Tim Hardin’s “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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

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.

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I did get a chance to tell him [Tim Hardin] how much I loved his songs – “Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep” …  is a great, great song. I asked him to play it for me, and he did.

 – Leonard Cohen1

Tim Hardin is best known for writing “If I Were a Carpenter” and “Reason to Believe,” but “Don’t Make Promises” was the first track on Tim Hardin’s debut album Tim Hardin 1, released in 1966. While overshadowed by the hit, “Reason to Believe,” “Don’t Make Promises” did receive some air play and was covered by, among others, Bobby Darin, Marianne Faithfull, Three Dog Night, Helen Reddy, Joan Baez, and The Kingston Trio.

Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep

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  1. From Nov 18, 1992 CBC Radio Morningside interview with Peter Gzowski []

Van Morrison’s “Veedon Fleece” 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.

Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece

verdonUnsurprisingly, Leonard Cohen is a fan of Van Morrison.1 When asked to name those he admired on the “contemporary music scene today [1975],” the Canadian singer-songwriter’s responded

I also like Van Morrison very much, including his superb ‘Veedon Fleece’ effort.2

Recorded shortly after Van Morrison’s sudden divorce from wife Janet Rigsbee, Veedon Fleece was released in October, 1974, only a month after his acclaimed double live album, It’s Too Late to Stop Now. Perhaps as a result of the timing, Veedon Fleece is typically included in the “lost masterpiece” category. This album marks a return to the style of songwriting found in Van Morrison Astral Weeks.

Since Leonard Cohen’s accolade covers the entire album, I’ve take the prerogative of selecting as a representative track my own favorite song from Veedon Fleece:3 Streets of Arklow.

Van Morrison – Streets of Arklow

Note: Originally posted July 22, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric
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  1. See Into The Mystic Leonard Cohen – Van Morrison Connection []
  2. Cohen’s New Skin by Harvey Kubernik & Justin Pierce (Melody Maker, March 1, 1975) []
  3. The entire album is on a single YouTube playlist: Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece []

Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Note: Originally posted Aug 19, 2009 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.

The “Sweet Little Sound” Of Janis Joplin

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Today’s selection was found by  Florian1  in “Leonard Cohen – In Eigenen Worten”  (In His Own Words) by Jim Devlin, a volume that includes a list of Leonard Cohen’s Top Five songs of 1985.  Fourth on that list is “Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin.

The Chelsea Hotel Connection

In case someone looking for the Lynyrd Skynyrd fan site accidentally  wandered onto Cohencentric, I’ll point out what most readers know already – Leonard Cohen has repeatedly attested that his song, “Chelsea Hotel #2,” is about his liaison with Janis Joplin at that very hotel.

On A Personal Note

I’ve personally liked each of the songs featured on Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox, a fact which will no doubt alleviate much angst for Leonard. But, Janis Joplin singing “Piece Of Heart” knocks me out.

This is so damn great ….

 

Janis Joplin – Piece Of My Heart

Video from bakabana1966

Credit Due Department: Photo of Janis Joplin by Columbia Records (Billboard page 5) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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  1. Of the several members of LeonardCohenForum who responded to my request for help in finding documented instances of Leonard Cohen favoring a specific song performed by another artist, Florian was far and away the most prolific. He will account for several Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts in the future. []

“Blueberry Hill” By Fats Domino 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.

Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill Is Leonard Cohen’s Thrill

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The Fats Domino rendition of “Blueberry Hill” is Leonard Cohen’s  go-to song, the one, according to my  assiduously nonscientific survey, he most often names as a great song. These excerpts from Cohen interviews are self-explanatory:

You want to hear a guy’s story, and if the guy’s really seen a few things, the story is quite interesting. Or even if he comes to the point where he wants to sing about the moon in June, there’s something in his voice … when you hear Fats Domino singing, “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,” whatever that’s about, I mean, it’s deep.1

Over the years I have discovered that a song eventually surrenders, it just needs enough time. But the amount of time is beyond any reasonable conception of how much time you should spend. You might think that it is going to take the rest of the day, the week or the month. But in my case it takes years. One of the greatest songs in history is ‘Blueberry Hill.’ ‘The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill.’ I would be happy to have written that line. I don’t know how long it took the guy to write it, but it probably didn’t take years.2

When I ask [Leonard Cohen] which songs he is most pleased with, he doesn’t name any of his own but quotes the Fats Waller3 standard: ‘The Moon stood still on Blueberry Hill.’ “If I thought I could write lines like that, I’d be more than happy.”4

“I think when you get really good, you write a line like, ‘I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill’, or, ‘The moon stood still on Blueberry Hill’. That’s beautiful, isn’t it? ‘The moon stood still’.”5

More Leonard Cohen comments about Fats Domino are collected at

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill

Credit Due Department: Fats Domino photo by Roland Godefroy; cropped by Erik Baas (Own work (photo personnelle)) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0, GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Note: Originally posted April 10, 2009 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

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  1. Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough by Mark Rowland (Musician, July 1988) []
  2. Leonard Cohen Gave Me 200 Franc by Martin Oestergaard (Euroman, Denmark September 2001) []
  3. My assumption is that the reference to Fats Waller is a typo or a similar error. As far as I can determine, Fats Waller has no connection to “Blueberry Hill” and in every other interview, Cohen refers to Fats Domino as the artist singing “Blueberry Hill.” []
  4. Leonard Cohen: Love’s Hard Man by Alan Franks (The Times Magazine, 13 October 2001) []
  5. Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy (The Q Magazine, 1991) []

"Unchained Melody" By The Righteous Brothers Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

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Note: Originally posted April 4, 2009 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.

“Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers Version

From Leonard Cohen at the BP Orchestra:1

Leonard Cohen: It was a great restaurant. I am sorry it disappeared. It was, it was a real funky restaurant, but it had white tablecloths; I don’t know why. (Laughs) And a really good jukebox. Well, it changed over the years. They had good country songs on it, … “Unchained Melody” was a song that I used to listen to a lot on that.

B. P. Fallon: Which version?

Leonard Cohen:

B. P. Fallon: The Righteous Brothers?

Leonard Cohen: The Righteous Brothers, right.

B. P. Fallon: Interesting, here it is.

Leonard Cohen: Oh, that’s a good one.

The Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody

Credit Due Department: The interview was transcribed by Paula Jenkins for A Thousand Kisses Deep website
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  1. Leonard Cohen at the BP Orchestra, March 2 1985 on RTE 2 (Dublin, Ireland). From A Thousand Kisses Deep: “Leonard gave two shows in Dublin the same evening, so the programme probably was conceived around that date.” From bpfallon.com: The BP Fallon Orchestra is the famous radio programme on RTE Radio 2 that ran from 1982 to 1987 and played a big part in BP being awarded The Jacob’s Award For Broadcasting. In its five years, The BPFO featured incisive interviews with everyone from George Harrison to Mick Jagger, Spike Milligan to Quentin Crisp, Leonard Cohen to Pete Townsend, Jerry Lee Lewis to the Pogues… “ []