Record Reviews

It WAS 50 YEARS AGO TODAY THAT JOHNNY CASH TAUGHT THE WORLD HOW TO SLAY

Johnny Cash Live At San Quentin Album

Johnny Cash “A Boy Named Sue”
The Johnny Cash Show Television Series
New Book The Man Who Carried Cash:  Saul Holiff, Johnny Cash and the Making of an American Icon

By Harvey Kubernik ©  2018

“A Boy Named Sue,” written by humorist, poet, and singer/songwriter Shel Silverstein became a popular hit record during 1969 by Johnny

Courtesy of Sony Music

Cash.

On February 24, 1969, two days before he turned 37, Cash recorded the song live in concert at California’s San Quentin State Prison for his Johnny Cash At San Quentin album produced by Bob Johnston, issued on Columbia Records June 26, 1969.

Born Sheldon Allan “Shel” Silverstein in Chicago in 1930, Silverstein was known for his cartoons, songs, children’s books and contributions to Playboy magazine.  

During 1969 Silverstein’s own recording of “Boy Named Sue,” a 45 RPM on the LP Boy Named Sue (And His other Country Songs),was produced by Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis.     

It has been said that Silverstein’s inspiration for the song’s title came from a man named Sue K. Hicks, who was a judge in the state of Tennessee. Silverstein heard Hicks speak at an event, and was intrigued by the name of Sue for a man. Apparently it was the father of Sue Hicks who   named the boy after his mother, Susanna Hicks, who died during hospital birth. Continue reading

THE MOODY BLUES IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD (50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

Commemorative Releases Available In 3CD/2DVD Box Set, Deluxe and Standard Digital Collections, CD, and Vinyl LP Packages

By Harvey Kubernik c 2018

On November 2, Polydor/Republic/UMe released the 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of The Moody Blues’ classic third album, In Search of

Courtesy of UMe

the Lost Chord.

The deluxe format is a 3CD/2DVD box set, featuring the album’s remastered original stereo mix and new stereo mix, plus rare and unreleased tracks, including a never-before-heard mono version of Legend of a Mind. There are BBC Radio One John Peel Top Gear and Afternoon Pop Show sessions, as well as mono mixes of the related Deram single A and B sides.

DVD1 (Audio) contains In Search of the Lost Chord 96kHz/24-bit 5.1 surround mix, new stereo mix, and original stereo mix.

DVD2 (Video) comprises BBC TV Colour Me Pop: In Search of the Lost Chord (14th September 1968); Ce Soir On Danse: The Moody Blues – ORTF French TV (13th July 1968, previously unreleased) and Carte d’Or – ORTF French TV (29th October 1968, previously unreleased).

A 76-page book is also included, with extensive sleeve notes by compiler Mark Powell, plus a host of rare photos and memorabilia images. Continue reading

Neil Young Songs For Judy Released

By Harvey Kubernik © 2018   

Neil Young has just issued Songs For Judy on CD and digitally on November 30. A vinyl edition is out December 14.

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros./Shakey Pictures Records

Songs For Judy is the debut release on Shakey Pictures Records, Young’s own imprint distributed by Reprise Records. Songs for Judy is available in hi-res at NYA, Neil Young Archives.com.

Songs For Judy houses live acoustic performances culled from Neil’s November 1976 solo tour and features twenty-two songs recorded at various cities along the tour.  Writer and Cameron Crowe and photographer Joel Bernstein curated this collection.

This song cycle of live recordings is particularly unique. Young had spent much of the year traveling around the world on tour with Crazy Horse.

When touring on his own, he recharged and focused on songs that would not surface in recorded form for several years. Of the albums many treasures, “No One Seems To Know” would not see the light of day until now and it remains unreleased in any other iteration.

The raw versions of the tracks found on Songs For Judy find Young allowing the songs to breath and to find their own shape when performed in a solo performance. Continue reading

VERVE RECORDS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO ITS LEGENDARY FOUNDER NORMAN GRANZ AND HIS CENTENNIAL

APTLY- TITLED ALL-STAR FOUR- DISC BOX SET THE FOUNDER OUT ON DECEMBER 7TH VIA VERVE/UME    

BY HARVEY KUBERNIK c 2018

In jazz circles, few names command more respect than Norman Granz. Although he wasn’t a musician, Granz (1918-2001) was as

Courtesy of Verve/UMe

responsible as any individual for popularizing jazz and promoting the careers of many of the genre’s greatest artists.

Granz’s incredible half-century career first took off with his creation of the groundbreaking Jazz at the Philharmonic concert series. But Granz was equally influential for the series of record labels that he launched in the 1940s and 1950s: Clef, Norgran and Verve. 

Those companies became home to many of jazz’s most important and influential artists. And, unlike many of his contemporaries, Granz combined his love for the music with a passion for social justice, championing African-American musicians at a time when those musicians were often exploited and disrespected.

Now, in honor of the hundredth anniversary of Norman Granz’s birth, Verve/UMe has assembled The Foundera four-CD/digital box set celebrating his remarkable life and career. The historic package features a massive chronological assortment of music spanning Granz’s remarkable career and featuring music by most of the great musicians he recorded. Continue reading

ELECTRIC BLUES ICON HOWLIN’ WOLF’S LEGENDARY 1959 DEBUT LP MOANIN’ IN THE MOONLIGHT

REISSUED ON VINYL AHEAD OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY

 By Harvey Kubernik ©  2018

Chester Arthur Burnett, (June 10, 1910-January 10, 1976) better known to blues fans as Howlin’ Wolf, remains one of the essential

Courtesy of Geffen/UMe

exponents of the electric blues. With a raw, booming voice and explosive guitar and harmonica styles to match, the Mississippi-bred Wolf made music that was unmatched in its primal ferocity.

In the process, he, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Etta James and others helped to put the Leonard and Phil Chess owned Chess Records on the map as America’s preeminent blues label.

Now, just in time for the 60th anniversary of Moanin’ In The Moonlight’s original high-fidelity release, Geffen/UMe has made available a special vinyl edition of the mono album. 

Remastered from the original flat master tape, this new edition features a high quality 150-gram black vinyl pressing housed in a printed sleeve with scans of the analog tape box and comes in a distinctive tip-on jacket reproducing the album’s distinctive original cover artwork by

Don S. Bronstein. The LP displays the 1959 liner notes from Billboard editor Paul Ackerman.    Continue reading