Wednesday, July 7, 2021

July 3, 2021 - JS - Charting Covers, Pt. II


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:  7/3/21

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Charting Covers, Part Two

Getting ready to roll up the hill for another edition of Rockin' Remnants. Tonight's theme? More Charting Covers of Charting Records, and we'll start with a string of covers of #1 hits! Cool tunes, interesting factoids and good company guaranteed - and it's cheaper than penny candy! 93.5 FM or streaming at wvbr dot com.





Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia



There are only a handful of covers of Number 1 records that made it to the top of the Pop Chart themselves. Can you name two of them?


(scroll down to find the answer below the playlist – and to find a glossary of terms)








·    look for YouTube links after some entries!

·      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)


Theme from "A Summer Place" - Lettermen (6/65; #16 - Percy Faith and his Orchestra took this movie theme to the top of the charts for nine weeks in 1960, when it also won the Grammy for Record of the Year. The Ventures would release a guitar-driven version in 1969, but this vocal version on Capitol Records outperformed it on the Pop chart.

PERCY FAITH - theme from a summer place / go-go-po-go - MusicThe Lettermen – Theme From "A Summer Place" / Sealed With A Kiss (1965,  Scranton, Vinyl) - Discogs


House of the Rising Sun - Frijid Pink (2/70; #7 - this crunchy Metal/Rock band from Detroit followed the same chord progression as the Animals' version from 1964, and landed solidly in the Top Ten with this sizzling cover. The full-length LP version ran about two minutes longer and got a bunch of FM play. Tonight we hear the stereo 45 edit.)

Frijid Pink – Frijid Pink (1970, Waddell Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs


96 Tears - Big Maybelle (1/67; #96 - it's ironic that this soulful version of the ? & The Mysterians tune only made it to #96, and didn't even reach the R&B chart. The intro is very similar to Los Bravos' Black Is Black, but that's where the similarities end.)


Suspicious Minds - Dee Dee Warwick w/ The Dixie Flyers (6/71; #80 Pop, #40 R&B - Elvis had taken this song to #1 two years earlier, but this is a fine cover done in a very different style. Songwriter Mark James was a winner on both versions, when you count the royalty payments....)

Dee Dee Warwick With The Dixie Flyers – Suspicious Minds / I'm Glad I'm A  Woman (1971, 4-ppc, Vinyl) - Discogs


Ticket to Ride - Carpenters (2/70; #57 - the brother/sister duo was signed to A&M Records and given lots of freedom to establish their style, using top-notch studio players and great material. This was their first charting record. Next up would be Burt Bacharach's Close To You, and they'd soon become Seventies superstars.)


And now...four covers of Isley Brothers records!

Episode 102: “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers – A History of Rock  Music in 500 Songs


Respectable - Outsiders (8/66; #15 - the Isley's version was barely a footnote: they'd reached #123 on the Cashbox chart in early 1960, but these white boys from Ohio tacked on some blaring horns and some teenage enthusiasm and had themselves a "respectable" hit!)


Shout - Lulu & The Luvvers (8/64; #94 Pop, #7 UK - her real name was "Marie," and she was all of fifteen when she recorded this stomper from 1959. Her manager dubbed her "Lulu" because everyone who heard her sing agreed that she was "a real lulu of a kid." The brothers charted twice with it in 1959 and again in 1962. Check out the live video!)


Twist & Shout - The Beatles (4/64; #2 for four weeks - the only reason they didn't reach #1 is that there were four other Beatles records in the Top 5 that month! Meanwhile, the Isley Brothers reached #2 on the R&B Chart with their original version in 1962 - and #17 Pop.)



Nobody But Me - Human Beinz (12/67; #8 - the Isleys had nearly charted with this boastful dance number five years earlier, but this obscure bar band made it their own in early 1968 and this was their one bonafide hit single for the Capitol label.)

The Human Beinz – Nobody But Me (1967, Scranton Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs


* Grazing In The Grass - Friends of Distinction (5/69; #3 - Hugh Masekela took his instrumental version to #1 the previous summer. Someone was inspired to add lyrics and this quintet from St. Louis  -  who was closely connected to the 5th Dimension - recorded this shimmering Summertime classic!)


You Keep Me Hanging On - Wilson Pickett (11/69; #92 Pop, #16 R&B - Motown had The Funk Brothers, but "The Wicked Pickett" had the Muscle Shoals band, and they cut this sassy version of the Supremes'  1966 #1 hit.

 Good, Better, Best: "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (The Supremes) - Cover Me Wilson Pickett – You Keep Me Hanging On / Now You See Me, Now You Don't  (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs

Ruby Tuesday - Melanie (12/70; #52 - this was a surprise #1 hit for the Rolling Stones when many radio programmers balked at playing the designated A-side Let's Spend the Night Together. Young Melanie Safka, who just a year earlier was a surprise hit at the Woodstock Festival, recorded a gentle cover that seemed to resonate with record buyers. Here it is.

Up On the Roof - James Taylor (6/79; #20 - sometimes good songwriting trumps all other factors. This Goffin-King classic was first a hit by The Drifters. Laura Nyro had a charting version. So did James Taylor. All of them are really good versions.)

So You Wanna Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star - Patti Smith Group (8/79; dnc - The Byrds had a Top Twenty hit with the original version, and this had all the makings of a hit record. Somehow it stalled, but it shines bright tonight  -  even if it didn't chart.)






 Birthday Calendar



June 27– Jerome "Doc" Pomus – born in 1925


June 29 – Little Eva – born in 1943


June 30 – Glen Shorrock (Little River Band) – age 77

              – Florence Ballard (Supremes) – born in 1943


July 1 – Debbie Harry (Blondie) – age 76


July 2 – Paul Williams (Temptations) – born in 1939


July 3 – Fontella Bass – born in 1940



Tribute to Doc Pomus: singer, lyricist, record producer. 


Doc Pomus | Spotify


Born and raised in Brooklyn, he was afflicted with polio as a boy and found solace in Jazz and R&B music. He performed in clubs for a few short years, but eventually teamed up with composer Mort Shuman. The two of them went on to write or produce a series of timeless records that earned them a place in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Doc Pomus also has the distinction of being the first non-African American recipient of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award.

Doc Pomus – Spontaneous Lunacy   Doc Pomus 3/1991 - Rock and Roll Paradise



There Goes My Baby - Drifters (6/59; #2 Pop, #1 R&B - lead singer Ben E King co-wrote this song, but Pomus & Shuman produced the record and had the novel idea of adding strings to R&B instrumentation. Atlantic Records owner Ahmet Ertugan hated it, claiming that " sounds like you're stuck between two radio stations on the dial," but the public loved it and it's become a Pop Music standard. It also paved the way for modern Soul music.)

The Drifters - There Goes My Baby: listen with lyrics | Deezer


Hushabye - The Mystics (5/59; #20 - this was one of a long string of hits written by Pomus & Shuman. Jay & The Americans would also have a hit with it ten years later, but this Italian Doo-Wop version is the one that hit it big.)

Jewish Film Festival review: “A.K.A. Doc Pomus” masterfully tells story of  a master of song - ARTS ATL


(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame - Elvis Presley (8/61; #4 Pop, #1 UK for four weeks - the duo wrote a short string of hits for Elvis, but this was the biggest. The flipside, by the way, was Little Sister, which they also wrote.)

Elvis Presley – (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame / Little Sister (1985,  Vinyl) - Discogs

Suspicion - Terry Stafford (2/64; #3 for two weeks - this was an album track for Elvis Presley two years earlier, but RCA didn't deem it worthy of airplay. Terry Stafford's team begged to differ, and Terry did his best "Elvis" impression. He was one of the rare American acts that managed to compete with the British Invasion acts - with this record, at least.)

This Magic Moment - Jay & The Americans (1/69; #6 - it was a big hit for The Drifters, and Jay and the boys were rapidly becoming irrelevant - until they decided to take a stab at this Pomus/Shuman composition. It became their biggest hit in years.)


Where Do I Go? - Little Eva (11/62; dnc - Eva Boyd grew up down south and moved to Queens at 15, where she ended up babysitting for Gerry Goffin and Carole King. They allegedly heard her singing one day and enlisted her to sing on their demos. She quickly became a teen sensation. Tonight we hear the B-side of her hit KeepYour Hands Off My Baby, which JH played on his last show. Check out his June 19th blog post!)

Little Eva Greatest Hits - Compilation by Little Eva | Spotify

Cool Change - Little River Band (10/79; #10 - Glen Shorrock was born in England and raised in Australia, where he formed this band. He wrote this song and sang lead on it, and it captures the serenity of the sailing life.)

Dreaming - Blondie (9/79; #27 - Debbie Harry was born in Miami and raised in Hawthorne, NJ. She wended her way to The Village and met up with Chris Stein, and they formed a band. Many people assumed that she WAS "Blondie," but it was just the name of the band. They'd soon become superstars.)

Blondie - Dreaming -

Don't Mess Up a Good Thing - Fontella Bass & Bobby McClure (2/65; #33 Pop, #5 R&B - she wended her way from St. Louis to Chicago, where she landed at the Chess/Checker studios. Her biggest hit was Rescue Me, but this was her best duet recording.)

Fontella Bass & Bobby McClure – Don't Mess Up A Good Thing (1965, Vinyl) -  Discogs

The Happening - Supremes (5/67; #1 - they were the darlings of The Ed Sullivan Show, Las Vegas and American radio. It was only logical that they'd be tapped to record a movie theme song. The movie is allegedly pretty dumb, and the LA studio musicians never quite captured the "Motown groove," so they re-cut it in Detroit with the Funk Brothers and landed another #1 hit. Notably, this was Flo Ballard's final single as a Supreme; she was out, and Diana Ross would get top billing on their subsequent singles.)

All I Need - Temptations (5/67; #8 Pop, #2 R&B for four weeks - the classic line-up of the group was intact from 1964-1968, and their string of singles during that stretch was brilliant. Founding member Paul Williams - front left - was their primary choreographer for the first few years, and his background vocals are a key ingredient on this Summertime classic. Once David Ruffin was gone, he'd get more of the spotlight for a few more years.)

The Temptations - All I Need - YouTube

* It's Gonna Take a Miracle - Laura Nyro w/LaBelle (2/72; #103 - The Royalettes had low-charting success with this song, but young Laura Nyro up in the Bronx totally soaked it in and decided to record an entire album of her favorite growing-up songs. She enlisted Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash to round out the vocals. Sarah Dash'es ex-husband was tuned in and asked if I could play something by them that fit the theme. Bingo!)

Laura Nyro & Labelle - Gonna Take A Miracle - Music

* Ain't That Peculiar - Fanny (4/72; #85 - they were one of the first hard-rocking "girl bands" signed to a major label, and the Millington Sisters from LA were sent to the UK to record at Apple Studios with producer Geoff Emerick. This request came in from Doug in California. He knows his stuff!)

45cat - Fanny - Ain't That Peculiar / Think About The Children - Reprise -  France - 14165







* Here Comes the Sun - Richie Havens (3/71; #16 - This one bends the rules, because The Beatles never released this song as a single, so it couldn't chart. Richie Havens, though, saw the magic in it and released his own "live" version. Going out to listener Dan. Good call.)


* Sugaree - Jerry Garcia (4/72; #94 - and here's another one that bends the rules, but the request line sometimes trumps the sanctity of the theme! From his solo album Garcia, here's Jerry with a classic tune that barely charted.)

JERRY GARCIA LP Compliments Of Garcia Germany Press NM Grateful Dead -  £16.46 | PicClick UK


Let's Get Together - Sunshine Company (5/68; #112 - The Youngbloods released it - and charted with it - twice. The Airplane made it their own. And then there's this tasty, slightly naive reading by this LA "Sunshine Pop" quintet. It got some airplay, even on WUNH in New Hampshire - but has pretty much been lost to time.)


* Spanish Harlem - Aretha Franklin (8/71; #2 Pop, #1 R&B for three weeks - Jerry Leiber & Phil Spector co-wrote this one and it was Ben E King's very first solo release. I mentioned on air that Laura Nyro & LaBelle had recorded it, and a listener called asking to hear "any version." This one is definitely a "charting cover of a charting single." In spades!)

Pin on Soul, Baby, Soul


Say It Ain't So, Joe - Roger Daltrey (7/77; dnc - songwriter Murray Head released this as a single a year earlier and it reached #119. Roger Daltrey released it a year later with support from two of his Who band mates, and it didn't even "bubble under." Tonight, though, it gets its chance to shine. Watch Keith Moon & John Entwistle in the attached video!)


* Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu - Johnny Rivers (10/72; #6 - Huey "Piano" Smith did it first, and the story goes that Johnny started fooling around in the studio with keyboardist Larry Knechtel. They had so much fun that they decided to work it up. Here's the result: a very tasty comeback record for the King of Cool Covers!)


Nights on Broadway - Candi Staton (9/77; #102 Pop, #16 R&B - The Bee Gees had taken this to #7 two years earlier, but this was a worthy successor with a driving beat and a stunning arrangement.) 

Nights on Broadway - Wikipedia Candi Staton – Nights On Broadway (1977, Vinyl) - Discogs


 Make It Easy on Yourself - Walker Brothers (10/65; #16 Pop, #1 UK - Jerry Butler took this Bacharach tune to the Top Twenty in 1962, and Scott Walker and the boys recorded a note-for-note cover that surpassed the chart success of the original - especially in the UK, where these Americans finally found an appreciative audience!)


Everlasting Love - Love Affair (8/67; #1 UK - this version didn't chart here in the States, but it was released shortly after Robert Knight's version over here and topped the British charts. Carl Carlton had a big hit with it in the Seventies as you can see from last month's show, and Rex Smith & Rachel Sweet would have a nice hit version in the early Eighties. You can see their video here:) 


 45 Corner:  Fever - Little Caesar & The Romans (9/61; dnc - here's another exception to the rule: this was the B-side of a non-charting single, but it's just such a good version that I couldn't resist. The A-side was Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies Remind Me of You, and it stalled at #101. This, though, was the golden side!)

It's All Over Now - Rolling Stones (7/64; #26 Pop, #1 UK - Bobby Womack co-wrote this one with his brother, and released it as a single on Sam Cooke's SAR label. They called themselves The Valentinos, and not many people heard their version - except for some musicians in England, who made it their own. It was their first UK #1, and they're STILL playing music together.)

45cat - The Valentinos - It's All Over Now / Tired Of Livin' In The Country  - SAR - USA - SAR 152

California Dreamin' - Bobby Womack (12/68; #43 Pop, #20 R&B - he was a songwriter, a session guitarist and a terrific vocalist who knew a good song when he heard it. This was his first nationally- charting single under his own name, and this is how we'll end tonight's show.)

Bobby Womack – California Dreamin' (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs



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





Trivia Answer



Here are a couple of #1 covers of #1 records. Can you add any? 

Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence in 1963. Donny Osmond in 1971.

The Locomotion - Little Eva in 1962. Grand Funk in 1974.


Congratulations to YOU from wherever you live, if you correctly answered the question. You're a winner!




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 (7/10/21):  Gregory James with a spotlight on songs with "Give" or "Take" in the title.

Send him a request at rockinremnants




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