Monday, February 17, 2020

Sweet Baby James and 50 Years Down the Road


Sweet Baby James, the second studio album by James Taylor was released on February 1, 1970. The photo above was taken by Henry Diltz as a black and white photo promo. Diltz instantly saw that the picture would look great in color and wisely got out his color camera quickly and snapped what would be the iconic album cover after James slightly adjusted his pose.

The first single, Fire and Rain reached #3 on the Pop 100 Billboard Chart and James has been a household name ever since.

My friends and I wore out the grooves on this album. The title song, Sweet Baby James is viewed by James himself as his best song. Personally, it is one of my top ten songs of all-time and I currently have it in the #1 spot on My 100 Songs YouTube Playlist in honor of the album's 50th anniversary.

Here's the Sweet Baby James Album Playlist along with a funny update to Fire and Rain by James and Stephen Colbert.



As for 2020, James has just released his audiobook titled, Break Shot: My First 21 Years: An Audio MemoirI just got a download copy by doing the free 30 day trial on Audible, click here for details. I recommend you take a hour and a half of your life and sit down in a quiet place and listen to this fascinating story mixed with song. I simply loved it!

James' new Album, American Standard will be released February 28th. I've already started the new playlist below with a couple of songs pre-released on Youtube plus a new Jane Pauley piece on James that recently aired on the CBS Sunday Morning TV show. 2/28/20 UPDATE - I've just completed the playlist below this morning!

If you live in the San Diego area, James Taylor and Jackson Browne will be playing the Pechanga Arena (old Sports Arena) on May 29th. James will be touring with Bonnie Raitt for his Canadian shows and then Jackson will join him for his tour dates in the States.

Source - California Beaches, Pismo State Beach - Grover Beach
James is simply timeless. My ol' buddy Paul Hobbs got me listening to Sweet Baby James 50 years ago and I've followed him ever since. Last Friday, Paul and I had a nice run at Grover Beach on the California Central Coast. It wasn't exactly walking on a country road, but we could feel it. Being outdoors with an old friend is the past and present all rolled together in a familiar bundle of emotion and rhythm. The conversation picks up from where you left off the last time together, a 50+ year journey down a road where muscle memory takes over, effortless. Having the time to be with one another again and again is the reward in itself. James would identify and has been a master of telling such stories in song for a long time. I can't wait for the new album.

Note - I will complete the American Standard Playlist shortly after the February 28 release date.

Here's some Liner Notes for American Standard by James.

And, if you got some kids or grandkids hanging around, buy this pop-up book of Sweet Baby James to explore and read together. I believe my personal copy will be a real collector's item among the kids I hang with long after I'm gone to think about such things.



So goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby James


2/28/20 Update -  American Standard Album Playlist



Source - Henry Diltz, Morrison Hotel Gallery

No comments:

Post a Comment

For writing a hassle free comment quickly, choose Anonymous and then write your name at the end if you choose.