This week's edition of the Big Show features a stellar "live" album that wasn't. Recorded "live in concert," that is.
The first-ever pairing of jazz greats Peggy Lee and George Shearing was supposed to be a blockbuster-type thing at the 1959 National Disc Jockey Convention, held Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach, Fla. A live album was locked into the Capitol Records release schedule, and audio engineers would be there to capture it all on tape -- in glorious stereophonic sound -- for what would become the Beauty and the Beat! LP.
And if you listen to Episode 297 of 3 Chords & the Truth, you will hear a fair chunk of that 1959 Capitol LP on the show. It is glorious. Peggy Lee is brilliant, and Shearing and The Quintet are swinging years ahead of their time, stylistically.
It's an important record . . . and it's a joyous listen.
IT'S ALSO an epic fraud.
On the other hand, that's pretty appropriate for an album purported to have been recorded at a DJ convention epically summarized by the Miami Herald as "Booze, Broads and Bribes." And America would soon learn all about "payola," thanks to a radio confab where the record labels ran amok and the broadcasters ran . . . amoker?
I mean, here you have a live, in-concert recording session at a convention full of bought-off, drunk-ass DJs (and a large contingent of "ladies of the evening" on the labels' dime) in a ballroom at the Americana with a tragically messed-up public-address system. What could go wrong?
WELL, if you listen to the Big Show, you sure as heck will find out. And you'll hear a bunch of great music, too . . . and not just from a legendary jazz pianist and an equally legendary jazz singer.
And you'll also hear about Omaha's connection to the whole mess.
3 Chords & the Truth . . . it's not just a freeform music show. It's an expedition. An adventure. And a blast. Don't forget to check out our organ-flavored rock 'n' roll set in Aisle 1.
I guess that's about all I have to say about that. Except. . . .
It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.