Monday, May 23, 2022

May 21, 2022 - JS - Late May 1969


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:  5/21/22

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Late May 1969






·      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)


Only the Strong Survive - Jerry Butler (at #39, down from #4 Pop, #1 R&B - written and produced by Gamble & Huff and recorded in Philly, this record launched yet another phase of The Iceman's storied career. Check out those tasty guitar licks and that driving bass line.)

Jerry Butler – Only The Strong Survive Lyrics | Genius Lyrics


More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Starecase (at #21, headed to #12 - this one blasted out of car speakers and jukeboxes in the Spring of 1969, featuring a wash of horns and Pat Upton's earnest keening vocals. Columbia Records had yet another hit on its hands!)


I Can't See Myself Losing You - Aretha Franklin (peaking at #28 Pop, #3 R&B - just about everything that Aretha recorded for Atlantic Records turned to gold. This one doesn't get much airplay these days, but it's sublime.)

Aretha Franklin – I Can't See Myself Leaving You (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs


Too Busy Thinking 'Bout My Baby - Marvin Gaye (at #16, headed to #4 Pop, #1 R&B for six weeks - this was Marvin's follow-up to I Heard It Through The Grapevine, and it's much simpler and less intense  -  but it spent six weeks at the top of the R&B charts, and it's a breath of fresh air.)


Get Back - The Beatles (first of five weeks at #1 - thanks to Peter Jackson's eight+ hour documentary, many of us actually saw Paul and the band create this smash hit out of thin air. This was a band at the peak of its powers, even as it was starting to splinter and come apart.)

The Beatles: Get Back - A Sneak Peek from Peter Jackson - YouTube


Good Morning Starshine - Oliver (debuting at #83 > #3 - the Off-Broadway "Tribal Rock" musical Hair was the source of multiple chart hits in the Spring and Summer of 1969. This was one that still gets a lot of airplay, and deservedly so.) 

James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot - Hair - The American Tribal  Love-Rock Musical (1968 Original Broadway Cast) - Music


Hawaii Five-O - Ventures (down to #17 from a peak of #4 - thundering drums, some uncharacteristic horns and a driving beat - plus weekly exposure on one of America's most-watched TV shows - helped this record climb to the Top 5. There's speculation that there were actually members of The Wrecking Crew on the recording, because The Ventures were busy touring. Either way...I say "Book 'em, Dan-o!")


It's Your Thing - Isley Brothers (down to #6 from #4 Pop, #1 R&B for four weeks - after years of moderate chart success at a string of labels including RCA, Wand, Atlantic and Motown, the brothers decided to create their own record label: T-Neck Records. They started with this powerhouse number and they never looked back!)

 The Isley Brothers – It's Your Thing (1969, 1st Issue, Pitman Pressing,  Vinyl) - Discogs

Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying - Trini Lopez (at #134, headed only to #133 - Trini's heyday was the early-to-mid-Sixties, but he tried to keep up with the times. Modern instrumentation and a snazzy Latin beat couldn't make this one catch on. One listener called in to say that it made him want to clean his ears with industrial cleanser after hearing it.)

Fever - Little Caesar & The Romans (9/61; dnc - tacked onto the flipside of a single that stalled at #101, this one can be considered buried treasure.)

Sally Go 'Round the Roses - Jaynetts (8/63; #2 - this is the first of three "one-hit wonders" that we'll hear in a row tonight. This Bronx girl group had just one charting single. This was it!)

The Jaynetts - Sally Go Round the Roses | Play on Anghami

No Good to Cry - Wildweeds (5/67; #88 - these were a bunch of high school kids from the Hartford area and this was a giant hit in Connecticut. Not so much anywhere else, but singer/guitarist/writer Al Anderson would go on to find fame as a member of NRBQ.)

The Wildweeds - Best of Wildweeds: No Good to Cry - Music

Happy - Blades of Grass (7/67; #87 - this was released on the Jubilee Records label on the same date that a competing version was released by The Sunshine Company. Bigger label? Better promo budget? The latter made it to #50. This one was the only thing ever heard by The Blades of Grass.)

* Stand! - Sly & The Family Stone (peaking on this date at #22 - this was one of SIX singles by the band to rank in the RS500 list. The flipside was I Want To Take You Higher. Their performance of that song at Woodstock four months later would catapult them into the Pop Culture stratosphere.)




 Birthday Calendar


May 15 – Eddy Arnold – born in 1919

            – Trini Lopez – born in 1937

            – Lenny Welch – age 84


May 16 – "Red" Holt (Young-Holt Unltd.) – born in 1932

            – Barbara Lee (Chiffons) – born in 1947


May 17 – Taj Mahal – age 80

            – Bill Bruford (Yes) – age 73

            – George Johnson (Bros. Johnson) – age 69


May 18  – Big Joe Turner – born in 1911

            – Perry Como – born in 1912 

            – Albert Hammond – age 80

            – Rick Wakeman (Yes) – age 73


 May 19 – Pete Townshend – age 77

May 20 – Joe Cocker – born in 1944

            – Cher – age 76

            – Susan Cowsill – age 63


May 21 – Ronald Isley – age 81

            – Leo Sayer – age 74



Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - Eddy Arnold (9/68; #84 Pop, #1 C&W - JD Loudermilk wrote it and the Casinos had the bigger Pop hit with it, but this was one of Eddy Arnold's twenty-eight #1 Country hits over the span of forty years.)

Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - song by Eddy Arnold | Spotify


If I Had a Hammer - Trini Lopez (7/63; #3 for three weeks - we heard from Trini a little earlier in the show, but this was him doing what he did best: playing live in front of a partying singalong crowd. This was his first charting hit, and it bypassed Peter, Paul & Mary's version which had topped out at #10 the previous summer.)


I Was There - Lenny Welch (8/65; dnc - this Goffin-King composition was the B-side of a low-charting single, but Lenny was incapable of releasing a bad record.)

Lenny Welch - Two Different Worlds / I Was There | Discogs


Up on the Bridge - Chiffons (8/68; dnc - the Girl Group glory days had passed, but these NYC kids continued to release singles on the Laurie Records label and this one should've garnered more attention.)


Take a Giant Step - Rising Sons (1966; NR - Columbia signed this young super group shortly after signing The Byrds. That's young Taj Mahal on guitar and vocals and young Ry Cooder on slide guitar. Both bands were tearing up the LA club scene, but Columbia had no clue how to promote this band. This track would remain in the can for nearly thirty years.)

The Rising Sons - Bruno Ceriotti, rock historian


Soulful Strut - Young-Holt Unlimited (11/68; #3 - drummer Red Holt and bassist Eldee Young had played behind Ramsey Lewis for years. They finally decided to branch out. This was the pinnacle of their success under their own names.)


Roundabout (single edit) - Yes (3/72; #12 - this was the classic Yes lineup, and their only Top 20 hit as a quintet was this 3:25 edit of their 8+ minute album track. Happy birthday to birthday bandmates drummer Bill Bruford and keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman.)

Pin en music i like


I'll Wear a Silly Grin - Family Dogg (4/68; dnc - this group was formed by singer and writer Albert Hammond. Their studio album famously featured session players Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham.)


Corinne, Corinna - Big Joe Turner (5/56; #41Pop, #2 R&B - this is one of nearly twenty Top Ten R&B hits that he cut for the Atlantic label in the Fifties. He was big and he could swing!)

One Track Mind: Big Joe Turner, "Cherry Red" (1956) - Something Else!

45 Corner:  Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Cher (3/66; #2 - while Sonny & Cher were successfully cutting hit records for the Atco label, Cher signed a solo deal with Imperial Records and had a string of hits under her own name. This was her biggest for the label, and all CD versions are a horrible stereo mix with instruments on one side and Cher on the other. Tonight we hear the  scratchy but superior mono 45.)



Six artists from this week's birthday calendar appeared on this week's spotlight chart. We've already heard from Trini Lopez and Ronald Isley in Hour One. Here come four more from late May 1969! 


Pinball Wizard - The Who (5/69 - peaking at #19 and featuring the writing, harmony vocals and blistering guitar licks of mastermind Pete Townshend. His "rock opera" Tommy would yield three Top Forty singles. This was the most successful. Here they are just a year later performing it in front of a crowd of 600,000.)

Feeling Alright - Joe Cocker (at #121, headed to #69 - A&M Records would re-release this single two years later and it would reach #23 here in the States. Dave Mason wrote it and recorded it with Traffic back in 1968.)



* Hair - The Cowsills (down to #4 after two weeks at #2 - the "Tribal Rock musical" Hair yielded a bunch of radio hits for assorted artists. This one is notable in the career of young Susan Cowsill when it features her solo line "and spaghetti'd!" This 2018 performance shows that they've still got "it" and that Susan has matured into a fabulous entertainer.)



Seattle - Perry Como (at #42, headed to #38 - Perry had something of a comeback in the late Sixtes/early Seventies. This was the opening theme song for the popular TV series Here Come the Brides, which helped sell a slew of singles.)

Here Come the Brides' theme song, lyrics & what the actors thought of the  show (1968-1970) - Click Americana


* Rock 'n' Roll Heaven - Righteous Brothers (5/74; #3 for two weeks - going out at the request of Scottie. This song mentions Jimi and Janis and Jim Morrison and "The Immortal Jim Croce," as well as Otis Redding. The list has grown exponentially since 1974.)


Work to Do - Isley Brothers (11/72; #51 Pop, #11 R&B - birthday celebrant Ronald Isley and his brothers have a very deep catalog spanning at least 50 years. This song was also adopted by The Average White Band, who put it on the B-side of their biggest hit Pick Up the Pieces.)

The Isley Brothers – Work To Do (1972, Vinyl) - Discogs45cat - AWB - Pick Up The Pieces / Work To Do - Atlantic - USA - 45-3229


Boogie Nights - Heatwave (7/77; #2 for two weeks - they were a versatile band: funky dance band one minute, smooth balladeers the next. I partly played them tonight because we're experiencing our first heat wave of the season. Brace yourselves....)


Fire - Pointer Sisters (11/78; #2 - here's another #2 record from the late Seventies, this one from the pen of Bruce Springsteen himself. Check them out two years later on a hot summer's night. From Oakland, California: I give you The Pointer Sisters!)


Laughter In the Rain - Neil Sedaka (2/75; #1 - Neil got his start in high school with a group they called The Tokens. Yes, those Tokens! He then went to the Brill Building and wrote a string of Pop hits that dried up with the arrival of the British Invasion. At that point, he should've been washed up  -  but he'd mount a vigorous comeback in the mid-Seventies, and this is just one example.)


Rain - The Beatles (6/66; #23 - this one was the B-side of Paperback Writer, but what a B-side: it's a brilliant record that features some of Ringo's toughest drumming, Paul's best bass work and one of the first uses of backwards guitar trickery. Rolling Stone ranks it at #469 in their RS500.)


Friends - Elton John (3/71; #34 - this was Elton's foray into film scoring, and it's a mostly-forgotten gem that deserves a second listen.)

FRIENDS 1971 MOVIE on DVD - Elton John Soundtrack


Touch a Hand, Make a Friend - Staple Singers (2/74; #23 Pop - this family group released a string of tasty records on the Stax label in the early Seventies, led by patriarch "Pops" Staples on guitar and the brilliant Mavis Staples on lead vocals. Nearly 50 years later, she's still making great records.)

Every Day I Have to Cry - Steve Alaimo (1/63; #46 - Arthur Alexander was a prolific singer and writer with a profound influence on artists ranging from the Rolling Stones and Beatles to America's Gentrys and Steve Alaimo, both of whom recorded this song of his. Tonight we'll hear two versions.)

1963 HITS ARCHIVE: Every Day I Have To Cry - Steve Alaimo - YouTube45cat - The Gentrys - Everyday I Have To Cry / Don't Let It Be (This Time)  - MGM - USA - K 13495

Every Day I Have to Cry - Arthur Alexander (9/75; #45 - years after other people sold a bunch of records, Arthur Alexander decided to record his own version. He may have been late to the party, but boy, could he deliver!)

Arthur Alexander – Every Day I Have To Cry Some / Everybody Needs Somebody  To Love (1975, Vinyl) - Discogs

Never Comes the Day - Moody Blues (bubbling under at #115, headed to #91 - this one would slowly bubble around beneath the surface and finally chart in late June, where it would take another four weeks to reach a lowly #91. At this point they were getting lots of play on FM radio, but this is a pretty cool way to end the show.)


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


Congratulations to Kevin from Ithaca, for winning a a pair of tickets to see Modest Mouse at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards!




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 (5/28/22):  Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight TBD as he celebrates six years on the Remnants team!




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