Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

lcjukebox

The Heck Of A Guy History Of Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

Beginning with the publication of “Unchained Melody” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox on April 4, 2009, the Heck Of A Guy ongoing series, Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox has featured songs that have won Leonard Cohen’s admiration, as evidenced by his own comments in interviews over the years.

The idea for the series evolved by serendipity. I happened to come across a Leonard Cohen interview by B.P. Fallon,1 the pertinent excerpt from which follows:

Leonard Cohen: It was a great restaurant. I am sorry it disappeared. It was, it was a real funky restaurant, but it had white tablecloths; I don’t know why. (Laughs) And a really good jukebox. Well, it changed over the years. They had good country songs on it, … “Unchained Melody” was a song that I used to listen to a lot on that.

B. P. Fallon: Which version?

Leonard Cohen:

B. P. Fallon: The Righteous Brothers?

Leonard Cohen: The Righteous Brothers, right.

B. P. Fallon: Interesting, here it is.

Leonard Cohen: Oh, that’s a good one.

It was, by the way, not only the obvious importance Leonard Cohen ascribed to a “good jukebox” that resonated with me but also his inability to come up with the artist’s name on the spot.

The notion of Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox appealed to me because jukeboxes were one of the few sources of music, other than the family radio, which was invariably tuned to stations selected by my parents in keeping with their preferences for country and gospel genres, available in my youth prior to my acquisition of (1) a rust colored Sears Silvertone 5-transistor radio2 and (2) the first of what were to be a multitude of LPs.3

Thus was “X Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox” established at Heck Of A Guy. More than a year later, I re-discovered the Leonard Cohen section from Scott Cohen’s 1994 book, Yakety Yak: The Midnight Confessions and Revelation of Thirty-Seven Rock Stars and Legends,” which includes the following 71 word paragraph:

Biggest Influence on My Music
The jukebox. I lived beside jukeboxes all through the fifties. There was “The Great Pretender,” “Cross Over the Road.” I never knew who was singing. I never followed things that way. I still don’t. I wasn’t a student of music; I was a student of the restaurant I was in — and the waitresses. The music was a part of it. I knew what number the song was.

That response, albeit oversimplified and self-consciously clever, goes far to explain the appeal of Cohen’s songs to at least some admirers – including me.  These are songs written by someone whose fundamental fascination is not with music, however accomplished his skills in that field might be, but with whatever revelations he can glean from the study of life, including the restaurant he frequents and the restaurant’s waitresses and the restaurant’s jukebox.

fedoradivider

Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox posts:

  1. “Unchained Melody” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  2. “Blueberry Hill” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  3. Billy Joel’s “Light As The Breeze” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  4. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  5. “Cold Hard Truth” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  6. “Je ne regrette rien” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  7. “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard-On” By McComb & Peters Is On
  8. Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  9. The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  10. Roy Orbison’s “House Without Windows” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox (Maybe)
  11. Nick Cave’s “Avalanche” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  12. Geoffrey Oreyama’s “Suzanne” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  13. “The Grand Tour” by George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox – Or At Least His Funeral Setlist
  14. “Waltzing Matilda” By Tom Waits Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  15. Patsy Cline’s “I Fall To Pieces” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  16. Dylan’s “I And I” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  17. “Gloomy Sunday ” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  18. Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  19. “The Great Pretender” By The Platters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  20. Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  21. Joni Mitchell’s “A Case Of You” Is – Intriguingly – On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  22. “Etude Op. 10, No. 1″ By Chopin Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox – A Must See Performance
  23. Suzanne Vega’s “If You Were (In My Movie)” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  24. Bob Dylan’s “Brownsville Girl” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  25. “What A Wonderful World” By Louis Armstrong Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  26. So Long Marianne By Bell & Arc Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  27. Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  28. Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  29. “Choices” By George Jones Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  30. Joe Cocker’s Cover Of “Bird On A Wire” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  31. Elvis Presley Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  32. Ray Charles Singing “You Win Again” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  33. Otis Redding’s “These Arms Of Mine” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  34. KD Lang’s “Hallelujah” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  35. Tim Hardin’s Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  36. Tim Hardin’s “Bird On A Wire” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  37. Red Rubber Ball By The Cyrkle Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  38. Judy Collins’ “My Father” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  39. Winner Of “Last Song I Would Have Guessed Would Be On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox” Contest – “Gums Bleed” By You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath
  40. George Jones’ “Just One More” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  41. Aaron Neville’s “Bird On A Wire” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  42. “Y.M.C.A.” By Village People Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  43. Leonard Cohen’s Favorite Song He Played While Writing The Favourite Game: “I Wonder” by Ray Charles Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  44. “The Movies Are A Mother To Me” by Loudon Wainwright III Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  45. “Black Lace” by Frankie Laine Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  46. “My Way” by Sid Vicious Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  47. “Save The Last Dance For Me” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  48. “Jezebel” by Frankie Laine Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  49. “The Great Pretender” by The Platters Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  50. “Fat Man And Dancing Girl” By Suzanne Vega Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  51. Van Morrison’s “Veedon Fleece” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  52. Bobby Darin’s If I Were A Carpenter Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox
  53. Pat Boone’s “I Almost Lost My Mind” Is On Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox – And In His Novel

Heck Of A Guy Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Video Playlists:

Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Video Playlists are composed of tracks from Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox are an alternative to listening to the songs one at a time. Because there are over 30 songs in this series, they are divided into three playlists:

  1. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Playlist – Part 1 [No Covers]
  2. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Playlist – Part 2 [No Covers]
  3. Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox Playlist – Covers
  1. Leonard Cohen at the BP Orchestra, March 2 1985 on RTE 2 (Dublin, Ireland). From A Thousand Kisses Deep: “Leonard gave two shows in Dublin the same evening, so the programme probably was conceived around that date.” From bpfallon.com: The BP Fallon Orchestra is the famous radio programme on RTE Radio 2 that ran from 1982 to 1987 and played a big part in BP being awarded The Jacob’s Award For Broadcasting. In its five years, The BPFO featured incisive interviews with everyone from George Harrison to Mick Jagger, Spike Milligan to Quentin Crisp, Leonard Cohen to Pete Townsend, Jerry Lee Lewis to the Pogues… “ []
  2. See Retro Design Porn – Home, 1950’s Style []
  3. The first of these adolescent purchases, documented in Selected Sounds Of Silence – Simon, Garfunkel, Cohen, Dylan, Fraser, & Alizee, were “an album by the Beach Boys, an offering by Jan and Dean, (similar to, predecessors of, and collaborators with the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean had a batch of California surf and car hits such as “Surf City,” “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” and “Dead Man’s Curve”), and “Sounds Of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel,” although to be thorough, the first record I owned was “Cold Nose, Warm Heart,” a paean to Rin Tin Tin, from “Songs of Rin Tin Tin,” a set of three 7-inch, mono, 45 rpm, vinyl records on the Golden Records (EP 745) label performed by the Sandpipers. See Standing Up For Rin Tin Tin []

3 Responses to Leonard Cohen’s Jukebox

  1. Pingback: Leonard and Nick « Shrine of Dreams

  2. Love the post, and I don’t want to be pedantic, but the Tom Waits song is titled “Tom Traubert’s Blues”

    • Well, it’s another instance of learn something everyday. I’ve added an update noting that the actual name of the Tom Waits song Leonard Cohen calls “Waltzing Matilda” is “Tom Traubert’s Blues.” Thank you for the correct information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>