Saturday, May 21, 2011

And there arose from the Sea, Seven States

Jumping on the bandwagon here today!

This 4-track recording dates from 1988 or '89, when Sea 7 States was for the second time between drummers. We spent a Saturday goofing off recording, doing some demos of originals and this cover. With the addition of my Korg drum machine, I got to be the full rhythm section.

This remix comes from 2001, when I was trying to get the back catalog mixed and digitized in case the then-current cancer difficulty got me. In retrospect, I should have worked a little harder to tame that Korg.

Sea 7 States - Rapture

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You couldn't spell Charleston without "we"

Here's a bit of a mystery. There's no date on the disc, and a (admittedly brief) search turns up no information on the performer (Dee Dee Geraty) or two of the authors (Pat Wardlaw/Beverly Geraty) other than two possible name matches in some documents referencing some local schools, but Robert Cathcart* (often working with Fud Livingston) is a fairly-well-remembered songwriter in the Charleston area. As heard on this B-side, “Springtime in Charleston” (1947) won first place in a contest held in 1947 by the Charleston Challenges during the Azalea Festival.

Dee Dee plays acoustic guitar and sings in a light soprano these two songs extolling the joys of Charlestowne/Charleston.

Dee Dee Geraty - Olde Charlestowne/Springtime In Charleston

*Donation Announced for Charleston Jazz Initiative

The family of Robert Spann Cathcart Jr. donated a collection of photographs, manuscripts and more than 50 songs (including music manuscripts and recordings) composed by Cathcart to the College of Charleston Charleston Jazz Initiative. The Jazz Initiative is a jazz history and research project administered jointly by the arts management program, School of the Arts, and Avery Research Center. Cathcart was a well-known songwriter in Charleston during the 1920s-1960s. Donation of the collection, which had been organized by Paul Cathcart, the songwriter‚s Atlanta-based son, took place during a formal program held on Tuesday, November 24 at 2:30 p.m. in the McKinley Washington Auditorium at the Avery Research Center, 125 Bull Street.

Robert (Bobby) Spann Cathcart (November 25, 1909 – June 27, 1992) was born in Charleston to Dr. Robert S. Cathcart, surgeon, general practitioner, and professor of surgery at The Medical College (now MUSC) who was instrumental in the building of Roper Hospital. Dr. Cathcart was a son of Col.William R. Cathcart, C.S.A., who fought with distinction at Fort Sumter. Bobby’s mother, Katherine Morrow Cathcart, was descended from families that founded Birmingham, Ala. Cathcart met his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Hamilton Seabrook, in Charleston. They married in April 1936 and had five children – Elizabeth Seabrook, Robert Spann III, Paul Hamilton, William Richard and John Temple.

As a young child, Cathcart’s musical abilities were encouraged by his mother and Elizabeth O’Neill Verner, prolific artist and mother of his good friend, Dave Verner. One year, as a birthday present for young Bobby, his mother invited the Paul Whiteman Orchestra to perform at their home. The orchestra, a popular band of the day, was performing a concert in Charleston.

Over his songwriting career, which spanned the decades from the 1920s – when American popular song was flourishing – to the 1960s, Cathcart wrote 62 songs. During these years, he wrote songs about the war (“I’m Dreaming of a Soldier”), love and politics, as well as humorous songs and others that extolled the virtues of his beloved Charleston and South Carolina (“I Left My Heart in Charleston”). The best known are those wherein he collaborated with others. These included six songs composed with Joseph (Fud) Livingston, his friend and prolific instrumentalist, songwriter and arranger. The most famous of these collaborations is “Springtime in Charleston” (1947) which, together with their “Saint Michael’s Chimes,” won first and second place, respectively in a contest held in 1947 by the Charleston Challenges during the Azalea Festival. “Sandman’s Lullaby” (1948) was another collaborative work with Livingston and Hank Fort, Nashville native, singer, actress and songwriter.

By 1947, Cathcart conceived a musical comedy about a mulatto who was sadly rejected by both races. The musical includes songs written exclusively by Cathcart and was later completed in 1968 by Ernest Travis, leader of the Charleston Rebel Band at that time. Titled “Lowcountry,” it was never produced.
Cathcart’s own songs often did not have the orchestration, presentation and exposure that professional, nationally known musicians brought to his collaborative efforts. Nevertheless, his songs remain an important collection of Charleston‚s musical and cultural history.

The Robert S. Cathcart Collection will be of interest to cultural historians (particularly those concerned with Charleston and southern history), musicians (notably composers and songwriters), playwrights, ethnomusicologists, musical theater directors, curators and archivists. The collection will be housed in the Avery Research Center archives as part of the Charleston Jazz Initiative Archival Collection at the College of Charleston.

For more information on the collection, contact Avery's archives at 843.953.7609 or Karen Chandler at 843.953.5474 or

To inquire about donating to the Charleston Jazz Initiative, contact Ashley Smith at 843.953.5348 or

Buying a house in Dunes West of Mt Pleasant, SC was the worst housing decision that I have ever made.

Buying a house in Dunes West of Mt Pleasant, SC was the worst housing decision that I have ever made.

Monday, May 09, 2011

I Left My EP in San Francisco

Here's one of my favorite random ordered-from-the-back-of-a-magazine music purchases of the 80's. It's a compilation EP featuring three San Francisco bands, with each band sharing a member or a few with each other band. The most well-known player is Steve Mckay, who played sax on The Stooge's "Funhouse." We've got a little bit of several things: some 80's impending nuclear apocalypse, some new wave, and some silly Da-Da.

Various Artists - Seaside Curios

Artichokes - Nothing
Steve Mckay's Carnal Kitchen - Ground Zero
Ibbilly Bibilly - Thinking All The Time
Ibbilly Bibilly - Squompy

Friday, May 06, 2011

cross-continental tribute

Here's a Berkeley, CA band paying tribute to New York graffiti artist Michael Stewart who (according to the sleeve notes) "was beaten to death by New York City Transit Police for spray painting the subway." The A side is a spiffy little new wave rocker, while the B is a little more muted.

The Stickers - Party On The Streets of New York/She Jilted Johnny (1984)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

I live in a car (down by the river)

This is one of my favorite poppy tracks that WUTK had in rotation back in the day. The single came out in 1983, but was still in rotation when I started doing regular air shifts in 1984. The Wrong Band was from Nashville, so that makes them "localish." Here's a short blog post about them on The Other Side of Nashville.

The Wrong Band - I Live in My Car/Wrong Song