Face it: The Friday Five is all about music. Most of the blog is about music, and it’s easy to come up with topics for lists of music. And, I like music, and I think you do as well. So, today, The Sound of One Hand Typing presents…
Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience: I couldn’t appreciate Jimi Hendrix when I was in high school, maybe because of all the hero-worship, which I think had as much to do with his sudden death in 1970 as it did with his playing. The older I get, the better I can appreciate that he was a great player. It peaked at #65 in 1967, and introduced young guitar players everywhere to the “Hendrix Chord,” which for you music lovers is an E7#9.
Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution: Prince is another one who I’ve come to appreciate over the years. I guess all the hype and weirdness (changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol and asking that he be referred to as The Artist) was kind of a turnoff. I could never understand why The Who’s Pete Townshend liked him so much. I didn’t realize that, under that veneer of strangeness, he was a remarkable player. This peaked at #2 in 1984 and was the third single off the album of the same name, the soundtrack for the movie of the same name.
Southern California Purples – Chicago: I don’t think I have to tell you that George Harrison and Chicago’s Terry Kath are my two favorite guitarists, and evidently Terry was Jimi Hendrix’s favorite as well. This is from their first album, and followed “Free Form Guitar,” ten minutes of Terry making noise (literally) with a Fender Stratocaster and a beer bottle.
The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley: Novelty records always seem to do well. Wikipedia says Sheb Wooley wrote this in an hour and presented it to MGM Records, who didn’t want to release it because they didn’t want to be associated with a novelty record. An acetate of the record showed up at MGM Records’ New York office, and was an instant hit with the kids in the office, so MGM relented. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 for six weeks in summer 1958. And yes, they used the same trick for the People Eater’s voice that Ross Bagdasarian did to bring Alvin and the Chipmunks to life.
Deep Purple – Donny and Marie Osmond: This was written by pianist Peter DeRose in 1933, and lyrics were added by Mitchell Parish five years later. It’s been covered plenty over the years. I chose the Donny and Marie version because they were so cute: Donny was 18 and Marie 16 when they took the song into the Top 20, where it peaked at #14 in 1976.
So there’s your Friday Five. I’m sure you’ll come up with a host of other songs you like better. Maybe I’ll start building YouTube playlists for these…