Aquarium Drunkard

Picked this one up from listening to Aquarium Drunkard‘s playlists on Spotify.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.53.26 AM

Don’t know anything about Aquarium Drunkard except passed-down oral legend and intend to keep it that way but I’m not the first to discover him — the guy is brightening my life with his (?) music curating.

Tanya Tucker

Sherrill initially planned to have Tucker record “The Happiest Girl In the Whole USA,” but she passed on the tune to Donna Fargo, choosing “Delta Dawn” — a song she heardBette Midler sing on The Tonight Show — instead. Released in the spring of 1972, the song became a hit, peaking at number six on the country charts and scraping the bottom of the pop charts. At first, Columbia Records tried to downplay Tucker’s age, but soon word leaked out and she became a sensation. A year later, Australian singer Helen Reddy would score a No. 1 U.S. pop hit with her version of “Delta Dawn.”

She had begun drinking in her late teens, and she explained how it started: “You send your ass out on the road doing two gigs a night and after all that adoration go back to empty hotel rooms. Loneliness got me into it.” In 1978 Tucker moved to Los Angeles, California, to try, unsuccessfully, to broaden her appeal to pop audiences, and was quickly captivated by the city’s nightlife. She also said that she “was the wildest thing out there. I could stay up longer, drink more and kick the biggest ass in town. I was on the ragged edge.”

Worth having a look at Bette’s version if only for her outfit:


Shady Grove

In my foolish youth I thought Tom Petty was kind of a joke, until Bob Dylan in Chronicles woke me up hard.

Bob also has words of respect for Jerry Garcia:

What an eerie tune.  Wikipedia is unusually quiet on this one.

Many verses exist,[citation needed] most of them describing the speaker’s love for a woman called Shady Grove. There are also various choruses, which refer to the speaker traveling somewhere (to Harlan, to a place called Shady Grove, or simply “away”)

Harlan

Harlan

The folks at mudcat.org take on the problem:

Subject: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: GUEST,Jake
Date: 15 Aug 10 – 11:23 PMMulling (for the thousandth time) over the incongruity of ‘Shady Grove’ which is nothing about trees protecting the singer from the sun, but seems to be a woman’s name, it occurred to me in a flash of insight, that of course it must have started as a song about a Woman or girl named “Sadie” with the surname “Grove”, ie, “Sadie Grove”, and was corrupted by the usual vagaries of oral transmission, etc, etc.   Searching this forum and the web generally provides no support for this conjecture, however.


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Aug 10 – 11:32 PMI have always shared this confusion: Shady Grove seems to be the woman’s name, but also the name of the place or location in which she lives, sometimes incongruously both at the same time. The fact that it’s one of those myriad songs [Going Down Town; Bowling Green …] which share pretty much the same set of ‘floaters’ doesn’t help.~Michael~


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: Hamish
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 03:18 AM”Wish I was in Shady Grove” takes on a new meaning.”When I was in Shady Grove I heard them pretty birds sing” (and the earth moved, no doubt).


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: GUEST,Lynn W
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 04:11 AMThere is a comment on Wikipedia that the melody is similar to Matty Groves. Any connection, I wonder?


Subject: RE: Origins: ‘Shady Grove’ a mondegreen ?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Aug 10 – 05:19 AMWikipedia has got it backwards. The folk-revival version of “Matty Groves” took its tune from “Shady Grove”.

That’s as far down this hole as I can go at the moment.

I’d be shocked if any Helytimes readers hadn’t wikipedia’d The Child Ballads.  If demographizing the known Helytimes readership I’d say “it’s people, mostly people I know, who have Wikipedia’d The Child Ballads.”

Still, why not a refresher on some best ofs?

FJM

Although shy and diffident on account of his working-class origins, he was soon recognized as “the best writer, best speaker, best mathematician, the most accomplished person in knowledge of general literature” and he became extremely popular with his classmates.

Child became the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory when he we was 26.  Says an admirer, writing in the 1970s:

Child well understood how indispensable good writing and good speaking are to civilization, or as many would now prefer to say, to society. For him, writing and speaking were not only the practical means by which men share useful information, but also the means whereby they formulate and share values, including the higher order of values that give meaning to life and purpose to human activities of all sorts. Concerned as he thus so greatly was with rhetoric, oratory, and the motives of those mental disciplines, Child was inevitably drawn into pondering the essential differences between speech and writing, and to searching for the origins of thoughtful expression in English.

(Yes!  That’s the good reason for being into this I’ve been looking for.)

Sometimes I picture Child backpacking around from pub to pub learning these things.  Mostly, though, he got them from manuscripts.  Don’t you worry, though, he could cut loose sometimes:

he also gave a sedulous but conservative hearing to popular versions still surviving.

Child engaged

 in extensive international correspondence on the subject with colleagues abroad, primarily with the Danish literary historian and ethnographer Svend Grundtvig, whose monumental twelve-volume compilation of Danish ballads, Danmarks gamle Folkeviser, vols. 1–12 (Copenhagen, 1853), was the model for Child’s resulting canonical five-volume edition of some 305 English and Scottish ballads and their numerous variants.

Svend

Svend.

Child is buried in the Sedgwick Pie.

Sedgwick pie

Is Kyra Sedgwick eligible for the Sedgwick Pie?  Seems like she might be.  Also though seems a bit rude to ask a wonderful and very alive actress and mother if she’s given any thought to her grave.

Famously (? I guess, I never read the biography) not included:

Edie Sedgwick

 


Videos discussed last night

from a conversation about whether my friends should get a goat:

from a conversation about Tinashe:


The Ragged Antique Phonograph Program

Reading this article about The Best Show:

Like WFMU itself, which takes pride in its esotericism (the lead-in to The Best Show for years was The Ragged Antique Phonograph Program, which played only 78s or cylinders on period equipment), The Best Show is a cult phenomenon. Its most hard-core listeners can literally become card-carrying fans: “Friends of Tom” are issued membership cards signed by Scharpling. For years, finding out about the show took some digging. Chicagoans who wanted to hear it had to visit the tristate area or find one of five CDs that Scharpling and Wurster self-released between 2002 and 2007. That finally changed in 2008, when they added a podcast.

and was like “haha what a hilarious gag from Scharpling and Wurster.  That’s just the kind of well-observed satire of the excesses of eccentric fandom they specialize at.”

But no, apparently, that really was the lead-in.  Here’s a photo of the hosts from their website, where you can listen to probably over a hundred episodes.

333

This world is truly amazing.  I wonder if there’s a big future in documentary or “reality” comedy, that’s not making anything up but just observing and capturing the absurdities of what exists, the way all my friends watch documentaries now?  The trouble there might be it’s very difficult to construct a documentary that is purely funny without a strong dose of some pathetic sadness or hopefulness or something — you can’t get undiluted laughs out of unconstructed reality?  If the goal is simply, “watch something that makes me laugh” might be hard to capture.

Anyway, best of luck to Scharpling in continuing Best Show:


St. Vincent

St. Vincent

photo by Tod Seelie.

What red-blooded American hasn’t considered suicide?

HIGHEST recommendation to Marc Maron’s interview with St. Vincent.  A truly fantastic interview with a person who can’t seem to say anything except in some intriguing, innovative way.  Super cool.

A fun twist in my listening experience: I was skipping over the first ten minutes as is my way with WTF Podcast, but because there’s a mini-interview or teaser at the beginning, I listened to about five minutes of Andrea Martin, thinking she was St. Vincent:

Getty images.

Getty images.

A trippy misunderstanding.

One thing St. Vincent said is that, as a kind of resolution, she’s stopped reading the Internet, and she’s found — whether it’s causation or correlation — that she’s been more present, has more interesting conversations with people she comes across.

Unachievable goal for me, but I am gonna continue to think about this, she’s onto something here.

Today I looked at Drudge Report, as I so often do, and was like “what the fuck am I doing looking at this garbage?”  Some headlines from Drudge today, punctuation is sic:

Students slam Michelle O lunch rules: Mayo banned

‘SEX SLAVE’ MET QUEEN

PAPER: Unending Anxiety of ‘ICYMI’ World…

Man posts bail — with sneakers…

BABIES WITH ‘THREE PARENTS’ TO BE LEGAL WITHIN WEEKS…

RISE OF THE MACHINES: ROBOTS LEARN WATCHING YOUTUBE!

Al Qaeda warns of new ‘undetectable’ bombs to be used against US…

Egypt defence lawyers challenge police in gay bathhouse case…

Do I need this garbage in my life?

(Hey serious q: if any HelyTimes readers know some best practices for using photos from the internet on your non-profit blog please lemme know.  Can’t find a source for that St. Vincent photo, not sure how hard I should try/worry about that)


Merry Christmas

Esther [Judy Garland] finally gets to meet John properly when he is a guest at the Smiths’ house party, although her chances of romancing him don’t go to plan when, after all the guests are gone and he is helping her turn off the gas lamps throughout the house, he tells her she uses the same perfume as his grandmother and that she has “a mighty strong grip for a girl”…

At the ball, Esther fills up a visiting girl’s (Lucille Ballard, played by June Lockhart) dance card with losers because she thinks Lucille is a rival of Rose’s. But when Lucille turns out to be interested in Lon, Esther switches her dance card with Lucille’s and instead dances herself with the clumsy and awkward partners. After being rescued by Grandpa, she is overwhelmed when John unexpectedly turns up after somehow managing to obtain a tuxedo, and the pair dance together for the rest of the evening. Later on, John proposes to Esther and she accepts.

Esther returns home to an upset Tootie. She is soothed by the poignant “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Tootie, however, becomes more upset at the prospect of the family’s move and runs downstairs, out into the cold to destroy the snowmen they have made. Mr. Smith sees his daughter’s upsetting outburst from an upstairs window.

Remember to let your kids smoke a cigarette.


Fist City

Loretta has such an admirable way of getting right to the point.


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