Ah, Sweet Music

How's Your Neck, Frank?

I’m listening to Sinatra while I write this. “It’s Nice to Go Trav’ling” off the “Come Fly With Me” album. I read once that he had some concerns about the cover, worrying that using a TWA jet in the background was pretty much an ad for the airline. I’d have been a little more concerned that the artist made it look like Frank’s neck was broken.

Still, for a concept album, it’s a good cover, strongly connecting to the subject matter. Of course, not all artists have the resources, judgement or plain old luck to get the cover thing working for them every time. I was reminded of that the other day while working on this site. The WordPress folks have a listing their busiest blog sites, including FAIL blog, which is ALWAYS entertaining.

Huh?

One of the items a few days ago was an album cover FAIL. They took rapper Lawrence Thomas to task for the cover of an album released by in 1992. You’d think there’d be a statute of limitations on bad judgement, but “Pooh-Man,” or “MC Pooh,” as he was calling himself, released his sophomore effort on Jive Records, “Funky As I Wanna Be” with a cover that probably hasn’t done anything to attract listeners to his work.

What He Felt Like Doing After That Last Cover!

By itself, it’s a pretty silly picture, unless you’re a rap OB/GYN (or a Shaq impersonator), and even then I can’t defend it. I can almost hear the photographer… “no, keep your shoes on… that makes it more… something.”

The album was Pooh’s biggest chart hit.  He used his follow up to slam some of the rappers who guested on “Funky.” No love in the rap game.

Just a Pinch…

Ready to Go

I see where the City of Memphis plans to spend all $70 million in federal recovery act bonds the city has to clean up the Pinch District in advance of Bass Pro Shops moving in to the abandoned  Pyramid.

Pyramid Power-believer (and director of Housing and Community Development) Robert Lipscomb also believes that putting money in the area will protect the thousands of jobs at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I’ve been around long enough to remember how the Pyramid itself was supposed to revitalize the Pinch (which has been having problems since the city’s demographics began shifting after World War II). Of course, while Mud Island and Uptown have grown, the ‘Mid itself was never all that it was supposed to be and ended up being one of downtown’s more obvious abandoned buildings.

I don’t hunt or fish, but I know a lotta folks who do. I hope a big honkin’ Bass Pro Shop draws people from throughout the region. I’m still not 100% sure how a giant sporting goods store supports housing, dining and other amenities, but I’m sure Mr. Lipscomb can explain.

In the Pink?

And while he’s at it, maybe he can add some details on why it’s necessary to protect jobs at St. Jude. He mentions the facility’s “$3 billion expansion” in the CA piece. I’m a big fan of St. Jude, which has got to be the leading childhood cancer research and treatment facility in the world. I also remember when it took up a lot less real estate in that part of town. At this point, could a not-for-profit organization afford to abandon (there’s that word again) the massive physical plant it’s built up in Memphis, rising like a huge pile of Pepto-Bismol tablets just north of downtown? By the way, how much of the responsibility of revitalizing an area belongs to the largest business in that area? Just asking.

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About Doug Johnson

I spent 25 years in the news business, working in print, radio and television. After a steady rise to the middle, I made the leap to the private sector, which chewed and then tried spitting me out after 2 years. I zigged (instead of zagging) into a position in television production.
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