Archive for August, 2012

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Cruising with The Commissioner #72 (30.08.12)

Well, after a busy week that, fortunately, included more social than business events, we arrived at Cruise Control on Thursday night with breathless enthusiasm and eager to wish the warmest of welcomes to one and all . . . . which is just what we did.

One of the enjoyable outings of the week was to catch UK soulman, James Hunter, at his London appearance, following his recent return from his US tour. It was a great night out and we were pleased that we wrestled the cross-town traffic, because he was definitely on good form and quickly got the crowd in good spirits with some favourites from his repertoire and even some tasters from his new album, which may emerge early next year. So, we included his ‘Way Down Inside’ on our playlist and the gig was even more enjoyable because we met up with a few of the Cruising Crew in the crowd and some quality testing of local beverages ensued, accompanied by some music related chatter that suggested Eugene Church’s ‘Pretty Girls Everywhere’.

Ever mindful of our mission, to bring you the very best in rock, soul and real rhythm & blues, we started off our cruise with Joe Lutcher and ‘Rockin’ Boogie’ and in anticipation of our Cruising Dance Party, we followed on with Pee Wee Crayton and that old Robert Parker hit ‘Barefootin’. We also rummaged in the old records boxes from my time on the road and we found a few of ‘goodies’ to add to the playlist, including something from The Staple Singers and Booker T & The MGs that remind Mrs TC of our visit to the Stax Studios in Memphis. . . . and you read about that incident on the Cruising website. . . . and while you’re there you can scribble something on the wall.

As you might have guessed, we lined up a fine selection of dance tracks for the Cruising Dance Party and The Cruisettes (and occasionally Mr Merlot and me) threw ourselves into the high energy experience with more enthusiasm thamn style on occasions, which may yet bring more joy to physiotherapists than the inveterate gyrators. So, check out this week’s playlist and see what’s there:

Cruising for fun . . . . .
Rockin’ Boogie – Joe Lutcher
Barefootin’ – Pee Wee Crayton
Flat Foot Sam Meets Jim Dandy – T.V. Slim & His Heartbreakers
I Can’t Lose With The Stuff I Use – Lester Williams
Way Down Inside – James Hunter
Pretty Girls Everywhere – Eugene Church & The Fellows
What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) – 5th Dimension
Heavy Makes You Happy – The Staple Singers
I Can Dig It – Booker T & The MGs
Up Above My Head (I Hear Music Everywhere) – Sister Rosetta Tharpe (with Marie Knight)
San Francisco Bay Blues – Jesse Fuller

Three From Me  . . . . . with Mrs TC
Nouvelle Vague – Richard Anthony
Bang Bang – Sheila
Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi – Jacques Dutronc

Cruising dance party . . . . . .
Earthquake – Troy Dodds
Hoochie Coochie Coo – Lloyd Price
Pony Time – Chubby Checker
The Kangeroo – The Panics
Let’s Do The Funky Boogaloo – Barry Jones
Shout & Do The Duck – Larry Hale
Do The Bird – Dee Dee Sharp
Twistin’ Beat – Phil Flowers and the TNT Tribble Combo
Hucklebuck Baby – Jimmy Preston
Mashed Potato Time – The Orlons
Humpback – Eldridge Holmes
Monkey Time – Major Lance
Shimmy Shimmy – Bobby Freeman
Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) – The Daylighters

Memory Lane  . . . . .  with The Commissioner
Papa Was A Rolling Stone – Michael Hill’s Blues Mob

Cruising to the sunset . . . . 
Twelve Minutes To Go – The Skatalites
It Won’t Be Wrong – The Byrds
Widowmaker – Poco
Share A Little Love With Me (Somebody) – The Monitors
I Can’t Get Enough – Willie Hutch
Bad Man Of Missouri – Jimmy Ricks & The Suburbans
A Little You – Dakota Staton
Crazy Mixed Up World – Little Walter
Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man – Jimmy Liggins & His Drops of Joy

We certainly heard some great music on our Saturday night out this week at one of London’s music venues, although it wasn’t quite what we expected. We turned up in good spirits to catch a favourite DJ of ours, but we couldn’t find him and he didn’t appear to be on the programme for the night. Instead, we found some very stylishly dressed folks, clearly out for a rock ‘n’ roll night and so we stayed awhile to enjoy the playlist and watch the dancers. After a while we guessed that our pal was not DJing that night and we went out to eat . . . . . . missing our pal by minutes, as we found out afterwards. But we caught some good music while we were there and decided to play a few of the tracks on the show.

Always mindful of the sirens call, I have resisted the entreaties of Mrs TC to return to the microphone in Cruise Control . . . . but with the influence of Mr Merlot she has returned, clutching some musical memories of her youthful time spent (or misspent) across the channel in France. So, our Three From Me feature this week comes with a warning that it is unsuitable for those with a phobia about frogs. What was only marginally safer was our venture down Memory Lane which took us back to 2000 and the antics of a couple of pals at the Bishopstock music festival. As well as being captured on video, their enthusiastic contributions to events were all accompanied by one of the festival acts, Michael’s Hill’s Blues Mob, with powerhouse performance of ‘ Papa Was A Rolling Stone’.

Well, we were having such a good time on our cruise that time caught up with us and we had to make a hasty exit, with just enough time to fit in Jimmy Liggins & His Drops of Joy with their ‘Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man’ . . . . and then we were done. . . . . with nothing left to do, but say our goodnights in the knowledge that we can come back again next week all ready to go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . so until then . . . .  have fun!

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Cruising with the Commissioner #71 (23.08.12)

Well, the jet lag faded fast after our return from the USA and we were soon back in the swing of things here in the Grand Duchy, including preparing to go Cruising with The Commissioner. The sultry weather came and went . . . . and may return, with luck, so it felt very summery, at last! There was plenty of action to occupy us and as Thursday night rolled up, we ensured that we were ready to greet it . . . . . all dressed most elegantly in our finery. So it was that Cruise Control witnessed The Commissioner in tuxedo, bow tie and patent leather shoes, especially to wish the warmest of welcomes to one and all.

There was plenty of feedback on last week’s show (aside from the technical gremlins) and we’ve heard from our good pal Johnny99, who has been enjoying the comments on his Three From Me Selection, especially The Sultans of Ping FC with their ‘Where’s Me Jumper’ . . . . which isn’t a million miles away from Ken Dodd’s ‘Where’s me shirt’ routine (but that may be known to only a select few amongst the Cruising Crew). We’ve heard from The Vikster (recommending The Noisettes), The Spongeman, Lil-Sis, The Shake (who is gigging in London this week), The Spinmeister, DJ Captain Scarlet (who said he was ‘somewhere in the mountians’) and Arfa ‘Pinetop’ (who told tall tales that brought smiles to the faces here)!

The past week included a late booking for the new Tina Turner show in town, which was a great night (despite a few technical gremlins) and the gig list for the weeks ahead is looking like it’s getting mighty crowded too. So, we were in good spirits as we embarked on our weekly cruising adventure . . . . and were eager to set out across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. As indeed we did, with Wynona Carr and her 1956 Specialty single ‘Til The Well Runs Dry’ . . . . and we followed close on her heels with The Medallions with a fine piece of uptempo doo wop called ‘Tick Tock’.

This week we pulled together a little feature on the UK Ember Record label, which was one the early independent labels to bring some of the rock, soul and rhythm & blues tracks across the Atlantic, as well as providing an outlet for bands like the Dave Clark Five. So, here’s this week’s playlist:

Cruising under blue skies . . . . .
‘Til The Well Runs Dry – Wynona Carr
Tick Tock – The Medallions
Jump Back Honey – Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters
Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You) – Little Willie John
Did You Have Fun – Willie West
There You Go – Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters
People Gonna Talk – Barbara Lynn
Ain’t That Peculiar – Martha Reeves
Crossfire Time – Dee Clark
I Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely – Marcia Griffins

Three From Me . . . . . with Mr T.
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever – Full Flava
Everybody’s Wrong – The Cooperettes
Sittin’ In The Park – Bobby McClure

Cruising with Ember records . . . . .
Chaquita – The Dave Clark Five
Miracle Of Love – The Five Royales
I Can’t Lose (With The Stuff I Use) – B B King
Lost Someone – James Brown
Dancing Jenny – Jewel Akens
Doin’ The Philly Dog – Lou Lawton
Do The Temptation Walk – The Checkmates Ltd.
The Whip – Eddie Floyd
I Need Your Lovin’ – Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford
Room In My Heart – Gladys Knight & The Pips

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Born In Chicago – The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Cruising for home . . . . .
Touch of Grey – Grateful Dead
Baby Please Don’t Go – Big Bill Broonzy
Leave My Kitten Alone – The Beatles
That’s All I Need To Know – Sam Cooke
Kick It Around – James Hunter
Tearing Us Apart – Tina Turner & Eric Clapton
You Ain’t Foolin’ Me – Screaming Jay Hawkins
You’re The One For Me – Rudy Green

Well, the magnetic pull of Cruise Control stretches far and wide, for which we’re very grateful, and despite his roving spirit and inclination to foreign travel, this week saw the triumphant return of our good pal Mr T. with another of his fine Three From Me selections from his ever expanding collection. As ever, it was well informed and full of superb tracks, which had the staff at Cruise Control clamouring for the early return of the genial Mr T. . . . . and we’ll certainly encourage that!

Our journey through the shadows of Memory Lane this week took us back to 1966 and the UK tour of one of the legendary Chicago blues bands. The venue was Cooks Ferry Inn, in Edmonton and we remembered a sell out show by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, including their original line up of Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Mark Naftalin, Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay and starting off the gig with their signature tune ‘Born In Chicago’.

There were a few intriguing stories unfolding in the chatroom during the show and perhaps we should get our good pal, The Spongeman, in to do a Memory Lane session about gunslinging gigsters who have a story well worth telling!

Well, our allotted two hours of cruising seemed to slip past rather too quick and we found ourselves having to head for home. But, if you ‘can’t get enough of that stuff’, we’re hoping you’ll be back for more next week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. That will bring much joy here at Cruise Control and if you need an earlier fix of good music, remember you can check out 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!

Only in America . . . . .

Posted: August 17, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

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Cruising with The Commissioner #70 (16.08.12)

Well, we are returned from our transatlantic hop just in time to bring the warmest of welcomes to one and all. It was becoming a familiar practice to buckle up for another journey, but Cruising with The Commissioner has none of the bureaucracy of other forms of travel. So, we can ensure a speedy take off on our weekly adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres, with no delays as we go in hot pursuit of the very best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm & blues.

As we left the UK on our fact finding mission to the USA, there were some amusing memories of the good spirited celebrations after The Cruisettes and The Commissioner came striding back from completing their sponsored walk for the Marie Curie Nurses. The weather for the event turned out fine, the organisation was perfect and there was an amazing number of participants on this year’s Walk 10. So, a big thanks to everyone who sponsored The Cruisettes and you can be sure you have supported a very worthy cause.

If you were listening in last week to the Thursday night cruise, you’ll have heard our good pal The Spongeman sitting in on the show and taking you on his own musical adventure. Experience predicted that this was going to be a good thing and, indeed, it was (because we listened in from the Promised Land).  So, a big thanks to The Spongeman.

Well, we brought back plenty of memories of Washington DC, its sights and sounds. Indeed, there was much music and we caught a number of fine gigs during our stay. We even had an unexpected close encounter with The President and some of The Presidents men!

Now regular members of the Cruising Crew will know that recently we played a single on Westbound records called ‘Now Run & Tell That’ by Denise LaSalle and, at the time, we said that it had an excellent flipside. That track inspired our good pal Pete Hall to commend the album by Denise LaSalle that included that track and the flipside of the single, ‘The Deeper I Go (The Better It Gets)’.

As we were making ourselves comfy in the Cruise Mobile for this week’s cruise, we had Diz & The Doormen along for the ride with ‘She Walks Right In’. We’ve played it before, but this time it went out to Arfa Pinetop who is somewhere out there in cruising land, although he actually wanted something by Chicory Tip! So, with due apologies to Arfa and the many other fans of Chicory Tip, here’s what we did squeeze into this week’s playlist:

Cruising for the horizon . . . .
She Walks Right in – Diz The Doormen
I Don’t Want To Sit Down – O.V. Wright
Let’s Pony Again – The Vibrations
Na Na  Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – The Supremes
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – The Isley Brothers
You’ve Got The Power – The Esquires
The Deeper I Go (The Better It Gets) – Denise LaSalle
Rag Mama Rag – Blind Boy Fuller
Pata Pata – Miriam Makeba

Three From Me  . . . . . . Johnny99
Where’s Me Jumper – The Sultans of Ping
The Referee’s Alphabet – Half Man, Half Biscuit
Smoke, Smoke, Smoke, That Cigarette – Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

Cruising only in America . . . . .
Only In America – Jay & The Americans
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke
She’s Not There – The Zombies
Riding with the King – Eric Clapton & B B King
Don’t Do Me Like That – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
My Girl – The Temptations
Suspicions – Tim McGraw
Tush – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

With best wishes . . . . .  from The Commissioner
The Cat From Coos Bay – Big Dave & His Orchestra

Cruising for home . . . . .
When All Your Friends Are Gone – Steamhammer
Sunshine Of Your Love – Santana (featuring Rob Thomas)
He Was Really Saying Something – Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers
Move & Groove – Gil Hamilton
Bye Bye Baby – Betty Everett
Don’t Be Angry – Nappy Brown
Seventeen – Ella Morse
Breakaway – Irma Thomas
Koko Joe – Don & Dewey

Now there were lots of little gems on our playlist, including a cover of the 1969 number one hit for Steam, only this time it appeared on the Motown label by The Supremes. For those amongst the Cruising Crew who like a little scratchy blues, we raided the archives for Blind Boy Fuller and his 1935 recording of ‘Rag Mama Rag’. With a big nudge from our good pal, The Spinmeister, we introduced a little South African flavour with Miriam Makeba and ‘Pata Pata’.

All this came along with the welcome return of Johnny99 and another Three From Me selection, which turned out to be full of fun. Meanwhile, the chatroom was getting lively (because we had plenty of technical gremlins to deal with), but in the midst of all this, we learnt that Max Quirk’s band leader Dad was in hospital and so we dug out a Capitol 78 recording of Big Dave & His Orchestra  . . . . ‘The Cat From Coos Bay’ and played it for Mr Quirk Senior with best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Well, we were hoping that you can’t get enough of a good thing and that, after hearing this week’s show, you’ll be back for more next week. That will bring much joy here at Cruise Control and if you need an earlier fix of good music, remember you can check out 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!

Blowin’ free . . . .

Posted: August 2, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

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Cruising with The Commissioner #69 (02.08.12)

Well, as we return here, I very much hope that the past week has been kind to you and yours. Here in the Grand Duchy we’ve been enjoying the better weather and around here, you couldn’t say that it’s been uneventful. There have been plenty of encounters with some good folks and some encouraging words from new listeners to Cruising with The Commissioner. The week has seen a good deal of coverage of a sporting event that seems to have consumed much money and attention, but it has undoubtedly provided a remarkable platform for all sorts of achievements. But, here at Cruise Control, attentions of The Cruisettes have been on their sponsored walk in support of the Marie Curie Nurses and then an escape across the Atlantic.

As you might expect, this excursion to Washington DC is planned to include some gigs and some tourist sights. So, there should be some sounds and stories to bring back. As a result, Cruise Control will be strangely quiet next Thursday, but our good pal The Spongeman has generously offered to moonlight from his Tuesday night show on Wireless FM and stand in on our Thursday Cruise. So, I hope you’ll make him most welcome, because different it might be, but excellent it will surely be! So, tune in and enjoy cruising with The Spongeman.

We opened our cruise this week with ‘Lollipop Mama’, a track by Wee Willie Harris, who one of the most colourful characters on the early British rock ‘n’ roll scene, discovered at the famous 2i’s coffe bar in in London’s Soho and known for dying his hair all manner of colours (pink, green, orange). As we got rolling well, we went across ‘the pond’ to enjoy the company of Roy Brown and his ‘Diddy-Y-Diddy-O’.

Hopefully, the pleadings of the army of Tiny Tim fans will abate now that we have included their hero in the show, even if it wasn’t ‘Tip Toe Through The Tulips’ or ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, but here’s what we did squeeze into the playlist this week:

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . .
Lollipop Mama – Wee Willie Harris
Diddy-Y-Diddy-O – Roy Brown
Hey Lolly Lolly – Oscar McLollie & His Honey Jumpers
Let The Four Winds Blow – Sandy Nelson
Now Run & Tell That – Denise La Salle
Nip Sip – The Clovers
How Do You Like Your Love – Jimmy McCracklin
Qualifications – The Ovations
Our Day Will Come – The Heptones
Candy Man – Mississippi John Hurt

Three From Me . . . . . The Vikster 
I Walk The Line – Johnny Cash
Walk On the Wild Side – Lou Reed
Walk Of Life – Dire Straits

Cruising in good company . . . .
Blowing Free – Wishbone Ash
Dreamin’ At The Juke – Roy Rogers
Tip On In – Slim Harpo
It’s A Lazy Summer Day – The Peppermint Trolley Company
Mr Dyingly Sad – The Critters
Carrie Anne – Ali Campbell
Love Makes The World Go Round – Deon Jackson
Titanic – Bobby Parker & The Paul Williams Orchestra
Don’t Cry No More – Luther Kent
I Can’t Stand It – Betty Everett & Jerry Butler
Adam & Eve – Lord Myrie with Cecil Mitchel & James Convery

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Hush Now – Curtis Knight & Jimi Hendrix

Cruising for home . . . 
Up From The Skies – Lazy Peterson
Back In The USSR – Charlie Wood
I Saw Her Standing There – Phil Flowers
Got To Get You Into My Life – Earth, Wind & Fire
Leave It in the Hands Of Love – Fontella Bass
Good Lovin’ – The Capitols
Hush Now – King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys

Not for the first time on Cruising with The Commissioner, we played two tracks with the same title, but different songs. This was ‘Hush Now’ from Curtis Knight and Jimi Hendrix, as well as King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys. There was a treat for the soulies with Denise LaSalle and her 45 ‘Now Run & Tell That’ that we liberated last week from the bargain box in the local market and for those who enjoy ‘real’ R&B we featured The Clovers’ recording of a great little number called ‘Nip Sip’.

There can be few around who didn’t know that the Cruisettes were doing their charity walk at the weekend in support of the Marie Curie Nurses. They’ve been really chuffed by all those amongst the Cruising Crew who have made donations on their Just Giving website ( So, it was no surprise to find The Vikster adopting a walking theme for her latest Three From Me selection.

One of the joys this week was finding time to play ‘Candy Man’, a favourite recording by Mississippi John Hurt which was first released as a 78 by Okeh records back in 1928. . . . and on our time travel down Memory Lane, we went back to the early 70s at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where Curtis Knight returned after his earlier appearance with Jimi Hendrix to reprise their recordings at Studio 76 in New York in 1967, only this time the crowd booed him through his set, even through ‘Hush Now’.

This week we played Deon Jackson’s ‘Love Makes The World Go Round’ as a small tribute to Bob Babbit, who played bass on this track and was one of the last surviving members of Motown’s house band, the Funk Brothers, until he passed away last week in Nashville, Tennessee.

With all this going on, we nearly didn’t notice the time slipping away until the rattling tin cans came to remind us it was time to take our leave, dabbing our eyes with our pristine white linen hankie in the hope that there was plenty on our playlist to tempt and tantalise your musical taste buds. As we turned off all the little neons lights on the equipment at Cruise Control, we were hoping that everyone will give a warm welcome to The Spongeman when he takes the wheel for next week’s Thursday night cruise.

So, be good and until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!