Archive for May, 2012

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #60 (31.05.12)

Well, I very much hope that your part of the world has been enjoying some fine, fine weather, as has been the welcome case in the Grand Duchy during this last week. It has encouraged excursions into parts of the wardrobes that have barely seen light in too many months . . . . we have rediscovered long forgotten summer clothes and paraded them with much satisfaction. Indeed, we eschewed our usual tuxedo, bow tie and patent shoes for presenting Cruising with The Commissioner in favour of the lightweight threads more customarily the attire of ‘our man in Havana’.

The sunshine has been accompanied by some al fresco socialising and some joyous encounters with good pals aplenty, including Johnny99, DJ Leyton Rocks, The Shake, The Vikster and even our musical postman has had an even more sprightly step as he’s brought us some more gems to caress our aural orifices. All this renewed the enthusiasm for some visits to our favourites music emporia and worthwhile ventures these proved to be . . . . as we will reveal . . . . . but it has been a good week for catching some inspired selections from other DJs. We caught a live show by fellow Wireless FM DJ, The Shake, on a rare trip to London. He was on top form and was well set for an extended session in a hot and steamy venue with a playlist just jammed with killer tracks and with some enthusiastic contributions from the one man power source that is Brother Jonno. I make no apology for reprising one or two of these tracks on Cruising with The Commissioner this week.

Well, it was Gladys Knight and Bob Dylan’s birthdays this week. We knew what we wanted to play by Gladys, but with such a vast catalogue of recordings it was difficult to decide what to choose to celebrate Mr Zimmerman’s significant event. But meeting up with our ‘Three From Me’ guest, Johnny99, at his cider tasting event solved this, because we indulged his previous selection of ‘Absolutely Sweet Marie’.

We set off on our cruise with a couple of stompers, featuring ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’ by Dean Barlow and ‘Gee Whiz Liz’ from Charles Senns. After that, we were up to full cruising speed and ready for anything (within reason) . . . . I put in that caveat, because we had a recent ceremonial visit from DJ Leyton Rocks and The Shake, who took the opportunity to pull out boxes of records that all but blinked in the daylight, after so long in the dark and dusty corners of Cruise Control. So, with due apologies to The Shake and DJ Leyton Rocks, we did not find space for any Dick Emery or Bernie Winters tracks on this week’s playlist, but here’s what we did fit in:

Cruising with the crew . . . . .
Don’t Leave Me Baby – Dean Barlow
Gee Whiz Liz – Charles Senns
Gonna Send You Back To Georgia – Timmy Shaw
Boom Boom – The Animals
Irresistible You – Taj Mahal
Our Man In Havana – The McCoy Boys
Homesick – Jimmy Ricks
Ambush – Maria Dallas
Too Much – Billy Young
Come Back And Finish What You Started – Gladys Knight
Absolutely Sweet Marie – Bob Dylan

Three From Me . . . . . DJ Captain Scarlet
Watching the Wheels – John Lennon
2-4-6-8 – Tom Robinson Band
TVC15 – David Bowie

Cruising with the wind in our faces . . .
Ginchy – Bert Weedon
Cerveza – Boots Brown & His Blockbusters
Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) – The Daylighters
You’ve Got The Power – The Esquires
Uptight – Stevie Wonder
Monkey Man – Toots & The Maytals
I’ve Never Found A Girl To Love Me Like You Do – Calvin Scott
Boogaloo Down Broadway The Fantastic Johnny C
Being Without You – Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs
I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance) – The McCoys
Eres Tu Cosa – Joe Bataan
Nomad – Santana

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
One More Mile – Mick Clarke & Lou Martin

Cruising for Home . . . .
Demons Down – Kevin Montgomery
Steam – Mandrake Paddle Steamer
It’s Mine – Tammy Montgomery
Baby Take Me – Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown
Question – Roscoe Shelton
Ooh Wee Baby – Roger Ceresi’s Allstars

Our venture down Memory Lane this week, took us back to the 60s when I first encountered Lou Martin at school and realised that we had similar tastes in music. He was a superb pianist and it was no surprise that when he left school, Lou pursued his passion for playing by joining a blues band, Killing Floor, and subsequently played with a number of bands and was a member of Rory Gallagher’s band for some years. Lou has suffered some health problems that have left him unable to play the piano anymore. So, we played a track from an album he recorded with Killing Floor guitarist Mick Clarke in happier days and we savoured Lou’s piano playing on their version of ‘One More Mile’.

This week’s Three From Me brought back that protector of worldly well-being, DJ Captain Scarlet. We haven’t heard from him in a while, but a flurry of intergalactic communications signalled that he was heading this way, immaculately attired (as always) and with a fistful of fine music. All the preparations were well worthwhile and he was no sooner here, than he was gone again. But, we enjoyed his company and his music.

Well, we had to ‘fess up’ this week about last week’s Three From Me feature from our good pal the Spongeman . . . .  it certainly had some great tracks chosen by Sponge, but it wasn’t the selection that we had intended on that occasion. So, we promised to have Sponge back soon with the other selection and that will be something to look forward to.

Well, the chatroom had a few comings and goings during the show, but we enjoyed the company of our good pals The Shake, The Majestic and Johnny99. . . . and the Cruise Mobile got us home safe and sound with just time to say our farewells until next week, when we can do it all again.

I hope there were some goodies in our playlist tantilise yous music taste buds. If so, perhaps we can entice you back again next week when once again we’ll go Cruising with The Commissioner.

So, until then . . . .  have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #59 (24.05.12)

Well, it’s been a memorable week and not all for the good, but let’s hope it all worked fine for you in your corner of the world. There was plenty on the schedule to keep us on our toes and quite a bit in the social diary, but much of the enjoyment of those events was dampened by the loss of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. So, we included our own tributes in this week’s show and even found space to celebrate some birthdays with Joe Cocker and Pete Townsend . . . . it all goes into the mix for Cruising with the Commissioner.

The weather here in the Grand Duchy has taken a turn for the better and there have been some fine evenings relaxing in the open air with a glass of something cool and tangy (with leaves in it) and the requisite accompanying playlist. A few of our favourite record shops also got a visit this week and we returned with some notable gems that will feature over the weeks to come, along with some of the tasty treats that came tumbling through the letterbox here at Cruise Control.

We heard from a number of our previous guests on Cruising with the Commissioner, including Max Quirk, The Shake, DJ Leyton Rocks, Lil-Sis, The Vikster and The Spongeman (who paid a more formal visit with his Three From Me selection for this week’s show).

Changing phone providers and some broadband faults have contributed their due measure of tension and frustration during the past week. So, we approached our Thursday night revels with a hint of hesitancy! But, as is often the case, the imagining was worse than the reality and things seem to settle down OK in the end.

A series of coincidences in our previewing of tracks for this week’s show, suggested pulling together some of the great body of work produced during the relatively short career of Bert Berns. So, we compiled a selection of tracks that we particularly enjoy from his considerable legacy, featuring plenty of well-known artists and songs. I hope it goes well with you too, dear listener.

We have, at last, said goodbye to the 45 copy of Little Jimmy Osmond’s ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ that has ‘graced’ the cruising library for many a year. So, your pleadings to include it in the show will have to stop . . . . but here’s what we did squeeze in:

Cruising with friends . . . . .
Big Girl – King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys
Hey Little Girl – Big Boy Bloater
Boogie Woogie Teenage – Don Julian & the Meadowlarks
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman – Jeff Healey
Irresistible You – Bobby Darin
Walking Through The Streets Of My Mind – Timebox
Lavender Popcorn – Scrugg
He Can’t Love You – Robin Gibb
Summer In The City – Joe Cocker
The Kids Are Alright – The Who

Three From Me . . . . . . The Spongeman
Millions Of Years – Sugar Creek
One Step Closer To You – The Miracle Workers
Can’t Stop Now – Ferris Wheel

On With The Show – The Idle Race

Cruising with Bert Berns . . .
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Solomon Burke
Push Push – Austin Taylor
I’m Gonna Run Away From You – Tami Lynn
You’d Better Come Home – Russell Byrd
A Little Bit Of Soap – The Jarmels
Piece Of My Heart – Erma Franklin
Gotta Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance) – Otis Redding
Hang On Sloopy – The McCoys
Mo Jo Hannah – Little Esther Phillips
Baby Let Me Take You Home – The Mustangs
Twist & Shout – The Isley Brothers

Memory Lane  . . . . with The Commissioner
Boom Boom – John Lee Hooker

Cruising for home . . . .
International Playboy – Wilson Pickett
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) – Junior Walker & the Allstars
Lovey Dovey – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
Tell Him – Billie Davis
She Works Hard For The Money – Donna Summer
Put Yourself In My Place – Delroy Wilson
Your Lover Man – The Fleetones
Shake! Shake! – Jump4Joy
Just Right Man – Little Rachel & The Hogs of Rhythm
Little Mummy – Won’tcha Be My Girl

Well, we always look forward to the visits of The Spongeman to Cruising with The Commissioner  and so we turned on the lava lamps, lit the jossticks and joined him  with a characteristically eclectic selection of gems from The Spongelab. Our trip down Memory Lane took us back to San Francisco in 2001 and a visit to John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room.

Before we knew it, the sand in the cruising timer had almost run out and we had to turn for home. But, we got home safe and sound and managed to close our musical adventure on a high with a couple of little scorchers .  . . . . we’ve run out of time but I hope we’ve closed our Thursday night revels on a high. Be assured that there are a few tasty treats already lined up for next week’s Cruising with The Commissioner, but, if that all seems too far off, remember that 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!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #58 (17.05.12)

Well, Thursday night came around again and we packed plenty into the week since we last ventured out with you in the Cruise Mobile. So, we were pleased to get back to Cruise Control in time to ensure we were primed, poised and ready again to present some great rock, soul and real rhythm and blues on our riotous romp through records that (for want of a better title) we call Cruising with the Commissioner.

We have kept our musical postman pretty busy lately and all in a good cause too, because amongst the many gems that he has delivered were several excellent collections, which feature some fine R&B and Northern Soul favourites . . . . some of which we squeezed into this week’s show!

Amongst the social adventures in the cruising diary this week, was a London gig by power pop trio Supurbia . . . . and it was well worth wrestling the cross town traffic to get to hear them. They were on fine form and we decided to include one of the numbers that they featured in their set, just to mark a good night out.

We set off on our cruise in fine style with Solomon Burke and ‘Be Bop Grandma’ and with skillful slight of hand we followed on smartly with Boyd Bennett, who was ‘Rocking Up A Storm’.

Our playlist for this week’s Cruising with the Commissioner came together as a result of a series of snatched listening moments through the past week, but it hangs together pretty well and we managed to catch a few birthdays of some musical significance too. So, kick back, relax and enjoy our cruise, as we invite you to feast your eyes and ears on this selection:

Cruising to the city limits . . . .
Be Bop Grandma – Solomon Burke
Rockin’ Up A Storm – Boyd Bennett
Sucotash – Roy Milton & His Orchestra
Enchilada – The Scamps
I Got Tore Up – Don Julian & The Meadowlarks
Do-Wah-Diddy – The Exciters
Tell Her – Gil Hamilton
Tell Him (That I Love Him) – Patti Drew
We Must Be Doing Something Right – Joan Moody
You’re The Boss – Lavern Baker & Jimmy Ricks
That Ain’t My Name – Big Boy Bloater & His Southside Stompers
Don’t Start Crying Now – Slim Harpo

Three From Me . . . . . . Joe Duckworth
Dancing In The Street – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Cruising with the radio on . . . .
Flowers Of Evil – Mountain
White Room – Jeff Healey
Here In The Dark – Taj Mahal
Three Cool Cats – Ry Cooder
Michael (The Lover) – The Mad Lads
Irresistible You – Bobby Peterson
Golden Brown – The Jolly Boys
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman – Lloyd Price

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Outrage – Booker T & The MGs

Cruising for home . . . .
Dimples – The Animals
Strong Love – The Spencer Davis Group
Uptight – Stevie Wonder
Do You Dream In Technicolour – Supurbia
Look Of Love – Lesley Gore
You’re So Good To Me – Debra Swisher
It’s Not Unusual – Sanchez
At The Discotheque – Chubby Checker
It’s All Over But the Crying – Baby Washington
The Girl’s Alright With Me – The Temptations
Until You Do – Little Willie John
No Mama, No Papa – Laura B & The Moonlighters

Well, from their 1964 collaboration in the group called The Rising Sons, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder have gone on to individual acclaim and it so happened that our rummaging in the dark and dusty corners of the Cruising library this week turned up tracks by them both. So, we put them both on the playlist and I believe that the guitar work on ‘Here In The Dark’ by Taj Mahal comes courtesy of Eric Clapton.

Just as we went on air this week we heard of the passing of Donna Summer and we plan to do a little tribute to her in next week’s show. . . . . and it wasn’t the only loss to music this week, sadly.

This week’s dusty detour down Memory Lane took us back to 2001 and a visit to the depths of Devon, where we enjoyed what proved to be the last Bishopstock Music Festival. It was here that we were looking forward to seeing Booker T & The MGs live on stage . . . . at last! They delivered a superb set and that cherished memory came back this week with the sad news of the passing of their bassist, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. So, we wanted to pay tribute to the man who was an integral part of the MGs for so many years and also played with a bewilderingly long list of great artists. We selected ‘Outrage’ by Booker T & The MGs to accompany us down Memory Lane.

There were a number of familiar faces in the chatroom during the show and they seemed to be enjoying themselves too, which is just as well because we were too.

During the show ours hands were busy cueing up the tasty tracks, but so were the hands on the clock and all too soon it was time to start heading for home on our cruise. So, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go . . . . but not before an enthusiastic thank you for the good company on the night and a moment to dab our eyes with a pristine white linen hankie, as we said our farewells.

As ever, we hope that you have a great week and return refreshed and eager to join us once again as we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Of course, if you need a musical fix before then, why not take a listen to the Tuesday night mafia here on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse and paly you music 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 #57 (10.05.12)

Well, here’s hoping that you have been thriving in the past week and arrived in good spirits for another venture beyond the blue horizon . . . . in the best of company . . . . with that carefully constructed caldron of chaos that we call Cruising with The Commissioner.

Here in the Grand Duchy we’ve been hiding behind the sofa until the local elections were over. Indeed, it got to the point where, we were looking forward to visits from Seventh Day Adventists selling double-glazing in preference to another short and pithy doorstep debate about the integrity of politicians. In contrast, our musical postman brought us much joy this week, with some new albums and some long awaited items to add some addition lustre to the Cruising Library.

Amongst the gigs this past week, we went to catch fellow Wireless FM DJ Max Quirk and his Friday night show in South East London. A fascinating venue, with some great features and a few stories told by the manager about past personalities and some long-time connections with music. A very friendly crowd and some choice music selections by Max made it a great night out and something we’ll enjoy doing again.

We much enjoyed hearing from The Vikster on her return with a Three From Me selection inspired by her recent visit to America. She clearly entered into the spirit of cruising with the radio on and we all got to hear some of the tracks that caught her ear while on the roads in and around Miami and the Florida Keys.

Frankie Valli was celebrating his 78th birthday during the week and we saluted him by playing the Four Seasons version of ‘Peanuts’ . . . .and Frankie is still going strong and, indeed, scheduled to appear in concert next month at the Royal Albert Hall, where we’re looking forward to seeing him live.

We’ve been consumed of late with a quest to find a gatefold, double disc collection of the hits of Erky Grant & The Earwigs, but good fortune has not been with us (so far). So, we travel hopefully and, in the meantime. Why not feast your ears on this week’s playlist:

Cruising into the distance . . . .
Breaking Up The House – Jump4Joy
Lipstick, Powder & Paint – Roger Chapman
Daddy’s Baby A – Lamont Dozier
Don’t Do Me That Way – Joan Moody
Handful Of Memories – Tutti Hill
My Girl – Al Green
It’s Not Unusual – The Impressions
Love Potion No.9 – Giuliano Palma & The BlueBeats
Give Me What You Got – Big Boy Bloater & His Southside Stompers
That’s Alright Mama – Arthur Big Boy Crudup

Three From Me  . . . . . The Vikster
Too Young To Die – Sonny Boy Williamson
King of The New York Streets – Dion
Sorrow – The Prissteens

Cruising with friends . . . .
Peanuts – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
A Band’s Gotta Do What A Band’s Gotta Do – The Refreshments
Go Bully Some Other Gal – Little Rachel & The Hogs of Rhythm
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
I’m So Glad – Lee Garrett
She Said Goodbye – Billy Hambric
But It’s Alright – J.J. Jackson
Tell It Like It Is – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
Tell Him – The Exciters
Can I Get A Witness – Dusty Springfield

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Rain & Tears – Aphrodite’s Child
Cruising for home . . . . . .
Riders On The Storm – The Jolly Boys
Show Me The Money – Buddy Guy
Start It Again – Oli Brown
Trouble In My Life – Killing Floor
Soul Galore – Jackie Wilson
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman – Louis Jordan
Fever – Patti Drew
Nobody Seems To Want Me – Curly Bridges
Mumbles Blues – Bobby Lewis
Holy Mackrel – Prentice Moreland

We risked a little ‘anoaraknophobia’ this week with our story about the Bert Berns song ‘Tell Him’. Over the years I long believed that the 1963 version by The Exciters was the original . . . . . but, I am wiser now! The song was first recorded  in 1962 as “Tell Her” by Gil Hamilton aka Johnny Thunder and we will find that version to play on another occasion. But, the song has a greater significance, because it was hearing The Exciters’ recording while taking a late night walk down New York’s Broadway that decided Dusty Springfield to embark on her solo career.

We enjoyed some chatroom chatter and some long distance texting and tweeting with some of the Cruising Crew during the show, but all too soon, we came to that point on our cruise where there was nothing left to do, but put the Cruise Mobile away and start tidying up the music strewn around Cruise Control. There were still plenty of tasty treats still in the pending tray, so we were cheered that we could start planning next week’s show and another expedition in search of the very best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. So, we parted with thanks for the good company of the Cruising Crew this week and to Wireless FM for keeping us on their programme schedule. Of course, if you need a ‘fix’ of good music before next Thursday, why not stop by Wireless FM and catch the Tuesday Night Mafia, 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!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #56 (03.05.12)

Well, we might not have realised it from the recent weather, but here it is May already and the wettest drought I can remember. It may be a bit soggy underfoot, but the scenery is decidedly changing for the better on our cruises. So, let’s extend gracious greetings to one and all from the Grand Duchy, along with the hope that all is well in your corner of the universe. Here we are again, filled up, fired up and ready to lift the veil of some of the juicy gems that we’ve lined up for your aural delights on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.

No one can say there haven’t been plenty of activities to occupy our otherwise copious free-time this week. There have been a series of highly enjoyable social events and a few business commitments to weave into the mix too. All of which have been taken at a pace, in our enthusiasm to squeeze in sufficient listening time for the eligible items to include on this week’s playlist. Well, we got there with just a little time to spare. Certain members of the Cruising Crew have been in touch with their contributions for our listening pleasure and very welcome they were too. All in all, there has been plenty of good stuff to listen to lately and it’s always worth keep your ears wide open for the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM. As regular members of the Cruising Crew know well, we much enjoy Larry Grogan’s Funky 16 Corners show on Viva Radio and The Vikster’s US trip has discovered Little Steven’s Underground Garage hosted by Steven Van Zandt (who is best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. His weekly syndicated radio show celebrates garage rock and similar rock sub-genres from the 1950s to the present day and it’s well worth a listen.

Well, we caught up with a number tracks that we’ve been wanting to play for a while on Cruising with The Commissioner and included a belated tribute to Levon Helm. Our good pal Phil Tyler paid a return visit to Cruise Control with his latest Three From Me selection, hot foot from a recording session with his band and teasing us with some tasters of joys to come soon. We even managed to celebrate Duane Eddy’s birthday with a salute to ‘Mr Twang’ in the form of his ‘Some Kinda Earthquake’.

As if that wasn’t enough, we sorted out a couple of real R&B gems to get us in good spirits and motoring well. First up was Jimmy McCracklin with one of his storming classics ‘Everybody Rock’ and followed swiftly by Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson with ‘Uh Huh My Baby’ . . . . and it was good to get them up front for our adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. But, to sate you casual curiosity, here’s this week’s playlist:

Cruising in good company . . . .
Everybody Rock – Jimmy McCracklin
Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson – Uh Huh My Baby
Country Girl – The Four Tops
Back To Memphis – Levon Helm
You’ve Got Just What I Need – Jimmy Ricks
Crazy Love – Dick Glasser
Blue Days, Black Nights – Buddy Holly
It’s Not Unusual – Florence Ballard
Where Did Our Love Go – Donnie Elbert

Three From Me . . . . . . Phil Tyler
How High The Moon – Les Paul & Mary Ford
Black Jack – Johnny Winter
Bad Girl – ZZ Top

Cruising to the sunset . . . . 
Twisted – Sandy Nelson
Down In Mexico – The Coasters
I’m Free – Wilmer & The Dukes
The Shape I’m In – The Nimmo Brothers
Honky Tonk Women – Taj Mahal
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Diana Ross & The Supremes
Little Darlin’ – Marvin Gaye
The Girl From The North Country – Walter Trout

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner 
Stop Her On Sight – Edwin Starr

Cruising for home . . . . . 
40 Miles of Bad Road – Duane Eddy
Race With The Devil – Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
She’s Not There – Giuliano Palma & The BlueBeaters
Band of Gold – Freda Payne
Everything’s Tuesday – The Chairman of The Board
Much Too Much – The Hollywood Flames
‘Til Broad Daylight – Buster Smith & His Heatwaves
No Steppin’ Down – Felix Gross & His Orchestra
About That Girl Called Lou – The Cadillacs
The Question (Whatcha Gonna Do) – Mike Sanchez & His Band
You Never Can Tell – Bob Seger
Take My Love With You – Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed & The Trueloves

So, with the adrenaline still pumping and the chatroom boasting some celebrities, we eventually had to turn our trusty Cruise Mobile for home and kept our spirits high with a trio of stomping tracks from Mike Sanchez, Bob Seger and Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed. All of which got us back safe and sound and, hopefully, with the very appealing prospect of enticing you back again next week to share some more rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

My thanks go to you for listening and for your good company, to Phil Tyler for his Three From Me and to Wireless FM for letting us loose each week, as they do.

And remember, if you need some more excellent music, take a listen to 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 till the next time we go Cruising with the Commissioner remember to . . . . have fun!