Baby, Please Don’t Go
Remember Good Morning, Vietnam? My dad loved that flick. And soon after he saw it for the first time he went out and grabbed the soundtrack, proceeding to play it at almost every party my folks threw through the late 80’s and early 90’s. In the film, Robin Williams portrays Adrian Cronauer, an outspoken, controversial DJ for an Americanized Vietnam radio channel during the war. Some of his radio bits are included on the soundtrack, and they can be just as grating as you’d expect large doses of Robin Williams to be, but the songs included are fantastic. A lot of the artists you know; The Beach Boys, James Brown, The Supremes, Louie Armstrong, but there are a few buried treasures here as well, my favorite of which being from a group called Them.
“Baby, Please Don’t Go” by Them always reminded me of swampy roots rockers like Creedence Clearwater Revival or Gram Parsons, and discovering some years later one of the most famous rock signers of all time, Van Morrison, fronted the group was surprising. But although their stomping grounds are across the pond in Belfast, Ireland, Them is indeed rooted in American, bluesy rock’n’roll and R&B. And it was this group that would launch Van Morrison’s resilient career, as “Brown Eyed Girl” would be released just two years later. I haven’t had a chance to grab an album’s worth of material from Them, but "Gloria," the B-side to “Baby, Please Don’t Go” is another killer track. Grounded in garage and blues, one of the more interesting aspects of the song is its use of duel drum tracks, an almost unprecedented recording practice in the studio to this day. I can put both of these songs on repeat for an hour and not get tired of them.