Thommy Ford Reads

A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library

Mark Dvorak at Friday at the Ford

Friday night of September 19 was a joyous occasion as singer-songwriter Mark Dvorak returned to Thomas Ford to perform original songs and beloved folk classics. We had been looking forward … Continue reading

October 22, 2014 · Leave a comment

Jim Green’s Concert at Friday at the Ford

The library is a place for learning. Everyone who came to Jim Green’s concert at the Thomas Ford Library in May learned the sound of percussive acoustic guitar, a method … Continue reading

July 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release by Jean-Michele Guesdon and Philippe Margotin

The spindle on my inner phonograph is stacked high with Beatles records. I have just finished reading All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release by Jean-Michele Guesdon and … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Somebody Loan Me a Dime by Fenton Robinson

The name Fenton Robinson won’t immediately bring anything to mind for most people. But it should be as familiar as Buddy Guy or Otis Rush. Robinson not only wrote a … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Who is William Onyeabor?

I’m not sure that the fifth volume in Luaka Bop’s World Psychedelic Classics series actually answers the question its title poses, Who is William Onyeabor? They admit to having only a … Continue reading

February 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

“Dancing Girl” by Terry Callier

Track #52 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Well, this is the last post in 2013’s weekend series on music. Since we kicked the series off with a post on Chicago legend Howlin’ … Continue reading

December 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

“White Christmas” written by Irving Berlin

Track #51 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist “White Christmas” as recorded by Bing Crosby may be the highest selling single ever. Billboard and other charting services can only speculate because they … Continue reading

December 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Tzigane” by Maurice Ravel

Track #50 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Jelly d’Arányi was a Hungarian violinist that lived a colorful life. Grand niece of legendary violinist Joseph Joachim, her own playing inspired works by Bartok, … Continue reading

December 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

“The Thing That Should Not Be” by Metallica

Track #49 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Metal is more well read than most people think. It seems like every metal band has had a crack at some classic book or … Continue reading

December 8, 2013 · Leave a comment

“St. Louis Blues” by Bessie Smith

Track #48 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist “St. Louis Blues” is track #10 on the album The Essential Bessie Smith: 781.643 SMI Bessie Smith’s 1925 recording of “St. Louis Blues,” which features … Continue reading

December 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Range Life” by Pavement

Track #47 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I like to think of “Range Life” as one of those the-road-is-so-tough songs. You know, like Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” but for gen x’ers. … Continue reading

November 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Boo’s Blues” by Booker Ervin

Track #46 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Booker Ervin is more famous for his stints with Charles Mingus than with his own bands. On albums like Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus and … Continue reading

November 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Thirteen” by Big Star

Track #45 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Big Star is not just one of those bands that only serious music lovers and record shop perusers know, they’re one of those bands that … Continue reading

November 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Step Right Up” by Tom Waits

Track #44 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I love Tom Waits’ moody side as much as anyone. Those early records from the ’70s are especially full of slow, minor-key, low-life themed masterpieces. … Continue reading

November 3, 2013 · 1 Comment

“The Ripper” by Judas Priest

Track #43 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist As far as pop music goes Halloween is a middling holiday. There’s “Monster Mash” of course, “Purple People Eater” maybe, “Thriller” and “Werewolves of London” … Continue reading

October 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Twenty Four Hours” by Joy Division

Track #42 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist One of the highlights of Joy Division bassist Peter Hook’s recent book Unknown Pleasures is a track by track discussion of the band’s two … Continue reading

October 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

“If You’re Feeling Sinister” by Belle and Sebastian

Track #41 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist It’s hard not to root for Jack Black and Katrina and the Waves in that scene from Hi-Fidelity. You know the one—Jack storms into the … Continue reading

October 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Tattoo” by The Who

Track #40 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Welcome to my life, tattoo I’m a man now, thanks to you I expect I’ll regret you But the skin graft man won’t get you … Continue reading

October 6, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Open” by Rhye

Track #39 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Automated music recommendations from iTunes, Spotify, and the like are a magical, wonderful, unfathomable thing. A few weeks ago I got this message on one … Continue reading

September 29, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Uruumdush” by Hanggai

Track #38 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I first learned about throat-singing from a 1999 documentary called Ghengis Blues, an excellent film that’s partly about physicist Richard Feynman’s personal search for … Continue reading

September 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Help Me” by Sonny Boy Williamson (II)

Track #37 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Borrowing is a part of the Blues, and it’s not only later Rock musicians borrowing from the Delta or Chicago Blues originators. Blues musicians borrowed … Continue reading

September 15, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Echos Myron” by Guided by Voices

Track #36 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I’ve always imagined that the Myron of “Echos Myron” is the classical bronze sculptor, circa the 5th Century BC. Maybe it’s because the lyrics attach him … Continue reading

September 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

“That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke

Track #35 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I declared Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing” my favorite love song in my last music post. I always find it hard to write something like that … Continue reading

September 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison

Track #34 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist One day, maybe a decade or so ago, I decided to do a little research on a name I had seen popping up in the … Continue reading

August 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

“What’s That?” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra

Track #33 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist Sun Ra’s birth name was Herman. Herman Blount. But he’s been known by all kinds of things, from Armen Blouhnt to Sonny Lee. Fact is, … Continue reading

August 18, 2013 · Leave a comment

“City’s Full” by Savages

Track #32 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist It’s hard to write about Savages without referring to all the post-punk bands they resemble. It’s so tempting to ramble on about Siouxsie this and … Continue reading

August 11, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Heroin” by The Velvet Underground

Track #31 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist In 1967 there was nothing in popular music that sounded quite like this. Sure, drug fueled psychedelic experimentation was common enough in music at … Continue reading

August 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Allah Wakbar” by Ofo and the Black Company

Track #30 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist This is a surprising little song, and somewhat mysterious to boot. It was recorded in England in 1972, by a band from Lagos, Nigeria. … Continue reading

July 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

“L’Enfant Sauvage” by Gojira

Track #29 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I have a feeling that most of the readers of this library blog are not really into heavy metal. Just a hunch. But I grew … Continue reading

July 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Pressure Drop” by Toots and the Maytals

Track #28 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist It is you… I say a pressure drop, oh pressure Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you I say when it drops, oh … Continue reading

July 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Quattro Pezi (su una nota sola)” by Giacinto Scelsi

Track #27 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist “What’s that noise?” This was my boss at the record store I used to work for, looking up at the overhead speakers warily. “It’s … Continue reading

July 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt

Track #26 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist “Play uh… This song first called uh… Called uh Pancho and Lef… Sorry about the air conditioners being off but it, it won’t be … Continue reading

June 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Shadrach” by The Beastie Boys

Track #25 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I grew up in a household full of all different kinds of music, especially Soul and Funk which my Mom loved to play around … Continue reading

June 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Lonely Woman” by Ornette Coleman

Track #24 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist There is a persistent notion of the avant-garde jazz musician as a solitary maverick, squealing away in a closed-off world of personal expression. A … Continue reading

June 16, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Help Me” by Joni Mitchell

Track #23 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist By 1974, Canadian singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell had plenty of loyal fans and had won much praise from music critics for her inventive lyrics and strange … Continue reading

June 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

“Girl U Want” by Devo

Track #22 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist It’s one of Devo’s most memorable moments. The riff is perfect—a hard edged single note guitar line that’s doubled by a trebley synth to … Continue reading

June 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

“When the Springtime Comes Again” by John Fahey

Track #21 on Thommy Ford’s Playlist I don’t really know how to sell people on the solo guitar music of John Fahey. “No really, that stuffy looking guy playing old … Continue reading

May 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #20: “Parsonz Curse”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

May 19, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #19: “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

May 12, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #18: “Zomby Woof”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

May 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #17: “Angel of Bergen-Belsen”

Welcome to our new series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the … Continue reading

April 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #16: “Lush Life”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

April 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #15: “I Can’t Quit You Baby”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

April 14, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #14: “I Lost My Girl to an Argentinian Cowboy”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #13: “Lyrics of Fury”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

March 31, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #12: “The Yellow Rose of Texas”

Welcome to our new series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the … Continue reading

March 24, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #11: “Jesus Christ Pose”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

March 17, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #10: “Chasin’ the Bird”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

March 10, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #9: “Just One More Day”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

March 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Thommy Ford’s Playlist—Track #8: “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”

Welcome to our series highlighting the music we have here at Thomas Ford Memorial Library. Each week of 2013 we will discuss one of our favorite songs from the collection. … Continue reading

February 24, 2013 · Leave a comment