Saturday, September 29, 2012

BIG AL's JOVIAL JUKEBOX #4: "Make The World Go Away" by TIMI YURO, 1963

Timi Yuro [born Roberta Timothy Yuro in 1940] was an already-famous 23 year old Italo-American R&B-style pop singer when she decided to do an entire album of Country Songs [pictured above] for Liberty Records back in 1963.   This move was actually not unusual at the time. Ray Charles had just had the biggest album of his career with Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music the year before, and almost every "soulful" singer of note was trying to cash in with a similar experiment.

The title single from Yuro's album-- which a 20-something Albie would joyously find later on vinyl for 2 quarters in a thrift store in the mid-1980's-- was a pretty decent success for Timi, charting at #24 on the Billboard U.S. Top 40 popular music chart and  #11 on the Canadian charts.  What probably kept this bona fide classic from charting higher, I suppose, was that the country original by Ray Price and an even bigger copy-cat record from Eddy Arnold were both crossover pop hits the same year.

Now... I actually like all three versions of Hank Cochran's great composition, but for my money nobody ever cut Miss Yuro's incredible "blue-eyed soul" treatment.   Produced by Liberty's young in-house genius Snuff Garrett, little Timi's version [she is said to have stood 4 feet 11 inches off the ground] is a waterfall crescendo of feeling and emotion.

Here's her inimitable treatment in all its glory:

(words & music by Hank Cochran)
Make the world go away
Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we used to say
And make the world, make it go away

Do you remember when you loved me

Before the world took you away
Well if you do, then forgive me
And make the world, make it go away

Make the world go away

Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we used to say
And make the world, make it go away

Now I’m sorry if I hurt you

Let me make it up to you day by day
And if you will please forgive me
And make the world, make it go away

Make the world go away

Get it off my shoulder
Say the things we used to say
And make the world, make it go away

And in case anyone is interested, here is the track list from the album:

Leavin' on your mind
She's got you
I'd fight the world
Gotta travel on
I just got back from there
I'm movin' on - Parts 1 & 2
Make the world go away
Permanently lonely
I walk the line
Are you sure
A legend in my time

It's an amazing old album. She covers country songs by everyone from Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash and actually makes it work.  I highly recommend buying a copy if you liked the sample featured here We lost Timi Yuro back in 2004 but that voice will surely never be completely forgotten!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

HYMN TIME #10: "I'd Rather Have Jesus"

Talk about longevity!  George Beverly Shea-- long-time solist for evangelist Billy Graham and composer of the music for this great hymn-- is now 103 years young and still sings! [He recently sang on Guy Penrod's 2012 HYMNS album, for example.] 

"I'd Rather have Jesus" is, in my estimation, one of the most convicting hymns ever written.  Every time I sing it I have to ask myself: "Do you really mean these words?"  Amazing sentiment is this simplest of songs!

Rather than write out the story behind this great song, I will just refer you to this awesome video from a 1965 Crusade, where Shea introduces his solo by telling it himself:

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ..."
-- The Apostle Paul, Phillipians 3:8 [KJV]

BETTER LIVING THROUGH OLD COMICS #6: "The Concord Coach," Cadillac Of The Old West Stage Trails

Here is a another classic DELL COMICS info page of interest to Western History fans or transportation buffs.
Behold the legendary CONCORD COACH!
[From FOUR COLOR #1023, Tales Of Wells Fargo, 1959]
And here's an actual restored coach on display... looks pretty stylish, all right!


Sunday, September 23, 2012


"Self Portrait With Pipe" by Frank Frazetta

By Robert W. Service 

Because I love the soothing weed
And am of sober type,
I'd choose me for a friend in need
A man who smokes a pipe.
A cove who hasn't much to say,
And spits into the fire,
Puffing like me a pipe of clay,
Corn-cob or briar.

A chap original of thought,

With cheery point of view,
Who has of gumption quite a lot,
And streaks of humour too.
He need not be a whiskered sage,
With wisdom over-ripe:
Just give me in the old of age
A pal who smokes a pipe.

A cigarette may make for wit,

Although I like it not;
A good cigar, I must admit,
Gives dignity to thought.
But as my glass of grog I sip
I never, never gripe
If I have for companionship
A guy who smokes a pipe.

[The poet himself smoking a pipe]

Friday, September 21, 2012

BIG AL'S JOVIAL JUKEBOX #3: "Surfer Girl" by DAVE ALVIN 2006

I have been a fan of Dave Alvin's since way back in 1983, when an old high school/ college friend, Suzanne Simms, played me her copy of The Blasters' first album in her apartment in Tucson.  Now, Suzanne was a true hard rocker whose taste ran toward the KISS/Aerosmith side of  the spectrum-- [never really my thang]-- but one day she told me: "Albie, You'd actually like The Blasters.  They're actually kind of... you know... rockabilly."

From that first listen I was hooked.  I soon bought all the Blasters stuff I could find, and that even led me to the music of Shakin' Stevens, whom I was shortly to discover in the record bins after reading that his cover of Dave's song "Marie Marie" had reached giant hit status over in England.  In 1987 I would also buy Dave's first solo album ROMEO'S ESCAPE, and over the ensuing years I would follow Mr. Alvin through his entire musical journey from Roots Rocker to Singer/Songwriter to Americana Icon and then back again. 

Looking back at Alvin's career, I now find his body of recorded music more fascinating than ever. What really makes him more cool than so many of contemporaries-- for me at least-- is that he is so dead earnest about conveying music that is uniquely American, both as a songwriter and as an interpreter of other people's compositions. 

Now I should admit I have always loved the  Beach Boys' classic "Surfer Girl," which, historically, stands as the first song ever solely composed by the great Brian Wilson.  I like the song so much that a girlfriend of mine once-- back in 1980s-- actually requested that a Mariachi band play it for me in a Mexican restaurant, which they proceeded to do.... very ably!  Truly a priceless little memory. 

This great interpretation of the song by Alvin  is described by one Amazon reviewer as "tongue-in-cheek," but I could not disagree more!  Dave recorded it for his 2006 album WEST OF THE WEST, which is a collection of songs written about various aspects of California life by  native-born Golden Staters exclusively.  Indeed, I see Alvin's inclusion of this song as part of his vision of the bona fide FOLK MUSIC of his home state.

Take a listen:

Little surfer, little one
Made my heart come all undone
Do you love me, do you surfer girl?
Surfer girl, my little surfer girl

I have watched you on the shore
Standing by the ocean's roar
Do you love me, do you surfer girl?

Surfer girl, surfer girl

We could ride the surf together
While our love would grow
In my woodie I would take you
Everywhere I go

So I say from me to you, beautiful say it aloud
I will make your dreams come true
Do you love me, do you surfer?
Surfer girl, my little surfer girl

Well, surfer girl, my little surfer girl
Well, surfer girl, my little surfer girl

Wish I was ridin' in that wood-paneled station-wagon right now, don't you?

Addendum Nov. 17, 2013... 

Just found this AWESOME live version on youtube... thought I should add it here!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Interesting Quote From SPURGEON On The KING JAMES BIBLE, from 1884

Albie's Note: It has often been noted-- and rightly by the way-- that those who claim the great English Baptist pastor Charles H. Spurgeon as an early advocate of some sort of a "King James Only" position in the debate over Bible Versions, do so deceptively, as there are some quotes in his writings that clearly show he was open to marginal readings and-- at admittedly rare times-- he even can be shown to have favored some alternate translations from the English Revision of 1881.   OK, not that shocking, right? 

However, most of those quotes do come from earlier in his career.  Indeed, a famous and oft-quoted example-- which you readily can find on-line if you look for it-- was written in the year 1859, when Spurgeon was a mere 25 years of age!

I therefore find this quote, penned when the old Baptist Battler was 50, and only a scant 8 years before his untimely death, to be VERY interesting,  and perhaps to supply some serious-- maybe even irrefutable-- indication of an actual "re-thinking" of the matter on his part:

“For our own part, we are always grateful for good marginal readings; but we are less and less disposed to countenance any tampering with the text. The older we grow the more conservative we become. We have had ten thousand messages from God to our soul in the very words of our English Bible; and we have prayed over and preached about the precepts and promises it enshrines, till we feel a vested interest in the volume as it is.” 

--  Found on page 39 of the collected SWORD AND THE TROWEL magazine for 1884.

Interesting, eh?


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

TRUE WAR STORY: Think YOU Had A Challenging day??

During the now-legendary 1945 "battle for the bridge" at Arnhem, in World War II, the British "Tommies" were receiving air cover from American fighter planes.

On one pass, a U.S. P-51 aircraft was shot down by a German machine gun nest. Rather than bail out, the pilot "dead sticked" his plane in among a field of British gliders. He leaped from the plane, ran over to a bunch of the Tommies, grabbed the Sten Gun from one of them,  and shouted:

"Give me that! I know where that bastard is that shot me down and I'm gonna go get him!"

He took the Sten Gun, ran off into the woods, and took out that entire machine gun nest! 

Doesn't YOUR challenge, whatever it is, seem a little more, er... "do-able" now?  



Article from 1919: "Think About This When You're Tempted..."

The speaker produced a stick with a lot of nails driven into it and said that it was meant to represent a life full of sin. Each nail represented a sin, and there were so many nails that not very much of the stick was to be seen.
This illustration was suggested to the speaker by the story of the boy who was so accustomed to telling lies that his father, wishing to call his attention to the great number of lies which he was in the habit of telling, told him to drive a nail into a post every time he told a lie. The boy did this and soon found that the post was full of nails. When he saw how the post looked it made him feel very badly. He had no idea that he had been telling so many lies. He came to his father and sorrowfully confessed his condition, and said that he wished to do better. 

Then his father told him that every time in the future when he told the truth, instead of telling a lie, he should pull out one of the nails. This the boy did, and soon returned to his father with the good news that the nails were all out again. 

"But," said he, "the holes are all left." 

His father told him that that was part of the price he had to pay for the sins he had committed. 

The nails were then pulled out of the stick which the speaker had brought, and the holes were shown to the boys and girls who were present. The following lessons were then drawn from this story by the speaker: 

No matter how sorry we may feel for the wrong we have done, and no matter how much we may try to do better and make it right, there are certain consequences that a bad life will leave behind it. 

If a man has been a thief, and makes up his mind that he will stop stealing in the future, and does really begin to live an holy life, yet he will never be able to forget that he was once a thief. Many of the things which he did when he was a thief will come up before him at times and make him feel ashamed of himself. Many people who were injured by his wrongdoing may be suffering even then on account of his sin, and if he is really sorry for his past life it will make him feel very badly at times.

A boy was standing in front of a school house, during recess, when another boy threw something at him. It struck him in the eye and the boy who was struck lost the sight of that eye. That boy has lost the use of one of his eyes through the carelessness of the other boy, and thus has been injured for life. The boy who threw the stone may have been very sorry for what he did but that will never restore the eye to the boy who lost it. Even if the author of the accident should be able to offer the other boy millions of dollars that would not restore the eye. 

Even the great Apostle Paul reproaches himself for the life he lived before he became a Christian, when he remembered how he held the clothes of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He says in I Corinthians 15:9:

 "For I am the least of the apostles that am not worthy to be called an apostle became I persecuted the church of God." 

Again in Acts 26: 9 he says:

 "I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth which thing I also did in Jerusalem; and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death gave my voice against them, and I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them I persecuted them even unto strange cities." 

Paul could not forget the things he did against God's people although he had repented of them and became a sincere Christian himself. Do you think that the Apostle Peter could ever forget that he had denied his Lord and Master with oaths and curses and said that he never knew Him?

The memory of that act never left him as long as he lived. They say that when Peter was condemned to be crucified he asked to be crucified with his head down because he did not consider himself worthy to die as Jesus did, because he had denied Him. 

We see from this that while we may have our sins forgiven, yet, what we have done, cannot be erased from our memories. It is a great deal better not to do the wrong than to do it even though we may be forgiven for it, because while we may be able to pull all the nails out of the post of our wicked lives, all the holes will be left. 

By Charles Eickenberg
Found in the July 1919 issue of  "The Christian Workers Magazine."

"But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
Numbers 32:23 


Saturday, September 1, 2012


"Taking America For Granted"

There was a time, in this country, when even a whole day of life was not taken for granted; much less water, shelter, a safe night's sleep.

Now. by reason of a uniquely bountiful heritage, we take for granted too much. We assume. Expect. Insist.

Nowhere else in the world is this possible.

Unthinking, we accept not only the great urgencies of food, shelter and clothes- but the whole spate of little things that make up a way of life, a pattern of security.

We take for granted the protection of our locked front door; a roof to our living room; heat, lights...

We expect our children, bursting with vitality and Vitamin B, to knock our hats askew with the vigor of their welcome.

As breathing, we take for granted a hot bath, soap, penicillin, sodas at the corner drugstore.

We assume that young husbands will make a successful future for themselves, that older husbands will retire on what, over the long years, they have put away.

We expect our daughters to have an evening dress.

We cheerfully assume that some decent men will be voted into public office.

We know that veterans can get a GI loan, and assume that, with it, one of them will start a future at U. S. Steel.

Another will marry, and produce an Edison, a Jefferson, a Carver.

We take for granted that we will not be shot, imprisoned, or have our everything confiscated that our children will live to grow up.

What we forget every day, moment, is our own history.

That it was not entirely to give us these ties that men stayed on at Valley Forge for 22 cents a day; that Lincoln did the fine, unpopular thing, unwaveringly; that over 56,000 men died in prison camps alone between 1861 and '64; that later, half a million men lay down their blood on foreign soil.

It was not to guarantee us ice cream and radios that women bore children during Indian attacks, were partners in the great pioneering sweep to the West.

It is good to remember what our simple right to vote cost other human beings.

Perhaps they had no thought of us; they were concerned with making their America. But what they made is what we have.

To take this heritage, unthinkingly, for granted is a first step to losing it.

Adapted from the Readers Digest, April, 1948