While right in the middle, literally, of recording tonight's "The Bottomless Pit," I learned of the death of Gerry Goffin, who's truly one of my artistic heroes. It crossed my mind to just rip the whole thing apart and start again, make a full-on Gerry Goffin tribute show. I opted not to do that, but I do pay tribute to him during the show. Gerry Goffin was absolutely brilliant. He's "gone" now, but the songs aren't going anywhere, certainly not during my lifetime. So, as per my original game plan, for the first part of the show I play some tracks from a couple of favorite albums by Ricky Nelson and Santo and Johnny. Then during Parts 2-3, it's a bunch of new purchases, tracks by Sharon Van Etten, Curtis Harding (pictured), the walking horror show that is Ginger Baker, Sabina, and others.
Usually these days, when I'm interested in a book, I get it from my local library. If they don't have it, they'll order it. But the other week I broke my usual habit and bought Zappa by Barry Miles, read it, and really dug it. Tonight on "The Bottomless Pit" at 10, I'll be taking my cue from this 2004 book, playing lots of Frank Zappa's music and dipping into some of the R&B records that inspired him by Lightnin' Slim, The Velvetones, Jackie and The Starlites and others. Zappa, of course, did a bad job of taking good care of himself and left the building too soon, for my money. His was a unique voice and a unique presence in the world. This is actually the second time that I've paid tribute to him and his remarkable music on the show and probably not the last.
Tonight's "The Bottomless Pit" at 10 is pretty eclectic and pretty random, in part because I let my iPod do about three-fifths of the show for me. I patched it into the console, set it on random, pushed play and let the #%@# fly where it might, so to speak. So please be sure and tune in for that, plus tributes to two recently deceased musical luminaries: French composer André Popp and Maya Angelou. Plus some great new music from trumpeter/composer Ambrose Akinmusire.
Tonight on "The Bottomless Pit" at 10, for the first time this year (unless I'm forgetting something), it'll be an all 45 RPM show!! Which is always a good time, at least for me. I don't want to give too much away, but we'll be hearing records on these labels and others: EMI-Columbia, Dot, Atco, King, Chess, Checker, Fury, Vee Jay and Reprise.
On "The Bottomless Pit" tonight at 10, the show starts with a quick tribute to the great-and-now-late Jerry Vale. I promise that I didn't play "Pretend You Don't See Her." I hate that song. Doesn't everybody?
Anyway, from there it's kind of a round-robin with Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra and the great Trini Lopez; they go together well.