FMF Episode #18 – Father’s Day

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DJ:  Hi-dee-ho daddy-o!  Happy Fathers Day and welcome to another episode of Feel Me Flow!  On this special Sunday episode, we’re working on our father theme.  With its origins in the Catholic Church, Fathers Day was first celebrated on March 19th.  After Anna Jarvis helped get Mothers Day inaugurated, Fathers Day wasn’t far behind.  In 1910, the Spokane, WA YMCA first officially celebrated Fathers Day with the backing of a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd.  Sonora wanted to honor her father in a greater than normal way, and after hearing a sermon on the recently inaugurated Mothers Day, Sonora started the push.  She would continue the tradition in Spokane until the 20s when she left for college out of state.  After returning to Spokane in the 30s, she reignited the interest in the holiday and would receive backing help from big tobacco to help advertise.  In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June each year.

Now that we’ve reached the third Sunday, let’s get to it!  We’re playing songs praising dads, songs about deadbeat dads, songs from Fathers to sons and daughters, and even a Stevie Wonder cover.  Let’s jump right into things with James Brown’s famous “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”.

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DJ:  Bad Religion‘s Greg Graffin received his Ph.D. from Cornell University after attending UCLA for his Master’s degree in geology.  Greg would return to UCLA to teach classes after graduating.  We played “Sorrow” from Bad Religion’s The Process Of Belief.

Greg was born in Racine, WI which is only 20 minutes south of Milwaukee, where the Violent Femmes are from.  Their debut self-titled effort would go on to top many lists of best 80s albums, especially in the college rock scene.  It would also make it onto the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list.  Although “Blister In The Sun” would go on to become the band’s signature song, “Gone Daddy Gone” was actually the only single released from the album.

Chiming in from Muscle Shoals, AL, we heard Clarence Carter’s “Patches” from his 1970 LP of the same name.  Clarence had to be convinced to do the song by producer Rick Hall, claiming “it would be degrading for a black man to sing a song so redolent of subjugation”.  Turns out Rick was right, the song is perfect.  Check out that Muscle Shoals documentary if you get a chance, too!

Before Mr. Carter, we played a track off of what is possibly Elton John’s best album. 1972’s Tumbleweed Connection finds a British piano player surrounded by Americana/Country-Western themes.  Also released in 1970, the concept album reeked of laid back country-tinged tunes.  We played “Son Of Your Father” from the LP, which also features “My Father’s Gun” and “Into The Old Man’s Shoes”, a pair of dad-tracks.

We’re gonna do a set of tunes exclaiming the artists’ disdain for their fathers.  Yes, Father’s Day is about celebrating Fathers, but not everyone is blessed with a perfect Dad.  Here’s The Front Bottoms playing their track, “Father”.

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DJ:  Whew!  So, believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to find positive songs about moms than it is to find about dads.  It’s almost like rock stars seem to often have daddy issues?  More on that later.  Twin Cities legend P.O.S rounded out our mad-at-dad set with “Duct Tape” from his debut album Ipecac Neat.  If you’re still unfamiliar with the Twin Cities hip-hop scene, including Doomtree, Atmosphere, Dem Atlas, Astronautalis and much more, than shame on you.

NOFX chimed in with “Happy Father’s Day” from their latest album First Ditch Effort.  Fat Mike is so pissed at his dad that he sings about changing his last name so that when he dies the family name is dead with him.  Damn, dude.

Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” was written about Eddie‘s stepfather when he was still in high school.  He brought the song to Pearl Jam for their sophomore album Vs., but they rejected it claiming it sounded too much like a hit song.  After producer Brendan O’Brien expressed his interest in the track, they would revive it for their third album Vitalogy. Good thing Brendan convinced them, too, the song would become one of their biggest hits!

Before PJ, we played Billy Childish and Thee Headcoats.  Thee Headcoats and other Childish groups like Thee Mighty Caesars and The Milkshakes not only paved the way for the resurgence of garage rock and surf in the 2010’s, but Billy is still releasing music, too!  His latest group CTMF released Brand New Cage in 2017.  We played the B-side to Thee Headcoats’ 1995 single “Gun In My Father’s Hand”; “The Day I Beat My Father Up”.

Toronto, ON punk band Fucked Up actually released 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life on Reel-to-Reel tape, among other standard formats. Its super rare to see bands using reel-to-reel, let alone analog recording in general.  Aside from their full-lengths, Fucked Up releases a Zodiac 12″ EP once a year corresponding with that year.  They just released “Year Of The Snake” in March of this year and the title track clocks in just under twenty-four minutes!  Here’s “Son The Father” from that 2008 masterpiece.

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DJ:  John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” would be the first time the public would hear Sean Lennon on tape.  After a five year hiatus in recording, John would finally release Double Fantasy in 1980.  Sadly, he was shot only three weeks after the album’s release.  Some people, man.

Taking Back Sunday released their debut album in 2002 after Adam Lazzara joined the band.  The band has released seven full-length LPs including their most recent Tidal Wave.  The album cover features a picture of Adam’s son Asa in front of the ocean and is themed around water and fatherhood.  Both of Adam’s sons have the middle name “Danger”.

Stevie Wonder wrote, “Isn’t She Lovely” for the birth of his daughter Aisha Morris in 1975.  Stevie said about her, “she was the one thing that I needed in my life and in my music for a long time.”  The all-star punk cover band Me First And The Gimme Gimmes covered the tune for their 2003 R&B covers album Take A Break and we decided to play that cover version.

Jeff Daniels, the musician not the actor, was the pseudonym of country-western singer Luke McDaniels.  Luke wrote songs that Jim Reeves, The Byrds, George Jones, and even Buddy Holly would record, but struggled to make a name for himself.  So much so, that he changed his name after signing to Big Howdy Records.  Jeff Daniels proved to not be as attractive as a name as he had hoped, and Luke’s music career would slowly fizzle out by the end of the 70s.  From his debut recording as Jeff, we heard “Daddy-o-Rock”.

Our Set 4 Score this week features Brooklyn, NY’s Daddy Issues.  The band released their sophomore full-length LP Deep Dream in May of this year.  We’re gonna play a cover of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer” from that album.

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DJ: David Bowie released Hunky Dory in 1971, his first for RCA.  The album features the singles “Changes”, “Life On Mars”, and many other radio staples, including “Song For Bob Dylan” which we played on our Dylan episode.  David wrote “Kooks” in the form of a Neil Young song due to listening to him when receiving the news of the birth of his son Duncan.

“My Father’s Son”, the B-side to The Idle Race’s first single “Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree” was buried by the original artist’s version when it came out.  Roy Wood of The Move had written the tune after leaving The Idle Race to form his own band.  Roy asked Jeff Lynne to join him, but Jeff insisted on sticking with The Idle Race.  After the Idle Race fizzled away, Jeff accepd a second offer from Roy and joined The Move.  ELO would form just a year or so afterward.

Mac Demarco released his third LP This Old Dog in May of this year to a quickly growing audience.  The Canadian born “jizz-jazz” singer has helped fuel a lo-fi revolution in indie rock, spawning blue wave clones across the North American stratosphere.  We played “My Old Man” from that LP.

John Fogerty said he wrote “Someday Never Comes” about his parents divorcing and hearing his dad tell him “someday you’ll understand'”.   The song itself is based on the idea of every kid asking “when are we going fishing?” and the parent responding with “someday”.  Sad in a way, but totally on point.  The song comes from CCR’s final album, 1972’s Mardi Gras.  The single would represent a bit of a swan song for CCR’s career, with the band breaking up after its release.

Mick Collins and The Gories are gonna play us a tune now from their sophomore 1990 LP I Know You Fine, But How You Doin’?.  Mick would go on to form The Dirtbombs along with a few other garage rock/blues bands.  The Gories’ style would also be instrumental in forming the Detroit blues-rock sound that bands like The Go and The White Stripes would take to new heights at the turn of the century.  Here’s “Let Your Daddy Ride”.

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DJ:  The Flaming Lips were well aware their song sounded like Cat Stevens’ “Father And Son”, so they changed some bits of the song to not sound so similar.  Apparently, it wasn’t enough of a change, and now Cat Stevens (goes by Yusuf Islam these days) is receiving 75% of the royalties for the song.  I suppose, if this were live radio, we’d be paying Yusuf for the last two songs of that set!

Before the Lips, we heard Cat Stevens doing “Father And Son” from 1970’s Tea For The Tillerman.  Yusuf sings in a low register to represent the father in the song and higher for the son.  The song is reportedly “for those people who can’t break loose” from their parents grip.  We get it, ya just love your kids!

The A-Bones named themselves after the old surf rock tune “A-Bone” from Minnesota’s Trashmen.  Playing backup band to artists like Hasil Adkins and The Flamin’ Groovies, the band has built their own following over the last nearly 30 years.  In 2004, the band released a compulitaion of oddities, singles, B-sides and such, and named it Daddy Wants A Cold Beer And Other Million Sellers.  We played the top million seller from that comp, “Daddy Wants A Cold Beer”

In 1968, Carl Perkins wrote “Daddy Sang Bass” after being inspired by Johnny Cash cleaning up his drug  habits.  He borrowed the famous chorus from “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, a tune famously reworked by June Carter Cash’s parents, The Carter Family.  From Johnny’s The Holy Land album, that was “Daddy Sang Bass”.

Alrighty then, now let’s hear Long Beach’s Tijuana Panthers kick off our last set with “Father Figure” from Semi Sweet.

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DJ:   All eleven minutes and forty five seconds of The Temptations’ 1972’s All Directions capping off our Father’s Day episode.  The single version clocked in just under seven minutes and would give The Temptations their last number one single.  Originally written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield for The Undisputed Truth in 1971, the song would make its way to The Temptations just a year later, and would long shadow over the Truth’s version.

When Stephen Merritt started his 69 Love Songs project, he initially sought to write 100 songs as a way to introduce himself to the world.  Settling on 69, the album still ended up being three CDs or 6-10″ LPs.  “Papa Was A Rodeo” pulls in some country tinge, just like Neil Young’s “Old Man” did in the song prior.

Neil apparently wrote “Old Man” for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970.  It features James Taylor on banjo and Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.

Before Neil, we heard Southern soul legend Joe Tex doing “Papa Was Too” from 1966’s I’ve Got To Do A Little Bit Better.  Joe was also famous for having an ongoing rivalry with James Brown, who led our show.  Tex would join the Islamic rocker world after changing his name to Yusuf Hazziez in 1966.

And that, my friends, is the point where we end the show. Please join us next time on Feel Me Flow when we celebrate the Summer Solstice!  Happy Fathers Day and spread the love!

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2 thoughts on “FMF Episode #18 – Father’s Day

  1. Thanks for sharing! Your in depth knowledge of music and its origins, along with your take on them, has never ceased to amaze me.

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