I’m writing this on January 21, because Alana gave me a great idea for a Battle and, you know me, brain like sieve, if I don’t get it down now, I’ll forget.
“Apache” was composed by Jerry Lordan in 1958, and originally recorded by guitarist Bert Weedon, but Lordan didn’t like the recording and it was never released. He showed it to Jet Harris, bass player for The Shadows, by picking it out on the ukulele. Harris showed it to the rest of The Shadows, who agreeed to record it. It was released in July 1960 and by August reached #1 in the UK, topping the chart for five weeks, and it was voted the best song of 1960 by the readers of New Music Express magazine.
In 1961, Danish guitarist Jørgen Ingmann recorded his version of “Apache.” His reached #2 on the Hot 100.
Since the two versions never met head-to-head anywhere (indeed, The Shadows received very little, if any, airplay in the US), let’s do that here. Your to-do list is as follows:
Listen to both versions of “Apache” and decide which one you like better.
Vote for it by leaving a comment below, telling me which one it is and, if you would, why you liked it better.
Visit Stephen T. McCarthy’s Battle of the Bands blog, where he’s bound to have a battle of his own, and vote in it.
Visit the other Battle of the Bands blogs listed in the right-hand column of Stephen’s blog, and vote in their battles as well.
Remember, you need not be a Battle of the Bands participant to vote in the battles. Although, if you would like to join us and conduct a Battle of the Bands yourself on the 1st and 15th of every month, let Stephen know in the comments on his page. The more the merrier, I say. I’ll announce the winner of this Battle next Friday, February 22, so be sure and have your votes in to me by then.
The lines are now open. Good luck to The Shadows and Jørgen Ingmann!
Last year the prompt “Write a blog post inspired by the word: perfection” came up, and I wrote a piece on it. The same prompt has come up, and as I really don’t have anything for any of the other prompts, I’m going to use the same prompt, but I have a whole different angle on it. I went out to The Free Dictionary, and as I read through what it said, the Spanish word perfecto started showing up in the section that translates things into Spanish. And I had my inspiration.
When I started kindergarten back in the early ’60’s, we (or, more correctly, our parents) were told that we needed a cigar box, sans cigars and covered with something like Con-Tact paper, for us to put things like crayons and other art supplies in. Nowadays, there are boxes made for that exact purpose, but this was back before we had things like that. Anyway, I forget whether Mom or Dad or Fabulous Auntie Jill (who was living with us at the time) got it, but I trudged off to kindergarten with my cigar box, covered with blue Con-Tact paper to hide the fact that it once held Perfecto Garcia cigars. Virtually no one covered the inside of the box, so whatever art was printed on the lid was visible when we opened them. When I was bored in kindergarten (which was the entire time, and thank heaven it was only a half day), I would glance around and see what kind of cigars everyone else was advertising. And I’d see one or more of these:
Of course, by then Mrs. Comeaux was telling me, “Johnny, pay attention.” And she’d go on blathering about whatever it was she was blathering about and I’d go back to checking out cigar box lids.
I’ve always been a fan of artwork done for advertising, packaging, and product logos, and I wonder if it started back when I was in kindergarten. No, I was already into all that by the time I got there. I’m still fascinated by it. I think I missed my calling.
Joe, my father-in-law, was not a very educated man, at least not as far as going to school. I think he told me that he dropped out of school after his freshman year of high school. But, as far as I’m concerned, he was a genius. When he wanted to learn something, he read up on it and taught himself. He could do financial calculations that almost none of the finance majors I knew could do, so when one of the banks or savings and loans in the neighborhood was offering a better interest rate, he would figure out how much he could take out of which bank account and deposit with the bank giving a better interest rate. He was always looking for good deals, which meant he had a good stock of soap, paper towels, and toilet paper. The best piece of advice he ever gave Mary and me was “ya gotta work the angles.”
Ever since then, any time Mary and I figure out a way to take advantage of a good deal, we picture him sitting in heaven, smiling down on us. We worked the angles.
One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now here’s Snagglepuss for Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies. Taste like a chocolate milkshake, only crunchy!
The Weather Channel (US) used to be one of the best places to hear smooth jazz. Six times an hour, during their “Local on the 8’s” segments, they would display the current conditions and forecast accompanied by a smooth jazz number. TWC actually produced a couple of albums over the years, which are sort of collector’s items now that they’re playing pop music instead. Anyway, if you watched The Weather Channel up until a few years ago, there’s a better than average chance you’ve heard keyboardist Chris Geith (rhymes with “bite”). I first heard of Chris on Facebook, although I can’t remember if he contacted me or I just found him there. In any event, he’s recorded five albums, the first, Prime Time (2007) recorded as the Chris Geith Group, and has collaborated with guitarist David Wells on a sixth.
He’s recorded extensively for TV, for shows such as Hometime (PBS), That’s My Baby (Animal Planet), and Behind the Music (VH-1), as well as playing piano for Julie Andrews and opening for Paul Anka. The band has been #1 in smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and contemporary urban/R&B on the site MP3.com. Prime Time was selected “Top Net CD” with over 1.4 milion downloads.
From 2008’s Timeless World, here is “Restless Heart.”
From his most recent album, 2016’s Well Tempered Love, the title track.
Continuing my #40 series, here are the #40 songs on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for the last Friday of each month. This week, 1963.
January 25: The Matys Bros., “Who Stole The Keeshka?” A polka, because polkas were always popular in Chicago. You’ll note the phonetic spelling of the word kishka… This spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #17.
February 22: Marvin Gaye, “Hitchhike” Marvin was still gaining traction when this was released. It peaked the following week at #36 before dropping off the survey.
March 29: Bobby Vinton, “Over The Mountain (Across The Sea)” Some schmaltz from Bobby Vinton, and don’t you love it? Spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #19.
April 26: Etta James, “Pushover” I’m surprised this didn’t take off better than it did. Spent four weeks on the survey, peaking at #28.
May 31: Fats Domino, “There Goes My Heart Again” Considering this song only reached #59 nationally, Fats did all right in Chicago. Spent three weeks on the survey, peaking at #35.
June 28: Al Casey, “Surfin’ Hootenanny” Both surfing and hootenannies were popular in 1963, so Al figured that if you put them together, they’d be a big hit. Try again, Al. Nevertheless, it reached #27 after five weeks on the survey.
July 26: The Cookies, “Will Power” A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song; The Cookies did several of their songs, including “Chains,” later covered by The Beatles. Peaked at #34 in its second week, also its last.
August 30: Kelly Garrett, “Tommy Makes Girls Cry” This entered the survey at #36, because the four songs occupying #37-40 (Sam Cooke’s “Frankie and Johnny,” The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey,” Kyu Sakamoto’s “China Nights” (at least they didn’t rename it “Tempura” or “Yakitori”), and Gene Chandler’s “Man’s Temptation”) were on their way down from higher positions, so I decided to feature this instead. It fell to #40 the following week and spent two more weeks on the survey, peaking at #23.
September 27: The Orlons, “Crossfire” This rockin’ little number spent four weeks on the survey and also peaked at #23.
October 25: The Allisons, “Surfer Street” This is all Wikipedia had to say aout The Allisons: “The Allisons were an American girl group who had a minor hit with the song ‘Surfer Street.’ This song was released on Tip Records and charted for one week in December 1963, in the number 93 position. The song capitalized on the popularity of early 1960’s surfing culture.” It spent three weeks on the chart at WLS, peaking at #32.
November 29: Jan and Dean, “Drag City” This was the one success story for 1963 as far as #40’s go. It spent ten weeks on the chart and reached #1 for a week in January.
December 27: The Cookies, “Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys” Finally, we have this little gem which was written by Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller. It spent five weeks on the chart and peaked at #31.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 11, 2019.