Archive for September, 2011

In good company . . . .

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #26 (29.09.11)

Well, it’s been a good week here in the Grand Duchy. The weather has warmed up a bit and there have been plenty of social adventures, including some great gigs, featuring some stunning performances . . . . but more that later . . . . so the Cruisettes have been having fun. There have also been some fruitful visits to the local music emporiums, with the return journeys bringing a goodly selection of tracks into the Cruising library . . . . . some of which we managed the squeeze into this week’s Cruising with the Commissioner.

Although we gallantly attempted to reduce the height of the ‘pending tray’ last week, it has crept up again to the point of being cited as a dangerous structure. So, we picked as many as we could for your listening pleasure (I hope) this week. It was good to get Romp & Stomp Blues by Mercy Dee onto the playlist and give a spin to Candy & The Kisses with ‘Smokey Joe’s’ . . . . and we’ll probably include a track or two more from them over the weeks to come. We played the instrumental version last week and just couldn’t resist including the vocal version of ‘Love Machine’ by McKinley Jackson & The Politicians. We enjoyed hearing again Maxine Brown’s ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ last week and our rummaging in the Cruising library turned up a great cover by Aretha Franklin which deserved a spot in this week’s show . . . . I hope you agree.

This week’s show is a bit of a departure from our usual format, because we are marking 6 months of Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . and there are some who might have doubted that we would have reached this point, including myself. In the midst of the ensuing euphoria, we decided it was an excellent excuse to celebrate the great music and contributions that our Cruising guests have made over these weeks and months, so we put together a feature that we called ‘Back On Track’ to indulge in a little déjà vu with you. (“Nothing new in that” . . . . I hear you cry!)

Our playlist got pretty full with our ‘Back On Track’ feature, so due apologies to the Victor Silvester fanclub for not being able to give ol’ Vic a spin this week, but here’s what we did squeeze into the playlist:

Cruising outta town . . . . . 
Hey Girl, Hey Boy – Jeanette Baker & Oscar McLollie
You Cried – Jackie Wilson
Romp & Stomp Blues – Mercy Dee
Smokey Joe’s – Candy & The Kisses
Love Machine – McKinley Jackson & The Politicians
Oh No Not My Baby – Aretha Franklin
I Don’t Wanna Know – Dr John
I’ll Be Back Someday – The Nimmo Brothers

Back On Track . . . . . 
The Beat That Can’t Be Beat – Jan & Arnie (presented by DJ Leyton Rocks)
10 Miles High – David and the Giants (presented by Paul Devine)
Giddy Up A Ding Dong – Alex Harvey (presented by Max Quirk)
Transfusion – Nervous Norvus (presented by DJ Captain Scarlet)
Dirty By The Dozen – Little Johnny Jones and the Chicago Hound Dogs (presented by DJ Wheeliebag)
Early In The Morning – Bobby Darin & Buddy Holly (presented by Amigo)
Passenger – The Conqueroo (presented by The Spongeman)
Sweets For My Sweet – The Searchers (presented by Richard Mann)
Going Back To Miami – The Blues Brothers (presented by The Vikster)
You Send Me – Otis Redding (presented by Mr T)
Cry Me A River – Joe Cocker (presented by Mrs TC)
Hope Leaves – Opeth (presented by Mark)
Drifting – Jimi Hendrix (presented by Phil Tyler)
Nobody – The Invincibles (presented by The Majestic)
Calm Down – Killing Floor (presented by Mick Clarke)
Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys (presented by Lil-Sis)
Eight Miles High – The Byrds (presented by The Shake)

Cruising for home . . . .
All That Heaven Will Allow – Bruce Springsteen
Looking For A Lover – The Patterson Twins
I Need You More Than Ever – The Montclairs
Hitch Hike To Heartbreak Road – Bobo Mr Soul
Hide Nor Hair – Herbert Hunter (as Leroy Jones)

The gig list this week included a stunning set from The Nimmo Brothers. It was a simply stomping show from start to finish, with superb musicianship, tight arrangements and great stage presence. The crowd were on their feet, stomping and cheering for ages at the end and everyone left (eventually) with a memory of a good humoured, well-honed, rocking show from one of the UK’s leading rock/blues bands. So, we had to include one of their tracks in the playlist for you to hear too . . . . but they’re even better live! Another act that left a lasting impression was Aaron Keylock, who is a 13 year old blues guitarist and vocalist with the technique and swagger of a seasoned player. He showed his skills on slide guitar too and turned an initially curious audience into an enthusiastic, cheering and clapping crowd who continued their show of appreciation long after the band had left the stage . . . and rightly so!

Well, it was Bruce Springsteen’s birthday during the past week and, as a small celebration, I was going to play his live version of the soul classic ‘Raise Your Hand’, but at the last minute I decided to play his version of ‘All That Heaven Will Allow’. The Cruisettes know the song well by Raul Malo & The Mavericks and they joined in the singing . . . . each in their own key!

We were having a good time at Cruise Control and enjoying the soul selection, but all too quickly time ran out. So, we closed the show in good spirits and I headed off with The Cruisettes for a small ‘half year’ celebration . . . . where the good spirits prevailed. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s cruise too, whether you listen live or on our website. It’s always fun to have your company and I hope we might entice you back again next week for another musical adventure, when once again we’ll go Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the meantime, don’t miss the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music that you’ll never forget.

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

Never look back . . . .

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #25 (22.09.11)

Well, here in the Grand Duchy the weather has been ‘changeable’, but that has not interrupted a pretty hectic schedule. . . . . with plenty of entertainment, gigs, social encounters and some great records and CDs too. I hope you’ve had a great week and that you are game for another adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres, in the style that is Cruising with The Commissioner.

The ‘pending tray’ has been building ever higher and we have been failing to keep up with the accumulation of great music that deserves to be included in the Cruising playlists. So, this week we decided to work our way through this teetering pile of 45s and albums, before they come toppling down around us. We made some progress, but that pile has been re-graded from red to amber and the hazard warning lights have stopped flashing.

Well, we got the show started with Chuck Dallis and Alvin Red Tyler & The Gyros, which certainly kept the Cruisettes on their feet . . . . and not without some distinct danger to the precarious balance of the pending tray. But, putting together this week’s playlist has reminded me there are some tracks that you just never get tired of hearing again. For me, one of those is Booby Moore and The Rhythm Aces and their Chess recording of ‘Try My Love Again’ . . . . another is Maxine Brown and ‘Oh No Not My Baby’. My excuse for including this number from Maxine Brown is that some weeks ago on Cruising with the Commissioner, when we featured some excellent cover versions of American soul numbers by artists from the UK soul scene, we included Manfred Mann’s version of ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ and I said I would look out the original and it is still a great soul sound to savour . . . . . in my humble opinion.

I do hope that you didn’t miss The Majestic last week with his excellent ‘Three From Me’ slot, because he played a track by Lou Johnson and it reminded me of the many superb songs that he has recorded over the years. Often his recordings have inspired other artist’s versions of these songs and his recording of the Bacharach/David classic, ‘There’s Always Something There To Remind Me’, inspired a very successful cover in the UK by Sandi Shaw. But there’s another version by Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells that we included in the show this week. This comes from her time with Atlantic records in 1966, when she recorded this stunning version of this song. Take a listen to her amazingly powerful voice.

Last week we met up with DJ Wheeliebag at one of his gigs and he suggested playing an early track from Bob Marley, called ‘One cup of coffee’. Indeed it is reputed to be only the 2nd record he ever made, and such is its collectable status that it’s re-appearing lately as a booted single. Well, we included it in this week’s playlist, so that you can hear it for yourself.

On the subject of collectable items, in the Cruising with the Commissioner playlist this week also included Bobby Marchan, who was the vocalist on many of the famous tracks by Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns on Ace records, and there are a couple of very collectable items by him that I may include for your listening pleasure over future weeks.

There’s another track on the playlist with a bit of history . . . . from Johnny Angel. This was the flip side of his 1958 Vin single ‘Teenage Wedding’ and it’s his version of ‘Baby It’s Love’, a song written and recorded in 1955 by Buddy & Bob alias Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery. It seems that Johnny Angel was possibly one of a number of recording names used by Jimmy Lee Fautheree, who was an American rockabilly and country singer, but what a great version he did of ‘Baby It’s Love’.

I particularly enjoy good acappella groups and amongst the gigs this week was a band called The Magnets who put on a sensational London show . . . . . no instruments except their voices, with some great vocals, including powerful bass and beat box vocals as well. We included them in our playlist, along with The Persuasions, who featured with their version of the Sam Cooke song I’ll Keep Running Back. I am grateful to Mr T (who has guested here before on our Three from me slot) because he put me on to The Persuasions and this track is a particular favourite of mine.

A particular ‘thank you’ goes to our first timer on our ‘Three From Me’ this week. This was provided by Lil’ Sis, who took us from sunny surfin’ rock, through to heavy rock . . . . with some stories to go with the soundtrack . . . . and we came out smiling!

So, with due apologies for the glaring omission of George Formby, here’s this week’s playlist:

Cruising for fun
Good Show, But No Go – Chuck Dallis
Jitterbug Boogie – Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings
Try My Love Again – Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces
Oh No Not My Baby – Maxine Brown
Shake A Hand – LaVern Baker & Jackie Wilson
I Wish You Would – Billy ‘Boy’ Arnold
She Likes To Boogie Real Low – Johnny Winter
That’s Me Boy – Memphis Black

Three From Me . . . . with Lil’ Sis
Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys
Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones
Hush – Deep Purple

Cruising again
One Cup Of Coffee – Bob Marley
Baby It’s Love – Johnny Angel
You Can’t Stop Her – Bobby Marchan
I’ll Keep Running Back – The Persuasions
Living On A Prayer – The Magnets
Happy Feet – Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez
Snake Eyes – Alvin Red Tyler & The Gyros
(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me – Patti LaBelle & The Bluebells
I’m Gonna Start A war – Barbara & The Browns
Never Make Your Move Too Soon – BB King

Cruising the highway
Never Looking Back – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
On A Saturday – Keith West
Storybook – The Alan Bown Set
I Wanna Meet You – The Cryan Shames
Charlie Brown Got Expelled – Joe Tex & His Classmates

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Cruisin’ 1963 with B. Mitchell Reed, WMCA, New York
Mama Didn’t Lie – Jan Bradley

Cruising for home . . . .
Eyesight To The Blind – Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith & Pinetop Perkins
This Gets To me Baby – Pookie Hudson
Love Machine (Part 2) – The Politicians
I Like It Like That – Don Bryant
Go Home Girl – Arthur Alexander
Brothers album ‘Rainbow Road’
It Ain’t The Meat – The Swallows
Hot Rod Special – Lee Allen & His Band

If you listened to the show last week, you’ll know that we played a tribute to the great Arthur Alexander and I said I would go looking for his own recording of Go Home Girl. Well, we found a copy to play, as well as finding some great instrumentals from The Politicians, Lee Allen and Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, all of which had the Cruisettes reaching for their dancing shoes.

Casting caution aside in a cavalier manner, we embarked on that daunting diversion down that shady alley that is Memory Lane. This week we went back to New York in 1963, to hear from DJ B. Mitchell Reed, (billed as the fastest tongue in the west) joined New York radio station WMCA. We caught him introducing one of the great soul tracks of the day Jan Bradley’s ‘Mama didn’t lie’.

We celebrated BB King’s birthday and paid our respects on the passing of bluesman Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, with tracks from them both . . . . and we squeezed in plenty of other great tracks before it was time to reach for a pristine white linen hankie and wave you a fond farewell. There was barely time to linger long enough to say . . . . thanks for your good company and thanks to Wireless FM for letting me play my choice of rock, soul and real rhythm & blues here each week. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this week’s cruise and that there’s something to entice you back again next week for another musical adventure, when once again we’ll go Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the meantime, don’t miss the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music that you’ll never forget.

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #24 (15.09.11)

Well, I hope you’ve had a good a week and that you’re relaxed and content as I bid you a hearty welcome to this week’s musical escapade, especially if you’ve ventured here of your own free will. We always ensure that we’ve got a place for everyone on our trips, so we can all enjoy our communal cruise across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. For those with time on their hands and those with nothing better to do than tune into internet radio, this is the moment to go Cruising with The Commissioner (but check the small print of your insurance first).

We’ve put in a good few miles on the road this week with some visits to friends and relatives, which brought its joys, including the opportunity to catch up on some long forgotton music collections. These were (surprisingly) consistently excellent selections and there will be plenty of gems from these appearing in the Cruising with The Commissioner playlists this week and in the weeks to come.  

Well, we decided to start our cruise this week with Thurston Harris and took the suggestion of our good pal Pete Hall (who I think is somewhere in New Mexico) to play Little Willie John’s ‘Let’s Rock While The Rockin’s Good’. With that, the mood was upon us and the spirits were clearly with us . . . . . because the gremlins were kept at bay and our passage through this week’s playlist seems to go without incident.

Well, last week we played ‘Easier Said Than Done’ by The Essex and it seemed to be well received by the Cruising Crew, so we looked out something else by them, and we discovered that the Essex were all US Marines when they first found fame in 1963 with ” Easier Said Than Done”, and their follow up single, “A Walkin’ Miracle”, became a Top 20 hit too, so we put that in the playlist.

If you’re a regular listener to Cruising with the Commissioner, you’ll know that we enjoy some rough-house sax tracks and this week we picked Sil Austin’s ‘Shufflin’ Home’. Now, we’ve heard Sil before on the show before and he made this welcome return, although we were far from ready to go ‘Shufflin’ Home’ at that point.

As aficionados of Bob Dylan will know, in 1973 he started writing a song in the Billy The Kid sessions that was titled ‘Rock Me Mama’, but he never finished it. Many years later, the Old Crow Medicine Show developed the chorus part and the chord progression to create a new song called ‘Wagon Wheel’. We took the opportunity to include a version of that song by a local band called Silver. I know they were gigging this Thursday night, so I expect they will be catching up with Cruising with The Commissioner here, on the website. If you catch them live, you’ll appreciate their enthusiasm and breadth of music, which is an encouragement to all aspiring musicians. Perhaps we’ll see if we can find some more good stuff from them like this.

The week was positively marked by a number of events . . . . . the return of The Majestic with a ‘Three From Me’ slot brought much excitement at Cruise Control and there was a great deal of anticipation about the music that would feature in The Majestic’s selection. We have learnt to brace ourselves for such revelations, because the choices are always excellent and frequently obscure, as well. So, a double bonus !!!

Cruising for fun
From The Bottom Of My Heart – Thurston Harris
Let’s Rock While The Rockin’s Good – Little Willie John
A Walkin’ Miracle – The Essex
Shufflin’ Home – Sil Austin
Rock Me Mama / Wagon Wheels – Silver
She’ll Be Gone – Betty O’Brien
Heavy Makes You Happy – The Staple Singers
It’s All Over Now Baby Blue – Chris Farlowe
You Can’t Sit Down – Phil Upchurch Combo

Three From Me . . . . with The Majestic
Unsatisfied – Lou Johnson
Nobody – The Invincibles
Can’t Find No Happiness – Barbara Brown

Cruising way out there . . . . .
Quicksand – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Both Ends Against The Middle – Jackie Moore
Giving It Up For Your Love – Delbert McClinton
Making My Daydream Real – We The People
Mischievous Ways- Albert Washington
Organ Grave – Greasy Gravy
Don’t Start Cryin’ Now – Slim Harpo
Ain’t Got You – Billy Boy Arnold
Let the Children Play – Santana

Cruising the highway
Never Let Me Go – Eddie Holland & The Larks
Soul Galore – Jackie Wilson
Go Home Girl – Gary US Bonds & Frank Black
Pink Cadillac – Paul Bascomb
Saturday In The Park – Chicago
Possum Belly Overalls – June Bateman with Noble Thin Man Watts and his Band
Hey Girl – Lucky Carmichael
Envy (In My Eyes) – The Orlons

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
My Bruvva Sylvest – Johnny Silvo & Dave Moses

Cruising for home
Starry Eyes – Roky Erikson
Don’t Change Your Pretty Ways – Hank Ballard
Strange Things Are Happening – Piney Brown
Red Hot Mama – Mike Sanchez

Amongst the travels this week, there was a rendezvous with DJ Leyton Rock, DJ Max Quirk and DJ Wheeliebag for an evening of fine music, fun and frolics at the launch of DJ Wheeliebag’s new club night . . . . which was a hoot! He is always entertaining and nobody went home without a smile afterwards. We listened carefully to his playlist (as one should) and picked out some notable tracks to follow up in the weeks to come and we started with June Bateman (with Noble Thin Man Watts and his Band) and their ‘Possum Belly Overalls’, which we’ve played before when DJ Wheeliebag was doing ‘Three From Me’.

The chatroom chatter and the email traffic during the show signalled that the playlist was ‘hitting the spot’, particularly Mike Sanchez, Roky Erikson, Eddie Holland & The Larks, Gary US Bonds & Frank Black and We The People. The Cruisettes got especially excited about Santana’s track and their latin dance moves became more exotic (and dangerous) as the rhythms continued. In contrast, they raised an eyebrow or two at the Memory Lane choice, but ‘hey’, we take our pleasures where we find them!

The time ran out too soon and we were packing up too quickly for the liking of The Cruisettes, who had got into their groove fairly early on. But, whether you listen live or on our website, it’s always fun to have your company. If you’ve enjoyed this week’s cruise, there’s a chance that you might be enticed you back again next week for another musical adventure, when once again we’ll go Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the meantime, don’t miss the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music that you’ll never forget.

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #23 (08.09.11)

Well, welcome to Cruising with The Commissioner, which remarkably retains its reputation as a vaguely supervised journey across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones, and jumping genres. The ‘pending tray’ at Cruise Control has been growing week by week and the challenge is to cram as much into the playlist as possible . . . . and we try our best, believe me!

The music emporiums in and around the Grand Duchy have received visits over the past few days and with the help of our musical postman, there have been some excellent new entrants to the Cruising library this week and you will get to hear these over future weeks, as we try to entertain and amuse you.

This week we quickly got up to cruising speed with Big Time Operator from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (not the Zoot Money/Charlie Rich song) and we couldn’t resist including Bernard Hardison’s version of Too Much . . . . something that Mr Presley must have heard enjoyed, because he recorded his version too.

If you listened to Tuesday’s ‘Welcome to the Spongelab’ show on Wireless FM, you’ll have heard The Spongeman play a track or two from an excellent triple sampler ‘The Music People’ issued in the 70s by CBS. It was a reminder that there was a copy of that sampler in the Cruising library, so we found it just to play Johnny Winter’s version of ‘Jumping Jack Flash’. We played the Thelma Houston version last week and that was encouragement enough to hear Johnny Winter again.

Another legacy of last week’s show was the eagerness of The Cruisettes to revisit the ‘cocktail’ theme. It attracted their considerable interest, so we gathered together some more serenades to the spirits with a timely reminder about the sobriety of newts . . . . after their past escapades!

It was a real pleasure to welcome back The Vikster for another Three From Me slot this week. The choices ranged across many decades, but each had its own story and place in this selection. Never a disappointment, so we will leave an open invitation for another visit to Cruising with The Commissioner whenever The Vikster is passing.

Cruising for fun
Big Time Operator – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Too Much – Bernard Hardison
Worth Every Tear I Cry – Dee Dee Warwick
Lonely Lonely Girl – The Velvelettes
So Fine – The Santells
Jumping Jack Flash – Johnny Winter
La La La La La – The Blendells
Talk That Talk – The Du-Droppers

Three From Me . . . . with The Vikster
Going Down – Marcus Bonfanti
Going Back To Miami – The Blues Brothers
Route 66 – Chuck Berry

Cruising with cocktails again
Sheila Tequila – Doug Sahm
Vicious Vicious Vodka – Amos Milburn
Wine, Whiskey & Women – Papa Lightfoot
Pink Champagne – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Drinking Wine Spo-dee-o-dee – Johnny Burnette & The Rock n Roll Trio
Cool Martini – The Blue Jeans
Rum & Coca Cola – Professor Longhair
Moonlight Cocktails – The Rivieras
Too Much Tequila – The Champs

Cruising the highway
Where Did Our Love Go – Donnie Elbert
Easier Said Than Done – The Essex
Hang My Head & Cry – The Big Guys
It’s A Shame – The Spinners
I Put A Spell On You – Joe Cocker
Runaway – The Chantelles
Somebody’s Always Trying To Take My Baby Away – Ted Taylor
Hard Times Come Easy – Ritchie Sambora

Cruising for home
Alone Again Or – The Damned
Eve Of Destruction – The Red Rockers
I-Yi – The Hawks
Framed – The Robins
I‘m On Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
Little Girl – The Riffs
The Girl Done Got It Together – Bobby Doyle

We missed our trip down memory lane this week, because we were intent on cramming in all we could from the playlist, but our guided tours down that shadowy ally will be back and we’ve filed a missing persons report for The Shake. (In case he’s being held for ransom, we’ve taken up a collection amongst the Cruising Crew).

The chatroom chatter picked up on the tracks by The Essex, Joe Cocker, The Damned and Richie Sambora, in particular, and added a few suggestions for inclusion in future playlists. But, we’d hardly settled in and it was time to start collecting up the records and CDs and putting them in those neat little piles that we always promise to file away in the Cruising library ‘when we have a moment or two to spare’. If it all goes to plan (you can see that optimism still abounds here), we will have sorted most (if not all) of them in time for next week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.

It is always fun to have your company, whether you listen live or on our website. I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s cruise and there was something to entice you back again next week for another musical adventure, when once again we can go Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the meantime, don’t miss the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music that you’ll never forget.

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #22 (01.09.11)

It is always re-assuring to know who’s listening to Cruising with The Commissioner and particularly whether listeners have enjoyed the playlist. The feedback from the Cruising Crew about last week’s show was positive and our arm wrestle with the technical gremlins didn’t seem to detract from people’s enjoyment. So, we renewed our efforts to find interesting tracks for future shows, with some notable additions to the cruising library from visits to some select music stores that we know of, as well as some timely deliveries from our musical postman with a few gems from across geographical, if not musical, boundaries. Indeed, this week we had real trouble trying to fit all we wanted into the show . . . . and we didn’t succeed, so there’s a pile of ‘goodies’ waiting for their slot in next week’s playlist. Not that this is a complaint of any kind . . . . you can’t complain about having so much great music . . . . it just adds to the fun!

You evidently welcomed our previous ‘motoring’ selection and last week’s UK soul segment, and this encouraged to give some thought to other themes that might follow. A recent adventure with another Wireless FM DJ generated an enlivened debate with a local bar and restaurant proprietor about the quality, strength and value for money of cocktails . . . . and this inspired our choice of ‘cocktails’ as the theme for our special segment this week . . . . . and, in case of any doubt, I don’t mind if I do, barman!

Well, the gig list this week included a stunning session from Jon Amor (ex The Hoax, Amor), someone we have played before on Cruising with The Commissioner. On tour with his new band, Jon Amor Blues Group, he delivered a full-power set to an ever increasingly enthusiastic crowd at his first London gig and ‘Make It Your Trouble’ was a real crowd pleaser. Even his sound-check grabbed folks’ attention, with a full-tilt version of Freddy King’s ‘See See Baby’. Catch him if you can and check out the self-titled new CD ‘Jon Amor Blues Group’. The Cruisettes were also out on the town to see the highly acclaimed Paddy Milner doing a superb ‘one man, one voice, and one piano’ set and getting some great audience participation. He is dangerously talented and proved it with some first class versions of tracks from his latest album, ‘The Curious Case of Paddy Milner’ and we much enjoyed ‘Going To See My Baby’. The gig list also included an intimate session from Marcus Bonfanti, who we saw with his band at Blues On The Farm recently, and he looked like he was enjoying himself, the gig and the audience.

Alongside all of the gigs came the joyous process of choosing this week’s playlist for Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . and that feast of musical gems that we try to make as the soundtrack for our cruise together. In the previous show, I played you a rare1964 single from The Drapers on Gee Records, featuring lead vocals by Johnny Moore while he was waiting to return to The Drifters. It seems that it went down pretty well with the Cruising Crew, so I thought I would flip it over and play you the other side that is called ‘You’ve got to look up’. We also included a few instrumentals, because we know you like them, and our first one was Polaris by The Volcanos. This was from a 45 on Phillips that was rescued from a boot fair, so you’ll have to forgive the sound quality. We also played Ike Turner doing a number called Ho Ho – which he recorded under the pseudonym Iky Renrut, for reasons that we should enquire into too deeply.

Something I stumbled across recently, though it is not a recent recording, has been in the ‘pending tray’ for a few weeks and got on the playlist this week. The story goes that back in 1955, when the son of a certain Mr & Mrs Presley was gaining some popularity, a song-writing duo, Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, produced a dark and sombre song called ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, which became Elvis Presley’s first number-one pop record on RCA. At the time, Mae Axton was known in the music industry as the ‘Queen Mother of Nashville’ and many years later one of her sons, Hoyt Axton, recorded his mother’s famous song. We are left wondering whether his version of the song is how his mother originally intended it to be sung.

Our good pal, Pete Hall, was in touch to say he enjoyed hearing Sil Austin again and questioning whether it was Mickey Baker playing guitar on ‘Hey Eula’. I have a feeling that this was just a rhetorical question and Pete will be back soon with the results of some detailed research to test the point. In passing, he shared some interesting background about the origins of The Safaris early 60s hit single ‘Image Of A Girl’, including a version by Otis WIlliams and the Charms. So, we took a ramble through their catalogue and included ‘Little Turtle Dove’ in the playlist.

Well, the fans of Mantovani and Lawrence Welk may not appreciate it, but here’s this week’s playlist:

Cruising for fun . . . . 
Shake Shake Shake – Jackie Wilson
Hum Ding A Ling – Johnny Otis Show
Jumping Jack Flash – Thelma Houston
What’s The Matter Baby – Shorty Long
You’ve Got To Look Up – The Drapers
I Hurt On The Other Side – Jerry Cook
Polaris – The Volcanos
Ho Ho – Iky Renrut
Heartbreak Hotel – Hoyt Axton
Promise, Mr Thomas – Varetta Dillard

Three From Me  . . . . with Mr T 
Seeing You Again – Millie Jackson
Willing To Forgive – Aretha Franklin
End Of The Road – Gladys Knight

Cruising with cocktails . . . . 
Pink Lemonade – The Peppermint Rainbow
Margarita – Chuck Rio & The Originals
Tanqueray – Johnnie Johnson
One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer – Thurston Harris
One Mint Julep – The Clovers
Pink Champagne – Joe Liggins with Shuggie & Johnny Otis
Give Me Yo’ Most Strongest Whiskey – Denise LaSalle
Drinkin’ Wine Spodee-odee – The Electric Flag

Cruising to wherever . . . . 
You Got The Bucks – The Blues Brothers Band
Little Turtle Dove – Otis Williams & the Charms
Chimpanzee – Count Yates
Crawlin’ Up A Hill – John Mayall
Happiness – The Tempests
I Do – The Marvelows

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner 
Cruisin’ 1969 – Harv Moore, ‘The Boy Next Door’, WPGC Washington DC
He Will Break Your Heart – The Groovers.

Cruising for home . . . . 
Make It Your Trouble – Jon Amor Blues Group
Going To See My Baby – Paddy Milner
Sweet Home Chicago – David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards
The Hatchet Man – The Robins

It was a joy to welcome back Mr T to our Three From Me slot. His obvious enthusiasm for soul music always makes or great selections and this trio of tracks from ‘the Girls’ was no exception. Having given us three from ‘the Boys’ and three from ‘the Girls’, perhaps we can entice him back sometime with three from ‘the Groups’. We’ll keep a light burning at Cruise Control . . . . .

Well, we just managed to pay our respects to David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards on his passing this week and while we were enjoying the music, the end of the show sort of crept up on us from behind. But it was fun putting it all together and our grateful thanks go to our guest Mr T for his contribution and to Wireless FM for allowing me to indulge my personal choice of music here each week. Thanks are also due to The Spongeman and Mumbles, whose technical advice was as impeccable as ever and ensured last week’s gremlins were avoided this week.

If you enjoyed this week’s show, 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.

So, until the next time we go Cruising together, this is The Commissioner, waving farewell with a pristine white linen hankie and saying . . . have fun!