Sunday, August 31, 1997

Concert: Bob Dylan

image from

Venue: Spiritfest – Liberty Memorial Park; Kansas City, MO
Tour: Never Ending Tour

What I remember most about this show: There were at least a half-dozen of us who went to this outdoor, general admission festival. Jerry, the Bob Dylan fanatic of the bunch, went that morning to stake out a spot up close. The rest of us arrived later and camped out about ten feet from the stage. During the show, we had to lock arms together to preserve our prime spots and keep others from pushing in front of us!

The Set List:

1. Absolutely Sweet Marie
2. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
3. Tough Mama
4. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
5. Silvio
6. Stone Walls and Steel Bars (Stanley Brothers cover)
7. Mr. Tambourine Man
8. Tangled Up in Blue
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
10. Tears of Rage
11. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat


12. Like a Rolling Stone
13. Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
14. Highway 61 Revisited

The Rainmakers released Skin this month


The Rainmakers

Released: August 1997

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: roots rock


Song Title (Writers) [time]

  1. Different Rub [3:30] (single, --)
  2. Skin [1:53] (single, --)
  3. Good Sons and Daughters [5:01]
  4. Remember Me By [4:20]
  5. Did You See the Lightning (Phillips) [4:17]
  6. Reddleman Coming [4:28]
  7. A Million Miles Away [5:47]
  8. Too Many Twenties [3:40]
  9. Hunger Moon (Phillips/Tomek) [4:07]
  10. Siamese Twins [2:51]
  11. Tattoo [4:31]
  12. Eclipse Has Begun [4:32]
  13. To the Hum [3:32]

All songs written by Bob Walkenhorst unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 52:01

The Players:

  • Bob Walkenhorst (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Steve Phillips (guitar, vocals on “Did You See the Lightning” and “Hunger Moon”)
  • Pat Tomek (drums)
  • Michael Bliss (bass, vocals)


3.960 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

The fifth Rainmakers’ album was seemingly their last – until they re-emerged in 2011. This is the best since their debut. There’s nothing here as classic as that album’s “Downstream” or “Big Fat Blonde,” but this is a solid effort and a worthy send-off. “With this effort, Bob Walkenhorst has again proved that no subject matter is too controversial by taking aim at pornography and its societal impact, via his unique perspectives – a Rainmakers trademark” (

Interestingly, for an album about pornography, the musical approach is ironically stripped down. Whereas the Rainmakers previous albums sounded like they came right out of a local bar, the music here sounds more fitting of a coffee house setting. It feels much more like a Bob Walkenhorst solo album than a band effort. The sound proved oddly prophetic since the Rainmakers went there separate ways and Walkenhorst went on to release his first solo album (albeit six long years later).

From a lyrical standpoint, Walkenhorst is at his best. For many albums, a lyrics sheet is pretty unnecessary. The words typically feel like they were written in about the same time it took to sing the song. With the Rainmakers, though, you can count on clever twists with words, humorous references, and plenty of thought-provoking lines.

This immediately becomes apparent in the opening words of leadoff track Different Rub, the album’s most radio-accessible song. “Hot dog on a printed page/Airbrush every sign of age/Going under the surgeon’s knife/Stepdaughter of a Stepford wife/That ain’t what a woman is.” Quite different stuff than the stereotypical misognynistic content of rock and roll.

Siamese Twins offers a masterful dissection of male sexual duality: “This is the story of the double life/How you can take one love/Make her your wife/Yet hold onto this image of a fantasy world/Where every woman looks like a teenage girl.”

Good Sons and Daughters continues to explore the theme of a male-dominated, women-treated-as-objects society with lines like “The Revolution came, the revolution went/Not meant for us all, just that fifty per cent.”

Too Many Twenties gets a little lost in its weakly-conceived chorus, but the message in the song about the revolting statistics about how many women are raped or abused is sobering stuff. This is a long way from the feel-good, pub-dancing flavor of the Rainmakers debut.

In just glancing at the album titles, the title track and Tattoo would seem to fit well into the album’s overall concept. Instead, the former is more general, exploring humanity in general with that age old “Who am I?” style questioning while the latter is the Rainmakers’ best ballad since “Small Circles” off their second album.

Remember Me By is a far less memorable ballad that also strays from the theme as do the story songs Reddleman Coming and A Million Miles Away.

Lead guitarist Steve Phillips takes the reigns on Did You See the Lightning and Hunger Moon, fulfilling his requisite one or two songs per album. Phillips’ voices and lyrics aren’t bad, but they aren’t on par with Bob Walkenhorst, and make for fairly throwaway songs.

Most of the songs draw attention to themselves because of Walkenhorst’s gift for lyrics and his unique voice. Album closer To the Hum introduces a new element to the band’s catalog, though – acapella. Of course, it also closed out the band’s career. The last song on their last album. Not a bad way to go out.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 2/27/2006; updated 6/2/2021.

Saturday, August 30, 1997

50 years ago: Francis Craig's "Near You" Begins Its 17 Week Run at #1

Near You

Francis Craig with Bob Lamm

Writer(s):Kermit Goell/Francis Craig (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 9, 1947

Peak: 117 US, 13 GA, 16 HP, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.5 US, -- UK, 2.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

It shouldn’t be a surprise that with 17 weeks at #1, Francis Craig’s “Near You” was ranked by Billboard magazine as the #1 song of 1947. WK That, however, wasn’t the song’s most significant achievement. Those 17 weeks also make “Near You” the biggest #1 pop song in Billboard history. In fact, Craig also held the record for more than 60 years for the artist with the most consecutive weeks at #1. He was surpassed in 2009 by the Black Eyed Peas – who took TWO songs to accomplish the feat with their back-to-back #1’s for “Boom Boom Pow” (12 weeks) and “I Gotta Feeling”(14 weeks). WK

Astonishingly, though, it was one of only two chart hits for Craig. When “Near You” charted, he was a has-been orchestra leader closing in on his 50th birthday. Francis Craig was a Nashville-based pianist and composer who had led bands since the 1920s, PM including a band at the city’s Hermitage Hotel which he’d led for 20 years. TY He was also a staff member of a Nashville radio station for 25 years, and was on NBC for 12 years TY with a Sunday night network program.

However his dance-band format was out of style in post World War II. Still, he decided to record his theme song, “Red Rose”, for Bullet Records. WK Needing a B-side, TY he also recorded “Near You”. He had written the melody as a gift for his grandchildren and was given an assist on the lyrics by New Yorker Kermit Goell. WK Blind singer and trumpeter Bob Lamm contributed the vocals. WK With 2.5 million copies sold, it was the first major hit on an independent label. PM

In 1977, George Jones and Tammy Wynette took the song back to the top – as a #1 country song. In 1959, Jerry Lee Lewis recorded an instrumental version of the song. WK Others who recorded the song included the Andrews Sisters (#4), Nat “King” Cole, Larry Green (#3), Elliot awrence (#9), Alvino Rey (#9), Andy Williams, and Roger Williams (#10, 1958). WK Milton Berle used “Near You” as his closer on his Texaco Star Theater. It became his theme song for years afterward. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Francis Craig
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 144.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 132.
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 66.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 102.
  • WK

First posted 8/30/2016; last updated 9/8/2021.

Tuesday, August 19, 1997

Anthology of American Folk Music released on CD

Anthology of American Folk Music

Various Artists

Released: 1952 (on vinyl)

Released: August 19, 1997 (on CD)

Recorded: 1926 to 1933

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: folk/blues


Disc 1 (Ballads):

1. “Henry Lee” by DICK JUSTICE (1932)
2. “Fatal Flower Garden” by NELSTONE’S HAWAIIANS (1930)
3. “The House Carpenter” by CLARENCE ASHLEY (1930)
4. “Drunkard’s Special” by COLEY JONES (1929)
5. “Old Lady and the Devil” by BILL & BELLE REED (1928)
6. “The Butcher’s Boy” by BUELL KAZEE (1928)
7. “The Waggoner’s Lad” by BUELL KAZEE (1928)
8. “King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O” by "CHUBBY" PARKER (1928)
9. “Old Shoes and Leggins” by UNCLE ECK DUNFORD (1929)
10. “Willie Moore” by BURNETT & RUTHERFORD (1927)
11. “A Lazy Farmer Boy” by BUSTER CARTER & PRESTON YOUNG (1930)
12. “Peg and Awl” by THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS (1929)
13. “Ommie Wise” by G.B. GRAYSON (1929)
14. “My Name Is John Johanna” by KELLY HARRELL (1927)
15. “Bandit Cole Younger” by EDWARD L. CRAIN (1930)
16. “Charles Guiteau” by KELLY HARRELL (1927)
17. “John Hardy Was A Desperate Little Man” by THE CARTER FAMILY (1930)
18. “Gonna Die With My Hammer In My Hand” by WILIAMSON BROTHERS & CURRY (1930)
19. “Stackalee” by FRANK HUTCHISON (1927)
20. “White House Blues” by CHARLIE POOLE W/ NORTH CAROLINA RAMBLERS (1926)
21. “Frankie” by MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT (1928)
22. “When That Great Ship Went Down” by WILLIAM & VERSEY SMITH (1927)
23. “Engine 143” by THE CARTER FAMILY (1927)
24. “Kassie Jones” by FURRY LEWIS (1928)
25. “Down on Penny’s Farm” by THE BENTLY BOYS (1929)
26. “Mississippi Boweavil Blues” by CHARLEY PATTON (1929)
27. “Got the Farm Land Blues” by THE CAROLINA TAR HEELS (1932)

Disc 2 (Social Music):

1. “Sail Away Lady” by "UNCLE BUNT" STEPHENS (1926)
2. “The Wild Wagoner” by JILSON SETTERS (1928)
4. “La Danseuse” by DELMA LACHNEY & BLIND UNCLE GASPARD (1929)
5. “Georgia Stomp” by ANDREW & JIM BAXTER (1929)
6. “Brilliancy Medley” by ECK ROBERTSON & FAMILY (1930)
7. “Indian War Whoop” by HOYT MINGAND HIS PEP-STEPPERS (1928)
8. “Old Country Stomp” by HENRY THOMAS (1928)
9. “Old Dog Blue” by JIM JACKSON (1928)
10. “Saut Crapaud” by COLUMBUS FRUGE (1929)
11. “Acadian One Step” by JOSEPH FALCON (1929)
13. “Newport Blues” by CINCINNATI JUG BAND (1929)
14. “Moonshiner’s Dance Part One” by FRANK CLOUTIER & THE VICTORIA CAFE ORCHESTRA (1927)
15. “Must Be Born Again” by REV. J. M. GATES (1927)
16. “Oh Death Where Is Thy Sting” by REV. J. M. GATES (1927)
17. “Rocky Road” by ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS (1928)
18. “Present Joys” by ALABAMA SACRED HARP SINGERS (1928)
19. “This Song of Love” by MIDDLE GEORGIA SINGING CONVENTION (1932)
20. “Judgement” by SISTER MARY NELSON (1927)
21. “He Got Better Things For You” by MEMPHIS SANCTIFIED SINGERS (1927)
23. “John the Baptist” by MOSES MASON (1929)
25. “John the Revelator” by BLIND WILLIE JOHNSON (1930)
26. “Little Moses” by THE CARTER FAMILY (1932)
27. “Shine on Me” by ERNEST PHIPPS & HIS HOLINESS SINGERS (1930)
28. “Fifty Miles of Elbow Room” by REV. F.W. MCGEE (1931)
29. “I’m in the Battle Field for My Lord” by REV. D.C. RICE AND HIS SANCTIFIED CONGREGATION (1929)

Disc 3 (Songs):

1. “The Coo Coo Bird” by CLARENCE ASHLEY (1929)
2. “East Virginia” by BUELL KAZEE (1929)
3. “Minglewood Blues” by CANNON’S JUG STOMPERS (1928)
4. “I Woke Up One Morning in May” by DIDIER HEBERT (1929)
5. “James Alley Blues” by RICHARD “RABBIT” BROWN (1927)
6. “Sugar Baby” by DOCK BOGGS (1928)
7. “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground” by BASCOM LAMAR LUNSFORD (1928)
8. “Mountaineer’s Courtship” by ERNEST STONEMAN & HATTIE STONEMAN (1926)
9. “The Spanish Merchant’s Daughter” by THE STONEMAN FAMILY (1930)
10. “Bob Lee Junior Blues” by THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND (1927)
11. “Single Girl, Married Girl” by THE CARTER FAMILY (1927)
12. “Le Vieux Soulard Et Sa Femme” by CLEOMA BREAUX & JOSEPH FALCON (1928)
13. “Rabbit Foot Blues” by BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON (1927)
14. “Expressman Blues” by SLEEPY JOHN ESTES & YANK RACHELL (1930)
15. “Poor Boy Blues” by RAMBLIN’ THOMAS (1929)
16. “Feather Bed” by CANNON’S JUG STOMPERS (1928)
17. “Country Blues” by DOCK BOGGS (1928)
18. “99 Year Blues” by JULIUS DANIELS (1927)
19. “Prison Cell Blues” by BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON (1928)
20. “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” by BLIND LEMON JEFFERSON (1928)
21. “C’est Si Triste Sans Lui” by CLEOMA BREAUX & OPHY BREAUX with JOSEPH FALCON (1929)
22. “Way Down the Old Plank Road” by UNCLE DAVE MACON (1926)
23. “Buddy Won’t You Roll Down the Line” by UNCLE DAVE MACON (1930)
24. “Spike Driver Blues” by MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT (1928)
25. “K.C. Moan” by THE MEMPHIS JUG BAND (1929)
26. “Train on the Island” by J.P. NESTOR (1927)
27. “The Lone Star Trail” by KEN MAYNARD (1930)
28. “Fishing Blues” by HENRY THOMAS (1928)

Total Running Time: 252:50


4.843 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Author Chris Smith called this “the most important recording of the 20th century” CS-3 noting its “enormous footprint…on popular music.” CS-3 The set was compiled by the “notoriously eccentric musicologist” JB Harry Smith. He had collected several thousand old folk and country recordings and whittled them down to “his favorite hillbilly, gospel, blues, and Cajun performances” JB for this “quasi-legal set of three double LPs” JB originally released in 1952. It covered American folk recordings from “1927, when electronic recording made possible accurate music reproduction, and 1932, when the Depression halted folk music sales.’” WK

This set reintroduced “near-forgotten popular styles of rural American music,” JB songs which, in some cases, “had languished in obscurity for 20 years.” JB Highlights included material from the Carter Family, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Uncle Dave Macon. The collection was integral to “the folk & blues revival of the ‘50s and ‘60s” WK influencing “a new group of folkies, from Pete Seeger to John Fahey to Bob Dylan.” JB Robert Hunter, lyricist with the Grateful Dead, said, “It radically informed and purified our tastes, as well as the tastes of a whole generation of folk performers.” CS-4

Smith divided the music into “three categories: Ballads, Social Music, and Songs. Smith sequenced the three volumes with a great amount of care, placing songs on the Ballads volume in historical order (not to be confused with chronological order) so as to create an LP that traces the folk tradition,” JB moving from English folk ballads through songs dealing with “the hardships of being a farmer in the 1920s.” WK The Social Music set gathered material likely performed at social gatherings or dances as well as religious and spiritual songs while Songs was just a gathering of regular songs.

The liner notes written by Smith were “almost as famous as the music.” WK He wrote short pieces about each song, accompanied by newspaper-style headlines such as “Zoologic Miscegeny Achieved Mouse Frog Nuptuals, Relatives Approve” for the song King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O by Chubby Parker. “Smith also edited and directed the design of the Anthology, including an illustration by scientist/alchemist Robert Fludd on the cover…In the 1960s, Irwin Silber replaced Smith’s covers with a Ben Shahn photograph of a poor farmer.” WK


Anthology first appeared on the Folkways label as three separate two-album collections. It was reissued by Smithsonian/Folkways after being out of print for over a decade. The new release was packaged as a six-disc box set with Smith’s original liner notes and “a separate book of new reminiscences by artists influenced by the original and a wealth of material for use in CD-ROM drives.” JB

In 1997, the CD release of the collection saw each two-album set consolidated to one disc. The track listing on this page reflects that release. “In 2000, Revenant Records released a fourth collection (compiled by Smith) that includes union songs and songs recorded as late as 1940.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 5/29/2010; last updated 3/15/2024.

Saturday, August 9, 1997

Today in Music (1947): Hank Williams Charted for the First Time with "Move It on Over"

Move It on Over

Hank Williams

Writer(s): Hank Williams (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 9, 1947

Peak: 4 CW, 6 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3.9 video, 9.67 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Hank Williams isn’t just one of country music’s most celebrated performers, but one of the most important music makers of any genre of music. He can boast to induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is also a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Dave’s Music Database ranks him as the #2 country act of all time.

It all started with “Move It on Over,” his first chart entry in 1947 and first of 37 top-ten hits on the country charts. Williams recorded it in his first recording session for MGM at Castle Studio in Nashville on April 21, 1947. WK An article at said that with the song “Hank Williams changes country music forever.” UD The track “seamlessly blended a velvety Western swing with the visceral Deep Sout blues that formed Williams’ musical backbone.” UD

It was significant for “instantly transforming the era’s ‘folk’ sound” UD but is also often cited as one of the earliest examples of rock music. It features the same twelve-bar blues arrangement as 1954’s “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets, the song most often pointed to as the beginning of the rock era.

The song is about a man coming home late at night and, when not allowed in the house by his wife, ends up sleeping in the doghouse. It “typified Williams’ uncanny ability to express in a humorous way the aspects of everyday life that listeners could relate to.” WK While seemingly a novelty song, it was inspired by an actual incident in which Williams’ wife Audrey locked him out of the house. UD

Williams’ short life makes his accomplishments even more extraordinary. He was only 29 when alcohol and drug abuse did him in, but he had already charted 33 country hits. Eerily, the song on the charts when he died was “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive.” It would be his eighth #1 country song, topping the chart just a few weeks after his death.


Related Links:

First posted 8/9/2011; last updated 11/13/2023.

Saturday, August 2, 1997

Foo Fighters “Everlong” charted


Foo Fighters

Writer(s): Dave Grohl (see lyrics here)

Released: August 18, 1997

First Charted: August 2, 1997

Peak: 42 BA, 4 AR, 3 MR, 18 UK, 45 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.2 UK, 5.03 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 375.70 video, 1101.32 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Dave Grohl had already cemented himself a role in rock history as the drummer for Nirvana from 1990 to 1994. However, after Kurt Cobain, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, committed suicide, it appeared Grohl had likely reached his peak. After all, Nirvana had been celebrated as one of the most influential bands in history. There was nowhere to go but down.

Grohl, however, demonstrated that he was more than just a guitarist when he took up a new project. Initially he formed Foo Fighters as a one-man project but when the 1995 self-titled album went platinum and spawned three top-10 alternative rock hits, he assembled a band that would eventually make him one of the rare two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.

The second album, 1997’s The Colour and the Shape, was a full-fledged band effort which reached #10 on the U.S. album charts and went double platinum. It generated three more top-10 alternative rock hits, including “Everlong.” It would come to be known as the Foo Fighters’ signature song, WK having been performed in all but four of the band’s four full-length concerts for a total of more than 1000 performances. WK

It is “a song of undying love, apparently written in the darkest hour of all.” DT He’d been frozen out of his bank account, DT was going through a divorce from photographer Jennifer Youngblood, and was homeless, SF sleeping in a sleeping bag at a friend’s house. Two members of the band were on the verge of quitting. SF

Grohl wrote the song in 45 minutes, inspired by his romance with Louise Post of the band Veruca Salt. He said, “That song’s about a girl that I’d fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonize perfectly.” WK


Related Links:

First posted 4/11/2024.