Archive for October, 2011

A long ride home . . . .

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #30 (27.10.11)

Well, ‘eventful’ would certainly describe this week, with plenty of visitors coming to Cruise Control, some great gigs and a few little gems being delivered by our musical postman. So, the days have been full and time has definitely not dragged in preparing for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.

One of the joys of the week was catching a London gig by Canadian group, The Trews, who were over from Nova Scotia on tour. They put on a great show, despite a failing amplifier, and belted out a varied selection from their several albums. Checking out their albums after the gig, showed off their vocals all the better as well as the quality of their song writing. So, choosing a track to showcase their talents was tricky, but we settled on ‘Misery Loves Company’.

This week also brought a long awaited gig from Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes and it was a hoot of an evening in their company. Great style and humour throughout and a packed house was rewarded with plenty of hits and several surprises as well. We included ‘Keep Moving’ from their 2010 album ‘Pills and Ammo’.

For our ‘Three From Me’ slot this week, we welcomed back our good pal Mr T, whose soul selections are always something to look forward to. He came clutching a bunch of tracks from which he couldn’t quite get to select three, but we indulged his request to play a fourth track afterwards. Well, it was well worth it, as you’ll hear.

The Cruisettes exercised a little influence on events this week by re-arranging the tracks in the ‘pending tray’ and picking out a few girl groups, but this meant we didn’t get to some other juicy gems. So, there’s more to include in future playlists, which may keep hope alive for fans of Little Jimmy Osmond. Anyway, here’s what we crammed into this week’s playlist:

Cruising for fun . . . .
One Day Love – Tommy Dodson
Gonna Turn My Voodoo On – Jimmy Elledge
Baby Beat It  – Big Duke & His Orchestra
Baby Don’t Do It – The Casinos
Envy (In My Eyes)  – The Orlons
You’re My Girl  – The Doo-Rights
Nobody But You – Willie Hightower
Drinking Straight Tequila – Chris Cain
It’s Hard But It’s Fair – Bobby Parker

Three From Me . . . . with Mister T
Since You’ve Gone – 100 Proof Aged In Soul
I’m Your Man – Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
Put Yourself In My Place – The Elgins
Someday – The Tempests

Cruising with friends . . . .
Groovin’ – Manfred Mann
Jitterbug Boogie – Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings
London Is The Place For Me – Edmundo Ros
Misery Loves Company – The Trews
Keep Moving – Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Your Tender Lips – The Clovers
Long Ride Home – The Soul Children
The Angels Watching – Pookie Hudson & The Spaniels

Cruising further down the road . . . .
Hold It – Leo’s Five
I Say I Love You – Johnny Guitar Watson
Deep In My Heart – The Blossoms
Need Your Loving – The Flirtations
Wild Child – The Sapphires
When Things Get A Little Better – Oscar Boyd
Nothing’s Worse Than Being Alone – The Ad Libs

Memory Lane . . . . .  with the Commissioner
The Vatican Rag – Tom Lehrer

Cruising for home . . . .
The Great Banana Hoax – The Electric Prunes
Madman Running Through The Field – Eric Burdon
Three Alley Cats – Roy Hall
My Baby Left Me – The Rockin Dukes
Can’t You Hear Me Callin’ – Johnny Otis
Nothin’ Shakin’ – Eddie Fontaine
Rocking The Joint – Esquerita

The week included a few birthdays, including one for Manfred Mann and we played ‘Groovin’ from one of his early albums. Somewhere around there was another birthday being celebrated by Bill Wyman this week, so we offered a minor celebration by playing a live recording of Jitterbug Boogie by Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.

If you’re a regular listener to this show, you’ll know I am partial to big band calypso music. So, the sad news of the passing of veteran band leader Edmundo Ros at nearly 101 caused us to go jumping genres and crossing time zones to play you ‘London Is the place for me’, as an encore from the man.

Once again we took a detour on our cruising journey to venture, perhaps unwisely, down the ‘rue de déjà vu’ that is memory lane. This week’s detour featured Tom Lehrer and one of his topical songs for the weekly TV show ‘That was the week that was’. This was one of several musical commentaries on the news of the day back in the 60s. This one focuses on the attempts of the church to modernise its rituals and music. His ‘Vatican Rag’ always brings a smile to my face and I hope it does for you too.

It is always good to have your company for our musical adventures in rock, soul and ‘real’  rhythm and blues, and if you’ve enjoyed this week’s cruise, perhaps there’s a chance that you might be enticed you back again next week for another opportunity to go Cruising with The Commissioner.

My thanks go also to Wireless FM who allow me the space and freedom to play what I like on the show.  . . . . and if you can’t wait till next Thursday for some more choice music, why not catch 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!

Strange brew . . . .

Posted: October 21, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show here:

Cruising with The Commissioner #29 (20.10.11)

Well, here we are again and I extend a warm welcome to one and all for our adventure in sound that we call Cruising with The Commissioner. Sunshine has returned to the Grand Duchy along with some chilly mornings and evenings, but whatever the weather where you are, I hope that you are going to enjoy this week’s vaguely guided tour, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

There have been plenty of friendly faces around Cruise Control this week, with some very enjoyable encounters with The Vikster, Phil Tyler and DJ Leyton Rocks. Their visits were a welcome diversion from the daunting task of tidying the Cruising library. The careful attention to good order and proper filing in the Cruising library has probably been run second to (any) other priorities recently and there have been a few ‘displaced delights’ that we’ve been searching for and happily re-discovered, along with some that we didn’t know we’d lost! So, there was plenty to squeeze into the playlist and we set off in the company of Mark Hummel with his ‘Seven Nights to rock’ and followed up with a gem from Ted Taylor with ‘Somebody Keeps Trying’.

If you listened to last week’s show, you’ll know that we played Sam’s Cooke’s ‘Nothing can change this love’, which was inspired by hearing The Revolutionaires’ live cover. But, in searching out Sam’s version, I discovered that he recorded another – more poppy version – which remained unreleased for many years. . . . . and, I’m sure our good pal Pete Hall will know the story behind this . . . . but, as you might expect, I couldn’t resist the temptation to play this one too.

Listening to ‘Here She Comes Now’ by Sonny Fulton & The Will-ettes, I was struck by how much Sonny’s voice reminded me of Jackie Wilson and that was more than enough reason to play something from the great man himself . . . .  and many others! Sadly, due to early closing at the local charity shop, we were not able to include a track from Des O’Connor, despite the many requests . . . . but here’s the playlist anyway:

Cruising for fun
Seven Nights To Rock – Mark Hummel
Somebody’s Always Trying – Ted Taylor
I Gotta Get Myself A Woman – The Drifters
Now That We’ve Found Love – The O’Jays
Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke
Not Fade Away – Roy Rogers
All Along The Watchtower – Larry McCray
Nobody But You – The Lafayettes

Three From Me . . . . with Phil Tyler
Heart Of Gold – Neil Young
Walk Away – Joe Walsh
Strange Phenomena -Kate Bush

Cruising outta town . . . .
Gotta Get Away – Billy Butler & The Enchanters
Here She Comes Now – Sonny Fulton & The Will-ettes
So Many Cute Little Girls – Jackie Wilson
How Can You Tell Me – The Flirtations
I’m Not Gonna Cry Baby – Ann Byers
Diploma For Two – Chuck Berry
Learning To Fly  – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Three Cool Tracks . . . from DJ Leyton Rocks
Follow Me – Lyme & Cybelle
Follow The Children – Bob Seger
Follow Me – Gert Wilden & His Orchestra

Cruising into the sunset
Poor Little Heartbreaker – The Timebox
Mystery – The Montanas
You Can Understand Me – Mike Stuart Span
I Can’t Make A Friend – The Vagrants
Hold It – Duane Yates
Steam – Mandrake Paddle Steamer
A Great Big Thing – Barbara Brown
Strange Brew – Michael Udelson & Pat Klobas

Cruising for home . . . .
You Got The Bucks – The Blues Brothers
You Did The Best You Could – Candy & The Kisses
I Lost A Good Thing – Gwen Owen (Sidra)
Chimpanzee. – Count Yates
My Love Is Your Love (Forever) – The Isley Brothers
Big Time Operator – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

The red carpet and the ceremonial welcomes got well used this week as we welcomed back Phil Tyler for another Three From Me . . . . and some selections that contrasted well with his previous choices. The Cruising cheerleaders were also out to welcome DJ Leyton Rocks when he sauntered into Cruise Control, fresh from his international travels, to bring us his latest ‘Three Cool Tracks’ and they were well worth waiting for, as you’ll hear.

This week also saw the birthdays of Chuck Berry and Tom Petty, so we played something from each by way of a small celebration. We were having such a good time during the show that, almost before we knew it, our feast of rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues was over. So, with a sigh we started heading for home and, as ever, we were grateful to have such good company on our cruise and to have Wireless FM continuing to provide a slot on Thursday nights to enable me to play the music I enjoy. If you’ve enjoyed it too, then I hope we can entice you back again next week when we’ll get the Cruise mobile out to go Cruising with The Commissioner once again.

If you can’t wait till then, why not cruise by and hear 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 with The Commissioner together . . . . have fun!

Gotta Get Away . . . .

Posted: October 14, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show here:

Cruising with The Commissioner #28 (13-10-11)

Well, here we all are, heading for the weekend and already too far gone inside the week to turn around . . . . in my case, not at all sure which way is out. But as ever, there’s a big welcome to one and all who have joined this extravaganza of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues . . . . all held together with sticky tape, string and prayer . . . . and called Cruising with The Commissioner.

The signs of autumn are all around, although we haven’t quite let go summer yet . . . . but our grip is getting tenuous and the Xmas publicity is hard to ignore now. But one thing remains reassuringly constant (so far) . . . . . the best endeavours of our musical postman, as well as our ventures to sample the sources of sounds around have extended the Cruising library, ever closer to capacity. This has recast the height and weight of our ‘pending tray’ sufficient to alarm any passing health and safety specialist and cause the deployment of great quantities of yellow and black striped tape in random patterns to confirm the avid pursuit of such regulations.

Well, we didn’t ponder long on where to start on this week’s adventure. We set off with Little Jerry Williams and ‘Hum Baby’ and we continued (without stopping to draw breath) . . . . . intent on feeding your ears enough rocking rhythms to enliven and excite your extremities during the rest of the show. Our journey across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres included Lucky Carmichael and his 1960 recording for the Chicago-based Dillie label, ‘(Waiting On) The Eleven-O-Nine’ (which appears to be one of just four 45s from James “Lucky” Carmichael), and we pulled together some great soul covers of Rolling Stones songs in our ‘Stones Soul Picnic’ feature.

Apart from the rummaging for dusty grooves in the music market, our musical adventures this week have included a gig with The Revolutionaires, a high powered rock and R&B outfit from Newcastle way, with an incredible source of energy throughout their ‘full-tilt’ show. They crammed in a rich variety of blues, swing, jump jive and straight ahead rock numbers and contrasted this with a superb, low key, guitar and vocal, version of Sam Cooke’s ‘Nothing Can Change This Love’. It was pure entertainment from the start and they had the crowd on their feet and still applauding and stomping long after they left the stage. So, I thought I would include Sam’s version in the show.

Amongst our other adventures this week, we had a couple of unexpected treats at the opening of Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant by the Bank of England. As well as savouring the food, Mrs TC got  charmed by visiting Celebrity Chef, Genarro Contaldo, and I got to enjoy the restaurant’s playlist, which included some great Sun Records from Elvis and Carl Perkins, including Carl’s ‘True Love’ . . . . so no surprise that we slipped that into the playlist.

Well, we were going to indulge the Doris Day fans this week with her ‘Teacher’s Pet’, but the ‘pending tray’ toppled over and we couldn’t find it again in time to play it this week, but here’s what we did include in the playlist:

Cruising for fun . . . . .
Hum Baby – Little Jerry Williams
You Can Fly High – Earl King
(Waiting On) The Eleven-O-Nine – Lucky Carmichael
Gotta Lot Of Love In My Soul – Hoodoo Rhythm Devils
You’re Such A sweet Thing – The Marvellos
I Know I Know – Earl Connelly
I’ll Turn To Stone – The Four Tops
That’s When The Tears Start – The Velvettes

Three From Me . . . . with Richard Mann
Mercy – Duffy
Green River – Creedence Clearwater Revival
You Got The Silver – The Rolling Stones

Cruising to a Stones Soul Picnic . . . .
Brown Sugar – Little Richard
Honky Tonk Woman – Albert King
Beast Of Burden – The Holmes Brothers
Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Aretha Franklin
It’s All Over Now – Ry Cooder
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Diana Ross & The Supremes
As Tears Go By – Melanie
Gimme Shelter – Angelique Kidjo & Joss Stone
Let’s Spend The Night Together – Tina Turner

Cruising with the crew 
Handful of Aces – Troy Taylor (from the sampler album Let The Big Dog Eat)
Hoy Hoy – Little Johnny Jones (Atlantic)
Shake Shake Senora – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Whole Lotta Shakin’ In My Heart –Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Walk In The Night – Junior Walker & The Allstars
Memphis Hound – Charlie Wood & The Memphis Allstars
(Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone – Ray Montrell

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Soul Serenade – Beau Dollar & The Coins

Cruising for home . . . .
Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke
True Love – Carl Perkins
Rocking Little Angel – Ray Smith
My Baby – Chuck Willis

This week we were very pleased to welcome back a previous guest for our ‘Three From Me’ slot. As I may have said before, Richard ran one of the last independent record outlets in the Grand Duchy and a cherished contributor to the Cruising library, whose enthusiasm for the music is always guaranteed. So, we rolled out the Cruising band to play the intro theme and let him loose . . . . and listen to what he brought along this time.

The feedback on last week’s show and the chatroom chatter during this week’s show all seemed positive, but all too soon, the sound of Chuck Willis brought our cruise this week to a fine end. We were certainly successful in reducing the number tracks sitting in the tottering tower in our ‘pending tray’. So, we parked up and joined The Cruisettes and Mr Merlot for a little post-cruise socialising and a little ‘planning’ of some more juicy gems for your future listening pleasure.

My thanks go to you (dear listener) and to Wireless FM for allowing me to play you the music I enjoy. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too and, I hope we can look forward to your company once again for a sumptuous feast of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues when we next 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!

Squeeze me in . . . .

Posted: October 6, 2011 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show here:

Cruising with The Commissioner #27 (06.10.11)

Well, a big cheery welcome to one as we set out on this week’s musical escapade that for want of a better title we call . . . . Cruising with the Commissioner. Our clear mission is to play you as many tracks as we can from that tottering tower that is our ‘pending tray’, and tune up your musical taste buds for our journey, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

The environs of the Grand Duchy have been basking in some welcome late sunshine this week, which has lured all concerned away from the timely preparations for the show. Due discipline was restored in the nick of time and we got up to full speed with ‘Goin’ To Jump And Shout’, a 1957 release on Imperial records by Smiley Lewis . . . . so named because of his lack of front teeth. He was also dubbed ‘The Unluckiest Man in New Orleans’ due to his string of releases that flopped for him, but ended up being a hit for someone else!!

We included Lavern Baker with her 1957 Atlantic single ‘Love Me Right’ and Jackie Wilson’s ‘I’ve Gotta Talk To You’ . . . . . and I’m grateful to Larry Grogan for including that one in his Funky 16 Corners Show on Viva-Radio. For Northern Soul fans we included Herbert Hunter’s ‘Love Has Taken Over Me’, and some more from Candy & The Kisses, with their Kenny Gamble and Jerry Ross song called ‘The 81’.

A few notable birthdays came along in the past week, including Andy Vargas, Helen Shapiro and Ben E King and we took the opportunity to play something from their respective collections by way of a small celebration. You can be the judge of whether the choices fitted well with our playlist.

Putting together the playlist this week gave us the opportunity to revisit our little ‘originals’ feature with a couple of tracks that are the originals of songs, perhaps, better known by other artists. This included ‘She Likes To Boogie Real Low’ by Frankie Lee Sims (a song we’ve played before by Johnny Winter) and those with a passion for genealogy, Frankie Lee Sims was the nephew of Texas blues singer Texas Alexander and the cousin of Texan guitarist Lightnin’ Hopkins. Our other ‘original’ came from Bobby Marchan with a song that is best known for the version by Frankie Ford . . . . but the original recording of ‘Roberta’ was made by Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns, featuring Bobby Marchan on vocals and it was called ‘Loberta’. But Johnny Vincent at Ace records decided to use the backing track and overdubbed Frankie Ford’s vocal, changing the title to ‘Roberta’.

Fans of Danny Kaye will be disappointed that there was not room in the playlist for anything by their hero, but here’s what did get included:

Cruising for fun
Goin’ To Jump & Shout – Smiley Lewis
Love Me Right – LaVern Baker
I’ve Gotta Talk To You – Jackie Wilson
Love Has Taken Over Me – Herbert Hunter
The 81 – Candy & The Kisses
Everyone But the Right One – Helen Shapiro
What Can A Man Do – Ben E King
She Likes To Boogie Real Low – Frankie Lee Sims
Loberta – Bobby Marchan with Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns

Three From Me . . . . with DJ Wheeliebag
Bossy Boss – Fingers Lee & The Upper Hand
What About It – Roy Kildare
Buried & Dead – Masters Apprentice

Cruising again
Squeeze Me In – Delbert McClinton
When Rita Leaves – Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Paint It Black – The Deep Six
The Fat Angel – The Orange Alabaster Mushroom
L.B.’s Place (Part 1) – The Gaynotes
Don’t Be Ashamed – Jackie Lee
Earthquake – The Fashionettes
Look What You’ve Done To My Heart – Shirley & The Shirelles

Cruising the highway
Dixie Lullaby – Leon Russell
Pillow Talk – Sylvia
Sugar Sugar – Shirley
Now That We’ve Found Love – Third World
Oye Como Va – Andy Vargas, with Santana
The Storm – The Hunters
Torquay – the Fireballs
Yesterday My Love – Odds & Ends

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Porky Chedwick WAMO, Pittsburgh
Flip Flop & Fly – Big Joe Turner

Cruising for home
Love Me Tenderly – The Scott Brothers
You Didn’t Say A Word – Yvonne Baker
Turn On Your Lovelight – Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
Blue Ribbon Baby – The Three Friends
I’m In Love – Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry

For even more adventures in sound, we were very pleased to welcome back DJ Wheeliebag to Cruising with the Commissioner, with another selection of surprises from his vinyl vault . . . and what surprises! He was looking forward to another of his foraging forays into overseas marketplaces in search of obscure and long forgotten vinyl (and shellac). Even after he’d gone he left me a note to say that it was Jumpin Gene Simmonds who did the original of Bossy Boss. If you’ve not seen his live shows, you’ll have to take it from me that his music selections are only part of the ‘whole package’ that makes for an excellent evening in his company. Check for yourself, as we did this week and had a hoot of a time!.

Well, once again, this week’s trip down memory lane took us across the Atlantic and back to Pittsburgh in the mid 1950’s, where Radio Station WAMO was the home of DJ Porky Chedwick. He was the self-professed ‘Daddio of the Raddio’ and the ‘Platter Pushin’ Papa’, a white guy playing rhythm and blues, honkin’ jazz and rocking records for a largely white audience that became the foundation of rock n roll. His popularity grew and so did the station’s and by 1958 Porky was the only white member on the staff. So, listen to Porky and the sounds of the mid 50s.

Well, our selection included many of the tracks sitting in the tottering tower that is the Cruise Control ‘pending tray’ and we managed to keep The Cruisettes on their feet most of the time. . . . . but there’s plenty more to come . . . . believe me!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s cruise and there was something to entice you back again next week for another musical adventure. If your ears are available at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday next week, then you are strongly recommended to tune them into Wireless FM where Cruising with The Commissioner will provide them with a sumptuous feast of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues, all served up with what passes for style by The Commissioner. If you can’t catch the show live, you can always stop by our website ( and pick up the latest show (and the previous shows). Whether you listen live or on our website, it’s always fun to have your company, and it’s a pleasure to take you 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!