Archive for January, 2010


I have watched the first half of the season of Glee, and I eagerly look forward to the rest this spring. Somehow, probably on Facebook, I came across the pilot and watched it on Hulu. It appeals to my memories of junior high and high school. I was in Denman Singers, and each year the group had a show choir performance. It was an awkward time to perform, and I often felt embarrassed. Then I chose to do other things for a few years. When I got to spend my last semester of high school in chorus, I enjoyed every minute. I have not stopped since.

I like the show’s mix of earnestness and outlandishness. The characters are enjoyably strange and conniving. The story lines, while not quite supernatural, are ridiculous. Everything is played up to be big, a part of the tradition of modern Broadway and opera before it. At the same time, the show draws me in. I care about those characters, and I want them to succeed. No show has captivated me that way in a long time.

I also found myself regaining appreciation of pop songs. My appreciation of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Sweet Caroline” had dissipated to nil. Hearing them performed again brought it back. It is strange. I heard that the motivation comes in part because the licensing rights for a particular recording tend to be much more expensive than licensing a song to be performed. The popular television talent shows use licensed songs with mostly unknown performers and consequently are relatively inexpensive to produce. However financially contrived Glee is, it works as entertainment.

I thought the first season was over. Then I found out that it just had an unusual presentation. The rest of the first season will air in the spring. I am ready now.

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Michael M. on January 22nd 2010 in General, Music

The Blind Side

I saw The Blind Side several weeks back at the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas. I blogged two times about Michael Oher several years ago. The movie is about Ole Miss sports legends, and I had to see it. It delivered. The movie is touching and enjoyable. It has little bits of lots of things including sports, humor, sentiment, charity and religion. I have read many articles about the movie. Most recently, I enjoyed this Los Angeles Times one about the movie’s making.

As blogged before, I have known about Sean Tuohy for a long time. I remember him from listening to Ole Miss basketball games on the radio. I found this box score for the game I mentioned previously. My parents made me go to bed because I had kindergarten the next day, but they let me listen to the end of the game on the radio while I was in bed. Sean Tuohy got hit between the eyes by the ball late in the game. He was a tough player, though, and he managed to go on.

I wanted to watch the 20/20 episode about the movie, but I missed it due to work. Since then, I found it on the web. As with the movie, it is a little on the sweet side. It is hard to dismiss for the same reason. It really happened.

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Michael M. on January 19th 2010 in General, Movies

Nobody’s Business

Several years ago, Justin Branum of Swing DeVille taught me “Alabama Jubilee” on fiddle at the beloved Folk School. I liked it enough to devise a guitar arrangement. Then I found that it had been popular on guitar for a long time. I discovered this version on YouTube by Jerry Reed. If you are like me, Jerry Reed looks familiar because he was in Smokey and the Bandit and he performed the hit from the movie “East Bound and Down.”

Because I watched several Jerry Reed videos, YouTube recommended this video of  “Nobody’s Business.” As a fan of Mississippi John Hurt, I recognized its similarity to “It Ain’t Nobody’s Business” / “Nobody’s Business” / “Nobody’s Business But My Own” / “Nobody’s Dirty Business.” Blogged Frank Stokes recorded a very similar “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do.”

Irving Thomas is credited with writing it in several places, including this page. The problem is that he was born in 1914, and MJH recorded it in 1928 or so. Blogged Taj Mahal is listed as a performer of it. He released it on Satisfied ‘N Tickled Too, an album titled after a Mississippi John Hurt song. These things are tangled.

This thread on Mudcat credits Porter Grainger and Everett Robbins, and lyrics are here with the date 1922. That version seems to be the one Bessie Smith recorded at “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do.” It is a somewhat different tune.

I cannot tell whether there was a single common source of all these tunes. Perhaps the phrase was just popular. However it happened, similar songs found their ways into quite a few genres and generations.


Michael M. on January 19th 2010 in General, Movies, Music, Recorded

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.