‘Something’ in music: origin
One evening at a hot, trendy L.A. nightclub on a rare solo outing, yours truly found himself standing alone at the bar preparing to review the upcoming act. Before he had taken more than a few notes, however, he was bookended by a pair of vivacious vixens who insisted on engaging your rockin’ writer in cozy conversation. Strangely, the subject of “marriage” arose.
One of the young ladies noted that when a gal is about to get hitched she needs “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Your provocative penman was immediately inspired. After all, those very same terms could be applied to music too: “Something old” or classic, “something new” or recently released, “something borrowed”, a cover, and “something blue”, a blues song or a song with “blue” in the title. The rest is history.
‘Something’ in Music 129
Our “something old” this edition is the classic cut “Born to Run” by American musician and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It is the title track off his 1975 platter Born to Run. It was his very first worldwide single although it did not initially do well outside of the US.
Our “something new” this edition is the new single “Falling Man” by Texas-based singer-songwriter Randy Lewis Brown. According to a recent email, the song is a fitting “tribute to the memory of all who were lost in the tragic events of 9/11 as we remember this event on its 20th anniversary.” Brown had a lot to say about the song’s origin.
He said: “This song has haunted me for 10 years. Ever since it was written for a memorial at the 10th anniversary of 09/11, which was canceled at the last minute. I was left with a song which felt important but with no audience to hear it.”
He added: “It is inspired by what I consider the most haunting photo of that terrible day; Richard Drew’s Falling Man photo. The photo which captured an unknown victim in an almost nonchalant mid-fall pose plunging to his death from atop the twin towers. For me, more than any other, that photo finally pierced all my interior armor and drove home the horror and inhumanity of that infamous day.”
He concluded: “On this day, the 20th anniversary, as we remember the thousands of lives lost as well as all its echoes and repercussions since 2001, l give you; ‘Falling Man’.” The song features Brown on acoustic guitar and vocals, Sarah Pierce on harmony vocals, Michael Dorrien on electric guitar, Peter Wasner on piano and B3, Mark Epstein on bass, Dirje Childs on cello, and Merel Bregante on drums.
Our “something borrowed” this time is the 1967 song “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” originally recorded by American soul singer Otis Redding and co-written with Steve Cropper. This exceptional instrumental audio adaptation is by trumpet player Mike Cottone. The number appears on his 2020 disc titled Thank You.
Finally, our “something blue” this time is the song “Check My Baby’s Oil.” The song was originally recorded by the Chicago-based blues band Lil’ Ed Williams & The Blues Imperials. It was written by Williams in 2008. The remastered version is available on the disc The Best Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials which was released in 2014