Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dan Gould

Earliest Sun Ra Sightings

18 posts in this topic

Magic_City_sign.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely! Can’t wait to dig into this later, soon.

Been about 10 years since I last read John Szwed’s book on Ra, and I can’t remember how detailed his coverage of Sonny’s ear(th)liest exploits were. Or rather, I’m sure Szwed did a deep dive (Szwed’s book on Miles uncovered more “new info” than I’d yet ever read in any/all of the other Miles books I’d read up to that point) — but I’m wondering if he came up with most of the same stuff as here in this article.

BTW, I see there’s a new paperback edition of Szwed’s book that just came out this year, with a new preface. Has anyone read the new preface by any chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually listening to much of his 50's work this morning, including non-jazz cuts he laid down for 45's back in that period.  Many of them were fairly horrid doo-wop/novelty types of sides, but some were pretty good.  They all sounded (of course) like they were recorded on a different planet, but so did a lot of pop/rock/r&b stuff from the 50's, including a lot of huge hits ("Purple People Eater", "The Witch Doctor", "Sea of Love", "Stranded in the Jungle" etc etc).  And it occurred to me - what if one of those records had taken off and become a left-field hit?  Would he have become a pop record producer, and we would have been without his recorded and cultural legacy?   Just found it an interesting thought. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

much appreciated for the link - great read with relevant paper clippings/pics covering SR's early musical years in Birmingham

Just looked at my copy of Szwed - bought it in 1998 & it just seems like yesterday ("Time, he flexes like a whore")

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really great to read about the early days of Sun Ra.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, a very interesting story. Too bad no airshots have been preserved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an audio only recording from July of 1949.  He would have been 35 years old.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aah ... I was half expecting that if something very obscure of that kind would show up it would be on the Red Saunders Research Foundation site. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2020 at 0:58 PM, felser said:

I was actually listening to much of his 50's work this morning, including non-jazz cuts he laid down for 45's back in that period.  Many of them were fairly horrid doo-wop/novelty types of sides, but some were pretty good.  They all sounded (of course) like they were recorded on a different planet, but so did a lot of pop/rock/r&b stuff from the 50's, including a lot of huge hits ("Purple People Eater", "The Witch Doctor", "Sea of Love", "Stranded in the Jungle" etc etc).  And it occurred to me - what if one of those records had taken off and become a left-field hit?  Would he have become a pop record producer, and we would have been without his recorded and cultural legacy?   Just found it an interesting thought. 

where is sun ra doing stranded in the jungle?  The transpearency set he does Tequila I remember....but i dont remember those others you know- what set do you have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, chewy-chew-chew-bean-benitez said:

where is sun ra doing stranded in the jungle?  The transpearency set he does Tequila I remember....but i dont remember those others you know- what set do you have?

I'm just saying that was an example of a strange sounding 50's hit and that Sun Ra's "pop" sides were also strange sounding. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish that Vernon Green would have ended up in Sun Ra World.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JSngry said:

I wish that Vernon Green would have ended up in Sun Ra World.

The one of the Medallions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

24 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

The one of the Medallions?

Let me whisper sweet words of pismotality
And discuss the puppetudes of love
And put 'em together, and what've you have
Matrimony, oh my darling, please hear my plea

 

Edited by felser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can hear these getting - Ra-ed withouut a lot of effort:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, felser said:

I'm just saying that was an example of a strange sounding 50's hit and that Sun Ra's "pop" sides were also strange sounding. 

oh- yyy! definitely- i have the 78 & 45 of that, and the 80s lp issue, so i guess i have all the issues lol (original version)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.