Music Routes Blog

Saturday Morning Listening Party #1

06 September 2009

I moved recently.  My new home has two things that my old home did not: an old console record player and a fantastically ramshackle second-hand shop nearby that sells records for $1 each.

So, this morning started what I hope will become a tradition: Saturday Morning Listening Party which I suppose will inevitably be abbreviated to SMLP so let's just start with that now.

I purchased the Joe Cocker LP Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Humuhumu purchased the soundtrack to the Warner Bros. film version of The Music Man. We listened to both records while unpacking and cleaning. And I mapped out the music route between Mad Dogs & Englishmen and The Music Man film soundtrack.

The Music Man features Shirley Jones and Robert Preston.  It also features a barely post-toddler Ron Howard (billed as Ronnie Howard).  But back to Shirley Jones:  She subsequently played the mother on The Partridge Family .  But before that and The Music Man, she was in the film version of Carousel. She even got to perform a song from Carousel on television with Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra in turn recorded a duet late in life with Luciano Pavarotti—seriously—on Sinatra's signature song, "My Way". And Pavarotti in turn performed a duet at a benefit concert with Joe Cocker on Cocker's signature song, "You Are So Beautiful".

This brings us to Mad Dogs & Englishmen. The purchase was both a bargain and a rip-off.  It was a bargain because it is a double album yet it was the same low price as all the other records.  It was a rip-off because the two LPs were from different editions.  One had side 1 and 2, while the other (in considerably poorer shape) had sides 1 and 4.  So, I don't have side 3 at all.

Mad Dogs & Englishmen is a live record.  Here is "Space Captain" from that recording (or, at least, from the same tour) complete with 22 people performing on stage, including Leon Russel in a fantastic hat and an unknown Rita Coolidge among the background vocalists.

Our housewarming party is next Saturday. If you're coming, consider bringing an LP for SMLP #2 (although it's an afternoon party, so it's already a misnomer—oh, well).