Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Recently I posted pictures of some old album covers on my Facebook page which seemed to generate interest from other old folks like me. Actually, one of the albums was sort of cheating because it was the CD version, not the original vinyl LP:

Look familiar? (click on each picture for a larger version)

One of my Facebook friends wrote this comment:

You know what's funny, it's that so many people remember the same stuff from 'back in the day.' Did anyone other than fans of Free Flight and Easy Livin' even know the group Jo Mama? I love reading your posts Rickie, I don't feel quite so old when someone else has the same memories from so long ago. I have memories older than some of the people I work with!

I've wondered the same thing myself - how many people outside of the those who attended the dances at Blarney's Castle, Roger Young Auditorium and places like that even knew who Jo Mama was?

Well I'm sure it wasn't just us, otherwise they would never have released the CD years later but I doubt that too many people were aware of them.

This past weekend I listened to the CD. This particular one was a Japanese import, remastered back there and also recorded in HDCD format. It had been a long time since I listened to it and since then, I've gotten a new CD player that is able to play HDCD's (the old one couldn't).

What a difference in sound! You'd never be able to tell this was recorded nearly 40 years ago because the recording quality was first-rate. I was amazed at how good it sounded in HDCD format - better than I'd ever heard this recording. And of course listening to the songs themselves brought back plenty of memories.

In March of 1971 I had the pleasure of seeing James Taylor, Carole King and Jo Mama perform at the Anaheim Convention Center. What a great concert. Jo Mama was the opening act and I thought they were terrific. I can still hear the notes from Danny Kortchmar's (aka "Kootch") guitar echoing from wall to wall in that venue. Unfortunately, Carole King wasn't feeling well and played an abbreviated set, but James Taylor put on a great show. At the end of the concert, all three acts came out on stage for the finale.

Listening to the Jo Mama CD with the volume turned up was almost like being back at the concert.

For those of us whose memories are older than some of the people we work with, I wanted to find a YouTube video featuring Jo Mama but alas, it seems there are none. So instead here's something with a loose connection: Russ Kunkel was James Taylor's drummer back in those days (and you can see him on the more recent Pull Over concert DVD). Here's a clip of him from 1979 playing with Jackson Browne. Like I said, there's not much connection between the YouTube and the 1971 concert except for the drummer, but Russ Kunkel is cool so here it is:

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