Archive for August, 2011

Listen to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #21 (25.08.11)

Well, there have been plenty of commitments in the social diary this week, with several birthdays coming close together and all for very friendly faces. So, much conviviality was on the agenda with some magic moments that set the scene well for Cruising with The Commissioner. Some gigs also featured in the social schedule this week and we much enjoyed seeing Sam Hare and his band, who did a fine set and demonstrated some first rate musicianship for a small band. We also caught up with James Hunter and his band, who can always be relied on to produce an entertaining show and some great soul and R&B. We included a track from each of them in this week’s playlist and take a listen, especially, to the introduction by James Hunter’s to his track from a live gig in the US.

Cruise Control was pleased to hear from our good pals Richard Mann, The Shake, DJ Leyton Rocks, Mr T and Max Quirk and we discovered
that our musical postman is itching to come and share some of his favourite tracks with us, so listen out for that one. Richard Mann came in to offer us ‘Three From Me’ this week. Richard ran one of the last independent records shops in the Grand Duchy and somewhere that was a source of many items in the Cruising library.

This has been a sad week for the music industry with the passing of Gene McDaniels, Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford. So, we chose a favourite from each of their extensive songbooks to play on Cruising with The Commissioner. Each have left some celebrated moments and a great musical legacy, for which we should be duly grateful.

Hope you enjoyed last week’s ‘cool’ collection . . . . and there were quite a few we didn’t have time to included on the playlist, but we’ll sneak a few in over future weeks. Amongst those favourites that have sneaked into the playlist on a few occasions recently, was Charlie Rich’s version of Big Time Operator, along with Clifford Curry’s original of She Shot A Hole In My Soul. Last time we played them we said we’d put together some of the great UK covers of American soul tracks. . . . . and it seemed timely to do this week . . . . so we did! Whilst there were plenty of UK covers of US soul songs, we tried to keep the quality control cranked fairly high in making our selection. See what you think . . . . . .

Cruising for fun . . . .
You’d Better Move – Bobby Brookes
Yes I Will – June Bateman
I Know Your Love Has Gone Away – The Drapers
All I Need Is Half A Chance – Rosey Jones & The Superiors
Shake A Hand – LaVern Baker
I’ll Give You Everything – Sam Hare
Baby Don’t Do It – James Hunter
Spanish Lace – Gene McDaniels
That’s Rock & Roll – The Coasters
Fine Fine Frame – Thurston Harris

Three from me . . . . . with Richard Mann
Rave On – Buddy Holly
Sweets For My Sweet – The Searchers
Money – The Rolling Stones

Cruising soulfully . . . .
Don’t Come Knocking On My Door – Charlie Rich
Big Time Operator – Zoot Money & His Big Roll Band
She Shot A Hole In My Soul – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Gonna Fix You Good – Alan Bown Set
Ain’t No Big Thing – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
Do Re Mi – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
I Can’t Stand It – The Spencer Davis Group
Mama Said – Dusty Springfield
It’s Alright – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
Open The Door To Your Heart – Chris Farlowe
Oh No Not My Baby – Manfred Mann

Three Cool Tracks . . . . with DJ Leyton Rocks
The Beat That Can’t Be Beat – Jan & Arnie
Blast Off – The Monks
Bloodstains On The Wall – Honeyboy

Cruising again . . . .
What You Gonna Do – The Tempests
I’ll Kiss Your Teardrops – The Laddins
Nobody’s Boy – Dick Jordan
She’s Got Plenty Of Love – The Liverpool Five
Chapter 8 – Seashore & Horizon – Cornelius
I’m Your Witchdoctor – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Sea Cruise – Jackie Edwards

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Blue Train – Lord Rockingham’s XI

Cruising for home . . . .
Destination Anywhere – The Marvelettes
Little Sister – Ry Cooder
Knock Knock Rattle – Rex Allen
Hey Eula – Sil Austin
Someday Bye and Bye – The Spiders
Justine – Don & Dewey

Well, our trip down memory lane is an opportunity for a meander through the record recollections. This week The Commissioner traced back a track from 1958 that was probably first heard when Jack Good gave UK TV the show ‘Oh Boy’. On small, grey screens across the UK the show’s teenage audience regularly saw the house band, Lord Rockingham’s XI backing UK and US rock artists. The band included some notable musicians and hit no. 1 with their instrumental ‘Hoots Mon’, with this week’s musical memory, ‘Blue Train’, on the flipside.

We had a new Wireless FM show before Cruising with The Commissioner and if you’re up for some metal, try Back in Black from 6 to 8 pm on Thursday night. DJ Dispossessed completed the first show successfully, despite losing the playlist to the computer gremlins and we managed through a couple of technical problems too while we were on air and came out OK in the end.

Well, the time ran out and too soon we came to the end of our cruise, but if you’ve enjoyed we played, then hopefully we will see you again next Thursday to share in another festival of rock, soul and real R&B. Our thanks go to our guests, Richard Mann and DJ Leyton Rocks for there contributions and to Wireless FM for allowing me to share my choice of musical gems on Cruising with The Commissioner.

If you need a musical ‘fix’ before next Thursday, I recommend you catch the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music you’ll never forget.

So until the next time we go cruising together again . . . have fun!

Listen to this week’s show here:

Killer Diller with The Commissioner #2 (23.08.11)

There was a surprise in store for those who tuned in to the Killer Diller show on Wireless FM this Tuesday night (23 August 2011). Instead of the cultured tones of its resident host, Johnny Alpha, there was another host . . . . The Commissioner . . . . doing some moonlighting from his Thursday night Wireless FM show, Cruising with The Commissioner, while Johnny Alpha was off somewhere exotic on a clandestine mission. The Killer Diller security pass appeared to be in order and the playlist seemed to follow the familiar style of Johnny Alpha, including many tracks that have, or might, appear on Killer Diller. . . . although no one does it better that JA himself.

We started the show (appropriately) with ‘Killer Diller’ from The Cues (a track from their album ‘Why’) . . . . . and for the rest of the evening we speculated on what exotic and seductive location Johnny Alpha was visiting and whether there might be a clue in the track from The McCoy Boys . . . . . but perhaps only The Shadow knows!

So, with enthusiasm and purposeful zeal we filled the show with fine tunes  and for the connoisseurs and the curious, here’s the playlist:

PAD – Bobby Summers
Killer Diller – The Cues
Our Man In Havana – The McCoy Boys
Don’t Treat Me This Way – Mel Anton & The Checkers
Fever – Barbara English
Taco Wagon – The De-Fenders
Straight Ahead – The Pal Studio Band
Pigmy (Part 1) – Billy Larkin & The Delegates
You Didn’t Say A Word – Yvonne Baker
Keep Your Mind On Me – The Jarmels
Love You Till The Cows Come Home – Clyde McPhatter
Cleopatra Kick – Jack LaForge
Similau – Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
Nouvelle Vague – Richard Anthony
Stack-A-Records – Tom Tall
Flip Flop Mama – Eddie Bond & The Stompers
Red Hot – Billy Riley & The Little Green Men
Blue Fire – Steve Alaimo & The Redcoats
Hey Little Woman – Sonny Till & The Orioles
Whatever Lola Wants – Della Reese
Hide Nor Hair – Ray Charles
I Really Really Love You – Jo Ann Campbell
I Can’t Take It – Ronnie Taylor
Juarez – The Hollywood Persuaders
Hoppin’ Mad – Plas Johnson
Chicken Pox – Booker T & The MGs
The Times Are Changing – Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck
Mr Rainbow – Steve Flynn
Ebony Eyes – Bob Welch
Work Song – Paul Butterfield Blues Band
That Will Never Do – Otis Rush
Ring-A-Ling – Johnny Otis

The chatroom was lively and the music quickly ate up the time. Too soon, it was the witching hour and all over, but I think we managed to squeeze in a good selection (as befits the Tuesday Night Mafia) and, if you wanted more, it will have to do as the ‘fix’ for Killer Diller regulars, until Johnny Alpha returns next week.

In the meantime, thanks for listening . . . . . and until the next time we meet, it’s adieu from The Commissioner . . . . . have fun!

Listen to this week’s show here . . . .

Cruising with The Commissioner #20 (18.08.11)

Well, whatever the weather, you can be sure of a warm welcome for one and all when you’re Cruising with The Commissioner. We kicked started the show this week with ‘The Five Masks’ and their excellent piece of rock, ‘Polly Molly’. I was intrigued by the ‘The Five Masks’, so I went searching through the musical archives for more about them. I discovered that they featured Al “TNT” Bragg, Cal Valentine, Robert Valentine, Billy Fred Thomas and Jesse Lee Floyd. They also appeared in the cult movie “Rock Baby Rock It” under the pseudonym of The Five Stars. They recorded “Polly Molly” in June, 1958 and at the same all-night Liberty session they provided background vocals for the rockabilly/doo-wop song ‘Nervous’ recorded by Gene Summers and His Rebels and featuring an all-star cast of A-Team session musicians that included: Rene Hall – guitar; James McClung – guitar; Plas Johnson – Sax; Earl Palmer – Drums and George “Red” Callendar – bass.

Once we were sure everyone was suitably poised, primed and properly positioned, we set off in fine style for our weekly adventure, cruising across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

A real treat in the show this week was the visit from fellow Wireless FM DJ, The Spongeman, to bring us ‘Three From Me’ . . . . and it was well worth waiting for, too! He brought along tracks by The Conqueroo, Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck and Damien. His Tuesday night shows on Wireless FM are always a joy and his musical knowledge and insights always ensure a fascinating experience. The Spongeman was also responsible for some chatroom chatter last week, when we played ‘Madison Blues’ by Elmore James. He asked if we could find ‘Hawaiian Boogie’ by Elmore James. So, we had a rummage in the Cruising library and, guess what, we found it on a dusty shelf on the album ‘Nothing but the blues – The legendary recordings’. So, we put it in the playlist this week.

Well, we decided to have a ‘cool’ theme in the playlist this week and included a selection of tracks that celebrate being ‘cool’ . . . . in a hip sort of way. We didn’t have to go far to find some and it was a good excuse to play Three Cool Cats by The Coasters. This was the flipside of their 1959 single Charlie Brown. Three Cool Cats was one of the numbers recorded by the Beatles as one of the tracks for their failed audition for Decca Records. Another Beatles link came from Don Lang and his ‘Cool Baby Cool’ track for HMV in 1958. This was the flipside of Don’s successful UK cover of ‘Witch Doctor’, which was a big hit in the UK for Don Lang and his Frantic Five. Don was a trombone player and singer, who led his Frantic Five and appeared on the BBC Television show Six-Five Special, for which he recorded the theme tune. The Beatles link came many years later when he played trombone on the song “Revolution 1” on The Beatles’ White Album. We were not short of ‘cool’ songs and there’s more where these came from . . . . !

Cruising for fun . . . .
Polly Molly – The Five Masks
Skee-Mo – Hoochie & The Coochie Coos
I Got My Sights On Someone New – Roddy Jackson
Shake A Hand – Faye Adams
Heatwave – Martha & The Vandellas
The Way You Do The Things You Do – The Temptations
Air Travel – Chris Farlowe
Why Do Lovers Fall In Love – Diana Ross
Rock-A-Bye – Big Mama Thornton
Yeah, My Baby Loves Me – Dav Kip

Three From Me – The Spongeman
Passenger – The Conqueroo
One Ring Jane – Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck
Face The Crowd – Damien

Cruising to be cool . . . .
Cool Baby – Charlie Gracie
Daddy Cool – The Rays
Cool Jerk – The Capitols
Three Cool Cats – The Coasters
Cool Baby Cool – Don Lang & His Frantic Five.
Cool It Baby – B B Carter
Cool Cool Baby – The Diamonds
Cool It Down – The Velvet Underground
Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress – The Hollies

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Cruising 1967 with Joe Niagra
Schooldays – Chuck Berry

Cruising out along the cove . . . .
2100 and 65 – The Cues
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
I’m Gonna Love You A Long Time – Patty & The Emblems
Ain’t No Big Thing – The Olympics
Hold On – The Montanas
I Guess I Was Dreaming – The Fairytale
Headline News – Edwin Starr
Perfect Love – The Diplomats
She’s Called A Woman – The Magnificent Seven
Since I Lost My Baby’s Love – Major Lance

Cruising for home . . . .
Come Back & Finish What You Started – Gladys Knight & The Pips
Hoodoo Voodoo Man – Jump 4 Joy
Safronia B – Calvin Boze

Playing Edwin Starr’s ‘Headline News’ reminded me that he is often assumed to have been the biggest star on the Ric Tic record label, but The Fantastic Four actually had that distinction and we will aim to include something by them in next week’s playlist. Perhaps, we’ll also feature some of the UK soul bands with their fine covers of the US soul hits.

Well, if you enjoyed this week’s musical journey, I hope you will come Cruising with The Commissioner when we set off on our travels next Thursday. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM and pay your respects.

So, until the next time we get to go cruising together again . . . . Have fun!

Boot ‘Em Up . . . . .

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show . . . . .

Cruising with The Commissioner #19 (11.08.11)

Well, there’s been a lot of action down at Cruise Control since last week’s show. It was time to face up to that daunting of tasks, putting away all the music that has been casually piled in the corner after the last few sessions of Cruising with The Commissioner. The combined efforts of our musical postman and our recent sorties to the music emporiums around the Grand Duchy have resulted in the ‘pending’ box filling to overflowing. So, this week’s show was filled with gems from that box . . . . and it contained some great stuff.

One little gem that was discovered in a cheap box on a market stall was an original single of that classic by Santo & Johnny, ‘Sleepwalk’. The real excitement was discovering the track on the flip side, which is a riotous, rocking little number called ‘All Night Diner’. So, it deserved a spin on this week’s show and that’s just what it got! The Buckingham’s ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy’ came from the same cheap box and joined Irma Thomas’s ‘I Can’t Help Myself’ as another recent addition to the vinyl vault. Irma’s track stands up well alongside the better know versions of the song.

The Cruisettes were indulged a bit during last week’s Cruising with The Commissioner with tracks from Junior Walker, the Nimmo Brothers and Sherman Robertson, but they really let go when we played the trio of big band calypso tracks . . . . all those exotic rhythms and sensual dancing . . . . and, as if that weren’t enough . . . we are still savouring the delights of last week’s ‘Talk To Me’ session with Amigo. His guided tour of George Barnes’ musical career has inspired a number of other potential projects and musical themes. So, look out for future ‘Talk To Me’ sessions. He mentioned a surf rock track by George called ‘Spooky’ and, after some rummaging around, we found that in a dark corner. So, it got included in this week’s playlist.

We were excited to have the welcome return of DJ Wheelie Bag to Cruising with The Commissioner. Those who have witnessed first hand one of DJ Wheelie Bag’s shows will know that he is always highly entertaining and a true enthusiast for a very broad range of music. So, it is always unpredictable, but never disappointing to catch him ‘in full flow’, which is what we did this week with his ‘Three From Me’. This time he shared with us a few jazz bits that he bought in the Athens Flea Market, which he unreservedly recommends “for all crazy vinyl collectors and listeners to Cruising with The Commissioner”.

Cruising for fun . . . .
Ring A Ling – Johnny Otis
Yes Sir – The Cues
All Night Diner – Santo & Johnny
Aunt Dora’s Love Soul Shack – Arthur Conley
Talking ‘Bout My Baby – Dottie & Millie
I Can’t Help Myself – Irma Thomas
Playgirl’s Love – The Five Stairsteps
Save The World – Thelma Houston
I Know Your Love Has Gone Away – The Drapers
That’s All Right – Freddie King
Madison Blues – Elmore James

Three From Me – DJ Wheeliebag
Tokyo Boogie Woogie – Shizuko Kasagi & The Tokyo Orchestra
Later – Ella Fitzgerald
In The Mood – The Bulawayo Sweet Rhythms Band

Cruising for the sun . . . .
Reservations – Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – The Buckinghams
Penalty Of Love – The Velvetones
Shake A Hand – Little Richard
Limbo . . . . how low can you go?
Let’s Limbo – Eddie Bo
Limbo Rock – The Champs
Let’s Limbo Some More – Chubby Checker
Soul Limbo – Booker T & The MGs

Cruising further on down the road . . . .
Tell Me Why – The Mavericks
Beautiful Trouble – Jon Amor
Gimme Dat Harp Boy – Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Kidney Stew – Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vincent
You Went Back On Your Word Little Girl – Clyde McPhatter

Memory Lane . . . . with The Shake
Foggy Notion – The Velvet Underground

Cruising for home . . . .
Spooky – George Barnes
Vaquero – The Fireballs
Texas – Edgar Winter
Drive My Car – The Gary Toms Empire
She Shot A Hole In My Heart – Clifford Curry
Big Time Operator – Charlie Rich
Voodoo Voodoo – Lavern Baker
Boot ‘Em Up – The Du Droppers
She Walked Right Out – Diz & The Doormen
Tell Me Who – Big Maybelle

Our trip down memory lane this week was closely supervised by The Shake. His suave and debonair manner and his stories are always something that the Cruisettes look forward to on our musical journey. This week they were treated to a tale of early radio interest by The Shake and his encounter with 60’s ‘alternative rock’ . . . . and he didn’t miss the opportunity to promote his Tuesday night Out Of Sight show on Wireless FM for more of the same. (Naturally, we have claimed reciprocal promotional rights for Cruising with The Commissioner on his show.)

Well, there were some very positive comments in the chatroom during the show about the tracks by The Drapers, Simon Dupree, Elmore James, George Barnes and Captain Beefheart . . . . and even an email from one of the Cruising Crew to celebrate the “overdue” airing of ‘Soul Limbo’. But, we ran out of time before we got through all we had for the show this week, so there is still a pile of little gems in the ‘pending tray’ for next week’s show. We’ll follow up on the original of Shake A Hand and see what else jumps onto the playlist as we start putting together the show for next week and, at the request of The Spongeman, we’ll go looking for ‘Hawaiian Boogie’ by Elmore James. In the meantime, our grateful thanks go the DJ Wheeliebag and The Shake for their contributions, as well as to Wireless FM for allowing me to indulge my personal choice of music here each week. I only play the tracks that I enjoy, so it is fascinating to hear feedback from those that catch the show live or on the website and appear to enjoy the playlist selections. If you are one of those, I hope you’ll join me for the next festival of rock, soul and real RnB, when once again we’ll go Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the meantime, why not take a listen to the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play music you’ll never forget.

Until the next time we go Cruising together, have fun!

C’est la vie . . . .

Posted: August 5, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #18 (04.08.11)

Well, once again, welcome one and all to Cruising with The Commissioner. I hope you have had a most enjoyable week and are suitably poised, primed and positioned for another cruise across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. If you are, I can assure you that you’re in very good company. So, wind the windows down, turn the volume and let’s set off with no particular place to go!

If you caught last week’s Cruising with The Commissioner, you’ll know it included a few playlist items that suggested some follow-up tracks for this week’s show. As a result, we went looking for ‘Footsteps Following Me’ by Frances Nero, Erma Franklin’s version of ‘Whisper’s (Gettin’ Louder)’, and ‘Monkey Time’ by Major Lance. As if that wasn’t enough of a good start, we also went rummaging in the Cruising library for some big band calypso tracks to include in this week’s playlist. So, we were intent on keeping the mood very groovy and very summery. Indeed, the Cruisettes presented themselves in some colourful attire and all suitably augmented with an elegant glass or two of appropriately chilled Moet.

It has been an eventful week this end, with a few gigs, an armful of new music and (just as important) some friendly faces to bring extra delight to the social diary. It all got mixed well into our little musical feast and came with a real gourmet course from our ‘Talk To Me’ guest, Amigo. Some great tracks and fascinating stories, all added to the ingredients for a memorable musical meal.

As always, if you have something better to do when the show airs, but still think that stuffing some groovy music into your ears will be beneficial, you can always stop by and listen here to the show. If you do, you’ll find this week’s playlist here, although, due to a problem at border control, it doesn’t include Winnifred Atwell’s ‘Poor People Of Paris’ . . . . but who knows . . . . maybe on another occasion . . . . .

Cruising for fun . . . .
Breaking Up the House – Tiny Bradshaw
Squeeze Me – King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys
Whisper’s (Gettin’ Louder) – Erma Franklin
Monkey Time – Major Lance
Take Me Girl I’m Ready – Junior Walker & The Allstars
Trainsville – George Barnes
Little Egypt – The Coasters
Footsteps Following Me – Frances Nero
Home Of the Blues – Sherman Robertson

Talk To Me . . . . with Amigo
Just Like Jesse James – Jazz Gillum & His Jazz Boys
Trouble In Mind – The Dinning Sisters
I Will Still Love You – Dorothy Collins & Snooky Lanson
You Don’t Know Me – Eddy Arnold
Barefoot Baby – Janis Martin
Bump! – JayCee Hill
Early In The Morning – Bobby Darin
Early In The Morning – Buddy Holly
Lipstick On Your Collar – Connie Francis
Blue Gardenia – Dinah Washington
Memories Of You – George Barnes & Carl Kress

Cruising across frontiers . . . .
Flat Broke – The Nimmo Brothers
Down In Texas – The Hour Glass
I Guess I Was Dreaming – Fairytale
Doctor Kitch – Lord Kitchener
Must Get A Man – Nora Dean
Jane – The Mighty Sparrow
I Need A Guy – The Lovettes
You Made Me Love You – Little Royal

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Tom Hark – Elias & His Zig Zag Jive Flutes

Cruising for home . . . .
Catch That Teardrop – The 5 Royals
Yes Sir – The Cues
Seventeen – Roy Bennett & The Rockets
Gonna Fix You Good – Little Anthony & The Imperials
Ten Miles High – David & The Giants
Shout (Parts 1 & 2) – The Isley Brothers
C’Est La Vie – Bob Seger

Our trip down Memory Lane this week took us back to 1958 to hear some South African kwela music from ‘Elias and His Zig Zag Jive Flutes’, who are best remembered for their international hit, “Tom Hark”. The story goes that they sold an estimated three million copies worldwide, but the musicians received no financial reward from its success. ‘Tom Hark’ was subsequently covered by various artists, but on Cruising with The Commissioner we still think the original is the best and our copy of the original HMV 45 has a special place in the Cruising library

As always, it’s great fun to have your company for the show and this week’s show was certainly packed with a variety of musical styles and choices. There’s plenty more in the ‘pending tray’, so future week’s playlists will not be short of great tunes, plus we have some intriguing ‘Three From Me’ slots in the offing too.

Thanks go to Wireless FM for giving me two hours each week to play the music I like and if you’ve enjoyed it, I hope you will join us next week for another festival of rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. In the meantime, have a great week and take a listen to the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM for some more great tunes.

So, until we next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . Have fun!