The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Car Tunes

It was near midnight last evening when I worked on this post. I remembered something I used to use in class, an old audio cassette with a blues number, "Dynaflow Blues," by Johnny Shines. Why I used it, or how, or anything about the context, I'm not sure about. It may have been some kind of exercise in establishing criteria for criticism.

I looked it up on YouTube and found it. Then I started thinking about other car tunes. (Sounds a little like cartoons, doesn't it?) I could have gone further with this and may do a part II at a later date.

First, here's Johnny Shines. He sings, "She's got a bad disconnection, baby, somewhere down below." Dontcha love that line? Great slide guitar work, too.

This next one, I wasn't familiar with till I found it last night. But I like it. Another blues number.
Johnny Basset, Motor City Horns: "Cadillac Blues."

Gotta have a Ford tune. I really like this one. It's got that old '50s vibe working. Ronnie Dawson, "V8 Ford Boogie."

And, of course, Bill Haley, "Rocket 88." Some say it's the prototypical Rock and Roll song. Some say Jimmy Preston's earlier "Rock the Joint" started it all. I'm not getting into that debate or the one about whether this version or Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (Ike Turner and the Kings of Rythm) is the most influential. Bill Haley's version is the one I heard first, so here it is.

I heard Johnny Bond's version of this first in the early '60s, but from somewhere in the '70s, here's Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, with "Hot Rod Lincoln."

This last one I'd never heard either, and it's an okay song, but I'm posting it mainly because of the great video of that black 1955, Series 62 Caddy convertible. No matter what you think of the tune, the car is absolutely stunning.

Vince Taylor. "Brand New Cadillac"


  1. Well my friend, that was a most enjoyable half hour. I'd never heard of a couple of those renditions or artists. Now, if I can just get my foot to stop tap'n out a beat on the floor.....

    BTW, back in the day, played a mean "harp" (a 64 Hohner Chromonica), and the drums, so I really enjoy posts like these. Thanks!

    Hmmm, maybe I'll go see if'n I can dig up that old "organ" and resurrect some old musical memories.

  2. Johnny Shines went missing, Dan. Thought you'd wanna know!

    What a nice trip down memory lane! A couple of these were new to me (Cadillac Blues, V8 Ford Boogie) and the rest were familiar. I could leave ol' Vince Taylor on the shelf but I watched all the way to the end because of that Eldo convertible... which triggered bittersweet memories, as I have some experience with old Caddys. ;-)

    "Cadillac Blues" hit me right dead center in my sweet spot. I love those old hollow body electrics backed up with a good horn section. That was some real sweetness!

  3. P.S., I just posted the rendition of "Hot Rod Lincoln" that I like the best, and a popular version of "Night Train". Tomorrow, I'll be posting some scores by "The Hamonicats" and maybe some Johnny Puleo and his crew.

    Damn! See what ya did mate, ya got me started.

  4. Cookie: Glad you liked it Cookie. I'll check out Night Train today and listen in tomorrow for the Harmonicats. BTW, I learned to play harmonica a little back in the early '70s driving to work (30 minutes open interstate) in my old Karmann Ghia which didn't have a radio. Amazing Grace, O Susanna, etc. Lotsa fun, but I'm not very good at it.

    Buck: I didn't know Shines disappeared. I felt the same way about the Taylor thing, but man that Caddy is something else. I definitely agree about "Cadillac Blues." I musta played that thing over about ten times last night.

  5. Johnny Shines most certainly DOES! I need to find me Volume 15 of the Blues Classics...

  6. Good tunes! We used to have an old '55 Cadillac hearse stuck way back in the garage (Mouse Grey). Had to use it once in a while. They were all steel back then and a real lead sled to drive, but she had style, and a paint job slicker than a cats a$$ !!