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Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen - "Hawaii Blues" (1975 Warner Bros. Records)

Cover Image for Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen - "Hawaii Blues" (1975 Warner Bros. Records)

w Billy C. Farlow, Ernie Hagar, Michael James Richards, Andy Stein; from Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, Warner Bros. Records – BS 2847

When it comes to Country Rock in the classical sense, there's just one name: Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen (that's the ONLY one. Also the Rolling Stones are really good...).

The commander, born George Frayne IV, led a true, '30s and '40s Western Swing-style ~seven-piece band in everything from Honky Tonk to Jump Blues, from Michigan to San Francisco between 1967 and the original group's disbanding in 1977. Here you can see the Commander play piano while guitarist Bill Kirchen sings lead on their greatest hit, "Seeds and Stems (Again)" (though Wikipedia says it's "Hot Rod Lincoln"...):

"Hawaii Blues" is a nice and chillaxing number off the band's eponymous 1975 album. Does it not make one yearn for slow boat to Kokomo, in the halcyon days of Jimmy Buffet and an unspoiled planet?

It's a little bit kitschy...that's a snatch of "Blue Hawaii" played by the steel guitar around the halfway point (did you know Elvis wasn't the first to sing it? Before the 1961 movie of the same name, "Blue Hawaii" was sung by Bing Crosby in 1937's "Waikiki Wedding"...). But kitsch is par for the course for a band with album art that would ostensibly go on to inspire the NES Mega Man box art...

All part of the charm of the greatest Country Rock band in the world (again the Rolling Stones are right up there though). For more such kind-of latter-day Classic Country, you could see this post on Jonathan Richman's country side. And for more Commander Cody...

Also Check Out:

By Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen:

"What's the Matter Now - Live in Berkeley 1971" (suspiciously similar sounding...) - YouTube | Spotify

"Kentucky Hills of Tennessee - Live" - YouTube | Spotify

By Annette Funicello:

"Blue Hawaii" - YouTube | Spotify

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