Thursday, April 16, 2015

Apr 11, 2015 - KV - Bird Songs

Rockin' Remnants

Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our
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Date:  April 11, 2015
Host:  Kim Vaughan
Feature:  Bird Songs

Spring is here and the birds are singing!  Let's celebrate with an episode dedicated to songs with birds in the title, birds in the lyrics, and a few songs containing clips of bird sounds.  

Also, 2015 is the 100th year of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology!  There will be a public celebration on Sat, Sept 12 in conjunction with their annual Migration Celebration -- and in the meantime, visit for information about weekly guided bird walks and other events.  

Birthday Calendar

Apr 5 – Allan Clarke (The Hollies) – age 73
            – Tony Williams (The Platters) – born in 1928

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

Contest #1:  Identify either of the following: what kind of bird is singing at the beginning of this song, or who is the human singing the rest of it? 

Contest #2:   Bo Diddley and Junior Walker each had a charting song named for what kind of bird?

Contest #3:  Who is the recording artist singing this song?

(scroll down to find the answers below the playlist)


[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)

Bird Dog – Everly Brothers (1958, #1)

Yellow Bird – The Brothers Four (1961, did not chart – but the instrumental version by the Arthur Lyman Group made it to #4 that same year)

White Bird – It’s a Beautiful Day (1969, #118 – and eight years later, the lead vocalist of It’s a Beautiful Day, David LaFlamme, recorded it under his own name and peaked at #89 in 1977)

Image result for white bird 45Image result for david laflamme white bird amherst 45

Silver Bird (on 45) – Mark Lindsay (1970, #25)

Blackbird – Beatles (from the White Album aka The Beatles, 1968.  This song includes sound clips of the Common Blackbird from Europe and Asia, a relative of the American Robin.)

Image result for common blackbird

Sunshine – Mickey Newbury (1973, #87.  The song begins with sound clips of the Northern Mockingbird.  Mickey Newbury also wrote the song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”.)

 * Mockin’ Bird Hill – Patti Page (1951, #2)

Do the Bird – Dee Dee Sharp (1963, #10)

Birds of a Feather (on 45) – The Raiders (1971, #23.  Joe South had recorded this in 1968 and “bubbled under” at #106, and then released a slightly different version in 1969 which spent 1 week on the Hot 100 at #96.)

Image result for birds of a feather raidersImage result for birds of a feather joe south

The Birds and the Bees – Jewel Akens (1965, #3)

Birds N’ Bees – The Temptations (dnc.  This group, not to be confused with the other Temptations, was a white doo-wop quartet whose only song to hit the Hot 100 was “Barbara” in 1960.)

Skybird – Tony Orlando and Dawn (1975, #49)


Wings – The Hollies (1968.  Allan Clarke and Graham Nash wrote this song for a 1969 charity album called No One’s Gonna Change Our World, which was produced to benefit the World Wildlife Fund.  That album also contained the first release of the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe”.)

Image result for no one's going to change the worldImage result for allan clarke hollies

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters (this song spent three weeks at #1 in 1959 and contains the phrase “my love has flown away”)

 * You Ain’t Going Nowhere – The Byrds (1968, #74)

 * Serenade to a Cuckoo – Jethro Tull (from their 1968 album This Was)

 * Pretty Flamingo – Manfred Mann (1966, #29)

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep – Mac and Katie Kissoon (1971, #20.  This was the only Hot 100 hit for this brother-and-sister duo.)

Image result for chirpy chirpy cheep cheep 45 mac and katie kissoonImage result for mac and katie kissoon

 * Chicken Train (on LP) – Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1973, from their self-titled debut album)

Hummingbird – Seals and Crofts (1973, #20)

(I’m a) Road Runner – Junior Walker and the All-Stars (1966, #20)

Image result for i'm a roadrunner junior walker 45Image result for i'm a roadrunner junior walker 45

The Road Runner – Bo Diddley (1960, #75)

Songbird – Fleetwood Mac (1977, non-charting b-side of “Dreams”, written and performed by Christine McVie)

The Bird on My Head (on 45) – David Seville (1958, #34, his follow-up to “Witch Doctor”)

Image result for the bird on my head david seville 45Image result for david seville

The Bird’s the Word – The Rivingtons (1963, #52)

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose – Little Jimmy Dickens (1965, #15, Country #1)

 * Surfin’ Bird – The Trashmen (1964, #4, based on the Rivingtons’ song above, “The Bird’s the Word”, with some of "Papa Oom Mow Mow" -- another Rivingtons song -- mixed in.  The Trashmen did not originally give songwriting credit to the Rivingtons, until a successful lawsuit required them to do so.)

Image result for surfin bird trashmen 45Image result for surfin bird trashmen 45


Tossin’ & Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis (1961, #1 for seven weeks, R&B #1, not a bird-related tune)

 * Rockin’ Robin – Bobby Day (1958, #2.  In 1972, Michael Jackson’s version would also reach #2.)

Image result for rockin robin bobby dayImage result for rockin robin michael jackson 45

 * Over the Rainbow – The Demensions (1960, #16.  “Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly… if birds fly over the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?”)

Ride a White Swan (on LP) – Tyrannosaurus Rex (1971, #76)

Big Bird – Eddie Floyd (1968, #132, written and produced by Booker T. Jones)

Little Bird – Beau Brummels (from their 1968 album Bradley’s Barn)

 * Snowbird – Anne Murray (1970, #8)

Image result for snowbird anne murray 45Image result for snowbird anne murray 45

 * Bluebirds Over the Mountain – The Beach Boys (1968, #61)

Mockingbird – Aretha Franklin (1967, #94.  This song was a Top Ten hit for Inez & Charlie Foxx in 1963 and for Carly Simon & James Taylor in 1974)

 * And Your Bird Can Sing – The Beatles (1966, from the US compilation Yesterday and Today and from the UK release of the album Revolver)

Do the Funky Chicken – Rufus Thomas (1970, #28.  Two years later, he would release “Do the Funky Penguin”, which would make it to #44 on the Hot 100.)

Image result for rufus thomas do the funky chicken 45Image result for rufus thomas do the funky chicken 45

 * Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd (peaked at #19 in 1975)

Fly Little White Dove Fly (on 45) – The Bells (1971, #95)

Image result for fly little white dove flyImage result for fly little white dove fly

Songbird – Barbra Streisand (1978, #25)

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

Trivia Answers

Answer to #1:  The song was “Sunshine” by Mickey Newbury, and it begins with a clip of the Northern Mockingbird.  Congratulations to Noah from Ithaca for correctly identifying the Northern Mockingbird – he won a prize package from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology including a tote bag, 2 water bottles, a calendar, and a journal.

Answer to #2:  In 1960, Bo Diddley did a song called “The Road Runner” and in 1966, Junior Walker and the All-Stars did a song called “(I’m a) Road Runner”.  Congratulations to Chickie from North Lansing for knowing the answer to this question – she won a prize package from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology including a tote bag, 2 mugs, a calendar, and a journal.

Answer to #3:  The song “The Bird on My Head” was by David Seville (born Ross Bagdasarian) and was his follow-up hit to “Witch Doctor”.  Congratulations to Alan from Bluff Point for winning a calendar and a journal from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology – and thanks to the Lab of O for donating prizes (and information) for this show! 

Host Next Week (April 18):  John Simon

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

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