Category Archives: Aretha Franklin

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Opening the show with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey singing ‘Money, Money, Money’ let everyone know from the get-go what this week’s theme was. Yes, the dirty dollar, the buckaroo, moolah – whatever you want to call it – Money. Depending on your viewpoint, it either makes the world go ’round or its the root of all evil. I tried to offer up songs that would support either theory in a show jam-packed with music from all genres.

flyinglizardsFirst up, Dire Straits with ‘Money For Nothing’, promising all the young dudes that all they need to do is play the guitar on the MTV to get their ‘money for nothing and their chicks for free’. Yeah sure, maybe in the good old days, Mark Knopfler! Then it was onto one of several Beatles songs of the day with ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and a great version of ‘Money’ by The Flying Lizards. Originally written and recorded by Motown musician Barrett Strong, this robotic, unapologetic version has been used in several movie soundtracks, including two of my favourites: The Big Lebowski and Empire Records.

And then it was the song that made the world, especially Australia and 
Europe, wild for ABBA. ‘Money, Money, Money’ remained at the top of Australia’s charts for six weeks, and made it to the Top 3 in at least 11 other countries. The Pet Shop Boys offered up  their formula for making money, ‘Opportunities’: I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, Let’s make lots of money.” I’m sure plenty of hairbrained schemes were launched on that premise!  Back together again, with a new hit album, its worth having a look at the video of the track that differs quite a bit from the album version. The mix on this video seems much better,  to my ears anyway.

My Roy Orbison song this week was ‘Uptown’, about a bellhop who yearns for the attention of a gal way out of his league, financially. Van Morrison sang about ‘Blue Money’ and the Steve Miller Band track ‘Take the Money and Run’ kept the country rock fans happy. I love Louis Jordan and his song ‘If You’re So Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich’ appealed to my sense of humour. Then it was onto Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin for a good dose of Blues/R&B.

New to my show was Gwen Stefani with a number that really suited the theme. ‘Rich Girl’ cheekily adapts ‘If I Were A Rich Man’ from Fiddler on the Roof to great effect. And a little bit of help from Eve on this track, didn’t hurt either. And then it was onto more Beatles with ‘Taxman’ and more Pet Shop Boys, with a great number ‘Rent’ and some Yeah, Yeah Yeahs with ‘Rich’. All leading up to the money anthem of all time: Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ from their 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon. With its money-related sound effects of cash registers, coins and the like, it is perfect. Have a look at the original video clip which is quite a powerful companion to a song which defined the notion: ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer’.

Our country section included Lefty Frizzell with his honky -tonk version of  ‘If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time’ and The Stanley Brothers with a bit of bluegrass: ‘If I Lose’, about a gambler who can always count on his woman to help him out. Horace Andy delivered a great bit of reggae with Money, Money. According to Horace, money is the root of all evil. He may be right but then again I’m hoping that money can also do some good in this world. (Now all I have to do is convince someone to give me some!)

Janis Joplin, John Lennon and AC/DC led up to the finish line and I closed the show with Massive Attack’s remake of William DeVaughan’s song ‘Be Thankful For What You’ve Got’. And that sums up my message from this week’s show – be thankful for what you’ve got. Yes, the best things in life really are free. And radio is one of those!

Here’s the full playlist for you:

Money, Money – Liza Minnelli/Joel Grey/ Cabaret 

Money for Nothing – Dire Straits

Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

Money – The Flying Lizards

Money, money, money – ABBA

Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money) – Pet Shop Boys

Take the Money and Run – Steve Miller Band

Blue Money – Van Morrison

Uptown – Roy Orbison

If You So Smart, How Come You Ain’t Rich  – Louis Jordan

I Got A Woman – Ray Charles

Money Won’t Change You –  Aretha Frankin

Security – Otis Redding

Rich Girl – Nina Simone

Rich Girl (feat. Eve) – Gwen Stefani

Taxman – The Beatles

Rent – Pet Shop Boys

Rich – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Money – Pink Floyd

No Money  Ernie K Doe and the Blue Diamonds 

If You’ve Got The Money I’ve Got The Time – Lefty Frizzell

If I Lose – The Stanley Brothers

Rich Woman – Li’l Millet & His Creoles

Rich Mans Blues – C.W. Stoneking

Money Money  Horace Andy

Buy Me A Mercedes Benz  Janis Joplin

Nobody Loves You (when you’re down and out) – John Lennon

Moneytalks   ACDC

You Never Give Me Your Money  The Beatles

Be Thankful For What You’ve Got    Massive Attack

Next week I’ll be dedicating the show to music from the 60’s and giving away tickets to the new film, set in ’66 against the British pirate radio days, The Boat That Rocked. 

Listen to Lyn at the Theme Park, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time, at BayFM 99.9 or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org

COMMUNICATION

Our theme this week was Communication – not the deep psychic stuff, but good old fashioned talking, letter writing and, would you believe telegrams (remember them?). I was going to play M.I.A.’s ‘U.R.A.Q.T.’ about texting (“you’re fuckin’ with my man and textin’ all the time…”) but I would have been in a bit of trouble over the expletives, I’m afraid. But I did play some other excellent hip-hop during the show, as well as my usual eclectic mix of rock, pop, blues, jazz and whatever I could find to fit the theme.

We opened the show with the Marvelettes ‘Beachwood 4-5789’. They also recorded the first Motown hit, ‘Please Mr. Postman’, but I had already showcased that one during the Motown Show in January. Besides, ‘Beachwood’ was a great opener for this particular show.

The telephone, whether it be landline or mobile, talking or texting, is still probably the most prominent way we keep in touch. So ‘Hanging Up the Telephone’, sung by Blondie’s Debby Harry was not only pop-punk perfection, but it also opens with the sound of a ringing phone. How good is that? Here’s the video from 1978.

Most letter songs feature absent lovers and none convey the absolute thrill of receiving a long awaited theboxtops-1message better than ‘The Letter’ from the Boxtops. They were known as a major ‘blue-eyed soul’ group during the 60’s. Hard to believe that Alex Chilton, who later formed Big Star and went onto a solo career, was only 16 at the time this was recorded in 1967. The song has been widely covered, most notably by Joe Cocker, but this original version still stands up well. 

Sonny Boy Williamson confimed what I have always knows, (that men are the worst gossips), with his rendition of ‘Don’t Get Me Talking’ while Buddy Guy and Junior Wells contributed ‘A Man of Many Words’ to the Blues segment of the show. 

My Roy Orbison song this week was a great one: ‘Communication Breakdown’. Written by Bill Dees, whose collaboration with Orbison led to a string of successful hits for Monument Records including ‘Communication Breakdown’, ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘It’s Over’, just to name a few.

And then it was onto an absolutely divine song  by Nina Persson of the Cardigans, ‘Communication’ – “If this is communication , I disconnect”. If only it was that easy. Here’s a video of them doing a live performance in 2007. 

‘Hello Operator’ presented mobile phone refusenik Jack White choosing to use an operator, just like in the good old days. And, as if this was even too newfangled, by the second verse he’s trying to get his message out via canary. Ah ha, rightio then.

Remember when a wedding wasn’t a wedding without the best man reading out several telegrams from absentee friends and family?  I haven’t been to a wedding in ages. Tell me, do they read out emails and texts? Just doesn’t seem the same does it? In ‘Western Union Man’ Jerry Butler gives us a passionate attempt at contacting a girlfriend who won’t answer his phone calls. And Chuck Berry tries to get in touch with people who have phoned him in ‘Memphis Tennessee’. Today we would be asking why the hell aren’t they on Facebook! And then there’s Twitter, but please can we not go there? (really).

you-done-me-wrongJoe Jones seemed to be talking right at me with ‘You Talk Too Much’ and I loved Crowded House’s version of ‘Everybody’s Talkin’.  But how good was Hank Penny’s ‘Sweet Talkin Mama’ recorded in 1938? You can find this terrific bit of country swing on the compilation album You Done Me Wrong (Vintage Country Cheating Songs 1929-1952) distributed by Buzzola. 

There are lots of songs written in the form of letters. One of the best examples of this is Eminem’s ‘Stan’, a masterpiece of escalating desperation that exploits its conceit to its fullest. Sampling Dido’s ‘Thank You’ as the chorus is a piece of genius and the result is a song of chilling elegance that recognises that a letter is always a one-sided conversation.

We followed that with a total contrast – ‘Don’t Explain’ by Billie Holliday and then it was up to Muddy Waters to elevate the mood with ‘Long Distance Call’. There were so many other great songs. I particularly liked Bonnie Raitt’s take on people who talk behind your back. Her advice? Give them ‘Something to Talk About’. Absolutely.

We finished the show with one of my favourite Aretha Franklin numbers: ‘Say A Little Prayer’. This one had me up out of the seat and dancing.  And then a fantastic close from Mr. Cool Jazz himself, Chet Baker, with ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’. I loved this week’s show and I had a blast. Hope you did too.

Here’s the complete playlist:

Beachwood 4-5789   The Marvellettes

Hanging On The Telephone  – Blondie

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number   Steely Dan

The Letter   The Boxtops

Take A Letter Maria   R.B. Greaves

Please Read The Letter   Alison Krauss/Robert Plant

Don’t Start Me To Talkin’  Sonny Boy Williamson 

A Man Of Many Words  Buddy Guy & Junior Wells

A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley            

Communication Breakdown  Roy Orbison

Communication  – The Cardigans

Telephone Line – Electric Light Orchestra

Memphis, Tennessee  Chuck Berry

Hey, Western Union Man –  Jerry Butler

Hello Operator – The White Stripes

You Talk Too Much – Joe Jones

Everybody’s Talkin’  Crowded House

Sweet Talkin’ Mama – Hank Penny

Stan  Eminem & Dido 

Don’t Explain – Billie Holiday

Long Distance Call  Muddy Waters

The Phone Call  The Pretenders

Ring Ring Ring – De La Soul

The Word  The Beatles

I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Paul Weller & Amy Winehouse

What’d I Say – Ray Charles

People Are Talking  Shep & The Limelites

Something to Talk About  Bonnie Raitt

Answering Bell  Ryan Adams

I Say A Little Prayer For You  Aretha Frankin

Every Time We Say Goodbye  Chet Baker

Next week, the theme is Money. Any suggestions for songs for the show, or themes for future shows, are always welcome.

Listen to Lyn at the Theme Park, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time, on BayFM 99.9 or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org

FEMALE ARTISTS

Throughout the world, since 1975, we have set aside the 8th of March as a day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. So a radio show airing on March 10, hosted by a pretty feisty woman at that, had a fairly predictable theme begging. I roped in young Zoe to help give the show a wider perspective and we got stuck into presenting some of our favourite female artists. That’s both of us at the end of the show, about to down a well earned shot of caffeine! 1

We opened the show with ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’, from Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. A great feminist anthem, the tune was recorded in 1985 – the year that Zoe was born! Feeling more than a little ancient, I squeezed in my favourite Blues singers – Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin – before handing over the program to Zoe’s first three choices – The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Feist and Robots in Disguise (‘their song La Nuit’ is great – I never thought I could be converted to Electro! Go figure). The video clip is mad, mad, mad…..

When I was putting together my choice for ‘rock chicks’,  Zoe suggested Stevie Nicks (much to my surprise), and who was I to argue? The title of ‘Edge of Seventeen’ was inspired by Tom Petty’s wife Jane who has a strong Southern accent. When Nicks misheard her say ‘the age of seventeen’ as ‘edge of seventeen’ she swore 220px-stevienicks1that she would write a song with the latter as the title. The song’s lyrics came about as a direct result of the grief she felt over the death of both an uncle and John Lennon’s death in the same week of December 1980. The track became the 3rd single from her hit album Bella Donna. It was used in the film ‘School of Rock’ with Jack Black which brought the song, and Stevie, to the attention of a whole new generation.

I also totally approved of Zoe’s next three selections: M.I.A., Soko and Cat Power. M.I.A. is an interesting singer. We all know who she is now because of her Academy Award nomination (with A.R. Rahman)  for  ‘O…Saya’ as Best Song, from the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. It didn’t win but now my generation is aware of this precocious young performer. An accomplished visual artist by 2002, she came to prominence in early 2004 through file-sharing of her singles ‘Galang’ and ‘Sunshower’s on the Internet.

But I have to say that Soko is my favourite of this bunch. She may turn out to be a one-hit wonder with her very cute and controversial song ‘I’ll Kill Her’ but if you keep your sense of humour intact, she is a rare and refreshing new talent. Here’s hoping that we hear more of her. She was supposed to have released an album in February of 2009 but her MySpace page, as of January, insists that she has quit singing. Hope not! Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25AsfkriHQc

There are so many other great female artists. My selection included the original rock chick – Joan Jett – more blues and r&b with Dinah Washington and Etta James and I even got in some country with Linda Ronstadt singing her version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’ (and you were wondering how I was going to fit a Roy Orbison song into a show about women! No worries).

Zoe and I both wanted Nina Simone in there and what better song to showcase that amazing voice than ‘I Put A Spell On You’, originally recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1957. And then, of course, there was Amy Winehouse, P.J.Harvey, Shirley Manson, Aretha Franklin and we finished the show with Regina Spektor’s fantastic version of John Lennon’s song ‘Real Love’. This is a song that Spektor contributed to the Amnesty International album to save Darfur. So many of the artists we showcased today are not only strong women artists but they are politically aware and contributing positively to change, not just for women but for all mankind. Respect indeed. Have a look at Regina Spektor at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2007:

Here’s the complete  playlist:

Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves (1985) – Aretha Franklin/Annie Lennox

Billie’s Blues (1936) – Billie Holiday

One Good Man (1969) – Janis Joplin

Rich (2003) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Mushaboom (2004) – Feist

La Nuit (2005) – Robots In Disguise

Up The Neck (1980) – The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde

Edge of Seventeen (1981) –  Stevie Nicks

Bad Reputation (1981) – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Paper Planes (2007)  – M.I.A.

I’ll Kill Her (2008) – SoKo

Sea Of Love (2008) [Remastered Version] – Cat Power

Crazy (1962) – Patsy Cline

Jolene (1973) – Dolly Parton

Blue Bayou (1977) – Linda Ronstadt (Roy Orbison cover)

Glory Box  (1994) – Portishead

Bachelorette (1997) – Bjork

Big Long Slidin’ Thing (1954) – Dinah Washington

Tell Mama (1968) – Etta James

Push It (1986) – Salt N Peppa

I Put A Spell On You (1968)  – -Nina Simone

Cupid (2006) – Amy Winehouse

Cry Baby (1971) – Janis Joplin (With Full Tilt Boogie)

C’mon Billy (1995) – PJ Harvey

Stupid Girl (1996) – Garbage (Shirley Manson)

Respect (1967) – Aretha Franklin

Real Love (2007) – Regina Spektor

Next week: Inspired by the this week’s leaping of generations, the theme next Tuesday will be ‘Age’ – young, old and in-between.

Tune into the Theme Park with Lyn  at BayFM 99.9 each Tuesday 2-4pm (Sydney time), or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org.

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