Juke Box Boogie Woogie . . .

Posted: July 28, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

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Well, with a hoot and a holler, we set off on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner and, as ever, the trusty Cruise Mobile called by with a seat saved especially for you and some great music on the radio. We kicked off in fine style with ‘Big Girl’ by King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys and being followed fast by a little 1954 Sapphire 45 from Snookum Russell. The ‘good spirits’ were definitely with us as we enjoyed a most excellent piece of rocking R&B from Ray Scott & the Scottsmen, whose later releases became big Northern Soul favourites.Cruising #3010

Mr Merlot showed some misunderstanding of the ‘good spirits’ when he arrived with a rather large glass of Scotland’s finest export and some stout walking boots, to do a little ‘Walking With The Spirit’ with Eddie Watkins Jr. That was something we uncovered in this week’s rummaging in the Cruising Library, along with a 1958 Jubilee 45 by Ernest Tucker, which left us wondering if that’s the same guy who also recorded as Little Ernest Tucker and Monroe Tucker. So, if someone out there in Cruising land knows any more . . . do tell.

In this week’s Cruising Connections, we featured a trio of tracks that were all well known 50s R&B hits and all recorded for Atlantic records in 1956 . . . . but, neither of those was the link we’re looking for. To help spot another link, we started with a classic from Big Joe Turner, Corrine Corrina’, followed by Chuck Willis’s much covered ballad ‘It’s Too Late’ and closing with a Doc Pomus song from Ray Charles. ‘Lonely Avenue’. All of which had Brooklyn girl group, The Cookies, providing the backup singing. Then we couldn’t resist the chance to play The Cookies’ 1962 hit, ‘Chains’ which got a further boost when it got covered by the Beatles.
.King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys
Our Girls & Guitars feature this week, turned its spotlight on North Carolina songstress Betsy Dawn Williams . . . or Bee Dee, as she’s known to family and friends. She got her first guitar at the age of 13 and was soon singing and playing well enough to learn the string bass as well. She’s played both in several bands along the way . . . and is now fronting her own R&B and rockabilly band, Li’l BeeDee & the Doo-Rites. Our choice from Bee Dee blamed her sleepless nights on The Boogie Woogieman Under My Bed’.

Walking With The Spirit
Big Girl – King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys
Juke Box Boogie Woogie Chick – Snookum RussellLil Bee Dee & The Doo-Rites
Silk Satin & Lace – Ray Scott & The Scottsmen
Walking With The Spirit – Eddie Watkins Jr
Mirror Mirror On The Wall – Ernest Tucker

Cruising Connections
Corrine Corrina – Big Joe Turner
It’s Too Late – Chuck Willis
Lonely Avenue – Ray Charles
Chains – The Cookies

Girls & Guitars
The Boogie Woogieman Under My Bed – Lil Bee Dee & The Doo-Rites

Doo Wop Delights
W-P-L-J (White Port & Lemon Juice) – The Four DeucesCliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
Call Baby Call – The Diamonds

One That I Like
Groceries Sir – The Dukes
Just How Much – The Kollettes
You’ve Got What I Like – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
One That I Like – Cuddly Dudley & The Redcaps
Come On Baby – Derry Hart & The Hartbeats
Ah Poor Little Baby – Adam Faith
Hop, Skip & Jump – The King Brothers
We Say Yeah – Cliff Richard & The Shadows
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This week, our selection of Doo Wop Delights cameAh Poor Little Baby – Adam Faith with a respectful tip of the hat now in the direction of both Matt The Cat and Neil Pellegrin, who both featured our first choice by San Francisco vocal group, The Four Deuces. It was recorded in February 1956, it got covered by Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention in 1969 and in 1971 it was adopted as the call sign of a New York Radio station. The song was ‘W-P-L-J’. Matt The Cat, also prompted our second choice . . . a 1952 Atlantic release by 50s New York vocal group, The Diamonds (not to be confused with the later Canadian group of the same name). The New York Diamonds only ever released 3 singles, but they left behind our choice . . . their 1952 single ‘Call Baby Call’.

There was another short lived group in our playlist, The Dukes, who included Bobby Nunn and Carl Gardner from The Robins and only recorded two singles. We chose’ Groceries, Sir’ and it came with big thanks to Jamie Dell’Apa for reminding us of that one. Up next was a 1964 Chess 45 there from girl group The Kolettes, who were rumoured to be The Soul Sisters. Listening to their ‘Just How Much’, it certainly could be, but if you know more, do tell.

Then, with a characteristic lack of self-control, Mr Merlot took the controls of the Cruise Mobile and, waving a Union Jack, took us across the Atlantic for a selection of rocking sounds of the 50s from some home grown talents . . . starting with Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, then one of the regulars on the celebrated TV show ‘Oh Boy’, Cuddly Dudley, and then South London’s Derry Hart & The Hartbeats with their only ever release, a 1959 Decca 45 that gets plenty of attention from the collectors these days. Adam Faith made an appearance with another 1959 song that did well in America for Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock, then came close harmony vocal group The King Brothers trying their luck with a little rock and roll on ‘Hop Skip & Jump’ and the last choice in our little selection of UK rock and roll came from Cliff Richard and The Shadows with a real crowd pleaser from their early years ‘We Say Yeah’.

Then, the inevitable sound of the rattling tin cans, confirmed that our Cruising time had definitely run out, but wherever our musical adventures took us this week, we arrived back safe and sound, just where we started. So, as we parked up the Cruise Mobile for another week, we gave it a quick polish, we very much hoped that we’ll have the pleasure of your good company again, the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 28 July 2018

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