Tunesday 4

Personal musical history today.

“Hot Smoke and Sassafras” by The Bubble Puppy was a big hit when I was in high school down in the San Antonio area. I hadn’t realized how regional the song’s popularity was until some years later, when I was only able to find one other person among my friends and acquaintances who’d ever heard of it.

It was their only big hit, and they played it when they were inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame this year.

When I was in the Navy and stationed in Connecticut in the late 1970s, some friends turned me on to Renaissance. I really loved their music, so I bought every LP of theirs that was available, and then some. That’s right, I picked up a Renaissance LP that they hadn’t recorded – there was another group trying to use the name, and after I bought the LP, I discovered that the liner notes stated that they couldn’t use the name anymore. Ah, well. My friends saw the group in concert in NYC, but as I recall, I couldn’t go that weekend.

Renaissance had a distinctive sound; Annie Haslam, the lead singer, was operatically trained, and they would sometimes perform and record with a backing orchestra. Some of their music borrows from classical music, as well. For example, they borrow from Debussy’s The Sunken Cathedral here.

I liked their longer pieces a lot. I can recall listening to this one while driving wooded back roads at night.

Bonnie Raitt was starting to make it big around that time, and I loved listening to this song when it came on the radio.

When I was in the West Indies with the US Navy (my last duty station before I left the Navy), we had a few LPs available to play in the watch area. One of them was “Now We Are Six,” by Steeleye Span. This was my favorite tune on the LP.

Because of that LP and one a friend stationed there with me let me tape from a Canadian band called Barde, I started to get into Celtic-flavored music and picked up a Lindisfarne LP. The only song I can name off it is this one.

My musical tastes started to really diversify around that time, but I don’t want this post to get any longer, so I’ll leave it for another time.

Comments are closed.