The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

viceroys, prophets and hillbilly cats #12

Alvis Wayne
December 31, 1937 to July 31 2013)

Artists in Action #806

Minutemen relax

twilight of the dreamboats #77

Greenwich Village, New York, 1974

a who's who of swinging london #22

Vidal Sassoon and Mary Quant

They Were Collaborators #839

Marilyn Monroe and Howard Hawks

Artists in Action #805

William S. Burroughs grins

In the Studio #134

Elaine Stritch

Seminal Image #1099

The Set-Up
(Robert Wise; 1949)

They Were an Item #167

Nicholas Ray and Natalie Wood

the record men #3

Sam Phillips, founder of Sun records.

Memphis music legend James Dickinson on recording with Phillips:

"We got there and Sam had a suit and tie on and he was walking around with a clipboard in his hand, writing down microphones and stuff and I got real excited. I'd been around him, but I'd never really met him. That session was the first time I felt the hands of a master. I looked into the black pools of madness in Sam's eyes and I saw the same thing Elvis and Howlin' Wolf saw."
 (It Came From Memphis Robert Gordon)

artifacts #43

One of George Formby's Ukuleles

Radio Free Gunslinger #53: A Letting Down

Your host for this edition of Radio Free Gunslinger is H.L. Mencken

It is entitled A Letting Down

The Content

First Sequence:
Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan - Lonely Bell
Joel Mathis - Time Machine
Jacqueline Hyde & The Moonfolk - Strange New World
Hank Malcolm - Mary Turn Around
Donel Austin - Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Second Sequence:
Julia Lee - A Porter's Love Song to a Chambermaid
Faye Adams - My Greatest Desire
Paula Weston - A Little Bird Told Me
Little Miss Cornshucks - He's Funny That Way
Marion Abernathy - What is the Matter With Me?

Third Sequence:
Blind Blake - Blind Arthur's Breakdown
William Moore - Ragtime Millionaire
Chicken Wilson & Skeeter Hinton - D.C. Rag
Bayless Rose - Frisco Blues
Willie Walker - South Carolina Rag (tk. 2)

Fourth Sequence:
Victor Young - White
Sylvia Syms - Someone to Light Up My Life
Dean Martin - Hit the Road to Dreamland
Peggy Lee - That's All
Alec Wilder - Air for Bassoon

Big Bill Broonzy - Hollerin' and Cryin' the Blues

The Record Men (and women) #2

Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton, founders of the Stax label.
Jim Stewart was born this day in 1930

The Gunslinger Guide to B. Kliban #3

they were collaborators #838

Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew

The Record Men #1

Leonard Chess

'The majors were deaf to this moment, because it was new and dangerous and fun, but to immigrant hustlers like Leonard Chess it was a fortune waiting to be made. and so rose a new generation of tycoon-the independent record man.' (from Machers and Rockers by Rich Cohen) 

A Heads-Up


Just a word for those who listen to our podcast, Radio Free Gunslinger. This week's offering, #53 in our series, will be delayed 24 hours due to illness . . . mine. Nothing major; just something what feels like the flu (in summer, no less). I'll have it for you all on Tuesday.

sex education #195

Bobbie Gentry

When Legends Gather #805

Steve Jones and Billy Zoom

Welcome to Show Business! #66

The Winter brothers: Johnny and Edgar

in the studio #133

Phil Spector and Darlene Love
(Happy 72nd Birthday, Darlene) 

shutterbug friday #16: Bruce Davidson

The Signpost Up Ahead #8

Leonard Strong in The Hitch-Hiker, 1960.

The Signpost Up Ahead #7

Vera Miles in The Mirror Image, 1960.

treading the boards #57

Jerry Lee Lewis as Iago with The Blossom's (Fanita James, Jean King and Darlene Love) in Catch My Soul, Jack Good's R&B adaptation of Othello which ran for six weeks at Ahmanson Theatre of Los Angeles Music Center6 weeks at 

they were collaborators #837

Jay-Z and Big Daddy Kane

The Signpost Up Ahead #6

On Thursday We Leave For Home, 1963.

Artifacts #42

Program from an 1966 El Paso production of Pirandello's HENRY IV, featuring the cast of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE, incl. John Reynolds (Torgo) Thomas Neyman (The Master), Hal Warren (writer/director,/Mike) and William Bryan Jennings (Cop). Photo courtesy of Benton Jennings.

The Signpost Up Ahead #5

Ed Wynn in One For The Angels, 1959.

The Signpost Up Ahead #4

Leonard Strong in The Hitch-Hiker, 1960.

The Signpost Up Ahead #3

Fritz Weaver and Edward Andrews in Third From The Sun, 1960.

hierophants of hip hop #16

Eric B and Rakim

The Signpost Up Ahead #2

Maxine Stuart in Eye of the Beholder, 1960.

The Signpost Up Ahead #1

 Lois Nettleton in The Midnight Sun, 1961.

This Week's Weegee #98

The Golden Age of Prurience #82

Artists in Action #804

Redd Foxx shows his badge

The Art of the WPA #34

The Gunslinger Guide to Sophia Loren #30

the art of jazz #142

Sketches of Spain
(Miles Davis)
(Columbia Records; 1960)

the lost highway #4

Linda Martell

And Then It Was Ephemera #81