Happy blogiversary... to me! Two Years of Blogging
May 6, 2020 Post #122
So "blogiversary" has been a real word for some time now (who knew?) and I'm not sure who came up with it, I started to use "covid-ient" on April 2 so maybe it will catch on as well! I'm pretty happy to still have an audience after blogging for this long as I had no idea when I started if anyone would read it. I came across a stat once that said as many as 95% of blogs either fail and/or are abandoned after four months. I'm not sure how much longer I will keep this going as I have other writing projects I've been neglecting (like many of us wanna-be writers) but we shall see, it is a true labour of love. The more I put into it the more I find myself caring about whether people are reading it or not. A big thank-you to my small but mighty list of 25 subscribers, I hope you still find some of my posts of interest!
As hobby's go it is relatively inexpensive but it does cost me money to do this every month; a fee for my website, my listing on Blogarama.com, my voluntary contributions to my major sources of Wikipedia and Secondhandsongs.com and others. But no need to pass the hat! I understand why most bloggers need to advertise as a way to offset costs, let alone trying to actually make some money. My blog has been scanned for plagiarism at least twice (without getting any feedback) that I know of so I scanned part of it myself once too! While I acknowledge my sources and of course I have influences, the writing for better or worse is all mine, though my scan results did show I plagiarized myself by publishing on Blogarama. Hopefully for some and at least to me I think it's nice for people to be able to read something without ads for a change and of late, not to be bombarded with the serious news about 'you know what'.
I think I had a fairly successful radio interview with Mike Stubbs on April 9, my youngest sister (thanks) transcribed this quote “If you’re looking for weekend reading Mostly Music Covers is going to give you what you need to rekindle tunes and artists you haven’t thought about in a long time...thanks for giving listeners a bit of an escape during this time”. London Live with Mike Stubbs AM 980. I've provided a clip here, we will see how long it stays up on Youtube.
Just a brief update on some stats in case you are interested and sorry even if you are not-so just skip ahead ;) I have had over 66,000 total page views compared to my one year total of 6,500. The post One Hit Wonders (Not!) is at over 2,000 views and 11 other posts are over 1,000 each. This week I had a visit from Ecuador, making it the 83rd different country to have viewed my blog, compared to 72 countries one year ago. Typically I get at least 10-12 different countries viewing each week. Oddly and maybe it's just my writing/topics but my viewership has dropped quite a bit the last two months or so. Perhaps if I came up with catchy titles like "16 Ways to adjust your nose for the perfect sleep" I might get more readers! And yes I just made that one up but you know what I mean. Thanks to my #1 in page views, The United States at 43% of the total followed by Canada, Czechia (Czech Republic), The United Kingdom and Indonesia to round out the top five. It's been over a year since I've seen one but I know I've had some 'bot' attack/searches in there. Blogger is pretty good at sorting those out and they don't affect my individual post "view count" and I've subtracted them from my overall total which actually reads over 67,000.
Now let's get to some music! In a total act of selfishness I will talk about more of my favorite songs/cover songs. Not that I don't indulge myself regularly with this habit, today these are songs I have not talked about before. These tunes are from artists I have listened too for a very long time.
Nick Lowe is a great singer, songwriter and producer but he also loves to do cover songs, I have mentioned a couple that he has done but not this one. While we practically don't have telephones anymore and most certainly switchboards are beyond most memories, still we are always 'on a line' so to speak, be it fibre optic or otherwise. "Switchboard Susan" was written and recorded by Mickey Jupp and covered by Nick Lowe that same year (1979).
My friends will predict the next artist will be Dave Edmunds, another familiar name from past posts. A former bandmate and oft collaborator with Nick Lowe both once members of the band 'Rockpile', they unfortunately had a falling out. Edmunds is a great singer, master guitar player, producer and one of the foremost Rock and Roll revivalists. Bruce Springsteen gave this previously unreleased song to Edmunds to record in 1981 so technically it's not a cover version as it was the first one released. "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" appeared on the 1982 Album 'D.E. 7th'.
Speaking of 'The Boss' he has covered at least 80 songs. One of my favorites is
"O Mary Don't You Weep" from the amazing We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, inspired of course by songs popularized by the legendary Pete Seeger. The original recording dates back to 1915, this traditional hymn gets a new life with Springsteen's inspired recording, here is the first known record by the Fisk University Male Quartette, a part of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.
She is one of the best guitar players in the world so we may forget what a truly amazing voice Bonnie Raitt has, so let me remind you. From her first album she made this stunning cover of "Since I Fell for You" (1971). It's from Buddy Johnson and His Orchestra with Vocal Chorus by Ella Johnson released in 1947 and since covered over 260 times.
There is another Ella that has an incredible voice that is unmatched in my opinion. Ella Fitzgerald is known for her renditions from "The Great American Songbook" and has given her talents to songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellington and more. Tough job to pick a favorite and one of these days I hope to dedicate a post to her but for now here is the first of several of her recordings of the Gershwins "How Long Has This Been Going On?" with Ellis Larkins at the Piano (1950). First released in 1939 by Lee Wiley with Max Kaminsky's Orchestra.
Johnny Cash covered close to 500 songs and several of those are well known, and some are among his biggest hit songs. Apart from the dedicated blog I have likely mentioned Cash over a dozen times. He and June recorded many originals but here they cover a cover from June's daughter Carlene Carter. "Baby Ride Easy" was written by Richard Dobson and first recorded by Del Reeves and Billie Jo Spears in 1976. A version from Carlene Carter with Dave Edmunds in 1980, and Johnny and June recorded it in 1984 but it was not released until 2014.
While known for some of the most iconic songs of all time Louis Armstrong (What a Wonderful World) covered over 300 songs. I've wondered about the pronunciation of his name, in "Hello Dolly" he sings "this is 'Lewis', Dolly" but he was often called 'Louie' and also answered to that, on a 1920 Census (age 19) he wrote down "Lewie". In a memoir he wrote that "all white folks call me Louie" so maybe it was just that, 'Louie', 'Lewis', 'Satchmo' or 'Pops' the man was a singular vocal talent. Not to mention his world class ground breaking trumpet playing. There are so many great songs and I have mentioned a few in past posts but this one is a stand out for sure "When You're Smiling" was written by Joe Goodwin, Mark Fisher and Larry Shay, first recorded in 1928 by Seger Ellis. Louis Armstrong would be the first to cover this in 1929. There is a more familiar version featuring prominent vocals. Other favorites of this song are by Louis Prima (1957) and Billie Holiday (1938) Frank Sinatra (1950) and Michael Bublé (2001).
As I mention Louis Prima, also responsible for some iconic songs himself (Sing Sing Sing) he produced many other great tunes. One of the best covers of his 1957 song "Buona sera (Good Night)" written by Carl Sigman and Peter De Rose which he himself recorded at least three times is the version by Dean Martin from 1958.
I don't know any white wine songs off the top of my head but in a pinch I know my wife will have a glass of "Red Red Wine" written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond (1967) . While I'm on the iconic song run here... (Sweet Caroline). The nod for the best version goes to the funky reggae infused UB40 cover in 1983. Credit is due to Tony Tribe however for the first reggae style version from 1969.
One of the greatest songwriters of our time was taken recently, John Prine. I listed Bonnie Raitt's cover of his masterpiece "Angel from Montgomery" in my post on '25 of the Greatest Cover Songs #1-25'. Over 50 of Prine's songs have been covered and the list of artists includes many of the legends of Country, Folk and Popular music. An impossible job to single out just one but perhaps appropriate for many today is "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" which he wrote and recorded for his album 'German Afternoons' in 1986. First covered by Kim Carnes in 1988. Nanci Griffith did the song with Prine on her 1993 album 'Other Voices / Other Rooms'. Another song relatable for couples 'stuck' together during this time is this brilliant little ditty with Iris Dement from 1999, "In Spite of Ourselves"
This often annoying autocorrect wanted to change Prine and Prine's to Prince and Princes so I set that straight. It also made me change auto correct to one word and now tells me it's two words. The joys of writing!
References; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page, Secondhandsongs.com, https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/09/09/louis-armstrongs-when-youre-smiling/