“Don’t” & “Are You Lonesome Tonight” By Elvis Presley Are On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original 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.

Leonard Cohen – “I was a huge fan of Elvis”

Elvis_Presley_1970

From Bård Oses intervju med Leonard Cohen by Linn Gjerstad (BA: March 26, 2012; from a May 4, 1988 interview) via Google Translation:

I have plans to sing an Elvis song on stage soon. … – I was a huge fan of Elvis! I was in town until today and bought a compilation LP of the man. Soon you will hear me sing “Don’t” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – but not at the plate. My voice is too deep. 20,000 cigarettes have led my tone of voice three to four notches down too far.

Elvis Presley – Don’t

Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight

DrHGuy Note: While I am unaware of any recordings of Leonard Cohen singing “Don’t” or  “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” he did cover “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.  He sings a bit of it, in fact, during this 1988 BBC interview.

A full version of Leonard Cohen singing “Can’t Help Falling In Love” is available on The Other Leonard Cohen Album.

For another Leonard Cohen-Elvis Presley connection, see Elvis’s Rolls Royce

Credit Due Department: Thanks to Roman Gavrilin aka Hermitage Prisoner for his help in ascertaining that the first Elvis Presley song mentioned by Leonard Cohen was “Don’t” rather than “Don’t Be Cruel” as I initially thought. Photo of Elvis Presley “Elvis Presley 1970” taken by Ollie Atkins, chief White House photographer, when President Nixon & Elvis Presley met.

Note: Originally posted April 6, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Nick Cave’s "Avalanche" Cover Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original 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.

Leonard Cohen Likes How Nick Cave Tears Apart Avalanche

721px-Nick_Cave_1986

I never got over that thrill that someone else has chosen a song [of mine] and wants to do it. I think Nick Cave’s instinct in choosing that song [Avalanche] to cover was very good because that’s just the kind of song that is made to be torn apart and I like the way he tore it apart. I like the way he went out with it. 

Leonard Cohen1

The Nick Cave cover of “Avalanche” on which Cohen commented was the one that led off the track list of From Her To Eternity, the debut album released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 1984.

nickcavefhteNick Cave –  Avalanche
From Her To Eternity: 1984

Bonus: Nick Cave’s 2006 Tribute To Leonard Cohen

Nick Cave also covered Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche,” albeit more as homage than as deconstructionist reinterpretation, at Came So Far For Beauty, the Leonard Cohen tribute concert held at the Point Theatre, Dublin, Ireland on October 5, 2006.

Nick Cave – Avalanche
Dublin: Oct 5, 2006
Video from caro8680

 

Bonus 2: Nick Cave’s Re-Recording Of Avalanche For Black Sails, Season 2 (2015)

Credit Due Department: Photo “Nick Cave 1986” by Yves Lorson – originally posted to Flickr as Nick Cave. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

Note: Originally posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric. Some material has been updated.

_____________________________

  1. Leonard Cohen: The Classic Interviews (Chrome Dreams, 2009), quoted in Leonard Cohen Hallelujah by Tim Footman, Chrome Dreams, 2009. p 130 []

“Folsom Prison Blues” By Johnny Cash Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

Note: Originally posted April 12, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

The Original 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.

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

folsom45The following excerpt is from Leonard Cohen Is A Poet Who Is Trying To Be Free by Marci McDonald (Toronto Daily Star, April 26, 1969):

folsom2And, Cohen’s admiration for the Man In Black is unmistakable:

Johnny Cash has been speaking to me for a long, long time. It’s one of the sweetest voices in my mind. Even after the song is done you hear him, you see him standing up for what we need and love. He’s always there, the tallest figure in the circle of integrity, the deepest voice when night comes down, and the bravest take on sanity in the midst of wild confusion. Thank you, sir. The generations will be listening.

Leonard Cohen1

Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

_____________________

  1. From the booklet accompanying Man In Black The Very Best Of Johnny Cash (2001) []

“The Great Pretender” By The Platters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original 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.

Classic 1950s Hit From The Platters – The Great Pretender

17560159881_f3a1c909a3_bLeonard Cohen’s comment on the role of the jukebox provides the documentation for today’s song selection:

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, quoted in Scott Cohen’s 1994 book, Yakety Yak:1 [bolding mine]

“The Great Pretender” was released as a single in 1955 and became a number #1 hit on both the R&B and pop charts in 1955.

And, as luck would have it, an outstanding video from a 1950s performance of this great song by the Platters is available on YouTube. This is a treat.

The Platters – The Great Pretender

Note: Originally posted Apr 22, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

_________________________

  1. Full title: “Yakety-Yak : The Midnight Confessions and Revelation of Thirty-Seven Rock Stars and Legends” published by Fireside. []

Bobby Darin’s “If I Were A Carpenter” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original 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.

Bobby Darin – If I Were A Carpenter

Bobby_Darin_-_If_I_Were_a_Carpenter

Take that ballad Bobby Darin sings, If I Were A Carpenter–that’s as good a ballad as any Scottish border ballad. It really is right up there.

– Leonard Cohen (1966)1

If I Were A Carpenter was written by Tim Hardin, a singer-songwriter Cohen admired. Hardin also recorded the song and performed it at Woodstock in 1969, but Bobby Darin’s rendition, released in 1966, proved more popular, rising in the charts to #8 in the US and #9 in the UK.

Video

Bobby Darin – If I Were A Carpenter
TV Special: March 1973

Note: Originally posted Aug 23, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

_________________________

  1. From A Session With Poet Cohen by Jon Whyte, Patricia Hughes, Terry Donnelly, and John Thompson. The Gateway: December 2, 1966 []

Otis Redding’s “These Arms Of Mine” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

jukebox700

The Original 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.

It’s Coming From The Silence On The Dock Of The Bay

1024px-Otis_Redding_(2)

In addition to that allusion in the above heading to Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” in the lyrics of “Democracy,” Leonard Cohen noted his fondness for a specific song by Redding in a 1993 interview1 when he responded to the query, “Who currently blows you away as a songwriter?”

This isn’t quite the moment to ask me, because I’ve been on the road for a long time and one’s disinterest in music becomes Himalayan in proportion. But, you know, if I hear George Jones singing “Grand Tour,” it can blow me away. If I hear Otis Redding singing “These Arms.” 

“These Arms of Mine” was Otis Redding’s first single on Stax, released on his debut album, Pain in My Heart, in 1964.

Otis Redding – These Arms Of Mine

If this video does not play within the embedded player, it can be watched at YouTube.

Credit Due Department: Photo of Otis Redding By Volt Records (Billboard, page 7, 7 January 1967) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Originally posted May 10, 2012 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

  1. Leonard Cohen by Dev Sherlock. Musician Magazine: November, 1993 []

Bob Dylan’s “I And I” 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.

Bob Dylan And Leonard Cohen Talk Shop

infiedels

One of the anecdotes in the standard catechism all good Leonard Cohen acolytes learn has to do with the contrast in the time required by Bob Dylan and Cohen to compose a song. The story appears in several Cohen interviews. The following iteration is from Leonard Cohen, Los Angeles 1992, a section of “Songwriters On Songwriting” by Paul Zollo:

That [“Hallelujah”] was a song that took me [Leonard Cohen] a long time to write. Dylan and I were having coffee the day after his concert in Paris a few years ago and he was doing that song in concert. And he asked me how long it took to write it. And I told him a couple of years. I lied actually. It was more than a couple of years.

Then I praise a song of his, “I and I,” and asked him how long it had taken and he said, “Fifteen minutes.” [Laughter]

Bob Dylan – I And I
From Infidels

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 April 2, 2010 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze” Cover 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.

Billy Joel Covers Leonard Cohen’s “Light As The Breeze”

tower of song tribBilly Joel’s take on “Light As The Breeze” is his contribution to Tower Of Song, a 1995 collection of Cohen’s tunes covered by artists such as Willie Nelson, Sting, Bono, and Peter Gabriel. It also appears on Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits Volume III.

bj3

Leonard Cohen On Leonard Cohen Covers

Leonard Cohen is notoriously positive toward versions of his songs performed by others. As Cohen himself points out,

But as for myself, whenever I hear anybody do one of my songs my critical judgments go into immediate suspended animation. I’m just knocked out when anybody does a cover of mine.

This blanket endorsement is hardly equivalent to his specific praise for songs such as  “Unchained Melody” or “Blueberry Hill,” the tunes featured in the first two Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts; consequently not every cover of “Hallelujah,” for example, will appear in this series.

In those instances in which Cohen unmistakably lauds a specific cover, however, the admittedly subjective criterion for inclusion of a song on this list would seem to be met.

With that in mind, consider …

Leonard Cohen On Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze”

From KCRW Interview With Leonard Cohen1

I think there are songs that are better done than I have done them. Just more successful versions of the songs that I have done. For instance, We were talking about “Billy Joel’s Light As A Breeze.” I think it’s a much much better version of the one I came up with.

Billy Joel – Light As The Breeze

Leonard Cohen – Light As The Breeze
From The Future Album

fedoradivider

Credit Due Department
I was first alerted to the Lenny likes Billy’s cover phenomenon by UrPal at LeonardCohenForum.

Note: Originally posted April 29, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

_________________________

  1. Interview by Chris Doritos, KCRW-FM, Los Angeles, February 18, 1997 []