John Holt – I See Your Face
“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.”
– Haruki Murakami
(Jackie Wilson – O Come All Ye Faithful)
Just got back to the ‘Big Smoke’ after a few days spent in natural paradise with two angels. The landscape up there, (North West England), never fails to inspire me and I always come back with a bit more of a ‘Tigger Bounce’ in my step. Knocking on the Christmas door now as we come down the home straight. Tree’s up, presents beneath it, kids excited. Just have a few more things to do and then it’s kick back time from tomorrow.
A question for you all out there..has the quality of song writing, (and singing come to that), gone downhill over the last few years or am I just not being exposed to the ‘right’ material? don’t know if you noticed but I listen to a LOT of music from as far back as the early 20’s all the way through to today and if the term ‘popular’ has any meaning/value as far as making judgement is concerned then the quality of pop today is, (generally), to my ears..poor. By NO means am I suggesting that quality music isn’t still being made as I don’t need to listen any further than Master Terry Callier, (for instance), to know that marrow trembling cuts are still being made but as I listen to the ‘charts’, (not out of choice but due to having two children over the age of ten), I can’t help but be disappointed. Where are the Dinahs, Arethas, Maxine Browns, Etta James’s? the Sam Cookes, Otis Reddings, Jackie Wilsons, Clyde McPhatters, Ben E Kings, Smokey Robinsons, Marvin Gayes, Curtis Mayfields, Bobby Womacks. The Gregory Issacs, Pat Kellys, Slim Smiths, Ken Boothes, John Holts, (the list could go on and on), who are the singers and songwriters kicking arse and trembling marrows in the 21st Century??
Today’s cut is courtesy of one of the afore mentioned legends, Jackie Wilson. A man who needs no introduction with his version of the hymn ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’
(The Paragons – The Tide Is High)
The end of the road for this theme. hard to pick a favourite but I’m going for the Wailers – Cry To Me. Tunes like that certainly don’t grow on trees and it resides in my top twenty of all time.
Today’s final slice of the ‘action’ is perhaps better known to many for the Blondie Version from the early 80’s. Or even the most recent version by Kardinal Offishal..My daughter reminds me that, (among others), there was also a poor pop version by The Atomic Kittens but thankfully I don’t know it. Blondie’s version was ok but not a scratch on this, the original from another one of the great J.A Vocal Groups led by John Holt, (who also wrote it)
The group also featured such luminaries as Bob Andy, Tyrone Evans, (who formed the group), and Junior Menz who, following Pat Kellys departure, sung lead for the Techniques most notably on Queen Majesty, (musicology #293), completing the trio on this cut was Howard Barret. A Duke Reid ‘Treasure Isle’ classic from 1967.