Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guilty Pleasures Part Fifty-Three -- Fearless Maria Seeks the Kansas City Sound

Fearless Maria is here and we're kinda struggling for a theme this week. You see, we're headed for a vacation starting tomorrow and we've been a little distracted with getting ready.

Dad, why don't we do a Guilty Pleasures on where we're going?

Say, that's a good idea, Maria. We're headed for Kansas City for the weekend.

So are there a lot of rock bands from Kansas City?

Well, uh, er, um, no. Actually, not many at all.

So what do the people do down there anyway? Hum to themselves?

No, I think they like music. In fact, the American Jazz Museum is in Kansas City and we're going there during our vacation.

Wow, the people in Kansas City probably get tired of blowing trumpets and tubas all day long! Bum-bum-BUM! I bet they're out of breath!

Well, that might be. So anyway, I'm still thinking about rock songs from Kansas City. There is the song "Kansas City" which was a big hit for Wilbert Harrison in 1959.

Well, Dad, was Wilbert Harrison from Kansas City?

No, he's from North Carolina.

Then you can't use that one! Rejected!

Okay. Tough room! Anyway, we'll expand our horizons a little bit and use some jazz stuff. This first guy had a number of R & B and jazz hits in the 1940s.

Whoa, he's old! Is he still alive?

No, he died over 30 years ago. But his music still is worth some attention. It's Louis Jordan with:

Dad, I was wondering if that lady would ever pick up the phone! She probably didn't want to call because it costs too much money, not because she forgot the number.

Yeah, the phone company pretty much had all the money back then, Maria.

So was his number 867-5309?

That would be a real wrong number, Maria!

Guess you're right, Dad. What else you got?

Let's see. There's this chestnut from the great saxophonist Charlie Parker, performing here with a very young Miles Davis among others. It's a classic performance of:

So, why do they show their noses so close?

Who knows?

Good pun, wise guy! So you don't know, do you?

Nope, I just assume the usual excuse -- shoddy production values.

And nose hair!

Okay, I can see that you're losing interest in jazz.

Yeah, break out the Kansas City rock and roll!

I looked, Maria. I really didn't find much. I did find this one, a soulful number from the early 70s. These guys are from Kansas City, but that's about what I know. It's Bloodstone with:

You know what's scary, Dad?

No, what's scary?

Their hats! It looks like they're wearing the clothes that the Ohio Players threw out!

Those bad clothes were an occupational hazard in the 70s, Maria.

I know, they really had a lack of style back then. Can you come up with someone better than Bloodstone, Dad?

I'm not sure, Maria. Not from Kansas City. These guys were from Topeka, Kansas. That's something.

Maybe we'll let it slide. You seem desperate, Dad!

You don't know the half of it, Maria. This is Kansas, with the song that polluted millions of proms in the 1970s. Breathe in the significance of:

I don't think there was really any dust in the wind, Dad. You know why?

No, but I'd love to hear your theory, Maria.

All the dust was caught in the fiddle player's hair! Those are some really scary looking dudes, Dad!

Well, I did like the totally sweet powder blue tux that the guitarist was wearing.

If you ask me, that looks like it came out of the sewer!

Could be, Maria. Anyway, I'm really running of ideas here. What do you suggest?

KC and the Sunshine Band!

Why not? Here ya go!

That trombone player bought his outfit at Rugs for America or something!

I thought he looked more like a television test pattern.

What's that, Dad?

The test pattern comes on when the television station goes off the air, Maria.

When is that, Dad? Television stations stay on all night!

I'm dating myself again, aren't I?

You're not that old, Dad! So what if you can remember Harry Truman!

Now there's a guy from Kansas City! Anyway, enough of this. Vote for your favorite in the comments section.

You better vote, because while we're in Kansas City this might be the only post you'll see around here! Unless Uncle Stinger picks up the pace a little bit! Slacker....


Night Writer said...

Hey, don't be ripping on Mike Pinella's hair; the dude could play the violin (not a fiddle, Maria).

Not the most attractive guy, I'll admit, but Kansas was no where near as ugly as a band that came from a little further south, Black Oak Arkansas:

But for real ugly, I don't think you can do better (or worse) than either The Kentucky Headhunters:

Or the Georgia Satellites: (well, I can't find a video handy, you'll just have to take my word.) Enough geography.

Mr. D said...

Black Oak Arkansas. Wow, I'd almost forgotten about those dudes. Actually, that's a good idea for the next one -- bands with ugly guys. Thanks for doing the initial research on that one, NW.

Night Writer said...

Actually, "bands with ugly guys named after states" was the theme I was working. "Bands with ugly guys" opens up an entire multi-national universe!

Mike said...

What, no Burt Bacharach?? He's from Kansas City (at least according to

Night Writer said...

Geez, I almost forgot one of my favorites - George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. George isn't exactly an ugly guy, but he always has this very unattractive sneer on his face (and in many of his songs).

freeradkes said...

Hey, Kansas was one of my favorite groups! Carry On My Wayward Son and Dust in the Wind are still favorites of mine. So, does that mean I am caught in a time warp or just plain strange?!

Dan Thome said...

And that Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello duo may be one of the best ever.

Night Writer said...

And that Burt Bacharach/Elvis Costello duo may be one of the best ever.

Oh yeah, great collaboration. I can't remember, did Elvis sing "I Don't Want to Go to KC"?