Ella Fitzgerald’s “Lost” 1962 Berlin Concert

Releasing this week: Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes. Not to be confused with her legendary 1960 Berlin concert, or her other, formerly lost, 1961 Berlin concert, this is a never-before-heard-on-record 1962 live performance.

In her 1960 show, Ella Fitzgerald famously forgot some of the words to Mack the Knife and seamlessly improvised new lyrics. In 1962, those lines about Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong are deliberately repeated, but there’s a different moment of “imperfect perfection” (or is it perfect imperfection?) as Giovanni Russonello describes in his New York Times review: “Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes,” a newly unearthed 1962 performance. You can hear that song, and that moment, in the video below.

And here’s one more song from the ’62 concert:

Visiting the Historic Site of Woodstock and the Bindy Bazaar

As the plaque above clearly shows, the 1969 Woodstock Concert is legitimately a site of historical importance. While the rule of thumb is that only sites at least 50 years old are considered for listing on the National Register of Historical Places, Woodstock was placed on the Register in 2017, only 48 years after the three day festival of music took place on Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York.

The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods maintain the Woodstock site with the goal of preserving the historic landscape. The actual stage and seating area are now open grassed areas. Across the road there is a small wooded area known as Bindy Woods or Bindy Bazaar. In 1969, trails were cut through the woods and rocks were gathered and stacked to create simple foundations where vendors at the “Aquarian Crafts Bazaar” could set up makeshift stalls to sell goods to the concert goers.

TV Party: Black Flag

No, really, we’ve got nothing better to do. Another one of those songs I had forgotten about (until hearing it on the Friday Night Freakout). Fine, it was supposed to be ironic, but is it really?

Originally released on Black Flag’s 1981 album Damaged, then re-released on their EP TV Party with the actual tv show “Fridays” switched out for “Wednesdays,” for some reason, then included on the Repo Man soundtrack (yeah, I forgot it was on there, too).

That’s Incredible!

Vega$!

Ain’t No Haint Gonna Run Me Off: Three Alternatives to Overplayed Halloween Songs

If you’re getting tired of the same old Halloween songs like Monster Mash, Ghostbusters, and Thriller, here are three alternatives.

(It’s a) Monster’s Holiday should not be confused with Monster’s Holiday, which was Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Christmas-themed sequel to Monster Mash. Buck Owen’s 1974 hit assembles the usual monster lineup, and throws in dragons for good measure.

When a ghost (or is it an alien?) tries to scare Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (no, not the Demon bassist from Kiss) out of the Haunted House he just bought, Gene doesn’t need to call Ghostbusters, he handles the situation himself.

Haunted House was written by record producer Bob Geddins and first recorded by Johnny Fuller in 1958. Simmons’ version was released in 1964.

The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the subject of Lou Reed’s 1989 song, which also serves as an elegy for people who died during the 1980s AIDS crisis.

Looking for more? Try Tain’t no Sin to Take off Your Skin or Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein, or Dracula.

It Took a Long, Long, Time

Finally finished Volume 2 of Gary Giddins’ masterful biography of Bing Crosby. To celebrate, here’s Bing singing It’s Been a Long, Long Time. Inspired by VE Day in 1945, Bing’s version, featuring Les Paul on guitar and not much else, hit #1 on the charts in December of that year. According to Giddins, “Bing saw immediately that the lyric worked equally well as the entreaty of Odysseus to Penelope or Penelope to Odysseus.”