Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 19, 2017 - JS - Summer of '69

Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  8/19/17
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  Summer of '69

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Tonight: it's mid-August of 1969 on the radio. Woodstock was just ending. We'd just had a man on the moon. Bob Dylan's voice had changed, Motown was churning out classic records and songs of peace and love were filling the airwaves. Contests, giveaways and your requests - 6-9 p.m. Eastern time.


Birthday Calendar

August 14 – David Crosby (Byrds, CSN) – age 76          

August 15 – Jimmy Webb – age 71

August 16 – Eydie Gorme – born in 1928

August 17 – Belinda Carlisle (Go-Go's) – age 59
August 18 – Maxine Brown – age 78

August 19 – Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) – age 78

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

This Jimmy Webb composition was originally written as the final movement of a 22-minute cantata and intended to fill an entire album side. It was offered to the Association, who rejected it. Undeterred, Jimmy Webb recruited a friend to record it. It went on to reach #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. 

(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)

My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder (down to #16 after peaking at #4 - this was originally the b-side of I Don't Know Why. DJs flipped it over a few months later and it has become something of "a standard.")
Image result for My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder       Image result for What Does it Take - Jr. Walker

What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) - Jr. Walker & All-Stars (down to #17 after peaking at #4 Pop and #1 R&B - one of the first truly melodic vocal performances by the Motown sax man, and one of their most enduring hits.)

Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & Shondells (down to #3 after three weeks at #2 - a refreshing dose of spiritual Pop music from the same guys who brought you The Hanky Panky just three years earlier!)

Easy to Be Hard - Three Dog Night (at #18, headed to #4 - one of six Hot 100 entries from the off-Broadway musical Hair. For bonus points, name the other five!)
Image result for Hair - the musical

* Something in the Air - Thunderclap Newman (just off the chart after peaking at #37 Pop and #1 in the UK - requested from a listener in Vancouver as news of huge displays of resistance to White Power rallies around the continent were rolling in....)

* Hair - Cowsills (peaked at #2 in May of 1969 - another from the score of the "Tribal Rock Musical" Hair. One listener wondered what was wrong with the original, but this was the big radio hit that was requested by a listener in Danby.)

Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond (peaking in its second week at #4 - this would go on to become one of the most recognizable records of the Sixties. Crowds just can't resist singing that descending horn lick. "Da-da-DA!")

Share Your Love with Me - Aretha Franklin (at #31, headed to a peak of #13 Pop and #1 R&B - this one opens with the piano playing of Aretha herself, one of a great string of singles on the Atlantic Records label.)
Image result for Share Your Love with Me - Aretha Franklin  Image result for A Ray of Hope - Rascals

* A Ray of Hope - Rascals (12/68; #24 - the request was for "some Rascals." This was the follow-up to the #1 People Got to Be Free and was dedicated to Teddy Kennedy after the assassinations of his brother and of Martin Luther King.)

* Sugar, Sugar - The Archies (at #14, headed to four weeks at #1 - this hit record by the cartoon characters spent eight weeks at #1 in the UK and featured the voices of Ron Dante and Toni Wine.)
 Image result for sugar sugar the archies

Volunteers (Live) - Jefferson Airplane (this was recorded on Saturday August 18, 1969 in Bethel, NY and comes to you from the Woodstock soundtrack LP. "Good morning, people!")

Lay Lady Lay - Bob Dylan (at #12, headed to a peak of #7 - this was recorded in Nashville and introduced the world to Bob Dylan's new sophisticated vocal stylings.)


Oh No Not My Baby - Maxine Brown (10/64; #24 - written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and featuring the duet vocals of an uncredited Dee Dee Warwick.)

Image result for Goffin King

Everybody Go Home - Eydie Gorme (9/63; #80 - written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. This should've been a much bigger hit in my humble opinion....)
 Image result for Everybody Go Home - Eydie Gorme

Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Go's (8/81; #20 - one great "girl group" featuring the lead vocals of Belinda Carlisle. They got the beat!)
 Image result for Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Go's    Image result for Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Go's

Spotlight on Jimmy Layne Webb

Jimmy Webb an American songwriter, composer, and singer born in Elk City, OK. In 1964, Webb and his family moved to Southern California, where he attended San Bernardino Valley College studying music. Following the death of his mother in 1965, his father made plans to return to Oklahoma. Webb decided to stay in California to continue his music studies and to pursue a career as a songwriter in Los Angeles. Webb would later recall his father warning him about his musical aspirations, saying, "This songwriting thing is going to break your heart." Seeing that his son was determined, however, he gave him $40, saying "It's not much, but it's all I have."
Image result for Jimmy Webb

After transcribing other people's music for a small music publisher in Hollywood, Webb was signed to a songwriting contract with Jobete Music, the publishing arm of Motown Records.

Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration.
Image result for jim webb songwriter

This Time Last Summer - Brenda Holloway (1964; not released - one of Jimmy's earliest Motown recorded tracks. Shortly thereafter, Johnny Rivers would discover Webb's work and help him leave Jobete with promises of riches and fame.)
Image result for This Time Last Summer Brenda

Tunesmith - Johnny Rivers (1967; LP Track from Rewind - an ode to life on the road.)
Image result for Johnny Rivers Rewind

Up, Up and Away - Fifth Dimension (5/67; #7 - this one won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Contemporary Song. Jimmy Webb was off and running!)
Image result for up up and away fifth dimension      Image result for up up and away fifth dimension

Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell (5/68; #3 Pop, #1 C&W - the late Glen Campbell was one of Jim Webb's many converts. This recording featured the playing of many of LA's finest session players, including Carol Kaye and Glen Campbell himself.)
Image result for Jim Webb Glen      Image result for Wichita Lineman

By The Time I Get to Phoenix - The Mad Lads (8/69; #84 Pop, #28 R&B - according to BMI, this is the third most-performed song in the fifty years between 1940-1990. This Stax Records Soul band charted with it in August of 1969.)
Image result for By The Time I Get to Phoenix - The Mad Lads

Love Years Coming - Strawberry Children (6/67; dnc - Jim Webb actually sang lead on this non-charting single for Johnny Rivers' Soul City Records label. It fit perfectly into the flow of the vaunted "Summer of Love.")

Image result for Love Years Coming - Strawberry Children     Image result for Love Years Coming - Strawberry Children

Lady Friend - The Byrds (8/67; #82 - this was one of David Crosby's final recordings with the Byrds before he was asked to leave. He'd land on his feet when friends Stephen Stills and Graham Nash invited him to join forces.)

* Ohio - Crosby Stills Nash & Young (6/70; #30 - the Kent State shootings had happened on May 4, 1970. In the interim Neil Young wrote the song, taught it to his band mates, they recorded it and Atlantic Records produced and released it in record time. David Crosby can be heard shouting the questions at the end - "Why?" "How many?" "Five??!?")

Image result for Kent STate shooting

* Eli's Comin' - Laura Nyro (5/68; dnc - This was the sixth track on her Eli & The Thirteenth Confession LP. Columbia released an edited version as a single that went nowhere. Three Dog Night later took the song to #10 on the Pop chart, but the request was for Laura's original recording.)
Image result for Eli's Comin' - Laura Nyro     Image result for Eli's Comin' - Laura Nyro

Get Together - Youngbloods (at #9, headed to #5 - this had been released as a single two years earlier to little notice. Its inclusion in a television PSA for the National Conference of Christians and Jews changed all of that, and made it the most successful of many recorded versions.)

Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet - Henry Mancini (just off after four weeks at #1 - used as a talk break this evening to explain our ticket giveaway contest.) 

Image result for Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet - Henry Mancini    Image result for zeffirelli romeo and juliet


Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson (12/65; nr - this was recorded and ready for release when Berry Gordy asked Frank Wilson if he'd rather be a writer/producer than a singer. Frank chose the former, and the single was pulled. Recently a stunning stereo version has shown up CD. Tonight we hear a long-lost treasure!)
Image result for Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson  Image result for This is Northern Soul Motown

(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet - Reflections (4/64; #6 - one of a slew of great singles recorded in Detroit in the early Sixties, this one was the cue for listeners to call in to win tickets to the Hangar Theatre's production of Shakespeare's R&J. Listener Dee was the first one through and she won a pair of tickets to next Saturday's show.)
Image result for Shakespeare's R&J

Lodi - Al Wilson (debuting at #83 this week, headed to a peak of #67 - this guy had a lot of moxie to release this single four months after CCR's version had charted, but it's a great cover with some tasty slide guitar and a gritty vocal and deserved a listen.)
Image result for Lodi - Al Wilson     Image result for Lodi - Al Wilson

I Can't Find the Time - Orpheus (at #93 this week, headed to #80 - this Boston group had released this same record a year before, but it spent seven weeks on the Bubbling Under chart. It didn't do much better this time around. Should've been a hit.)

45 Corner:  What's the Use of Breaking Up - Jerry Butler (bubbling just below the surface - this Philly Soul single would burst upon the scene at #64 next week and work its way up to #20 Pop and #4 R&B. Tonight we hear the Mercury Records mono 45, designed to blast through transistor radio and car speakers like nobody's business.)
 Image result for What's the Use of Breaking Up - Jerry Butler

Hurt So Bad - Lettermen (at #29, headed to #12 - I consider this one a guilty pleasure: a surprisingly tasty re-make of the Little Anthony tune done by the lily-white trio. Part of their gimmick was that all three members sang in similar range, so their harmonies were very close and precise.)

Living in the USA - Wilmer & The Dukes (peaking in its first of two weeks at #114 - Steve Miller wrote and performed the version that most of Americans know, but this Western NY bar band cut a pretty convincing interpretation and sold lots of records in our region.)
Image result for Wilmer & The Dukes

Move Over - Steppenwolf (at #58, headed to #31 - driving political anthem drenched in organ and fuzz guitar and bass, with lyrics snarled by German-born John Kay. A lot of these songs still seem relevant in 2017.)

Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone (at #42 this week, headed for two weeks at #2 Pop - on the surface, this is a rather corny ode to summer vacation. Dig a little deeper and you might start to notice the rioting and looting in some of our urban centers during these turbulent times....)
 Image result for Hot Fun in the Summertime     Image result for Summertime riots

Black Pearl - Sonny Charles & The Checkmates, Ltd. (just off the chart, having peaked at #13 - many say that this was the last great record produced by Phil Spector: a big rolling production with sweet strings, carrying an undisguised message about Black pride and beauty.)

* Wait - The Beatles (1965; dnc - from the Rubber Soul LP, back when the songs were just over two minutes long and these guys could do no wrong.)
 Image result for Wait - The Beatles        Image result for Wait - The Beatles

* Alone Again Or - Love (5/68; #123 - Elektra Records had two great rock bands with charismatic leaders in the later Sixties: The Doors with Jim Morrison and Love with Arthur Lee. The Doors sold a lot more records, but Love has some hard-core fans. This goes out to one of them!)

It's Getting Better - Mama Cass (at #34, headed to a peak of #30 - one of a string of upbeat Pop tunes recorded by one of the greatest singers of the era. She sadly died too young.)
 Image result for It's Getting Better - Mama Cass It's Getting Better - Mama Cass

MacArthur Park, Pt. II - Four Tops (9/71; #38 Pop - this is one of five charting versions of Jim Webb's tune. Apparently I called it "bombastic and fabulous" on the air. I guess I'll stand by that statement.)

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

Trivia Answer

MacArthur Park was originally offered to The Association, who turned it down. Richard Harris took it to #2 in 1968, Waylon Jennings and the Kimberlys took it to #93 in the Fall of 1969, The Four Tops hit #38 in '71, Andy Williams just missed the Hot 100 in 1972 and Donna Summer took it all the way to #1 in late 1978.

Congratulations to Kelly from Ovid, for correctly answering the question and winning a 4-pack to Darien Lake Theme Park!

Host Next Week (8/26/17):  Kim Vaughan with a spotlight

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