plus some great songs you've probably forgotten about, like Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter's "Country Boy (You Got Your Feet In L.A.)", a great version of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Last Time I Saw Her" and a forgotten hit from '73, the rockin' country-soul "I Knew Jesus (Before He Was A Superstar)". The only song it doesn't have is "Southern Nights", his last big pop hit in '77. If you see this one in a bin, snag it.

More recent info on Glen:

No comments:

Post a Comment