Tune That Name: W-Z

“Don’t you ever tangle with the ruling class …”

Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967,” John Mayer
Mr. Wendal,” Arrested Development
Wendell Gee,” R.E.M.
William & Maggie,” Charlie Peacock
Willie and the Pigman,” Tonio K.
Winona,” Matthew Sweet
She’s My Winona,” Fall Out Boy
Woody,” The 77’s
Ziggy Stardust,” David Bowie

I think that “January 1967” in the title of John Mayer’s song is a nice touch. It’s a specific detail not included in the tall tale of the song itself, but that specificity, for just a moment, gives you pause — wait, did this really happen?

Here’s another video for an alternate take on “Wendell Gee.” This one features R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills singing and playing piano and the video fascinates me because I want to see more from this concert. It’s from a 2002 (?) event in Atlanta that included Mills, June Carter Cash, Cindy Wilson (of the B-52s), Don McLean, Edwin McCain and Angie Aparo. Here’s the only other track I could find: Wilson doing a downbeat, acoustic reworking of “Roam.” If anyone can scrounge up more from that concert (I’m hoping there was some kind of everybody-sing grand finale of, like, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”) please post a link.

And here’s one more version of “Ziggy Stardust,” because Gail Ann Dorsey.

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  • Sue White

    Stevie’s Wonder – Melissa Manchester
    So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright – Simon & Garfunkel
    Windy – The Association
    That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

  • wanderingoutlaw

    Hello Walls – Faren Young
    Hello, Walls – Willie Nelson
    Kinda Fonda Wanda – Neil Young
    Walt Whitman’s Niece – Billy Bragg & Wilco
    Washington Philips Medley – ray Skjelbred
    After Whitman & Reznikoff – Allen Ginsberg (poem)
    Blind Willie McTell – Bob Dylan
    Blind Willie McTell – The Nightwatchmen
    Cat Eyed Willie Claims His Lover – Full Frontal Folk
    Sweet William’s Ghost – Cara
    Wilbury Twist – Traveling Wilburys
    William Butler Yeats Visits Lincoln Park and Escapes Unscathed – Phil Ochs
    William Howard Taft – The Two Man Gentlemen Band
    Willie Moore – Roger McGuinn
    Willie O’Winsbury – Meg Baird
    Winnie The Pooh – The Chieftans
    Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie – Bob Dylan (poem)
    Song to Woody – Bob Dylan
    Yeat’s Grave – The Cranberries
    The Ballad of John and Yoko – The Beatles
    Yoda – “Weird Al” Yankovic
    Also Spake Zarathustra – Richard Strauss
    Team Zissou – Seu Jorge
    Ziggy Stardust – Seu Jorge

  • Jamoche

    The Wondersmith and His Sons, Astronautalis
    The Case of William Smith, Astronautalis

  • Sue White

    Zimmerman Blues – Ralph McTell

  • arcseconds

    You’ve got an interesting mash-up of the German and the English title to Strauss’s piece there…

    ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ ↔ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’

  • Noyatin

    For Yasgur’s Farm -Mountain (yes, I’m old.)
    Warren Helman’s Banjo-Steve Earle
    Whinin’ Boy Blues – Jelly Roll Morton, Hot Tuna
    Wild Bill Blues – Obray Ramsey

    Why a “failed” experiment? I’ve enjoyed it!

  • Amaryllis

    Where there’s a Will, there’s a folksinger, apparently.

    Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) – Leon Redbone
    Sweet William and Lady Margaret – Jean Ritchie
    Willie Lennox – Dervish
    Willie Moore – Burnett and Rutherford
    Willie Taylor – Deanta (and let me tell you, checking Youtube for “Willie Taylor” without qualifications turned out to be educational)
    Willy Went to Westerdale – The Watersons
    Willy’s Lyke Wake – Jez Lowe

  • wanderingoutlaw

    I meant to type “Sprach” but typed “Spake” instead. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Maria

    David Watts – The Kinks
    The Ballad of John and Yoko – The Beatles
    So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright – Simon & Garfunkel
    Yuri-G – PJ Harvey
    Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie