There’s ‘Brown Sugar’! Answer The Phone!

Originally posted November 26, 2007

Well, I joined the ranks of the connected over the weekend. I got a cell phone.

It’s not like I resisted or anything. I spend most of my time at home, and the Texas Gal and I didn’t see the need of my having a cell phone. If I needed one for the rare times I went out of town during a weekend, I’d take hers.

But her contract with her carrier expired a month or so ago, and we thought we should check out the options. So we went to Crossroads, the largest – and oldest – of the St. Cloud malls, Saturday afternoon. And I came away with a sleek little silver thing that not only lets me talk to people, but of course lets me do all those things that so many people have been doing for so long that it’s no longer news: it takes pictures, and it sends them and text messages, and it connects to the Internet so I can read news and sports, and it shows video on its very small screen . . . all of that stuff.

Actually, there is one surprise on the phone that I think will come in handy. If I am not mistaken – and I may very well be – I can see the NFL Network on the phone. As our local cable company has not yet come to an agreement with the NFL Network, my tiny phone screen is the only place I can see those games carried on that network (unless I go to a sports bar, of course). I can see myself peering at my tiny screen in the last week of the NFL season, watching to see if New England can finish the season 16-0. (I’m not sure yet whether I want the Patriots to do so or not.)

I know I’m late getting connected. I was late getting a CD player, too, not having one until sometime right around the end of 1998. (It was actually a Christmas gift from my sister and her family, who gave it to me so I could listen to the new box set from The Band, which they gave me at the same time.)

But there it sits on my desk, the little Samsung appliance. I’ve entered a number of my friends’ and relatives’ phone numbers into it. I changed the place on the welcome screen that used to have my carrier’s name; it now reads “whiteray.” I downloaded a ringtone: the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” (That may change to Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright,” as—sadly – “Layla” does not seem to be available, at least not through my carrier.) And I changed the screensaver from the generic one to a shot of Stonehenge. Now all I need to do is make a phone call. (My first one will likely be to customer service to make sure that my name and not the Texas Gal’s appears on other people’s Caller ID when I make a call.)

As for music today, I’m offering an album I promised last week: Dobie Gray’s Drift Away from 1973.

The title song was a hit, of course, reaching No. 5 during its fifteen weeks on the chart in the spring of that year. It was the second Top 40 hit for Gray, whose “The ‘In’ Crowd” went to No. 13 in 1965. Six years after “Drift Away,” his single “You Can Do It” barely touched the Top 40, getting to No. 37 and dropping off the charts after a two-week stay.

Drift Away is a pretty sweet album, recorded in Nashville and produced by Mentor Williams, who wrote the title track and is a brother of singer/songwriter Paul Williams. (One of Mentor Williams’ other productions, Tom Jans’ self-titled solo debut, was featured here in February.) Williams surrounds Gray’s raspy voice with a smooth setting, letting the vocals nestle in nicely.

Some of the standout tracks – aside from the classic title track – are the gently rocking “L.A. Lady,” the regretful “We Had It All,” “Lay Back,” with its slightly funky sound that’s reminiscent to me, if only at moments, of a Stevie Wonder tune, and “Caddo Queen,” a slightly swampy track with a touch of hoedown.

(My vinyl copy of the record was too rough on the title track, so I substituted an mp3 I’ve had for a while. The remaining tracks offered here are ripped from the vinyl, so there will be an occasional bit of noise.)

Drift Away
The Time I Love You The Most
L.A. Lady
We Had It All
Now That I’m Without You
Rockin’ Chair
Lay Back
City Stars
Sweet Lovin’ Woman
Caddo Queen
Eddie’s Song

Dobie Gray – Drift Away [1973]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: