"At Last" by Etta James— is it humanly possible to not love that record? I'll bet that there's not one living person who's heard that record who doesn't love it. Besides Etta, or I should say "along with Etta," the person who deserves the most credit for making that record the work of art that it is would be arranger Riley Hampton, a real unsung hero of popular music. For a couple of decades he made the world a more beautiful place, lending his artistry to a ton of classic hit records, many of which are lifelong favorites of mine. The focus of tonight's "The Bottomless Pit" at 10 will be a tribute to Riley Hampton, featuring Jerry Butler, Etta James, Dee Clark and many other legends.
For most of tonight's "The Bottomless Pit" at 10, we'll hear the music of the now late Charlie Haden, and the now late Tomas Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone, who of course both passed away back on July 11. True, I acknowledged them both last week and played some of their music, but it wasn't enough, not for me anyway. In between hearing from these two great and now departed souls, we'll hear a little bit from Somi, Vintage Trouble and of course much much more.
One of my longtime favorite musical artistes is the late songwriter and record maker Lee Hazlewood, originator of wall-of-sound type recordings, writer of "Some Velvet Morning," etc. I'd planned to do a full-hour salute to him this week, but now it will be a less than full-hour salute because of two things that must be acknowleged: last week's passing of Charlie Haden and Tomas Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone. We'll hear from both of them this week, and next week ... and next week.
Tonight's "The Bottomless Pit" at 10 centers around the story and the music of the great songmakers, song stylists and record makers Voice of The Beehive, circa 1988-1992. They've been somewhat forgotten lately and are "underappreciated," but not by me. For my money, they deserve to be widely acknowledged in praiseful terms. Their stuff should be on clothing store soundsystems all over the world, causing people to say to themselves, "Wow, what great song is this?" or "Wow, I remember them! They were excellent!"
The group was founded and fronted by Tracey Bryn and Melissa Brooke Belland, two sisters from L.A. who ventured to London, England to launch their careers. In fact, it was in England where I first heard them on the radio, saw them on TV and bought their first album on a cassette.
On this week's show I'll pay tribute for the third time (the fourth if you count reruns) to Bobby Womack, now deceased. I can now add this to the list of Hugely Dumb Things That I've Done In My Life: not going to see Bobby Womack at City Winery just a couple months ago. Geeezzzz.
A) I knew about it in advance.
B) I could've gotten in free and probably would've been able to meet him.
C) It was public knowledge that his health outlook was bad.
D) He's one of my Favorite Musical Artistes Ever and it would've been an honor to be in the same bulding as him. There's a life lesson in this, but I'm too dumb to learn it.