Dancing holes in your soul . . . . .

Posted: January 12, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:
Cruising with The Commissioner #41 (12.01.12)

When things become unnervingly unpredictable, it’s re-assuring to be in good company and to have the comfort of familiar and friendly faces. So, I welcome one and all, to another Cruising with The Commissioner and more groovy moments, as we invite you to come with us on our musical adventures across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres . . . . . ever searching out the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

Every now and again the mood of the moment grabs us and we go off in an unplanned direction on our cruise. So it was that we started off with The Champions and ‘Keep A Rockin” (Chart 45 from 1954) and maintained the momentum with the wonderful  Otis Williams & The Charms and ‘ Little Turtle Dove’  (a King 45 from 1961) . . . .and we didn’t look back from there on . . . . . !

Anticipating his forthcoming UK concerts, we went looking for something unfamiliar from the catalogue of Frankie Valli and found his album, ‘Romancing The 60s’. It was there that we found a little gem that doesn’t get heard nearly enough, so we tried to remedy that (in our own small way) by playing his stylish interpretation of The Drifters’ ‘On Broadway’. Of course, Frankie was not unaccustomed to taking other folks’ songs and putting his own slant on them . . . . as he did with the classic doo wop song ‘Peanuts’, originally recorded in 1957 by Philadelphians, Little Joe & The Thrillers. So, we went rummaging for a copy of the original and found it on the Okeh label and put it on the playlist for this cruise and we may come back to Little Joe in future weeks.

Popular and cherished as his extensive catalogue of recordings are in the charity shops across this green and pleasant land, we have resisted the temptation (for now) of including something from Bobby Davro in our Cruising with The Commissioner playlist . . . . but you can never tell when our sense of mischief might get the better of us . . . . until then, here’s what we did include:

Cruising for the city limits . . . . 
Keep A Rockin’ – The Champions
Little Turtle Dove – Otis Williams & The Charms
I’m Getting Tired – The Carlettes
You Did The Best You Could – Candy & The Kisses
On Broadway – Frankie Valli
Peanuts – Little Joe & The Thrillers
That’s The Way – The Casinos
Do The Philly Dog – Lou Lawton

Three From Me  . . . . with Joe Duckworth
Bat Chain Puller – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
My Pink Half of The Drainpipe – The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
LA Woman – The Doors

Cruising across frontiers . . . .
Don’t Be Cruel – The Upsetters
Soulville – Dinah Washington
Save The Last Dance For Me – The Drifters
Shing-A-Ling – The Platters
Number One In My Heart – The Monitors
What’s Wrong With My Baby – The Valadiers
Everybody Loves A Good Time – Major Lance
Teach Me How To Shimmy – Michael & DeLee

Cruising  further on up the road . . . .
Sittin’ In The Balcony – Johnny Dee
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye – The Casinos
Valerie Vanillaroma – Orange Alabaster Mushroom
The Wild Ones – Come On Back
Twist & Shout – The Top Notes
Daddy Rollin’ Stone – Jimmy Ricks
Dancing In The Street – David Bowie & Mick Jagger
Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck – Jimmy Page

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Harlem Shuffle – Bob & Earl

Cruising for home . . . .   
Dance (Holes In Your Soul) – Oz & The Sperlings
The Marvellos – You’re such A Sweet Thing
Don’t You Cry – The Royalettes
I Guess I’ll Always Love You – The Isley Brothers
Yesterday My Love – Odds & Ends
One Day Love – Tommy Dodson
Hit, Git & Split – Young Jessie

Now, one of the joys of welcoming in the new year with friends and friends of friends was that it provided an opportunity for a casual conversation with David (a banker) that eventually turned to music and his renewed passion for Dinah Washington on discovering a box set of her music. It provided a great excuse to play Dinah’s version of ‘Soulville’ and sent me checking out the details of an intriguing story. David told a story I  hadn’t heard before about the origins of the classic Drifters’ song from 1960 ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ . . . . .  and it was just so. The song was written by Mort Shuman and his songwriting partner, Doc Pomus, who had polio and used crutches to get around. Doc Pomus’s wife, however, was a Broadway actress and dancer, who loved to dance. This set the backdrop for one of the great songs of the 60s, which was based on the personal experience of Doc Pomus, telling his wife to have fun dancing and to feel free to mingle and socialize throughout the evening, but reminding her who will be taking her home. I’ll will always hear that song with an added poignancy from now on!

We also confirmed the identity of Johnny Dee who wrote and recorded the song ‘Sitting In The Balcony’ and took it to #35 on the American pop charts in 1957. It’s a song that also gave Eddie Cochran his first chart hit reaching #18 in March of 1957. Johnny Dee was the stage name for John D Loudermilk, who went on to write and record many other classic hit songs, including the hit for The Casinos, which gave us the excuse to play another track by them on the show (no apologies), this time it was ‘Then you can tell me goodbye’.

Another story came with a very rare track from the Philadelphia R & B band, the Top Notes, released in 1961 and produced at the time by an up-coming staff producer by the name of Phil Spector. This is the very first recording of Twist and Shout and the story goes that when songwriter Bert Berns (aka Bert Russell) heard the final mix, he told Spector that he had “messed up the song” and he acurately predicted a quick demise for the single, But, a year later Bert Berns he produced the song himself for The Isley Brothers, and this became a hit and a template for many covers.

Our good pal Joe Duckworth returned to deliver another ‘Three From Me’ spot this week. This time he delivered it all with a mischievous smile and some hearty laughter when the microphone was off. He brought us a mix that took us from Captain Beefheart and the Bonzos and left us with The Doors . . . . and we’ll leave the door to Cruise Control ajar in case he wants to come back. Meanwhile, our trip down Memory Lane took us back to 1963 and an R&B song recorded by Bob & Earl. Somewhere lodged in the dark dusty corners of my recall, I thought there was an earlier version and I raised some doubts when I said this to Mi Amigo. So, some frantic research ensued, which showed that, whilst the song was written by the duo, it was based on an earlier number called “Slauson Shuffletime” by another Los Angeles singer, Round Robin. Perhaps we’ll play Round Robin on a future show.

Well, we got to our last track with some real reluctance and it came from Young Jessie with the appropriately titled ‘Hit, Git & Split’ . . . . which is just what we did . . . . hoping that there were plenty of juicy gems in the playlist to entice you back again next week for even more rock, soul and real rhythm & blues. But, if you need an earlier ‘fix’, why not stop by and take a listen to the Tuesday night mafia here on Wireless FM, where The Spongeman, The Shake, Max Quirk and Johnny Alpha will make you an offer you can’t refuse and play you music you’ll never forget.

So, until we once again go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . . have fun!

  1. Lil-Sis says:

    Another good show with some good sounds that have stirred some good memories. Thanks TC keep playing those tunes.

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