The Godfather: Peter Corris on YouTube #2
Here is a further list of YouTube selections I play fairly often, sometimes when I hear of the deaths of the artists or I am reminded of them for one reason or another:
‘Blueberry Hill’ by Fats Domino. I once had an EP – that is, an extended-play 45-rpm record with ‘Blueberry Hill’, ‘I’m Walking’, ‘Aint that a Shame’ and ‘My Blue Heaven’. Literarily a best-of. It’s long gone, of course, but I play ‘Blueberry Hill’ quite often. I played it on the day he died and I’ll play it again.
‘Promised Land’ by Chuck Berry. I have several Chuck Berry CDs but none with this track. The live version on YouTube is a winner with Chuck at his most cheeky, hammering the chords and doing the duck walk. He’s one performer I’m sorry not to have seen, but I don’t think he ever came here, perhaps banned because of his criminal convictions.
‘I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag’ by Country Joe McDonald. Performed at Woodstock, this is the quintessential anti-Vietnam War song with lines addressed to the mothers and fathers of America:
You can be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.
‘Far Away Eyes’ by the Rolling Stones. This has Mick on guitar camping it up with Keith, and Ronnie Wood playing masterly steel guitar backing. Everyone is having fun.
‘Key Largo’ by Bertie Higgins. A one-hit wonder, this is among the cleverest songs I know. It evokes the films and the actors as well as working beautifully on a musical level.
‘Where Do You Go to (My Lovely)?’ by Peter Sarstedt. As with the previous song, this was a one-off. I never heard anything again from Peter Sarstedt, although apparently he recorded many singles and some albums. But he put it all together here – slightly European feel and accent, piano-accordion backing, story and atmosphere. I hear it and I’m in Paris and Napoli.
‘The Streets of Laredo’ by Marty Robbins. Robbins’s plaintive voice is perfect for this ballad of lament. It touched me when I first heard it and it moves me still. It taps into my love of Westerns in fiction and films. I can see the dusty streets and the wind, see the tumbleweed. It’s no surprise that renowned writer Larry McMurty adopted it as the title for one of his most compelling novels.
‘Rose of San Antone’ by John Denver. This song provides an example of what is known as ‘Western swing’, which was a precursor in a way of country rock. John Denver was nothing if not tuneful, whatever his material. A bravura performance on fiddle and guitar as well. If I’d ever been able to dance, which I wasn’t, I would’ve liked to dance to this. As it is, my toes tap every time.