Bonus Track: “Needles and Pins”

News media report that Tom Petty has passed away at age 66.  This is my favorite recording of his, a duet with Stevie Nicks on the late Sonny Bono’s “Needles and Pins.”

Rest in peace, sir.


Weekend Reads: “Unconquered” … with a Bonus Track

Hi, everyone.  Today is Jerry Lee Lewis’ 82nd birthday.  He is quite literally the last man standing from Sun Records:  the only person still alive who recorded for the legendary Memphis label.  Both this week’s book review and the bonus track are in Jerry Lee’s honor.

Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey GilleyUnconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley by J.D. Davis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an interesting, and often challenging, look at three cousins from a small Louisiana town who each found success in their own ways.

Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley all had rough and impoverished childhoods … and each of them used their talents as pianists to come through in different ways.

In this book, we see their strict Pentacostal upbringings, rebellions, differing personalities and challenges … and their widely varying downfalls (because each of them had one).

The book was written in an engaging authorial voice; it’s clear that J.D. Davis admires all three men for different reasons. He also did his homework; there are first-person interviews, a long bibliography, and discussions that would not be out of place in a musicology classroom.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to other fans of early rock and roll.

View all my reviews

Enjoy Jerry Lee’s first Sun Record, “Crazy Arms.”


Bonus Track: Preston Shannon, “Dust My Broom”

Preston Shannon sits down to entertain some diners at B.B. King’s, Beale St.  Photo by Sharon E. Cathcart

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, travel is a dynamic experience.  You never know what will happen if you’re open to new experiences or your plans changing.


The place where I intended to have dinner was closed last night, so I wound up in B.B. King’s Beale Street establishment.  I had some excellent crawfish, a very good peach cobbler … and I got to hear one of the best bands you’d ever want to have in your ear.  That only happened because my original plans fell through.

Please enjoy this recording by gifted bluesman Preston Shannon, the King of Beale Street!



Bonus Track: “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”

BayouAs most of you know, I’m heading to Memphis in two weeks.  Part of my time will be spent doing research for a story in Bayou Non-Standard Time, for which the working title is “It Happened in Memphis.”  I’ll be visiting Sun Studios and a number of other sites related to the early days of rock and rockabilly.   So, just for fun, I’ll be sharing some music from those days.

This video of Jerry Lee Lewis was shot on August 24, 2017.  He’s 82 years old now and still rocks that piano.  Jerry Lee has the best-selling Sun single ever, “Great Balls of Fire.”  Please enjoy this very current performance of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.”

Saturday Song: Shrimp Boats by Jo Stafford

This song is about the Cajun fishing industry, believe it or not. Thanks to Abbie Johnson Taylor for sharing this tune. #BayouFire

Abbie's Corner of the World

I first heard this song on the television series MASH, sung by members of a USO troupe while traveling to a gig somewhere in Chorea before encountering enemy fire. One of the singers suffers an appendicitis and is rushed to MASH 4077, where she falls in love with Hawkeye, the chief surgeon portrayed by Alan Alda, but I digress.

After I married Bill, I discovered that this song was one of his favorites. Since he enjoyed shrimp, was interested in boats of all sorts, and had a couple of model ships, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I hope you enjoy this song, even if you’re not interested in boats or don’t like seafood. Have a great Saturday.


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I…

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