Archive for January, 2013

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Cruising with The Commissioner #93 (24.01.13)

Well, the snow arrived in the Grand Duchy and seemed to cause disruption and inconvenience for many . . . . but we were snug and well provided for in Cruise Control . . . plenty of good music, good food, good heating and some of Mr Merlot’s best! What more could we want? Fortunately, the events of the week did not distract us from our chosen indulgence of rummaging through the Cruising Library to pull together a pile of fine, fine music for our cruising playlist. So, as Thursday night rolled around, we were all ready to extend the warmest of welcomes to one and all and invite everyone to share some of the best of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues that we could find.Cruising #96

As regular members of the Cruising Crew will know, every once in a while, we’re easily tempted to feature one of the record labels that has been influential in releasing the music we enjoy here. So, this week we did it again and threw the spotlight on the UK’s Stateside label. The Stateside imprint first appeared in 1962 and became EMI’s label for some of the increasingly successful US rock, soul and R&B releases. Stateside soon established links with a wide range of US labels and released many of the current American hits. Perhaps Stateside’s most successful run of hits was to come from picking up Oriole Record’s previous link with the Motown label, through which a host of up and coming American artists became chart names in the UK and established Tamla Motown so well in the UK that EMI eventually gave it its own UK record label. We quickly realised that there was just too much good stuff on Stateside for one session, so watch out future follow up features.

This week’s ‘girls with guitars’ feature focused on a Kansas City guitar slinger called Samantha Fish. She gained some standing on the city’s local blues scene and recorded her first album in 2011, called ‘Runaway’. It was the title song of the album that we chose to show off her talents and it sounded pretty good here . . . . hope you think so too.

We got it all started with the Cruise Mobile heading down the road apiece with ‘Bye Baby Bye’ from songwriter Doc Pomus (although the label has him named as Doc Palmer) and we followed up fast with a Specialty release titled ‘Make A Little Love’ from the very colourful Larry Williams . . . . and it didn’t stop there, as you can see:

Cruising down the road apiece . . . . . tee shirt I may look
Bye Baby Bye – Doc Palmer
Make A Little Love – Larry Williams
Fools Fall In Love – The Drifters
Flat Foot Sam – Oscar ‘TV Slim’ Wills
Hey Hey Baby – Otis Redding
Knock Me a Kiss – Professor Porkchop & The Dirty Dishes
One Kiss – Jackie Wilson
Gangster of Love – Johnny Winter
I Still Got The Blues – Chuck Berry
Where Blue Begins – Sanne Salomonsen
Runaway – Samantha Fish

Three From Me . . . . with Johnny99
Don’t Go Back To Rockville – REM
Shake Some Action – Flaming Groovies
Sparky’s Dream – Teenage Fanclub

Cruising Stateside Records . . . . .
Palisades Park – Freddy Cannon
Any Day Now – Chuck Jackson
Rik-A-Tik – The Fireballs
Everybody Loves A Lover – The Shirelles
Wild Weekend – The Rockin’ Rebels
Can I Get A Witness – Marvin Gaye
My Guy – Mary Wells
Quicksand – Martha & The Vandellas
Wham – Lonnie Mack
Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
Mr Blue Sky – Joe Brown

Cruising for home . . . . 
Take It While You Can – Alecstar
Tropic Of Capricorn – Hi-Revving Tongues
Whatcha Gonna Do About It – The Heptones
Shout For Joy – Albert Ammons
I Got Nobody To Love – Terry Timmons
As Long As I’m Moving – Janis Martin
Love Machine – Jools Holland & Paolo Nutini
I’m In Love With A Girl – The Cliques
Kiss Me – Marvin & Johnny
I Want To Love You – Willie Wright & The Sparklers

Well, the ordered and well honed ways of Cruise Control were pleasantly disturbed this week by the arrival of our good pal Johnny99 with his latest Three From Me selection and, as you can imagine, we gave him a warm welcome, offered him some hospitality and settled him in behind the Cruise Control microphone and you can hear what happened next. Johnny99’s playlist seemed to go down well with the Cruising Crew and the chatroom chatter during this week’s show, included three of the friendly faces from Wireless FM’s Tuesday night mafia, Lil-Sis and our good pal Mumbles.

Our trip down Memory Lane took us back to the late 50s, when a young London guitarist was hired into the house band for a new TV music programme, ‘Boy Meets Girl’. He was Joe Brown, who went on to work with many visiting American rock ‘n’ roll stars touring the UK, as well as getting hits records in his own right. Still performing and recording, we picked out an unusual track from him which showed off his skills on the ukulele and a novel treatment of Jeff Lynne’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’.

Before we knew it, we were running out of cruising time and we rolled gently to a stop here at Cruise Control with nothing left to do but dust down the Cruise Mobile ready for next week. But, there were plenty more juicy gems in the pending tray to encourage you to jump aboard next week for another unpredictable musical adventure in good company. If that sounds good to you, then we’ll call by for you . . . . same time, same place next week so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner.

So until we meet again, remember . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #92 (17.01.13)

Well, I trust that this week found you on fine form and ready for a musical adventure. The Grand Duchy has experienced the unwelcome return of chill winds and damp days, but we have kept our spirits up by planning our gig list events and enjoying some good company with folks from amongst the Cruising Crew. There seems to have been plenty of drama in the news lately, so we prepared a non-controversial, non-contentious and (definitely) non-fattening playlist for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #92
We embarked on our quest for more rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues in the sure knowledge that our enthusiasm and excitement are shared by the faithful, who follow our unpredictable detours across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. The feedback on the website and in emails has frequently re-directed our rummaging in the Cruising Library and sent us looking for something special . . . .as it did this week. A casual remark by one of the Cruising Crew ensured we caught up 60s hit parader, Eden Kane, to bring back a memory or two with a rather topical song, ‘Pulling me through the bad times’.

Paul Carrack was on our gig list this week and a fine show he put on too. So, we looked out his take on the old Motown favourite ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ and also found time to mark the birthday of Bluesbreaker and Rolling Stone, Mick Taylor, with something he recorded when he was 18 years old, Freddie King’s instrumental, ‘Driving Sideways’.

There was athletic genre jumping and some time travel as we went back to 1922 and a little something for the devotees of scratchy records. This came from Trixie Smith with one of her first recordings from 1922, titled ‘My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)’. Beyond that, The Spinmeister’s Three From Me selection was much appreciated by those in the chatroom and possibly the radio debut for Three Second Delay.

With some squeals from our wheels, we set off in the Cruise Mobile with Titus Turner and his 1961 cover of ‘Knock Me A Kiss’, a song originally recorded in 1942 by Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five. We followed on with breathtaking speed to catch up with The Checkers (so called because they included former members of the Dominoes) and their 1953 King records release ‘You Never Had It So Good’ . . . . . and maybe you never had it at all!

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . . .  tee shirt kirk
Knock Me A Kiss – Titus Turner
You Never Had It So Good – The Checkers
I Want Some More – The Del Moroccos
Lollipop Mama – Wynonie Harris
Easy Pickin’ – Smiling John Pickens
Ask Anyone – The Ad Libs
Baby Call On Me – Wilson Pickett
Love What You’re Doing To Me – Janet & The Jays
Stubborn Kind Of Fellow – Paul Hill (featuring George Clinton)
Pulling Me Through The Bad Times – Eden Kane
My Daddy Rocks Me – Trixie Smith
Where Blue Begins – Dani Wilde
Three From Me . . . . . with The Spinmeister
Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
Just So You Know – Three Second Delay
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers

Cruising for fun . . . .
Sugarman – The Free Association
House On The Moon – Jacco Gardner
Abracadabra – Baked A La Ska
Saturday Night – The Mighty Sparrow
Saturday Jump – Tony Osbourne & His Jazz Group
Bossa Nova Baby – Tippie & The Clovers
Casting My Spell – Wilko Johnson
Rinky Dink – Cootie Williams
Dum Dum – Brenda Lee
Higher & Higher – Eric Bibb

Memory Lane  . . . . . with The Commissioner 
Free At Last – Fontella Bass
Cruising for home . . . .
It Don’t Take But a Few Minutes – The Refreshments
Driving Sideways – Mick Taylor
Diddy Wah Diddy – The Blues Band
Tell Me – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Ain’t That Peculiar – Paul Carrack
Come and Get These Memories – Ray Godfrey & The Determinations
What You Gonna Do – Curtis Salgado
Just Looking For A Home – Big Walter Price & His Thunderbirds

Our trip down Memory Lane this week took us back to the mid 60s, when a young singer was recording some early tracks in her career, having decided to go solo, after a stint with Little Milton and his band. The singer was Fontella Bass and we were taking the opportunity to say our sad farewell to her after news of her recent passing. My first introduction to her came unexpectedly when my school pal, Lou Martin, arrived at my door with a Chess 45 called ‘Rescue Me’ and the memory of the track and his enthusiasm for it lingers on. But, we avoided the obvious and chose an earlier track as our salute to Fontella Bass, ‘Free At Last’, which was something that remained unreleased for many years.

Our girls and guitars feature focused on singer and guitarist Dani Wilde, who cut her second album, ‘Shine’ with blues producer Mike Vernon. We took a track from that album and played ‘Where Blue Begins’. Meanwhile, our good pal The Spinmeister returned this week with a trio of tracks for his ‘Three From Me’ that had some loose connection with The Walker Brothers. It all sounded good and seemed to make sense when he told his stories!

Well, eventually, the time ran out and we rolled gently to a stop on our cruise, with nothing left to do, but to park up the Cruise Mobile for another week and thank you for your good company during this week’s musical adventure. There’s plenty in the pending tray, so there’s every reason to return next week for more great rock soul and real rhythm and blues. We hope you will return, refreshed, relaxed and ready to go Cruising with The Commissioner. So until then . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #91 (10.01.13)

Well, the new year is well and truly here and bringing its own memorable moments already. The environs of the Grand Duchy are returning to some semblance of normality and we’ve returned the festive decorations to their boxes for another year. But, the goodwill has lingered a while longer and we have been enjoying some of the excellent music that Santa left under the tree in Cruise Control, as you will get to hear in future weeks on Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #91
So, with renewed enthusiasm, we took to the open road and, with the advantage of some relatively mild days, we wound the windows down and turned the radio turned up, as we sampled our choices from some of the best on rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

Now, the events of the week have attracted a soundtrack of certain tunes that have become ‘infectious’, since we played them in our rummaging in the Cruising Library. One was from New Orleans sax man, Alvin ‘Red Tyler and The Gyros with a 1959 single called ‘Snake Eyes’ and another came from a compilation album called Trojan Presents Ska . . . . this was the star studded Granville Williams Orchestra with their number ‘Hi Life’.

Meanwhile, our ‘girls with guitars’ feature this week, focused on Carmelita Rossana Ford . . . . a British-born, American-raised singer/songwriter and rock guitarist. As Lita Ford, she was one time lead guitarist for The Runaways in the late 1970s and she went on to enjoy a successful solo career in the 1980s. To show off her excellent vocals and guitar work we featured her 1988 track ‘Back To The Cave’.

So, to get us underway, we set off with some squeals from our wheels in the company of Alonzo Stewart and a 45 on Nashville’s Athens label called ‘I Get The Blues When It Rains’ and we got up to full cruising speed with a favourite from The Dominos, ‘That’s What You’re Doing To Me’.

Cruising for the hills . . . .
I Get The Blues When It Rains – Alonzo Stewart  tee OOS
That’s What You’re Doing To Me – The Dominoes
I Ain’t Mad At You – Bobby Merrill
The Shape You Left Me In – Gene Simmons
Bad Man Of Missouri – Jimmy Ricks & The Suburbans
A Little You – Dakota Staton
Snake Eyes – Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler & The Gyros
You Hate This Song – Thatcher’s Children
Hi Life – The Granville Williams Orchestra
She Just Wants To Dance – Keb Mo’
Back To The Bat Cave – Lita Ford

Three From Me . . . . . with The Shake
Honey Child – Bobby Blue Bland
Tossin’ & Turnin’ – Damita Jo
Please Mr Playboy – Hot Breath Hannah

Cruising down the highway . . . .
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Jeff Healey
The Road – Please
Cheatin’ In The Next Room – Z Z Hill
For What It’s Worth – The Staple Singers
Rattlesnake Rumba – Diz & The Doormen
Gotta Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance) – Otis Redding
Teenage Heaven – Eddie Cochran
Your True Love – Carl Perkins
Walk Of Life – Charles Mann

Memory Lane . . . . . with The Commissioner
How Do You Like Your New Love – Jimmy McCracklin

Cruising for home . . . .
A1 On The Juke Box – Dave Edmunds
He’s Doing Well – The Refreshments
Gangster of Love – Johnny Guitar Watson
Similau – Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
Where Will You Be Boy – Beverly Shaffer
Both Ends Against the Middle – Jackie Moore
I Bet You Shut Your Big Mouth – Titus Turner
Sugar Bee – Johnny Mack
Flip Flop & Fly – Jerry Lee Lewis
Lipstick Powder & Paint – Roger Chapman

This week’s trip down Memory Lane brought its own measure of sadness, because we were marking the recent passing of one of those larger than life veterans of R&B, Jimmy McCracklin. He was recording his own brand of R&B from the 40s through to the 90s and wrote some much covered songs along the way. Even the Beatles are rumoured to have recorded his signature hit, ‘The Walk’ at their ‘Let it be’ sessions. So we saluted him with his recording of ‘How’s Do You Like Your New Love’.

This week’s Three From Me brought us another encounter with our good pal The Shake, who charmed us previously with music from some Dutch bands and this time brought a selection of his which had a more R&B flavour.

As time started to run out fast on our cruise, we squeezed in a couple of high powered covers of Joe Turner classics from the Ferraday Fireball (otherwise known as Jerry Lee Lewis) with ‘Flip Flop & Fly’ and Roger Chapman with ‘Lipstick Powder & Paint’. But, all too soon the sound of the rattling cans signalled the close of our evening of cruising, with the only consolation being the thought that we can come back again next week and do it all again.

So until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . . have fun.

That stuff . . . . .

Posted: January 3, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising with The Commissioner #90 (03.01.13)

Well, we launched into the new year with the very warmest of welcomes to one and all, with the hope of the most groovy of years ahead and a big thank you to all the Cruising Crew for their good company in 2012. We seem to have increased the size of the Cruising Crew by some 25% during the past year and Cruising with The Commissioner got 2,600 visits from folks in 45 countries across the world. So, we set off on this, our first of 2013 with the assurance that we’re in good company and you’re in the right place for some excellent musical treats. We started the year as we mean to continue in hot pursuit of the very best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues, as we set out on our adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

Cruising #86
Well, the gig list is picking up after the festive break. Our playlist included Paul Carrick, who is one of those on our upcoming schedule, with his take on the Four Tops hit ‘Baby I Need You Lovin’, taken from his album ‘Groovin’. We crossed plenty of musical frontiers on our cruise and even provided an indulgence for the devotees of scratchy blues records. We went back to August 17, 1929 in Richmond Indiana, where guitar wizard, Blind Blake, recorded a couple of tracks for Paramount Records, including the song is Diddy Wah Diddy, which has been covered more recently by Hot Tuna and Ry Cooder.

Well, dear listener, I met up with our Three From Me guest this week when I was canvassing for the all night party around the North West frontier. I called at one rather grand establishment, set in its own grounds and with a long and winding road that led to some heavy oak doors. This turned out to be Pinetop’s Palace and as the doors swung open, I found Arfa Pinetop waiting for me with a fully loaded autochanger, which proved to be very appropriate for his selection of 45s.

We didn’t delay in setting off on our first Cruising with The Commissioner in new year. We arrived with a sprightly spring in our step and in the very good company of The Mint Juleps with their 1956 Herald release called ‘Vip a Dip’ and then the much revered Diz & The Doormen with ‘I Got It’ . . . . for the rest, take a look at our playlist:

Cruising for the new horizon . . . .   tee shirt arfa
Vip A Dip – The Mint Juleps
I Got It – Diz & The Doormen
Short, Sweet & Snappy – Roy Milton
Tia Juana – H.B. Barnum
Ain’t That Loving You – Eddie Riff
I’m Evil Tonight – Betty Harris
Lovely Woman – Eldridge Jones
Snap Your Fingers – Joe Henderson
You Brought It On Yourself – Clay Hammond
Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – Paul Carrick
I’ve Had It – Fanny
Diddy Wah Diddy – Blind Blake
Three From Me  . . . . with Arfa Pinetop
Mahattan Spiritual – Reg Owen
Personality – Lloyd Price
It’s Been Nice – Marty Wilde & The Wildcats
Cruising down the line . . . .
Do You Believe In Magic – Aly & AJ
That Stuff – Supurbia
Devil In Disguise – J.J. Cale
Paying The Cost To Be The Boss – BB King
Somewhere Down The Line – Little Johnnie Taylor
Albert’s Shuffle – Al Kooper & The Rekooperators
Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
Just Ain’t Enough Love – The Isley Brothers
Lucky To Be Loved By You – Willie Hutch
Horsecollar Blues – Floyd ‘Horsecollar’ Williams

Memory Lane . . . . with The Commissioner
Cruisin’ in 1959 with Hunter Hancock at KGFJ, Los Angeles
Hully Gully – The Olympics
Almost Grown – Chuck Berry
Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison

Cruising for home  . . . . .
The Performer – Enri
Wherever I Lay My Hat – Marvin Gaye
Do It With All Your Heart – Dee Dee Warwick
That’s When Tears Start – Darlene Love
Mr Blues – Damita Jo
Let’s Go To The Dance – The Robins

Well, never let it be said that we don’t rise to a challenge! Our good pal The Auburn Phantom challenged us to find some outstanding ‘girls and guitars’ and that’s what we’ve been doing over these past weeks. This week was no exception and we took the opportunity to feature Patti Quatro (sister of Suzie Quatro) and one time member of all girl band ‘Fanny’ with the band’s single ‘I’ve Had It’ featuring Patti Quatro on guitar.

Our detour down Memory Lane took us back to1959 and an opportunity to hear one of Los Angeles leading radio DJs of the day. He was Hunter Hancock and he could be heard on radio station KGFJ, broadcasting across all Southern California. He offered some of the very best in rhythm and blues records of the day and survived ‘the day music died’ and payola probe, which resulted in dozens of other disc jockeys across the country quitting under pressure or being fired . . . . . so, we took a listen to some of his show.

Well, we set a pretty hot pace in the Cruise Mobile this week and the time fairly flew by, but we welcomed the new year with a flourish and we much enjoyed plundering the Cruising Library this week for the gems on our playlist. We very much hope that 2013 will be a great year for the Cruising Crew and, as ever, we will much appreciate your good company. . . . . which makes it all worthwhile.

Although we have parked up the Cruise Mobile for another week, we will use the time to go rummaging in the dark recesses of the Cruising library for next weeks tasty treats. In the meantime, if you get withdrawal symptoms, why not check out the Tuesday night mafia on Wireless FM or check out our website for our other favourite radio shows. . . . and while you’re there, why not scribble something on our wall.

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