Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ida Red

I don't read many tomes these days, but I read a metric buttload of comments. Sometimes I think I should give that a miss, but other days I learn something. In an argument about how to get paid for twenty first century music at Dangerous Minds, I learn about Ida Red.

Here's Bob Wills  and The Texas Playboys singing Ida Red.


 And here, I know you knew I was going to say this, is Chuck Berry, singing Maybelline, one of the seminal rock'n'roll tracks in anyone's mind.


 I don't mean Chuck Berry stole anything from the Texas Playboys, and I don't mean the Texas Playboys stole anything from Chuck. I was just flabbergasted, as I've been many times before, how similar music percolated in both black and white groups.

Edit: Fifteen minutes after posting this, and after watching both the videos again, I have to say the major difference between them is that for the Texas Playboys, I thought 'How historical!" and clicked away to a random link, but for the Chuck Berry video I was not only compelled to get up and dance, but I was in awe of his wordsmithing. 

But you know, apart from that, there are similarities.


Mike said...

From Nadine Cohodas:
"Within the week he (Berry) wrote four songs and was on his way back to Chicago to play his tapes. Leonard (Chess) was immediately taken with a country-sounding song called Ida Red, though he seemed surprised that a black man could sing a hill-billy song. There already was a song called Ida Red, so the tune needed a new title. (From the secretary's Maybelline mascara box) Maybellene fitted rhythmically with Ida Red so it was easy to make the change."

I'd love to hear that Ida Red demo. For what it's worth, to me, it's a different song. But then I don't hear Bad Penny Blues in Lady Madonna. I just hear boogie-woogie piano.

Peromyscus said...


Also, looking for Bad Penny Blues led me to this great video with Tom Jones talking about Joe Meek's version of a casting couch. Tom seems like the coolest guy.


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