Friday, December 29, 2023

 December 23, 2023

Host: Jan Hunsinger (JH)

Spotlight: "Christmas Special"

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!)

Thanks to our sponsors Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa for their support every week!


·     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

6:00 - 7:00

OPENING THEME:  Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll – Cat Mother & the All-Night Newsboys (1969 - #29: produced by Jimi Hendrix) 

*What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder (1967: a request from last week's show with JS)

Jingle Jangle - The Penguins (1955: doo-wop group famous for their hit "Earth Angel")

Beatles Christmas Message 1963 - The Beatles produced one of these each year for members of their fan club. This was the first.

White Christmas - The Drifters (1954: featuring Clyde McPhatter singing tenor and Bill Pinckney singing bass)

Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Harmony Grits (1959: group's name was a play on hominy grits)

Papa Noel - Brenda Lee (1958: song was released as the flip side of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree")

Beatles Christmas Message 1964

Christmas Ain't Christmas (Without the One You Love) - The O'Jays (1973: seasonal offering by the group from Canton, Ohio)

Song for a Winter's Night - Gordon Lightfoot (1975: Lightfoot re-recorded this and many of the other songs on his "Gord's Gold" LP; original version is from 1967)

Frosty the Snowman - Fats Domino (1993: though from 1993, song has an 'oldie' sound)

The 12 Gifts of Christmas - Allan Sherman (1963: Sherman had a big hit with "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" in the summer of '63)

45 Corner

Christmas for Cowboys - John Denver (1975 - #58: from his LP "Rocky Mountain Christmas")

It's Christmas Once Again - Frankie Lymon (1957: Lymon had broken with his backing group The Teenagers in September of '57)

*It Doesn't Have to Be That Way - Jim Croce (1973 - #64: a song about lost love during the Christmas season)

Beatles Christmas Message 1965

The Birthday Calendar

December 17:

Eddie Kendricks (The Temptations) - b. 1939

Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company) - 74

December 18:

[Bryan] Chas Chandler (The Animals) - b. 1938

Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Company) - b. 1941

Bobby Keys (session sax player) - b. 1943

Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) - 80

December 19:

"Little" Jimmy Dickens - b. 1920

Alvin Lee (Ten Years After) - b. 1944

Zal Yanovsky (The Lovin' Spoonful) - b. 1944

John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) - 78

December 20:

Kim Weston - 84

Robert "Bobby" Colomby (Blood, Sweat & Tears) - 79

Peter Criss (Kiss) - 78

Stevie Wright (The Easybeats) - b. 1948

December 21:

Ray Hildebrand (Paul & Paula) - b. 1940

Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys) - b. 1946

December 22:

Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins - b. 1921

Colin "Barry" Jenkins (The Animals) - 79

Robin & Maurice Gibb (The BeeGees) - b. 1949

December 23:

Jorma Kaukonen - 83

Ron Bushey (Iron Butterfly) - b. 1945

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Temptations (1968: Eddie Kendricks was lead singer for most of the group's big hits)

All Right Now - Free (1970 - #4: song was a big one-hit wonder)

We Gotta Get Out of This Place - The Animals (1965 - #13: Chas Chandler played bass and Barry Jenkins drums for the group known for their gritty blues sound; #233/RS500)

Call on Me - Big Brother and the Holding Company (1967 - DNC: song was released as the flip side to "Down on Me")

Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones (1971 - #1: Keith Richards on lead guitar and Bobby Keys provided the sax solo; #490/RS500)

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose - "Little" Jimmy Dickens (1965 - #15: only single to cross over to the Pop charts for the country and western star)

I'd Love to Change the World - Ten Years After (1971 - #40: Alvin Lee played lead guitar and wrote this hit for the group)

I'll Remember Tonight - The Mugwumps (1964 - DNC: folk group that included Zal Yanovsky pre-Lovin' Spoonful and future Mamas and Papas Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty)

Some of Shelly's Blues - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1971 - #64: song was written by Monkee Mike Nesmith)

Take Me in Your Arms - Kim Weston (1965 - #50: song would be a #11 hit for the Doobie Brothers in 1975, but this is the Holland-Dozier-Holland Motown original)

Sometimes in Winter - Blood, Sweat & Tears (1969 - DNC: Bobby Colomby was a co-founder and drummer for the group)

Hard Luck Woman - Kiss (1977 - #15: drummer Peter Criss, known as "The Catman" for his distinctive make-up, sang lead vocals on this hit)

Friday On My Mind - The Easybeats (1967 - #16: one-hit wonder for the Australian band; Stevie Wright was the lead singer)

Hey Paula - Paul & Paula (1963 - #1: Ray Hildebrand was 'Paul' and Jill Jackson was 'Paula')

God Only Knows - The Beach Boys (1966 - #39: lead guitarist Carl Wilson sang lead vocals on this song which ranks #25/RS500)

Lonesome 7-72003 - Hawkshaw Hawkins (1963 - #1 C&W: Hawkins was killed in the same plane crash that took the life of Patsy Cline)

New York Mining Disaster 1941 (Have You Seen My Wife Mr. Jones) - The Bee Gees (1967 - #14: first charting single for the British trio)

Genesis - Jorma Kaukonen (1974 - DNC: from his solo LP "Quah")

In-a-gadda-da-vida - Iron Butterfly (1968 - #30: Ron Bushey was the drummer for the group)

Beatles Christmas Message 1966

Christmas Day - Detroit Junior (1961 - DNC: real name Emery Williams, Jr., he was a pianist, vocalist, and songwriter and wrote this song)

The Heck With Ol' Santa Claus - Loretta Lynn (1966 - DNC: Lynn wrote the song for her "Country Christmas" LP)

Here Comes Santa Claus - Elvis Presley (1957 - DNC: Elvis released a Christmas LP in 1957)

This Time of Year - Brook Benton (1959 - #66: Benton had over 50 charting singles on the BBHot100)

Beatles Christmas Message 1967

Merry Twist-mas - The Marcels (1961 - DNC: Pittsburgh doo-wop group known for hits "Blue Moon" and "Get a Job")

Presents for Christmas - Solomon Burke (1966 - DNC: once called "the greatest male soul singer of all time")

A Christmas Long Ago (Jingle Jingle) - The Echelons (1987 - DNC: part of the 1980's doo-wop revival)

CLOSING THEME:  Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny (1959 - #1 for two weeks; brothers Santo [steel guitar] and Johnny [rhythm guitar] Farina from Brooklyn)

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 December 30, 2023: Gregory James (GJ) with the best of the '50s, '60s, and '70s!

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 streaming here

Thanks again to our sponsors Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa for their support every week!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

December 16, 2023 - JS - Sounds of the Season


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!)


Thanks to our sponsors Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa for their support every week!


Date:  12/16/23

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Sounds of the Season



 The last show of 2023 for me. Tonight it's "Sounds of the Season" on Rockin' Remnants - WVBR: mostly songs from Decembers passed, plus a smattering of Holiday tunes and listener requests. We're on from 6-9pm East Coast time and would love to have you drop by.






·      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)



Holiday – Bee Gees (9/67; #17 – this was the brothers’ third stateside hit, and they were just beginning a remarkable career. Surviving brother Barry Gibb was recently feted at the Kennedy Center, and has officially been declared one of the most successful songwriters in modern history.)

 The Bee Gees - holiday - YouTube


The Rain, The Park and Other Things – Cowsills (10/67; #2 for two weeks – they were a family act, and this was their major label debut. The core surviving trio continues to perform on the Oldies circuit to this day, and they’re better than ever!)




Different Drum – Stone Poneys (11/67; #13 – Monkee Mike Nesmith was the composer, and an unknown Linda Ronstadt was the lead singer. How’s THAT for a pedigree???)

 The Monkees' Michael Nesmith dies at 78 Linda Ronstadt's Life in Photos


In and Out of Love – Diana Ross & Supremes (11/67; #9 Pop, #16 R&B – this was one of the final songs from the group’s ace songwriting/production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland. It was also the final single with vocals from Florence Ballard, who’d been replaced by Cindy Birdsong. Cool factoid: that’s session player Carol Kaye on bass guitar.)


Snoopy’s Christmas – Royal Guardsmen (11/67; #6 WABC, #1 Xmas for five weeks – this song was the third in the group’s “Snoopy” trilogy, and rushed to the top of the Christmas chart that year. It would also chart in December of 1968 and 1969. It’s not listed in Joel Whitburn’s Billboard Hot 100, but it did reach #6 on WABC’s weekly Superhit survey in New York City.)

The Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy's Christmas (1967, Vinyl) - Discogs



Everyone’s Gone to the Moon – Jonathan King (11/65; #7 – one of the truly coolest atmospheric records of the year, from a quirky character who would go on to become a successful record producer and writer for others.)


(Leavin’ On a) Jet Plane – Peter, Paul & Mary (12/69; #1 – this was one of John Denver’s first major successes as a songwriter, and it was the trio's only #1 hit. It also turned out to be their final charting single!)

 Peter, Paul And Mary - Leaving On A Jet Plane billboard nr 1 (dec 20 1969)  - YouTube


Snowbird – Anne Murray (7/70; #8 Pop, #10 C&W – this Nova Scotia native would chart 54 Country hits in the Seventies and Eighties. This was the very first of them.)


If We Make it Through December – Merle Haggard (11/73; #28 Pop, #1 C&W for four weeks – this one was one of his biggest crossover hits, and it also doubles as a Christmas record – at least here on Rockin’ Remnants.)


The Look of Love – Lesley Gore (12/64; #27 – every three months, radio stations could count on a new single from the Teaneck native. The 45 of this one added a special jingle-bells effect to boost holiday sales. That’s the version we hear tonight.)

 Lesley Gore - (Isn't That The) Look of Love (Full End Version Without Fade  out) - YouTube



I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight – Barry & The Tamerlanes (11/63; #21 – Barry De Vorzon was a composer and producer from southern California who founded his own Valiant Records label. Tonight we hear a stunning new stereo mix of his vocal group’s biggest hit.)


Cold Cold Winter – Pixies Three (12/63; #79 – this was a low-charting Girl Group B-side for three young teens from Hanover Pennsylvania, ranging in age from 14-16.)


*  Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses (12/82; #45 UK – this holiday novelty number didn’t actually chart here in the States, but it was a ubiquitous earworm in the mid-Eighties, and goes out at the request of listener Barbara who actually still has her vinyl copy! So does WVBR!)

 Christmas Wrapping — The Waitresses |


*  Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds (12/65; #1 for three weeks – a second stunning #1 single from the LA Folk Rockers, this one was attributed to Pete Seeger, who adapted it from the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes. Going out to listener Gary in northern New Jersey, and a fine choice it was!)


Frosty the Snowman – The Ventures (11/65; dnc – from their LP Christmas With The Ventures, this was mash-up of “Tequila” and “Frosty,” with a surfin’ feel. From the sublime to the ridiculous!)





 Birthday Calendar



December 10 – Chad Stuart (Chad & Jeremy) – 1941

            – Jessica Cleaves (EW&F) – 1946



December 11 – David Gates (Bread) – age 83

            – Brenda Lee – age 79

     – Jermaine Jackson (J5) – age 69


December 12 – Connie Francis – age 86

            – Terry Kirkman (Association) – 1939

     – Dionne Warwick – age 83

            – Dickey Betts (Allman Bros) – age 80

            – Frank Sinatra – 1915



December 15 – Jesse Belvin – born in 1933

            – Cindy Birdsong (Bluebelles) – 84

            – Dave Clark (DC5) – age 82



December 16 – Tony Hicks (Hollies) – age 78

            – Benny Andersson (ABBA) – age 77




Distant Shores – Chad & Jeremy (7/66; #30 – this was their final Top 40 single, and it was composed by James William Guercio – who would also produce for the Buckinghams, and later sign and manage a band called Chicago.)




I’ll Be There – Jackson 5 (10/70; #1 Pop and R&B for five weeks – this was their fourth consecutive #1 single for the Motown label, and was almost not released because they’d had such startling success with upbeat numbers, and Berry Gordy didn’t want to mess with a good thing. Cooler heads prevailed, and this became their biggest hit. Michael is the star, but brother Jermaine shares lead vocalist duties with him.)



Keep Your Head to the Sky – Earth, Wind & Fire (11/73; #52 Pop, #23 R&B – Jessica Cleaves was a founding member and lead singer for the Friends of Distinction, but she left to join her friend Maurice White’s group for a few albums.)


Goodbye Girl – David Gates (12/77; #15 – he’d been an in-demand composer and arranger in LA before forming Bread, and eventually embarked on a solo career. This was our friend Bryan Van Campen’s favorite song from one of his favorite films, and goes out in his memory.)

 The Goodbye Girl (1977) Original British Quad Movie Poster - Original Film  Art - Vintage Movie Posters


 Time and Time Again – Brenda Lee (3/66; #126 – she’s best known for her perennial holiday smash that actually topped the Billboard chart last week, sixty years after its first release! This particular song, though, was a relative flop. Coincidentally, it was written and produced by David Gates!)


Don’t Ever Leave Me – Connie Francis (10/64; #42 – this was her 50th charting single, but she was on her way out as the times were changing. It would be her final single to chart this high.)

 Connie Francis – Don't Ever Leave Me / We Have Something More (1965, Vinyl)  - Discogs


I Say a Little Prayer – Dionne Warwick (11/67; #4 – 34 of her first 37 charting songs were written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This A-side from our chart date was actually less successful than the B-side, which spent four weeks at #2.)


Revival – Allman Brothers Band (1/71; #92 – this was the opening track from their second album “Idlewild South,” and their first nationally-charting single. The composer and acoustic guitarist was Dickey Betts. Duane Allman once said "I'm the famous one, but HE'S the good one!")

 Forestdweller: Duane Allman & Dickey Betts


Everything That Touches You – The Association (2/68; #10 – co-founder of the band Terry Kirkman passed away last month, but he left an indelible mark. His biggest hit as a composer was Cherish, but he also wrote this one – and it’s a personal favorite.)


Groovy Kind of Love – Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles (1/66; dnc – this was the B-side of their non-charting version of “Over the Rainbow,” and Cindy Birdsong would soon leave to replace Florence Ballard as one of The Supremes. That’s her on the high harmony.)

 45cat - Patti LaBelle And The Bluebelles - Over The Rainbow / Groovy Kind  Of Love - Atlantic - USA - 45-2318


Catch Us if You Can – Dave Clark 5 (8/65; #4 – he was the bandleader and businessman of the band, and ostensibly their drummer – although there’s rampant speculation that session musicians were used on the recordings. He did, though, get credit for composing this one.)


Carrie Anne – The Hollies (6/67; #9 – guitarist Tony Hicks was a co-composer of this one and actually got to sing a verse. Watch him in this video, recorded a year after Graham Nash had left the group!)






Ready or Not Here I Come (You Can’t Hide From My Love) – Delfonics (12/68; #35 Pop, #14 R&B – both sides of this single charted on the two major charts, effectively keeping either of them from becoming a truly big hit. Philadelphia producer Thom Bell was the man behind the console for this one.)

 VARIOUS ARTISTS - Ready Or Not - Music


Touch Me – The Doors (12/68; #3 – this record uncharacteristically included a heavy dose of brass and strings, and culminated in a wailing sax solo by Jazz player Curtis Amy. Tonight we hear the vintage Elektra Records 45.)

The Doors – Touch Me / Wild Child (1968, Pitman Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs


Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (10/68; #2 – exploding out of the speakers, it’s the incredibly punchy mono 45 edit of the song that first uttered the words “heavy metal” thunder. It instantly became a category of music!)


*  W*O*L*D – Harry Chapin (1/74; #36 – last time I was on I played the shortened-for-radio edit, and two people called telling me they missed the added elements of the full-length version. Well, the people have spoken!)


*  Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town – Bruce Springsteen & The E  Street Band (12/27; dnc – this was recorded on December 13, 1975 at C.W. Post College on Long Island, and goes out from Scottie to Peggy – and to all of you – with love.)



*  I’ve Found Somebody – The Free Movement (5/71; #5 Pop, #20 R&B – going out on the listener line to delivery driver Bobby O, who remembers requesting this one thirty years ago when Bobby Comstock, Jr. was the DJ, and taping it on his cassette recorder.)


Hard Candy Christmas – Dolly Parton (11/82; #8 C&W – this was a show-stopping number from the Broadway musical “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” and Dolly made it her very own. Although it never officially made it onto the Christmas chart, it’s considered a Christmas classic.)


Everybody Is a Star – Sly & the Family Stone (1/70; dnc – this one somehow never earned its own charting status, but it’s one of the group’s signature songs. The flipside spent five weeks at #1, though.)

 Sly & The Family Stone – Everybody Is A Star – PowerPop… An Eclectic  Collection of Pop Culture


If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot (12/70; #5 – this was the Canadian songwriter’s first charting single in the States, but his songs had been interpreted by others for years, including Peter, Paul & Mary. Four years later he’d hit #1 with “Sundown.”)


Cook With Honey – Judy Collins (2/73; #32 – LA session singer Valerie Carter had written this one, and it was the opening track of Judy’s ninth studio album.)

 Judy Collins – Cook With Honey (1973, Vinyl) - Discogs



Waterloo – ABBA (6/74; #6 Pop, #1 UK for two weeks – this was their first hit for Atlantic Records and it also won the Eurovision Contest that year. Benny Andersson was a co-writer of all of the band’s singles, so the royalties have been very good to him!)


*  Someday at Christmas – Stevie Wonder (12/66; #24 XmasMotown label exec Berry Gordy wanted to replicate Phil Spector’s successful A Christmas Gift To You LP from ten years prior, so he assembled the Funk Brothers studio team and a bunch of his A-list acts and recorded a two-record set. This was released as a 45 and is a perennial holiday favorite.)

 A Motown Christmas Album: The Most Soulful Seasonal Offering



Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams) – Jesse Belvin (10/56; #7 R&B – this enduring classic actually never charted on the Hot 100. Alan Freed used to close his show with it, and I’m borrowing that page from his book tonight. See you in 2024!)

 45cat - Jessie Belvin - Goodnight My Love (Pleasant Dreams) / I Want You  With Me Xmas - Modern - USA - 45x1005




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 (DATE):  Jan Hunsinger with a spotlight on Christmas!




Thanks for tuning in - and for voting us Ithaca's Best Local Radio Show in this year's Ithaca Times Readers' Poll! You can listen to Rockin' Remnants every Saturday night from 6-9pm on WVBR (93.5 FM in Ithaca, NY) or at


Thanks, too, to our sponsors Island Health & Fitness and Rasa Spa for their support every week!