Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pre Electric Chicago Blues Pt 2

Scrapper Blackwell
Scrapper Blackwell
This is a Multi Part Post.
 Pre Electric Chicago Blues

Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes. When last we met here at the start of Route 66 in Chicago, we looking into the blues music scene that existed in the city before electric instruments would reshape the sound into the cities iconic musical style. We have been examining a group of artists mentioned in a quote from Rolling Stone fan site TimeIsOnOurSide.Com:
Among the pre-eminent artists of this era and style are Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam, Willie Dixon, Scrapper Blackwell, and, of course, Big Bill Broonzy.
The last post covered  Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, and Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson, so we move on to Robert Nighthawk.

Robert Nighthawk was certainly a proficient and popular blues musician from the pre-electric era. I cannot say that I think he deserves to be included in a set list about Chicago. While he did visit the city to record, he did not like it there. He generally performed live touring in the south and for those reason we are going to skip Robert Nighthawk on this journey. Maybe we will meet up with him later but that's it for his relevance to Chicago.

Washboard Sam, on the other hand, was right it the thick of the Chicago blues scene of the 1930's. He was born, Robert Brown in Walnut Ridge Arkansas, moving to Memphis Tennessee in the 1920's before finally settling in Chicago in 1932 at the age of 22. He preformed regularly with Big Bill Broonzy, who we will be talking about later, and also performed with great success as a solo artist. He recorded over 160 tracks in the 1930's and 1940's.

When electric blues began to take hold his style did not adapt and he began to face dwindling audiences, In the 1950's he retired and became a police officer. No musician ever seems to truly retire though and he did make several minor comebacks including recording an album with Big Bill Broonzy in the mid fifties and having a bit of touring success during the great folk music scare of the early 1960's. He finally passed away in 1966 and buried in an unmarked grave in the Homewood, Illinois.

My impressions of his music is that it is hot blues but with a certain jazzy kind of sound. It's surprising that he did not transition to electric blues because the music that he was playing had  an energetic style the later electric musicians would also have. Her we begin with a set called in the usual matter-of-fact archive way, "Washboard Sam-01-12". In typical untrustworthy Internet fashion of "you get what you pay" for the middle track in the set is as song titled "Washboard Sam" by a rockabilly duo called Judy & Joyce. Its a pretty cool song though, so I guess I will leave it in the set.


Album: Washboard Sam-01-12 Washboard Sam 

In addition to that set Archive has a few individual tracks. They are:



The next artist mentioned in the post we are referencing was Willie Dixon. Willie Dixon looms large in the history of Chicago blues and his career continued, and he achieved his greatest success, in the electric blues era that was to follow. Since he is easily worthy of a post of his own we will come back to talk about him in more detail at the end of this series before we transition into the golden era of electric blues in Chicago.

Scrapper Blackwell performed in the 1930's with a crooner called Leroy Carr. His style was a a single string picking technique that ultimately would prove quite inspirational not only to the Rolling Stones (as mentioned on the web site TimeIsOnOurSide.Com) but to Eric Clapton. Now, Leroy Carr was a smooth crooner who has a mellow sound that was said to be very influential to Ray Charles and Nat King Cole. (Route 66 reference-see how this all kind of comes together?) On many recordings Carr was credited, but Blackwell was not. This caused artistic tension with Blackwell to ultimately leave Carr to pursue solo opportunities. He must not have been as well known with out his vocalist because he did not last long. He retired into a life of anonymity in Indianapolis in 1935. In the late 1950's as folk music was the rage he was contacted by collectors of old record who wanted to him to perform again. He enjoyed a brief revival leading up to the release of a classic blues album, Mr. Scrappers Blues.

Tragedy seems to haunt the world of the blues at every turn. And Like Sonny Boy Wiliamson, who was murdered in a robbery near his home. Scrapper Blackwell was murdered in a holdup in an alley near his home less than a year after his record. This is someone I will need to add to my wish list but I did find 1 track that was listed in archive of his work with Leroy Clark:



On that note, we bring this weeks Old Highway Notes to a close. Join us next week as we return to Highway 101 in San Diego County of California. Then in two weeks we will be in Miami, Florida at the start of Interstate 95 where we some rock music history happened. Then in just three short weeks we return to Chicago and keep digging into the blues. Until then, watch your back if you go down any alleys. I need all the readers I can get. Thanks for stopping by!

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Saturday, March 22, 2014

I-95 Through the Windscreen

I-95/I195 North Junction
We Are Moving Now!
Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes. We are back in Florida exploring Miami on Interstate 95 as we head north. I had originally intended to take a little journey back in time and talk about a few big deal events in rock music history that happened in Miami in the 1960's. I got distracted though, as the internet will sometimes do. So I will leave that as tease for an upcoming post.

As I was looking at Youtube I found a variety of clips that people had posted of driving through Miami on I-95 North. To give us a sense of of our journey, I thought I would share them here.

The first video I found has a techno back track and is a pretty hypnotic experience if viewed on full screen. Drawback, perhaps, is that is awfully long.



To address the problem of clip length, this YouTube editor went with a time-lapse approach. This time with a sort of disco backing track.



This editor steps it up another couple of notches. Of course, the cheesy techno background music continues the theme, that must practically be a requirement for dashboard video footage. In this clip the filming was done as dusk descended making for dramatic lighting and skyscapes. The editor was also thoughtful enough to caption the shots with route notes and trivia so that you know where you are driving. Very well done.



If you don't want the background music, you can watch out of the windscreen of BigRig Travels as he motors up 95. Since it a truck it is slower, and he doesn't add a soundtrack so what you get is the rumble of the road mostly. Its more raw but also more authentic. Hey, I'm just giving you options here!



Here are some pictures from the Miami of the past. Nice jazzy Background music on this one.



And we leave you this week with a little promotional clip from the City Of Miami telling us how swell they are.



Thanks for joining us for this weeks Old Highway Notes. Next week we return to Chicago and Route 66 to look at some more blues artists. Join us 2 weeks when we Continue our drive up Old Highway 101, south of San Diego. Then in just 3 short weeks we will be back in Miami with some rock and roll history. Join us won't you? And if you know someone who would like my spin on music and history, please share a link to this post. If you would like to get future posts sent to you as a convenient email, just fill in your email adress at the top of the page to subscribe. Until we meet again, travel safe and watch out for speed traps.

If you like what you have read here I'd like to ask you a favor. If you purchase any item on Amazon after you link to them in the little Amazon search window below, I will get a little something from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and I cannot see what you have purchased.



With your help, I can keep the show on the road for you.
Thanks!




To read more Old Highway Notes, choose an off ramp and click on the highway sign:

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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Waiting in Secondary Inspection

Part 1 Of A Series Of 6
Highway 101 Crossing The Border:

Border Patrol Truck
Not an Easy Job
Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes. In our last post we found ourselves detained at the US Border while some confusion involving our identification was sorted out. As our last post ended we were left waiting for the US Border Patrol to review our identification so that we could re-enter the country, we were hoping there would be no further delays, While I waited, I fumed just a little that I couldn't just walk into my own country without being subject to inspection. In my frustration a little punk rock music ran through my mind to vent about the situation.

The first song is maybe not punk, but what to you call the Violent Femmes? Alternative? Alt-Folk? Pop? Post-Punk? Anyway, when I think about the phrase "The Land of The Free" and yet I have to submit to questioning (even though I understand WHY I have to) the song "America Is" comes to mind. Its main line "America is the home of the hypocrite" seems to apply to situations like these, Well, if I am going to wallow in the failure of the American Dream, which is what the Violent Femmes are talking about, then I may as well continue with "American Waste" by Black Flag. It's chorus "I see my place in American waste, faced with choices I can't take" raged against the machine, before Henry Rollins sang for them and then became a beefed up MTV star. Speaking of MTV stars, Green Day's "American Idiot" seems like a good way to wrap up this little burst of un-American thinking. Maybe what I should do is get my focus back on music and away from politics. So lets continue our despair fest for just a few moments longer. As I look over towards the glass office doors, I think I see the patrolman headed this way.

  • America Is     Add It Up (1981-1993)     Violent Femmes     2:10
  • American Waste  The First Four Years    Black Flag     1:33
  • American Idiot   American Idiot    Green Day     2:56


As I take a deep breath, I see the badge gleaming in the sun and a smile on the face of the officer. "Your identification is quite complete. You are free to go. See the USA in your Chevrolet."  Happy to do so, I hop back into the car and  to cheer me up and to celebrate my freedom, we'll cap the mini-set up with the studio version of the Grateful Dead's U.S. Blues, from their album "From The Mars Hotel".

  • See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet  The Commercials Vol. 1     Dinah Shore     0:56
  •  U.S. Blues From The Mars Hotel Grateful Dead     4:42 




We start to motor North, we are on the oldest most southerly part of old Highway 101. It began at the border in San Ysidro. These days San Ysidro is best known for its parking lots for people crossing the border on foot and for its Mexican Auto insurance dealers. They operate small store fronts to offer the protection of legal in Mexico auto insurance for those who are driving into the country. It is the end of the line for the San Diego Tijuana Trolley train.

San Ysidro Massacre Memorial Site
San Ysidro is perhaps best known in recent history for being the site of largest mass murder in United States history where the murderer did not commit suicide. In 1984, an unemployed former welder James Huberty entered the McDonalds in San Ysidro with 3 guns and he began shooting. Before the police snipers would kill him about an hour later, 21 people were killed in the McDonalds in San Ysidro. Nineteen more were seriously injured. In the wake of the tragedy McDonalds donated the land to the city for a memorial park and rebuilt at a new location. This video recounts the events of that day:




Long before San Ysidro was in the news as the site of a horrific crime, it was a place of optimism. In the years 1907-1916 it was settled by a group of people known as the Little Landers. This was a group of people with a philosophy that would appeal to today's modern urban farmers. Their goal was for each family in the community to live a sustainable life on an acre of land. With the Tijuana River providing a reliable source of water, and the San Diego areas famously mild weather, productive farming seemed an easy proposition. 

They were a quasi-communal group opposed to hierarchy. Each man was given an equal vote and the city was run by a town council voted in by the citizens. Citizens agreed to particpate as a co-op with all profits being directed back into the community. Streetcar access meant that Little Landers were regular vendors at the San Diego farmers market. They enjoyed that they could take in cultural activities that the city of San Diego offered while still living a homestead rural existence. By 1912 the colony had attracted over a hundred families. Known as one of the first communes, there were attempts made in a few other spots in California to build Little Lander communities. None of them would prove to be successful.

Due to a variety of factors. most notable flooding of the Tijuana river in 1916, but also farming skills that were inadequate to provide the yields necessary to be sustainable, and failure to meet tax obligations in 1917, left the community virtually dissolved by 1918. From the remnants of that community the modern city of San Ysidro evolved to serve the needs of border crossers.


Speaking of border crossers, that would be us. We have been waiting to get across the border for what seems like months. At this point it would probably be a good idea to get some gas in the tank and some coffee into your humble narrator. After a quick stop at the gas station we pull into the Denny's parking lot. Its time for some Coffee and Cigarettes (old Highway 101 existed well before cigarettes were banned in diners), with versions by both by Otis Redding and by Buddy Miles Express. While we are here lets make that a sandwich with some American Pie. If you watch the video (sandwiched between versions of  Coffee and Cigarette, get it?) you will notice that the pie here is apparently served with cheese-as in one cheesy video.


Cheers! It's good to be back in the States.


  • Cigarettes and Coffee     Thank You For Smoking     Otis Redding     3:53    
  • American Pie    American Pie: The Best Of Don McLean    Don McLean     8:36
  • Cigarettes &Coffee     Be A Buddy-A Buddy Miles Anthology     Buddy Miles Express 8:29


)

Thanks for joining us this week. Make sure and visit us again next weekend as we return to Interstate 95 and the City of Miami. Then in two weeks as we return to Route 66 in Chicago and a look at pre-electric blues music. Three short weeks from now we return to San Ysidro and continue north on the old pre-interstate Highway 101. Hope to see you all then.

If you like what you have read here I'd like to ask you a favor. If you purchase any item on Amazon after you link to them in the little Amazon search window below, I will get a little something from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and I cannot see what you have purchased.



With your help, I can keep the show on the road for you.

Thanks!



To read more Old Highway Notes, choose an off ramp and click on the highway sign:

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pre Electric Chicago Blues Pt 1

Railroad jobs helped fuel the great migration, which brought so many bluesmen to Chicago.

This is a Multi Part Post:
  
Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes.  We have finally moved forward in our exploration of Chicago music far enough that we can begin to dig into the big mountain of music that falls under the umbrella of Chicago blues.

Most people would know that blues music originated in the deep South. Some say it derived from the call and response songs of the slaves working in the fields. Others say that it was derived from song styles learned in black churches in the South. However the blues developed, by the time jazz was gaining American attention the blues was growing up alongside it. In the early years of the 20th century, Jazz was developing in New Orleans and beginning its spread northward and to the rest of America and the blues were developing as an acoustic folk music in the more rural areas of the South. Legendarily, the blues would be the music you would hear in black jukejoints set back from the highway on a Saturday night.

In the early days the music wasn't called blues. It was just rural folk music of the South. It was mostly not transcribed and was just learned by hearing and copying in the grand folk music tradition. When recordings of this music began to be made in the 1920's, racist America needed to know that the record they were considering purchasing was made by a white person. The records called that music "country", but when the music was performed by a black performer the terms "race records" and "blues music" began to be used to indicate the color of the performer Many of the records called Blues in the early days were called so because of black musicians though the music itself might have been jazz or vaudeville styles of songs.

The popularity of jazz music in the 1920's meant that promoters of early recorded music began to identify the Jazz race records and the blues race records slightly differently with the jazz records more likely to have crossover appeal with white audiences. Eventually the blues form began to crystallize into 8 or 12 bar versions of songs that often had an AAB rhyme structure and a call and response lyrical style.

In Chicago in the 1920's as Jazz was beginning to be recorded there was also an emerging blues style, as usual, brought forward by transplants in the great migration. The style was a acoustic and similar to the delta style, but it expanded the sound. a bit. This explanation from the Rolling Stones fansite Timeisonourside.com sums it up well:
In between the first generation of Mississippi Delta acoustic blues players of the late 1920s and early '30s (Charley Patton, Skip James, Son House, etc.), and the great electric Chicago blues artists of the late 1940s and '50s (Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, etc.) - many of whom emigrated to Chicago from Mississippi as part of the massive emigration patterns of Afro-Americans that moved from the South to northern cities after World War II -, was a generation of musicians that played what is often styled acoustic Chicago blues. This era of blues music represented an evolution from straightforward acoustic Delta or Piedmont blues (which was a blues singer alone with his acoustic guitar), in that it often involved a trio (acoustic guitar, acoustic bass and piano, for example) and musicians that had recently emigrated to Chicago, who built on their original styles with a new urban energy and lighthearted, city-slanted lyrics, thus anticipating the great Chicago blues artists of the 1950s, but without the electrification and the drums.
Among the pre-eminent artists of this era and style are Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, Sonny Boy
(John Lee) Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam, Willie Dixon, Scrapper Blackwell, and, of course, Big Bill Broonzy.
I will admit this is an area of musical history that I am relatively uninformed of and my collection was lacking tracks from many of the artists mentioned. None the less, lets charge forward and see what we have to add to the playlist this week, I will focus on the artist mentioned in the quoted article. As I open the internet archive to take a peak at what they have to offer on these artist I find a gold mine of of material to add to my collection, my playlist, and to share with you my readers. This may take a few posts so lets do this thing.
Tampa Red

Born in Smithville, Georgia before moving to Tampa Florida as child, Husdon Woodbridge aka Hudson Whittaker aka Tampa Red moved to Chicago in the 1920's. Known for his bottleneck style of playing, I had none of his work in my collection. The first group is a folder of tracks listed as Tampa Red-11-19. I could not locate Tampa Red-01-10.

Album:  Tampa Red-11-19  Tampa Red
Tasty stuff.I also found this track to add to the list...

What do you do if you are a bootlegger in Chicago when the prohibition ended? You become a blues singer, at least you would if you were Kokomo Arnold, another of the pre-electric Chicago Blues artists. In four years from 1934 to 1938, he would record 88 sides. He has a fairly hard edged style that I find pretty appealing. I was unaware of him until reading the excerpt from Timeisonourside.com . Now that I know about him I will be looking for more of his music. Thankfully, Archive.org can give us a few samples.





We close out this week with Sonny Boy Williamson. His is an interesting story. He was born in 1914 near Jackson, Tennessee. In his teens, he traveled with fellow early bluesmen Yank Rachell and Sleepy John Estes. They performed in Tennessee and Arkansas before he settled in Chicago in 1938. He played the harmonica and was known as "the father of modern blues harp" for his pioneering style of harmonica playing. Starting in 1937 he began recording tracks that included such blues classics as "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", "Hoodoo Blues", ans "Shake The Boogie". He gained great popularity and even had someone in the Mississippi Delta area who began to perform under his name, Alex "Rice" Miller. I will let Wikipedia tell that story:

He was popular enough that by the 1940s, another blues harp player, Aleck/Alex "Rice" Miller, from Mississippi, began also using the name Sonny Boy Williamson. John Lee is said to have objected to this, though no legal action took place, possibly due to the fact that Miller did not release any records during Williamson's lifetime, and that Williamson played mainly around the Chicago area, while Miller seldom ventured beyond the Mississippi Delta region until after Williamson's death. In 1942, John Lee allegedly confronted Miller, but according to Miller's friend and guitarist Robert Lockwood, "Big Sonny Boy [Miller] chased Little Sonny Boy [Williamson] away from there. He couldn't play with Rice. Rice Miller could play Sonny Boy's stuff better than he could play it!"[2]

The whole thing could have come to a head at some point. But sadly, Sonny Boy Williamson I was killed in street robbery that occurred as he was walking home from a performance at the Plantation Club. It was venue that was only a block and a half away from his home.  Sonny Boy Williams II would prove to be a talented bluesman as well who led a long career into the late 1960's. But it is Williams I that makes our list this week. Again due to its age, Archive.Org is generous with the tracks available. The first folder is:
Album: Sonny Boy Williamson-01-10       Sonny Boy Williamson I 

Album: Sonny Boy Williamson-11-20     Sonny Boy Williamson I
Album: Sonny Boy Williamson-21-26 Sonny Boy Williamson I

Thanks for joining us for this weeks Old Highway Notes. Join us next week as we reach the thrilling conclusion to our identification incident at the Mexico/US border as we try to get back onto old Highway 101. In two weeks we will be back in Miami on Interstate 95. And in just three more weeks we will be back to continue digging into some of the Chicago Blues pioneers before electric instruments would change everything. Until we meet again, keep a tiger in your tank and watch out for that Texaco star.

If you like what you have read here I'd like to ask you a favor. If you purchase any item on Amazon after you link to them in the little Amazon search window below, I will get a little something from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and I cannot see what you have purchased.



With your help, I can keep the show on the road for you.

Thanks!




To read more Old Highway Notes, choose an off ramp and click on the highway sign:

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Miami Some Background And Hitting The Road

Miami Skyline
"Its hard to believe this city started as a trading post..."-Jimmy Buffett
Hello and welcome back to Old Highway Notes as we begin our investigation of what Interstate 95 has to offer in virtual adventure by way of music and history. Lets look into a little bit of the background of this important highway. Its not a glamorous road, but it is a workhorse connecting up the eastern seaboard.

Interstate 95 Background

The Interstate Highway system was not begun until the 1950's. Obviously the East Coast of the United stated had been heavily settled for literally hundreds of years by then. A wide network of roads and highways connected the major cities of the Eastern seaboard. Interstate 95 for the most part took those existing thoroughfares and stitched them together to form a highway that would run from Miami to Maine. The road would pass through the most states of any highway number in the Interstate System.

Passing through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, The District Of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. It runs for 1924 1/2 miles.In many areas it is commuter corridor. As is common in the Eastern US, in many areas the road is a toll road.

Looking into the history of the highway is mostly a look at a resistance to the highway in many of the cities along the way. Citizens fought its construction in many cities achieving some successes. In Washington D.C. and in Boston the highway, which was originally planned to pass through the center of the cities, was diverted in both case to an outer bypass loop.

In New Jersey,  the highway has a  gap between Trenton and New Brunswick with construction underway to fill in the gap that is slated to be completed in 2017. Currently drivers are diverted onto the New Jersey turnpike as connecting link between the southern and northern section of I-95.

So there is a little bit of the history of the highway. We begin our journey in the South. South Florida to be exact. We begin in Miami. 

Miami History

Miami had been a lightly settled small village in South Florida until, in 1891 a Cleveland widow named Julia Tuttle relocated to South Florida following the death of her husband. She purchased 640 acres of land on the North Bank of the Miami River. She then tried to convince railroad magnate Henry Flagler that he should extend his Florida East Coast Line past the Orange growing region of Central Florida to her plot of land which could be developed as a housing and tourist destination. At first he declined her suggestions, but her perseverance-as well as a few crop destroying freezes in Central Florida-convinced him that passenger traffic could be sought with an extended line. Late in 1895 construction began.

Miami grew fast. In 1900, 1,681 people lived in Miami, Florida; in 1910, there were 5,471 people; and in 1920, there were 29,549 people. In the early 1920's legal gambling and lax enforcement of prohibition helped contribute to major land boom in South Florida. The population doubled in just three years. The great influx of people strained the infrastructure which caused a slow down that burst the bubble. Then a hurricane in 1926 and the stock market crash of 1929 stunted the cities growth for decades. The Marx Brothers parodied the days of the Florida land rust in their Vaudeville stage play that was adapted to a film in 1929, The Cocoanuts. Its a hilarious film that gave us the phrase "Why a duck?" which would resurface later in Groucho Marx's career as he hosted You Bet Your Life in the early days of television. This is a short review of the film that has some clips in it.



The arrival of World War II caused a large number of military installations to be built in South Florida, adding to the population growth significantly with many staying around after the war ended. Then in the 1959 Castro took over Cuba in a communist revolution. Many Cubans of means were forced to leave Cuba, often with few of their personal effects and fled to Miami settling in an area that became known as "Little Havana". In the 1960's nearly half a million Cubans arrived and gave Miami the Latin flavor that it exhibits to the present day. Wave after wave of immigrants have come to Miami from not only Cuba, but from Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, Th large Cuban population are largely influential in Latin American television production, and has earned the city the nickname "The Capital Of Latin America".

That point of entry that mentioned, is also a major pipeline for drugs, especially cocaine, to enter the United States. The 1980's hit television series Miami Vice showcased the glamor and lawlessness of the cocaine smuggling business of the time and the detectives pursuing those smugglers. It was a very 80's stylized program that featured a music video in every episode, a groundbreaking idea at the time. The cities point of entry is also a point of departure. the busiest cruise ship port in the world and home to fleets of Caribbean crusie ships it is also known as the "Cruising Capitol of the World."


Miami Playlist Additions
Amazon Store


While not the most musically well represented city in my collection, I do have some Miami related items to share with you. We start off with a voice that is more known for the Florida Keys even farther south. Jimmy Buffett sings how "Everybody's Got a Cousin In Miami" that celebrates the city and its history.

  • Everybody's Got A Cousin In Miami Fruitcakes Jimmy Buffett    7:19



Moving on and actually going back in time to 1985, we come upon Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine with their hit "Conga". Honestly the song is "clubbier" than I generally prefer but it was part of a larger package of Latin pop called ¡Caliente!: The Best Of Latin Pop, which appears to be out of print. The song certainly is representative of our host city of Miami and Gloria Estefan has become a musical diplomat of sorts both for Miami and its Cuban expatriate community/
  • Conga (Single Version)    ¡Caliente!: The Best Of Latin Pop    Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine    4:17
Also from 1985, and the popular hit series Miami Vice I have Grandmaster Melle Mel Throwing down some early hip hip with Vice (Miami Vice)
And our admittedly short Miami set comes to a close with a band that is not from Miami , but is from further up highway 95 in Washington D.C. In the 90's I subscribed to CMJ Monthly which showcased new and emerging college music. It came iwth a CD every month showcasing artists featured in the magazine. The March 95 issue featured the band Air Miami with their track, "Airplane Rider". It is barely relevant to the city and it's story. The only real Miami reference is in the bands name, but I am feeling generous. Besides it is a decent song and was a minor college radio hit. so what the heck, we'll add it to the list.

While we were at the airport with Air Miami and Jimmy Buffett ("He's bewildered by the plane ride and the immigration line until he sees his Christian name upon a cardboard sign"),  we must have just missed the Beatles and the Dead Kennedys. Apparently they were here, but now they're Back In The USSR as the song says "Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC didn't get to bed last night". That makes the list.

  • Back In The USSR    White Album Demo    The Beatles    2:56
  • Back In The USSR    The Beatles (White Album)    The Beatles    2:44
  • Back In The USSR.    Love    The Beatles    1:53
  • Back In The Ussr    Live At The Deaf Club    Dead Kennedys    2:31

So that's it for Miami in my music collection. Pretty sparse pickings.  Actually, I do have a lot of Afro-Cuban Jazz and that is certainly something that you would hear in Miami. Since that music came from Cuba and not Miami, I decided to hold off. I have vague notions of maybe Old Highway Notes taking a Caribbean cruise. If and when that happens we may have to defy the embargo and visit Cuba. In the meantime, if any of you readers would like to recommend some good Miami oriented music, reach out in the comments and let me know.

Thanks for joining us for this weeks Old Highway Notes. Join me next week, as we return to Chicago on Route 66. In two weeks we will continue to our Highway 101 adventure before returning to South Florida and Interstate 95. Until then, keep your hands on the wheel and the rubber on the road.

If you like what you have read here I'd like to ask you a favor. If you purchase any item on Amazon after you link to them in the little Amazon search window below, I will get a little something from them. It doesn't cost you any extra and I cannot see what you have purchased.



With your help, I can keep the show on the road for you.

Thanks!



To read more Old Highway Notes, choose an off ramp and click on the highway sign:

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http://oldhighwaynotes.blogspot.com/search/label/Interstate%2095

If you appreciate this blog and would like to drop a little something in my guitar case, you can donate on PayPal:






Its not a highway without gift shops. Visit ours:

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