By now, everyone who asked for a copy of my CD should have received it. (If you want one, email me your mailing address; this is a labor of love I look forward to doing all year and if you’ll enjoy it, I would LOVE to share it!)
Last year, when I released “Happy Brown Girl Sings White Boy Angst,” which was covers of me singing mostly 90s grunge songs, a friend said she needed to hear the originals first. Who hasn’t heard “Come as you are” by Nirvana, I thought to myself, but it crossed my mind that this year’s album spans a lot of genres, so I thought I’d collect originals of all the songs I covered this year so you can compare and contrast. (NOTE: Scroll to the bottom for a youtube video of one of my covers.)
The originals from the album “Happy Brown Girl, Volume 2: Happy Brown Girl Sings About the King….no, no, the OTHER king!” (songs not by but ABOUT Elvis)
Track #1: Dear 53310761 by the Threeteens, a song to Elvis while he served in the military: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6u8QFiitZo. (Special shout-out to Allan Massie for figuring out the chords to this for me. He was one of two people who learned the theme in advance of the album release.)
Track #2: Real Good Looking Boy by the Who. “Real Good Looking Boy is a song I wrote quite a few years ago about two young men who worry about their looks. One of them, based on me – hopes and believes he might look like his best friend who is a conventionally handsome fellow. (He is disavowed of this notion by his mother). The second, based on Roger – hopes and believes he will one day turn out to be like the young Elvis. (He, more happily, sees part of his dream come true). They both find love in later life.” – Pete Townshend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCYCPGHvOmo
Track #3: Black Velvet by Alannah Miles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkXNEmtf9tk
Track #4: Elvis Presley Blues by Gillian Welch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW8HMKk3r5Y. (Special thanks to Allyson Voller who introduced me to this album, although she never liked this song.)
Track #5: Johnny Bye Bye by Bruce Springsteen. Here’s the song by itself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upMNcsPwkuA. Here’s the live version where the Boss gives some background on the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT3c2lc4Gvk
Track #6: Personal Elvis by Depeche Mode. Depeche Mode’s breakthrough single in the U.S. was based on a surprising source: Priscilla Presley’s 1985 biography Elvis and Me. “It’s about how Elvis was her man and her mentor and how often that happens in love relationships,” Martin Gore, the song’s composer, said. “How everybody’s heart is like a god in some way, and that’s not a very balanced view of someone, is it?” -Rolling Stone Magazine Here’s Depeche Mode’s original version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1xrNaTO1bI. Here’s the now-famous cover by Johnny Cash, who said Depeche Mode didn’t understand that this song really was about Jesus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQcNiD0Z3MU
Track #7: The King Knows How, by Over the Rhine. Here’s the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1laMorx2rM. Here they are recording in Elvis’s very own Sun Studios: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAhFrqCEXyY She is so much more understated than I am, and her performance gives me goosebumps. Another shout out to Allyson Voller, who introduced me to this band.
Track #8: Walking in Memphis, by Marc Cohen. (When I practiced, I tried to pick like the piano rondos, but at some point you have to accept your limits.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK5YGWS5H84
Track #9: Graceland, by Paul Simon. Since this was the best album of the 1980s, I am going to assume you already know the original, so here’s the live version Paul Simon sang with Willie Nelson in 1992 at Farm Aid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbcs95yOZpg. Additionally, if you don’t recognize its poetic genius, here’s some smarty-smart professor analyzing the lyrics as poetry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqQ_umy1lYQ
Track #10: “Bonus Track #1 about another King” is Pride by U2, about Martin Luther King. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHcP4MWABGY
Track #11: “Bonus Track #2 BY another King” is When I Fall in Love by Nat KING Cole. (Yes, my version was recorded with a karaoke track in the background. Tres campy. Here’s how it SHOULD sound.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfAb0gNPy6s
SPECIAL PRESENT TO ALL MY BLOG FOLLOWERS: Here’s a youtube video of my cover of Pride by U2, but the audio for it adds a harmony line that you won’t find on the CD. You’re welcome. 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjTYEpuKw1o
I hope you enjoy the originals and the covers!!! I’ve been having a lot of fun putting this through and delving into what’s underneath the songs.