Friday, February 14, 2020

February 8, 2020: GJ - Songs for the Unlucky in Love


Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  February 8, 2020
Host:  Gregory James
Feature:  Unlucky in Love

Birthday Calendar
February 2
Graham Nash       78 years old

February 3
Dave Davies 73 years old
Dennis Edwards (Temptations)  b. 2/3/43--d. 2/2/18
Melanie (Safka)    73 years old

February 4
Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier)    72 years old
James Dunn (Stylistics)      70 years old
Marge Ganser (Shangri-Las)  b. 2/4/48—d. 7/28/96
Mary Ann Ganser (Shangri-Las)   b. 2/4/48—d. 3/14/70
Florence LaRue (Fifth Dimension)    76 years old

February 5
Hal Blaine     (Wrecking Crew)  b. 2/5/29—d. 3/11/2019
Barrett Strong      79 years old
Al Kooper             76 years old

February 6
Fabian   77 years old
Bob Marley   b. 2/6/45--d. 5/11/81

February 7
King Curtis    (Coasters sax player)  b. 2/7/34--d. 8/13/71

Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia

In the film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” which Motown star was most extensively interviewed about the Funk Brothers?

(scroll down to find the answer below the playlist)


·     blue 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

 Title        Artist        Release Year        Peak Chart Spot


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

Alone Again   Gilbert O’Sullivan     1972  #1
O’Sullivan was 21 when he composed this complex ballad that asks some big questions. Guitar solo by Big Jim Sullivan

Since I Lost My Baby  Temptations  1965  
#17 Pop; #4 R&B
Written by Smokey Robinson and Pete Moore, the track features the string section of the Detroit Symphony. Interesting that the symphony’s string players could moonlight without a hassle, but the Funk Brothers were fined by Berry Gordy if they moonlighted outside of Motown.

Image result for since i lost my baby

Bye Bye Love    Everly Brothers    1957 
#2 Pop, #1 Country, #5 R&B
The song was offered to 30 other musicians before being offered to the Everlys. The song charted for 27 weeks.

Baby’s in Black         Beatles         1964  DNC
Lennon and McCartney sang their vocal parts simultaneously through the same microphone. This was done at their own insistence in order to achieve a closer feel to the performance.

Heartbreak Hotel       Elvis Presley      1956  #1  
In addition to his usual musicians, this track features Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer. The track hit the top 5 of the Pop, R&B and Country charts simultaneously and was his first million seller.

When Will I Be Loved  Linda Ronstadt    1975    #2  
Andrew Gold plays the guitar solo on this cover of the Phil Everly tune.

Heartache Tonight    Eagles   1979  #1 Hot 100
Legend has it that Bob Seger (who provided uncredited backing vocals) provided the chorus to the song.

Poor Poor Pitiful Me Warren Zevon   1976  DNC
This track was produced by Jackson Browne with backing vocals by Lindsey Buckingham.

Image result for poor pitiful me wqrren zevon

*End of the World    Herman’s Hermits     1965  DNC
The B- side to “I’m Henry the Eighth I Am.” Request from Dede.

Image result for end of the world herman's hermits

*We’re Going Wrong Cream    1967   DNC
Request! Jack Bruce wrote and sang this song which features some very busy playing by tympanist Ginger Baker. From the Disraeli Gears LP.

*Crying Roy Orbison  1962  #2
This song was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2002. Requested by Barbara.

*You Don’t Own Me  Lesley Gore  1964  #2
Requested by Terry. This track, recorded when Gore was 17, was her second most successful track, and her last top ten single. In 2016 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying 
Gerry and the Pacemakers   1964  #4 Hot 100
George Martin produced this track.

Image result for don't let the sun catch you crying

Paint It Black      Rolling Stones     1966  #1 Hot 100
The jury is out on whether the line “I have to turn my head until my darkness goes” was lifted from Ulysses by James Joyce as some have claimed. I never finished the book myself…

Image result for paint it black

This Old Heart of Mine    Isley Brothers   1966 
#12 Hot 100, # 6 R&B
Ronald Isley sings lead on this H-D-H/Sylvia Moy composition. This was their only major hit at Motown which they left in 1969 to form their own label. The Andantes sing backup and Mike Terry blows the sax solo.

Image result for this old heart of mine isley brothers

*Lose Again Karla Bonoff   1977     DNC
From her eponymous first album (which was certified gold), this track featured some of L.A.’s best sessions musicians at the time. The track was covered by Linda Ronstadt for whom it charted.

Image result for lose again karla bonoff

49 Bye Byes Crosby, Stills and Nash  1969
The cover photo of their first album was taken on the porch of an abandoned West Hollywood house which was demolished only a few days after the photo was taken. From left to right the musicians seated on the sofa are Nash, Stills and Crosby.

Image result for crosby stills and nash

Set Me Free        Kinks   1965   #23
Recorded at Pye Studios in London, this was the sixth single released by The Kinks.

Image result for set me free kinks

I Can’t Get Next to You   Temptations  1969  #1
Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, this track was the second of four Temptations number one hits in the U.S.

Image result for i can't get next to you

Bitter Bad    Melanie Safka   1973   #36
Safka began singing in Greenwich Village folk clubs while studying acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Melanie was one of only three female solo performers at Woodstock. She formed her own Neighborhood record label after stints on Columbia and Buddah.

Break Up to Make Up   Stylistics    1973   #5
This single from their Round 2 LP was the group’s fourth gold record.

Image result for breakup to makeup stylistics live

You and Me Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier) 
1977 #9
Cooper is also a film actor, a golfing celebrity, a restaurateur, and, since 2004, a popular radio DJ.

Image result for you and me alice cooper

I’ll Never Learn  Shangri-Las   1967  DNC
The rather amazing and admirable B-side to “Sweet Sounds of Summer” on the Mercury label.

Image result for ill never learn shangri las

Another Day, Another Heartache Fifth Dimension  1967  #35
This track written by Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan from the “Up, Up and Away” LP sounds a lot like the Mamas and the Papas. In fact, the 5th Dimension did cover John Phillips’ composition of “Go Where You Want to Go” on the same album.

Image result for another day another heartache

Misery   Barrett Strong      19xx       DNC
Strong is a prolific songwriter as well as performer.

Image result for misery barrett strong

I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know  1967  DNC
Al Kooper/Blood Sweat and Tears
In his biography, Kooper says he closed his eyes, thought of Otis Redding (who had died the night before in a plane crash) and recorded his vocal track in one take.

Image result for i love you more than you'll ever know blood sweat and tears

You Know You Belong to Somebody Else       Fabian 
1960 DNC
Known as much for his looks as his voice, Fabian once posed in the buff for Playgirl magazine.

Image result for you know you belong to somebody else fabian

She’s Gone         Bob Marley   1978       DNC
A very cool song about love lost due to professional pressures.

Image result for she's gone bob marley

What About Us   Coasters   1959  
#47 Hot 100, #17 R&B
Written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. For the Coasters alone, they wrote twenty-four songs that appeared in the U.S. charts.

Image result for what about us the coasters

*What a Fool Believes     Doobie Brothers  1979  #1
Request! This was the 1980 Grammy Song of the Year.

Standing … Shadows of Love  Four Tops 1967
#2 R&B, #6 Hot 100.
Levi Stubbs sings the anguished lead vocal, backed by the Andantes.

 My Little Red Book  Love       1966  #52 Hot 100
This was prototypical garage and punk rock before those genres even existed. Composter Burt Bacharach was displeased by the way Love changed the chord progression. This video clip is notable for the audience shots and Dick Clark's attempt to interview a band that was clearly putting him on.

Tainted Love      Gloria Jones 1961/1976  DNC
Jones is a prolific singer, songwriter and pianist. Her original version of this song did not chart but was a huge dance track in the UK. Jones performed in musicals such as Hair, wrote several Motown songs, and performed with T. Rex.

Image result for tainted love gloria jones

Only Love Can Break A Heart   Gene Pitney 1962 
#2 Hot 100,  #16 R&B
Pitney was a successful songwriter as well as a singer. His composition “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals kept his own recording of “Only Love Can Break a Heart” from the #1 spot.

Image result for gene pitney - only love can break a heart

What Becomes Of The BrokenHearted     Jimmy Ruffin   1966  #7 Hot 100  #6 R&B
Backing instrumentation by the Funk Brothers and vocals by the Andantes and the Originals. The song was originally intended to have a spoken introduction, but it was cut from the final mix, which explains why the instrumental opening is so long. Check out the video for the spoken intro.

It’s Too Late       Carole King      1971  #1
The track is notable for its’ minor key and harmonic resolution to the mediant note rather than to the tonic. I had to look it up, too. Danny Kortchmar on guitar (check out the video) and Curtis Amy on sax.

*Band of Gold     Freda Payne   1970    #3
Request! Composed by H-D-H under the pseudonym of Edith Wayne because of a legal wrangle they were in with Motown at the time. The Funk Brothers provide the instrumentation with electric sitar by Dennis Coffey and lead guitar by Ray Parker, Jr.

*I Heard It Through the Grapevine  Marvin Gaye  1968  #1
Originally an album track on Gaye’s “In the Groove,” it was not released as a single until it started getting heavy radio airplay. The track, which has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, took two months to record and mix due to extensive overdubbing.

Somebody Nobody Wants     Dion       1961  DNC
Dion was offered a seat on the flight that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper, but it would have cost $36, so Dion took the tour bus instead. A musical about his life (called The Wanderer) is scheduled to open in May of 2020 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.

Walk Away Renee            Left Banke            1966  #5
On the charts for 13 weeks, this baroque pop classic was inspired by the real life Renee Fladen-Kamm who was present in the control room during the recording.

The Thrill Is Gone     B.B. King       1970  #15
This track, which earned King a Grammy, was the first time strings were used in his recordings.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do      Neil Sedaka  
1976 Version   #8
Only the second instance (at that time) that two versions of the same song by the same artist made the Billboard top 10.

Image result for breaking up is hard to do slow version

Unlucky In Love        Leo Sayer  1975  DNC
Born in the UK, Sayer is now an Australian citizen. He is divorced from his wife and separated from his girlfriend, so you could say he is indeed unlucky in love.

Image result for unlucky in love leo sayer

Valentine’s Day         James Taylor       1988  DNC
I had to include this neo-folk assessment of how complex relationships can be. Don Grolnick on piano, Jay Leonhart on bass and Mark O’Connor on violin.

Image result for valentine's day james taylor

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

Trivia Answer:
Martha Reeves, lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas and Detroit City Council Member 2005-2009. She led the 2007 effort to re-name Detroit’s West Grand Boulevard to Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard, the original site of Motown’s Hitsville USA.

Congratulations to Pam from the City of Ithaca, for correctly answering the question and winning a pair of passes to Cinemapolis!

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
H-D-H = Holland, Dozier and Holland, Motown composers
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 on February 15, 2020: Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on Rockin’ Remnants Goes to the Movies.

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