Tag Archives: best songs

The Best Songs: Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes by Blind Willie Johnson

Drawn by the legendary Robert Crumb
The Best Songs: Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes by Blind Willie Johnson

Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, Bach, Beethoven and Blind Willie Johnson was included on the golden record that was sent into deep space in 1977 as part of the Voyager missions. What potential alien life forms might make of Johnson humming along to his slide guitar on “Dark Was The Night (Cold Was The Ground)” is anyone’s guess. The track moves me in a way that’s hard to explain, it’s the sound of pure emotion.

Steve Martin, the actor, once told a story about the golden record: “the first message from extraterrestrials has been received… ‘Send more Blind Willie Johnson’.”

Today we will give you more Blind Willie Johnson, we will present the fantastic,  “Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes” (audio only):

“Blind” Willie Johnson (January 22, 1897 – September 18, 1945) was an American singer and guitarist, whose music straddled the border between blues and spirituals.

While the lyrics of all of his songs were religious, his music drew from both sacred and blues traditions. His music is distinguished by his powerful bass thumb-picking and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice.

Johnson was not born blind, and, although it is not known how he lost his sight, Angeline Johnson told Samuel Charters that when Willie was seven his father beat his stepmother after catching her going out with another man. The stepmother then picked up a handful of lye and threw it, not at Willie’s father, but into the face of young Willie.

Johnson made 30 commercial recordings (29 songs) in five separate sessions for Columbia Records from 1927–1930.

“Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes” is sung along with an as-yet-unidentified female singer. They complement each other, he sings in a gruffy voice, she shimmers above with a high pitched soft style of singing.
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Happy 60th Birthday Steve Earle


“If I can get me out of the way, I can do anything”
– Steve Earle

“I don’t really think in terms of obstacles. My biggest obstacle is always myself.”
~Steve Earle

All we do as songwriters is rewrite the songs that have impressed us till we find our own voice. It’s part of learning the craft.
~Steve Earle

One of Alldylan’s Greatest heroes

Fort Worth Blues:

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Bob Dylan’s best songs: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

bob dylan


You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out the saints are comin’ through
And it’s all over now, Baby Blue

CM: It’s not the same Blue as in It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue?
BD: No, no. That’s a different Blue. That’s a character right off the haywagon. That Baby
Blue is from right upstairs at the barbers shop, y’know, off the street… a different Baby
Blue, I haven’t run into her in a long time, long time.
CM: You’re being serious?
BD: Yeah, I’ve never looked at Joan Baez as being Baby Blue.
~Craig McGregor Interview (March 1978)

I had carried that song around in my head for a long time and I remember that when I was writing it, I’d remembered a Gene Vincent song. It had always been one of my favorites, Baby Blue… ‘ It was one of the songs I used to sing back in high school. Of course, I was singing about a different Baby Blue.”
~Bob Dylan (Biograph)

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Jan 10: Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel in 1956


Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel January 10th in 1956

From Wikipedia:

Heartbreak Hotel” is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley’s first on his new record label RCA Victor. His first number-one pop record, “Heartbreak Hotel” topped Billboard‘s Top 100 chart, became his first million-seller, and was the best-selling single of 1956. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.

Well, Since my baby left me

These opening words set the tone, this is not a happy-song…

I got this record from my aunt when I was about 7 or 8 years old (1973/1974), I couldn’t  comprehend the heartache and suffering in the lyrics. I just thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard. I still got that record. It is worn and scratched and it’s still the coolest record in the world.

Heartbreak Hotel (audio):

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My Favourite Songs About Hank Williams

Painted woodcut of Hank Williams by Lisa Brawn

Hank Williams is one of the most influential songwriters in music, be it rock’n roll, blues or country. A lot of singer/songwriters influenced by him pay their respects by singing his songs, doing tribute songs or mention him in their lyrics. There are literally hundreds of songs referencing Hank Williams one way or another.

Here’s a list of some of my favourite songs about the great legendary Hank Williams:

There is no contest for the top spot, it has to be

1) Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen:

“…Oh in the Tower of Song
I said to Hank Williams: how lonely does it get?
Hank Williams hasn’t answered yet
But I hear him coughing all night long
A hundred floors above me
In the Tower of Song”

From Leonard Cohen that is very high praise indeed!

London 2008:

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