Old Girlfriends and Other Horrible Memories

JF 1990: And so, thinking, remembering and writing a lot about the 50s, I got interested in '50s rock and roll music and started arranging songs like Blueberry Hill for solo guitar – and mood songs about people and places where I grew up. As a result at shows these days I play almost nothing but '50s music and blues. No longer do I play long, neo-Wagnerian, pretentious, pompous songs like, oh, Mark. I did quite a few of these disgustingly eclectic, preposterous “tone poems” – of course some of them were quite good. Also I have stopped using fingerpicks altogether.”
Note: some years later the long tone poems were back with a vengeance!
Twilight Time
Morton Nevins, Al Nevins, Buck Ram
1st Guitar – Terry Robb, 2nd Guitar – John
The Platters’ no. 1 hit from May 1958
The Sea Of Love
Phillip Battiste, George Khoury
By Phil Phillips and the Twilights – no. 2, August 1959
Blueberry Hill
A. Lewis, L. Stock, V. Rose
Fats Domino’s no. 2 hit from November 1958 but the song was written in 1940 and previously a hit for Gene Autry.
A Rose And A Baby Ruth
J. D. Loudermilk
Ukulele by melody Fahey, the only wife to accompany Fahey on an album
The hit was by George Hamilton IV, no. 6 in December 1956
Claire is basically a slowed-down reinterpretation of a Scrapper Blackwell piece in A. Scrapper used similar licks in all his tunes in that key – see Blue Day Blues or A Blues. This one counts as a Fahey original if Poor Boy or Lava on Waikiki, for example, do.
The Thing At The End Of New Hampshire Avenue
A syncopated version of Special Rider Blues by Skip James. New Hampshire Avenue runs from Washington to Takoma Park. The Riggs Road runs parallel.
Leiber & Stoller
An Elvis no. 1 in February 1958
First recorded on The Yellow Princess (1968). This version is faster but just as sweet. As stated above, the Riggs Road runs parallel to New Hampshire Ave, passing through Lewisdale, Langley Park and Adelphi north towards Baltimore.
Dianne Kelly
Parts reminiscent of Poor Boy Long Ways From Home.
Fear And Loathing At 4th And Butternut
The second answer to the perennial pub quiz question “Which two tracks on John Fahey records aren’t by Fahey at all?” At least, that was the question before further investigation into The Voice of the Turtle took place – now no one can pose or answer that question confidently. However, Fear and Loathing is by Al “Blind Owl” Wilson playing his shimmering chromatic harmonica, and is either an outtake or another version of Raga Kafi which forms part of Parthenogenesis, a side-long “suite” from Canned Heat’s Living the Blues album (1968). It’s a cheeky coup by Fahey the spoofer – Canned Heat didn’t credit him on their album, now he doesn’t credit them But when your purloined track is the clear standout on your album, perhaps the plagiarist has been hung by his own petard.
Twilight On Prince Georges Avenue
Retitled version of Marilyn from Old Fashioned Love (1975). JF says that Dorothy Gooch lived on Prince George’s Avenue.