Archive for July, 2012

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Cruising with The Commissioner #68 (26.07.12)

Well, I hope that you and yours have been having a groovy time in your particular corner of the universe. Spirits have been raised around here by more than brief visits by the sun and the tentative signs that summer may have arrived at last. Call us ‘cautious’ if you will, but we have not put the rainwear away yet . . . . just in case! Well, we’ve learnt to leave nothing to chance when we are Cruising with The Commissioner.

This week has seen a goodly amount of Olympics fever around the Grand Duchy and for those involved, we wish them well. But, there’s just a hint of resentment developing here at the assumption that all souls are going to be continuingly excited by non-stop Olympics topics, events and media coverage of the sporting contests hereabouts.

There is something about Thursday nights as we power up all the equipment and Cruise Control takes on a strange glow. All the little red and green neons create their own flickering light show to accompany the ‘choice choons’ on the playlist. Of course, the true believers would be looking to the skies, expecting that one time when the apparently random light patterns and aural signals will inspire an inter-galactic response from beyond the final frontier.  We set our sights a little lower, because all we expect is a little light traffic, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres . . . . . all in the interests of bringing you some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

This week we started as we finished last week, in fine style with the song ‘Do Lord’, this time from Big Maybelle and we really got motoring with ‘Zig Zaggin’ by The Capitols. As if that was not enough, we tipped our hats in the direction of the Max Bygraves fan club, who should be satisfied now that they heard their ‘main man’ on Cruising with The Commissioner, along with these juicy gems on the rest of the playlist:

Cruising for the blue horizon . . . . .
Do Lord – Big Maybelle
Zig Zaggin’ – The Capitols
Walking Out On You – Spencer Wiggins
Breakaway – The Valentines
And The Rains Came – The Millionaires
Truly Yours – The Temptations
Twisting Fever – The Marcels
Dancing Jenny – Jewel Akens
Me And You Doin’ The Boogaloo – Lou Courtney
Start Me Up – Toots & The Maytals

Three From Me . . . . with Mumbles
Town Called Malice – The Jam
Peaches – The Presidents of the USA
Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks

Cruising with the breeze . . . .
Got To Leave The City – Bush
Flowers of Evil – Mountain
On The Beach – Finders Keepers
The Healer – Carlos Santana & John Lee Hooker
Don’t Worry Baby – Ronnie Spector
Walk On – Alvin Red Tyler & The Gyros
Ride On Red, Ride On – Louisiana Red  & Little Victor’s Juke Joint
Groovin’ On My Baby’s Love – Freddie Waters
Darling I’m Starving So – Lord Myrie, Cecil Mitchel & James Convery

Memory Lane  . . . .  with The Commissioner
Joe Niagra , WIBG Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Bony Moronie – Larry Williams
Suzie Q – Dale Hawkins
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On – Jerry Lee Lewis

Cruising for home . . . . .
Got My Mojo Working – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
I Don’t Want To Go Home – Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Hello Stranger – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Roscoe James McClain – The Tymes
Take my love with you – Paul Thorn
Tippety Top – The Rays
Let Me Know, Let Me Know – Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker

Now, he may be a man of few words, but he is one of the regular members of the Cruising Crew and we welcomed him back this week to the Three From Me slot. We are talking of that stalwart of Wireless FM, Mumbles. He will be well known to those who venture into the chatroom during our Thursday night cruises, and we are always very glad to have his company and his watchful oversight of the technology. So, we were very pleased when he came back with his latest Three From Me selection and we gave him the warmest of welcomes and ensured that the Cruising Orchestra provided a suitably rousing fanfare. His selection was much enjoyed by those in the chatroom too.

They may have taken their time this week, but we were visited by The Cruisettes, who came shimmying into Cruise Control and looked good dancing in just the glow of all the neons lights on the equipment. But there was an ulterior motive . . . . they wanted to remind everyone of their invitation to come and meet them on their sponsored walk at Beaulieu on August the 4th. It’s all in a good cause, to support the excellent work of the Marie Curie nurses and a very grateful thanks to all those amongst the cruising crew who have made donations already. So, for more details of the walk and the work of the Marie Curie nurses follow this link to the Just Giving website ( and, if you are so minded, you can make a donation.

It was good to find some time this week for some perambulations around the local record shops and very fruitful they were too. We also found some tasty treats in the bargain boxes in the local market, which brightened the week no end. One of the collectables that came our way was a 45 of old time calypso music from Lord Myrie (accompanied by Cecil Mitchel and James Convery) on ‘Darling I’m Starving’ . . . . . and take it from me, this is a very collectable, but I’m not telling you how much it cost! It was all that was needed to set the scene for the Cruising Crew to sit back and imagine the white sandy beaches, the waving palm trees and the sound of the calypso band, as they quaffed the exotic cocktails of their choice.

On our time travelling down Memory Lane this week, we set the Cruise Mobile controls for 1957 and Philadelphia in the USA, which is where we found Joe Niagra, who hosted a popular evening show on Radio Station WIBG back then. He was an enthusiast for rock ‘n’ roll at a time when the music was going through some notable changes and we sampled some of his choices, including Larry Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and Dale Hawkins.

Before we knew it, time ran out and we were turning the Cruise Mobile around to head for home, but there were still some more tracks that will be kept in easy reach for next week’s show, when once again, we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. If that seems too far off, remember 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!

Start me up . . . . .

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #67 (19.07.12)

Well, I hope that all is well with you and yours in your particular corner of the universe and that you enjoy this week’s playlist on Cruising with The Commissioner. Here in the Grand Duchy, The Cruisettes have posted a ‘missing’ poster for the summer and asked anyone that knows its whereabouts to send it on to them. So far, there has been no response and the posters are very soggy now. Disappointed as they may be, they are clearly not approaching the weekend with the customary tension of farmers and urologists alike on St Swithen’s day. The Dartford Delta and the Weald of Welling may not have basked in day-long sunshine on St Swithen’s day, but the rain kept away, which certainly cheered up those at Cruise Control. Indeed, it may have been even more cheering for some dignitaries in France to note that the 14th July passed without the re-appearance of tumbrils on the streets

Our journeys around ‘this green and pleasant land’ during the week included the odd gig and opportunities to meet up again with some good-humoured folks on our social diary. There’s been much time devoted to sampling a pile of juicy singles and albums that was growing ever higher, due in large part to the efforts of our musical postman, which is just as well, since we have had few fruitful ventures to the music emporiums around and about.

Well, we’ve become accustomed to the visits by The Cruisettes to Cruise Control on Thursday night, demonstrating their carefully choreographed dance steps and getting dangerously close to the records and equipment. But, they are taking time out from their loosely-defined duties on Cruising with The Commissioner and giving up their preferred method of transport for one night only to raise money to help Marie Curie Nurses care for more terminally ill people and their families. They are taking part in Walk Ten Hampshire at Beaulieu on August the 4th, with the benefit of an excellent playlist for the journey and a little help from Mr Merlot and The Commissioner to keep them in order! So, come along if you want to meet The Cruisettes, but more importantly, please sponsor them and help the Marie Curie Nurses provide free care to more terminally ill people when they need it most:

We started off our musical adventure this week in fine style with O’Henry and ‘Wanna Jean’ and followed on with a cracking track from The Isley Brothers called ‘Ring-A-Ling’. But it was a real squeeze to get all that we wanted into the playlist this week and we didn’t quite make it. Indeed, several had to be put in the ‘pending’ tray for another day, which will be a great disappointment to Frankie Howard fans, who have been diligent in pursuing their requests for ‘Three Little Fishes’, but who knows what the future holds! In the meantime, for those who like reading lists and for the keen apostrophe prefects, here’s the playlist for this week’s show:

Cruising for the blue horizon . . . . .
Wanna Jean – O’Henry
Ring-A-Ling – The Isley Brothers
Kiss Me One More Time – Willie Cobbs
Don’t Pass Your Judgement – The Memphis Nomads
What About Me – The Valentinos
Truly Yours – The Spinners
Tracks of My Tears – The California Raisins
Sugar – The Isonics
Pressed Rat & Warthog – Cream

Three From Me . . . . with Lil-Sis
Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades
Down Came The Rain – Mister Murray
Rain – Status Quo

Cruising with The Cruisettes . . . . . .
Happiness Is – The Association
Spanish Harlem Incident – The Byrds
Love Minus Zero – Leon Russell
Start Me Up – Beverley Skeete
Hello Stranger – The Capitols
Turn On Your Lovelight – Oscar Toney Jr
It’s A Shame – Delroy Wilson
Get Back In Line – Roy Rogers
Green Onions – Jon Lord & The Hoochie Coochie

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Same Old Story – Taste

Cruising for home . . . . .
Up Above My Head – Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra
All Along The Watchtower – The Buddy Miles Express
Don’t Fear The Reaper – The River Boys
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) – Santana
You Should’ve Held On – 7th Avenue Aviators
I Need My Baby – Jackey Beavers
Please Keep Away From Me – Elbie Parker
I Can’t Think Of A Thing At All – The Temptations
Tossin’ & Turnin’ – The Supremes
Shake A Hand – Mike Pendicin
Do Lord – Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins

One of the regular members of the Cruising Crew is Lil-Sis and I know that she is one of those who listens live to the show on Thursday nights, because we often get her feedback on the playlist during the show. So, we much enjoyed her return this week with her ‘themed’ choice of music for her Three From Me selection. Good choices too, but it was the single from 1965 by Mister Murray that sent us off to find out more . . . . and we did! Mister Murray was the name on the record label for the humorous composition, “Down Came the Rain”. . . a song written and recorded by Mitch Murray, who was responsible for writing many of the hit songs during the height of the Merseybeat period. So, thanks to Lil-Sis for that one, in particular, and am I alone in thinking Mister Murray was much influenced by Norman Wisdom?

Our detour down Memory Lane took us back to 1969 and a visit to one of North London’s premier music venues of the day, Cooks Ferry Inn, in Edmonton. It was here on January 12th in 1969, that the Irish three-piece, Taste, led by blues guitarist and singer, Rory Gallagher, gave one of their powerhouse shows. Their setlist for that night is beyond recall now, except that they always included a particular track from their first album and, so to recapture the moment, we played Taste’s studio recording of ‘Same Old Story’.

We included a little dose of Hammond this week featuring a familiar tune, recorded live by Jon Lord & The Hoochie Coochie Men. This version is probably not as well known as others, except amongst the afficianados, but we played it as a tribute to Jon Lord, who sadly, passed away this week and we savoured his keyboard playing on his interpretation of Green Onions.

Well, those amongst the Cruising Crew with excellent powers of recall will know that we played Melvin James recording of ‘I Need My Baby’ last week and we promised to look out the version by Jackey Beavers, which is just what we did! We also followed on the Bob Dylan and Buddy Miles links from last week and managed to squeeze in Mike Pendicin’s version of ‘Shake a Hand’ . . . . a song that has popped up on past playlists from a variety of artists. But, while we were enjoying ourselves, time crept up on us from behind and we had to do a neat turnaround of the Cruise Mobile and start heading for home. So, to keep our spirits up we found a version of the Big Maybelle number ‘Do Lord’ by Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins, which brought us home in style.

As we said our farewells The Cruisettes reminded us of their invitation to all to come and meet them on their sponsored walk at Beaulieu on August the 4th. It’s all in a good cause, so do check out the Just Giving website ( for details of how to help.

All being well, we’ll aim to call by for you again next week in time to go Cruising with The Commissioner and in the meantime . . . remember to . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #66 (12.07.12)

Well, I hope we find you in good spirits and having fun in your corner of the world. There have plenty of ‘competing priorities’ here, which has put pressure on the time available for rummaging in the dark corners of the Cruising library for lost and forgotten gems to share in your good company. But, rest assured, we squeezed sufficient moments to ensure that the turntables were not been idle in preparing this week’s playlist for Cruising with The Commissioner.

As we set off on our cruising adventure, enjoying the scenery and the music, it was good to know that the show still manages to capture the interest of the occasional passing listener and the feedback from those who catch the show live or on the website is always encouraging. Indeed, I remain impressed at the range and depth of musical knowledge that is revealed in the contributions from the Cruising Crew and it all helps to keep us on our toes and ensuring that we continue to bring you some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

One of this week’s joys was discovering some interesting stuff from the early careers of that celebrated soul duo, Bob & Earl, otherwise know as Bobby Day and Earl Nelson. They are most famous for their big hit ‘Harlem Shuffle’, but we found a much earlier recording from 1957 on Class Records called ‘You Made A Boo Boo’, which appears to have been their first recording as a duo. However, it was not their first recording together, because they started singing together in The Hollywood Flames and it was Earl Nelson’s lead vocals that you hear on the Hollywood Flames hit recording of “Buzz Buzz Buzz”. We also found that Earl was probably also the lead singer on the Class 45 recording of “Oo Wee” by the U.S. vocal group, The Searchers, and so we included that in our playlist too. Bobby Day left the Hollywood Flames and the Bob & Earl duo to pursue a solo career and is best known for his 1958 hit “Rockin’ Robin”. As a result, Earl Nelson asked Bobby Relf (from the Laurels) to become the new Bob in Bob & Earl, and the new duo went on to make their recording of the soul classic, “Harlem Shuffle” in 1963. Earl Nelson had later solo success with ‘The Duck’ under his assumed name of Jackie Lee, and so we played that too.

Our delving into the dark corners of the Cruising library also unearthed one or the rarely played 1952 track by Chuck Willis, who was variously titled “The King of the Stroll” and “The Sheik of The Blues”. This was a single on the Okeh label called “I Rule My House” and a fine little movers it proved to be!

For the keen archivists or those with a casual curiosity (and with due apologies to the Friends of Jimmy Durante for the obvious omission), here’s the playlist for this week’s show:

Cruising in good company . . . .  
You Made A Boo Boo – Bob & Earl
I Rule My House – Chuck Willis
Tell Me – The Vows
Ooo Wee – The Searchers
Hold My Own Baby – Johnny Sayles
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love For Me) – Buddy Miles & The Californian Raisins
I Need My Baby – Melvin Davis
Baby Think It Over – The Peaches
I Found Out – Bobby Lacour
Do The Funky Foot – The Hollywood Argyles
I’m Just Your Fool – Ella Johnson

Three From Me . . . . with Joe Duckworth
Madison Blues – Fleetwood Mac
Living The Blues – Bob Dylan
Sunshine Of Your Love – Cream

Cruising way out there . . . . 
Come On, Let’s Go – Ritchie Valens
La Bamba – Los Lobos
Good Lovin’ – The Young Rascals
Hang On Sloopy – The Strangeloves
The Last Time – Candy & The Kisses
Oh No Not My Baby – Fontella Bass
One Touch Of Venus – Sandy Wynns
I’m Not In Love With You Anymore – Stella & The Gazelles
Baby I’m Coming Home – Mack Rice
Keep On Loving Me – Joe Stubbs
Ice In The Sun – Status Quo

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Water / Junior’s Wailing – Steamhammer

Cruising for home . . . . 
Funky – Freddie King
Blues Don’t Love You – Keith Thompson & Strange Brew
Mystery Train – Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Duck – Jackie Lee
I Wanna Hear It From You – Nancy Adams
What Do You Want If You Don’t Want Love – The Flares
Dance & Swing – The Medallions
Don’t Try – The Tangiers
Tell Me Who – Mike Sanchez

Well, the return of Joe Duckworth to our Three From Me spot this week ensured that such serenity and order as we might hope for at Cruise Control was lost without trace! The impish grin and theatrical flourish of his arrival should have warned us that mischief and mayhem were going to be barely containable during his visit . . . . and so it was . . . . but we still managed get to the end without complete anarchy!

Our trip down Memory Lane this week took us back to 1968 and the early gigs and recordings of UK blues/rock band, Steamhammer. The particular feature of the band that made them unique at that time was having two outstanding guitarists, Martin Pugh and Martin Quittenton. We took the opportunity to re-visit Martin Quittenton’s very lyrical and melodic touch with a short piece called ‘Water’ that opened their first album, before they launched into the sensational ‘Junior’s Wailing’.
Our gig list this week had a notable Latin emphasis, because it included Los Lobos and The Gypsy Kings. The set by Los Lobos paid tribute to Ritchie Valens and we included his 1958 hit ‘Come On, Let’s Go’, as well as the Los Lobos cover of his take on ‘La Bamba’. It was a reminder that Ritchie Valens’ recording career lasted only eight months, but he produced some enduring hits in that time that made him a pioneer of Spanish-speaking rock and roll.

Our playlist included a track from The Strangeloves that just dripped with history. This was ‘Hang On Sloopy’ which they included in their set list while they were on tour with the Dave Clark Five and, feared Dave Clark was going to record it as a possible new single before them. At the time The Strangeloves were still riding high with ‘I Want Candy’ and didn’t want to release another single yet, so they took their studio recording of the song and got Rick Derringer (who they’d seen in a local band called Rick & The Raiders) to re-record the vocals over their instrumental track and quickly put it out as a single under the name The McCoys. But, we found The Strangeloves original recording with their vocals and that very familiar instrumental track that is now part of the McCoys hit.

It was a close thing, but we did manage to squeeze in plenty of good stuff for our cruise and played nearly all that we had in our little pile of goodies for our playlist. But, time crept up on us and we reluctantly had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home and park up until next week. Still, we enjoyed the good company and will hope that we can look forward to another musical adventure next week, when once again we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. . . . .

If that seems too far off, remember you can always get a musical 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 remember to . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #65 (5.7.12)

Well, there has been plenty to do around the Grand Duchy this week and we’ve done a deal of travelling too. The resultant activity has kept us from dwelling too long on the absence of summer sun, but it has brought opportunities to catch up with some pals along the way and the gig list has also brought some bright moments during the week. So, we were in good spirits as it came time to Thursday evening and the sun had arrived to warm the air nicely for us to go Cruising with The Commissioner.

We were eager to extend the warmest of welcomes to one and all to our Thursday night jamboree, where we were on hand to bring you some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. Sometimes we are curious about whether those who listen to the show have found it by accident or design, but either way, we are pleased to have everyone on board for our adventure, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. There’s no waiting list, no membership form and no entry charge . . . . all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds as we go Cruising with The Commissioner.

Other commitments have meant that the music emporia hereabouts have not seen much of us recently, but there has been plenty of rummaging in the Cruising Library to put together our playlist and our musical postman has also played his part in contributing to the selection. As ever, our aim was to surprise and delight you and the rest of the Cruising Crew. So, we polished up the Cruise Mobile, wound the windows down and turned the volume up, so that we could set off in fine style with Fox Hall and ‘Do The Rock And Roll’ and with shrewd anticipation and deft dexterity we followed up with Cornell Gunter & The Ermines and ‘You Broke My Heart’.

We managed to fit in a few tracks from some of the artists on our gig list this week, together with a little selection of pop psych tunes that we have been enjoying here lately. Despite some recent entreaties to play items from the back catalogue of Charles Aznavour, we put together a playlist that was packed with even more worthy tracks, but you can judge for yourself:

Cruising beyond the blue horizon . . . .
Do The Rock And Roll – Fox Hall
You Broke My Heart – Cornell Gunter & The Ermines
Lovey Dovey – Bunny Sigler
Whatcha Gonna Do – Rudy Ray Moore & His Raytones
One Track Love – Jimmy McCracklin
I’ve Been Taken For A Ride – The Saints
Take Him Back If It Makes You Happy – The Fantastic Four
I Can Feel Your Love – Felice Taylor
Can I Get A Witness – Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers
Off A Brass Monkey – Jimmy Caravan
Have Pity On Me – Billy Young

Three From Me . . . . . with The Majestic
Nothing Sweeter – Alton and The Flames
Please Don’t Make Me Cry – Smokey 007 and His Exciters
Keep You Mine – Willie West

Cruising for fun . . . . .
Waiting For Your Move – The Phil Tyler Band
Talk To me Baby – Elmore James
My Best Friend’s Girl – Half Pint
Spicks & Specks – Status Quo
Pink Lemonade – Peppermint Rainbow
Free – The Peppermint Trolley Company
She’s Got The Magic – The Parade
Head Over Heels In Love With You Baby – The Detroit Spinners
Cuddly Toy – Beverley Knight
The Hustle Is On – Ana Popovic
Back On The Road Again – Lonnie Mack

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commssioner
I’m A Hog For You – Erky Grant & The Earwigs

Cruising for home . . . .
It Should’ve Been Me – Zoot Money & His Big Roll Band
Big Time Operator – Charlie Rich
Hide Nor Hair – Herbert Hunter (as Leroy Jones)
Movin’ & Groovin’ – Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges
I Try So Hard – Bobby Mitchell & The Toppers
I Love You So – George Perkins
Rock It, Davy, Rock It – The Jaguars
Three Alley Cats – Roy Hall
Ooh My Soul – Little Richard

Well, whilst we always look forward to the visits of our guests on our Three From Me feature and whenever we have a visit from that most suave and elegant of guests, The Majestic, we can be sure of something special from his splendid collection of rare and obscure musical gems. So, his return this week was enthusiastically awaited, not only for his good company, but for more of his tasty treats . . . . and judging by the chatroom chatter none of us were disappointed.

We also took the opportunity to clear away a few cobwebs in order to go on our unpredictable detour down Memory Lane. This week we went back to June of 1963 and a local date on a celebrated package tour headlined by Roy Orbison and The Beatles. The list of support groups on that tour included a little known band with the unlikely name of Erky Grant & The Earwigs, who did a very good set of rock and R&B numbers on the night. However, they disappeared soon after the tour and left us with one 45 and some memories. So, it was a surprise to hear of Erky Grant still singing and playing locally, albeit to a different sort of audience.

We had a good time on our cruise this week and we hope that our playlist included plenty of tasty treats to tantalise your musical taste buds too. But, all good things have to come to an end, so we finished with a flourish with rock ‘n’ roll celebrities, Roy Hall and Little Richard. As the tin cans of ‘Grazing in the grass’ signalled our departure, we hoped that we sent you off in high spirits . . . . sufficient, at least, to encourage your return next week. Then we can enjoy some more of your good company, as we bring along another selection of goodies from shelves of the Cruising Library and, with deft accuracy, flick all the switches on and see all those little neon lights bathe Cruise Control in a familiar red glow. What fun in store! But, if you can’t wait that long, remember you can sample the musical delights of 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, remember to . . . . have fun!