Wednesday, February 7, 2024

February 3, 2024 - JS - Alternate Universe Pt. II


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:  2/3/24

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Alternate Universe Revisited





Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia


Over the course of tonight’s show I’ll play two different versions of one song as interpreted by different artists. When you hear the second one, give me a call and win some movie tickets!


(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)


(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone – The Monkees (2/67; #20 – this Boyce & Hart composition hitched a ride on the back of “I’m a Believer” and reached the Top 20 on its own merits. Last time out we played the Paul Revere & The Raiders version by request. The royalties with this one were very good for Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart!)

 Monkees I'm Not Your Steppin Stone I'm a Beliver Colgems Pop 45 Single RCA  1966 My40yearcollection - Etsy


Gimme Some Lovin’ – Spencer Davis Group (2/67; #7 – last time out I played the Jordan Brothers’ version of this one, with the editorial comment that it couldn’t hold a candle to writer/singer/organist Steve Winwood’s version. Consider this Exhibit A. Case closed!)


Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – Johnny Rivers (2/67; #3 for two weeks – The Four Tops had released the original version, but this cover version eclipsed their version in terms of chart position. The Tops had the Funk Brothers backing them. Johnny had the Wrecking Crew. The cream of the crop in both cases.)


Spooky – Mike Sharpe (2/67; #73 – saxophonist Michael Shapiro composed this instrumental gem, but released it under his stage name of “Mike Sharpe.” Less than a year later, he’d play on a vocal version by the Classics IV and it would find a much broader audience.)

 45cat - Mike Sharpe - Spooky / Break Through - Liberty - USA - 55922


I’m a Believer - The Monkees (2/67; #1 for seven weeks – Neil Diamond was the writer of this smash hit for the “Pre-Fab Four,” and it would become a monster hit again thirty years later when Smashmouth would release it as part of the soundtrack for the movie Shrek. “Monster hit.” Get it?)




Early Mornin’ Rain – Peter, Paul & Mary (10/65; #91 – last time out I played Elvis’ non-charting version of this Gordon Lightfoot number. One Facebook friend commented that PP&M had recorded her favorite version. Here it is!)



When You Walk in the Room – The Searchers (10/64; #35 – Jackie DeShannon had written it and released it as a single two months prior, but her version flopped. These guys livened up the tempo a bit and emulated her 12-string sound with two 6-string guitars. Their version reached #3 in the UK!)


Can’t Find the Time – Orpheus (3/68; #111, 8/69; #80 – this was released at least twice before it finally charted, but deserved a much better showing. It was bigger on the East coast than nationally, but a cover by Rose Colored Glass did better a few years later. I played that one last time out.)

 45cat - Orpheus - Can't Find The Time / Lesley's World - MGM - USA - K 13882


I Got a Woman – Freddie Scott (11/63; #48 – Ray Charles took this song to #1 on the R&B chart in 1955, but there’s something about this Freddie Scott version that gives me goosebumps.)


This Diamond Ring – Sammy Ambrose (1/65; #117 – this record was released a week before Gary Lewis & The Playboys’ version was – but Gary’s father was Jerry Lewis, and he called in a favor from Ed Sullivan, among others. The cover raced to #1 on the Pop chart. The original sank like a stone.)

 45cat - Sammy Ambrose - This Diamond Ring / Bad Night - Musicor - USA - MU  1061


Concrete & Clay – Eddie Rambeau (5/65; #35 – two versions of this song were released on May 8, 1965. Eddie’s was the debut single for Bob Crewe’s Dynovoice Records label. Unit 4+2 fared slightly better here in The States, reaching #28. In the UK, they reached #1.)

Unit Four Plus Two – Concrete And Clay (1965, Vinyl) - Discogs Eddie Rambeau – Concrete And Clay (1965, Bestway Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs


*  Willin’ – Linda Ronstadt (12/74; NR – going out at the behest of John-from-Freeville, who wanted to go on record as saying that Linda Ronstadt isn’t exactly convincing as a truck driver, but the song is just terrific. Little Feat recorded the original version, penned by Lowell George.)


Ruby Tuesday – Rolling Stones (2/67; #1 – this is a case where the B-side of the single became the big hit, mostly because the intended A-side was deemed too racy by many program directors. “Let’s Spend the Night Together” also charted, but “Ruby Tuesday” would top the chart on March 1st.)

 The Rolling Stones – Let's Spend The Night Together / Ruby Tuesday (1967,  Pitman Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs



Georgy Girl – The Seekers (2/67; #2 for two weeks – it didn’t hurt that this song was featured in the film of the same name, but it also happened to be a perfect Pop single. And – between you and me – it was the very first current chart hit that I bought as a 45 when I was newly thirteen.)


Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) – Irma Thomas (7/64; #52 – last time out I played the more famous B-side called “Time Is On My Side.” This is the side that charted, but it’s little more than an historic footnote.)

 Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) - Wikipedia 45cat - Irma Thomas - Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) / Time  Is On My Side - Imperial - USA - 66041





 Birthday Calendar


January 29 – James Jamerson (Motown bassist!) – 1936


January 30 – Ruth Brown – born 1928

            – Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane) – 1942

            – Phil Collins – age 73


January 31 – Harry “KC” Casey (Sunshine Band) – age 73

            – Terry Kath (Chicago) – born 1946


February 1 – Bob Shane (Kingston Trio) – 1934

            – Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook) – 1937

            – Don Everly (Everly Bros.) – 1937

          – Rick James – 1952


February 2 – Graham Nash (Hollies, CSN) – age 82


February 3 – Dennis Edwards (Temptations) – 1943

            – Dave Davies (Kinks) – age 77

            – Melanie – 1947



Standing in the Shadows of Love – Four Tops (2/67; #6 Pop, #2 R&B – this was the second record in their stunning trilogy, falling between “Reach Out” and “Bernadette.” All three were accompanied by The Funk Brothers, with James Jamerson providing the driving bass lines.)

Standing In the Shadows of Motown (Live / Original Motion Picture  Soundtrack) - Album by Various Artists - Apple Music



Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone – The Supremes (2/67; headed to #1 – Jamerson picks up his stand-up acoustic bass for this one, and Diana drops in spoken interjections throughout. Somehow it works, given them their third of another four consecutive #1s!)

 James Jamerson(Bass Player)Tribute Page on X: "Wishing James jamerson A  Happy Heavenly Birthday 🎸 #jamesjamerson #funkbrothers #fender #bassguitar  #bassplayer #detroitmusic #jazzbass #precisionbass #goat #detroit  #uprightbass #southcarolina #legend ...


My Best Friend – Jefferson Airplane (2/67; #103 – Grace Slick had recently joined the band and this was the final single that Marty Balin sang lead on before the band broke through. Next up would be “Somebody to Love.” And then “White Rabbit.” He’d soon be relegated to the sidelines.)


You Can’t Hurry Love – Phil Collins (11/82; #10 Pop, #1 UK – drummer Phil Collins’ faithful recreation of the Supremes hit was a big hit on its own, and his video was one of staples of the fledgling MTV channel. Here’s a little flashback for you!)



45 Corner:  Questions 67 & 68 – Chicago (8/69; #71 – this was the group’s first charting single, but it barely made a ripple. Their next six records all reached the Top 40, so Columbia re-released an edited version that reached #24. Tonight we hear the uncut 4 ½ minute version, unavailable on CD.)

 45cat - Chicago - Questions 67 And 68 (Edited Version) / Questions 67 And 68  - Columbia - USA - 4-44909


Go On and Cry – Mynah Birds (1/66; NR – this Canadian Soul band was signed to Motown Records and featured three notable members: lead singer Rick James, bassist Bruce Palmer and guitarist Neil Young. Palmer & Young went on to form Buffalo Springfield and Rick James went onto become THE Rick James. Unfortunately, Rick had been AWOL from the US Navy and was hauled away before the single was released. It languished in the vaults for years. Here it is!)

 The Myne Birds : r/neilyoung


On a Carousel – The Hollies (3/67; #11 – Graham Nash was a co-writer and the lead singer on this single. Within a year the group would be on a different label, and within a year of that he’d have departed to team up with David Crosby and Stephen Stills. Watch this amazing video all the way to the cold ending of the song!)



Bird Dog – Everly Brothers (8/58; #1 Pop, #1 UK for three weeks – these guys had a big influence on up-and-coming harmonizers like Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles, and were among the very first inductees to the R 'n' R HOF. Keith Richards has been quoted as saying that Don Everly is one of the best rhythm players out there. Check out this video!)



Everglades – Kingston Trio (10/60; #60 – The Kingston Trio often crossed paths with the Everly Brothers, and they even inserted a reference to them in this song when they sang “running through the trees from the Everlys!” In fact, the open guitar riff was directly lifted from Don Everly.)


Only Sixteen – Dr. Hook (2/76; #6 – two of the group’s first charting hits were written by Shel Silverstein, but this one came directly from the pen of Sam Cooke. Note the mournful twist that sets in when it’s an older fellow reflecting back upon his younger days….)


Lucky Lips – Ruth Brown (3/57; #23 Pop, #6 R&B – she’d signed with the fledgling Atlantic Records label in 1949 and became their biggest-selling artist of the Fifties. Although this was her second Pop charter, she’d already had ten Top Ten R&B hits at this point.)


Lucky Lips (The Singles 1955 - 1956) by Ruth Brown on TIDAL


Tired of Waiting – The Kinks (3/65; #6 Pop, #1 UK – these guys rode in as part of the British Invasion and their first three records reached the Top Ten, although this one was more melodic and mellow than the previous two. It was also their highest-charting single in the States until “Come Dancing” reached #6 in 1984.)


Get Down Tonight – KC & The Sunshine Band (8/75; #1 Pop and R&B – Harry Wayne Casey led this good-time party band to the top of the charts five times in the mid-Seventies, and this was their breakthrough hit on the Pop chart – but they’d already scored three hits on the R&B chart by this point.)

 Today in Music History: KC and the Sunshine Band went No. 1 with 'Get Down  Tonight'






Beautiful People – Melanie (11/69; #104 – Melanie had first signed to Columbia and released a version of this song that never went anywhere. This version came closer, but never quite broke through. Her next record was based on her experience at Woodstock, and firmly landed her on the map. She passed away last week, just shy of her 78th birthday.)

 45cat - Melanie - My Beautiful People / God's Only Daughter - Columbia -  USA - 4-44349  45cat - Melanie - Beautiful People / Any Guy - Buddah - USA - BDA 135


Give a Damn – Spanky & Our Gang (8/68; #43 – this began as the seed of an advertising slogan for NY Mayor John V. Lindsay’s Urban League. Many stations shied away from it due to its use of the “D” word, but I find it deeply affecting. Last time out I played a non-charting version by the Staple Singers. Meanwhile, check out this TV PSA that inspired the song.)



Some Guys Have All the Luck – Persuaders (11/73; #39 Pop, #7 R&B – Rod Stewart would record a Top Ten version in 1984, but this was the original. This wraps up an unplanned mini-set of “public transportation songs” that made me quite pleased with myself.)


Three Stars – Eddie Cochran (2/59; dnc – this was written by disc jockey Tommy Dee two days after the February 3 plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. Eddie’s version didn’t chart nationally, but he was close with both Buddy and Ritchie. You can hear it in his delivery. Eddie himself would die in a car crash a year later. He was 21.) - It was "the day the music died." On February 3, 1959,  popular rock-'n'-roll singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and "The Big  Bopper" J.P. Richardson were killed in a plane crash


*  Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly & The Crickets (11/57; dnc – this was the B-side of “Oh Boy,” but it’s gone on to become one of Buddy’s greatest hits. Rolling Stone ranks it at #111 in its RS500. Requested by a caller from Lubbock, Texas: the birthplace of Buddy Holly.)


Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – Marlena Shaw (3/67; #58 Pop, #33 R&B – Joe Zawinul’s instrumental was a hit for Cannonball Adderley, Larry Williams & Johnny Watson, The Buckinghams AND Jazz chanteuse Marlena Shaw – all in the spring of 1967. Ms. Shaw passed away a few days ago at the age of 84.)

 Marlena Shaw - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / Go Away Little Boy - Cadet - USA -  5557 - 45cat Cannonball" Adderley – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (1966, Scranton Pressing, Vinyl)  - DiscogsLarry Williams & Johnny Watson – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy / A Quitter Never Wins  (1972, Vinyl) - Discogs


Shakin’ Street – MC5 (2/70; dnc – these guys are commonly cited as early pioneers of the Punk genre, and were truly revolutionary and Anarchical in the late ‘60s. Their controversial antics got them dropped from Elektra, and their first album for Atlantic was much more melodic and palatable. This was pulled as the first single from the LP but it didn’t chart. Founding member Wayne Kramer passed away two days ago.)


Ruby Tuesday – Melanie (1/71; #51 – although she was best known as a singer of her own material, Melanie took a stab at this Rolling Stones song. She passed away ten days ago and the world is just a little less bright as a result.)

Zabavnik: Ruby Tuesday - Melanie Safka | Melanie safka, Woodstock music, Ruby  tuesdays


*  Overnight Sensation (Hit Record) – Raspberries (9/74; #18 – Eric Carmen really wanted to be a star, and had all of the ingredients: great writer, great singer, great guitarist, great arranger, great bandleader, great hair…. Finally, he created this gem – but it still never really did the trick. Going out from Scottie to Peggy.)

 Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (1974, Vinyl) - Discogs



45 Corner:  Dreamboat Annie – Heart (1/77; #42 – this single on the Mushroom Records label would’ve been very short if they hadn’t tacked on the opening of “Crazy On You” and added an extra 20 seconds of vocals and instruments at the end. The result is very satisfying, and unavailable on CD or LP.)

 Heart - Dreamboat Annie / Sing Child - Mushroom - USA - M-7023 - 45cat


I Can’t Get Next to You – Temptations (10/69; #1 Pop for two weeks, #1 R&B for five weeks – they’d fired their lead singer and lost their main writing team, but the Detroit quintet didn’t miss a beat, reinventing themselves with all members sharing the lead singer duties. In this case, Dennis Edwards carries the heaviest load. Witness the evidence in this Ed Sullivan video! He's the man in the middle.)



Goodnight My Love – Ben E King (1/66; #91 – a very tasty closing to this week’s show: it’s Ben E King’s smooth reading of the Jesse Belvin hit from ten years prior. According to a reliable source – aka the man himself – Jesse’s version was the closing music for Rockin’ Remnants until John Rudan took over. He says that he changed it because it was too hard to talk over the vocals!)




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


Trivia Answer


 The only song we heard twice this evening was “Ruby Tuesday,” and the phone leapt off the hook when Melanie’s version came on.

Congratulations to Mike on the West Hill and Brian from Candor, who both correctly answered the question and who each won 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 (2/10/24):  Gregory James with a spotlight on Billboard star chart performers from early February 1957, 1967 and 1977.



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