Love Hurts – The Phi Mu Washboard Band

Little is known about this infamous group of sorority sisters from Athens, Georgia who took it upon themselves to record an entire (albeit brief at only 24 minutes long) album of some of their favourite songs called ...Just Because. There isn’t even a year of release on the album, just these liner notes written by one of the members…

“The Phi Mu Washboard Band came into being in 1952 when a group of sorority sisters from the Alpha Alpha Chapter were vacationing in St. Simon’s, Georgia. Since that time the band has grown into quite a tradition and even become famous (in a funny sense of the word.) We have played on national television, performed at banquets, conventions, and benefits.
The money we have been making has all been donated to the building fund for our new sorority house. Using this as an introduction as our performances, we have frequently made as much in tips as we were paid for the performance itself.
We have had articles written in papers over the South which has helped publicity immensely! At times we have received as much as $150 for one thirty minute performance–and I consider that pretty good for amateur entertainment–and I do mean amateur!
One of our most memorable trips was made to Trion, GA. We all piled into the Bookstore Bus, went to Trion and played for 450 men. You can see how that trip would be a memorable one. Then came the album. Making this record was enjoyable to all of us, even though it did involve long, hard hours of recording and re-recording. We couldn’t have done it without the patience of John and Jerry who smiled sweetly as they said, “I think we’d better do that again.” But finally we did it! We gave the sorority something to remember us by. Just as if they could forget the 11:15 rehearsals and my constant announcement of meetings.
Confident that the new members will carry on and probably go to Hollywood. Of course, we can’t forget out of her to advertise for Hardee’s and never heard from it–all the suggestion from everyone that we write to New York and go on TV. You guessed it. We’re still in Athens.
On behalf of all the band, I want to say that we hope you enjoy this album because… well … just because.”
– Lynne Akin

Love Hurts was written by Boudleaux Bryant in 1960 and has been recorded and/or performed by The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Nazareth, The Who, Emmylou Harris, Jim Capaldi, Joan Jett, Cher and the Osbourne Brothers, to name but a few.

Listen to Cover to Cover on Spotify

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I Can See For Miles – Lord Sitar

You might never have heard of British session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan, the man behind the moniker of Lord Sitar, but you’ll certainly have heard him playing on over fifty number one singles from the sixties and seventies, ranging from Sandie Shaw’s Puppet on a String to Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime. If you’re a follower of this blog, you might have even unwittingly seen him playing guitar for the James Last Orchestra on this cover of Hawkwind’s Silver Machine.

I Can See For Miles was written by Pete Townshend for the Who’s 1967 album The Who Sell Out. Townshend believed it would be the Who’s first number one single yet it peaked at number 10 in the UK charts. Townshend was disgusted: “To me it was the ultimate Who record,” he said “yet it didn’t sell. I spat on the British record buyer.”

I Can See For Miles was also reportedly the inspiration for the Beatles’ Helter Skelter. Paul McCartney recalled writing Helter Skelter after reading a review of The Who Sell Out in which the critic claimed I Can See for Miles was the ‘heaviest’ song he had ever heard. Helter Skelter was McCartney’s attempt to one up the Who by making an even heavier track with “the most raucous vocal, the loudest drums, et cetera”.

Listen to Cover to Cover on Spotify

Shakin’ All Over – Mae West

Mae West recorded her cover of Shakin’ All Over at the age of 73. The track appeared on the first of her two rock and roll albums Way Out West in 1966 and featured Somebody’s Chyldren as the backing band.

Shakin’ All Over was originally a UK number one for Johnny Kidd and The Pirates in 1960. Two other artists also had number one hits with the song – The Guess Who in Canada (1964) and Norman Rowie in Australia (1965). Due to some confusion at the time between The Guess Who and The Who, the latter also started covering Shakin’ All Over (recorded at Woodstock and on their Live At Leeds albums) and The Guess Who began covering The Who’s My Generation.

Shakin’ All Over was also covered by Wanda Jackson at the age of 74 on her Jack White produced album The Party Ain’t Over in 2011.