Thursday, December 9, 2021

December 4, 2021 - GJ - The Brill Building

Rockin’ Remnants

Rockin’ Remnants is broadcast from WVBR-FM Ithaca. Check out our webpage, like us on Facebook, and tune in to 93.5 FM or stream the show every Saturday night from 6-9 p.m. Eastern. (Or download the WVBR+app now available for iOS and Android.)

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Date: December 4, 2021

Host:  Gregory James

Feature: The Brill Building

Birthday Calendar

November 28

Berry Gordy Jr. 92 years old

Bruce Channel 81 years old

Randy Newman 78 years old

November 29

John Mayall 88 years old

Denny Doherty (b. 1940  d. 2007)

Felix Cavaliere 79 years old

Joel Whitburn 82 years old

November 30

Frank Ifield 84 years old

Rob Grill (Grass Roots singer/bassist)   (b. 1943  d. 2011)

Luther Ingram (b. 1937  d. 2007)

Dick Clark (b. 1929  d. 2012)

December 1

Lou Rawls (b. 1933  d. 2006)

John Densmore 77 years old

Bette Midler 76 years old

December 4

Freddy Cannon 85 years old

Dennis Wilson (b. 1944  d. 1983)

Southside Johnny 73 years old

Bob Mosley (Moby Grape) 79 years old

Rock n’ Roll Trivia

Question: What three spousal teams were famous Brill Building songwriters?

(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

6-7 pm

OPENING THEME: Good Old Rock n’ Roll—Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys (1969, #29, produced by Jimi Hendrix)

Who Put the Bomp  Barry Mann 1961  #7

Barry Mann and Jerry Goffin wrote it, so I guess Barry Mann wanted to shake his own hand. All in all, Barry Mann had a hand in writing 635 songs, according to his website.

The Ironic Wink — Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann, Gerry Goffin, and Carole...

Up on the Roof Laura Nyro  1970    #92

Carole King and Jerry Goffin wrote it.  There are plenty of versions, but the phrasing and emotion that Nyro brings to the song are unparalleled. This record was Nyro’s only charting single.

Up On The Roof By Laura Nyro Classic 45's Jukebox podcast154: Laura Nyro, 'Save the Country' - 67nj

Stoned Soul Picnic 5th Dimension   1968  #3

Laura Nyro had even greater success as a composer, her songs having been covered by legions of recording artists.

Stoned Soul Picnic (song) - Wikipedia

Candy Man   Roy Orbison    1961  #25 

Written by Beverly Ross and Fred Neil who met at the Café Wha? in Greenwich Village in 1960.  This was Fred Neil’s first hit song.

Candy Man by Roy Orbison - 1961 Hit Song - Vancouver Pop Music Signature  SoundsRoy Orbison's "Candy Man" Song Commemorated In Limited Edition Replica of  Original Magazine Ad

Everybody’s Talking    Fred Neil  1966 DNC

Nilsson did a fabulous job with the song, but it is really nice to hear the composer sing this iconic song.

Fred Neil – Everybody's Talkin' (1969, Vinyl) - DiscogsFred Neil - Everybody's Talkin' - YouTube

Time Is On My Side Irma Thomas  1964 DNC

Jerry Ragovoy was the composer, and you can hear how much the Stones lifted from the Irma Thomas version.

THOMAS,IRMA - Time is on My Side - MusicTime Is On My Side by Irma Thomas from the album Anyone Who Knows What Love  Is (Will Understand) (Single)

 *Rock Me Gently Andy Kim  #1  1974

Canadian Andy Kim was one of several Brill Building composers who recorded his own songs. Requested by Scottie for Brooktondale Peggy.

Andy Kim – Rock Me Gently Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Hey Schoolgirl Tom and Jerry   1957   #49

Paul Simon (as Jerry Landis) wrote this tune, with echoes of the Everly Brothers in his head.

Paul Simon: 10 Fascinating Pre-Simon and Garfunkel Songs - Rolling StoneHey Schoolgirl (1957), by Tom and Jerry (Simon and Garfunkel) – Poets and  Lovers

Dead Man’s Curve  Jan and Dean 1964  #8

Artie Kornfeld was one of four composers of this song that foreshadowed an actual (non-fatal) car accident. In 1966, Jan Berry crashed his Stingray into a parked truck near, but not actually on, Dead Man’s Curve. 

Dead Man's Curve - Jan Berry Had A Near-Fatal Car Accident HereJan & Dean – Dead Man's Curve (1964, Vinyl) - Discogs

*You Make Me Feel Like Dancing Leo Sayer  1976  #1

Requested by Alvin, this record won the 1978 Grammy for Best R&B Song. Guitarist Ray Parker Jr. claimed that he was an uncredited songwriter.

Uptown  Crystals   1962  #13

Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann wrote 82 Brill Building Songs, Carole King and Jerry Goffin wrote 72. 

The Crystals - Uptown: lyrics and songs | Deezer

When I Need You Leo Sayer  1977  #1

An extra dose of Leo…Once again, Sayer’s songwriting originality could be called into question by comparing his melody to Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” and Elton John’s “Little Jeannie.” According to one musicologist, the melody can be traced back to Schubert, thus rendering it in the public domain. 

Leo Sayer – When I Need You (1976, Vinyl) - Discogs

Baby I Love You  Ronettes   1963  #24

Written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Lead singer Ronnie Bennett was accompanied by Leon Russell on piano and backing vocals were provided, not by the Ronettes (who were on tour in a Dick Clark Caravan), but by Cher, Sonny Bono and the Blossoms. 

The Blossoms - WikipediaRonnie Spector - Wikipedia

The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forge Raindrops 1963  #17

Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich not only composed 40 songs together, they also sang some of their compositions. All of the many voices heard on the recording belong to Greenwich and Barry.

The Raindrops – The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget / Even Though You Can't  Dance (1963, Monarch Pressing, Vinyl) - DiscogsThe Raindrops

Sweets for my Sweet Drifters 1961  #16

Written by the songwriting team of Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus. The backing singers were the A-team of Cissy Houston, Doris Troy, Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. Mort Shuman played piano on this track.

Album Sweets For My Sweet, The Drifters | Qobuz: download and streaming in  high quality

Stand By Me Ben E King 1961   #4

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (using the collective pseudonym Elmo Glick), along with Ben E. King, penned this uplifting ode to friendship, love and loyalty. Mike Stoller credits Ben E. King with 50 percent of the song’s creation.

Singer Ben E. King, Best Known For 'Stand By Me,' Dies At 76 : The Two-Way  : NPR

7-8 pm

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy Brenda Holloway 1967 #39

Berry Gordy was a co-composer on this song. He and Holloway disagreed about the record’s musical arrangement, but Gordy prevailed. The record was her last single for the Tamla label.

You've Made Me So Very Happy / I've Got to Find It by Brenda Holloway  (Single; Tamla Motown; GO 25.645): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list -  Rate Your Music

Hey Baby Bruce Channel 1962 #1 

Delbert McClinton’s harmonica segment inspired Lennon's playing on the Beatles' first single "Love Me Do", and the harmonica break on Frank Ifield's "I Remember You."

Bruce Channel, Hey Baby, Delbert McClinton, The Beatles, Brook Benton |  Vintage concert posters, Concert posters, The beatles330 Delbert McClinton - Doin It Right ideas in 2021 | jackson browne,  music, jackson

It’s Lonely At The Top Randy Newman 1972  

Newman wrote the song for Frank Sinatra who, when Newman played and sang it for him, said, “Next.”

Frank Sinatra - Wikipedia10 The Best Of Randy Newman Songs | I Like Your Old Stuff | Iconic Music  Artists & Albums | Reviews, Tours & Comps

Don’t Hang Me Up John Mayall 1973 NR

From Mayall’s 1973 Polydor LP “Ten Years Are Gone.”

John Mayall - Ten years are gone - YouTubeJohn Mayall – Ten Years Are Gone (1974, Vinyl) - Discogs

I Saw Her Again Mamas and Papas 1966  #5

Co-written by John Phillips and Denny Doherty, who was having an affair with Michelle Phillips at the time. Awkward, but a good song created specifically as single in the style of the Beatles.

I Saw Her Again': The Mamas And The Papas Follow 'Monday Monday'The Mamas And The Papas - I Saw Her Again Last Night - YouTube

It’s a Beautiful Morning Rascals 1968 #3 H100  #36 R&B

This was their first record using the name “Rascals.”  Lots of praise for the bass player and backing singers, whoever they are.

Lovesick Blues Frank Ifield 1963 #44

Ifield’s cover of this Hank Williams song was a perfect fit because both singers made extensive and skillful use of yodeling.

Things I Should Have Said Grass Roots 1967   #23

The song was a P.F. Sloan and Jeff Barry creation.

The Grass Roots – Things I Should Have Said (1967, Vinyl) - Discogs

I’ll Be Your Shelter Luther Ingram 1972   #40

LUTHER INGRAM - EL CAOBO INTERNACIONALLuther Ingram – I'll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm) (1972, Plastic  Products Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs

Love Is a Hurting Thing Lou Rawls 1966 #13 H100  #1 R&B

Lyrics by Ben Raleigh of the Brill Building

It Was 50 Years Ago Today: "Love is a Hurtin' Thing" by Lou Rawls | REBEAT  Magazine45cat - Lou Rawls - Love Is A Hurtin' Thing / Memory Lane - Capitol - UK -  CL 15465

Love Her Madly Doors 1971 #11

Legend has it that the song was based on the trouble Robby Krieger was having with his girlfriend Lynn whom he subsequently married.

The Story Behind The Doors' Love Her Madly | LouderThe Doors – Love Her Madly (1971, Vinyl) - Discogs

Buckets of Rain Bette Midler and Bob Dylan   1978  NR

Midler was born in Honolulu and rose to prominence in the 1970’s as a songstress during her gigs at the Continental Baths in New York. From her 1976 LP “Songs for the New Depression,” Dave Webster played slide guitar and arranger Moogy Klingman played piano and harmonica.

Bob Dylan Center - Our friends Rolling Stone recently recounted the events  that lead to a most unlikely collaboration in the fall of 1975: Bob Dylan  and Bette Midler. Documenting the recording45cat - Bette Midler - Buckets Of Rain / La Vie En Rose - Atlantic - UK - K  11260

Forever Beach Boys 1970 DNC

From their LP “Sunflower,” this track was written and sung by Dennis Wilson and arranged by Brian (who praised the song). You could hear that the mix is a little rough, with a stray vocal harmony that one of the Beach Boys thought better of.

Murder in My Heart for the Judge Moby Grape  1968 DNC

A little known fact, but a true one, revealed here for the first time: Moby Grape bassist Bob Mosley and I went to the same high school!

Moby Grape – Murder in My Heart for the Judge Lyrics | Genius Lyrics45cat - Moby Grape - Can't Be So Bad / Murder In My Heart For The Judge -  CBS - UK - 3555SPLINTER MUSIC: BOB MOSLEY

Action Freddy Cannon 1965   #13

This song was written by Tommy Boyce of the Brill Building and was the theme for the TV show “Where the Action Is.”

Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon - interview

The Fever Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes 1976

Composer Bruce Springsteen did not originally intend to release the song. Springsteen gave the song to Southside Johnny and said that he liked what Johnny did with the song “a lot.” Springsteen’s 1973 version was officially released in 1998. The quality of the video below is not the best, but the performance will give you chills and, yes, the fever.

8-9 pm

Needles and Pins     Searchers  1964   #13

Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche composed this using an opening chord progression that has been used in countless rock and folk songs. Check out the fierce hair on these guys in the video.

A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You Monkees  1967  #2

Neil Diamond gave this song to the Monkees, but his handprint is clearly on the song.

Twist and Shout  Top Notes  1961 DNC

Bert Berns wrote this, and the song did not enter the consciousness of most music fans until the Isley Brothers reworked it in 1962, taking it to #17. The Beatles’ version made it to #2 in 1964. Clearly everybody saw the song’s potential. King Curtis played the blazing sax solo.

The Top Notes - Twist and shout 1961 - YouTubeFile:Twist and Shout Top Notes.jpg - Wikipedia

The Look of Love      Dusty Springfield  1967  #22

And we can’t forget the team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach. The song was originally intended to be an instrumental, but when it was incorporated into the soundtrack of the film “Casino Royale,” Hal David added words.

*It’s My Life Animals   1966  #23

Composed by Brill Building songwriters Roger Atkins and Carl D’Errico.  Lyricist Atkins said he wrote: “Sure I’ll do wrong, hurt you some time,” but Eric Burdon sang “Show me I’m wrong, hurt me some time.”

Remember (Walking In The Sand)  Shangri-Las  1964  #5

Shadow Morton was challenged by Jeff Barry to prove that he could actually write a song instead of just hanging around the Brill Building paying too much attention to Ellie Greenwich. The legend is that Morton drove out to a Long Island beach and started writing the song in his car and finished it in the shower.

Shangri-LasSHADOW MORTON (1941-2013): Who knows? The Shadow knows | Elsewhere by  Graham Reid

Handy Man  Jimmy Jones  1960  #2

Otis Blackwell co-wrote and produced the record and provided the whistling.  Check out Jones' dance moves at 0:56 and 1:08.

Run To Him Bobby Vee  1961  #2

Jack Keller and Gerry Goffin wrote the song, Keller being the more established songwriter at that point.  Music publisher Don Kirshner, who co-founded Aldon Music which was a major component of the Brill Building sound, originally wanted the song for the Everly Brothers. Is the song about selfless love, or a passive aggressive guilt trip?

Bobby Vee Dead at 731961 HITS ARCHIVE: Run To Him - Bobby Vee (a #2 record) - YouTube

16 Candles  Crests  1958  #2

Luther Dixon started his songwriting career composing doo-wop, but he branched out to compose for Elvis, the Beatles, Jerry Lee, BB King, Dusty Springfield, the Shirelles, Perry Como, and Bobby Darin.

Luther Dixon | Luther Dixon Story on the Chancellor of Soul'… | FlickrSong Lyrics on Demand 16 Candles The Crests + Streaming Video - Tradebit

Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen  Neil Sedaka  1961  #6

Howard Greenfield wrote the lyrics to Sedaka’s melody, which sounds to some ears to resemble “Take Good Care of My Baby.” Sedaka and Carole King were high school friends, and King’s writing style influenced Sedaka. - NEIL SEDAKA - Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen/ Don't Lead Me 78  RPM BRAZIL RCA 1961 - auction details

Won’t Be Long Aretha Franklin  1961  #76 H100  #7 R&B

John Leslie McFarland composed this piece for the 18 year-old Aretha Franklin on her first Columbia LP.

You’re The Devil In Disguise Elvis Presley  1963  #3

Bill Giant, Bernie Baum & Florence Kaye were the songwriters. Ray Walker sang the bass vocal line, intended to sound like the undisguised devil.

Elvis Presley With The Jordanaires – (You're The) Devil In Disguise (Vinyl)  - Discogs

Hello Mary Lou Ricky Nelson   1961   #9

Gene Pitney’s composition bore a resemblance to an earlier song “Merry, Merry Lou” and a settlement was reached to give credit and royalties to the composer of the earlier song.

Ricky Nelson - WikipediaHello Mary Lou / Travelin' Man by Ricky Nelson (Single; London; 45-HLP  9347): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

It’s Gonna Work Out Fine   Ike And Tina Turner  1961  #14 H100  #2 R&B

Rose Marie McCoy co-wrote the song. If the track sounds like Mickey and Sylvia, that’s because Sylvia played guitar and Mickey spoke the dialogue.

songwriters Rose Marie McCoy and Charles Singleton poses for a... News  Photo - Getty ImagesIt's Gonna Work Out Fine - Wikipedia

See You in September  Happenings  1966  #3

Sherman Edwards and Sid Wayne sat down to lunch at a midtown restaurant and in short order came up with the concept of the song. By 4:30 the same day they started making the rounds of the Brill Building, pitching the song to publishers and by 8:00 p.m. they had a deal with Jack Gold for $500 to split between them for the Tempos to record the song. The Happenings liked the song and knew they could make a better version of it with Herb Bernstein’s arrangement.

The Happenings – See You In September / Go Away Little Girl (1967,  Flexi-disc) - Discogs

California Nights  Lesley Gore 1967  #16

Marvin Hamlisch did most of his composing for films, but early on he did write this catchy pop tune. Check out this scene from TV's "Batman" (with Julie Newmar as Cat Woman) in which Gore sings "California Nights."

Out Here on My Own  Irene Cara  1980  #19

Lesley Gore was a lyricist as well as a singer, and this was a very successful composition, co-written with her brother Michael. Below is the clip from "Fame" in which Cara sings the song. 

CLOSING THEME: Sleep Walk – Santo and Johnny (1959, #1 for two weeks)

Trivia Answer

Carole King/Jerry Goffin, Cynthia Weill/Barry Mann, Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry

Congratulations to Jack from Etna for correctly answering the question and winning a pair of movie passes to Cinemapolis in downtown Ithaca.

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 December 11, 2021: Jan Hunsinger 

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