Thursday, December 20, 2018

December 15, 2018 - JS - Loose Ends

Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  12/15/18
Host:  John Simon
Feature:  Tying Up Loose Ends

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One last show before 2019 for me! It's loose ends tonight: leftover requests, some more stereo treasures, a little more Mann-Weil, some seasonal tunes, a farewell to Nancy Wilson and - as always - your requests. 6-9 p.m. Eastern on 93.5 FM or streaming at



·      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
·      a glossary of terms is below the playlist


OPENING THEME:  Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll – Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys (1969, #29, produced by Jimi Hendrix)

I Am a Rock - Simon & Garfunkel (5/66; #3 - "A winter's day in a deep and dark December...."  We start off with the original mono 45 of a seasonal classic.)

Image result for I Am a Rock - Simon & GarfunkelImage result for I Wish You Could Be Here - Cyrkle

I Wish You Could Be Here - Cyrkle (2/67; #70 - another one from the pen of Paul Simon, describing the gently falling snow and the crackling of the fire. This record was produced by "the other" John Simon!)

The Look of Love - Lesley Gore (12/64; #27 - a bouncy dance record that had sleigh bells added to the 45 to increase holiday sales. This is that same 45 version.)
Image result for The Look of Love - Lesley Gore

Sleigh Ride - Ronettes (1963; nr - from Phil Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You" LP, featuring the trio from the Bronx backed by a wall of sound.)
Image result for "A Christmas Gift for You"

If We Make it Through December - Merle Haggard (11/73; #28 Pop, #1 C&W for four weeks - this plaintive tale of unemployment and despair in the midst of the holiday season was a big crossover hit for Merle Haggard.)

Just Once In My Life - Righteous Brothers (4/65; #9 - stunning stereo version of a haunting Gerry Goffin/Carole King composition)
 Image result for Just Once In My Life - Righteous Brothers

* Reflections - Diana Ross & The Supremes (8/67; #2 for two weeks - this was the first record to give Diana top billing, and broke their string of four consecutive #1 records. Two years later they'd announce Diana's departure from the group.)

* Green Onions - Booker T & The M.G.s (8/62; #3 Pop, #1 R&B - this request came in during my last show when I mistakenly mentioned bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn in my birthday calendar. Turns out that his birthday was part of the previous week's show  -  and this was a record cut before he even joined the band! Needless to say, it slipped through the cracks that week.)
Image result for booker t and the mgs

Across the Street is a Million Miles Away - Ray Peterson (12/64; #106 - newly-released stereo of this big production with Ray Stevens at the controls. This should've been a big hit. Go figure....)

* The Boy From New York City - Ad Libs (1/65; #8 - this was pretty much their only hit, but it's a doozy! Tonight we hear an alternate take in stunning stereo, going out to David in Vancouver.)
Image result for Ad-Libs

Dawn (Go Away) - 4 Seasons (2/64; #3 for three weeks - this one also comes to you in shimmering stereo. This would've been a #1 record at any other time, but it was released smack in the middle of The Beatles' assault on these shores....)

45 Corner: The Urge for Going - Tom Rush (10/66; dnc - Tom Rush had a knack for discovering unknown songwriters. He released this one as a single a full five years before Joni Mitchell would release a recorded version of it  -  buried on the b-side of her big hit "You Turn Me On, I'm a Radio!")
Image result for The Urge for Going - Tom Rush

* Light My Fire - The Doors (6/67; #1 for four weeks - a special request from our friend Judy. Tonight we hear a custom-made supersonic stereo recreation of the 45 edit, made by my friend Alan Bartenhagen. This truly is "a Rockin' Remnants exclusive!")

* I'll Be Back - The Beatles (1964; NR - it was brought to my attention that the album Beatles '65 was released on December 15, 1964. This is the stereo version released on the Capitol Records LP.)
Image result for Beatles 65


 Birthday Calendar

December 9 – Donny Osmond – age 61

December 11 – David Gates (Bread) – age 78

December 12 – Connie Francis – age 80
            – Dionne Warwick – age 78
            – Dickey Betts (Allman Bros) – age 75

            – Frank Sinatra – born in 1915

December 15 – Jesse Belvin – born in 1933
            – Cindy Birdsong (Supremes)
            – Dave Clark (DC5) – age 77


* Any Way You Want It - Dave Clark 5 (11/64; #14 - the first request of the evening was for something by Dave Clark on his birthday. How about the one I consider the most-compressed single ever released??!? Crank it up at your own risk....)

Good Night My Love (Pleasant Dreams) - Jesse Belvin (12/56; #7 R&B; dnc Pop - one of the most iconic records of the era never even charted on Pop radio! Jesse Belvin died in a car crash at age 26. Playing on this record was a 12-year old pianist named Barry White. Yes, THAT Barry White!)
 Image result for Good Night My Love - Jesse Belvin

Lipstick on Your Collar - Connie Francis (5/59; #5 - coming to you tonight in stunning stereo, with a blistering guitar solo that was played by Jazz great George Barnes.)

(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me - Lou Johnson (8/64; #49 Pop - Dionne Warwick got her start as a session singer for Burt Bacharach and Hal David. She would later have a hit with this song, but we hear her tonight in a supporting role on this, the first charting version of this song by anybody!)
Image result for (There's Always) Something There to Remind Me - Lou Johnson

Strangers In the Night - Frank Sinatra (7/66; #1 Pop, #1 UK for two weeks - this record earned Frank two Grammy Awards: Record of the Year and Pop Male Vocal of the Year. It was also the first time that Frank inserted his famous "dooby-dooby-doo" into a song when he realized that he'd run out of lyrics but the band was still playing!)

They're Jealous of Me - Connie Stevens (8/63; dnc - this stunning record was released on Warner Brothers Records and went nowhere. Behind the console was conductor / arranger David Gates, who produced a string of great singles in LA before forming his group Bread.)
Image result for They're Jealous of Me - Connie Stevens

Everything I Own - Bread (1/72; #5 - in addition to conducting and arranging and singing, David Gates also wrote some fine tunes. This one would be released in the UK by Reggae singer Ken Boothe and by Culture Club's Boy George. Both versions would reach #1!)

I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Supremes and Temptations (12/68; #2 for two weeks - Cindy Birdsong seamlessly  replaced Florence Ballard in The Supremes and was in on this stunning collaboration between two of Motown's biggest groups.)

* Pretty Paper - Roy Orbison (12/63; #15 - I should've checked to see if she wanted to hear this version or the one released by the writer: one Willie Nelson! Either way, happy holidays to one and all.)
Image result for Pretty Paper - Roy Orbison  Image result for Pretty Paper - Willie Nelson

* Blue Bayou - Linda Ronstadt (9/77; #3 for four weeks! - this request came in several shows back and was originally recorded by Roy Orbison. Sorry for the delay!)

* Gimme Just a Little More Time - Chairmen of the Board (1/70; #3 - this was one of the first releases on the new Invictus Records label, established by songwriters Holland/Dozier/Holland after they left their Motown home. Going out to George, who wanted to hear "The General." That would be lead singer General Johnson.)
 Image result for Gimme Just a Little More Time - Chairmen of the Board Image result for General Johnson

45 Corner: The Twelve Gifts of Christmas - Allan Sherman (12/63; #93 Cashbox - coming to you this evening on the original Warner Brothers 7" single, a holiday favorite as interpreted by everybody's favorite Jewish novelty record creator.)

No Milk Today - Herman's Hermits (2/67; #35 Pop, #7 UK - this had already been a big hit in England when M-G-M decided to put it on the flipside of "There's a Kind Of Hush" here in the States. This extended stereo version comes to you courtesy of Germany's Bear Family reissue specialists.)

As Tears Go By - Marianne Faithfull (11/64; #22 - Marianne was a teenaged model who met Mick Jagger and friends at a party. They were quite taken with her and offered her a song they'd recently written - even though they'd never heard her sing. Their own version would reach #5 two years later. Tonight we hear her version in first-time stereo.)


* Wildflower - Skylark (2/73; #9 Pop - this white Soul band from Vancouver had one hit and this is it  -  going out to Carolyn in Connecticut. xo)

I've Got the Music In Me - Kiki Dee (9/74; #12 - Kiki Dee only had two records crack the Top 50. The other one was a duet with Elton John that spent four weeks at #1.)
Image result for I've Got the Music In Me - Kiki Dee

Melissa - Allman Brothers Band (4/72; dnc - this was tucked on the b-side of "Ramblin' Man," and featuring the soaring guitar licks of Dickey Betts, who'd recently become the sole guitarist for the band after the sudden death of Duane Allman.)
Image result for Melissa - Allman Brothers BandImage result for duane allman 

Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me) - Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (9/72; #23 Pop, #28 R&B - the sublime vocal stylings of Edward Cornelius were key to their success in the early Seventies.)

Hey Girl - Donny Osmond (11/71; #9 - Donny had the fortune AND misfortune of having a career that paralleled Michael Jackson's: he started as a member of a "brother" group and then was selected for solo stardom. He eventually found his biggest success as a TV star with his sister, but he DID have a string of solo singles  -  most of them re-makes of Sixties classics like this Goffin-King tune.)
 Image result for osmond brothers Image result for Jackson 5

Goodbye Girl - David Gates (12/77; #15 - after leaving Bread, DG went on to a solo career. This was the title track of a Neil Simon film starring Richard Dreyfuss.)

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Nancy Wilson (12/65; #17 BB Christmas Chart - we lost this classy Jazz vocalist just two days ago at age 81. This one charted twice on Billboard's special "Christmas Chart," both in 1965 and 1967. R.I.P.)
Image result for What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Nancy Wilson Image result for What Are You Doing New Year's Eve - Nancy Wilson

Little Christmas Tree - Michael Jackson (1973; dnc - Berry Gordy produced A Motown Christmas as a two-record set ten years after Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift For You. The Supremes, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles all contributed tracks, but this is my favorite.)
Image result for A Motown Christmas

* Rose of Cimarron - Poco (8/76; #94 - I did a show about a month ago featuring longer versions than the 45 edits we usually hear. This request came near the end of the show and I couldn't quite fit in. Tonight, though, you get the full six+ minutes!)
Image result for Rose of Cimarron - Poco  Image result for Rose of Cimarron - Poco

Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) - Jacksons (1/79; #7 Pop, #3 R&B - Michael had left for a hugely successful solo career and rejoined his brothers to help them rebound. This record was a smash and a dance floor favorite.)

The Immigrant - Neil Sedaka (3/75; #22 - Neil Sedaka dedicated this song to John Lennon, who was embroiled in a fight with the US Immigration people. It still resonates 40+ years later.)

A Simple Game - Four Tops (2/72; #90 Pop, #34 R&B - we end tonight's show with an unlikely cover of a Moody Blues song. See you next year, friends. Thanks for everything!)

Image result for a simple game four tops

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

Glossary of Terms:
dnc = did not chart
nr = not released as a single at the time
AC = Billboard’s chart for “Adult Contemporary” records
BB = Billboard Magazine, which publishes the Hot 100 chart (previously known as the Top 100), along with several other charts
Bubbling Under = songs that were ranked but fell below the top 100
C&W = Billboard’s chart for “Country & Western” records
R&B = Billboard’s chart for “Rhythm & Blues” records
RRHOF = Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
RS500 = Rolling Stone Magazine’s ranked list of the top 500 singles of all-time

Host Next Week (12/22/18):  Gregory James with a spotlight on Classic Record Labels of the Oldies Era

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

Thanks again to our sponsors Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa for their support every week!

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