Thursday, November 1, 2012

6 Degrees of Separation: Ry Cooder to Big Country

On his second album of 1972, the November release Boomer's Story, Ry Cooder performs an instrumental version of "Dark End Of The Street". The song--a 1967 hit for soul singer James Carr--is written by Memphis songwriter and producer Dan Penn who also contributes some vocals on the album.

Though Dan Penn gave most of his songs to others ( there was also "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and The Box Tops hit "Cry Like a Baby") Penn records his own "Nobody's Fool" for his 1973 debut with his Muscle Shoals AL buddies. Alex Chilton would cover the song nearly 15 years later. Keyboardist Mike Utley is one of the keyboard players.


Utely is also on board The Train I'm On, Swamp Fox Tony Joe White's 1972 country/soul album that is rapidly gaining a new fan base. The cover photo is taken by one of Rock's great photographers Jim Marshall.

Blessed with a great eye and great access (as the chief photographer at Woodstock and the only backstage photographer at The Beatles last concert) Jim Marshall has shot a number of iconic photos including the one above of Johnny Cash at San Quentin. The art director for the live album was a man named Howard Fritzson.

Fritzson has more than a thousand credits as art director including one for Talk Talk Talk, the 1981 album by Psychedelic Furs. Talk Talk Talk was produced by Steve Lilywhite.

Among Steve Lilywhite's credits are albums by U2, XTC, The Rolling Stones and The Crossing, a 1983 hit album from the Scottish band Big Country.

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