Archive for November, 2013

Life’s been good . . . .

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show: 

Well, the temperatures around the Grand Duchy have started heading South, and the chill winds have arrived to remind us that we are descending into winter and (in case we’ve missed the relentless Xmas advertising) the festive season is fast approaching. Although we may be fast running out of days in 2013, be assured we are certainly not running out of great music here on Cruising with The Commissioner.
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In anticipation, we have tested the delivery systems and re-assured ourselves that all is well, with our smiling postman doing his best to imitate a jolly plump sleigh-master depositing eagerly awaited gifts with skill and speed. Indeed, the recent weeks have seen some real juicy gems entering Cruise Control and the real challenge has been finding the time to listen to them all, when there is so much else going on. But, we remained determined to bring you a tippity top playlist, full of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues.

One of the joys of the past week was catching up with the adventures of our good pal DJ Leyton Rocks. We were chuffed to find some time in his busy movie mogul diary to fix a gastronomic gathering and he even found time for a Three From Me selection. So, to test our carefully planned preparations, we rolled out the Cruise Mobile, turned on the radio, cranked up the volume and headed for our full cruising speed with a superb Ace recording from 1957, featuring The Blue Dots with their ‘Saturday Night Fish Fry’ and there was plenty more in store . . . .

Cruising in good company . . . . .
Saturday Night Fish Fry – The Blue Dots
Blue Jean Shuffle – Plas Johnson
Little Demon – Screaming Jay Hawkins                                       Tee Shirt 5
Catch That Train – Elton Anderson
Baby Take It Slow – Tutti Hill
Your Heart Wasn’t In It – Chuck Collins
My Oh My – Billy Floyd
Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music – Jay & The Techniques
Peaches & Cream – The Ikettes
Kissing In The Dark – Memphis Minnie
Pheonix City – Roland Alphonso

Three From Me  . . . . with DJ Leyton Rocks
I Feel A Whole Lot Better – The Byrds
Tonight – The Rasberries
Life’s Been Good – Joe Walsh

Cruising with friends . . . . .
Boogie Chillun – Nine Below Zero
Big City Blues – The Hoax
Let The Children Play – Santana
Istanbul – Bruno & The Gladiators
Baby, Let Me Follow You Down – Bob Dylan

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Uh Oh – Paul Anka
Cruising for home . . . . .
Incense And Peppermints – Strawberry Alarm Clock
Yes I Do – Tony’s Defenders
Money – The Undertakers
That’s No Big Thing – Chris Farlowe
Honey Child – Johnny Williams
Big Fat Mama – Chuck Higgins & The Mellotones
Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets

We took the opportunity to recall this week in 1961, when a youthful Bob Dylan entered the Columbia Recording Studios in New York City to start two days of recording for his debut album. Knowing there are a few Dylan fans out there in Cruising Land, we included a track from that first album.

Unusually, this week we featured the same artist for both our Girls & Guitars slot and our Scratchy Blues selection. This was Lizzie Douglas . . . . otherwise known as Memphis Minnie, who was a celebrated blues singer, guitarist, and songwriter with a recording career that lasted from the 1920s to the 1950s. We chose one of her later recordings from 1953, which showed off her guitar work and singing to good effect with ‘Kissing In the Dark’.

All too soon though, Mr Merlot was pointing rather theatrically at the clock to emphasise that time was running out for us on our cruise. But, we couldn’t leave without playing the song that was the UK number one back in 1955. This proved to be a truly historic week, because the song changed the course of popular music at a stroke and it was Bill Haley & His Comets and ‘Rock Around The Clock’.

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

I got all you need . . . . .

Posted: November 19, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the temperatures around the Grand Duchy have started getting pretty chilly and so we were intent on extending one of our warmest welcomes. As ever, we raided the Cruising Library to pull together a playlist stuffed full of great rock, soul and real rhythm and blues . . . .  our trade mark on Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #64d
Johnny Alpha returned to Killer Diller Korner with another favourite from his extensive collection and we were also pleased to hear from our good pals DJ Leyton Rocks, Johnny99, Arfa Pinetop and The Shake, as well as getting some feedback from the Cruising Crew. The feedback revealed that our smooth soul choices were well received and so, ever indulgent, as we are, we pulled out a couple of soul ballads from Al Green Joe Simon. Our rummaging this week didn’t stop there and we revisited that section of the Cruising Library where we keep sampler albums, including this week’s choice, a 1971 sampler album called ‘Workin’, issued by Polydor’s Mojo label, with some true soul gems.

So, at the appointed time, we turned up with the Cruise Mobile, polished and purring gently . . . .and with a seat saved so we can take you Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . and we started our cruise with a great piece of R&B from Rudy Green called ‘Wild Life’ . . . . and so much more . . . . as you can see:

Cruising way out there . . . . .
Wild Life – Rudy Green
You’d Better Believe It – Paul Gayten
My Pigeon’s Gone – Charles Calhoun
Sh-Boom – The Chords                                    Tee - More than a radio show
I Worship You Baby– The Glories
Anything – Bobby Wilson
My Girl – Al Green
Georgia Blue – Joe Simon
I’ll Do Anything (He Wants Me To) – Doris Troy
Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music – The Fantastics
I Count The Tears – Rosanne Cash
Shout For Joy – Albert Ammons
Love Me Do – The Skatalites

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Midnight Crying Time – Scotty McKay
Cruising just for the fun of it . . . . .
Dear Prudence – Leslie West & Mountain
I’m Not Your Stepping Stone – Paul Revere & The Raiders
King Lonely The Blue – The Emeralds
Sorry She’s Mine – Jimmy Winston & His Reflections
I Got All You Need – Joe Bonamassa
Sunday Kind Of Love – Beth Hall
I’ve Gotta Get You Back – Mary Love
You Don’t Know What You Mean To Me – Sam & Dave
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Junior Walker & the Allstars
That’s All – Al Garris
Somebody’s Always TryingTo Take My Baby Away – Ted Taylor
Before I Go – Shirley & Lee
Oh Little Girl – Dee Clark

Well, this weeks Girls & Guitars feature focused on someone who was born in was born in Memphis Tennessee in 1955, just as her father was recording his first tracks at Sun records. This was singer-songwriter and guitar player, Rosanne Cash who had chart success in the 1980s. But we selected a track from her 1995 album ‘Retrospective’ and a song that was a hit for The Drifters, ‘I Count The Tears’.

For our choice of scratchy blues this week, we jumpedn the cruising time machine to head back to 1938 and something ffrom boogie woogie pianist, Albert Ammons. He recorded a million selling version of “Swanee River Boogie” for Decca Records in 1936. But the track we chose came from two years later and his ‘Shout For Joy’.

Not for the first time, as we were motoring well, time caught up with us and we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. We did it with the great Dee Clark and his ‘Oh Little Girl’, which got us home safe and sound. As we said our farewells, we hoped that everyone had enjoyed Cruising with The Commissioner this week and could be enticed back again next week for even more rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. So, until then, remember . . . . . have fun!


Enjoy yourself . . . . .

Posted: November 12, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, it is that time of year when the bonfires have burnt out, the fireworks have finally stop (although reluctantly for some) and we have paid our very respectful thanks to those who fought and fight for our freedom. Amidst all this, there have been building works around Cruise Control, which, not untypically, look like proving longer and more costly to complete. So, we might be clearing up just in time to put up the Xmas decorations, but this week we took to heart the message from Prince Buster ‘Enjoy Yourself (While You’re Young)’.Cruisin' 70

To provide a distraction from the boxes, dust sheets and general disarray at Cruise Control, we took a welcome jaunt around the local record shops and, although not as fruitful as other occasions, we did come back with a handful of vinyl that made good company for some other treats that arrived via our musical postman. So, the days were cheered and we arrived at Tuesday night with the Cruise Mobile polished and primed, all ready for another adventure through some of the best of rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm & blues. Indeed, we set off with some squeals from the wheels in the company of Johnny Mabara and ‘Looka Looka Looka’, followed closely by Buddy Lamp and his 1961 Peanut single ‘Have Mercy Baby’ and you can see what came next:

Cruising down the highway . . . .
Looka Looka Looka – Johnny Mabara
Have Mercy Baby – Buddy Lamp
Where’s My Money – Willie Jones
But You – Little Grier
Looking Back – Johnny Guitar Watson
The Night The Angels Cried – Johnny DynamiteTee Shirt 6
Donald Wilson – Find Somebody
You’re Not My Kind – Paula Durante
Love’s Like A Quicksand – Sandy Wynn
Sorrow – The Prissteens
Boogie Chillun – John Lee Hooker
Enjoy Yourself (While You’re Young) – Prince Buster
Outrage – Booker T & The MGs

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Ha Lese Le Di Khanna – The Nu Life
Cruising in good company . . . .
Green Tambourine – Status Quo
Poor Little Heartbreaker – Timebox
Sorry She’s Mine – The Small Faces
One Fine Day – Shel Naylor
Steamroller – Merry Clayton
Don’t Do It – Saffire
Never Make Your Move Too Soon – Bonnie Raitt
Topsy ’65 – The Mustangs
Bad Man Of Missouri – Jimmy Ricks & The Suburbans
Incense – The Anglos
Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) – The Daylighters
I Don’t Want To Sit Down – O.V. Wright
Lillie Mae – The Good Fellas
I’ll Do It – Shirley & Lee

There were birthdays for Booker T Jones and Bonnie Raitt this week and so we pulled something from each of them from the Cruising Library. We decided on ‘Outrage’ by Booker T & The MGs and we pulled out Bonnie Raitt’s 1995 album ‘Road Tested’ and we chose her live version ‘Never Make You Move Too Soon’, which is made rather special by including Kim Wilson and Charles Brown.

We featured some Britbeat, some popcorn and a few blues tracks in our playlist, including a bit of blues history, in the form of John Lee Hooker’s 1948 debut recording for Modern Records, ‘Boogie Chillun’.

Our Girls & Guitars selection this week was suggested by The Vikster and pointed us to New York-based band The Prissteens. Indeed, they’re over qualified for inclusion, because they have two girl guitarists, in the shape of Tina Canellas and Leslie Day. We picked a track from their 1998 debut album, ‘Scandal, Controversy & Romance’, and a song also recorded by The McCoys, The Merseybeats and David Bowie, ‘Sorrow’.

All too soon, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home and with Shirley & Lee in our ears, we arrived back safe and sound from another musical adventure and very much hoping that there were plenty of tracks to your liking in our playlist selection. If there were, then perhaps we can entice you back again next week, when we’ll call by, same time, same place, with a seat saved especially for you, just so you can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . have fun!

Don’t look back . . . .

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the night skies around the Grand Duchy have been filled with fireworks these past days and the smell of wood-smoke has been in the air to create the appropriate atmosphere for November 5th. It always seems strange that we continue to mark such a distant event, where a disaffected group attempted to blow up the seat of government. But, it has established itself in the social calendar and we added to the event with a special invitation to go Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #195
The week has been pretty busy here, with some reconstruction works around Cruise Control and a giglist that brought some great music and good company. This past week brought us a particular joy in the shape of Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and an excellent show it was from start to finish. It even inspired a few choices for our playlist, including their take on ‘Flatfoot Sam’, with vocals and piano from one-time member of the Rhythm Kings, Mike Sanchez . . . .  who is on our giglist soon, when he next appears in London. Our gig list also included a rather good show, full of music by Queen and it encouraged us to dig out a copy of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by a guy called Orion (otherwise known as Jimmy Ellis), which sounded very much like ‘the King doing Queen’!

Also in town this past week was Maria Muldaur and we were very pleased that she was on our giglist, because she gave us some outstanding blues and R&B during the evening, which we tried to reflect with our playlist choice of her take on that Sugar Pie DiSanto number ‘Soulful Dress’.

We heard from our good pals Johnny Alpha, The Vikster, Arfa Pinetop and Phil Tyler and you may just detect their guidance and advice in some of the choices in subsequent playlists, but we hit the highway on our Cruise this week with a nice piece of New Orleans R&B from Tommy Ridgley and his 1950 Imperial release ‘Boogie Woogie Mama’ and then we were rolling well . . . . as you can see:

Cruising for fun . . . .
Boogie Woogie Mama – Tommy Ridgley
Ain’t I Talking To You Baby – Saturday Night Fish Fry      tee shirt 8b
Knock Knock Rattle – Rex Allen
Flatfoot Sam – Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings
(I Got) All You Need – Koko Taylor
Same Time, Same Place – Button Up
Headline News – Edwin Starr
Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby – The Toys
Green Door – The Cramps
Watch Your Step – Bobby Parker
Don’t Look Back – Keith & Tex
No Smoke Without Fire – James Hunter
Fire Brigade – Roy Wood
Rocket To the Moon – Colin James

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Too Much Fire Water – Lorenzo Smith

Cruising for the city lights . . . .
Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Orion
Light My Fire – Chet Lott
Jumping Jack Flash – Aretha Franklin
Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) – Blues Motel
I Ain’t Got You – Jimmy Reed
Soulful Dress – Maria Muldaur
So Tired (Of Running Away From Love) – Willie Hightower
A Great Big Thing – Barbara Brown
Fools Love – C.L. Blast
At The Top Of The Stairs – The Formations
Three Alley Cats – Roy Hall & His Jumping Cats
Let Me Know, Let Me Know – Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker

We turned our ‘Girls & Guitars’ spotlight on Cramps member, Kirsty Wallace (aka Poison Ivy). She’s built a reputation for her guitar work and boasts an impressive range of vintage guitars that might make the guitar buffs drool. But, we pulled out a track from the 1998 Cramps album, ‘Psychedelic Jungle’, where Kirsty and the rest offer their version of the old 50s favourite ‘Green Door’.

We paused on our cruise this week for a bit of blues history, which reflected the sad news of the passing this past week of blues guitarist and singer, Bobby Parker. He grew up in Los Angeles and by the 50s, was playing with various R&B bands and some very notable artists, as well as a stint working with Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams’ band, who were the house band at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre. He recorded his signature hit single “Watch Your Step” in 1961, which we played with respectful thanks for his contribution to the music we love. The song has been much covered since and is claimed to have inspired the riffs for The Beatles “I Feel Fine” and “Daytripper”.

All too soon, we found ourselves running out of time, before we ran out of music or road. But, we turned for home in the Cruise Mobile and rolled gently to a stop, as we parked up all ready for next week’s adventure. So, if you enjoyed this week’s cruise, perhaps we can call by for you, same time, same place, next week with a seat saved especially for you to go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . have fun!