Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Kenny Wednesdays #9: The Runners Up

With only one more Kenny Wednesday to go after this one, it appears I have a surfeit of Kennies. Time for a Top Ten of the ones that didn't quite make the grade (maybe because they're a Ken or Kenneth, maybe because I wasn't particularly enamoured with them in the first place), along with a nod to those who suggested them...

First though, thanks to JC for suggesting Kenn(ed)y by The Wedding Present, which is an all time favourite of mine, but... if I include that, I have to start thinking about The Dead Kennedy's, Kenickie, Kent and all manner of other things. Kendrick Lamar. Whoever he is.

10. Kenny - The Bump

I know I've been going on a lot lately about my immersion in all things 70s... but I think this is one you had to be there for. I was there in 1975: I was three. But still...

Charity Chic and Alyson wanted to hear it again though... and who am I to deny them?

9. The Julie Ruin - Party City

Here's one I found in my own charity shop pile, the debut album from The Julie Ruin: Kathleen Hanna, Kathi Wilcox and Kenny Mellman. 

This is probably my favourite track from the album because it features a little wordplay around record collections.

8. Kenny Hollywood - Magic Star

Joe Meek's instrumental hit Telstar was a huge hit in the 60s for The Tornados. But did you know there was an instrumental version recorded too? No? Well, you do now. (I bet Marie knew about this one.)

7. Frank Sinatra & Kenny G - All The Way / One More For The Road

I have two theories as to why Kenny G is loathed by the muserati.

i) As recently discussed over at Alyson's blog, musos can't stand anyone with a shaggy perm. In the case of Michael Bolton, they'd be absolutely right. In most other cases though... I beg to differ.

ii) The saxophone is an instrument that very much upsets guitar purists. I'm not sure why this is. Perhaps because it's seen as a grandstanding, show off instrument... or perhaps because it hints at jazz.

Anyway, I have absolutely nothing against Kenny G. That said, I only own one recording on which he parps that sax and wags that shaggy perm. It's from Old Blue Eyes's late stage Duets album, a CD I was very fond of when it came out. The tracks above are probably my two favourite Sinatra songs, and while the original versions are far superior, I think Kenny G puts on a pretty good show of "duetting" with the Legend... even though I very much doubt they were ever in the same studio.

This one goes out to Chris and The Swede who both wondered if I'd go there...

6. You Am I - Ken (The Mother Nature's Son)

You Am I are an Australian band I was first introduced to by my old Aussie blogging pal (now semi-retired, it seems), Deano. It was good to hear from him again with this suggestion.

5. Kenny Lynch - Up On The Roof 

I thought someone had suggested this particular Kenny, but I've lost track of the comment now: apologies if it was you. I remember Kenny Lynch as a stalwart of variety TV shows when I was growing up. He had a successful musical career before that, most notably with his version of Up On The Roof... which stopped the (far superior, sorry, Kenny) version by The Drifters being a hit in the UK.

Most bizarre of all though, he wrote the lyrics to John Carpenter's music for the title track (You Can't Fight) of Carpenter's movie Assault On Precinct 13, as recorded by Jimmie Chambers. 

4. Ken Boothe - Everything I Own

Classic, suggested by The Swede, disqualified for lacking the requisite NY. Lovely, lovely song though.

3. REM - What's The Frequency, Kenneth?

Another suggestion from Deano, also disqualified for obvious reasons, but still a top tune. 

2. Generation X - The Prime Of Kenny Silvers

A top story song, and a decidedly un-punk song from Billy Idol and Tony James's second album, Valley of the Dolls. A kind of glam/prog epic, it hearkens back to the kind of music punk was set up to replace... which probably explains why the album didn't do particularly well in 1979. A shame, because I love this track. It was a serious contender for the 9th Kenny, until a little birdie reminded me of this...

1. The Small Faces - Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Thanks to C for pointing out this week's Number One: and the official Number #9 in my Top Ten... otherwise, the spelling of this Kenney's name would have made him slip through the net. Not only was Kenney Jones the drummer in the small faces, but he also replaced the late Keith Moon in The Who.

Seriously, if your biography includes the words, "replaced the late Keith Moon in The Who", I think you can consider your life a success.

Only one Kenny left. No prizes for guessing who. But... which song?


  1. I like the Sinatra collaboration you shared, suits Kenny G as a backing musician. When it's him and his saxophone, the music gets boring fast. I only know Kenny G's greatest hits from 1997, the tracks on that album are quite repetitive and commercial. Basically the opposite of jazz improvisation. Songbird (from 1986's Duotones) is my favorite of the hits.

    1. Yeah, he's no Charlie Parker... and certainly no Clarence Clemons.

  2. I was twenty-3 when that Kenny monstrosity was unleashed and believe you me, a lot of us still have nightmares about it.

    In defence of Kenny Lynch though - us Lynchies have to stick together - he did co-write "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" and a few others for the Small Faces.

    1. You don't look old enough to have been 23... still, 23 was not the age to appreciate this.

      Kenny Lynch seems to have written a fair few big hits for other people, before resigning himself to a guest spot on Blankety Blank.

  3. This 'Kenny Wednesday' series has been an education and a joyous revelation! Maybe there's cope for more along the same lines....(Ruby Tuesdays?) You're definitely the man for the job if so.
    And I'm so chuffed now that I mentioned Kenney - I nearly didn't because of that rogue 'e'. A perfect song choice too.
    Looking forward to the final instalment.

    1. 'scope' not 'cope'...

    2. I would also like to echo these statements and put in my votes for a similar themed day of the week. Topical in Australia at the moment is that a Senator that was elected to our Federal Parliament has just had his election voided (its a long boring story but he was leasing a building to the government, and you are supposed to sort out such conflicts before you are elected). Why am I telling you this?

      Well, the politician's (or should I say ex-politicians) name is Bob Day. Which seems like a good omen to me.....not that this guy deserves to have anything named in his honour though!!

      But certainly Bob gives you a good mix of obvious popular choices and some scope to delve into the depths of Rol's more obscure choices.

    3. You'll both be glad to hear that I've had an idea for a follow-up to Kenny Wednesdays almosty since the feature began. I'll reveal all next week.

      Sadly, Deano, it won't be Bob Day (great idea though)... but perhaps this will suffice:

  4. Kenny Silvers! Excellent choice; Billy Idol and his mates pretending they were Mott the Hoople.

  5. An impressive Kenny Kollective

  6. A great series and quite a few surprises, as ever. For the record I don't really think I "wanted" to hear The Bump again, but I do remember doing that really lame dance to it back in the day. Maybe it was a Scottish thing.

    As for perms and saxophones, to omit writing about either, pretty much rules out most of my '80s record collection. Liked the Frank/Kenny G duet but then I would enjoy Frank singing the telephone directory (if we still used them).

    1. Me too.

      And methinks you protest a little too much about The Bump...

  7. Good to see that You Am I made the list - they are a great band, although I wouldn't consider Ken one of their best songs. They have two seminal albums - Hi Fi Way and Hourly Daily, and fans tend to be in one camp or the other as to what is their masterpiece album. I am firmly in the Hourly Daily camp, and Ken is an album track from Hi Fi Way.

    1. Sadly I only have a greatest hits collection thus far. I keep trawling the charity shops, though...


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