by Tony Attwood
(Videos replaced 28 August 2020)
This new series (of which this is the third instalment) takes in songs that Bob has performed once and only once on stage.
Two songs this time – first off “You’re too late” by Lefty Frizzell.
William Orville “Lefty” Frizzell was a songwriter and performer who was popular for ten years or so and had two major hits in 1950. In this case he wrote the song with Herman P Willis, and Bob played it at Daytona Beach, FL, Jan 29, 1999. There is a story that Hank Williams wrote this (see the album cover below) but I’m fairly sure this is a Frizzell original.
Lefty Frizzell was one of those men who didn’t have a long career which brought him loads of money, but his influence was profound, with so many stars of the era citing his influence from Roy Orbison to the Everlys. Tragically he faded from the public’s after ten years or so and he took to drink, dying aged 47.
But his impact on other singers in terms of how country music could be sung has outlasted him, and he is still remembered by those who have a particular knowledge of this type of music.
This is the original 1954 recording – as I say, forget the cover reproduced below. Perhaps it got that way as Hank Williams and Lofty did tour together.
If I had someone that's true It would thrill me through and through I'd be happy oh so happy night and day Seems each one has a perfect mate But for me I'm always late And it kills my soul to hear my sweetheart say Too late too late you're too late I have waited oh so long But you never did come home So just go on alone you're too late I have built my castles high Just to watch them fade and die Makes me wonder if I really have a mate But I'll keep looking o'er the hills For someone and I always will But maybe it's just my fate to be too late Too late too late you're too late When I search for heaven's door I hope these words won't ring no more And a voice say here's a gate but you're too late
His number 1 hit was “Give Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses),” and Frizzell thereafter had personal problems, arguing a lot, spending the money and eventually falling out of favour.
The second choice this time is Old Rock n Roller performed by Bob on 3 July 1990.
He's just an old rock'n'roller playing music in a backstreet bar And he sings a little flat and he never learned to play the guitar But he keeps on belting out them rhythm and blues "Long Tall Sally" and "Blue Suede Shoes" He never faced the fact that he's never going to be a star He's just an old rock 'n' roller playing music in a backstreet bar He had a record in the sixties, it was big enough to go Top Ten And though he tried and he tried he never could make it happen again He's been living twenty years on bourbon and pride Jerry Lee went crazy and Elvis died Then his third wife left him but he never really thought it would last And now she ain't nothing but another little blast from the past But sometimes on a Saturday night when the music and the crowd is having fun He steps up on the mike with a gleam in his eye And once again he's twenty-one And then it's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" and "Heartbreak Hotel" And "That'll Be The Day" Then the sweet bird of youth just flies away He's an earthbound eagle that never did learn how to fly He ain't never going to make it but he sure did give it a try So go dye your hair and turn the music up loud When it's time to go at least you'll go down proud You ain't never going to be nothing but what you are Just an old rock 'n' roller playing music in a backstreet bar
And here is the original…
Charlie Daniels was both a session musician and a composer, with his song “It Hurts Me” being recorded by Elvis Presley.
He was friends with Bob Johnston (1932 – 2015) hence the connection with Bob Dylan. And thereafter he played guitar and bass on Dylan’s 1969 and 1970 recordings, as well as on Leonard Cohen records. Thereafter he became a producer himself.
There is more, more and more – he wrote film scores, guest starred in TV shows, and was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. He died this year (2020) at the age of 83.
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