You’ve got to look up . . . . . .

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

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!

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