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Tuesday April 19, 2005 6:00-8:00pm (The Roots Of Led Zeppelin, Part I)

As Long As I Have You - Garnet Mimms
She Moved Through The Fair - Davey Graham
White Summer - The Yardbirds
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - Joan Baez
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - Led Zeppelin
You Shook Me - Muddy Waters
You Shook Me - Jeff Beck
You Shook Me - Led Zeppelin
Dazed and Confused - Jake Holmes
Dazed and Confused - The Yardbirds
Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin
Black Waterside - Bert Jansch
Black Mountain Side - Led Zeppelin
I Can't Quit You Baby - Otis Rush [1956]
I Can't Quit You Baby - Led Zeppelin
No Place To Go - Howlin' Wolf
The Hunter - Albert King
Smokestack Lightnin' - The Yardbirds [BBC Sessions]
How Many More Times - Led Zeppelin
You Need Love - Muddy Waters
You Need Lovin' - The Small Faces
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
Killin' Floor - Howlin' Wolf
Killin' Floor - Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Lemon Song - Led Zeppelin
Traveling Riverside Blues - Robert Johnson
Traveling Riverside Blues - Led Zeppelin

Notes: Sometime, during the very early part of 2005, I hatched an idea. It was small at first, and I may not have been entirely serious about it at the start, but it eventually grew to become the climax of my radio show for the spring '05 semester (not to mention one of my greatest radio specials ever on WVBU). After the dreary semester of fall '04, I was recovering from a rather heavy case of depression, and as the following spring semester started, I slowly began to rediscover my interests, music included. I don't remember exactly where the idea of tracing Led Zeppelin's roots came from, but, being a huge Led Zeppelin fan (so far as to have even gained the nickname 'Zep'), I know I was aware of certain comments here and there that certain people had made questioning the originality of Led Zeppelin's songsmanship. The more I looked into these comments, the more layers of inspiration I discovered in Zeppelin's music, tracing back through the folk and blues, mostly, that preceeded the band. I did a few searches online, and I found a wealth of information, but the problem was, all the information about which songs inspired which Zeppelin songs was scattered across many sites. Maybe I was ambitious, or maybe it was just my inate nagging desire to organize information, but I decided that I wanted to compile all the information I could find about Led Zeppelin's musical inspirations and host it in one convenient location (on my webpage, of course). Well, I'm still working on that, as I write this, which goes to show that I didn't finish the actual project in time, but I *did* learn enough in time to do a radio special about my findings at the end of that spring semester.

I was originally planning on making it a two-week special, and even though I couldn't use everything I had, I still ended up spilling into a third week just to fit in the stuff I really wanted to cover. So what I ended up with was an educational radio special where I went through Led Zeppelin's catalog chronologically, and for most of the songs, I explained what earlier songs had inspired them, played those early inspirations, and then played the Zeppelin song for comparison. A radio learning experience, but instead of cementing into people's heads the idea that Led Zeppelin were song-thiefs, which I disagree with, the point of my radio special was a) to propagate knowledge/truth, and b) hopefully to get people to gain a new appreciation for what Led Zeppelin were capable of musically, so that the next time somebody says, "Whole Lotta Love?, that's just a cheap ripoff of Willie Dixon's You Need Love!", or "When The Levee Breaks?, that song wasn't written by Zeppelin, it was penned in 1928!", you can tell them, "that may be true, but I've heard both versions, and I'll be damned if Led Zeppelin didn't infuse them with an entirely original and hard-rocking spirit that just didn't exist prior to their reign as lords of the rock world..."

So, in Part I, I opened the show with a number that Zeppelin jammed on in early live sets, but never recorded in the studio (unfortunately, as it was very good). Then I moved onto White Summer, which Jimmy Page actually recorded first with the Yardbirds, before bringing it into Zeppelin's live repertoire. Then I went through Zep's first album and part of their second, breaking to finish the show with a track from the BBC Sessions.