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Date: August 21, 2021
Host: Gregory James
Feature: Mid-August 1962, ’72, ‘82
Jimmy Webb 75 years old
Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers) 73 years old
Eydie Gorme (b. 1928 d. 2013)
Ketty Lester 87 years old
Marvin Isley (Isley Brothers bassist) (b. 1953 d. 2010)
Johnny Preston (b. 1930 d. 2011)
Ginger Baker (b. 1939 d. 2019)
Johnny Nash (b. 1940 d. 2020)
Billy J. Kramer 78 years old
Sky Saxon (Seeds) (b. 1937 d. 2009)
Isaac Hayes b. 1942 d. 2008
Robert Plant 73 years old
Kenny Rogers b. 1938 d. 2020
James Burton (session guitarist) 82 years old
Jackie De Shannon 80 years old
Rock n’ Roll Trivia
Question: Name the actor who played the main character in “Have Gun, Will Travel” who also helped compose that TV show’s theme song,
(scroll down to find the answer below the playlist)
* 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 subsequent dates) unless otherwise noted
* glossary of terms is below the playlist
OPENING THEME: Good Old Rock n’ Roll—Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys (1969, #29, produced by Jimi Hendrix)
Party Lights Claudine Clark 1962 #11 (Peak: #5 H100, #3 R&B)
This song on Chancellor records, which Clark wrote, was her only hit. The back up singers were The Willettes.
You Don’t Mess Around with Jim Jim Croce 1972 #12
(Peak: #8 ) This was Croce’s debut single.
Someday, Some Way Marshall Crenshaw 1982 #38 (Peak: #36)
Crenshaw played John Lennon in West Coast productions of Beatlemania. He should play Buddy Holly...
You Beat Me to the Punch Mary Wells 1962 #58
(Peak: #9 H100, #1 R&B) The guys singing backup were known as The Love Tones.
If I Were a Carpenter Bob Seger 1972 #76 (Peak)
From Seger’s LP of cover tunes called “Smokin’ O.P.’s” which is slang for borrowing cigarettes, or in this case, other people’s songs.
Do I Do Stevie Wonder 1982 #76 (Peak #13 H100, #2 R&B)
Nathan Watts, who eventually became Wonder’s music director, played bass. Check the video below for Dizzy Gillespie's mid-song solo.
Ballad of Paladin Duane Eddy 1962 #35 (Peak: #33)
This was the theme of the TV Western “Have Gun Will Travel” starring Richard Boone, who was a co-writer of the song.
*Rocket Man Elton John 1972 (Peak #6) Inspired by a science fiction story by Ray Bradbury called The Illustrated Man, the song presents the work of an astronaut as an everyday occupation. And it will be if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have any say in the matter. Requested by Tammy in Texas for her birthday.
Geronimo’s Cadillac Michael Martin Murphey 1972 #82 (Peak #37)
In 1905 Geronimo was photographed in an automobile, but not a Cadillac. The car was called, no joke, a Locomobile.
Silver Threads and Golden Needles Springfields 1962 #66 (Peak: #20)
This was the first record by a British group (which included Dusty Springfield) to crack the top 20 of the Hot 100.
*Day by Day Godspell Cast 1972 #35 (Peak: #13) The hit record was from the Off-Broadway cast recording. The lead singer was Robin Lamont. Can you spot Victor Garber in the 1973 movie clip below? Dedicated from Scottie to Brooktondale Peggy and the Honey Hive Crew.
Point of No Return Gene McDaniels 1962 #46 (Peak: #21)
McDaniels had a four octave vocal range. The Johnny Mann singers were the backing vocalists on this Goffin-King composition.
Coconut Nilsson 1972 #9 (Peak #8)
One of the coolest one chord songs ever. John Uribe played guitar. The album cover photography was by Dean Torrence—yes, that Dean Torrence.
Surfin’ Safari Beach Boys 1962 #79 (Peak: #14)
This was originally to be the B-side to “409,” but heavy radio airplay in Phoenix turned the song into a hit.
Things Bobby Darin 1962 #9 (Peak: #3)
I wish I could tell you who the backup singers were--they really add to the impact of the track. Unfortunately, no record of them seems to have survived.
All I Know Art Garfunkel 1973 #9
This was the original recording of Jimmy Webb's song, and was Garfunkel’s only Billboard Top 10 hit.
Another Park, Another Sunday Doobie Brothers #32 1974
The first single released from the LP “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.”
Blame It On the Bossa Nova Eydie Gormé 1963 #7
Written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, the song did not appeal to Gormé, and she actually sang an off-key note toward the end of the track to try to prevent it from being released as a single. The Cookies sang back up vocals.
Love Letters Ketty Lester #5 1962
Lester was also an actress, appearing on Broadway and on television’s "Little House on the Prairie."
Groove with You Isley Brothers 1978 #16 R&B
So smooth! In observance of the late Marvin Isley's birthday, the youngest of the Isleys.
Feel So Fine Johnny Preston 1960 #14
Preston summoned an astonishing number of vocal qualities to rock this tune. Preston’s recording predates Del Shannon’s 1961 hit “Runaway” which featured his famous falsetto vocalizing. Preston even channels the voice of the Big Bopper who wrote Preston’s big hit “Running Bear.”
What a Bringdown Cream 1969 NR
From the “Goodbye” LP, this song was a Ginger Baker composition. Felix Pappalardi played bass, Jack Bruce played keyboard.
Loving You Johnny Nash 1974 #91
Brilliant as "I Can See Clearly Now" is, Nash amassed an impressive catalog of other great recordings.
Bad to Me Billy J. Kramer 1964 #9
Written by John Lennon expressly for Billy J. Kramer.
Can’t Seem to Make You Mine The Seeds 1967 #41
Sky Saxon was the Seeds' lead singer in this proto-garage/punk band. The track is sort of hypnotic, and it contains some spoken dialogue to add some variety. The video is a lip sync, but it is cool to see the group in action.
If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right Isaac Hayes 1972 NR
Hayes was a prolific composer and performer who, in addition to his original compositions, put his unique stamp on many covers, such as this one, released in the same year as Luther Ingram’s original version of “If Loving You Is Wrong…”
Big Log Robert Plant 1983 #20
This was Plant’s first top 20 solo hit. Guitar by Robbie Blunt (who was a co-composer) and drums by Phil Collins. The video was shot in Death Valley, among other locations.
The Gambler Kenny Rogers 1978 #16 H100 #1 C&W
A major crossover hit for Rogers who adopted the Gambler persona for five made-for-TV movies.
I’m Walking Ricky Nelson 1957 #4
James Burton’s guitar solo on Nelson’s cover of the Fats Domino classic (which also reached #4 in 1957) really lifts this track into extraordinary territory.
When You Walk in the Room Jackie De Shannon 1964 #99
De Shannon wrote this song (covered by the Searchers) and over 700 other songs. In the video below, she begins lip synching four bars early, but she recovers with great charm.
You Should Hear How She Talks About You Melissa Manchester 1982 #11 (Peak: #5)
Manchester, who was a balladeer, was reluctant to record this uptempo song, but she won the 1983 Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, beating out Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John.
Caught Up in You .38 Special 1982 #94 (Peak: #10)
This track was the first single released from their “Special Forces” LP. Backing vocalists were Carol Bristow and Lu Moss.
Play Me Neil Diamond 1972 #55 (Peak: #11)
“Songs she sang to me, songs she brang to me” may not be grammatically correct, but it is still poetry.
I Keep Forgettin’ Michael McDonald 1982 #44 (Peak: #4)
There was an earlier song called “I Keep Forgetting” performed by Chuck Jackson and written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Due to the similarities between the two songs, Leiber and Stoller requested and received songwriting credit for McDonald’s version. Check out the audience reactions in this video of McDonald with The Doobie Brothers.
*Goodbye to Love Carpenters 1972 #7
Richard Carpenter was inspired by a 1940 Bing Crosby movie called Rhythm of the River in which repeated mentions are made to a song (never heard in the movie) called “Goodbye to Love.” Check out her vocal interplay with guitarist Tony Peluso during his solo. And don't miss former Mouseketeer Cubby O'Brien hammering his drums for the big finish.
Take It Away Paul McCartney 1982 #10 (Peak)
John Hurt appeared in the video, unusual for that stage in the evolution of music videos. George Martin produced and played piano on the track, as well as appearing in the video.
Do You Love Me? Contours 1962 #94 (Peak: #3 H100, #1 R&B)
This was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Berry Gordy wanted the Temptations to record the song, but they were out of the studio and not to be found. Gordy bumped into the Contours in the halls of Hitsville, the story goes, and he was in such a hurry to get the song recorded and released, he gave it to the Contours.
Happy Rolling Stones 1972 #22 (Peak)
Keith Richards wrote the song (possibly about Anita Pallenberg) and sang lead.
Steppin’ Out Joe Jackson 1982 #88 (Peak: #6)
Doesn’t this song make you feel like you’re making the scene all over Manhattan with Joe Jackson (who looks for all the world like Noel Coward in this video)? The video was shot in and around the St. Regis Hotel.
Johnny Get Angry Joanie Sommers 1962 #24 (Peak: #7)
There has been fierce controversy over the song’s lyrics, but there is no quarreling with its fierce kazoo solo.
Conquistador Procol Harum 1972 #46 (Peak: #16)
Contrary to their usual way of composing, the melody was written before the lyrics. This version is with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, with whom Procol Harum only had the chance to rehearse the song once before recording.
Take a Look Aretha Franklin 1967 #56
A brilliant performance of a brilliantly insightful song penned by Clyde Otis.
Nights in White Satin Moody Blues 1972 #69 (Peak: #2)
The track from 1967’s “Days of Future Passed” was re-released in 1972 in various forms and lengths. Justin Hayward wrote the song when he was 19 years old after a girlfriend gifted him a set of satin bed sheets. The song was notable for its extensive use of the Mellotron by Mike Pinder.
CLOSING THEME: Sleep Walk – Santo and Johnny (1959, #1 for two weeks)
Answer: Richard Boone was the star of “Have Gun, Will Travel” and co-composer of the show’s theme song. The TV show ran from 1957-1963.
Congratulations to Jason from Interlaken for correctly answering the question and winning a pair of movie 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, publisher of the Hot 100 and other charts
H100 = Billboard Hot 100
Bubbling Under = songs that were ranked but fell below the top 100
CW = Billboard’s chart for country and western records
R&B = Billboard’s chart of rhythm and blues records
RRHOF = Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
RS 500 = Rolling Stone Magazine’s ranking of the top 500 singles of all time.
Host August 28, 2021: Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on the 1969 Atlantic City Pop Festival.
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