I knew that Yo La Tengo‘s “You Can Have It All” was a cover, but until recently, I had never heard the original. I was delighted to find out it was by George McCrea of “Rock Your Baby fame,” but was shocked to learn that it was written by Harry Wayne Casey, or KC from KC and the Sunshine Band to you. Turns out he also wrote “Rock Your Baby.” Should I have been shocked by this? Probably not, but here we are. Does anyone have any delightful musical surprises that they’d like to share?
Dang it, I was still trying to embed a video, etc before this went up. Still struggling with some of the new formatting…
Is it a video for the YLT version of the song, cdm? Send me the link and I’ll add it in. Thanks.
Then, and only then, I’ll scold you for not knowing that Harry Wayne Casey and George McCrea were partners, I believe, in a Florida studio that was the center of a whole scene of cool, proto-disco.
Here’s Elvis Presley doing Dylan, which gobsmaked me, especially since it was first buried on one of his soundtracks to his crappy movies:
Not gobsmacked, but pleasantly surprised. My cable company opened up some free channels i don’t usually get, and I got to see the Skynyrd doc “If I Leave Here Tomorrow” on one of them. Loved it. I didn’t know that Ed King was in the Strawberry Alarm Clock. It was so funny to see him in that outfit. It reminded me of whenever I see a picture of Creed Bratton from The Office in his 1960s hippie form.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned that Stevie Wonder wrote Rufus & Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good.” I don’t know how I missed that detail growing up watching Don Cornelius introduce that song. Once I learned that detail, it makes so much sense.
Don’t Forget George’s wife Gwen McCrae’s “Rockin Chair” also a huge hit!
Here’s my gobsmack – Red Rose Speedway was recorded at Abbey Road at the same time Dark Side of the Moon was – Mind blown?
Maybe not a huge mind blower but still I was amazed recently to recognise British bass playing legend Danny Thompson on a record by David Sylvian. What the hell? File that under ‘strange bedfellows’.
Not a recent surprise but was brought tomind today when I heard the Four Tops’ “Reach Out, I’ll Be There”. At some point, long after that song was a hit and long after I became a Dylan fan, I read an interview with Levi Stubbs in which he explained that he got his vocal style for that song (and you can hear it also in “Bernadette”) from Dylan. I never noticed it and now can’t help but hear it.
“If you feel that you can’t go ooonnnn
because all of your hope is gooonnnne
And you life is filled with much confffuusion
Until happiness is just an illluuussion
And your world around is crumbing’ doowwnnn”
“How does it feel to be on your ooowwwnnnn
Like a complete unknnnooowwnn
Like a rolling stooonnneee”
Wow! I didn’t know this connection. Slim Jade said he knew that KC had written “Rock Your Baby,” but didn’t know that the Yo La Tengo song was a cover. Thanks, CDM!
Speaking of rock surprises, a few weeks before the local shutdown, Mr. Jade and I were at a small inn in a remote area north of SF. We were having a couple of drinks at the bar and waiting for dinner when Mr. Jade just about fell off his seat. It wasn’t the drink that did it, but that Ira and Georgia had walked in. Long story short, after dinner, we had a grand conversation about all sorts of things, musical- and art-wise. They were super nice and didn’t seem to mind our super fandom questions about their music. They were well aware of the Onion send-up, (https://www.theonion.com/37-record-store-clerks-feared-dead-in-yo-la-tengo-conce-1819566399) thought it was funny and had participated in a “re-enactment” of said event, which many in the audience didn’t initially realize it was a joke. It’s great when you a.) run across members of one of your favorite bands and b.) they aren’t assholes and were instead pretty nice.
Maybe Gobsmacked is too strong but I jut learned this (from Wikipedia) –
Booji Boy /ˈbʊɡi/ is a character created in the early 1970s by the American new wave band Devo. The name is pronounced “Boogie Boy”—the strange spelling “Booji” resulted when the band was using Letraset to produce captions for a film, and ran out of the letter “g”. When the “i” was added but before the “e,” Devo’s lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh reportedly remarked that the odd spelling “looked right”.