Posts Tagged ‘David Bromberg’

Saturday Single No. 422

December 6, 2014

Well, here’s an experiment that came out with an oddly satisfying result. Strapped for an idea this morning and not feeling much like scraping my brain until it hurt, I took today’s date – 12/6 – and wandered off to Page 126 in Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles. I then turned 12/6 into 18 and counted down the page to the eighteenth listed single.

We went past Johnny Bristol and the British Lions, past the British Walkers and Britny Fox, past Tina Britt and a group called Broadway, and past Chad Brock and then B–Rock & The Bizz, and we found ourselves checking out the entry for David Bromberg.

I don’t know Bromberg’s work well although I probably should. His style, his era and the people he recorded with – from what I know of all of those – should make him fall right into the center of the music I love. And I have no idea why I’ve never paid much attention at all to the man, whom Whitburn describes as a “folk-rock singer/songwriter/guitarist.”

There are a few Bromberg tunes on the digital shelves: I’ve heard his covers of Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen” and “Sweet Home Chicago” from his 1976 album How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til? And I’ve heard and seen his performance of “Don’t Do It” (with Joan Osborne) from the Love for Levon concert that I mentioned here a while back. Beyond that, however, I’ve not heard much of the man’s work, and this morning’s little excursion reminds me that I need to do so.

So what did we find? Well, Bromberg has had just one record come close to the Hot 100, and it’s a pretty odd one at that. In February and March of 1973, “Sharon” spent three weeks bubbling under, and it peaked at No. 117. It’s strange, it’s fun, and it’s today’s Saturday Single.*

*I wondered as I wrote and listened if there had been a shorter edit for the single. As it happens, reader Yah Shure left a comment and has the answer: Yes, there was a DJ edit.

A Baker’s Dozen For Stu

April 17, 2011

Originally posted March 14, 2007

In my comments about debb johnson and its self-titled album Monday, I mentioned my college friend Stu. Over the years, I’d lost track of him, having last seen him in 1989 and otherwise not having spoken to him since, oh, 1976. I was teaching at a university in North Dakota in 1989, and I visited him and his wife, Nancy, while back in Minnesota during a quarter break.

Last week, when I found the album debb johnson in the stacks, I Googled him and found what looked like a good email address. I shot off a short note and got busy with preparing the album for posting, as well as preparing for my annual hockey day with my trio of friends. (A short note about that: Schultz won for the third year in a row, although I did get one of my teams into the semifinals!) And when I finished posting the album yesterday, I thought about Stu and the email, and I realized that with the generic subject heading of “Hello,” it likely had been caught by his Spam filter.

So I Googled again and came up with a phone number for his office. And he and I spent a delightful twenty minutes or so on the phone, catching up a little bit with news of children, parents and of thirty-one years of living. I explained how he’d come to mind, and he was pleased that his brother-in-law’s music is available again (as limited as the venue might be). I asked if he knew when the album was recorded. He wasn’t sure, but he agreed that my estimate of 1970 was probably pretty accurate. We promised to stay in touch, a promise I intend to keep.

It was wonderful to talk to him. There was no awkwardness, as there sometimes can be when old friends talk for the first time in years. And I thought that to mark that conversation – and what I hope will be a true renewal of a friendship that mattered a great deal to me when I was a much younger man and still does so today – I’d pull this week’s baker’s dozen from the year of 1976, when both of us graduated from St. Cloud State University:

“Beautiful Noise” by Neil Diamond from Beautiful Noise.

“The Final Bell” by Bill Conti from the soundtrack to Rocky.

“Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon & George Harrison on Saturday Night Live, November 20.

“Northbound Bus” by the Flying Burrito Brothers from Airborne.

“The Woman That Got Away” by J.J. Cale from Troubadour.

“Satisfied ’N’ Tickled Too” by Taj Mahal from Satisfied ’N’ Tickled Too.

“12/8 Blues (All The Same)” by the Stills/Young Band from Long May You Run.

“Sand In Your Shoes” by Al Stewart from Year Of The Cat.

“How Deep It Goes” by Heart from Dreamboat Annie.

“Forever Young” by Joan Baez from From Every Stage.

“Come On In My Kitchen” by David Bromberg from How Late’ll Ya Play ‘Til?

“You Can Have My Soul” by Carolyn Franklin from If You Want Me.

“Right Before Your Eyes” by Ian Thomas from Goodnight Mrs. Calabash.