Archive for April, 2012

Listen to this week’s show here:

Cruising with The Commissioner #55 (26.04.12)

Well, if you missed last week’s Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . so did I! I was all set in Cruise Control in my tuxedo, bow tie and patent leather shoes ready to bring you the best in rock, soul and rhythm and blues, but Wireless FM was off the air. Despite the frantic efforts of the massed army of Wireless FM technicians, sadly, normal service was not restored in time for our cruise together. So, we were back with renewed verve and vigour this week and up to speed quickly with The Roulettes and a fine piece of R&B called ‘The Way You Carry On’ and, barely pausing for breath, we set a cracking pace in the company of Richard Berry and ‘Mad About You’.

Well, the past days and weeks have been pretty busy here at Cruise Control. As well as a fun encounter with Mr T, we had a visit from The Vikster with tales of her latest visit to the states and our good pal Phil Tyler took time out from his band’s recording sessions. So, we were in good spirits, which was just as well, since we had eventually enbarked on the long overdue repatriation of the piles of records and CDs that have been growing to a perilous height around Cruise Control. It was a tedious task, but it had some redeeming moments, as we re-discovered some old favourites and kept some aside for our playlists.

We had plenty of fun and some wicked humour with Mr T when he was around for his Three From Me session. It’s positively dangerous to be with him on these occasions, especially if you’re trying to maintain a quiet presence while he weaves his magic and plays the great music that he brings with him.

The past week has brought some sad farewells to very notable music personalities and we took the opportunity to pay tribute to Bert Weedon and Dick Clark in this week’s show. We also marked the birthday of Dave Edmunds and we noticed that it was James Last’s birthday last week too . . . . and we found a fine collection of his albums, but a little old lady with a shopping trolley beat us to them in the charity shop. Still, let’s comfort ourselves with this week’s playlist:

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . .
The Way You Carry On – The Roulettes
Mad About You Baby – Richard Berry
Big Mamou Daddy – Carmen Taylor
Smack Dab In The Middle – The Mills Brothers
Heartbreak Hotel – The Cadets
Dance Dance Dance – The Casualeers
This Heart Of Mine – The Artistics
Please Don’t Ever Leave Me, Baby – Patty & The Emblems
How Could I Help But Love You – Aaron Neville
TSOP – The Sound of Philadelphia

Three From Me . . . . . . Mr T
I Wanna Hold Your Hand – Lakeside
Tell It Like It Is – The Marriotts
In The Midnight Hour – Little Mac & the Boss Sounds

Cruising with friends . . . .
I Wanna Know – John E. Paul
Give Me One More Chance – Wilmer & The Dukes
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – Jimmy Ruffin
Midnight Holiday – Tommy Tate
If I Don’t Love You – Randy Brown
Heart of Gold – Charles Bradley
Long Time Coming – Jake Blackwood & The Barkays
Hard Times – The Majestics
Curtains – Shotgun Express

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Guitar Boogie Shuffle – Bert Weedon

Cruising for the horizon . . . .
Here Comes The Weekend – Dave Edmunds
American Bandstand – Dick Clark
Great Balls Of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis
Get A Job – The Silhouettes
The Twist – Chubby Checker
Coming Home Baby – Casey and The Pressure Group
King Of The New York Streets – Dion
It’s Not Unusual – Eddie Floyd
Heat Wave – Lamont Dozier
All Your Love – Brenda Holloway
Pink Cadillac – Paul Bascomb
Papa Lou & Gran – Little Victor

Our good pal Pete Hall found some old recordings of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and we selected a few early artists and songs to mark the passing of Dick Clark. Whilst the show was not shown on UK TV at the time, it’s reputation was certainly known here.

This week, our trip down Memory Lane took a trip back to he early 60s, when Bert Weedon was in the hit parade with his solo guitarist instrumentals and some memories of seeing him play live on BBC radio shows broadcast from one of the BBC’s London studios. He was a genial and personable individual on stage and already pretty influential as an inspiration to many budding UK guitarists. These memories are well remembered this week, as we have waved a last farewell to Bert and we took the opportunity to play his first hit recording’ Guitar Boogie Shuffle’.

All too soon our adventure had to come to an end and we didn’t get time to play anything from Levon Helm (whose long illness finally came to an end this week), but we’ll certainly follow up on next week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We came home in style with a great rocking record from Little Victor and ‘Papa Lou & Gran’. Looking back, we seemed to have covered plenty of musical ground along the way and here’s 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.

And, don’t forget, if you need an earlier ‘fix’, why not stop by and 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, till the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner, remember to . . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #54 (12-04-12)

Well, I hope the past week has found you well and enjoying the days in your part of the world. Down in the deep South, around the Dartford Delta, the weather has been decidedly changeable, but at least it has not (yet) seen the warmth of sunshine days turn quickly to snow as it has ‘up’t North’. The rain hasn’t dampened our spirits and we’ve not been too distracted, because there’s always plenty to do here at Cruise Control. We’ve had but a few moments for relaxing and reflecting during the past days . . . . . but, hey, the business gets done (although sometimes running tight against the clock), but we missed the opening night of Max Quirk’s new gig in town and missed some of the friendly faces, like The Spongeman who ventured into The Smoke from his Spongelab in the Deep South. In between all this, we still manage to find a little time for that joyous, but haphazard process of listening to the music that might get included in our future playlists.

The Cruising Crew are a friendly bunch and they keep in touch in between shows, as well as catching some of the Thursday night adventures on Cruising with the Commissioner. DJ Captain Scarlet sent an intergalactic missive to give us due notice of an impending visit soon . . . . for which we have made appropriate preparations and The Cruisettes will be on standby to ensure that he is well cared for while he takes a short break from saving the world. The Vikster was in touch too . . . . calling from America, where she is soaking up the sun, the sights and the sounds . . . . and probably a few beverages too! We heard from The Majestic too . . . . which is always a pleasure. If you caught our anniversary show, you’ll remember that he turned up with a funky birthday ‘Three From Me’ . . . . and he promised to return to Cruise Control soon and was putting aside some more juicy gems for just that purpose. But, his enthusiasm ran away with him and he sent a few ‘tasters’ to include in our playlists. Well, no more encouragement was necessary and we started this week . . . . as you’ll hear!

Well, we arrived at Thursday night with a great pile of tasty tunes, in the hope that these would tempt and tantalise you. As ever, we extended the warmest of welcomes to one and all . . . . and started our musical adventure with The Fabulous Pearls and ‘I Laughed So Hard’. It got us up to full cruising speed pretty quick and, in the interests of health and safety, we recommended holding on tight because we were heading into the blue yonder with a track from DJ Wheeliebag’s recent evening of music and mayhem, Lloyd Price and ‘Chicken & The Bop’.

Well, the great American musical humourist (and academic), Tom Lehrer, celebrated his 85th birthday this week and we’ve included him on a previous trip down Memory Lane and perhaps we’ll do it again soon . . . . . in the meantime, here’s our playlist for this week:

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . .
The Fabulous Pearls – I Laughed So Hard
Chicken & The Bop – Lloyd Price
What Can I Do – Roy Milton
Peppermint Twist – Joey Dee & The Starlighters
Hop Skip & Jump – Anita Tucker
Emulsified – Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers
It’s Not Unusual – The Supremes
Every Woman I Know (Is Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile) – Al Vance
Yellow Moon – The Neville Brothers

Three From Me . . . . with Mumbles
With A Little Help From My Friends – Joe Cocker
Coming Into Los Angeles – Arlo Guthrie
Freedom – Richie Havens

Cruising with the breeze . . . . .
Dance Round The Maypole – Acid Rain
It’s All Leading Up To A Saturday Night – Marmalade
Nightjars – Jon Amor
Somebody Stole My Thunder – Georgie Fame
I Take What I Want – James & Bobby Purify
Coming In Out Of The Rain – Maurice Rogers
He Upset Your Dreams – Hank ‘Soul Man’ Mullen
Wiggle Waggle – The Wanderers
Twist & Shout – The Taxi Gang

Memory Lane . . . . with the Commissioner
Ian Dury on BBC Radio 1’s ‘Star Choice’ (1978)
One Step At A Time – Clifton Chenier
Such A Night – Dr John
Spanish Harlem – Aretha Franklin
Tramp – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
Going Up The Country (Paint My Mailbox Blue) – Taj Mahal

Cruising for home  . . . .
That’s Alright Mama – The Earl Scruggs Revue
How Sweet It Is – Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers
Fever – The Boogie Kings
Voo Doo – Freddy Bell & the Bellboys
Let Me Know – Marvin & Johnny
Mad About You – Laurel Aitken
Bip Bam – Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters
Voodoo Love – The Souvenirs
Rama Lama Ding Dong – The Edsels

Well, plenty of gems in our selection this week . . . . and more to come . . . . because there is still a little pile of tracks in the pending tray. We did pull out a bit of history . . . . that was the first single by Rex Garvin and the Mighty Cravers, released on Epic Records in 1961. They released a string of records through the 1960s in a variety of styles and finally got some traction in 1966 with “Sock It To Em J.B.”

Our Three From Me guest this week was our good pal Mumbles, a stalwart of Wireless FM and a man of few words. His return to Cruising with The Commissioner has been long overdue, due he’s not someone to be hurried! His selection took us to Woodstock to catch Richie Havens and a track from Arlo Guthrie . . . . whose ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ is probably too long (18 minutes) for our playlist . . . . but ‘Coming Into Los Angeles’ was a joy as well.

Our venture down Memory Lane this week discovered a long hidden radio show featuring some juicy gems selected by Ian Dury. We are indebted to our good pal Pete Hall for finding this in his extensive archives . . . . and we’re very grateful indeed to sample this brief journey down Memory Lane with Ian Dury.

Like all good things, our cruise had to come to an end and we comforted ourselves with the thought that it was only another seven days before we could wind the windows down again, turn the volume up . . . . all ready to go Cruising with The Commissioner again! So, with deep thanks to all who joined our cruise this week, we tipped our hat ceremonially to Wireless FM and gave notice of the myriad delights of the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where The Spongeman, The Shake, Max Quirk and Johnny Alpha will make you a musical 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 . . . . . remember to . . . . . have fun!


Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #53 (05.04.12)

Well, as we embark on our second year of Cruising with The Commissioner, there’s been a flurry of activity here at Cruise Control . . . . including some great gigs, some juicy finds on our ventures into the record shops and some very welcome contacts from many of our previous guests on the show. We heard from The Majestic, The Vikster, Amigo, DJ Captain Scarlet, Mr T. and Phil Tyler . . . . so look out for their return to the show over the future weeks. Meanwhile, we welcomed back our good pal Johnny99 . . . . bright, brisk and bringing some great instrumentals with him for his ‘Three From Me’ session this week.

Having cleared away (most of) the debris left after last week’s anniversary show, we turned the temperature gauge right up, so that we could wish the very warmest of welcomes to one and all. Always conscious of our mission to bring you the very best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues . . . . we started off the show with Bobby Comstock and ‘Let’s Stomp’, which got us up to speed and then we were off on our cruise across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres with Young Jessie and ‘ Pretty Soon’.

Well, our first anniversary show last week appears to have coincided with the 60th birthday celebrations for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. Whilst there is some debate about the actual first day of operation, everyone seems to agree that by 27th March 1952 the label was operational and working out of 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. Very soon after, that famous label design appeared for the first time and became one of the enduring record label graphics over so many years. Anyway, it was a good excuse for playing a few gems to celebrate its 60th birthday and its 16 year run, producing some 226 singles from an impressive range of artists. Of course, we couldn’t do more than sample a few of the tracks and artists who recorded for the label, but there was plenty to choose from, including blues, doo-wop, country and country rock, rock-a-billy, R&B and pure rock n roll . . . . so we did!

Rolf Harris was another name celebrating a birthday during the week and it was a real sadness that we didn’t have room to include his inspiring song of heartfelt loss and reflection, ‘Someone Pinched Me Winkles’, but maybe on another occasion! Comfort yourself instead with this week’s playlist:

Cruising up to speed . . . .
Let’s Stomp – Bobby Comstock
Pretty Soon – Young Jessie
What’s The Secret Of Your Success – The Keytones
Check Yourself Baby – Tony Allen
It’s Not Unusual – The Dells
Help Wanted – The Volcanos
Standing In The Darkness – The Ethics
Lose Control – King King
Memphis Man – Don Nix

Three From Me . . . . . with Johnny99
Embryonic Journey – Jefferson Airplane
Horizons – Genesis
Sweet Dreams – Roy Buchanan

Cruising through Memphis . . . . .
Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
Bear Cat – Rufus ‘Hound Dog’ Thomas Jr
Just Walking In The Rain – The Prisonaires
Mystery Train – Little Junior’s Blue Flames
Hey Little Girl – Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson
That’s All Right Mama – Elvis Presley
Ubangi Stomp – Warren Smith
Red Hot – Billy Riley & His Little Green Men
Cadillac Man – The Jesters
T-Model Boogie – Rosco Gordon

Cruising with friends . . . . .
Split Decision – Bonnie Raitt
Blues Power – Eric Clapton
Crystal Closet Queen – Leon Russell
I Don’t Need No Doctor – The New Riders of The Purple Sage
Number One In Your Heart – The Monitors
Since You Said You’d Be Mine – Lou Raglan
Keep On Loving Me – Frances Nero

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
San Francisco nights 2003
Hey Joe – Alvon Johnson

Cruising for home . . . .
Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens – Louis Jordan
Flip Our Wigs – Milt Trenier & His Solid Six
Gotta Lotta That – Gene Summers & His Rebels
Possibility – The Crowns
Bam-A-Lam – Micky Champion & The Roy Milton Orchestra
Bip Bop Bip – Pretty Boy

Well, we crammed a lot into this week’s show, but we had plenty more in store. We did manage to celebrate a couple of birthdays (Eric Clapton and Leon Russell) and found time for another venture down that ever dusty, Memory Lane. This week we went back to 2003 and a visit to San Francisco. Amongst the adventures in that most lively of cities, we caught some of the music offerings . . . . and memorable they were too. Strolling through the main shopping area, we heard some familiar music being played by street musicians . . . . a three piece group, led by a lookalike Jimi Hendrix who were playing a selection of his more famous songs, with some excellent guitar and bass playing, as well as some novelty drumming using up-turned plastic containers and cardboard boxes . . . . and producing some great sounds too. Later, down by San Francisco’s piers, we came across Alvon Johnson and his band in a hot, first floor bar, shaking the walls with a supurb set of rock and blues numbers. So, we included a track from his album, featuring his take on that classic ‘Hey Joe’.

I am always surprised and encouraged by the comments from the Cruising Crew. The chatroom is usually lively and there was plenty of feedback this week to help shape future shows. All good stuff and much appreciated here.

Well, the sand in the egg timer ran out before we had played all that we had for our playlist, but we were already looking forward to next week, when we hope to have your good company again to go Cruising with The Commissioner. If that seems too far off, you can always get a fix from the Tuesday Night Mafia 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 the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember to . . . . have fun!