I picked up an O.C. Smith lp vinyl from Peter Kirkeby’s childhood collection yard sale thinking it was O.V. Wright, who I heard of when I was briefly management for Roy Tyler, formerly of Gospel Hummingbirds.
O.C. Smith covers “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” while O.V. Wright “How Strong is my Love” is covered by Otis Redding.
“That’s How Strong My Love Is” rather.
O.C. Smith is from Louisiana and South Carolina while O.V. Wright is from Tennessee and Alabama.
“Little Green Apples” in 1998 is a platinum single and #2 on the charts.
It won the Grammy as song of the year for its author Bobby Russell, and was preceded in that category by Jimmy Webb “Up Up and Away” in 1969, and followed by Joe South “Games People Play” 1971 then Paul Simon “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in 1971
If you click thru from the Wiki to the NYT obit, for Smith, you also get tempted to read up on Ernestine Anderson, Clark Terry obit, something about Leadbelly at Smithsonian and a punk band from Northwest called Vexx. That’s the Ben Ratliff roundup. I think I saw Ernestine Anderson at San Jose Jazz in 2005.
Ratliff gives some love to two other obscure but current ladies: Colleen Green, sort of a Frank Turner type, and I wanna say Sabisha Friedberg pka Will Update, Hant Something, who makes oscillation tone art music kind of thing, in Brooklyn. (She is South African and based in Brooklyn and Paris but studied music at SF Art Institute, the real one). Not that it ties it all together at all but I was listening in my car and from the library essential Lynyrd Skynyrd and an unreleased semi-autobiographical Ronnie Van Zandt thing about his ambivalence with wealth, placed directly after “Sweet Home, Alabama” and “I Ain’t the One”. They are from Jacksonville, but speak for or spoke for Alabama and Muscle Shoals, and the Swampers — they black?
Well, howdy, I will look up the distances from Muscle Shoals, Alabama to the respective birthplaces of O.C & O.V. and report back, but first this message:
“Now Muscle Shoals has got the Swampers;
And they’ve been known to pick a song or two.
Lord they get me off so much.
They pick me up when I’m feeling blue
Now how about you?”
The Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway once ran through Lenow, along Lenow Road, an important route from Memphis to Nashville. This route was considered nonessential and was dug up in 1968. (O.V. Wright’s origin) Lenow is about 140 miles west of Muscle Shoals, and 25 miles east of Memphis. Now, O.C. meanwhile, the Green Apples guy is from Mansfield, LA which is due south of Shreveport and 500 miles quite a spell from Muscle Shoals. Which reminds of driving with Henry Butler from NOLA to Huntsville my first day on the job, in 2002. Also, I drove from Atlanta to Greenville, South Carolina to see Michelle Malone, and thought of that listening to Peter Kageyama remarks on various things cities do as branding, including something about Greensville, which i think of as having a combined night club and record store. There’s also an article or book review about corporate branding and the public sector, fiction I think in todays Times. I was thinking of Horizon Records and Bohemian Cafe, of course.
I also bought the new Decemberists, at Starbucks, for $12.95. Some people confuse them with R.E.M. chestnuts or Death Cab.
and1: I missed,apparently, Colleen Green just last night in SF at the Chapel on tour with Sonny Smith but could mosey on down to Amoeba in LA Tuesday or her cd release party down thereabouts Friday. Wasn’t I going to LA to see the Rwandan jazz beau, Somi?