Gut Rumbles

August 26, 2003

at a loss

I face an unusual situation. I can't think of a damned thing to blog about.

That NEVER happens to me. Usually, I come home from work, have a glass of wine and the muse comes calling as regular as clockwork. Instant inspiration.

But not today. I believe that my muse called in for a sick day.

So, I'll just steal some stuff from other blogs while I call up the Rent A Substitute Muse For A Day Company.

I like this post. One thing I totally dislike about leftist philosophy is the belief that people deserve "love" or "respect" or "dignity" just because they ride on the Big Blue Ball with me. That's a crock of crap. People EARN love, respect and dignity. Besides, if you hand it out like alms to EVERYBODY, it has no value at all.

I hope that this link takes you to the right post, but if not, just go to parkway rest stop and scroll down. James talks about harmony vocals, which happens to be a subject near and dear to my heart.

I've been singing harmony with my brother since we were teenagers. We look alike and we sound alike. We also have that natural (or SUPERNATURAL) connection of the minds that siblings have. We track beautifully singing harmony. Our bio-rhythms are the same. I know what he's going to do before he knows it. We once amazed his wife many times by practicing a new song once before going out, then playing and singing it flawlessly on stage that night. We've always been able to do that.

I taught my ex-wife to sing a lot of songs my brother and I knew and she became the Official Third Fabulous Smith Brother when we got together. She would sing the melody and my brother and I would lay on the harmony. Three parts. We were tight enough to give you goosebumps. James Taylor's "Close Your Eyes." Gordon Lightfoot's "Ribbon of Darkness." Nancy Griffith's "Love at the Five and Dime." Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight." K.T. Oslin's "Do Ya?" Man, I really miss that beautiful music.

James lists these harmony singers as some of his favorites:

The Everly Brothers
The Bee Gees
The Mills Brothers
The Andrews Sisters
(Note: The above four illustrate the point about close relatives doing the best harmony. The Brothers Gibb are probably the only people on the planet with the characteristic “Bee Gees” voice.)
The Beach Boys
Manhattan Transfer
The Association
The Eagles
The Chordettes (Anyone remember them? “Mr. Sandman”)
The Dixie Chicks (Bad politics, great harmony)
Boyz II Men (Don’t care for their material, but they can sing great harmony)
NSYNC (Really don’t care for their material, but they too can sing great harmony)

I can't disagree with a single choice, but he left some good ones out.

*Linda Rondstat, Dolly Parton and Emmy Lou Harris when they sang together.
*Fleetwood Mac
*Simon and Garfunkle
*The Beatles
*The Statler Brothers
*The Whites
*The Doobie Brothers

And if you've never heard Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs and the rest of the group on Mountain Soul sing "Rise Up Lazarus," you've never heard good harmony before.

Damn. I made a long post for someone with nothing to say.


I'm surprised that neither you nor James mentioned Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. They did some of the best close harmony ever.

Posted by: Don on August 26, 2003 04:30 PM

If you're at a loss for something to say, you can always make fun of Frank J. and the Axis of Feeble. Try saying "Axis of Feeble" a few times fast. heh.

Posted by: Jay Solo on August 26, 2003 04:33 PM

"Damn. I made a long post for someone with nothing to say."
Careful, or some major media company will think you've got skills they can use.

Posted by: Dishman on August 26, 2003 04:34 PM

You could post on this,2933,95689,00.html

or this,2933,95620,00.html

Or even

Posted by: Sara on August 26, 2003 04:40 PM

I hate to start with "back in my day", but all those guys owe it all to these guys:

Posted by: Frank DiSalle on August 26, 2003 05:13 PM

The Louvin Brothers' "high lonesome sound" . . . sublime.

Posted by: sulizano on August 26, 2003 06:32 PM

Can't believe this group was left out: Styx

One listen to "Renegade" should do the trick.

Posted by: Ricky on August 26, 2003 07:29 PM

I love good harmony. More family groups:

Kate and Anna McGarrigle (and their kids Martha and Rufus)
The Watersons
The Roches
Joni Mitchell's harmonies with herself on some of her albums

Not family but kick-ass:
Charming Hostess
The Bobs (post-modern doo-wop)
The Mamas and the Papas

Posted by: Yehudit on August 26, 2003 07:35 PM

*sharp intake of breath*

Every last one of my babies got rocked to sleep every night with me singing 'Close Your Eyes' always amazes me how so few people recognize it as one of JT's songs, as popular as he is.

GotDAMN, I love that song.

Posted by: Jett on August 26, 2003 08:06 PM

...and what about the Krauss/HarrisWelch jaunt from the 'O Brother' soundtrack?


Posted by: Jett on August 26, 2003 08:09 PM

You are right about people needing to earn love, respect (and trust, which I'm surprised that you -- of all people -- left out). But dignity is not something you can confer on someone. He/she either has it or they don't. That simple.


Posted by: Joni on August 26, 2003 08:16 PM

Vince Gill and Dolly Parton, "I will always love you"

Damn near brings me to tears every time I hear it. Only song I have downloaded into my laptop so I can hear it whenever I want. Puts chills down my back.

Posted by: Mamamontezz on August 26, 2003 09:16 PM

Thanks for reminding me of that KT Oslin song. *do ya*.. I loved that song.. I can't believe I hadnt thought of it in so long.
Have a great time when you take off , I feel like doing the same...:HUGS:

Posted by: Trease on August 26, 2003 10:05 PM

I hate "All the Gold in California", but the Gatlin Bros. are good on their other stuff, like "Midnight Choir" and "I Don't Want to Cry This Early This Morning".

Posted by: Larry on August 26, 2003 10:12 PM

You both always sang and played so well. I didn't realize that until I got over my embarassing kid phase where I didn't want any of my friends to hear my dad sing. Jennifer always sounded like a nasal hyena to me. Her sound made my eyes water. But then again, thats just me. I'm thankful that I have my mom's talent in art, but I would liked to have inherited a little of the musical side of the family too. : )

Posted by: Sam on August 26, 2003 11:04 PM

CSN(&Y) are among the greatest harmonizers ever.

Other interesting harmonizers (rock, not country):

Uriah Heep
Electric Light Orchestra
The Searchers

Most modern bands (other than the boy bands like Backstreet Boys) couldn't harmonize to save their own lives.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on August 26, 2003 11:17 PM

Delmore Brothers. They predate Everly Brothers and must have influenced them.

Posted by: Gramps on August 27, 2003 09:38 AM

Going for old: Ink Spots (Can I say that in P C world?), 4 Freshmen, Ames Bros(Ed; Love is a Long and Slender Thing), Mills Bros, 4 Freshmen, Limelighters (Glen Yarborough), Williams Bros (Andy), Platters, 4 Lads, Crewcuts, McGuire Sisters, Temptations, 4 Tops, Jan and Dean, Bros 4, Martha & Vandellas, Shirelles, Mickey & Sylvia. Kingston Trio ruled the airwaves a couple years late 50's. One of them left and they sucked BAD after that, somewhat making your point, I think.

Not too old: Bellamy Bros, C C R.

Note: Glen Campbell played with Beach Boys early on.

Posted by: Larry on August 27, 2003 09:41 AM

Genius hath electric power which earth can never tame.

Posted by: Quintal Anne on May 3, 2004 12:36 PM
Post a comment