RADIO RPB #016 • June 22, 2018

RADIO RPB #016 • June 22, 2018

Set List
Pretenders – Watcha Gonna Do About It
The Records – Girl In Golden Disc
The Marvelettes – Locking Up My Heart
The Revillos – Hungry For Love
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates – Please Don’t Touch (1964 version)
Smokey Robinson And The Miracles – From Head To Toe
The Wildweeds – I Had A Girl
Aquarian Age10,000 Words In A Cardboard Box
George HarrisonI’d Have You Any Time
The UndertonesIt’s Going To Happen!
Mose Allison – Everybody Cryin’ Mercy

I loved Flexipop Magazine because each issue came with a free record. Better sounding than the records that came on the back of cereal boxes but the same kind of thrill. The feli in Flexipop issue No. 6 was especially good, two previously unreleased tracks by the then, very hot Pretenders. One track was a demo of Stop Your Sobbing, very similar in approach to the original Kinks version. The other track, a strong cover version of The Small Faces’ Watcha Gonna Do About It. My crowd loved the Pretenders – unapologetic punk look and pop songs performed with power by a superior band.

This version of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ Please Don’t Touch is a 1964 remake of their 1959 hit.  It’s one of the few times I think a re-recording surpasses the original. They fiddled with the chord progression , dropped a bridge and took great advantage of Mick Green’s presence on guitar.

The Wildweeds I Had A Girl was recorded in 1968 but remained unreleased until the the early 70s  when it was issued under Ray Zeiner’s name on the Poison Ring record label.

More next time!

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RADIO RPB #015 • June 15, 2018

RADIO RPB #015 • June 15, 2018

Something smells good! RADIO RPB serves up a round of delicious sounds.
Set List
Brother Jack McDuffHot Barebeque
Cab CallowayEverybody Eats When They Come To My House
Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks – I Don’t Want Love
Chuck Miller – Saturday Night Fish Fry
Detroit Cobras – Hot Dog
Nick Lowe‘s Last Chicken In The Shop – Let’s Eat
Wynonie Harris – Git With The Grits
The Morells – Red’s
Small Faces – Song Of A Baker
Marah – Pizzeria
Amy Allison – The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter
Andre Williams – Pass The Biscuits Please

RADIO RPB episodes are archived at Mixcloud.

If you like the music but hate the talk,  check out RADIO RPB on this continually updated Spotify Playlist. 

And please like RADIO RPB on Facebook and Mixcloud.

RADIO RPB #014 • June 8, 2018

RADIO RPB #014 • June 8, 2018
‘60s inspired pop from the ’20s to now.

Set List
Shel Naylor – One Fine Day
Jerry Lee Lewis – Sixty Minute Man
The James Hunter Six – Look Out
Emily Duff – Sylvia’s Mother
The Box Tops – Call Me
Graham Parker And The Rumour – Hotel Chambermaid
The Marvelettes – I’ll Keep Holding On
Barrence Whitfield and The Savages – Oscar Levant
Lovin’ Spoonful – Six O’Clock
Freddie Coaster – Be My Love

Shel Naylor (real name Robert Woodward) starts off this week’s set with blast from 1964. One Fine Day was written by Kink Dave Davies and recorded just around the same time as The Kinks first single. I’ve read rumors of a demo version by The Kinks but despite hundreds of reissues, bonus tracks and plundering of outtakes, I don’t believe a version by The Kinks has ever surfaced. Oh yeah, Jimmy Page on guitar.

Sixty Minute Man is best known as the mildly lascivious hit for Billy Ward and The Dominoes, but Jerry Lee Lewis dispenses with any of the smooth, sly talk of the original for an attitude that’s strictly “wham-bam, thank-Jerry-Lee, maam!”

The James Hunter Six have released a string of exceptional LPs on Daptone, and I believe this is the first on that label (although it seems the CD versions were released on a major).  I was introduced to James Hunter because I’m a dedicated listener to The Michael Shelley Show on WFMU. Here’s Michael’s interview with James along  with great live performances.

Emily Duff is an exceptional artist from NYC with a soft spot for the sound of Muscle Shoals. This recent Bandcamp release is a cover of Shel Siverstein‘s Sylvia’s Mother, a big hit in 1972 for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. I’ve seen Emily perform this live and completely slay her audiences, so it makes sense that she’s recorded a studio rendition of the song  to share with a larger audience, and Duff delivers.

It’s always a little bit of a cheat to pull an oddball song from a compilation LP, but to pull an oddball song from a compilation of intentionally oddball songs is REALLY cheating. So call me a cheat. This is the only track I care about from the When Pigs Fly compilation, a CD that intentionally sought to pair artists with unconventional song choices. This conceptual pairing of The Box Tops with a Blondie song fails in terms of its oddity (singer Alex Chilton’s NYC connection is strong) but the recording is tremendously successful.

I have a stack of Graham Parker records as tall as my stack of Tom Petty records, which is to say that these guys put out A LOT OF RECORDS. AND THEY”RE ALL GOOD.

The Marvelettes‘  I’ll Keep Holding On only hit #34 on the charts in 1964, but it was revived to great effect in 1966 by The Action, whose cover seems to get more attention these days. The Marvelettes’ version is not to be forgotten though,  a little slower, a little moodier and a complete winner.

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages have experienced a revival in the last few years, and I credit the return of guitarist Peter Greenberg to the band as an important contributing element.  I’m singling out Greenberg for his guitar work, but everyone delivers on this sort-of-tribute to Oscar Levant.

The Lovin’ Spoonful were major hit-makers in their time, but their influence has waned compared to some of their contemporaries. An NYC supergroup has recently taken to performing tribute shows to the Spoonful and Six O’Clock from 1967 popped out at me as one that I had missed.  Ears open folks!

Last up this week, let’s drink some juice and all get loose. Freddie Coaster sure did! I can find absolutely NO INFORMATION AT ALL on Freddie Coaster. Nothing in the liner notes of the Stompin’ 13 LP, nothing in the Wikipedia, nothing in the Discogs. If you know anything about this one do tell. Do The Freddie!

RADIO RPB #013 • June 1, 2018

RADIO RPB #013 • June 1, 2018

Set List
Small FacesHey Girl
Buddy Holly – I’m Gonna Set My Foot Down
Lolas – In My Car
Paul PerrymanJust To Hold My Hand
NRBQ – You Got It
Allen Toussaint – Up The Creek
Flamin’ Groovies – Have You Seen My Baby?
Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Rain Just Falls
Rolando Alphonso And His Soul Brothers – Dr. Ring-A-Ding
J.J. Jackson And The Jackaels – Oo-Ma-Liddy
Joe Brown – There’s Only One Of You

Lucky episode 13 kicks off with Hey Girl,  a blatant (and successful) crack at commercial success for Small Faces.  Marriott/Lane composition single cracked the Top Ten on the UK charts in 1966.

Buddy Holly recorded I’m Gonna Set My Foot Down sometime in 1956, but this un-dubbed original recording remained unissued until 1983 when it was released on the HIGHLY recommended LP For The First Time Anywhere.

Birmingham , Alabama isn’t the first place that comes to mind for jangle pop perfection, but here are Lolas! Lolas have three LPs for sale at Bandcamp, but I first heard these folks via the Wizzard Brew compilation from Japan’s Wizzard In Vinyl label, pop tastemakers from the early 2000’s. I hear Wizzard In Vinyl is plotting a comeback and I can’t wait.

Paul Perryman‘s Just To Hold My Hand has been covered numerous times, but I could find scant information on My Perryman, other than discographies of his releases on Duke Records. Got any leads to share? Where’s I first hear this song? Not by Perryman, but my heroes NRBQ...

… who we can hear on You Got It  from Tapdancing Bats, the1983 collection of oddball recordings. Big Al handles the lead vocals. And there’s something oddball about this one – I get a feeling it was written in a major key, but someone along the way said “let’s play it minor.”

Allen Toussaint‘s (billed as “Tousan” on the LP cover) first LP was entitled The Wild Sound of New Orleans, and  Up The Creek comes from that  1958 collection of early instrumentals.

Flamin’ Groovies firing on all cylinders with a cover of Randy Newman’s Have You Seen My Baby from the last LP of their early Rolling Stones-influenced incarnation. They’d switch gears and labels (from Kama Sutra to Sire) and reinvent themselves in a vision more influenced by Beatles than Stones.

It takes Jimmie Dale Gilmore to cool things down after the Groovies, and this is the gorgeous last track on his 1988 Fair & Square LP, a song written by Austin, Tx songwriter David Halley.

Cuban born Rolando Alphonso made his name as a founding member and saxophonist in Jamaica’s Skatelites. This 1966 number by Rolando Alphonso And His Soul Brothers has a melody that sure sounds a lot like Twine Time by Alvin Cash and The Crawlers, but maybe that’s a case for investigation by the Dr. Ring Ding.

J.J. jackson had a big hit record with It’s All Right in 1966, but this is a entirely different J.J. Jackson, and Oo-Ma-Liddy made lips smack (and feet groove) in 1961.

Last up, the great Joe Brown with a 1963 album track, There’s Only One Of You. Joe was, and remains a big influence to the British beat set.

Archives of all RADIO RPB episodes are at Mixcloud.

More next week. If you like the music but if you hate my yappin’ you can hear many of the songs featured on RADIO RPB on this continually updated Spotify Playlist. 

And please like RADIO RPB on Facebook.

RADIO RPB #012 • May 25, 2018

RADIO RPB #012 • May 25, 2018

Dr. Feelgood meets Spanky & Our Gang.

Set List
International Q – Small Talk
Robbie Fulks – She Must Think I Like Poetry
The Nashville Ramblers – The Trains
The Crickle – Place In Your Heart
Sagittarius – Get The Message
Sylvain Sylvain – It’s Love
Chris Stamey & Yo La Tengo – The Summer Sun
The Mighty Avengers – Blue Turns To Grey
Dr. Feelgood – Keep It Out Of Sight
Spanky & Our Gang – 1-3-5-8
The Flat Five – This Is Your Night
Sam Phillips – Taking Pictures

The International Q hail from New Haven Connecticut, and while it was released on a 45 I first came to this track on an 1981 LP called It Happened But Nobody Noticed, a compilation of songs by  Connecticut neer-do-wells. The compilation inspired a documentary film of the same name – watch it here.

Robbie Fulks has enjoyed tremendous recent acclaim with a series of wonderful, country/folk records on Bloodshot Records. They are great records, and I hate to add a “but” to this sentence, but I’m a fan of Robbie’s pop side, and here’s an older track that hits all the marks for me – super catchy melody and chorus, great guitar, great backup vocals, and an unusual, sardonic lyric. Fulks is hard to pin down, and his records always keep me interested.

For reverb lovers only, The Trains is a 1986 track from San Diego, CA’s The Nashville Ramblers. It got its first release on ’80s era neo-garage compilation,  made its way to American neo-garage compilations, and finally got its own 45 release on Ugly Things Records  in 2011.

In 1985 the cassette-only ROIR label teamed up with Goldmine Magazine to issue Garage Sale, a release that fully turned me on to that aforementioned neo-garage scene of the 1980s.  This track from that compilation by The Crickle owes more to the Everly Brothers than The Standells.

Get The Message  from Gary Usher’s Sagittarius project sat unreleased for decades, but to me it’s as strong or stronger than anything on the Present Tense LP.

Sylvain Sylvain is the artist, the album is called Syl Sylvain and The Teardrops, and the song is It’s Love.

Chris Stamey and Yo La Tengo teamed up for an LP of covers that appeared as V.O.T.E when it appeared in the election year of 2004, and the album was later re-released under a different name, A Question of Temperature.  This is a relaxed, but faithful cover of Stamey’s first single The Summer Sun. Another less faithful version appears as a bonus track that ends the album.

Andrew Loog Oldham produced The Mighty Avengers version of Jagger/Richards Blue Turns To Grey in 1965 and its release predates The Rolling Stones version. I like this rendition – more energetic performance with a tighter, lyrically compact chorus.

Dr. Feelgood hit the big time in 1975 with their album Down By The Jetty. The album was originally mixed and released in monophonic sound, but was a stereo mix was created for a 2006 reissue.  Keep It Out of Sight was written by guitarist Wilko Johnson, and this stereo mix highlights Wilko’s guitar performance.

Spanky and Our Gang are best know to me for their hit Someday Will Never be The Same. 1-3-5-8 is more of a music theory exercise than a record, but I like trying to sing along.

Chicago’s Flat Five are a Chicago supergroup and their most recent LP, It’s A World of Hope and Love is an unashamed throwback to the flowery pop records of the Fifth Dimension, and maybe even Spanky & Our Gang.

This is not Sam Phillips’ first appearance on Radio RPB. this is a flat out gorgeous version of Taking Pictures performed with String Quartet. The song originally appeared on her 2001 Fan Dance LP, but this version comes from a set of b-sides attached to her 2008 Don’t Do Anything release.

Archives of all RADIO RPB episodes are at Mixcloud.

More next week. If you like the music but if you hate my yappin’ you can hear many of the songs featured on RADIO RPB on this continually updated Spotify Playlist. 

And please like RADIO RPB on Facebook.

RADIO RPB #011 • May 18, 2018

RADIO RPB #011 • May 18, 2018

Set List
Robert John – If You Don’t Want My Love
Big Al Anderson – I Just Want To Have You Back Again
Incredible Casuals – Miracles
Jon BrionOver Our Heads
High Llamas – Giddy And Gay
The Everly Brothers – Pretty Flamingo
Evie Sands – I Can’t Let Go
Marshall Crenshaw – Starless Summer Sky
Blossom Dearie – Some Other Time

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RADIO RPB #010 • May 11, 2018

RADIO RPB #010 • May 4, 2018

Set List
2 of Clubs – Heart
The Merry-Go-Round – Listen, Listen
Lenny O’Henry – Across The Street
The 1910 Fruitgum Company – Special Delivery
Arthur Alexander – The Girl That Radiates That Charm
Mark MulcahyA Look For The Honey
Eddie Hodges – Shadows and Reflections
The PrisonersMelanie
Todd SniderAlcohol and Pills
The dB’sWalking The Ceiling (It’s Good To Be Alive)

RADIO RPB ARCHIVE

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RADIO RPB #009 May 4, 2018

Radio RPB #009 May 4, 2018

Set List
Louis (Blues Boy) Jones – Come On Home
Rod Argent & Chris White – She Loves The Way They Love Her
The Pretty Things – You’ll Never Do It Baby
The Illusion – Did You See Her Eyes
Tom Clark and The High Action Boys – I’ll Run Circles
Bebel Gilberto – No Return
The Kinks – Nothing Lasts Forever
Rain Parade – You Are My Friend
The Swordsmen – Seems I’m Never Tired Loving You
The Beach Boys – In The Back Of My Mind

We start with a raver this week, with Come On Home by Louis (Blues Boy) Jones. It’s on the Sabra label but I first came to it on the first volume of the fantastic vinyl series called Stompin’ – collect them all!

She Loves The Way They Love Her is a demo by Rod Argent and Chris White, and the vocal is unmistakable as Rod Argent. From the fascinating Into The Afterlife CD on Big Beat.

You’ll Never Do It Baby was originally recorded (it sounds like a demo to me) by Cops and Robbers, but it appears on The Pretty Things’ 1965 LP Get The Picture LP. It’s a song  I learned from Lyres.

The Illusion from Long Island, NY scored a #32 hit in 1969 with Did You See Her Eyes. Fun fact – I don’t own the single so I recreated the single edit from the LP album track. If you want to hear the drum solo check out all 7 minutes here.

RADIO RPB WORLD PREMIERE!

Tom Clark
Tom Clark and The High Action Boys at 2A

Tom Clark and The High Action Boys give us a taste of their upcoming LP. It’s one of Tom’s catchiest-ever choruses and while Tom is well known for his “blisters and smoke” guitar solos, Tom’s pal Marshall Crenshaw hits the guitar solo here. GREAT STUFF. Make sure to check out Tom’s Treehouse at 2A in NYC every Sunday night.

No Return originally appears on The Kinks’ Something Else LP, but here’s a wonderful interpretation by Bebel Gilberto.

I wanted to follow up with The Kinks themselves, and chose to go deep into their catalog, to Preservation Act 2. Derided and poo-pood by many, I’m here to say I’m a big fan of Preservation and there are many gems waiting to be discovered, like this one. Ray Davies and Maryanne Price share the vocals on Nothing Lasts Forever. It moves me!

Rain Parade were at the forefront of LA’s early-80s Paisley Underground, but their records stand up well today. Honestly they stood out as superior way back then too. You Are My Friend from Explosions In The Glass Palace is tops.

From California to Ohio, from the ’80’s to the ’60’s it’s The Swordsmen singing Seems I’m Never Tired Loving You. Nice build up to a big finish.

And for my big finish, I head straight to the last track on The Beach Boys Today LP from 1965. The mix is weird, the lyrics are weird, the arrangement is lush and Dennis Wilson‘s’ vocal is impassioned, but still kind of weird. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around why I love it so much, but I do. And so I share.

Join me again next week!

Radio RPB #008 April 27, 2018

RADIO RPB #008 • April 27, 2018

SET LIST
Jazz Gillum – I Want You By My Side
Lee Dorsey & Betty Harris – Love Lots Of Lovin’
Nick Lowe- I’ve Changed My Wild Mind
Del Shannon – Sister Isabelle
Buddy & Julie Miller – Keep Your Distance
Glenda Collins – Something I’ve Got To Tell You
Tuff Darts – Rats
Tom Robinson Band – Man You Never Saw
The Rezillos – It Gets Me
The Escorts – Night Time

This week’s set starts off with a harmonica driven number by Jazz Gillum from Indianola, Mississippi. Despite its vintage, I Want You By My Side has the kind of rollicking feel that I’d more expect from a record one or two decades past its 1936 origin. Originally on the great Bluebird record label, this copy comes a Yazoo compilation.

I had the great joy of spending a few days in New Orleans recently, and I made sure to load up my portable music player with loads of songs local to that great city. Allen Toussaint wrote, produced and released this great number, Love Lots of Loving on his Sansu label. Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris treat it more as a shared song than a duet (I’m working on what that really means) and always a treat to hear Toussaint on those backup vocals.

I hear a little bit of publicity machine wind-up that Nick Lowe is coming back to rockin’ with a new rockabilly single in June 1018. Fact is that Nick Lowe never really left his rockin’ side, and I submit as evidence one side of this fun rockabilly single he released in 2011. Fun fact – he released this as a 7” 45rpm and gave marketing execs a curious task by also releasing the single as a 10” 78rpm disc. Even recent Robert Johnson 10” collectors reissues ran at 45rpm, so hat’s off to Nick Lowe, the purist!

Next, an absurdly catchy number about unrequited nun-love, performed by the great Del Shannon and co-written with Brian Hyland, best known for his huge hits with Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, and the sentimental end-of-summer lament, Sealed With A Kiss. I first encountered the oddball catchiness that is Sister Isabelle on an early Del Shannon CD compilation, but was happily surprised years later when I found that Teenage Fanclub felt the same affection for the song and performed the song at a BBC session with Frank Black.

Richard Thompson’s songwriting and performing career is long and intimidating. It was already long and intimidating to me in 1991 when he released his acclaimed Rumor and Sigh LP, but after dancing around his justifiably most famous LP’s with Linda Thompson, I dove deep into his catalog, and suggest to you that it is a worthy endeavor. Musical and lyrical rewards at every turn, and despite RT’s dour reputation, his wonderful sense of humor is a constant. Oops, I don’t play Richard Thompson this week, but I do play Buddy and Julie Miller’s cover of Rumor and Sigh’s Keep Your Distance. They treat it like a classic Richard & Linda duet and their performance takes a great song to even greater heights.

Glenda Collins was part of Joe Meek’s stable of stars, but I’m not so sure you could call her a star, at least  if your barometer of success is making the pop charts. Every single one of her singles on Decca, HMV and Pye was a commercial flop, but that means little me at Radio RPB HQ. This flop is notable for its all around excellence – great melody, arrangement, production and vocal delivery. What could have gone wrong? Well, let’s face it – the lyric is , uh, unusual. Glenda confesses and apologizes for indiscretions “every time you go. What makes me do it, I don’t know.” Yow. Ouch. Not sure that the average 1966 lovelorn teeny was ready for that kind of trauma.

New York’s Tuff Darts amp things up with this b-side to their lone 1978 single. It also appears as the opener to their self-titled LP, but you’re listening to the 45 in case you’re checking.

Man You Never Saw from Tom Robinson Band appeals to me for its sharp guitar breaks and paranoid lyrics!They’re best known for 2-4-6-8 Motorway, but their first LP Power In The Darkness (as well as the followup TRB 2) sound particularly good to me these days. Strong songs performed and arranged with lots of clever (but gimmick-free) touches, and Robinson’s lyrics were always ahead of their time.

Photo: Ian Dickson

The Rezillos 1978 Sire LP is tops and on the off chance that you don’t own a copy, please step away from this blog and make a purchase. Can’t Stand The Rezillos is just too good, too perfect. It hard to choose from its track list, so I made a conscious decision to choose It Gets Me, perhaps a lesser known track from this (did I mention) consistently fantastic LP.

And to shut things down on this episode we turn to the UK with The Escorts, and the b-side to their last single, Night Time. I’m a big fan of this record, and while I can understand why it didn’t hit the 1966 charts, it remains a favorite for me. I first encountered this song covered by Escorts über-fan Elvis Costello.That’s why I always the b-sides and credits!

That’s why I only operate at Night Time – listen in again next week!

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