CD Volume 12: The Canada Sessions
33 Songs from the Early Years
PART I:  Stage Songs ~ PART II: Original Songs
On Maple Grove CD MGS-2003-12

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1. Muddy Mississippi Line
2. Let It Be Me
3. Mama Tried
4. The French Song
5. 24 Hours from Tulsa
6. Ballad Medley (2 songs):
Sweet Dreams &
Born to Lose
7. Apache
8. Somewhere My Love
9. You Were On My Mind
10. Kentuckian Song
11. '50s R&R Medley (3 songs):
Whole Lotta Shakin'
I'm Walkin
O Boy
12. Help Me Make It Through the Night
13. Down in the Boondocks
14. Green, Green Grass of Home
15. Put Hand in the Hand
16. Catfish Bones*
17. Chattanooga Prison Train*
18. Workin' for the Man*
19. Blues 'round My Door*
20. Alligator Mama*
21. Cajun Child*
22. Fool on a Stool*
23. Sad Country Love Song*
24. Mississippi Tripper*
25. Glory Land*
26. Old Jed Clark*
27. Satisfied*
28. Memory Take Me Back*
29. Highway 354*
30. Hillman Express*
(* Original Songs by Bill Hillman)

The Hillmans: Ja-On --- Bill ---Robin --- Sue-On --- China-Li

Hillman Career Timeline to CD No. 12
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Visit the Timeline Web Page

From The Early Years
33 Songs Performed, Arranged and Produced by the Hillmans
Original Songs © Copyright Bill & Sue-On Hillman and  published by Maple Grove Music PRO
Copyright and Performing Rights on all other songs
are property of their respective songwriters and publishing companies.

Unauthorized Download and distribution is prohibited.

1. Muddy Mississippi Line
2. Let It Be Me
3. Mama Tried
4. The French Song
5. 24 Hours from Tulsa
6. Sweet Dreams &
Born To Lose
7. Apache
8. Somewhere My Love
9. (You Were)
On My Mind
10. Kentuckian Song
11. Whole Lotta Shakin'
I'm Walkin' ~ O Boy
12. Help Me Make It 
Through The Night
13. Down in the Boondocks
14. Green Grass of Home
15. Put Your Hand In the Hand
16. Catfish Bones©
17. Chattanooga Prison Train©
18. Workin' For the Man©
19. Blues 'round My Door©
20. Alligator Mama©
21. Cajun Child©
22. Fool On A Stool©
23. Sad Country Love Song©
24. Mississippi Tripper©
25. Glory Land©
26. Old Jed Clark©
27. Satisfied©
28. Memory Take 
Me Back©
29. Highway 354©
30. Hillman Express©
(* Original Songs: Words and Music by Bill Hillman)

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During the '70s decade we were Canada's most prolific "Indie" recording act.

We recorded 12 albums and many charted singles on our Maple Grove label and worked on many other recording and video projects -- over half of this material was recorded in three English studios during our three tours of the UK. The earlier material was recorded in Canada in Winnipeg studios

These 33 early recordings have been collated onto this CD No. 12. The first half of the CD consists of our covers of popular songs written by others. The second half features 15 Bill Hillman originals. There are many more originals on our CD 11 On Tour In England while CD 10 is totally original featuring 24 Hillman songs. 

We share many of our adventures from our tours and recording sessions in the Gig Notes section of our book: A 50-YEAR MUSICAL ODYSSEY
1. Muddy Mississippi Line (B. Goldsboro) Bill Solo
We first recorded Bobby Goldsboro's Muddy Mississippi Line shortly after he had a hit with it in 1969.  It was featured on our second album which we released under the name The Western Union. Jake Kroeger, the rhythm guitar player in our group, sang the lead on the song. On a later release, album No. 4, I re-recorded the lead vocals using the same backing tracks which had included Sue-On singing harmony. Our version with Larry Clark's organ and vibes turned out quite different from the Goldsboro original.
Working on a barge down in New Orleans
Spending all my money on Cajun queens
Working from the morning till the end of day
And that's when I go out to play

Working on the Muddy Mississippi Line
They pay me ten dollars and I don't save a dime
But I always seem to make enough to see me through
And I'll bet you five dollars, I'm as happy as you

Working on the muddy Mississippi line
Working on the muddy Mississippi line

I've got a lot of friends down in New Orleans
Working on the docks, loading coffee beans
Hard working people who will lend you a hand
They'll help you anyway they can

My daddy was a Mississippi river man
My mama was a Cajun from the heart of the land
They taught me how to love the Mississippi mud
Now there's Mississippi water flowing in my blood

Working on the muddy Mississippi line
Working on the muddy Mississippi line

I love the Mississippi like it was my own
As long as I remember, it's been my home
I know it's kinda muddy but it sure looks fine
When you're riding on the muddy Mississippi line

Working on the muddy Mississippi line

2. Let It Be Me (Curtis - Becaud)  Duet
Let It Be Me originally was a French hit in 1955 as "Je t'appartiens."  The English version was a major hit by the Everly brothers in 1960. I have been a fan of the Everly Brothers since we opened for them in a concert back in 1965 (See The Early Rockin' Years). Their thrilling harmonies have influenced just about every rock and country group that relies on harmony, including the Beatles. Since many of our best duet numbers are Everly inspired, it seemed natural that we try our hand at one of their biggest hits: Let It Be Me - a song we have done countless times since in concerts, at weddings and on television. 
I bless the day I found you ~ I want to stay around you
And so I beg you, let it be me

Don't take this heaven from one ~ If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me

Each time we meet love ~ I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely ~ Tell me you love me only
And that you'll always let it be me

3. Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)  Duet
Another of our duets is a driving version of this Merle Haggard country hit: Mama Tried. While trying to adapt it to a danceable duet version and fooling around with the Hag's original intro, I found myself jokingly playing the riff from the Monkee's Last Train to Clarksville. It stuck, and that's what we ended up using on the record.
The first thing I remember knowing ~ Was a lonesome whistle blowing,
And a young un's dream of growing up to ride,
On a freight train leaving town ~ Not knowing where I'm bound,
No-one could change my mind but Mama tried.

One and only rebel child ~ From a family, meek and mild,
My Mama seemed to know what lay in store.
Despite my Sunday learning ~ Towards the bad, I kept turning.
'Til Mama couldn't hold me anymore.

And I turned twenty-one in prion doing life without parole.
No-one could steer me right but Mama tried, Mama tried.
Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading, I denied.
That leaves only me to blame 'cause Mama tried.

Dear old Daddy, rest his soul ~ Left my Mom a heavy load,
She tried so very hard to fill his shoes.
Working hours without rest ~ Wanted me to have the best.
She tried to raise me right but I refused.

The French Song (Pease - Vincent)  Sue-On Solo
Manitoba-born Lucille Starr had a million seller, international hit with The French Song. French is fourth language for Sue-On. but she and our audiences enjoyed her version. Thanks to multi-track recording she was able to sing all the harmony parts and Larry was able to play vibes, piano and organ on the backing track
Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes,
Et que la nuit rencontre le jour.
Je sui seule avec mes reves sur la montagne,
Une voix me rapelle toujours.
Ecoute a ma porte les chansons du vent,
M'rapelle les souvenirs de toi
Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes
Je suis seule, je ne veux penser qu'a toi

Now when the sun says good-day to the mountains
And the night says hello to the dawn
I'm alone with my dreams on the hilltop
And I can still hear his voice though he's gone
I hear from my door the love songs through the wind
It brings back sweet memories of you.
Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes
Je suis seule, je ne veux penser qu'a toi.

24 Hour From Tulsa (B. Bacharach - H. David)  Duet 
Gene Pitney and Dusty Springfield both had hits with 24 Hours From Tulsa, but since we wanted to perform it as a duet we were perhaps more influenced by the Ian and Sylvia version. A serious problem arose when we recorded the song, however. As we had done on many of our sessions we recorded the bed tracks first and then returned to the studio a week later to voice-over the vocal tracks. While listening to the bed tracks at home we were shocked to hear that we had left out a few beats in the spot where the song goes "She said... beat... beat... OK... beat... beat." Panic time! Finally, rather than redo the bed tracks for the whole song we decided to shorten it to "She said OK... beat... beat." No one ever seemed to notice . . . until now : ). Larry played a gung ho Hammond on the song and I played all the guitars -- including the "organ" solo for which I played two guitars through a Fender Leslie unit that I had borrowed for the session.
Dearest darling I had to write to say that I won't be home anymore
'Cause something happened to me while I was driving home
And I'm not the same anymore
Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
I saw a welcoming light and stopped to rest for the night

And that is when I saw her as I pulled in outside of the small motel she was there
And so I walked up to her, asked where I could get something to eat
And she showed me where.
Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
She took me to the café, I asked her if she would stay, she said "OK"

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
The jukebox started to play and night time turned into day as we were dancing
Closely, all of a sudden I lost control as I held her charms
And I caressed her, kissed her, told her I'd die
Before I would let her out of my arms

Oh, I was only twenty four hours from Tulsa
Ah, only one day away from your arms
I hate to do this to you but I love somebody new, what can I do?
And I can never, never, never go home agai

6a. Sweet Dreams (Don Gibson) Sue-On Medley Solo
6b. Born To Lose (Ted Daffan)
We had enjoyed the versions of Sweet Dreams sung by Don Gibson, Faron Young and Patsy Cline as well as the renditions of Born to Lose by Eddie Arnold and Ray Charles and they were always popular with our audiences. When we were deciding on a ballad for one of our early sessions it was so hard to choose between them that we combined them both into a medley. It seemed to work. My guitar solo was using my Fender Telecaster with my home-made B-bender played through my Echochord delayunit and a DeArmond volume/tone pedal.
Sweet dreams of you
Every night I go through
Why can't I forget you and start my life anew
Instead of having sweet dreams about you
You don't love me, it's plain
I should know I'll never wear your ring
I should hate you the whole night through
Instead of having sweet dreams about you
Sweet dreams of you
Things I know can't come true
Why can't I forget the past, start loving someone new
Instead of having sweet dreams about you

Born to lose, I've lived my life in vain
Every dream has only brought me pain
All my life I've always been so blue
Born to lose and now I'm losing you.

Born to lose, it seems so hard to bear
When I wake, and find that you're not there
You've grown tired and now you say we're through
Born to lose and now I'm losing you.

7. Apache (Jerry Lordan) Bill Guitar Solo
Sue-On and I recorded APACHE in 1971 in the first Century 21 studios on King Edward.
* I had recorded two guitar instrumental tracks on our first album: The Steel Guitar Rag and a medley of Freddie King's Hideaway and the Wailers/Kingsmen hit Louie Louie. I put the solos on the back burner, partly because guitar instrumentals are so exacting, and partly because my dream had been to someday record an entire guitar instrumental album.

* I chose Apache for this, our first guitar solo on a multi-track session, as it was one that I hadn't been able to do well on stage because of our trio instrumentation. But now, in the studio I could overdub all guitar parts: a couple acoustic rhythms (Gibson and a Fender Malibu in Nashville Hi-Bass tuning) and  and two lead parts. By this time I had customized my Telecaster by adding a Bigsby, homemade B-Bender and re-wired pickups. I played through a DeArmond volume/tone pedal, into an Echochord tape delay echo unit and through a Fender Twin Reverb amp.

* I had been a major Shadows fan back in the days before good vocal PA systems. I learned a multitude of their instrumentals when I had to play hours worth of guitar tunes every night. We even worked out their choreography steps while playing. But for some reason their UK hit version of Apache didn't receive play on this side of the Atlantic. Rather, the Jorgen Ingman cover version got all the play. 

* So the arrangement I came up with on this Jerry Lordan instrumental was about three equal parts of Ingman and Shadows versions, along with my own riffs using the B-bender and volume pedal. Barry Forman was on bass and Sue-On and Ted Paley shared the drums/percussion. Uncle Smokey, Larry Clark, added a subtle Hammond fill. The "arrow" sounds were accomplished by dragging my pick along a guitar string with echo added.

8. Somewhere My Love (Maurice Jarre)  Sue-On Solo 
Somewhere My Love (Lara's Theme) from the movie Dr. Zhivago was very popular with our audiences who loved to dance to it. Through the years about half of our recorded material was original. Originals got more air play and critical recognition but well-known songs were important for record sales off the stage. The original had full orchestra backing but we tackled it with three-piece combo backing. Sue-On sang her own harmony parts and I played the solo with B-bender and volume pedal.
Somewhere, my love ~ There will be songs to sing
Although the snow ~ Covers the hope of spring.

Somewhere a hill ~ Blossoms in green and gold
And there are dreams ~ All that your heart can hold.

Someday we'll meet again, my love.
Someday whenever the spring breaks through.

You'll come to me ~ Out of the long ago,
Warm as the wind ~ Soft as the kiss of snow.

Till then, my sweet ~ Think of me now and then.
God, speed my love ~ 'Til you are mine again.

9. You Were On My Mind (Sylvia Tyson) Duet
Reflecting our growing fondness for duets, we did an electric version of Ian and Sylvia's On My Mind on which Larry played percussive organ riffs. The US pop group, WE FIVE, with a quite different arrangement had a big hit with the song, but we preferred the original version written by Sylvia. 

We were always on the lookout for songs suitable for our duets and we performed many of the Ian and Sylvia songs over the years. Some we adapted as lively show or dance numbers by adding a heavy beat with electric instruments. But many of their songs were more suitable for acoustic arrangements and we featured them at folk festivals, cowboy poetry gigs and in smaller more intimate settings. 

WE FIVE Five ran into censorship problems with the phrase "I got drunk and I got sick . . ." which they left out of their arrangement. We stuck with the original lyrics and never met any problems for radio play or live performances. Such a phrase certainly wouldn't raise any eyebrows in today's music scene.

Got up this morning, you were on my mind, and you were on my mind.
I got some ache's and I got some pains and I got some wounds to bind.

Went to the corner just to ease my pain, it was just to ease my pain.
I got drunk and I got sick and I came home again.

I got a feelin, down in my shoes. it's way down in my shoes.
I got to move on. I got to travel. Walk away my blues.

10. Kentuckian Song (Irving Gordon)  Sue-On 
This ballad was the beautiful title song from an old Burt Lancaster western movie, The Kentuckian. It had always been a favourite of mine, but we couldn't find a copy of any recording of it -- this was long before the days of the Internet and Youtube. I remembered, though, that the Ray Little CKY touring western show had featured the words in a souvenir song book I had bought at one of their shows in Strathclair's Bend Theatre back in the mid-'50s. I finally found the booklet in one of my piles of old memorabilia, and relying on memory, taught the song to Sue-On. It was a natural for her and is one of my all-time favourite Sue-On songs. Larry's vibes and my sustain guitar gave our rendition a rather unique sound.
I see my darlin' in each spray of summer sunlight
I see my darlin' in the leaves that fall
I see her walkin' in the rainy April sadness
And hear her name in every bluebird call

I've told the possum in the gum tree, the raccoon on the ground
Told everyone but my darlin' of the happiness I've found
My heart would cry more than the weeping willow tree
If my darlin' and her heart were not for me

I've told the possum in the gum tree, the raccoon on the ground
Told everyone but my darlin' of the happiness I've found
My heart would cry more than the weeping willow tree
If my darlin' and her heart were not for me

11.'50s Rock Medley: Bill 
    Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Williams-Hall-David)
    I'm Walkin' (D. Bartholomew - Antoine "Fats" Domino)
    Oh Boy! (Tilghman-West-Petty)
Come on over baby, whole lotta shakin' goin' on
Yes I said come on over baby, baby you can't go wrong
We ain't fakin' a whole lotta shakin' goin' on

Well, I said come on over baby, we got chicken in the barn
Come on over baby, I got the bull by the horns
We ain't fakin, a whole lotta shakin' goin' on

Well shake baby shake (4x)
Come on over whole lot of shakin goin' on

Well come over baby we got chicken in the
Barn whose barn what barn my barn
Come on over baby better got to move along
We ain't fake it whole lot of shakin' goin' on

Easy now ~ Shake it, shake it babe
Yeah you can shake one time for me  . . . etc.

I'm walkin' ~ Yes indeed, I'm talkin' ~ 'Bout you and me, I'm hopin' 
That you'll come back to me, yeah, yeah
I'm lonely ~ Yes I can be, I'm waitin' ~ For your company, I'm hopin' 
That you'll come back to me

What you gonna do when the well runs dry? ~You gonna run away and hide
I'm gonna run right by your side ~ For you pretty baby I'll even die

I'm lonely ~ Yes I can be, I'm waitin' ~ For your company, I'm hopin' 
That you'll come back to me

What you gonna do when the well runs dry? ~ You're gonna sit right down and cry
What you gonna do when I say bye-bye ~ All you gonna do is dry your eye

All my love, all my kissing ~ You don't know what you've been missing
Oh Boy, Oh Boy ~ When you're with me
The world can see that you were meant for me
All my life, I've been waiting. Tonight there'll be no hesitating
Oh Boy, Oh Boy ~ Stars apear and the shadows are falling
 You can hear my heart calling
A little bit of loving makes everything right
I'm gonna see my baby tonight ~ Oh Boy, Oh Boy
12. Help Me Make It Through the Night (Kris Kristofferson) Sue-On
Take the ribbon from your hair ~ Shake it loose and let it fall
Layin' soft upon my skin ~ Like the shadows on the wall

Come and lay down by my side ~ Till the early mornin' light
All I'm takin' is your time ~ Help me make it through the night

I don't care who's right or wrong ~ I don't try to understand
Let the devil take tomorrow ~ 'Cause tonight I need a friend

Yesterday is dead and gone ~ And tomorrow's out of sight
And it's sad to be alone ~ Help me make it through the night

13. Down In The Boondocks (Joe South) Bill
Down in the boondocks ~ Down in the boondocks
People put me down 'cause ~ That's the side of town I was born in
I love her she loves me but I don't fit in her society
Lord have mercy on the boy from down in the boondocks

Ev'ry night I watch the lights from the house up on the hill
I love a little girl who lives up there and I guess I always will
But I don't dare knock on her door ~ 'Cause her daddy is my boss man
So I have to try to be content ~ Just to see her when ever I can

One fine day I'll find the way to move from this old shack
I'll hold my head up like a king and I never never will look back
Until that morning I'll work and slave ~ And I'll save ev'ry dime
But tonight she'll have to steal away ~ To see me one more time

14. The Green, Green Grass of Home (C. Putnam) Sue-On
The old home town looks the same ~ As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my Mama and Papa
Down the road I look and there runs Mary ~ Hair of gold and lips like cherries

It's good to touch the green, green grass of home
Yes, they'll all come to meet me, arms reaching, smiling sweetly
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

The old house is still standing tho' the paint is cracked and dry
And there's that old oak tree that I used to play on
Down the lane I walk with my sweet Mary ~ Hair of gold and lips like cherries
It's good to touch the green, green grass of home

Then I awake and look around me ~ At four grey walls that surround me
And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming ~ For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre
Arm in arm, we'll walk at daybreak ~ Again I touch the green, green grass of home

Yes, they'll all come to see me ~ In the shade of that old oak tree
As they lay me 'neath the green, green grass of home

15. Put Your Hand In The Hand (Gene MacLellan)
Put your hand in the hand of the man ~ Who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the man ~ Who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself ~ And you can look at others differently
Put your hand in the hand of the man ~ From Galilee

My momma taught me how to pray ~ Before I reached the age of seven
When I'm down on my knees ~ That's when I'm closest to heaven
Daddy lived his life, two kids and a wife ~ Well you do what you must do
But he showed me enough of what it takes ~ To get me through, oh yeh!

Hillman Original Songs

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New Volume 12 -- CD III or Tape or Vol. 11 or Vol 10..........................$15.00 US each
Price for two CDs or tapes = $25 US...............Price for any three CDs or tapes= $33 US
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