Forty shades of soul . . . . .

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #73 (06.09.12)

Well, the environs of the Grand Duchy have enjoyed some late summer sunshine and it undoubtedly brought cheer to those around. Spirits have been high and we have even indulged in some summer evening soirees with goodly folks who stopped by for a little idle chatter and some chilled pink fizz. The roads seemed to sport an endless array of soft top cars with a variety of drivers enjoying the opportunity to pose for the populace.

It’s been a good week here for catching up with folks. We met up with fellow Wireless FM DJ Max Quirk for a little prospecting in the local record shops, hereabouts, and we also caught up with our good pal Joe Duckworth (who promised an eclectic mix of music for his next Three From Me slot, and we also heard from The Majestic (who we welcomed back for this week’s Three From Me selection), The Shake, The Vikster and Lil-Sis . . . . so we were not short of good company this week.

So, when Thursday night rolled around, we had the Cruise Mobile purring away gentle,with  the windows down and the radio turned up . . . . all ready to take the Cruising Crew on another musical adventure, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. We are never too sure who will turn up to grace our grand tourer, but all are given the warmest of welcomes and encouraged to climb aboard, sit back and relax in the sumptuous leather seats . . . . which is all that’s needed to go Cruisin’ with The Commissioner.

Well, our musical postman and a supervised visit to the local record shops provided some tasty treats to include in our playlist this week, including something for the connoisseurs of Northern Soul from Trini Lopez. It was a far cry from ‘If I Had A Hammer’ and his other sing-a-long tracks . . . . . but it’s certainly an excellent piece of R&B as you’ll hear. As if that was not enough, I stumbled upon my old box of 45s that I used to drag around with me way back when I was a DJ on the road. So, we picked out some old favourites and guaranteed floor-fillers, which gave me the excuse to put on my white suit and shades to do my stuff . . . . !

But we wasted no time in getting cruising and started off with a taster of things to come . . . . . with Alonzo Stewart and ‘I Get The Blues When It Rains’ . . . . and we followed on with the sound of New Orleans from The Spiders and ‘A-1 In My Heart’. . . . and more besides, as you’ll see from our playlist:

Cruising for the border . . . . .
I Get The Blues When It Rains – Alonzo Stewart
A-1 In My Heart – The Spiders
I’m A Lover Not A Fighter – Lazy Lester
Baby Please Don’t Go – Rose Mitchell
You Sure Know How To Hurt A Fella – Jewel Akens
I Can’t Take It No Longer – Ben Harper
Sinner Not A Saint – Trini Lopez
Shoo-Rah! Shoo-Rah! – Betty Wright
Give Me Just a Little More Time – The Chairman of The Board
Needle In A Haystack – Tawny Reed
Way Down In the Hole – The Blind Boys of Alabama
Statesboro Blues – Blind Willie McTell

Three From Me . . . . . The Majestic
Baby I Need You – T J Williams & Two Shades of Soul
Shing-A-Ling – The Bean Brothers
I Remember – Anthony & the Aqualads

Cruising with friends . . . . .
She’s Not There – Giuliano Palma & The BlueBeaters
Wishin’ and Hopin’ – Dusty Springfield
Don’t Be Long – The Beefeaters
Everything But Time – The Critters
Kinda Wasted Without You – The Parade
Sixteen Tons – The Nighthawks
You Know Yeah – Pee Wee Crayton
Crawling Up A Hill – Beverley Skeete
Lula  – Mike Robinson
Who Put Out The Lights – Little Walter Jackson
Wondrous Place – Jimmy Jones

Memory Lane  . . . . . Max Bygraves
When You Come To The End Of A Lollipop – Max Bygraves

Cruising for home . . . . .
Sultana – Titanic
Give It To Me – Gregg Rolie
Drown In the River – Barry Gibb
Domino – Van Morrison
Your Love Has Gone Away – The Drapers
Bad Boy – The Donays
Slow Down – Lou Mac
Leaving Here – Tommy Good
Bluecoat Man – Diz & The Doormen

We had a couple of birthdays to celebrate this week with Barry Gibb and Van Morrison. But the week brought the sad news of the passing of songwriter Hal David, who was one of those who frequented the Brill Building, writing with many different folks over the years, but he is probably best known for his collaboration with Burt Bacarach. So, we chose one of those songs as a tribute . . . . Dusty Springfield singing ‘Wishin’ and Hopin’. We also said a sad farewell to singer and entertainer, Max Bygraves and took the opportunity to recall a few related moments in our trip down Memory Lane.

The past week brought a welcome encounter with that most elegant and cultivated of Cruising contributors, The Majestic. He was surely refreshed by his time sipping Brandy Sours on a deserted beach on a far away island and he returned with a treasure trove of tasty treats from his collection to grace our Three From Me slot this week. It wasn’t just me, his selection was much appreciated by those in the chatroom during the show. Joy!

Now, if you’ve been following the TV series ‘The Newsroom’, you may have been enjoying spotting the music that they weave into the soundtrack of the show. It was a reminder of other series that we’ve enjoyed and included some excellent music too. It prompted us to pull out ‘Way Down In The Hole’ from the Blind Boys of Alabama which played behind the title sequence of ‘The Wire’. After that, we drifted on back to 1928 for a classic scratchy blues track from Blind Willie McTell, ‘Statesboro Blues’. Amongst the many covers of the song, I have to say that the version by Taj Mahal remains my favourite.

Well, reluctantly, we had to turn for home as the sand in the Cruise Control hour glass all but ran out. But, we got back home safe and sound and said our fond farewells in the knowledge that in another 7 days we can do it all again . . . . and if that seems too far off, remember 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 . . . . remember to . . . . . have fun!

  1. The Vikster says:

    What a treat it was to hear Way Down In the Hole by The Blind Boys of Alabama. That’s a song I’ve heard many versions of over the course of 5 seasons of The Wire.

    Also good to hear a different version of Crawling Up A Hill.

    Help me out here, I’m sure I’ve heard Wondrous Place by someone else?

  2. Indeed, ‘Way Down In The Hole’ was an inspired and very atmospheric theme for The Wire . . . . ahhhh . . . . those many hours of watching!

    It’s a great tribute to John Mayall’s semi-autobigraphical song, ‘Crawling Up A Hill’, to hear it being covered by contemporary artists.

    Oh yes . . . . ‘Wonderous Place’ covered in the UK by Billy Fury (at a slightly faster pace).

    Keep Cruising and come back soon with another of your Three From Me selections.

    In the meantime . . . . have fun!


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