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!

  1. Amigo says:

    I guess it was not a great surprise on Sunday but sad news anyway that Sir Patrick Moore is no longer with us. Perhaps the shock of hearing plans for holidays to the moon was too much for him. Given how many people he introduced to astronomy – myself included – the choice for topical record of the week has to be ‘Stairway To The Stars’. Many jazz instrumentalists have covered this song (and there are also good versions by Ella Fitgerald and Dinah Washington). I’ve selected the version by the great Earl Bostic from his 1958 King LP ‘Alto Magic in Hi-Fi’ with, probably, Gene Redd on vibraphone – not quite Sir Patrick’s favoured xylophone but I think he would have enjoyed it and I hope you do as well.


  2. The Vikster says:

    You were on fine form for this show Commissioner! I wish I’d (knowingly) heard Casting My Spell On You many years ago because I’m rather taken with it. I also very much enjoyed John The Revelator and that lively version of Baby Come Back.

    • Vikster

      Glad you enjoyed the show. We had fun putting it together and perhaps we’ll earmark ‘Casting My Spell On You’ to play on a later show. I’ve always had a soft spot for South African music and Angelique Kidjo is a great exponent of the links between traditional and modern genres of that music.

      Our good pal Arfa Pinetop suggested ‘John The Revelator’ and it was so apt for recent events.

      Thanks for stopping by . . . . . have fun!


  3. Amigo says:


    You threw down a challenge which I could not resist!

    Floyd “Horsecollar” Williams was a New York based alto saxophone player and was primarily a jazz player although references to him in my jazz reference books are scarce to say the least. Here is what I have found out from the Net and other sources.

    In the early ’40s “Horsecollar” played in the trumpeter Frankie Newtons’s band and they played clubs in New York and Boston. Frankie Newton recorded quite a bit in various roles in the ’30s – listen to his wonderful solo on Bessie Smith’s magnificent ‘Gimme A Pigfoot’ from her very last recording session on 24 November 1933. He also played on Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ in 1939.

    Although “Horsecollar” must have impressed the jazz musicians he played with there does not seem to be much on record. The earliest is probably a June 1941 private (and poor quality) live recording from Clark Monroe’s Uptown House – an after hours club in New York – on which “Horsecollar” backs Billie Holiday singing ‘I Cried For You’ (this one has been put on YouTube) and also ‘Fine and Mellow’. Monroe’s club became Uptown House in 1936 and, along with Minton’s, was one of the birthplaces of Bebop. I think “Horsecollar”was the band leader there for a few years. Apparently it was while working at Monroe’s that he befriended pianist and composer Herbie Nichols, who started there in 1938, and much later in 1955, when the two of them were working in Harlem at a club called the Safari, Herbie Nichols wrote a piece dedicated to him called ‘Orse at Safari’.

    “Horsecollar” did record eight sides with Hot Lips Page for Savoy in September 1944 as a member of a saxophone section that included Don Byas, Earl Bostic, Ben Webster, and Ike Quebec. (Wow!) Tiny Grimes was also on guitar for that session.

    Following Hot Lips Page he was with the Savoy Sultans when the draft intervened. Joe Evans, another alto sax player he worked with, described him as – what white people would call “a big burly negro” and tells the story of “Horesecollar being drafted. Apparently, during the induction process he refused to take the Oath of Allegiance declaring that he wasn’t going anyplace to fight. After an angry confrontation with FBI agents he was locked up. Al Cooper, the leader of the Savoy Sultans put up the bail which was set at $100,000 – so I guess he was regarded as a valuable saxophonist! In the end a compromise was reached as he went through the induction process a second time and was rejected as undesirable.

    He went into the studios for ‘How You Like That’ and ‘You Ain’t Nothing Daddy’ which were recorded as the Floyd Horsecollar Williams Septet in February 1945 and released as Chicago 102. This was the also pianist Duke Jordan’s first recording and he went on to jazz greatness with Charlie Parker – listen to his memorable intro on Parker’s beautiful version of ‘Embraceable You’. ‘You Ain’t Nothing Daddy’ has Etta Jones, also early in her career and just seventeen, performing a very nice vocal.

    ‘Jambo Jump’ coupled with ‘Creepin’ In’ were released in June1952 on Rainbow 301 as by Floyd Williams. I would be surprised if they were not by “Horsecollar” as they feature alto sax as the lead instrument. (Incidentally, that record was released in the same week the Dominoes ‘Have Mercy Baby’ was No.1 on the Billboard Rythm and Blues Chart.) Eddie Heller’s Rainbow Records was the label the Clovers recorded for before Atlantic and various doo-wop groups recorded for the label as did Mickey Baker. It would be intersting to know if “Horsecollar” did any session work for them.

    As for ‘Thru Way’ and ‘Horsecollar Blues’ I am guessing you have more information than I do. I assume that they are from the 1950s but probably not on Rainbow Records.


    • Amigo

      I am stunned by the breadth and depth of your research . . . . and all from a casual remark from me! What detail and what wonderful leads to follow up.

      My sincere thanks and respects to you and your research associates for your efforts . . . . beyond all expectations!


  4. Arfa Pinetop says:

    Dear Emp

    An excellent show ,have never heard that Buddy Holly track afore what year was it please?


  5. The Commissioner says:

    Most esteemed Arfa

    ‘Ting A Ling’ was recorded by Buddy Holly and released as the B side of a single in 1958 on Decca Records in the US. It was one of a number of tracks recorded in his pre-Crickets period and before he signed with Norman Petty and Coral records.

    Glad you enjoyed the show


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