1907—OCS for July 2019 “You know I love
You Know I Love the Ladies
A couple of years ago, I went to a show
featuring the Carnival of Soul band, led by Skip Heller. He
acknowledged my presence in the house, by saying, “We have that
noted connoisseur of female vocalists, Bob Davis with us
tonight” and introduced me to his new singer Ms Birdie
Jones. My interest in “ladies of song” goes all the way back to
the 1950s, inspiring me to assemble this program:
Joy to the World—3 Dog Night. This Hoyt
Axton song is one I’ve posted in the '70s Music group on
Facebook. Whether the subject is feel-good songs or recordings
that mention wine it’s one of my favorites. But we’re not
discussing Jeremiah and his “mighty fine wine” or even passing
around the “WPLJ” with our bros in the alley; the text for
today’s discussion is “You know I love the ladies, love to have
This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’—Ruth
Brown. One of Miss Rhythm’s later releases, this one made the
charts while I was at Cow Poly. I had forgotten about it until
Emy Bruzzo and the Rockabelles covered it as an extra in an
Elvis Birthday Bash a few years ago. Emy was so pleased to find
a Ruth Brown fan who remembered the song. Just recently I
learned that the song was written by Bobby Darin.
He’s a Rebel—The Crystals [the
Blossoms]. The song title was also used at the title of the
book about Phil Spector by Mark Ribowsky (which I have in my
library). Although the record is attributed to The Crystals, the
actual group was Darlene Love and the Blossoms, who provided
vocals on many records made in the Los Angeles area, such as
Dick Dale’s King of the Surf Guitar.
Wallace. I first heard Alice sing this country classic (first
recorded over 80 years ago by Patsy Montana) at a Terry Okey
Second Sunday Session at Adams Pack Station in the hills above
Arcadia, CA. In the years since then, she has released two CDs
and performed all over the US, yodeling her way into the hearts
of numerous music fans.
Alice Wallace up in them thar hills,
where one of the pack mules may chime in at any moment.
Rodeo—Evie Sands. The artist whom Jonny
Whiteside dubbed “The Inimitable Empress of Soul/Pop" has a
place of honor in the Old Curiosity Shop; indeed, had I not met
Evie back over 18 years ago, I might never have gone into
writing this monthly meandering. I thought Rodeo was a good
segue from Cowboy’s Sweetheart—it’s the lead track in her latest
6-song EP CD, Shine for Me. Like many of Evie’s newer songs, it
has a can-do spirit that can give us a lift when we need it. If
you look it up on
there’s a video of Evie performing Rodeo at the pressing plant
where the vinyl copies of Shine for Me were produced.
Here’s Evie with my favorite bass
player south of the Tehachapis, Teresa Cowles, and Kurt Medlin
on the tubs.
My Guy and The One Who Really Loves
You —Mary Wells. She was one of the first hit-makers for Motown
Records, and both of these numbers made the Top 10 in the
1960s. I saw her sing them at the Music Machine in West LA back
around 1984. She was jet-lagged from a road trip, but still
captivated the audience with these songs. Some of us even sang
along with The One Who Really Loves You.
All I Really Want to Do—Cher. Bob Dylan
wrote it, but to many of us Cher’s version is the “gold star”
take. It was produced by future member of the US House of
Representatives Sonny Bono, who probably applied what he learned
while working for Phil Spector to the process.
The Happening—The Supremes. This was the
tenth #1 hit recording for the group that had long since
demolished their early reputation as the “No-hit
Supremes.” It’s hard to choose just one of their songs, but
this one seems to be a fitting number for the mid-1960s.
I Can Hear Music—The Ronettes. Probably
best known for the Beach Boys’ cover, this Jeff Barry-Ellie
Greenwich composition was the last number recorded by the
Ronettes on the Philles label, and for years it was very hard to
find either on a 45 or a CD. It
produced by Jeff Barry, rather than Phil Spector, which may
account for it being left out of the Back to Mono boxed set.
Dream a Little Dream of Me—Mama
Cass. Another memory from the Second Sunday Sessions, with Lisa
of the Wild Mountain Mystics doing a fine tribute to Mama Cass
and accompanying herself on an acoustic guitar.
Ain’t That Peculiar---Fanny. A 1966 hit
for Marvin Gaye, Fanny covered this one in 1972, with June
Millington playing a sizzling slide guitar and her sister Jean
laying down a solid bass line. Jean now lives in Davis, where
my daughter Vicky knows her. I had to order an original 45 of
this number because the CD is very hard to find.
Charity Ball---Fanny (Live
version!) This one I do have on a recent CD—it’s a real “rock
yer sox off” number.
Free Man in Paris—Rachel
Wolfe. Written and recorded by Joni Mitchell in 1974, Free Man
showed up in one of Adam Marsland’s '70s Sessions. He included
it in a 2-disc CD set, and had originally planned to have Evie
Sands take the vocal, but Evie wasn’t available for the session,
so local favorite Rachel Wolfe sang the lead, and as Adam said,
“Hit it out of the park.”
Here’s Rachel, sitting in with the Chaos
Band, with Evie on the left-handed guitar.
To Know Him Is to Love Him—Trio. Back
in 1979, I bought a paperback biography of Linda Ronstadt (her
life up to that year.) It mentioned that she had wanted to team
up with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris to make an album of
old-timey songs. It wasn’t until 1987 that they finally got the
logistics (and probably a lot of paperwork) settled and made
their Trio CD. I was on my way home from the railway museum in
Perris one night and stopped at the
Records in West Covina to see if it was available. The clerk
said “No, but we have this...” and pointed to the New Releases
45 RPM record display. There was the picture sleeve 45 of To
Know Him Is to Love Him backed with the traditional
song, Farther Along. Since the album was billed as “old timey'”
I had to check and be sure the A-side was the Phil Spector song
from 1958, and it was.
Those Memories of You—Trio. Another
song that I was reminded of when a tribute version was part of a
Second Sundays show.
Sally Go Round the Roses—Anny
Celsi. The Jaynetts’ original went to #2 on the charts in
1963. Anny’s remake is special because her backing singers for
this Girl Group classic are Evie Sands (whose earlier records
have been included in Girl Group compilations) and Teresa
Cowles, who has been quite busy in the last dozen years playing
electric bass in at least ten different groups.
Tangle Free World—Anny Celsi. One
of Anny’s signature songs, the title track from her 2009 CD.
Here’s Anny with Adam Marsland’s Chaos
Band at Brennan’s Pub
You Know and I Know---FunkyJenn. I first met Jennifer Gibbons
at a Chaos Band gig at the Cinema Bar in Culver City. A year or
two later, I went to the CD release party for her Rock and Roll
Voodoo Queen CD. She and her band did all the songs from the
CD, and covered this Dave Mason number that is best known for
the Delaney and Bonnie version. Sometime later, I took my wife
to see Jenn and her band at the Olde Town Pub in
Pasadena. Before her set, I asked Jenn if Only You Know and I
Know was on the play list. She said, “You got it!”, and partway
through the show she said “This one’s for Pat and Bob!” and
played it for us.
Shoulda Been My Lover—FunkyJenn. The
first track on the Voodoo Queen CD, this is a kickass song that
would be great on a car CD for long night drives when you need
something to stay jacked up. Back in July 2015, Jenn was part
of another Second Sundays show and dedicated it to me (sorry
Jenn, my heart belongs to Pat).