Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I bid you goodnight

I likewise grew up in Phoenix listening to the great Bill Compton on KCAC and loved the Incredible String Band's "A Very Cellular Song".  They probably learned the hymn "I Bid You Goodnight" from a Folkways recording by the great Bahamian singer and guitarist Joseph Spence.  Joseph had a very unusual style of singing and playing, not for everyone.  My favorite version of the song appeared last year on a CD by the Dixie Hummingbirds entitled "Diamond Jubilation", one of my favorite releases of the year.  My brother has since informed me that the song comes from the same hymn tradition as "Amazing Grace" and was also was a common show finale by the Grateful Dead.  Perhpas this is more than you ever wanted to know but that song always stuck in my memory as well.
I went on during the late 1970's and 80's to do a free-form program on KJZZ with Reggae and World Beat music and brought Johnny D in to be my partner for the last year.  This probably would never have happened if I had not been inspired by KCAC and the great Bill Compton, Toad Hall, Johnny D, and Marty Manning.  No station will have us any more.  I 'm sure Bill wouldn't be able to find a place on today's commercial radio.  What a sad situation.
Frank Hill


Mariah Fleming said...

It's great to hear something from you! Frank, you were an indelible mark on Phoenix radio yourself. Those of us who were around then know how important your contribution was to Phoenix radio. World Beat was responsible for an expansion of musical knowedge for which many are in your debt.

Since the demise of World Beat the dial has been empty of any program even remotely as captivating. Sure, imitations of World Beat have emerged, but you had the concept, the musical knowledge and the record collection to back it up. World Beat shows were each unique-thoughtfully and lovingly prepared.

You and John Dixon were literally irreplacable and the fact that now "no station will have us anymore" is a heartbreaking reality for those of us who are in love with music and its history.

You and John Dixon were also responsible for bringing some unusual and formidable live music to the valley. Those days were full of promise, openeness and excitement. Your concerts were 'events' in the true sense of the word...people connected through the music they experienced.

How cool it would be to listen to those shows once again. But I doubt they were taped because who knew then that our vivid world of music/radio would be relegated to a place of 'nostalgia' in our own lifetimes?

It's a sad situation indeed that commerical radio has become just a corporate mouthpiece. At least Andy Olson at Radio Free Phoenix is trying to reignite the
fire for free form, non commercial radio. Though it's hard to face that radio as we knew it is dead and gone,
Radio Free Phoenix is worth the adjustment. It would sure be great to hear you on the air again!!!

Jimmy said...

Couldn't find the Dixie Hummingbirds' version, but another nice take on "I Bid You Goodnight," this one by Aaron Neville, can be heard by clicking here.

Anonymous said...

Superb! Aaron Neville has been mostly "lost" to me, as just a stylist. This is THE SONG done by Aaron and I would not have recognized him as the singer until about halfway into it, had I not known ahead. Thank You for that!