Archive for April, 2013

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, we arrived at Thursday night in good spirits and ready to call by for the Cruising Crew to go Cruising with The Commissioner. All in all, it’s been an eventful week with definitely more highs than lows. There was some, much heralded, celestial activity over the Grand Duchy that the ‘powers that be’ confirmed could be viewed with the naked eye (although they said nothing about whether this should extend beyond eyes). We were easily tempted to join the celebrations for ‘St George’s Day’, wondering whether, in the spirit of equality, we should also have a ‘Dragon’s Day’.
Cruising #109
There were some notable visitors to Cruise Control, including Lil-Sis, The Spinmeister and The Vikster, as well as a number of the Cruising Crew who gathered to support The Vikster along the way on her London Marathon run at the weekend. We suggested a suitable playlist that included ‘Keep On Running’, ‘Born To Run, ‘Run Like The Wind’ and (for occasional moments) ‘The Stroll’, but we avoided ‘The Stumble’ and ‘Crawling Back’. She finished OK and later took the opportunity to offer another Three From Me, with thanks all those who sponsored her worthy cause.

From time to time, we take a look at the labels that have been influential in the music we enjoy. This time we took a mildly ‘tongue in cheek’ look at the Embassy Records label, which was Woolworth’s own ‘covers’ label. It has gained status as ‘collectable’ and ‘sought after’ in some quarters, so we had a quick flick through its catalogue and pulled out a few to play this week.

Despite all the distrations, we launched ourselves on our adventures with extra verve and vigour and in the company of Floyd Dixon & His Band with a fine piece of R&B from 1955 called ‘Roll Baby Roll’  and, barely pausing for breath, we set a cracking pace with Jimmy Nelson and his early 50s recording, ‘Cry Hard Luck’ . . . . with plenty more ‘good stuff’ to follow, as you can see from our playlist:

Cruising for the blue horizon . . . .                                                         tee shirt viva
Roll Baby Roll – Floyd Dixon
Cry Hard Luck – Jimmy Nelson
Do Unto Others – Pee Wee Crayton
Ain’t No Big Deal On You – Mike Sanchez & The Big Town Playboys
Every Day And Every Night – Dolly Cooper
I Never Found A Girl Like You – Calvin Scott
She Put The Hurt On Me – The Spencer Davis Group
Cry Your Eyes Out – Dottie Cambridge
My Sharona – Skaos
Wig Wam Bam – Barbe-Q-Barbies
Save The Roach For Me – Buck Washington

Three From Me  . . . . with The Vikster
How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty
Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
Soul Survivor – Beverley Knight

Cruising with Embassy Records . . . . .
Roll With Me Henry – Oscar Rabin’s Band with vocals by Patti Forbes
High School Confidential – Johnny Worth
Some Kinda Earthquake – Bud Ashton & His Group
Mother-in-Law – Bobby Stevens
Pony Time – Don Duke
Walk Don’t Run – Steve Stannard
Easier Said Than Done – The Starlings
She’s Not There – The Jaybirds
Um Um Um Um Um Um – The Typhoons
No Particular Place To Go – Paul Rich

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Bogatini – The Four Instants

Cruising for home . . . . . .
Wang Dang Doodle – Dave Edmunds
Little Darling (I Need You) – Marvin Gaye
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
Seven Day Fool – Etta James
Steppin’ in Steppin’ Out – Ernestine Anderson
Now I’ve Got A Woman – Freddy King
Long Train Running – Richie Havens
Coochie Coo Wi’Chou – Clifton Chenier
Messed Up – Harold Burrage

This week included the birthdays of Mrs TC and Dave Edmunds and we marked the occasions with a couple of tracks, including something from Dave Edmund’s considerable catalogue, with his version of ‘Wang Dang Doodle’. Amidst the celebrations, a low point of the week was the sad passing of the great Richie Havens and ‘those of a certain age’ will recall the sensation he caused in 1969 at the Woodstock festival with his rendition of ‘Freedom’. So we paid tribute to him with a track from his 2005 ‘Dreaming As One’ album, and his magnificent version of ‘Long Train Running’.

Well, our girls and guitars feature this week headed to Helsinki in Finland and the all girl rock group, The Barbe-Q-Barbies. We featured their version of The Sweet’s ‘Wig Wam Bam’ along with some fine guitar-work from band member Kaisa Karjalainen . . . . . . .  and apologies if we did not pronounce that right.

Now, for those who like scratchy records, we took the opportunity to recall a track from a couple of weeks back, when we played a song from Adam Franklin’s interpretation of ‘Save That Roach For Me’. We said at the time the song was originally recorded by Buck Washington back in 1944 and, with a good deal of searching, we managed to track down a copy of the original recording by Buck Washington for our listening pleasure.

Our revels were eventually interrupted by the sound of the rattling tin cans, which encouraged Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes to gather up their belongings, ready to head off to the after show party, leaving yours truly to tidy up and park up the Cruise Mobile for another week. There were plenty of tasty treats still in the pending tray, so every reason to join us when we call by again same time same place next week to take you Cruising with the Commissioner. In the meantime, why not checkout our website, send us some feedback, or take a listen to some of the other radio shows we enjoy.

Whatever you do, wherever you go, remember there’s always the warmest of welcome when you go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . .  and until we meet again, remember to . . . ., have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, if the start of our third year of the show is anything to go by, it’s going to get lively and eventful. So, to calm us and reassure us, we were very pleased to have such good company for this week’s adventure in sound. Here’s hoping that this is a good sign for our future weekly journeys of musical discovery, when we go Cruising with The Commissioner. If you have a passion for the best in rock, soul, and real rhythm in blues, consider yourself at home, because that’s certainly what will be on our playlist when we call by in the Cruise Mobile.
Cruising #107
Now the past week has been witness to some significant events and some anxious moments. For those who live around London, particularly, it will be difficult not to be aware that the capital is about to host another London Marathon, which is going ahead under the dark cloud of recent events in Boston. So, it is of special note that one of our regular guests, The Vikster, is still planning to be running in this year’s London Marathon. She’s raising funds for her worthy cause and you can see some more about it on our website. In support, Mr Merlot and I have embarked on an intense programme of virtual training to set the appropriate pace for events. and, to give her further encouragement (in our own distinctive fashion), we dug out a classic track by Jackie Edwards, which he wrote and recorded in 1965 and which was a big hit for the Spencer Davis Group . . . . of course, it was ‘Keep On Running’.

Now, last week we played something by Hugh Laurie and the resultant feedback from the Cruising Crew demonstrated that the is a minority who do not enjoy the results of actors taking to singing and recording, even if it is some of the music we like here on the show. Strangely enough, it was the less supportive comments of one esteemed member of the Cruising Crew that reminded me of a superb self-penned track by actor Bruce Willis, called ‘Here Comes Trouble Again’ and, out of sheer devilment, we included it on this week’s playlist, because it’s well worth a listen, not least for the guitar work which comes courtesy of Johnny Winter.

But, with great enthusiasm we launched ourselves into our multi-terrain musical voyager, wound the windows down and turned the volume up to hear Chuck Willis and his 1959 Atlantic single ‘My Baby’ and we’re following up fast with husband and wife duo, Gene & Eunice, with an Aladdin single from 1955 called ‘Move It Over Baby’

Sadly, no room for anything from The George Mitchell Singers, but there’s always next week . . . . . in the meantime, see what we did squeeze in:

Cruising for the county line  . . . .                                                             tee shirt marathon
My Baby – Chuck Willis
Move It Over Baby – Gene & Eunice
Can’t Find My Sadie – The Checkers
You Don’t Want My Love – Thomas Henry
Hoodlum Joe – Lee Dorsey
Heartbreak Hotel – The Cadets
Seven Day Fool – Jully Black
The Shirelles – March (You’ll Be Sorry)
The Flirtations – Little Darling (I Need You)
Look What You Done For Me – Al Green
After You – Beverley Knight
Black Coffee & Cigarettes – Mo Rodgers
Three From Me . . . . . with Arfa Pinetop
All Or Nothing – Small Faces
Black Coffee – Humble Pie with The Blackberries
Five Long Years – Steve Marriott
Cruising with the breeze . . . .
Somewhere In My Heart – Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeaters
Piece of The Sky – Joanne Shaw-Taylor
Here Comes Trouble Again – Bruce Willis & Johnny Winter
The Blues, The Whole Blues, And Nothing But The Blues – Jimmy Witherspoon
The Man That Said No – Bettye Swann
Don’t Fight It – Major Lance
Dancing To The Beat – Clarence Murray
Nature Boy – The 4 Rivers
Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress – The Hollies

Killer Diller Korner  . . . .  with Johnny Alpha
Troubles – The Rollers

Cruising for home . . . . .
Monday Morning – Tales of Justine
Jezebel – Marty Wilde
Keep On Running – Jackie Edwards
She Put The Hurt On Me – Prince La La
Stupidity – Solomon Burke
I Can’t Turn You Loose – Otis Redding
The Party’s Still Going On – Marcia Ball
She Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker – Smiley Lewis

Well, our musical postman continues to do sterling stuff in toting around the new contributions to the Cruising Library. He’s very cheery about his task and knows that we’re even more cheery to receive his deliveries, which this week included some nice 45s from the Shirelles and the Flirtations. . . . and there’s more to come!

Now last week’s smooth soul selection seemed to go down well out there in Cruising Land and so we decided to try it again . . . .  just to prove that we know a good thing when we hear it. So, we found some very smooth and soulful grooves, which included the very reverend Al Green and Beverley Knight.

Now, last week’s Girls & Guitars feature went back to the 50s for some acoustic blues and this week we came right up to date with a recent album from UK guitarist and singer, Joanne Shaw-Taylor. The album is titled ‘Almost, Always Never’ and the track is ‘Piece of The Sky’, which has been has had many plays since it arrived here.

Well, on our pursuit of good sounds we encountered that intrepid adventurer, Arfa Pinetop, all the way from the North West Frontier. He appeared, cheery and cheeky, fresh from his expedition around his local charity shops and record stores. He came, clutching a trio of tracks featuring the late Steve Marriott for his latest Three From Me session. So, we put the breakables out of reach and sat him in front of the microphone, with an invitation to tell us of his adventures . . . . and he needed little encouragement.

Well, amidst all the enjoyment, a glance at the Cruising Clock reminded us that we had to bring our cruise to a close. So, Smiley Lewis brought us home with a finish to our a flourish and a great piece of New Orleans R&B, ‘She Got Me Hook Line & Sinker’. As we parked up the Cruise Mobile for another week, we rather hoped that the experience left you wanting more, because we’ve got plenty more here, but we’ll have to save it for another day. So, if you enjoyed our playlist this week, we very much hope that we can call by for you next week, when we’ll line some more of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues, ready to go Cruising with The Commissioner. So, until then . . . . remember . . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, despite the significant international events, you find us cheery and ever appreciative of good music, good company and some sunny days. Indeed, the prospect of more mild and cheery weather has been tantalisingly dangled before us this past week and helped to melt the memory of dark skies and snow in the Grand Duchy. Fortunately, we had something significant of our own to occupy us, because there’s been a good deal of expectation and some cursory planning for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. According to the records (the non-vinyl ones), we have both surprised ourselves and confounded the predictions (perhaps not for the first or last time), because we arrived (largely intact) at the show’s second anniversary.
Cruising #106
To mark the occasion, Mr Merlot and I were bedecked in full evening dress and with patent leather dancing shoes, so we could join in the festivities. The Cruisettes had decorated Cruise Control with bunting and banners, Mrs TC had organised some provender and a few bottles of Moet chilled and ready to share with any visitors. We even had some virtual glasses on hand for those in the chatroom!

As we reflected on our past musical adventures with the Cruising Crew, we’ve been charmed by the many guests who have visited us at Cruise Control to share some favourites from their current playlists in our ‘Three From Me’ feature. The musical choices continue to be fascinating and have certainly crossed musical frontiers, time zones and jumped genres. Our guests have brought along some great stories and a real mixture of music, including reggae, latin rock, rock ‘n’ roll, smooth and funky soul, rock-a-billy, raucous R&B, psych rock, jazz, country rock and more. It has been a real joy to welcome them all to the show and particularly to have many of them return for more.

The sense of special occasion this week was underlined by a new feature, which heralded the very welcome return of our good pal Johnny Alpha, who was calling by with a tempting and tasty treat in his ‘Killer Diller Korner’. His ‘Killer Diller’ show has long been a favourite listen here at Cruise Control and has been responsible for bringing us many obscure and fabulous tracks, so we welcomed him warmly.

A recent visitor to Cruise Control, Lil-Sis, left a pile of 45s to play and took the bold step to invite us to select a surprise three from those 45s for her ‘Three From Me’. In the event, The Cruisettes came to supervised the selection and I hope you will approve too!

Rather too late, we realised that we hadn’t managed to find space for a track from Thatcher’s Children, but  here’s what we did squeeze into the playlist:

Cruising for the fun of it . . . . .                                                  tee shirt birthday
One Bad Stud – The Honey Bears
Let’s Have A Party – Eunice Davis
Ain’t Nothing But A House Party – The Showstoppers
Must Be The Music – Mighty Sam McClain
Little Girl Of Mine – Bobby Marchan
Try Rock ‘n’ Roll – Bobby Mitchell
I Wanna Hug Ya, Squeeze Ya and Kiss Ya – Bull Moose Jackson
Love Me – Willie & Ruth
Chills & Fever – Johnny Love & His Orchestra
Me & My Chauffeur – Memphis Minnie
Messin’ With My Bread – Lynwood Slim

Three From Me . . . . . with Lil-Sis
I Second That Emotion – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
It’s Growing – The Upsetters
I’ll Turn To Stone – The Four Tops

Cruising in good company . . . .
If You Think You Know Me – Orianthi
Send Me A Doctor – Meena with Eric Sardinas
The Joker – The Band
Hallelujah I Love Her So – Hugh Laurie
Time Is On My Side – Beverley Knight
Tracks Of My Tears – Aretha Franklin
Let’s Stick Together – The Ovations
Walk That Walk – Eddie Bo
Food For My Soul – The Dragons
Shake Yah Hips – The Mighty Sparrow

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Margio – Rob Hoeke

Cruising for home . . . .
Save The Roach For Me – Adam Franklin
Rock Around With Ollie Vee – The Big Bopper
Walk Of Life – The DiMaggio Brothers
Teach Me How To Shimmy – The Coasters
Take The Last Train Home – King Curtis
Dance The Roach – Dean & Jean
Tell Me Baby – Roland Cook
That’s When The Tears Start – The Velvettes
(Somebody) Share A Little Love With Me – The Monitors
Tune Up – Junior Walker & The Allstars

Well, as we look back on two years of musical adventures, (which is not always a wise thing to do when you’re Cruising), it’s been a bit of a surprise just how many tasty treats we’ve found to fill our Girls & Guitars feature. It seems to be going well and there have been some very helpful suggestions from the Cruising Crew, including this week’s choice . . . . Memphis Minnie. She was a blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who was born in Algiers, Louisiana in 1897 and became well known during the early 1930s to the 1950s for many songs, including ‘Bumble Bee’, ‘Hoodoo Lady’, and ‘I Want Something For You’. But we featured a recording she made in Chicago on May 21, 1941, featuring herself on vocals and guitar, and with Little Son Joe on second guitar with ‘Me & My Chauffeur’

Well, our birthday celebrations turned out to be great fun, but we knew eventually we’d have to turn he Cruise Mobile around and head for home. So, we finished with Junior Walker’s stomping instrumental’Tune Up’ in the hope that it ensured our playlist finished with a flourish. It certainly seemed to go down well with The Cruisettes, who were on their feet most of the time and even got Mr Merlot to join them I their dangerous dancing.

Of course, grateful thanks go to Wireless FM, whose tolerance and endurance, have kept the show on their Thursday night schedules. . . . . but the biggest thanks go to the Cruising Crew, whose numbers have been growing steadily over the past years and whose feedback has always been supportive. It’s good to know that you’re out there and it’s always fun to have your good company, especially on occasions like this and be assured, we’re already planning next week’s show with some more of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues.

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 #103 (04.04.13)

Well, world events, the state of the economy and the chilly weather have not daunted our enthusiasm or resourcefulness in pulling together another playlist of the music we like and we were well prepared 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 through some of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues, that we call Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #103
Now, it’s been a busy week, one way and another, but a great week for catching up with members of the Cruising Crew, including The Vikster, Arfa Pinetop, Lil-Sis, The Shake, Pete Hall and Johnny99 . . . . and it all proved to be good stuff, except for the comments on William Shatner’s contribution to last week’s playlist! But, undaunted, we were inspired us to polish up the Cruise Mobile again, to take us on our weekly adventure across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.

If you’ve been counting . . . . you will know that next week is the second anniversary of Cruising with The Commissioner and we’ll be celebrating with anyone who happens to turn up here in a party spirit. As we look back, we will doubtless reflect on the success of our Girls & Guitars feature (originally suggested by our good pal The Auburn Phantom). I’m not sure that we thought it roll on this far when we started it, but this week we turned the spotlight on girl singer and guitarist, Brett Anderson, who was a member of Californian all-female rock band, The Donnas, and we played their cover of The Sweet’s hit, ‘Wig Wam Bam’.

Well, the pending tray was near to overflowing with choices from various contributors and we set off in the good company of Jackie Wilson with one of two appearances this week, firstly with his 1963 Brunswick single, ‘Shake Shake Shake’ and getting us up to full cruising speed was Lee Dorsey with ‘Behind The 8 Ball’

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

Cruising for the fun of it . . . .                                                  tee shirt Oh Well
Shake Shake Shake – Jackie Wilson
Behind The 8 Ball – Lee Dorsey
Mojo Hannah – Henry Lumpkin
Shim Sham Shimmy – Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson
Detroit – Sounds Incorporated
I Can’t Help Lovin’ You – Paul Anka
You Came, Your Saw, Your Conquered – The Ronettes
Mama Didn’t Lie – Jan Bradley
Mystery – Jimmy Armstrong
Wig-Wam Bam – The Donnas
I Believe My Time Ain’t Long – Elmore James
I Want To Be Loved – Muddy Waters

Three From Me . . . . . with Johnny99
Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen
Red Cadillac & A Black Moustache – Robert Gordon
Brand New Cadillac – The Clash

Cruising in good company . . . .
That Stuff – Supurbia
The Joker – Barclay James Harvest
Still Got The Blues For You – Eric Clapton
Dr Sipher – The Ro-d-ys
I Was The One – Elvis Presley
Brown Sugar – Little Richard
Honky Tonk Woman – The Meters
Start Me Up – Beverley Skeete
I’ll Get You – Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeats

Memory Lane  . . . .  with The Commissioner
I Ain’t Got No Home – Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry

Cruising for home . . . . .
Lay Down – The Strawbs
One Way Love – The James Hunter 6
One Way Love – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
You’ll Never Find A Love Like Mine – Bunny Shivel
I Betcha (Couldn’t Love Me) – Manhattans
I Got To Find My Baby – Chuck Berry
Something’s Goin’ On In My Room – Daddy Cleanhead & The Chuck Higgins Band
Tick Tock – The Medallions
Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson

Well, we finished as we started with Jackie Wilson and in between we succumbed to the seductive lure of Memory Lane, which took us back to the 60s and a club date by Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry on his UK tour. It also brought a memory of a good pal whose Uncle was a club promoter and he used to let us into his clubs to see some of the many R&B, soul and blues bands that he booked, as well as the odd mini masterclass on the music that mattered to him. Our ‘Three From Me’ guest this week was our good pal Johnny99, who turned up with his customary cheery smile and a handful of tunes about Cadillacs. As ever, he regale us with stories of his recent adventures in his engaging Welsh lilt. Amidst all, the chatroom was seized with tales of a freewheelin’ gerbil . . . . don’t ask!

For those amongst the Cruising Crew who like a little scratchy blues, we picked out a classic track, recorded in Jackson, Mississippi on August 5th 1951 by Elmore James on electric slide guitar, Sonny Boy Williamson II on harmonica, Leonard Ware on bass and Frock O’Dell on drums. This was ‘I Believe My Time Ain’t Long’ and we were further encouraged to play Muddy Waters’ ‘I Want To Be Loved’ . . . . one of the songs that The Hoax do particularly well and this was inspired by news that The Hoax are planning another album together.

Well, we got home, safe and sound and parked up the Cruise Mobile for another week, with the prospect of tidying up a bit in Cruise Control before heading off for the after show party with Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes. As always, we very much hope that you enjoyed our playlist and, if you did, then we would be really pleased to call by for you next week, same time, same place, when we will be pleased to have your company as we celebrate the second anniversary of Cruising with The Commissioner. All being well, there’ll be a goodly spread for the visitors and a few bottles of fizz to make the celebrations go with a zing.

If that all seems too far off, remember to visit our website, leave some feedback on the show and check out one of the other radio shows we enjoy, including the Tuesday night mafia on Wireless FM.

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