It’s been a year or so since I’ve posted here, but I thought I’d let visitors know that I’ve added a new, very small feature. You might have already noticed it in the left column, but it’s just a place to show the names of recently deceased performers who have been featured on the Geezer Music Club. (And of course, if you click on the name of each it will take you to the post.)
I’ve looked back over the past couple of months and have found three to start with, and even though I’m still not back in regular blogging mode (sorry) I will try to keep an eye open for any more that occur. I’d also be happy to hear ideas from the many, many folks who still stop by the GMC from time to time.
Although I stopped adding regular posts to the GMC quite a while ago, I thought I’d pass along some new info about comments, for the many visitors who still stop by from time to time.
I know how much some folks enjoy adding comments to their favorite posts and that function has been off for quite a while, but it should now be working again. Most of the previous comments that have been held up have now been released (although some might have been lost). New comments should work okay but will be moderated, so they won’t appear right away but rather on a delayed basis.
Surprise! I’m stopping by for a visit because I have something to announce — my new e-book! Now you can see what I’ve been doing with myself since I stopped actively blogging a while back. It’s a project I’ve actually been working on for a long time, but I’ve now had the time to finish it and offer it to anyone who might find it interesting.
A couple of things. First, I’m not pretending to be an award-winning writer or anything. After all, any boob can publish an e-book (as I’m now proving). And second, I’ve never tried to sell anything here and I’m not pushing now. (The ads you might have occasionally noticed below the posts are not from me.) It’s priced at the minimum they would allow — 99 cents — and I only get a fraction of that, but if you’d like to buy it, great. If not, no problem.
It is, of course, derived from the 1500 posts that I’ve written over the past nine years, but it’s been edited and distilled down to mostly the nostalgia side of things, rather than the musical. More to the point, it’s filled with my personal memories of a specific time and place — middle America during the latter half of the twentieth century.
You can go to the Amazon listing by clicking on the book cover or HERE. (You can also get a free sample there.)
I’ve given this a lot of thought for some time now, and I’ve finally come to a decision. After nine years and 1500 posts, I’m ready to step back from all this for a while. I can’t say I won’t resurface at some point in the future, but for right now I’m going to call a halt. I’ve always promised that I wouldn’t leave you hanging by just stopping one day without letting you know first, so this is me doing that.
Maintaining a blog hovers somewhere between an enjoyable activity and a chore, and lately the needle keeps pointing closer and closer to the ‘chore’ side of the gauge. And after all, who willingly hangs on to a chore if they don’t have to?
I’m also running dry on ideas. As a sign of my desperation, I was recently thinking about combining one of our regular Special Features with a certain type of slideshow I’ve used in the past. But when I thought about the title — Saluting Silly Songs with a Silly Sign Slideshow — all those S’s reminded me of an especially sibilant snake, and a silly one at that. (Groan. Sorry.)
But let’s get on with it. I’m going on an indefinite hiatus, blog-wise, but I want to assure those folks who like to stop by from time to time, checking favorite posts or comments, that I will leave everything in place. And as far as I know, the good people at wordpress will leave it all active and usable for a long time to come. (Always remember, you can use the ‘search’ feature to find just about anything.)
And one more thing — thanks, everybody!
One of the most unappreciated rockabilly artists of the 1950s was Johnny Carroll, a talented and magnetic performer who was in many ways reminiscent of his friend, the much more successful Gene Vincent. In fact, Carroll’s surge of popularity later in his career was partly due to his appreciation for Vincent’s music, along with his own determination. And even though he never enjoyed a major hit, many of his records became favorites for knowledgeable fans world-wide and he ended up in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Born in rural Texas as John Lewis Carrell (later changed to Carroll because of a record label misprint), he began performing on local radio as a child, and by age fifteen was leading his own band. He was still in his teens in the mid-1950s when his growing radio success led to a record contract with Decca. Some of his early records, including “Crazy Crazy Loving” and “Wild Wild Women” were solid, as was “Hot Rock” (his band was named the Hot Rocks). Also, his on-screen performance in an otherwise forgettable teen-rock movie showcased his music — and his moves — but Decca didn’t renew his contract.
Carroll was then at Sun Records in Memphis for a while, bumping into guys like Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, but still didn’t find much success in record sales. As the 1950s wound down he moved back to Dallas and signed with a new agent, the same one used by Gene Vincent, who was a little older than Carroll and had already enjoyed a hit record with his classic “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” It would mark a turning point for Carroll, who soon came out with what would be his most successful record, “The Swing,” which had echoes of Vincent’s style (along with some of the same musicians in the studio).
Even though he retained some popularity in Europe, Carroll’s career was pretty much stalled by the 1960s, but he remained friends with Vincent until the latter’s death in 1971. Even more significantly, the loss of his friend inspired him to later generate a new record on a tribute song, which somewhat revitalized Carroll’s career. He was able to find a lot of success in subsequent years by performing the same style of music, and at one point in the late 1970s also recorded a brand new album that he called Texabilly. He was just 57 when he died of liver failure in 1995.
Johnny Carroll – “The Swing”