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Larry Franz

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This week we have four familiar songs that include references to crying, weeping or shedding tears. As you'd expect, there were lots of songs to choose from, both old and new. I happen to have gone with old.
 

Elvis Presley, "Heartbreak Hotel", 1956 ("For broken-hearted lovers to cry there in the gloom" and "The bellhop's tears keep flowin'")

 

Ben E. King, "Stand By Me", 1961 ("I won't cry, I won't cry, No I won't shed a tear")

 

The Beach Boys, "In My Room", 1963 ("Do my crying and my sighing")

 

Dionne Warwick, "Walk On By", 1965 ("And I start to cry each time we meet", etc.)

 

This week's songs:

Elvis Presley, "Heartbreak Hotel"
Ben E. King, "Stand By Me"
The Beach Boys, "In My Room"
Dionne Warwick, "Walk On By"

Let the sobbing, voting and sharing begin!

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Lee Marshall

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First and last?  E A S Y.  2nd and 3rd.  C'est très difficile.

Gold?  It's a runaway.  Never heard it until I bought the 'Be True to Your School' 45.  Took it home, played side A...flipped it over and heard this little bit of musical magic..  It's #1.  It's Top of the Pops.  It's The Beach Boys and 'In My Room'.  Definitely one of the 'boys' top songs EVER.  It would be a definite MUST on a one CD 'best of' package....likely top 10 most days.  [including today.]

Silver...Ben E. King.  A solo shot from one of a ton of Drifters.  And a very nice fella as well.  Friendly.  Approachable.  Open and honest.  Easy to interview.  AND?  A great performance on a first rate, classic song.  Here's the version which established its credentials.  Like Clyde McPhatter before him Ben E. was significantly bigger than the indentured Drifters.  It was almost slavery.

Bronze.  Just missed out on the silver designation.  Burt and Ernie [aka Hal] wrote a bunch of great songs which Dionne stamped with immortality.  Isaac Hayes would also treat this song with the respect it deserved.  Dionne rules!!!  I own her greatest hits CD.  I couldn't possibly 'do' w/o it.  I'd say that she and Dusty were my favourites from the legions of women singin' in the 60s 3 EXCELLENT choices here Larry.

And then way, Way,  W A Y  back...a man who struck me as being terribly insincere virtually every inch of the way...Elvis Aaron.  He was never ***my*** 'king'.  For these 2 ears...the 2 attached to my noggin...over his 20 years of 'occupation' he recorded enough good, to great, songs to fill up about 3 or 4 vinyl albums or 2 cds.  The rest?  Pretty much filler and mass produced drivel done just to make allowance money off of the girls.  He left a much tarnished body of work.  This one?  No thanks.  This guy MUST have been the Great Pretender that the Platters sang about.



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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #3 
Check this out ladies and gents... ... ...



And then there's THIS tear-jerker...



There's a 1/2 hour's worth of Kleenex sales.
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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #4 
Lee -- thanks for getting the voting going. 

I bet I know how you'd rank these two. [smile]

1:  The Drifters, "There Goes My Baby" ("I broke her heart and made her cry")


2:  Elvis A. Presley, "Crying in the Chapel" ("The tears I shed were tears of joy")


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Al Forsyth

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Larry,

This is all but impossible for me to rank right now. Wowzer!!!!! By week's end though...

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kds

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Reply with quote  #6 
Gold - The Beach Boys - In My Room was one of the first songs that really hooked me to The Beach Boys.  It's a classic that never gets old.

Silver - Ben E. King - Close second, as it's a great great song.  

Bronze - Dionne Warwick

Tin - Elvis - I'm with Lee here.  I've never really been a Presley fan.  I don't personally believe he's the real "King of Rock and Roll."  I'd think that either Little Richard, Chuck Berry, or Jerry Lee Lewis are more worthy of that crown. 
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #7 
Here's the real version of that Elvis monstrosity.



I was never all that big on folks like Pat Boone and the 'king' who 'covered' songs by Black artists/the original artists.  Elvis wasn't quite as blatant about it but he did as much to hurt the R&B artists as he did to help them.  And what he did to Carl Perkins [after the car accident which killed Carl's brother and knocked Perkins off of the Ed Sullivan show and out of sight for months and months and months] with Blue Suede Shoes was a crime.

The British Invasion guys paid tribute to the R&B artists and mentioned and included them...working with them whenever they got the chance.  Murry took advantage too.  [Chuck/Surfin USA]  Brian corrected it.  And then he made up for it.  Chuck Berry made well more than just a tidy sum from the Beach Boys recordings over many years.

I don't think that endeavoring to keep Black artists off the charts, off the radio and out of the mainstream was EVER a worthy practice.  Presley did that.  To his credit though he did [secretly] help to pay Jackie Wilson's hospital bills after Jackie had pretty much been forgotten.  As you can see I'm kinda 50/50 on Elvis.
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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #8 
can i add my tears to this early on
with a very, very favourite track from the '80's
godley & creme produced many, many top notch diveos for big acts
as well as their own music after the'd departed from 10cc
'peter gabriel: 'biko' / herbie hancock: 'rockit'  / george harrison: 'when we was fab'...)...
this is in the days before you could digitally morph stuff.
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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #9 
the consummate purveyor of crying,
johnny ray (here a tv performance i'd not seen before):


and, with a rockin' good impersonation of, well, someone or other,
or maybe just about every 50's rock act,
in a movie called 'cry baby'


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kds

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Reply with quote  #10 
Here's a song that can make grown men cry, Queen's Who Wants to Live Forever.  

Written by Brian May in 1986 for the soundtrack to The Highlander, the song took on a different meaning when Freddie Mercury passed away five years later. 

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paul g adsett

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having seen john cale transform this song a few times
into something you'd happily die to
(as in - it can be the most beautifully anguished thing you'll ever hear
and you'd go in the certainty that whatever happens to you, he's got it worse!)
here's his solo piano version (saw him in london round about this time):


and a couple of yet different versions, here with andy summers:


and an all-star supergroup:
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GGH

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GOLD: In My Room-Beach Boys
Brian and the boys win by a LANDSLIDE. It's beautiful, it's honest, it's vocally superior, and pure Beach Boys magic.

SILVER: Stand By Me-Ben E. King
I love this song. It's a classic. I have to say, I prefer the John Lennon version though.

BRONZE: Heartbreak Hotel-Elvis Presley
I don't hate Elvis, but I'm not a fan. I just don't see how a dude who didn't write his own music and barely played an instrument could be so popular. And he's too much of a crooner for my taste. Not a bad song though. Just ok.

TIN: Walk On By-Dionne Warwick
Not my cup of tea.

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Lisa G/TS

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Reply with quote  #13 
If "so sad, so sad, sometimes she feels so sad" qualifies, here's another (one fave Macca track I'm guaranteed to sing along with...and yes, I verified the lyrics are accurate - or at least more accurate than others):



I'll be casting my ballot later...
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Cindy Hood

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Reply with quote  #14 
Easy peasy week for me, Larry!  All familiar ones.

I'll go with:

Gold:  By a landslide - Beach Boys for In My Room.  A favorite early Beach Boys tune.

Silver:  Ben E. King for Stand By Me.  Always loved this one.

Bronze:  Elvis for Heartbreak Hotel.  I know this was one of 'Elvis the Pelvis' many great songs, but I like a lot his others way better than this one.

Tin/Pewter:  Dionne Warwick for Walk on By.  It's nice, but I never really got into her stuff.

My final answer.

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Larry Franz

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Reply with quote  #15 
Lee -- I much prefer the Orioles' "Crying in the Chapel" as well (funny, but I've posted their original twice in recent years and completely forgot about it when gathering songs for this week).

Paul -- Johnnie Ray's greatest hits frequently spun around on our family hi-fi years ago. So his tremendous "Cry" was a candidate this week, but I figured it would be too weird. Maybe if there's ever a "Crying Part 2". Mr. Ray was quite a performer and had quite an interesting career with its ups and downs (he was one of those Americans we forgot about). Someone should turn his life into a movie.

One of his I didn't think of using was "The Little White Cloud That Cried", the flip side of "Cry", which he wrote and which went to #2 in the US circa 1951. 




Thanks to Lisa, kds and Paul for the additional laments. And to kds, Cindy and GGH for the additional votes. 

So, will "In My Room" sweep the week and charge into the playoffs like one of the Unsullied? Will Elvis polarize the BOTB community? Stay tuned.


PS -- For anyone wondering why Roy Orbison's "Crying" isn't competing this week, as previously planned, a last minute executive decision changed the lineup. That was partly because, as Darren informed me, "In My Room" and "Crying" competed against each other once before (in season 3, week 2, along with Nilsson's "Without You" and the Carpenters' "Rainy Days and Mondays".)

One more for no particular reason:

Dion, "(I Was) Born To Cry" (he is not feeling good at all)


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