What I love about radio is the notion that while I’m listening to a song, whether its old or new, there are thousands of other listeners out there having the same experience. We probably don’t know each other but we’re connected on an intimate level.
So this week at the Theme Park we honoured RADIO. I reckon that most of the great radio songs were recorded when radio ruled supreme, (you know, way back then). As one of my favourite New Zealand bands, Everclear, note: There was no VCR or DVD or World Wide Web dominating our attention and radio played a really important part in people’s lives. Even though the role of radio may be somewhat diminished today, one thing’s for sure: video did not kill the radio star! And as I was the one in charge, I allowed the Buggles to have their say, anyway.
The Ramones opened the show with DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK N ROLL. We kept the nostalgia and the party going with a great trio of oldies: THOSE DJ SHOWS was written by the one and only Smokey Robinson for Patrice Holloway; Sam Cooke sang WE’RE HAVING A PARTY and Chuck Berry told us that he loved listening to ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN on his radio. The Ramones were the precursors of punk and were incredibly influential. Take a look at them performing DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK N ROLL, live:
Everclear really appeal to me with their longing for the past on AM RADIO. The Selector offered up a nice piece of Ska revival with ON MY RADIO and then it was one for all the lovers tuning in. Regina Spektor’s ON THE RADIO is spine-tingling stuff. The unlikely epiphany that takes place while she’s listening to Guns & Roses ‘November Rain’ on the radio is worth the price of the album Begin To Hope. This clip is from the Jonathon Ross Show, from the UK. A very funny guy, btw, worth catching his show as it is now screening in Australia.
The Buggles claimed that VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR. Not true of course, we’re still here and going strong! LL COOL J knows that because, as he says, he CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MY RADIO.
Harry Chapin is the king of schmaltz and W.O.L.D is no exception. That one was dedicated to all the morning announcers at BayFM. Charlie Dore was a bit of a one-hit wonder with PILOT OF THE AIRWAVES and then it was the Patron Saint of BayFMs Theme Park, Roy Orbison, with HEARTBREAK RADIO from his King of Hearts album.
The Grandpa Jones track TURN YOUR RADIO ON, was recorded in the mid 60’s by Louis Marshall Jones. He adopted his nickname Grandpa when he was performing at a radio station in the 30’s and an announcer told him that he was like a grouchy old grandpa first thing in the morning. The name stuck. Ah the power of the radio announcer. And then in complete contrast it was The Clash with THIS IS RADIO CLASH and Wall of Voodoo with MEXICAN RADIO.
What better way to follow a God-fearing classic, some timeless punk and a dose of new wave than with a cheeky number from the very eclectic Scissor Sisters? The song? TITS ON THE RADIO. (Oops did I day that. Oh well. The Devil made me do it).
The Band and Van Morrison performed CARAVAN from the soundtrack to The Last Waltz. The documentary of The Band’s last concert in 1978 was filmed by Martin Scorsese and is considered one of the greatest concert films ever. And if you’ve never seen it, the DVD should be readily available. Highly recommended.
Whatever happened to Autograph? Loved their 1984 hit, TURN UP THE RADIO. That catchy bit of rock was followed by Elvis Costello bemoaning the corporate beast that is commercial radio with RADIO, RADIO and The Modern Lovers with ROADRUNNER.
Warren Zevon got a little help from Stevie Nicks with MOHAMMED’S RADIO and then it was Queen with the classic RADIO GA GA. The brilliant clip features scenes from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis. Freddie Mercury’s solo song ‘Love Kills’ was used in Giorgio Moroder’s restored version of the film, and in exchange Queen were granted the rights to use footage from it in their ‘Radio Ga Ga’ video. However, Queen had to buy performance rights to the film from the communist East German government, which was the copyright holder at the time. Take a look:
I thought I’d go out on a rather melancholy note, just because its a beautiful song, and I do have a soft spot for the Carpenters: YESTERDAY ONCE MORE.
Next week get ready to Accentuate the Positive in a show dedicated to OPTIMISM! I went to a party the other night and this was a challenge put to me by my friend Susie D. So Susie, next week’s show is for you. Everyone else: Get your thinking caps on and send some suggestions.
Meanwhile here is this week’s complete playlist:
Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio – The Ramones
Those DJ Shows – Patrice Holloway
We’re Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
AM Radio – Everclear
On My Radio – The Selector
On The Radio – Regina Spektor
Radio – The Corrs
Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles
i can’t live without my radio – LL Cool J
W.O.L.D. (Original Studio Version) – Harry Chapin
Pilot Of The Airwaves – Charlie Dore
On the Radio – Donna Summer
Turn Your Radio On – Grandpa Jones
This Is Radio Clash – The Clash
Mexican Radio – Wall of Voodoo
Tits On The Radio – Scissor Sisters
Caravan (live – The Last Waltz) – The Band & Van Morrison
You Turn Me On (I’m A Radio) (1972) – Joni Mitchell
FM (No Static At All) – Steely Dan
Radio Radio – Elvis Costello
Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers
Turn Up The Radio – Autograph
Mohammed’s Radio – Warren Zevon (and Stevie Nicks)
Radio Ga Ga – Queen
Yesterday Once More – The Carpenters
Next week: OPTIMISTIC SONGS
Listen to Lyn McCarthy on BayFM’s Theme Park, Tuesdays 2-4pm, (Sydney Time). Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org
Posted on June 16, 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, Everclear, hip-hop, music, pop, Queen, R&B, radio, Regina Spektor, rock 'n' roll, Roy Orbison, soul, The Ramones, Theme music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.