Monday, January 2, 2012

Deep Cuts: Ry Cooder - FDR in Trinidad (1972)

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This is not the album version but a 1974 solo performance. I shrank the video box because of the annoying shot of the candy character.

With the dawning of 2012 1001Songs has a new year of music to explore: 1972. The year Stevie Wonder and Al Green each released two great albums while Big Star gave us #1 Record. The year The Stones dropped Exile on Main Street. Of Harvest and Ziggy Stardust. Of Backstabbers and Can't Buy A Thrill. Of Sail Away and The Slider.

We begin with a deep cut from Ry Cooder's Into the Purple Valley, a tremendous album released 40 years ago this month. It could have been a dust bowl era concept album, with its covers of Woody Guthrie's "Vigilante Man", Leadbelly's "On a Monday" and "Taxes On The Farmer Feed Us All" from the public domain. But  Cooder--a session guitarist who had played with The Rolling Stones, Randy Newman and Captain Beefheart --digs even deeper, unearthing this calypso gem from Fitz McLean originally recorded in 1937 by Attila The Hun to commemorate the president's visit to "The Land of the Hummingbirds". Buy Purple Valley and Paradise And Lunch first, but don't stop there.

By the way, here's the original version:

[Buy It!]

FDR aboard the USS Indianapolis off the coast of Trinidad.

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