Sunday, June 2, 2019

Sanity Sunday - In Memory of Leon Redbone

by Nomad

On Thursday of this week, news came that singer-songwriter Leon Redbone had passed away at the age of 69. He has been called "perpetually anachronistic," "mysterious" and "a man out of time, a vaudevillian who tottered along in a television age."

When it came to his private life, Redbone kept his cards close to his vest. However, we do know a little. Born with the unlikely name of Dickran Gobalian in Cyprus in 1949, Redbone immigrated to Canada in the mid-60s. He began performing in public at Toronto area nightclubs and folk music festivals and released his first album, On the Track, in 1975.
Turning away from his folk music origins, Redbone developed an unmistakable style based on the blues and Tin Pan Alley music of the 1920s and 30s.
“It was a more interesting time, a more interesting period in the history of the music development of certain styles of music. Something about it seems to speak to me more than what came after.”
Redbone's fame really came after appearances on the first season of Saturday Night Live and a regular on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. 
Appearing onstage in a white suit and white Panama hat, sunglasses, and Colonel Sanders facial hair, audiences were initially puzzled. Who is this guy? Is he serious?
But the moment he began to play and sing, they were quickly won over. 
In a rare interview, he explained his shyness this way:
I've got a very behind-the-scenes personality. I don't know how I became a performer. I like to stay discreet, out of the public eye, very low-key.
Before his retirement in 2015, Redbone had released13 studio albums and 5 live albums. Even though he never achieved huge commercial success, he developed a following of appreciative fans. 
When it came to fame, Redbone was dismissive.
Other musicians are basically personalities who want to make a name for themselves. All I do is sing old songs in the best way I can. What else is there to know? If you were a blacksmith, what would people need to know about you other than whether you can make a good horseshoe?
On Thursday afternoon, Redbone's family issued a statement which read:
“He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover and a simple tip of his hat,...To his fans, friends and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh, behave yourselves. Thank you… and good evening everybody.'”

The playlist consists of:

  1.   Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
  2.  So, Relax
  3.  Champagne Charlie 
  4.  Shine On Harvest Moon
  5.  Seduced
  6.  Prairie Lullaby
  7.  Ain't Misbehaving
  8.  Bittersweet Waltz
  9.   Lord I Looked Down The Road 
  10.  Play Gypsy Play 
  11.  That Old Familiar Blues
  12.  Your Cheatin' Heart
  13.  Me And The Devil Blues
  14.  Messin' Around
  15.  Marie
  16.  Yearning (Just For You)
  17.  Are You Lonesome Tonight
  18.  If We Never Meet Again This Side Of Heaven

Have a super Sunday, my friends.