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Dave Elder's Favorite Songs Playlist

What's my favorite song? That's a tough question, and this playlist is my answer. I don't know that I could ever pick just one song. These are the cuts that I listen to, and that mean something to me. I have lots of memories and stories tied up with them, and I share a portion of those tales on this list. Surely you will recognize some of the tracks here, but probably you'll find some that you don't, and hopefully I can help you discover some good music. You might notice that some numbers are missing, including number 1, and that's because the linked videos are no longer available, so those songs have been removed from the list.

This page only includes a few recent bits. If you'd like to read some older ones, the previous link below will take you to the post before the last one, on my Blogspot runway, which has links to earlier writings. The Master List page has links to all of the playlist Blogspot articles. However, my earliest playlist rambles, before Song 185, only live on this website, since I didn't start posting on Blogspot until February of 2014.

-Dave

Recent Songs

(Sunday, 9/16/18) Song 425: Highway to Hell by AC/DC, written by Bon Scott, Angus Young and Malcolm Young. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I had heard a few of AC/DC's earlier efforts, and I thought they showed some potential, but when this hit came along in the summer of 1979, it really made me smile, especially in light of my early struggles as a teenager to reconcile my obsession with the devil's music that my fundamentalist religious parents and grandparents reviled. Having left that youthful guilt behind by a decade, I too could wave to Satan while Paying my dues, being on the way to the promised land. Then again, Taking everything in stride, maybe I sometimes Don't need reason, but I often feel like I do need rhyme. In addition, I'll admit that I do pay attention to stop signs and speed limit, which might have helped me get past the kind of sudden ending that AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott sadly came to about seven months after this single got released.

(Sunday, 9/9/18) Song 424: The City Never Sleeps At Night by Nancy Sinatra, written by Lee Hazlewood. You can find a YouTube video of it here. At some point not too long after the record's release, I added These Boots Are Made for Walking (Song 352) to my singles collection, and it came with this shining B-side gem. I obviously wasn't the only one in my neighborhood enjoying the flip side of the hit - one day when delivering the newspaper to the restaurant/bar a few lots away from my parent's home, I heard it playing on the jukebox, which meant that one of the customers had invested some pocket change to relish this musical ride. The lyrics paint engaging pictures that, back then, looked like Manhattan to me, and mostly still do, though the moving images could fit a number of other lively nocturnal urban settings as well. The words and the music clearly portray the Big hellos and goodbyes while along the way Not a single ho-hum appears, which might actually answer the question of How come the city it never sleeps at night.

(Sunday, 9/2/18) Song 423: Double Standards by Patti Rothberg, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. Once again, seven weeks have passed since my last personal friend song post. I met Patti in the studio one night in 2003 while she was working on her third album, and this is the title track for that project. At the time, I was working on the Elder Street cut Marketplace, which I just posted yesterday as my September 2018 SoundCloud release. Anyway, I quickly got acquainted with her music, and immediately became a big fan. I had the pleasure of hearing a number of DS pieces before the official release, including this one, and I liked them all. I even considered jokingly suggesting to Patti that she could run for president as a way to promote her release, since presidential candidates very often say one thing and then do another and that fact would easily highlight her song and her CD. While I didn't actually mention the idea to her, I still think it might have made for a very entertaining record promotion campaign, and of course, her little piece of advice about Don't you even try To make sense of all you see applies to the current moment quite a bit more than it did 10 years ago.

(Sunday, 8/26/18) Song 422: Midnight Mary by Joey Powers, written by Artie Wayne and Ben Raleigh. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I heard this hit on the radio at the small diner down the road from my parent's house one sunny afternoon when I stopped in briefly, probably to deliver the local newspaper. While I had remembered that interlude as being a summer day, my sources indicate that this 45 made the charts in the fall of 1963, and peaked in early January of 1964, so perhaps I just happened to catch it on a warm autumn day, but regardless of how my memory may have confused the particulars, I fondly recall the lasting musical and lyrical impressions it gave me. I enjoyed it so much that I learned the chorus melody and words just from that initial encounter, and I would, in solitary moments over the next few months, often sing that chorus to myself, just for my own pleasure. Of course, when February rolled around, a quartet from Liverpool rocked my world, and I starting learning a whole new set of melodies and lyrics, but I still never forgot about midnight and Mary.

(Sunday, 8/19/18) Song 421: Arrested for Driving While Blind by ZZ Top, written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard (the 3 band members). You can find a YouTube video of it here. When Tejas came along in late 1976, I felt like ZZ Top had hit a real peak, fulfilling the music promises of their earlier work. I especially relished the understated humor in the words on this cut, which planted a lyrical seed in the back of my mind that would eventually become Drivin' in My Sleep Again after some addition inspiration from my friend Eddy Lawrence's tune Sleepdriving Again which appeared on his 1994 CD Used Parts. A few months after I added the Texas trio's LP to my collection, I got to see the three perform at the Chicago Stadium on a chilly winter night (2/19/77). They had a truly impressive stage set-up on the tour that included a live bull and tender on a separate platform next to where they performed. I felt like I saw and heard a very good show that night, though, as a musician, I also noticed that the sound coming to the audience included more than just the parts the three musicians on the stage played. The woman who sat next to me that night, also a musician, noticed the same thing, and later confirmed through people she knew who had connections with ZZ Top that yes, they did indeed use a click track when they performed, meaning that they augmented their live sound with prerecorded additions that they controlled from the stage. Still, I felt like they did a very good job of communicating that wonderful feel Of rollin' in an automobile, along with many other special moments.

(Sunday, 8/12/18) Song 420: I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You) by Hank Williams, who also wrote the song. You can find a YouTube video of it here. The Ohio relatives' extensive country music collection introduced me to Hank, as well as other classic artists of the 1950s and 1960s, and I found Mr. Williams quite impressive. At some point in the 1960s, I watched a move about Hank on TV, and that film contains a very entertaining story about him writing this song in a record company executive's office during the man's lunch break. It makes for a fun tale, and a memorable movie scene, but I would bet the flick writers spun it out of whole cloth. However mundane the tune's actual genesis might have been, though, in contrast to its theatrical promotion, the piece itself still stands out as one of Hank's best. Whenever I hear it, a picture from the past comes slowly stealing, giving me that old time feeling, and I Can't Help It (If I Still Love this one).

(Sunday, 8/5/18) Song 419: Finest Worksong by R.E.M., written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe. You can find a YouTube video of it here. I thought R.E.M. sounded pretty good the night my band Victims of Technology opened for them and the Lloyds at The Stone in San Francisco (6/22/83), but when Document came along 4 years later, I thought they have moved up to a whole new level. The album became a regular spinner for me, and it would also find a sweet spot on my iPod not long after that shiny mp3 player arrived, so over the years the record has enlivened many moments, including through ear buds on NYC subway rides and blasting from a portable speaker set while driving along interstate highways. This cut opens the LP with a bang, and sets a very high-energy tone for the ride. Three decades after its release, I would say an even greater share of workers feel that What we want and what we need Has been confused, been confused, but hearing this track can also impart the feeling of being in Your finest hour and believing that Another chance has been engaged.

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