Who Stole the Soul?

Categories: Local Music
Peter Calvin
One of our fave MP3 blogs kinda, sorta suggests today that an old Bobby Patterson song sounds familiar--if you're a fan of Ethopian soul music of the 1970s.

Here's a local music grab bag for your consideration. Today, one of the best MP3 blogs out there, Said the Gramophone, plays compare and contrast with one of Dallas' soul-music legends and a faraway great, Mahmoud Ahmed of Ethiopia. Seems the blog has found a link between Bobby Patterson's song "If I Didn't Have You" and Ahmed's "Tezeta," which you can check out for yourself. Said the Gramophone more than suggests that Patterson stole the soul; it posits the theory that "Mahmoud Ahmed and Bobby Patterson are brothers [and] it goes without saying, of course, that Mahmoud is older, that Bobby idolizes him"; there's a, ahem, short story to go along with this tall tale. And, yeah, they do sound kind of the same, but far as I can tell from my very cursory research, Patterson's song dates back to 1967, when he recorded for the local Jetstar label, while Ahmed's is from some time in the 1970s. Or maybe it's just Opposite Day and nobody told me.

Also available on one of the finer MP3 blogs, Stereogum, is a performance by one Eef Barzelay, who's the singer and songwriter for indie country-rockers Clem Snide. While not a local band, the song, which you can grab here, was performed in Dallas on September 13, 2001, at the Gypsy Tea Room. It's an astounding cover of the Ink Spots' 1941 song "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire," an awfully risky choice for a concert only two days after the terror attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. In fact, writes Barzelay, it "was dedicated to Osama and if you can believe it actually got a couple Texans fightin' mad but melted their hearts in the end." Grab before it disappears: It will only be sold at Clem Snide shows from here on out.

And, finally, we end with the latest YouTube posting from Steve Dirkx, who last week gave us the First Unitarian Church Choir covering U2's "MLK." Now you can see Dirkx's old band, the legendary Telefones, performing their, ah, hit single "The Ballad of Jerry Godzilla" some time in 1981 or 1982--Steve's not sure, dunno why--at the late, great Hot Klub that used to stand at Maple and Hondo back in the day. We included the song in our History of Dallas Music series earlier this summer. Now you can see the thing for yourself. Essential stuff, especially for anyone who thinks the local music scene was started by Edie Brickell or Todd Lewis. --Robert Wilonsky

Bonus Video: The Telefones, "The Ballad of Jerry Godzilla" at the Hot Klub

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