Function at the junction . . . .

Posted: October 7, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen to this week’s show here:

Well, the joys of the week, which have been many and varied, including some real surprises. We got to enjoy the company of lots of long-time friends who stopped by to provide some big smiles and aCruising #115 great laughs. However, we did miss a great night out to witness Brother Jonno at one of his London gigs, accompanied by The Atlantic Soul Orchestra. But, none of this distracted us from our customary search through the Cruising Library, which this week rediscovered some dusty gems, including some 60s Brit beat. We found a cherished 45 by Sounds Incorporated and stirred a memory of a favourite of The Searchers, when we came across the original Specialty version of ‘Farmer John’ by Don & Dewey.

Perhaps the real surprise of the week was discovering an alternative version Jonathan King’s ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’ . . . . delivered with great soulful sincerity by Bobby Womack . . . . and we craved an indulgence for a seven minute classic track by the great Mike Bloomfield and the other members of Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band with ‘Work Song’. But, we kicked off this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner in fine style with Red Prysock and ‘Fruit Boots’ . . . . . and it never let up after that . . . .

Cruising where we please . . . .Farmer John
Fruit Boots – Red Prysock
Don’t Cry No More – Lucky Peterson
House Rockers Jamboree – Tucker Coles
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – Jimmy Beasley
Farmer John – Don & Dewey
Go – Sounds Incorporated
Tell Daddy – All Night Workers
Cuttin’ Out – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Shake Sherry Shake – Bern Elliott & The Fenmen
High Flyin’ Bird – Judy Henske
I’m A Woman – Ko Ko TaylorCannata
Work Song – Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Get Out My Life Woman – Q65

Cruising with the crew . . . .
Rufus Back In Porretta – The Memphis All-Stars
Fresh Garbage – Cannata
Mr Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan
Everyone’s Gone To The Moon – Bobby Womack
This Won’t Happen To Me – Ian Edward & The Zodiacs
Frankie – Mississippi John Hurt
Honey Bee – Stevie Ray VaughanFrankie
Function At The Junction – Shorty Long
Gonna Fix You Good – Little Anthony & The Imperials
Little Girl Lost – Maxine Brown
Hard Headed Woman – Wanda Jackson
Pony Express – Danny & The Juniors

For our Girls & Guitars feature this week, we tipped our hat respectfully in the direction of our good pal The Spongeman, who was instrumental in this week’s choice. He heard us play a version of High Flying Bird in a recent show and kindly sent along a compilation of other versions of the song, including the original by Billy Edd Wheeler and a later cover by American singer, songwriter and guitarist, Judy Henske. We chose her version of ‘High Flying Bird’ from her second Elektra album.

This week’s Scratchy Blues choice came from Mississippi John Hurt and a song that we know it best as ‘Frankie & Johnny’, but which started out being called ‘Frankie & Albert’ or just ‘Frankie’. The song was inspired by at least one actual murder, which took place in St Louis, involving Frankie Baker who shot her lover Albert Britt when he’d been out dancing with Nelly Bly. The story got put into song called ‘Frankie’ and was recorded by Mississippi John Hurt for Okeh records in 1928.

But, all too soon we found time fast running out on our cruise and we’re heading for home in the good company of Danny & The Juniors and their 1961 Swan single, ‘Pony Express’ . . . . and if all goes well, we’ll be ready to call by in the Cruise Mobile, same time, same place, next week with a seat saved especially for you so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

  1. The Shake says:

    Great show Commissioner, top stuff.

  2. The Spongeman says:

    Top show TC

  3. Arfa Pinetop says:


    Just listened to the show Emp. What came first ‘Fruit Boots’ or ‘Tutti Frutti’? The same applies to Mr Heath’s track . . . . definite strains of Parchment Farm.

    Hadn’t heard the Bern Elliot track afore. I really liked that band. I remember some years ago a guy from The Rapiers tried to get him out of retirement to no avail.

    Ko Ko Taylor, dare I say it, but I reckon it’s better than Muddys!!! Whose band were backing her on this, were they not? . . . . and Mike Bloomfield . . . . luverly. I believe the very reverend Mr Jones also did a harp and vocal version.

    Fresh Garbage how apt, Inane Edward say no more!

    However decent of Shorty Long to do a tribute to Tony Blues Boy Barkers gig at The Junction Arms Harlesden many moons ago.

    Lovely in depth explanation on Frankie and Johnny Emp Great version to boot and Wanda and Pony Express very much appreciated.

    • Most esteemed Arfa

      Tutti Frutti was cut in 1955 and Fruit Boots was a 1957 Mercury recording . . . . but I know that wasn’t your point! Along with that Johnny Kidd track, I’m happy they captured the spirit and feel of other great numbers . . . . and you can’t have too much of a good thing imho.

      That Bern Elliott track comes from a rather cherished Decca EP that has been a long-time resident of the Cruising Library. . . . and we have played some of the other tracks previously.

      Koko Taylor may have cut ‘I’m A Woman’ more than once, but that track comes from an Alligator album, with some fine backing musicians, including guitarists Sammy Lawhorn and Johnny B. Moore, pianist Pinetop Perkins, and saxman Abb Locke.

      It was a real indulgence to hear that great harp playing by Paul Butterfield on ‘Work Song’ and that very inventive guitar work from Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. You’re right, the ‘very reverend Mr Jones’ also did a version and, creditable as it is, I think I am forever seduced by the PBBB version. I remember requesting that number from the harp led blues band appearing at Ground Zero in Clarksdale. The harp player started off with great enthusiasm, but the rest of the band couldn’t follow and he stopped the band quickly and moved onto a straight blues to cover their embarrassment. He did apologise after and we both left sadder, but wiser.

      Glad you found some gems in the playlist and, presumably, we must await Tony Barker’s tribute to Shorty Long, however, many moons it takes.

  4. The Vikster says:

    I was especially taken with Bobby Womack’s ‘Everyone’s Gone To the Moon’ this week.

    • The Commissioner says:

      It is indeed a most excellent and soulful interpretation of a song that might otherwise have been remembered only for that half jokey version by Jonathan King.

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