Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ricky Ticky Hubba Lubba

A mix suggested by one of my favorite listeners, Marytheresa Martini - a bit of novelty and comedy with a tip of the hat to Dr. Demento!

  • 1 Station Break 02 by Travesty Ltd.
  • 2 Rubber Biscuit by The Chips
  • 3 Charlie Brown by The Coasters
  • 4 Rat Fink by Allan Sherman
  • 5 Meow, Meow, Meow by Bowser & Blue
  • 6 A Very Strange Medley (V.S.M.) by Barry Manilow
  • 7 The Martian Boogie by Brownsville Station
  • 8 Earache My Eye by Cheech & Chong
  • 9 Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out by Shel Silverstein
  • 10 Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes
  • 11 All About Music by Travesty Ltd.
  • 12 My Favorite Record by Asylum Street Spankers
  • 13 Shaving Cream by Benny Bell
  • 14 I'm The Urban Spaceman by Bonzo Dog Bang
  • 15 Kansas City Star by Roger Miller
  • 16 Jhoon Rhee Self-Defense by Cotton Candy
  • 17 I'm Popeye The Sailor Man by Billy Costello
  • 18 Meet The Flintstones by Hoyt Curtain
  • 19 Flintstones (World) by Black Lodge Singers
  • 20 The Mummy by Bob McFadden & Dor
  • 21 Transfusion by Nervous Norvus
  • 22 Sunday Driving by Jerry Lewis
  • 23 Amos Moses by Jerry Reed
  • 24 Big Bopper's Wedding by Big Bopper
  • 25 Telephone Man by Meri Wilson
  • 26 Baby Sittin' Boogie by Buzz Clifford

American Jukebox: August 1973

Another batch of songs for the jukebox, some hits (two each that peaked at #1, #2 and #4) and some obscurities as well, all of which would have found their way into US jukeboxes in August of 1973. The Ray Price single "You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" (a Jim Weatherly composition) only got as high as #82 on the pop chart but went all the way to #1 on the country chart and was later successfully covered by Gladys Knight & The Pips, who would take their version to #3 on the pop chart (and #1 on the soul chart). Similarly, another song here, "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" by Ronnie Dyson wouldn't crack the top 40 (peaking at #60) but The Main Ingredient would cover it the following year and reach the pop ten ten with their version. Yet another song here, the often maligned "Muskrat Love" by America, was also more successfully covered a few years later with Captain & Tennille making a #4 hit out of it. B.B. King's "To Know You Is To Love You" was written by Syreeta and Stevie Wonder and first appeared on Syreeta's album from 1972. Mr. King's version heard here features a slight re-write as well as keyboard contributions from Stevie himself. The band Cross Country might not ring a bell from their name, but their sound may be familiar as they are three fourths of classic pop band The Tokens, doing a really cool and unusual cover of "In The Midnight Hour". '73 was a fantastic year for pop singles, I hope this mix conjures up great memories for you as it did for me while putting it together!

1. Paul Simon - "Loves Me Like A Rock" (#2)
2. The Pointer Sisters - "Yes We Can Can" (#4)
3. Stevie Wonder - "Higher Ground" (#4)
4. Eddie Kendricks - "Keep On Truckin' (Part One)" (#1)
5. Chi-Lites - "Stoned Out Of My Mind" (#30)
6. Cher - "Half-Breed" (#1)
7. The Spinners - "Ghetto Child" (#29)
8. Tanya Tucker - "Blood Red And Goin' Down" (#74)
9. Alice Cooper - "Billion Dollar Babies" (#57)
10. Elton John - "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" (#12)
11. Doobie Brothers - "China Grove" (#15)
12. Joe Walsh - "Rocky Mountain Way" (#23)
13. Allman Brothers Band - "Ramblin' Man" (#2)
14. Edgar Winter Group - "Free Ride" (#14)
15. James Brown - "Sexy Sexy Sexy" (#50)
16. Deodato - "Rhapsody In Blue" (#41)
17. Miracles - "Don't Let It End" (#56)
18. Gladys Knight & The Pips - "All I Need Is Time" (#61)
19. Ray Price - "The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me" (#82)
20. Neil Diamond - "The Last Thing On My Mind" (#56)
21. America - "Muskrat Love" (#67)
22. Dobie Gray - "Loving Arms" (#61)
23. Cross Country - "In The Midnight Hour" (#30)
24. Sutherland Brothers & Quiver - "(I Don't Want To Love You But) You Got Me Anyway" (#48)
25. Bobby Goldsboro - "Summer (The First Time)" (#21)
26. Conway Twitty - "You've Never Been This Far Before" (#22)
27. New Birth - "Until It's Time For You To Go" (#97)
28. Barry White - "I've Got So Much To Give" (#32)
29. Ronnie Dyson - "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" (#60)
30. The 5th Dimension - "Ashes To Ashes" (#52)
31. The Sylvers - "Stay Away From Me" (#89)
32. Ohio Players - "Ecstasy" (#31)
33. B.B. King - "To Know You Is To Love You" (#38)
34. Willie Hutch - "Slick" (#65)
35. Rod Stewart - "Twisting The Night Away" (#59)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

American Jukebox: August 1972

Another installment of the new records stuffed into US jukeboxes across the land in the month of August in 1972.

1. Elton John - "Honky Cat" (#8)
2. Leon Russell - "Tight Rope" (#11)
3. Chicago - "Saturday In The Park" (#3)
4. Three Dog Night - "Black And White" (#1)
5. James Brown - "Get On The Good Foot (Part 1)" (#18)
6. Elvis Presley - "Burning Love" (#2)
7. Van Morrison - "Jackie Wilson Said" (#61)
8. Chuck Berry - "My Ding-A-Ling" (#1)
9. Rick Springfield - "Speak To The Sky" (#14)
10. Gallery - "I Believe In Music" (#22)
11. Jamestown Massacre - "Summer Sun" (#90)
12. Lenny Welch - "A Sunday Kind Of Love" (#96)
13. Michael Jackson - "Ben" (#1)
14. Bobby Womack & Peace - "Sweet Caroline" (#51)
15. Neil Diamond - "Play Me" (#11)
16. Moody Blues - "Nights In White Satin" (#2)
17. Sammi Smith - "I've Got To Have You" (#77)
18. Rod Stewart - "You Wear It Well" (#13)
19. Allman Brothers Band - "Melissa" (#86)
20. Emerson, Lake & Palmer - "From The Beginning" (#39)
21. Tommy James - "Love Song" (#67)
22. Fabulous Rhinestones - "What A Wonderful Thing We Have" (#78)
23. Spinners - "How Could I Let You Get Away" (#77)
24. Dramatics - "Toast To The Fool" (#67)
25. Bill Withers - "Use Me" (#2)
26. Yes - "America" (#46)
27. Gladstone - "A Piece Of Paper" (#45)
28. Jackson Browne - "Rock Me On The Water" (#48)
29. Graham Nash & David Crosby - "Southbound Train" (#99)
30. Glen Campbell - "I Will Never Pass This Way Again" (#61)
31. Michael Murphey - "Geronimo's Cadillac" (#37)
32. Staple Singers - "This World" (#38)
33. Curtis Mayfield - "Freddie's Dead" (#4)
34. Aretha Franklin - "Wholy Holy" (#81)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

FM Rock: September 1968

Legendary rock radio station WMMS gets its famous call letters in September '68. During their heyday, listeners would attribute different meanings to the letters; "Magic MushroomS" and "Weed Makes Me Smile" were quite popular ones but the station itself portrayed them as standing for "Music Means Satisfaction" and later "Where Music Means Something", however they really stand for MetroMedia Stereo as they were owned by the MetroMedia company who also owned other famous underground progressive outlets such as KSAN in San Francisco, KMET in Los Angeles, WMMR in Philadelphia and WNEW in New York.

Elsewhere in Ohio, WBEN in Cincinnati (doesn't have quite the same ring as WKRP., does it?) have suggested in their late September playlist that the first three cuts on the Crazy World Of Arthur Brown's LP should be played together. I agree and have done so to open this mix! You'll also hear brand new (at the time) cuts from Jimi Hendrix, the Steve Miller Band, Steppenwolf and Janis Joplin fronting Big Brother & The Holding Company as well as a host of other bands and artists that have fallen into the mists of obscurity since these magical days of yore. Some of them, however, would become much bigger stars in the following decade as here we find The Zoo (whose "From A Camel's Hump" is included) which featured Mike Flicker on drums and Howard Leese on lead guitar - among the youngest rock artists to catch a record contract in '68, The Zoo didn't stampede up the charts, however they would later find great success with Heart. Also included is a remake of West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's "Smell Of Incense" by Dallas, Texas group Southwest F.O.B. who heard the song when they opened for WCPAEB earlier in the year. They were so knocked out by it, they decided to record it themselves and made the song a commercial success by taking it up to #56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The F.O.B. in their band name stands for "free on board", a phrase that basically means the buyer/receiver is responsible for shipping costs, which is absolutely uninteresting - however, what IS interesting is that the band included future 70's soft rock superstars England Dan & John Ford Coley. Southwest F.O.B. even opened for Led Zeppelin once. Of course, a couple of lengthy LP cuts are also featured, one from Ford Theatre as well as a powerful track being played on many underground progressive stations to close this set from Patty Waters that is not for the faint of heart but which spoke to this turbulent era profoundly with a stunning liberation of bottled up emotion.

  • 1 Prelude/Nightmare/Fanfare/Fire by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
  • 2 Burning Of The Midnight Lamp by Jimi Hendrix Experience
  • 3 Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf
  • 4 Living In The USA by Steve Miller Band
  • 5 White Houses by Eric Burdon & The Animals
  • 6 Summertime by Big Brother & The Holding Co.
  • 7 Mr. Bojangles by Jerry Jeff Walker
  • 8 Life Is A Constant Journey Home by Jerry Moore
  • 9 Daydream Stallion by Kangaroo
  • 10 Smell Of Incense by Southwest F.O.B.
  • 11 The Loser by The Racket Squad
  • 12 Talk About It by Harumi
  • 13 Opus #1 by The American Revolution
  • 14 Circus In The Sea by Federal Duck
  • 15 Donald Duck by West
  • 16 Hello Baby by Circus Maximus
  • 17 The Race/From A Back Door Window (The Search)/Theme For The Masses by Ford Theatre
  • 18 I'm Going Home by Ten Years After
  • 19 Get In The Wind by Illinois Speed Press
  • 20 From A Camel's Hump by The Zoo
  • 21 My Time/Take A Long Look by Hardwater
  • 22 The Face by Human Beinz
  • 23 Straighten Up And Fly Right by The Boston Tea Party
  • 24 7th Generation Mutation by St. John Green
  • 25 Old Welsh Song by Joan Baez
  • 26 Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair by Patty Waters

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

American Jukebox: August 1971

In lieu of the top 40 chart mixes I've been doing, I felt like trying this idea out instead. The chart mixes are fun.... to a point, but they also limit my enjoyment as a mixer (mixist? someone who mixes?). I ran into a couple of brick walls - one, being forced to put an inappropriate song in between two that fit together better and two, songs that get repeated chart after chart (after another dozen charts) and, as a listener (listenist? someone who listens?) I'd rather hear a constantly fresh rotation of songs instead of repeats. Ultimately, I felt like doing the fixed charts was not giving me the opportunity to do the thing that I get the most fun out of; sequencing and blending songs together to create a listening experience that flows. So, the idea is the jukebox (at the local bar, the pizza parlor, the soda shop, all the places one would have found a jukebox in the USA) was regularly restocked with the latest records - some were instant hits on the charts, some took a while to simmer, some never reached great heights. No boundaries, these mixes will include pop, soul, country, easy listening, the good, the bad and the cheesy, just like the real top 40 charts but now with added flexibility. :) The next chart mix I would have shared would've been from August of 1971, so that's where I'll dip in with this proposed series.

One of the bigger hits in this mix is Joan Baez's cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" in which she didn't change the protagonist character's gender but she did change some of the other lyrics, never having looked at the actual lyrics and going by what she unknowingly misheard learning the song from the Band's LP. Her version hit #3, giving her her highest chart placing and her only top 40 hit.

Ray Stevens often gets put in the comedy/novelty artist box, but he definitely released his fair share of fine straight ahead pop music, including this version of the traditional West Indies lullaby. Unfortunately, it only reached #70 on the pop chart though it really deserved better.

The fourth single from the Partridge Family was their first to not crack the top 10, peaking at #13.

New York City's The Persuaders had their biggest pop hit with "Thin Line Between Love & Hate" which reached a peak of #15 and was eventually covered 13 years later by The Pretenders, although Chrissie Hynde's band only took their cover version to #83 in the summer of '84.

The mix starts off with the very first single I ever bought of my own accord with my allowance money, by The Stampeders (from Calgary) with their hook filled "Sweet City Woman". I also had the Tommy Roe single included here as well as the Joan Baez, Partridge Family and Bobby Sherman singles - heh. During this time period, I was out with my Mom on grocery shopping day and we stopped at the department store and I wanted the Paul & Linda 45 badly. BADLY. Something fierce, as they say. Mom informed me that I had too many records already. In that regard, she had no idea what was to happen in the years to come! Heh-heh. I pleaded my best case, pointed out the bargain since the song was almost like having a whole album side, it was three songs in one! But, no, it was not to be and I didn't get my own personal copy of the song until I purchased the Wings Greatest compilation, seven long years later in '78. "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" remains in a four way tie for my favorite song ever. It never fails to evoke the era for me, hearing it on the radio and being mesmerized by its brilliance. I still love it now as much as I did then.

Two songs here from Kris Kristofferson, one on his own and one as a cover by Ray Price. Other covers in this mix include Helen Reddy's take on Van Morrison's "Crazy Love", the aforementioned Ray Stevens tour de force arrangement of "All My Trials" and Joan's revival of The Band, Donny Osmond's #1 remake of Steve Lawrence's also #1 "Go Away Little Girl" from 1963, and Andy Williams doing one of the first remakes of Leon Russell's "A Song For You". Andy's version actually gave the song its biggest exposure to date with the singles success on easy listening radio (reaching the adult contemporary top 40 chart) and several performances of it on widely viewed television shows. One single in this mix, "Them Changes" by Buddy Miles was actually released earlier in 1970 but only reached #81 - the same exact version was rereleased a year later and punched a little higher up to #62.

Here's the complete playlist with chart rankings:

1. The Stampeders - "Sweet City Woman" (#8)
2. Helen Reddy - "Crazy Love" (#51)
3. The Moody Blues - "The Story In Your Eyes" (#23)
4. John Baldry - "Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock & Roll" (#73)
5. Tommy Roe - "Stagger Lee" (#25)
6. Joan Baez - "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (#3)
7. Ray Stevens - "All My Trials" (#70)
8. Paul & Linda McCartney - "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" (#1)
9. Stevie Wonder - "If You Really Love Me" (#8)
10. Dionne Warwick - "Amanda" (#83)
11. The Stylistics - "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" (#39)
12. The Persuaders - "Thin Line Between Love & Hate" (#15)
13. Ray Charles - "Feel So Bad" (#68)
14. Lou Rawls - "A Natural Man" (#17)
15. Clarence Carter - "Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love" (#84)
16. Johnnie Taylor - "Hijackin' Love" (#64)
17. Honey Cone - "Stick-Up" (#11)
18. The Guess Who - "Rain Dance" (#19)
19. Diana Ross - "Surrender" (#38)
20. The Partridge Family - "I Woke Up In Love This Morning" (#13)
21. Bobby Sherman - "Waiting At The Bus Stop" (#54)
22. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds - "Annabella" (#46)
23. Lynn Anderson - "How Can I Unlove You" (#63)
24. Donny Osmond - "Go Away Little Girl" (#1)
25. Brenda & The Tabulations - "A Part Of You" (#94)
26. Carole King - "So Far Away" (#14)
27. Andy Williams - "A Song For You" (#82)
28. War - "All Day Music" (#35)
29. The Moments - "Lucky Me" (#98)
30. The Detroit Emeralds - "Wear This Ring (With Love)" (#91)
31. Jr. Walker & The All-Stars - "Take Me Girl, I'm Ready" (#50)
32. Denise LaSalle - "Trapped By A Thing Called Love" (#13)
33. Ray Price - "I'd Rather Be Sorry" (#70)
34. Kris Kristofferson - "Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)" (#26)
35. The Dells - "The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind)" (#30)
36. George Harrison - "Bangla Desh" (#23)
37. Jethro Tull - "Hymn 43" (#91)
38. Buddy Miles - "Them Changes" (#62)
39. Rufus Thomas - "The Breakdown (Part 1)" (#31)
40. James Brown - "Make It Funky (Part 1)" (#22)