buddy bolden '71 - song notes


on this page, i give brief biographical and contextual information about each song,  how it came to be written, etc.   for a more detailed biographical memoir by kendell kardt, click the link: ' the poems of bernard rudolph ' on the home page.   be sure to read the disclaimer before proceeding.  

click on the title of any song to go to the 'lyrics' page.

           1) buddy bolden *    this song ( and several others in this first group, [ designated with *] ) was written in New York City in 1969, the year before i moved to California,  while i was still a member of RIG.  

i worked on it with the band, hoping to put it on our second album.  the band broke up, and it became the title track on what was to be my first solo album, never released.   this recording was made in San Mateo, CA, with Fred Catero engineering, produced by Mark Spector.  the players include, Ronnie Montrose, electric guitar, (Montrose) David Torbert, bass, (New Rders) Spencer Dryden, drums ( New Riders, Jefferson Airplane), Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) pedal steel and banjo.  i play piano, organ, and sing lead vocal.  back up singers are Pamela Polland and Barbara Mauritz.

this song is dedicated to legendary jazz trumpeter, B.Bolden, who played in New Orleans at the beginning of the 20th century. reputed to be the 'inventor of jazz.   for me, it encapsulates my hope that my own long creative project will be brought to a happy completion.  so far,  so good. :-)

          2) black train  *   recorded in san mateo.  same cast, (no back up vocals)  with the addition of Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead) on pedal steel.  R. Montrose plays lap steel on this.

in 1969, Arthur Richards, RIG's guitarist, told me the sad story of a musician friend who had died of a heroine overdose.  i wrote this song as a memorial to his friend.

         3) mr white's song    i wrote this in San Anselmo, CA in '71.  when my first wife, Lynne Charles, and i relocated to northern CA to work on the 'buddy bolden' tape,  we rented a house that was  unique in it's beauty.  we were so impressed that we made an effort to locate the former owner, Mr White.  this man, a former police chief in San Anselmo, had built the house for his wife and lived there happily with her for many years.  this song,  in the Gene Autry' style, is my tribute to them.  LC joins Pamela and Barbara on the chorus. the fiddle in Ed Neff.

         4) get on by me  written in san anselmo, '71.  one of very few songs i've written whose background remains something of a mystery.  the subject,  perhaps a 'guerilla fighter' of some kind, chooses to defend a hopeless position,  while his friends and family escape to safety.

         5) country lullaby  also written in San Anselmo, for my wife, Lynne Charles.  a naive hope, a little like a dream.  not to be found in this world, i would learn.  but the picture lives on.

        6) jesse, jesse  1971.  i met two little boys named Jesse that year.  Judy,  wife of RIG drummer, R.Shlosser,  named her new baby Jesse.   Ronnie Montrose, who worked with me on BUDDY BOLDEN had a 2 yr old son, also Jesse.  this song is for them.

        7) don't you worry, darlin'  written on the long car trip from NYC to CA in '71.  a promise to my wife.  another dream.  i revised this song 10 yrs later.  the original then exists as a parenthesis in sadder and wiser context.  ( included under lyrics. )

       8) arabian queen*  written in NYC for LC.  someone had given us a pair of Morrocan jalabas.  i wore one on stage with Black Betty.  Lynne sailed down west 10th st in Manhattan in the other.  my arabian queen.

        9) city lights  same dream, different day.  for Lynne Charles.

       10) after the rain one of 2 'bagatelles' that round out the BB set. our house in San Anselmo had a tiny room, formerly a sewing room, off the living room.  i used to meditate there and look out at the garden.  reminds  me of the Allman Bros.  a little.

       11) my delight *  the other 'bagatelle'.  we rehearsed this with RIG and performed it quite a bit in its 'heavy metal' version.  i hated it.  one reason i quit the band.  fortunately, RIG never recorded it.  Jerry Garcia adds the perfect banjo part.  LC sings harmony on the last verse.