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Ry Cooder

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder began his career in 1963 in a blues band with Jackie DeShannon and then formed the short-lived Rising Sons in 1965 with Taj Mahal and Spirit drummer Ed Cassidy. Cooder met producer Terry Melcher through the Rising Sons and was invited to perform at several sessions with Paul Revere & the Raiders. During his subsequent career as a session musician, Cooder's trademark slide guitar work graced the recordings of such artists as Captain Beefheart (Safe as Milk), Randy Newman, Little Feat, Van Dyke Parks, the Rolling Stones (Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers), Taj Mahal, and Gordon Lightfoot. He also appeared on the soundtracks of Candy and Performance.

Cooder made his debut as a solo artist in 1970 with a self-titled album featuring songs by Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson, Sleepy John Estes, and Woody Guthrie. The follow-up, Into the Purple Valley, introduced longtime cohorts Jim Keltner on drums and Jim Dickinson on bass, and it and Boomer's Story largely repeated and refined the syncopated style and mood of the first. In 1974, Cooder produced what is generally regarded as his best album, Paradise and Lunch, and its follow-up, Chicken Skin Music, showcased a potent blend of Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, gospel, and soul, and featured contributions from Flaco Jimenez and Gabby Pahinui. In 1979, Bop Till You Drop was the first major-label album to be recorded digitally. In the early '80s, Cooder began to augment his solo output with soundtrack work on such films as Blue Collar, The Long Riders, and The Border; he has gone on to compose music for Southern Comfort, Goin' South, Paris, Texas, Streets of Fire, Alamo Bay, Blue City, Crossroads, Cocktail, Johnny Handsome, Steel Magnolias, and Geronimo. Music by Ry Cooder (1995) compiled two discs' worth of highlights from Cooder's film work.

In 1992, Cooder joined Keltner, John Hiatt, and renowned British tunesmith Nick Lowe, all of whom had played on Hiatt's Bring the Family, to form Little Village, which toured and recorded one album. Cooder turned his attention to world music, recording the album A Meeting by the River with Indian musician V.M. Bhatt. Cooder's next project, a duet album with renowned African guitarist Ali Farka Touré titled Talking Timbuktu, won the 1994 Grammy for Best World Music Recording.

His next world crossover would become one of the most popular musical rediscoveries of the 20th century. In 1997, Cooder traveled to Cuba to produce and play with a group of son musicians who had little exposure outside of their homeland. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, was a platinum-selling international success that made stars of Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Rubén González, and earned Cooder another Grammy. He continued to work on projects with his Buena Vista bandmates, including a collaboration with Manuel Galbán in 2003 titled Mambo Sinuendo. His other work in the 2000s included sessions with James Taylor, Aaron Neville, Warren Zevon, and Spanish diva Luz Casal.

In 2005, Cooder released Chavez Ravine, his first solo album since 1987's Get Rhythm; the album was the first entry in a trilogy of recordings about the disappearance of Los Angeles' cultural history as a result of gentrification. Chavez Ravine was followed by My Name Is Buddy in 2007, and the final chapter in the saga, I, Flathead in 2009. In 2010, Cooder was approached by Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains to produce an album. Moloney had been obsessed with an historical account of the San Patricios, a band of immigrant Irish soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846 to fight for the other side, against the Manifest Destiny ideology of James Polk's America. Cooder agreed and the end result was San Patricio, which brings this fascinatingly complex tale to life. In early 2011, Cooder was taken by a headline about bankers and other moneyed citizens who'd actually profited from the bank bailouts and resulting mortgage and economic crisis, and wrote the song "No Banker Left Behind," which became the first song on 2011's Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down, an album that reached all the way back to his earliest recordings for musical inspiration while telling topical stories about corruption -- political and social -- the erasure and the rewriting of American history, and an emerging class war. A month after its release, Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's fabled City Lights publishing house issued Cooder's first collection of short fiction entitled Los Angeles Stories. He continued to follow his socio-political muse with Election Special, released in the summer of 2012, and in 2013 released Live in San Francisco, his first live album in 35 years, with Corridos Famosos (son Joachim on percussion, Flaco Jimenez on accordion, Robert Francis on bass, and vocalists Terry Evans, Arnold McCuller, and Juliette Commagere). The ten-piece Mexican brass band La Banda Juvenil also guested. In 2014, Rhino Records offered an epic-scale look at Cooder's work in film scoring with Soundtracks, a seven-disc box set compiled from his movie music of the '80s and '90s. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Election Special

1. Mutt Romney Blues

2. Brother Is Gone

3. The Wall Street Part Of Town

4. Guantanamo

5. Cold Cold Feeling

6. Going To Tampa

7. Kool-Aid

8. The 90 And The 9

9. Take Your Hands Off It

x

Track List: Pull Up Some Dust & Sit Down

1. No Banker Left Behind

2. El Corrido De Jesse James

3. Quick Sand

4. Dirty Chateau

5. Humpty Dumpty World

6. Christmas Time This Year

7. Baby Joined The Army

8. Lord Tell Me Why

9. I Want My Crown

10. John Lee Hooker For President

11. Dreamer

12. Simple Tools

13. If There's A God

14. No Hard Feelings

x

Track List: I, Flathead

1. Drive Like I Never Been Hurt

2. Waitin' For Some Girl

3. Johnny Cash

4. Can I Smoke In Here?

5. Steel Guitar Heaven

6. Ridin' With The Blues

7. Pink-O Boogie

8. Fernando Sez

9. Spayed Kooley

10. Filipino Dance Hall Girl

11. My Dwarf Is Getting Tired

12. Flathead One More Time

13. 5000 Country Music Songs

14. Little Trona Girl

x

Track List: My Name Is Buddy

1. Suitcase In My Hand

2. Cat And Mouse

3. Strike!

4. J. Edgar

5. Footprints In The Snow

6. Sundown Town

7. Green Dog

8. The Dying Truck Driver

9. Christmas In Southgate

10. Hank Williams

11. Red Cat Till I Die

12. Three Chords And The Truth

13. My Name Is Buddy

14. One Cat, One Vote, One Beer

15. Cardboard Avenue

16. Farm Girl

17. There's A Bright Side Somewhere

x

Track List: THe Soundtracks: The Border / Alamo Bay

2. Across The Borderline

3. Maria

5. Highway 23

9. No Quiero

14. Theme From Alamo Bay

15. Gooks On Main Street

17. Klan Meeting

18. Sailfish Evening

21. Search & Destroy

22. Glory

x

Track List: Mambo Sinuendo

1. Duerme Negrita

2. Monte A Dentro

3. Los Twangueros

4. Patricia

5. Caballo Viejo

6. Mambo Sinuendo

7. Bodas De Oro

8. Echale Salsita

9. La Luna En Tu Mirada

10. Secret Love

11. Bolero Sonambulo

12. Maria La O

x

Track List: Music By Ry Cooder

Disc 1

1. Paris, Texas

2. Theme From Southern Comfort

3. Theme From Alamo Bay

4. Across The Borderline

6. Bomber Bash

7. Greenhouse

8. Nice Bike

9. I Like Your Eyes

10. Main Theme

11. See You In Hell, Blind Boy

12. Feelin' Bad Blues

13. Swamp Walk

14. Angola

15. Viola Lee Blues

16. The Long Riders

18. Jesse James

Disc 2

1. King Of The Street

2. Sunny's Tune

3. No Quiero

4. Cruising With Rafe

5. Klan Meeting

6. I Can't Walk This Time / The Prestige

7. East St Louis

8. Goose And Lucky

10. Canoes Upstream

11. Cancion Mixteca

12. Maria

13. Bound For Canaan (Sieber & Davis)

14. Bound For Canaan (The 6th Calvary)

15. Train To Florida

16. Houston In Two Seconds

x

Track List: Paris, Texas (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

1. Paris, Texas

2. Brothers

3. Nothing Out There

4. Cancion Mixteca

5. No Safety Zone

6. Houston In Two Seconds

7. She's Leaving The Bank

8. On The Couch

9. I Knew These People

10. Dark Was The Night

x

Track List: Get Rhythm

1. Get Rhythm

2. Low--Commotion

3. Going Back To Okinawa

4. 13 Question Method

5. Women Will Rule The World

6. All Shook Up

7. I Can Tell By The Way You Smell

8. Across The Borderline

9. Let's Have A Ball

x

Track List: The Slide Area

1. Ufo Has Landed In The Ghetto

2. I Need A Woman

3. Gypsy Woman

4. Blue Suede Shoes

5. Mama, Don't Treat Your Daughter Mean

6. I'm Drinking Again

7. Which Came First

8. That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me

x

Track List: Bop Till You Drop

1. Little Sister

2. Go Home Girl

3. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor)

4. I Think It's Going To Work Out Fine

5. Down In Hollywood

6. Look At Granny Run Run

7. Trouble, You Can't Fool Me

8. Don't Mess Up A Good Thing

9. I Can't Win

x

Track List: Paradise And Lunch

1. Tamp 'Em Up Solid

2. Tattler

3. Married Man's A Fool

4. Jesus On The Mainline

5. It's All Over Now

6. Fool For A Cigarette - Feelin' Good

7. If Walls Could Talk

8. Mexican Divorce

9. Ditty Wah Ditty

x

Track List: Boomer's Story

1. Boomer's Story

2. Cherry Ball Blues

3. Crow Black Chicken

4. Ax Sweet Mama

5. Maria Elena

6. Dark End Of The Street

7. Rally 'round The Flag

8. Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer

9. President Kennedy

10. Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man

x

Track List: Into The Purple Valley

1. How Can You Keep Moving

2. Billy The Kid

3. Money Honey

4. FDR In Trinidad

5. Teardrops Will Fall

6. Denomination Blues

7. On A Monday

8. Hey Porter

9. Great Dream From Heaven

10. Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All

11. Vigilante Man

x

Track List: Ry Cooder

1. Alimony

2. France Chance

3. One Meat Ball

4. Do Re Mi

5. My Old Kentucky Home (Turpentine & Dandelion Wine)

6. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?

7. Available Space

8. Pigmeat

9. Police Dog Blues

10. Goin' To Brownsville

11. Dark Is The Night

x

Track List: Chicken Skin Music

1. The Bougeouis Blues

2. I Got Mine

3. Always Lift Him Up / Kanaka Wai Wai

4. He'll Have To Go

5. Smack Dab In The Middle

6. Stand By Me

7. Yellow Roses

8. Chloe

9. Goodnight Irene

Comments

Report as inappropriate
I thought this was Ry Cooder radio. Where is RY COODER????
Report as inappropriate
Get Rythym & Into The Purple Valley have Ry a-singin'
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I agree w fishsqzr7. Where are Ry Cooder's vocals? We are missing many good songs. Please add some vocals to Ry's mix. Or tell us how to find them.
Report as inappropriate
Hello mr. fishguy! Bop Till You Drop has himself singing, and darned good schtuff, beware of interesting, humorous uplifting material! You'll end up singing along! The album was touted as being the first digitally recorded LP! Haven't heard one cut on Pandora.
Report as inappropriate
fishsqzr7
Is Ry yet another musician who Pandora's experts feel is not worthy to sing? His instrumental s are great, but so is the rest of his work. I have yet to hear any of his vocals and that sucks. Worse yet, Ry is not the only person you seem to treat this way. You folks need to loosen up a bit.
Report as inappropriate
Where is the music from Goin' South?
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tlichtenheld
Similar Artists list should be eliminated here. No one comes close to Ry Cooder for purity, eclecticism and stringed-ins t u r m e n t virtuosity.
Report as inappropriate
jmsowa3
Where's Ry's Jazz album in this history? It's one of my favorites.
Report as inappropriate
Why isn't the Borderline album listed in the discography? It was one of his better album's..Tha t ' s the way girls are from Texas.. Crazy bout an automobile are great songs. shame on you
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Studio album by Ry Cooder


Released
October 1980

Recorded
Warner Bros. Recording Studio, Burbank, CA

Genre
Roots rock

Length
43:30

Label
Platinum Records

Producer
Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder chronology


Bop Till You Drop
(1979) Borderline
(1980) The Slide Area
(1982)



Professional ratings


Review scores


Source

Rating

Allmusic 3/5 stars<1>

Borderline is the ninth album by Ry Cooder and was released in 1980 by the Warner Bros.



Contents
1 Track listing 1.1 Side on
Report as inappropriate
Why isn't the Borderline album listed in the discography? It was one of his better album's..Tha t ' s the way girls are from Texas.. Rubber heal are great songs. shame on you
Report as inappropriate
Ironic so many love Ry cooder's music but don't realize he was making the sounds for other bands. Crazy influential artist. Remarkable body of work.
Report as inappropriate
LOVE me some Ry Cooder. My husband and I have a bunch of his albums from the seventies. Whew what a treasure he is!
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t.a.morgan48 4
Underappreci a t e d . A hidden gem for those unknowing music lovers.
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ditto truly luv ry colder

thought that he had early roots with nitty gritty also didn't see in the bio always looking for his flav
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I'm sorry. Nothing is added musically by adding vocals. His instrument says it all.
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brittony.mar t i n
Sunny's Tune is just mesmerizing!
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michoro
what a treasure he is . plz always bop on rye !
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mrschaffins
yes
Report as inappropriate
thank you for all your work on getting the Buena Vista Social Club to America!!!
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please play more into the purple valley,thank you
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it takes guts to take one of the most popular rock tunes and make it your own without taking away from its original meaning, Elvis and Carl Perkins would be impressed. Blue Suede shoes, well I think he sounds just as good them if not better in some respects. Now all you rock critics don't crucify me for saying that, ha, ha, boo hoo, ho, ho, who cares right. I'm just jammin and if you don't like that than jump off a cliff
Report as inappropriate
great f**king slide work
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dmartin_nm
The album Jazz, 1979, is a great record. It should be mentioned in any account of his work.
Report as inappropriate
great music ....
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I have to ask about this...does anyone know where I can get the Ry Cooder clip of the soundtrack to Streets of Fire...not the girl's song, but the music for the schene with Michael Pare comes back into town on the subway and whips the young gang of punks?...tha t is the coolest theme music a guy could ever want!
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It was the movie Paris Texas that introduced me to Ry, thank you Paris!
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I wish I was Ry Cooder.
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I simply enjoy the hell out of Ry Cooder's musical interpretati o n s & compositions . Honey's Bear
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I was born in '67 my dad in '44.Ry Cooder, Chicken Skin Music , Paradise and Lunch, Into the Purple Valley,and Bop (how funky was Down IN Hollywood?) , were all in heavy rotation in my house as a child . (thank you dad!) Then I rediscovered him with Ali Farka Toure , on Talking Timbuktu , with Indian Raga virtuoso V.M. Bahatt on 'Meeting by A River' and with Manuel Galbon on Mambo Sinuendo (CHECK IT). I'm skipping BVSC, cause everyone knows that. Paris, Texas. !!WOW!! you're kidding right?
Report as inappropriate
susanmarsh47
Genius...Pur e Unadulterate d Genius!! :D
Report as inappropriate
Wow, first time I've seen this kind of error, and I so wanted to read Ry Cooder's bio! You guys really need to have some kind of link or option for your listeners to help you out...
Report as inappropriate
ggelhar
Not only should Bop be here but the soundtrack to Paris Texas is so great it deserves to be here too.
Report as inappropriate
Why are you talking about Elmer Bernstein when its Ry Cooder?

Please correct this!
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peterabroad
Bop til you drop should be on this discography. Theres room to make it three complete rows of the legends music/art.
Report as inappropriate
what?
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georgec6
what up with that bio? the Big E lights up on the scoreboard!
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For a decent bio of the real Ry Cooder, check Wikipedia (http://en.w i k i p e d i a . o r g / w i k i / R y _ C o o d e r )
Report as inappropriate
There are many other flubs... Pandora needs a Quality Control Officer !!
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ssansbury8
www.pandora. d u h
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astudio2
Is Ry Cooder his stage name? Ha!
Report as inappropriate
robt3802
Hey, this is the first flub like this I have seen by the great Pandora crew. What's taking so long to get Ry Cooder's bio back? Ry Cooder station is my favorite this season.
Report as inappropriate
wrightnotlef t
Ry Cooder could not be Elmer Bernstein. The dates don't work out. Pandora, you look foolish!
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jr_doc_black
There must be some kind of mistake. Doesn't anyone edit these biographies?
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davidmaycarp e n t r y
i would really like to learn more about ry cooder, not EBersnstien
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davidmaycarp e n t r y
is ry cooder really elmer bernstien?!! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
Yo Pandora..... . . . w a k e up!!!!!
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mzabala30
Pandora, please correct the information on Ry Cooder biography. No having the correct facts is a bad introduction for new listener of this great way of experincing music.
Report as inappropriate
r0n7719
Why am I reading about Elmer Bernstien?
Report as inappropriate
Is Ry Cooder moonlighting as Elmer Bernstien? Hey Pandora, stop catering to Pandora One and get your stuff together!
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