Hello Mary Lou

There are two credited writers of this song and they are Gene Pitney and Cayet Mangiaracina.  Ricky Nelson’s father Ozzie, a popular bandleader and star (along with Ricky and the rest of his family) of the TV series The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, played tenor guitar on this song.  The solo is by Nelson’s guitarist James Burton, who later joined up with Elvis Presley.  Several acts have done popular covers of this song, including Brownsville Station, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Creedence Clearwater Revival and even Led Zeppelin.  When Ricky Nelson entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, he was inducted by John Fogerty of Creedence.

The song features an influential guitar solo by James Burton, piano is by Ray Johnson, and other musicians on the record include Joe Osborne on bass and Ritchie Frost on drums.  Hello Mary Lou was not strictly an original composition.  Pitney reworked a version of an earlier song ‘Merry, Merry Lou’, recorded by a band called The Sparks in 1957, which was covered later that year by Bill Haley & His Comets, as ‘Mary Mary Lou’.  The composer of the track was Cayet Mangiaracina, band member of The Sparks, who would later become ordained as a Catholic priest.  When Hello Mary Lou was released, the recording company Decca sued for plagiarism of this song and won.  Mangiaracina was awarded writer co-credits for Hello Mary Lou as composer of the original song.

Unlike virtually every other early rocker, who worked his way up in the music business starting with small clubs, county fairs and seedy venues, Rick Nelson began at the top.  His father Ozzie Nelson was a successful bandleader who started a family comedy show on radio in the 40s that featured his wife Harriet and sons David and Ricky.  The show was a big success and in the 50s transferred to television, where it became one of the longer-running shows in TV history.

As a result, the goofy younger brother Ricky was already a household name when he developed an interest in rock and roll in the mid-50s.  With his stunning good looks and pleasing voice, Ricky’s singing success seemed like a sure thing.  After Ricky’s cover of Fats Domino’s I’m Walkin’ made it into the Billboard Top 10 in 1957, Ozzie began featuring Ricky singing on his TV show, where he quickly became a teen idol.

The song is a bubbly, bouncy, catchy ditty buoyed by a terrific performance from Nelson’s band.  There is liberal use of cowbell, and the guitar and piano carry the song along rapidly.  However, the centerpiece of Hello Mary Lou is James Burton’s inspired guitar solo.  It was extremely influential, setting the tone for future country-rock classics and was widely imitated by later musicians.

In 1968 Jimmy Page’s band The Yardbirds was winding down, and Page envisioned assembling a rock supergroup.  After contacting various British rock musicians, he settled on a quartet with himself on guitar, John Paul Jones on bass, John Bonham on drums and vocalist Robert Plant.  Led Zeppelin were an incredibly successful combo.  They combined tremendous virtuosity with an exceptional musical range. Although they were known as the quintessential heavy-metal band, they also produced some exceptional acoustic music.

Led Zeppelin did a take of Hello Mary Lou on their triple live album How the West Was Won.  James Burton was one of Jimmy Page’s idols as a youth way before he formed Led Zeppelin, and Robert Plant has won awards for his duets with roots folksinger Allison Krause.  The Led Zeppelin version of this country-rock classic was usually played mixed in with other songs like ‘Whole Lotta Love/Boogie Chillun/Let’s Have a Party/Hello Marylou/Going’.

Hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
Sweet Mary Lou, I’m so in love with you
I knew Mary Lou, we’d never part
So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
You passed me by one sunny day
Flashed those big brown eyes my way
And oo I wanted you forever more
Now I’m not one that gets around
Swear my feet stuck to the ground
And though I never did meet you before
I said, hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
Sweet Mary Lou, I’m so in love with you
I knew Mary Lou, we’d never part
So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
I saw your lips I heard your voice
Believe me I just had no choice
Wild horses couldn’t make me stay away
I thought about a moonlit night
My arms about good an’ tight
That’s all I had to see for me to say
Hey, hey, hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
Sweet Mary Lou, I’m so in love with you
I knew Mary Lou, we’d never part
So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
So hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart
Yes hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart

Written for Sandi Flip Flops Every day October 18, 2017 Manic Monday #7 Challenge – Hello Again

Driving That Train

The Music Man stated that there was some trouble in River City, but when I think about real trouble, I think about a man named Casey Jones.  In 1900, Jonathan Luther ‘Casey’ Jones (1863-1900) American railroad engineer was rolling down the track and ended up in a tragic wreck.  Casey got his nickname because he was born near the town of Cayce, Kentucky.  Casey loved working on the railroad and he particularly enjoyed blowing the whistle, as he established a sort of trade mark for himself by his distinguishable method of blowing his whistle.  Casey created a kind of long-drawn-out note that would begin softly, then rise, then die away almost to a whisper.  People living along the Illinois Central right of way between Jackson and Water Valley would turn over in their beds late at night and say, ‘There goes Casey Jones,’ when he roared by.

Casey and his fireman, Sim Webb, rolled into Memphis from Canton on a throttle-puller of the Illinois Central’s crack ‘Cannonball’ train.  When they checked in they heard somebody call out, “Joe Lewis has just been taken with cramps and can’t take his train out tonight.”  Casey volunteered, “I’ll double back and pull Lewis’ old No. 382.”  On a rainy Sunday night Casey and Sim clambered aboard the big engine and eased her out of the station through the South Memphis yards.  As they were approaching the little town of Vaughn, Miss., which had a long winding curve just above the town, and a long sidetrack beginning about where the curve ended; Casey yelled across to Sim, “There’s a freight train on the siding”, (in rail terminology, this is a low-speed track section distinct from a running line).  Knowing the siding there was a long one, and having passed many other freights on it, Casey figured he would do the same this night.

But there was two separate sections of a very long train on the sidetrack this night, and the rear one was a little too long to get all its length off the main track onto the siding.  The freight train crews figured on ‘sawing by’; that is as soon as the passenger train passed the front part of the first train, it would move forward and the rear freight would move up, thus clearing the main track, but Casey’s speed which was about fifty miles an hour was more than the freight crews bargained for.  As old 382 was within a hundred feet of the end of the siding the horrified eyes of Casey Jones and Sim Webb beheld through the gloom the looming shape of several boxcars in motion, swinging across from the main line to the side-track.  In a flash both knew that there was no way of preventing a smashup.

“Jump, Sim, and save yourself!,” Casey’s ordered, which he did and fell into some bushes and was not injured.  Casey put his engine in reverse and applied the air-brakes and rode the train into a holocaust of crashing wood that splintered like match boxes.  Engine 382 crashed through the caboose and several cars and turned over on her side.  When they took Casey’s body from the wreckage they found one hand on the whistle cord, the other on the air-brake lever.  Casey was fatally wounded and he was carried one-half mile to the depot where he died lying on a baggage wagon.  The railroad’s formal investigation concluded that Engineer Jones was solely responsible for the accident as consequence of not having properly responded to flag signals.

This fable warns about railroad collision danger which might be brought on by being obsessed with your career.  It is loosely based on the poem ‘The Ballad of Casey Jones’, by Wallace Saunders.  The Dead gave this story about Casey a slightly darker spin, as they made the hero high on cocaine while driving that train.

Drivin’ that train High on cocaine
Casey Jones you’d better
Watch your speed
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
And you know that notion
Just crossed my mind
This old engine
Makes it on time
Leaves Central Station
About a quarter to nine
Hits River Junction
At seventeen to
At a quarter to ten
You know it’s trav’lin again
Trouble ahead
The Lady in Red
Take my advice
You’d be better off dead
Switchman’s sleepin
Train hundred and two
Is on the wrong track and headed for you
Drivin’ that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you’d better
Watch your speed
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
And you know that notion
Just crossed my mind
Trouble with you is
The trouble with me
Got two good eyes
But we still don’t see
Come round the bend
You know it’s the end
The fireman screams and
The engine just gleams
Drivin’ that train
High on cocaine
Casey Jones you’d better
Watch your speed
Trouble ahead
Trouble behind
And you know that notion
Just crossed my mind

Written for Linda G Hill’s October 18, 2017 One-Liner Wednesday – Trouble

Risky Business

I was walking down the city streets the other day with my daughter when she pulled on my shirt and said, “Daddy what is that man doing?”  I was a bit shocked to see a man urinating on the wall of a building in the middle of the afternoon and I told my daughter to look away and not pay attention to the bad man.  My daughter said, “Dad, how do you know that he is bad?”  I told her that the man was doing his business like our dog does when we take him for a walk and that people should not be doing such things outside where others have to see them.  I went on telling my girl that even when we do such things inside of our house, we always close the door, so nobody has to watch us.

My daughter acknowledged that she understood what privacy was, but she said that I did not answer her question about why the man was bad.  I told her that I was very proud that she understood privacy issues, but that this was more of an indecency issue when someone does their business outside in front of others.  I said that it was because the man was being indecent, that was what made him a bad man.  Decent people plan for their natural urges and they should not do this sort of thing anywhere that they want.

A decent person will take care of their needs before they leave their house and if an emergency does happen while they are out, then they find an appropriate place to relieve themselves.  There are rules that all people who live in cities must follow.  If a person lives in the country where they are isolated from other people, then these rules may be a bit different or more relaxed.  My daughter said, “I guess this man is bad because he lives in the city.”

I told my daughter that she was on the right track with her thinking, but perhaps I should not have said that the man was bad, and maybe I should just have said that the man made a bad choice.  There is a public restroom right across the street and it would have been better if the man had gone in there to do his business.  My daughter told me that all of this talk about restrooms has made her feel like she has to go.  I told her that was a good idea, but that since I would not be allowed into the ladies’ restroom with her, that she would have to come into the men’s restroom with me.

We walked across the street and we went into the men’s room and it had this awful odor, so I told my daughter to hold her nose and we would make this real quick.  Luckily, there was nobody in there and we entered the first stall, but someone had dropped a turd the size of an aircraft carrier in the toilet and did not flush it, so we quickly exited that stall.  The next stall was even a bigger mess having liquid fecal excrement all over the floor.  It was so appalling that this horrifyingly disgusting, downright nasty, toxic, foul, shithole made me want to vomit on the spot.  We both ran out of there and I said, “Honey are you sure that you can’t hold it in a little longer?”  My daughter said, “Daddy I have to go real bad, can’t I go on the wall of that building like the man did?”  I told her that it was a bit risky, but it was probably much safer than going back in that disgusting restroom.

Wood Shop

After they nearly burnt down the wood shop, I was called into the principal’s office.  Let me back up to the beginning, so this makes more sense.  I took wood shop as a Freshman in High School as an elective.  I made a treasure chest which was a small box made out of hard wood and nicked up and varnished to look aged.  It had a hinged lid and a clasp mechanism to keep it closed.  I cut the wood and used tiny nails and glue to hold it together.  Besides the ashtray that I made in ceramics class in Seventh Grade, this was the only other thing that I ever constructed.

The class was fun for me, but it seemed like mostly strange students took shop classes.  I had two real oddballs at my shop table, as the one big dude was pretty scary and the other had more than a few screws lose.  One day while the shop teacher was lecturing the class on how to use a table saw, they decide to toss lit matches into the waste barrel.  Pyromania is an impulse control disorder in which individuals repeatedly fail to resist impulses to deliberately start fires, in order to relieve tension or for instant gratification.  These idiots were daring each other to keep throwing their matches into the trash barrel.  Anyone with half a brain should realize that there are dangerous contents in every woodshop trash barrel, like sawdust, wood filler and other flammables.

Actually one idiot in this class, not any of the two at my shop table used to enjoy sniffing the wood filler and he got so high one day, that he actually fell out of the window, which was on the ground floor, but still he was an imbecile and everyone knew this.  As you might expect the trash barrel did ignite and it set off the fire alarm.  We evacuated the classroom and the rest of the school got to miss some of their Third Period class.  When the principal called me into his office, I saw the two other boys that started this fire waiting out in his lobby.  I knew exactly what happened, but I was never a rat and I was not going to start now.  It was a matter of honor for me not to be a snitch or a squealer, however these two dirt bags did not have any honor at all and they both dropped out of school in the next year.  I decided to keep this secret to myself and not betray them.

Since no one in this class said anything, the principal ended wood shop class for Third Period and I had to pick another subject. I chose Public Speaking and I liked that a lot better because this class had girls in it, which was much better than being stuck with a bunch of derelicts and degenerates.

Horse Tale

Al Khamsa is a designation applied to specific desert-bred bloodlines of the Arabian horse considered particularly pure by Arabian horse breeders.  Around 610, Muhammad (570–632) Arabian founder of the religion of Islam, accepted by Muslims throughout the world as the last of the prophets of God, chose his foundation mares by a test of their endurance, courage and loyalty.  The hot desert wind blew against the tent, driving the dust inside.  Fatima his the youngest daughter, the only child of the prophet and his first wife Khadijah who lived to adulthood, walked softly in carrying an earthenware jug full of cold water, and handed it to the Prophet.  “Please, stop tormenting yourself, Mohammed”, she said, “drink some water!”  Mohammed responded, “I will drink when the test is over, and then the horses can drink, too.  I cannot drink while I know that the horses are thirsty.”  Fatima angrily answered, “I do not understand this test, nor do I like it.  Depriving the horses from drinking for three full days is cruel.  Why would a man who a man who loves animals so much ever even think about doing such a thing.”  Her father replied, “I must, as Allah commanded me.  Would you have me disobey God?  The spread of Islam depends greatly on our horses being loyal and strong.  Allah said the best of these horses, will be honored till the end of time.  It has been a long journey through the desert for all of us and now it is the evening of the third day, so let’s go to the horses and conduct the test.”

Mohammed took a horn that hung at the entrance to his tent, then he walked by an enclosure where about a hundred horses were confined, a short distance away from the water hole of the oasis.  The horses looked reproachfully at their beloved master as he quickly opened the gate.  Muhammad turned his herd of horses loose toward an oasis for a desperately needed drink of water.  They were tormented by thirst, so the horses galloped to the water hole, but before they could reach it, Mohammed raised the horn to his lips and blew his battle horn for the horses to return to him before the herd reached the water.  Most of the horses ignored it.  They were so thirsty that perhaps they couldn’t even hear it, and went on galloping toward the water.  Only five mares responded, as they stopped and returned without hesitation.  These faithful horses returned to Mohammed, ready to do whatever was required of them.  The Prophet stroked their silky manes, with tears in his eyes as he led them to the water and envisioned the glorious future as they drank. He knew that these mares had became his favorites and they would foal the finest of Arab horses, the only horses of pure blood, the horses that would help bring Islam to every corner of the Earth.

God took a handful of South wind and from it formed a horse and said, “I create thee, Oh Arabian.  To your mane, I secure Victory in battle.  On your back, I set a rich spoil and a Treasure in your loins.  I establish you as one of the Glories of the Earth.  I give you flight without wings.”  Mohammed was instrumental in spreading the Arabian’s influence around the world.  He instructed his followers to look after Arabians and treat them with kindness.  He said that special attentions should be paid to the mares because they insure the continuity of the breed.  There are five great families of the Arabian horse, which are the Kebeilan, Seglawee, Abeyan, Hadban, and Hamdami, which are collectively known as ‘Al Khamseh’ and each of these breeds are believed to have been derived from one of five mares of the Prophet.

Wordle #174

A gallant swain named Blaine noticed that Porsche had driven her Mercedes off the road and now she was stuck in the marshes.  Blaine braved his way through the muck and mire till he reached the brunette bombshell.  Blaine asked Porsche how she ended up in this fen and she said that she would be glad to tell him if she could pester him for a ride to the garage.  Porsche hoped into Blaine’s truck and she said that she was driving along admiring the gibbous moon when she saw something in the road ahead of her.  She said, “It was very tiny about the size of a small animal, but as I got closer it looked more human, like a Lilliputian and I swerved so that I would not run it over.”

Blaine said that he would drop her off at any of the service stations in town, but he suggested to Porsche that she should not go to Gasoline Alley, as he felt that they were corrupt.  Porsche said that she would like to be dropped off at Bill’s Service Station, as she was going there anyway to have them look at her turn signal indicating light.  Porsche mentioned that she had bumped her head in the accident, but Blaine knew that she was not feeling mawkish, as the tune Airbag by Radiohead was being broadcasted into his car and he listened to her melodious singing.

Written for October 16, 2017 Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie by scribblersdip.