Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This week's quickies post covers all sorts of items from the past week or two...

First up, Etta James railed on Beyonce for singing the James classic "At Last" way too many times since the release of Cadillac Records, the movie in which Beyonce portrayed Etta James. James also lit into the new president at the same Seattle concert where she tore into Beyonce. Read what she had to say about both Beyonce and President Obama here.

Reading about Etta speaking her mind brought back a memory of the only time I ever saw her perform in concert. One summer while I was in college, I went with some friends to see a triple bill of Etta, Lavern Baker and Ruth Brown at Wolf Trap. I was sitting in the second row toward the right side of the stage, when Etta waddled over my way. And, I do mean waddled...she was pretty big at the time. She made eye contact with me, then pulled the elastic top of her pants away from her ample body, made a motion with her hand and a facial expression that basically said "you wanna piece of this?" Ooof....

Second, Sirius XM satellite radio is surviving to broadcast another day. For better or worse, this financing deal keeps the company out of bankruptcy for a while. It also means the company is still stuck Howard Stern's contract.

Third, the Country Music Hall of Fame's class of 2009 consists of Roy Clark, Charlie McCoy and Barbara Mandrell. One of these days, I'll have a full entry on this. But for now, let me just say Roy Clark once played the honky tonks of southeast D.C. Really, there were redneck joints in southeast, I swear. Read Eddie Dean's Washington City Paper piece "A Brief History of White People in Southeast" here to learn more about it.

Finally, Merle Haggard returned to performing this month after having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from one of his lungs late last year. Here's the Hag singing "Swinging Doors" in 1967. (Hey, I had to sneak something about drinking in this entry somewhere!)

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