Friday, May 25, 2012

Old And In the Way

From 1969 (and produced by Jimi Hendrix, of all people) please enjoy the perhaps unfortunately monikered Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys and an extremely rare -- meaning I had not even suspected its existence until yesterday -- and totally live television performance of their deliberately retro hit "Good Old Rock 'n' Roll."

I bring the record and band up for a couple of reasons, the first being as an illustration of just how cruelly time can play tricks on works of popular art. If you weren't around at the time, it's hard to explain just what a breath of fresh air this track was when you heard it on the radio; today, unfortunately, it comes off as cornball rock revival pandering, sort of like Sha-Na-Na without the saving irony. (Although I will stipulate that these guys had a pretty high level of musicianship.)

In any case, the other (happier) reason I posted this is the interesting (to me, anyway) fact that the Asian gentlemen with the glasses playing rhythm guitar is none other than longtime Greenwich Village folkie Charlie Chin, who has a far more serious claim to fame than this particular period piece. He is, as it turns out, the guy who played the gorgeous banjo stuff at the conclusion of the album version of Buffalo Springfield's "Bluebird," and I think we can agree that for that stalwart service he deserves respect from all who walk upright.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my God! Charlie taught me the two step, back when we were both bar tending in the village. As I recall, you were at the bar quite a bit.
Leyla

steve simels said...

Indeed I was, but I don't believe I ever met him, alas.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised. He was there a lot.

Anonymous said...

"Good Ol' Rock & Roll" was the only track New York FM radio ever played. Was any of the rest of the album any good?

ROTP(lumber)

Jonathan F. King said...

A breath of fresh air indeed, since so many popsters and hippies were unfamiliar with the wellsprings of '50s rock at that time. It was akwtas a pleasure to catch this tune on the radio that summer (1969), considering that its chartmates included "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," "Love Theme From 'Romeo and Juliet'," and the loathsome "In the Year 2525." (Don't even get me started on "Spinning Wheel"...)

braitman said...

xxx

braitman said...

Yes, all four Cat Mother albums are worth having any respectable record collection. And, until I read the Wikipedia entry, I never knew two of the guys (not Chinn) were with Stills and Furay in the Au-Go-Go Singers. Small world.

Anonymous said...

Hail, hail, Charlie Chin!

And thanks -- that was a cheap 'n' cheerful way to kick off the weekend...

buzzbabyjesus said...

That banjo part was key. I assumed it was Stills or Young. Thanks.

steves said...

Cool! I have this album...on vinyl!