Saturday, March 03, 2007


Classic Motown

Madge tagged me with this meme:

What song is guaranteed to make you speed in your car? Dance in your seat? Sing out loud? These are all songs that show up frequently on my iPod and that make me bounce around the house, sing out loud, clean up, get outside, you get the picture.

I replied: "Yikes, Madge! If I take on your challenge, I'll definitely be showing my age...which is old. I may just stick with the classic roots music that is timeless and still floats my boat!!!"

First of all, I'm so antiquated, that I don't even have an iPod yet! I still listen to RECORDS, CASSETTES and CDs.

I can always bop to the pop music from my youth, which is classic Mo-Town (including the 4 Tops, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Marvelettes, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, etc.), classic surf music (including Beach Boys, Dick Dale, The Surfaris, The Ventures, Jan and Dean, The Chantays, etc. The teen songs from the Brill Building in New York, by composers such as Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Cynthia Weil, Howard Greenfireld, Ellie Greenwich and Burt Bacharach. The groups of the British Invasion years, such as the Beatles, The Kinks, The rolling Stones. During my later high school and early college years I was crazy for Carole King, Elton John, James Taylor, Crosby/Stills and Nash, The Flying Burrito Bros., The Byrds, The Doors.

THEN, I spent years doing the folkie, bluesgrass, blues and country thang. My older brother is a musician so I used to tag along with him to the historic folk and jazz hangouts of Los Angeles: The Ashgrove, The Troubadour, The Golden Bear, The Lighthouse, etc. I was exposed to American Roots music early on. By ROOTS, we mean the Roots of rock 'n roll. Rock comes from blues, country, rockabilly, jazz. In the late 80's and early 90's I was the board operator and engineer for Billy Vera's Rock 'n Roll Party on KCRW-FM. Billy has an impressive knowledge of American music. I learned a tremendous amount about early rock 'n roll from him. I grooved to oldies from the 50's and 60's, along with swamp rock from New Orleans.

In the late 90's and early 2000 I co-hosted a blues radio show on KPCC-FM. This was another educational opportunity for me to learn more about American music...I learned to love early black gospel music, all kinds of blues, zydeco, cajun music, norteno music, polka, etc.
Ellen on the Radio
Notice the Silver "45" insert around my neck!

Phew! So, after all that, here are the somewhat esoteric songs that get me going, put me in a good mood and make me dance:

10. "Polka Changed My Life Today" by Rotundi
9. "Zydeco Gumby Ya-Ya" by Brave Combo
8. Any song from the original movie soundtracks of "Hairspray" or "Crybaby" (John Waters' Baltimore Rock)
7. "Dragnet for Jesus" by Wynona Carr
6. "Raised by Hippies" by I See Hawks in L.A.
5. "Sam's Place" by Buck Owens
6. "Kiko and the Lavender Moon" by Los Lobos
4. "4th of July" by Dave Alvin and the Allnighters
3. "At Last" by Etta James
2. "Eat The Lunch You Brought" by Jeff Turmes
1. "It's Raining" by Irma Thomas

Yeah, I'm old, but I'm bold!



At 10:28 AM PST, Blogger carlita dee said...

Blimey! We are so simpatico. :)

You just reminded me to list Elizabeth Cotten's "Freight Train."

Your taste in music is madness. I love it.

The John Waters soundtracks are great.

I'm going to put in the CDs you gave me for my birthday now.

(Okay, it is cool that we both did music posts for today.)

At 12:56 PM PST, Blogger mary said...

All those songs and genres you mentioned are brilliant. As a parent, I felt it my duty to make sure my kids knew and could recognize the sounds of Elvis and The Beatles... not that I'm a huge fan, but it's an important part of our pop culture. And Happy Anniversary to you two lovebirds. Sweetie Hubby and I are celebrating our 17th anniversary this year. Gulp!

At 5:16 PM PST, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

:) I don't know most of the music you mention, but I'm diggin' the 'do!!!

At 11:17 AM PST, Blogger Madge said...

Yay! Thanks for playing along! And fer sharing your musical roots.

OMG, I have that Ventures LP. And I love your 45 insert necklace. Talk about bling! :)

At 1:04 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken Emerson said:

Doc Pomus's son-in-law drew my attention to your blog. I'm delighted that you scanned in the cover of my book, "Always Magic in the Air," and I hope you enjoyed its insides as well.

At 7:58 PM PDT, Blogger mehitabel said...

Oh, Ellen, you are such a baby compared to me... but I remember some of those folkie haunts! I used to go to the Ice House too, one was in Glendale and the one in Pas. was a music club back then. I go back to the days of the VERY YOUNG Elvis, Pat Boone, Frankie and Paul and Bill Haley and the Comets. Okay, going to go pick up my walker now...


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