MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – #22

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Years of experience have taught our old time farmers what to expect in a given situation. Pleasant weather turning bad. What is a good tool and what is a better tool to use for a job. How to not let your eyes fool you – so use a measuring stick.  And, what it really takes to get from point A to point B.  There is always that outlier, that one freak possibility which can cause everything to go wrong. We are instructed to be prepared for that outcome and especially a loss in any case.

In 1968 Michael Martin Murphey was a student at UCLA, working on a concept album for Kenny Rogers. The work meant long hours and little sleep. In his fatigue Michael is said to have dreamed of a song.  He woke up and by the next morning wrote it down. He told an interviewer that the song reminded him of a story his grandfather told him when he was a little boy. It detailed a Native American legend about a ghost horse.

Michael was teamed up with Boomer Castleman in 1967 as part of a duo known as the Lewis & Clark Expedition (which had a brief stint on TV).   After Michael began his solo career later in 1968 he co-wrote his song with Larry Cansler. They were struggling in southern California at the time.

By 1971 Michael came back to Texas and joined the “Outlaw Country” movement. He was working along side Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. Michael created a unique blend of country, rock, and folk music. This caught the ear of Epic Records managers who produced four albums for him, including “Blue Sky – Night Thunder” which peaked at #18 on the Billboard 200 Album chart in 1975. This was the seminal work of Michael’s career. The lead track of the album still brings young girls and old men to tears. It is the tale of a man facing devastating weather, a runaway prized pony, and a lost love.

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In Memoriam: Gregg Allman

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Rest in Peace: Gregory Lenoir “Gregg” Allman (December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017). Gregg, an American musician, singer and songwriter, began his career in southern rock with his brother, Duane Allman, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson,  Dickey Betts,  Butch Trucks, and Reese Wynans. The group took the name The Allman Brothers Band and broke ground in 1969 as the first rock and roll group with two lead guitars and two drummers.

The Allman Brothers Band began to reach mainstream success by the early 1970s, with their first live album “At Fillmore East.This was the first ever live album released by an American rock and roll group. It was certified platinum in 2004. Continue reading