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Subject: Poll Post for the week starting Monday, Jan 6 '20
Date: Monday, January 06, 2020
Time: 12:35:48 AM
Remote Address: 22.214.171.124
Message ID: 320419
Parent ID: 0
Thread ID: 320419
Remember how just 4 or 5 weeks ago so many people were saying something along the lines of “I can’t believe the holiday season is here already!”. Well, all of that has passed now as we start our first full week of the new year. For our first polls of 2020, let’s start this Poll Post talking about our Stones Poll which enters week 1,067, and for this week asks this: What was Billy Preston's Best Keyboard Playing heard on a Stones song?
Billy Preston playing keys
This week we get back to looking at and voting on the Stones supporting cast, after a 5 week break in asking this line of questioning, by looking at the late Billy Preston. Billy is perhaps best remembered for 3 things. First, at one time, he had the biggest and coolest looking afro in the history of afros worn on bros! He actually didn't wear the afro for that long a time, not in its very large state that most old photos of him show. But for the short time he had one, you'd think by looking at all the pictures of the dude today while searching Google and seeing him with that famous afro, yes, you’d think that he wore one for half his life. But no, he actually didn't really have a fro for that long a time.
But of course the other 2 things, and more important things that we all remember him for was music related, including being known by many as the fifth Beatle, and finally for writing the song "You Are So Beautiful", even if most never heard his original version of the song - which became a major hit when covered by Joe Cocker. Billy didn't even get to play piano on that cover, and the piano was as important to the song itself, as Cocker's vocals were, as the great Nicky Hopkins played that part instead. Yet Billy had several solo hits too, including, "Outa-Space", "Will It Go Round in Circles", and "Nothing from Nothing". But he is mainly remembered as a session keyboardist, as besides playing on many Stones and a few Beatles hit songs, he played on many other hit songs made by several other artists.
The Stones used him on several of their albums, and he played on 18 of the band’s songs that we will vote on this week, mainly playing keyboards. He also sang on a few of these songs too, including sharing the lead vocals with Mick on the tune "Melody", a song that he actually wrote but for which he wasn't credited for his writing of the number (as sadly was the case way too many times with the Glimmer Twins)…. The 1997 Stones song "Saint of Me", which Mick Jagger wrote, was his last time playing with the band, and the song was mainly written about him and his religious yet closeted gay lifestyle.
Billy lived a hard and painful life (he spend different times in jail and prison for various offences), after never getting over being repeatedly sexually abused as a preteen boy by first his church pastor, and then by a couple of other elders in his life, for almost all of his childhood. Yet he stayed deeply religious regardless as he aged and he lived his adult life in the closet, hiding the fact that he was gay because his religion told him living such a life was a sin. He died of kidney disease and other aliments on June 6, 2006, at the age of 59.
But boy did he play on so many great songs, including many songs he recorded with the Stones and which we will vote on this week. Of these 18 Stones songs he appeared on, which one did you feel he performed the best? To see the song list and vote, just click here: Stones Weekly Poll.
Looking back at the results for our Stones poll last week, the question asked: What kind of year was 2019 for the Stones?
Checking out the results from last week’s poll question was interesting indeed on seeing how fans still feel about this group today and how we fans feel the band held up in 2019. Yes, the poll’s results show that the Stones fans feel that they are still doing a good job for a Rock band that members are in their mid to late 70s now, and been around for what, 58 years? Damn, 58 years is a very long time for just about anything, including for a rock band to still be playing together. Heck, Rock music itself has only really been around for just 10 years longer than the Stones.
Anyway, the top vote getter was "It was an average year for the band" with 45.3% of the vote, with second choice pick being "It was a better than average year for them" at 43.8%. Stones fans still love this band, that's clear, and some of us, that being their oldest and original fans, well we have been digging them for either 56 years - those of us living in the U.S./Canada, or for 58 years, for those of you who live in the UK (or Europe), where they started out of course. Whoever thought back in 1962, that this Rock band would still be rocking with 3 of the 5 original boys in tow, in 2020? Wow, and their fans of all ages still to this day feel they are having a good to better than average year. That's what, 89.1% of the voters who think that. Again, wow! Plus around 8% of those who voted felt this was one of their greatest years ever. Clearly, these are mainly younger voters, I'm sure, since any fan around and old enough to enjoy this band between 1968 and 1974, knows that was the band's greatest years, a time period they can't ever top. But still, even with their super popular past, they still rate so highly and fans still want to see them play live. Plus now a brand new studio album is gonna be out real soon, too! One last time, wow! Yes, we Stones fans have been lucky for longer than any other Rock fans, that's for sure!... One last note on the results to this poll question. As I noted here last week, this end of the year question that I asked, has been asked several times since these polls started up back in 1998. Let me guess 7 or 8 times now (I don't feel like looking back to count)? But since my feelings are you got to list every kind of choice to a question like this, I've always included the choice: "This past year plain out sucked for the Stones, it was one of their worst years ever". I don’t ever recall seeing anybody ever choosing that choice – not until last week anyway. One person actually felt the Stones sucked in the past year! I know I used the word "wow" too many times here, so I won't use it again, but holy shit! How was 2019 the worst year ever for the Stones? I guess we can say somebody, after all of these years, had to vote that choice sooner or later! Yeah, the laws of averages just caught up with that choice, that's the answer and why it got a vote! Or maybe somebody just click on it by accident? Choosing the wrong choice happens often enough, so I bet that's what it was!
To see the full results from this poll, just click here: Stones Weekly Poll - week 1,066.
Okay, let’s now move on over to this week’s Classic Rock Poll, where we enter week 707 of voting, and for this one we will return this week to voting in 2 Rock Poll questions a week and will finally run the final part of the multi week poll question we been voting on that asks this: What is the best Song about being Stoned (Part 3 of 3)
So as we always do in these multi week polls, this week in the final round we will vote on the top songs chosen in the first 2 parts of the question, which total comes to 22 songs. As is always the case, you voters know your songs well, and we have some excellent numbers to choose from for Part 3. So, to cast your vote in this week’s first Rock poll, just click there: Classic Rock Poll, and when you get to this page, choose “Poll 1” to vote on this question.
For our second Rock question of the week, we return to the video polls, and ask this: Rate Ram Jam's official performance video of “Black Betty”
Nobody knows for sure who wrote this old tune, but it dates all the way back to at least the year 1785! I believe this may be the oldest written song that we ever rated before. Yes, this cool song is that old, and for the most part it wasn't even really written about a black gal named Betty at all!... Although no question, the true meaning of the lyrics are subject to debate and have been debated throughout the years. It is believed by most that "Black Betty" is one of the following: a musket, a bottle of whiskey, a whip, or a penitentiary transfer wagon used long ago. The most likely of these being that Black Betty is a bottle of whiskey, or, a flint-lock musket, and that's what the lyric “bam-ba-lam" is about, referring to the sound of gunfire made by the musket when firing. But "Black Betty" was also a common term for a bottle of whiskey back in the 1700s, when this song was written. There is also the claim that "Black Betty", while used as an expression for a liquor bottle, was ultimately owed to its origin to a famous and pretty black barmaid who worked at the Tom King's Coffee House in Covent Garden, London, back in 1720. So going by that, the song could be about all of those things including a woman named Betty. The song's lyrics were changed over the years, and when the song became popular in the U.S., by then Betty was indeed a black gal from Alabam' and not from England anymore, but she still was from a town named "Birmingham", as that stayed in the lyrics, as it fit just fine, since Birmingham Alabama, where she's from in the U.S. version of the song, was named after the city in England, where she was first noted as being from.
Now if you would like to hear the very first recoding of this song, from 1933, it's just over a minute long, with a few different lyrics (Birmingham doesn't come up at all in this take, but Betty’s wild child might be half white, too, something that’s lost in today’s lyrics of the song), and recorded by convict James "Iron Head" Baker while he was still serving time in prison. You can hear this first recorded version of the song here. Just understand that these aren't the original lyrics to the song, either. They are close enough to how we know the song today, just not as many lyrics to the song when sung by Baker and his fellow prison gang back in ’33.
Many folks, at least years ago, believed that the song was written by Huddie Ledbetter, aka "Lead Belly", since he took credit for writing it when he recorded it in 1938, after realizing nobody was ever claimed it and the song was in the public domain. But no, this was already a very old song by this time and he had the first "modern day" hit with it. The song was covered by many others since 1933, including the hard Rock band Ram Jam in 1977, and it became a Top 10 hit in several different countries at that time. Sadly at this time, the song caused the civil rights group NAACP to call for a boycott (that totally failed) of the song, since they felt it was a racist song - which was of course totally ridiculous, to say the least. Guess they didn't bother to look up the song's history, nor know that the song was first recorded by black men. But since this time it was being sung by a white band, it seemed back then this group accused many whites of being prejudice, when that was of course far from that truth - and the song more than likely was written by a black person.
Ram Jam was an American rock band formed in New York City in the same year they recorded this song, and they are looked at today as a one hit wonder band, as this was their only true hit. The crazy thing was that the band's leader, lead guitarist and the song's singer, Bill Bartlett, would with this song and band, become the only rocker to be in 2 different one hit wonder bands, as he was also the lead guitarist in the group The Lemon Pipers, who had a 1967 #1 hit single with the song "Green Tambourine". That song is considered the first bubblegum pop chart-topper and gold record, perhaps unfairly, as the band wasn't a bubblegum group at all. But some band I guess had to be labeled the first in the field, but that song was just meant to be a hippy-like, psychedelic song, and nothing more than that.
Bartlett actually recorded and sang the lead on this song in the late '60s with a band that went on from the Lemon Pipers to become a totally new band called "Starstruck", and the song became a regional hit at that time for them. After that Starstruck metamorphosis into Ram Jam, and they rerecorded this song that turned into the hit single it became. Another crazy thing about Bartlett, was while he was looked at as one of the earliest and a very good lead, hard rock guitarist, by the 1990s, he became known as one of the better boogie-woogie piano players around, while by that time he also got into playing mainly only slide guitar on the side, and a lot of banjo, too. The band Ram Jam did break up after this song was a big hit and their second LP failed to chart, as they couldn’t seem to get any of their other songs played on the radio. While a reunion was talked about in the early '90s, it never happen, after their bassist died, and shortly after that, so did their drummer. Guess one last note on Ram Jam was that Bartlett wasn't their lead singer, as he decided to give up singing lead when he formed Ram Jam and hired Myke Scavone, a former drummer, to sing lead instead, and Scavone did sing lead on all of the other songs made by the group - other than on "Black Betty", which again Bartlett sang the lead on. Today Scavone is in the reformed Yardbirds. He's the band's harmonica player and he also plays percussion and sings backing vocals for them.
This video we will rate - is very short, and as I noted about other videos made years ago, there is little info out there on how this came about, other than it was a low budget deal for sure.... I recall the first time I ever saw it, it was on a late night TV show just after the song was released. It just shows the band playing their song in somebody's backyard, and nothing more. But it seems back when this clip was made, it was this promo film that made this song popular and not the air time it got on the radio, with this being one of the first songs to benefit upfront from their film promo of a song (which was what music videos were called before MTV happened). Yet up to this song, most of the popular film music promos, like the ones put out by the Stones and Beatles, all saw their songs become hits first, whereas, this song became a hit thanks to its film promo video being made for it and shown on a major late night TV show (I'm thinking it was on Midnight Special, but I'm not sure on that, either.).
Okay, so let’s vote in this week’s video poll, to do so, click here: Classic Rock Poll, and when you get to this page, choose “Poll 2” to vote on this question.
Last week with it being New Year’s week, we only voted on one Rock Poll question which was this: Which song listed in our poll is your favorite New Year's song?
Really, only 3 of the 13 songs listed were in the running for this one, with U2’s “New Year's Day” being the top pick, taking in 31% of the vote. “Ding Dong, Ding Dong”, by George Harrison, which got added in to the poll a day late, still landed in second place with 28.8% of the votes, and finishing in third was “1999” by Prince, also at 28.8% of the vote, but with one less vote than the Harrison song.
To see the full, final results from this poll, just go here: Classic Rock Poll, week 706. Or you can check out the result from this one, here: Top Ten Lists, Page, 16. The results can be found at the bottom of the page, and while this is a Top 10 list page, this poll will only show the Top 3 songs on this page since the other songs that were voted on didn’t really get enough votes to list.
As usual, let’s finish up this week’s Poll Post talking about the Beatles Poll. We enter week 458 of polling, and we’ll return to asking questions about the Beatles albums covers: Rate the artwork for the front cover of the Beatles LP, Beatles VI (U.S. release)
Okay, so with the New Year over with and most of you voters all back now from your Xmas breaks, let's get back to rating the front covers of the Beatles albums! We are skipping over what was actually the next U.S. release, that being The Early Beatles for now anyway, since that one was mainly a cash grab by Capitol Records and only a rerelease of the first U.S. Beatles LP, 1964's Vee-Jay Records release of Introducing... The Beatles, which was no longer available at the time of this release. We will in time rate that album's cover after we get through the real Beatle albums first. Now yes, The Early Beatles was a real album, but no more than a reissue, so after we get past all of the albums that had new material on them (that is, either in the U.S. or UK), we will then look at the other compilation Beatles albums (as long as they are official). One last thing about what I just noted. Yes, I totally understand the argument that the U.S. Capitol Records LPs weren't what the Beatles ever wanted released, and that all of them were really just reissues, too. True - but if you lived in the U.S. - they were all we really had at the time, and while I do skip over them when I run most other Beatles poll questions, for this album rating poll question - no, they very well should be treated as new releases, since they were just that to those of us living in the States - and yes, those album covers were very important and most of the time, they were new album covers never used on the UK LPs album’s front, unlike the songs inside the albums.
So looking at the front cover for Beatles VI, this one was just another average cover photo shot of the band, with Paul and George wearing ugly business ties, that made then look like businessmen. Okay, well, not businessmen from 1965, as businessmen weren’t allowed to look like that in those backwards days, but still, they didn’t look like rockers with those ties, as the only rockers to ever really wear businessmen ties after the early ‘60s were some in New Wave in the late 1970s, the only genre in Rock music that ever sucked, IMO. But this was the Beatles, who we only really remember being cool, and pretty much a year after this release, won’t be caught dead wearing those kind of ties anymore. (Do note, that no, in the photo below from 1970, George is not wearing the kind of business tie that I'm talking about.)
Anyway, to vote in this week’s Beatle Poll, just click on this following link : Beatles Weekly Poll.
In last week’s Beatle poll….the question was: How many official 'Best Of' or Compilation Beatles albums/releases do you own?
The 4 Beatles together in 1970, in their final days as a group
You all know how much I hate polls that end in a tie for first place. Thank goodness that is a rare thing, but it did happen last week. But because of what the question was, really, there isn’t anything bad about this kind of question ending in a tie since it was nothing more than a personal question and only means us fans are a lot alike with not too different tastes when it comes to our Beatles music. With that noted, it seems that most of us own from 1 to 11 such albums, as those choices were where we saw the tie take place. To see the poll’s full result, just go here: Beatles Weekly Poll – week 457.
So that will do it for the very first Poll Post of 2020. Guess like me, you all made it into the new year in one piece, unlike that guy in the Middle East that Trump blew up the other day to get people in the U.S. to forget that he’s been impeached. But we ain’t gonna forget that Donnie boy, or forget that you stole the election after losing by 3 million votes, to get into the White House. Man do politics (and Trump) suck so bad!
I thank all of you who took the time to vote in the last 2 weeks during the holiday season. The vote count was down as usual for those 2 weeks, but really not by that much, actually not that bad a turnout at all for a major holiday.
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