Tune Tuesday – True Love

Today’s tune is another one that you have probably never heard before.  It’s from a 1991 album that the critics gave poor reviews.  That’s the thing about music – we each have our own tastes and not everyone is going to agree on what’s “good” or “bad”.  I happen to really like this album, and play it often in the car.  Here’s how I discovered it, and maybe you’ll find it different and interesting, too.

Ludington

In 1991, I had broken up with a girl I had been dating for 3 years.  I was working part time in radio and an old buddy called me up and asked if I’d like to move to the west side of the state to do afternoon drive for his country station.  It didn’t really pay well, but it was a full time job.  Since the relationship was over, I decided maybe it was time to move out.  In April of 1991, I moved to Ludington, MI.

As a 20 year old guy, who had never been away from home, it was a bit scary.  I won’t lie to you, my first night away, I heard every noise inside and outside of my apartment. I really hated being away from my friends and family.  I knew a few of the people at the station and that was the extent of it.

I worked from noon-8pm.  My on air shift was 2p-7p.  I ran an satellite show until 8p and someone came in after me to keep the station on the air until midnight. I lived about 10-15 minutes from work and when I would get home I would sit in front of the TV.  The internet was probably around at the time, but I didn’t have a computer (and if I did, it would have been dial up!!).

I only had 3 or 4 stations, because I couldn’t afford cable TV.  It was during this time that I really began watching Johnny Carson and David Letterman and gained an appreciation for late night TV.  One night, Carson had Pat Benatar on as a musical guest. I was familiar with her music, as it was a big part of my childhood.  Love is a Battlefield, We Belong, and Hit Me With Your Best Shot were huge hits in the 80’s!  When Johnny introduced her, I was waiting for some kind of rock guitar lick, but it never came.

pat

The song opens with a very bluesy bass line, and I was completely thrown for a loop.  Pat’s vocal was sultry, smooth and sexy!  I was totally digging this song!  It was a HUGE departure from what she was known for.  Word is that she had always wanted to do a “jump blues” album, and this was it.  The album featured some covers (BB King and Wynonie Harris) and originals.  True Love was an original.

This is one of those songs I can listen to over and over again.  I just love her vocal and the arrangement.  Give it a listen –

True Love

Never been no fragile flower
I always got too much to say
Never had much luck with love and romance
I guess it’s always been that way

But I’ve been seriously thinking
About slippin’ on the velvet gloves
I know it’s strange but my lucks about to change
‘Cause what we got here is true love, yeah, yeah

True love, you can’t buy it no, no
You know it ain’t like nothin’ else
True love, you really ought to try it
You owe it to yourself to get you some true love

You know I wake up every morning
It’s the first thing on my mind
This is a permanent condition
Of the most serious kind

Now let me tell you baby
That you were sent from up above
Give me a sign let’s not waste any more time
‘Cause what we got here is true love, yeah, yeah

True love, you can’t buy it no, no
You know it ain’t like nothin’ else
True love, you really ought to try it
You owe it to yourself to get you some true love

I called the man at the video store and I said
Cancel my membership, I won’t be needing it no more
Found something else to occupy my nights
And baby it’s just the right amount of true love, true love, yeah

I called the man at the video store and I said
Cancel my membership, I won’t be needing it no more
Found something else to occupy my nights
And baby it’s just the right amount of true love, true love, yeah

Everybody wants it, everybody needs true love
Don’t get me wrong about the bad love
I gotta have good love
True love, yeah true love oh

True love

PAT2

Pat actually did 4 songs from the album on the Tonight Show.  The night she did True Love, she returned to do The Good Life, which was a blast because all of the Tonight Show Band members joined the band.  It was pretty cool.  It’s probably on You Tube somewhere.  She also, on another show, did the mellow So Long, and Wynonie Harris’ Bloodshot Eyes.

It doesn’t always work, but I am always curious to hear when a singer tries something a bit out of their genre.  Pat is a very talented singer and I really enjoy this album.

pat-benatar-213028-2-raw

 

Tune Tuesday – Mack the Knife

 

bobby2

Bobby Darin was a talent.  He was a songwriter, a singer, an actor, and played multiple instruments.  Today is the anniversary of his birth – he was born May 14, 1936.  As a baby, he had bouts of Rheumatic Fever, which caused some damage to his heart.  He beat many odds and lived longer than most doctors expected him to.

He began his career writing songs for Connie Francis, and eventually recorded his first song, “Splish Splash” which was a hit in 1958.  He followed it with many other hits including “Dream Lover,” “Beyond the Sea,” “If I Were a Carpenter”, and “Mack the Knife.”

Mack the Knife was Bobby’s biggest hit spending 9 weeks at #1.  It was the #1 record of 1959.  It won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1960, and Bobby won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist of the Year.  The song later received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.  But it was almost NOT released as a single.

The song is from The Threepenny Opera.  Bobby saw this show at a theater in Greenwich Village in 1958 and thought he could present it in a more “jazzy” way.  He began to sing it in his nightclub act and got a good response.  He recorded it on an album and the sales of the album and his nightclub act had audiences wanting more of it.  Originally Bobby did not want to release the song as a single.  After all, he was a teen idol and had an image to uphold.  A old song about a murderer could easily tarnish that.  The record label decided that it should be released – and the rest is history!

One cool piece of trivia (at least for me, as a trumpet player):  Doc Severinsen, who would go on to work with Johnny Carson as the bandleader of the Tonight Show Band, is one of the trumpet players on this song.

Mack The Knife

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And he shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old Macheath, babe
And he keeps it out of sight

You know when that shark bites with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, though, wears old Macheath, babe
So there’s never, never a trace of red

Now on the sidewalk, ooh, sunny morning, uh-huh
Lies a body just oozin’ life
Eek, and someone’s sneakin’ ’round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?

There’s a tugboat down by the river, don’t ya know
Where a cement bag’s just a-droopin’ on down
Oh, that cement is just, it’s there for the weight, dear
Five’ll get ya ten, old Macky’s back in town

Now d’ya hear about Louie Miller? He disappeared, babe
After drawin’ out all his hard-earned cash
And now Macheath spends just like a sailor
Could it be our boy’s done something rash?

Now Jenny Diver, ho, ho, yeah, Sukey Tawdry
Ooh, Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
Oh, the line forms on the right, babe
Now that Macky’s back in town

I said Jenny Diver, whoa, Sukey Tawdry
Look out to Miss Lotte Lenya and old Lucy Brown
Yes, that line forms on the right, babe
Now that Macky’s back in town

Look out ol’ Macky’s back!

There are many biographies available about the life of Bobby Darin.  His son, Dodd, wrote one entitled Dream Lovers which talks much about his dad and his mom (Sandra Dee).  It’s an honest read.

Bobby had health issues throughout his life and his heart already had issues.  In 1973, he neglected to take the antibiotics he was prescribed for his heart before a dentist visit.  He ended up developing sepsis which spread throughout his body.  This made him weak and affected one of the valves in his heart.  He checked himself into the hospital for another open heart surgery (he had two heart valves replaced in 1971).  After a six hour surgery, he died in the recovery room on December 20, 1973.  He never regained consciousness.  Bobby Darin was 37 years old.

Bobby