The wide world of w

It’s the listeners I feel sorry for.

Another Alpha Beats down, and it all happened so quickly I barely had time to enjoy it. I hope you did/will. Alas, when your theme is the letter “W” and you have only one hour to explore its riches, there are bound to be omissions. Off the top, I chose to leave my Bob Wills, Sonny Boy Williamson and Hank Williams records at home. A steep price to pay, but I was aiming to explore dark corners of my collection (I must get that light fixed) and to avoid the obvious. But, you ask, wouldn’t Loudon Wainwright III’s cover of Kate McGarrigle’s Come a Long Way be considered obvious? Hey, who’s show is this, anyway? Besides, I’ll be you didn’t see “whistling” Roger Whittaker coming, right?

Fun was had, but it was distressing to realize at 10:50 a.m. or so that such gems as Raquel Welch’s faux-Bardot heavy-breather L’Animal would not make the cut. Nor would we hear Rusty Warren’s timeless Do It Now, material from Barry White’s soundtrack to Together Brothers, or even Lawrence Welk’s funky take on Baretta’s Theme. Oh, if only we’d had more time, dear listener. Also distressing, though, was discovering the state of my Muddy Waters Still a Fool 45, or finding out too late that I had at some point in the distant past mistakenly slid Bobby Womack’s Facts of Life album into theUnderstanding sleeve. Call that one a misunderstanding, but it served to deprive listeners of the great Harry Hippie. Wayne and Shuster, Klaus Wunderlich, Link Wray, the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Jerry Jeff Walker, Foy Willing and his Riders of the Purple Sage. And what about Paul Warfield’s How to Catch a Pass LP? Hey, no one said it’d be easy.

Besides, as I hope you’ll agree, there is still plenty to enjoy. And I take comfort in knowing this challenge will almost certainly not be repeated when we meet again Dec. 17 for songs and stories filed under the letter “X”.

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