October 8, 2013

Something Wonderful: Building the Sloop John B

Alright, get a little closer to the mic, here we go...

First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew). It's how they used to make records, kids!

The Beach Boys - Sloop John B Promo Film

Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B.

Carl Sandburg’s notes on “The John B. Sails” — better known as “Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys—from THE AMERICAN SONGBAG (1927):

“John T. McCuteheon, cartoonist and kindly philosopher, and his wife Evelyn Shaw McCuteheon, mother and poet, learned to sing this on their Treasure Island in the West Indies. They tell of it, ‘Time and usage have given this song almost the dignity of a national anthem around Nassau. The weathered ribs of the historic craft lie imbedded in the sand at Governor’s Harbor, whence an expedition, especially sent up for the purpose in 1920, extracted a knee of horseflesh and a ring-bolt. These relics arc now preserved and built into the Watch Tower, designed by Mr. Howard Shaw and built on our southern coast a couple of points east by north of the star Canopus.’” AMERICAN MASTERS | PBS, Carl Sandburg’s notes on “The John B....

Posted by gerardvanderleun at October 8, 2013 9:26 AM
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Recommended listening - with headphones. Enter the sublime.

Posted by: Magonolia at October 9, 2013 6:04 AM

When I was a counselor at Camp Dearborn Youth Camp that was one of the songs we sang.

"So hoist up the John B.'s sails,
See how the mainsail sets..."

Posted by: Mikey NTH at October 9, 2013 5:47 PM