Till the Night Is Gone: Tribute to Doc Pomus

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Till the Night Is Gone: Tribute to Doc Pomus

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Curves Zombie Nurse - Adult Costume

Born Jerome Felder in Brooklyn in 1925, Doc Pomus was stricken with polio at age nine and spent most of his life on crutches or in a wheelchair. That didn't stop him from imitating his hero Big Joe Turner in Manhattan clubs with musicians like Milt Jackson, Horace Silver, King Curtis, and Buddy Tate. He soon found he had a gift for writing witty lyrics to standard blues changes, and in 1955, a 17-year-old kid named Mort Shuman started hanging around Pomus's apartment as a sort of apprentice songwriter. Shuman wrote catchy pop/R&B tunes for Pomus's lyrics, and by '59 they had hits with Dion's "Teenager in Love" and the Mystics' "Hushabye." Before they broke up in '65, they had written 20 songs for Elvis Presley and at least half that many for the Drifters. After a 10-year retirement, Pomus started writing again with Mac Rebennack for albums by B.B. King, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Johnny Adams. Till the Night Is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus reinforces the obvious point that Pomus's tunes should be considered American pop standards as much as Irving Berlin or Harold Arlen's compositions, and should be recorded again and again. The three greatest American songwriters of the '60s--Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, and Lou Reed--are all on hand to pay their respects. Dylan turns in the disc's most surprising performance, a slinky, funky, country-swing version of "Boogie Woogie Country Girl." Reed injects a modern irony into "This Magic Moment" by contrasting a straightforward, optimistic vocal against grinding, apocalyptic guitars. Los Lobos and John Hiatt & the Guilty Dogs turn in invigorating, garage-rock demolitions of "Lonely Avenue" and "Mess O' Blues" respectively. In fact, the only misstep on the whole album is Shawn Colvin's ponderous, portentous take on "Viva Las Vegas." --Geoffrey Himes

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  • Artist: Various Artists

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