Good as it gets . . . .

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, February arrived with the promise of longer and warmer days, but we’ll have to wait to see if it delivers on its promise. Meanwhile, we have been occupying ourselves with a new Cruise Mobile, some new technology and organising some trips for later in the year. Despite these distractions and the intrusion of some testing business activities, this week’s playlist did come together . . . . but a bit later than usual and, with great respect, we opened up with Philip Seymour Hoffman, as The Count, and his goodbye speech from ‘The Boat That Rocked’.
Cruising #194
Now, this week saw us visit a rather rustic music bar in Reading, called Milk . . . . . and the attraction was a night of vinyl music called Tracks & Grooves . . . . and amongst a playlist that ranged from soul to jazz to disco and even a bit of techno (which might have pleased our good pal Max Quirk ), we were surprised to hear Andre Williams’ ‘Cadillac Jack’ and we took the opportunity to did a copy out of the Cruising Library for your enjoyment too.

Last week we got the news that the Allman Brothers Band are retiring from touring at the end of the year. Gregg Allman said “45 years is enough and I want to do something else, anyway”. So, we thought we would play in full their classic track ‘Jessica’. Sadly, it may forever now conjure up the faces of the three aging hipsters driving cars on a cult TV show. . . . where the music is undoubtedly better than the show.

Well, our good pal The Majestic appeared with another Three From Me and he never disappoints with his choices, which were quite excellent. He came in a very sharp suit and raised speculation about perfectly pressed socks, underwear and hankie. But, when we guided him into Cruise Control and let him loose . . . . and it was truly great stuff, as you can hear for yourself.

This week, we’ve much enjoyed a great piece about The 5 Royales by Russ & Gary on their ‘Best Years Of Music’ blog. A great catalogue of recordings that may well have achieved greater recognition in later years than at the time they were issued. If you want more, check out this link to their website:

As Tuesday rolled around, we got the Cruise Mobile tuned up and turned out ready for our musical adventure and the playlist kicked off with evidence of a nudge from Russ & Gary with The 5 Royales and ‘I Could Love You’, followed by some real party spirit from Gary US Bonds . . . . and then we were up to full cruising speed.

Cruising for the horizon . . . . tee shirt 8b
I Could Love You – The 5 Royales
Quarter To Three – Gary US Bonds
Tore Up – Tommy La Beff
I’ll Mess You Up – The Cliques
Dance (Holes In Your Soles) – Ozz & The Sperlings
Call Me Anytime You Want Some Loving – Lorraine Ellison
How Can I Forget – Jimmy Walker
Cadillac Jack – Andre Williams
Sunshine Of Your Love – Orianthi
When Your Left Eye Gets To Jumping – Bo Carter
Sound of The Witchdoctors – The Mohawks
Three From Me  . . . . with The Majestic
Stop Shovin’ Me Around – The Delicates
Wayward Dream – Annette Poindexter
Lonely People Do Foolish Things – Judy Clay

Cruising down the highway . . . .
Jessica – The Allman Brothers Band
All Along The Watchtower – Bob Dylan
Portobello Road – Spectrum
Rave On – Buddy Holly
Come On Let’s Go – Ritchie Valens
Chantilly Lace – the Big Bopper
Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Morse Jerk – Lou Hoffner Trio Minus One
Cruising for home . . . .
Don’t Want No Woman – Magic Sam
Good As It Gets – Beth Hart
Since You’ve Been Gone – The Four Tops
Fever – Ronnie Dyson
Earthquake – Bobbi Lynn
Meet Me Down At Soulsville – Little Joe Cook

In the quieter moments of the week (just one or two), we have been reflecting on the anniversary of ‘the day music died’ and the responses to the recent passing of Phil Everly and Pete Seeger, which have rather underlined the surprising range and depth of their musical influences . . . . and rightly so. But the music gets taken forward by next generation artists like our ‘Girls & Guitars’ focus this week, singer and guitarist, Orianthi with her take on Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’.

The Cruising time machine took us back to the 1930s for our scratchy blues record this week, which came from Bo Carter. He was one of the leading blues artists in the 30s, making some 110 recordings on his own and as a member of the famous Mississippi Sheiks. We chose one of Bluebird recordings, ‘When Your Left Eye Gets To Jumping’.

We finished with a flourish and a selection of floor fillers for the benefit of The Cruisettes. But, all too soon we had to head for home, with just enough time to park up the Cruise Mobile and start thinking about a few ‘toons’ for next week’s playlist. This is an ‘act of faith’ in the hope that if you enjoyed this week’s choices and might be persuaded to join us, same time, same place, next week . . . . when we’ll call by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you . . . .  so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . . have fun!


  1. Arfa Pinetop says:

    Ta Emp for Lorraine Ellison and US Bonds. Much prefer Andre Williams singing “Moon River”.

    Beth Hart superb .

    Little Jo Cook got me thinking, I think Chris Farlow recorded under a similar name for an American label and was taken to be black ! bet he loved that knowing his politics !

    How about some Mississippi Sheiks ?


  2. The Commissioner says:

    Most esteemed Arfa

    Well, that obviously hit the right spot and didn’t get your ‘left eye to jumping’!

    Chris Farlowe did record under the name Little Joe Cook. It was a single of ‘Stormy Monday Blues’ which he recorded for UK Sue Records. As I recall, it was a bit of fun by Guy Stevens to encourage the 60s UK club scene dwellers of a hitherto rare US release, captured for UK release. I might look it out for a future show, but Little Jo Cook appears to be a ‘real’ US artist and with more soul than blues in his recordings.

    We’ll keep a look out for the Mississippi Sheiks on a future cruise.


  3. The Vikster says:

    I wish I’d listened to the show live this week. Instead I’m reliving the wonder that was on a Friday morning. ADORING the girls and guitar track and thanks for giving Milk Reading a mention. It was a fun evening.

  4. Amigo says:

    Funnily enough I was listening to my Okeh Rhythm & Blues CD while cooking dinner the other evening and enjoyed hearing again ‘Peanuts’ by Little Joe and the Thrillers. Yes that was the same Little Joe Cook. He had an interest in the Sherrys (of ‘Pop Pop Pop Pie’ fame ) and they originally had Tammi Terrell ( then known by her real surname of Montgomery ) as an early member – but she left before they made any records which was probably just as well for fans of Marvin and Tammi.

    • The Commissioner says:

      ‘Peanuts’ has long been a favourite here, although I confess I have a slight inclination towards Frankie Valli’s version with The Four Seasons.
      Strangely, I had pulled out Tammi’s song ‘It’s Mine’ for next week’s playlist. I think it was intended as a demo for The Shirelles, but it just might become ‘I Cried’, her first recording for James Brown’s Try Me label. A great talent and a sad loss, but plenty of memories.

  5. Arfa Pinetop says:

    Latest acquisition . . . . The R n B years with some lovely stuff and some new names for me but probably not for you.

    Julia Lee , Nellie Lutcher ,Sugar Chile Robinson and Hal Singer .Sugar Chile sounds like a very young singer or maybe just has an extremely tight pair of strides on !

    Worth a delve Emp.

    • The Commissioner says:

      Most esteemed Arfa

      Looks like you bagged a fine catch there . . . .

      I’m assuming the Hal Singer track is ‘Rock Around The Clock’ and the Nellie Lutcher track is her signature success ‘Fine Brown Frame’. She did many others, usually mid tempo pieces, all displaying her piano skills and characteristic fine diction. She was the sister of Saxophonist Joe Lutcher.

      Sugar Chile Robinson (real name Frank Isaac Robinson) was indeed a child star, playing and singing boogie woogie and blues. He won a talent show at the age of three, and in 1945 played guest spots on stage and radio with Lionel Hampton and appeared as himself in a Hollywood film called ‘No Leave, No Love’. In 1946, he played for President Truman at the White House and began touring major theatres, setting box office records in Detroit and California. In 1949 he recorded, his first releases for Capitol records and subsequently toured and appeared on television with Count Basie. In 1951, he toured the UK and appeared at the London Palladium. Check out this newsreel piece about him:



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