Archive for December, 2012

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #89 (27.12.12)

Well, where did 2012 go? We must have been having a particularly good time, at least while we were Cruising with The Commissioner, because we arrived this week a little surprised that we were bidding an enthusiastic welcome to our last show of the year. As always, there was a seat in the Cruise Mobile saved especially for you, so you could join us on our adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

Cruising #88
We conducted the tradition sweep up around Cruise Control and attempted (falteringly) to pursue our new year’s resolution, to bring order out of chaos to the music strewn Cruising Library. So far, we have repatriated the alternative Xmas record collections . . . . . well, it’s a start

This week we decided to take a timely look back at some of the many highlights of the show in the past year. If you’ve been a regular member of the Cruising Crew, you’ll know that we have had some great musical moments from our Three From Me guests. So, we set about selecting some of the stories and the excellent tracks that they brought along during the year. I was a real treat to sit back and relax and listen to these again and I hope you agree.

In the end, we had just too much to squeeze into the show, but we did take the opportunity to continue our response to the recent challenge from our good pal The Auburn Phantom to find some good stuff from ‘girls with guitars’. This week we found another . . . . . this was UK new blues singer/songwriter and guitarist, Joanne Shaw-Taylor with an excellent track called ‘Who Do You Want Me To Be’, from her debut album.

But we got tuned up for our review of 2012 with Piney Brown and a belting jump blues on Apollo Records, called  ‘That’s Right Baby’, followed by something we played earlier in the year from the great Jackie Wilson and ‘So Many Cute Little Girls’. For those who enjoy lists, here’s another:

Cruising for the frontier . . . . 
That’s Right Baby – Piney Brown
So Many Cute Little Girls – Jackie Wilson
Every Woman I Know Is Crazy ‘Bout My Automobile – Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson
What About The Music – Billy Harner tee shirt 2013
Come And Get These Memories – Fontella Bass
Something Old, Something New – The Fantastics
Who Do You Want Me To Be – Joanne Shaw Taylor
Looking back . . . . .
London Girls – Stephen Duffy (from DJ Captain Scarlet)
Baby You Know What You’re Doing – Arthur Brown (from The Spongeman)
Che Che Cole – Willie Colon (from DJ Wheeliebag)
Young Boy Blues – The Who (from Lil-Sis)
Getting Mighty Crowded – Betty Everett (from Richard Mann)
Coming Into Los Angeles – Arlo Guthrie (from Mumbles)
Bad Girl – ZZ Top (from Phil Tyler)
King of The New York Streets – Dion (from The Vikster)
Dancing In The Street – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (from Joe Duckworth)
Nouvelle Vague – Richard Anthony (from Mrs TC)
Get Out Of Denver – Eddie & The Hot Rods (from Johnny99)
No More Doggin’ – James Cotton (from Arfa Pinetop)
Talkin’ Bout Ya Baby – The Mighty Marvelows (from The Majestic)
Windows Of My Eyes – Cubie & the Blizzards (from The Shake)
Rocking in The Free World – Neil Young (from The Spinmeister)
Buzz Saw – Gee Cees (from Johnny Alpha)
Here I Am Again – Denise LaSalle (from Mr T)

Cruising for the new year . . . . .
Start Me Up – Beverley Skeete
Casting My Spell On You – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Neighbour Neighbour – Charles Berry
Only Sixteen – The Heptones
Crystal Closet Queen – Leon Russell & The Shelter People
You Can’t Make Me Doubt My Baby – The All Night Workers
How About Rocking With Me – Eddie Mack

Now you may remember that some weeks back we played ‘Neighbour Neighbour’ by Jack Bruce and at the time we said we would dig out the original by Charles Berry . . . . .  and that’s just what we did, just before we ran out of 2012.

Now, even if we were short on time, we were certainly not short of great music on Cruising with The Commissioner, so we crammed all that we could into the playlist, but that still left plenty over to ensure we have a rocking good 2013 . . . . and I think we will! We finished 2012 with some jump blues on the Apollo label from Eddie Mack with a great 50s number called ‘How About Rocking with me as we headed for home. Then, all too soon, we were back home safe and sound from our cruise.

So, The Cruisettes join me and Mr Merlot in thanking you for your good company through the past year and wishing you the very best for the new year. We very much hope that in 2013 we can call by in the Cruise Mobile and entice you to join us on some more memorable musical adventures in search of the very best in rock, soul and real rhythm & blues

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #88 (20.12.12)

Well, we were dressed up in our festive finery to welcome one and all to our rather special festival of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. With all that’s going on at this time of the year, we were very pleased to have your good company and whether you stumbled here through some internet accident, or the hand of destiny brought you here, be assured that you’re in good hands when we take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Our mission, as ever, is to take you on a whirlwind journey across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres . . . . all in the interests of pursuing the music we like.

After just too much ‘encouragement’ from the Cruising Crew we decided to include a seasonal selection this week, on our last show before Christmas. So, in the best traditions of Cruising with The Commissioner, we went looking for some festive rock, soul and real rhythm and blues, quite determined to avoid the obvious and anything that just might remotely get played in the department stores or supermarkets at this time of year.

So, we found some superb ‘alternative’ seasonal songs for your discerning approval and we even found three kings to bring some gifts to the playlist. The Cruisettes brought a couple of bottles chilled bubbly and some very tasty pastries into Cruise Control and we set out to have a very merry rockin’ good Christmas.

The celebrations started early for some with a number of birthdays, including Dionne Warwick, Connie Francis and Dave Clark . . . . and we started it all off with The Cadets and a little stomper called ‘Let’s Rock ‘n’ Roll’, which we followed with fine piece of R&B from Tommy Ridgley and his ‘Boogie Woogie Mama’.

Our playlist was jammed packed with juicy gems and much as we love the Big Ben Banjo Band, there was just too much else already on the list, but who knows what awaits us in 2013. So, here’s our playlist for this week:

Cruising with friends . . . . 
Let’s Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Cadets
Boogie Woogie Mama – Tommy Ridgley
I Can’t Forget About You – Big Boy Bloater & The Limits
I’m Gonna Be Sweeter – Clay Hammond
I Played For Keeps – Carla Thomas
I Smiled Yesterday – Dionne Warwick
I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter – Connie Francis
Doctor Rhythm – Dave Clark Five
Sidetracked – Debbie Davies

Three From Me . . . . with The Vikster 
Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
Backdoor Santa – Clarence Carter
Driving Home For Christmas – Chris Rea

Cruising with Santa . . . . . 
I’m The Real Santa – The Refreshments
Santa Was A Skinhead – The Midtown Boys
It’s Christmas Time – Status Quo
Dig That Crazy Santa Claus – Brian Setzner
Hey! Santa Claus – The Moonglows
Santa Is Rockin’ – The Boppers
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – The Tractors
Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas – Los Lonely Boys
Please Come Home For Christmas – Johnny Winter
Christmas Celebration – B B King
I Hear Jingle Bells – Freddy King
Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
Jolly Old St Nicholas – Chicago
Santa Loves To Boogie – Asleep At The Wheel
Rockin’ ‘n’ Rollin’ With Santa Claus – The Hepsters
All I Want For Christmas – Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns
I Want A Present For Christmas – Doc Bagby Orchestra (featuring JB Summers)
Father Christmas – The Kinks
Santa’s Gonna Rock – The Refreshments
A Very Merry Rockin’ Good Christmas – The Rockabilly Boogie Band

A treat for Cruising with The Commissioner this week was the very welcome and festive return of The Vikster to the ‘Three From Me’ slot. She came wearing a Santa’s hat and jewellery that, rather appropriately, jingle jangle jingled to accompany her Christmas music choices. She was on good form too and there were those (less charitable than myself) who suspected she may have been getting in some early training for ‘the season to be jolly’, but it seemed to work well and we much enjoyed her visit.

We traded our ‘Memory Lane’ slot for some more seasonal sounds for our ‘Cruising with Santa’ selection, but it will return again . . . . unless the feedback starts threatening violence.

Sadly, all too soon the bubbly ran out and Cruising clock  told us we should too. So, with pristine white linen hankies to dab our eyes, we cued up the last track on our seasonal playlist and we were ready to go out in style with the Rockabilly Boogie Band with the very wish of us all here at Cruise Control . . . . to have a very merry rockin’ good Christmas.

We had a great time in finding and playing this week’s selection of fine sounds and hope it was good for you. The Cruisettes join with me in sending you our best wishes for the festive season and the warmest of invitations to come back next week for our review of 2012 and some of the rock, soul and real rhythm and blues music that we have much enjoyed during the year on Cruising with The Commissioner. But if your musical taste buds need to be tantilised before then, why not take a listen to the Tuesday Night Mafia on Wireless FM, where they’ll make you a offer you can’t refuse and play you music you’ll never forget.

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

Here I am again . . . . .

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #87 (13.12.12)

Well, the pre-Xmas social functions are in full swing now and bringing some joyful reunions and plenty of good-hearted cheer. Most folks seem to be faring well, despite the challenging times and it was a joy to call by for the Cruising Crew this week and to find them looking resplendent and enthused at the prospect of another opportunity to go Cruising with The Commissioner. It may have been getting pretty hectic here at Cruise Control, but we still found time to polish up the Cruise Mobile and pull together a real mix of music for our playlist this week. Our searching for some of the best of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues was rewarded with some real finds in the Cruising Library and some fine 45s that we rescued from the pending tray.
Cruising #88b
Now, a story that’s been unfolding in the news recently was about the serial wrongdoing of a one time popular Northern MP and I discovered, very belatedly, that a good pal of mine had been one of the journalists who originally exposed this scandle back in the 70s, but had to wait until now to see the story finally emerge and change history. My good pal’s name is John and at least one of the Cruising Crew suggested that we might play a track by the Golden Gate Quartet which seemed so apt, this was ‘John The Revelator’.

One thing is for certain, if you want genial company, cheery quips, and excellent music choices, there’s no one better to invite along than our good pal Mr T. So, with much encouragement from The Cruisettes, we extended an invitation to Mr T to join us at Cruise Control and in next to no time he was with us, looking every inch the suave, debonair man about town and clutching a handful of records. So, check out his Three From Me selection this week, where there are some cracking soul tracks to savour.

Well, this week brought the sad news that the larger than life astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, is no longer with us. As our good pal, Mi Amigo, says, perhaps the shock of hearing plans for holidays to the moon was too much for him, but given the many people he introduced to astronomy Mi Amigo suggested a topical record to mark the moment . . . so we played ‘Stairway To The Stars’ from the great Earl Bostic.

We set off on our cruise this week in the company of The Bel-Aires and their 1955 recording of Hoppin’ Boppin’ & Rockin’ and, as if that wasn’t enough to excite your musical taste buds, we followed up with a 1953 release on RCA Victor from Milt Trenier & His Solid Six  and an invitation to ‘Flip Our Wigs’. It’s not everyday that you get an opportunity to do that, but take a look at what else we put on our playlist:

Cruising for the border . . . . 
Hoppin’ Boppin’ & Rockin’ – The Bel Aires with the Harold Price Orchestra
Flip Our Wigs – Milt Trenier & His Solid Six
Casting My Spell On You – Johnny Otis with Marcie Lee
Thru Way – Floyd ‘Horsecollar’ Williams
Be My Guest – Fats Domino
Let’s Start A Romance – Little Joe Hinton
Hard To Be – The Vaughan Brothers
Ting A Ling – Larry Williams
What Cha Gonna Do – Tommy Ridgley
Break Every Heart I Can – Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed & The Trueloves
96 Tears – The Rattles
John The Revelator – The Golden Gate Quartet

Three From Me . . . . with Mr T
Who Am I – Chris Morgan
I Am Nothing – Al Williams
Here I Am Again – Denise LaSalle

Cruising for the city lights . . . .
Stairway To The Stars – Earl Bostic
She’s Gone – Spirit of John Morgan
The Girl With No Name – The Byrds
Strange Things Happening Everyday – Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Baby Come Back – Angelique Kidjo
At Last – Etta James
Ting A Ling – Buddy Holly
Crowded Classroom – The Strollers
Voodoo In My Basement – The Lovin’ Spoonful
Honky Tonk Train Blues – Meade Lux Lewis

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
All Night Long – Willie Kent & The Gents

Cruising for home . . . .
The Whip – The Ethiopians
Country Line Special – Cyril Davis All Stars
Midnight In New Orleans – Long John Baldry
Glad I Knew Better – Howard Tate
I Can’t Be A Fool For You – Danny Owens
One Way Love – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Killer Diller – The Cues
Jump & Shout – The Johnson Brothers Combo with Erline Harris

Well, we had a playlist stuffed with tasty treats this week and, having featured some psych rock from The Spirit of John Morgan, we commented on John Morgan’s finger skills and the fact that he does an impressive cover of Meade “Lux” Lewis’ “Honky Tonk Train Blues.” As you might expect, it was too good a lead to miss, so we’ve found the 1927 recording of “Honky Tonk Train Blues” by Meade Lux Lewis and reminded us all of the tune that became his musical calling card.

Last week’s ‘girls with guitars’ feature, included something by American blues guitarist and singer, Susan Tedeschi, and the Cruising Crew have responded well to our invitation to name some other artists for our consideration. So, this week we’ve picked out American blues guitarist and singer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and her recording of ‘Strange Things Happening Everyday’. Anyone who’s seen her performing will know she’s a powerful singer and a mean guitar playing, as you’ll hear.

Now, we were in full swing when we noticed the Cruising Clock telling us that we should be thinking about heading for home, so we negotiated that turnaround manoeuvre and traced the familiar route back to Cruise Control. As the Cruise Mobile glided effortlessly to a halt, to return us all safe and sound, back where we started, and we gather our belongings to go our separate ways, we managed to be of good cheer, because we knew there was only 7 days to while away, before we could do it all again. So, be ready next week when we call by for you and we’ll treat you to another healthy dose of our favourite elixir of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues, but next week it may have a little festive fun and frolics too.

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 #86 (06.12.12)

Well, when you’re out on the road Cruising with The Commissioner it’s difficult not to realise that we are approaching the festive season, although the attentions hereabouts have been diverted lately by a flurry of activity amongst those who maintain the royal accession list . . . . . you might just imagine Alan Freeman providing the chart run down of who’s going up and down the charts and announcing the new entrants.

As the festive lights and decorations appear all around, it’s hard to ignore the enticements to buy ever more exotic presents for friends and relatives! But, amidst all this, we have found the time to prepare for our Thursday cruise and to search out some of the finest in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. So, we were ready, with fingers poised above the controls to take the faithful on a whistle-stop tour across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.Cruising #89

The chill in the air outside was no competition for the warmest of welcomes that awaited those who joined us on our musical adventure that (with a strong sense of identity) we continue to call . . . . Cruising with The Commissioner.

It has been an extra busy week here in the Grand Duchy and our gig list this week included a Saturday night out in the company of the SAS Band, whose band-list sports an impressive line-up of top-notch names. Their gigs always attract capacity crowds and we joined the crush for their Xmas special and our playlist included a taster from them, called ‘Hey Jealousy’ which comes from their self-titled album. The gig list included Tex Mex band, Los Pacaminos, who proved to be as entertaining as ever. Their set went down well with the crowd and we reprised one of their offerings, ‘Raised On Margaritas’ which ensured everyone was having a good time! We also caught a set by Jack Bruce and it was really good to see him still on top fine form. He was singing and playing his fretless bass with masterful assurance. As well as a few Cream hits, he included a version of the Jimmy Hughes hit, ‘Neighbour Neighbour’ and so we played that track from the Jack Bruce album ‘Cities Of The Heart’.

Now, there were some juicy gems for the blues aficionados amongst the Cruising Crew, including a track from a fine album called ‘On The Jimmy Reed Highway’ which features Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmy Vaughan. We picked out one of the Jimmy Reed covers called ‘Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth’ and we’re grateful to our good pal Arfa Pinetop for pointing us in the direction of that album. We also found time for another of our ‘girls with guitars’ tracks. This week’s choice was suggested by our good pal, The Spongeman, and it came from an album by Jane & June Millington, appropriately titled ‘Play Like A Girl’ and listen out for the guitar work on ‘One for Change’.

As if that was not enough, we set off on our cruise in the company of The Fabulous Silver Tones and their West Coast recording of Hey Sally Mae, which was a recent arrival at Cruise Control, and barely stopping for breath, we got up full cruising speed with the excellent 1954 Atlantic classic from Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters called ‘Bip Bam’. Take a look at what else we included:

Cruising for the border . . . . 
Hey Sally Mae – The Fabulous Silver Tones
Bip Bam – Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters
Tick Tock – Chris Allan
The Most – Boyd Bennett & The Rockets
Choo Choo Ch-Boogie – Louis Jordan
Pneumonia – Joe Tex
Hey Jealousy – The SAS Band
Aw Shucks, Hush Your Mouth – Omar Kent Dykes & Jimmy Vaughan
One for Change – Jane & June Millington

Three From Me . . . . . . Johnny Alpha
Mogambo – Sounds Incorporated
Casbah – Sandy Nelson
Buzz Saw – Gee Cees

Cruising in good company . . . .
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
One Way Love – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
It Should’ve Been Me – Zoot Money & His Big Roll Band
Why Don’t You Try Me Tonight – Maurice & Mac
Snap Your Fingers – Barbara Lewis
Raised On Margaritas – Los Pacaminos
Neighbour Neighbour – Jack Bruce
Needle In A Haystack – The Velvelettes
Full Tilt Boogie Man – Bare Bones Boogie Band
Coming Home – Junior Cole

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner 
Take Five – Dave Brubeck

Cruising for home . . . .
Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
Down To Memphis – J.J. Cale
Train To Skaville – The Ethiopians
She’s Not There – Santana
I Fell Apart – Drizabone Soul Family
Headline News – Edwin Starr
Get It Baby – Stanley Mitchell
It Went To Your Head – Charles Berry
Barefootin’ – Pee Wee Crayton

Well, believe me, we have been waiting a long time to welcome this week’s Three From Me guest and he arrived for his first visit to Cruise Control with arms full of the choicest 45s. So, it was a real treat to welcome our good pal Johnny Alpha, who has long been the host of the Killer Diller show here on Wireless FM and if you haven’t heard it, let me tell you its something of a treasure trove of great music.

This week’s detour down memory lane saw us heading back to 1961 and the arrival of a 45 that opened the charts (and yours truly) to the world of modern jazz. This possibly marked the first, tentative steps in genre jumping that have seen some subsequent occasional dabbling in modern jazz tracks. This memory was sparked by the sad news of the passing of jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, who was hours away from his 92nd birthday. But, his legacy lives on including his most successful venture into unconventional time signatures, ‘Take Five’.

Well, we nearly went into extra time this week, but we realised just in time. Indeed, it was while the Cruisettes were getting enthusiastic about their moves to ‘Barefootin’ that we noticed the hands on the Cruising clock creeping to the top of the hour. So, we abandoned the next record that was all cued up and had to say our sad farewells, but not before we identified the fine version of ‘Barefootin’ as coming from Pee Wee Crayton . . . . and there’s a great feature on Pee Wee Crayton by Matt The Cat on his recent Juke In The Back show.

Well, as the Cruise Mobile glided effortlessly to a halt at the end of our cruise, we gathered our belongings to go our separate ways, cheerful in the knowledge that there was only 7 more days to while away, before we could do it all again.  So stand by, same time next week, and we’ll call by for you to take you Cruising with the Commissioner . . . . . and until then, remember . . . . have fun!