Amoeblog

Cordell Jackson and Moon Records

Posted by Whitmore, August 23, 2007 09:29am | Post a Comment


Cordell Jackson was probably best known as the "rock-and-roll granny" whose git-pickin’ ran circles around Brian Setzer in the 1991 Budweiser commercial. But she is also an early rockabilly pioneer and is thought to be the first woman to write, arrange, engineer, produce, promote and manufacture her own rock and roll record label: Moon Records founded in Memphis in 1956.

Born into a musical household in Mississippi in 1923, her father played fiddle and lead a popular local string band called the Pontotoc Ridge Runners, she had  recorded several demos at Sam Phillips' Memphis studios for Sun Records. But without any success, or the likelihood of getting signed to Sun, she took the advice of Chet Atkins and formed her own label.

Her first release was "Beboppers  Christmas" b/w "Rock and Roll Christmas.” Soon she was releasing other singles from other rockabilly artists such as Allen Page and the Big Four, best known for their single "Dateless Night," written by Jackson.

Jackson continued Moon Records through the 1970’s and 80’s, remaining active in the rockabilly music scene. She recorded a novelty song called "Football Widow," which became probably her best known recording.  After the Budweiser ad, she enjoyed her quirky, new-found fame: she had a small role as the "Bathroom Lady" in “The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag,” appeared on the David Letterman show and had her original Moon singles displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

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Lee Hazlewood 1929 - 2007

Posted by Whitmore, August 5, 2007 10:30am | Post a Comment


Yesterday, August 4, Lee Hazlewood passed away from renal cancer at the age of 78 in his home in Las Vegas. Born Barton Lee Hazlewood in Mannford, Oklahoma in 1929, he was a music legend and viewed as one of the more iconoclastic figures of 20th-century pop. Just his baritone voice alone made him sound like a cantankerous, hard living son of a bitch. I suspect he was.

Hazlewood was mostly known for his work from the 1950s through the 1970s, he composed such masterpieces as “These Boots Are Made For Walking,”  “Some Velvet Morning,”  “Sand,”  “The Fool,”  “Summer Wine,”  “Houston” and “Trouble Is A Lonesome Town.” He built a reputation as a solo artist, producer, and label owner. In the 1950s he produced Duane Eddy developing the whole ‘twangy’ guitar sound. The single “Rebel Rouser,” co-written by both Eddy and Hazlewood, became a huge international hit in 1958.  As far as being in the public eye, 1965 was his breakthrough year when he teamed up with Nancy Sinatra for a string of hit singles and an album Nancy and Lee.  A few years later his own LHI label, released what is widely considered the first country-rock record, the International Submarine Band featuring Gram Parsons. Over the next couple of decades he produced a series of beautifully odd solo albums that were mostly unheard of in America until Sonic Youth reissued them in the 1990s. His final release, Cake Or Death (Ever), was released earlier this year. 

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Lenny Bruce

Posted by Whitmore, August 3, 2007 04:30pm | Post a Comment

Lenny Bruce
Last night I bought a first edition hard bound copy of Lenny Bruce’s How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, and this morning I realized it was the anniversary of his death… as they say (whoever they are) “there are no coincidences ..."

Anyway, on August 3, 1966, Lenny Bruce -- legendary stand-up comedian, author, social critic and satirist of the 1950’s and 60’s (born Leonard Alfred Schneider, October 13, 1925 ) was found dead at the age of 40 in the bathroom of his home at 8825 Hollywood Boulevard. The LAPD immediately announced that Bruce died from an overdose of narcotics, probably heroin, and that has been a universally reported fact ever since. However, the official report admits that the cause of death was unknown and the analysis inconclusive. Take that Wikipedia!

Dick Schaap eulogized Bruce in Playboy, with the memorable last line "One last four-letter word for Lenny: Dead. At forty. That's obscene."

Phil Spector, who once described Bruce as “my Socrates,” said Lenny Bruce died from "an overdose of police."

Side Note: I was going to include the entire script of  “Thank You, Mask Man,” but I’ll save that for his birthday in October. Those who might be offended will have to wait a few months. Sorry.

Here are some of Lenny Bruce’s jokes, comments and philosophies. Enjoy.

“If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses"

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government!’”

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