Wednesday, April 24, 2024

April 20, 2024 - JS - Earth Day!


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:  4/20/24

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Earth Day!




Tonight Rockin' Remnants celebrates this small blue marble that we call home. Love letters to the elements, some cautionary tales, some calls to action....and you can dance to it! We'll also bid adieu to Dickey Betts, we'll give away some movie tickets and we'll keep you good company - on 93.5 locally and streaming at wvbr dot com. See you on the radio! 6-9pm EDT.



Rock ‘n’ Roll Trivia



The late Dickey Betts wrote some of the Allman Brothers’ greatest songs, including several instrumentals. Can you name two of the latter? 


(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



Note: our correspondent has sustained a wrist injury and has limited dexterity this week. The blog post will subsequently be a little bit light on content and detail. Sorry about that!






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


What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (7/68; #116; #1 UK for five weeks – we open with a love song to our planet that would finally reach the Hot 100 twenty years later when it was featured in the film “Good Morning Vietnam.” The head of ABC Records was miffed that Louis Armstrong didn’t try to replicate his “Hello Dolly” sound, so he ordered his underlings to NOT promote this record. What a shame.)

 45cat - Louis Armstrong Orchestra And Chorus - What A Wonderful World /  Cabaret - His Master's Voice - UK - POP 1615


A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy (8/64; #7 – another song that celebrates the beauty of nature.)


There Is a Mountain – Donovan (8/67; #7 – Donovan recorded this little paean to his surroundings with flute-and-guitar accompaniment. Four years later the Allman Brothers would turn this melody into a 30+ minute “Mountain Jam.”)


Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver (4/71; #2 – this singalong classic came out of nowhere, but John Denver would soon become a household name. Co-writers were Bill and Taffy Danoff, from the folk troupe called Fat City.)

 Co-Writer of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads' Dispels Myths Surrounding Song's  Origins


Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & Shondells (6/69; #2 – TJ had an ability to change with the times, and he captured the sense of hope and possibility that was sweeping the land.)



Day After Day (It's Slippin' Away)– Shango (3/69; #57 – this was an early warning about the dangers of climate change, wrapped in an island beat and a catchy chorus.)

 Shango (3) - Day After Day (It's Slippin' Away) / Mescalito 1969 7", S


What Have They Done to the Rain – Searchers (2/65; #29 – after a string of covers of American dance tunes, these Liverpudlians turned to Folk singer Malvina Reynolds for this environmental lament.)


Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell (7/70; #67 – Joni Mitchell was ahead of her time with this catchy cautionary tale. Several other acts would chart with their own versions, including The Neighborhood and Counting Crows.)

 Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell - Climate in Arts and History


Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home – Joe South (8/69; #41 – a plaintive lament recalling simpler times, and also ruing the price of progress.)


Cloudy – Simon & Garfunkel (6/66; dnc – a sweet little album track from their “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” LP.)



Dreamboat Annie – Heart (12/76; #42 – the sounds of waves crashing against the shore, followed by a dreamy little number from the Wilson sisters and their band.)

 When Heart Finally Landed in the U.S. With 'Dreamboat Annie'


*  Shower the People – James Taylor (7/76; #22 – going out from Scottie to Peggy and all of the rest of us. That’s Carly Simon with the harmony vocals.)



Paradise – John Prine (1971; NR – many people would take a crack at this song about factory waste polluting the waters. Part of the lyric asks that his ashes be spread on this very river. Fifty years later, they would be.)

 John Prine – John Prine (1971, Vinyl) - Discogs


Mother Nature’s Son – The Beatles (2/68; NR – this track from the Beatles’ “White Album” was virtually a solo recording by Paul McCartney accompanied by a gentle wash of horns.)

 Helter Skelter — The Beatles' brutal song that inspired a murder spree





 Birthday Calendar



April 14 – Tony Burrows (Session singer) – 82

            – Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) – 77


April 15 – Dave Edmunds – age 80


April 16 – Bobby Vinton – age 89

            – Dusty Springfield – born in 1939

            – Perry Botkin, Jr. – born in 1931

            – Roy Hamilton – born in 1929

            – Henry Mancini – born in 1924


April 19 – Alan Price (Animals) – age 82

            – Mark Volman (Turtles) – age 77

            – Larry Ramos (Association) – born 1942


United We Stand – Brotherhood of Man (4/70; #13 – Tony Burrows was the uncredited male vocalist on this track. He was also the lead singer of studio groups Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, First Class and The Pipkins!)

 6 Bands. 6 Hits. 1 Lead Singer | Best Classic Bands


Hush – Deep Purple (5/68; #4 – Ritchie Blackmore was a founding member and guitarist for this pioneering band, and this may well be one of the precursors of the genre called Heavy Metal. It's also a far cry from Billy Joe Royal's low-charting version from a year earlier.)



Creature From the Black Lagoon – Dave Edmunds (9/79; dnc – this was tucked on the back of his version of “Girl’s Talk,” and it’s a favorite of at least one long-time listener.)

 45cat - Dave Edmunds - Queen Of Hearts / The Creature From The Black Lagoon  - Swan Song - UK - SSK 19419


Stay Awhile – Dusty Springfield (3/64; #38 – before she became synonymous with “Blue-eyed Soul,” Dusty had a string of bouncy Girl Group hits. This one features the wild drumming of session payer Bobby Graham.)

 45cat - Dusty Springfield - Stay Awhile / Something Special - Philips - USA  - 40180


Black Pearl – Sonny Charles & Checkmates Ltd. (5/69; #13 – many people consider this to be Phil Spector’s final great recording. Few knew that Perry Botkin, Jr. was the record’s arranger!)

 SONNY CHARLES Black Pearl Lovely Copy £5.00 - PicClick UK


Unchained Melody – Roy Hamilton (4/55; #6 Pop, #1 R&B for five weeks – this oft-recorded track from the film “Unchained” is best known as a Righteous Brothers smash. Hearing this, there’s no questioning which version they modeled theirs after.)



Theme from “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” – Percy Faith (10/60; #101 – his most famous record was “Theme from ‘A Summer Place,’ but this might be my favorite.)



Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet – Henry Mancini (5/69; #1 for three weeks – this was from Franco Zefferelli’s box office smash, and they each fed the other’s success.)

Seven Observations After Watching Franco Zeffirelli's 'Romeo and Juliet'  for the First Time Since Freshman English Class


Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Animals (2/65; #15 – Rolling Stone ranks this at #322 in the RS500. It would be one of Alan Price’s final records with the band before striking out on his own.)



You Know What I Mean – Turtles (8/67; #12 – the group was on fire right about now. This one features horn and strings arranged by Jack Nitzsche.)

 The Turtles – You Know What I Mean (1967, Pitman Pressing, Vinyl) - Discogs


Windy – Association (7/67; #1 for four weeks – Hal Blaine and Joe Osborn were the rhythm section, but Larry Ramos shared lead vocals on this smash hit from the Summer of Love.)



Blue On Blue – Bobby Vinton (5/63; #3 – this was the title track from his album where all but one of the songs had “blue” in the title. The next single they’d release made it to #1.)

 45cat - Bobby Vinton - Blue On Blue / Those Little Things - Columbia -  Italy - SCMQ 1696


Blue Sky – The Allman Brothers Band (4/72; dnc – Dickey Betts passed away three days ago at age 80, and this was one of his many contributions to the band’s repertoire. It was also the final song that Duane Allman recorded with the band before he’d die in a motorcycle accident. Their guitar interplay is absolutely stunning here. R.I.P.)

 Jukebox - Duane Allman, Gregg Allman & Dickey Betts | Facebook







Bless the Beasts and The Children – Carpenters (11/71; #67 – this was composed by Perry Botkin, Jr. for the film of the same name. It was also tucked onto the B-side of the group’s smash “Superstar.”)

 Bless the Beasts and the Children movie review (1971) | Roger Ebert


Where Do the Children Play – Cat Stevens (9/71; dnc – here’s another stunning B-side, this from the “Peace Train” single. It was also the opening track of his “Tea for the Tillerman” LP.)

 Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman Lyrics and Tracklist | Genius


After the Goldrush – Neil Young (10/70; NR – and here’s another brilliant post-apocalyptic album track. Two other songs were chosen for release as singles, but I would’ve chosen this one.)



*  I Just Want to Celebrate – Rare Earth (7/71; #7 Pop – we interrupt our Earth Day show to celebrate the Cornell Women’s Hockey team. Tonight graduating seniors Izzy Daniel, Amy Ruggerio and Deanna Frasier were feted at an awards banquet, and this goes out to them.)



Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye (7/71; #4 Pop, #1 R&B – each of the three singles pulled from his groundbreaking album made it to #1 on the R&B chart. The other two were “Inner City Blues” and the title track: “What’s Going On.”)

 Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - song and lyrics by Marvin Gaye | Spotify


*  What About Me – Quicksilver Messenger Service (3/71; #100 – going out at the suggestion of John Rudan, who says “It’s Record Day, it’s 4/20 AND it’s Earth Day weekend. This one is in the vinyl library, it’s about saving the Earth and about smoking pot! It’s a trifecta!”)



Nature’s Way – Spirit (3/71; #111 – this B-side almost made the Hot 100 on its own. From their critically-acclaimed LP “The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.”)

 Spirit – Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus (1970, Gatefold, Pitman Pressing,  Vinyl) - Discogs


Cool Change – Little River Band (10/79; #10 – it’s Earth Day, baby!)

 Cool Change LYRICS by Little River Band ...


*  Saturn – Stevie Wonder (4/76; NR – this track was taken from his “Songs in the Key of Life” LP, and is written in the voice of an interplanetary observer who can see that we’re headed down the wrong road….)

 Stevie Wonder - Saturn, Ebony Eyes / All Day Sucker, Easy Goin' Evening (My  Mama's Call) (7inch-Vinyl Record/Used)


Out In the Country – Three Dog Night (8/70; #15 – a breath of fresh air from the pen of Paul Williams.)



*  For Everyman – Jackson Browne (10/73; NR – this is the closing track from one of Jackson Browne’s many fine albums, going out to Doug Simon from his old junior high buddy Chuck. That’s David Lindley playing those splendid guitar licks.)

 For Everyman - Wikipedia



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





Trivia Answer



In addition to having written Blue Sky and Ramblin’ Man, Dickey Betts also composed In Memory of Elizabeth Reed and Jessica.


Congratulations to Mike from downtown and to Robin from Connecticut, for correctly answering the question and winning a pair of passes 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 (4/27):  Kim Vaughan with a spotlight on songs that say "Again."




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