She’s your cover now: The Songs of Bob Dylan

  (Above: Dylan from the Blonde on Blonde gatefold, with pliers.) Bob Dylan turns 76 today. I've been writing this blog for about nine months now and have yet to include a Dylan song in it.  In a way, that's a means of checking myself: I love his music, and would be tempted to do … Continue reading She’s your cover now: The Songs of Bob Dylan

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Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

(Above: Yet another #1 album for Allan Sherman.) I always enjoyed comedy and parody.  The earliest radio projects that I did (the ones I wrote about from sixth grade) involved taking something established and turning it on its ear in some way. When I got my own college radio morning show I sprinkled in liberal … Continue reading Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)

(Above: LP cover for Welcome Home, 1987) In the summer of 1985 I got to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the first time.  It was the Southern Accents tour, perhaps now more famous for the concert shirts featuring the Confederate flag on them as "Rebels" was the single the record company was pushing.  … Continue reading Greatest misses: ‘Til Tuesday, “Coming Up Close” (1987)

Why TV Variety Shows Died: Pink Lady, “Kiss In the Dark” (1979)

(Above: Mie and Kei with Jeff Altman in the hot tub.) A lot of the television that I remember from the 1970s included the variety show. The show format had a long, successful history.  Mentioning the names of some of the hosts bring back pleasant memories of the family gathered around the console on a … Continue reading Why TV Variety Shows Died: Pink Lady, “Kiss In the Dark” (1979)

Happy birthday, Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (1966)

(Above: Brian Wilson and a goat, from the album cover.) One day last semester during a lecture on the Sixties, I made an offhanded comment that 1966 may have been the greatest year ever in popular music.  As I would hope that they would, students respectfully challenged me to defend my position. "Simple," I said.  … Continue reading Happy birthday, Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys, “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (1966)