Monthly Archives: February 2016

Show #173 – Standin’ On The Corner of Skid Row

Skid Row: “A 54-block area in downtown Los Angeles became Skid Row in the late 1800s — which was when Union Rescue Mission first opened its doors. This particular area was an ideal congregating spot for hobos, aimless rail riders, transient workers, and people running away from past lives because it was the last stop on the train for the whole country. Daily rate hotels and various entertainments (mostly bars and brothels) catered to the culture of rail riders who were transient by nature.” (From the Union Rescue Mission web site).

Many of the songs we played were referring to this specific geographic area, but the term “skid row” has come to mean the “wrong side of the tracks” or other such place anywhere.

(From the site This American expression came into being in the Great Depression. Residence on Skid Row evokes imagery of someone who was slipping down in society – ‘on the skids’.

Skid rowThese skids weren’t just figurative though, they did exist. In the late 19th century there was an expansion of the logging industry in the USA, especially in the north-west states, and millions of trees were felled to supply the building trade. Large tree-trunks were hauled, either to sawmills or to the nearest road, river or railway, along tracks made of greased timbers. These were known to loggers as ‘skid roads’. The 1880 Topographical Survey of the Adirondack Region refers to these:

“… lumbermen had cut ‘skid-roads’ on which logs were drawn [etc.].”

It is a line that shows up in many songs. Inspired by Elton John’s “(Gotta Get) a Meal Ticket” and Blackie Farrell’s new release “Cold Country Blues” where he sings his own song (covered by many) “Skid Row In My Mind.”

And there you have it, a little bit of Bakersfield and a little bit of Beyond.

And check this out. Got a mention in the San Francisco Chronicle!

Artist Cut Album Label
Tim Hus Bakersfield Music Bushpilot Buckaroo Stony Plain Records
Trevor McSpadden Long Long Time The Only Way Chaparral Street Music
Trevor McSpadden Ready To Get Hurt Again The Only Way Chaparral Street Music
Merle Haggard Skid Row The Other Side of Bakersfield, Vol. 1 – 1950S & 60S Boppers and Rockers from ‘Nashville West’ Bear Family Records GmbH
The Kinks Alcohol Muswell Hillbillies (Legacy Edition) Legacy Recordings
10Cc The Wall Street Shuffle Sheet Music Revvolution Records
Elton John Gotta Get (A Meal Ticket) Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy MCA Records
WOODIE GUTHRIE Washington Talkin’ Blues Columbia River Collection Rounder Records
Tom Waits Tom Traubert’s Blues Small Change Asylum
Merle Haggard & The Strangers Somewhere on Skidrow Pride In What I Am Columbia
Little Shop of Horrors Musical Band Skid Row (down Town) Selected Favourites from Little Shop of Horrors City Lights Music
Chris O’Connell Skid Row in My Mind Be Right Back! Song Records
Nigel Owen Skid Row On the Road Back Nigel Owen
Dick Philpot Skid Row Another Man’s Dream Dick Philpot
Mark Worsham Bummin’ On Skid Row Trail of Tears Lost Gold Records
Tom Brosseau Down On Skid Row Grand Forks Loveless
Joe Turner Skid Row Boogie Tell Me Pretty Baby Arhoolie Records
Ronny Elliott Skid Row Hillbilly Ronny Elliott & the Nationals Blue Heart Records
Porter Wagoner Skid Row Joe The Essential Porter Wagoner RCA
Bob Frank Return To Skid Row Joe Bob Frank VANGUARD (VAN)
Stompin’ Tom Connors Country Jack (Wino of Skid Row) Long Gone to the Yukon EMI Music Canada
Raye Smith Skid Row Street Silently Route 5 Records
Blackie Farrell Skid Row in My Mind Cold Country Blues Drifter Music
Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers Make it Last North of Bakersfield Dionysus



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by | February 29, 2016 · 9:37 pm

Show #172 – Working Folks

Well in advance of the Labor Day holiday, we thought we’d do a show dedicated to the working folks.  This was inspired by the recent article in the LA Times about the recent struggle facing oil workers in Kern County.  Folks who work and who work in an industry that has its ups and downs very much decided in board rooms.  Without diving into that pool, I’ll just say that a lot of genres of music pay respect to workers.  And we covered them all.  Country to disco.  Rock to pop.  So, here’s a tip of the hat to working folks.


Artist Cut Album Label
Tim Hus Bakersfield Music Bushpilot Buckaroo Stony Plain Records
Elvis Costello Welcome to The Working Week My Aim Is True Columbia
Bill Kirchen Working Man Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods Proper American Recordings
Ike Reilly Good Work (if You Can Get It) Am I Still The One For You Rock Ridge Music
Lone Justice Working Late Lone Justice Geffen Records
Sam Cooke Chain Gang The Best of Sam Cooke RCA
Johnny Cash I’m Free Of The Chain Gang Now American V: A Hundred Highways American Recordings/Lost Highway
Johnny Paycheck Take This Job and Shove It Take This Job and Shove It Epic
Thompsonia Pain Reliever Thompsonia Thompson
Thompsonia Rose of My Heart Thompsonia Thompson
Merle Haggard Workin’ Man Blues The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles Omnivore
Justin Townes Earle Workin’ for the MTA Harlem River Blues Bloodshot Records
Johnny Cash Oney The Man In Black Sony Music
Devo Working in a Coal Mine Greatest Hits Warner Bros.
Donna Summer She Works Hard for The Money She Works Hard For The Money Mercury
R.E.M. Finest Worksong Document I.R.S./A&M
Glen Campbell Wichita Lineman Wichita Lineman Capitol Nashville
Peter Case A Working Man Can’t Get Nowhere Today Tulare Dust: A Songwriter’s Tribute to Merle Haggard Hightone Records
The Silhouettes Get a Job American Graffiti MCA
Red Simpson Truck Drivin’ Man Best of Truck Driving Favorites Omnivore
Tom Russell Tulare Dust/They’re Tearing The Labor Camps Down Tulare Dust, a songwriters tribute to merle haggard Hightone Records
Bachman-Turner Overdrive Takin’ Care of Business BTO’s Greatest Island Mercury
Tennessee Ernie Ford Sixteen Tons Vintage Collections Capitol Nashville
77 El Deora Workin’ Sirens Western Independent Recordings
Randy Newman Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man) Forrest Gump Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Sony
Ian & Sylvia Taking Care of Business Country & West Coast The Birth of Country Rock Big Beat
Loverboy Working for the Weekend Get Lucky Columbia
Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers Make it Last North of Bakersfield Dionysus

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