Classic Clips: Ry Cooder and the Chicken Skin Band “He’ll Have to Go” – Old Grey Whistle Test, 1977

Ry Cooder and the wonderful Chicken Skin Band turn in a truly classic performance at an Old Grey Whistle Test recording from Shepherds Bush Television Theatre in 1977. Cooder has always had a special knack for finding new depths in familiar songs, and ‘He’ll Have to Go’, originally a hit for Jim Reeves and written by Joe and Audrey Allison, is a case in point. Changing the rhythm and phrasing, in a Norteno style with the fabulous Flaco Jimenez on accordion, Cooder delivers the standout version of the song, also recorded by Elvis Presley in what is reputed to be his last studio recording.

Full band lineup: Guitar, Vocals – Ry Cooder, Alto Saxophone – Pat Rizzo, Drums – Isaac Garcia, Bass – Henry ‘Big Red’ Ojeda, Bajo Sexto – Jesse Poncé, Accordion – Flaco Jimenez, Vocals – Eldridge King, Terry Evans, Bobby King.

About David Jarman 111 Articles
Long time fan of Americana genre, from early days of Ry Cooder, through to today's thriving scene. Regular visitor to USA ( Nashville/Austin/Memphis/LA ) live music junkie, I play guitar, mandolin, harmonica, plus vocals, run monthly jam session in Broadstairs
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Mike O'Driscoll

This brings back memories – absolutely love this version of a classic song. Jiminez’s accordion just lifts it into a different realm, a universe away from Jim Reeves.