What’s Old Is New: The City, Ted Hawkins And Daptone Gold

Light In The Attic, the fine folks who have reissued the Monks, Karen Dalton and Rodriguez (to name a few), will be putting out the long-out-of-print album by The City. on October 2. Who is “The City?” It was a Carole King project that was released in 1968 following her move to Los Angeles. The band consisted of ace guitarist Danny Kortchmar (you know him from many album credits, such as James Taylor, back in the day), bassist (and King’s future husband) Charles Larkey and drummer Jim Gordon (another in-demand session man during the ’60s & ’70s).

Now That Everything’s Been Said has slipped through the cracks over the years. The story is that King’s stage fright prevented touring, which hindered record sales and that she wasn’t keen in having it reissued until now apparently.

The album, with its psychedelic-tinged folk-rock sound, includes “A Man Without A Dream” (that The Monkees covered), “Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)” (covered by Blood, Sweat & Tears) and her version of “Wasn’t Born To Follow” (famously done by the Byrds on the Easy Rider soundtrack).

To get a taste of The City, Light in the Attic put together a video for the tune “Victim of Circumstance,” which seems like a good subtitle for this album’s history.

Also, coming out in October is a tribute album to the late musician, Ted Hawkins. Hawkins had a remarkable story of being discovered on the boardwalk of Venice, California. I remember hearing his music on the radio after he recorded his major label debut (and really his first proper album) Next Hundred Years in 1994. Sadly, he passed away the next year and his name really hasn’t been on the radar since then. Cold And Bitter Tears; The Songs of Ted Hawkins, due out Oct. 23 on Eight 30 Records, hopefully will remedy that. It features contributions from James McMurtry, Kasey Chambers, Tim Easton, Mary Gauthier, Jon Dee Graham, Gurf Morlix and other Americana luminaries.

You hear Gauthier’s version of “Sorry You’re Sick” over at the Bluegrass Situation


A couple other news items on hall of fame musicians. Lloyd Price, who scored hits with “Personality” and “Stagger Lee,” will be publishing his memoir on Oct. 13. Entitled sundumhonky, the book not only talks about his music career coming up in New Orleans to becoming an international success but it also touches on the topics of racism (particularly during the Sixties Civil Rights era) and his life as a businessman (did you know he was involved in the fabled Foreman-Ali “Rumble In the Jungle fight extravaganza?).

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Tennessee Ernie Ford‘s huge hit recording “Sixteen Tons.” To honor this milestone, Bear Family Records has compiled a 5-CD Ford retrospective covering all of Ford’s secular recordings from the first 12 years of his career when he crossed over from country to pop music success. Due out Sept. 25, Tennessee Ernie Ford:  Portrait of an American Singer (1949-1960) includes hits like “Mule Train,” “Shotgun Boogie” and “I’ll Never Be Free” as well as rarities such as his 1955 Davy Crockett recitations.


RockBeat Records has assembled 4-CD collection, Groove & Grind: Rare Soul, that comes packed with rare soul tracks (mostly singles) done in the Sixties and Seventies. Carla Thomas, Bobby Rush, Ike & Tina Turner, Bettye LaVette and King Floyd rank among the best-known names here but part of the fun is discovering the gems recorded by obscure artists.

And speaking of soul music, Dap-Tone has reached into its archives to compile Daptone Gold II. The 21-track set, coming out Sept. 18, features super soulful selections from Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, Naomi Shelton and the Menahan Street Band.

In closing for a Throw Back Thursday, here is terrific concert video of Elvis Costello and the Attraction from a 5/5/78 performance at the Capitol Theatre. I don’t want to think how long ago that was….

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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