Omir the Storyteller

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Summer Wine


One of the things I love about the Internet is that I get to run into new things all the time. That's one of the reasons I want to save Internet radio -- I'm always running into music I otherwise would never have heard of. Thanks to the CBC's Vinyl Cafe, I've been introduced to acts like Rufus Wainwright and Mike Ford (formerly of Moxy Früvous, who I learned about over the Internet when stations could still carry Doctor Demento and get away with it). I also found Lemon Demon, Da Vinci's Notebook and Worm Quartet thanks to Doctor Demento. Radio Paradise, KPIG, and KSER have introduced me to artists -- heck, entire genres -- I would otherwise never have come across.

And on Saturday after I put up the post just below, I came across a clip on Crooks and Liars by an Irish band called The Corrs. I'd never heard of them before, but I figured I'd give them a listen because of two words that described the clip:

"Summer Wine."

Flash back forty years ago this month. I'm just turning 12, I'm listening to the radio in my room in the basement in eastern Washington, and of course I know who Nancy Sinatra is. I know she's Frank Sinatra's daughter, I know she's had a couple of hits (like These Boots Are Made For Walking), and I know she's interesting in ways I'm just starting to figure out. What I don't know -- yet -- is that most of her songs are written by a guy named Lee Hazelwood, and when he wrote a duet that would spark a genre called cowboy psychedelia, they couldn't find anyone better to perform it with Nancy than Lee. The strings kicked in and Nancy's honey voice crooned:

Strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring,
My summer wine is really made from all these things .
. .
and then Lee came in with his baritone borderline growl:

My boots had silver spurs that jingle-jangled to
A tune that I had only sung to just a few

A song that hinted at so much more than it said, especially to a pubescent kid with a vivid imagination.

So when Nicole over at Crooks and Liars put up a YouTube video from VH1 of the Corrs doing Summer Wine with Bono of U2, I had to click on it. It took me right back to 1967. Bono's voice reminded me a lot of Lee Hazelwood's, and he and Andrea Corr sound great together, her on high harmony and him on lead.

This morning I went to listen to the song again, and it had been taken down from YouTube. I guess Viacom must have figured out it was there. So what could I do? I ordered a copy of the "Corrs Live From Dublin" CD. I can tell it's one of those songs I'm going to be listening to every once in a while.

When YouTube had to take the video offline,
They left me craving for more summer wine.
Ooooh, ooooh, summer wine . . .

If Internet radio goes away stories like that will disappear. So will sales of music that would otherwise never have happened. I know this. I'll bet you know this. Most of the music-buying public knows this. Why the entertainment-industrial complex can't figure this out, I don't know.


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