Hey everyone! This episode of The Gus Knorr Show, the second to last one of the school year, will begin shortly. The theme for tonight’s episode is musicians who were from Wisconsin, recorded their songs in Wisconsin, or otherwise have to do with Wisconsin in some way. It’s just my way of paying homage to this great state as a lifelong resident.
- The first song tonight was recorded at the Paramount Studios in Grafton, Wisconsin way back in 1929. These studios specialized in blues music, and many blues musicians recorded their songs at these studios. One of these was Charley Patton, The Father of the Delta Blues, and his song, “Going to Move to Alabama,” is the first song on The Gus Knorr Show tonight.
- Next up is a song by electric guitar pioneer Les Paul, a native of Waukesha, and his wife, Mary Ford, who released several songs in the early 1950s. This song is their version of “How High the Moon.”
- The next group is another band from Waukesha, though a much more recent one, as they were formed in the 1980s by Waukesha South High School classmates Kurt Neumann and Sam Llanas. They’re the BoDeans, and this is “Closer to Free.”
- A band from Milwaukee is next, namely the Violent Femmes, one of the best known bands from Milwaukee. One of their best known songs, from their 1983 self-titled debut, is also the next song, which is “Blister in the Sun.”
- Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes attended Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, and so did Speech of the alternative hip-hop group Arrested Development, who performed the next song. Although Arrested Development was founded in Atlanta during Speech’s college years, he still was from Wisconsin, and this song of his relates to another one his childhood homes, namely “Tennessee.”
- Switching back to a newer band for a minute, the next song is by Peace Mercutio, who were originally from Milwaukee, but now are based in Seattle. This song, “So Desperate,” is off their new album, Weather the Storm.
- The Wesley Willis Song of the Week is next, and is about a former record store in Milwaukee which unfortunately closed a few years ago. Named after the store, the song is called “Atomic Records.”
- Next is a song by James Brown, who despite not being from Wisconsin, had a drummer in his band who would later live in Madison. The drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, performed one of his best known and most sampled drum solos in the next song, “Funky Drummer.”
- The next song is one by The Steve Miller Band, off of their first album from the late 1960s. It was one of two albums released with Boz Scaggs as a member, who met Miller growing up in Texas, before both of them attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From their first album, Children of the Future, it’s “Steppin’ Stone.”
- Next up is a song that was released by The Steve Miller Band after Scaggs left for his solo career, though this was the band’s first major hit. Released as a single in 1973, this song is “The Joker.”
- Continuing the Steve Miller/Boz Scaggs mini-theme, the next song was one of the biggest hits by Boz Scaggs, released in 1976. It’s “Lido Shuffle,” and if this caused you to start singing along while listening in public, I apologize.
- The next song is by Nirvana, who, despite being from Seattle, had this track from their 1991 album Nevermind recorded in Madison, at the now closed Smart Studios; it’s “Polly.”
- The next band played is from Madison, and two of the members, Butch Vig and Steve Marker, founded the Smart Studios in Madison. This song, “Only Happy When it Rains,” was by their band Garbage, released in 1995 off of their debut album of the same name.
- Yes, I know you all have been waiting for me to play a song by the best known band from Wisconsin today, so here’s Bon Iver with “Towers.”
- Next up is a song by The Living Statues, an amazing band who performed at the Marquette Radio Spring Concert last Saturday. They’re really awesome, so I highly recommend that you purchase their new EP, Strike of a Match, which was just recently released. This song, “Not My Fault,” is off that new EP.
- Nathan Mathes of Green Bay, who also performed at the Spring Concert, is next, and this song is from his new album, Roselawn, which I also recommend. This song is “Blue Jean Dream.”
- The final song of the night is by Madison-based parody band The Zombeatles, parodying the hits of the Fab Four, only complete with references to eating pituitary glands and other body parts. This song, off of their 2009 album Meat the Zombeatles, is “I Wanna Eat Your Hand.”
That’s it for The Gus Knorr Show this week, but stay tuned next week for the final Gus Knorr Show episode of the school year, next week Monday night, May 7, at 9:30 PM. Thanks for listening!