Song of the Day: Chet Atkins, “Walk, Don’t Run”

Fingerstyle guitarist extraordinaire Chet Atkins was born on this day in 1924. In addition to making numerous recordings on his own, he has worked with Jerry Reed, Mark Knopfler, Marcel Dadi, Tommy Emmanuel, John Knowles, Les Paul, Lenny Breau, and others. During the 1950’s and 1960’s he was head of A&R for RCA Records in Nashville, where he created the "Nashville Sound," which blended elements of pop music with traditional country music. "Walk, Don’t Run" was written and originally recorded by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith in 1954, and Chet recorded his cover in 1957.

Song Lyric Sunday: Robert Cray, “I Wonder”

Jim got another prompt from Melanie for this week’s songfest: "amaze, astonish, curious, shock, surprise, wonder." The result: more blues!

"I Wonder" was from Robert Cray’s fourth album, Strong Persuader (1986). He wrote it, as he did most of his songs at this point. Cray was influenced primarily by Howlin’ Wolf, but here he sounds a lot like Otis Rush, both his singing and his guitar playing. There are also hints of Buddy Guy in both. Or maybe it’s the other way around. No matter: when I first heard this album, I said "this is what I’ve been waiting for!" Incredible guitar playing, great lyrics, Young Bob’s soulful voice… the blues was back. It actually had never left, but damn…

Am I a long way from your heart,
I wonder,
Is this where love is, heartache starts,
I wonder,

I wonder if you ever think about me,
And how good our old loving used to be,
Sometimes,
Sometimes I wonder

When you left with one last curious look,
I wonder,
I tried to call you,
You changed the number on me,
I really wonder

You tell me things to get me where you want me to be,
How come I feel you’re getting the best of me,
Sometimes,
I wonder

I hear a car coming round the corner,
I hear footsteps on my front porch,
I see a shadow from the light above,
I hear a voice,
Oh it’s not yours

Why does this happen,
What’s going on,
I wonder,
Could this be a dream,
Or has Bob gone crazy,
I wonder,

How come I feel your taking advantage of me,
Why can’t I get you out of me,
Sometimes,
Sometimes I wonder

They say that time will heal my broken heart,
I wonder,
Could it be that I’m blind,
All alone in the dark,
I wonder

I can’t help feeling this way,
If I could leave, I’d surely leave today,
Sometimes,
I wonder

It seems to me you still wanna be around
But when I see you, all hell starts breaking down,
Sometimes,
I wonder

mm hmm
I really wonder.

Lyrics courtesy AZLyrics.com

 

That’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for June 19, 2022.

Song of the Day: Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges, “High Hopes”

Lyricist and songwriter Sammy Cahn was born on this day in 1913. He wrote several hundred songs with Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen, and others, many for films and musicals. "High Hopes" was written with Van Heusen for the 1959 movie A Hole In The Head and was introduced by Frank Sinatra and child actor Eddie Hodges. It was nominated for a Grammy Award and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1960. It reached #30 on the Hot 100 and #6 in the UK.

Song of the Day: Stringbean, “It’s Mighty Dark To Travel”

Country music’s David Akeman, known by the stage name Stringbean, was born on this day in 1915. He was a comedian and a tremendous banjo player and singer who was a member of the Grand Old Opry and the cast of Hee Haw. He and his wife were murdered in 1973 after they returned to their home in Ridgetop, Tennessee from playing at the Grand Old Opry. "It’s Mighty Dark To Travel" demonstrates his banjo style, called "frailing," where he strums the banjo rather than picking it.