Category Archives: Etta James

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: NUPTIALS

Hello all,

and welcome to what will be the last post for the summer! I’ve got a special triptych-mixtape for you all today! About a week back a good friend of mine asked that I produce a few mixes for a gathering the night before his wedding. Unfortunately (like, whatever, y’know) due to technical difficulties they could not be played that evening (the entire wedding weekend, however, was absolutely fantastic!). Anyway, not one to let a good MixTape go to waste, I present them to you here. I do believe them to be real nice & easy, and tons of fun, with some great tunes that have been featured here in these pages before and some that I was planning on getting to someday.

May these serve you well here at the tail-end of the summer! So sit back, roll forward, and enjoy!

But above all–ENJOY YOURSELF!__

Nuptials-cvr___________________

Volume I—Click here to listen & Download——-

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Volume II—Click here to listen & Download——-

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Volume III—Click here to listen & Download——-

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: NUPTIALS

VOLUME ONE:

  1. Pre-Nump – Outkast
  2. When You’re Smiling and Astride Me – Father John Misty
  3. Here I Am (Come And Take Me) – Al Green
  4. Happy – The Rolling Stones
  5. Alright, Okay, You Win – Peggy Lee
  6. You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac
  7. Baby It’s You – The Beatles
  8. Let Me Be Good To You – Carla Thomas
  9. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) – Janis Joplin
  10. River Deep – Mountain High – Harry Nilsson
  11. Beautiful Girl – INXS
  12. Over The Hills And Far Away – Led Zeppelin
  13. The Brides Have Hit Glass – Guided By Voices
  14. What A Woman – Howlin’ Wolf
  15. The Spy – The Doors
  16. Light My Fire – Al Green
  17. Shake Your Hips – The Rolling Stones
  18. We Can Work It Out – Stevie Wonder
  19. CREEP – Afghan Whigs
  20. Tenement Lady – T.Rex
  21. John, I’m Only Dancing – David Bowie
  22. Fool I Am – Pat Ferguson
  23. I Just Want To Make Love To You – Etta James
  24. Let Me Roll It – Paul McCartney & Wings

VOLUME TWO:

  1. Your Southern Can is Mine – The White Stripes
  2. When I Look In Your Eyes – André 3000
  3. Lady Madonna – Fats Domino
  4. Loving Cup – The Rolling Stones
  5. Ring Of Fire – Ray Charles
  6. Rag Mama Rag – The Band
  7. Pretty Thing – Bo Diddley
  8. Tee Pees 1-12 – Father John Misty
  9. Would You – Richard Swift
  10. Andy’s Chest – Lou Reed
  11. Milkcow Blues Boogie – Elvis Presley
  12. Slow Down – Backbeat Band
  13. Rip It Up/ Ready Teddy – John Lennon
  14. Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) – John Lennon
  15. Live with Me – The Rolling Stones
  16. Planet Queen – T.Rex
  17. She Belongs To Me – Bob Dylan
  18. Black Is the Color – Rhiannon Giddens
  19. I Gotta Know – Wanda Jackson
  20. Love Having You Around – Stevie Wonder
  21. Right – David Bowie
  22. Oh! Darling – The Beatles
  23. Call On Me – Big Brother And The Holding Company (feat. Janis Joplin)
  24. Candy – Iggy Pop

VOLUME THREE:

  1. Mystify – INXS
  2. Be Kind – Devendra Banhart
  3. Didn’t I – Darondo
  4. Mind Games – George Clinton
  5. Dear Prudence – The Beatles
  6. Little Red Rooster – Sam Cooke
  7. Sweet Feeling – Candi Staton
  8. Idlewild Blue (Don’t Chu Worry ‘Bout Me) – André 3000
  9. Rusty Cage – Johnny Cash
  10. Can You Get To That? – Funkadelic
  11. Yazoo Street Scandal – The Band
  12. Police & Thieves – The Clash
  13. Do Unto Others – Pee Wee Crayton
  14. Goin’ To Acapulco – Jim James & Calexico
  15. Candela – Buena Vista Social Club
  16. Momma Miss America – Paul McCartney
  17. Got To Get You Into My Life – Chris Clark
  18. Wah-Wah – George Harrison
  19. Mean To Me – Dean Martin
  20. This Magic Moment – Lou Reed
  21. Be My Baby – John Lennon

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It’s Good to Feel you are Close to Me

It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they were twisted nets.

Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.

Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,

something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.

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Pablo Neruda, from Cien Sonetos de Amor (1959).

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All the best to you & yours,

(Oh, and J2 & Dana, despite this entry in Ambrose Bierce’s The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary, “Love, noun. A temporary insanity curable by marriage;” I love you guys, wish you well, and know you will make and remain a fine union in the light of life),

Bobby Calero

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DOWN IN THE BASEMENT WITH ETTA JAMES; RIP

Unfortunately, I’ve just learned of the passing of the incredible “Miss Peaches,” Etta James. Just five days shy of her birthday, Etta died this morning due to complications from leukemia at the age of 73. James had been diagnosed with leukemia in March 2010 (The Daily Mirror, 2011). Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles to a mother with only 14 years of age, Etta was discovered and given her stage name by bandleader Johnny Otis (who, sadly passed away three days ago). With a clever twist, Otis simply reversed her first name from Jamesetta to Etta James.

Signing with Chess Records in 1960, Etta recorded the song most popularly associated with her, the stunning ballad “At Last,” in 1961. Although considered one of the all-time-great singers of R&B ballads, before saying farewell I’d like to celebrate her with a bit of gritty merriment. Recorded in 1966 for the Chess imprint, Cadet Records, here’s Etta James’ duet with childhood-friend and inexplicably underappreciated, pint-sized red-hot mama, Sugar Pie DeSanto: “In The Basement.”

Like it? Buy it.

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Born Umpeylia Marsema Balinton, on October 16, 1935, in Brooklyn, New York to a Filipino father and an African-American mother, “Peliya,” (as her parents called her) was raised in San Francisco from the age of 4 (NPR, 2010). Sugar Pie was likewise given her stage name by Johnny Otis (I guess he just really had a knack for it). Known for using “cuss words that hadn’t even been invented yet” (Williamson, 2008), as well as incorporating acrobatic back-flips and dance-steps on stage, Sugar Pie DeSanto never let her 4’11” frame hinder her razor-sharp delivery. As she belts out in her sassy blues number “Use What You Got”: “if you know how to use what you got it don’t matter about your size.”

Use What You Got!

While trading lines, both James and DeSanto deliver such an abundance of sugar and spice to this soul-club, hand-clapper track that this basement seems to be hosting the best time there ever was to be had; a party where anything goes, and no one will ever know:

Oh, now tell me where can you party, child, all night long?

In the basement, down in the basement, yeah.

Oh where can you go when your money gets low?

In the basement, down in the basement.

And if a storm is taking place, you can jam and still be safe

In the basement, down in the basement, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

            Not to be upstaged by anyone, here’s Etta James’ heartbreaking “All I Could Do Was Cry.” Released as a single in 1960 and featured on her debut album At Last!, a year later, “All I Could Do Was Cry” apparently was inspired by the real life ramshackle love-quadrangle involving Etta James, her ex Harvey Fuqua, and songwriters Billy Davis and Gwen Gordy. The anguish is palpable on this one.

Etta James: 1938–2012

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Like it? Buy it.

Well, here’s to you Etta! I’m sure you’re having a good time right now in the basement of heaven.

R.I.P

———————Bobby Calero

Ref:

The Daily Mirror. (2012, January 20). Etta James dead: blues singer loses battle with leukaemia aged 73. The Daily Mirror. Retrieved January 20th, 2012 from http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2012/01/20/etta-james-dead-blues-singer-loses-battle-with-leukaemia-aged-73-115875-23709593/

Davis, B., Gordy, B., & Gordy, G. (1960). All I Could Do Was Cry [recorded by Etta James] On At Last! [CD] Argo Records. (1961)

Davis, Minor, & Smith. (1966). In the Basement (Part 1) [recorded by Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto] On In the Basement (Part 1) Single [Vinyl] Cadet. (1966)

Ward, E. (2010). Sugar Pie DeSanto: After 50 Years, ‘Go Going’ Strong. NPR. Retrieved January 20th, 2012 from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128845529

Williamson, N. (2008). The Rough Guide To The Best Music You’ve Never Heard. New York: Penguin.

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