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getting personal

music friday, 1953 edition

To some extent, I’m stalling in these early 2014 Music Friday posts, waiting for my inspiration to arrive. Last week I reduced 2009 to one Miranda Lambert song, and now I’ve chosen the year I was born, when I likely wasn’t listening to a lot of music. So this is more random than usual, and once again lacks much in the way of ground-breaking analysis.

Guitar Slim, “The Things That I Used to Do”. This spent six weeks at #1 on the R&B charts. It’s a pretty straightforward blues, with a nice solo by Slim in the middle, and an arrangement by Ray Charles that hinted at his own sound a few years down the road.

Ruth Brown, “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean”. I hope she had padding on her thigh when she recorded this video.

The Crows, “Gee”. One of many candidates for the first-ever rock and roll record (I’m as old as rock and roll).

Hank Williams, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”. Recorded at his last session.

Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, “Money Honey”. The first hit featuring The Drifters, who at this point were McPhatter’s back-up singers.

Webb Pierce, “There Stands the Glass”. This was #1 on the country charts for 12 weeks.

Dean Martin, “That’s Amore”. First turned up in the Martin & Lewis movie The Caddy. For that reason, it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song. Here’s the scene from the movie:

Big Mama Thornton, “Hound Dog”. Presented without comment.

Professor Longhair, “Tipitina”. Treme, R.I.P.

The Prisonaires, “Just Walkin’ in the Rain”. They came by their name honestly … the group was made up of men in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. Their influence on the early Elvis Presley is real, but uncertain.