What About This…? 8.31.2017

As everyone knows, the term “cover” in the music industry is used when a musician performs a work previously made popular by another artist. Some covers are good, others not so much.
There are covers that become more successful than the original performances, like Gladys Knight and the Pips’ Heard It On the Grapevine, and Patsy Cline’s Crazy, and all future covers are judged against them.
And there are some originals that you hear all the time but are seldom covered, like Elvis’ Love Me Tender from the movie sound track, Grace Slick’s White Rabbit, Linda Ronstadt’s Blue Bayou, Janis Joplin’s Cry Baby and Piece of My Heart, and of course, Slim Whitman’s Una Paloma Blanca.
And then, very rarely, someone comes along and throws down a cover of something that has existed for a long, long time and has been covered many, many times, and yet that work becomes their “property.” They did it so well that from then on, every rendition is judged against theirs. The clearest example of that is when Whitney Houston sang the National Anthem.
I’ll bet the preceding sparked more than a little discussion. I hope so.
Anyway, I was thinking about covers when I heard the other day that Glen Campbell had passed away. In a tribute to him, I guess, someone – I didn’t catch their name– was singing Wichita Lineman. The music was very similar if not the same track as Campbell’s but the sound was ….. different. You really miss those old favorites and you get to feeling sad. Did you know that he played and sang for quite some time with The Beach Boys? It’s true.
For every favorite there must be a dozen new talents to take their place when they leave, no doubt two or three of that dozen that are very good and will become the real deal in the years to come, laying down their own originals for others to cover. Still, you really hate saying goodbye to the old gals and guys, don’t you?