Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July 1, 2017 - JS - 1967

Rockin' Remnants

Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our
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Date:  7/1/17
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  Early July 1967

Image result for july 1 1967
A classic chart date from the vaunted "Summer of Love." Tonight we kick it off with a string of punchy mono single versions of Pop hits, we'll shine a spotlight on Hall-of-Fame lyricist Doc Pomus, and we'll play your requests.

Birthday Calendar

June 25 – Eddie Floyd – age 82
            – Carly Simon – age 72
            – Allen Lanier (Blue Oyster Cult) – age 71

June 26 – Billy Davis, Jr. (5th Dimension) – age 77
            – Georgie Fame – age 74

June 27 – Doc Pomus – born in 1925
June 29 – Little Eva – born in 1943
June 30 – Florence Ballard (Supremes) – born in 1943

July 1 – Debbie Harry (Blondie) – age 72 


[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)

Note: these first six records are the original mono single versions, packing the same wallop they did back in 1967 when they were blasting from car speakers and transistor radios all around America!

Windy - Association (first of four weeks at #1 - one of the signature sounds of the Summer, featuring the uncredited playing of Hal Blaine and Joe Osborne - among others - of the famed "Wrecking Crew.")
Image result for Windy - Association

She'd Rather Be With Me - Turtles (down to #5 after spending two weeks at #3 - this was the follow-up to their monster hit Happy Together, penned by the same writers: Bonner & Gordon.)

A Little Bit o' Soul - Music Explosion (at #3 this week, headed for two weeks at #2 - an out-of-the-blue hit on the small Laurie Records label, this one got stuck behind Windy and could never quite reach the top.)

    Image result for A Little Bit o' Soul - Music Explosion    Image result for Let's Live for Today - Grass Roots

Let's Live for Today - Grass Roots (peaking in the first of two weeks at #8 - this is the original "hit" version on Dunhill Records. All subsequent releases offer an alternate version that changes the line "I want to feel you inside of me" to "I want to feel you beside me." Homophobia runs deep....)

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum (at #28, headed to a peak of #5 - this one seemingly came out of nowhere and was a worldwide smash: it spent six weeks at #1 in England and even reached #22 on the R&B chart here in The States. Its musical pedigree can be traced back to Johann Sebastian Bach.)

I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder (at #25 Pop, headed to a peak of #2 and four weeks #1 on the R&B chart - young Stevie co-wrote this one, played the harmonica break on it and firmly established himself as more than just a young "novelty act." Note, too, James Jamerson's blistering bass lines!)
Image result for I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder    Image result for I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder

* Raspberries, Strawberries - Kingston Trio (1/59; #70 - listener George spent much of the day making strawberry jam. He asked for a "strawberry song," and here we oblige.)

* Hideaway - Jeff Healey Band (1988; dnc - in honor of Canada Day, we honored this request from Watkins Glen. Canadian Jeff Healey was blind since age one. Listeners to WVBR's Blues show might recognize the melody, but this updated version was nominated for a Grammy Award in the late '80s.)

I Got Rhythm - Happenings (at #48, down from a peak at #2 - this stunning update of the Gershwin tune nearly reached #1, making it the biggest hit for the Tokens' B.T. Puppy Records label.) 

Image result for I Got Rhythm - Happenings         Image result for I Got Rhythm - Happenings

Don't Sleep in the Subway - Petula Clark (at #10 this week, headed to #5 - this was co-written by Petula and her long-time producer Tony Hatch. It was actually two separate song ideas that they managed to merge into a classic Pop tune.)

All I Need - Temptations (at #40 this week, down from a peak of #8 Pop and four weeks at #2 R&B - David Ruffin and the Temptations could do no wrong in their prime. This is one of a stunning string of singles for the Gordy Records label. One year later, though, he would be fired from the band.

 Image result for David Ruffin     Image result for David Ruffin

Little Darlin' - Diamonds (3/57; #2 for eight weeks! - we continue to acknowledge Canada Day by playing this offering, which had the misfortune of being released in the thick of Elvis' arrival on the scene. They could never push past him into the top slot.)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tokens (12/61; #1 for three weeks - speaking of The Tokens, here's their biggest hit as a singing group, although they'd have a bigger hit as record producers: they were behind the Chiffons' He's So Fine, for one.)

* How Can I Be Sure - Young Rascals (the Rascals' Groovin' is at #2 this week. Their follow-up A Girl Like You will debut two weeks from now. This record wouldn't be released until September, but it would eventually reach #4. Listener Betsy wanted to hear it tonight. Voila!)

Image result for Groovin' - Young Rascals   Image result for A Girl Like You - Young Rascals   Image result for How Can I Be Sure - Young Rascals


Big Bird - Eddie Floyd (3/68; #132 Pop - a record this good should've been a big hit, but it inexplicably didn't even make a ripple on the R&B chart. Tonight it gets its due.)

Image result for Big Bird - Eddie FloydImage result for Big Bird - Eddie Floyd

Baby Love - Supremes (10/64; #1 for four weeks Pop - their second of five consecutive #1's featured the shimmering back-up vocals of Florence Ballard [left] and Mary Wilson [right]. This one would also reach #1 in the UK. "Don't throw our love away!")
Image result for Supremes

Keep Your Hands Off My Baby - Little Eva (11/62; #12 - her biggest hit was a dance record, but this may have been her sassiest one. Both were written by Goffin & King.)

Yeh, Yeh - Georgie Fame (2/65; #21 Pop - this one spent two weeks at #1 in the U.K. Tonight we hear the extended version that includes a shimmering saxophone solo. A Rockin' Remnants exclusive!)

Spotlight on Doc Pomus 

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Born Jerome Felder in Brooklyn, NY, Doc Pomus (right) was the lyricist and co-writer with Mort Shuman (left) of a string of terrific records in the 50s and 60s. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and was the first non-African-American recipient of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award. Tonight we celebrate his contributions during our Birthday Calendar spotlight.

A Teenager In Love - Dion & The Belmonts (4/59; #5 - Pomus & Shuman as interpreted by a bunch of young toughs from Da Bronx. Dion would strike out on his own less than two years later with a much tougher sound on his own.)

Image result for A Teenager In Love - Dion & The Belmonts    Image result for Hushabye - The Mystics

Hushabye - The Mystics (5/59; #20 - these Italian-American boys were from Queens. This became something of a vocal group "standard" and would be later recorded by the Beach Boys and Jay & The Americans, among others.)

Image result for Hushabye - Beach Boys    Image result for Hushabye - Jay

A Mess of Blues - Elvis Presley (7/60; #32 - this one hitched a ride on the back of Elvis' smash It's Now Or Never, ensuring Pomus & Shuman of a b-i-g royalty check.)

Image result for a mess of blues

Save the Last Dance for Me - Drifters (10/60; #1 for three weeks - one of their greatest creations right here....)
Image result for Save the Last Dance for Me - Drifters    Image result for Save the Last Dance for Me - Drifters

Can't Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams (3/63; #2 for four weeks - Andy charted forty singles for the Columbia label. This was his biggest of them all.)
Image result for Can't Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams   Image result for Can't Get Used to Losing You - Andy Williams

Suspicion - Terry Stafford (4/64; #3 for two weeks - Elvis had recorded this as an album track. Terry's spot-on Elvis impression rose to near the top of the chart in the thick of the British Invasion, giving Pomus and Shuman yet another classic hit.)
Image result for Suspicion - Terry Stafford    Image result for Suspicion - Elvis

This Magic Moment - Jay & The Americans (1/69; #6 - a big hit for The Drifters back in 1960, this was even a bigger hit for Jay and the boys and was one of their crowning moments as recording artists.)
Image result for This Magic Moment - Jay & The Americans    Image result for This Magic Moment - Jay & The Americans

Tracks of My Tears - Johnny Rivers (at #13 this week, headed to #10 - this one would top The Miracles' 1965 original in chart position, and it sounded great streaming from transistor radios back in the day.)

More Love - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (at #42 this week, headed to #23 Pop and #5 R&B - classic Smokey!)

* Tramp - Otis & Carla (down to #44 from a peak of #26 Pop and #2 R&B - Stax Records' attempt to follow Motown's lead by pairing two of their big stars, a la Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, et al. Ironically, this record came out just as Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell's first record did. Stax didn't stand a chance in that contest!

Image result for Tramp - Otis & Carla      Image result for Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

* With a Girl Like You - Troggs (8/66; #29 - this was released as the b-side of Wild Thing here in the States. Ironically, it was a bigger hit in the UK  -  two weeks at #1  - than Wild Thing, which spent one week at the Top of The Pops.)

* I Only Have Eyes for You - Flamingos (6/59; #11 - one of the truly classic Doo Wop records of the late '50s. Rolling Stone ranks it at #158 in its RS500. The caller requested it in the middle of our Doc Pomus tribute.)

Some Kind of Wonderful - Soul Brothers Six (down to #104 after inexplicably spending just one week on the chart at #91. "Inexplicable" because it was a classic Soul record on a very successful record label. Billboard was sure it would be a smash. What the heck???)

Image result for Some Kind of Wonderful - Soul Brothers Six


No Good to Cry - Wildweeds (down to #107 after peaking at #88 for these Connecticut high school heroes. Writer and singer/guitarist Al Anderson would go on to greater fame with NRBQ, and this was a great start to his career.)

Image result for No Good to Cry - Wildweeds    Image result for Al Anderson NRBQ

Blues Theme - Davie Allan & The Arrows (at #130 this week, headed to #37 - from the Peter Fonda film The Wild Angels. Tonight we play the original Tower Records 7" single. Vroooom!)
Image result for Blues Theme - Davie Allan & The Arrows      Image result for Blues Theme - Davie Allan & The Arrows

* Helpless - Buffy Sainte- Marie (1971; dnc - another request for Canada Day. This one was penned by Canadian Neil Young and recorded by Canadian Buffy Sainte-Marie, with help from her husband arranger Jack Nitzsche.)

Four Strong Winds - Neil Young (2/79; #61 - Canadian Neil Young sings a classic folk song from the pen of Canadian Ian Tyson. Happy holiday, eh??!?)

Lovin' Sound - Ian & Sylvia (the final in our Canadian trifecta, headed to a peak of #101 in the States. Check out this little video pastiche of Canadian artists from the Remnants era!)

* I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott (3/61; #3 - on the Canadian-American Records Label, this was a sophisticated little Pop gem recorded by a 16 year old New York City kid.)

Image result for I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott   Image result for I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott

You Don't Have to Be a Star - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (1/77; #1 Pop - they achieved stardom as members of The 5th Dimension in the '60s. This was their crowning jewel as a duo, featuring the uncredited bass playing of famed Motown session man James Jamerson.)

The Tide Is High - Blondie (1/81; #1 - this was originally released in 1966 by Reggae group The Paragons, but the Blondie version brought it to the masses, reaching #1 both here in the States and in the UK.)

Image result for The Tide Is High - Paragons            Image result for The Tide Is High - Blondie  

* Soul Man - Sam & Dave (9/67; #2 Pop, #1 R&B for seven weeks - ranked #453 in the RS500 and featuring a nice shout-out to guitarist Steve Cropper. "Play it, Steve!")

Make Me Yours - Bettye Swann (at #32 this week, headed to #21 Pop and #1 R&B - she wrote it, she sang it, she took it to #1 on the R&B chart, and she did it all on the Money Records label!)

Image result for Make Me Yours - Bettye Swann      Image result for Make Me Yours - Bettye Swann

Fooled Around and Fell in Love - Elvin Bishop Group (3/76; #3 - featuring guest vocals from Mickey Thomas, who would also sing on some Jefferson Starship hits.)

45 Corner:  The Beginning of Loneliness - Dionne Warwick (2/67; #79 - the powers-that-be at Scepter Records were sure that this was a hit. They tucked a Bacharach/David song on the back side, and it was that b-side that would become one of their most recognized hits. Alfie is peaking at #15 this week on our chart. Tonight we hear its lesser-known flip side.)

Image result for Beginning of Loneliness - Dionne Warwick        Image result for Alfie - Dionne Warwick

Anticipation - Carly Simon (12/71; #13 - the greatest contribution to the ketchup industry was this, Carly Simon's second big solo single. Happy birthday to yet another Simon from the Big Apple!)

She's Leaving Home - David & Jonathan (peaking on this date at #123 - to quote Johnny Rivers' Summer Rain, "All Summer long we were groovin' in the sand, while the jukebox kept on playing Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." When the Beatles didn't release any singles from the LP, David & Jonathan released this one.)

Image result for She's Leaving Home - David & Jonathan      Image result for She's Leaving Home - David & Jonathan


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

Congratulations to Woody from Danby, who's now entered in a drawing for tickets to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival!

Host Next Week (7/8/17):  Kim Vaughan with a spotlight to be determined....

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 wvbr.com/listen.

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