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Every now and then I get a chance to catch The Russ Martin Show. I don’t know if I’d classify myself a serious fan, but his presence on local radio has, let’s say littered bits and pieces of my life. If you don’t live in North Texas you’ve probably never heard of him, but he’s a fixture in these parts, and his taste in music sometimes echoes my own. He has a theme song that he’s carried with him through multiple incarnations of his show from television to radio and now you can even catch him online at iheart radio.

Anyway. I’m not making today’s blog post to talk about Russ Martin, but he indirectly incited what I hope this blog post will become as I’m molding it. Turns out the Russ Martin Theme Song is not called The Russ Martin Theme Song. His theme song is unique and iconic and whenever I hear it I remember my college days. I first heard it not on Russ Martin’s Show, but on a compilation vinyl album called Music Too Good For Words Sampler, produced by IRS records. I’ve heard Russ Martin’s theme off and on since then but for some reason this week it’s started bugging me. I couldn’t remember the compilation album with much detail, tho I played it to death as a kid. It’s been so long ago. I think I might still have it on cassette tape around here somewhere but I lost the vinyl copy ages ago. After hearing Russ Martin’s Show open on the radio earlier this week, the theme song echoed in my head and I found myself racking my brain trying to remember the original artist and the album. I vaguely remembered IRS records. Did some Google searches and after a few false starts, I finally dug up the answer. It’s William Orbit‘s Fire and Mercy.

This compilation album stuck out in my mind for another reason; it featured some great instrumental music and not the least of which was an extended version of the theme song to a little known television series called The Equalizer which starred Edward Woodward. The song’s name was “The Equalizer Busy Equalizing” and it was created by none other than The Stewart Copeland of The Police.

So after uncovering a couple tracks I remembered off the top of my head and then finding the earlier link to a page that features the whole song list, I thought I’d just run a search at YouTube for “Music Too Good For Words.” What I got wasn’t what I was expecting. Once again, this blog post takes a curious turn..

How’s that for music good for too many words?

A YouTube search for the words “music too good for words” also currently includes links to more well known artists like Kool and the Gang, Florence and the Machine, Joan Baez, Joe Satriani, and then there’s Josh Groban sings Kanye West.

Not good enough for you? How about this mash up? The incomparable Freddy Mercury meets the finger licking good Gonzo and most of The Muppets.

Mama?

Okay this next one is boring visually perhaps, unless you’re into mixing and dubbing and all the magic that producers and technicians do behind the scenes to turn wanna be pop artists into actual diva sensations. Here’s a guy who takes bits and pieces of over thirty songs and cooks them on a hotplate. This isn’t my usual taste in music, but I gotta admire the craftsmanship. I love how modern technology and creative whimsy can turn any songs of the past century into orchestral instruments.

That was my trip through online strangeness today. What started as a search for a thin slice of my past turned into something rather unexpected but certainly not unwelcome. There were more videos too of course. I’m just hitting the highlights that as of this writing seemed to me worthy of noting for future reference. Perhaps whenever you come across this blog post in the future (be it right after I post it or weeks or months from now), if you do a YouTube search for “Music Too Good For Words” you’ll get some of these videos, or perhaps by then an entirely different list of videos will crop up. Let me know what you find. Feel free to add to this list in the comments below.

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