New Music For Old People: Timi Yuro, Imogen Heap, Laura Lee

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Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. “Permanently Lonely” – Timi Yuro

One of my favorite singers in the ‘60s, she had an amazing singular sound that emphasized her lower range. Her hits were “Hurt,” “Make the World Go Away,” “What’s a Matter Baby,” and “The Love of a Boy.” She did two amazing versions (one live) of Ray Charles’ “The Night Time Is the Right Time” that were equal vocally to Ray’s version. No one could believe she was white and Italian when they finally saw her. In the early ‘60s when I was a full-time songwriter, she came to the publisher I worked for with her A&R man Ed Silvers, and we played songs we wrote for her. She liked one and asked if she could try it out while I played piano — one of the thrills of my life. She never recorded it, but having that voice sing my song was unforgettable. This track here was a single from ’63-’64 written by Willie Nelson. In 1964 she recorded an entire album of Nelson songs.

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2. “First Train Home” – Imogen Heap

An early Queen of Electronica, she seems to have been sidestepped in the barrage of younger, less experienced bands that soon permeated her market. Let’s not forget she’s playing and singing all the parts — here’s a little something that shows just how great she really is.

3. “Rip Off” — Laura Lee

Between Millie Jackson and Laura, no man could get away with a damn thing while the two of them wrote songs and recorded them! “I’m settin’ him up for the rip-off,” Laura intones, and shows she ain’t the fool he thinks he’s got in the palm of his hand. A well-written lyric with great singing and production, circa the ’70s.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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