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May 4, 2024 - JS - Early May Oldies


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:  5/4/24

Host:  John Simon

Feature:  Early May Oldies



Tonight's Rockin' Remnants show is my last one until early June. Tune in for Kitchen Theatre tickets, a great birthday calendar, listener requests and lots of tunes from early May through the years. It's Central New York's longest-running local request Oldies show from 6-9pm every Saturday night! C'mon over....









·      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)


Having a Party – Sam Cooke (5/62; #17 Pop, #4 R&B – let’s get this party started with some early Sixties tunes. This first one is actually a duet with Sam’s old friend Lou Rawls, as was the B-side “Bring it On Home to Me.” As usual, requests are welcome!)

 That's Where It's At - song and lyrics by Sam Cooke | Spotify


Always It’s You – Everly Brothers (5/60; #56 – they’d just left Cadence Records after signing an unprecedented $1,000,000 deal with Warner Brothers, and their very first single was the big #1 “Cathy’s Clown.” If you bought it, you also bought this tasty B-side.)

 45cat - The Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown / Always It's You - Warner Bros.  - Canada - 9-5151


Please Mr. Sun – Tommy Edwards (3/59; #4 – he had a smooth and warm vocal delivery, backed by some MGM’s finest musicians, and recorded a nice string of records over the course of about two and a half years – but the hits suddenly stopped coming.)



Mountain of Love – Harold Dorman (4/60; #20 – here is a legit “one-hit wonder!” This had been released on a small regional label, but somebody had the idea of adding strings and a big vocal chorus. The new sound caught somebody’s ear, and it became a runaway hit. His only one, though.)



One Fine Day – Chiffons (5/63; #5 – Carole King and Gerry Goffin were so prolific at this point that even their demo recordings turned into hits. That’s Carole on piano, and if you listen carefully you’ll hear her voice in the mix.)

 One Fine Day by The Chiffons on TIDAL


Just Once In My Life – Righteous Brothers (4/65; #9 – speaking of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, here’s another of theirs – although this one is also credited to Phil Spector. Tonight we hear the hard-to-find mono single mix.)



Theme from “A Summer Place” – Duane Eddy (7/64; dnc – this was the B-side of a non-charting single, and it kicks off a mini-tribute to the recently-departed guitar slinger. Duane Eddy was born and raised in Corning, NY before relocating to Arizona as a young teenager. His twangy guitar sound influenced a generation of players, and he passed away three days ago at age 86.)

 The Vaults: An Interview with Twang Guitar Innovator Duane Eddy | Best  Classic Bands


Soldier Boy – Shirelles (5/62; #1 – this record was at the top of the charts on this very date in 1962. There are rumors going around that Duane Eddy plays the guitar solo on this one. Until I see positive proof that he wasn’t, I’m going with it!)



Rebel Rouser – Duane Eddy & The Rebels (6/58; #6 – members of his backing band went on to become key members of LA’s famed Wrecking Crew. This record was his calling card.)



*  Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel (2/70; #1 for six weeks – we got a call from somebody wanting to send this out anonymously to a friend in need. I happened to have the mono 45 with me and I got goosebumps when it reached its crescendo. BTW, the piano player here is Larry Knechtel. He had been the bass player on Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” twelve years earlier.)

 Bridge over Troubled Water (song) - Wikipedia


*  I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You) – Temptations (5/68; #13 Pop, #1 R&B – this request came in from Vancouver, where they wanted to hear “…anything by The Temptations.” This was the final single to feature David Ruffin’s lead vocals, because he had just been fired from the group. What a way to go out, though!)

The Temptations - Wikipedia



*  Chapel of Love – Dixie Cups (5/64; #1 – former WVBR DJ Tom Preston requested this one, and recalled that the record label hadn’t sent the station a copy so somebody had to go downtown to buy one to play on the air.)



Six O’Clock – Lovin’ Spoonful (5/67; at #64 this week, headed to #18 – we’ve got a string of tunes from this week in 1967, and this is the first. Within a year, John Sebastian would be on his way out of the group and embarking on a solo career.)

 45cat - The Lovin' Spoonful - Six O'Clock / You're A Big Boy Now (The  Finale) - Kama Sutra - USA - KA225


She Shot a Hole in My Soul – Clifford Curry (5/67; at #100, headed only to #95 – this rockin’ number spent three short weeks on the Hot 100, although it DID reach #45 on the R&B chart. To my ears, it should’ve been a monster hit. I blame poor distribution by a small record label.)






 Birthday Calendar



April 28 – The Fantastic Johnny “C” – age 81



April 29 – Tommy James – age 77

            – Tammi Terrell – born in 1945

            – Bob Miranda (Happenings) – age 82

            – April Stevens – born in 1929

     – Willie Nelson – age 91


April 30 – Bobby Vee – born in 1943




May 1 – Sonny James – born in 1928

            – Judy Collins – age 85

     – Rita Coolidge – age 79



May 2 – Engelbert Humperdinck – age 87

            – Lesley Gore – born in 1946



May 3 – Pete Seeger – born in 1919

            – James Brown – born in 1933

     – Frankie Valli – age 90

            – Mary Hopkin – age 74

     – Christopher Cross – age 73




Hitch it to the Horse – Fantastic Johnny “C” (7/68; #34 Pop, #25 R&B – the instrumental backing track to this record had been previously released as “The Mule,” and the B-side was, indeed, “The Horse” – attributed to ‘Cliff Noble & Co.’ The band was really a studio group called The James Boys, and they’d soon become the nucleus of the Philly studio group known as MFSB.)

 The Fantastic Johnny C - Hitch It To The Horse / Cool Broadway - Phil-L.A.  Of Soul - USA - 315 - 45cat


Mony Mony – Tommy James & The Shondells (4/68; #3 Pop, #1 UK for five weeks – this hard-rockin’ tune was a bridge between the group’s pop hits and their next creative phase, blending psychedelia and spiritual elements. What you get here is a tight outfit cooking on all cylinders.)



Randy – The Happenings (5/68; #118 – the northern NJ vocal group had found relative success covering Oldies, but they took a chance on this one. It didn’t really click, but it was another fine performance by lead singer Bob Miranda.)

 The Happenings – Randy (1968, Vinyl) - Discogs


Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (6/67; #19 Pop and #3 R&B – Motown had just brought a new writing/production team on board in Valerie Simpson and Nik Ashford. They also paired Marvin Gaye with a new duet partner. The rest is history.)

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell music ...  Nino Tempo and April Stevens | Dutch postcard by Weenenk & S… | Flickr

 The Habit of Lovin’ You – Nino Tempo & April Stevens (1/67; dnc – this non-charting B-side took a page right out of Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” book, and it’s no wonder: Nino was one of Phil’s right hand men. April also happened to be Nino’s sister. It all makes sense.)


Luckenback, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love) – Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson (5/77; #25 Pop, #1 C&W for six weeks – a caller was wondering what I was planning to play for Willie’s 91st birthday, because there were so many possibilities. I went with this one, which both mentions him by name and features him singing the final verse.)

 Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson Discography | Discogs


What Am I Gonna Do With You – Lesley Gore (8/65; NR – this album track should’ve been released as a single, but maybe it was too far removed from her teen persona. The arrangement is sophisticated and less bouncy than her usual fare.)



I’ll Keep it with Mine – Judy Collins (3/66; dnc – Bob Dylan was one of the most successful songwriters of the era, and he’d recently gone electric. Her producers decided to capture some of that magic by recruiting two guys who’d recently played on his most recent big hit. That’s Al Kooper on organ and Mike Bloomfield on guitar.)

 45cat - Judy Collins - I'll Keep It With Mine / Thirsty Boots - Elektra -  USA - EK-45601


Release Me – Engelbert Humperdinck (5/67; #4 Pop, #1 in the UK for five weeks – this would be one of the biggest singles of the year in England, and it actually kept The Beatles’ “Penny Lane” out of the top slot for the first time. This was a cover of an Esther Philips record, and Atlantic would actually re-release her version to capitalize on Englebert’s success. It managed to chart again for a couple of weeks as a result.)



Come Back When You Grow Up – Bobby Vee & The Strangers (7/67; #3 for three weeks – Bobby’s career got derailed when the British Invasion unfolded, but this was a nice comeback record for him. He wasn’t done yet!)

 45cat - Bobby Vee And The Strangers - Come Back When You Grow Up / Swahili  Serenade - Liberty - USA - 55964


I’ll Never Find Another You – Sonny James (7/67; #97 Pop, #1 C&W for four weeks – Sonny James was a big Country star, but he did have some crossover appeal. This is one of at least two Seekers covers that charted for him!)


C’mon Marianne – 4 Seasons (7/67; #9 – these guys managed to stay relevant despite changing trends, British Invasions, and political upheaval. Part of it was that they had a crack songwriting/production team. Part of it was that they played their own instruments. Even more to the point, though: they had Frankie Valli as their lead singer. Check out the fine print on the record label!)

 45cat - The 4 Seasons - C'mon Marianne / Let's Ride Again - Philips - USA -  40460


Cold Sweat, Pt. I – James Brown & His Famous Flames (7/67; #7 Pop, #1 R&B for three weeks – he was a bandleader, a composer, a label exec and a tireless performer who was also a visionary and groundbreaker with a sizzling band behind him.)



Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds (12/65; #1 for three weeks – this song was adapted by Pete Seeger from the bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes, and the Byrds hit it straight out of the ballpark.)

 45cat - The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) /  She Don't Care About Time - Columbia - USA - 4-43424







Come on Down to My Boat – Every Mother’s Son (5/67; debuting this week at #85, headed to #6 – this is the first anybody had ever heard of these guys, but this song would become synonymous with The Summer of Love.)

 Every Mothers' Son – Come On Down To My Boat / I Believe In You (1967,  Vinyl) - Discogs


Friday on My Mind – Easybeats (5/67; #14 – this Australian band was huge in the UK, but this would be their only Top 40 hit here in the States. In fact, their only other charting single would get stuck at #100.)


45 Corner: My Back Pages – The Byrds (5/67; peaking on this date at #30 – we’ve already heard about Bob Dylan’s impact as a writer, and we’ve already heard from the Byrds in this hour, but this record deserves to be heard in its full mono glory.)


Master Jack - Four Jacks & A Jill (5/68; #18 - they hailed from South Africa, and this was really the closest they ever came to having a hit here in The States.)

Love (Can Make You Happy) - Mercy (5/69; #2 for three weeks - they were a small lounge act from Florida who had one terrific song in them, and this is it. Despite the tiny label, this was a big hit and led to their signing by Warner Brothers. Their only other charting single was a cover of the oft-recorded Forever, and that barely squeaked into the Hot 100. That's the last we ever heard of them.)

Mercy – Love (Can Make You Happy) (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs


Temma Harbour – Mary Hopkin (2/70; #39 Pop, #6 UK – she was one of the first acts signed to Apple Records, and Paul McCartney personally guided her early career. This one, however, was produced by Mickie Most – but the bass line sounds a lot like you-know-who.)

 Temma Harbour - Song - Featuring Mary Hopkin only £16.00


Poor Shirley – Christopher Cross (6/80; dnc – Christopher Cross’ self-titled album came out in 1979 and yielded four charting singles. It also won him a slew of Grammy awards. This song was tucked onto the B-side of his #1 single “Sailing,” and it certainly could’ve charted as well!)

Christopher Cross


*  Love or Let Me Be Lonely – Friends of Distinction (3/70; #6 – going out from Scottie to Peggy, as well as to each of the rest of you out there. Members of this group had originally been in a larger group with members of the 5th Dimension, and they have a similar sound.)



*  Rock Me – Steppenwolf (3/69; #10 – a Heavy Metal vibe with a danceable beat and a singalong chorus. Something for everybody!)



Fever – Rita Coolidge (1/73; #76 – this version drips with atmosphere and a slinky sultry groove. Much of the magic is attributable to the producer/keyboardist, who also happens to be Rita’s brother-in-law. His name is Booker T Jones, as in “Booker T & The MGs.”)

 Rita Coolidge - Fever | Releases | Discogs


Sandy – Ronny & The Daytonas (12/65; #27 – word slowly worked its way northward that songwriter/producer John “Buck” Wilkin had passed away nearly a month ago at age 77. As the teenaged son of a Nashville record executive mother, he’d pulled together some studio players and recorded “GTO” under the name of Ronny & The Daytonas. This forgotten follow-up single is one of my guilty pleasures and I’m grateful for the opportunity to play it tonight. R.I.P.)

 Ronny & the Daytonas - G.T.O. - Best Of The Mala Recordings CD


Gold – John Stewart (5/79; #5 – we played a bunch of duets during the Birthday Calendar, and we’ll close tonight’s show with this one featuring an uncredited Stevie Nicks. This was the highest-charting of four singles from his “Bombs Away Dream Babies” LP. I’ll see you again on June 1st.)

 Gold (John Stewart song) - Wikipedia



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






Congratulations to Greg from Ithaca, for winning tickets to The Turnaway Play, running at the Kitchen Theatre through May 19th!




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 (5/11/24):  Gregory James with a spotlight on songs about FOOD!




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

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