Thursday, September 9, 2021

September 4, 2021 - JS - 1964 and More


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:  September 4, 2021

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  1964 and More



It's a sparkling Central New York end-of-Summer day, and we've got just the soundtrack for it. We'll start with a trip to September 4, 1964, we'll do an extended salute to some of the recently departed (including Don Everly, Charlie Watts, Tom T. Hall, Nashville session drummer Kenny Malone and Amboy Dukes lead singer John Drake) and we'll fold in your requests.






(scroll down to find a glossary of terms)








·      yellow song titles are 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)


Because - Dave Clark 5 (peaking at #3 this week - after a string of successful thumping rockers, the band released this uncharacteristic ballad. Apparently, the A&R people had argued against it - but the record-buying public gobbled it up and everybody won.)

The Dave Clark Five…British Big Beat – On The Records

Save It for Me - 4 Seasons (at #22, headed to #10 - their previous release was Rag Doll, which had reached #1 and was still on the chart when Philips Records released this one. They would follow that pattern for the next five years, releasing a new single every three months. Most of them landed in the Top 20.)


Matchbox - The Beatles (at #47, headed to #17 - the band's feature film A Hard Day's Night yielded six charting songs, including the B-sides - and that's without mentioning the orchestral soundtrack version of "Ringo's Theme" by George Martin and His Orchestra! With four of them still on the chart, Capitol rushed out this two-sider with "Slow Down" on the flip side. The hits just kept on comin'!) - BEATLES MATCHBOX 45 PS PICTURE SLEEVE CAPITOL 5255 WEST COAST  WC TAB THUMB CUT - auction details


Girl (Why You Want To Make Me Blue) - Temptations (at #65, headed to #26 - Motown finally had found a winning formula with Eddie Kendricks singing lead and Smokey Robinson writing and producing. However...David Ruffin was in the wings, and Smokey would soon be replaced by a different production team, and the group would rise to even greater heights.)


Last Kiss - J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers (at #60, headed to #2 in a few weeks - this was originally a regional hit for songwriter Wayne Cochran. Years later it would be a charting hit for Pearl Jam. This, though, is the definitive version.)


Oh My Angel - Bertha Tillman (5/62; #61 - little is known about the San Diego singer, except that she was truly a "one-hit wonder." This record has been lost to time, but it's hauntingly lovely.)


Whispering Bells - Dell-Vikings (8/57; #9 - this group of Army buddies created two of the greatest singles of 1957. I played the other one on my last show, so their job here is done. The only discrepancy is that some people spell it "Dell-Vikings.")

Whispering Bells by The Del-Vikings : Napster


So Sad - Everly Brothers (9/60; #7 - Don Everly passed away on August 21st at the age of 84. He and his brother Phil were among the inaugural class of inductees to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, and were a major influence on a bunch of bands that were built on close two-part harmony, including The Beatles, The Hollies, Simon & Garfunkel and more.)

Don Everly of Everly Brothers dies at 84 in Nashville


* Harper Valley PTA - Jeannie C. Riley (9/68; #1 Pop, #1 C&W for three weeks - singer/songwriter Tom T. Hall passed away at age 85 on August 20th, having left behind an impressive catalog of C&W hits. JR will do an in-depth tribute on his next show. In the interim, here's one of his big crossover hits as a songwriter.)


Honky Tonk Women - Rolling Stones (9/69; #1 for four weeks - they say that bad news comes in threes, and word spread quickly that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts had died on August 24th at the age of 80. He was one of the three remaining original members still playing with the group that has been dubbed "The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band." This was the first single that they released just days after they had laid Brian Jones to rest, and part of its character is Charlie's thundering drumming.)

Honky Tonk Women; You Can't Always Get What You Want | National Museum of  American History


* Winchester Cathedral - New Vaudeville Band (12/66; #1 for three weeks - this novelty record appeared out of nowhere and rushed to the top of the charts here in The States. It was apparently the work of session players, so a group of musicians was quickly assembled to make television appearances when it became a hit!)


* Leader of the Pack - Shangri-Las (11/64; #1 - producer Shadow Morton was the genius who figured out how to get the most out of this Queens, NY quartet, consisting of two pairs of sisters. The key to his formula was family drama and how it resulted in unhappy endings. Going out to Barbara in Danby.)


45 Corner:  Try to Remember - Brothers Four (11/65; #91 - the off-Broadway show called The Fantasticks ran for 42 years, making it the longest-running musical of them all. Its most memorable musical number was this one, and a number of recorded versions were released. Ed Ames had more success with it than these guys, but there's something very touching about this version to my ear. And as the seasons start to change, we'll play this one which is possibly only available on vinyl.)

THE FANTASTICKS - Off-Broadway Cast AUTOGRAPHS Signed Playbill


* When I Grow Up to Be a Man - Beach Boys (9/64; debuting this week at #83, headed to #9 - listener Tom from Long Island called this double-shot in with these words: "If I can chime in with a couple of requests: From this week in '64, When I Grow Up to Be a Man by the Beach Boys, and from a couple of years later, When I'm 64, by the Beatles. Both remarkable songs from people as young as they were back then." He makes a good point. Brian Wilson on the left, Sir Paul on the right.

Brian Wilson's Songs Of My Life – The Muse Pallet Paul mccartney fans on Twitter: "Young paul."


* When I'm Sixty-Four - The Beatles (5/67; dnc - Paul McCartney was all of 25 when he wrote this song for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP. I'll bet you there isn't a person who's reached sixty-four who hasn't had at least part of this one sung to them!)


Journey to the Center of Your Mind - Amboy Dukes (6/68; #16 - word recently came in that lead singer John Drake passed away on August 29th at the age of 74. This was their biggest hit. All CD versions have a mysterious drop-out near the end, but tonight you get the original 45 - just the way it sounded 53 years ago.)

 The Amboy Dukes - Journey To The Center Of The Mind | Discogs





 Birthday Calendar


August 29 – Michael Jackson – born in 1959


August 30 – John Phillips (Mamas & Papas) – born in 1935 


August 31 – Van Morrison – age 76

            – Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac) – born in 1945


September 1 – Archie Bell (Drells) – age 77

            – Barry Gibb (Bee Gees) – age 75

            – Greg Errico (Family Stone) – age 73


September 2 – Billy Preston – born in 1946

            – Bobby Purify – born in 1939


September 3 – Al Jardine (Beach Boys) – age 79

            – Donald Brewer (Grand Funk) – age 73



Once Was a Time I Thought - Mamas & Papas (10/66; dnc - mustachioed John Phillips wasn't the strongest singer in the group, but he was the musical genius who wrote most of their material and arranged all of it. This was tucked on the B-side of "Look Through My Window" and must've been a surprise to everyone who flipped it over to hear the B-side!)

The Mamas & The Papas – Look Through My Window / Once Was A Time I Thought  (1966, Vinyl) - Discogs


Do You Wanna Dance - Mamas & Papas (11/68; #76 - the group had basically run its course and Mama Cass was leaving for a solo career, so Dunhill released several album tracks to fulfill the group's contract. This one features a rare lead vocal by John, and may just be my favorite version of this oft-recorded classic.)


Got to Be There - Michael Jackson (10/71; #4 Pop - young Michael was clearly the star of The Jackson 5, and Motown had a history of sending the stars off on their own solo careers. Think Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson, for starters. This was young Michael's debut single, and it belied his tender age.)

Michael Jackson Got To Be There - Sealed US vinyl LP album (LP record)  (334932)


Sentimental Lady - Fleetwood Mac (8/72; dnc - Bob Welch was one in a long line of guitarists for the band, and also brought singing and songwriting chops. This standout track from their Bare Trees LP was released as a single. When it flopped - and he'd had enough - he left and re-recorded it with  help from band members Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood. That version was a hit, but this is the original version.)

45cat - Fleetwood Mac - Sentimental Lady / Sunny Side Of Heaven - Reprise -  USA - REP 109345cat - Bob Welch - Sentimental Lady / Hot Love, Cold World - Capitol - USA  - 4479


Checkin' It Out - Van Morrison (4/79; dnc - at least three singles were released from his Wavelength album, and the title track was the only one that charted. This, though, is another in a long line of fine singles from "the Belfast Cowboy." His politics have gotten him into trouble of late, but there's no denying his musical genius.)


To Love Somebody - Bee Gees (7/67; #17 - according to the band, they wrote this one for Otis Redding, who had requested that they write him a song. Unfortunately, Otis died before he could record it - so the Brothers Gibb did. Watch this stirring performance on The Midnight Special.)


Let's Groove (Part 1) - Archie Bell & The Drells (2/76; #7 R&B - Houston's native son had a string of novelty dance hits for the Atlantic label in the late Sixties. When they dried up, he headed to Philadelphia where producers Gamble & Huff resurrected his career with a string of Disco-flavored dance records. This one stands out from the crowd.)


Dance To The Music - Sly & The Family Stone (2/68; #8 - this was the first thing that most of America ever heard from this Bay Area outfit, and it sounded like nothing that had been on the radio before. What followed was a stunning string of singles and a show-stopping performance at Woodstock in August of 1969. Watch this short performance on the Ed Sullivan stage, where Ed's people required the band to shorten their song by removing each player's solo. Sheesh.)


Let Love Come Between Us - James & Bobby Purify (10/67; #23 Pop, #18 R&B - Robert Lee Dickey and his cousin James Purify had a nice string of hits in the mid-Sixties. Bobby would eventually quit the business due to health reasons and a new "Bobby Purify" would take over, but here's the original duo.)


Billy's Bag - Billy Preston (9/66; dnc - Billy was a child prodigy who grew up in the Church. His earliest gig was accompanying Gospel star Mahalia Jackson. He'd later go on tour with luminaries like Little Richard and Ray Charles, and play on some of Sam Cooke's records. He was signed to Sue Records, and this single was plucked from his first LP. It never charted, but it clearly announced his arrival as a solo artist.)

45cat - Billy Preston - Billy's Bag / Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' -  Sue - UK - WI 4012


Get Back - The Beatles with Billy Preston (5/69; #1 for five weeks - Billy met The Beatles when he was touring the UK with Little Richard. Years later, George reached out to him when the band was having internal conflict, and Billy joined them in the studio for some recording support. These sessions yielded this smash single, and Billy had the honor of having his name appear on the record label along with the Fab Four's.)

 The Beatles With Billy Preston – Get Back (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs

Help Me, Rhonda - Beach Boys (5/65; #1 for two weeks - Al Jardine was the only original member of the band who wasn't a brother or cousin, but he's still performing with Brian Wilson. This was a rare lead vocal for him, and tonight we hear an alternate version that was Brian's "final single mix" until he had a last-minute change of heart. Here's that lost mix.)

Brian Wilson & Al Jardine - 50th Anniversary Pet Sounds Tour | The beach  boys, Brian wilson, Pet sounds


Gimme Shelter - Grand Funk (8/71; #61 - the Rolling Stones never released this as a single, but others - including Merry Clayton and these guys  - did. Drummer Donald Brewer is thumping away on this rare single version.)



Our final Memorial tribute is for Nashville session percussionist Kenny Malone, who passed away on August 26th at age 83 from Covid-related causes. Known for playing a number of unconventional percussion instruments, he played on thousands of records between 1973 and 2021. Here are three of them. 

Drummer Kenny Malone's Cause of Death, COVID19 Related? - US day News



Jolene - Dolly Parton (11/73; #60 Pop, #1 C&W - one of Dolly Parton's most enduring and resonant hits was this one. The percussion is discrete and unobtrusive, but it's a key element of the  recording. That's Kenny Malone.)


Drift Away - Dobie Gray (2/74; #5 - Dobie Gray hadn't had a hit in several years until he recorded this classic. It was written by Paul Williams' brother Mentor, and featured Reggie Young on guitar and Kenny Malone on hand percussion.)

Dobie Gray – Drift Away (1973, Vinyl) - Discogs


Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue - Crystal Gayle (8/77; #2 Pop for three weeks , #1 C&W for four weeks - Kenny Malone played on a string of Crystal Gayle's LPs. This song was her biggest crossover hit, and also won her a Grammy and the CMA award for Record of The Year.)

Crystal Gayle – Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue (1977, Vinyl) - Discogs


* Holding On To Yesterday - Ambrosia (6/75; #17 - This LA band started as a Prog Rock/Alt Rock band and slowly morphed into the Soft Rock column. This was their first charting record, and it's surprisingly progressive. Going out at the behest of Scottie, dedicated to the usual suspects.)


Come Monday - Jimmy Buffett (5/74; #30 - this was Jimmy's first charting single, and his highest-charter until Margaritaville a couple of years later. This is the closest we'll come to referencing Labor Day weekend.)


* Hey Jude - The Beatles (9/68; #1 for nine weeks - Apple Records released two singles on the very same day in September of 1968 to launch their franchise. The other was "Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin, which was at #1 two weeks longer than "Hey Jude" did on the British chart. This one was the Beatles' longest-charting record here in The States, AND their longest-running single of them all. Going out from Judy to Ken in recognition of their wedding 53 years ago: September 6, 1968.)

Fab 4 Collectibles | The Very Best Quality in Authentic Autographs,  Original Records & Memorabilia | Apple Picture Sleeves and 45 Singles


* It's All Right - Impressions (9/63; #4 Pop, #1 R&B for five weeks - Curtis Mayfield grew up in the Church and brought his Gospel roots with him. He wrote, produced, sang lead and played the guitar on this one, going out at the request of Tom and Elise. Good call!)


45 Corner:  At The Zoo - Simon & Garfunkel (3/67; #16 - Paul Simon refuses to let Columbia release any of the duo's Sixties singles mixes, but most of them are both monaural and have extra elements that don't appear in the LP versions. This 45 has extra reverb and the drums are more prominent, and this is the way to hear this one!)


Sunday Will Never Be the Same - Spanky & Our Gang (5/67; #9 - Cashman and West had written this song, and it was the first big hit from Spanky and her gang. A string of shimmering harmony-filled singles would follow. Years later, Spanky would be recruited to round out a new version of The Mamas & Papas. Not many people would have the nerve - or the voice - to fill the shoes of Mama Cass!)

Like To Get To Know You (Single Version) by Spanky & Our Gang on Amazon  Music -


Where Do I Go? - Carla Thomas (10/68; #86 Pop, #35 R&B - the Off-Broadway Tribal Rock Musical Hair yielded a string of radio hits for acts including The 5th Dimension, The Cowsills, Oliver, Three Dog Night and The Happenings. are two more. This first one is by "The Soul Queen of Memphis" and pre-dates all of the others by at least a few months.)


Good Morning Starshine - Strawberry Alarm Clock (5/69; #87 - Oliver's version of this song was clearly the superior record, but these guys put their distinctive stamp on their version. Their clunky singing of the lyrics "gliddy gloop gloopy, nibby nobby nooby, la la-la lo lo" is offset by some tasty synthesizer work.)

45cat - Strawberry Alarm Clock - Good Morning Starshine / Me And The  Township - Uni - USA - 55125Good Morning Starshine / Can't You See by Oliver (Single, Show Tunes):  Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music


Fool On the Hill - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (8/68; #6 - this shimmering latin-flavored treatment of the Beatles song was one of the signature sounds of the late summer of 1968. Lani Hall is the lead vocalist here. She would later marry label owner Herb Alpert.)

On the Street Where You Live - Andy Williams (at #66, headed to #28 - this lush treatment of the song from My Fair Lady sounds particularly good tonight, coming from a nicely remastered 2-CD set on the Columbia label. The B-side is also a show tune, and I may well play it on my next show. It charted as well.)

Andy Williams – The Complete Columbia Chart Singles Collection (2002, CD) -  Discogs


I'm On the Outside Looking In - Little Anthony & The Imperials (at #29, headed to #15 - "Little Anthony" Gourdine grew up in Brooklyn and modeled his singing after Jazz singer Jimmy Scott. He continues to appear in Oldies Revues, and continues to sing some of the most enduring Soul hits of the late Fifties and Sixties.)




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 (9/11/21):  Gregory James with a spotlight on #1 Hits of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies




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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  1. Where do you find all of these great covers?😉

  2. Too much time on my hands??!? Actually, I just have a LOT of music, and I appreciate having a good outlet for it.