Friday, March 2, 2018

February 24 - JS - Tribute to His Mom

Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  2/24/18
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  My Mom's Favorites

John's mom passed on the 20th. She was a music lover and his biggest fan. Tonight is dedicated to her memory. Thanks for your indulgence, friends.
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"A little bit of music therapy tonight from 6-9 p.m. Eastern time. Rockin' Reminiscences on your radio or listening device, and you can't beat the price!"


Birthday Calendar

February 18 – Irma Thomas – age 77

February 19 – Smokey Robinson (Miracles) – age 78
                    – Bobby Rogers (Miracles) – born in 1940

February 20 – Nancy Wilson – age 81
            – Randy California (Spirit) – born in 1951

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

This singer/songwriter has written songs composed by The Beatles, The Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Rivers, The Supremes & Temptations... Who is it?

(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)

Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O'Sullivan (6/72; #1 for a whopping SIX weeks - we kick tonight's show off with this mournful ditty about loss and heartbreak)

Image result for Alone Again (Naturally)   Image result for Alone Again (Naturally) 45

I Wish You Could Be Here - The Cyrkle (2/67; #70 - Paul Simon wrote this one. It could be interpreted as a romantic lament, or it could be somebody simply missing a departed loved one....)

Downtown - Petula Clark (1/65; #1 - my mom used to sing parts of this one when she was getting ready to go out on the town)

Image result for Downtown - Petula Clark

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted - Jimmy Ruffin (8/66; #7 - this one goes out to me & my brother Doug)

Fever - Peggy Lee (7/58; #6 - one of my mom's favorites. Just bass, drums and finger snaps. Cool.)

These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra (1/66; #1 - and can you name any single mom who'd been done wrong that didn't like this one???)

Tom Dooley - Kingston Trio (9/58; #1 - we had about five Kingston Trio albums. Tonight I'm playing this one from the scratchy LP my mom let us play over and over as kids.)

Image result for best of the Kingston Trio

Sloop John B - Beach Boys (4/66; #3 - Capitol Records demanded that the Beach Boys come up with a new single, whether their new record was ready or not. Brian Wilson worked up a Pop arrangement for this old folk song and it sailed to near the top, buying him time to finish creating the  Pet Sounds LP.)

Jamaica Farewell - Harry Belafonte (10/56; #14 - my mom was most moved by Folk songs - unless it was Big Band music or "hillbilly music")

Image result for Jamaica Farewell - Harry Belafonte Image result for Jamaica Farewell - Harry Belafonte

King of the Road - Roger Miller (1/65; #4; #1 C&W for five weeks - this is sort of a cross between Folk music and Hillbilly music, I guess)

(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone - Monkees (12/66; #20 - this b-side of I'm a Believer was one of the first songs my brother & I worked out on our guitars. This was my mom's second-favorite version of Steppin' Stone - right after the Simon Brothers'.)

Image result for (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone - Monkees  Image result for (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone - Monkees

I'm Henry the VIII, I Am - Herman's Hermits (5/65; #1 - we all used to belt this one out in pretty terrible English accents. Sigh.)

Baby Love - Supremes (10/64; #1 for four weeks - our 9-year old neighbor Jerome had a pet hamster guessed it. No wonder my mother loved this song.)

Image result for kid with hamster

* Doggin' Around - Jackie Wilson (4/60; #15 Pop, #1 R&B - requested by my old friend Carolyn in Connecticut. She says "Jackie Wilson was my main man until I discovered Stevie Wonder.")

* Incense & Peppermints  - Strawberry Alarm Clock (9/67; #1 - a surprise out-of-the-blue hit on the small UNI Records label, requested by an anonymous caller)
Image result for Incense & Peppermints  - Strawberry Alarm Clock

* 59th Street Bridge Song - Harpers Bizarre (2/67; #13 - another Paul Simon composition here, this one requested by my friend Judy in Ithaca)
Image result for 59th Street Bridge Song - Harpers Bizarre  Image result for 59th Street Bridge Song - Simon &


Tracks of My Tears - Miracles (7/65; #16 Pop, #2 R&B - one of Smokey's greatest creations. He and his band mate Bobby Rogers - far right - were born on the very same day in the very same year in the very same city of Detroit.)

Image result for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

More Love - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (7/67; #23 Pop, #5 R&B - just two years later Smokey was given top-billing and was still churning out great records!)

Face It Girl, It's Over - Nancy Wilson (5/68; #29 Pop, #15 R&B - this one features one of the most convincing false endings of them all!)

Time Is On My Side - Irma Thomas (10/63; dnc - "The Soul Queen of New Orleans" released this one first, but the Rolling Stones pounced on it before her version could take hold)
Image result for Time Is On My Side - Irma Thoma Image result for Time Is On My Side - Rolling

Walkin' the Dog - Kapt. Kopter and The Fabulous Trwirlybirds (2/72; dnc - Randy California got his start in a band with none other than Jimi Hendrix. He left Spirit and recorded a one-off LP as "Kapt. Kopter," recruiting Jimi Hendrix alums Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding. Great single!)

Image result for kapt kopter and the fabulous twirly birds

* The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix Experience (6/67; dnc - this cut from the Are You Experienced LP was posted on the b-side of Purple Haze. The caller said that his mom used to love this album. Let's hear it for Rock 'n' Roll mamas!)

Image result for Are You Experienced?  Image result for the Wind Cries Mary

Chattanooga Choo Choo - Harpers Bizarre (11/67; #45 - my old HS buddy Kathy & I were reflecting on our parents' love of the big bands back when they were teens. That inspired these next few tunes - each one a "novelty record" of sorts, but each made with love and respect.)

Image result for In The Mood

In The Mood - Henhouse Five Plus Too (1/77; #40 Pop, #39 C&W - okay, maybe not ALL were made with "respect and love," but this funny version consists of chicken clucking created by Ray Stevens, and it went Top Forty on both the Pop and Country charts. Go figger!)
Image result for In The Mood Image result for Henhouse Five

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Bette Midler (5/73; #8 - Bette Midler sang all three harmony parts on this sizzling recreation of the WWII dance number.)
 Image result for Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy  Image result for Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Bette

Jambalaya - Hank Williams (8/52; #1 C&W for 14 weeks - my mom grew up in a small town in Central PA and her radio station mostly played "hillbilly music." You can bet that Hank Williams was one of her early influences....)

Jimmy Mack - Martha & The Vandellas (3/67; #15 Pop, #1 R&B - our mom liked this one, too.)

* In My Life - The Beatles (1965; dnc - this LP track from Rubber Soul was a giant creative leap for the Beatles as recording artists, and came in as a dedication to Dolores Simon from her old friend Lou, tuning in from Florida.)

Image result for in my life the beatles

* Do You Believe In Magic - Lovin' Spoonful (8/65; #9 - the request was for "some Lovin' Spoonful for you and your mom." I chose this one because it's one of my mom's favorite tunes that I play in my band Radio London. Thank you.)

Society's Child - Janis Ian (5/67; #14 - this slice of Civil Rights-related teen angst was written and performed by a girl who went to my high school in NYC a couple of years before I did. My mom thought that was too cool.)
 Image result for Society's Child - Janis Ian


I Got Rhythm - Happenings (4/67; #3 - this great Gershwin remake was on the radio in the shoe store when I was buying new footwear for my mother's mother's funeral in June of 1967. My mom outlived her mother by 26 years. I'm grateful for those extra years.)

* Reflections - Diana Ross & Supremes (9/67; #2 - going out by request - Motown goes psychedelic!)

* God Only Knows - Beach Boys (8/66; #39 - this request certainly fits with my mood tonight. One of Brian Wilson's greatest creations was rejected by many program directors who were uncomfortable with the possibly blasphemous use of the word "God." What a shame.)

Image result for God Only Knows Image result for Pet Sounds

* Wildflower - Skylark (2/73; #9 - ironically, this brilliant Soul record never made it onto the R&B charts because the band was from Vancouver, British Columbia. It goes out by request to my friend Carolyn who - like my mom - struggled as a single mother, just like the protagonist in this song).

Image result for Wildflower - Skylark

* Hot Rod Lincoln - Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen (3/72; #9 - there's a couple out there that requests this songs several times a year, and it never gets old. Here you go, you guys!)

* Cracklin' Rosie - Neil Diamond (9/70; #1 - a guy called earlier and said "You've gotta play some Neil Diamond - all moms loved Neil Diamond. And Elvis!" Well, my mom once heard this and started calling my daughter "Cracklin' Rosie." Touche!)

Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel (12/65; #1 - my mom loved poetry, and she thought Paul Simon's was excellent. Here's the rare mono 45 mix, just the way it sounded when she used to hear it on the radio.)

Image result for Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

I'll Always Love My Mama - Intruders (5/73; #36 Pop, #6 R&B - a little bit of Philly Soul music while people try to call in with an answer to the trivia question.)

My Whole World Ended the Moment You Left Me - David Ruffin (2/69; #9 Pop, #2 R&B - David Ruffin left the Temptations convinced that he was bigger than the group. His debut single was a smash, but it was also prophetically titled. His whole world as a recording artist would soon be just about over.)

Image result for David Ruffin  
Image result for Temptations

I'll Try Something New - Supremes & Temptations (3/69; #25 Pop, #8 R&B - this one, from the pen of Smokey Robinson, features the David Ruffin-less Temptations. Turns out they would manage quite fine without him after all)
Image result for I'll Try Something New - Supremes & Temptations

Dominique - Singing Nun (12/63; #1 for four weeks - this one would top the chart straight through Christmas of 1963. My 5th grade French teacher had me sing it in a recital, making my mom very proud. My younger brother, however - a little jealous, perhaps - used to tease me by singing "Dom-a- nooka, nooka, nooka." Sheesh.)

Image result for Dominique - Singing Nun

* Hound Dog - Elvis Presley (8/56; #1 Pop and R&B for eight weeks - like the guy on the phone said, "all moms loved Elvis!" This was his mother's favorite early Elvis tune.)

La Bamba - Ritchie Valens (12/58; #22 - my mamacita loved this one, too.)
 Image result for Ritchie Valens

* Heartbeat - Buddy Holly (12/58; #82 - and just under the wire, this one goes out to Glen from his wife Sara. Glen is slated to have heart surgery in early March, and we wish him nothing but the best!)

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

Trivia Answer

Smokey Robinson, once referred to as "America's greatest living poet" by none other than Bob Dylan, has been covered by all of the above-mentioned notables (see top of list). Other guesses included Carole King, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Paul Simon.

Congratulations to Jane from Ithaca, for correctly answering the question and winning a $20 Gift Certificate from Luna!

Host Next Week (3/3/18):  Gregory James with a spotlight on Chart Hits from Late February

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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