Thursday, February 7, 2019

February 2, 2019 - JS - Living in the USA

Rockin' Remnants

Tonight - it's an audio roadtrip with me & my buddy George on WVBR's Rockin' Remnants. We'll travel from coast-to-coast with stops (in no particular order) in Baltimore, the Big Apple, Boston, Seattle and New Orleans. We'll wind from Chicago to LA (with stops in Muskogee and Flagstaff and Amarillo) - and we'll do it all in just three hours, and your ticket is free! 6-9 p.m. Eastern Time at 93.5 or streaming at


Rockin' Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our webpage, like us on Facebook, and tune in to 93.5 or stream the show every Saturday night from 6-9pm! (Or download the WVBR+ app now available for iOS and Android!)

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

Date: 2/2/19
Host:  John Simon & George Nettleton
Feature:  Living in the USA



·      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)

Sweet Little Sixteen - Chuck Berry (2/58; #2 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks - a veritable roll-call of cities in the US that were rockin' and rollin' back in the late Fifties!)

Living in the USA - Wilmer & The Dukes (8/69; #114 - this was written and recorded by Steve Miller, but the first version released on 45 was from Western NY's own Wilmer & The Dukes!)

Night Train - James Brown (4/62; #5 - often considered an instrumental, this one actually has James Brown's voice shouting out the names of some the biggest cities in the US.)

Back In the USA - Linda Ronstadt (8/78; #16 - a rockin' version of Chuck Berry's paean to his native land.)

America - Simon & Garfunkel (11/72; #97 - this song was an album track on 1967's Bookends LP, but Columbia released it as a single five years later. A poignant vignette taking place on a cross-country bus trip....)

(The Lights Went Out In) Massachusetts - Bee Gees (11/67; #11 - their third single here in the States actually spent four weeks at the top of the charts in the UK.)

Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver (4/71; #2 - this was John Denver's first charting single, co-written by his back-up singers Bill & Taffy Danoff, aka "Fat City.")

* City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie (7/72; #18 - this one was written by Steve Goodman and went on to become Arlo's highest-charting single.)

Walking to New Orleans - Fats Domino (6/60; #6 Pop, #2 R&B - speaks for itself.)

Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison (5/59; #1 for two weeks - The Beatles would later record it, but this is the definitive version.)

* Boy From New York City - Ad-Libs (1/65; #8 - they were a quartet from Newark, NJ. Listener Tom Preston was once fired from a Virginia radio station. As he headed back to NY and asked them to play it for him. They did, but they didn't mention his name. Tonight we do!)

New York's a Lonely Town - Trade Winds (2/65; #32 - on the Red Bird label, a plaintive lament about moving to a strange land.)

Route 66 - Rolling Stones (1965; dnc - this album track came from the December's Children LP. It's a live version of the Bobby Troup composition that describes the highway that winds from Chicago to LA.)

Dead End Street - Lou Rawls (3/67; #29 - this is an autobiographical track from a guy who grew up in "the windy city" called Chicago.)


 Birthday Calendar

January 29 – James Jamerson – born in 1936

February 1 – Don Everly (Everly Bros.) – age 82

February 2 – Graham Nash age 77

 I Was Made to Love Her - Stevie Wonder (6/67; #2 Pop, #1 R&B for four weeks - it starts "I was born in Little Rock," but the main event is the stunning bass lines provided by Mr. James Jamerson, who played on more #1 records than the Beatles, Elvis and The Beach Boys, combined!)

Ohio - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (6/70; #14 - Neil Young wrote this and the band recorded it within days of the tragic shootings at Kent State by Ohio National Guardsmen. Graham Nash sang the high harmony.)

Bowling Green - Everly Brothers (5/67; #40 - this was the brothers' final Top Forty hit: a lilting testimonial to their native land.)

* Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell (11/68; #3 Pop, #1 C&W for three weeks - FIVE PEOPLE called this one in, making it the biggest hit of the evening. Jim Webb wrote it, Carol Kaye played bass on it, and Glen Campbell rode it to a Grammy award.)

Kentucky Rain - Elvis Presley (2/70; #16 - Elvis made a stirring comeback in the early Seventies. This was recorded in Memphis and still gives goosebumps.)

Kentucky Woman - Deep Purple (11/68; #38 - Neil Diamond wrote it and took it to #22 a year earlier, but these guys made it their own. George caught them live in concert while this was on the radio and says they were unforgettable!)

* Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles (11/60; #1 - listener Bill called in from Interlaken and said "I Have two words for you: 'Ray' and 'Charles.' You know what to do....")

* Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley (5/64; #29 - this was the title track from one of a string of movies Elvis made in the Sixties. Listener Barbara from Danby said that we needed to 'lighten things up a bit' and requested this one. Done!)

Rainy Night in Georgia - Brook Benton (1/70; #4 Pop, #1 R&B - Tony Joe White wrote this mournful number and Brook Benton stormed back out of oblivion with one of the greatest records of the era.)

* Me & Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin (3/71; #1 for two weeks - this is the single taken from her Pearl LP, written by Kris Kristofferson. It takes you from Baton Rouge to Salinas!)

The Lord Must Be in New York City - Nilsson (11/69; #34 - this one was created for the film Midnight Cowboy, but it wasn't done in time. Still, it's forever linked to the film.)

Okie From Muskogee - Merle Haggard (1/70; #41 Pop, #1 C&W for four weeks - this was Country Music's Record of The Year, and was a classic example of the culture wars of the Late Sixties. It opens with "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee." Don't bet on it.)

* Never Been to Spain - Three Dog Night (12/71; #5 - listener Judy hails from Oklahoma and wanted a song that mentioned her roots. We gave her two in a row. Take that!)


By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Mad Lads (8/69; #84 Pop, #28 R&B - Glen Campbell had the biggest hit with this one, but these guys just killed it.)

Kentucky Bluebird (Message to Martha) - Lou Johnson (10/64; #104 - Dionne Warwick would have a Top Ten hit with this two years later, but this is the original version. Guess who sings back-up on this one....)

Do You Know the Way to San Jose - Dionne Warwick (4/68; #10 - she got her start as a back-up singer and doing demos for Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and earned a Grammy Award in the Female Pop Vocal category for this record.)

* Tennessee Waltz - Bobby Comstock & The Counts (10/59; #52 - Ithaca's own Bobby Comstock first hit the national charts with this cover of the big Patti Page hit. The caller remembers The Counts playing at his Cornell fraternity back in the day.)

* Lodi - Creedence Clearwater Revival (5/69; #52 - this was tucked onto the b-side of Proud Mary and was not written about the New Jersey town  -  or the Upstate NY one. This Lodi is in Northern California and the request was called in from the Gulf Coast of Florida!)

* Galveston - Glen Campbell (3/69; #4 Pop, #1 C&W for three weeks - another classic Jimmy Webb composition, recorded by his most consistent interpreter.)

I Left My Heart in San Francisco - Tony Bennett (8/62; #19 - this one won Grammys for Record of the Year and Male Pop Vocal of the Year. My favorite part is the piano playing.....)

* San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In your Hair) - Scott McKenzie (5/67; #4 Pop, #1 UK for four weeks - maybe the definitive anthem for "The Summer of Love," this was written by Scott's former band mate and dear friend John Phillips, who actually named his daughter "McKenzie.")

Seattle - Perry Como (4/69; #38 - Perry Como got his start in the Thirties, so this was a surprisingly strong comeback record for him. It helped that it was theme song for the hit TV show Here Come the Brides, starring young David Soul and Bobby Sherman.)

Barefoot in Baltimore - Strawberry Alarm Clock (8/68; #67 - the group released a number of singles on the UNI label after Incense & Peppermints, but they never repeated its success. Our buddy JR has always thought that this sounded like a TV theme song.)

Native New Yorker - Odyssey (11/77; #21 Pop, #6 R&B - this was a Disco dance hall favorite on the RCA label.)

45 Corner:  Indiana Wants Me - R. Dean Taylor (9/70; #5 - this was released on the Rare Earth label, which was a Motown subsidiary. The original 45 has a siren sound effect that led to multiple complaints around the country as drivers thought they needed to pull over. It was re-pressed without the opening siren, and all CD reissues are missing that effect from the original 45. Tonight you get the uncensored original.)

Amarillo By Morning - Terry Stafford (12/73; #31 C&W - this would eventually become one of George Strait's signature songs in the early Eighties, but tonight you get the original. Route 66 runs right through Amarillo. Here it is!)

Dancing In the Street - Martha & The Vandellas (8/62; #2 - this clocks in at #40 in the RS500 list of the greatest singles of the era. They're dancing in Chicago, Baltimore and DC....)

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 (2/9/19):  Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on Valentine's Day

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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