Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July 29, 2017 - JS - Sounds of Summer

Rockin' Remnants

Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our
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Date:  7/29/17
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  Sounds of Summer

Tonight we'll start with some of the sounds of Summer (finally) and then we'll turn a birthday spotlight on the magnificent Darlene Love (who turned 80 just the other day). JS is your happy tour guide. C'mon by! 6-9 p.m., with two giveaways, your requests, and it won't cost you a thing....

 Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting and indoor

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

Seven charting songs from August 1964 can be found on the A Hard Day's Night Soundtrack on United Artists Records. Name 'em!

(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)

Sitting In the Park - Billy Stewart (6/65; #24 Pop, #4 R&B - a classic mid-sixties Soul single: rolling organ, ascending chord pattern and smooth 3-part backing vocals....)

Image result for Sitting In the Park - Billy Stewart        Image result for Sitting In the Park - Billy Stewart

Saturday in the Park - Chicago (8/72; #3 for two weeks - bouncy pop tune full of summertime imagery and those Chicago horns!)

Grazing in the Grass - Friends of Distinction (4/69; #3 Pop - just one year earlier, this had been an instrumental #1 record for trumpeter Hugh Masekela. Somebody added words and the FoD added an infectious backing vocal line. Can you dig it bay-bay???)

Image result for Grazing in the Grass - Friends of Distinction       Image result for hugh masekela - grazing in the grass

Green Grass - Gary Lewis & Playboys (5/66; #8 - their first seven records hit the Top Ten. This was the final one, and it came from the British writing team of Cook and Greenaway. "Summertime is nigh," indeed.)

Pleasant Valley Sunday - Monkees (7/67; #3 for two weeks - biting social commentary disguised as Pop pablum for the masses, from the writing team of Goffin-King. The psychedelic meltdown at the end serves as confirmation that there's more to this one than meets the ear.)

Image result for Pleasant Valley Sunday - Monkees       Image result for Pleasant Valley Sunday - Monkees

* Summer - War (7/76; #7 - released on the first day of Summer in 1976 and requested by one of our loyal Canadian listeners.)

* White Summer - Yardbirds (7/67; dnc - this is basically a Jimmy Page solo performance from the Little Games LP. It elicited an appreciative call from a like-minded listener. Cool request.)

The House That Jack Built - Aretha Franklin (8/68; #8 - punchy mono from the Queen of Soul. Turn it up!)

Come On Down to My Boat - Every Mothers Son (6/67; #6 - these guys came out of nowhere and this distinctive gem was a signature song of the early Summer of '67.)

Image result for Come On Down to My Boat - Every Mothers Son      Image result for Come On Down to My Boat - Every Mothers Son

* 59th Street Bridge Song - Simon & Garfunkel (4/67; dnc - this was the B-side of At the Zoo. We have a listener who just loves this song and finds it comforting and healing during hard times. Watch the short video of their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival shortly after its release!)

Down in the Boondocks - Billy Joe Royal (7/65; #9 - a classic across-the-tracks single from the pen of the great Joe South.)

45 Corner:  On a Summer Night - The Sugar Canyon (6/68; dnc - released on Buddah Records to little notice or fanfare, but it really captures a certain Summertime vibration. Shoulda been a hit!
Image result for On a Summer Night - The Sugar Canyon 

Patches - Dickey Lee (8/62; #6 - another across-the-tracks classic, with an added element of tragedy.)

Everybody's Talkin' - Nilsson (8/69; #6 - writer Fred Neil's version was just about perfect, but Nilsson's slightly sped-up version was just what the Midnight Cowboy producers were looking for. The widescreen exposure helped the record crack the Top Ten, and helped Nilsson become a star.)

* Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts (9/72; #6 - two people called for this one. One of them recalled that it was the first 45 he ever purchased as a teenager. A classic!)

Image result for Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts    


Birthday Calendar

July 23 – Dino Danelli (Rascals) – age 73           

July 24 – Verdine White (Earth Wind & Fire) – age 66           

July 26 – Darlene Love – age 80
            – Brenton Wood – age 76
            – Dobie Gray – born in 1940 
            – Mick Jagger – age 74

July 27 – Bobbie Gentry – age 73

A Girl Like You - Young Rascals (7/67; #10 - follow-up to their smash hit Groovin'. They were cooking on all cylinders at this point, and Dino's drumming is smashing!)

Image result for A Girl Like You Rascals Image result for Gimme Little Sign - Brenton Wood 

Gimme Little Sign - Brenton Wood (8/67; #8 - one of the signature sounds of the Summer of Love!)

See You at the Go-Go - Dobie Gray (4/65; #69 - not one of his bigger hits, but it had a big sound and captures the excitement of the times.)

Paint It, Black - Rolling Stones (7/66; #1 - This one was at the top of the chart on Mick's 23rd birthday. Crank it up and feel the thunder!)
Image result for Paint It, Black - Rolling Stones

Spotlight on Darlene Love

Born in South LA and raised in the church, Darlene Wright joined The Blossoms while still in high school. They soon became sought-after session singers in Los Angeles and eventually came to the attention of producer Phil Spector. Before it was all over, they backed up acts ranging from Sam Cooke and Johnny Rivers to Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra ["That's Life"]
    Image result for Darlene Love   Image result for The Blossoms      

Their chameleon-like ability to sound like white bobby-soxers on one record and soulful shouters on the next made them especially appealing to producers.

Johnny Angel - Shelley Fabares (4/62; #1 for two weeks - with prominent exposure on The Donna Reed Show, this raced to the top of the chart. Who knew that it was three Black girls and a Chicana backing up young "Mary Stone??!?")
Image result for Johnny Angel      Image result for Donna ReedShow

Lolita Ya-Ya - The Ventures (8/62; #61 - Nelson Riddle also released this ditty from the Peter Sellers film, but The Ventures left him in the dust  -  with some help from The Blossoms.)
Image result for Lolita Peter Sellers

(Dance With) The Guitar Man - Duane Eddy feat. The Rebelettes (10/62; #12 - guess who the Rebelettes really were....)

* He's a Rebel - The Crystals (11/62; #1 for two weeks - when Phil Spector heard that Liberty Records was planning to release this Gene Pitney composition by Vicki Carr - after he had decided to record it with The Crystals, who were back in NYC  -  he raced to the LA studio and cut this one with The Blossoms. It blew Vicki Carr's version out of the water, but Darlene was astonished that her name wasn't on the record. There was now trouble brewing in LA....)
Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting and indoor

A Fine, Fine Boy - Darlene Love (10/63; #63 - Phil Spector finally gave Darlene top billing on some singles, but he was mostly focused on Ronnie Spector's group at this point, and sales were low. They would soon part ways.)

* Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers (11/66; #1 - Johnny Rivers was well aware of the talent over at Gold Star Studios. This record featured the fine playing of The Wrecking Crew and the scintillating vocals of The Blossoms.
 Image result for Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers        Image result for Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers

That's When the Tears Start - The Blossoms (3/66; #128 - writer-and-producer Van McCoy enlisted the girls to sing one of his creations. It was released as a b-side and nearly charted on its own.) 
Image result for That's When the Tears Start - The Blossoms      Image result for Good Good Lovin' - The Blossoms 

Good Good Lovin' - The Blossoms (4/66; #101 Pop, #45 R&B one year later - here's the aforementioned "A-side," penned by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill. Reprise released it twice and it charted R&B the second time out.)

Brown Eyed Woman - Bill Medley (8/68; #43 - also from the Mann-Weill team, who had written two of the Righteous Brothers' biggest hits. Bill Medley sang this song about interracial romance with true conviction, because he and background vocalist Darlene Love were actually dating at the time!)
Image result for darlene love & bill medley      Image result for Brown Eyed Woman bill medley

Baby I Need Your Lovin' - Johnny Rivers (2/67; #3 for three weeks  -  too good to not play during this tribute. Listen to Darlene Love take off near the end of the song. Stunning!)

If I Can Dream - Elvis Presley (11/68; #12 - the beginning of Elvis' "comeback" phase - a huge Gospel number featuring Darlene Love and the Blossoms on background vocals.)

For even more on the amazing work of Darlene Love, seek out the documentary called "Twenty Feet from Stardom."

Trivia segment: See the question at the top. Here's your source material:
Image result for A Hard Day's Night LP 

A Hard Day's Night - #1 / I Should've Known Better - #53
And I Love Her - #12 / If I Fell - #53
I'll Cry Instead - #25 / I'm Happy Just to Dance With You - #95
Ringo's Theme - George Martin Orchestra - #53


It Could Be We're In Love - Cryan' Shames (8/67; #85 - this one spent four weeks at #1 on Chicago's WLS, where they were hometown heroes. It didn't get much play on either coast, though, limiting its chart success. Beautiful tune that should've been a much bigger hit!)

Image result for It Could Be We're In Love - Cryan Shames WLS        Image result for It Could Be We're In Love - Cryan Shames WLS

* Seaside Shuffle - Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs (7/72; #2 UK - this had apparently been released a year earlier without charting. The caller says that Mungo Jerry shared the bill with these guys at a number of shows and "stole" their song.)

Image result for Seaside Shuffle - Terry Dactyl & The Dinosaurs    Image result for mungo jerry in the summertime

* Beach Baby - First Class (7/74; #4 - seemingly as American as apple pie, this was actually a British studio concoction. Nonetheless, it hit all the right buttons and sounded authentically Californian!)

* Let There Be Music - Orleans (4/75; #55 - this was apparently the first nationally-charting single for this Woodstock band with local ties. The request was from a younger listener who was really enjoying the tunes, but wanted to hear "some Orleans.")

Image result for Let There Be Music - Orleans

Getaway - Earth Wind & Fire (7/76; #12 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks - a summertime smash for Verdine White, his brother Maurice, and their very hot band. Be sure to watch the blistering bass duel starting at about 1:44. Verdine White is in the red pants.)

I'll Cry Instead - The Beatles (8/64; #25 - Capitol released three singles from the Beatles' first big movie. All six sides charted, as did George Martin's version of This Boy, dubbed "Ringo's Theme.")

I Can Help - Billy Swann (11/74; #1 for two weeks - this was a surprise hit from a guy better known as a writer and producer.)

It's All Over Now - Rolling Stones (7/64; #26 Pop, #1 UK - the Stones completely overshadowed the Womack Brothers with this rocking cover, and went straight to the top of the charts in England. It would be another year before they'd reach #1 in the States, finally getting some "satisfaction.")

Image result for It's All Over Now - Rolling Stones       Image result for It's All Over Now - Valentinos

Ariel - Dean Friedman (4/77; #26 - this one is full of New York-area Jewish humor, and is one rockin' record on Cashman and West's Lifesong Records label. For the single, the label edited out a verse and they changed the line "she was a Jewish girl" to "her name was Ariel." Tonight we hear the unedited LP version.)

Image result for Ariel - Dean Friedman

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

Trivia Answer


Congratulations to Michael from Ithaca, for correctly answering the question and winning a $20 gift card to Luna Inspired Street Food!

Host Next Week (8/4/17):  John Rudan with a spotlight on Early August 1972

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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