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DARING TO BE DIFFERENT: Songs about homosexuality


Sexuality, as the openly gay Michael Stipe has said “is a really slippery thing”. He says he’s not homosexual or heterosexual, he’s just sexual. I call that covering all your bases! With November 27th being Australia’s National Day of Action for Marriage Equality and December 1 being World Aids Day, it was a time for a show on HOMOSEXUALITY. I also wanted to pay tribute to a community who are still fighting for basic human rights.  India held its very first gay pride march on the weekend after repealing laws against homosexuality only last year. In the US, only California allows same-sex marriages and in countries where these marriages are legal they don’t necessarily come with the right to adopt children. And in Australia our Prime Minister, Julia Guillard, shocked her (until now, anyway) supporters with her stand against gay marriage. So there’s obviously still a long way to go.

For the record I identify myself as straight so, just to give me some credibility, I invited two beautiful and brazen gay friends into the studio to help present the show: fellow BayFM announcers Tommy T-Jet from ‘All Things Camp’ and the lovely Lou from the Tuesday morning breakfast show, ‘Cock a Doodle Doo’.

We opened with a song for Tommy: Elton Motello’s JET BOY JET GIRL is a risque little number about a 15-year-old boy’s sexual relationship with an older man, who then rejects him for a girl. With its chorus of “ooh ooh ooh ooh, he gives me head,” it has been embraced as something of a punk gay anthem. Talking of punk, one of the best bands to emerge from the Queercore movement that started in the 80’s is Pansy Division. They have a huge repertoire of funny and pertinent punk songs about the gay experience and I played one of my faves, FEM IN A BLACK LEATHER JACKET. Part silly, part raucous, part earnest, you cannot ignore them, that’s for sure!

As far as I know Ben Harper is straight. And he’s a good example of your typical New Age Sensitive Guy with an evolved attitude about sexuality. He does a great acoustic number about a woman who leaves her abusive husband for a relationship with a woman. It’s called MAMA’S GOT A GIRLFRIEND NOW.

Marc Almond (ex-Soft Cell) takes Charles Aznavour’s WHAT MAKES A MAN and gives it a whole new meaning. Here he is appearing at the Royal Albert Hall:

I caught up with Melia and Nerida from Scarlett Affection at the Mullum Music Fest and among other things we discussed gay marriage from a straight girl’s point of view. As they quite rightly state, it’s all about love. We followed it with another sister act, the openly gay duo Tegan and Sara with I WAS MARRIED. This video clip was shot at their show at the Pumphouse Theatre in Calgary. Love, love, love Tegan and Sara.


Gay icon k.d. lang is a girl with an appetite and she blames it all on CONSTANT CRAVING. This video looks amazing as does k.d.

The Gossip’s lead singer Beth Ditto wrote STANDING IN THE WAY OF CONTROL as a response to the US government’s opposition to same sex marriage. Check this vid of them performing live and then try and tell me that Beth D. doesn’t absolutely rock! So good to see a young rock band with political attitude and a young woman not starving herself to death to fit the media’s idea of what’s sexy.

Jens Lekman is fed up with being a pretend boyfriend for his lesbian mate on A POSTCARD TO NINA. In this videoclip, shot when he performed live in Melbourne in 2006, his guitar died so he played the song on his ukelele while his band mates tried to sort out technical difficulties. Is he as cute as a button, or what?

Franz Ferdinand are, (I think) heterosexual but that didn’t stop them from playing the homoeroticism game on the track MICHAEL. Look, if its good enough for Bowie, then why not?  Pete Shelley, on the other hand, isn’t shy about his sexual preference. The post-Buzzcocks pop single HOMOSAPIEN was banned by the BBC for its “explicit reference to gay sex”. Dear oh dear, when is the BBC going to get with the program?

Lou thought the list was getting a little male-dominated, so we couldn’t have that! She had a great suggestion – Ani DiFranco with BOTH HANDS. Following that I proved that Katie Perry is just another copycat. A cute copycat, but a copycat nonetheless. Jill Sobule’s I KISSED A GIRL was a hit way back in 1995. Check this out:

While I was at the Mullum Music Festival I spoke to volunteer David about his thoughts on AIDS and HIV awareness. His opinion is that there is a growing complacency within the gay community about safe sex and my guest presenter Tommy agreed with this. Yes, there is medication these days that can prolong your life but who wants to be on medication for the rest of their life? As with all diseases, prevention is always the best option.

A reminder that December 1 is WORLD AIDS DAY. The theme this year is TAKE ACTION. NO DISCRIMINATION. The aim is to encourage all Australians to be aware of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting safe sex practices; and to accept individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Bruce Springsteen’s STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA was written for the first mainstream film to confront HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia. Philadelphia was released in 1993. It was inspired by the story of Geoffrey Bowers,  an lawyer who in 1987 sued the law firm Baker & McKenzie for unfair dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases. Here’s Bruce baby with the official clip for the song which went on to win an Academy award:

I was feeling the need for an anthem and you can’t go past Gloria Gaynor’s I AM WHAT I AM. The song originally featured on the Tony award winning Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles. Here’s Gloria in 1984:

Next up it was the always briliant Scissor Sisters with TAKE YOUR MAMA. Apparently, the band took their name from a sexual position between two women. Lou refused to elaborate! Here are they are performing at the 2010 Brit Awards. So wish I had been in that audience!

Our Gig Guide was ushered out with the very silly, but quite infectious, GAY BAR from Electric Six. It seems that we don’t have any lesbian or gay bars up here in the Byron shire. According to my panel of experts its all a bit underground. Oooh.

Time to get a bit more serious with my favourite socialist, Billy Bragg singing TENDER COMRADE and then a request from one of our listeners, Ryan, was granted with The Lemonheads singing BIG GAY HEART.

I absolutely adore the Joan Armatrading song THE WEAKNESS IN ME. Hard finding a decent videoclip of her performing it, but here’s one where she’s accompanied by keboards only. It’s not a great quality video but had to include it. What a voice.

Before I knew it the two hours was up and it was time to close the show and it had to be with the polymorphously perverse David Bowie and QUEEN BITCH. The year was 1972. Not sure what I think of the  introduction of Bowie as a ‘self-constructed freak’. I have the feeling that he might have enjoyed that!


Huge thank you to Lou and Tommy for their help this week and allowing me to be a gay for a day.

For more information on community based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health issues contact ACON via their website at: http://www.acon.org.au/ or use their Free Call number 1800 063 060.

Thanks to Tommy T-Jet for editing the opinion sections of the show. You can listen to us having a bit of a chat between songs at: http://soundcloud.com/tommytjet/theme-park-30th-november-2010-homosexuality

Next week I’ll be ushering in the Summer season with a show on the SUN. Please leave me a message here if you would like to request a track. Until next week, remember to love one another (anyway you like!).

Here’s the playlist:

Jet Boy Jet Girl – Jet Boy Jet Girl, Elton Motello

Fem in a Black Leather Jacket – The Essential Pansy Division, Pansy Division

Mama’s Got a Girlfriend Now – Pleasure and Pain, Ben Harper and Tom Freund

What Makes A Man – 12 Years Of Tears – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Marc Almond

I Was Married – The Con, Tegan and Sara

Constant Craving – Live By Request, k.d. lang

Standing In The Way Of Control – Standing In The Way Of Control, The Gossip

Do You Come Here Often – Telstar The Tornados

A Postcard To Nina – Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman

Michael – Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

Homosapien – Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The 80’s, Pete Shelley

Both Hands – Ani DiFranco, Ani DiFranco

I Kissed A Girl – Hottest 100 Vol 03 [Disc 1], Jill Sobule

Streets of Philadelphia – Philadelphia Sountrack,  Bruce Springsteen

I Am What I AM – I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor

Take Your Mama – Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

It’s Alright – Shaming of the Sun, Indigo Girls

Secret Love – All Blues, Chet Baker

Gay Bar – Triple J Hottest 100, Vol. 11 [Disc 1], Electric Six

Tender Comrade – Workers Playtime, Billy Bragg

Big Gay Heart – Come On Feel The Lemonheads, The Lemonheads

The Weakness In Me – The L Word Full Soundtrack [Disc 2], Joan Armatrading

Queen Bitch – Hunky Dory, David Bowie

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT THE SUN

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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BACK TO SCHOOL

How come every songwriter hasn’t written at least one song about schooldays? Come on, it has all the vital ingredients for a hit: that age-old conflict between discipline and rebellion, close friendships, sexual awakenings and enough traumatic experiences to feed  a healthy persecution complex for the rest of your life. Mind you, while  every songwriter may not have taken up the opportunity to reveal all about their schooldays,  those that did contributed to a pretty good playlist this week.

We opened the show with SCHOOL DAYS by Chuck Berry who turns the joy of hearing the final bell into some hot rock’n’roll.  Then it was Young MC who seems well versed in being sent to the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE, while the Pipettes LIKE A BOY IN UNIFORM. Don’t we all?

Belle & Sebastian could pretty much compile an album of songs about classroom politics but the pick of the bunch is EXPECTATIONS, from the soundtrack to Juno. The song’s misfit heroine wins the heart of every indie boy by “making life-size models of the Velvet Underground from clay”. Now why didn’t I go to that school?

Jack White is a bit of a hero of mine, so I had to include The White Stripes with WE’RE GOING TO BE FRIENDS. Everyone needs a best buddie at school that’s for sure.

A couple of real classics followed. I would have been sent to detention if I hadn’t included ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL from Pink Floyd or Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ fantastic diss on school,  JACK SHIT GEORGE.

Steely Dan had us bopping along to the fact that they are “never going back to”  MY OLD SCHOOL. And then it was Sam Cooke with WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD.

Sonny Boy Williamson contributed one of the most provocative tracks on the playlist this week, GOOD MORNIN’ LITTLE SCHOOLGIRL. This blues classic was written about the schoolgirl as sexual fantasy. It’s since been covered by every classic-rock band under the sun, but I think the original is still the best.

ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOL YARD is a song performed by Paul Simon from his 1972 self-titled album. In my opinion he’s one of the best contemporary songwriters we have. Here he is performing the song live:

The music video of BAGGY TROUSERS, by Madness,  was shot in an English school and park. The band’s saxophone player, Lee Thompson, decided he wanted to fly through the air for his solo, with the use of wires hanging from a crane. The resulting shot is one of the most popular of any of  the Madness music videos.

ROCK N ROLL HIGH SCHOOL by The Ramones was followed by a personal pick: CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS RULE, by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Yes, being an old tyke, or as they say in the trade a “lapsed Catholic”, I have to agree that Catholic Schoolgirls do rule!

A couple of little morality tales followed. James Brown warned DON’T BE A DROPOUT and then it was the wonderful Brenda Holloway performing with the Supremes, as back-up (how’s that!). The song was PLAY IT COOL, STAY IN SCHOOL. All good advice of course.

Cat Stevens took a trip down memory lane with OLD SCHOOL YARD and Busted revealed, THAT’S WHAT I GO TO SCHOOL FOR, a disarmingly frank pop tune about having a crush on a teacher.

Babs Gonzalez taught us a bit about Bebop with PROFESSOR BOP while Nat King Cole favours all things extra-curricular in YOU DON’T LEARN THAT IN SCHOOL.

Boomtown Rats followed with I DON’T LIKE MONDAYS and then it was Billy Bragg with the brilliant, THE SATURDAY BOY which I’ve played before, but with its school setting was a certainty to be played again this week.

Like most of The Coaster’s songs, CHARLIE BROWN was written by the songwriting team of Leiber And Stoller. They wrote hits for many artists, including Elvis Presley, The Drifters, and Ben E. King. The songs they wrote for The Coasters were usually more comical. In this case, the song is about a kid who is always getting in trouble and asks “why is everyone always picking on me?”

A nice piece of reggae followed, suggested by Lynden in Sydney: Dennis Alcapone with TEACH THE CHILDREN.

Otis Rush’s distinctive guitar style features a slow burning sound and long bent notes. With similar qualities to Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, his sound became known as West Side Chicago blues and is cited as an influence on many musicians, including Eric Clapton.  Rush is left-handed and, unlike many left-handed guitarists, plays a left-handed instrument strung upside-down with the low E string at the bottom. He played often with the little finger of his pick hand curled under the low E for positioning . It is widely believed that this contributes to his distinctive sound. Check it out on this video where he performs HOMEWORK:

A little change of pace then with The Smiths and THE HEADMASTER RITUAL followed by Graham Parker & The Rumour with BACK TO SCHOOLDAYS.

Jerry Lee Lewis uses high school as a setting, rather than a storyline, in HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL.  This would have been his fourth consecutive hit in a row, if controversy hadn’t raged about the fact that his new wife was hardly old enough to be in high school. Oops. Doesn’t seem to bother the audience at this concert in London in the 60’s:

It was nearly time for the final bell, but we still squeezed in another triple play:   The Hollies with CARRIE ANNE, N.R.B.Q. with STILL IN SCHOOL and WAITIN’ IN SCHOOL from Ricky Nelson.

Our finale was reserved for a song that divides people. Personally I have a bit of a soft spot for TO SIR WITH LOVE, from the film of the same name. How gorgeous was Sidney Poitier? Here’s a clip of Lulu performing the song very recently, (I think it may have been 2008).  And how good does she look?

Next week, I’m going to go against the grain. Yes I know that Valentines Day is coming up soon but the cynic in me has decided to mount an ANTI LOVE show. So, if you have any suggestions drop me a line.

Here’s the complete playlist from this week:

School Days – Chuck Berry
Principal’s office – Young MC
I Like A Boy In Uniform – The Pipettes
Expectations – Belle & Sebastian
We’re Going to Be Friends – The White Stripes
Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) – Pink Floyd
Jack Shit George – Ian Dury and The Blockheads
Quiet Afternoon – Stanley Clarke
My Old School – Steely Dan
What A Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
Good Mornin’ Little School Girl – Sonny Boy Williamson
Me and Julio Down By the School Yard – Paul Simon
Be True To Your School – The Beach Boys
Baggy Trousers – Madness
Rock N Roll High School – The Ramones
Catholic School Girls Rule – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Don’t Be a Dropout – James Brown
Play It Cool, Stay In School – Brenda Holloway & The Supremes
Old School Yard – Cat Stevens
That’s What I Go To School For – Busted
You Don’t Learn That in School – Nat King Cole
Professor Bop – Babs Gonzales
I Don’t Like Mondays – Boomtownrats
The Saturday Boy – Billy Bragg
Charlie Brown – The Coasters
Homework – Otis Rush
Teach The Children – Dennis Alcapone
The Headmaster Ritual – The Smiths
Back To Schooldays – Graham Parker
High School Confidential – Jerry Lee Lewis
Carrie Anne – The Hollies
Still In School – N.R.B.Q.
Waitin’ In School – Ricky Nelson
To Sir With Love – Lulu

Next week: ANTI-LOVE

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

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UNREQUITED LOVE

Image0001Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the one-sided love affair? If we were rational we’d acknowledge that its simply addictive emotional masochism; the more unsuitable or unattainable the object of desire, the stronger the fascination.  But when you’re madly in love with someone who doesn’t know you exist, being rational is the furthest thing from your mind. We’ve all been there. You feel like the walking wounded, the unloved one, the handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Charlie Brown says it best: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter like UNREQUITED LOVE.”

We opened the show with THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA from one of the best bossa nova singers ever,  Astrud Gilberto, performing with Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz. There really was a girl from Ipanema – a 15 year old called Heloisa Pinto who used to walk past the Rio bar frequented by the songwriters,Vinicius Morais and Antonio Jobim.  The song is a sweet tribute to the totally unattainable as well as an ode to youth. This music video is from the 1964 film “Get Yourself a College Girl”:

KILLING ME SOFTLY WITH HIS SONG has been covered by many artists, most notably by Roberta Flack, whose 1973 version topped the U.S. pop singles charts and won a Grammy Award. We opted to play the equally successful 1996 version, simply called KILLING ME SOFTLY,  by Hip-Hop group The Fugees with Lauryn Hill on lead vocals.

200px-Dolly_Parton_I_willWhitney Houston’s version of I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, released in 1992,  became one of the best-selling singles of all time. It was written and originally recorded by Dolly Parton and her poignant and bittersweet version, with Parton’s trademark twang,  was my choice this week.

220px-Billy_Bragg_shot_by_Kris_KrugI had to include Billy Bragg’s gentle, yet disturbing, song about a classroom crush, THE SATURDAY BOY, even if it was just for the line: ”I had to look in the dictionary/ To find out the meaning of unrequited.” The Violent Femmes’ upped the ante with a song about repressed lust.  ADD IT UP has Gordon Gano promising himself, ‘the day after today I will stop’, but the music’s pent-up passion suggests otherwise.

When I announced this week’s theme there was lots of correspondence regarding which genre of Temptationsmusic does ‘unrequited love’ best. Yes, I agree with BayFM’s Cowboy Sweetheart that country singers have it pretty much all sewn up, but you can’t go past a little soul music when it comes to love songs, requited or not.  A couple of examples: JUST MY IMAGINATION from the Temptations and CUPID from Sam Cooke. And I didn’t forget the soulful sound of Ray Charles with YOU DON’T KNOW ME, delivering a duet with Diana Krall, from his Genius Loves Company album.

Joe Jackson is wonderfully incredulous when he asks: IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? The Cars, on the other hand,  are obsessed with their BEST FRIEND’S GIRL while  Bowling For Soup are going nuts over the  GIRL ALL THE BAD BOYS WANT. I love a band with a sense of humour. Check out the video from Bowling For Soup. By the way, the band’s name was derived from a comedy act by Steve Martin.

Now if you need convincing that country singers are the kings and queens of the lovelorn, here’s Patsy Cline with I FALL TO PIECES, from the Glenn Reeves Show, February 23, 1963.

LAYLA by the Eric Clapton’s group, Derek & The Dominos, is a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton’s relationship with his friend George Harrison’s then wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison. Here’s a video clip from 1984 of Eric Clapton peforming the song live with Bill Wyman on bass, Charlie Watts on drums, Jeff Beck on guitar, Stevie Winwood on piano …. have I died and gone to heaven? 

A song that elevates lovelorn moping to operatic heights is Ben E King’s I WHO HAVE NOTHING and another, possibly,  is Dionne Warwick’s WALK ON BY, written by Burt Bacharach and David Hal. It was recorded by Warwick in 1964 and became a landmark single for her.

A year later Donovan released his first single, CATCH THE WIND, and in 1967 The Small Faces recorded TIN SOLDIER, a song Steve Marriott wrote to his first wife Jenny. The song signalled a return to the band’s R&B roots after their previous forays into psychedelic rock and other musical experiments. P.P. Arnold can be heard singing back up vocals. Here’s some rare footage of The Small Faces with P.P. Arnold performing on Belgium television. The year was 1968. Go the Mods!

Written by the Bee Gees, IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU was given to Yvonne Elliman when the group became involved in the soundtrack for the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever. She scored  a #1 hit in the US with the track. 

Going a bit further back in time is the Everly Brothers version of ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM. Recorded in 1958, it was recorded in just two takes and features Chet Atkins on guitar. The B side “Claudette” was the first major songwriting success for Roy Orbison. Two years later, Orbison recorded ONLY THE LONELY, his first major hit. An operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, described by the New York Times as expressing “a clenchied, driven urgency.” Here’s Roy performing the song during the Black & White Night concert. No-one does it like the Big O.

From the sublime to the ridiculous:  a teenager falls in love with a pin-up girl, in a picture dated 1929, in The Who’s PICTURES OF LILY and Fountains of Wayne sing about a schoolboy’s lust for his friends mother in STACEY’S MUM

And then it was a couple of classics: FOR NO ONE from The Beatles Revolver album, written by Paul McCartney and a track from one of my all-time favourite albums,  I’M WAITING FOR THE DAY from the Beach Boys Pet Sounds album.

In an effort to shake the lovelorn out of the doldrums, we closed the show with Radiohead’s masterpiece of poetic self-loathing, CREEP.

Here’s the complete playlist:

 

The Girl from Ipanema 5:24 Astrud Gilberto / João Gilberto / Stan Getz Pure Jazz Jazz Latin 2
Killing Me Softly (orig. Roberta Flack) 4:43 The Fugees The Score Hip-Hop 2
I Will Always Love You 3:04 Dolly Parton Country 2
Diary 3:08 Bread The Best Of Bread Classic Rock 3
The Saturday Boy 3:28 Billy Bragg Back To Basics Alternative 2
Add It Up (language) 4:44 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes Alternative 2
Cupid 2:32 Sam Cooke R&B 9
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) 3:48 The Temptations ’71 My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations [Disc 2] Motown 5
You Don’t Know Me 3:55 Ray Charles & Diana Krall Genius Loves Company Easy Listening 4
Strange And Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You) 3:30 Aqualung (Matt Hales) Rock Ballad 1
Is She Really Going Out With Him 3:35 Joe Jackson Greatest Hits Pop 4
My Best Friend’s Girl 3:44 The Cars The Cars Rock 2
Girl All the Bad Boys Want 3:18 Bowling For Soup Now That’s What I Call Music 53 Alternative
White Flag 3:35 Dido Pop 2
My Eyes Adored You 3:34 Frankie Valli  & the Four Seasons Easy Listening 6
I Fall To Pieces 2:52 Patsy Cline Sweet Dreams Country 1
Layla (1990) 7:04 Derek & The Dominos (Eric Clapton) Goodfellas/Scorsese (1990) Rock 6
I’ll Kill Her (2008) 3:52 SoKo EP 1 Alternative & Punk 3
I Who Have Nothing 2:25 Ben E. King & Percy Sledge & Brook Benton R&B 5
Walk On By 2:58 Dionne Warwick The Dionne Warwick Collection Easy Listening 4
Catch The Wind 2:21 Donovan British Invasion Vol. 2 Folk 8
Tin Soldier 3:19 Small Faces The The Woodstock Generation: Out of Time Rock 1
If I Can’t Have You 3:01 Yvonne Elliman Saturday Night Fever – The Ori Disco 2
All I Have To Do Is Dream 2:22 The Everly Brothers Rock/country 2
Only The Lonely 2:27 Roy Orbison The Essential Roy Orbison (Disc 1) Rock 8
Pictures Of Lily 2:45 The Who The Ultimate Collection Rock 5
Stacey’s Mom 3:18 Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers Pop 6
For No One 2:02 The Beatles Revolver Pop 2
I’m Waiting For The Day 3:06 The Beach Boys Pet Sounds [Bonus Tracks] Rock 2
Creep (language) 3:57 Radiohead Pablo Honey Rock 6

The Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto / João Gilberto / Stan Getz

Killing Me Softly  – The Fugees

I Will Always Love You – Dolly Parton

Diary – Bread

The Saturday Boy – Billy Bragg

Add It Up  – Violent Femmes

Cupid – Sam Cooke

Just My Imagination  – The Temptations 

You Don’t Know MeRay Charles & Diana Krall

Strange And Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You) –  Aqualung

Is She Really Going Out With Him Joe Jackson

My Best Friend’s Girl The Cars

Girl All the Bad Boys WantBowling For Soup

White Flag Dido

My Eyes Adored You Frankie Valli  & the Four Seasons

I Fall To Pieces Patsy Cline

Layla Derek & The Dominos 

I’ll Kill Her – SoKo

I Who Have Nothing Ben E. King 

Walk On By Dionne Warwick

Catch The Wind Donovan

Tin Soldier The Small Faces 

If I Can’t Have You Yvonne Elliman

All I Have To Do Is Dream The Everly Brothers

Only The Lonely Roy Orbison

Pictures Of Lily The Who

Stacey’s Mom Fountains of Wayne

For No One The Beatles

I’m Waiting For The Day The Beach Boys

Creep Radiohead

Next week, we’re celebrating Halloween with SCARY SONGS FOR SILLY PEOPLE (or is that SILLY SONGS FOR SCARY PEOPLE?).  Suggestions welcome.

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.  

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

FAMOUS PEOPLE

images-3Researching a show where all the songs referenced famous people was actually quite enlightening. Who knew that so many famous people felt compelled to record songs about other famous people? I suppose there’s a little bit of the fan in all of us. It was a shame that I had used up some very good songs that would have fitted the theme during my Men’s Names and Women’s Names shows, but there were still plenty of tracks left over to fit the bill. I did try and stay away from the more mawkish tribute songs, so no Candle in the Wind amongst this lot I’m afraid.

We opened the show with the Beloved’s HELLO. The song mentions a number of famous people chosen to loosely fit a “saints and sinners” theme. Those that get a nod include Jeffery Archer, Fred Astaire, Little Richard, Barry Humphries and Charlie Parker. I like the way the Supremes are simply called “Mary Wilson, Di and Flo”. Even Fred Flintstone gets a mention.

Next it was another song with a list. Eminem recently won the MTV award for Best Hip Hip Video for WE MADE YOU. The song spoofs, among others, Sarah Palin, Amy Winehouse and Jessica Simpson. Hopefully it hasn’t reached viewer saturation point yet, ’cause here it is again:

imagesAllanah Myles’ #1 hit, BLACK VELVET is about Elvis Presley. It can refer to either his likeness frequently being painted on black velvet or his voice. Here’s a bit of trivia for you: Black Velvet was the name of the hair dye that Elvis used to give his naturally brown hair its distinctive black sheen. 

SWEET GENE VINCENT remained in Ian Dury’s set list for almost his entire career, even after other songs had been dropped because of the singer’s worsening images-2health. It was played at his very last concert at the London Palladium in February 2000 and is still performed by The Blockheads. Ian Dury was arguably Gene Vincent’s biggest fan and he claims to have bought every single that Vincent ever produced. Dury’s stage clothes also reflected Vincent’s influence, notably black leather gloves. Dury constantly denied that his identification with the singer, who was also crippled and forced to wear a leg brace, was in any way an attraction. He claimed that he didn’t even know Vincent was crippled when he first became a fan. According to Dury, it was all about the voice and his look. That’s Gene Vincent on the left and here is a clip of Ian Dury and the Blockheads performing at the Concert for the People of Kampuchea in 1979. The big bonus is the addition of Mick Jones from the Clash. Brilliant. 

BETTE DAVIS EYES was a huge hit for Kim Carnes. Even Bette Davis herself was a fan. The actress admitted to loving the song and approached Carnes and the songwriters to thank them. She said that it made her seem very up-to-date with her grandson. She had Carnes sing the song live for her at a tribute held just before her death.

I included a  couple more songs about actors: Bree Sharp’s song about DAVID DUCHOVNY proves that she is also an adoring fan of the actor from X-Files and, more recently, Californication. Billy Bragg & Wilco gave us a song dedicated to INGRID BERGMAN, with lyrics by Woodie Guthrie.

images-4David Bowie played the song ANDY WARHOL to the artist, who reportedly disliked it as he thought the lyrics made fun of his physical appearance. When the song had finished playing, Warhol and Bowie supposedly just stared at each other for a while until Warhol said “I like your shoes” and the pair then had a conversation about shoes. As you do.

The Modern Lovers sang about another artist, PABLO PICASSO and Simon & Garfunkle contributed a song about the great American architect FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

The ever-cheerful ska star, Prince buster, was more concerned with spelling the name of his subject in AL CAPONE. A guilty pleasure followed: Boney M with RASPUTIN. Who knew that this Russian baddie was a raging love machine? Here’s the clip, just to remind you of how much fun disco actually was:

Although David Bowie admits that JEAN GENIE is a clumsy pun on the name of the author Jean Genet, he claims that the real subject of the song is his friend Iggy Pop. The line “He’s so simple minded, he can’t drive his module” would later give the band Simple Minds their name. There are several clips of this song available but take a look at this one. I chose it just because of the outfit. Oh, and the band rocks too.

Morphine gave us a song not just about, but in the style of, the American beat poet and author Jack KEROUAC. And then it was Bob Dylan with his protest song HURRICANE about the boxer Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter. The song compiles alleged acts of racism and profiling against Carter, which Dylan describes as leading to a false trail and conviction. The song is credited with helping to overturn the conviction.

images-5We lightened the mood somewhat with a bit of Pop from Bananarama: ROBERT DE NIRO’S WAITING. And then it was The Clash with their song about the another actor, Montgomery Clift, who, after a serious accident, could only be shot from THE RIGHT PROFILE (see left).

U2 paid homage to singer Billie Holiday with their song ANGEL OF HARLEM and then The Barenaked Ladies told the story of a man whose life parallels that of the Beach Boys’ BRIAN WILSON, particularly during his time spent with a psychologist.

Two tracks followed that are quite critical of their subjects. Carly Simon with a song supposedly about Warren Beatty – YOU’RE SO VAIN and then it was Modest Mouse with BUKOWSKI. “Yeah, I know he’s a pretty good read, but God, who’d want to be such an a….hole.” True.

Next was a wonderful song from George Harrison, dedicated to John Lennon: ALL THOSE YEARS AGO. Here, in tribute to both of them, is the clip. 

We closed the show with one of my favourite new artists, Julian Velard, with JIMMY DEAN & STEVE McQEEN.  

Here’s the complete playlist. If the title doesn’t tell the story, I’ve bracketed the person who the song is about.

 

Hello (various) 4:19 The Beloved Happiness Pop 4
We Made You 4:48 Eminem Relapse Hip-Hop 2
Black Velvet (About Elvis) 4:49 Alannah Myles The Very Best of Alannah Myles Rock 3
Sweet Gene Vincent 3:33 Ian Dury Alternative 5
Sir Duke (Duke Ellington) 3:52 Stevie Wonder Songs In The Key Of Life Funk 5
Bette Davis Eyes 3:50 Kim Carnes Mistaken Identity Pop 2
Michael Caine 3:37 Madness Total Madness: The Very Best Of Madness Alternative 4
David Duchovny 4:09 Bree Sharp Pop/Rock 3
Ingrid Bergman 1:51 Billy Bragg & Wilco Mermaid Avenue Folk Rock 4
Andy Warhol 3:57 David Bowie Rock 4
Pablo Picasso 4:21 The Modern Lovers The Modern Lovers Alternative 2
So Long Frank Lloyd Wright 3:43 Simon & Garfunkel Bridge over Troubled Water Folk Rock 2
Marvin Gaye 3:10 Josh Rouse Home Folk/Roots/Pop 8
Al Capone 2:59 Prince Buster FABulous Greatest Hits Ska 8
Rasputin 4:26 Boney M. Gold: 20 Super Hits Soul and R&B 2
The Jean Genie 4:07 David Bowie Aladdin Sane Classic Rock 2
Kerouac 2:55 Morphine AlternRock – Blues 2
Hurricane (about Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter) 8:32 Bob Dylan Folk/Rock
Robert De Niro’s Waiting 3:29 Bananarama The Very Best of Bananarama Pop 3
The Right Profile (About Montgomery Clift) 3:58 The Clash London Calling Alternative & Punk 1
Angel Of Harlem (about Billie Holiday) 3:49 U2 Rattle And Hum Rock 4
Brian Wilson 4:47 Barenaked Ladies Rock Ballad 2
You’re So Vain (Warren Beatty) 4:45 Carly Simon Greatest Hits Live Rock 2
Bukowski 4:16 Modest Mouse Good News For People Who Love Alternative 2
All Those Years Ago (John Lennon) 3:45 George Harrison Somewhere in England Rock

Hello (various) – The Beloved

We Made You (various) – Eminem

Black Velvet (Elvis Presley) – Alannah Myles

Sweet Gene Vincent – Ian Dury

Sir Duke (Duke Ellington) – Stevie Wonder

Bette Davis Eyes –  Carnes

Michael Caine – Madness

David Duchovny  – Bree Sharp

Ingrid Bergman – Billy Bragg & Wilco

Andy Warhol – David Bowie

Pablo Picasso – The Modern Lovers

So Long Frank Lloyd Wright – Simon & Garfunkel

Marvin Gaye – Josh Rouse

Al Capone – Prince Buster

Rasputin – Boney M.

The Jean Genie – David Bowie

Kerouac  – Morphine

Hurricane (Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter) – Bob Dylan

Robert De Niro’s Waiting – Bananarama

The Right Profile  (Montgomery Clift) – The Clash

Angel Of Harlem (Billie Holiday) – U2

Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies

You’re So Vain (Warren Beatty) – Carly Simon

Bukowski – Modest Mouse

All Those Years Ago (John Lennon) – George Harrison

Jimmy Dean & Steve McQueen – Julian Velard

Next week: COVERS THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

No longer on Twitter! I’m not that tragic after all.

FATHERS

imagesWith Fathers Day coming up on Sunday, our theme this week was a lay down misere: dads, grandads, step-dads, good dads, bad dads… even sugar daddies got a look in on our show dedicated to FATHERS. 

We opened with a song about one of the worst father’s in pop-music. The Temptations PAPA WAS A ROLLING STONE talks of a Dad who was a dishonest, cheating, alcoholic. But hey, not everyone’s perfect! With a huge variety of music in the playlist,  I’m sure we addressed the balance.

 A song that puts a lump in my throat is Billy Bragg’s TANK PARK SALUTE. There are several songs about grieving for a father who has died, but none seems as powerful as this track. It was written as a way of addressing the silence and denial that surrounded his dad’s illness. Take a look at this 1991 performance:

images-1My Dad died many years ago now and if you’ve been through it you’ll know that the event creates one of life’s turning points. Equally, becoming a parent is also a life-changing event. Most new dads only get to bore their friends, but the proud rock-star dad can annoy the whole world if he chooses. One of the few truly likable songs about fatherhood is David Bowie’s cheerful, self-effacing KOOKS – although advising “Don’t pick fights with the bullies or the cads” is a bit much from someone who christened his poor son Zowie. Another newborn inspired Radiohead’s end-of-the-world lullaby SAIL TO THE MOON. 

ccr4Creedence Clearwater Revival have a different take on paternity and destiny in FORTUNATE SON: a cry of blue-collar resentment, directed at the privileged elite who used their connections to protect their sons from being sent to Vietnam.

 Neil Young gave us OLD MAN with a little bit of help from James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt; Eric Clapton sang of a father he never knew with IN MY FATHERS EYES. And then it was Elvis with the song that his daughter Lisa Marie sang at the 20th anniversary celebrations of his death: DON’T CRY DADDY. Check out this amateur video of the performance. It seems its the only version, unfortunately, as its also on the offical Elvis site.

Luther Vandross’ song, DANCE WITH MY FATHER, won the 2004 Grammy Award for song of the year. We followed that with Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s DUST GOT IN DADDY’S EYES and The Winstons’  song COLOR HIM FATHER that was dedicated to all the step-fathers out there. 

Not wanting to get too serious at the Theme Park, so it was well and truly time for James Brown and PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG. Here’s a clip from the Ed Sullivan show, May 1966. I love the way Ed Sullivan is beaming at the end of the performance and exclaims “Wow, that was exciting wasn’t it!”. Yes, Ed it was. Long live the Godfather of Soul.

Time for some jazz: I didn’t want to overlook one of my favourite kinds of Dads and Julie London’s ode to the Sugar Daddy was perfect.  And then it was Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with GO DADDY-O. A very nice segue into Hawkeshaw Hawkins with RATTLESNAKIN DADDY and The Heartbreakers with ROCKIN’ DADDY O.   

And we didn’t want to forget the dear old, (or young as the case may be), Grandads: Fats Waller gave us GRAND OLD DAD. A change of pace saw the Dave Matthews Band rock out with DREAMS OF OUR FATHERS and then Everclear lamented an absent father in FATHER OF MINE. Here’s the very cool video clip:

A couple of songs for my children who lost their father when they were quite young: For Jack a song by his father’s favourite artist: John Lennon and BEAUTIFUL BOY. And for Zoe, it was another favourite – Paul Simon singing FATHER AND DAUGHTER. Here’s a live performance of that song from 2006.

When I played Eric Clapton’s very moving TEARS IN HEAVEN I guarantee there wasn’t a dry eye at the station. Clapton wrote the song after losing his son Connor in a terrible accident. And then it was a song that isn’t overtly about fatherhood but I interpret it that way, and you may too.  It’s Roy Orbison and the Mavericks doing a cover of Simon & Garfunkle’s BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER

Ian Hunter grieves that his relationship with his Dad is just like Two Ships That Pass in the Night in his song SHIPS. Ian Dury followed with MY OLD MAN, a quirky, affectionate memento of his Dad, an East End bus driver. At Dury’s funeral in 2000, the song was performed by his own son, Baxter. Here he is with the Blockheads performing live.

Thanks to Ku Promotions for the tickets we gave away to the COOL NIGHTS BIG BAND performance. It encouraged me to go out with a jazz standard: SONG FOR MY FATHER by the Horace Silver Quintet. Released on the Blue Note label, the cover art features a photograph of Silver’s father. If you listen to the opening bass piano notes, you might just recognize what Steely Dan borrowed for their song RIKKI DON’T LOSE THAT NUMBER.

Happy Fathers Day to all you Dads for next Sunday. Here’s this week’s playlist:

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone  – The Temptations 

Daddy’s Home – Shep & The Limelites

Tank Park Salute – Billy Bragg

My Father’s Waltz – Hem

Kooks – David Bowie

Sail To The Moon – Radiohead

Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Old Man – Neil Young

My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton

Don’t Cry Daddy – Elvis Presley

Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

Dust Got Into Daddy’s Eyes – Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland

Color Him Father  – The Winstons

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown

Daddy – Julie London

Go Daddy-O – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Rattlesnakin’ Daddy – Hawkshaw Hawkins

Rockin’ Daddy O – The Heartbreakers 

Grand Old Dad – Fats Waller

Dreams of Our Fathers – Dave Matthews Band

Father Of Mine  – Everclear

Daddy’s Song – Harry Nillson

Beautiful Boy – John Lennon

Father and Daughter – Paul Simon

Tears In Heaven  – Eric Clapton

Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Roy Orbison & the Mavericks

Ships (That Pass In The Night) – Ian Hunter

My Old Man – Ian Dury & The Blockheads

Song For My Father – Horace Silver

Next week: BIRDS (the feathered variety).

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time.

Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

Tragically also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maccalyn

and Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/themeparkradio

 

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone 6:59 The Temptations 72 My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations [Disc 2] Motown 39
Stinger Happy Fathers Day 0:15 13
Daddy’s Home 2:59 Shep & The Limelites Daddy’s Home Doo Wop 28
Tank Park Salute 3:30 Billy Bragg Don’t Try This At Home Alternative 6
My Father’s Waltz 2:13 Hem Eveningland Folk 4
Kooks 2:49 David Bowie Hunky Dory Rock/Pop 9
Sail To The Moon 4:28 Radiohead Hail to the Thief Indie 5
Fortunate Son (1994) 2:21 Creedence Clearwater Revival Forrest Gump – The Soundtrack Rock 11
Old Man (1972) with James Taylor on banjo tuned like a guitar + Linda Ronstadt on vocals 3:25 Neil Young Harvest Folk Rock 45
My Father’s Eyes 5:24 Eric Clapton Pilgrim Blues 31
Don’t Cry Daddy 2:50 Elvis Presley Essential Rock 1
Dance With My Father 4:26 Luther Vandross Dance With My Father R&B/Soul 5
Dust Got Into Daddy’s Eyes 2:28 Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland R&B 9
Color Him Father 3:14 The Winstons Billboard Top 100 Of 1969 R&B 9
Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag 2:17 James Brown Live Funk 29
Daddy 2:19 Julie London Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 15: Wild, Cool & Swingin’ Too! Easy Listening 22
Go Daddy-O 3:11 Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Swingers Soundtrack Swing 6
Stinger Happy Fathers Day 0:15 13
Rattlesnakin’ Daddy 2:47 Hawkshaw Hawkins Rockabilly 6
Rockin’ Daddy O 2:38 The Heartbreakers 50’s The Great Rock n Roll Roots Rock Roots 6
Grand Old Dad (1941) 2:49 Fats Waller Rewind: The Very Best of Fats Waller Jazz 15
Dreams of Our Fathers 4:44 Dave Matthews Band Everyday Rock & Roll 5
Father Of Mine 3:51 Everclear So Much For The Afterglow Alternative 7
Daddy’s Song 2:09 Harry Nillson Pop 4
Beautiful Boy 4:04 John Lennon Rock Ballad 2
Father and Daughter 4:10 Paul Simon Rock 8
Tears In Heaven 4:32 Eric Clapton The Rolling Stone Magazines 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time R&B 1
Bridge Over Troubled Waters 6:27 Roy Orbison & the Mavericks Rock
Ships (That Pass In The Night) 4:11 Ian Hunter Rock Ballad 5
My Old Man 3:39 Ian Dury & The Blockheads Rock/Pop 1
Song For My Father 7:19 Horace Silver The Blue Box Blue Note’s Best (Disc 4) Jazz
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