FROM NOUGHT TO WHATEVER…

I decided to be more playful than usual this week as I set out to compile a playlist of song titles that mentioned numbers. Easy-peasy, you’re thinking. Sure, but there was a condition. The songs had to be played in numerical sequence. I got to choose from pop, rock, country & jazz so it couldn’t be that hard, right?  Right.

The show kicked off with LESS THAN ZERO by Elvis Costello and moved right into a beautiful track from Lamb, ZERO. Numero Uno was a piece of cake as I have already done a whole show  just on the #1 so plenty to choose from there. I decided that should go with my #1 favourite artist, Roy Orbison with a song from the album, Mystery Girl,  THE ONLY ONE.  Another fave took over the #2 spot:  Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston with IT TAKES TWO. And for #3 it was none other than the great Sarah Vaughan who, like a lot of us, only needs THREE LITTLE WORDS.

FOUR STRONG WINDS is a classic Canadian song by the legendary Canadian singer Neil Young. The perfect follow-up came from the adorable Nanci Griffith with LOVE AT THE FIVE AND DIME. Here she is performing live at the BBC:

The great reggae artist Gregory Isaacs, known as the ‘Cool Ruler’ sadly passed away late last year. His song SIX MONTHS filled the #6 spot and for #7 it had to be The White Stripes with SEVEN NATION ARMY. Such a shame that they’ve gone their separate ways.

There was only one #8 for this baby boomer: The Beatles with EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. And, for #9 Wilson Pickett with ENGINE NUMBER NINE, of course. Pure funk.

Brothers, by the Black Keys, was one of my album picks of 2010 so including TEN CENT PISTOL from that album was a no-brainer. Here they are performing live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Excellent.

Cyndi Lauper features on David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim’s concept album Here Lies Love which is based on the lives of Imelda Marcos and her nanny Estrella Cumpas.  The official video clip of  ELEVEN DAYS is set against a Philippine movie of 1965 “Iginuhit ng Tadhana: The Ferdinand E. Marcos Story”, starring Gloria Romero and Luis Gonzalez.

I do love a bit of gospel singing, so Buddy Greene was in with TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY. Dickie Thompson is also evangelical, but not in the usual sense. He sings about THIRTEEN WOMEN and only one man in town. Now if I was a bloke I’d say he was a lucky b…..d!  But being a woman, living in a small town, it sounds irritatingly familiar!

Next up, it was the genius that is Tiny Tim with all kinds of things to say about the number FOURTEEN. Not the usual Tiny Tim we’re used to hearing. I, for one, miss the ukelele I must admit. And I miss Tiny Tim who died of a heart attack in 1996 at the age of 64.

Number 15 in our playlist was another no-brainer: the almighty Radiohead with 15 STEPS. Here they are peforming live for their VH1 special:

We kept moving through the teenage years with gusto as Chuck Berry took the #16 spot with SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN. And then Janis Ian calmed everything down with her incredibly insightful tune, AT SEVENTEEN.

The  Stellas took the 18th spot with 18 from their 2008 album Cry Baby Cry.  Time then for another classic: Steely Dan’s HEY NINETEEN. “Way back in 1967….”


For all the Bluegrass fans, I had to include Jimmy Martin’s 20:20 VISION and then it was a nice piece of rockabilly, suggested by Andy, Eddie Cochran’s TWENTY FLIGHT ROCK.

Rappers 50 cent and Nate Dogg have 21 QUESTIONS for their girlfriend. Not sure us girls need that much interrogation, but hey what do I know? This video has already gathered over 35million hits on You Tube! With lines like “I loves you like a fat kid likes cake”. Go figure!

Lily Allen knows how to churn out pop tunes and 22 is a good example. We followed that with the wonderful Brothers Johnson and another soul standard,  STRAWBERRY LETTER 23.

Our two hours was almost up so only time for two more tunes in our attempt to get from zero to infinity.  The #24 spot was filled by Bobby Bland’s TWENTY FOUR HOUR BLUES and the finale was handed to Edwin Starr’s TWENTY FIVE MILES. OMG what a voice! Brilliant. Wish I’d been at this particular concert.


We’ll continue our numerical exercise next week, starting at #26. So why not send me a message with suggestions for that list which should probably limit itself from 26-51. Let’s see how we go.

Until then, here’s this week’s full playlist:

Less Than Zero – Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True Pop

Zero – Lamb,  Lamb

The Only One – Roy Orbison, Mystery Girl

It Takes Two – Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, Ready Steady Go! The Sixties Sound Of Motown [Disc 1]

Three Little Words – Sarah Vaughan, The Mercury Jazz Story [Disc 1]

Four Strong Winds – Neil Young, Comes a Time

Love at the Five and Dime – Nanci Griffith, The Last of the True Believers

Six Months – Gregory Isaacs, Brand New Me

Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes, Elephant

Eight Days A Week – The Beatles, Beatles For Sale

Engine Number Nine – Wilson Pickett , Chronicles

Ten Cent Pistol – The Black Keys, Brothers

Eleven Days – David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, Here Lies Love

Twelve Gates To The City – Buddy Greene, A Few More Years

Thirteen Women – Dickie Thompson, Ultimate Rhythm & Soul Collection [Disc 1]

Fourteen – Tiny Tim, Girl

15 Step – Radiohead, In Rainbows

Sweet Little Sixteen – Chuck Berry, Yesterdays Gold Vol 07

At Seventeen – Janis Ian, Echoes Of The Radio [Disc 1]

18 – The Stellas, Cry Baby Cry

Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan, A Decade Of Steely Dan

20:20 Vision – Jimmy Martin

Twenty Flight Rock – Eddie Cochran, Big Artist Selection – Eddie Cochran

21 Questions – 50 Cent & Nate Dogg

22 – Lily Allen, It’s Not Me, It’s You

Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson, Strawberry Letter 23/The Very Best Of The Brothers Johnson

Twenty-Four Hour Blues – Bobby “Blue” Bland, Dreamer

Twenty-Five Miles – Edwin Starr

Next week:  FROM NOUGHT TO WHATEVER (Part 2)

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com
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About Lyn McCarthy

Lyn presents a weekly radio show at BayFM 99.9 in beautiful Byron Bay in New South Wales, Australia

Posted on February 9, 2011, in Blues, Broadcasting and media, community radio, Funk, general, hip-hop, jazz, music, Music - New Wave, music - nostalgia, music, blues, music, country, music, r&b, music, soul, pop, punk, Radio Program, reggae, rock, rock 'n' roll, rock'n'roll, Songs with numbers, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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