Archive for November, 2012

That’ll get it . . . .

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #85 (29.11.12)

Now, life is getting ‘lively’ around the Grand Duchy, with the everyday demands and the inevitable entreaties to prepare for the festive season. Well, ready or not, if you find yourself running out of steam around the middle of the week, then a Thursday night musical cruise in good company can be just the remedy. We’ll help you to wrestle with your priorities, resolve your conflicting demands and treat you to a healthy dose of Cruising with The Commissioner. You’ll soon feel the benefit of that smooth elixir of carefully blended sounds, which is sure to restore your momentum and get you geared up for the weekend.

Here in the Grand Duchy, the social diary has been busy and is looking get a deal more lively in the weeks to come and there are a few ‘pinch points’ that need resolving to fit in everything. The past week has brought its own delights, including visits to Cruise Control from Johnny99, The Vikster and fellow Wireless FM DJ, Johnny Alpha (who was visiting the capital city for a Friday night gig) . . . . .and a fine gig it was too, with an excellent playlist and a very appreciative audience too!

Another treat this week was our special feature on another master of the saxophone, Plas Johnson. Whether his name is familiar to you or not, one thing is certain, you’ve heard his sax more times than you might think. So, we took a little trip through his recorded works courtesy of some edited highlights of an interview with Plas by Paul Jones on his Jazz FM show . . . . and good stuff it is too.

As Thursday night came around, we rolled out the Cruise Mobile and selected the many musical delights to accompany us on our cruise across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. Our pursuit of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm & blues started in the company of The Penguins and their recording of ‘Butterball’ . . . . and we got up to full cruising speed with Spookum Russell and ‘Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick’.

Despite some mischievous prompting from some quarters, we did not include ‘Nice One Cyril’ in our selection this week, but here’s what we did play:

Cruising for the border . . . .
Butterball – The Penguins
Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick – Spookum Russell
Baby, That’s Why I’m Your Fool – Rudy Ray Moore
Bell Bottoms – Elliott Shavers
Somebody’s Always Trying – Ted Taylor
Hit That Jive Jack – Boyd Bennett & The Rockets
Shoulder Motion – G Hodge & The Jumping Jack’s
Let’s Spend The Night Together – Tina Turner
Talking About – Susan Tedeschi
Love Me Like A Rock – The Dixie Hummingbirds

Three From Me . . . . . . The Spinmeister
Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Rocking in The Free World – Neil Young
Forever Young – Bob Dylan

Cruising with Plas Johnson
Big Time Scoop – Johnny Otis
Iddley Biddley Be – Ray Johnson
I Never Missed My Baby – Erlene Harris
Margie – Fats Domino
She Said Yeah – Larry Williams
Bim Bam – Don & Dewey
Little Red Riding Hood – The Coasters
Dig – Screaming Jay Hawkins
When Love Comes To Town – B.B. King

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Blue Train – Lord Rockingham’s XI

Cruising for home . . . .
Jingle – Echo Four Two
The Liquidator – Harry J’s Allstars
(Heaven Must Have Sent Your) Precious Love – Tower of Power with Joss Stone
Forever – Lynda Laurence
In Your Spare Time – Cindy Scott
Needle In A Haystack – Dusty Springfield
That’ll Get It – The Imps
Love Train – Jackie Wilson

As you might expect, I enjoy our weekly adventures into the unknown, with our Three From Me guests, because they are always a source of surprise with their choices of music. This week we welcomed back The Spinmeister, who brought us a little sample of the gems on his current playlist which featured Neil Young . . . . and a fine selection it was too. Indeed, the influence of The Spinmeister was also felt in our trip down memory lane this week. He encouraged us to go back to 1958 and Jack Good’s UK TV show ‘Oh Boy’. We featured the show’s house band, Lord Rockingham’s XI, with the flipside of their number 1 hit, ‘Hoots Mon’, which was ‘Blue Train’.

We reprised a couple of the many fine choices from Johnny Alpha’s Friday night playlist and added our own celebration of this week’s birthday of Tina Turner. But, all too soon, we ran out of cruising time, well before we ran out of items for the playlist, so there are plenty of tasty treats in store for our future adventures. So make sure you’re ready . . . . same time same place next week and we’ll send the Cruise Mobile to call for you. But, if you start to get twitchy before then, you can always use our website links to catch some of the other shows we enjoy.

So, until the next time we go Cruising with the Commissioner . . . . . remember to . . . . have fun!

Hold it . . . .

Posted: November 22, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #84 (22.11.12)

Well, the intergalactic monitoring service here at Cruising with The Commissioner was following the news this week of other Commissioners being appointed to oversee the police, but they seemed to have attracted little interest. So, accept no imitations and remember the real Commissioner is here every Thursday with some of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. Join us and you can be sure of the warmest of welcomes and an expertly guided tour that will take you across musical frontier, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

We had some real treats in store for this week’s show, not least the debut appearance of The Shake with a Three From Me selection of Dutch bands and an unique collection it was too. It was a joy to hear his dulcet tones on Cruising with The Commissioner and we very much hope that he may be persuaded to return in the not too distant future.

Now, last week we took up the challenge from fellow Wireless FM DJ, The Auburn Phantom, to find some outstanding girl guitar players and we played Bonnie Raitt. Well, the good members of the Cruising Crew have been pitching in with their suggestions too and this week we’ve got another nomination . . . . . . this is Australian girl Orianthi, who came my notice first when Carlos Santana started raving about her on his tour of Australia a few years back. She has clearly soaked up many influences in her guitar style, as you can hear on her track ‘Wouldn’t Change A Thing’.

Something that came as a real surprise this week was finding myself working with a senior executive and discovering that they have a clandestine ‘other life’ in music as a member of a band called ‘Rant ‘n’ Rave’. So, we played a track from their latest album, ‘Love Can Be Murder’, entitled ‘We Gotta Move’ . . . . which seemed rather appropriate for Cruising with the Commissioner.

As you will hear, we started our cruise this week with Don Covay and his 45 on Norton records, ‘Switchen In The Kitchen’ and we followed up swiftly with a little something from The Boulevards and their Everest 45, ‘Chop Chop Hole In The Wall’. This may have come as a disappointment to the many fans of Semprini, but there were plenty of other ‘choice choons’ in our playlist: 

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . .
Switchen In The Kitchen – Don ‘Pretty Boy’ Covay
Chop Chop Hole In The Wall – The Boulevards
A Fool In Love – Johnny Otis with Marie Adams
Ain’t You Glad Nature Did It – Joe Perkins & The Rookies
Barbeque – Jump 4 Joy
Don’t Call My Name – Billy Tate
We Gotta Move – Rant ‘n’ Rave
Love Light Shines – George Tindley & The Modern Redcaps
What Can I Do – Billy Prophet
No No Baby – The Sherries
Rag Doll – Del Shannon
The Angels Watching – Pookie Hudson & The Spaniels

Three From Me . . . . . with The Shake
Windows Of My Eyes – Cubie & the Blizzards
Show Me By Candle Light – The Rodys
The Sunset Show – Sense Of Humour

Cruising down the road apiece . . . .
96 Tears – Eddie & the Hot Rods
Baker’s Daughter – The Seychelles
Wouldn’t Change A Thing – Orianthi
Fever – Oli Brown
Band of Gold – Ronnie Dyson
Hold It – Leo’s Five
Sixteen Tons – Bo Diddley
So Glad You’re Mine – Ernie K Doe
You Succeeded – Sandra Phillips
Baby Jane – Otis Clay
Enjoy Yourself – Prince Buster

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
That’s Alright – Freddie King

Cruising for home . . . .
Money – Cherry Wainer
Lollipop Mama – Wee Willie Harris
6345789 – Tower of Power with Huey Lewis
Don’t Cry No More – Phil Humphrey & The Fendermen
Gotta Have Your Love – The Sapphires
Hucklebuck With Jimmy – The Five Keys
Ice – The Penguins

One of the much anticipated events of the week was a gig across town that featured new blues generation singer/guitarist, Oli Brown and his band. He was promoting his latest album ‘Here I Am’, but we picked out an earlier track for our playlist this week, ‘Fever’. . . . which you’ll remember that Ronnie Dyson sang that song for us last week . . . . and he was back again with the classic ‘Band of Gold’.

We were having such a good time during the show that, almost before we knew it, our feast of rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues was over. So, with a sigh we started heading for home and, as ever, we were grateful to have such good company on our cruise and to have the opportunity to play the music we enjoy. If you’ve enjoyed it too, then I hope we can entice you back again next week when we’ll get the Cruise Mobile out again to go Cruising with The Commissioner once more. If you can’t wait till then, why not cruise by and hear 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 together . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with the Commissioner #83 (15.11.12)

Well, the Grand Duchy has been experiencing some late fireworks and a little more wood-smoke in the air, but as the chill of the Autumn evenings became more evident, we were ready to wish the warmest of welcomes to one and all to our Thursday night cruise. Ready or not, we were on call to extend an open invitation to join us on our musical adventure, that we call Cruising with The Commissioner.

Now, it’s been a busy week, one way and another, including a celebrated personal event, but it’s also been a great week for catching up with members of the Cruising Crew, including The Vikster, Joe Duckworth, Mi Amigo, Arfa Pinetop, The Spinmeister and Johnny99. It proved to be all good stuff, with some lively conversations and some contributions to the Cruising Library from our friends at Casbah Records in Greenwich Village that you’ll catch in the weeks to come.

The days seemed to slip by pretty quickly, but we were well prepared for Thursday night and all ready to take you across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. All this in the interests of finding some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues . . . . and we did . . . . starting out with Chicago band, The Marvelows and their ABC 45 ‘I Do’, which we followed smartly with a 1953 single on King records from Wynonie Harris, called ‘Quiet Whiskey’.

The many fans of Bobby Crush may be disappointed that we didn’t manage to find space for one of his classic performances, but  here’s what we did squeeze into the playlist:

Cruising down the open road . . . .                               
I DoThe Marvelows
Quiet Whiskey – Wynonie Harris
Breaking Up The House – Jump4Joy
Mojo Hannah – Betty Harris
The Girl That Radiates Charm – Arthur Alexander
You Went Back On What You Said – Willie Mallory
Hey There Lonely Girl – Eddie Holman
Fool – Paul Ansell’s Number Nine
Don’t Need No Woman – Larry McCray
So Glad You’re Mine – Elvis Presley
Matchbox – Blind Lemon Jefferson

Three From Me . . . . . with Lil-Sis
54321 – Manfred Mann
123 – Len Barry
In The Year 2525 – Zager & Evans

Cruising with friends . . . . .
The Road – Please
Conquistador Esses – Hi-Revving Tongues
So Hard To Say Goodbye – Still Rock
Split Decision – Bonnie Raitt
Take It While You Can – Alecstar
Christian’s Automobile – The Dixie Hummingbirds
I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me) – Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
Farther On Up The Road – Lonnie Mack
Fever – Ronnie Dyson

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
The Jackal – Ronnie Jordan with Dana Bryant.

Cruising for home . . . .
Rudy, A Message To You – Dandy Livingstone
Can I Get A Witness – Calvin Scott
Too Many Heartaches – Al Adams
With My Love and What You Got – Jean Wells
I’ll Take You There – The Sapphires
Shouting Out Love – The Emotions
Louella – Marcia Ball
Do Lord – Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins

Well, it was all happening here during the show this week, with visits from the Cruisettes, Mr Merlot and Lil-Sis who came back with another Three From Me. While she was presenting her latest selection, we were relaxing in the Cruise Control executive recliner and enjoying one of Mr Merlot’s finest offerings.

One of they joys of the past week was catching the film ‘The Sapphires’. Now, like our good pal and fellow Wireless FM DJ, The Shake, we much admire the American group The Sapphires, but the film featured the Australian group of the same name and we selected their version of the Staple Singers hit, ‘I’ll Take You There’ . . . . and a fine job they did on it too.

We finished in fine style with Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins and their rocking version of ‘Do Lord’, a song we heard on last week’s show from Big Maybelle, and sadly that brought us to the end of the show. Happily, we knew that in another seven days we could do it all again and jumpaboard the Cruise Mobile once more to go Cruising with The Commissioner.

So until the next time we go Cruising with the Commisssioner . . .  remember to . . . . . .  have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #82 (08.11.12)

Well, we passed through the 5th November without incident and witnessed plenty of fireworks along the way. As the end of another week came close to hand and the daylight faded, we prepared ourselves for a Thursday evening soiree with the Cruising Crew. In anticipation, we polished up the Cruise Mobile ready to take us on another tuneful trip beyond the blue horizon and way out there, where there’s nothing better to do than joining our weekly celebration of the very best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues known as Cruising with The Commissioner.

Whatever’s been happening in your corner of the universe, you can always be assured of the warmest of welcomes for one and all at Cruising with The Commissioner. So, as Thursday’s daylight faded, once again the Wireless FM airwaves came alive with the sound of the juicy gems that have been carefully selected for your listening pleasure. As always, if you can’t catch the show live, you can always find it here on our website.

Our busy week included a couple of eagerly awaited UK appearances by US bluesmen Eugene Hideaway Bridges and Larry McCray. Both were great evenings and the Larry McCray gig took us on long drive from the Grand Duchy and way down South to the Boarhunt Blues Club, in Hampshire. Check it out if you’re nearby, because we were made very welcome by Steve and Angie, who run the club and we had a simply superb time watching Larry McCray live with his American band. He gave us 2 hours of blistering guitar work and powerful vocals, with great support and musicianship from his band. It was all enthusiastically received by the audience and yours truly. As you might expect, we included something from each of them in our playlist. We pulled out Eugene’s ’Live in San Antone’ album to play ‘Learn How To Let You Go’ and we showed off Larry McCray’s blistering guitar and vocals on his cover of the Eric Clapton song ‘Miss You’ and excellent stuff it is too.

Well, sadly, we lost Terry Callier recently and so, in tribute, we played his 1982 recording of ‘I Don’t Want to See Myself (Without You)’, which has become a bit of a Northern Soul favourite. But, to get us in the righ mood, we set off on our cruise in great style with a Cruise Control favourite from Big Maybelle and ‘Do Lord’, which was followed fast by Calvin Boze and ‘ Beale Street On A Saturday Night’, which may well have changed a bit since that track was recorded.

Cruising way out there . . . . .
Do Lord – Big Maybelle
Beale Street On A Saturday Night – Calvin Boze
The Walkin’ Blues – Fluffy Hunter
Hey Hey Baby – The Marvelows
For You My Love – Lavelle White
Baby It’s Love – Al Adams
The Girl That Radiates Charm – Mick Hucknall
Learn How To Let You Go – Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Miss You – Larry McCray
So Glad You’re Mine – Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup

Three From Me . . . . with Mrs TC
Little Town Flirt – ELO
At Last – Raul Malo
Flat Broke – The Nimmo Brothers

Cruising in good company . . . .
Don’t Bring Me Down – Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeaters
Never Let Me Go – Eddie Holman
Hey There Lonely Boy – Ruby & The Romantics
Tired Of Waiting – The Flock
Don’t Fear The Reaper – The Blue Oyster Cult
I Can Hear You Crying – Eddie Hill
She’s My Beauty Queen – Joe Matthews
Sweet Thing – Billie Kennedy
Someday We’re Gonna Love Again – Barbara Lewis
I Don’t Want to See Myself (Without You) – Terry Callier

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Witch Doctor – Don Lang & His Frantic Five

Cruising for home . . . . .
Matchbox – The Beatles
Blue Jean Shuffle – Plas Johnson
He Knocks Me Out – The Del Moroccos
Band Of Gold – Freda Payne
You Want It, You Got It – The Detroit Emeralds
A Favour For A Girl (With A Love Sick Heart) – Brenda Holloway
Let’s Start A Romance – Little Joe Hinton
Don’t Change Your Pretty Ways – Hank Ballard

Now, we missed our rock violin number in last week’s show, but we got back on track this week with a great cover of the Kinks ‘Tired Of Waiting’ by Chicago rock band The Flock. It’s a track that been included on many rock compilations since it first appeared on their self titled 1969 album and features some fine rock violin from Jerry Goodman. We included some more 70s rock for our good pal The Spongeman, who helped with the broadcast of last week’s show, and it was that classic rock track from the Blue Oyster Cult ‘Don’t Fear The Reaper’.

Our trip down Memory Lane this week, took us time travelling back to 1958 and a record by UK trombone player and singer Don Lang. It was his appearance with his band The Frantic Five on the BBC TV show, ‘Six Five Special’, that had excited my interest in their cover of the song ‘Witch Doctor’. So, my pocket money was spent on an HMV 78 copy which doubtless shocked my parents when they heard it!

Whether or not you are convinced by stories about the serenity and order of Cruise Control, this week it certainly got disturbed by Mrs TC lingered long enough on a recent visit to give us her latest Three From Me selection . . . . . and being worldly wise, we gave in gracefully and let her loose.

We covered plenty of ground on our cruise this week and were having such a good time that we didn’t notice the clock, so we barely got home in time. But, we turned the Cruise Mobile around and finished our journey in company with Hank Ballard and The Midnighters and their 1955 single on Federal Records, ‘Don’t Change Your Pretty Ways’. If there were some goodies for you in our playlist, then I am hoping that we can enjoy some more of your good company next week when we’ll get the Cruise Mobile out to do it all again. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . .  remember . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #81 (01.11.12)

Well, here in the Grand Duchy, we’ve certainly noticed the change in temperatures, as we put the clocks back this week, but this didn’t stop us extending the warmest of welcomes to one and all for this week’s guided tour of some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm & blues. Call us ‘unimaginative’ or ‘creatures of habit’ if you will, but we continue to call this Cruising with The Commissioner.

However, we should be grateful that we have not faced the weather conditions of the Caribbean and the East of America. Indeed, one of the messages we received from US radio DJ Larry Grogan, who broadcasts his Funky 16 Corners show on Viva-Radio, told the story of stocking up with food and battening down the hatches in anticipation of the impending storm. However, we are grateful to him for pointing us in the direction of an up-tempo number from Eddie Holman called ‘I Surrender’ . . . . . and very good it was too.

It has been a busy week for business, social and family events. We had some long awaited gigs lined up and we also found some excellent vinyl on our excursion to Greenwich this week, where we had a good haul of notable albums of 70s bands and some vintage R&B 45s too.

Well, as soon as Thursday rolled around, we made sure that the Cruise Mobile was ready and we got it humming along to the sounds of Albinia Jones with Sam Price & His Rocking Rhythm and their 1949 release on Decca called ‘Hole In the Wall’, which we followed smartly with Aggie Dukes with her 1957 single on Aladdin, called ‘John John’. Now, that may not have been what fans of The Vernon Sisters were hoping to hear, but ‘never say never’. Here’s what was in the playlist this week:

Cruising for the city limits . . . .
Hole In the Wall – Albinia Jones with Sam Price & His Rocking Rhythm
John John – Aggie Dukes
Buick 59 – The Medallions
I’ll Never Find Another You – Paul Ansell’s Number Nine
I Surrender – Eddie Holman
Baby I’m Yours – Barbara Lewis
Can’t Get The Stuff – Hoggie & The Sharptones
Hi Heel Sneakers – Tommy Tucker
No More Heroes – The Stranglers
My Creole Belle – Mississippi John Hurt

Three From Me . . . . with The Majestic
Won’t You Please Be My Girl – The Soulsville All Stars
I Don’t Know About You – The Constellations
Talkin’ Bout Ya Baby – The Mighty Marvelows

Cruising with King Curtis . . . .
Birth of the Blues – King Curtis
Yakety Yak – The Coasters
Reminiscing – Buddy Holly
Soul Twist – King Curtis
Memphis Soul Stew – King Curtis
Instant Groove – King Curtis (with Jimi Hendrix)
The Stumble – Freddie King
Love The One You’re With – Aretha Franklin
Hot Potatoes – King Curtis
Soul Serenade – King Curtis

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Pity Pity Pity – Little Tony & His Brothers

Cruising for home . . . . .
Doom & Gloom – The Rolling Stones
Run Run Run – Jo Jo Gunne
Anthology of Dreams – Elias Hulk
You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover – Bo Diddley
Something’s Wrong – Chris Clark
Since I Found My Baby – The Metros
The Little Bitty Things – Danny White
Got Nobody To Love – Terry Timmons
Tick Tock – Chris Allen
Motor Head Baby – Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones

We included a few notable rock tracks in this week’s playlist to give the Cruising Crew with an opportunity to rock out, including someone at Casbah Records in Greenwich. We gave a good airing to the Rolling Stones and their latest single ‘Doom and Gloom’, as well as ‘Run Run Run’ from Jo Jo Gunne, which went out to all those who took part in the Great South Run last weekend, including one of the Cruisettes. We even included a couple of tracks that were suggested by covers that we heard on last week’s show. The originals both came into the Cruising Library as singles issued on the Pye International label, which was the UK outlet for most of the Chess releases at the time. We surprised ourselves by finding Tommy Tucker’s ‘Hi Heel Sneakers’ and ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover’ by Bo Diddley.

One of the joys of the week was hearing from our good pal The Majestic. He always seems so cheery and we were impressed that he took time out from his busy schedule to put together some excellent choices for another Three From Me selection. The Cruise Control joy quotient made a notable leap as a result and we can all hear why.

Our trip down Memory Lane took us back to the 60s and a story of finding a very collectable 45 on a trip to a couple of second hand shops in East London. The record was an Extended Play 45 on the Durium label by Little Tony & His Brothers, which came with the give away price of 2/6p, but is now trading for nearly 3 figure sums (£s). We played a track from Little Tony’s EP and noted that he was an Italian and at the time did not speak English, so he had to learn all the song lyrics parrot fashion . . . . . and did pretty well!

We certainly clocked up a few miles on our cruise, as we went through our playlist of rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. We were having a good time too, but all good things have to come to an end and, too soon, we had to start heading for home with ‘Tick Tock’ from Chris Allen and then Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones with their version of ‘Motor Head Baby’. After that we were starting to put away the records and CDs and clear up the debris that seems to accumulate during the show, but not before thanking one and all for their good company and promising to get the Cruise Mobile out again next week to go Cruising with The Commissioner once more.

So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . .  remember to . . . . have fun!