Come on, let’s go . . . . .

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

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!

  1. Another superb show this week. How lovely to hear that particular Quo song; their early material always surprises me. In fact the whole of the Cruising way out there section was great. More please!

  2. Thanks for that. It seems you are far from alone in liking the early Quo material, judging by the comments and feedback from others in the chatroom and in the emails. They still put on a great show and it’s good to see that they have a very loyal following.

    We’ll do our best to maintain the standard and aim to surprise and delight the Cruising Crew.

    Have fun!

  3. ArfaPinetop says:

    Dear Emperor Robbo

    Great that you’re back on the airwaves again have been a fan since your pirate radio and radio 1 days , you’ve obviously been living over here somewhile now as your accent is so English well definitely Sarf London.

    Your radio 1 colleague Johnnie Walker informed of your comeback he was drooling , Mike and Mandy Raven comparisons being made but wasn’t too sure of which one he was referring.

    Well looking forward to your next broadcast hope you’ll have time mention the musical icons that lived in Willesden and surrounding areas at some time during their careers:

    Jet Harris regular drinker in the White Hart and White Horse Willesden, Johnny Kidd resided at Essex Rd Willesden afore moving up market to Alperton John Barry resided in NW10 albeit briefly and the Temperance 7 once gave an impromptuu gig on the corner of Stracey Rd Stonebridge Marie Wilson Neasden resident as was Ginger Baker the list is endless !!

    All the best your highness keep on rockin’

    Arfa Pinetop Whitehead Blues and Grave Digger Stanmore Delta

  4. The Commissioner says:

    Esteemed ArfaPinetop

    Good to hear from you and to confirm the stories that you’ve returned from the crossroads, having sold the souls of several unsuspecting passersby to the devil, along with some dubious repressing of some highly sought-after vinyl records. These scraps of news come from a notably unreliable source, namely ‘The Spinmeister’, who has spoken up for you (although that may be a mixed blessing, given what he said) and has commended your outstanding expertise and knowledge of things musical (and their worth at local boot fairs, where no questions are asked).

    He suggested that the Cruising Crew would benefit from hearing your musical (not music hall) musings on the air. So, (subject to the completion of all the usual security and character checks) I am proposing to authorise the preparation of an ‘acess all areas’ pass for Cruise Control in your name, for as soon as the restraining order has elapsed and the tag is removing, thus allowing you freedom of association again.

    In the meantime, have fun!


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