“Y.M.C.A.” By The Village People Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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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 On Disco, The Village People, and “Y.M.C.A.”

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Yep, Leonard Cohen is – or at least was in 1979 – pro-disco, pro-Village People, and pro-YMCA.1 The following excerpt is from “An Idol’s Opinions” by Peter P. Hopfinger. Kurier: September 9, 1979 [translated into English]:

Disco is all right. People always want music to dance to. I quite like some of it, for example, the Village People hit ‘YMCA.’

This factoid, of course, immediately led DrHGuy to the thought that the Village People entourage comprising a police officer, an American Indian chief, a cowboy, a biker, a construction worker, and a military man (for the song, “In the Navy,” the police officer appeared as an admiral) might well have been enhanced by the addition of a Canadian singer-songwriter-poet-novelist-Zen monk-icon. From that notion, things began to slide, slide in all directions, finally resulting in the reworked “Best Of Village People” album cover seen above.

Video: Original YMCA Music Video 1978

Credit Due Department: Newspaper article contributed and translated into English by Rike.

Note: Originally posted Oct 27, 2013 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Really, who else is going to tell you this stuff? []

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

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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”

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From Bård Oses intervju med Leonard Cohen by Linn Gjerstad (BA: March 26, 2012)  in 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

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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. 

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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.

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  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

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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.

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Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues

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  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

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  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

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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

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