Back in 1975, Radio City employed a then unheard of – at least by us – DJ by the name of Phil Easton. He started an evening radio show at 6:30 each week day called The Great Easton Express. On this show he featured all the news and sounds in rock music and it became essential listening each evening. The show ran for twelve years culminating each year with a Battle of The Bands competition at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. In 1988, with the popularity of rock music in decline, he moved on to other things and finally ended up presenting the City Talk Breakfast Show every day. He died in 2009 at the age of 59 after suffering a suspected brain haemorrhage at his home. In his memory, here at Jammy Toast, we have decided to resurrect one of our favourite features from his show where he would select a favourite album and then feature his three favourite tracks from that album. Today we would like to feature…
As everyone who reads Jammy Toast already knows, Elvis Presley is alive and well and leaves comments on our posts every so often. However, this week sees the fortieth anniversary of his death and so the national press is full of conspiracy theory stories asking did Elvis really leave the building in 1977. Ever since his death there have been dozens of theories about his lack of demise and rumours he simply went into hiding. Our friend Elvis doesn’t want people to know that he is still around but unfortunately the conspiracy theories refuse to die.
Yesterday we told you the story of our Saturday afternoons back in the 1970s. As explained, this was inspired by Rickie Lee Jones’ song; On Saturday Afternoons In 1963. Today we have searched high and low to try and find a video of Rickie singing the song but alas this was not forthcoming. It is a great song and we wanted to share it with you today, so we settled for just posting the song instead. It is taken from Rickie’s debut album entitled Rickie Lee Jones. After arriving in California in the mid-1970s, Rickie started taking song-writing more seriously, and by 1977 had met singer-songwriters Chuck E. Weiss (of Chuck E’s In Love fame) and Tom Waits (Rickie consequently became romantically involved with Waits).
Times are hard for commercially overlooked singers like Rickie Lee Jones, who funded her latest album through a PledgeMusic campaign and by selling off old stage wear. It ends a 10-year writing drought; finally struck by the urge to make new music after three albums of covers and re-recordings, she’s finally found inspiration in her newly adopted home, New Orleans. The city has got under her skin in some subtle ways, however, and it takes some digging around to find them. There are few overt homages – the raucous piano-based R&B of J’ai Connais Pas and the bayou-pop of Haunted are about it. The real fruits of that 10-year break are reserved for songs in which the city’s bohemianism and spirituality mesh with hers – and there are some real delights among them. There’s a sweet paean to her dog (Juliette), a pithy warning against forgetting the lessons of previous relationships (Haunted) and a finale in which wheezing sousaphone and mad giggles stay just the right side of zaniness.