Tag Archives: Linda Ronstadt

From the Vault Friday: Bobby, You’ve Been On My Mind

There’s nothing quite like falling in love with a song. On the first listen it may be some line that rings true or a note that sings out and wraps itself around you like a winter coat. On the second listen, it may be the narrative starting to take hold or the way you can almost anticipate the rise and fall of the melody. On the third listen the romance really begins, the words form on the tip of your tongue and the harmony is there for the taking. At least, that’s how it is for me. My latest song infatuation is extra special because there are a couple of versions of it lying about it that I’m equally obsessed with.

‘Daddy, You’ve Been On My Mind’ first came to life as a ‘Mama, You Been On My Mind’, a discarded out-take from Bob Dylan’s 1964 album Another Side of Bob Dylan. Although it hit the reject pile for Dylan, Joan Baez ran with it and made it a commercial success. Judy Collins followed suit, performing it on television for Pete Seeger. And a very young Linda Ronstadt reworked it as ‘Baby, You’ve Been On My Mind’ for her 1969 album Hand Sown… Home Grown.

Of course each version has a special kind of intensity. For me, you can’t beat the way Baez sings the word ‘flat’ in the first line of her version. That alone makes it my favourite. But when Judy finger picks the shit out of it for Seeger, you can see exactly why giving up classical piano for a folk career wasn’t a bad thing. And Linda, doe-eyed Linda, well no-one sings a heartache with quite as much intensity. Linda also sings it on the beach wearing tiny shorts. Win.

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A Night Without Gin or Chicken: Valentine’s Day Is Over

Ah, Valentine’s Day. A couple of months ago I blogged about a rather undignified February 14 a few years back that involved over-indulging on gin and chicken, recalling that it was probably the best Valentine’s I’d ever had. Perhaps disappointingly, perhaps unsurprisingly, as yet another February scrambles past the half-way point, I can assure you that the gin and chicken Valentine’s remains the best one yet. Which is not to say I didn’t have a lovely time yesterday. I did. But it was mostly unremarkable. I stayed true to my February detox (yawn), finished my book (next!) and took Archie the spaniel for a stroll down King Street.

Archie raced out into the night with his usual goofy enthusiasm, dragging me reluctantly behind in my less than glamorous stretch pants and Hall & Oates t-shirt combo. Making a cracking pace in the Carlisle-esque summer rain, we passed restaurant after restaurant, packed with couples young and old, cute and not-so-cute, making declarations of love over three course meals, moderately priced white wine and tasteful bunches of flowers.

It was sweet. It was heart-warming. It was kind of cheesy. I should have been hating every second of it. I should have been sorting a playlist of heartbreaking classics in my head to remind me of why I like being single. But who am I kidding? While I do like being single, I also like a bit of sap. My favourite movie (after Sex, Lies & Videotape) is Gone With The Wind. My favourite country song is ‘Always On My Mind’ and I’ve read way too much poetry to pretend I don’t care about romance.

Which is why, instead of compiling a list of tunes more fitting of my current ‘status’ (think Pernice Brothers ‘Not The Loving Kind’, Neko Case ‘Hold On, Hold On’ etc) I’ve put together some of my favourite duets for the blog this week. Some of them are by real couples and some of them are by mere singing partners… but they’re all good. And they all make me wish I could teach Archie to bark in tune.

Waylon Jennings & Cheryl Ladd – Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

He was an outlaw. She was one of Charlie’s Angels. The dialogue at the beginning of this video makes it pretty much my favourite clip on the internet.

Waylon Jennings & Jessi Colter – Storms Never Last

If I were Jessi Colter and I’d been side of stage to witness Waylon’s outrageous flirtation with Cheryl Ladd in the previous clip, I’d have created a mighty big fuss. And then looked at what a dreamboat he is and gotten over it. Storms never last.

Rita Coolidge & Kris Kristofferson – Help Me Make It Through The Night

If he’s not standing impossibly close with an open neck navy shirt and a look of total adoration, he’s just not that into you. I take back what I said about Cheryl & Waylon. This is my favourite clip on the internet.

June Carter & Johnny Cash – Jackson

It would be plain wrong to document country duets without Johnny and June. You’ve seen the movie. Enough said.

Linda Ronstadt and Hoyt Axton – Lion In The Winter

I love this song. I love Hoyt’s awkward arm over Linda’s shoulder. I love the way she sings ‘ca-all’. Consider yourselves lucky I love y’all enough to spare you Aaron Neville.

Donovan & Crystal Gayle – Catch The Wind

Just because I’ve spared you Aaron Neville, it doesn’t mean I’m going to spare you a dose of Donovan. This video is worth it for Crystal Gayle’s hair alone. I would tell you this is as sappy as it’s going to get but there’s still a Kenny Rogers video to come.

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn – You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly

Unfortunately there’s no video for this one. But I really like the ugly pink jacket Conway is wearing on the vinyl that has been used as the graphic. And teamed a white skivvy! I think we all know the reason the ‘kids’ have terrible dress sense.

Sheena Easton & Kenny Rogers – We’ve Got Tonight

I know it seems like a glaring omission to leave out Dolly & Kenny’s ‘Islands In The Stream’ but I have blogged about it before, and it doesn’t feature a creepy/cringeworthy/awesome bit of play acting from Kenny that comes across as him pressuring a young Scottish pop star to start a family.

Happy February 15 everybody xxx

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From The Vault Friday

Yee-hah, folks it’s the end of the working week! And what better way to celebrate than to step back in time and celebrate with some music videos of old.

Since I’ve just posted on my recent chat with Tex Perkins about Johnny Cash, I thought it might be time to share some vintage Man in Black goodness. Cash die-hards out there will already know that the singer had a musical variety show in the early seventies, imaginatively titled The Johnny Cash Show. It featured many amazing artists of the time including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson. Sounds pretty awesome, huh?

Naturally I’ve spent many productive hours in the office checking out some of the quality performances on the show, and for this week’s From The Vault, I thought I’d share this duet between Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt. Oh look, just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend… ‘I Never Will Marry’.

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