The way you do the things you do . . . !

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

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!

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