“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

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  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,

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  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

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“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.

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  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

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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

“Oh! What It Seemed to Be” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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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.

Oh! What It Seemed to Be

Tom Chaffin, author of  Conversations From A Room (1993 Leonard Cohen interview), wrutes

Was looking at your Leonard Cohen Jukebox the other day, and thought of a song that he mentioned to me as one of his early favorites. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the song (just remember him reciting first verse or so), so I have no idea of what version he had in mind.

Wikipedia informs us

“Oh! What it Seemed to Be” is a song composed by Bennie Benjamin, George Weiss and Frankie Carle. The song was most popular in 1946, and was taken to number 1 that year by both Frank Sinatra and the Frankie Carle orchestra, the latter with Marjorie Hughes on vocals.

That first verse follows:

It was just a neighborhood dance
That’s all that it was
But, oh, what it seemed to be
It was like a masquerade ball
With costumes and all
Cause you were at the dance with me

Since Leonard was not, for the most part, a Sinatra fan, I’ve chosen the version by the Frankie Carle orchestra for this post.

Blackeyed Susans And David McComb & The Red Ponies Cover Leonard Cohen’s "Memories"

David McComb

David McComb, an Australian singer-songwriter who died at 36 in 1999,1 was lead singer for The Triffids and later a member of the Blackeyed Susans. He also did a solo tour with his own backing band, The Red Ponies.

An especially well-done summary of the history and significance of the Triffids and McComb by UrPal, a contributor to LeonardCohenForum and a moderator of The Triffids web site, is available at “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On” By McComb & Peters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox.

Memories By Leonard Cohen

I am an unabashed fan of “Memories,” a song originally concocted during the brief, stormy, and itself memorable collaboration-collision of Leonard Cohen and Phil Spector. Previous posts featuring “Memories” include the following:

  1. Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: Memories & Death Of A Ladies’ Man
  2. Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: Leonard Cohen On Memories
  3. Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: Memories & I Am A Hotel
  4. Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: The 1979 ZDF-TV Droll, Deadpan Version
  5. Leonard Cohen Down Memories Laine: Live Performances Of Memories Online

These covers by David McComb and The Red Ponies and by the Blackeyed Susans are outstanding additions to the collection.

Blackeyed Susans – Memories


Note: Originally posted Oct 27, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. McComb had a history of alcoholism, drug abuse, and cardiomyopathy, for which he underwent a heart transplant in 1996. He died a few days after being sent home from the hospital following a car accident. From Wikipedia []

Bob Dylan’s “Ballad Of A Thin Man” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Biggest Influence on My Music – The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. There was “The Great Pretender,” “Cross Over the Road.” 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.

Renik Van den Eynde points out that Leonard Cohen’s admiring use of Dylan’s lyrics from The Ballad Of A Thin Man qualifies it for Leonard Cohen’s jukebox:

I don’t know what is happening, and I don’t care what is happening, to tell you the truth, it’s none of my business. I know that the explanations that are available have their various degrees of interest, but nothing seems to be speaking to me personally about what is happening. I tend to, you know, let my attention wander from the various channels of information, whether they be newspapers, television, art, song, literature and even conversation; so something is happening, as Dylan says, but you don’t know what it is, do you Mr. Jones. So that’s the way I feel. So what is happening or what has happened to me or my writing or my lyrics, I’m not interested in the explanation, even my own, I’m only interested in the feeling that is just answering the appetite to describe moments and feelings that somehow has not been described in what is available.1

The referenced Dylan lyrics follow:

Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?
You raise up your head and you ask, “Is this where it is?”
And somebody points to you and says, “It’s his”

Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man
Desert Trip, Coachella: Oct 14, 2016

Bob Dylan Songs On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Interface

All posts about Leonard Cohen’s & Bob Dylan’s opinions of each other, their meetings, and comparisons by others can be found at

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  1. From Interview with Leonard Cohenby Kari Hesthamar, Los Angeles, 2005 []