Monday, September 8, 2014

September 6th, 2014 - JS - September in the Rain

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:  9/6/14
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  September in the Rain

Facebook status update:

I still have radio anxiety dreams (the song's almost over and I can't find the record library! Dead air! The turntable is frozen!), probably left over from those first few years of going in free-form (without a plan). Tonight it's back to my roots: no real theme or road map - just playing music of the '50s, '60s and '70s from 6-9, future demons be damned! Come over to 93.5 or and watch me implode!

Birthday Calendar

August 31 – Van Morrison – age 69

September 1 – Archie Bell (The Drells) – age 70
            – Barry Gibb (Bee Gees) – age 68

            – Conway Twitty – born in 1933

September 2 – Billy Preston – born in 1946

September 5 – John Stewart (Kingston Trio) – born in 1939
            – Freddie Mercury (Queen) – Born in 1946


[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)

September in the Rain – Chad & Jeremy (9/65; #116 - written in 1937 by Harry Warren and Al Dubin, featured in the film Melody for Two. This oft-recorded standard failed to chart for the British duo, despite its mournful harmonica and sincere and plaintive vocals)

Bus Stop – Hollies (9/66; #5 for 3 weeks - featuring the close harmonies of Allan Clarke and Graham Nash and new drummer Bernie Calvert. Pop perfection!)

Walking in the Rain – Ronettes (10/64; #23 - listed in Rolling Stone Magazine as #266 in the "Top 500 Singles of All-Time," and the only Phil Spector recording to win a Grammy Award)


Rain on the Roof – Lovin' Spoonful (10/66; #10)

 * Ode to Billie Joe – Bobby Gentry (9/67; #1 for 4 weeks - requested by David in Vancouver, this debut single for Capitol Records garnered four Grammy Awards that year

* Light My Fire – Doors (7/67; #1 for 3 weeks - requested in honor of the listener's 47th wedding anniversary


* Pretty Ballerina – Left Banke (1/67; #15 - one of three Left Banke songs inspired by a lovely young woman named Renee)

Home of the Brave – Jody Miller (9/65; #25 - Released on Capitol Records by the future Country star. A competing version recorded by Bonnie & the Treasures for Phil Spector would stall at #77 that Fall

* Good Vibrations – Beach Boys (12/66; #1 for one week  -  at the time, this was the most expensive single ever produced, requiring 6 months of layered recording and introducing the Pop world to the ethereal sounds of the Theremin. Read all about it here!


 Wonderful! Wonderful! – Tymes (9/63; #7 - an uncanny sound-alike cover of the Johnny Mathis hit, released as the follow-up to the #1 So In Love on the Cameo-Parkway label)

 Tonight's the Night – Shirelles (9/60; #39 - a competing version released by the Chiffons appears to have used the same backing track and stalled at #76)

45 Corner: Try to Remember – Brothers Four (11/65; #91 - from the long-running Off-Broadway Musical The Fantasticks, this was one of four charting versions of this haunting ode to the changing of the seasons)  


Easy to Be Hard – Three Dog Night (9/69; #4 - one of a number of hits from the "Off-Broadway Tribal Rock musical Hair")

 * Nature's Way – Spirit (from 1970's Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus LP, requested by long-time listener Tom who had "...been on a Spirit kick all week" and wanted to hear something from the album on his radio)

7-8 p.m.

Brown-Eyed Girl (alternate version) – Van Morrison (7/67; #10 - #109 on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Singles list, this alternate take was recorded during the same session as the classic version. A Rockin' Remnants exclusive!)

Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison (8/72; #61 - one of a number of tributes to some of his musical idols [see Domino, Real Real Gone, Cleaning Windows and more...])


Words – Bee Gees (1/68; #15 - a virtual solo recording for the one surviving member of the brother group. Click the link to see it performed with a full orchestra on the Ed Sullivan Show)

Love Will Rain On You – Archie Bell & The Drells (9/68; #25 R&B - the b-side of Do the Choo Choo was an uncharacteristically thoughtful ballad that charted on its own on the R&B chart)

My Sweet Lord – Billy Preston (1/71; #90 Pop, #23 R&B - the first recorded version of this George Harrison composition was released as a single after George's version had spent four weeks at the top of the charts)


Sea of Love - Phil Phillips (7/59; #2)

It's Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty (11/58; #1 - Conway Twitty took his name from two towns: Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas. In turn, the creators of the musical Bye Bye Birdie used his name as the basis of their fictional teen idol "Conrad Birdie") 

One Boy – Joanie Sommers (7/60; #54 - this song was featured in the hit musical Bye Bye Birdie!)

* El Paso – Marty Robbins (1/60; #1 Pop, #1 C&W - for 7 weeks!  - requested by Barbara in Danby)

Dreamin' –Johnny Burnette (9/60; #11)


* Lovin' You – Minnie Riperton (4/75; #1 Pop - requested by Carolyn in Rhode Island, this is one of a handful of chart-topping recordings to have no percussion instruments in the mix. Riperton wrote the song and Stevie Wonder co-produced it. Coincidentally, her daughter would grow up to become Maya Rudolph of SNL fame)

45 Corner: Gloria '69 – Shadows of Knight (11/68; did not chart - in a brazen attempt to capture lightning in a bottle, Atco Records re-released this 1965 Van Morrison composition with a fuzz guitar added, compliments of Aorta's Jim Donlinger, along with the driving bass of Chicago Transit Authority's Peter Cetera. It failed miserably, but we share it with you this evening!)


* Poor Town – Bernie Milton & The Cavaliers (5/65; did not chart - we got a request to play something for Maryanne and Augie's 55th wedding anniversary and this seemed like a good one, since they all went to Ithaca High School together back in the day. Happy anniversary, you two!)

Only in America – Drifters (6/63; not released at the time - this song was originally intended as a scathing statement about race relations and "the American dream." Atlantic Records refused to release this version but saw the commercial potential in the song, so they erased the Drifters' vocals and added Jay & The Americans' voices. The result was a Top Ten hit in the Fall of 1963)

Hey Girl – Freddie Scott (9/63; #10 - written by the husband-and-wife team of Goffin/King, this song was the perfect vehicle for Freddie Scott's soulful baritone voice. Billy Joel would release a very close cover of it thirty years later - click here to see it now)


Fallin' in Love – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds (8/75; #1 - their first release on Hugh Hefner's Playboy Records label was also their only chart-topper)


How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick on the Side) Pointer Sisters (8/75; #20 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks for this sister group from Oakland, CA)


Just Don't Want to Be Lonely – Ronnie Dyson (8/73; #60 Pop, #29 R&B - also cut by The Main Ingredient [#10] and Blue Magic [as a b-side], but this is my personal favorite])

I'm Not in Love –10cc (6/75; #2 for three weeks - this song is one of a number of '70s classics featured in the current film Guardians of the Galaxy to great effect. There's a single version that cuts out about :90 seconds. Tonight we play the longer version, which I find infinitely more satisfying)

Devotion – Earth, Wind & Fire (9/74; #33 Pop, #23 R&B - dedicated to all of the people who work their magic in our schools and whose summer vacations are over)

* Heart of Glass - Blondie (a #1 hit in the Spring of '79, requested by a former staffer in WVBR's News division who's back in town for a short while)


* Superstition – Stevie Wonder (#1 smash on the Pop and R&B charts, requested from another alum tuning in from Connecticut with her 10 year old son Rudy. She remembers dancing to this one down at the Haunt back in the day)

I Can Hear Music –Larry Lurex (9/73; #115 Pop - under a pseudonym for up-and-coming superstar Freddie Mercury, this one failed to crack the Hot 100)


45 Corner: Angel – Aretha Franklin (8/73; #20 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks - the LP version clocks in at 4:25. Commercial singles clock in at 3:32. The radio station promo copy that edits out the spoken intro - and most of the saxophone break, plus the cold ending - comes in at 2:55. That's the version we highlight this evening, as much as it pains me to hear this fine song assaulted like that....)

  * Long Long Time – Linda Ronstadt (8/70; #25 - her first charting single under her own name, requested by Michelle from downtown. In this case we play the full LP version)

Save Me a Place – Fleetwood Mac (1979 - we close tonight's show with an LP track from the double-album Tusk, wherein songwriter/producer Lindsey Buckingham shows his true colors as a lover of a simple '60s-styled Pop song. Thank you and good night.)


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

Host Next Week (9/13/14):  Kim Vaughan with a spotlight on September 1961

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

No comments:

Post a Comment