Five Songs, Part 70

Hi. Welcome to Five Songs.

March’s full moon is called the Worm Moon for some reason (though some indigenous tribes call it the Wolf Moon). And Fresno had a huge and wonderful full moon the last two nights. And it got me looking for “Hey There Moon” by Fresno native son David Seville (aka Ross Bagdasarian, creator of Alvin & the Chipmunks). Of course, now that the moon has passed full, I find it, buried in a YouTube of seven Seville songs. Here you go.

And there’s a sixth song because, in my subliminal quest to uncover the secret history history of rock’n’roll, I realized at the last minute some subtle similarity between this Nick Cave song that was stuck in my head this week and one of my favorite ’60s nuggets, “Falling Sugar” by The Palace Guard. And I posted it twice because it was so niceI wanted to post their live TV video from ’66, and the sound was horrible, so I put that up along with a much better digital version with no video.

And one more deliberate choice this week: This morning, I woke to the news of the death yesterday of Jimmy Ellis, the lead voice of The Trammps.

Their most famous and most enduring song is “Disco Inferno,” but the first tune I think of is the first song I heard of theirs, three years before, as a high school freshman. And Graham Parker did a pretty good version of “Hold Back the Night” a couple years later, on “The Pink Parker” EP. And the song, associated with the Philly soul and early disco scenes, grew legs thanks to the passion of the English Northern soul fanatics. Since it’s the morning as I put this together, since Jimmy died from Alzheimer’s and since we all have to come to grips with the eventual darkness, I thought it was an appropriate song.

Hey There Moon (fast-forward to 5:35 on video) — David Seville

I Can’t Sleep — The La’s

Special — Garbage

Lie Down Here (and Be My Girl) — Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Falling Sugar (from Where the Action Is), Falling Sugar (better digital version) — The Palace Guard

Hold Back the Night — The Trammps


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