FMF Episode #18 – Father’s Day

Intro Background Music: The Alchemist – Like Father Like Son, Pt. 2

DJ:  Hi-dee-ho daddy-o!  Happy Fathers Day and welcome to another episode of Feel Me Flow!  On this special Sunday episode, we’re working on our father theme.  With its origins in the Catholic Church, Fathers Day was first celebrated on March 19th.  After Anna Jarvis helped get Mothers Day inaugurated, Fathers Day wasn’t far behind.  In 1910, the Spokane, WA YMCA first officially celebrated Fathers Day with the backing of a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd.  Sonora wanted to honor her father in a greater than normal way, and after hearing a sermon on the recently inaugurated Mothers Day, Sonora started the push.  She would continue the tradition in Spokane until the 20s when she left for college out of state.  After returning to Spokane in the 30s, she reignited the interest in the holiday and would receive backing help from big tobacco to help advertise.  In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June each year.  Now that we’ve reached the third Sunday, let’s get to it!  We’re playing songs praising dads, songs about deadbeat dads, songs from Fathers to sons and daughters, and even a Stevie Wonder cover.  Let’s jump right into things with James Brown’s famous “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”.  

Set 1:

  1. James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
  2. Elton John – Son Of Your Father
  3. Clarence Carter – Patches
  4. Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone
  5. Bad Religion – Sorrow

Intermission 1 Background Music: baaskaT – Crib

DJ:  Bad Religion‘s Greg Graffin received his Ph.D. from Cornell University after attending UCLA for his Master’s degree in geology.  Greg would return to UCLA to teach classes after graduating.  We played “Sorrow” from Bad Religion’s The Process Of Belief.  Greg was born in Racine, WI which is only 20 minutes south of Milwaukee, where the Violent Femmes are from.  Their debut self-titled effort would go on to top many lists of best 80s albums, especially in the college rock scene.  It would also make it onto the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list.  Although “Blister In The Sun” would go on to become the band’s signature song, “Gone Daddy Gone” was actually the only single released from the album.  Chiming in from Muscle Shoals, AL, we heard Clarence Carter’s “Patches” from his 1970 LP of the same name.  Clarence had to be convinced to do the song by producer Rick Hall, claiming “it would be degrading for a black man to sing a song so redolent of subjugation”.  Turns out Rick was right, the song is perfect.  Check out that Muscle Shoals documentary if you get a chance, too!  Before Mr. Carter, we played a track off of what is possibly Elton John’s best album.  1972’s Tumbleweed Connection finds a British piano player surrounded by Americana/Country-Western themes.  Also released in 1970, the concept album reeked of laid back country-tinged tunes.  We played “Son Of Your Father” from the LP, which also features “My Father’s Gun” and “Into The Old Man’s Shoes”, a pair of dad-tracks.  James Brown led the set with his signature tune “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag Pt. 1”.  We’re gonna do a set of tunes exclaiming the artists’ disdain for their fathers.  Yes, Father’s Day is about celebrating Fathers, but not everyone is blessed with a perfect Dad.  Here’s The Front Bottoms playing their track, “Father”.

Set 2:

  1. The Front Bottoms – Father
  2. Everclear – Father Of Mine
  3. Pearl Jam – Better Man
  4. NOFX – Happy Father’s Day
  5. P.O.S – Duct Tape

Intermission 2 Background Music: Knowmadic – Days

DJ:  Whew!  So, believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to find positive songs about moms than it is to find about dads.  It’s almost like rock stars seem to often have daddy issues?  More on that later.  Twin Cities legend P.O.S rounded out our mad-at-dad set with “Duct Tape” from his debut album Ipecac Neat.  If you’re still unfamiliar with the Twin Cities hip-hop scene, including Doomtree, Atmosphere, Dem Atlas, Astronautalis and much more, than shame on you.  We’ll hear a bit more from them later as well!  NOFX chimed in with “Happy Father’s Day” from their latest album First Ditch Effort.  Fat Mike is so pissed at his dad that he sings about changing his last name so that when he dies the family name is dead with him.  Damn, dude. Pearl Jam’s “Better Man” was written about Eddie‘s stepfather when he was still in high school.  He brought the song to Pearl Jam for their sophomore album Vs., but they rejected it claiming it sounded too much like a hit song.  After producer Brendan O’Brien expressed his interest in the track, they would revive it for their third album Vitalogy.  Good thing Brendan convinced them, too, the song would become one of their biggest hits!  Another 90’s alternative tune played before that with Everclear’s “Father Of Mine”.   Songwriter Art Alexakis pulled no punches in proclaiming his dissatisfaction with his dad.  Per the video and lyrics, it seems the biographical part of the song rings true in that Art’s dad left him and his mom when Art was a kid.  It really is something to see the commonalities between a missing father figure and successful rock stars.  On that note, let’s hear some dads sing to their kiddos.  Here’s a set of songs about having kids, led by a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” from Me First And The Gimme Gimmes.

Set 3:

  1. Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Isn’t She Lovely
  2. Taking Back Sunday – You Can’t Look Back
  3. Sturgill Simpson – Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)
  4. Radical Face – Welcome Home, Son
  5. John Lennon – Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)

Intermission 3 Background Music: Jazzinuf – I’m Cool Like That

DJ:  John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” would be the first time the public would hear Sean Lennon on tape.  After a five year hiatus in recording, John would finally release Double Fantasy in 1980.  Sadly, he was shot only three weeks after the album’s release.  Some people, man.  Radical Face was started when Ben Cooper saw a flyer featuring those words.  We played “Welcome Home, Son” from the band’s first official LP, 2007’s Ghost.  Sturgill Simpson rode the end of 2016 like Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay.  First being offered the soundtrack song to HBO’s Vinyl in late 2015, he would then release his third album and major label debut A Sailor’s Guide To Earth to massive critical acclaim, even earning an Album Of The Year and Best Country Album nomination at the Grammys; with Sturgill winning the latter.  The album is somewhat of a concept album about the birth of his son, and we featured the opening track “Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)”.  Taking Back Sunday released their debut album in 2002 after Adam Lazzara joined the band.  The band has released seven full-length LPs including their most recent Tidal Wave.  The album cover features a picture of Adam’s son Asa in front of the ocean and is themed around water and fatherhood.  Both of Adam’s sons have the middle name “Danger”.  Our Set 4 Score this week features Brooklyn, NY’s Daddy Issues.  The band released their sophomore full-length LP Deep Dream in May of this year.  We’re gonna play a cover of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer” from that album.  

Set 4:

  1. Daddy Issues – Boys Of Summer {Set 4 Score}
  2. Astronautalis – My Old Man’s Badge
  3. Fucked Up – Son The Father
  4. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Someday Never Comes
  5. Mac Demarco – My Old Man

Intermission 4 Background Music: Apollo Brown – Father And Son

DJ:  Mac Demarco released his third LP This Old Dog in May of this year to a quickly growing audience.  The Canadian born “jizz-jazz” singer has helped fuel a lo-fi revolution in indie rock, spawning blue wave clones across the North American stratosphere.  We played “My Old Man” from that LP.  John Fogerty said he wrote “Someday Never Comes” about his parents divorcing and hearing his dad tell him “someday you’ll understand'”.   The song itself is based on the idea of every kid asking “when are we going fishing?” and the parent responding with “someday”.  Sad in a way, but totally on point.  The song comes from CCR’s final album, 1972’s Mardi Gras.  The single would represent a bit of a swan song for CCR’s career, with the band breaking up after its release.  Toronto, ON punk band Fucked Up actually released 2008’s The Chemistry of Common Life on Reel-to-Reel tape, among other standard formats. Its super rare to see bands using reel-to-reel, let alone analog recording in general.  Aside from their full-lengths, Fucked Up releases a Zodiac 12″ EP once a year corresponding with that year.  They just released “Year Of The Snake” in March of this year, and the title track clocks in just under twenty four minutes!  Another Twin Cities hip-hop guru chimed in with Astronautalis giving us “My Old Man’s Badge” from 2008’s Pomegranate.  While usually found rhyming over a beat, this track found Astronautalis (Andy Bothwell) singing in the shoegaze-indie style, first adopted in his previous album Mighty Ocean And Nine Dark Theaters.  Andy’s first album was produced by Ben Cooper of Radical Face, and he has worked with artists like P.O.S and Justin Vernon.  Alright lets jump back fifty years or so with the Beach Boys singing about a girl trying to have fun before dad takes the car away…

 Set 5:

  1. The Beach Boys – Fun, Fun, Fun
  2. Johnny Cash – Daddy Sang Bass
  3. David Bowie – Kooks
  4. Cat Stevens – Father And Son
  5. The Flaming Lips – Fight Test

Intermission 5 Background Music: Roger Williams – Papa, Won’t You Dance With Me?

DJ:  The Flaming Lips were well aware their song sounded like Cat Stevens’ “Father And Son”, so they changed some bits of the song to not sound so similar.  Apparently, it wasn’t enough of a change, and now Cat Stevens (goes by Yusuf Islam these days) is receiving 75% of the royalties for the song.  I suppose, if this were live radio, we’d be paying Yusuf for the last two songs of that set!  Before the Lips, we heard Cat Stevens doing “Father And Son” from 1970’s Tea For The Tillerman.  Yusuf sings in a low register to represent the father in the song and higher for the son.  The song is reportedly “for those people who can’t break loose” from their parents grip.  We get it, ya just love your kids!  David Bowie released Hunky Dory in 1971, his first for RCA.  The album features the singles “Changes”, “Life On Mars”, and many other radio staples, including “Song For Bob Dylan” which we played on our Dylan episode.  David wrote “Kooks” in the form of a Neil Young song due to listening to him when receiving the news of the birth of his son Duncan.  In 1968, Carl Perkins wrote “Daddy Sang Bass” after being inspired by Johnny Cash cleaning up his drug  habits.  He borrowed the famous chorus from “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, a tune famously reworked by June Carter Cash’s parents, The Carter Family.  At the head of the set was the Beach Boys singing a classic summer tune “Fun, Fun, Fun”.  Let’s stick to SoCal and hear Long Beach’s Tijuana Panthers kick off our last set with “Father Figure” from Semi Sweet.

Set 6:

  1. TIjuana Panthers – Fathers Figure
  2. Joe Tex – Papa Was Too
  3. Neil Young – Old Man
  4. The Magnetic Fields – Papa Was A Rodeo
  5. The Temptations – Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Outro Background Music: Figub Brazlevic – Father & Son

DJ:   All eleven minutes and forty five seconds of The Temptations’ 1972’s All Directions capping off our Father’s Day episode.  The single version clocked in just under seven minutes and would give The Temptations their last number one single.  Originally written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield for The Undisputed Truth in 1971, the song would make its way to The Temptations just a year later, and would long shadow over the Truth’s version.  When Stephen Merritt started his 69 Love Songs project, he initially sought to write 100 songs as a way to introduce himself to the world.  Settling on 69, the album still ended up being three CDs or 6-10″ LPs.  “Papa Was A Rodeo” pulls in some country tinge, just like Neil Young’s “Old Man” did in the song prior.  Neil apparently wrote “Old Man” for the caretaker of the Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young purchased for $350,000 in 1970.  It features James Taylor on banjo and Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.  Before Neil, we heard Southern soul legend Joe Tex doing “Papa Was Too” from 1966’s I’ve Got To Do A Little Bit Better.  Joe was also famous for having an ongoing rivalry with James Brown, who led our show.  Tex would join the Islamic rocker world after changing his name to Yusuf Hazziez in 1966.  And that, my friends is the point where we end the show; HOWEVER.  Yesterday morning, the music world lost a little known legend when Sonny Knight passed away from lung cancer.  My wife and I would go to his December shows every year as a tradition, and see him play with the Lakers whenever else we got a chance.  In honor of Sonny, we added a bonus with “I’m Still Here” parts one and two.  Rest in peace Sonny, we will miss you terribly.  For the rest of us still surviving, join us next time on Feel Me Flow when we celebrate the Summer Solstice!  Happy Fathers Day and spread the love!

Bonus Pic: Me and Rigby

Author: Nick FMF

Music Blogger. FMF is a playlist curated specifically to chosen themes. Think Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour meets Little Steven's Underground Garage.

2 thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing! Your in depth knowledge of music and its origins, along with your take on them, has never ceased to amaze me.

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