[SB Alec (Ridge Road SBs) sends out a weekly email called Sing! in which he highlights a piece of music or an artist who he finds inspirational. This week his choice was Paper in Fire, also a favorite of mine. Great minds do think alike! SB SM]
Good morning, good people!
I was listening to some John Mellencamp songs and learning more about him as an artist. He will turn 70 in October, and he continues to tour and record music. If you ever wondered where the name John Cougar Mellencamp came from, rest assured the Cougar part wasn’t original. It was the cockamamie idea of a record producer. John recorded his first commercially successful album, American Fool, in ’82. “Hurts So Bad” and “Jack and Diane” were both hits from that album. His music is often referred to as “heartland rock,” but I’m not sure exactly what that means. Maybe it has to do with the fact that he was born in Indiana, admires Woody Guthrie, and champions the causes of ordinary working people . You may remember that he, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson organized the Farm Aid Concert in 1987.
I didn’t know that he is a painter and film guy as well as a gifted singer songwriter. I was surprised to learn that he was offered the part of J.D. in Thelma and Louise, the part that introduced moviegoers to Brad Pitt. John collaborated with Stephen King and T-Bone Burnett on the musical Ghosts Brothers of Darkland County. The songs he wrote for Ghost Brothers were performed by Taj Mahal, Neko Case, Sheryl Crow and others. “Paper and Fire,” called “a chilling indictment of contemporary lifestyles” by one writer, was released in 1987 on The Lonesome Jubilee album. I know some of you listen to Sing while driving, but if you’re not on the road, check out the video. Cheers!
p.s. May Don Everly rest in peace. He passed away on August 21. Another Rock ‘n Roll great has gone on his final tour.