I was doing some rudimentary research on Don Williams, the country giant who passed yesterday, and was reminded that he was in the Pozo-Seco Singers, a pop-folk group who stirred up a little dust in the sixties. It was one of those tidbits that I used to know but had forgotten.
What I didn’t know was that Don and company had recorded a nice version of Chip Taylor’s “I Can Make it With You”…
Well that’s one way of doing it and The Hard Times, who were the house band for Where the Action Is, followed right along…
And then there’s the Jackie DeShannon way. If anyone needs proof Jackie’s a genius–and, despite a couple of big hits under her own name and dozens more as a writer, the Lost Voice of a generation she, as the assembler of the essential ethos of both folk rock and the singer-songwriter movement, did more than a little to define–consider this Exhibit A….
I would point especially to what she does with the repeated line There’s a future for me and understand what it means to interpret a song.
Or, if you prefer, claim it.
FoxGuy67’s perspicacious comments elsewhere sent me on a Jackie DeShannon YouTube journey, which yielded this….From Where the Action Is in 1966.
She had recorded it in 1963 and, if somebody had thought to add those handclaps, it might have busted out…In which case it would have been much harder to deny her the credit she still deserves for inventing folk rock. Except the precise timing, everything I said about “When You Walk in the Room” here, could have been said about “Needles and Pins.” As I’ve said elsewhere (or did I just think it? the memory hazes), the American answer to the British Invasion was out of her mouth before anybody else knew there was a question. And I don’t know if she invented air guitar, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the first person to play it on television….
[NOTE: There’s a nice interview here, where, among other things, Jackie explains the evolution of “Needles and Pins.” Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche wrote it for her….then balked at recording it. She said it was that or nothing. They recorded it. She also debunks any notion that not taking a writing credit in no way prevented her from being the driving force behind the record‘s creation.]
Usually, when I post the latest news from Shangri-La World, it involves some Voice of Eminence having gotten yet another fact wrong or added some dubious twist to the tale. This time around it’s all good news.
There’s been a post on YouTube for years (it’s still there) which has a snippet of the Shangs performing “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” looped through the entire song and therefore unsynched after the first thirty seconds or so. The clip–always tantalizing enough to make me long to see more–was obviously from a TV performance but nobody seemed to know from where.
I still don’t know from where but somebody has come up with the whole thing, which reveals, among other things, that it’s great for slow dancing. (I suppose the WTAI stamp could stand for Where the Action Is, but it could stand for a lot of other things, too–one thing I do know is that “TAMI Show” logo that shows up in the first second or so and then disappears is a mystery, because this sure ain’t The T.A.M.I. Show). Then again the Shangri-Las always invite mystery and confusion so who can be surprised?
One thing that isn’t surprising is Mary Weiss’ enigmatic smile, which still doesn’t tell me whether she’s getting ready to walk into the ocean or head back up the beach. To quote Shadow Morton: “I was asking her to be an actress.” And, as she said: “I had enough pain in me at the time to make anything believable.” Even when she was smiling and lip-synching:
A new Shangri-Las video on YouTube…first in I can’t even remember how long. Reason enough all on its own…
But with tri-cornered hats?
Gee, that’s more like manna from heaven…For that, I’ll even forgive the obtrusive logo. (Given the hats and the presence of Paul Revere and the Raiders, I assume this is from Where The Action Is…Close enough to heaven for me.)