Friday, November 13, 2020

November 7, 2020 - JS - Spotlight on 1968


Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  11/7/20

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  November 7, 1968

Max Frost And The Troopers* - Shape Of Things To Come / Free Lovin' (1968,  Vinyl) | Discogs

Take a break from nail-biting and doom-scrolling tonight as JS takes you on a trip back to early November of 1968. Power Pop, gritty R&B, hard-driving Rock 'n' Roll and some "guilty pleasure" schmaltz hand-picked for you just when you can really use some escapist entertainment. You'll hear some rare slabs of vinyl, some stunning new stereo mixes and even some advance-placed listener requests! 6-9pm Eastern time at 93.5 on your FM dial or streaming at Rockin' Remnants: we're a "Big Tent Party!"1968: 50 Years Later – Geneseo, NY Calendar of Events

(scroll down to find a glossary of terms)






·     keep an eye out for 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)


Hooked On a Feeling - BJ Thomas (#103 > #5 - stuck in its third week at #103, but on the verge of breaking free and working its way to the Top 5, this one features the session guitar playing of Reggie Young.)

B.J. Thomas - Hooked On A Feeling (1968, Pitman Pressing, Vinyl) | Discogs


Midnight Confessions - Grass Roots (#10 < #5 - that's probably Carole Kaye playing the opening bass line on this track, which was the band's successful attempt to break away from their "Folk Rock" roots by adding horns and a driving dance beat. It worked!)


The House That Jack Built - Aretha Franklin (this had recently peaked at #6 - it was also a two-sided hit record for her, and I Say a Little Prayer was still on the chart this week.)

The House That Jack Built / I Say a Little Prayer by Aretha Franklin  (Single; Atlantic; 650 113): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate  Your Music


Crown of Creation - Jefferson Airplane (debuting at #91 this week - this was the title track of their brand new LP and reflected some of the angry revolutionary spirit of the tumultuous times. It would stall at #64, but the whole album would get lots of airplay on FM radio.)


Street Fighting Man - Rolling Stones (this had spent two weeks stuck at #48 in late October - Rolling Stone Magazine, though, ranked it at #301 in the RS500. Both of these last two tracks featured session piano man Nicky Hopkins. This record came out at about the same time as the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, where there was plenty of "street fighting.")

45cat - The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man / No Expectations - London  - USA - 45-909


* For What It's Worth (Stop Hey What's That Sound) - Buffalo Springfield (4/67; #7 - Stephen Stills' anthem about street protest resonates eerily today, fifty-three years after he wrote it about unrest in the streets of Los Angeles. Going out thanks to Lynne.)


Be My Baby - Ronettes (11/63; #2 for three weeks - tonight you get a special treat: a stunning stereo mix of Phil Spector's "Wall-of-Sound" magic that Rolling Stone ranked as the #22 greatest record of all-time, with thanks to my engineering friend "Bart Alan" who could be heard on WUNH radio back in the early Sixties.)


Surfer Girl - Beach Boys (11/63; #7 - this record had fallen to #42 at this week in 1963, but there was a two-sided Beach Boys hit rapidly climbing the charts as this one fell. This had the distinction of being the first Brian Wilson ballad released as a single. That's his soaring vocal singing lead, too.)

You've Never Heard The Beach Boys' “Surfer Girl” Quite Like This – Or HAVE  You? | Society Of Rock


The Wanderer - Dion (12/61; #2 - Dion had left the Belmonts for a solo career and was churning out some great records on the Laurie Records label. This one features background vocals by the Del Satins, and is in breathtaking stereo just for you!)


Love Child - Diana Ross & Supremes (#3, headed to #1 - songwriting/production team Holland/Dozier/Holland had just left Motown over an unresolvable contractual dispute, and many industry insiders were worried that the Motown magic had left with them. Not to worry: a team of writers created this gem, and it was getting ready to de-throne the Beatles' Hey Jude as the #1 record in America.)

45cat - Diana Ross And The Supremes - Love Child / Will This Be The Day -  Motown - USA - M 1135


Keep On Lovin' Me Honey - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (peaking on this date at #24 Pop, #11 R&B - Tammi Terrell recorded her vocal track just two days before she would collapse on stage in Marvin's arms. The diagnosis was a brain tumor, and she'd never perform again. She died two years later.) | Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye – A Different Kind of Love


* I've Got Dreams to Remember - Otis Redding (peaking on this date at #41 and headed to #6 R&B - speaking of tragedy, Otis had died in a plane crash just 11 months earlier. Atco Records continued releasing stuff from the vaults, and Otis continued to have hits on the charts.)

Otis Redding - I've Got Dreams To Remember (1968, Vinyl) | Discogs


* 45 Corner:  Shape of Things To Come - Max Frost & The Troopers (peaking in its third week at #22 - this was the hit single from the teen political flick called Wild In The Streets. Max Frost and the Troopers were really a group of uncredited session musicians, and most versions on CD are in wide stereo. The 45, though, is in tough and punchy mono, and is a true thing of raw power and beauty. That's what we'll hear tonight.)


Abraham, Martin & John - Dion (at #18 this week, headed to #4 - MLK had been killed in April. RFK had been killed in June. The nation was in mourning, and this record seemed to provide audio comfort to the masses. Four other versions reached the charts: comedienne Moms Mabley had a poignant version; Smokey Robinson & The Miracles had a soulful version, LA deejay Tom Clay had an eerily moving version that incorporated sound clips from newscasts, and Marvin Gaye had one in the UK two years later, but this is the definitive version. Watch this performance on the Smothers Brothers TV show.)

When You Walk In The Room - The Searchers (10/64; #35 - Jackie DeShannon was the writer and had released the original version, but the Searchers' jangly guitars and driving rendition sound great on the radio tonight.)

Gonna Get Along Without You Now - Skeeter Davis (5/64; #48 - Patience & Prudence had the original hit back in 1958, but Skeeter Davis had Nashville's finest players backing her up and transformed it from a Novelty record into a surprisingly affecting "kiss off" record. Meanwhile, the election results keep trickling in....)

Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now (Recorded by Patience and Prudence on  Liberty Records): Books  Gonna Get Along Without You Now by Skeeter Davis on Amazon Music -




 Birthday Calendar


November 1 – Ronald "Kool" Bell  – born in 1951


November 2 – Jay Black (The Americans) – age 82

            – Keith Emerson – born in 1944

            – JD Souther – age 74

            – Maxine Nightingale – age 68


November 3 – Lulu – age 72


November 4 – Delbert McClinton – age 80 


November 5 – Art Garfunkel – age 79

            – Peter Noone (Herman's Hermits) – age 73


November 6 – Glen Frey (Eagles) – born in 1948

            – PJ Proby – age 82

            – Doug Sahm (Sir Douglas Quintet) –born in 1941


November 7 – Mary Travers (PP&M) – born in 1936

            – Johnny Rivers – age 78

            – Joni Mitchell – age 77





Both Sides Now - Judy Collins (debuting this week at #74 - this rendition of Joni Mitchell's song would eventually peak at #8 in November of 1968, and Joni Mitchell was still considered more of a songwriter than a recording artist. That would all change soon enough, and we'll hear more from her at the bottom of the hour.)

 judy collins - both sides now / who knows where the time goes 45 rpm single  - Music

This Magic Moment - Jay & The Americans (released on 10/28/68 - this one wouldn't actually chart until late December, but it was Jay & The Americans' biggest hit in several years. Singer Jay Black delivers the goods here, and apparently can still hit the high notes in his 80s.)


Jungle Boogie - Kool & The Gang (12/73; #4 Pop, #2 R&B - these guys from Jersey City exploded onto the scene with a brand new sound, and a key to their sound was the sax playing of co-writer and co-founder Ronald Bell. He died in September and COVID-19 was the culprit.)


Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale (2/76; #2 for two weeks - our friend KV once sat next to Ms. Nightingale on an airplane flight, and reports that she is a lovely down-to-Earth person. This was her biggest hit, and it's hard to not start tapping your foot when it comes on the radio.)


Leavin' On a Jet Plane - Peter, Paul & Mary (released this week in 1969 - this record would top the charts at Christmastime in 1969. John Denver wrote it and the late Mary Travers takes lead singer duties.)


Hey! Baby - Bruce Channel (3/62; #1 for three weeks - one of the best features of this record is the recurring harmonica line, played by journeyman musician/songwriter Delbert McClinton. His greatest claim to fame might be that he gave John Lennon some pointers on how to play the mouth harp when the Beatles opened for Bruce and some other American acts in the UK. Delbert is 80 years old this week.)


The Rains Came - Sir Douglas Quintet (1/66; #31 - Doug Sahm was from San Antonio, Texas, but his band needed a gimmick so they dubbed him "Sir Douglas" and pinned their hopes on some British Invasion mystique. They certainly didn't sound British, but they had some great records!)

45cat - Sir Douglas Quintet - The Rains Came / Bacon Fat - Tribe - USA -  45-8314


To Sir With Love - Lulu (11/67; #1 - this record was in its second of five weeks at #1 on this date in 1967. Lulu co-starred in the Sidney Poitier film and actually sang this song in the Graduation Party scene. The Mindbenders were the backup band. This song was relegated to a B-side in the UK, but it was the #1 song of the year here in The States.)


Wonderful World - Herman's Hermits (5/65; #4 - there are conflicting stories about why they recorded this tune: Peter Noone says it was a tribute to the late Sam Cooke, who co-wrote it and released it first. Others say that producer Mickie Most had two of his acts - Herman's Hermits and The Animals - have a friendly competition to see who could have the bigger hit with a Sam Cooke cover. The Animals did a great version of Bring It On Home, but the Hermits won the chart race.)

45cat - Herman's Hermits - Wonderful World / Traveling Light - MGM - Canada  - 13354X


(What a) Wonderful World - Art Garfunkel with James Taylor & Paul Simon (1/75; #17 - the biggest news here is that Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon were back together on a recording project, but Art downplayed the fact  -  and put James Taylor's name between his and Paul's on the record label. Regardless, this is just beautiful.)

 45cat - Art Garfunkel With James Taylor And Paul Simon - (What A) Wonderful  World / Wooden Planes - CBS - Netherlands - CBS 6061


New Kid In Town - Eagles (2/77; #1 - JD Souther co-wrote this with lead singer Glen Frey, and the Eagles made it the first single from their Hotel California LP. It won them a Grammy for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices. I concur!)


Somewhere - PJ Proby (2/65; #91 Pop; #6 UK - his biggest hit here in the US was Nikki Hoeky, but this one is just too cool to not play. Words by Sondheim, Music by Leonard Bernstein and last heard in the Broadway musical West Side Story. Check out his crazy vocal delivery! Check out the bombast!)


45 Corner:  Can I Change My Mind - Johnny Rivers (10/75; #120 Cashbox - this one failed to chart at all on Billboard, but it's a blistering version of the Tyrone Davis hit and deserves to be heard. Johnny Rivers turns 78 years old today, and we're a better place for having had him in our ears.)

 johnny rivers - johnny rivers 45 RPM can i change my mind / can i change my  mind - Music

Night In The City - Joni Mitchell (7/68; dnc - this was released as a single in the UK and failed to chart. Her debut album was produced by David Crosby, and the bass player was their mutual friend Stephen Stills.)


Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody - Joni Mitchell (2/83; dnc - this was picked as the lead single from her Wild Things Run Fast LP and failed to chart here in the States. I love the way she folds Unchained Melody into the narrative. Happy Birthday, Joni Mitchell.)

45cat - Joni Mitchell - Chinese Cafe (Unchained Melody) / Ladies Man -  Geffen - UK - GEF A 3122





I Love How You Love Me - Bobby Vinton (#47 > #9 - Bobby Vinton had run through his "Blue" songs phase: Blue On Blue, Blue Velvet, et al, and was now beginning to cover Oldies. This is a very pleasing take on the Paris Sisters' big of ten years prior.)


Put Your Head On My Shoulder - The Lettermen (bubbling under at #118, headed to #44 - this smooth trio was also mining the Oldies catalog, and released a tasty version of Paul Anka's big hit.)

Letterman Put Your Head On My Shoulder Vinyl Records and CDs For Sale |  MusicStack


Peanuts - Rick & The Keens (7/61; #60 - Rick and the group qualify as a bona fide "one hit wonder" on this re-make of Little Joe and the Thrillers' novelty hit. The 4 Seasons also took a stab at it.)


Cycles - Frank Sinatra (at #43, headed to #23 - The "Chairman of The Board" had reached #1 on a duet with his daughter a year earlier and may have been treading water with this one, but a bunch of people ran out and bought it. Talk about a guy down on his luck, lyrically!)


I've Gotta Get a Message to You - Bee Gees (down to #28, having peaked at #8 - it was getting to the point where everything these guys released was headed to the Top 20. This, however, is a sophisticated and special record, and it actually topped the charts in the UK.)

NPG D48355; Sheet music cover for 'I've Gotta Get a Message to You' by The Bee  Gees (Colin Petersen; Vince Melouney; Barry Gibb; Maurice Gibb; Robin Gibb)  - Portrait - National Portrait


* I'm Just a Singer In a Rock 'n' Roll Band - Moody Blues (2/73; #12 - this one goes out to Brooktondale Peggy and The Honey Crew Hive from Scottie. The band's previous charting single had reached #2 the previous year, but had actually been recorded in 1966. It was Nights In White Satin.)


Lucky Man - Emerson, Lake & Palmer (3/71; #48, re-charted on 12/72; #51 - Greg Lake had apparently written this song at age 13. Keith Emerson doesn't even come in until the final 90 seconds of the song, but his synthesizer absolutely steals the show!)


Bang Shang A-Lang - Archies (at #27, headed to #22 - this group was the star attraction for Calendar Records, and consisted of some of NYC's finest session players plus session singers Ron Dante and Toni Wine.) - THE ARCHIES BANG-SHANG-A-LANG / TRUCK DRIVER PIC PS PICTURE  SLEEVE + 45 - auction details


Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell (at #67, headed to #3 Pop and #1 C&W - Jim Webb wrote it, Carol Kaye created the bass guitar intro right there in the studio and Glen Campbell played the solo on Carol's 5-string bass. What a record!)


* Georgia - Boz Scaggs (2/76; dnc - this track from the Silk Degrees album goes out to Stacy Abrams and the voters of Georgia, who appear to have flipped the state from "red" to "blue.")


45 Corner:  Wonderful Summer - The Vogues (11/73; dnc - this was released on the 20th Century Records label exactly ten years after Robin Ward's version hit the Top 20, and it's lost treasure that may only exist on an obscure 45. Enjoy!)

The Vogues - Wonderful Summer (1973, Vinyl) | Discogs


Over You - Gary Puckett & Union Gap (down to #11 after two weeks at #7 - singer Gary Puckett had been elevated to "top billing" status, and this is the band's first single that wasn't about cheating or coveting unavailable women. It also opens with a tasty oboe line, and tonight we hear the punchy mono single mix.)

Gary Puckett And The Union Gap* - Over You | Discogs


For Once In My Life - Stevie Wonder (debuting at #79 - headed to two weeks at #2, where it would get stuck behind Marvin Gaye's biggest hit, this would soon become a Pop "standard." We close our show with Motown's own Stevie Wonder.)


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 (11/14/20):  Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on "Double Plays, Pt. II"




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