Tag Archives: Paul Kelly

Celebrating the life and music Jimmy Little

Last night on In The Pines we paid tribute to the legendary Australian musician Jimmy Little. Born in 1937, Jimmy Little had an incredible career spanning more than five decades. He loved Jim Reeves and Nat King Cole. He had charm, drive and the most heartbreaking falsetto you ever heard. His first great success was the 1963 single ‘Royal Telephone’ a gospel number that sold more than 75 thousand copies, making him the first indigenous Australian to have a Top 10 hit. His most popular album MessengerĀ reached no. 26 on the ARIA Albums Chart in 1999.

When Jimmy Little died earlier this year, I asked his friend, collaborator and Messenger producer, Brendan Gallagher if he would curate a special program to celebrate Jimmy’s life and share with FBi listeners some of the finer moments of his extensive career. BG took great care in putting together an extensive playlist that spanned Jimmy’s entire career from early recordings going back as far 1956 right through to unreleased material from theĀ MessengerĀ recordings. Program highlights included re-mastered covers of the Paul Kelly masterpiece ‘Randwick Bells’ and an unreleased version of The Triffids’ classic ‘Wide Open Road’.

A huge thank you to everyone who tuned in to the show last night and shared their appreciation for Jimmy Little’s music with us via facebook and twitter. For those who missed it, I’m delighted to say that FBi has streaming on demand and you haven’t missed out. The program is available for streaming here, starting about three minutes in.

And last but not least, here is a clip of Jimmy Little adding his magic to The Go-Betweens’ ‘Cattle and Cane’.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

They’re Playing Your Song: Little Soundtracks For Everyday People

At various times in my life, I’ve taken on different songs as themes. Little anthems that seem so plugged into how I felt that I could almost have written them myself, had I the musical skill/ genius/ time/ ability to stay out of the bar long enough/ ability to withstand solitude/ I could make a million excuses/ ability to stop making excuses…

Theme songs find us in two distinct ways. Or at least that is how it has always been for me. The first way is the best way. A perfect song, discovered in the perfect place, at the perfect time. A lightning bolt. An explosion of your spirit.

The second, more common method is to rediscover an old song when you are ready for it. Sometimes the rediscovery is a happy accident. Other times it is a deliberate seeking out. It’s all good. The mystical romantic falls in love again and it’s all Stevie Nicks Rooms On Fire. The jilted heart wants to break over and over again and so it loops all six minutes and forty-seven bitter seconds of Elvis Costello’s I Want You.

I’m always thinking about music and I’m always over-sharing. Because of this, most of my themes find their way onto the blog or the radio show. But I would love to know what other people’s themes are. Other people do this, surely?

When I was growing up, my Mum would amend the lyrics to Paul Kelly songs to match them up with her circumstances. It was funny and cute. But also sad and beautiful. In ‘To Her Door’, the number of children in the song’s soon to be broken home was multiplied thus:

They got married early
Never had no money
Then when he got laid off
They really hit the skids
He started up his drinking
Then they started fighting
He took it pretty badly
She took seven kids

At the moment, I’m fixated on a Joni Mitchell song. It’s not the first one of hers that I have found myself drawn to, even though it took me many, many years to get over my initial uncertainty about whether or not I even liked her. Certainly ‘A Case Of You’ and ‘Both Sides Now’ have been up there as themes. But at the moment, I’m on vacation and I’m all romantic and wild-eyed and so I’m here:

Joni Mitchell – You Turn Me On, I’m A Radio

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you
You turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wildwood flower

4 Comments

Filed under THOUGHT OF THE DAY