Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Cover Story – Bridge Over Troubled Water

The Simon and Garfunkel album “Bridge over Troubled Water” was a rare gem in my parents 70’s album collection amonst the James Last, Shirley Bassey and Herb Alpert collections and I still have flashbacks to them and the neighbours dancing to “Cecillia” around the Tupperware Lazy Susan.

The title track is without doubt a classic of it’s time and it takes a brave person to record a cover version.

Step forward Merry Clayton (born December 25, 1948) who is an  American soul and gospel singer (both solo and back-up), and an actress.

She has provided a number of back-up vocal tracks to songs recorded by major performing artists during the 1960s, most notably with her duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter“.

She also sang backup on several tracks from Neil Young‘s debut album Neil Young, originally released in 1968 and also sang backing vocals on Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Also, early in her career, Clayton sang backup vocals for Tom Jones, Joe Cocker (Feelin’ Alright) and Carole King.

She also originated the role of the Acid Queen in the original 1972 London production of The Who‘s Tommy.

In 1970, Clayton recorded her own version of “Gimme Shelter,” and it became the title track of her debut solo album, released that year. Her version would be the first of five singles under her name to crack the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #73.

The album also featured her version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Merry Clayton

To buy the music of Merry Clayton click HERE

April 20, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Kangaroo Boxer

Worth watching if only to see the refereee/trainer getting what he deserves!

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Humour, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Patti Smith – Write On!!

Patti Smith has called on publishers and readers not to let technology kill off traditional books.

The singer made the statement after winning a National Book Award for her memoir, Just Kids. She collected a $10,000 (£6,250) prize for winning the non-fiction category at the awards ceremony in New York last night (November 17), reports BBC News.

“There is nothing more beautiful than the book, the paper, the font, the cloth,” she said. “Please never abandon the book.”

Her memoir, which won the non-fiction prize, trails her youth in New York in the 1960s.

Source :-

“Bookends” – Simon & Garfunkel

To buy the music of Simon & Garfunkel click HERE

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Harry Carpenter

Just heard the sad news about the passing of Harry Carpenter on Saturday. I have never been a big fan of boxing but “Harry” was without doubt the voice of the sport in the UK.

Carpenter was the BBC’s voice of boxing for almost half a century after joining the corporation in 1949, when he first began commentating on the sport.

Known for his double act with British boxing great Frank Bruno, Carpenter also presented Sportsnight, Grandstand and Sports Personality of the Year.

He retired in 1994 and died in his sleep at King’s College Hospital in London in the early hours of Saturday.

His lawyer David Wills said: “He had been unwell since last summer when he had a minor heart attack.

“The funeral has not been arranged but will be a family funeral, to be followed by a memorial service in London.”

Carpenter became closely identified with Frank Bruno, whose catchphrase “know what I mean, ‘arry?” featured in their post-fight interviews.

The former world heavyweight champion, 48, was said to be “very upset and shocked” by the death.

“The most exciting time was probably the Tyson fight when even Harry Carpenter, who was quite a cool man, sort of lost his cool,” the spokesman added.

Carpenter was on air for the “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1974.

He labelled the end of the contest – underdog Ali won by knockout in the eighth round to reclaim the world heavyweight crown at the age of 32 – as “the most extraordinary few seconds that I have ever seen in a boxing ring”.

Of Ali himself, Carpenter said: “He is not only the most remarkable sports personality I have ever met, he is the most remarkable man I have ever met.”

Carpenter also had the privilege of presenting Ali with the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Century award in 1999.

His immediately recognisable, warm broadcasting style earned him plaudits outside the United Kingdom, too.

In 1989, he received American Sportscasters’ Association and International Sportscaster of the Year awards.

He will be greatly missed.

For a full tribute visit the BBC page HERE

March 22, 2010 Posted by | News, Old Music, Television, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Davy Graham

A Scholar and a Gentleman

October saw the release of the above which is perhaps the  first truely definitive Davy Graham compilation.

“When Davy Graham died last December, the British folk scene lost one of its most extraordinary and influential guitarists, for he was years ahead of his time. He was fascinated by traditional music, but also by blues, north African, Middle Eastern and Indian styles, and classical music.

It was impossible to guess what he would turn to next, and he brought a new experimental approach to the folk scene that persists today.

This new two-CD set concentrates on his most creative period, the 60s, and much comes from the Decca catalogue. It starts with the original 1963 version of his best-known guitar piece, Angi (later rerecorded as Anji).

There are also tracks from his influential 1965 album, Folk, Blues & Beyond,

folk blues and beond

which includes everything from Mingus to Dylan, and from the experimental Folk Roots, New Routes, recorded with singer Shirley Collins. Then there’s his treatment of a Bulgarian dance piece, a Purcell harpsichord work, and the extraordinary She Moved Thru’ the Bizarre, which switches from English folk song to a raga, and then back again. The man was a genius.”

“I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes” – Davy Graham

Graham was born in Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, to a Guyanese mother and a Scottish father. Although he never had any formal music lessons, he learnt to play the piano and harmonica as a child and then took up the guitar at the age of 12.

As a teenager, he was strongly influenced by the folk guitar player Steve Benbow, who had travelled widely with the army and played a guitar style influenced by Moroccan music.

At the age of 19, Graham wrote what was probably his most famous piece, at least for aspiring guitarists: the acoustic solo tune “Anji”. Colin Harper credits Graham with single-handledly inventing the concept of the folk guitar instrumental (whilst acknowledging that John Fahey was making a similar invention, simultaneously, in the U.S.).

Graham’s acoustic guitar solo “Angie”, named after his then girlfriend, appeared on his debut EP 3/4 AD in April 1962. The tune spread like wildfire through a generation of aspiring guitarists, changing its spelling as it went. Before the record was released, Bert Jansch had learnt it from a tape which Graham had lent to his half-sister, Jill Doyle, who was a friend of Jansch. Jansch included it on his 1965 debut album as “Angie”. But the spelling Anji became the most popular after it appeared in this way on Simon & Garfunkel‘s 1966 album Sounds of Silence, and it was as “Anji” that Chicken Shack recorded it for their 1969 100 Ton Chicken album.

“Anji” – Simon & Garfunkel

sounds of silence

One way that Graham came to the attention of guitarists was through his appearance in a 1959 TV film produced by Ken Russell, entitled Hound Dogs and Bach Addicts: The Guitar Craze, in which he played an acoustic instrumental version of Cry Me a River.This was broadcast as part of the BBC TV arts series Monitor.

Graham introduced the DADGAD guitar tuning to British guitarists, though it is not clear if it originated with him. Its main attraction was that it allowed the guitarist more freedom to improvise in the treble while maintaining a solid underlying harmony and rhythm in the bass. While ‘non-standard’, or ‘non-classical’ tunings were widely practiced by guitarists before this (Open E and Open G tunings were in common use by blues and slide guitar players) his use of DADGAD introduced a second standard tuning to guitarists.

To buy the music of Davy Graham click HERE

To buy the music of Simon & Garfunkel click HERE

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Blues, Folk, Old Music, Video | , | 2 Comments

Sunday Jazz – Keep The Customer Satisfied


After my great day yesterday this just about sums it up… is The Buddy Rich Big Band and a live version of a Simon & Garfunkel classic.

“Keep The Customer Satisfied” – The Buddy Rich Big Band

For more infrmation on Buddy Rich click HERE

To buy Buddy Miles music click HERE

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Jazz, Video | , | Leave a comment


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