Friday, October 16, 2009

in the pines

Flipping through the channels out of boredom I stopped for a moment on the Biography channel. They were discussing Kurt Cobain. I held a certain fondness of Kurt and for Nirvana back in the day. That first video I saw featuring them in the school gym and Kurt in that green striped sweater was really powerful at that moment. It was one of the first songs that really shook me a bit and caused me stop and take notice. Before that I'd just sort of listened to music.

A little something in the way of background might be useful here. Given my upbringing I never had a lot of friends who were into whatever music was popular at the time. I was raised on some amount of bluegrass and gospel and Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, among other things. So when I started choosing my own music it wasn't based much on peer pressure. There was the "classic rock" via Z93 if I remember correctly, thanks to a brother who may comment here and has, but there was also a lot of Billy Ocean and Rick Astley.

Of the tiny snippet of Kurt's bio that I caught was some discussion of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged appearance and their version of the song known by me as In The Pines. It's also known as Where Did You Sleep Last Night and even Black Girl. It's been recorded numerous times over the years and under an even greater number of titles than I've listed.

Regardless, it's a song I've loved for many years, and the reminder tonight caused me to look into it. I won't tell the whole of what I've found because someone already did a better job at Wikipedia HERE. What I will do is give a list of links to various versions of the song so that you can enjoy it too many times like I've done.

I enjoy The Stanley Brothers version a bit, traditional bluegrass style

Leadbelly did a great bluesy version of the song.

Who can argue with Dolly Parton?

And for a dose of OMG tragic with a taste of Rufus-how-could-you? also featuring some lesser people, and knowing my Rufus love . . . seriously, how?

Finally let's visit the Louvin Brothers doing a different song, the ever popular murder ballad Knoxville Girl.

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