I've had a really bad cold for a week now. I haven't been posting because I haven't been doing anything besides dragging myself into work, dragging myself back home to bed and lying awake all night coughing. I'm getting cranky. I have laryngitis. I sound like Andy Devine.
Yeah, plunk this ya motherfucker.
All this by way of working around to explaining that I am down with any number of hep cats and kitties. My hepness has it's roots in New Jersey, directly adjacent to the city that never sleeps. When I was a lad, my pals and I would listen to the Symphony Sid show. That was when radio was extremely cool. I never, ever listen to music on the radio anymore, but when I was a kid I would stay up all night pulling in exotic sounds from all over America.
I listened to Buddy Ray's all night trucker's show on WWVA from Wheeling, West Virginia. They played serious hillbilly music, none of that Countrypolitan crap.
I listened to the preachers on WLIB on Sunday mornings. They weren't like the dreary low church Episcopalians I grew up with. They brought real fire to the gospel. The rumor was that WLIB belonged to James Brown himself. It wasn't true, but it was a cool rumor. Sometimes I swear I pulled in a weak and static ridden signal from WVON, The Voice of the Negro, in Chicago. WVON really was started by Phil and Leonard Chess of Chess Records fame.
When my family vacationed in the Adirondack mountains I would listen to Quebecois rock and roll shows from Montreal. I never understood a word they said, but the DJ's liked to boom out the words, "LES SWINGING BLUE JEANS!!", every few minutes.
Getting back to Symphony Sid. I dug Sid because he opened his show with King Pleasure's magnificent "Moody's Mood". It wasn't until later that I learned Sid had an unimpeachable hepcat Nihil Obstat from no less than the king o' the beatniks himself, Jack Kerouac.
Besides King Pleasure, Sid would play other Be Bop vocalists, like Lambert Hendricks and Ross. I've recently rediscovered the pleasures of that school of jazz. Besides coughing, wheezing, going to work and feeling sorry for myself, I've been listening to this utterly groovy piece of vocal play.
Workshop (AKA Blues for a Debutante)- Eddie Jefferson (buy)
My all time favorite radio find was a 15 minute bluegrass gospel show from a tiny station somewhere in rural Indiana. It was a real, old fashioned live show, featuring old, old men playing and singing in the studio. They made tons of mistakes and occasionally they would just plain trail off when someone, or all of them, would forget the rest of the song. Between songs they would say things like, "Folks, don't be thinking we're tryin' to build ourselfs up into big stars cause we're on the radio. Ever song we sing is strictly for the glory of The Lord."
That was only thirty years ago. They don't have that kind of radio in America anymore and you can't hear it.
The Glory of The Lord.
The Glory of The Lord.