You need something soothing and awesome and darned near angelic tonight, don’t you? Yeah, I thought so. Here ya go.
“Love Letters” was one of those cases where the deejays created a hit by preferring the b-side of the record. The intended hit in 1962 was “I’m A Fool to Want You.”
Ketty Lester went on to cover the song I think should be our National Anthem: This Land is Your Land.
She had other minor hits but by 1968, her follow-up album met with little commercial success. It was clear she’d have to settle as a one-hit wonder. Ketty Lester later turned to a career in prime time television, most notably (to me, anyway) playing Hester-Sue Terhune on Little House on the Prairie from 1978 to 1983.
But this entry isn’t really about Ketty Lester. It’s about Joe Walsh.
“Love Letters,” written by Victor Young and Edward Heyman, way back in 1945. It has been recorded my numerous artists, including The Elvis, including Boz Scaggs, including Toni Tenille, and Sinead O’Connor.
But Joe Walsh thought to do it up-tempo and kind of Caribbean on You Bought It – You Name It.
The stunning thing to me about this version is that, although Walsh approaches the material somewhat light-heartedly, it still doesn’t lose its pathos. That is how well-constructed a work it is. This is up-tempo with nearly a calypso backbeat to it, and yet, the song still retains its anguish, its tortured nostalgia.
What a fabulous song. Just fabulous.
(On the album, the cover in this vein is followed by Walsh’s own account of nostalgic longing, “Class of ’65.” The pairing of these songs is remarkably effective and surprisingly visceral for Walsh.)
That’s it. I’m going shopping for the girliest looking umbrella I can find.
Other good music news today as it appears that Prince is done screwing around with limited releases and is ready to release some material that normal Americans can actually purchase and listen to.
There was a time there when you could count on a new Prince release every summer. I considered a part of my summer, going out to get the next Prince CD. Then he got all mad at Warner Bros., and, after that, the releases were more sporadic. Then he found religion. I dunno. I lost track of him, you know?
Hopefully, these new albums will be a bit more accessible.