Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"In the Good Old Summertime" -- A "Theme Thursday" Musical History Lesson, Boys'n'Girls!


Oh, so many ways to go here, musically! (And I'm in a musical mood, don'tcha know!)

I could embed a video of Mungo Jerry performing "In the Summertime" (Quick! Name two songs by Mungo Jerry!).

I could show one or more versions of "Summertime Blues," performed first by Eddie Cochran, and later by the Beach Boys, the Who, Blue Cheer (a group that put the "acid" in "acid rock"), and many others.

I could include the ever-so-catchy "Summertime, Summertime" by the Jamies. (That's the one that begins, "It's summertime summertime sum sum summertime...")

And... oh, hell... if I weren't the Master of Misdirection, I might consider actually using the ballad whose title I swiped for my post's title!

Gee, did I leave anything out?


Of course I did, silly! One of my all-time favorite songs is the George Gershwin "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess." That song's been covered by everyone from Billie Holiday to Sam Cooke to Janis Joplin to [fill in the blank]! Great tune!

Having said all of that... I hereby embed "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" by the Blues Magoos!

"What?!?" you may be saying. Well, bear with me, fellow babies. And as you watch this clip, notice the young Jon Stewart on lead vocals, and Ben Stiller on bass guitar. (Okay, I'm lying, but if you look at this video, and the one here, you'll see what I mean!)

And now, I want you to pay close attention to this rendition of the aforementioned Gershwin classic, courtesy of Ozzie & Harriet Nelson's little boy Ricky!

You did catch that, right?

It gets better. Or worse. Or something.

Listen to the opening riff -- which continues throughout the song -- of this Joe Walsh classic.

Now pay attention to the guitar lead in the following song's instrumental break!

Amazing that more people don't list Ricky Nelson as an influence, innit?

* * * * *

Now, as a final piece of insanity -- for today, that is -- here's a Ricky Nelson-related post from my old "David'Z RantZ" blog, originally presented on March 3, 2008:

Some Great Childhood Memories

You know, folks, when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, things seemed so much simpler than they are today. Television programs expressed values which were just as "black and white" as the flickering images on the TV screen.

One of my favorite programs was "The Adventures of Ozzy and Harriet." And what adventures they were! Harriet Nelson and her second husband, Ozzy Osbourne -- along with their two sons, David and Ricky -- sure got into all sorts of mischief! And Ozzy, of course, was instrumental (no pun intended) in coaxing young Ricky to enter the ranks of the early rock'n'rollers. (By the way, trivia fans, did you know that the real first name of "Ricky" -- later "Rick" -- Nelson was actually Eric? But since Ricky was a product of Harriet's first marriage -- hence the "Nelson" surname -- there's obviously no truth to the oft-repeated rumor that Ozzy named the younger Nelson son after his good friend, Eric Clapton!)

Yep, a ton of giggles, chuckles, and some outright guffaws were prompted by that sitcom, I'll tell ya!

I think my very favorite episode was the Thanksgiving show where Harriet was in the hospital, so poor Ozzy was stuck cooking the Thanksgiving turkey. Ohhh, boy, lots of mayhem ensued, by golly, when Big Daddy Oz brought the cooked turkey to the table and it still had its head... which, of course, Ozzy bit off right before the actual carving. Loads o'laughs, yessiree-Bob!

(Man, I can't wait to see if any of this crap winds up on Wikipedia!)

Thanks for your time.


  1. Good Morning!
    Silver Fox, What a great TT post today all the information about the musical groups is very informative. Because I’ am not familiar with several of the groups, but this infor(mation) will give me a chance to check them out!
    Wow...all the summertime song titles you could have used and the nice childhood memories were great-added touches!
    By the way, the lead singer of the group The Blues bear a striking resemblance to comedian extraordinaire Jon Stewart.
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D

  2. I had the biggest crush on Ricky Nelson! Sigh.

  3. I found history boring
    But musical history
    Is another story.
    With a lyric or two
    We time travel to
    When our favorite groups
    Were touring.

    Great job

  4. What a fun post - full of memories and reminiscences. My girlfriend and I did a dance routine to the Mungo Jerry song when we were about 12. I remember her mom coming in to watch it and rolling her eyes!

  5. Wow - That was one jam-packed Summertime post! Thanks for the little lesson along the way! :)

  6. much fun fox! a well mixed margarita of summertime!

  7. I'll have to check, but I may still have the "Porgy and Bess" album....and Mungo Jerry had a second hit?-LOL! Fun musical post, S.F.

  8. Subby: I always do the "Quick! Name TWO songs by So-and-So!" bit when it comes to dealing with one-hit wonders. Not even "two hits," two SONGS. There are people who own the hits, and can't even name the B-sides.

  9. Wow! Thanks for that, Silver Fox. I have now witnessed the ultimate cross between the Monkees and the Beatles. It was cool!


  10. HA!I really enjoyed your post!And yeah Ben Stiller!LOL

  11. You have my favorite post so far (haven't read them all but, still...) I mean, the "Blues Magoos"
    how OLD is that tape? I can't even remember what year that was and I remember most songs & years; probably '66 or '67 at the latest. Those guys really do look like Stiller & Stewat, especially the Stiller guy. That would make those two at least 10-15 yrs older than they now are, however.

    The opening riff of the Ricky Nelson song is exactly the rhythm portion of the Blues Magoos song. Had to listen twice to pick up the similarity between Ricky Nelson's song & Joe Walsh. It's there but it's subtle. What caught my ear is the guitar picking. Pretty good, and we don't usually think of Ricky Nelson that way. He's probably under rated. He died so long ago.

    NICE piece of musical awareness. Love it!!!!

  12. Dude! You're nuts! lol! Your childhood memories rant I'm referring to here. What a space/time warp that was.

    And yep, Jon and Ben in the Blues Magoos--who knew? ;-)

  13. Damn! I wasn't done. I hit the...uh, I don't know what I hit by mistake, but it published my comment before I was ready.

    What I's about to say: It is downright uncanny, what you pointed out about Rick Nelson's music. You reckon the influence was subconscious? They didn't even know they were 'channeling' Ozzy & Harriet's little boy?
    He was just starting to get some serious musical acceptance, what with the Garden Party hit, right before he died. Looks like people would have fessed up then, doesn't it? Hmmm...

    Great summer post. Thank you.

  14. Wonderful! Some songs will never loose their appeal! Happy Summer!

  15. I actually have the Blue Cheer version of Summertime Blues, on my playlist on my other blog!

  16. I always liked Tracy Nelson, from TV's Square Pegs.

  17. Otin,
    So do I! They were heavy metal before the genre even existed.

  18. So funny! I did a musical summer post as well only not as creative and definitely not as fun. Great job! It really caught the fun of summer.

  19. I agree with you that Ricky Nelson's music was way underrated. I think it went against him that he was a baby faced, young, white boy.

  20. Wow! Ricky Nelson, the Father of Rock 'n' Roll. Who'd a' thunk it? Thanks for pointing that out, SF!

  21. The Porgy and Bess 'Sumertime" is the ultimate summer song (Billie Holiday version.)

  22. California Girl, Ronda, Roy: I really do think Ricky/Rick was underrated. His ballads are more effective than his rockers, because he wasn't the most dynamic of singers. But he was always a favorite of mine.

    A. Decker, Otin: Blue Cheer! Yeah! I once rather crudely described "heavy metal" as "acid rock without the acid, sort of like having one [testicle] instead of two."

    As far as Jon Stewart and Ben Stiller go, you can really see the Stewart resemblance in the clip I linked to, if any of you went that far. And to those of you who did view both Blues Magoos videos... Didja notice that in one vid, the lead singer played the organ, and in the other, someone else did?

  23. Michael: I absolutely love Billie Holiday! (Check out my TT post from two weeks ago!) But as much as I love her version of that GREAT tune, to me, it's tied with Janis Joplin's cover.

  24. Oh, and I hope I didn't confuse anyone outside the USA with my b.s. "memories" of "Ozzy [Osbourne] and Harriet." That was a bigger lie than the Ben Still & Jon Stewart remark!

  25. Thought for sure I might see Eddie Cochran and "Summertime Blues" but all in all these were great choices. I don't even know that Magoo's one at all.

  26. I looooooove rockabilly, and Cochran was a god, but I decided to go with the twisted history lesson instead!

  27. I loved watching Ozzie and Harriet when I was a kid. I remember when they had Ricky singing on the show, it was great. It was a sad day for the music world when he died. I think he would have written more hits.

    I was once watching a documentary about him and they were showing how he influenced so many artists and their music. It was very interesting. I had never realized how much he had done this until I watched that show.

    Thank you for the great music.

    God bless.

  28. Love Joe Walsh...enjoyed the musical post!

  29. I had to click to the other clip before I saw the Stewart/Stiller resemblances, and yeah, the lead singer looked kinda awkward toward the end of that one, like he didn't know what to do with his hands with no organ.

    And hey! "...Acid rock without the acid..."?! You must be talkin' about 'hair metal'. ;-D

    Oh yeah, thanks for the dope on Big Brother. (dope=info, suspicious people)

  30. I remember the Blue's Magoos! Loved that song and the memories it brought back to me.
    I think the Lovin Spoonful's "Summer In The City" would be a good summer theme pick also.

  31. It's a wonderful song, Summertime. It's a bit weird being sung that way though. Haha. But that's just me!

  32. Talking of Underrated......Eddie Cochran was SO GOOD! Such a short Musical Life yet everyone a Gem !

  33. I love Eddie Cochran's stuff, as I said earlier, and equally love his friend Gene Vincent's music. One died young, and one burnt out, but both ended tragically.

    I've gotta do a real rockabilly post someday...


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