Friday Night/ Another Country
I’d like to pretend it was an interview, but really was just a conversation. It was a couple of weeks ago now when Willy Vlautin came in for that ‘chat.’ I think originally we thought it would be a 15 minute segment in the show. It turned into the second half of the programme and even Richard had to edit it down. I asked Willy about records he made, artists he loves and we talked about his new book “Lean On Pete.”
It won’t surprise you to find out that Bruce Springsteen and Merle Haggard came up in the chat but it might intrigue you to know that he talked about much more than these people. A man of great taste and total honesty – a lovely combination. It was a real pleasure to be in the company of such a good man and great songwriter. All that from 9 . But before that….
We go on a real road trip. The Low Anthem, Woody Guthrie, John Prine and The Felice Brothers just some of the highlights.
Sundays with Ricky Ross
On Sunday we discuss the current Citizens Production of My Name Is Rachel Corrie. We look at International Woman’s Day 100 years on.
Also…What happens in Disaster Zones when the cameras move on? In the last week the tragedy that is unfolding in Chile will inevitably draw the focus away from the people of Haiti. So what’s going on there now? I’ll also be talking to Alistair Urquart , The Forgotten Highlander whose memoirs of being a Japanese prisoner and witnessing Nagasaki at close quarters have recently caused such a stir.
Oh…and as always there will be music. Danny Wilson, Aztec Camera from Scotland and more. All from Sunday BBC Scotland at 8 a.m.
Sounds like another good Friday night in is in prospect, and the variety from one week to another within the overall theme and content certainly adds to that. Especially look forward to hearing some Woody Guthrie.
I missed last Sunday’s show, I’m afraid, so will seek it out on the iPlayer today or tomorrow, but must get back into the habit of listening to these also.
Norrie, you also asked for a review of Elvis in Concert, so I’m happy to provide one…
It was a great night amongst some great people, and that extended beyond our own party to the crowd in general. I’ve only been to the O2 once before and it’s a superb venue with excellent acoustics, but the occasion was helped by how courteous everyone was: simply put thousands of people from 8 to 80 all there to enjoy themselves and all in high spirits.
The extensive set list is here, and I would note that even when Elvis’ voice itself was absent – for the interludes from the Stamps Quartet and the Sweet Inspirations – these were great inclusions. It felt very special to have James Burton, Ronnie Tutt and Glen D. Hardin on stage too – all from the original TCB Band – and to have them introduced by Elvis whilst their former selves from four decades ago were shown on-screen. I did wonder how odd that must feel for them!
As for a personal favourite, whilst it was the likes of Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds that had us on our feet, it’s hard to top the performance of If I Can Dream from the 68 Comeback Special, which led us into the intermission but perhaps was better suited to the finale itself. That Special itself – surely the finest live performance ever committed to film – was also perhaps a little under-represented for our liking, but it’s hard to fault the production on any level, to be honest. With the live band filling the stage and Elvis projected on the big screens akin to how it’s done for most arena shows these days, plus an intro of “Elvis” himself arriving backstage for the gig, it only took a little imagination to believe that he was really there with us.
I’ve recently been writing / co-editing an alternate history based upon a version of North America that never broke free from the British Empire (check out the link from my name for more on that!) and one of our stories from that anthology looked at the development of popular music based upon our timeline. We’re already considering a follow-up and the story I have bookmarked to write myself is one where Elvis never made it into the music industry and lived a life unfulfilled, where he only felt truly alive when singing in church. I still have Peter Guralnick’s volumes “Last Train to Memphis” and “Careless Love” on the shelf here to read by way of extensive research and which I’ve wanted to read anyway for years!
Just imagine an alternate timeline where we had no Americana and no alt. country; we’d have no “Another Country” either – it hardly bears thinking about! But last Sunday at the O2 offered a more perfect night of alternate history, one in which we could imagine that Elvis did after all embark on a world tour. It was truly a special night that I know at least the two of us will remember for the rest of our days.
Cheese and Crackers, Mr. R.!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thought there were only 24 hrs. in a day….squeezing in Sunday morning, too. Do you have to show ID when you go home in order to get into the house?
Of course this is not a complaint, because I like what you do on Sunday morning, too. Dang.
And it is Sunday morning here in Arizona.
Back to Another Country….found this article in the Wall Street Journal of all places and thought you and your listeners (should be called something else cause they are all so knowledgeable) might find it interesting. So here is the link.
And by the way the songs you picked for last Friday’s Another Country RE the states of the United States……awesome choices. Haven’t heard some of those in many moons.
I do have a special place in my heart for that song about Ohio….love “Rocky Top.”
I have a history book that deals with the settling of the Great Smoky Mountains and there is quite a bit about the Muhlenberg County and how the area was originally settled. It is an interesting place.
I adore Deacon Blue and Ricky and have seen you loads of times but I have to pull you up on your spelling of Urquhart – pedantic – yes but its an excuse to write to you – LOVE the show :0)
Sorry Elaine – should have read the cover properly! Thanks for your kind comments.