On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
The Johnny Burnette Trio – Honey Hush (1956)
“Honey Hush”, is a blues song, written by Big Joe Turner (although he assigned the copyright to his wife, Lou Willie Turner), recorded in May 1953 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and released that August by Atlantic Records. It was a number-one song on Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues chart for eight weeks.
All the great music continues to come from the US, it seems, and we extend our stay once more today. Today’s song was originally written by Big Joe Turner in 1953 and was a popular blues number. Many cover versions would follow but the one on this list comes from The Johnny Burnette Trio and offers an early example of distortion on a guitar.
Honey Hush is a song whose subject matter would hopefully not get much appeal if a modern artist wrote it. The narrator sings the song to a woman and he admonishes her throughout, telling her to be quiet, calling her an “alleycat”, insisting she stop crying, and even mentions feeling so nervous he has a baseball bat at his disposal! The title of the song is an instruction for this woman to be quiet and do as she is told.
Despite the topic of the song this is still a catchy rock and roll number. It’s one of those songs you would enjoy more if you did not delve too deeply into the meaning, something I tend to do often when it comes to songs. Johnny Burnette does display talent with this song but sadly his career would come to an untimely end in 1964 when he was killed in a boating accident at the age of 30.
Favourite songs so far: