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 203
Our “something old” this edition is the classic cut is “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” written by Sol Marcus, Horace Ott, and Bennie Benjamin for American recording artist Nina Simone who first recorded it in 1964. This blues rock version by the Brit band The Animals is the most notable cover. Released as a single in 1965, it reached number 15 on the US pop singles chart.
Our “something new” this edition is the newest single, “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby” recorded by American jazz singer and songwriter Halie Loren. It’s her live rendition of the 1943 song by Louis Jordan and Billy Austin recorded at Tokyo, Japan’s Cotton Club in 2015. According to her official website, ‘until now [it’s] only been available in Japan, Korea, and several additional regions in Eastern Asia. Now, listeners from anywhere in the world can listen in from any streaming service — starting with this newly released first single!” It’s off her live 2016 album titled Live at Cotton Club.
Our “something borrowed” this time is the song “My Man’s Gone Now” written by American George Gershwin with lyrics by DuBose Heyward for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. This audio adaptation is by the Los Angeles-born American rock band The Gun Club. It’s off the 1984 classic deluxe two-CD/DVD and double-vinyl reissues.
The reissues drop on June 17th. Both the vinyl and CD editions of this include a bonus disc of live cuts and old home movies of the group on the road. In a recent email co-founder and guitarist Kid Congo Powers referred to the song itself as a “classic.”
Finally, our “something blue” this edition is the song “All Blue Baby” recorded and produced by the California-based punk band The Muffs. It was written by singer and guitarist Kim Shattuck. It first appeared on the group’s third disc titled Happy Birthday To Me which dropped in May of 1997.