Hold on tight . . . . .

Posted: March 22, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #51 (20.03.12)

Well, the Grand Duchy has been visited by the sun on a goodly number of occasions this week and the grounds around Cruise Control have started turn from the greys and browns of winter into the greens and vibrant colours of summer. All this made for a cheery time with the opportunity for some alfresco dining, plenty of choice tunes and some enjoyable social encounters with friends. Saturday night was one of those . . . . with the excellent company of a couple of the regular Cruising Crew, some fine food and a storming live set at one of London’s much loved music venues. The music from the gig proved to be a real crowd pleaser and (as you’d expect) we couldn’t resist the opportunity to include some of the songs in this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.

In the past few days we’ve heard from The Majestic, Richard Mann, The Shake, The Vikster, Amigo, Johnny99 and Joe Duckworth . . . . and all those were assured of a warm welcome when they return for future ‘Three From Me’ slots. Indeed, this week’s session was just such a welcome return by Richard Mann with a selection of 60s soul classics. He was really chuffed that his previous selection had inspired a number of weeks of ‘follow that tune’ with the discovery of many versions of ‘Move It On Over’ and he challenged us to ‘follow that label’ with his latest selection.

Our perambulations around the music emporiums hereabout have bagged some more juicy gems that are in this week’s playlist, and some you will get to hear in future shows. Our pal Graham at Casbah Records found some excellent tracks and an added bonus of a rare Freddy King single on red vinyl in a picture sleeve, with tracks that purport to be alternate takes of a couple of Freddy’s famous Federal instrumentals and you can hear for yourself in this week’s show.

Amidst all the other music news that filtered into Cruising with the Commissioner this week, there was a little piece of news that didn’t get much coverage. But I’m grateful to Larry Grogan and his Funky 16 Corners Radio Show for marking the passing of one of the past masters of the Hammond organ, Leon Spencer. He may not have been a well-known name, but he was a very important figure of the crucial, funky, soul jazz years of the late 60s and early 70s. So, we played his ‘First Gravy’.

Well, the clamour for some disco hits by the Grimethorpe Colliery Band seems to be subsiding at last and so we turned our attentions to other worthy items for inclusion in this week’s playlist, as you’ll see:

Cruising for the horizon . . . .
Rock Around The Clock – Lil Millet
Pack Fair & Square – Big Walter Price
Don’t Make No Noise – Chris Kenner
I Ain’t Guilty – The Crawford Brothers
Lovely Woman – Eldridge Holmes
You Went Back On What You Said – Willie Mallory
Gangster Of Love – Jimmy Norman
Ain’t Nothing You Can Do – Bobby Blue Bland
First Gravy – Leon Spencer

Three From Me . . . . . with Richard Mann
Getting Mighty Crowded -Betty Everett
I’ll Do Anything (He Wants Me To Do) – Doris Troy
Tramp – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

Cruising beyond the blue horizon . . . .
The Spell I’m Under – The Courage Brothers
See Emily Play – Super Tough
Me & Julio Down By The School Yard – Jesse Malin
The Man Who Said No – Bettye Swann
Don’t Fight It – Major Lance
Give Me One More Chance – Wilmer Alexander Jnr & The Dukes
I Do – The Marvelows
Hold On Tight – ELO

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Robin Seymour at Radio Station WKMH, Dearborn, Michigan in 1956
Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
Ooby Dooby – Roy Orbison
Stranded In The Jungle – The Cadets
Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins

Cruising for home . . . . 
Now That We’ve Found Love – The O’Jays
Let Our Love Go On – Music City Soul Brothers
Wash Out – Freddy King
Rock ‘n’ Roll Woman – Jimmy Caravan
Viva Las Vegas – The Blues Brothers
Wrap It Up – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Similau – Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
The Voodoo Man – The Del Vikings
Don’t Be Angry – Nappy Brown
Boot ‘em up – The Du Droppers

Our meander down the musty miles of Memory Lane took us back to 1956 in the company of Robin Seymour at Radio Station WKMH, Dearborn, Michigan. His playlist was a good reminder of some of the enduring hits of that year and gave us a taste of rock radio’s early days.

We had a little dabble in the exotic this week with Ray McKinley & His Orchestra and their version of ‘Similau’ and The Del Vikings with their ‘Voodoo Man’. But during the week a song kept coming back to me as I was out and about and I don’t what inspired my thoughts of it, but it was a good enough excuse to include it on the show and it went down well at Cruise Control. . . . . because it was Nappy Brown and ‘Don’t Be Angry’.

The chatroom chatter was lively and suggested a number of future tracks for the show . . . . which we’ll go a-rummaging for in the days to come.

But, all too soon we had to start heading for home and we pulled out a bit of a stormer to end with . . . . there was no letting up as we cruised to a halt with The Du Droppers and ‘Boot ‘Em Up’. So, as I was dabbing my eyes with my pristine white linen hankie, I was hoping that the sadness of this week’s cruise would inspire you to join me again next week, when we can do it all again for our anniversary edition of Cruising with the Commissioner. We are planning a rather special show with some great music and expecting a few good pals to be calling by . . . . so be of good cheer and remember if you can’t wait that long, you can always get a fix from the Tuesday Night Mafia here 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 . . . . remember to . . . . have fun!

  1. Amigo says:

    Your playing Leon Spencer got me bringing out a Melvin Sparks CD for a further dose of that fine guitar-organ combination. How sad that Leon died almost exactly a year after his life-long friend from school days. Both of them died at an early age as well. As a Coasters fan how about giving Charlie Brown from the Sparks! album a spin some time? Melvin must have liked the song as he recorded it more than once.

    Fans of Melvin and Leon might like this link to an interesting sound check video:


    • Amigo

      It’s always good to hear from you and your comments about Melvin Sparks will ensure that we’ll include something by him on one of our future playlists. The Coasters will always be welcome on Cruising with the Commissioner, as you know!



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