February 17, 2020

I enjoyed Arthur Gunn — born in Kathmandu — singing "Girl From North Country" on "American Idol."



The set is the Milwaukee Art Museum. I don't know if they ever mentioned where they were, but it's an unmistakably distinctive building.

"Arthur Gunn" is a stage name, adopted somewhere along the line, after his family moved to Wichita, Kansas. He has a little trouble keeping his eyes from rolling back in his head, but responds well to the advice to keep his eyes open, and is even better with his second song, "Who'll Stop the Rain?" CORRECTION: That is, “have You Ever Seen the Rain?” AND: Despite the title of the video, there right spelling of the last name is Gunn, so I’ve fixed that.

40 comments:

Amexpat said...

Bob Dylan, when he was Robert Zimmerman, briefly went by the stage name of Elston Gunn. Perhaps Arthur is referencing that.

John Lynch said...

Good find!

MadisonMan said...

I've seen very little press on AI this year. Or, my tastes have changed so I'm not on the same websites? Anyway, that guy had a good singing voice although the top notes were a chore. He needs to work on that.
Hard to fathom that it started in 2002!

WhoKnew said...

Thanks for posting this, because I would never have heard it otherwise. He's good and excellent choice in material. Unfortunately, AI will beat that out of him if he continues.

WhoKnew said...

And as an aside, when did Katmandu gain an 'H'

Ann Althouse said...

"Bob Dylan, when he was Robert Zimmerman, briefly went by the stage name of Elston Gunn."

Ah, yes!

So is there an Arthur on the Dylan landscape?

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride,
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside,
Mark now what followed and what did betide,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'
Now, for recreation, we went on a tramp,
And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp
And a little wee drummer intending to camp,
For the day bein' pleasant and charmin'.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I'm glad to see someone playing this type of music on American Idol. A friend of mine went to NYC to see Girl From the North Country previews on Broadway the first night but I haven't heard from her how it was yet. I wonder if Arthur picked the song due to the media attention about the play.

Infinite Monkeys said...

And as an aside, when did Katmandu gain an 'H'

The NYT switched in 2015:

"When a terrible earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, our correspondents quickly began to report from the battered capital, Katmandu. By the beginning of this week, we were still reporting on the quake’s aftermath, but under a slightly different dateline: Kathmandu." - https://www.nytimes.com/times-insider/2015/05/05/behind-the-dateline-kathmandu-becomes-times-style/

RBE said...

I happened to see AI on my channel guide last night...didn't even know it was still on. I was an avid fan for years but it dropped off my radar when it changed networks. I didn't watch it last night but plan to add it to my dvr list.

traditionalguy said...

Loved it. Girl From the North Country was my first favorite Dylan song. Did he write it. Always figured he did. The song touches hearts.

Howard said...

Can't you people see? Hollywood elite are just rubbing your noses in another brown skinned immigrant that is destroying the very fabric of 1950s White Christian America fantasy you dream to return to.

Leslie Graves said...

That was the best.

Kevin said...

"Arthur Gun" is a stage name, adopted somewhere along the line

Apparently the art museum isn't a gun-free zone.

rehajm said...

He was good. The show will make him better.

Mark said...

What I don't understand is -- isn't this the first round? The round where all the tone-deaf crazies try to sing a cappella in some drab room with a backdrop?

But last night it was all in a fancy studio setting with instrumental accompaniment.

Heartless Aztec said...

A whole generation of songs with serious cross generational shelf-life.

JML said...

Oh Howard! There you go again!

Nice find, Ann. Thanks for sharing.

Bob said...

I don't watch American Idol, but I am grateful for the clip. "Arthur Gunn" really knocked those songs out of the park. Very impressive.

Actually, the second song was "Have You Ever Seen the Rain". This is "Who'll Stop the Rain".

Limited blogger said...

Love how raw and good and emotional they are in the auditions.

Some dry up and blow away, others intensify their talents as the shows go on.

American Idol is a lot of fun.

Ice Nine said...

He wasn't bad. Hardly "the best" as the blonde chick gushed. As good or a little better than the average guy at the party with a guitar, singing folk songs. I do think he has very developable potential.

It was painful, however, to a lover of the song, hearing what he did to the beautiful "Girl From the North Country." Somewhere Echo Helstrom is cringing.

Unknown said...

How come he talks with a foreign accent but sings 'Murican?

Ann Althouse said...

“ How come he talks with a foreign accent but sings 'Murican?”

I have the same question about Mick Jagger.

And lots of others.

Ann Althouse said...

The way he said Wichita, I thought he said Woodstock.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I never watch this show, but my son is playing guitar in the backup band of a friend of his who got a gold ticket in LA. We don't know when she'll be on, so we'll have to watch every episode.

I was quite surprised at how good most of the contestants were, especially Arthur and the subway singer, but the most entertaining one was Russian Hooker Number Two.

Charlie Currie said...

A good, high level busker. If he can hang in for a few weeks with a tutor/coach he will improve. But, where's audience? Certainly not AI. But, then again, have you heard any of the ABC AI winners on the radio?

Limited blogger said...

Rock 'n' roll is American, so you sing it with an 'American' accent.

RMc said...

It's obvious that someone from Kat(h)mandu should be singing Bob Seger.

Phil said...

"But, then again, have you heard any of the ABC AI winners on the radio?"

They switched to ABC in '18, and I haven't heard of any of the winners since Phillip Phillips in '11. I probably don't listen to the right radio stations though.

svlc said...

If I close my eyes, I hear Phillip Phillips singing.

Roy Lofquist said...

Dylan and Cash perform Girl from the North Country. Amazing!

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1qaym4

reader said...

Even after watching the clip I have the Peter Gunn Theme stuck in my head.

Iman said...

Big voice! Never watch that show, but that was a good find, thanks.

Iman said...

^^yes, Roy!!!^^

That’s the version I remember, think they may’ve done it once on Cash’s TV show.

Iman said...

Can't you people see? Hollywood elite are just rubbing your noses in another brown skinned immigrant that is destroying the very fabric of 1950s White Christian America fantasy you dream to return to.

Howard1.0: all crazy, all the time.

Howard said...

Just holding up a mirror my man Iman and reflecting that crazy back on you. The jokes write themselves on this blog

Howard said...

Most singers from the Commonwealth sound southern when they sing. However my wife could detect the Scottish accent in the seeing of Lewis Capaldi yesterday. Of course that poor dead girl from The Cranberries sings Like an Celtic goddess you can easily detect her Irish accent.

Iman said...

Howard, I fart in the general direction of you and your mirror...

Howard said...

I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal-food-trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.

Mark said...

No. Not even close. Need ear bleach.

Craig said...
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