Good Vibes May 2021
On Sunday, May 2nd Good Vibes is celebrating 11 years broadcasting! That's a lot vibraphone jazz over the airwaves.
Each tune is special, selected carefully from among the thousands in my collection. Choosing them is the fun part. Researching them often leads me down the internet rabbit hole where I can spend more time than I intended.
A good example is Anthony Smith's "Blackberry Winter," on his Connections, Vol 1, a gorgeous ballad written by Alec Wilder and Loonis McGlohon. I discovered there is a real thing referred to by farmers as a blackberry winter, then a locust winter, dogwood winter, linsey-woolsey britches winter. If you're as curious as I am, you'll want to know that the phrase arose from the belief that "a spring cold snap helps the blackberry canes start growing." (Wikipedia) I think the same would apply to locust trees and dogwoods, while the last one means you can finally put away your long johns.
It's also the title of a short story by Robert Penn Warren, a 2006 movie directed by Brent Stewart about a cannibal clown in the Antebellum South. Blackberry Winter is also the title of anthropologist Margaret Mead's autobiography (1972). Vietnam has its own version of blackberry winter. Called Miss Ban's Winter, it's an intricate folk tale of the clumsy Miss Ban and the suit of clothes she tries to make for her husband. English farmers call it blackthorn winter and the Finnish call it "takatalvi" (back winter).
And there is more. Another tune by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz, recorded on the B-side of Mitch Miller's recording of The Yellow Rose of Texas, a number 1 hit in the U.S. in 1955. It is also the name of symphony by composer Conni Ellisor, and a ballet based on this composition. Who knew?
I climb out of that rabbit hole, finally, knowing I can't share all of this on the radio, and look at the next 20 tunes on the list. Every one has a story.
Here's to year #12!
PS: Don't forget you can listen to Good Vibes on mixcloud.com