Cruising for new horizons . . . .

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #40 (05.01.12)

Welcome one and all, to this first Cruising with The Commissioner of 2012.  The Cruisettes join me in wishing a most groovy of years to you and yours, as we take our first tentative steps into 2012, particularly if you were one of those who made one of the 1900 visits here in 2011 (thanks to WordPress for counting them all).

We’ve enjoyed some great moments with friends and family during the festive period and even found time to scour the record racks in unfamiliar music establishments . . . . with some joyful discoveries. But, otherwise, little has changed since we last met (if we did) despite the begging letters and emails. So (at least for the traditionalists), you may be pleased to know that it remains our stoic intention to bring you  the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues . . . . ever ready to share some treasured favourites and any new discoveries that come to hand (and ears) on our continuing  adventures across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

We’ve conducted the tradition sweep up around the Cruise Control (the throbbing nerve center of Cruising with The Commissioner) and attempted (falteringly) to pursue our new year’s resolution, to bring order out of chaos to the music strewn across in the Cruising Library. So far, we have repatriated the alternative Xmas record collections . . . . . but it’s a start!

We closed 2011 with a great London gig from a favourite Tex-Mex band and a good time was evidently had by all concerned, on stage and in the audience, including friendly faces from amongst the Cruising Crew. You won’t be entirely surprised that this experience inspired a little selection of Tex-Mex tracks in our playlist this week . . . . and we continue to look out for a visit from one of the ‘tequila babes’ here at Cruise Control. Meanwhile, the social diary is filling up nicely and there are plenty of gigs already scheduled for the weeks and months ahead. One of the late memories of 2011 was getting tickets to see Frankie Valli at the Royal Albert Hall on his visit to the UK and a return to the US to catch some artists that you can see ‘only in America’. There have been some big smiles around Cruise Control, due to the generosity of Santa, who delivered some invitations to see a number of other artists in the UK and US during the year . . . . so, the diary is filling nicely!

We set off on our first Cruising with The Commissioner in 2012 with a sprightly spring in our step and in the very good company of The Cadillacs with their 45 ‘Why’ and without pausing for a moment more to look around, we went on to ‘Vip a Dip’ with The Mint Juleps. The mood of the moment grabbed us and we pulled out something from The Sparks of Rhythm and their 1955 single on the Aladdin label called ‘Women, Women, Women’. It was all freewheeling from there on . . . . . !

Celebrated as his catalogue of recordings is in many quarters, we didn’t include anything from Andy Williams in our playlist . . . . but some of our ‘Three From Me’ guests have cosmopolitan tastes, so never say never . . . .but here’s what we did include:

Cruising for new horizons . . . .
Why – The Cadillacs
Vip a Dip – The Mint Juleps
Women, Women, Women – The Sparks of Rhythm
You Got Me In The Palm of Your Hand – Donald Lee Richardson
There’s No You – The Occasions
Sha La La – The Shirelles
And That Reminds Me – The Dolls
You’re Absolutely Right – The Apollas
La La La La La – The Rattles

Three From Me  . . . . with DJ Captain Scarlet
The Laughing Gnome – David Bowie
Rollercoaster – The Mighty Lemondrop
London Girls – Stephen Duffy

Cruising across frontiers . . . .
The In Crowd – Brian Auger
Gimme Little Sign – Memphis Black
Crazy Crazy Feeling – Esquerita
A Bottle of Pop & A Lollipop – The Lollipoppers
So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Love The One You’re With – The Isley Brothers
Shapes Of Things (from the album Feedback) – Rush
Shanty Town (007) – Desmond Dekker 

Cruising further on up the road . . . .
Handy Man – Del Shannon
Kiss Me Baby – The Four Tops
Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number – 100 Proof Aged In Soul
Nevertheless  – Lee Andrews and the Hearts
It May be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring) – Felice Taylor
When Summer’s Gone – The Royalettes
Highway Patrol – Junior Brown
Little Sister – Ry Cooder
La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Shotgun Wedding – Roy C

Cruising for home 
My Friend Jack – Monty Babson
Times Are Changing – Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck
The Thrill Is Gone – Tino Gonzales
Ain’t Nothing You Can Do – ZZ Hill
Check Yourself Baby – Tony Allen
Trickle Trickle – The Videos

Amongst the juicy gems on our playlist, we found ‘Kiss Me Baby’, a 1956 release from The Four Tops on Chess, Lee Andrews and The Hearts with their great northern soul classic ‘Nevertheless’, and Diana Ross sound-alike, Felice Taylor, with her Barry White produced Mustang 45, ‘It May be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)’. As if that was not enough, there was also one of Baltimore’s best, The Royalettes, with ‘When Summer’s Gone’. The chatroom chatter was encouraging and Desmond Dekker’s 007 proved to be a particular favourite.

The excitement of the festive season was revisited with reported sightings of that other mythical character, DJ Captain Scarlet. His previous visit to deliver his ‘Three From Me’ was particularly well received by the Cruising Crew, but he has been most elusive since then . . . . doubtless the calls on him to save the world have been a worthy distraction. So, just like the best of kiddies tales, there was a happy ending,  but no sooner had he arrived, than he was gone again . . . . his cape unfurling behind him as he disappeared beyond the horizon. The Captain’s visit may have been fleeting but he left us another fascinating selection of tunes, to provide a great start to our 2012 ‘Three From Me’ schedule.

Our trip down Memory Lane this week took us back to when I was on the road as a DJ and the many nights when there were wedding parties in and some jolly jack the lad thought it would promote good relations to request Roy C’s classic recording of ‘Shotgun Wedding’. I developed a number of excuses for not playing it . . . . especially when an appeal to sensitivity was likely to fall on stony ground. It’s a positive recall, particularly, since it reminds me that I first heard it this track played by legendary radio DJ Mike Raven and I believe he was instrumental in its UK success second time around when it was re-released by Island Records in the 70s.

Well, there were still plenty of tracks in the pending tray at the end of the show, but we did squeeze in as many as we could during our riotous romp through the record racks. I very much hope that our playlist tonight will tempt you to join us again . . . . and, in anticipation, we’ll save a seat for you on next week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. If that seems too long to wait . . . . . 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 you music you’ll never forget.

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

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