Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline - Crazy

Patsy Cline almost lost her life in a car crash in June, 1961. The recovery was difficult but she and her producer Owen Bradley were eager to follow up on her hit, “I Fall To Pieces”. Hugh Nelson, a scuffling songwriter, pitched “Crazy” to her husband in a bar. He took the demo home but Patsy hated it and said she couldn’t sing before and behind the beat like Hugh (later known as Willie). Bradley, however, saw its potential and recast it in the ballad form we all know. The recording session featured pianist Floyd Cramer and Elvis’s backup singers, The Jordanaires. But things did not go well as Patsy struggled for four hours with a song she did not like and with fractured ribs not healed from the accident two months ago. Bradley decided to call it a night and overdub Patsy in the future. 

One week later she returned and nailed the vocal in one take.

Last Date
Floyd Cramer
Last Date

Floyd Cramer - Last Date (c.1961)

Floyd Cramer (October 27, 1933 – December 31, 1997) was an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the “Nashville sound”. He was known for his “slip note” piano style, where an out-of-key note slides into the correct note. - wikipedia.org

How to play Last Date on the piano: 


All right, last one - no, for just today, you’re not that lucky.

Moving ahead a year to 1960 and “Last Date” by Floyd Cramer.  This used to be very popular as a slow one at the school dances.


“An Education” opening sequence! Absolutely glorious animation. Floyd Cramer, what an odd and inspired choice…..


Legendary piano player Floyd Cramer covered “Papa Gene’s Blues” on his 1967 album Floyd Cramer Plays The Monkees.


On this day in music history: January 10, 1956 - Elvis Presley’s first recording sessions for RCA Victor Records take place at the labels’ studio in Nashville, TN. The songs recorded that day include his first major hit single “Heartbreak Hotel” along with its B-side “I Was The One”, “I’m Counting On You,” “I Got a Woman” and “Money Honey”. The musicians backing Presley on the session include his regular band guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black and drummer D.J. Fontana along with guitarist Chet Atkins, pianist Floyd Cramer, and three background singers including Gordon Stoker of The Jordanaires. Initially, both producer Steve Sholes and RCA do not like “Heartbreak Hotel”, but Presley insists on its release. Issued as his first single on RCA Victor on January 27, 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel” becomes a smash, topping the pop singles chart for 8 weeks on April 21, 1956, also topping the Country chart, and peaking at #5 on the R&B singles chart, becoming the biggest selling single of 1956.

Jim had always thought Paul couldn’t ever give him a more thrilling present than his racehorse, Drake’s Drum–but the summer of 1974 proved him wrong. During his years of leading the Jim Mac Jazz Band, he’d composed a tune for himself to play on the piano entitled ‘Eloise’. His family knew about this sole excursion into composing, though with typical modesty Jim always refused to say he’d ‘written’ it, believing himself disqualified from the company of Cole Porter or Rodgers and Hart by being unable to read or write music. Even after his son had flouted that rule dozens of times over, all he would ever say about ‘Eloise’ was that he’d ‘made it up’.

Paul had heard the tune often enough for it to be engraved on his memory like a pianola-roll. And during Wings’ rehearsal-sessions in Nashville, he recorded it as a part-country, part-jazz instrumental with an ad hoc group called the Country Hams, including Chet Atkins on guitar and Floyd Cramer on piano. Since a song named ‘Eloise’ had already been released by Barry Ryan, he renamed it ‘Walking in the Park with Eloise’.

Proving to Jim that he truly had ‘written’ a number which Nashville’s two greatest instrumentalists were happy to perform would be a memory to treasure. So would his dad’s delight, as ever imperfectly concealed by a dig in the ribs and a murmur of ‘You daft bugger’.
—  paul mccartney: the biography, philip norman


Big record find from a couple months ago at a flea market: The Greatest Country Music Recordings of All Time by the Franklin Mint; a 50-box, 100-LP set with extensive liner notes. Goes from the earliest recordings through the early 80s. 

Best of all, it didn’t break my rule of only buying $2 records. Got the whole set for $100. Heckuva deal!

Found someone who annotated some of the details if you’re interested:

Keep reading


On this day in music history: September 24, 1966 - “Cherish” by The Association hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Terry Kirkman, it is the first number one single from the Los Angeles based pop/rock band. Singer and songwriter Terry Kirkman writes the ballad while he is a member of folk-rock band The Men in 1964. When Kirkman’s Men band mate Mike Whelan leaves to join The New Christy Minstrels, the band add it to their stage act and begin performing it live. Initially they are interested in recording the song, but when the deal to buy the publishing falls through, Kirkman keeps the song instead, offering it up when he co-founds The Association in 1965. “Cherish” is recorded in a garage converted into a recording studio owned by Gary Paxton. When the finished record clocks in at nearly three and a half minutes, producer Curt Boettcher edits it down to 3:13 for single release. Though the timing is listed on the label as an even 3:00 to fool AM radio programmers that refuse to play records running over the three minute mark. Issued as the follow up to their first hit “Along Comes Mary” (#7 Pop), the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #66 on August 27, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart four weeks later. Shortly afterward, Valiant Records’ distributor Warner Bros. Records pay over one million dollars for the label specifically to secure the bands contract. Regarded as a pop classic, “Cherish” is covered by numerous artists over the years, including David Cassidy whose recording of the song returns it to the top ten, peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 on December 25, 1971. It is also recorded by The Four Tops, Petula Clark, Nina Simone, Ray Conniff, The Lettermen, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Roger Williams, Floyd Cramer, Ed Ames, and Jodeci. The Association’s original recording is featured several television programs including “The Wonder Years”, “The Simpsons”, “The Nanny” and “Six Feet Under”.  "Cherish" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.