Friday, November 7, 2008

Is it okay to laugh?

From The Detroit News, Wednesday, November 5, 2008: Nathaniel Mayer funeral set for Tuesday Susan Whitall / The Detroit News Motown singer and Detroit city councilwoman Martha Reeves will speak Tuesday at the funeral for Nathaniel Mayer, the dynamic Fortune Records singer of "Village of Love" and other hits. The funeral takes place at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Swanson Funeral Home, 806 E. Grand Blvd. (at Mack Avenue) in Detroit. Mayer, 64, died on Saturday after a long illness. Survivors include his widow, Marie; sons Monkeith, Shron and Shmar; and daughter Terry Mayer Williams. "He just loved show business. He loved to sing," Marie Mayer said. She and Mayer married in 1963, when she was a 17-year-old model and he was 19, a rising star in music with his 1962 hit song. Check out his sons names-- Monkeith, Shron and Shmar Those are spelled right. None are listed on the Afro American Baby Names website. But then again neither is Obama. I went to High School with a pair of twins named Mali and Femali, they had a little brother named Pyjamas.Now that we have a president named Obama how long before white people start naming their Kanisha or LaShonda? I'd imagine pretty soon. Anyone out there heard any good baby names?
Since the source of this next website was a Japanese girl I guess it's not racist, either way is a hoot and maybe a look into our own future.
It's amazing that records and photos are still turning up of old blues guys. The above photo ran in this month's Vanity Fair and was purchased on Ebay. The owner thinks it's Robert Johnson and Johnny Shines, I think it's probably Johnson on the left but not Shines on the right who was much darker skinned than that guy, who ever he is.
I'm sure there's a big legal battle ensuing over the rights to said photo, so if anyone complains I'll have to pull it, if that's the case it's actually worth buying the Nov. VF for, the article is interesting if you don't know anything about the legal battle over Johnson's estate (which is a good story). One thing not mentioned is that there's still Robert Johnson music that's never been heard. I believe one risque track exists on the metal stampers which has never been issued. Since Sony lost track of the stampers ages ago (which is why the box set sounds so bad, the first few notes of "Traveling Riverside Blues" are even missing!). Compare an old vinyl copy to the CD and see for yourself. I believe the metal parts (from which records are pressed) where dumped in a dumpster years ago, somebody did salvage them but he's keeping a low profile. If you haven't noticed that's Johnson's death certificate at the top of the page. You can't even die without doing the paperwork, as I found out once (see Quine posting in Oct. for my experience with the NYC  Medical Examiner and meat wagon folks). Getting back to the blues, in the past few years we've seen tracks by Tommy Johnson, Son House, Blind Blake, Ben Curry and others turn up, not to mention the full color photo of Charley Patton. All the aforementioned tracks (and the photo) can be had from record dealer John Tefteller who puts out a blues calender with a bonus CD every year, the Patton photo is on the 2008 calender, the Blind Blake and Ben Curry tracks are on the 2009 CD. You can find 'em here if you follow the links to calender. The calenders are priceless with lots of original, old Paramount advertising art (and some modern reproductions) and well worth the $20 since that's what the CD would cost anyways. I rarely buy any CD's nowadays but I recommend this package. No matter how obscure your interests are these days, somebody's got something to sell you.  But this guy is actually pretty cool and really does love the music and does a great job presenting it.
Speaking of shit turning up, there's been some great Velvet Underground crap crawling out from under rocks in the past few years. I've been wanting to post these four alternate takes from the first Velvet Underground LP for a while now but I really have nothing new to say about the Velvets. They've been written about more than any American rock'n'roll band ever. These four tunes come off an acetate found at a stoop sale around the corner from my house, they're every bit as good as the takes used (some , including Mo Tucker like this version of "Heroin" better). Here they are: "Heroin", "Waitin' For The Man", "Venus In Fur" and "European Son". Just something to liven up a Sunday. While I'm at it, here are a couple of killers from that live at the Gymnasium tape, with John Cale early '67: "I'm Not A Young Man Anymore", "Sister Ray", "Run Run Run". This is Cale's last show with the Velvets. I think these are better than anything on the Quine box (which is all post-Cale recordings). Quine would have loved this stuff, too bad he killed himself. Why didn't Universal issue the Gymnasium show? Who knows, too late now, it's all over the net and easy enough to find complete. I guess I did have something to say, but that's pretty much it.
    Another just thought I'd throw it in there is this one, a South African rock'n'roll 78 from the late 50's. "Zulu Rock" by the King Brothers, I thought at least Brendan in S. Africa would get a kick out of it.


spaceapache said...

Glad your back on the scene Hound. I am a loyal WFMU listener from way back(around '84 or '85) and was wondering what had happened to you. Rex is still spinning the raw, absurd, and funky R&B and early rock n' roll '45s, but your show is sorely missed.

BTW, your blog is turning out almost as great as your radio show.

R.I.P. Nathaniel Mayer

The Hound said...

I was on Rex's show back in Aug. I think there's an aircheck posted on his and/or wfmu's site....

Anonymous said...

On the subject of baby names. I'm a tattooist, and worked for 5 years in a shop on the south side of Richmond, VA. Our clientele was about 85% black. The names we did on a daily basis were astounding! Really creative and stretching English to it's limits. There was a master list that had been put together from over a decade, but I don't have a copy. A few I remember doing- Slime (pronounced like you think), Jasool, Rayzondious, Delzorid, and the mind bender- Xyloucious (spelling on tha is suspect, it's been a while)

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