Thursday, June 29, 2017

Self Help Radio 062817: Mercy

(Found the logo at this logo-generating site.)

What happened this week on Self Help Radio?  Did someone find oneself at the mercy of something or someone else?  Did another person or several persons ask or even beg for mercy?  Were their calls for mercy?  Who needs all this mercy?  You?  Me?  Yes.

One might have thought it was a particularly ridiculous little show, but that's only if one had not heard Self Help Radio before.  So many songs about mercy!  (The list is below.)  But that's not all!  An interview with up & coming country act The Mercy Siblings!  An interview with the author of The Power Of Mercy!  Yes, even an interview with the CEO of Mercy General hospitals!  Plus, a song written exclusively for the show!  Do you see all these exclamation points?  Do you think they are used frivolously?  Well, they are!  But don't let that bother you!

The show can be listened to with or without mercy (there's already plenty of mercy there) at the Self Help Radio website.  It's in two parts; which song is in which part is below.  Pay attention to username/password information!

& you'll find yourself saying "oh mercy!" all the day long.

(part one)

"I'm At The Mercy Of Love" Fats Waller _1936_
"Please Have Mercy" John Lee Hooker _The Classic Early Years 1948-1951_
"Mercy" Lorrie & Larry Collins _The Rockin'est_

"Somebody Have Mercy" Sam Cooke _The Man & His Music_
"Have Mercy Mr. Percy" Laurel Aitken _You Got Me Rockin' (The Blue Beat Years 1960-1964)_
"Have Mercy On Me" George Jones _Ragged But Right: The Starday Years Plus_
"Have Mercy Baby" James Brown _The Singles, Vol. 3: 1964-1965_
"Mercy Mercy Mercy" The Cannonball Adderley Quintet _Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live At "The Club"_

"Sisters Of Mercy" Leonard Cohen _Songs Of Leonard Cohen_
"Have A Little Mercy" Jean Wells _Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures_
"Everybody Cryin' Mercy" Mose Allison _Allison Wonderland_
"Mercy Mercy Baby" Ray Barretto _Acid_

"Death Don't Have No Mercy" Rev. Gary Davis _Live At Newport_
"Have Mercy Judge" Chuck Berry _Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969 To 1974_

(part two)

"Mercy Baby" Tim Jacob _Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace_
"Please Have Mercy Baby" Honey & The Bees _Come Get It: The Complete Josie Recordings 1970-1971_
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (Stereo Promo Version)" Marvin Gaye _The Complete Motown Singles, Vol. 11A: 1971_

"Mercy Mercy" The Count Bishops _Speedball Plus 11_
"Have A Little Mercy" Mighty Diamonds _Tell Me What's Wrong_
"Mercy Dash" Shriekback _Jam Science_
"Merciless" The Railway Children _Recurrence_

"The Mercy Seat" Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds _Lovely Creatures: The Best Of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1984-2014)_
"Mercy Seat" Ultra Vivid Scene _Ultra Vivid Scene_
"What Mercy Is" The Luyas _Too Beautiful To Work_
"May Today Be Merciful" Jail Weddings _Meltdown: A Declaration Of Unpopular Emotion_

"Mercy Was A Bee" Tania + Holy Worm _Mercy Was A Bee_
"Mercy" The Jazz Butcher _Last Of The Gentlemen Adventures_

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Whither Mercy?

(Probably not a real street*.  Image from here.)

Why mercy?  Why not mercy?  Couldn't we all use a little mercy?  Just a little?

You are right to be disappointed with this answer.  I have none better.  At some point in the past few months I thought it would be nice to do a radio show about mercy.  I myself have no religious or supernatural beliefs, so I don't see mercy as being part of any religious tradition.  But most certainly there is a strain of that thought in many of the songs you'll hear on the show tonight.

The show tonight!  That's true!  It's on from 8-10pm central, 9-11pm eastern on 93.9 fm WLXU in Lexington & online at the Lexington Community Radio website (just make sure you choose WLXU).  There are guests & lots of songs.  It should be quite merciless in its discussions of mercy.  Wait.

* But it is apparently a real television show.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Preface To Mercy: The Most Famous Mercy Song Is...

What do you think?  In my brain, when I heard the word "mercy," I immediately thought of this one:

Which, I know, isn't technically about mercy, but the word mercy was used as an interjection almost as soon as it came into the English language.

Anyway, the more I thought, the more I came to think it might be this one:

There's this one, which was covered as much as the previous one:

& one that's dear to my heart:

& one that mesmerized me when I first heard at the age of twenty:

The video is mesmerizing me now!

What "mercy" song do you think is the most famous?

Monday, June 26, 2017

This Happened Today

Someone from my past - someone I knew when I was a teen - friended me on Facebook tonight.  She said she joined Facebook just to find me.  She wanted to thank me for all the music I shared with her when we were younger.

That's how Facebook is supposed to work, isn't it?  That's nice.

Gosh, I guess we sort of lost contact maybe in 1994 or so.  I seem to remember visiting her in Dallas some time before I started deejaying, which was in August 1994.  It may have coincided with the use of email - she & I would write letters to one another.  Once I had email, though, I stopped doing that.

Anyway.  That happened & now I have to stay up late to work on this week's show.  I don't mind.  It's nice when nice stuff happens.  It doesn't seem like nice stuff happens all that often.  So it's nice to note when it does.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Everybody's Got One

When I was a kid, my brother Ralph* would sing songs that made prominently use of the word "love" replacing that word with the word "drugs."  For example, he would sing the song "All You Need Is Love" as "All You Need Is Drugs."  I suppose he thought that was clever.

He was at the time a big proponent of drugs, most specifically marijuana.  When I was in high school, I was adamantly against all drugs, for many reasons, among them how dopey it made my big brothers when they were high**.  I'm not sure what he thought he was doing trying to convince a fifteen-year-old boy to find marijuana & smoke it, but I'm certain my own inexperience - I was probably quoting him dubious facts & figures I had learned in a health textbook - was just as weird & annoying.

At the time we talked - & I remember this for some reason as clear as day, I remember him being in my bedroom, & the two of us looking out the window, & him bringing up drugs for no reason at all.  & specifically I remember him mention, because he knew I was a big fan of the Beatles, that John Lennon says at the end of the song "I Am The Walrus," "Everybody smoke pot."

"That's not what he's saying," I said.  "He's saying, 'Everybody's got one.'"

My brother said, "What the hell does that mean?"

I told him I had recently read*** John Lennon's last interview in Playboy where he talked about the songs & he said it meant a penis, a vagina, whatever - everybody's got one.

My brother scoffed.  "Of course he would say that," he said.  "He has to."

There was a moment there when I wondered if my brother knew anything about John Lennon.  I said, "He's very forthcoming in that interview about drug use, like his heroin addiction, & the fact that he & Yoko smoke pot.  Why would he choose to lie about it at this point, especially when he's devastatingly honest about all the rest of the songs they ask him about?"

My brother didn't have a response to that, but he stubbornly insisted, as is the way of my family, that he was right & the person who wrote the song was wrong.

This was part of a revelation that continued the process of my alienation from my family - both in my desire not to interact with them because of their defensiveness & in their reaction not to interact with me because of my tendency to shoot down, with facts & evidence, their generally wrong assertions.  The revelation was this: my family in general often doesn't know what they're talking about.  My brother had been a Beatles fan before I was born & still thought he knew better than John Lennon.  Could understand the motivations better than the man himself.  Would rather believe what he thought was true than accept what the person himself said was true.  This would happen again & again in my teen years, whether it was about music or politics or history.

It occurs to me that this story is completely without a good ending, & there isn't one - not that I remember - but if I am allowed to make up an ending, which I think I should be able to, it would go like this:

My brother just sort of shook his head at me, giving me a look of disgust & almost muttering "fucking know-it-all" under his breath.  Then he paused & said, "So do you wanna buy some pot?"

Really, I wish it ended that way.  & maybe one day I'll believe it did.

* Yes, I have a brother named Ralph.
** I have three big brothers, but I am referring here to the younger two.  My oldest big brother is quite the square, & has probably never tried pot.
*** I had at that time consumed as much information about the Beatles as I could, including several biographies.