John Prine is releasing a new album The Tree of Forgiveness, which features the first single, “Summer’s End.” Any John Prine album is cause for celebration, but The Tree of Forgiveness is extra special because it will be the singer-songwriter’s first album of new material in thirteen years.
The new album contains ten songs written or co-written by Prine. The co-writers include Pat McLaughlin, Roger Cook, Dan Auerbach, Keith Sykes and Phil Spector. Also, the album features special guests Brandi Carlile (harmony vocals on some songs), Jason Isbell (guitar), and Amanda Shires (fiddle and background vocals).
Prine released the first single, “Summer’s End,” with an accompanying video. Joshua Britt and Nielson Hubbard edited and directed the video, which highlights the lyrics.
In the song, which may allude to death as much as the ending of summer, Prine beckons the listener to “come on home.” So, check out “Summer’s End,” which was written by Prine and Pat McLaughlin.
Tina Turner was born as Anna Mae Bullock in in Haywood County, Tennessee on November 26, 1939. She has had an incredible music career, including her work with Ike Turner and Phil Spector in the 1960s as well as her great solo work in the 1980s, including the album Private Dancer (1984).
In 1989, Turner released the album Foreign Affair, which did not do as well as Private Dancer, which had hits like “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” But Foreign Affair was a solid album and did include a song that became one of her signature hits, “The Best.” That song was written by Mike Chapman and Holly Knight and had previously been recorded by Bonnie Tyler.
Turner also did some great duets beyond her work with Ike, including a hit recording of “It’s Only Love” with Bryan Adams. Below she performs “Tonight” with David Bowie in 1985. The song was written by Bowie and Iggy Pop. This live version appeared on the live album Tina Live in Europe (1988).
On the Big Screen
Turner also appeared on the big screen, such as acting in the 1985 movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She also appeared as the Acid Queen in The Who’s Tommy (1975).
In addition to acting on the big screen, she has been portrayed in a movie. Her abusive relationship with Ike Turner was portrayed in What’s Love Got to Do with It in 1993.
Turner followed those movies with some more music releases and performances. But she announced her semi-retirement in 2000 and formally retired from the stage in 2009.
Today, Turner lives in Switzerland with her husband, and she became a Swiss citizen in 2013. Unfortunately, we do not get to hear from her much nowadays. She of course deserves her privacy and happiness after the life she gave to us through her music.
But she did return to the stage in 2015 around her birthday to perform “The Best,” and she showed us that at 76 years of age she still was the best.
Absence as Solo Artist from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
There is one thing that Turner deserves from us. While she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the duo of Ike and Tina Turner, she has not yet been inducted as an individual artist, even though she has been eligible since 1998. She more than deserves it based on the quality of her solo work (not even addressing the way women have been treated in rock). So, hopefully the Hall will correct the injustice while she can still attend the induction.
And that brings me to my favorite Turner solo track, “Better Be Good To Me,” which is from Private Dancer and one of the best songs of the 1980s.
What is your favorite Tina Turner song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
Eva Narcissus Boyd, who became known as Little Eva, was born on June 29, 1943. Although she is best known for her recording of “The Loco-Motion,” she recorded several other songs such as “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,” “Let’s Turkey Trot,” and “Old Smokey Loco-Motion.”
“Loco-Motion” and a Big Break
Little Eva had her big break as a teenager when she was babysitting for singer Carole King and her husband Gerry Goffin. King and Goffin wrote the song “The Loco-Motion” and asked Little Eva to sing the demo.
King and Goffin loved the demo. So, they released Little Eva’s version of the song, which became a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1962.
Not many videos exist of Little Eva performing. The above video for “The Loco-Motion” seems to cobble together different scenes so it appears she performs the entire song. But reportedly the only existing video of her singing “The Loco-Motion” is a short clip from the show Shindig!
Below, however, is Little Eva singing “Let’s Turkey Trot,” another dance song. She performed the song on a March 3, 1965 episode of Shindig!
After “The Loco-Motion”
After “The Loco-Motion,” Little Eva worked with King and Goffin but she never saw the success of “The Loco-Motion” again. Little Eva recorded a demo for another King and Goffin classic, “One Fine Day.” But The Chiffons instead recorded the official release, scoring a hit with it.
Instead of getting “One Fine Day,” Little Eva recorded “Old Smokey Locomotion.” The song was a re-hash of “The Loco-Motion,” combining it with “On Top of Old Smokey.” The odd combination is kind of fun nonetheless.
King and Goffin wrote another song inspired by Little Eva: “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss).” But the inspiration was unfortunate. The songwriters based the song on conversations with Little Eva, who told them her abusive boyfriend loved her.
Little Eva did not get to record the song. Instead, the Crystals recorded “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss),” which was produced by Phil Spector. King later said she regretted writing the song about domestic violence.
After her early success, Little Eva lived much of her life in obscurity in North Carolina. She never received much money from her music. And she retired from recording in 1971 and worked as a nanny. Still, she returned to doing some recording and touring on oldie circuits after Kylie Minogue had a 1988 hit with her version of “The Loco-Motion.”
Singing With the Angels
Little Eva performed until diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2001. She passed away April 10, 2003.
In 2008, a local TV station found out her grave in Belhaven, North Carolina needed some work. The city restored the cemetery area and marked Little Eva’s grave with gravestone featuring a steam locomotive and the words “Singing with the Angels.”
What is your favorite Little Eva song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
Introducing Darlene Love is her first album of secular songs in three decades. Listen to one of the tracks from the album,”Forbidden Nights,” in the video below. It sounds great, and the video filmed in Asbury Park, NJ also features appearances by Van Zandt, Joan Jett, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, and Bill Murray.
The album includes songs written by Van Zandt, Linda Perry, Joan Jett, Bruce Springsteen, and Elvis Costello. It also features a cover of “River Deep — Mountain High,” which was originally recorded by Ike and Tina Turner with Love’s former producer Phil Spector. Introducing Darlene Love goes on sale on September 18.
Chimesfreedom has previously noted that Darlene Love‘s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is among our favorite Christmas songs and favorite pop songs of all time. So, with David Letterman retiring, we will miss Love’s annual appearance on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman to sing the song written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry.
Unfortunately, Love has stated that out of respect for Letterman, she will not take the annual tradition to another talk show. Fortunately for us, Friday night we got one more massive performance of the song, which started out as a tradition on Letterman’s NBC Late Night show back in 1986 when she was only accompanied by Paul Shaffer and a four-piece rock band. Check out the final Late Show performance of the song that originally appeared on the 1963 album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.
Why did Love stay on top of the piano after the song? Love explained to the New York Times that she knew she would start crying if Letterman hugged her, so she remained on top of the piano knowing “Dave ain’t coming up here.” Even so, you see her holding back the tears after Letterman shakes her hand. Thanks to both Love and Letterman for a wonderful tradition.