Wednesday, August 2, 2023

July 29, 2023 - JS - "Blues" Redux


Rockin' Remnants

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Date:  7/29/23

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  "Blues," Pt. II


Picking up where we left off last time: more songs (or artists) with Blue in their title or name.



Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia


Before the night is over I'll play two "Blue" songs from the same artist. Who was it?

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






·      YouTube links follow certain 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)


When Sunny Gets Blue - Johnny Mathis (2/57; dnc - this was the B-side of Johnny's first charting single "Wonderful, Wonderful." Although it never charted, it's one of his best known songs.)

45cat - Johnny Mathis - Wonderful! Wonderful! / When Sunny Gets Blue -  Columbia - Canada - 4-40784


Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino (10/56; #2 Pop for three weeks, #1 R&B for eleven weeks - Fats Domino had charted twenty R&B hits before his first Pop charter landed in 1956, but this one firmly planted him on the crossover map. Rolling Stone ranks it as the #82 single of all-time.)


A Mess of Blues - Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires (7/60; #32 - B-side to the big #1 hit "It's Now Or Never," this one featured the rollicking piano of Floyd Cramer and prominent vocal support from The Jordanaires, who fully earned getting their names on the label.)

ELVIS PRESLEY A Mess of Blues / The Girl of My Best Friend 7" 45: CDs &  Vinyl -


Devil With a Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (10/66; #4 - this was a mash-up of a Motown song and a Little Richard hit that exploded out of car radios and jukeboxes from coast to coast that Fall. Bruce Springsteen would famously cover it in 1980 at Madison Garden's "No Nukes Concert.")


Wedding Bell Blues - 5th Dimension (11/69; #1 for three weeks - Marilyn McCoo sang lead on this Laura Nyro composition and LA's "Wrecking Crew" provided the instrumentation that made it a runaway hit in late 1969.)

Wedding Bell Blues Book by Laura Nyro, 1966 at Wolfgang's


Blue Moon With Heartache - Rosanne Cash (2/82; #104 Pop, #1 C&W - this had been the B-side of her debut single in 1980, and "Seven Year Ache" crossed over to the Pop chart as well as becoming a #1 Country hit. Two years later it was re-released as an A-side, and it also reached #1 on the C&W chart. Both sides were written by Rosanne, herself.)

Rosanne Cash – Blue Moon With Heartache (1981, Vinyl) - Discogs


*  Hooked On a Heeling - Blue Swede (4/74; #1 - this reworking of BJ Thomas' 1968 hit was based on Englishman Jonathan King's 1971 version which had that bizarre "ooga-chaka" intro. It resonated with record buyers around the world, reaching the Top 5 in Australia, Canada and Sweden and all the way to #1 in the US. Going out to David in Vancouver!)


*  Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image (5/70; #4 - this band formed in Miami and included vocalist and songwriter Mike Pinera, who would later join Iron Butterfly, then Cactus, and eventually Alice Cooper's band. This was their biggest hit, and requester Thompson remembers it as the first 45 he'd ever purchased.)


*  Summertime Blues - Blue Cheer (3/68; #14 - two people called this one in, and they get bonus points: both the song AND the band have the word "blue" in their names.)


Oh How Happy - Shades of Blue (5/66; #12 - they were a "Blue-Eyed Soul" group from Detroit who had one big hit - and this is it: a feel-good anthem that checks all of the boxes!)


Out of the Blue - Tommy James & The Shondells (10/67; #43 - these guys churned out five hit singles in 1967 and five more in 1968. They'd have four more in 1969 before Tommy started releasing some solo records, as well. They were Roulette Records' biggest act.)


*  Blue Money - Van Morrison (2/71; #23 - Scottie requested this one for Peggy, and George called it in as "azul dinero." Van the Man kept knocking 'em out and record buyers kept gobbling them up!)


Blue Monday - Fats Domino (1/57; #5 Pop, #1 R&B for eight weeks - this follow-up to "Blueberry Hill" nearly did as well as its predecessor, and is also lyrically referenced in Elvis' "Mess of Blues." It was also the name of an open mic event held at local Collegetown hangout The Nines for many years.)

Blue Monday - song and lyrics by Fats Domino | Spotify


Pretty Blue Eyes - Steve Lawrence (11/59; #9 - this one clocks in at 1:54 and was almost played during our Short Songs Show a couple of months ago. Check out that Stereo mix!)





 Birthday Calendar



July 23 – Dino Danelli (Rascals) – 1944


July 24 – Verdine White (EWF) – age 72


July 25 – Benny Benjamin (Funk Bros) – 1925

            – Bruce Woodley (Seekers) – age 81


July 26 – Darlene Love – age 82

            Brenton Wood – age 82

            – Dobie Gray – 1940

            – Mick Jagger – age 80


July 27 – Bobbie Gentry – age 79

            – Maureen McGovern – age 74

            – Harvey Fuqua – 1929


July 28 – Rachel Sweet – age 61


July 29 – Neil Doughty (REO Speedwagon) – age 77  





A Girl Like You - The Young Rascals (7/67; #15 - this was the follow-up to their massive #1 hit Groovin', and further cemented their reputation as being a brilliant American hit-making machine. Check out this live recording from the Ed Sullivan show back in the day. They were the real deal!)


The Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations (2/64; #11 - Motown boasted having some of the best songwriters, producers, choreographers and singers - but the unheralded musicians behind the scenes were their true secret weapon. Tonight we spotlight drummer Benny Benjamin on what would've been his 99th birthday.)

Benny Benjamin Discography | Discogs


Dancing In the Street - Martha & The Vandellas (8/64; #2 for two weeks - JH played this last week, but it deserves to be heard again, for the drumming alone! That's Benny Benjamin, aka "Papa Zita" providing that backbeat.)


Happy Feelin' - Earth, Wind & Fire (3/75; NR - founding member and bassist Verdine White co-wrote this album track from their "That's the Way of the World" LP, and he's still leading the band nearly fifty years later.)

Earth wind and fire verdine white hi-res stock photography and images -  Alamy


Cloudy - Simon & Garfunkel (11/66; NR - Bruce Woodley was a founding member of Australia's Seekers, and briefly did some songwriting collaboration with New Yorker Paul Simon. This version was tucked into the Parsley, Sage Rosemary & Thyme LP.)


Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle (5/66; #2 - here's another Bruce Woodley/Paul Simon collaboration, produced by none other than John Simon!)

Buy The Cyrkle : Red Rubber Ball (7", RE) Online for a great price – Media  Mania of Stockbridge


Street Fighting Man - Rolling Stones (9/68; #48 - this was their follow-up to Jumpin' Jack Flash, and it's ranked at #301 on the RS500. Its relatively low chart success is no reflection on its power as a single!)


Stumble and Fall - Darlene Love (8/64; dnc - Phil Spector had signed her to his label, but their relationship was adversarial at best. She resented his blatant disrespect towards her and wasn't afraid to show it. He was petty and vindictive, and actually pulled this record from distribution just as it was starting to make some noise - going so far to reassign its catalog number to a Ronettes single. It's a shame that this record isn't more widely known.)

Darlene Love - Stumble And Fall / (He's A) Quiet Guy - Philles - USA - 123  - 45cat


See You At the Go-Go - Dobie Gray (4/65; #69 - this went on to become a much bigger hit on England's "Northern Soul" scene, and Dobie Gray would have to wait another 8 years or so before he'd record his most memorable record called Drift Away.)


Gimme Little Sign - Brenton Wood (8/67; #9 - he was a journeyman Soul singer from Louisiana who had a couple of nice hits in the mid-to-late Sixties for the Double-Shot label.)

Gimme Little Sign - Wikipedia


If I Can't Have You - Etta & Harvey (8/60; #52 Pop, #6 R&B - Harvey Fuqua had been a Doo Wop singer with The Moonglows and would later do some co-writing with Marvin Gaye for the What's Going On album. In between, he recorded this duet with Etta James.)


Mornin' Glory - Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry (10/68; #74 - Capitol Records decided to jump on the duet bandwagon by teaming two of their Country-ish artists. They released a handful of singles together, including this one that she herself composed.)

45cat - Bobbie Gentry And Glen Campbell - Mornin' Glory / Less Of Me -  Capitol - Netherlands - F 2314


I Won't Last a Day Without You - Maureen McGovern (10/73; #89 - her biggest hit was the theme from the film The Poseidon Adventure: "The Morning After." This was released as its follow-up single and was composed by Paul Williams. It might just be the better of the two!)


Then He Kissed Me/Be My Baby - Rachel Sweet (1981; dnc - she was all of 19 when this was released as a single both here and in the UK. She was petite but she had a big voice and a terrific studio band, and this really should've been a hit.)





Keep On Lovin' You - REO Speedwagon (12/80; #1 - Neil Doughty was a co-founder of the band in 1967 and it took them many years to finally reach the top of the charts with this song - one of four charting singles from their High Infidelity album.)


*  Bluer Than Blue - Michael Johnson (4/78; #12 - he was a Nashville singer who had one major crossover hit, and this is it. One person mentioned it on the FB page and a respected local singer/songwriter who'd spent time in Nashville gave it a big thumbs up. That sealed the deal for me!)


Midnight Blue - Melissa Manchester (5/75; #6 - she was from the Bronx and this was her first charting single. It's a pretty sweet tune.)



Song Sung Blue - Neil Diamond (7/72; #1 - he'd started as a Brill Building songwriter who went on to become something of a superstar in the early Seventies and beyond, and he had a knack for writing contagious "earworms" like this one  -  think "Sweet Caroline!")


Bluebird - Buffalo Springfield (7/67; #58 - Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay were the three primary writers for the band that only lasted for two albums before they splintered. They'd all go on to form other bands - sometimes with each other - but their early material was great, too.)


Baby Blue - Jesse Winchester (5/81; dnc - this was recorded in Woodstock for Todd Rundgren's Bearsville label and released as a single to little notice. It had originally been a hit for a group of teens from Queens, and we heard their version last time out.)

Jesse Winchester – Baby Blue (1981, Vinyl) - Discogs


Theme From Hill Street Blues - Mike Post (8/81; #10 - this one was inescapable back in the early Eighties: it was either on your television or on your radio or on a jukebox somewhere. Larry Carlton was the guitar player and Mike Post was busy composing new television themes all the time.)

Mike Post – The Theme From Hill Street Blues / Aaron's Tune - 45 rpm  E-47186 | eBay


Blue Eyes - Elton John (7/82; #12 - this lush ballad was something of a musical departure from Elton's upbeat, bombastic tendencies. For me it's a personal favorite.)


*  Blue World - Moody Blues (11/83; #62 - going out to Gary in New Jersey, whose entire family has been hit with Covid. Blue in the title, Blue in the band's name, blue in New Jersey!)


*  Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult (2/78; dnc - this was released as a single twice in 1978, but it never quite caught hold. Going out to Barbara in Danby who says "I like a good monster movie!")


*  Your Bright Baby Blues - Jackson Browne (5/77; NR - we close the show with a tasty album track going out to listener Wendy in Southern California. Lowell George played the slide guitar, and she found this song really cathartic tonight. You just can't go wrong with Jackson Browne....)

 The Pretender (album) - Wikipedia



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





Trivia Answer



Fats Domino had back-to-back hits that incorporated "blue" in their titles: Blueberry Hill" and "Blue Monday" were both played in the 6:00 hour.


Congratulations to Josh from Ithaca, for correctly answering the question and winning a pair of tickets 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, 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 (8/5/23):  Gregory James with a spotlight on The Slide Guitar




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