Monday, July 25, 2022
Earlier this summer I read Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm's memoirs. (It's too bad the other members of The Band didn't write their own- I'd love to know what Garth Hudson made of it all.) Helm's was the better written, more engaging book, but Robertson's had a lot more detail, about The Band's creative process, and about their business arrangements. Both men admitted that there was a lot of substance abuse going on, which will shock nobody, but neither was particularly candid about their own drug use, except to admit that, yeah, they took a lotta drugs. Along the way Helm discusses his relationship with his wife, Libby Titus, and it is pretty clear that he really loved her, and that the failure of their relationship was on him.
Helm mentions Titus's talent as a singer and songwriter, so I downloaded her second album- the only one that seems to be available for streaming- and found that I had a very dim recollection of it- particularly "Fool That I Am". Titus's album was released in 1977, which was a time of voracious musical consumption on my part, but a wistful romantic ballad wouldn't necessarily have been something I would have been in the market for. It must have gotten pretty good airplay is what I figure. In any event the album is quite good, and in places excellent. She co-wrote "Love Has No Pride" which Linda Ronstadt owns, and which Bonnie Raitt can also claim, but Titus' version stands with them both. And then the trail goes cold. She collaborated with Burt Bacharach on some stuff, and married Donald Fagen, and played some club dates in the 80s, and that seems to be as much as the internet can tell me.
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