Geoffrey Oreyama’s Cover Of "Suzanne" 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.

Suzanne Cover Gives Leonard Cohen A Good Feeling

imyourfan

This excerpt from Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy (The Q Magazine, 1991), describes a conversation taking place between the author and Cohen while music from the tribute album, I’m Your Fan, plays in the background:

As That Petrol Emotion launch into Stories Of The Street, he [Leonard Cohen] finally cracks. “Hey, we’re really going to have to take this down. It’s such an exquisite distraction.” He turns the volume right down. “We’ll try it as background music, although my guess is that it’ll make it more tantalising.” All goes swimmingly until the opening phrases of Suzanne stop Cohen in his tracks. “Who’s singing this?” he asks.

It is Geoffrey Oreyama, who is signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Cohen squints toward the hi-fi.

“When you hear a guy singing a song like this, which you wrote before he was born, it gives you a good feeling.” He is genuinely choked with emotion. He takes a deep breath. “This isn’t a casual moment for me.”

Oreyama is an Ugandan musician who sings in Swahili and Acholi as well as French and English.

The Video

The audio track of this video is, indeed, Geoffrey Oreyama’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” from the I’m Your Fan album. The video, however, consists of scenes from Final Fantasy.1 I have no information about and am unwilling to even speculate on Leonard Cohen’s assessment of Final Fantasy.

Note: Originally posted Jan 1, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

_______________________

  1. Wikipedia provides this description of Final Fantasy: Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and is developed and owned by Square Enix (formerly Squaresoft). The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science-fantasy console role-playing games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise. The series began in 1987 as an eponymous video game developed to save Square from bankruptcy; the game was a success and spawned sequels. The video game series has since branched into other genres such as tactical role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, and racing. Although most Final Fantasy installments are independent stories with various different settings and main characters, they feature common elements that define the franchise. Such recurring elements include plot themes, character names, and game mechanics. Plots center on a group of heroes battling a great evil while exploring the characters’ internal struggles and relationships. Character names are often derived from the history, languages, and mythologies of cultures worldwide. The series has been commercially and critically successful; it is Square Enix’s best selling video game franchise, with more than 85 million units sold, and one of the best-selling video game franchises. Second to Final Fantasy among Square Enix franchises is Dragon Quest. It was awarded a star on the Walk of Game in 2006, and holds seven Guinness World Records in the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2008. The series is well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy has been a driving force in the video game industry. The video game series has affected Square’s business practices and its relationships with other video game developers. It has also introduced many features now common in console RPGs and has been credited with helping to popularize RPGs in markets outside Japan. []

“What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong 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.

fedoradivider

wonworld

Leonard Cohen – What A Wonderful World Is “Such A Very Beautiful Song”

In the May 27, 2006 episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviews Leonard Cohen1 about a variety of issues, one of which is how Cohen compares himself to classic American songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and Harold Arlen. Cohen agrees with the characterization that he is more cynical than that group of composers and then segues into his (then) recent thought that perhaps he “should leave a song or two like [What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong] behind me.” In the process, he indeed describes What A Wonderful World as “such a very beautiful song.”

What A Wonderful World was written by Bob Thiele (as George Douglas) and George David Weiss and was  first recorded by Louis Armstrong, who released it as a single in 1968.2

Louis Armstrong Performs “What A Wonderful World”

Note: Originally posted Apr 11, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
____________________

  1. See Hear Leonard Cohen Read His Poems & Talk About Boogie Street, The Loss Of His Savings, Mount Baldy Zen Center, & More []
  2. Wikipedia, accessed 11 April 2011 []

Bob Dylan’s “Brownsville Girl” 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.

Another Bob Dylan Hit On Leonard Cohen’s Playlist

knockout_lDylan’s “Brownsville Girl,” #3 on Leonard Cohen’s Top Ten Songs of 1988,1 joins “I And I” and “Tangled Up In Blue” on the list of songs specifically praised by Cohen.

Released in 1986 as a track on Bob Dylan’s “Knocked Out Loaded” album, “Brownsville Girl” (originally named “New Danville Girl”) was co-written by playwright Sam Shepard. Dylan performed it only once in concert, on August 6, 1986.2

Bob Dylan – Brownsville Girl

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

Note: Originally posted June 27, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
_______________________

  1. From Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten (in his own words) by Jim Devlin, a listing found by Florian at LeonardCohenForum []
  2. Wikipedia []

"The Grand Tour" by George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox – Or At Least His Funeral Setlist

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.

The Lord Byron Of Rock ‘n’ Roll1 and The Possum2

George-Jones-The-Grand-tour

Q:  What music would you have played at your funeral?
A: The Grand Tour by George Jones. He’s showing somebody round this empty house and he’s saying here’s the nursery, she left me without mercy.

Leonard Cohen answering an awkwardly phrased query in “Q Questionnaire – Leonard Cohen” from the September 1994 edition of Q Magazine.

To put the period during which this Leonard Cohen quotation was made in context, 1994 saw Leonard Cohen completing his tour promoting The Future and beginning his five year retreat at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center near Los Angeles.

George Jones has been featured in a previous Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox post, “Cold Hard Truth” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox:

Leonard Cohen’s interview with Mark Binelli for Rolling Stone in 20013 is, as suggested by its subtitle, “The cult hero on his songwriting, cooking and Chinese liquor,” wide-ranging. For the purposes of this post, however, the focus is on a few sentences about Cohen’s late night pleasures as a kid in Montreal, including a shout-out to WWVA in West Virginia:

I listened to country as a kid. I could get WWVA from West Virginia, late at night. Have you heard George Jones’ last record, Cold Hard Truth? I love to hear an old guy laying out his situation.4 He has the best voice in America.

According to Wikipedia, “The Grand Tour” was the title track to the album George Jones released in 1974 and  became “Jones’ sixth No. 1 song  on Billboard magazine’s Hot Country Singles chart in August 1974, and was the fourth-biggest hit of the year.”

George Jones – The Grand Tour

Note: Originally posted Jan 18, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

________________________

  1. One of Leonard Cohen’s many nicknames. See Leonard Cohen Nicknames []
  2. Jones was nicknamed “The Possum” by a disc jockey because of the supposed similarity between the country singer’s and the semi-arboreal marsupial’s close set eyes and upturned nose []
  3. Q&A: The New Leonard Cohen – by Mark Binelli. Rolling Stone. Posted Oct 19, 2001. []
  4. I also love to hear an old guy laying out his situation. Incidentally, George Jones was born September 12, 1931, making him only 3 years older than Leonard Cohen, who was born September 21, 1934. It was because Jones began his professional career at 16 and was singing on Texas stations in the 1940s that his songs could possibly have been available on radio while Cohen was still an adolescent. I haven’t been able to track down when Jones began singing at WWVA, but, according to allmusic, the first George Jones recording (a single called “No Money in This Deal”) was released in early 1954, just after Jones returned from a stint in the Marines, on a local Texas label where it received no attention. At that time, Leonard Cohen would have been 19 years old. []

The Beatles’ "Tomorrow Never Knows" 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.

revolver

Leonard Cohen On The Beatles

In “How The Beatles Changed The World,” a 30-minute CBC Radio documentary from Peter Gzowski, first aired in May 1967, Leonard Cohen notes that he has listened to the Beatles on “the AM band” of his transistor radio and specifically describes “Tomorrow Never Knows” as “very, very beautiful.” (See Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About The Beatles – 1967)

“Tomorrow Never Knows” – Background

Wikipedia informs us,

“Tomorrow Never Knows” is the final track of The Beatles’ 1966 studio album Revolver. It is credited as a Lennon/McCartney song, but was written primarily by John Lennon.

The song is significant because it contains the first example of a vocal being put through a Leslie speaker cabinet (which was normally used as a loudspeaker for a Hammond organ) and the use of an ADT system (Automatic double-tracking) to double the vocal image.

“Tomorrow Never Knows” ends the Revolver album in a more experimental fashion than earlier records, which contributed to Revolver’s reputation as one of the group’s most influential and expressive albums.

The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
From Revolver

Note: Originally posted Setp 4, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Ol’ Man River” 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.

oldmanriv

“Ol’ Man River” By Ray Charles

When people ask me, ‘What’s your favorite song?’ I say “Blueberry Hill.”1 “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill / The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill.” That’s as good as it gets, as far as I know. You know everything about that moment. You know, you’re continually see-sawing back and forth between the secular and the spiritual until from time to time you hit it right. It’s there on “Blueberry Hill,” or “Old Man River” from Ray Charles. And what is that? What is that about? Is it about work? Is it about God? Is it about love? It’s impossible to say; it’s been transmuted into the world, and the song doesn’t invite you to examine your achievements in the realm of piety or religiosity or even love, but the song itself is embracing all those elements!
Leonard Cohen2

Ol’ Man River, with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, was written for the 1927 musical Show Boat. Ray Charles released his version of the song on his 1963 album, Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul.

Video: “Ol’ Man River” By Ray Charles

Note: Originally posted Oct 23, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

________

  1. See “Blueberry Hill” By Fats Domino Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox []
  2. Sincerely, L. Cohen by Brian Cullman. Details for Men, January, 1993. [emphasis mine] []