Platter Playlists

Platter Playlists on Patreon

As a listener you are probably familiar with what I do with my blog and podcast. In 2011 I started putting together all-vinyl mixes of deep cuts and lost treasures, on a monthly basis, that was both a fun hobby and a great way to justify my vinyl addiction. Since then, I’ve turned it into a weekly podcast and steered the ship more towards digital finds and vinyl rips while still keeping it real by using some of my own records. I’m coming up on #100 of the Recent Songs mixes and feel like I can easily do 100 more. The things is it’s not as effortless as I wish it were. These mixes take hours to put together and publish and by supporting me you will help me to make this creative process a little more comfortable.

The show will remain free to download and stream but $1 per month or ANYTHING more or less will definitely make it easy for me to continue to create!

I want to thank everyone endlessly for their past, present and future support. It means the world to me.

Paul

:: Contribute Here ::

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Recent Songs #98 :: Hey Girl

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The Premieres – Better Off Now
Jimmy Soul – Everyobody’s Goin’ Ape
Them – Hey Girl
The Hogs – Loose Lip Sync Ship
J.C. Davis & Little Charles – Listen to the Music
The Webs – It’s So Hard to Break a Habit
The Bobbettes – Have Mercy Baby
Wilson Pickett – I’m in Love(live)
Luther Ingram & The G-Men – I Spy (For the F.B.I.)
Eddie Spencer – You’re So Good To Me
Arthur Alexander – We’re Gonna Hate Ourselves (In The Morning)

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Recent Songs #97 :: (You) Got What I Need

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Lee Moses – California Dreaming
Honeybus – I Can’t Let Maggie Go
Freddie Scott – (You) Got What I Need
B.W. Stevenson – Texas Morning
Daniel Johnston – Devil Town
Phosphorescent – Little pt. 2
Complex – Am I
Minnie Riperton – Les Fleurs
Scott Walker – Sundown

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Recent Songs #96 :: Troublesome Water

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Faron Young – Unmitigated Gall
Conway Twitty – Bad Girl
Merle Haggard – Sing a Sad Song
Dane Stinit – Dont Knock What You Dont Understand
Marvin Rainwater – Gonna Find Me A Bluebird
Charles Drake – There Goes My Baby
Billie Jo Spears – That Man
Dolly Parton – Mystery of the Mystery
Iris DeMent – Let The Mystery Be
Johnny Cash – Troublesome Waters
Loretta Lynn & Willie Nelson- Lay Me Down

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Louisiana Tales IX :: Cajun Comedown

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This month’s mix touches on a type of Louisiana music I’ve yet to focus on. Sure, I’ve featured a few songs by Johnnie Allan or Nathan Abshire here and there, but I haven’t really dedicated a mix to the rich music of Central and Southwest Louisiana. I didn’t set out to make a rowdy Cajun honky-tonk featuring two-steps and dance numbers. Instead, I wanted this mix to steadily simmer as a jambalaya of Acadian music and tradition, reminiscing and reflecting on the ideas of music, family, and celebration that flow strong through South Louisiana.

Inspirations for this mix span from The Balfa Brothers to the fiddle of Canray Fontenot and the accordion of Clifton Chenier. But not enough can be said about the true inspiration for this collection, documentarian Les Blank, whose films provide the samples that pepper this mix. Through his films, Blank captures worlds most people never get to see. He documented the trials and tribulations of making a Werner Herzog epic, delved into blues and Appalachian music, and, most interestingly, threw back the curtain from the beautifully preserved culture of the Acadians of South Louisiana. So through this collection of only a pinch of all Cajun music has to offer, I hope to present you with a worthy companion to the films of Les Blank, which should be considered required viewing to any resident of this fine state.

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Recent Songs #95 :: When Will I Be Loved?

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Gram Parsons – When Will I Be Loved?
Bob Lind – Loser
R. Dean Taylor – Indiana Wants Me
Linda Ronstadt & Lowell George – Heartache
PS22 Chorus – I’ll Be Your Mirror
Loudon Wainwright III – New Paint
Ginny Reilly – Landslide
Ian Matthews – Do I Still Figure in Your Life?
Elton John – Levon (demo)
The Bunch featuring Sandy Denny – When Will I Be Loved?

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Recent Songs #94 :: Way Back Home

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Aladdin Band – Zabadak
Rochereau & L’orcnestre African Fiesta National -Lasse Toi Aime
SE Rogie – Mother Africa
Lord Flea – Calypso Be Bop
Wells Fargo – Bwanawe
Dorothy Masuka – Hamba Notsokolo
Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – Way Back Home
Les Troubadours du Roi Baudouin – The Missa Luba

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Recent Songs #93 :: Standing in the Shadows

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The Rivals – It’s Gonna Work Out
J.J. Barnes – I Think I Found a Love
Marcia Griffiths – Don’t Let Me Down
Sir Victor Uwaifo – Osalobua Rekpama
Nancy Dupree – James Brown
Ernie K. Doe – Beating Like a Tom Tom
Lorne Greene – Oh! What A Town
Abner Jay – Depression
The 5 Royales – Standing in the Shadows
Happy & Artie Traum – Going Down The Road To See Bessie

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Recent Songs #92 :: Frisking and Wisking

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Yvonne Fair – If I Knew
Knocker Jungle – I’ve Got Time
Mary Wells – 500 Miles
Patricia Denson and The Soul Expressions – I Thought I Heard You Moan
Bo Diddley – Pills
Honeybus – Proof Enough
Eric Burdon & The Animals – Good Times
Jackie Shane – In My Tenement
Bobby McFerrin – Frisking and Wisking
Nina Simone – If You Knew/Let It Be Me

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Louisiana Tales VIII :: Louisiana Animal Farm

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Not much can be said for this one, nor does it need a hefty introduction. What we have here is a handful of Louisiana’s finest singing for, about, and because of animals. The animals come in all varieties: wild, tame, and humans who may as well be. Wild and stubborn men are given canine characteristics, baboon brains, and chicken struts.

The Meters, The Humdingers (The Showmen), Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Dave Bartholomew, and Lloyd Price ring in New Orleans soul, funk, and R&B angles of our animal expedition. Song scenarios range from zoos and animal farms to homeless frogs and wise monkeys.

Louisiana’s Dale Hawkins adds rhythm and a rockabilly slant to the story of him, his girl, and her new guy. T.K. Hulin belts out “The Monkey Song” with more soul than is allowed in Acadiana, while Jimmy Bonin brings in piano rolls and swampy sways to describe the early stages of a Louisiana love story.

To wrap things up, legendary New Orleans producer and songwriter Paul Gayten presents an early version of “They All Ask’d For You” with a roll-call that creams The Meters version and serves as the perfect closer to this mix. Because, let’s face it, if you made it to the end of this one, which I truly hope you do, it’s important that you realize one thing: they’re all still asking for you!

The Meters — They All Ask’d For You
Frankie Ford — Dog House
The Humdingers — The Owl Sees You
Clarence “Frogman” Henry — Ain’t Got No Home
Dale Hawkins — See You Soon Baboon
T.K. Hulin — The Monkey Song
Dave Bartholomew — The Monkey
The Meters — Chicken Strut
Lloyd Price — The Chicken and the Bop
Jimmy Bonin — Bow Wow Puppy Love
Paul Gayten — They All Ask For You Down at The Zoo

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Recent Songs #91 :: River In The Rain

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Link Wray – Black River Swamp
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Ohio River Boat Song
John Fahey – Dixie Pig Bar-B-Q Blues
Beck – Rowboat
Michael Hurley & Betsy Nichols – River in the Rain
The Persuasions – Lazy River Road
Chris Darrow – The Sky Is Not Blue Today
Mickey Newbury – Let Me Sleep

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Recent Songs #90 :: Hanky Panky Nohow

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John Stammers – The Fridge (the band version)
Tiny Watkins – A Soldier’s Sad Story
Scott Walker – Duchess
Yo La Tengo – Hanky Panky Nohow
Aphex Twin – Avril 14th
Yves & Serge & Victor – Come to my House
Melanie – Someday I’ll Be A Farmer (live)
Cresa Watson – Alpine Winter
Ruth Copeland – Play With Fire

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Recent Songs #89 :: Somebody to Love

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The Impressions – Love’s Happening
The Minstrels – People Get Ready
Aretha Franklin – Let It Be
Valerie June – Somebody to Love (acoustic)
The Ovations – It’s Wonderful To Be In Love
Solomon Burke – Can’t Nobody Love You
The Persuasons – Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Maxine Brown – We Can Work It Out
Nina Simone – Ooh Child

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Recent Songs #88 :: Lookin’ for Boys

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Pin-Ups – Lookin’ For Boys
Ito Yukari – My Boy Lollipop
The Carousels – Pretty Little Thing
Olivia Newton-John – God Only Knows
Thea Tru-Tones Combo – California Dreaming
Faye Wong – Dreamlover
The Shangris Las – Remember(Walking in the Sand)
Marianne Faithful – Rosie
Sweet Inspirations – Why Am I Treated So Bad
The Dixie Cups – I’m Gonna Get You Yet
Gayle Harris – They Never Taught That In School

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Louisiana Tales VII :: The Great Louisiana Cover-Up

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This month’s mix takes the art of covering songs to a new level. Not only are many of these songs some of the greatest ever written, Louisiana artists seem to effortlessly turn them into swamp pop and creole classics. These songs serve as strong testaments to the skillful diversity of Louisiana musicians.

We start our trip with Fats Domino covering The Beatles. Through piano rolls and soulful dips, Fats owns this classic and paves the way for Clarence “Frogman” Henry to do the same with his cover of the late Don Covay’s “See Saw.”

New Orleans’ Lloyd Price belts out another soul gem, with his cover of the Motown classic “Shop Around,” before the mix explores Cajun country with Clifton Chenier doing Ray Charles, Nathan Abshire doing Joe South, Van Broussard doing James Brown, and Johnnie Allan doing Percy Sledge. Southern soul artists pay tribute to influences and contemporaries when Joe Barry, Shreveport’s Eddy Giles, and “Mr. Happy Feet” Robert Parker cover Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, and Roosevelt Jamison.

We return to Fats towards the end of the mix with yet another Beatles cover followed by Louie Armstrong moaning out the immortal words of John Lennon amidst the angelic chants of Soul Sisters. Too often, you’ll hear Otis or The Beatles covered to the point of sacrilege, but during the ’60s and early ’70s, when everyone covered everyone, it is refreshing to think that Louisiana was never the one to drop the ball.

Lovely Rita — Fats Domino
See Saw — “Clarence “Frogman” Henry
Shop Around — Lloyd Price
What’d I Say — Clifton Chenier
Games People Play — Nathan Abshire
Try Me — Van Broussard
Out of Left Field  — Johnnie Allan
That’s How Strong My Love Is — Eddy Giles
Mr. Pitiful — Robert Parker
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And Monkey — Fats Domino
Give Peace A Chance — Louis Armstrong

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Recent Songs #87 :: Too Far Gone

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Bert Jansch – Baby Blue
Nico Gomez and His Afro Percussion Inc. – El Condor Pasa
Gal Costa – Baby
Bobby Lee – I Was Born A Loser
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters – What’s Your Name
Alton Ellis – I Can’t Stop Now
Desmond Dekker – Shing A Ling
Darondo – Didn’t I
The Seeds – Can’t Seem To Make You Mine
Neil Young – Too Far Gone

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Recent Songs #86 :: Love Is Overtaking Me

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Fotheringay – Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Big Star – Morpha Too
Judy Dyble – Both Sides Now
Arthur Russell – Love Is Overtaking Me
Chris Smither – A Short Song For Susan
Erma Franklin – Piece Of My Heart
George Jackson – Getting The Bills (But No Merchandise)
Skeeter Davis & NRBQ – Things To You
Harry Nilsson – I Will Take You There
Elyse Weinberg – Grease Paint Smile

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Recent Songs #85 :: Loud, Loud, Loud

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The Five Stairsteps – Dear Prudence
Nancy Sinatra – Lightning’s Girl
Honeybus – She Sold The Blackpool Rock
Aphrodite’s Child – Loud, Loud, Loud
Julie London – Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
Eric Burdon & War – Magic Mountain
John J. Francis – Play Mumma Play
Heron – Goodbye

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Recent Songs #84 :: Take Care Of All My Children

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Tom Waits – Take Care of All My Children
Kid Clayton – Corrine, Corrina(intro)
Ernie K-Doe – T’aint it the Truth
Jerry Jackson – Shrimp Boats
Irma Thomas – It’s Rainin’
Little Richard – Freedom Blues
Swamp Dogg – Synthetic World
Baby Dodds Trio – Salee Dame
Eddie Bo – Ta Ne Ne Na
The Prolifics – Keep On Raining Rain
Tom Waits – Grapefruit Moon (Early Version)

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Louisiana Tales VI :: When My Dreamboat Comes Home

dreams

Much like other R&B and pop music from the ’50s and ’60s, dreams and their dreamers ruled Louisiana’s musical landscape in the mid-twentieth century. Stirring dreams, dreams triggered by emotional unrest and heartache—typically finding form in a man or woman who beguiles the singer—were the meat of these wistful songs.

This mix caters to that trend and is ushered in by the lost-love longing of teen heart-throb and Baton Rouge native, Jimmy Clanton. Later, Lloyd Price bellows about wild aspirations and heavy dreams, setting precedent for New Orleans flavor that lingers with the timeless sounds of Fats Domino, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, and Tami Lynn. Swamp Pop melodies echo in Charles Mann’s cover of Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember,” which plays into a closer with a slow rhythm and hypnotic spoken-and-sung verses that echo a Creole lullaby.

Imagine the men and women from last month, who sang lonesome, tear-speckled tunes about heartbreak and crying. Now imagine these are the same folks, only a month down the line. They aren’t totally recovered, but they are a little bit better. Sure, the loneliness remains but some of these dreams are downright hopeful. It can be said that one of the steps of overcoming Louisiana-style grief is “Soulful Acceptance,” and here we have just that.

Just A Dream — Jimmy Clanton
Heavy Dreams — Lloyd Price
When My Dreamboat Comes Home — Fats Domino
Living In A Dream — Kenny Tibbs and The Jokers
Lost Dreams — The Dukes
Dream Myself A Sweetheart — Clarence “Frogman” Henry
World Of Dreams — Tami Lynn
Dreams to Remember — Charles Mann
Lee’s Dream — Shirley and Lee

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Recent Songs #83 :: Please Be With Me

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Mickey Newbury – Winter Winds Blow
Vernon Wray – Sycamore Tree
Ray Stinnett – Honey Suckle Rose
Tom T. Hall – I Love
Jim Pulte – Cry, Sing & Laugh
Cowboy – Please Be With Me
Johnny Paycheck – Old Violin
The Holy Modal Rounders – Love Is the Closest Thing
Lazarus – Circuit Rider

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Recent Songs #82 :: I Shall Be Released

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Veclav Neckar – Suzanne
Nina Simone – I Shall Be Released
Michael Chapman You Say
Marie Laforet – Viens, Viens
NRBQ – Hymn No. 5
Sylvia Robbins – I Can’t Tell You
Kevin Ayers – May I
Marie Laforet – Fais-Moi L’amour Comme A Une Autre
Bridget St. John – I Don’t Know If I Can Take It

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Recent Songs #81 :: Reach Out (I’ll Be There)

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Chairmen of the Board – All We Need Is Understanding
Derrick Harriott – Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
Miriam Makeba – Hauteng
Desmond Dekker – It’s Not Easy
Mohawks – Let It Be
Marvin Gaye – I Wish I Liked You
Charles Perrywell – You’re Lonesome Now
The Four Puzzles – Especially For You
Willy DeVille – Ruler of My Heart
Sam & Dave – Sleep Good Tonight

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Recent Songs #80 :: Look In My Eyes

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Chase Webster – Moody River
Chuck Jackson – Blowin’ in the Wind
Eddie Giles – That’s How Strong My Love Is
The Premiers – Shawnee
Ena Baga – Can’t Buy Me Love
Los Iberos – Fantastic Girl
Otis Blackwell – Let Your Daddy Hold You
Big Maybelle – Old Love Never Dies
The Chantels – Look In My Eyes
The Dells – Whiter Shade of Pale

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Recent Songs #79 :: Lullabys, Legends and Lies

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Lonnie Mack – The Man In Me
Junior Parker – The Inner Light
Everly Brothers – Hard, Hard Year
Daniel Moore – May 16, 1975
Sugluk – Ajuinnarasuarsunga
Neil Young – Birds (unreleased)
Sid Selvidge – Miss The Mississippi and You
Henson Cargill – Wildflower
Leon Ashley – Laura (What’s He Got That I Ain’t Got)
Bobby Bare – Lullabys, Legends and Lies

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Louisiana Tales V :: Loan Me a Handkerchief

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When studying Louisiana’s spot on a map of the United States, it isn’t difficult to gather that South Louisiana falls as one of the southernmost points of this fine country. Some would call this area part of the Deep South. It’s also not a stretch to posit that Louisiana has birthed some of the deepest of deep soul. Heartbroken, busted up, and broke-down aren’t words that make casual appearances down here. New Orleans R&B and swamp pop music are pointed just as sharply towards the men and women left hungover and alone the next morning as those who party at dancehalls the night before.

What I’ve done with this month’s mix is gather a handful of songs by Louisiana musicians about heartbreak, loss, and a certain shame that walks hand-in-hand with the empty feeling of loneliness. Present are New Orleans greats like Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, Lloyd Price, Aaron Neville, and Danny White as well as Swamp Pop heroes like Bobby Charles and Johnnie Allan. Where Fats, Irma, and Aaron deliver soul masterpieces of the tender variety, Danny keeps it real with a show of true grittiness. Simply put, Danny White’s vocals in “Loan Me A Handkerchief” sound like pure weeping set to a drum beat and backed by a tight horn section. It may sound unappealing, but it’s easily one of the best things I’ve ever heard. Next, Bobby Mitchell and Lloyd Price lighten the load while ushering in the Creole crooning of Billy Tircuit and the teary anthems and rolling pianos of Bobby Charles and Johnnie Allan.
 
This mix may be filled to the brim with teary-eyed songs about heartbreak and misery, but it is far from a sad mix. These songs chronicle the worst parts of the singers’ lives, all the while showing that sometimes sadness is the truest inspiration for great music.

Loan Me A Handkerchief — Danny White
I Gotta Sit Down and Cry — Bobby Marchan
I’ll Fiddle While You Cry — Bobby Mitchell and The Toppers
Boo Hoo — Lloyd Price
Crying — Billy Tircuit
Big Boys Cry — Bobby Charles
Crying Over You — Johnnie Allan
Cry On — Irma Thomas
Counting Teardrops — James K-Nine
I’ve Got a Right to Cry — Fats Domino
Don’t Cry — Aaron Neville

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Recent Songs #78 :: Try Love

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The People’s Choice – Run To Me
The Ventures – Happy Together
Porgy & The Monarchs – Congratulations
Bobbettes – Um Bow Wow
Bobby Williams – Try Love
Les Surfs – Si J’vais un Marteau
Cosmic Ray – Somebody’s In Love
Ruby Johnson – Here I Go Again
Dinah Lee – Don’t You Know Yokomo?
Della Reese – My World Is Empty Without You

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Recent Songs #77 :: Are You Leaving For The Country?

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Davey Graham – I’m A Freeborn Man
Malvina Reynolds – The New Restaurant
Karen Dalton – Are You Leaving For The Country?
Michael Hurley – Gon’ to Florida
Mike Cooper – Goodtimes
Jim Ford – Big Mouth, USA (demo)
Marion Williams – Turn, Turn, Turn
Fotheringay – Wild Mountain Thyme
Medicine Head – Home’s Oddessey
Ted Hawkins – I Got What I Wanted

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Recent Songs #76 :: Love Me, Please Love Me

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Johnny Adams – Salt of the Earth
Humble Pie – Cold Lady
JJ Cale – Magnolia
Rob Franken Organization – Mother Nature’s Son
Michel Polnareff – Love Me Please Love Me
PP Arnold – First Cut Is The Deepest
Charles Smith – Tell Him That You’re Mine
Lula Reed – It’s Easy Child
Barbara Mason – Moon River

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Recent Songs #75 :: Like a Coat from the Cold

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Michael Nesmith – Texas Morning
Townes Van Zandt – Loretta (demo)
Billy Joe Shaver – Willy
Mickey Newbury – Sunshine
Kinky Freedman – Sold American (live)
Jerry Jeff Walker – Night Rider’s Lament
Willie Nelson – Texas In My Soul
Doug Sahm – Wallflower
Townes Van Zandt – To Live Is To Fly (demo)
Guy Clark – Like A Coat From The Cold

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Louisiana Tales IV :: Fatback, Louisiana USA

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Whenever I find myself chatting with an outsider to Louisiana, the topics of Louisiana music and LSU sports tend to make an appearance (though I know nothing of the latter). But—inevitably—every conversation turns toward Louisiana cuisine. Sample questions from the outsider include: Are jambalaya and étouffée really as spicy as they say? and Are crawfish worth the effort? … perhaps something like Do you honestly enjoy food that makes you eyes water and nose run? (The response to all the above is Yes!)

This month, I want to drop the first in a group of themed mixes that will only get livelier and more specific in the months to come. Like my other Louisiana mixes, this one highlights locations around the state and slightly beyond. Champion Jack Dupree, Dave Bartholomew, and Professor Longhair usher in that familiar New Orleans sound with clanging percussion, rolling piano, and the boastful cries of R&B masters in tunes about shrimp, crawfish, and chitlins.

Follow that up with more modern New Orleans narratives by Kermit Ruffins, accompanied by a crowd of candy-obsessed kids, and Cyril Neville rattling off a list of Crescent City cuisine that he deems comparable to his girl’s love.

Outsiders like Mike Sanchez, blues titan B.B. King, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Amru Sani sing about the shufflin’ parties that showcase the best of Louisiana cooking, as well as the inevitable weight gain caused by the spicy temptations.

To close the set, Ohioan pop singer Teresa Brewer delivers an upbeat version of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” that will knock your socks off.

I hope that this mix encapsulates, to some degree at least, the universal fascination with Louisiana food, providing a soundtrack for one of the most beloved pieces of the Louisiana puzzle.

Crawfish — Mike Sanchez
Fatback Louisiana, USA — Tennessee Ernie Ford
Shrimp and Gumbo — Dave Bartholomew
Tabasco — Amru Sani & Enoch Light
Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner — Kermit Ruffins
New Orleans Cookin’ — Cyril Neville
Crawfish Fiesta — Professor Longhair
Saturday Night Fish Fry — B.B. King
Cooking Catfish — Roy Perkins
Chittlins & Rice — Champion Jack Dupree
Alligator Meat — Joe Swift & Johnny Otis Band
Jambalaya — Teresa Brewer

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Recent Songs #74 :: If You Want To Sing Out, Sing

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Willie Walker – You Name It I’ve Had It
Rotary Connection – Like a Rolling Stone
Bobbettes – Zoomy
Keith & Enid – Worried Over You
Ken Parker – How Strong
Rita Chao & The Quests – How To Catch A Girl
Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers – It Isn’t Nice
The Velvetones – Penalty of Love
Terry Callier – Johnny Be Gay If You Can
Jan & Lorraine – Number 33
Cat Stevens – If You Want to Sing Out, Sing
Bob Dylan – I Want You (live)

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Recent Songs #73 :: Miles to Go

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Roshell Anderson – A Snake in Green Grass
The Sharpees – My Girl Jean
Rico Rodriquez & Dandy Livingstone – I’m Your Puppet
Bessie Jones with The Georgia Island Singers – Diamond Joe
Vince Martin & Fred Neil – I’m A Drifter
Nina Simone – Nobody Wants You When You’re Down And Out
Mack Sigis Porter – Miles to Go
Heron – Sally Goodin/Little Boy
John Bassette – Colorado

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Recent Songs #72 :: Snowblind Friend

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Hoyt Axton – Snowblind Friend
Chris Darrow – Song for Steven
Carole King – Cryin’ in the Rain (demo)
Michael Hurley – Knockando
Chris Smither – Lonesome Georgia Brown
Ernie Graham – Sebastian
Bob Martin – Deer Island Prison
F.J. McMahon – The Learned Man
Joe South- Coming Down All Alone

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Recent Songs #71 :: Let ‘Em In

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Wings – Let ‘Em In
Ron Geesin – Let It Be
Los Iberos – Back in Time
Gloria Benavides – Estas Botas Son Para Caminar
The Valentino’s – It’s All Over Now
Nino Ferrer – Pour Oublier Qu’on S’Est Aime
Ginny Satin – Hey Lover
Ito Yukari – Johnny Get Angry
Vladimir Cosma – Pavane Enfantine
Gershon Kingsley – Sound of Silence

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Louisiana Tales III :: They’re Tryin’ to Wash Us Away

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This month I’m going to change things up a little bit. Rather than focusing on songs by Louisiana artists or targeting specific areas of Louisiana, I’ve featured outside artists as they set eyes on our state (often with romance in mind). These songs chronicle Louisiana’s place in the past, the present, and the future. Here are songs of lost and budding love, escape and redemption … spanning from the shores of the Pontchartrain to Cajun country.

First we dive into Chuck Berry’s “Oh Louisiana,” off his blues-driven 1971 album, San Francisco Dues, a deep groove about the pestering memory of the home he left for California. After deflated success and failed romance, he has found himself desiring nothing more than to return to the simple life, Cajun cuisine, and Creole magic. Next, the talents of The Band are hit up for a Louisiana- and Acadia-based one-two punch. First they join forces with Emmylou Harris on the stage for 1978’s The Last Waltz to perform “Evangeline,” a song about a woman mourning a lost love; it gently sways through its verses like Spanish moss hanging from a weeping willow. The Band takes the reins again with “Acadian Driftwood” off their 1975 albumNorthern Lights – Southern Cross. “Acadian Driftwood” tells the story of The Great Upheaval and expulsion of Acadians from Nova Scotia from 1755—1764, which led to their exile in South Louisiana and the evolution (through mispronunciations) of the word “Acadian” to “Cajun.”

Violins usher in the next song as Randy Newman sings about the historic flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927. “Louisiana 1927” reflects on the damage and high water in St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes. With a chorus like “They’re trying to wash us away,” Hurricane Katrina victims couldn’t help but relate to Newman’s words in August 2005.

The love-struck voices of King Creole stars Elvis and Carolyn Jones are followed by the slow-moving anthem that is “I Love You” by Jerry Jeff Walker, kicking into the “love letter” portion of the mix. Jerry Jeff sings to his true love, assuring that what may seem broken and in need of repair can and will be fixed in Louisiana. Then Johnny Cash dips in and takes the perspective of a young lover who watched his betrothed slip through his fingers; now he visits her place of departure, hoping to find his “Dorraine of Ponchartrain.”

The mix settles in New Orleans for the last three songs. First, Tom Waits staggers in with the streetlight serenade of “I Wish I Was in New Orleans” from 1976’s Small Change. Waits’ passionate growl expresses a longing for the city, only to be matched by the sincere ballad about the strength of post-Katrina New Orleans in Steve Earle’s “This City.”

Finally, Randy Newman clasps another link in this mix’s chain of nostalgic and romantic songs with one about his birth and early childhood in New Orleans. Along with all the other artists on this mix, Newman sets out to make Louisiana his own. Whether through meditations on the past or aspirations for the future, each song shares Louisiana, not just as subject, but the reason for singing.

Chuck Berry – Oh Louisiana
The Band featuring Emmylou Harris – Evangeline
The Band – Acadian Driftwood
Randy Newman – Louisiana 1927
Jerry Jeff Walker – I Love You
Johnny Cash – Dorraine of Ponchartrain
Tom Waits – I Wish I Was In New Orleans
Steve Earle – This City
Randy Newman – Dixie Flyer

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Recent Songs #70 :: Not Now, I’ll Tell You When

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Billy Stewart – Strange Feeling
The Bad Habits – Night Owl
Eddie Bo – From This Day On
Millionares – The Rains Came
Lee Moses – Diana from NYC
Jackson Five – Big Boy
Shirley & Alfred – Kid Games and Nursery Rhymes
Ben E. King – Not Now, I’ll Tell You When
Billy Vera – The Bible Salesman
Garnett Mimms – I’ll Take Good Care of You
Allen Toussaint – Poor Boy Got To Move
Fuller Brothers – Let Me Love You

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Recent Songs #69 :: It Won’t Hurt (Half as Much)

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Honeybus – Jug of Water
Goblin – Edda
John Cale – You Know More Than I Know
David Bowie – Across the Universe
Marie Laforet – Tant Qu’il Y Aura Des Chevaux
Them – It Won’t Hurt Half as Much
Bridget St. John – Last Goodnight

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Recent Songs #68 :: Love’s Been Good To Me

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Wilmer & The Dukes – I’m Free
Ernie Djohan – I’m a Tiger
Jimmy Conwell – Let It All Out
Doc Paulin – We Shall Walk Through the Streets of the City
Pete Seeger – Oh, Mary Don’t You Weep
Abner Jay – I Wanna Job
Tom Tumbleweed – Tumbling Down
Ike Turner – She Makes My Blood Run Cold
Nina Simone – Love’s Been Good To Me
Zerben R. Hicks & The Dynamics – Lights Out

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Recent Songs #67 :: How Can I Forget?

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Benny Latimore – I’m A Believer
Sound Dimension – Time Is Tight
Los Iberos – Bajo el Alamo
Jimmy Holiday – How Can I Forget
Sunny Crypt – Francis Bebey
Ennio Morricone – Guerra E Pace, Pollo E Brace
Marion Williams – I Pity The Poor Immigrant
Roy C. – Gone Gone
Eddie & Ernie – I’m Going For Myself

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