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Host: Gregory James
Feature: “The 8’s: 1958, 1968, 1978.”
Wilson Pickett b. 1941
d. 1/19/06 at 64
Bobby Whitlock b. 1948 (Derek and Dominoes)
Ruth Pointer b. 1946
Ricky Wilson (B-52s) b. 1953
d. 10/12/1985 at 32
Carl Palmer b. 1950
Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) b. 1976
d. 7/20/17 at 41
Solomon Burke b. 1940
d. 10/10/2010 at 70
David Lindley b. 1944
Eddie Money b. 1949
Keith Relf (Yardbirds) b. 1943
d. 5/14/76 at 33 (electrocuted playing an ungrounded guitar)
George Benson b. 1943
Ric Ocasek b. 1949
Chaka Khan b. 1953
Lee Oskar (War) b. 1948 Also a harmonica maker
Nick Lowe b. 1949
[Unless otherwise noted, songs are from the spotlight years of ’58, ’68, and ‘78; yellow song titles are YouTube links; songs with * were requests; chart positions are the highest attained by the record; 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)
Claudette Everly Bros. 1958
Written by Roy Orbison about his first wife, Claudette was the B-side to “All I Have to Do Is Dream”
People Got to be Free Rascals 1968
#5 song for 1968
Partly a reaction to an ugly encounter wherein the long-haired group was threatened by a group of strangers after their tour vehicle broke down in Florida.
Night Fever Bee Gees 1978 #1
The string intro of "Night Fever" was inspired by “Theme from a Summer Place.”
It’s All in the Game Tommy Edwards 1958 #1
Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a 1911 composition titled "Melody in A Major” written by Charles G. Dawes, later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge It is the only No. 1 single in the U.S. to have been co-written by a U.S. Vice President.
Good, Bad and Ugly Hugo Montenegro 1968 #2
The opening two-note segment was played on an ocarina by Art Smith. Hugo Montenegro himself made the 'rep, rup, rep, rup, rep' sounds between the chorus segments.
Baby Come Back Player 1978 #1
It was the breakthrough single for the band, gaining them mainstream success.
Little Star Elegants 1958 #1
This was the only song that ever charted for The Elegants. Reportedly, the Elegants refused to provide payola to a prominent New York disc jockey, which inhibited air-play of their follow up recordings.
Twilight Time Platters 1958 #1
Lyricist Buck Ram said that he originally wrote it as a poem, without music, while in college
Volare Domenico Modugno 1958 #1
Volare was Billboard's 1958 Song of the Year, and was the first non-American, Canadian or British single to achieve this honor in the early rock era.
Boogie Oogie Oogie Taste of Honey 1978 #1
Stoned Soul Picnic 5th Dimension 1968 #3
The meaning of the word surry, used frequently in the lyric (e.g. "Surry down to a stoned soul picnic"), is unclear. One possible meaning is that surry is a shortening of "let's hurry."
I Go Crazy Paul Davis 1978 #7
Overall, it spent 40 weeks on the charts, setting what was then the record for the longest run of consecutive or non-consecutive weeks on the chart.
I Wish It Would Rain Temptations 1968 #4
Motown staff writer Roger Penzabene provided the song's lyrics. Penzabene had just found out his wife was cheating on him with another man. Unable either to deal with the pain or stop loving his wife, Penzabene expressed his pain in the lyrics of this song
*All I Have to Do Is Dream Everly Brothers 1958 #1
By request! Recorded live in two takes, Chet Atkins plays lead guitar.
Just a Dream Jimmy Clanton 1958 #4
Clanton was from Baton Rouge LA and the single sold over a million copies.
Cry Like a Baby Box Tops 1968 #2
Electric sitars were a staple of songs recorded during this period. Lead singer Alex Chilton was 17 when the song was recorded.
Feels So Good Chuck Mangione 1978 #4
Hailing from Rochester, this Mangione song was in heavy radio rotation.
In the Midnight Hour Wilson Pickett 1965 #21
In celebration of Mr. Pickett’s birthday this week.
On Broadway George Benson 1978 #7
Benson won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance
Book of Love Monotones 1958 #5
The "boom" part of the song was a result of a kid kicking a ball against the garage while they were rehearsing. It sounded good, so they added it to the song.
Devil or Angel Clovers 1956
*Alison (My Aim is True) Elvis Costello 1977
By request! This classic never charted. Could Alison have been a supermarket checkout clerk as Costello has suggested?
Judy in Disguise w/Glasses John Fred 1968 #1
John Fred hailed from Louisiana and the song’s title is a take-off on the Beatles’ Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (which Fred heard as “Lucy in disguise”)
Lollipop Chordettes 1958 #2
Wear My Ring Around your Neck Elvis Presley 1958 #2
After Presley topped the charts with ten hits in a row, this track peaked at #2
Take a Chance on Me Abba 1978 #3
The song's origins sprang from Bjorn Ulvaeus, whose hobby was running. While running, he would sing a "tck-a-ch"-style rhythm to himself over and over again, which then evolved into "take-a-chance".
Do You Want to Dance Bobby Freeman 1958 #5
Freeman was born in San Francisco and he was 17 when this record charted.
Oh Julie Crescendos 1958 #5
The Crescendos were an early American rock and roll quintet who attended high school together in Nashville.
Slip Away Clarence Carter 1968 #6
Carter was a singer, musician, songwriter and record producer.
For Your Love Yardbirds 1965 #6
Celebrating the late Keith Relf’s birthday on the “45 corner.”
Don’t worry be happy Bobby McFerren 1988 #1
It became the first a cappella song to reach number one, a position it held for two weeks. The song's title is taken from a famous quotation by Meher Baba.
Low Rider Lee Oskar (b’day) and War 1975 #7
Lee Oskar was not only a virtuoso harmonica player (harmonicist?), but he designed and made harmonicas as well.
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell 1968 #8
Written by Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson, this song is performed seamlessly by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, both of whose lives ended too soon.
Reach Out of the Darkness Friend and Lover 1968
Ray Stevens played keyboards and arranged the strings.
Use ta Be My Girl O’Jays 1978 #4
They took the name "The O'Jays", in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O'Jay. This track was their final Top Five hit.
Light my Fire Jose Feliciano 1968 #3
This cover reached number 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts, only a year after the original Doors version had been a number 1 hit on the same chart.
Kisses Sweeter than Wine Jimmie Rodgers 1958 #7
Rodgers was taught music by his mother, learned to play the piano and guitar, and, like a number of other entertainers of the era, was one of the contestants on Arthur Godfrey’s radio talent show.
You Belong to Me Carly Simon 1978 #6
Written by Carly Simon and Michael McDonald Originally recorded by The Doobie Brothers, the song was made famous by Simon when she recorded it herself.
Elenore Turtles 1968 #6
The Turtles recorded "Elenore" as a self-deprecating parody of the type of happy-go-lucky pop songs they had been performing at the urging of their label, but with deliberately clichéd and outlandish lyrics. Even so, the record became a hit, contrary to the Turtles’ intentions or expectations.
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood Santa Esmeralda 1978 #15
This song was used by NBC Sports during coverage of the World Series and, of course, in the 2003 movie “Kill Bill.”
Midnight Confessions Grass Roots 1968 #5
One commentator speculated that the song might conceivably be a musical dramatization of the midnight confession of the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale's love for Hester Prynne in the classic 1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne novel The Scarlet Letter. Really? It’s the Grass Roots. The song's instrumentation was recorded by the group of LA studio-musicians known as The Wrecking Crew
Shame Evelyn “Champagne” King 1978 #9
King was discovered as a young woman while working with her mother at Philadelphia International Records as an office cleaner.
You Cheated Shields 1958 #12
The Shields was a group formed with the sole purpose of covering "You Cheated" originally recorded by The Slades. The Shields included Frankie Ervin (lead singer), Jesse Belvin and Johnny “Guitar” Watson.
Pictures of Matchstick Men Status Quo 1968 #12
"Pictures of Matchstick Men" is one of a number of songs from the late 1960s that features the phasing audio effect.
Angel of the Morning Merilee Rush 1968 #7
"Angel of the Morning" was originally offered to Connie Francis to sing, but she turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué for her career.
26 Miles 4 Preps 1958 #2
A song about Santa Catalina, one of the Channel Islands that is, you guessed it, 26 miles off the southern California coast.
Born Too Late Poni-Tails 1958 #7
“Born Too Late” was the B-side to another song and was the side that caught the attention of DJs, becoming the group's biggest hit.
Last Dance Donna Summer 1978 #3
“Last Dance" starts off as a ballad and was one of the first disco songs to feature slow tempo sections. The song was frequently used by disco-themed radio stations as their last song before changing formats.
Tequila Champs 1958 #1
“Tequila", is essentially a B-side jam by the Danny Flores Trio. There were three takes recorded, and Flores, who wrote the song, spoke the word "Tequila!" Flores also played the trademark "dirty sax" solo.
CLOSING THEME: Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny (1959, #1 for two weeks)
Host Next Week (3/31/18): John Simon with a spotlight on Uncredited musicians.
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