March 19th, 2013 08:00 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
Tags: Herb Reed, Mad Men, Seven Twenty Three, Sixteen Tons
Occasionally we step out of bounds with our thought/lyric of the day and today is gonna be one of those days.
Instead of just tossing out the first song from the MrSEC iPod, this morning we’ll tie things into real life. Probably not your real life, but the this writer’s.
Just watched the “Mad Men” episode “Seven Twenty Three” last night — one of the series’ best — and this song ended the ep. So we’ll start our today with the same tune since it’s on our mind.
We’re gonna give ya a two-fer just for kicks. First up, the version of the song that everyone knows. It’s the version of the song that’s become audio wallpaper — hear it, tune it out, and know it without ever really knowing it.
Well that version got me thinking of a better version — no knock on the classic version above, mind you — by the original Platters. Perhaps the deepest voice ever to sing lead on an actual hit, Herb Reed owned “Sixteen Tons.” Absolutely owned it. And the Missouri-native who founded the Platters way back in 1953 didn’t pass away until last summer at the robust age 83. Godspeed.
For those of you thinking, “That’s an old guy’s song from an old guy’s band,” this group’s hits were 40-years-old when I was in college. Age has got nothing to do with it. Hell, there’s plenty of Mozart on the MrSEC iPod, too, and he’d be 257-years-old by now… give or take.
So if you haven’t heard the Platters’ version of “Sixteen Tons” — Herb Reed’s version — do yourself a favor and check out a classic American song that’s been recorded by everyone from Bo Diddley to Johnny Cash to Stevie Wonder to Tom Jones.
“If you see me come you better step aside. A lot of men didn’t and a lot of men died.”
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