Happy Ascension Day, Mortals!
Today is the perfect day to fire up the barbeque, emulsify marshmallows in their own, meaty juices, make necklaces out of macaroni and firecrackers and teeth, roast corn on the cobweb, take pictures of your auntie, run through the sprinklers praising God in His infinite wisdom for creating a world and people that would one day invent sprinklers which must therefore be a part of His Divine Plan for the Glory of All, post pictures of your auntie online, bob for apples without safety pins hidden inside them by your heathen neighbors next door, pop popcorn, scream for ice cream, sing hymns, taunt your auntie by telling her the pictures of her have gone viral and now her privacy will be compromised, her bank accounts plundered, and her likeness will be used by terrorists to bring down the American Government, jump on a trampoline and pretend you're ascending yourself, make peace with zombies, fly a kite, cut some ribbon, pick up litter, drink the salty/sweet tears from your auntie's quivering cheek-beds.
Country music legend Ferlin Husky passed away this Thursday. He was best known for his string of late 50's singles including the legendary track "Drunken Driver." The Missouri native got his start entertaining sailors in WWII. After moving to Bakersfield, CA for a DJ gig, he began performing in honky tonks under the name Terry Preston. Reverting back to Ferlin Husky for his Capitol and King LPs, he soon found major success through marketing to the Rock and Roll crowd. Although already in his early 30's, ten years older than the King, Capitol pushed him as a hearthrob type aimed at the youth market through albums such as Teen-Age Rock, featuring his tracks alongside artists such as Tommy Sands and Gene Vincent. After his initial string of success Ferlin settled into a steady country music career with the occasional low budget film appearance. Hillbillys In A Haunted House, Las Vegas Hillbillys and Swamp Girl are his best know films. Although decidely B-level, he worked alongside Basil Rathbone, John Carradine, Mamie Van Doren, Lon Chaney Jr., Zsa Zsa Gabor and Patty Duke. Unfortunately his later years were fraught with health problems but he went out on a high note with last year's induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although the country section of my personal collection is amongst the smallest divisions, Husky's Boulevard of Broken Dreams from 1957 is tied with Miles Davis' Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud for my favorite LP of all time. Less a country record, more in an intimate pop crooner vein with country flavor around the edges, Boulevard's production is pure tube studio & echo chamber magic from an era that could never be recreated. Unfortunately I can't find any safe links to post a track so I'm including the appropriately titled "Gone."
I have been excited about the new Wanda Jackson ever since I heard she was working with Jack White. I already loved her but I knew she could be even better with the help of Jack White! Jack White is, of course, from the White Stripes, who are now officially broken up. Not that Wanda really needed Jack White -- she was putting out some of the best rockabilly and country albums way before he was even born. She is the Queen of Rockabilly, after all! But I knew that he could be bring that greatness out of her once again. It had been a while. Jack White already helped Loretta Lynn make an amazing album a couple of years back, so we knew he could do it. Both Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson are two of my favorites! I obviously don't like anything new that comes out in the world of country but I have always loved the country music of the 50's and 60's. Wanda Jackson got her start back in back in the 50's, back when Rockabilly was very popular but there were not really a whole lot of women putting out rockabilly records. This is why she is known as the first woman of rockabilly. She paved the road for many who followed her. She later moved on to putting out more country albums and eventually gospel albums, but on this new album she is putting out the great rockabilly that made her famous. This is good stuff!
This gallery is my early Christmas present! I've been working on gathering the images for years and I've finally got enough to post. The Electro Voice model 664 was designed in the late 50's as a sturdy and reliable public address system microphone and found widespread use amongst the amateur radio set as well. Although somewhat useful in certain studio applications, it's mostly known as a club mic due to its ultra reliable pick-up pattern and relatively low feedback rate. Sometime referred to as "the showerhead mic," I've seen them in gold, satin & chrome finishes, with chrome being the most common. The 664 is as iconic as Shure's 55SH "Elvis mic" or the classic RCA ribbon mic models 44 & 77, albeit connoting more of a Sears & Roebuck vibe than any of those mics.