Monthly Archives: April 2013

Covering The Beatles

I love writing new arrangements of familiar tunes but I shy away from Beatles songs as many attempts by others have resulted in horrible failures.  Just listen to the Sleepy’s commercial that uses “In My Life” and you’ll hear what I mean.

That said, there are some exceptions and one truly astonishingly arrangement is Earth, Wind, and Fire’s version of “Got to Get You into My Life”.

Don’t get me wrong; the Beatles’ version is great, but I think Maurice White and company’s take is the definitive version of the song.

There was no way I was going to improve upon this gem, but given that the recording fades out I did write a tag so we could have a tidy ending.

We haven’t performed this for a while but we’ll take this on  — along with some Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears — at our next show at The Cutting Room on June 7.

An Appreciation of Isaac Hayes

Every music part in The Top Shelf book contains two common elements.  The first is a warning to any interloper about making a copy of an individual part:


What can I say? I work hard on these arrangements.

The second element comprises the names of the songwriters as I want my bandmates to know the person or people responsible for composing the gem that is on the music stand.

So, several years ago I had a big surprise when I looked up who composed the three songs that make up our “Sam and Dave” medley:


I had no idea that the creator of Hot Buttered Soul, the Theme From Shaft and the voice of “Chef” on South Park was also an amazingly prolific songwriter and producer for Stax records in the 1960s.

…and the composer of three of my favorite Soul / R&B tunes.

I’ll leave you with Sam Moore and Carla Thomas’ recording of When Something is Wrong with My Baby written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.

Thank you, Mr. Hayes.