Nothing annoys me more than hearing someone say “there’s no good new music any more.” There’s the new Lorde album, for one. Or the new Randy Newman. I could go on. Still, the thing that most irks me about this stance, even if it means, “there are no new Led Zeppelin albums anymore,” or whatever, is that there isn’t something recorded 10, 20, 50, 100 years ago waiting to be “new” to you. We are spoiled rotten with recorded music, and I celebrate that every day. Record labels like Dust-to-Digital, Light in the Attic, and Numero Group, to name just a few of many that bubble up in my mind, are consistently re-releasing old albums and compilations that have fallen out of circulation. Friends and co-workers constantly surprise me with “new” music. I hear “new” music at the gym, the coffee shop, the grocery store. It’s everywhere. Just the other night, my wife was playing a Little Richard radio station on Spotify, which I didn’t know at the time, when a slow, guitar-driven soul strut came on, stopping me in my tracks. “What is this?” I asked. She looked at her iPad and said, “Little Richard, ‘Southern Child.’” Take a listen to this gem:
I imagine, if you don’t know the song, you will be as surprised as I was to hear that this was Little Richard. No piano blasting up front, none of the signature vocal gymnastics I associate with the great Little Richard. No, this was something new to me. And it was recorded in 1972, for the album Southern Child, which was shelved, but later appeared on this compilation, King Of Rock & Roll: The Complete Reprise Recordings. Southern Child makes up tracks 39-48. Give it a listen!
Given that we’re knee deep in the languid end of summer, I can’t help but think of the self-titled Bobby Charles album, which, for my money, comes as close as possible to sounding like summer. A good friend turned me on to this album some years ago and I still thank him for that at least once a year. Knowing my love for The Band, he thought this album, recorded in Woodstock with members of The Band, Dr. John, and others, would be up my alley. He was right. This album was also recorded in 1972. You might know Bobby Charles already from his hit “See You Later, Alligator.” Yep, same dude. It’s cool to listen to how much his music changed between this song and the aforementioned album.
I’ve had the joy of paying this album forward to friends, and hopefully you, ever since my friend did the same for me. This happens and will continue to happen, as will posts about “old gold” mined from Hoopla. I hope you enjoy it, find something new, and pass it along! Remember, when people say there’s no good new music anymore, remind them of all the good “old” music that just isn’t new to them yet. At last count, Hoopla has 458, 261 music titles in their collection. I feel confident there is plenty of new music in there for everyone. Happy Listening! Oh, and here’s the deluxe version of the Bobby Charles album. 🙂