Blog Archives

BORN IN THE USA

Despite what some of our American cousins may think, America is not the centre of the Universe. But credit where credit is due: its influence on music cannot be challenged. So, falling on the 4th of July, it was only fitting that our show this week be dedicated to the ultimate musical melting pot – the old US of A.

The playlist is, I think, a balanced one. There are songs that celebrate America and some that are intent on a reality check. You can find that list and lots of links to further information at the BayFM site. Here’s one of my favourite tracks of the day:

Ah, bugger it, here’s another one!

Next week, the show will be on ARGUMENTS. Which means that the song could be about the subject or, more interesting of course, the song could take on the form of an argument. Love to see what you come up with. Get in contact!

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM at the new time of Mondays 1–2pm, Sydney time

Also streaming via BayFM

Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter

Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

LET’S GET MARRIED

I hear there’s a big wedding happening this Friday, so for my last show at this time slot, I decided to take a look at a quaint tradition that seems to be making a comeback. The subject of marriage is a perfect theme for songwriters as music has the ability to influence our mood and eat into our soul. It keeps us afloat when love is fresh, and life seems full of promise. But it can also reveal our deepest fears about a relationship, making problems seem way beyond repair. There are, of course, cynical songs about marriage but I tried to keep these to a minimum. No one likes a killjoy at an otherwise joyful time, now do we?

We launched the show with a great old Savoy recording. WEDDING BOOGIE features Little Esther and Johnny Otis with Esther as the bride, Mel Walker as the groom and Lee Graves as the preacher, and its hysterical.

That old romantic Al Green made a suggestion that a lot of you gals wait a lifetime to hear: LET’S GET MARRIED. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas celebrate getting their fella to the alter on THIRD FINGER LEFT HAND. And UK folk rock group Oysterband give a vibrant description of a wedding breakfast on BLOOD WEDDING.

If you’re after a real soul classic, then you can’t go past Freda Payne’s BAND OF GOLD. On this hit single, Freda’s guy is missing in action and she’s only got a ring to show for all her lovin’.  Sweet Inspirations have a good piece of advice for Freda: WHY MARRY? They ask. Indeedy.

Ani diFranco does a  gorgeous cover of Dusty Springfield’s WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’.  It was used for the title sequence of the film My Best Friend’s Wedding, starring Julia Roberts and directed by Aussie filmmaker P.J.Hogan (who also directed Muriel’s Wedding).

Here’s another classic, this time in the rock genre: Nick Lowe KNEW THE BRIDE WHEN SHE USED TO ROCK N ROLL. 


Rock n Roll legend Chuck Berry reckons that YOU NEVER CAN TELL. And from the soundtrack to the film, The Harder They Come, it was Toots and the Maytals with SWEET AND DANDY. Such a thrill it was to see them perform the song among their set at the Byron Bay Blues Fest this weekend.

Another of my favourites from the Blues Fest is Eli Paperboy Reed. What a voice. Here he is performing STAKE YOUR CLAIM: “Yeah, if you love me then take my name”. Oh Eli you sweet old fashioned boy you!

UK group, The Wombats released a terrific song about going to your exes’ wedding (never a good idea, I say). MY FIRST WEDDDING is from their album A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation.

The weather here in the Northern Rivers has been erratic, to say the least, so a good weather song,  and a wonderful tune about love and marriage to boot, came from Ray Charles: COME RAIN OR COME SHINE.

Dancehall and reggae artist Yellowman turned the sound up a notch with a great version of I’M GETTING MARRIED IN THE MORNING, followed closely by doo-wop group The Cadets with CHURCH BELLS MAY RING.

The 5th Dimension gave us a medley of THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN and WEDDING BELL BLUES. Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo, from the group, have been happily married for over 40 years and have even written a book about what makes their marriage work. Top tip: You’ve got to like the person you’re with, not just love them, because once the first flush of love subsides you need to know that you’re in a relationship with your best friend as well as your lover. Can’t disagree with that!

You can never claim that Theme Park doesn’t have a diverse playlist.  The Easybeats followed with their 60’s hit, WEDDING RING, followed by Billy Idol’s WHITE WEDDING, which was written as a disapproving commentary on his sister’s shotgun wedding. How very conservative of him. Still, the video clip is a hoot:

The lovely Amy Rigby, married by the way to punk rocker Wreckless Eric, does a great song she wrote after divorcing her first husband, called WE’RE STRONGER THAN THAT. And, the always brilliant, Lyle Lovett contributed SHE’S NO LADY, (SHE’S MY WIFE) to the list. I think this clip is from the 80’s – check out Lyle’s hair. But better still, check out his wonderful voice. Like all the best artists, he’s a one-off.

Ernie K Doe and the Blue Diamonds sing about the bane of many a good marriage: MOTHER IN LAW. Of course, I’m not speaking from personal experience! Best to move on, and there’s no better way to put some romance back into the show than with more Al Green. One of my favourites is LET’S STAY TOGETHER. Here’s a live performance from 1972:

The Temptations followed with the delightfully delusional JUST MY IMAGINATION. And then it was another fantastic performer from the Blues Fest: Irma Thomas, with a song that she included in her set: YOU CAN HAVE MY HUSBAND BUT DON’T MESS WITH MY MAN.


Over the last three years of the show, I keep returning to two of my favourite artists – Louis Armstrong and Roy Orbison. And, of course they had songs on marriage for me this week as well. Louis with  WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD and Roy with WEDDING DAY. But I had to close the show with a song for my husband of 23 years, sadly taken from us five years ago this week. Barry White’s very sexy YOU’RE THE FIRST, MY LAST, MY EVERYTHING is for you Graeme. Thanks for the music and the wonderful memories.

For the next 6 months, at least, you’ll find me still at BayFM, still churning out theme shows at the new time of 1-2pm on Mondays and I really hope to have your company next Monday on BayFM 99.9 or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org. As always I’ll keep putting my playlist and other info up at the blog, so keep checking in.

Next Monday’s theme will be MOTORVATIN’ MAMAS, just in time for Mothers Day. Send me your requests and suggestons. I’d love to hear from you.

Have a great week! Here’s the playlist:

Wedding Boogie - Little Esther
Let's Get Married - Al Green
Third Finger, Left Hand	- Martha Reeves and The Vandellas
Blood Wedding -	Oysterband
Band Of Gold - Freda Payne
Why Marry? - Sweet Inspirations
Wishin' And Hopin' - Ani DiFranco
I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock And Roll) - Nick Lowe
You Never Can Tell - Chuck Berry
Sweet And Dandy - Toots and The Maytals
Chapel Of Love - The Dixie Cups
Stake Your Claim - Eli "Paperboy" Reed & The True Loves
My First Wedding - The Wombats
Come Rain or Come Shine	- Ray Charles
I'm Getting Married In The Morning - Yellowman
Church Bells May Ring -	The Cadets
(Medley) The Worst That Could Happen, Wedding Bell Blues - 5th Dimension
Wedding Ring - The Easybeats
White Wedding -	Billy Idol
We're Stronger Than That - Amy Rigby
She's No Lady -	Lyle Lovett
Mother-in-Law -	Ernie K-Doe and the Blue Diamonds
Let's Stay Together - Al Green
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me) - The Temptations 
(You Can Have My Husband But) Don't Mess With My Man - Irma Thomas 
We Have All The Time In The World - Louis Armstrong
Wedding Day - Roy Orbison
You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White

Next week: MOTORVATIN’ MAMAS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM at the new time of Mondays 1–2pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com


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

FOREVER YOUNG: Rock n roll’s survivors

This week’s theme is inspired by the fact that Iggy Pop is headlining our major youth concert,  The Big Day Out this month. And Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Jethro Tull will all be here in April for the Byron Blues Festival. I’m a baby boomer, so I’m ecstatic to be able to see all my heroes from the 60’s still performing. But, I have to ask: what is it about the first generation of rock n rollers – what keeps them going?

The reality is that from the moment rock music arrived on the scene it was a young person’s game: music made by young people for young people. It never intended to grow up or grow old. But it did. So what happens when rock’s youthful rebelliousness is delivered wrapped in wrinkles?

Lemmy from Motorhead has a formula for staying alive. He reckons you just breath (at all times). Lemmy, like Keith Richards, is one of the all time rock n roll survivors and therefore much revered by fans of a similar vintage.

Much to the dismay of our children, we baby boomers have carried on being the oldest swingers in town. We haven’t shown any sign of giving up on rock concerts, taking recreational drugs, (if we want to), and staying up all night. It’s why the biggest earners for rock concerts aren’t the Lady Gagas of the world, but veteran performers like AC/DC, The Eagles, Paul McCartney and The Who.


On MY GENERATION The Who were actually saying that they hoped they’d die before they got old. Hey, hold on a minute, they’re still singing it and they ARE old. What happened?

What happened started in the 50s when an entirely new species emerged with its very own music. They were called teenagers. And their music was called rock n roll:

Rock n roll created something special: The joy of hearing your parents shout out: “Turn that bloody racket down!” Because one of the social functions of rock has always been the defiance of the older generation. For performers like Elvis every gesture, every note was all about social disenfranchisement and rebellion. Elvis hit the scene wearing pink and black and leather outfits. He looked more like a pimp than a musician. “Outrageous!” reeled the grown-ups. But to the teenagers, he represented an escape from the stuffiness of the post-World War Two era.


No-one, even the musicians themselves, took rock and pop seriously, though. It was seen as a novelty, something that wasn’t meant to last. As the soundtrack to growing pains, it was temporary and disposable just like the people who made it.


By the early 60’s Beatlemania was gripping youth’s attention. The Establishment, however, remained doubtful that it was a fever that would last. Even the Beatles accepted the idea of their own inbuilt obsolescence.

With Beatlemania, and the British Invasion in general, many of the young established groups were being left behind. The tyranny of youth dictated that if you didn’t change with the times, you were old hat. One of the new incumbents was the band Manfred Mann.

In 1965 The Who recorded one of the ultimate anthems to youth, one that damned growing up and growing old. The young went on the offensive claiming their territory through guitar, bass and drums. The older generation were still recovering from a World War and all they wanted was some peace and quiet. To the younger generation old age just seemed really boring.

Ironically, the British Beat boom of the mid 60’s was based on music that was already old. Bands like the Stones, The Animals & Manfred Mann worshipped American Blues of the 20s 30s and 40s. Their recording heroes were still alive, but by rock roll’s new standards they were old men. Charlie Parker was born in 1920, Miles Davis in 1926 & Muddy Waters in 1913.

The self-absorbed rebelliousness of rock n roll gathered speed with the Rolling Stones. While the Who were busy burying the older generation, the Stones were singing about finding their satisfaction in sex.

The arrival of album culture in the late 60s proved that rock n roll was now thinking more in the long term. It didn’t sound disposable anymore. It was growing up, just like the people who made it. The Beatles Sgt Peppers album dared to imagine what life would be like at SIXTY FOUR. Up until now that was completely unthinkable for the baby boomer generation.


In the same year that the Beatles released the Sgt Peppers album, Procol Harum had a hit single with WHITER SHADE OF PALE. Things had started to get serious. The more experienced young musicians began wondering how far they could take their music. And they took their diehard fans with them. In many cases the fans had grown up with these bands and, along the way, they’d developed an appreciation of lyrics and music with more depth.

The end of the sixties saw the beginning of the rock n roll casualty list. The death of Brian Jones in 1969 seemed to crystalise a ‘live fast, die young’ attitude and brought a new reality to “I hope I die before I get old.”  Janis Jopliin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix all died at 27, confirming the myth that if you wanted to be a rock legend you had to die young.

The Stones, however, seemed determined to mature. After the death of Brian Jones they picked themselves up and went back on the road. For the band, it wasn’t over yet.


By the end of the 60’s the Stones had discovered the secret of survival, at least for now. Unfortunately, the Beatles didn’t. As if to prove that longevity and rock n roll was difficult for a group of young guys growing up together, they split in 1970. The Fab Four would go on to enjoy successful solo careers for many years to come but the surge of creativity that fed them in their youth proved more elusive for them and their generation as they grew older.

Today, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and Pete Townsend can play arenas 45 years after they first had hits. Which is great. But the real question is:  are they writing great songs? Or is the outpouring of creativity that launched their careers a factor of youth?

Herman’s Hermits got together in 1963 when lead singer Peter Noone was only 16. Their very first release, I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD, was a #1 hit and although future recordings would get into the top ten, they were never to have a UK #1 again. The band, without Noone, continue to perform to this day and Peter Noone has gone on to have a successful career as both a singer and actor.

In the early 70’s, no performer demonstrated rock n roll’s reliance on youthful invention and raw power more than Iggy Pop. Here’s a great little doco that illustrates why he is known as the “Godfather of Punk”:

Not all rock n roll of the early 70’s was an expression of sexual energy and youthful physicality. By now prog rock was plundering the classical music collections so beloved of its middle class parents, as proof of its intention to last. It’s perpetrators, bands like Yes & Jethro Tull, seemed to be contemplating careers beyond the age of 30.


Performers found themselves living with their songs and growing into their material. One of the most requested songs from troops serving in Vietnam was I GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE by Eric Burdon & The Animals. Burdon continues to perform this song today when he entertains servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, it’s written into his contract. That’s what they call an anthem, folks.

In 1976, before the 60’s generation had a chance to mature, they were rudely cast aside by punk. It was a three-chord reign of terror, the ultimate Oedipal act. Snarling, spitting and clawing its way to the stage.

These weren’t the kids of the optimistic 60’s but a new young generation who felt abandoned. Everyone was in their way and, as always, no one understood them.


The bands of the post-punk era, like the Specials and Madness, while less dismissive of the past, still believed that rock and pop music were part of an essentially young experience.

In the early 80’s the Stones were back, yet again, having been absent from the stage for 6 years – while punk and its aftermath were the centre of attention. They were proving that they were in for the long haul.


In July 1985 the benefits of hanging in for the long term reached unexpected and unprecedented heights, with Live Aid. The international event sometimes looked like a version of Dad’s Army with acts like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, and the Beach Boys joining pop stars of the 80s on stage. Watched by more than 400 million viewers in 60 countries, this was the rock n roll survivor’s finest hour. Suddenly being 40 didn’t seem so uncool. These were the masters, the legends, the acts deemed capable of feeding the world.


A lot of young people heard some of the older bands for the first time, saying “These bands are fantastic.” And then, the most hated people in their musical vocabulary, their parents, responded with “Yeah, we know, we love them too!”

What had begun with Live Aid in the 80’s continued into the 90s with projects like War Child. Performers from three generations of rock n roll – Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher recorded COME TOGETHER, in the new spirit of multi-generational tolerance. It was no longer a case of ‘My Generation’ but ‘Your Generation too”. Just as importantly, audiences for the music also started to span generations.

The new millennium witnessed an entirely new phenomenon: the revival and the comeback. Leonard Cohen, already in his 70’s, had decided to stop performing and recording altogether. At least that was the plan. But after having all his money misappropriated by a crooked manager, he had to go back on the road. And guess what, he loves it!


Audiences who had grown up and grown old with their heroes wanted them back. Age had invested their favourite bands with a new authenticity. Performers couldn’t believe their luck. Even Brian Wilson returned from the wilderness to be a Beach Boy once again.


Rock n roll is now revelling in a long life. What was about risk and youth is now about enjoying a grand old age. It’s about longevity, survival, nostalgia. Refusing to grow up, give up or shut up. The whole point of the baby boomer generation is that we made it up from the beginning and we’ve been making it up ever since.  We’ve been pushing the boundaries, and unlike our parents, we’ve refused to accept old age.

Many thanks to BBC and You Tube community for the wealth of material, without which this week’s show would not be possible.

Next week, my special guests will be The Fridays, performing live in the studio, plus lots of songs about RESOLUTIONS. Any suggestions/requests, please leave me a message here.

In the meantime, here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Lust For Life, Trainspotting soundtrack, Iggy Pop

Lemmy/Motorhead  quote

My Generation, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack, The Who

Johnny B. Goode, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, Chuck Berry

Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley

Get A Job, Get a Job, The Silhouettes

Paul McCartney quote

Twist And Shout, Please Please Me, The Beatles

Paul Jones quote

Come Tomorrow, The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann

(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, Muddy Waters

Let’s Spend The Night Together, Hot Rocks 1964-1971, The Rolling Stones

When I’m Sixty-Four, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

She’s Leaving Home, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

A Whiter Shade Of Pale, The Big Chill soundtrack, Procol Harum

Brown Sugar, Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones

Peter Noone quote

I’m Into Something Good, The Original 60’s Summertime album, Herman’s Hermits

Iggy Pop i/view

Search And Destroy, Raw Power, Iggy Pop & The Stooges

Too Old To Rock ‘N’ Roll, Too Young To Die, Jethro Tull

We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place, The Most of the Animals, The Animals

God Save The Queen, Never Mind the Bollocks, The Sex Pistols

Too Much Too Young, The Singles Collection, The Specials

Baggy Trousers, Complete Madness, Madness

Mick Jagger quote

Start Me Up, Tattoo You, The Rolling Stones

Rockin’ All Over The World, Rockin’ All Over The World, Status Quo

Surfin’ USA, Endless Summer Legends, The Beach Boys

We Will Rock You, News of the World, Queen

Come Together, Help (War Child Benefit), Paul Weller & Friends

1969 (with  i/view), Iggy Pop

In My Secret Life, Ten New Songs, Leonard Cohen

God Only Knows, Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys

Forever Young, Napolean Dynamite soundtrack, Alphaville

Next week:  RESOLUTIONS

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



MULTILINGUAL SONGS

Hello, Salut, Guten Tag, Yah Soo, Hola!  Well that’s about the extent of my language skills I’m afraid.  But it didn’t stop me putting together a show on MULTILINGUAL SONGS. Because one of the things that I miss about living in Sydney, I must admit, is the multicultural community. Sure, up here in Byron Bay we have a sprinkling of residents from other countries and certainly we have a lot of overseas visitors but, let’s be honest, it’s very much a white bread kinda town.  So, I’ve been inspired to create a playlist where each song features two or more languages in the lyrics.  Read on and see what I’ve got in store for you!

We opened the show with Joel Gray’s classic greeting from the stage show, and the film, Cabaret: WILKOMMEN. That one had three languages in there: English, French and German. Here’s the incomparable Joel Gray in Bob Fosse’s 1972 film version. Brilliant.

Get ready because German industrial metal band Rammstein will soon be here for the Big Day Out concert. They slide from German into English to make their point about US cultural imperialism on AMERIKA. Absolutely awesome video btw.

Punk gypsies Gogol Bordello, mixed Russian and English, to discuss the cultural revolution, in their own particular style, on SALLY.

I also welcomed some very special visitors into the studio this week. Hailing from Scotland, but citing influences from all over the globe, Orkestra del Sol take the brass band to a whole new level. We’re talking high energy swinging sounds with Balkan, Oompah, New Orleans and Gypsy flavours. They performed three original numbers live in the studio, which was a real treat.

I introduced Orkestra del Sol with the track CALYPSO COLLAPSO, from their album Moveable Feast. Here they are performing that track to a bemused audience at Edinburgh back in 2007:

Next it was Sigur Ros with HOPPIPOLLA, which is Icelandic for “Jumping into Puddles”. But you knew that, right? Onto the African continent with Amaswazi Emvelo and his track from the compilation album The Indestructible Beat of Soweto, INDODA YEJAZI ELIMNYAMA, which translates as “The Man in the Black Coat”. And then it was Cajun band Buckwheat Zydeco with MA TIT FILLE, from the soundtrack to the film The Big Easy.

Sergio Mendes and The Black Eyed Peas combine for a great version of Brazil’s most famous song MAS QUE NADA which, I understand, is Portugese for “But that’s nothing”.

Those obligatory French lessons at school must have come in handy for the Talking Heads on PSYCHO KILLER and Blondie on DENIS. Look, it was a toss up as to whether I should show you either of their video clips but when Deborah Harry dresses in a swimming costume with a guy’s jacket over it and does her ‘sex on a stick’ routine, well how could I resist? And she does include more French words than David Byrne does, so points for that.

Two more great multi-lingual songs: Ian Dury & The Blockheads with HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK and The Pogues with the highly infectious FIESTA.

O SAYA, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song, only losing out to another song from the film Slumdog Millionaire. In Hindi and English, its from A.R. Rahman and rapper M.I.A.

Reggae group The Abyssinians prove their devotion to the Rastafarian homeland of Ethiopia with a refrain in Amharic on their song SATTA MASSAGANA. A perfect companion was Yothu Yindi’s TREATY –  the first ever song, in an Aboriginal language, to gain extensive international recognition.


The Dixie Cups offered a catchy piece of Creole on IKO IKO. That was also from The Big Easy soundtrack. Another soundtrack worth collecting is the one for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. In a classic scene, from the film, John Travolta and Uma Thurman’s characters kill it on the dancefloor to Chuck Berry’s C’EST LA VIE (YOU NEVER CAN TELL): “I wanna dance, I wanna win, I want that trophy, so dance good.”

Calexico is the name of a town on the US/Mexico border and it’s also the name of an alternative country band that I really like.  Their song BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE, features some pretty sexy French singing from chanteuse Marianne Dissard.

The late, great Kirsty MacColl embraces both Spanish and English on  IN THESE SHOES. It’s from her album, Tropical Brainstorm. Here she is on Later with Jools Holland in 2000:


Isobell Campbell & Mark Lanegan’s song DEUS IBI EST features both English & Latin. The Latin section is actually lifted from a very well known hymn, Ubi Caritas and Deus Ibi Est translates as God is there. They are such an intriguing duo, aren’t they? They’re  like dark and light, but somehow what they produce is just perfect. You can find this track on their album Ballad of the Broken Seas.

Here are two Francophiles who have something to say: Jonathan Richman wants you to GIVE PARIS ONE MORE CHANCE and the wonderful Blossom Dearie asks COMMENT ALLEZ-VOUS? I love both these artists for the same reason – their supreme wit and subtlety, combined with a certain camp charm.

We closed the show with Youssou N’Dour and Nenah Cherry and their hit song 7 SECONDS. It’s trilingual with N’Dour singing Wolof (The Senegalese language) and French with Cherry singing in English. The song is about the first 7 seconds in the life of a newly born child before they become aware of the violence in the world. Let’s contemplate that as we head off into 2011.

Next week’s theme will be FOREVER YOUNG. i.e. I’ll be looking at the music that the baby boomer generation has grown up with, and still supports. The list will feature the bands  that we listened to in the 60s, who are still touring and raking in the dollars. I’m inspired by the fact that Iggy Pop will be headlining the youth event, The Big Day Out, this month. And at Easter we have the Blues Fest’s line up of Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Jethro Tull making it look like a Baby Boomer’s convention. What is it about this generation that refuses to take it easy and retire? Tune in and we’ll try and work it out together.

Big thank you to the Orkestra del Sol who entertained us in the first hour of the show. And I’d like to wish you a peaceful, loving and positive 2011.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Willkommen – Broadway: The American Musical [Disc 4], Joel Grey

Amerika – Reise Reise, Rammstein

Sally – Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, Gogol Bordello

Calypso Collapso – Moveable Feast, Orkestra Del Sol

Hoppipolla – Takk…, Sigur Rós

Indoda Yejazi Elimnyama – The Indestructible Beat of Soweto – Volume One, Amaswazi Emvelo

Ma ‘Tit Fille – The Big Easy Soundtrack,  Buckwheat Zydeco

Mas Que Nada – Timeless, Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas

Denis – Atomic: The Very Best Of Blondie, Blondie

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads, Talking Heads

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll – The Essential Collection, Ian Dury and The Blockheads

Fiesta – The Best Of The Pogues, The Pogues

O…Saya – Slumdog Millionaire Soundtrack, A R Rahman & M.I.A.

Satta Massagana – Satta Massagana, The Abyssinians

Treaty – Radio Mix – Tribal Voice, Yothu Yindi

Iko Iko – The Big Easy Soundtrack, The Dixie Cups

C’est La Vie  – Pulp Fiction Soundtrack, Chuck Berry

Ballad of Cable – Hot Rail, Calexico

In These Shoes? – Tropical Brainstorm, Kirsty McColl

Deus Ibi Est – Ballad Of The Broken Seas, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan

Give Paris One More Chance – Jonathan Sings!, Johnathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Comment allez-vous? – Blossom Dearie, Blossom Dearie

7 Seconds – The Guide (Wommat), Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry

Next week:  FOREVER YOUNG

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

SONGS ABOUT EYES


This week the EYES had it as I created a playlist about what poets call the ‘window of the soul’.  Our 100TH PROGRAM showcased a diverse range of artists, from the 50’s right through until some more recent releases.  We also celebrated this important milestone with a couple of fantastic giveaways for our loyal listeners: tickets to a private screening of the new David Fincher film, The Social Network, courtesy of the Dendy Cinemas, and a copy of the Red Army album from hot reggae band The Red Eyes, courtesy of Ku Promotions. Thanks to everyone for listening (and reading!) during this period. Here’s to the next 100!

In 2001 the list of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included such superstars as Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Aerosmith. Further down the list in terms of public recognition were The Flamingos, who were best known for their 1959 hit  I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU.  They are rightfully ranked as one of the most sophisticated doo wop groups in American popular music.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, otherwise knows as “Chuck” turned 84 on October 18. I don’t think anyone would argue when I claim that he is one of the most influential musicians of his time. He contributed BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN to the mix. Elvis Costello, surely one of Chuck’s disciples, had his first hit single in 1977 with a song about a girlfriend who couldn’t stop watching television. The song, of course, is WATCHING THE DETECTIVES. “She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake”. Brilliant.

The Chi-Lites also had a huge hit in 1971 with HAVE YOU SEEN HER. Check out this clip for a PBS special featuring guest artist Eugene Record. Loving the zoot suits!

Jazz singer Ernestine Anderson has some good advice on KEEP AN EYE ON LOVE. She reckons that you just have to keep looking for it and eventually it turns up. I’d be careful if I was her though. If the Hall and Oates song PRIVATE EYES is any indicaton, there are a few stalkers out there ready to pounce. These boys are continually watching the object of their affection. But we already know that love makes you do silly things. Right?

LOOK AT THE FOOL is from Tim Buckley’s album of the same name, his ninth and final album before his untimely death in 1975.  Jackson Browne’s  DOCTOR MY EYES was featured on his debut album Jackson Browne, released in 1972. Here he is singing live, with an awesome band, in 2009. As well as DOCTOR MY EYES, this clip includes ABOUT MY IMAGINATION. Browne is still a great performer and his looks don’t seem to have diminished either!

We followed the terrific 1967 funk track,  I SPY FOR THE FBI, from Jamo Thomas, with (See) HOW FAR WE’VE COME, from Matchbox 20’s Exile on Maintream album, released in 2007. The song has been used to promote everything under the sun. But we won’t hold that against them.


Jamesetta Hawkins is better known to us as Etta James. This rendition of  I’D RATHER GO BLIND, where she duets with Dr. John, practically brought me to tears. See if it has the same effect on you:

And as Etta would say ‘At Last!’ we have some nice weather up here in the Northern Rivers, after months of rain. (Although as I write this the rain is back…..aarrggghhhhh). Nevertheless, I had to celebrate a couple of days of brilliant sunshine with I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW from Jimmy Cliff.

Let me ask you this: What do David Bowie, George Washington and Louis Pasteur have in common? Well they have what’s called heterochromia: i.e. each of their eyes is a different colour. In Bowie’s case one eye is blue and the other brown. Aren’t you glad to know that?

When it comes to songs about eyes, you can’t go past 60’s soul, and our next triple play more than proved the point: Doris Troy was seduced with JUST ONE LOOK, The Contours went gold-digging on FIRST LOOK AT THE PURSE and The Temptations sang I WANT A LOVE I CAN SEE.

Van Morrison’s 1967 single BROWN EYED GIRL would prove to be the impetus for his whole career as a solo artist. It was to be his first single after leaving the band Them and it led to his relocation to the United States and an eventual contract with Warner Brothers Records where he would record his career-defining album Astral Weeks.  In the same year The Who released I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES, the only single from the The Who Sell Out album. Recorded in several separate sessions in studios across two continents, the recording of I CAN SEE FOR MILES exemplifies the increasingly sophisticated studio techniques of rock bands in the late 1960s. The backing tracks were recorded in London, the vocals and overdubbing were performed in New York at Talentmasters Studios, and the album was mastered in Los Angeles at the Gold Star Studios.

The Beatles 1965 hit I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU was written mainly by Paul McCartney and it first appeared on their Rubber Soul album. It was written about Jane Asher, McCartney’s girlfriend of five years: “You don’t look different, but you have changed,” the lyrics declare, reflecting his dissatisfaction with their relationship.

When I announced that this week’s theme was to be EYES, I was inundated with requests for the Platters version of SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES. Well, of course, it had to make the list – an absolute classic.

Winonie Harris reckons that he can tell all sorts of things from looking into a set of BLOODSHOT EYES while Little Milton was out to prove that you can’t always judge a book by its cover on JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE ME SMILING

Billy Idol’s EYES WITHOUT A FACE is from his 1983 album Rebel Yell. Reportedly filmed in a marathon 30-hour session, the video’s extensive filming used fog machines, lighting, and fire sources that nearly fused Idol’s contact lenses. At the conclusion of filming, Idol attempted to leave, and promptly passed out on the studio lawn from exhaustion. Initially mistaken for a vagrant, a police officer who roused Idol was alarmed at his reddened eyes. The officer immediately brought Idol to a local hospital, where doctors were able to coax out the lenses, saving his vision. OMG.


Captain Beefheart was unusually restrained on HER EYES ARE A BLUE MILLION MILES and we followed with Sinead O’Connor’s DAMN YOUR EYES from her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. No matter what you think of her political viewpoints, there is no denying the power in her voice.

Being our 100th show, I gave myself a gift and closed the show with two of my favourite artists: As regular listeners know,  according to me Roy Orbison can do no wrong. And how could I resist when he tells me  “One look from me and he drifts away”, on YOU GOT IT.


Tim Buckley is also a favourite and we said goodbye with DEVIL EYES from the outstanding album Greetings From LA.

Next week’s program will be on CARNIVALS, CIRCUSES AND FUNFAIRS. Ooh I’m really looking forward to this one. Let me know if you have any suggestions for the playlist. I can always do with your help!

Until next week, remember what Gandhi said: “An eye for an eye turns the whole world blind.”

Here’s this week’s complete list:

  • I Only Have Eyes For You – Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll: 59, The Flamingos
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Missing Chapters Vol. 5: Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Brown Eyed Handsome Man – 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection, Chuck Berry
  • Watching The Detectives – My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
  • Have You Seen Her – Greatest Hits, The Chi-Lites
  • Inside Out – Red Army, The Red Eyes
  • Keep An Eye On Love – Testify, Ernestine Anderson
  • Private Eyes – Top Hits Of The 80’s, Hall and Oates
  • Look At The Fool – Twentyfourseven, Tim Buckley
  • Doctor My Eyes – The Next Voice You Hear: The Best Of Jackson Browne, Jackson Browne
  • I Spy For The FBI – Soul Cargo Vol. 1 (The Early Years Of “Groove”,  Jamo Thomas
  • How Far We’ve Come – Exile On Mainstream, Matchbox Twenty
  • I’d Rather Go Blind – The Sweetest Peaches – Part Two (1967-1975), Etta James
  • I Can See Clearly Now – Definitive Collection, Jimmy Cliff
  • Just One Look – Mermaids, Doris Troy
  • First Look At The Purse – This Is Soul, The Contours
  • I Want A Love I Can See – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations, The Temptations
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Best Of Van Morrison, Van Morrison
  • I’m Looking Through You – Rubber Soul, The Beatles
  • I Can See For Miles – The Who Sell Out, The Who
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – Easy Listening Gold: 1958-1959, The Platters
  • Bloodshot Eyes –  The Best of Wynonie Harris, Wynoni Harris
  • Just Because You See Me Smiling – Movin’ to the Country, Little Milton
  • Eyes Without A Face – Top Hits Of The 80’s, Billy Idol
  • Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles – Clear Spot, Captain Beefheart
  • Damn Your Eyes – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Special Edition) Sinéad O’Connor
  • You Got It – Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison
  • Devil Eyes – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley
Next week:  SONGS ABOUT CARNIVALS, CIRCUSES & FUNFAIRS

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

SONGS ABOUT SHOPPING

What’s captalism’s favourite pastime? Well, SHOPPING of course! Some of the songs in this week’s list were critical of the commodification of our society while others celebrated shopping as retail therapy.  Objects of desire included everything from clothes and cars to food and liquor and we shopped in that threatened species, the little corner store, as well as their replacements, the supermarkets and malls. We gave away tickets to local charity event, The Spring Into Bangalow Fashion Parade, and welcomed local girl-group The Swinging Cowgirls into the studio for a live performance. All in all, a fun show.

The program kicked off at a rather luxurious looking pet shop, where Patti Page asks HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW? Let’s face it, if you’re a shop-a-holic you could do a lot worse than rescue a pup from being a living and breathing window display. I call that charity work myself.

The Coasters sang of being in a high-end department store without any credit on SHOPPING FOR CLOTHES. And we followed with Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, whose Mum told them to always SHOP AROUND when it comes to looking for love. Not bad advice actually.

Ben Folds does a great cover of the Clash song LOST IN THE SUPERMARKET for the kids film Over the Hedge, which had to make the list. As did The Kinks with the very appropriate DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION. Check this clip from 1973. I love Ray Davies: “Let’s have a laugh, because no-one’s here for art.” Genius.

Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism. On this week’s show he went shopping for a car on NO MONEY DOWN.

Here’s De La Soul with their critique of hip-hoppin’, gold-diggin’ girlfriends on SHOPPING BAGS. Its from the underrated album The Grind Date:

Up here in the village of  Mullumbimby, the locals have lost the fight to stop a large Woolworths complex from being built in town. So I included a couple of songs for all those activists who are trying to preserve their quality of life.  First up, Jonathan Richman bemoans the disappearance of the CORNER STORE. We followed with a perfect partner, Eugene McDaniels with SUPERMARKET BLUES: “I’ve got the supermarket blues, If I could choose, its really them I’d like to lose.” Yes, indeedy.

Two very funny tunes on the list are They Might Be Giants’ I AM A GROCERY BAG and TOO HIGH FOR THE SUPERMARKET from The Uninvited. It’s tough finding the ingredients for a simple tuna sandwich in a huge supermarket, especially when focus is a problem. Hilarious.

Fergie knows that shopping for labels is just shopping for affection on LABELS OF LOVE, from the soundtrack to the film Sex & The City, which is basically just a big ad for Manola’s etc.  The Beatles have a bit of advice for the shopaholic in all of us on CAN’T BUY ME LOVE.

I’m not a big fan of The Pet Shop Boys but their 1987 techno-pop tune SHOPPING, which is more about political corruption than a day in the mall, proved to be especially suitable for this week’s show.

Margo Timmins, of The Cowboy Junkies, is going to buy you something small and frail and plastic. As she puts it: ‘CAUSE CHEAP IS HOW I FEEL. Brilliant.

Dolly Parton is also a bit partial to a little metaphor on THE BARGAIN STORE. And lending a little gravity to the list was good ol’ boy Bruce Springsteen with QUEEN OF THE SUPERMARKET.

Jonathan Richman championed the LONELY LITTLE THRIFT STORE and Bruno Mars, with a little help from Damian Marley, sang about the LIQUOR STORE BLUES.

And then I happily welcomed the Swingin’ Cowgirls into the studio for a bit of a jam and a singalong. They are going to be performing at the upcoming charity fashion event, Spring into Bangalow, and going by what we saw on the show, it will be a great night. Here they are performing at another local event, earlier this year:

We said goodbye to the Swingin’ Cowgirls with an equally sassy dame, Lily Allen. She’s giving her granny a hard time on NAN, YOU’RE A WINDOW SHOPPER.

The Replacements’ punk rock defense of the CUSTOMER was followed by Paul Weller and The Jam with MAN IN THE CORNER SHOP, a song about some middle-class punk rockers who suddenly have a whole lot of money but nothing substantial to spend it on.

Before Steven Patrick Morrissey was simply Morrissey, he was lead singer of The Smiths, a band who never charted higher than #10 but who nevertheless generated a cult following. Here they are with SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE:

Sublime’s influences were reggae, punk and ska and our final track was an old ska song that they recorded a version of in 1996 called  PAWN SHOP. The story goes that lead singer Brad Nowell’s raging addiction saw his guitar being pawned quite often, with their manager having to pay to get it out before their gigs. Sort of puts all those songs about SHOPPING into perspective doesn’t it?

Next week the show will be one of pure joy. Every song will feature HANDCLAPPING. I’d  love to hear from you if you would like to request a track, or you may have an idea for a theme for an upcoming show. Let me know! Love to have your input.

Big thanks to Kathryn and Anna from The Swinging Cowgirls.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Everlasting In Original 125 Golden Oldies (Vol.3), Patti Page

Shopping for Clothes – Atlantic Rhythm & Blues (1958-62) Vol. 4, The Coasters

Shop Around – The Ultimate Collection, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Lost In The Supermarket (Clash cover) – Over The Hedge soundtrack,  Ben Folds

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion – The Complete Collection, The Kinks

No Money Down – After School Session, Chuck Berry

Shopping Bags (She Got from You) – The Grind Date, De La Soul

Corner Store – Jonathan Goes Country, Jonathan Richman

Supermarket Blues – Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse, Eugene McDaniels

I Am A Grocery Bag – TMBG UnLtd April, They Might Be Giants

Too High for the Supermarket. – Too High, The Uninvited

Labels Or Love – Sex And The City, Fergie

Shopping – Actually, Pet Shop Boys

‘Cause Cheap Is How I Feel – The Caution Horses, Cowboy Junkies

Can’t Buy Me Love – Hey Jude, The Beatles

Shopping Carts – (comedy skit), Steven Wright

The Bargain Store – The RCA Years 1967-1986 [Disc 2], Dolly Parton

Queen Of The Supermarket – Working On A Dream, Bruce Springsteen

Liquor Store Blues (feat. Damian Marley) – Single, Bruno Mars

The Lonely Little Thrift Store – I’m So Confused, Jonathan Richman

Nan You’re A Window Shopper – Alright, Still Lily Allen

Customer – Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out the Trash, The Replacements

Man In The Corner Shop – Direction, Reaction, Creation, The Jam

Shoplifters Of The World Unite – The Best Of Part 1, The Smiths

Pawn Shop – Sublime, Sublime

Next week:  SONGS WITH HANDCLAPPING!

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

SONGS ABOUT CALIFORNIA

Our theme this week was about a place that’s linked to money, sunshine, fame and freedom. It sounds a lot like my home town of Byron Bay, but  no, this week’s program was about the equally tantalising American state of  CALIFORNIA.

We started with Al Jolson’s CALIFORNIA HERE I COME. Written for the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, it’s often called the unofficial state song of California. Another standard is the Mamas & The Papas’ love song to their home state: CALIFORNIA DREAMING. Bobby Womack’s version is, in my opinion, just sublime. Here’s some original footage and images of California in the 50’s, set against his music:

Chuck Berry wrote THE PROMISED LAND while in jail and, apparently, he used the prison library to plot his hero’s trip from Virginia to Los Angeles.

Train is a band that comes from San Francisco so their song, SAVE ME SAN FRANCISCO, is, we assume,  straight from the heart. And like a lot of the tunes in today’s list, it’s really about missing someone you’ve left behind. The songs is  from the album of the same name, released in 2009.

Led Zeppelin’s GOING TO CALIFORNIA is reportedly about Joni Mitchell. The story goes that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were both infatuated with her at the time. They were all in their early 20’s and it was crazy days for all and sundry. Here’s Led Zepp. playing live at Earls Court in 1975:

Arlo Guthrie contributed a song that’s based on him going through LA airport with a couple of joints in his pocket. Not that I condone that kind of behaviour, of course (!) He performed COMING INTO LOS ANGELES live at Woodstock in 1969 where, it appears, it went down a treat:

Yes, Arlo Guthrie just wants to have some fun. I don’t think he’s the only one. Sheryl Crowe is in a similar state of mind on ALL I WANNA DO.

The Rivieras are also out there havin’ fun on CALIFORNIA SUN, a hit for them in 1964. Albert Hammond’s IT NEVER RAINS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA also reminds me of Byron Bay. Must be the sub-tropical thing.  Does this ring a bell? “It Doesn’t Rain in California but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, it pours.” Sounds like Byron to me.

We followed with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The title of CALIFORNICATION was borrowed for the title of one of my favourite  television shows.

Two of the best voices ever belong to Dionne Warwick and Roy Orbison.  Warwick sings of being a deflated Hollywood hopeful heading home, on DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE? Orbison, who can’t wait to get back to where his lover is – and therefore where the sun always shines –  is brilliant on CALIFORNIA BLUE. It’s from his comeback album, Mystery Girl, recorded just before he died in 1988.

I bet you were wondering how long it would take me to play HOTEL CALIFORNIA by The Eagles? Only an hour! Yes how could I not play this song on a show dedicated to songs about California?

Latest media favourite, pop-singer Kate Perry, gets a little bit of help from Snoop Dogg on CALIFORNIA GURLS. Can you believe that this video clip has racked up nearly 50 million hits? Sweet.

Unbelievably,  I found a slice of hip-hop I could use with no swear words in it!  2PAC and Dr Dre are almost subdued on CALIFORNIA LOVE. We followed with some Thin Lizzy who know how hard it is to make it in HOLLYWOOD (When you’re down on your luck).

The Sir Douglas Quintet’s MENDOCINO is also a classic. It’s a song about a county in the north of California, renowned for distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, old growth forests, wine production and liberal views on cannabis. Sounds like it should be Byron Shire’s sister state, doesn’t it?

Everclear do a  song about my favourite part of Los Angeles, SANTA MONICA. It’s a place, also not unlike Byron, with a great beach, fantastic restaurants, farmers markets and a laid-back feel to it. The song was written by the band’s lead singer Art Alexakis and its actually quite a melancholy tune about suicide.

When Otis Redding sang about  SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY, it was the very groovy city of San Francisco he was referring to. We followed that with a piece of music that pays homage to the Mexican population of California: The brilliant Chicano rock band Thee Midniters with WHITTIER BOULEVARD.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers seem to be obsessed with California as they have recorded quite a few tracks about the area. Our second Peppers track was DANI CALIFORNIA which we followed with a number by  Tom Petty.  FREE FALLING references areas of Los Angeles, from the San Fernando Valley to Ventura Boulevard and Mulholland Drive, all of which conjure up various movies out of Hollywood.  Petty has been qouted as saying that the multitude of acoustic guitars on the track were used to create a dreamlke quality.

Now if you really want dreamy, then you can’t go past the  epitome of Californian folk/rock, Joni Mitchell, with CALIFORNIA. You can sort of see what those bad boys from Crosby, Stills & Nash  and Led Zeppelin saw in her, can’t you?

The song we had to have,of course, was CALIFORNIA GIRLS.When you think of California, you can’t help but think of surfing and, of course, The Beach Boys. They recorded the song in 1965 and it maintains its popularity today, simply because it sums up everything that is great about the beach lifestyle.

Even Kings of Leon do a song about this sunny state.  However, CALIFORNIA WAITING doesn’t sound like too much fun somehow.  Here they are performing on the Jonathan Ross show:

We finished the show with LA WOMAN, from the last studio album recorded by The Doors before Jim Morrison’s death in July 1971. It’s arguably the most blues/rock oriented tracks that the band recorded.

Now if you would like to contribute to next week’s show, and I hope you do, then the topic will be one that’s close to my heart: SHOPPING. Drop me a line if you have a suggestion or a request.

And as the governor of California would say….. I’LL BE BACK.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

California Here I Come – Al Jolson

California Dreaming – The Very Best of Bobby Womack, Bobby Womack

The Promised Land – Chuck Berry Greatest Hits, Chuck Berry

Save Me San Francisco – Save Me San Francisco, Train

Going to California – Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin

Coming into Los Angeles – Woodstock 1969, Arlo Guthrie

All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow

California Sun – The Rivieras

It Never Rains In Southern California – Albert Hammond

Californication – Californication, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Do You Know the Way to San Jose – Her All Time Greatest Hits, Dionne Warwick

California Blue – Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison

Hotel California – Hotel California, Eagles

California Gurls – California Gurls, Kate Perry ft. Snoop Dogg

California Love – All Eyez On Me, 2pac ft. Dr.Dre

Hollywood (Down On Your Luck) – Renegade, Thin Lizzy

Mendocino – Sir Douglas Quintet

California – Orange County Soundtrack, Phantom Planet

Santa Monica – Everclear

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

Whittier Blvd. – Latin Oldies, Thee Midniters

Dani California – Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Free Falling – Tom Petty

California – Joni Mitchell, Joni Mitchell

California Girls – Made in U.S.A., The Beach Boys

California Waiting – Holy Roller Novocaine, Kings of Leon

LA Woman – Legacy: The Absolute Best, The Doors

Next week:  SHOPPING!
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

MUSIC GENRES

As someone who relies on trying to create a diverse playlist, week after week, the topic of MUSIC GENRES is one that’s dear to my heart. Useful as they are though, identifying genres is a murky and nebulous exercise, open to countless individual interpretations. Just go into any music store and try to establish why Ian Dury’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll can find itself in pop, rock and alternative, all at the same time, and you’ll know what I mean.

In 1979 Malcolm McLaren’s art school classmate Robin Scott had a one hit wonder with POP MUZIK, an ironic and mischievous little tune, under his pseudonym, M: “New York, London, Paris, Munich…. everybody’s talking ’bout pop music.”

According to Bob Seger, today’s music doesn’t have the same soul. He’s feeling nostalgic for some OLD TIME ROCK N ROLL. Sugarhill Gang, on the other hand, are more interested in hip-hop. Their song, RAPPERS DELIGHT, while not the first single to feature rapping, is generally considered to be the song that first made hip hop popular.

Wild Cherry’s song PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC is autobiographical in that Wild Cherry was mostly a hard rock outfit. In 1976, however, the Disco era was all the rage and many of the group’s loyal followers were asking for more dance songs. And so was born the request: “play that funky music, white boy”:

Back in 1970, Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground celebrated ROCK & ROLL with their hit song of the same name. By 1977, Bob Marley – together with Steve Tyler & Joe Perry – were giving us three genres for the price of one on ROOTS, ROCK AND REGGAE.

Punk rocker Wreckless Eric took a swipe at the record companies, for the pressure they put on artists to produce a hit single, on POP SONG: “Just a two minute song with a snazzy middle eight.” Yeah, that’s all they wanted.

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band refuse to take anything too seriously, even the blues. So if you merge music hall and blues, it begs the question: CAN BLUE MEN SING THE WHITES? Our girl Joan Jett is nothing but a rock chick so of course she’s going to sing,  I LOVE ROCK N ROLL.

Brooklyn rappers Stetsasonic responded to early criticisms of their sampling by releasing TALKIN’ ALL THAT JAZZ which used a clever collage of borrowings from the likes of Lonnie Liston Smith and Donald Byrd.

I think Lynyrd Skynyrd may know a little bit about the track, SWAMP MUSIC. This style of music is particular to America’s south, particularly Louisiana and Southeastern Texas but it’s developed a worldwide following and I, for one, love it.

It’s both funny and revealing that The Killers wrote INDIE ROCK N ROLL to poke fun at the pretentious and sterile independent scene in their native Las Vegas, only to find that the song was embraced world-wide as a cheerfully un-ironic anthem. Here they are playing live and sounding great:

The Beatles take Chuck Berry’s ROCK N ROLL MUSIC and attack it with such intensity that it seems to symbolise what became known as the British Invasion of the 60’s. In total contrast is Wilco’s wistful ode to youth on HEAVY METAL DRUMMER, from the album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot:

Stevie Wonder ‘s contribution to this week’s topic came in the form of his  dedication to Duke Ellington and other jazz greats on SIR DUKE. Arthur Conley did something similar, with his shout out to all the soul icons, on SWEET SOUL MUSIC:

Time for some blues, Creole style, with BOOGIE WOOGIE ZYDECO from Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band. Then it was a great piece of music, that recognises the enormous influence of Jazz on all kinds of music: JAZZ THING from Gang Starr. It’s from the soundtrack to the Spike Lee film MO BETTER BLUES, starring Denzel Washington. Absolutely brilliant clip.

There are so many songs that pay tribute to rock n roll that I had to be careful to not let them dominate. But there’s one that I couldn’t leave out – Ian Dury and the Blockheads with the rock n roll anthem, SEX & DRUGS & ROCK N ROLL. I hate the overuse of the word ‘awesome’ but in this case, it’s warranted – AWESOME!!

A song that merges soul and reggae is the very appropriately named REGGAE GOT SOUL from Toots and the Maytals. There are also loads of songs with Blues in the title, so many in fact that I had to restrain myself in this department too. But if you’re going to play one of them, you can’t get better than Buddy Guy with THE FIRST TIME I MET THE BLUES. In this clip he performs with bass player David Myers. It’s from the film CHICAGO BLUES, made in 1970. Now that’s what I call real music.

Bet you thought I wouldn’t give classical a mention. Well, Chuck Berry helped me out there with ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN. Here he expresses the desire for rhythm and blues to replace classical music on his local radio station. On this video clip he’s having a little bit of fun on a French TV show. Not sure of the year, but the song was recorded in 1956:

Couldn’t let disco get away with just a passing mention,  so space was made for FRENCH DISKO by Stereolab. The Ramones rescue their disco queen and introduce her to something a bit more rebellious. Now, SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER.

We closed the show with a classic from Dire Straits – a song about a jazz band called SULTANS OF SWING.

Love to have your input for next week’s show. The theme is FUNNY SONGS: Songs that make you laugh or at least smirk because they are clever and witty. Ooh I’m looking forward to seeing what you send me.

Meanwhile, here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Pop Muzik – Pop Muzik, M

Old Time Rock N’ Roll – Bob Seger

Rappers Delight – Sugarhill Gang

Play That Funky Music – Those Fabulous ’70s, Wild Cherry

Rock and Roll – Velvet Underground

Roots, Rock, Reggae – Chant Down Babylon, Bob Marley + Steven Tyler + Joe Perry

A Pop Song – Big Smash, Wreckless Eric

Can Blue Men Sing The Whites? – Cornology [Disc 1], Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett

Mambo Italiano  – Latin Fever [Disc 1], Shaft

Talkin’ All That Jazz – Hed Kandi: Back to Love, Vol. 4 Disc 2, Stetsasonic

Swamp Music – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Indie RnR – Demo, The Killers

Rock And Roll Music – Live At The BBC [Disc 2], The Beatles

Heavy Metal Drummer – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco

Sir Duke (Duke Ellington) – Songs In The Key Of Life, Stevie Wonder

Sweet Soul Music – 60’s Soul, Arthur Conley

Boogie Woogie Zydeco – Boogie Woogie Zydeco, Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp Band

Jazz Thing – Moment of Truth, Gang Starr

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – No Thanks! – The ’70s Punk Rebellion (Disc 3), Ian Dury

Soul Makossa – Makossa Man: The Very Best Of Manu Dibango, Manu Dibango

Reggae Got Soul – True Love, Toots & The Maytals

First Time I Met The Blues – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues – A Musical Journey,  Buddy Guy

Roll Over Beethoven – 1956-Rock & Roll Era, Chuck Berry

French Disko – Refried Ectoplasm, Stereolab

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker – All The Stuff (And More), The Ramones

Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Next week: FUNNY SONGS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time

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

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

Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

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

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

%d bloggers like this: