Archive for February, 2012

You can fly high . . . . .

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

 Listen here to this week’s show:

cruising with the commissioner #47 (23.02.12)

Well, folks, no one can say it hasn’t been an eventful week here in the Grand Duchy, filled with social, business and family encounters. Indeed, Thursday night came sneaking up on us when we were distracted by the myriad activities of the week. But, we spotted it in time to be on hand to extend a warm and hearty welcome to one and all who joined us at the festival of rock soul and real rhythm and blues that we call . . . . Cruising with The Commissioner.

Despite all the distractions, we just managed to squeeze in a little time to attend to the ever-important task of sampling the new sounds that arrived in Cruise Control and the often surprisingly fruitful task of rummaging in the archives for lost (or just mislaid) musical treasures.

Well, we started as we meant to go on, with some superb sounds, kicking off with Joe Turner and ‘Love Roller Coaster’ and using some well practiced slight of hand and a flick of a switch, along came Joe Boots and his band with ‘Well Alright’!

Once we were up to speed and cruising smoothly, we directed our thoughts to the music that might have featured in this week’s Mardi Gras celebrations. At Cruising with The Commissioner we suspected there were still some folks celebrating Mardi Gras down in New Orleans and so, not to be outdone, we indulged in some celebrating of our own . . . . well, we had good company and the Cruisettes are always up for some partying!

The playlist got pretty crammed with goodies and there was no time to sample the myriad delights that could be offered by Joe Loss & his orchestra . . . . but you just never know what DJ Wheeliebag might bring along for another ‘Three From Me’! So, here’s this week’s playlist:

Cruising for the city limits . . . .
Love Roller Coaster – Big Joe Turner
Well Alright – Joe Boots & His Band
Hey Hey Baby – Otis Redding
I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Them – Marie Knight
One Day Love – Tommy Dodson
Seven Day Weekend – Dee Dee Sharp
Turn Around Baby – Lena & The Deltanettes
The Big Guys – Hang My Head And Cry
Come Back Home – Ann Sexton
Cerveza – Cherry Wainer
Cherry Baby – The Millionaires

Three From Me . . . . DJ Wheeliebag – Cumbia Forever!
Che Che Cole – Willie Colon
Encontra La Cadenita – La Sonora Dinamita
Que Siga La Cumbia – Sonoro Lucho Macedo

Cruising  into New Orleans . . . .
Mardi Gras Mambo – The Meters
Tootles – Ernie K Doe
Single Life – Billy Tate
You Can Fly High – Earl King
Down In New Orleans – Dr. John
Great Googa Mooga – Lee Dorsey
Hey! La Bas Boogie – Fats Domino
Don’t You Just Know It – Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns
I’m Slippin’ In – The Spiders

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On – Little Richard

Cruising around London . . . . 
The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix
See Emily Play – Pink Floyd
Walk In My Shadow – Free
Jennifer Juniper – Donovan
Time Of The Season – The Zombies
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – Joe Cocker
I Just Want To Make Love To You – The Rolling Stones
Easier Said Than Done – Jean Campbell & The Blenders
Get Back – The Beatles

Cruising for home. . . . . 
I’m So Glad – Robert Neal
You’re Not My Kind – Paula Durante
Do It With All Your Heart – Dee Dee Warwick
Justine – The Righteous Brothers 

One of the long awaited dates in the Cruising diary was a rock tour of London. Eventually, it arrived and we set off in some very good company on our musical adventure with inquisitive enthusiasm. It started on a low note with a couple of sites of famous artists’ deaths, but soon got into its stride with great anecdotes and a continuing parade of notable rock venues and memorable moments. So, in this week’s show, we took a little sample of the tour and added some of the related rock music to share with you . . . . and if like it, we could always return sometime.

Amidst the hectic events of the week, we were very pleased to welcome back the irrepressible DJ Wheeliebag with another of his eclectic mixes of the rare and obscure . . . . and it was well worth waiting for! His previous choices have ranged across many boundaries, genres and time zones . . . . and this selection was another delight and a taster of exotic Cumbian rhythms that certainly got the attention of the Cruisettes.

Well, we’d been rolling down the road awhile when we turned into that dark and dusty detour that is Memory Lane. This took us back to 1963 and a package tour featuring The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley, the Rolling Stones and headliner, the explosive Little Richard. He proved to be every inch an outstanding showman and we tried to recapture some of that real excitement with his powerhouse recording of ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, which is alleged to include Jimi Hendrix on guitar.

The chatroom chatter suggested that others were enjoying the music as much as me and even pointing to some likely follow up tracks for next week’s show. So, even more rummaging in the Cruising library is called for in the meantime.

Well, all too soon the time ran out on Cruising with The Commissioner and we had to start heading for home, but we managed to finish with a flourish and some fine examples of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. Sad as we were to hear the tin cans rattling at the beginning of ‘Grazing in the Grass’, we were already looking forward to doing it all again next week. Of course, you can be sure that in the meantime we’ll be searching out some more juicy gems for our next adventure.

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

Sunshine day . . . .

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #46 (16.02.12)

Well, it was good to bid a hearty welcome to one and all for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner and get us all prepared for our joyride across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. This week, the snows came to chill us here in the Grand Duchy, but the sunshine broke through to cheer us. So, we were inspired to assemble another playlist that would bring smiles to the faces of the Cruising Crew and demonstrate our customary warm welcome. Indeed, we went enthusiastically in search of some juicy gems that might provide a joyous journey on our cruise and I think we did!

We started off with ‘You Got The Bucks’ from the Blues Brothers and we hardly stopped to draw breath before following fast with Eli Paperboy Reed and ‘Take My Love With You’ During the week an eagerly awaited 45 landed here at Cruise Control via our musical postman. This was Little Esther & Big Al Downing with a track called ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’ that was featured recently by fellow Wireless FM DJ Johnny Alpha on his Killer Diller show. I thought it deserved another play and so we did just that.

One of the recent enjoyable evenings was an evening of South African music in London that was a superb reminder of how infectious that music can be. It encouraged some dancing digits along the dusty shelves of the Cruising Library to pull out some examples to bring to you this week . . . . let’s call it a ‘rock’ influence. We certainly had to include Miriam Makeeba and we went looking for some other South African style tracks that could bring some welcome sunshine to the playlist.

Our Peter Green feature in last week’s show seemed to get some good feedback and some of the comments pointed out that there is even more that we could have included. So, we might slip a few of those into the playlists for future shows. Much enthusiasm has been generated over the years by David Seville and The Chipmunks, but I suspect that this week’s playlist will be a disappointment to their fans, since it doesn’t reflect anything from their considerable recorded works, but here’s what we did play:

Cruising for the blue horizon . . .
You Got The Bucks – The Blues Brothers
Take My Love With You – Eli Paperboy Reed
You Don’t Miss Your Water – Little Esther & Big Al Downing
Twistin’ Postman – The Marvelettes
Hold It – Lelan Rogers
What About Me – The Valentinos
There Can Be A Better Way – The Smith Brothers
I Can Tell I’m Losing You – Jeanette Williams
Just Like That – Bobby Sheen
Time To Move On – Paul Carrick

Three From Me . . . . . with Lil-Sis
Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me – The Tams
Pefect Day – Lou Reed
Our Day Will Come – Amy Winehouse

Cruising around town . . . .
Pennywhistle – Mango Groove
Pata Pata – Miriam Makeeba
You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
Sunshine Day – Osibisa
Respect – Aretha Franklin
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Live it up – Chris Isaak

Memory Lane . . . with The Commissioner
The Alexis Korner Blues & Soul Show
Respect Yourself – The Staple Singers
All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Fat Man In The Bathtub – Little Feat

Cruising for home . . . .
Chicken Pickin’ – Lonnie Mack
You Know, Yeah! – Pee Wee Crayton
Crazy Lover – Richard Berry
Say Mama – Gene Vincent
Jump The Joint – Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Move It On Over – Georgie Fame
Daddy Cool – The Silhouettes
Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Road Runner – Junior Walker & The Allstars
Little Turtle Dove – Otis Williams & His Charms

Well, all too soon we realised that it was time to be heading for home and we did that with Junior Walker & The Allstars and a great Motown floor filler from the 70s ‘Road Runner’ . . . . and to finish off with a flourish we cued up ‘Little Turtle Dove’ from Otis Williams & His Charms . . . . and that got us home safe and sound for another week’s Cruising with the Commissioner.

Lil-Sis came back to present another Three From Me and gave a taste on current and past tracks that have a special relevance for her. It was good to hear from her and share her music and stories. I think we should put her on the ‘welcome visitors’ list at Cruise Control and encourage her back soon.

This week’s venture down Memory Lane found us in good company, because we went back to the 1970s to listen in to part of a radio show from one of the UK’s great proponents of rock, blues and soul . . . . Alexis Korner. He was an early blues enthusiast and was very influential in fostering interest in blues music in the UK. So it was good to hear a little of the later rock and soul music that had influenced him too. Particular thanks are due to our good pal Pete Hall for sharing this recording and providing a great piece of radio for us all.

If you’ve enjoyed the journey, then I hope you’ll be back again next week for another adventure into rock soul and real rhythm and blues. Until then I thank you for your good company and wish you a great week ahead. If you can’t wait till the next show, 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 we once again go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . .have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #45 (09.02.12)

Just when things looked like they were picking up gently, suddenly, it all takes off at a frenetic pace and there seems to have been little or no time to fit it all into the week. We’ve squeezed in social events, business commitments, some essential domestic maintenance chores and even found some time for a brief visit to a couple of my favourite music emporiums (or is it emporia?)

We heard from our good pals Joe Duckworth, Mi Amigo, Max Quirk and The Vikster and, who knows, we might persuade them each to return soon to deliver another ‘Three From Me’ spot. There was also the unexpected excitement of the call to stand in for Johnny Alpha on Tuesday night, because he couldn’t present his highly esteemed Killer Diller show. So, all in all, we had nothing like the usual relaxed preparations for our weekly revels before Thursday was upon us. Indeed, there was barely time to drink down the foaming elixir, clutch my throat and return from under the table as the suave and debonair Commissioner to extend a very warm welcome to one and all.

Having done that . . . . we set off with a pile of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm & blues, starting with Jackie Wilson and his recording of ‘Love Train’ (not the O’Jays song), followed smartly by Doris Troy and ‘Hurry’. After that, we raided the pending tray, which has been building steadily over recent weeks. So, we dipped in and pulled out some real gems, including Big Maybelle’s original of ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’, Otis Redding’s ‘Look At That Girl’ and Lee & The Leopards with the second 45 released on the Gordy label, ‘Tryin’ To Make It’.

Well, last week’s show was a bit of a feast for the ‘soulies’ amongst the Cruising Crew. So, this week the mood came upon me and I thought it was about time to pull together a long awaited tribute to one of my most favourite guitarists . . . . Peter Green. Fortunately, he’s still very much with us, although he is not as well as he was in his prime. Indeed, during his time with The Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, there was (in my opinion) no-one to touch him, particularly for sensitive and melodic, as well as brash, rocking blues guitar work. So, we rummaged in the archives to assemble some tracks by some notable artists who have recorded covers of his songs, or songs closely associated with him. I hope the result gives a glimpse of what an inventive and adventurous composer, musician and singer he was.

If you were one of those who has been pressing me to include some songs by The Beverley Sisters, I’m afraid this week will be another disappointment, but here’s what we did squeeze into the playlist:

Cruising for the city limits . . . .
Love Train – Jackie Wilson
Hurry – Doris Troy
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On – Big Maybelle
There can be a better way – The Magnificents
The Payback – Etta James
Look At That Girl – Otis Redding
You’re So Fine – The Falcons
You Don’t Love Me – Willie Cobb

Three From Me – The Majestic
It’s Wonderful To Be In Love – The Ovations (Featuring Louis Williams)
So Hard To Break The Habit – The Webbs
You’re A Winner – Harold Andrews

Cruising with the Peter Green Songbook
Stop Messin’ Around – Aerosmith
Whatcha Gonna Do – Zoot Money & Bobby Tench
Supernatural – Seppo Valjakka
Need Your Love So Bad – Ted Taylor
I Loved Another Woman – Larry Mitchell & Jay Aston
Black Magic Woman – Larry McCray
Man Of The World – Ian Anderson
Oh Well – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Rattlesnake Shake – Rick Vito
The Green Manalishi – Arthur Brown

Memory Lane – . . . . with The Commissioner
Bishopstock 2001
Chicken Pickin’ – Scott McKeon

Cruising to familiar places . . . .
Seven Day Weekend – The New York Dolls
Take Me In Your Arms (and Rock Me) – The Doobie Brothers
Tryin’ To Make It – Lee & The Leopards
Sound of The Witchdoctors – The Mohawks
Where Do We Go From Here – Jimmy Walker
Pennies From Heaven – The Four Tops
So Blue (Without You) – Little Milton
The Voodoo Man – The Del Vikings
Let’s Rock While The Rockin’ Is Good – Little Willie John

In the midst of this particularly chilly period here in the Grand Duchy, it was good to have something that conjured some images of the Caribbean and The Mohawks did just that with a little number called it ‘Sound of the Witchdoctors’ . . . . and who am I to argue with that?

It was a great joy to welcome back that most elegant of visitors, The Majestic, fresh from his Go Go Club with a fistful of rare and sought after tracks for his latest ‘Three From Me’. He brought us tracks by The Ovations, The Webbs and Harold Andrews, in the sure knowledge that his selections are always destined to extend our wish list . . . . . and this time was no exception. So, we included Lee & The Leopards in our playlist, because we know he likes that track. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, on our dubious detour down Memory Lane, we went back to 2001 and the much missed Bishopstock music festival. This was the year that featured a young blues musician contest, that brought to the main stage a 17 year old guitarist by the name of Scott McKeon. He played a stunning version of Lonnie Mack’s ‘Chicken Pickin’ . . . . which, fortunately, was recorded, and we found a copy to bring back some cherished memories.

Well, we got to our last track with some real reluctance and it came from Little Willie John with an irresistible invitation to ‘Let’s Rock While The Rockin’ Is Good’ . . . . 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 once again we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . . have fun!

Listen here to the playlist:

The Commissioner presents A Little Tuesday Night Music

Well, I was just settling down to enjoy the Tuesday night revels this week on Wireless FM and looking forward to the usual excellent and exotic musical fare from The Spongeman, The Shake, Max Quirk and Johnny Alpha, when the news came that Johnny Alpha was not going to make it to present his Killer Diller Show. Now this was a sad revelation that was promptly followed by a seductive invitation to stand in for Johnny . . . . a daunting prospect, given his reputation. So, with the welcome aid of Mr Merlot to quell the mild sense of panic, we set about pulling together a playlist that might bring some comfort to others who (like me) would be missing Mr Alpha customary guided adventures into the obscure and rare of musical choices.

The playlist seemed to come together in some sense of order and, despite the occasional mumble and stumble, the chatroom chatter suggested that it all ‘hit the spot’. One drop off was that we forgot to hit the record button and so the idle chat between the tracks is lost in the ether (which is no great loss, perhaps). However, here’s the playlist to soothe your eyes and caress your ears, if you need it:

My Friend Jack – Monty Babson
Stack A Records – Tom Tall
Who Do You Love – Juicy Lucy
The Jackal – Ronny Jordan & Dana Bryant
Sunshine Day – Osibisa
Eve Of Destruction – The Red Rockers
Mr Rainbow – Steve Flynn
I Say I Love You – Johnny Guitar Watson
Times Are Changing – Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck
Bang Bang – Sheila
Motherless Children – Eric Clapton
I Need Your Lovin’ – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
Cynthia At The Garden – The Sidewalk Skipper Band
Cathy’s Clown – The Ideals
Dance (Holes In Your Soles) – Ozz & The Sperlings
Goo Goo Muck – Ronnie Jones & The Gaylads
Easier Said Than Done – The Essex
Fried Neckbones & Home Fries – Santana
Olena – Don Nix
Bikini – The Bikinis
Sandstorm – Johnny & The Hurricanes
Pony Time Chubby Checker
So Blue (Without You) – Little Milton
Strange Brew – Michael Udelson & Pat Klobas
Melting Pot – Booker T & The MGs

If you are curious and adventurous, why not take a listen in to Cruising with The Commissioner on Thursday nights on Wireless FM . . . . until then . . . . have fun!

I can’t sit down . . . .

Posted: February 2, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show here:

cruising with the commissioner #44 (02.02.12)

Well, I hope this finds you relaxed and in good humour. Although an arctic chill has descended on the Grand Duchy, we did our best to ensure there was a hot playlist for this week’s cruise and some cosy comfort to take us across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

There have still been plenty of social events to organise and enjoy, some worthwhile sorties to sample the delights of the music purveyors in and around our manor, and a few brief (but necessary) visits from cheerful experts to restore our operational systems. So, it was a pleasure to get to Thursday night and return to the sumptuous splendour of Cruise Control, in time to wish an exceeding warm welcome to one and all.

As we embarked on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner, we were unusually well prepared and focused(!) Indeed, in anticipation of some good company, we wound the windows down, turned the volume up and saved a few seats especially for the Cruising Crew on our latest musical extravaganza. This was all designed to excite some enthusiastic participation as we savoured this week’s fine selection of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

The Vikster made a welcome return to Cruise Control this week to bring us another choice ‘Three From Me’ selection. Her theme centred on another of her globetrotting trips, this time to Las Vegas. She brought us Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Cher . . . . not a predictable mix, but excellent choices.

There has been evidence of a concerted campaign to persuade us to feature some tracks by Perry Como and so soon after we spotted a fine collection of his recorded works being snapped up at a local car boot sale. So, as an alternative, we found some other excellent tracks to play you, as you can see from our playlist for this week:

Cruising for the city limits . . . .
Bye Baby Bye – Doc Pomus
She Walks Right In – The Slammers
Keep Me From Crying – The Windsors
Say You Love Me – The Isley Brothers
The Girl Done Got It Together – Bobby Doyle
Moments To Remember – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Worth Every Tear I Cry – Dee Dee Warwick
Ain’t That Peculiar – Fanny

Three From Me  . . . . with The Vikster
Beggin’ – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
Deja Voodoo – Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Gypsies Tramps & Thieves – Cher

Cruising way out there . . . .
Hot Potato – King Curtis & The Kingpins
You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down – Jackie Wilson
Surely I Love You – Rosco Gordon
Everything’s Tuesday – The Chairmen of The Board
You Don’t Love Me – Barbara & The Browns
That’s When The Tears Start – Darlene Love
Wherever I Lay My Hat – Marvin Gaye
This Old Heart of Mine – Tammi Terrell
I’m So Glad – Robert Neal
How Many Nights (How Many Days) – Bobby Sheen

Cruising for fun . . . .
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Diddy Wah Diddy – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Ride Like The Wind – The Four Tops
Riff Raff – Music Through Six

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Johnny Dark on radio station WCAO, Baltimore
Spooky – Classic IV
Girl Watcher – The O’Kaysions
I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Cruising way down yonder . . . .
Hi Hi Hazel – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Turn On Your Love Light – Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
I’m Falling In Love With You Baby – Little Joe Cook
Time’s A Wasting – The Fuller Brothers
Turtle Doving – The Coasters
Gilee – Sonny Spencer
I Can’t Sit Down – Marie & Rex

Well, this week we said a sad farewell to Don Cornelius, long time host of the US TV show ‘Soultrain’, but we were pleased to celebrate Bobby Bland’s birthday this week. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so we primed and poised the Cruisettes ready to strut their stuff while he turned on the lovelights . . . . . and, unconstrained by convention, we managed to include two tracks from Marvin Gaye . . . . so no apologies there! Meanwhile, amongst the arrivals in the Cruising Library this week, we found a great track called ‘ Lovely Dee’ by The Untouchables . . . . take a listen to the opening and tell me what other classic track it sounds like!

For the really adventurous, we extended an invitation to join an expedition into the dark recesses of distant recall, as we ventured down Memory Lane. This week’s look back over the shoulder, took us back to 1968 and radio station WCAO in Baltimore, where we listened in to their top DJ of the day, Johnny Dark, with a reputation for exposing a vast array of musical treasures and breaking new artists.

Well, last week we played The Trogg’s version of ‘Hi Hi Hazel’ and we promised to find the version by Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band. So, we went with our digits dancing along the dusty shelves of the Cruising Library to find their much cherished 45 of that song . . . . and we needed only the flimsiest of excuses to play it again.

Well, we were so enjoying the playlist that time sort of crept up on us from behind and we had to be heading for home. But, we saved some real R&B delights to round off our cruise in style . . . . and to take us home, we had the good company of Sonny Spencer with his recording of ‘Gilee’ and a rousing number from Marie and Rex, ‘I Can’t Sit Down’.

The chatroom chatter picked up on some of the select sounds and favourites in the playlist. So, we closed our Thursday night revels on a high and with the enticing prospect doing it all again next week. . . . . and there are already some juicy gems lined up for the next playlist. But, if that all seems too far off, you can always get a fix from 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!