Monday, 12 May 2014

Southern Man

Here is an absolutely blistering re-edit of Merry Clayton's 1971 cover of Neil Young's Southern man by Wah Wah45 label boss, DJ, musician and producer Scrimshire.

Merry Clayton was originally one of the Rayettes, Ray Charles backing singers. She sang backing vocals on Gimme Shelter and Neil Young's Old Laughing Lady amongst others before embarking upon a solo career in 1970.  She also sang backing vocals on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama a riposte by the band to Young's songs critical of the American South such as Southern Man.

Merry Clayton - Southern Man (Scrimshire edit)


Erik Bartlam said...

Classic example of why songwriters should tread lightly when trying to do history and social commentary. I like the bit about The South being especially responsible for reparations. Never mind that over 80% of US revenue was paid by Slave crops and used for building projects up north to facilitate industrialization. Of course theres the issue of having our economy completely wiped out, our towns burnt to the ground (including the University of Alabama and it's library being deliberately burnt four days before the surrender at Appomattox), an entire generation of college graduates wiped from history (ours fought), and a 10 year occupation that explicitly politicized race in The South. So there's the risk of getting your ass handed to you by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Sorry. :)

I just find this Canadian song particularly grating.

drew said...

I take it there aren't many Neil Young records in your collection E.F.?

Erik Bartlam said...

Ehh...I only hold grudges that are congenital or fun. This one is neither.

I still love Cinnamon Girl.

drew said...

Very sensible E.F.

Swiss Adam said...

There was an article in Friday's Guardian that mentioned this- the Dylan Gospel lp that is being re-released. Looking forward to hearing this.

charity chic said...

An excellent and educational rant Erik!

Anto said...

the version of I shall be released on that Dylan gospel record must be one of the finest pieces of music i've ever heard. my dad selected it at his brother funeral. Not one for understatement, me dad.

Don't think n young was addressing the South of the civil war in this song by the way, maybe more recent american history

Erik Bartlam said...

It was the line about reparations that I was addressing but it's impossible to separate the two anyway.

He really gets these strands crossed, without even knowing it I'm sure, in that ridiculous song Alabama. He really wades out into it without his floaties there.

I'm glad you enjoyed charity...I feel like real crank bringing that crap onto somebody else's blog but Young really...just...hmmm

drew said...

E.F. don't feel like a crank. It is always good to hear people's views. I have vented out Bonzo on other peoples blogs before.