Saturday, April 14, 2018

April 7, 2018 - GJ - "Early April of the Nines"

Rockin' Remnants

Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our
webpage, like us on Facebook, and tune in to 93.5 or stream the show every Saturday night from 6-9pm! (Or download the WVBR+ app now available for iOS and Android!)

Date:  4/7/18
Host:  Gregory James
Feature:  Songs charting in the first week of April 1959, 1969, and 1979.

 Birthday Calendar

 April 1

Rudolph Isley                                        79
Jimmy Cliff (James Chambers)             70

April 2

Leon Russell                                         1942
Marvin Gaye                                          1939

April 3

Jeff Barry                                                 80
Wayne Newton                                        76
Tony Orlando                                           74
Don Gibson                                             1928
Jan Berry (Jan and Dean)                       1941
Billy Joe Royal                                         1942

April 4

Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield)    1915
Major Lance                                             1942

April 5

Allan Clarke (Hollies)                               78
Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA)                        68
Tony Williams (Platters)                           1928

April 7

Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead)              72
John Oates (Hall and Oates                     69
Janis Ian                                                   67
Mongo Santamaria                                   1922
Ravi Shankar                                            1920


All songs unless otherwise noted are from the spotlight date of FIRST WEEK OF APRIL 1959, 1969 AND 1979; yellow song titles are YouTube links; songs with * were requests; all chart information comes from the Billboard Top 100 (for chart dates before/during July 1958) or Billboard Hot 100 (for chart dates during/after Aug 1958) unless otherwise noted. Chart numbers are for the first week of April in their respective years.

OPENING THEME:  Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll – Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys (1969, #29, produced by Jimi Hendrix)

1959    Almost Grown Chuck Berry          #96
Etta James and Marvin Gaye sing back up.

1969      Breakfast in Bed Dusty Springfield   #101
Written by Muscle Shoals songwriters Eddie Hinton and Donnie Fritts. Includes the lyric “you don’t have to say you love me.”

1979      Music Box Dancer       Frank Mills    #6
Record was meant to be sent to Canadian easy listening stations, but a copy found its way to pop station CFRA which put it on its play list and the record took off.

1959      Come Softly to Me       Fleetwoods   #2
Recording the song at home, the group sang it a cappella with the rhythmic shaking of car keys. The tape was then sent to Los Angeles where the sparse instrumental accompaniment was added.

1979      Happiness     Pointer Sisters     #49
On the Planet record label, the song was written by Allen Toussaint.

1979      Fire Pointer Sisters     #51
Written by Bruce Springsteen, this song went gold as a single and was an international hit.

1979      Crazy Love    Poco      #33
Poco’s biggest hit, their first single to hit the top 40

1979      Crazy Love    Allman Brothers    #39
The band’s second biggest hit in the Hot 100. Bonnie Bramlett sings backup.

1979      Reunited       Peaches and Herb      #15
It spent four weeks at number one on both the R&B singles chart and the Hot 100 singles chart in 1979 and sold over 2 million copies. 

1959      *Guitar Boogie Shuffle     Virtues      #10
By request!

1979      Rhumba Girl        Nicolette Larson   #73
 Larson was acclaimed Female Vocalist of 1978 by Rolling Stone which opined no one else could sound as if she were having so much fun on an album. "Rhumba Girl" just missed becoming a major hit for Larson

1969      Time is Tight        Booker T. and the MG’s     #33
The song was played in the early 1970s as the back up music to the weekly BBC chart rundowns.

1959      Where Were You on our    Lloyd Price    #23
              Wedding Day?  


1979      Blow Away    George Harrison  #26
In his autobiography,  Harrison says that the song arose from feelings of frustration and inadequacy resulting from a leaking roof at his  home.

1959      Who’s That Knockin           Genies          #88
The group, the story goes, were discovered by Bob Shad of Shad Records while they were singing on the boardwalk in Long Beach, New York. 

1972      Tightrope      #11       
 Leon Russell (birthday 4/2/1942)                         

1971      Love the One You’re With     # 18                   
Isley Brothers  (Rudolph Isley birthday 4/1/1939)

1964      How Sweet It Is    Marvin Gaye        #11
(birthday 4/2/1939)  
The Funk Brothers were the side men.

1969      Many Rivers to Cross       #80
Jimmy Cliff (birthday 4/1/1948)                       
Cliff was only 21 when he wrote and recorded the song in 1969, stating he wrote the song due to the trouble he was having making it as a successful musical artist after originally finding tremendous success in his home of Jamaica beginning at age 14 before moving to the United Kingdom.

1967      Carrie Anne   Hollies    #9  
(Allan Clarke birthday 4/5/1940)                             
Recorded in two takes at Abbey Road studios.

2001      Counting Up the Years   Janis Ian (birthday 4/7/1951)      


1983      One on One    Hall and Oates   #7  
(John Oates birthday 4/7/1949)              
This track has been used in commercials for the National Basketball Association.

1976      Dancing Queen    Abba      #1
(Agnetha Faltskog birthday 4/6/1950)            
This was their only track to hit number 1 in the US. They performed it for the King and Queen of Sweden, which begs the question, “Is Queen Silvia of Sweden literally a dancing queen?”

1979      Bustin’ Loose  Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers     # 34
From the opening of Nationals Park in 2008 until the 2015 season, the song was played after every home run the Washington Nationals hit.

1959      Turn Me Loose    Fabian           #79
Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman upon the request of the managers of teen idol, Fabian Forte. The song became Fabian's first hit record.

1959      Tall Paul       Annette Funicello #24
Mouseketeer Annette was the first female singer to reach the top ten for a rock 'n roll single. It was the highest-charting song by Annette Funicello and also one of the shortest, clocking in at 1 minute and 38 seconds.

1979      Roller            April Wine     #43
Founded in Nova Scotia, April Wine’s "Roller" started its momentum in Michigan and soon was a popular hit across the U.S., finding its way into the Billboard Hot 100 where it stayed for eleven weeks.

1959      Six Nights a Week       Crests           #76
The Crests were the first interracial Doo Wop group. The Crests were discovered in 1956, while singing in a New York subway.

1969      Traces          Classics IV    #8
The band formed in Jacksonville FL and Traces was their highest charting single.

1969      More Today Than Yesterday   Spiral Staircase    #88

The group formed in Sacramento, the record sold over a million copies and was certified gold.

1979      Rubber Biscuit     Blues Brothers     #37
Dan Akroyd and John Belushi covering the original version by The Chips.  A "wish sandwich" is when one has two slices of bread and wishes for meat in between the slices.

1959      I’ve Had It             Bell Notes     #9
Hailing from Long Island, they performed regularly in the Bronx. “I’ve Had It” was recorded at a Times Square studio for $50.

1959      The Beat              Rockin’ R’s    #68
The Rockin R’s was a garage band from Metamora Illinois. "The Beat" made it to many Midwest hit parades and ultimately made a strong placing in Billboard, earning the band a spot on American Bandstand.

1959      Happy Organ               Dave Baby Cortez       #35
The song originally featured lyrics and was intended to be sung, but Cortez decided to play the melody on a Hammond B3 organ instead, one of the first such uses on a rock record.

1979      Stumblin’ In   Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman    #11
The song was Quatro's only US Top 40 hit and Norman's lone US charting effort

1979      Take It Back         J. Geils Band               #67

1969      Blessed is the Rain     Brooklyn Bridge   #45

1959      Since I Don’t Have You      Skyliners       #17
On the Calico label, the song features counterpoint between Jimmy Beaumont’s falsetto and Janet Vogel's soprano on the final chorus when Beaumont repeats the word "YOU" 13 times. 

1969      Will You Be Staying After Sunday    
Peppermint Rainbow   #52
A sunshine pop group from Baltimore, this record sold over a million copies and was certified gold.

1969      You’ve Made Me So Very Happy     #4
              Blood Sweat and Tears     
Originally recorded by Motown singer Brenda Holloway, Blood, Sweat & Tears closed their Woodstock set with this song.

1979      I Need You    Euclid Beach Band      #84
This Detroit area band featured Eric Carmen.

1969      Only the Strong Survive     Jerry Butler   #7
This was Butler’s most successful single and a certified platinum record. Also known as The Iceman, Mr. Butler has served as a Cook County Commissioner since 1985.

1969      I’ll Try Something New       #28
Supremes and Temptations       
Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and various Los Angeles area musicians

1969      In the Bad Bad Old Days    Foundations         #77

1959      Yeah Yeah (Class Cutter)  Dale Hawkins              #57
Hawkins also wrote Susie-Q. He was a pioneer of swamp rock boogie.

1959      Please Mr. Sun    Tommy Edwards  #11
After “It’s All in the Game,” "Please Mr. Sun" was his second biggest hit.

1969      Only You       Bobby Hatfield     #103
A cover of the 1955 Platters version by one half of the Righteous Brothers.

1959      Tell Him No   Travis and Bob    #47
This was the Alabama duo’s only hit single, originally released on Sandy Records, then picked up by Dot records for national distribution.

CLOSING THEME:  Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny (1959, #1 for two weeks)

Host Next Week (4/14/18):  Kim Vaughan with a spotlight on All Occasion Oldies.

Thanks for tuning in! You can listen to Rockin' Remnants every Saturday night from 6-9pm on WVBR (93.5 FM in Ithaca, NY) or streaming here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

March 31, 2018 - JS - Behind The Hits

Rockin' Remnants

Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our
webpage, like us on Facebook, and tune in to 93.5 or stream the show every Saturday night from 6-9pm! (Or download the WVBR+ app now available for iOS and Android!)

Date:  3/31/18
Host: John Simon
Feature:  Behind The Hits!

Tonight with JS we'll go behind the hits - who WAS that harmony vocalist? Who played that guitar part??? And why did so many drummers sound like Hal Blaine??!? 6-9 p.m. Eastern Time - good company, great entertainment and it won't cost you a thing!
No automatic alt text available. 

Birthday Calendar

March 25 – Aretha Franklin – age 76
            – Sir Elton John – age 71
March 26 – Diana Ross – age 74
            – Teddy Pendergrass – born in 1950

March 27 – Chad Allan (Guess Who) – age 75
            – Bobby Kimball (Toto) – age 71
March 30 – Eric Clapton – age 73

March 31 – Herb Alpert – age 83

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

Can you name the only artist to hit #1 on the Hot 100 with both a vocal record and an instrumental record?

(scroll down to find the answer below the playlist)


[songs in bold are from the spotlight date of DATE; yellow song titles are YouTube links; songs with * were requests; all chart information comes from the Billboard Top 100 (for chart dates before/during July 1958) or Billboard Hot 100 (for chart dates during/after Aug 1958) unless otherwise noted]


OPENING THEME:  Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll – Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys (1969, #29, produced by Jimi Hendrix)

Spotlight on Drummer Hal Blaine (recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Grammy, he reportedly played on 38 #1 records and over 150 Top Tens as a member of LA's famed "Wrecking Crew")
Image result for hal blaine

Be My Baby - Ronettes (9/63; #2 for three weeks - Blaine reports that the signature drum beat was a mistake. Be that as it may, it has become one of the most famous drumming patterns of them all.)
Image result for hal blaine ronettes

Don't Worry Baby - Beach Boys (5/64; #24 - Beach Boy Brian Wilson was so floored by Be My Baby that he composed this song and offered it to Phil Spector as the Ronettes' next record. When Spector declined, the Beach Boys released it on the b-side of their #1 I Get Around.)

Image result for hal blaine brian wilson

A Girl Never Knows - Connie Stevens (1964; dnc - released as a single on the WB label, but to no success. Producer David Gates obviously gave the drummer the green light to go nuts. He did!)

Image result for Johnny Rivers Hal Blaine

Windy - Association (6/67; #1 for four weeks - studio time was expensive, so producers often insisted on leaving the recording to trusted professionals. Ted Bluechel was a fine drummer, but producer Bones Howe had Hal Blaine lay down the drum track. The results spoke for themselves.)

Image result for Association Windy

Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers (11/66; #1 - this was Johnny's only #1, and one of his only original compositions to boot. He hired the best in the business to create this masterpiece: Joe Osborn on bass, Larry Knechtel on piano, Darlene Love and the Blossoms on background vocals and the mighty Hal Blaine on drums.)

Image result for Johnny Rivers Hal BlaineImage result for Johnny Rivers Hal Blaine

and now...on with the show!

See The Funny Little Clown - Bobby Goldsboro (1/64; #9 - Bobby was a guitarist with Roy Orbison's touring band, but he had a hankering to become a singer too. He recorded this little number and Roy gave his blessings. The rest is history. Singing back-up here are Jay & The Americans  -  minus Jay!)
Image result for bobby goldsboro  Image result for roy orbison 

Blue Angel - Roy Orbison (9/60; #9 - When Roy left Sun Records for Monument, they assigned some of Nashville's "A-list" session players to back him up. This one includes Hank Garland on guitar, Floyd Cramer on piano, Boots Randolph on sax and Bob Moore on bass.)

* Where the Boys Are - Connie Francis (1/61; #4 - this one was written by Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield for the film of the same name, and Ft. Lauderdale during Spring Break was the setting - and the answer to the rhetorical question. This was recorded with a crack orchestra in NYC under the direction of conductor/arranger Stan Applebaum.)

* Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley (11/69; #1 - Elvis stormed back to the top of the charts with this Mark James composition shortly after Mark's version failed to chart  -  but using many of the same session players, including guitarist Reggie Young, organist Bobby Emmons and background singers Sandy Posey and Toni Wine.)

Image result for American Sound Studios

Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield (11/68; #10 - her classic LP "Dusty in Memphis" featured another A-list of players, including the aforementioned Reggie Young on guitar and Bobby Emmons on keys, plus The Sweet Inspirations on background vocals and the Memphis horns.)
Image result for dusty in memphis

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Madeline Bell (2/68; #26 - Ms. Bell was one of Dusty Springfield's favorite back-up singers, so Dusty graciously agreed to back HER up on this recording of the Kenny Gamble composition. Listen carefully and you can hear her as clear as..."a bell." 😏)

Image result for madeline bell Dusty

Ain't Gonna Lie - Keith (9/66; #39 - Philadelphia's Keith recorded several tunes with back-up assistance from NYC's Tokens. You can hear them here, but more prominently on his follow-up release "98.6.")

Image result for Keith 98.6  Image result for The Tokens

He's So Fine - Chiffons (2/63; #1 - not satisfied with just being recording artists, The Tokens went into production as well. Due to budget limitations, they played most of the instruments on this recording themselves  -  although they DID hire crack NYC session drummer Gary Chester to lay down the beat. The result? One of the biggest hits of the year!)
Image result for Chiffons

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robert John (1/72; #3 for three weeks - NYC's Robert John enlisted the production assistance of The Tokens to re-imagine their big hit from a decade earlier. In addition to adding vocal support, the boys brought Brill Building friend Ellie Greenwich in to sing the low part "way-up, boy!")
Image result for The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Robert John


Love Is Here and Now You're Gone - Supremes (3/67; #1 Pop & R&B - Their third of four consecutive #1's featured breathy spoken interjections by lead singer Diana Ross. The musical background, of course, was provided by Motown's mighty "Funk Brothers," who played on all the hits.)

Image result for Love Is Here and Now You're Gone   Image result for Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes

* Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes (8/67; #2 - this one broke their string of #1 records, and was also the first to give Diana Ross top billing in the band. It's quite possible that this is the most-requested song of my tenure!)

That's the Way God Planned It - Billy Preston (8/69; #62 - this would chart again three years later, but only get as far as #65. Check out the line-up, though: Billy Preston on organ and vocals, George Harrison on guitar, Keith Richard on bass, Ginger Baker on drums and Eric Clapton on the blistering lead guitar!)
Image result for That's the Way God Planned It - Billy Preston

Shakin' All over - Guess Who (8/65; #22 - originally a hit for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, this was one of Chad Allan's last records with the band that used to be called Chad Allan and The Expressions.)

Chain of Fools - Aretha Franklin (1/68; #2 Pop, #1 R&B for four weeks - the opening guitar lick on this record was played by occasional studio guy Joe South, who also had a stellar career as a writer and singer. Meanwhile, the piano player on this and all other of her hits was....Aretha herself!)
Image result for Aretha Franklin

Baby I Love You - Aretha Franklin (7/67; #4 Pop, #1 R&B for 2 weeks - hot on the heels of "Respect," this one was sultry and slinky and a sure-fire slice of Soul heaven.)

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies (12/69; #7 Pop, #1 UK for two weeks - this was the group's first major hit following the departure of Graham Nash, and featured the uncredited piano playing of a studio cat named Reg Dwight, who would soon become a household name as Elton John.)
 Image result for He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies

The Love I Lost - Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes (9/73; #7 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks - the first of a string of great dance records featuring the soulful Gospel stylings of Teddy Pendergrass - and the blazing back-up rhythms of the MFSB orchestra.)

Image result for The Love I Lost

* Galveston - Glen Campbell (3/69; #4 Pop, #1 C&W for three weeks - Glen Campbell had a remarkable career as a session guitarist with the Wrecking Crew, a touring member of the Beach Boys, a television star, a movie star and a solo artist. He played the signature guitar solo that ends this record; the piano player was the song's composer Jim Webb.)

45 Corner:  Basketball Jones featuring Tyrone Shoelaces - Cheech & Chong (9/73; #15 Pop, #58 R&B - this crazy novelty record ties in with this weekend's NCAA basketball finals as well as this week's theme of "Who's On This Record???" Here goes: George Harrison on guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass, Jim Keltner on percussion, Carole King on electric piano, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Billy Preston on organ, Tom Scott on horn, Darlene Love & the Blossoms, along with Mama Michelle Phillips on background vocals. The Kid Chorus included Sherry Goffin, Rae Dawn Chong and Robbie Chong  -  children of Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong.)
Image result for Basketball Jones - Cheech and Chong Image result for Basketball Jones - Cheech and Chong

I'm Into Something Good - Earl-Jean (6/64; #38 - this, like most of her songs, featured songwriter Carole King on the rollicking piano. She was meticulous in recording demos, and many of them were good enough to be released as they were - with her vocals removed and group vocals added.)
Image result for young Carole King\ Image result for young Carole King\

 One Fine Day - Chiffons (6/63; #5 - this one also opens with the driving piano of the songwriter, and was the follow-up to their #1 smash "He's So Fine.")

Hello Mary Lou - Ricky Nelson (5/61; #9 - this was released on the b-side of the chart-topping Traveling Man and featured a blistering guitar solo from James Burton, who later left to become Elvis' touring guitar player. By the way, this was the last record attributed to "Ricky" Nelson. He was "Rick" from here on out. By the way...that guitar solo is edited out of this video. Sigh.)


* A Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy (8/64; #7 - This one started out as a throwaway LP track. Shel Talmy produced the album and Johnnie Spence conducted the orchestra.)

Stagger Lee - Tommy Roe (8/71; #25 - this is a surprisingly punchy version of the old Folk song, but the star of the show is piano player Larry Knechtel who lays down a couple of blistering piano breaks.)
Image result for Larry Knechtel  Image result for Tommy Roe Stagger

Mississippi - John Phillips (5/70; #32 - the founder of the Mamas & Papas released one charting single. This one featured tasty solos by guitarist James Burton ["do it to me, James"], pianist Larry Knechtel ["third hand!"] and bassist Joe Osborn.)

Image result for Mississippi - John Phillips

Dedicated to the One I Love - Mamas & Papas (2/67; #2 - Mama Michelle finally got to sing lead on a record, but producer Lou Adler had this to say: "If you really want to hear something great, listen to the break on Dedicated where Larry Knechtel and Hal Blaine play off each other - it's just sensational.")
Image result for Dedicated to the One I Love - Mamas & Papas

She's Just My Style - Gary Lewis & The Playboys (12/65; #3 - these guys' first seven singles made the Top Ten, largely because they were so well-produced - and their main producer Snuff Garrett relied heavily on the talents of Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn and Leon Russell. Ironically, pianist Leon Russell overdubbed the guitar solo on this record!
Image result for She's Just My Style

On Broadway - The Drifters (3/63; #9 - Leiber & Stoller produced this record, but they left the heavy lifting to their assistant Phil Spector - who also played the cool guitar break in the middle!)

My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me) - David Ruffin (2/69; #9 Pop, #2 R&B - this was slated to be a Temptations record, but plans changed when David Ruffin was abruptly fired from the band. Motown picked it to be his first solo release and tapped The Originals to do the backing vocals - in the style of.....The Temptations!)
Image result for David Ruffin

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin (8/66; #7 - this one was originally slated for the Four Tops, but Jimmy Ruffin prevailed upon the writers to let him try it. This is another one that tapped the talents of the journeymen called The Originals, who would find chart success on their own three years later with Marvin Gaye's Baby I'm For Real.)

Ask the Lonely - Four Tops (2/65; #24 Pop, #9 R&B - Levi Stubbs was the lead singer, but the Four Tops - and many other Motown acts - had a secret weapon: girl group The Andantes, who embellished many a Motown record, even though they never charted under their own name.)

Image result for Andantes      Image result for Andantes

Someday Soon - Judy Collins (2/69; #55 - written by Ian Tyson and produced by "Judy Blue Eyes'" boyfriend Stephen Stills, who doubled as bassist. Also on the session: Ry Cooder and James Burton on guitar, and Buddy Emmons on pedal steel.)

* Heart of Gold - Neil Young (3/72; #1 - from his Harvest LP and featuring background vocals by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.)

Image result for Heart of Gold - Neil Young
Image result for linda ronstadtImage result for James Taylor

Africa - Toto (2/83; #1 - this band got its start as one of LA's hottest group of session players. They got their name in part from singer Bobby Kimball, whose real last name was "Toteaux.")

* Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen (3/72; #9 - this comes in as a request nearly every show. I'm afraid I'm getting ready to veto the next request for it  -  just between you and me....)


CLOSING THEME:  Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny (1959, #1 for two weeks)

Trivia Answer

Herb Alpert topped the charts twice, once in 1969 with "This Guy's in Love With You" and fourteen years later with the Instrumental duet with Hugh Masekela "Rise."

Congratulations to Dee Dee from Enfield, George from E. Genoa and Woody from Trumansburg for correctly answering the question and each winning a pair of tickets to Cinemapolis!

Host Next Week (April 7):  Gregory James with a spotlight on April 1959, 1969 and 1979!

Thanks for tuning in! You can listen to Rockin' Remnants every Saturday night from 6-9pm on WVBR (93.5 FM in Ithaca, NY) or at