Goldmine Giveaway – Cover Me book and interview with author Ray Padgett
Goldmine spoke with author Ray Padgett about “Cover Me – The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time,” his new informative and entertaining book, thoroughly going through 19 cover songs, with musical artists from Elvis to Adele.
Win an autographed copy of “Cover Me” – see below for details.
By Warren Kurtz
In “Cover Me – The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time,” Ray Padgett goes through nineteen cover songs in nineteen chapters, ten pages on average, including some great photos. Most readers will enjoy learning something in every entertaining chapter.
Aretha Franklin’s powerful version of “Respect” is described not only as an anthem for women, but also as a civil rights anthem. We read about Otis Redding’s favorable reaction of her 1967 recording.
After leaving the British glam-rock band Roxy Music, Brian Eno became a music producer and slowed down the tempo of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” for the Talking Heads Top 40 debut in 1978.
When the Pet Shop Boys needed an Elvis Presley song to play in a tribute show, rather than picking one of his hits, they dug deep and learned that he had recorded a version of “Always on My Mind” as the flip side of the 1972 Top 20 single “Separate Ways.” The Pet Shop Boys reached the Top 5 with their 1988 version of the song as Willie Nelson had done in the early part of the decade.
“I Will Always Love You” was offered to Elvis Presley, but his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, wanted Elvis Presley to receive fifty percent songwriting credit in order for the colonel to receive additional income too. Its songwriter, Dolly Parton, was excited about the possibility of Elvis Presley recording her song, but rejected the colonel’s offer. She helped last minute with producer David Foster when Whitney Houston was recording her 1992 cover of the song, and they were using Linda Ronstadt’s ‘70s version as a reference, which excluded a third verse. Dolly Parton shared the third verse with David Foster, and Whitney Houston quickly learned and recorded it. Whitney Houston’s cover version spent fourteen weeks at number one.
Adele was not familiar with Bob Dylan’s composition “Make You Feel My Love,” when that was suggested as the sole cover for her debut album “19.” She agreed and felt it was the missing piece needed in the 2008 album and got choked up on the song’s lyrics. She said on her emotional reaction, in what we would later learn would be her unique way of storytelling, “It was like full-on snot coming off my face!”
We spoke with Ray Padgett about his first inspiration of interest in cover songs, an up-tempo soulful cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime” in the mid-‘60s by Billy Stewart and the unexpected place where he learned it. We briefly discussed these cover song-chapters in his book:
Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
Twist and Shout – The Beatles
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
All Along the Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
With a Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker
Summertime Blues – The Who
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight and the Pips
Gloria – Patti Smith
Satisfaction – Devo
Polkas on 45 – “Weird Al” Yankovic
Killing Me Softly with His Song – Fugees
Gin and Juice – Gourds
Hurt – Johnny Cash
To win an autographed copy of Ray Padgett’s new book “Cover Me – The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time,” all you have to do is put your email address in the box below by March 2, 11:59 p.m. You will immediately be entered in the Giveaway and as a bonus you will receive Goldmine’s informative weekly eNewsletter (collecting news/tips and exclusive articles and interviews with your favorite classic artists). We will randomly draw winners from the entrants. We have two autographed copies of the new book to give away, so your chances are doubled.