Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Say What" by Jesse Winchester

Song#:  0577
Date:  04/25/1981
Debut:  87
Peak:  32
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Musician Winchester was one of many who took off to Canada when they received their draft notice during the Vietnam era. He moved to Quebec and started his music career there. His self-titled debut came out in 1970 and featured the Top 20 Canadian hit "Yankee Lady." Winchester continued to put out albums throughout the 70s, but because he couldn't support his albums with tours in the US, he had to rely on songwriting to move his career along. Many artists, from Patti Page to Elvis Costello, covered his tunes. When President Carter granted amnesty to draft evaders in the late 70s, Winchester finally came back to the US to perform. Although hits remained elusive (his only other US chart entry was 1977's "Nothing But a Breeze," #86), he finally did reach the Top 40 with this single from his "Talk Memphis" album. It would be his last chart entry.

ReduxReview:  This is a breezy tune that goes down easy. It almost sounds like an oldie redone by Jimmy Buffett - but better. It's not the most memorable song to come along, but it shuffles along so pleasantly that it's hard to resist jammin' along.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Of the artists who have covered Winchester's songs, arguably the oddest might be the dance/R&B duo The Weather Girls ("It's Raining Men") doing a version of Winchester's "Well-A-Wiggy." Their recording reached #76 on the R&B chart in 1985. It was the last chart song for the original Weather Girls, Martha Wash and Izora Armstead.


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