Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 5, 2021 - JS - Charting Covers of Charting Hits


Rockin' Remnants

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!)


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Date: June 5, 2021

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Charting Covers of Charting Records



This Saturday: charting covers of charting hits with your host JS (think "Hooked On a Feeling" by BJ Thomas - but by Blue Swede, instead). We're digging deep with some you may not have heard before (and we're not really planning to play Blue Swede unless there's an uprising...). What's one of your favorites???






·      yellow song titles are YouTube links

·      songs with * were requests 

   songs in bold type were played from vinyl 45s tonight

·      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)


She Lets Her Hair Down (Early In the Morning) - Gene Pitney (1/70; #85 - three versions of this song were released during the same week in late 1969. I played The Tokens' and Don Young's versions last month, and we'll open tonight's show with this version. All three were based on a shampoo commercial. The Tokens won the chart race, but all three versions deserve to be heard.)

Gene Pitney – She Lets Her Hair Down (Early In The Morning) (1969, Vinyl) -  Discogs


I Put a Spell On You - Alan Price Set (7/66; #80 - Eric Burdon and keyboardist Alan Price were founding members of The Animals, but the band wasn't big enough for the two of them, so Alan left after a couple of years. This was his one charting single here in The States on the Parrot label. It went Top Ten in the UK.)


Whiter Shade Of Pale - R.B. Greaves (12/70; #82 - this was a surprise reworking of the organ-drenched Procol Harum tune from three years prior. Tasty guitar licks, swirling Hammond organ, and the smooth stylings of Sam Cooke's nephew add up to an unexpected treat! Note the Billboard Magazine ad below.)

R.B. Greaves Whiter Shade Of Pale lyrics and chart performance at  #RecordsAndCharts deluxe billboard chart archive


That's How Heartaches Are Made - Marvelettes (11/69; #97 - the original hit version was recorded by Baby Washington back in 1963, but this is a gorgeous reworking of it. It would prove to be the final gasp for one of Motown's most successful early groups, spending just one week on the Pop chart. It was their final charting single.)


She's Gone - Tavares (10/74; #50 Pop, #1 R&B - Hall & Oates released this one as their first charting record, and it didn't do much until these guys took a stab at it. Atlantic would re-release Hall & Oates' version and it would reach the Top Ten, but Tavares scored big on the R&B chart with this version.)

She's Gone (Hall & Oates song) - Wikipedia


Only You - Bobby Hatfield (3/69; #95 - the Righteous Brothers had a falling out with Phil Spector, so they famously left him for Verve Records. Shortly thereafter they had a falling out with each other and each released solo records. Bill Medley's first outing was called I Can't Make it Alone, which seemed to be true for both of them. Both singles stalled at #95. They'd eventually reconcile and have a few more hits. This is a pretty tasty reimagining of The Platters' hit from 1957.)


Unchained Melody - Sweet Inspirations (8/68; #73 - Bobby Hatfield had recorded the definitive version of this classic, but Cissy Houston gives him a run for his money on this version. The Inspirations were mostly back-up singers, but they could definitely hold their own given center stage....)

The Sweet Inspirations – Unchained Melody (1968, Vinyl) - Discogs


You've Lost That Loving Feeling - Dionne Warwick (1/70; #16 - rounding out this mini-tangent, we have Cissy Houston's niece singing the Righteous Brothers' biggest hit from 1964. Stick around and I'll revisit this Dionne Warwick tangent in Hour #3. It's all related!)


* Lady Madonna - Fats Domino (9/68; #100 - Many British artists have acknowledged the debts they owe some of the American pioneers of Rock 'n' Roll music. Paul McCartney wrote this as a tribute to one of his major influences, and The Beatles took it to #3 in America. It also reached #1 in the UK. Six months later, Fats Domino recorded his version. It barely scraped into the chart, and would be his final charting single.)

Fats Domino – Lady Madonna (1968) - YouTube


* You Keep Me Hangin' On - Vanilla Fudge (7/67; #67 * 7/68; #6 - what a difference a year makes! This radio edit of a meandering album track sort of flopped the first time out - but it took hold the very next summer. Going out at the behest of our buddy George. Check out this stunning live performance on the Ed Sullivan Show!)


* Everlasting Love - Carl Carlton (9/74; #6 Pop, #11 R&B - Robert Knight hit with this one in 1967. Rex Smith & Rachel Sweet would do so again in 1981. In between, there was this killer version. Turn it up!)


Wonderful, Wonderful - The Tymes (8/63; #7 - this Cameo-Parkway single was the follow-up to their chart-topping So In Love. The original had been Johnny Mathis' very first charter back in 1957, and lead vocalist George Williams just killed it!)


A Million To One - Five Stairsteps and Cubie (1/68; #68 Pop, #28 R&B - they were "America's First Family of Soul" until the Jacksons came along in the late Sixties. Curtis Mayfield discovered them and signed them and wrote a bunch of their material, but this is a really tasty cover of the Jimmy Charles hit.)

5 STAIRSTEPS & CUBIE: A Million to One '68 Funk Soul 45 w/ PS NM- Gorgeous  | eBay






 Birthday Calendar



May 31 – Peter Yarrow – age 83            


June 1 – Ron Wood (Rolling Stones) – age 74         

            – Graham Russell (Air Supply) – age 71


June 2 – Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones) – age 80



June 3 – Ian Hunter – age 75

            – Deniece Williams – age 71

            – Curtis Mayfield – born in 1942

            – Michael Clarke (Byrds) – born in 1944


June 4 – Michelle Phillips (Mamas & Papas) – age 77

            – Toni Wine – age 74

            – Gordon Waller (Peter & Gordon) – born in 1945





Day Is Done - Peter, Paul & Mary (4/69; #21 - Peter Yarrow penned this one, which was recorded six weeks earlier in front of a full house in NYC's Carnegie Hall. Their next single would reach #1 and it would be their final record on the Hot 100. Watch this blurry video from the Smothers Brothers Show and you're almost there with them all!)


Start Me Up - Rolling Stones (8/81; #2 for three weeks - drummer Charlie Watts had been there since the beginning. Guitarist Ron Wood joined the band in 1977, and the two of them have been playing together ever since. This is a fine example of their synchronicity.)

The Rolling Stones, Charlie Watts, Ron Wood


Lost In Love - Air Supply (2/80; #3 for four weeks - this was the first of a string of hits for the band. Graham Russell was the writer and lead singer, and this record is one of my guilty pleasures.)


Sweet Jane - Mott the Hoople (11/72; dnc - David Bowie produced their breakthrough album and had them record Lou Reed's Sweet Jane, which opens the album. Ian Hunter sang it more melodically, but with much of Lou's swagger. It's a terrific cover.)

All The Young Dudes Carry The News: The Confessions of Mott the Hoople -  Mockingbird


It's Gonna Take a Miracle - Deniece Williams (4/82; #10 Pop, #1 R&B for two weeks - The Royalettes had a low-charter with this one and Laura Nyro's version got stuck at #103, but Niecie had a bonafide hit on her hands. Tonight you hear the stereo promo 45 version.)

Deniece Williams: The US soul star - Deniece Williams


People Get Ready - Impressions (2/65; #14 Pop, #3 R&B - Curtis Mayfield wrote it, arranged, played the guitar on it and sang lead on it. Rolling Stone ranks it as the 24th greatest single of all time. Tune in later this month to hear a cool cover version on JR's show, too.)


My Back Pages - The Byrds (4/67; #30 - last week was famously Bob Dylan's 80th birthday. This is one of a slew of his compositions that were turned into hit singles. Michael Clarke - second from the left -  played the drums. Later, he'd leave to help form the band Firefall.)

The Byrds…Folk Rock – On The Records


I Go To Pieces - Peter & Gordon (1/65; #9 - this one opens with a majestic guitar line and just keeps going. Gordon Waller had the stronger voice, but Peter Asher knew a lot about arranging. Together, they made some great records.)


12:30 (Young Girls Come to the Canyon) - Mamas & Papas (8/67; #20 - Michelle & John lived in NYC before working their way to LA, and this song references both of those chapters of their lives. She's the last remaining member of the group.)

The Mamas & The Papas – Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)  Lyrics | Genius Lyrics


Spotlight on Toni Wine (composer, session singer) 



Toni Wine Lyrics, Songs, and Albums | Genius

Born and raised in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, Toni Wine was another one of those behind-the-scenes creators that made an impact but is not known by many. As a writer, she worked alongside the likes of Irwin Levine, Carol Bayer Sager and Phil Spector to write some enduring classics. She recorded a handful of non-charters on the Colpix label, and she also appeared uncredited on one of the biggest records of 1969. Read on. And let's wish her a happy birthday!

Sugar Sugar - The Archies (9/69; #1 for four weeks - a lot of people know that session singer Ron Dante was the lead vocalist on The Archies' singles. Not many know that Toni Wine sang the "Betty and Veronica" parts on all of their hits. That's her singing "I'm gonna make your life so sweet, yeah-yeah-yeah" in two different registers. Whoa!)

INSIDE LOOK: Lou Scheimer, Ron Dante and the Birth of THE ARCHIES | 13th  Dimension, Comics, Creators, Culture


A Groovy Kind of Love - Mindbenders (4/66; #2 - Toni teamed with Carol Bayer Sager to write this British Invasion hit. Twelve years later Phil Collins would take his own version to #1.)


Candida - The Corporation (7/70; dnc - the pedigree of this version is fuzzy, but it appeared on the Musicor label and may have been a demo recording that sounded good enough to release. It was the version by Tony Orlando & Dawn, though, that reached #3 that same year. The writer? Toni Wine. She also co-wrote Black Pearl, among other terrific tunes.)

45cat - The Corporation [US] - Candida / Candida - Musicor - USA - MU 1418


* Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler (2/62; #1 for three weeks - the group in question was actually The Dukays, but Gene was given sole billing. This goes out to the memory of a local musician named Duke, but the knucklehead who requested it totally missed it. D'oh.)





Don't Worry Baby - BJ Thomas (7/77; #17 - BJ Thomas was born in Oklahoma and raised in the Houston area, where he died just last week after announcing that he had stage four lung cancer back in March. He was probably most famous for Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head, and I referenced his original version of Hooked On a Feeling in my intro, but this is a very tasty cover that fits our theme and that doesn't appear to be on CD anywhere. R.I.P.)

B.J. Thomas – Don't Worry Baby (1977, Vinyl) - Discogs


* It Doesn't Matter Anymore - Linda Ronstadt (7/75; #47 - this was originally the B-side of one of her biggest hits. Listener Tom says "Buddy Holly's version peaked at #13, helped by the fact that he died in a plane crash a couple of weeks before it charted. His version is up-tempo and sounds like he means the lyric. Linda's version only reached #47, but it was a fine record, so very much slower than the original, and it sounds like she means anything but what the lyric is saying.")


* Runaway - Bonnie Raitt (5/77; #57 - believe it or not, this was her very first charting single! Del Shannon wrote it and had the big hit, but she totally re-worked it and made it her own. Going out at the suggestion of listener Stu Fegely. Check out this sizzling live performance on "The Midnight Special TV" show!.)


Don't Make Me Over - Swingin' Blue Jeans (3/66; #116 - Dionne Warwick had the original hit, of course, and maybe these guys didn't quite crack the Hot 100 over here, but they took this song to #31 in the UK.)


I Say a Little Prayer - Aretha Franklin (8/68; #10 Pop, #3 R&B - Dionne Warwick's original reached #4 on the Pop chart a year prior, but it was the B-side Valley of the Dolls that was the bigger hit! In Aretha's case, this one was the B-side of House That Jack Built. In either case it's a terrific Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune, used to great effect in the film "My Best Friend's Wedding.")


Walk On By - Isaac Hayes (8/69; #30 Pop, #13 R&B - the third in our trilogy of Dionne Warwick covers is an edited-down single version of a twelve-minute album track by Stax Records songwriter Isaac Hayes, and it launched his career as a performer. It's a dark and ominous take on a haunting melodic theme - and it worked.)


Light My Fire - Jose Feliciano (7/68; #3 for three weeks - blind from birth and raised in NYC's Spanish Harlem, Jose Feliciano put his own unique spin on the Doors' huge #1 from the previous summer - and almost took it to the top, himself. In fact, Elektra Records reissued The Doors' version when Jose's came out, and it scraped the lower reaches of the Hot 100 for two weeks again that summer.)


By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Mad Lads (7/69; #84 Pop, #29 R&B - a bunch of people took a crack at this Jimmy Webb composition, including Johnny Rivers, Glen Campbell, The Magnificent Men,the aforementioned Isaac Hayes, and these guys on the Stax/Volt Records label. This may be my personal favorite of them all.)

By the Time I Get to Phoenix / You've Still Got a Place in My Heart by Glen  Campbell (Single, Country Pop): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate  Your Music45cat - Johnny Rivers - Where Have All The Flowers Gone / By The Time I Get  To Phoenix - Imperial Golden Series - USA - 059Isaac Hayes – By The Time I Get To Phoenix / Walk On By (1969, Custom  Sleeve, Vinyl) - Discogs45cat - The Magnificent Men - By The Time I Get To Phoenix / Tired Of  Pushing - Capitol - USA - 2134The Mad Lads – By The Time I Get To Phoenix (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs


Baby I Need Your Lovin' - Johnny Rivers (2/67; #3 - Johnny Rivers made a career out of covering past hits, and he had an ear for a good song. This one has support from Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew, along with Darlene Love and The Blossoms, and it outperformed the original by the Four Tops!)


Gonna Get Along Without You Now - Skeeter Davis (5/64; #48, #8 C&W - this had been a Novelty hit for pre-teen sisters Patience & Prudence back in 1956, but this is a great version featuring some of Nashville's best players and Skeeter Davis in fine voice!)

45cat - Skeeter Davis - Gonna Get Along Without You Now / Now You're Gone -  RCA Victor - USA - 47-8347


Peanuts - Rick & The Keens (7/61; #60 - speaking of "novelty records," this old chestnut was the perfect vehicle for a good falsetto voice. Little Joe & The Thrillers did the original back in 1958. Frankie Valli would take a crack at it a few years later, but this "one-hit wonder" group from Texas had the best take on it - in my humble opinion.)

Rick And The Keens - Peanuts / I'll Be Home | Discogs


Sugar Sugar - Wilson Pickett 4/70; #25 Pop, #4 R&B - six months earlier, a band made up of cartoon characters struck gold with this one. Somehow, Wilson Pickett was able to dust it off and remake it in his own image. With solid playing by the Muscle Shoals studio guys, he scored a Top Five R&B hit with it!)


Lodi - Al Wilson (8/69; #67 - like Johnny Rivers, Al Wilson released a bunch of pretty fine covers. This one was paired with yet another version of By the Time I Get to Phoenix, and is more rockin' than Creedence's original version. A few years later he'd make his mark with a song called Show & Tell.)

Al Wilson – Lodi (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs45cat - Al Wilson - Lodi / By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Soul City - USA -  SCR 775


He's So Fine - Jody Miller (6/71; #53 - she cut some novelty records and some topical records, but this Nashville cover of the Chiffons' original also incorporated some of George Harrison's slide guitar licks and created a really nice version of this song, and that's how we'll end tonight's show.)




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 (6/11/21):  Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on "Lost Hits, One-Hit Wonders and Low-Charters")




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


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