“Window Up Above” By George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Window Up Above

Window Up Above was #1 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten Songs of 1988 list.1

“The Window Up Above” is a 1960 single written and originally recorded by George Jones. The version recorded by Jones peaked at number #2 on the country charts and spent a total of 34 weeks on the chart. It became a #1 smash for Mickey Gilley in 1975. “The Window Up Above” is widely praised by many critics – and George Jones himself – as his greatest composition. In “The Devil in George Jones”, an article which appeared in the July 1994 Texas Monthly, the singer told Nick Tosches that he wrote it one morning while living in Vidor, Texas, and that it remained his favorite: “I wrote it in about twenty minutes. I just came in off the road, about eight in the morning. While breakfast was being fixed, I just sat down in the den and picked up the guitar, and it was as simple as that. Sometimes it’s hard to even figure where the ideas come from.” Tosches added, “For Jones, ‘The Window Up Above’ seemed to issue directly from a lifelong insecurity and ambivalence, a deep-rooted fear of what lurked beneath the dream of hearth and home and happiness.” The song addresses the theme of adultery, but adds a foreboding, voyeuristic twist to the typical country music “cheatin'” song, filled with jealous anger and a deep, irreconcilable sense of betrayal2

______________________

  1. From “:Cohen – In Eigenen Worten” (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, which was pointed out to me by Florian []
  2. Wikipedia []

“Losing Hand” By Ray Charles Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Losing Hand

Losing Hand was #5 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten songs of 1988.1

Recorded in New York City on May 17, 1953 in the same session that produced Mess Around, Losing Hand is a soulful blues written by Jesse Stone who worked for Atlantic as a producer, songwriter, and arranger. The song was released as a single with the composer identified as Charles E. Calhoun. On Ertegun’s advice, Stone used the pseudonym on his BMI tunes to avoid conflict with his membership in the other music licensing society, ASCAP. Stone was critical to the Atlantic Records label. He later wrote Shake Rattle and Roll, discovered the Raelettes, Ray Charles’ backing vocals group (remember the juicy call and response in What’d I Say?), and wrote many other hits for the label’s artists. A month after the recording of Losing Hand was made, Jerry Wexler joined Atlantic Records and the label’s rise to legend status was meteoric shortly after.2

________________________

  1. From “:Cohen – In Eigenen Worten” (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, which was pointed out to me by Florian []
  2. Losing Hand by Ray Charles (The Music Aficionado: April 21, 2016) []

“Jezebel” By Frankie Laine Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

Leonard Cohen1

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

“Frankie Lane, he was singing Jezebel”

Frankie Laine: Nov 1949

“Frankie Lane, he was singing Jezebel” is, of course, the opening line of Leonard Cohen’s “Memories.”2 Cohen’s introduction of “Memories” during his June 8, 1985 concert at the Warfield in San Francisco elaborates:3

One footnote : there is a singer mentioned in the first line of the first verse, the singer Frankie Laine. He’s to be remembered for his stellar rendition of “Jezebel.”

Jezebel was also #3 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Five songs of 1985.4

jezebel

“Jezebel” was written in 1951 by Wayne Shanklin and recorded by Frankie Laine with the Norman Luboff Choir and Mitch Miller and his orchestra on April 4, 1951. The record reached #2 on the Billboard chart and was a million seller.5

Frankie Laine – Early Video of “Jezebel
Video from Mark Gallagher

Note: Originally posted Jun 9, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

__________________

  1. Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994 []
  2. For more about “Memories,” see Two Leonard Cohen “Memories” Videos. []
  3. Diamonds In The Lines []
  4. From “:Cohen – In Eigenen Worten” (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, which was pointed out to me by Florian []
  5. Wikipedia []

“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” By The Righteous Brothers Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

I was always attracted to his [Phil Spector’s] earlier work: ‘Unchained Melody,’ ‘Lovin’ Feeling.’ In those songs you could hear the predicament of the central story-teller.1

Leonard Cohen

_________________________

  1. The Great Ones Never Leave. They Just Sit It Out Once In A While by Harvey Kubernik. Melody Maker: November 26, 1977. []

“Racing With The Moon” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer. When I was a kid I always had this fantasy of singing with a band. We’d have get-togethers and I’d sing ‘Racing with the Moon,’ stuff like that. I just don’t think one would have bothered to write if one could have really lifted one’s voice in song.1

Leonard Cohen

While Leonard didn’t mention a specific artist, Racing With the Moon was the signature tune of Vaughn Monroe, who sold over one million copies by 1952,

__________________________________

  1. Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. []

Johnny Cash’s Cover Of “Bird On A Wire” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

I was blown away!

Leonard Cohen on Johnny Cash’s
Performance of Bird On A Wire

Yesterday someone brought up Johnny Cash’s version of Bird On A Wire. Today I bought the record it’s on, ‘American Recordings,’ in a small import shop here in Amsterdam. I didn’t believe my ears. Only the man’s voice and guitar. I was blown away! Those are moments that I think: what am I actually doing here in this business! But if a concert hall full of people – let alone a sports stadium full of people – thinks I can sing then I can sing, isn’t that so?

Leonard Cohen

From Nieuwe live cd gedeeltelijk in Stopera opgenomen [New live cd partly recorded in Stopera] by Jip Golsteijn (De Telegraaf: July 30, 1994). Contributed and translated by Anja Deelen

Credit Due Department: Photo of Johnny Cash by Heinrich Klaffs

.

“The Streets of Laredo” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Heck Of A Guy feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

I think you once sang somewhere “Streets of Laredo”

quoteup2
It was one of the first songs I’ve learned.
As I walked out in the streets of Laredo
As I walked out in Laredo one day,
I spied a young cowboy, all wrapped in white linen.
It’s a great song.
quotedown2

Leonard Cohen1

The Streets Of Laredo was performed by many artists, including Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez, Burl Ives, Jim Reeves, Roy Rogers, Chet Atkins, Arlo Guthrie, Norman Luboff Choir, Rex Allen, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, John Cale, Prefab Sprout, Snakefarm, Mercury Rev, Jane Siberry, Suzanne Vega and Paul Westerberg, but the version by Eddy Arnold was one of the earliest to popularize the song and is a favorite of mine so I’ve chosen it for this post,

Note: Leonard Cohen’s own version of Streets Of Laredo can be (without charge) as part of “The Other Leonard Cohen Album” compilation.

______________________

  1. Excerpted from Gerrit Terstiege’s interview with Leonard Cohen (July 2001) []

Emmylou Harris’ “Ballad Of A Runaway Horse” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

 jukebox700

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. … I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

– Leonard Cohen (Yakety Yak by Scott Cohen, 1994)

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox: Over the years, Leonard Cohen has mentioned a number of specific songs he favors. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox is a Cohencentric feature that began collecting these tunes for the edification and entertainment of viewers on April 4, 2009. All posts in the Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox series can be found at The Original Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Page.

Greeting from Leonard Cohen to Polar Music Prize Laureate Emmylou Harris (2015)

Dear Emmylou Harris,

Thank you for singing that song of mine [Ballad Of The Absent Mare].
You brought it to a place I could never get to.

And thank you for putting into the crowded air,
and establishing it there for all to feel,
the beauty, the dignity
and the loneliness of America itself.

In the midst of all the bewildering directions
your voice takes us home.

With deep gratitude,

Leonard Cohen

Also see Video: Polar Music Prize Laureate Emmylou Harris thanks Leonard Cohen for his letter

Emmylou Harris’ – Ballad of a Runaway Horse

Credit Due Department: Photo by Ckuhl at Dutch Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

Note: Originally posted July 9, 2015 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric