Delaney was in the Champs (Tequila) and then the Shindogs (on Shindig!) with Leon Russell for two years and backed up everyone. Everyone. Think about it. Yikes! Other members were, Glen Campbell, James Burton, and Billy Preston.
Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way
Bonnie sang with Albert King and Little Milton at age fouteen, and then at age fifteen was the first Black Ikette – three days in ManTan Skin Bronzer and a black wig — before she was found out.
Get Ourselves Together
She and Delaney met at a bowling alley in 1967 and got married a week later. They weren’t married very long, but they made some great music.
I Don’t Want To Discuss It
Delaney and Bonnie and Leon Russell had a band with a bunch of loose participants, coming and going, who included George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Duane Allman, Billy Preston, the rest of Derek and the Dominoes – Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Price, Joe Cocker, Issac Hayes, King Curtis, Gram Parsons, Clarence White, and even, Jimi Hendrix.
Delaney and Bonnie split in ‘72. They didn’t get divorced, because they couldn’t be together long enough to do the paperwork.
Delaney was born again and wrote jingles. Bonnie recorded with the Average White Band and toured with Stephen Stills and the Allman Brothers.
Never Ending Song of Love
All this stuff is interesting, but it’s the music that lasts and is just as hot now as it was then.
When it’s hot like it is now – 95 degrees (or more) – I think back to a night at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis in 1986. This was Prince’s club for a while. The entire summer was hot and every night out, I’d pour beer in and, with a little dancing or even just bouncing up and down, the sweat poured out.
Sunny Ti De Aryia
King Sunny Ade was on his first tour of the states. I had been listening to the album and had read that he and the band often played for up to twelve hours at a time. They took a few breaks for liquid replenishment because Nigeria is as hot as Minnesota, but mostly they played. Long jams, many drums, and dancers. Can you believe they brought their own dancers?!
At first, a lone guy, with a talking drum under his arm, walked to the stage and took his place on one of the risers. Then, someone else walked up to a bigger drum, then another and another and another joined him. The rhythms went straight through my ears to my toes and the bouncing began. Guitars and other, unknown, instruments step in, carried by guys in bright colors. Next, came the women dancing, waving, smiling big time and shaking everything they had. Not only were there about twenty players, but it was loud and complicated, with the bass of the drums and the bass guitar thudding in my chest.
Finally, King Sunny takes the stage, playing his guitar. He has a presence and he can really play. He’s got a hat on his head that could have been a crown. After all, he really is a King and all the players are his subjects. His tribe. His family.
Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi
The music is hot in a way I’ve never experienced. So much is going on – the individual playing and the dancing – everyone is dancing! It’s the ultimate funky marching band, but they’re not marching, they’re dancing. I’m hoping they’ll play the full twelve hours, but know better.
This is stimulation like no other. Visually, these guys are wild. Sonically, they’re overpowering. Musically, though from the other side of the globe, they’ve taken us over.
There are no chairs, but who could sit at a time like this. Our arms are waving in the air. Our feet have a mind of their own. We’re screaming, but no one can hear us. This is the best show ever. It has to be! I’ve never heard or seen anything like it!
The greatest singing athlete ever! That’s what he said. I’m not going to argue. Just listen to this.
Oooh Rooba Lee
I’m trying to think of other singing athletes. Harmon Killebrew? Reggie Jackson? Yogi Berra? I don’t think so.
In the fifties and sixties, Arthur Lee Maye played pro ball during the season and recorded the rest of the time with groups like The Crowns, The Dreamers, and the Jayos.
Ding a Ling
His good buddy from high school was Richard Berry, who wrote Louie, Louie. They sang together for years. At the same time, other singers emerged from Jefferson High School in LA and sang in groups like, The Penguins (Earth Angel), The Platters (Only You), The Hollywood Flames (Buzz, Buzz, Buzz), The Coasters (Yakety Yak, Charlie Brown) and the Flairs (She Loves To Rock). Just imagine all those guys, hanging out in the halls, singing every day, studying and learning from each other.
Cause You’re Mine Alone
While he was singing and recording, he was playing ball for the Braves, Houston, Cleveland, and the White Sox. Twelve years. A .274 batting average, 94 homers, 419 RBIs, and 59 stolen bases. Holy cow!
During his baseball career and after, he recorded unforgettable tunes like, Truly, Ooochie Pachie, Get Out of the Car, Loop De Loop De Loop, Gloria, Oooh Rooba Lee, Cool Lovin’, and Honey, Honey.
I can picture it now, Arthur’s on first, he checks the pitcher, the catcher, he hits a high note that drives the first baseman crazy, while he steals second. Never a dull moment.
I love his voice. It’s both smooth and gravelly. I love his spirit – playful, romantic, and cool. He’s the perfect front man, projecting and controlling the energy. He’s fun and is working all the angles.
When They Ask About You
Big bands and hot groups were there at his start in Los Angeles and the west coast and the music still keep him moving forward.
If I Were You, Baby, I’d Fall In Love With Me
The horns, the punctuating rhythms, his soulful delivery, and inherent hipness set him apart from a million other singers. He’s 90 now, and still performing.
Almost In Your Arms
At this point in time, there are few like him – a real guy who has lived a jazz life in a musician’s world, who has only become better and stronger and more wonderful with age.
Tender, sly, vulnerable, joyful, unconquerable and in the pocket. His advice is, Take it one day at a time, live your dreams, and enjoy the ride. Thanks, Ernie!
There is a radio station in my town called, KGUD. Or, as it is intoned, with dramatic pauses in between, Kay-Good. Good. Very good.
I don’t listen to the radio as much as in the past. I can control the soundtrack of my individual movie to a remarkable degree. I can program my devices and make my playlists. That’s all well and good but, through that little box, how many wonders have I stumbled into in the past and what might I encounter now and in the future? I just might be missing something.
Summer Samba Walter Wanderley KGUD is a city-sponsored, listener supported, station broadcasting from a serious-looking building next to the library. From what I can gather, it’s all on tape with a single resonant voice breaking in every three or four songs, reminding us of our goodness, the goodness of the music, and the goodness to be depended on at this particular position on the dial.
Stranger on the Shore Acker Bilk
A curious mix comes out of the speaker with no obvious organizing principle. If I weren’t driving my car or sitting on the edge of my bed before sleep, I’d think I was somewhere, lost in time, escalating to the second floor of a department store or wandering the aisles of a badly lit grocery store, accompanied by Muzak of an insistently positive nature.
There is watered-down Ferrante and Teicher, even watered-down Floyd Cramer. Odd and insipid interpretations of Beatles favorites. There is How Deep Is Your Love on panpipes. The rhythms are off, the strings are less than crisp. The arrangements are suspect for many reasons. As a palette cleanser, every eighth or ninth song is redeemingly classical in nature, often legitimately performed, though, sometimes, mangled by the magnetic pull of a Muzak aesthetic.
Last Date Floyd Cramer
The thing is that there is something wonderfully endearing about the whole experience. The KGUD sincerity is not in question. Forgotten melodies are unearthed from both the Top 40 and middle-of-the-road graveyards. There’s no doubt that the whole effect is calming, not to say soporific. But, somehow, it’s uplifting, despite its inane endlessness. It calls on and creates a nostalgia I didn’t know I had.
English Suite 3 in g minor Bach
One of the things I appreciate is that it is in such contrast with the expressive nature of the pickup trucks which roar back and forth just outside the studio doors. Another thing is the contrast between its pleasant sounds and the dire nature of the news, which seems to increase daily and which it avoids. There’s also the pounding bass line of Main Street, a block away, that pushes every other element into the corner.
Barquinho Walter Wanderley
It’s hard to counteract those kinds of declarations. Fortunately, it’s there for you, for me, twenty-four hours a day. KGUD. Your gentle companion in the background. Always reassuring. Always with good music. KGUD — music for the good land.
Sometimes, you don’t know what you’ve got, until you look. There’s stuff. A glove your dog brought home. A gift you’ve never opened. Something your husband forgot to tell you about. All the junk in the basement. In closets, under furniture, crammed in the garage.
I was just scrolling through my iTunes library and there’s stuff there, too. Lots of it! I’ve downloaded, purchased, and copied a ton of tunes and many spoken words, both books and podcasts, and I live in fear that some Apple algorithm is going to realize how many songs I have, freak out, and stop iTunes from working. Let’s just say there is enough to play continuously, without repeating, for over 400 days or something. But messing around like this, I’ve found some songs there that not only don’t I recognize, but they’re things I know I would never ever think to download, even for research and development.
It’s a treat, of sorts, there are new and unusual performers such as Ollie and the Nightingales and The Three Chuckles and sentimental titles like Tuna Fish Salad and My Little Sister’s Got A Motorbike.
But it’s also kind of like going through someone’s mail with that blank look on your face. Not that that I’ve ever looked through someone’s mail. I swear it.
I’m getting an education in obscurity and just plain oddness. My imagination has been overworked trying to conjure this group or that orchestra or trying to figure out what language is at work and why our cultures are so different, even though YouTube has been active since many of us were born.
At the end of all this, I’m including here some of the finds that I love. Or could love, if they were a little bit better. All the same, it’s surprising what I can’t remember. It’s fun and I wonder what it means that I would never encounter these items again, even if I typed as long or as hard as those monkeys.
The SingleThe late 70s and 80s were a time lost between the expanded vision of the 60s and the approaching, unknown, and, possibly, sci-fi new century. Frank Zappa had set my absurdity antennae twitching and he and a bunch of other bands and individuals had brought all kinds of sophistication and instrumental expertise to bear on the music that was in the ether.
Gruppo Sportivo was one band that seemed to integrate great pop sensibility and an oblique (not to say wacky) take on traditional ideas and lyrics involving teen angst, true love, and automobiles.
One Way LoveThis band was led by a guy with the great name of Van DeFruits, aka Hans Vandenburg, He and his gang in Holland had heard the same tunes everyone else had and their music alluded to, parodied, and took inspiration from everything under the sun, including hook-oriented pop and hi-tech studio production.
Out There In The Jungle
Album followed album, filled with excitingly goofy and tuneful songs that referred to the collective rock and roll experience that we lived full time. Songs like, Out There in the Jungle, Happily Unemployed, and I Shot My Manager kept me grounded, while thoroughly whacked ones like, Lock Yourself Up, Booby Trap Boogie, and Born On My Birthday stirred tender thoughts and memories.
I like listening to music where I have no idea what they’re saying — like Valerio Longoria, Paolo Conte, and Joao Gilberto, but, fortunately, Gruppo Sportivo sang in English. I would be much poorer for missing their perspective.