Choosing a name for a baby boy can be difficult. It has to be something that a child can grow into. I clearly remember that when I named my son Jack, I had people begging me not to because it was an‘old man’s name’. And now it’s the most popular boys name in the playground. Go figure.
This week’s show, as promised, featured songs with men’s names in the title. Opening the show with JOHNNY BE GOODE, offered up a nice bit of self-mythologising rock’n’roll from Chuck Berry and set the mood for what was inevitably a very ‘machismo’ two hours.
Last week we covered songs based on women’s names and it was tough only in that there was so much to choose from. But what was clear was that a lot of the songs were about women as love objects. And while love, or lack of it, did inspire some of the songs with men’s names, they are, in the main the ones sung by women (funny about that). For the male singers, the focus for many was a kind of hero worship. Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Dean, Steve McQueen, Carl Perkins and Marvin Gaye all got a look in – and that was just the first hour!
So, it was great to get the show rolling with a couple of tracks from the girls: The first from the 60’s – JIMMY MACK by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. And then it was my girl Amy Winehouse with ME AND MR. JONES.
Next up it was Gorillaz with CLINT EASTWOOD. What does this catchy piece of hip-hop have to do with the septuagenarian, (but still yummy), actor turned director? No idea. But the second Gorillaz album continued the theme with a track called Dirty Harry, so some sort of obsession going on there I think.
The fantastic Drive By Truckers were in a rather subdued mood, for them, telling the story of how CARL PERKINS came to own his first CADILLAC. It’s as much a song about Sam Phillips of Sun Records, as it is Carl Perkins, I reckon. We followed that with a great little song from Kirsty McColl called THERE’S A GUY WORKS DOWN THE CHIP SHOP SAYS HE’S ELVIS. I think Aussie band The Audreys may have drawn some inspiration from this very quirky singer who died a few years ago in quite controversial circumstances.
HEY EUGENE! was delivered with sultry grace by lead singer of Pink Martini, China Forbes, who wrote the song after a boy she met at a party asked for her number and never called. Dirty rat.
Mr. Jones featured in quite a few of the songs for this show. Not sure whether that’s because he’s a very busy boy or simply that songwriters haven’t got much imagination. The Supremes’ sang of a lover who’s been gone way too long. Never wrote, never called. His name? NATHAN JONES. Take note girls. But things could be worse. Take Peggy Scott-Adams’ dilemma for instance. Her guy left her for someone called ….BILL.
Robert Allen Zimmerman, otherwise known as BOB DYLAN, sang TELL OL BILL. And big birthday congrats to Bob for turning 68 (gulp) last Sunday, May 24th.
My Roy Orbison song this week saw Roy harmonising with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for WAYMORE’S BLUES, from their Class of 55 album. Bobby Gentry had everyone guessing what was thrown off that bridge in the enigmatic ODE TO BILLY JOE and the Dixie Chicks sang of doing a ‘Thelma & Louise’ on a wife bashing husband called Earl, in GOODBYE EARL.
Aaron Neville went looking for his inner strength when deciding that he wanted to be called HERCULES but Otis Redding seemed to lament the fact that people called him MR PITIFUL. Seems love was making him feel a little vulnerable.
The time ran away with me and we just had time to fit in Weezer and their ode to the inner nerd with BUDDY HOLLY and then it was time for the finale. If ever there was a guilty pleasure this was it. Yes, it was Michael Jackson’s BEN, possibly the only #1 song to be dedicated to a rat. Not a dirty rat, just a rat.
Check out this video of Michael on the Sonny & Cher show when he was about 13.
Next week, the show will be dedicated to WINTER. And I’m always looking for suggestions, so whaddyagot?
This week’s complete playlist:
Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
Jimmy Mack – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Me & Mr. Jones – Amy Winehouse
Clint Eastwood – Gorillaz
Jimmy Dean & Steve McQueen – Julian Velard
Carl Perkins Cadillac – Drive By Truckers
There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis – Kirsty McColl
Mr. Jones – Talking Heads
Hey Eugene! – Pink Martini
Nathan Jones – The Supremes
Bill – Peggy Scott-Adams
Billy Don’t Be A Hero – Paper Lace
Marvin Gaye – Josh Rouse
Luka – Suzanne Vega
Jimmy Recard – Drapht
Stronger Than Jesus – A Camp
Tell Ol’ Bill – Bob Dylan
Waymore’s Blues – Roy Orbison with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins
Ode To BIllie Joe – Bobbie Gentry
Goodbye Earl – Dixie Chicks
Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison
Bad Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce
You Can Call Me Al – Paul Simon
Hercules – Aaron Neville
Mr. Pitiful – Otis Redding
Buddy Holly – Weezer
Ben – Jackson 5
Next week: Winter.
Tune into The Theme Park every Tuesday 2-4pm Sydney time on BayFM 99.9. Also streaming at http://www.bayfm.org.
Posted on May 26, 2009, in Broadcasting and media, community radio, music - nostalgia, music, blues, music, country, music, r&b, music, soul, Radio Program, Roy Orbison, Uncategorized and tagged Australia, Blues, Byron Bay, country, hip-hop, Motown, music, pop, R&B, radio, rock, Roy Orbison, soul, Theme music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.