Q: I recently heard a bluegrass version of “Super Freak.” I would like to know who did it.
A: Most likely you heard the version of “Super Freak” which was included on the album “Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby” from 2007. The two musicians met in 1990 and worked together at various times before finally collaborating on an album of new tunes and older bluegrass songs. According to Hornsby, the bluegrass version of “Super Freak” originated with songwriter and keyboardist Mike Duke. In the presence of Hornsby, Duke started singing the song in a high-pitched voice. When asked what he was singing, Duke replied that it the bluegrass version of “Super Freak.”
Q: The opening credits of the early ’90s Bill Murray/Andie MacDowell movie “Groundhog Day” feature what I think is a great band. Can you tell me about it and if it has released anything?
A: The song that opens “Groundhog Day” is “Weatherman” by Delbert McClinton. Born in Texas in 1940, McClinton began working as a session musician in the early ’60s. He is famous for playing the harmonica on Bruce Chanel’s 1962 hit “Hey Baby”. He started fronting his own band in the early ’70s and had a top 10 hit in 1980 with “Givin’ It Up for Your Love.” He reached the top 10 of the country charts when his duet with Tanya Tucker, “Tell Me About It,” reached No. 4. In addition to the pop and country charts, McClinton has had success on the blues charts. Of his three Grammy Awards, two are in the blues category.
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Q: Some years ago there was a country song with the lyrics, “So rally round the corner, boys, and take your good old times” and something about “memories blowing in your mind.” I’ve searched the Internet but have had no luck finding the title or artist. Can you help?
A: Your memory is pretty good. The actual lines are: “So crowd around the corner, boys, and take your good old time, and pass along a piece of yesterday. A tender breeze of memories is blowing through your mind, softer than those stands of silver-gray, and sweeter than the things we've seen today.” This is the final verse of the song, “Crowd Around the Corner,” by Earl Thomas Conley. It is found on his 1983 release, “Don’t Make It Easy for Me.” Characterized by an incisive look into the hearts and souls of the people he sings about, Conley has been dubbed the “thinking man’s country musician.” He was raised in Portsmouth, Ohio, but joined his older sister in Dayton when he was 10. His first passion was art, but he turned down a scholarship in order to join the Army. While in service, he developed a love for country music. Upon his discharge in 1968, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in the music industry, but it wasn’t until he moved to Huntsville, Ala., that he started making a name for himself. He moved back to Nashville in 1976, but really hit the big time between 1982-89 when he ran off 21 successive top 10 hits, including a record-setting four No. 1 singles from his album, “Don’t Make It Easy for Me”, including the title track, “Your Love’s on the Line,” “Holding Her and Loving You” (which also won the “Country Song of the Year” Grammy award in 1983), and “Angel in Disguise.”
What’s the name of that song? Where are they now? What does that lyric mean? Send your questions about songs, albums, and the musicians who make them to MusicOnTheRecord@gmail.com. Bradford Brady and John Maron are freelance music writers based in Raleigh, N.C.