Friday, October 16, 2020

October 10, 2020 GJ Tracks from Rolling Stone Magazine's Updated Greatest Songs and Albums

Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  October 10, 2020

Host:  Gregory James

Feature: Rolling Stone Magazine’s Rating of Albums and Songs

Birthday Calendar

October 5

Arlene Smith  (Chantels) 79 years old

Steve Miller 77 years old

Buckwheat Stevenson  (b. 1949 d. 1988)

October 6

Millie Small  (b. 1946  d. 5/5/2020)

Eddie Van Halen died on October 6, 2020 at the age of 65.

Johnny Nash died on October 6, 2020 at the age of 80.

October 7

John Cougar Mellencamp 69 years old

October 9

Jackson Browne 72 years old

John Lennon  (b. 1940  d. 1980)  

John Entwistle (b. 1944  d. 2002)

October 10

David Lee Roth 65 years old


* 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)

Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane  1967  RS # 279 Song  

Written by Darby Slick, Grace Slick’s brother in law (seen pictured below with their band "The Great Society") about his reaction to being left by his girlfriend.

The Great Society | Discography | Discogs

    Isley Brothers  1959  RS #119 Song

The second part of the song, which included friends of the Isleys to create the sound of a party, was the B-side to the Part I A-side.

You Can Call Me Al
    Paul Simon  1986     Graceland    RS # 46 Album

Paul Simon and his then wife Peggy Harper were at a party and a guest called Paul “Al” and Peggy “Betty.”

Be My Baby   Ronettes  1963 RS #22 Song

The castanets are played, as far as I can determine, by either Hal Blaine or Frank Capp.

That’ll Be the Day     Buddy Holly 1957    RS# 39 Song

The title of the song was inspired by a line spoken by John Wayne in the 1956 film “The Searchers.”

That'll Be the Day - Wikipedia

Once in a Lifetime Talking Heads   1980    Remain in Light    RS #39 Album 

The melody was developed by the Talking Heads playing extended Afrobeat jams. David Byrne developed the lyrics as if he were giving a sermon about how attachment to materialism sneaks up on you.

*So You Are a Star Hudson Brothers     1974    H100 Peak #21  

For Brooktondale Peggy and the Honey Hive Crew from Scotty. Advance request via

Gimme Shelter    Rolling Stones   1969    RS #38 Song    

Let It Bleed  RS #41 Album 

After a call from Jack Nitzsche, a pregnant Merry Clayton came into the studio and recorded her vocal lines in the middle of the night.

Bo Diddley    Bo Diddley 1955    RS # 62 Song

The song was the first rock and roll recording to use the African patted juba beat which, in the U.S., became known as the Bo Diddley beat.

I Feel the Earth Move     Carole King     1971  Tapestry RS #25 Album

Although there is nice guitar work by Danny Kortchmar on the recording, producer Lou Adler made sure to highlight King’s piano in the final mix.

In My Life Beatles    1965      RS #23 Song    Rubber Soul   RS #35 Album

John Lennon called this song his first autobiographical composition. It is hypothesized that the lyric, “Some are dead and some are living” refers to himself and to original Beatle bassist Stu Sutcliffe.

Go Your Own Way    Fleetwood Mac   1977   RS #120 Song    

Rumors   #8  RS Album

Lindsay Buckingham’s song about breaking up with Stevie Nicks features a guitar solo compiled from six different lead guitar takes.

Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35    Bob Dylan   1966    Blonde on Blonde  

RS #38 Album

Producer Bob Johnston came up with the idea of making the track sound like a Salvation Army band. To add to that effect, several of the musicians traded instruments with each other.

Inside Bob Dylan's 'Blonde on Blonde': Rock's First Great Double Album -  Rolling Stone

He’s a Rebel       Crystals     1962 RS #267 Song

The song, written by Gene Pitney, was actually recorded by The Blossoms with Darlene Love on lead vocal and credited to The Crystals.

The Blossoms Page


Maybe    Chantels   1958   RS #199 Song 

Lead singer Arlene Smith trained in classical voice and performed at Carnegie Hall when she was 12. She wrote music and lyrics for the Chantels, but was not always credited. This song was famously covered by Janis Joplin.

Honorary street naming/tribute for The Chantels, April 5 | New York  Amsterdam News: The new Black view

Going to the Country   Steve Miller    1970  

A bit of psychedelic country that peaked on the H100 at #69.

Antiwar Songs (AWS) - Never Kill Another Man

My Maria    B. W. Stevenson   1973    H100 peak #9

Stevenson  was known as Buckwheat to his friends in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff.

Our Memories of B. W. Stevenson

Sweet William     Millie Small    1964   H100 peak #40

Small was born in Jamaica and was the Caribbean’s first international recording star.

Millie Small - Sweet William - YouTube

I Need a Lover   John Mellencamp   1979  H100 peak #28

Mellencamp has had 22 top 40 hits and he is a founding member of Farm Aid.  He was never fond of the stage name Cougar that was given to him by label management.

John Cougar* - I Need A Lover (1979, Vinyl) | Discogs

Rock Me on the Water  Jackson Browne   1972  H100 peak #48

Browne wrote: “I staked a lot on that song, because it [combined] social awareness and … the inner search for spiritual meaning."  You heard the single 45 RPM version that has more vocal harmonies, more guitar and more percussion than the album version.

45cat - Jackson Browne - Rock Me On The Water / Something Fine - Asylum -  USA - AS-11006

Stand by Me John Lennon     1975  H100 peak #20

This single was Lennon’s final hit before his five-year retreat from the music industry to raise his son Sean (who shares his birthday).

The Real Me    The Who    1974  H100 peak #92

According to a 1996 interview, John Entwistle said the bass part was recorded on the first take. Entwistle claimed he was "joking around" when he played the part, but the band loved it and they used it in the final version.

Runnin’ with the Devil   Van Halen   1978  #84  RRHOF

In the same week that David Lee Roth celebrated his 65th birthday, Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65. R.I.P. Eddie.

I Believe in Music    Mac Davis   1970   H100 peak #117

On September 29, 2020 Mac Davis died at the age of 78. He was born in Lubbock, TX and he was buried in Lubbock in his favorite blue jeans.  He was a singer, an actor and he wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Nancy Sinatra, B. J. Thomas, Bobby Goldsboro, O.C. Smith and Kenny Rogers.

Mac Davis - I Believe in Music

Hold Me Tight   Johnny Nash    1968     H100 Peak #5

Johnny Nash died on October 6, 2020 at the age of 80. Nash, from Houston, went to Jamaica to hear first hand the music emerging there. He recorded his iconic song “I Can See Clearly Now,” inspired by the Jamaican music that he introduced to a broader audience. It was Nash who signed Bob Marley to his first record deal and taught him how to use a microphone for recording. - JOHNNY NASH-Hold Me Tight-LP-1968 Festival original  Australian issue-SFL-933,109 - auction details

Johnny B. Goode  Chuck Berry  1958  RS #7 Song

The last name of the song’s hero may have come from Berry’s birthplace: 2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis.

Chuck Berry and Johnny B. Goode go go to Rocksmith | TheXboxHub

In the Still of the Night Five Satins  1956 RS #90 Song

The song was recorded in the basement of a New Haven Catholic school. It is one of the best-known doo-wop songs, in part because the phrase “doo wop” is actually used in the lyrics.

The Five Satins, "In The Still Of The Night" « American Songwriter

Suffragette City     David Bowie  1972  Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust  

RS#40 Album

Bowie incorporated several musical influences, including the piano style of Little Richard, and the refrain “Hey Man” from the Velvet Underground.

Foxy Lady  Jimi Hendrix  1967  RS#153 Song   

Are You Experienced  RS #30 Album

There have been a couple of contenders speculated for the foxy lady: Heather Taylor and Faye Pridgon.

Long Tall Sally Little Richard   1957     RS #55 Song

Lee Allen played the tenor sax solo. The tempo was deliberately fast to prevent copycat versions of the song.


Hound Dog Elvis Presley 1956     RS #19 Song

The basic rhythm to Presley’s version of this Leiber and Stoller song was a three beat Afro-Latin pattern known as the Habanera. Presley and his band saw Freddie Bell and the Bellboys perform the song in Las Vegas and decided to make their own version. On the recording, Gordon Stoker, who usually sang first tenor for the Jordanaires, needed to fill in on piano. As he could not both play and sing, the back up vocals were, by his own account, “the worst…we ever got on any record.”

River Deep Mountain High   Tina Turner  1966  RS #33 Song

Twenty one session musicians played on this track, including Leon Russell and Glen Campbell.

A Day in the Life    Beatles   1967    RS #28 Song   

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (RS #24 Album)   

The 40 second fade out was created by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Mal Evans all slamming out an E-major chord simultaneously on three pianos. The recording level was boosted as the chord faded out, which is why studio noises (a squeaking chair, papers rustling) can be heard. 

Respect   Aretha Franklin  1967  RS #5 Song   

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You  RS #13 Album  

Ever wonder how the expression “Sock it to me” came into general usage? Aretha's version of the Otis Redding song and Mitch Ryder's "Devil with the Blue Dress" (written by Mickey Stevenson and Shorty Long). 

The Number Ones: Aretha Franklin's “Respect” - Stereogum

He’s Misstra Know-It-All Stevie Wonder  1973   InnerVisions  RS #34 Album

This 1973 song, seemingly written about then-President Richard Nixon, has lost none of its political punch today.

All I Have to Do is Dream    Everly Brothers   1958   RS #142 Song

This track was recorded live in two takes.

All I Want Joni Mitchell 1971 Blue    RS #3 Album

Mitchell’s LP Blue is the highest entry by a woman on the RS Greatest Album list.  Check out this 1970 video where she previews "All I Want" while she was still working on it. Notice how different the lyrics are from those on Blue.

God Only Knows   Beach Boys    1966   RS #25 Song     Pet Sounds  RS #2 album

Two of the percussive effects are sleigh bells by Hal Blaine and two plastic orange juice bottles struck against each other by Jim Gordon. Alan Robinson plays the iconic French horn part. If you want to take a deep dive into the recording process of this song, watch the video.

Dance to the Music Sly and the Family Stone 1968      RS #225 Song

This track was an early influence on psychedelic soul and funk music.

Sly & The Family Stone | bandbyweek

Nowhere to Run Martha and the Vandellas     1965    RS #367 Song

In 1962 Martha Reeves replaced Gloria Williams as lead singer of the Vandellas. They shot this promotional film on a moving Mustang assembly line in Detroit.

London Calling    The Clash    1979  RS #15 Song  

London Calling     RS #16 Album

The song makes reference to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the possibility of the River Thames flooding central London, and the use of truncheons by the Metropolitan Police. The fadeout is Morse Code for S.O.S.

Eleanor Rigby     Beatles   1966    RS #138 Song     Revolver   RS #11 Album

The double string quartet was arranged by George Martin. George Harrison contributed “Ah look at all the lonely people,” and Ringo Starr added “writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear.”

BACKSTORY: Was There a REAL 'Eleanor Rigby'?

Like a Rolling Stone   Bob Dylan   1965    RS #1 Song

Highway 61 Revisited     RS #18 Album  

Al Kooper, who was just starting out as a session player, improvised the organ riff. Paul Griffin played piano, and Bobby Gregg played the opening snare drum shot heard around the world.

Analysis: Bob Dylan's “Like A Rolling Stone” – Peter Crosbie

What’s Going On   Marvin Gaye  1971   RS #4 Song   

What’s Going On RS #1 Album

This was the first album to credit Gaye as producer and to give explicit credit to Motown session players The Funk Brothers, who can be heard speaking under the song’s introduction.  This was the track that bassist James Jamerson played while lying on the floor.  Background vocals were by the Andantes and three members of the Detroit Lions football team, among others. Eli Fontaine played an alto sax riff as a goof, but Marvin Gaye liked it so much he made it the opening of the song. If you want to see James Jamerson and Eddie Bongo Brown in action, watch the video.

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

 Glossary of Terms:

RS500 = Rolling Stone Magazine’s ranked list of the top 500 singles and albums of all-time

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 

H100 = Hot 100 Chart

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

Host October 17, 2020: Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on Double Plays: The Same Charting Song by Two Different Artists.

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