Wednesday, December 03, 2008


It is actually impossible to walk through mid-town Manhattan listening to Count Basie & His Orchestra play "Honeysuckle Rose" (their first recording, 1937) and not develop a jaunty stroll or break into a smile for everyone around you.

Count Basie + Lester Young + Fats Waller = A Force Greater Than You Know.

Honeysuckle Rose - Count Basie & His Orchestra

From: The Complete Decca Recordings

Interestingly, Basie and the boys recorded "Honeysuckle Rose" at Decca Studios, just 20 blocks north of where I was strolling this morning. Can music have a ghost? Can it linger in the streets of New York City for 71 years, waiting for someone to walk by who's listening to it? Is the music always present and we just hear it when we pay enough attention? Was my iPod even necessary?


Liam said...

Dude, you got an ipod!

crystal said...

You have an ipod?

I use the internal earworm instead :)

cowboyangel said...

Very generous birthday present from my brother-in-law.

Not sure how I feel about it yet. I still don't like being cut off from reality when I wear it.

Though, yes, grooving to Basie and Lester this morning was pretty cool.

I was going to ask you about speakers. Do you have speakers for yours? Seems like I have to buy several sets if I'm going to use this thing. One for home, one for the office...

cowboyangel said...

Crystal - The earworm may be a better option.

Though, why did you have to remind me of that scene in The Wrath of Khan?!?!? That gets me every time.

Liam said...

What kind did you get? The big one? The nano? I have the shuffle, so I just listen to it with the earphones and use the computer for everything else.

cowboyangel said...

Nano. With the really useful feature of shaking the damn thing and making it switch songs. That's some high-class technology! I've set it off twice now by accident.

The computer is another issue. I thought an iPod was more of a storage device - like a flash drive. I didn't realize that whatever I want on the iPod I have to keep on my computer as well. I may have to buy a new computer just to use the iPod. Plus two docking stations (one for work, one for home). Plus some portable speakers in case I want to play it in a hotel room. Plus better headphones. Plus an external hard drive, as someone suggested. I may have to take on a third job.

cowboyangel said...

Not that I'm complaining.

cowboyangel said...

It is cool to go from My Bloody Valentine's "Soon" to Willie Nelson singing "Moonlight in Vermont" in one fell swoop. I almost peed in my pants.

crystal said...

Wrath O Khan :)

I use the computer for music too and have a cd player that's tote-able mostly for books, but it's so much bigger than an ipod.

Jeff said...

My wife and kids gave me an ipod for my birthday last May (nice one, with a video screen), although I don't use it as much as I'd like.

Bad enough to have my nose stuck in a blog all the time.. If I had my earphones on all the time, I'd really catch hell.

Plus, I find that a lot of audio programs I'd like to listen to as podcasts are unavailable by the time I go looking for them. It's frustrating.

Wasn't Honeysuckle Rose one of Billie Holliday's big hits?

cowboyangel said...


Interesting that shows you want to hear as podcasts go disappearing. You think they'd keep a better archive.

I don't believe Billie ever recorded Honeysuckle Rose, though just about everyone else did.

Fats Waller, the composer (his lyricist Andy Razaf adding the words), did several versions, including my favorite.

Wikipedia has a list of some of the people who've done it - from Kiri Te Kanawa to Harpo Marx!

It's also the name of Willie Nelson's touring bus.

And the title of one of my short stories, in which one of the main threads is actually about Basie and the boys recording the version I was listening to.