He’s either a throwback to a simpler, funkier time or a guy who never grew up. He’s got the horns, the hooks, and the heart.
Ain’t Nothing You Can Do
He’s from England and must be like all those other guys who got hold of a transistor radio and a bunch of LPs. He’s studied and learned the lessons of great songwriting. He’s born to play. If you listen to the albums in order you can tell it’s all taking a toll on his voice, but like all great rockers he’s not holding back.
Light of My Life
He’s excited and in love and he wants to tell you about it. I love this guy. Melody, harmony, and rhythm is in every song. It’s got a beat and even I can dance to it.
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.