Friday, June 3, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 7)

When it comes to "The Genius," I prefer his work on Atlantic Records, but today we are going listen to a few songs from his early days at ABC. It would be ridiculous not to take the time to rip Ray Charles' two volumes of 'Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.' So, from 1962, here is the album opener, made famous by the Everly Brothers in 1957. Slow burners like "You Don't Know Me" and "Born to Lose" are the songs that most remember from 'Modern Sounds,' but I like the ones that make your head bob.

"Bye Bye Love"

In 1964, Charles released two albums. The first was 'Sweet & Sour Tears.' As the title suggests, melancholy was the mood. Later in the year came 'Have a Smile With Me,' and the atmosphere couldn't have been any different. Unfortunately, the listening public frowned. It barely busted the top 40. His previous six albums all peaked in the top 10. Today, 'Smile' is an all but forgotten long player. Figures it's just about my favorite from the ABC era. "Light" songs like "Two Ton Tessie" and "Ma (She's Making Eyes at Me)" are full of brass and sass. Here was the only single. Wouldn't you like to be smack dab in the middle, too?

Ten Cadillacs, a diamond mill
Ten suits of clothes to dress to kill
A ten room house, some barbecue
And 50 chicks not over 22
Then throw me
(Smack dab in the middle)
Oh, I wanna be
(Smack dab in the middle)
Ahh, now boys you can see why I wanna be smack dab in the middle now
So I can rock and roll to satisfy my soul

"Smack Dab in the Middle"

From the same album, I dedicate this one to all of the hipsters that have yet to get the memo. It's over. Line up like sheep for your shearing. As Ray sings:

Walk with him, talk with him
What do you find?
More on his chin
Than he's got on his mind
And that's the story that I heared
'Bout the man with the weird beard

"The Man With the Weird Beard"


charity chic said...

An album somewhat criminally I don't have. That requires to be rectified
Great stuff Brian

kevinpat said...

Now you're talking (to me).

The Swede said...

My collection is criminally low on Ray's work and these are fabulous, fabulous selections. Laughed out loud at the comment about hipster beards too - I'm sure that they'll be looked upon in the same way as mullets are in years to come.

Brian said...

CC and Swede, If you have any trouble finding these at your charity shop, I know Concord put out both volumes of Modern Sounds on one CD several years ago. Not all of Ray's work does it for me, especially as he made his way later into the '60s, but you can't go wrong with anything through 1964.

Kevinpat, Great to know we have this one in common. See, not quite all jangle and twee at my house. More jangle up next though.

JC said...

Very surprising!!

I'll hold my hands up and say I have none of his stuff in my own collection, although I am very familiar with some of his material.