Wayback Wednesday with Boz Scaggs and a nice live take of Ask Me ‘Bout Nothin’ But the Blues, originally recorded on the 1997 release “Comin’ Home”, a collection of R&B and blues songs and influences from Boz Scaggs’ youth. In their retrospective review. Allmusic called Come On Home “a genuine musical treasure.”
Ask me who was the first man To make a fire in the night I don’t know Oh Lord I don’t know Ask me who thought of using A candle for a light I don’t know Oh Lord I don’t know
But ask me how does a man feel When he’s got the blues And I’d say Misused abused down-hearted and blue Know the reason I know this Is cause the blues is all I was left with
Ask me why does a man Have to reach beyond his need I don’t know Lord have mercy I don’t know And ask me why does a tree Have to shed its leaves I don’t know Lord have mercy I don’t know
Ask me how does a man feel When he’s got the blues And I’d say Misused abused down-hearted and blue Know the reason I know this Is cause the blues is all I was left with
Oh I could tell you how it feels When you got a dirty deal I could even tell you how it hurts When you been stepped on And treated just like dirt
Ask me why do all good things Have to come to an end I don’t know Lord have mercy I don’t know You see Ask me nothin but about the blues The blues is all that I was left with Oh I could tell you how it feels When you got a dirty deal Tell you how it hurts When you been stepped on and stepped on And stepped on and treated just like dirt
Ask me nothin but about the blues The blues is all that I was left with
-Composed by Deadric Malone / Henry Boozier
William Royce Scaggs (known professionally as Boz Scaggs; is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He gained fame in the 1960s as a guitarist and one-time lead singer with the Steve Miller Band, and in the 1970s with several solo Top 20 hit singles in the United States, including the hits “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle” from the critically acclaimed album Silk Degrees (1976), which peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200. Scaggs continues to write, record music, and tour.
Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, the son of a traveling salesman. The family moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, then to Plano, Texas (at that time a farm town), just north of Dallas. He attended a Dallas private school, St. Mark’s School of Texas, where schoolmate Mal Buckner gave him the nickname “Bosley”, later shortened to “Boz”.
After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark’s School. In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller’s band, the Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison together, playing in blues bands like the Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains.
Leaving school, Scaggs briefly joined the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene in London, then traveled on to Sweden as a solo performer, and in 1965 recorded his solo debut album, Boz, which failed commercially. Scaggs also had a brief stint with the band the Other Side with Mac MacLeod and fellow American Jack Downing.
Returning to the U.S., Scaggs promptly headed for the booming psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967. Linking up with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band’s first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor in 1968. Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968, releasing his second album, Boz Scaggs, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman, in 1969. Despite good reviews, this release achieved only moderate sales. He then briefly hooked up with Bay Area band Mother Earth in a supporting role on their second album Make a Joyful Noise on guitar and backup vocals. Scaggs then signed with Columbia Records; his first four albums for Columbia all charted, with his best peaking at #81.
80’S TUESDAY: Lowdown by Boz Scaggs - Every so often in my celebration of all things 80’s, I am not so hung up on dates. So there are a few 70’s songs that will creep in, but that is because they had such an impact back in my youth. One of those tunes is the R&B / disco hit Lowdown from 1976, a surprise hit for Boz Scaggs that went on to top the charts and win a Grammy for best R&B song.
I did not know any of that though before today. All I remember was hearing this song in the car yesterday and seeing a flood of memories coming back when that song was still playing on radio stations. It has such a memorable rhythm that I instantly remembered it. That is the power of music. It is like a time machine that can you send you back in time at a moment’s notice and let you linger there for a while.
One day you may Find true love that will last forever and ever Till then you’ll spend a lifetime wishing one together You never thought she’d say goodbye And you’ll never understand the reasons why
Love plays cruel games You can’t believe she’s found another lover Does she miss me, sometimes you just can’t help but wonder No, you can’t hold the hands of time And you’ll always be the one she left behind
And you’ll never understand the reasons why
Heart of mine, how will you keep from dying Stop reminiscing, who is she kissing Heart of mine, oh, what’s the use in trying No one can mend you now
On this day in music history: June 29, 1976 - “Lowdown” by Boz Scaggs is released. Written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich, it is the biggest hit for the San Francisco, CA based singer, songwriter and musician. Co-written by Scaggs and future Toto co-founder and keyboardist David Paich, the track also features future Toto members Jeff Porcaro (drums) and David Hungate (bass), along with veteran studio guitarists Fred Tackett and Louie Shelton and background vocalists Carolyn Willis, Jim Gilstrap, Augie Johnson, and Marty McCall. The song is originally considered just an album track, with Scaggs and Paich believing that CBS Records won’t release it as a single, and that radio will not play it. When “Silk Degrees” is released in March of 1976, the albums’ first two singles “What Can I Say” and “It’s Over’ will receive only a lukewarm response from radio and the public, with the album not fairing any better. Then a DJ at an R&B radio station in Cleveland, OH will discover "Lowdown”, and begins playing the track off of the album. The response is overwhelmingly positive and begins to spread to other stations independently of any direct promotional effort by CBS Records. CBS will respond quickly by releasing it as a single and promoting it to both pop and R&B radio. It will become Scaggs’ biggest hit, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #5 on the R&B singles chart, and #5 on the Club Play chart. The success of “Lowdown” will set the “Silk Degrees” album on the path to selling well over five million copies in the US, spending 5 weeks at #2 on the Top 200. The song will win Scaggs and Paich a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1977. “Lowdown” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.