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MUSICAL ROYALTY

The Royal Family have been attracting a fair bit of attention lately. Kate and Wills got married, Fergie is in detox and, according to her ex-chef, the Queen likes wholemeal toast for dessert. Riveting stuff.

All this just made me think about artists with a royal sounding name. Much more interesting, I’m sure you’ll agree.  We opened the program with a track suggested by one of the Saturday Blues boys. Ken directed me to a fantastic album called The Duke Meets the Earl. It features two virtuoso blues guitarists, Duke Robillard and Ronnie Earl. The whole album is a cracker but I chose a track that’s indicative of how my week’s been going so far: LOOKIN’ FOR TROUBLE. I couldn’t find a clip of both artists performing the song together, but here’s Duke Robillard filmed at Callahan’s in November 2010:

Carol King has written a lot of great pop songs and she’s still going strong. Her 1962 hit IT MIGHT AS WELL RAIN UNTIL SEPTEMBER was originally a demo that turned out so well the record company decided to release it. Smart move.

Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald do a great version of STORMY WEATHER. Ella was often referred to as “Lady Ella” and you can’t get a more royal sounding name than Nat King Cole, can you?  And then it was something completely different. Princess Superstar with LIFE IS BUT A DREAM. And congrats to the Princess who this week gave birth to a baby girl! Happy Mother’s Day.

OK, he may not actually have King in his name, but we all know who we’re talking about when we refer to ‘The King’: Elvis Presley of course. BURNING LOVE went out to Faye. “Lord Almighty, I feel my temperature rising, higher higher, it’s burning through to my soul …”

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings  JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHAT CONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN. Thanks Sharon. Doing fine.  Considering all the trouble I’m in.

King Curtis’ MEMPHIS SOUL STEW is an ode to musicians of all kinds. Check out Jerry Jermott on bass. Amazing.

I like a bit of diversity in the playlist, so I included an indie pop group from Sweden called Acid House Kings with WOULD YOU SAY STOP? It’s from their latest album Music Sounds Better With You. What is it about the Swedes and their pop music?

My Kings of Leon pick was a great song:  CALIFORNIA WAITING. Check out Caleb’s Prince Valentine hairdo on this live performance:

Another artist with a royal sounding name is Prince Rogers Nelson, better known simply as ‘Prince’ to us plebs. KISS was followed by  another classic, a gorgeous piece of soul from Ben E  King called STAND BY ME. Ben E King was one of the original Drifters and when he was only 9 years old he was a member of the group The Three Crowns, so there you go, another reason why he should be included as one of our artists with royal sounding names.

We went way back to 1932 with: IT DON’T MEAN A THING IF IT AIN’T GOT THAT SWING by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra with vocals by Ivie Anderson. If, like me, you love your nostalgia, then you must tune in to BayFM on Saturdays from 8am when Jill brings you a fantastic show called MUSICAL KALEIDIOSCOPE.

I went way out on a limb with my next choice: I reckon the inclusion of Jesus and Mary Chain was justified on the basis that Jesus was King of the Jews. Right? Their version of SURFIN’ USA went out to Charlotte.

Now I couldn’t do a show about musicians with royal names without including B.B.King. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLUES went out to anyone who’s had a birthday recently, but in particular to my friend Cheryl who had a great birthday party on Saturday night (and I’m still recovering!), and David who was sick with the flu on  his birthday. How unfair is that?

Our goodbye track was from a group that I consider rock royalty: Freddy Mercury and Queen with  THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Next week’s show will be on CONCERTS. It can be about attending a performance or actually being on stage. I’m thinking of songs like DAFT PUNK IS PLAYING AT MY HOUSE by LCD Soundsystem. See what you can come up with and get in touch!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Lookin For Trouble –  Ronnie Earl & Duke Robillard
It Might As Well Rain Until September – Carole King
Stormy Weather –  Nat King Cole & Ella Fitzgerald
Life Is But A Dream – Princess Superstar
Burning Love – Elvis Presley
Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Memphis Soul Stew – King Curtis
Would you say stop? – Acid House Kings
California Waiting – Kings of Leon
Kiss – Prince
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing –   Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Feat. Ivie Anderson
Surfin’ USA  – The Jesus & Mary Chain
Happy Birthday Blues – BB King
These Are The Days Of Our Lives – Queen

Next week: SONGS ABOUT CONCERTS

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
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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



SONGS ABOUT GAMBLING

The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s major thoroughbred horse race. Held since 1861, on the first Tuesday in November, it’s billed as The race that stops a nation. It’s the richest and most prestigious “two-mile” handicap, and one of the richest turf races,  in the world. So, it was inevitable that this week’s theme would tie in with this iconic Australian event. GAMBLING, therefore, it was.  We contemplated the repercussions of hedging your bets, whether it was on the ponies, at the poker table or simply as a result of playing that universal game of chance, love.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullets opened the show with their highly energetic live rendition of RAMBLIN’ GAMBLIN’ MAN. We followed with a request from regular listener, Andy, who wanted to hear Ry Cooder’s I GOT MINE. It’s from the Chicken Skin Music album and, apparently it’s an old pop song from the minstrel and medicine show tradition. Cooder says that he learned this version from renowned Blues artist Pink Anderson, who followed tent shows in his early years.

Another regular contributor to the show, Robyn, asked for jazz-rock group Steely Dan’s DO IT AGAIN. The track features on their debut 1972 album Can’t Buy A Thrill and is the first in popular music to include an organ solo. Here they are live on the Midnight Special 1973:

Now if you want to hear a song or two about gambling guilt then you can’t go past the Blues. Lightnin’ Hopkins’ ONCE WAS A GAMBLER featured on the Crazy Heart soundtrack and it was a terrific suggestion from Des. And just to prove that gambling is not just a man’s preoccupation, pioneering singer and guitarist Memphis Minnie bemoaned the life of a GAMBLING WOMAN.

Could Lady GaGa be today’s version of Memphis Minnie? For all of you out there who may doubt this performer’s artistry, check out her acoustic and live version of POKER FACE on BBC Radio. Any doubts about her talent should now be dismissed, surely. 


Ska revival band, The Specials, have to be one of the coolest bands on earth. Formed in 1977 and still going strong after a lengthy break between 1981 and 2008, we played their cover of the Pioneers race-track tune,  LONGSHOT KICK DE BUCKET. Here they are in 1979:

Another of my fave bands is Wilco and they gave us their gambling track, CASINO QUEEN. Wendy contacted us and requested THE JOKER from The Steve Miller Band. Great choice. Here they are live on the Jools Holland show. Even Cee Lo Green was loving this peformance. Cool pink suit too, Cee Lo!

Big Audio Dynamite was formed in 1984 by the ex-guitarist and singer of The Clash, Mick Jones. The band was notable for their effective mixture of varied musical styles incorporating elements of punk rock, dance, hip-hop, reggae and funk. Here they are with THE BOTTOM LINE.

Melissa contacted me to say that she loves Ray Charles. Who doesn’t? He is a music legend. Frank Sinatra called Ray “the only real genius in show-business”. His song BLACKJACK was a perfect song for this week’s theme. A little less known is blues and sould singer Little Johnny Taylor. He recorded throughout the 60’s and 70’s and performed live throughout the 80’s and 90’s. His song YOU WIN, I LOSE is another of those tunes about hedging your bets on love and it’s a beauty.

Closer to home, The Little River Band have a number of tracks that suit this week’s topic but none better than LONESOME LOSER. And if you’re looking for some bellylaughs, then Melbourne group, Mic Conway and the National Junk Band’s RACE CALL OF LIFE TO DEATH should do the trick. It’s on their Corporate Chook album. As they so cleverly point out, our whole life is a gamble so we may as well just go for it!

The Animals’ HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN was a shoo-in, of course. As was  The Rolling Stones with TUMBLING DICE, from their Exile on Main Street album.

I bet by now you were wondering whether I would play the absolutely predictable THE GAMBLER by Kenny Rogers?” Well, of course, yes. I have no shame. This is an absolute classic and couldn’t possibly be omitted: “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

And talking of classics…..

Big Joe Turner was an American Blues “shouter” who came to fame in the 1950’s with his pioneering rock and roll recordings, particularly  Shake Rattle & Roll. His unique voice was well served on our featured song this week, LIFE IS LIKE A CARD GAME.

The Band’s song about the dangers of drinking and gambling, UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK, features on their second self-titled album and was released as a single in 1969. They also perform the song on the live concert film The Last Waltz:


The hero of UP ON CRIPPLE CREEK gets into all kinds of trouble essentially because he’s looking for love. The great T-Bone Walker, the first Blues artist to use an electric guitar, also knows all about  love gone wrong on LOVE IS JUST A GAMBLE. We followed with the legendary Stanley Brothers who contributed their thoughts on the matter with a great piece of bluegrass called IF I LOSE.

The Jerry Garcia Band performed DEAL live at Shoreline Ampitheatre California on September 1, 1990. A Grateful Dead concert was to have occurred at the venue on this date but was cancelled due to the untimely death of Dead keyboard player Brent Mydland. That one was for Hudson who follows The Theme Park with an excellent BayFM program, Post Modern Backlash.

I’m sure that there would be no argument if I asserted that Jimmie Rodgers is the godfather of Country music. His deceptively simple delivery of a song like GAMBLING ROOM BLUES, with his distinctive yodelling added for good measure, is just so evocative. He performed in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Big jump to 1979, (a very good year btw), with The Clash and THE CARD CHEAT from their 3rd album, London Calling.

Tim Freedman of Australian group The Whitlams knows a thing or two about telling a story in song. And, as we headed for Theme Park’s finishing post, what better way to comment on this country’s obsession with gambling than to play The Whitlams’ BLOW UP THE POKIES? Here’s Tim on the SBS program Insight explaining the meaning of the song and doing a beautiful solo performance.


Just to lift the mood, our closing double appealed to the rock chick in me: Everclear with BLACKJACK and the one and only AC/DC with a song that has a couple of versions, and is rife with double meaning. Of course I choose to interpret THE JACK as being about gambling. What they’re gambling on, of course, is up for discussion.

Thanks too to Melissa, Robyn, Des, Andy & Wendy for your suggestions for this week’s show. Much appreciated.

Next week’s theme, is on NIGHT which has been inspired by last week’s RECLAIM THE NIGHT women’s march. I’d like to thank all the women, young and old, who marched together in Byron Bay, and the men who supported us. It was inspirational, empowering and a heap of fun. If you weren’t there, make sure that you get involved next year. Violence against women is prevalent and shoudn’t be accepted. (End of community service announcement!)

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man – Live Bullet, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band

I Got Mine – Chicken Skin Music, Ry Cooder

Do It Again – Can’t Buy A Thrill, Steely Dan

Once Was A Gambler – The Best Of Lightning Hopkins, Lightnin’ Hopkins

Gambling Woman – High Rollers – Vintage Gambling, Memphis Minnie

Poker Face – The Fame, Lady Gaga

Longshot Kick De Bucket – 1992 – Live: Too Much Too Young, The Specials

Casino Queen – A.M., Wilco

The Joker – Groovin’ 70’s [Disc 10], The Steve Miller Band

The Bottom Line – Planet BAD: Greatest Hits, Big Audio Dynamite

Blackjack – Pure Genius, Ray Charles

You Win, I Lose – Mo’ Mod Jazz, Little Johnny Taylor

Lonesome Loser – Greatest Hits, Little River Band

Race Call Of Life To Death – Corporate Chook, Mic Conway’s National Junk Band

House Of The Rising Sun – Time Life: Sound Of The Sixties, The Animals

Tumbling Dice – Exile On Main Street, The Rolling Stones

The Gambler – Greatest Hits, Kenny Rogers

Viva Las Vegas – Command Performances: The Essential Elvis Presley, Elvis Presley

Life Is Like A Card Game – High Rollers – Vintage Gambling, Big Joe Turner

Up On Cripple Creek – Anthology, Vol. 1, The Band

Love Is Just A Gamble – 50s R&B Classics, T-Bone Walker

If I Lose – Theme Time Radio Hour, The Stanley Brothers

Deal – Garcia, Jerry Garcia

Gambling Bar Room Blues – High Rollers – Vintage Gambling, Jimmie Rodgers

The Card Cheat – London Calling, The Clash

Blow Up The Pokies – Take 40 Australia, The Whitlams

Blackjack – Slow Motion Daydream, Everclear

The Jack – High Voltage, AC/DC

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT NIGHT

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 WITH HANDCLAPS

HANDCLAPPING is not only a very useful and easy accompaniment on a music track, it also nearly always signifies a certain level of enthusiasm and joy. And I reckon that’s exactly the kind of show we needed right now, with the weather being so dreary. Clapping is used as a percussion element in many forms of music including Gospel, flamenco, electronic and pop. Shirley Ellis’s 1965 soul hit THE CLAPPING SONG was our opener and it perfectly fitted my criterion for this week’s playlist, with its reference to a favourite childhood game full of happy memories.

Outkast’s song, about a relationship in denial, HEY YA! is a crazy mix of soul, rock and everything in-between, including a chorus of handclapping that recalls the girl groups of the 60’s, 70’s funk and even pop fare like Toni Basil’s Mickey. Check out the amazing Andre 3000 performing the song live at the Grammy Awards:

A couple of rock’n’roll  icons who knew the value of a bit of handclapping were Eddie Cochran with his 1958 hit SUMMERTIME BLUES and Elvis Presley with RUBBERNECKIN’, released in 1969. Most songs written by the King of Rock n Roll had girls swooning and shaking and RUBBERNECKIN’ was no exception. A remix version, by Paul Oakenfield, was released in 2003 and managed to top the US charts. I chose to play the original, which also appeared in the King’s final feature film, Change of Habit. Here’s a clip from that film with loads of handclapping in evidence:

Contributing a little funk were The Meters with their HANDCLAPPING SONG and we followed with that great girl group, The Marvelettes, singing TOO MANY FISH IN THE SEA. The Marvelettes were Motown’s first successful singing girl group recording on the Tamla label. They set the precedent for Martha and the Vandellas and The Supremes.


If you’re after some God-fearing, gospel style clapping then there’s arguably none better than the Abyssinian Baptist Choir and SAID I WASN’T GOING TO TELL NOBODY. Sheer ecstacy for some but I get my thrills from singers such as Jenny Lewis and her band Rilo Kiley. They have a very simple yet effective song featuring handclapping, THE FRUG.

I don’t think Peter Noonan sang any of Herman’s Hermit songs without clapping along and CAN’T YOU HEAR MY HEARTBEAT is no exception. Check out the Noonan’s facial expression at 1:24. Love it that they didn’t take themselves too seriously.

Two more songs that feature a good dose of handclapping are DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD by Santa Esmeralda and Rose Royce’s original version of CAR WASH. Scottish folk/rock group Stealers Wheel’s song, STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU, found a whole new audience when it featured in the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs. I’d love to include a clip from this film but it just so happens that the song is the backdrop for the most confronting scene in the movie and I did want to keep things cheerful!

The Cars emerged from the New Wave movement of the late 70’s with a blend of punk minimalism, synth-pop and art rock. It’s hard to believe that it’s now ten years since lead singer and bassist, Ben Orr, died of pancreatic cancer. Here he is looking smoking hot on their 1979 release, LET’S GO.

One of the most creative and idiosyncratic musicians of the 1990s and 2000s is Beck with his collage of musical styles, ironic lyrics and quirky arrangements. Check out this clip of his song CLAP HANDS. Now this is what I call good dinner conversation.

The late country crossover artist, Eddie Rabbitt, has a great clappiing song that also pays tribute to the clapping of thunder. I LOVE A RAINY NIGHT was a perfect track to accompany our weather report.

HANDCLAPPING is a very convenient piece of musical improvisation and it comes in useful across all musical genres. It also makes for a pretty cheerful playlist. To further prove my point we included two tracks from 1982: John Mellencamp’s HURTS SO GOOD and Prince’s LITTLE RED CORVETTE.

With a name like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! it’s a given that this group would have to have a least one song with handclapping in their repertoire. The title CLAP YOUR HANDS has also been used by Aussie singer Sia. Here’s she is with her very quirky video clip:

When it comes to video clips, however, none does it better than Gorillaz. DIRTY HARRY is from their second album, Demon Days. Like the video for another of their tracks CLINT EASTWOOD, the video of DIRTY HARRY references the film of the same name. It’s the only Gorillaz music video, other than STYLO, to be filmed on location. For more info on Gorillaz go to:  http://www.gorillaz.com For now, simply check out this brilliant piece of animation:

Canadian singer Feist had a huge hit with her handclapping song,  1234. It was actually written by Australian singer songwriter Sally Seltmann, who records under the name New Buffalo. They met while touring together in Canada.

The Romantics livened things up somewhat with WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU. It’s from their self titled album of 1980 and was also released as a single. Jimmy Marinos, the band’s drummer is the lead vocalist and it did particularly well in Australia, where it reached #2 on the Australian Singles Chart. A real party starter.

Mott the Hoople’s song, ALL THE YOUNG DUDES, was written for them by David Bowie and can be found on the 1972 album of the same name. It’s regarded as one of glam rock’s anthems. Despite this, it’s one of the few songs on the list whose lyrics aren’t upbeat. According to Bowie, the song wasn’t intended to be ‘glamorous’ at all and carries a darker message of apocalypse. See what handclapping does for a song? Changes the mood and therefore the intent of the song completely.

Massive Attack’s Heligoland LP boasts a huge slate of guest vocalists, none more sultry than Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval. “Sultry” is probably a nice way of describing the Toby Dye directed video clip of PARADISE CIRCUS.  The clip is definitely for over 18s, so if you are interested I suggest you go to the Massive Attack Blog but this recommendation does come with a warning about explicit content. .

Less controversial were our next three songs starting with one of my favourites, Radiohead’s 15 STEP. We followed with The Clash and ROCK THE CASBAH and Queen with WE WILL ROCK YOU. Other than the last 30 seconds containing a guitar solo from Brian May, the song is generally set in a capella form, using only stamping and clapping as a rhythmic beat. Perfect for today’s theme.

We closed the show with one of the most inspirational songs that feature handclapping. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE celebrates what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday last Saturday.


If you would like to contribute to next week’s show, which will be on EYES AND SIGHT, I’d love to have your input. Just leave me a message in the comments area of this blog.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

The Clapping Song – The Best Of Shirley Ellis, Shirley Ellis

Hey Ya! – The Love Below, Outkast

Rubberneckin’ – Treasures 64 To 69 [Disc 1], Elvis Presley

Summertime Blues – Music From The Movies, Eddie Cochran

Hand Clapping Song – Struttin, The Meters

Too Many Fish In The Sea – The Big Chill, The Marvelettes

Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody – Shakin’ The Rafters, The Abyssinian Baptist Gospel Choir

Frug – Rilo Kiley, Rilo Kiley

Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat – Their Greatest Hits, Herman’s Hermits

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – Tarantino Experience Take II, Leroy Gomez and Santa Esmeralda

Car Wash – Greatest Hits, Rose Royce

Rebel Rouser – Forest Gump Soundtrack, Duane Eddy

Stuck In The Middle With You – Reservoir Dogs, Stealers Wheel

Let’s Go – The Cars Greatest Hits, The Cars

Clap Hands – Guerolito, Beck

I Love A Rainy Night – Kick It Up, Eddie Rabbitt

Hurts So Good – American Fool, John Mellencamp

Little Red Corvette – 1999, Prince

Clap Your Hands! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands – Clap Your Hands, Sia

Dirty Harry – Dirty Harry (Single), Gorillaz

1234 – The Reminder [Bonus Track], Feist

What I Like About You – Top Hits Of The 80’s (1980 [Disc 2]), The Romantics

All The Young Dudes – Rock Classics 60’s & 70’s Volume 2, Mott The Hoople

Paradise Circus feat. Hope Sandoval – Heligoland, Massive Attack

15 Step – In Rainbows, Radiohead

Rock The Casbah – Story of the Clash, Volume 1 [Disc 1], The Clash

We Will Rock You – News Of The World, Queen

Give Peace A Chance – Lennon [Disc 1], John Lennon

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT EYES AND SIGHT

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

BROTHERS & SISTERS

Let me ask you this: who else has known you your entire life and witnessed your family’s capacity for love and/or dysfunction? Brothers and Sisters! Sibling relationships run deep, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s because of this that the chemistry between siblings can be quite complex, sometimes verging on the volatile. They don’t call it sibling rivalry for nothing. I can remember having actual fisty cuffs with my sister who is only 18months younger than me, but if anyone else threatened her, they had hell to pay.

So, lots of reason to pay tribute to our brothers and sisters. We started the show with a request from the lovely Nicky from Fridays breakfast program ‘That Friday Feeling’: Sister Sledge with WE ARE FAMILY. We followed with a request from Judi – The Hollies and HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER.

Robyn is a regular contributor to the show and she always has great suggestions. One of the best from her this week was JJ Cale and Eric Clapton’s DON’T CRY SISTER. It’s rare that the distinctive quality of sibling relationships is captured so well in song. Here’s a couple more that do it for me: In This Mortal Coil’s YOU AND YOUR SISTER, the lover’s sister is of the overprotective variety. Being the eldest of three kids, I can’t help but think this was written for me. Another is from brother and sister duo, The Knife, with PASS THIS ON. Their tense, steel drum electro adds a whole other dimension to the lyrics. ‘I’m in love with your brother’, Karin Dreijer urgently confides. “You’ll pass this on, wont you?”. Oooh, risky request that one. I really love this video clip though:

Des from BayFM’s Colours of Byron program suggested an oldie but a goodie, Elvis Presley with one for all the younger sisters out there: LITTLE SISTER.

When choosing music for our show about Brothers and Sisters I tried to choose songs that were about the biological kind over those about the brotherhood of man but songs like Tom Waits version of BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE ME A DIME, had to be included. I just love Tom’s idiosyncratic style.

Robyn could program this show all on her own, so prolific is she with her suggestions each week. Thanks Rob! Two more of Rob’s requests were Patti Labelle with LADY MARMALADE and Terence Trent D’Arby’s DANCE LITTLE SISTER. What ever happened to him? Come back wherever you are!

Switching genres, it was time for some southern rock, with a song from Johnny Van Zant, lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd and younger brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd co-founder, and former lead vocalist, Ronnie Van Zant. The song, BRICKYARD ROAD, is about Ronnie who was killed in a plane crash in 1977.

DANIEL is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded by John for his album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Just the Piano Player. The song tells the story of a returning Vietnam vet, from his brother’s point of view. Another great song about a brother was written by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. SPACEBOY is about his younger brother who has a rare genetic chromosomal disorder.

“Hey Little Sister What have you done?” asks Billy Idol on WHITE WEDDING. Yet, another great suggestion from Robyn:

Our next song touched a nerve because it’s a saying that my daughter used to say to me when she started kindergarden, although in this case its about a sibling asserting himself. It’s They Might Be Giants with YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME NOW. We’ll follow with a great song from The Kinks: COME DANCING. It’s a fond tribute to Ray Davies’ older sister and the demise of the local dance hall. We followed with a little samba from Brazilian Jorge Benjor, TAKE IT EASY MY BROTHER CHARLES.

Bobby Hebb wrote SUNNY after President Kennedy was assassinated and his own brother was killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub on the same day: November 22, 1963. Considering the circumstances its a beautifully optimistic piece of music.

Funnily enough, so is Bruce Springsteen’s HIGHWAY PATROLMAN. The song recounts how lawman Joe Roberts runs into his black-sheep brother, only to find that blood is thicker than water. I like the sentiment expressed in this one:  “a man turns his back on his family, he just ain’t no good.” Johnny Cash also does a brilliant version of this track, but I rarely play Springsteen, so he got a run this week. We followed with a great piece of country, Steve Earle’s TELEPHONE ROAD.

Marvyn Gaye’s WHAT’S HAPPENING BROTHER is about Gaye’s brother who was serving in Vietnam at the time. The song is a precursor to WHAT’S GOING ON which was based on the same brothers letters. We followed with real life siblings, The Neville Brothers, and BROTHER JOHN.

It was good to be able to include something local: Sarah McGregor’s GOODNIGHT SISTERS is a gorgeous ode to her two sisters.  And then it was the incredibly versatile group The Arcade Fire with NEIGHBORHOOD #2.

John Fogarty has said in interviews that Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU SEEN THE RAIN is about rising tensions within CCR and the imminent departure of his brother Tom from the band. See, and you thought it was about the Vietnam War didn’t you. Me too!

Lily Allen has a brother, not unlike my own, so her song ALFIE was dedicated to my younger brother who isn’t well at the moment.  Keep smiling Pete.

Our final choice was a beautiful song, suggested by Des. It’s by Antony & The Johnsons with some help from Boy George. It’s called YOU ARE MY SISTER and I dedicated this one to my sister who celebrated her birthday on July 27.

Next week, its a subject that all of us in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales are familiar with: INSECTS AND SPIDERS. I’ll need some help on this one, so get in touch!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

We Are Family – The Full Monty Soundtrack, Sister Sledge

He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother -The Hollys

Don’t Cry Sister – JJ Cale & Eric Clapton

You and Your Sister – Blood, This Mortal Coil

Pass this On – Deep Cuts, The Knife

Little Sister – Rare Elvis, Vol. 3, Elvis Presley

Brother Can You Spare A Dime? – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, Tom Waits

Lady Marmalade – Best of Patti Labelle, Patti Labelle

Dance Little Sister – Terence Trent Darby

Brickyard Road – Brickyard Road, Johnny Van Zant

Daniel – Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Just the Piano Player, Elton John

Spaceboy –  Siamese Dream, The Smashing Pumpkins

White Wedding – Wedding Singer, Billy Idol

Boss Of Me – They Might Be Giants

Come dancing – The Kinks

Take It Easy My Brother Charles – Pure Brazil: Electric Samba Groove, Jorge Benjor

Sunny – Bobby Hebb

Highway Patrolman – Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen

Telephone Road – Steve Earle

What’s Happening Brother – What’s Going On, Marvin Gaye

Brother John – The Very Best of the Neville Brothers, The Neville Brothers

Goodnight Sisters – Beautiful Thing, Sarah McGregor

Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – Funeral, The Arcade Fire

Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Alfie – Lily Allen

You Are My Sister (feat. Boy George) – I Am A Bird Now, Antony & The Johnsons

Next week: INSECTS & SPIDERS

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

SHELTER

This week’s theme is ostensibly about shelter which in the dictionary sense is a building. But it’s hard to express a real sense of bricks and mortar in a song. Let’s face it, do you learn anything about being in jail from Jailhouse Rock? Convincing songs about buildings, or shelters, are really songs about the people who find themselves in them, by design or not.

We started this week’s playlist with music’s most famous home away from home – Elvis Presley’s HEARTBREAK HOTEL. You’ll find it down at the end of Lonely Street. We followed with Lucinda Williams who gets a little bit of help from Elvis Costello. He’s a three-time loser and consequently she’s got a case of JAILHOUSE TEARS. The track is from the very excellent ‘Little Honey’ album.

The Rolling Stones’ GIMME SHELTER is usually associated with the Vietnam War (it was released on the 1969 album Let It Bleed). The lyrics, which speak of seeking shelter from a coming storm, painting a picture of devastation and disaster but it also talks of the power of love. We followed with a fantastic Irish singer, Mary Coughlan with a song about prostitution: THE HOUSE OF ILL REPUTE.

Aretha Franklin funks up Hal David’s lyric, “a-house-is-not-a-home” on THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT and we followed with The Temptations, who prove that even Motown wasn’t immune to the Psychadelic era with PSYCHEDELIC SHACK.

Can you believe that Bob Dylan has turned 69? Yikes. We wished him happy birthday for May 24 with SHELTER FROM THE STORM.  The Housemartins’ swansong was a song called BUILD,  about the widespread construction in the 1980s that spelt disaster for working-class communities.

A nice change of tone came from the gorgeous Julie London who wants you to COME ON A MY HOUSE. And she’s got candy. How good is that?

MANSION ON THE HILL is a Neil Young song from his 1990 album ‘Ragged Glory’. The clip is an absolute hoot. Enjoy.

Norwegian singer/songwriter, Ane Brun, who recently toured Europe with Peter Gabriel, sings a great song about shelter called  THE TREEHOUSE SONG. The Basement Jaxx song TAKE ME BACK TO YOUR HOUSE first appeared on their 2006 album ‘Crazy Itch Radio’. The album features Swedish popster Robyn among the guest vocalists. Another interesting video too:

Irma Thomas sent us a great message about the emotional refuge that a true friend can give you during hard times in the song SHELTER IN THE RAIN.  Jimi Hendrix sings about his house on the hill; He’s got a bad, bad feeling his baby don’t live there no more. But, as he so eloquently puts it, ‘That’s Ok cause I’ve still got my guitar”. The song is RED HOUSE.

Blur had a big hit with a song that tapped into a common ideal of escaping the rat race and living in a COUNTRY HOUSE.

SUGAR SHACK refers to a small building n which maple syrup is processed. Its also the name of a song written in 1962 by Keith McCormack and his aunt Fay Voss. It was a hit for Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs but I preferred to play the Ricky Nelson version.

Two songs that link houses with fire, at least metaphorically, are Natalie Merchant’s THIS HOUSE IS ON FIRE and  BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE by Talking Heads.

Arguably the most idiosyncratic song in the playlist this week would be Mmmmm… SKYSCRAPER I LOVE YOU by Underworld, otherwise known to their Mums as Karl Hyde and Rick Smith. Not quite Kraftwerk, but still lots of fun.

The Rapture put a cowbell to good use in their very catchy dance-punk number, HOUSE OF JEALOUS LOVERS:

Elvis Costello celebrated the amazing art deco Hoover factory, that welcomes drivers entering London on the Western Avenue, in HOOVER FACTORY. While David Byrne, revisiting themes from his Talking Heads days,  gave us GLASS, CONCRETE & STONE. It’s about a weary worker whose residence is “a house, not a home”. There’s that Hal David lyric again.

The ultimate shelter song for Byron Bay, with our own iconic lighthouse is, of course, THE LIGHTHOUSE SONG from Josh Pyke.

We finished the show on an upbeat note with the B-52s and LOVE SHACK. The song’s inspiration was a cabin in Georgia, complete with tin roof, where the band conceived “Rock Lobster”,  a single from their first album. B-52’s singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s, and the cabin existed until 2004, when it burned down in a fire.

The topic for next week’s show was requested some time ago by Nicole, but I’ve been waiting until I’m in the right mood. The theme is SEXY SONGS. Now I’m not suggesting that this is a playlist to have sex to. To be honest I don’t think I want to know what other people listen to in bed! Not all the songs will even be about sex, but they will have an erotic charge to them. And, yes, I know its all incredibly subjective but, hey, every week’s show is.  And I may just have a very interesting giveaway for you too. This is one that shouldn’t be missed!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

Heartbreak Hotel – The 50 Greatest Hits (Disc 1), Elvis Presley

Jailhouse Tears – Little Honey, Lucinda Williams (with Elvis Costello)

Gimme Shelter – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2], The Rolling Stones

The House of Ill Repute – Mary Coughlan

The House That Jack Built – 20 Greatest Hits, Aretha Franklin

Psychedelic Shack – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations [Disc 2], The Temptations

Shelter From The Storm – Blood On The Tracks, Bob Dylan

Build – The Beautiful South & The Housemartins, The Housemartins

Come On -A My House – Swing Me An Old Song, Julie London

Rock House – Ultra Lounge, The Ernie Freeman Combo

Mansion On The Hill – Ragged Glory, Neil Young

The Treehouse Song – Ane Brun

Take Me Back To Your House – Triple J 14, Basement Jaxx

Shelter in the Rain – After the Rain, Irma Thomas

Red House – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Jimi Hendrix

Country House – Blur

Sugar Shack – Ricky Nelson

This House Is on Fire – Motherland, Natalie Merchant

Burning Down The House – Classic MTV – Class of 1983, Talking Heads

Mmm.. Skyscraper I Love You  –  Underworld

House of Jealous Lovers – Echoes, The Rapture

Glass, Concrete & Stone – Grown Backwards, David Byrne

Hoover Factory – Get Happy!! Elvis Costello

The Lighthouse Song – Triple J Hottest 100, Vol. 16 [Disc 2], Josh Pyke

Love Shack – B-52s

Next week: SEXY 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


DEAD MUSICIANS’ CLUB

I’m writing this with a slight hangover. Last night was BayFM’s trivia fundraiser on the theme of The Dead Musicians Club. Great night had by all. I loved the theme so much that I organised this week’s show around the same topic. And, let’s face it, a little bit of outrageous promotion for the event didn’t hurt either. And if you are wondering, I teamed up with the lovely Andy and we dressed as Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungeon.

Trying to fit all my favourite musicians into the two hour slot was, of course, impossible. But I had a good go at it. First up it was Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions with PEOPLE GET READY. Mayfield died in 1999 after 10 years of ill health due to being paralysed after an onstage accident. His music continues to be part of hip-hop’s DNA. Rappers like Jay-Z and Snoop Dog have sampled his lyrics and its reported that his estate receives five sample requests a month, with each one fetching up to $350,000. So Curtis, or at least his estate, isn’t doing too badly.

In order to fit as many of the artists that I could into the line-up it was necessary to occasionally play a duet. And, I ask you, is there any better than Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong? Ella died in 1996 and is widely considered one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Louis Armstrong passed away in 1971. His influence extends way beyond jazz music. By the end of his career in the 1960’s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.The duet I chose was DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME.

Both Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline died in plane crashes and both were very young at the time of their passing. They continue to influence country, rock and pop music to this day. We played LEAVIN’ ON YOUR MIND from Patsy Cline and CRYIN’ WAITIN’ HOPIN’ from Buddy Holly. Oldies, but goodies.

Wilson Pickett was known for his influence on R&B, rock n roll and soul. Is there a better dance floor filler than his rendition of DEVIL WITH THE BLUE DRESS ON? No way.

Two artists who found the fame game just a bit too difficult are Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and singer/songwriter Nick Drake.  Both committed suicide while still very young.  At the time of Cobain’s death in 1994 he was worth less than $1 million but future royalties have been valued at over $100 million. Drake failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, however his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. He now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. He died in 1974. We played Drake’s FRUIT TREE, a request from Anthony, and Nirvana’s COME AS YOU ARE. Here’s a clip of Nirvana performing unplugged in New York in the early 90’s:

Naturally I couldn’t do a show about dead musicians without including Michael Jackson. We chose ROCK WITH YOU from the Off the Wall album. After his death in 2009 Jackson became the best-selling artist of the year, selling over 31 million albums worldwide. He named James Brown “his greatest inspiration”. So it was fitting that we played I FEEL GOOD from Brown as well.  He died on Xmas Day 2006 due to complications from pneumonia.

It’s a myth, you know, that Mama Cass Elliott died chocking on a peanut butter sandwich. The real story is that she died of a heart attack after performing back-to-back concerts in London in 1974. She died in the same flat in Mayfair, (on loan from Harry Nilsson), that the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die in, a little over four years later. I played Elliot’s great version of the Buddy Holly classic, WORDS OF LOVE and followed with a song for Rolling Stones founder, and multi-instrumentalist, Brian Jones. It’s one that showcased Jones’ skill on the side guitar:  LITTLE RED ROOSTER.

Lynard Skynard came to worldwide recognition in 1973 before three members and one road crew member died in a plane crash in 1977.  Keyboardist Billy Powell died in 2009, aged 56, from a heart attack.  Of its original members, only Gary Rossington remains as part of the present line-up. We followed with another good ol’ Southern boy you may have heard of: cultural icon Elvis Presley with BURNING LOVE.

Bob Marley, who passed away in 1981, had to wait for death to make him a U.S. superstar. The week he was diagnosed with cancer he played Madison Square Garden — opening for the Commodores. Fellow Wailer, Peter Tosh, was on the brink of a successful solo career when he was murdered in 1987. I played the Wailers version of  GET UP, STAND UP, with both Peter Tosh and Bob Marley on the track.

We said goodbye to both Malcolm McLaren and  Sid Vicious with the Sex Pistols’ anthem GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. Here’s what all the fuss was about, way back then:

While punk rock stirred things up, for a while, R&B never went away. Marvin Gaye’s career spanned the entire history of Rhythm & Blues from 50’s doo wop to 80’s contemporary soul. He was murdered by his own father after an argument in 1984.  Otis Redding died in plane crash a month before his biggest hit was released. He was only 26. We listened to Marvin Gaye’s sublime WHAT’S GOIN’ ON followed by the song that would make Otis Redding’s estate worth more money than he ever saw when he was alive – SITTIN ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY.

If we’re talking punk, however, I have to say that my favourite band is The Clash. Lead singer and lyricist for the group, Joe Strummer, died suddenly in 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Highly intelligent and politically pro-active, he was the first artist to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral. Onya Joe. Check out this clip of LONDON CALLING:

Two great artists who died of cancer are  60’s icon, Dusty Springfield, and the incredible Ray Charles. For Dusty we played the power ballad, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME, and for Ray Charles, the very appropriate, HARD TIMES.

I’ve played Johnny Cash’s amazing cover of the Nine Inch Nails track, HURT, before but it couldn’t be left out of a show like this. He recorded it in 2002 and it was one of Cash’s final releases before his death in 2003. The  video for the song is regarded as his epitaph.

One of my sentimental favourites is Freddy Mercury who died of pneumonia resulting from AIDS in 1991. As lead singer of rock group Queen he also composed many of their hits. He had a successful solo career too and I chose one of those recordings for this week’s show: THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS.

Another of my favourites is Tim Buckley and one of my favourite albums is his Greetings from LA.  Buckley died at 28 from a drug overdose with nothing more than a guitar, amplifier and a lot of debt to his name. His legacy of 11 albums has rectified that somewhat, I hope. Hard to pick one track but we went with MOVE WITH ME.

Another victim of drug addiction was the pioneering Janis Joplin. She died at 27 from a heroin overdose and one of the last songs she recorded was a birthday greeting for John Lennon. The founder of the Beatles was assassinated in 1980, aged 40. So we started the set with Joplin’s CRY BABY and followed with Lennon’s HOW? from the Imagine album.

And finally, my favourite artist, dead or alive – Roy Orbison with his signature tune, PRETTY WOMAN.  This clip is from the Black & White Night DVD, a great video featuring Orbison and friends including Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Rait, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. Heaven. And for all things ‘Roy’ go to the website at: http://www.royorbison.com/

We wrapped the show up  with a great artist who passed away only a couple of days ago, at the ripe old age of 92. Lena Horne helped break down barriers for generations of performers. We played her signature tune, STORMY WEATHER from the 1943 film of the same name. It’s a sizzling performance. I want that movie for my collection!

And we still had time to fit in the very charismatic Jim Morrison and The Doors with RIDERS ON A STORM. Whew. Now I know that there are some glaring omissions. But it’s only a two hour show folks!

Next week I’ve been inspired by some postings on Facebook to create a show on SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS. Like Na-Na-Hey-Hey and Doo-Ron-Ron. That kind of thing. Love to hear your suggestions.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

People Get Ready – The Anthology 1961-1977, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions

Dream A Little Dream Of Me – Easy Listening, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Leavin’ On Your Mind – The Patsy Cline Story, Patsy Cline

Cryin’ Waitin’ Hopin’ – Buddy Holly

Devil With The Blue Dress On – Wilson Pickett

Come As You Are – Nirvana, Nirvana

Fruit Tree – Twentyfourseven Soundtrack, Nick Drake

I Feel Good –  James Brown

Rock With You (Single Version) – Off the Wall, Michael Jackson

Words of Love – Mama’s Big Ones, Mama Cass Elliot

Little Red Rooster – Rolling Stones

Summertime – Charlie Parker & Chet Baker

Sweet Home Alabama – Forrest Gump Soundtrack, Lynard Skynard

Burning Love – Elvis Presley

Get Up Stand Up – Back To Zion, Bob Marley & The Wailers

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

What’s Going On – The Big Chill soundtrack,  Marvin Gaye

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

London Calling – The Clash

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – The British Beat: Best Of The ’60s, Dusty Springfield

Hard Times – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Ray Charles

Hurt – American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

There Must Be More To Life Than This – The Very Best of Freddie Mercury, Freddie Mercury

Fever – Verve Remixed 3,  Adam Freeland & Sarah Vaughan

Move With Me – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley

Purple Haze – Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix

Cry Baby – Cry Baby (The Ultimate Collection), Janis Joplin

How? –  Lennon,  John Lennon

Oh, Pretty Woman –  Roy Orbison

Stormy Weather – Hollywood Musicals, Lena Horne

Riders on the storm – The Doors soundtrack, The Doors

Next week: SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS

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

MEMORY

Memories can haunt us, no matter how much we want to escape them. There are false memories, conflicting memories of the same event and memories that clash with the reality of the present. Thanks to mass media, memory isn’t something that only belongs to us as individuals. When we see scenes at the cinema or television or on DVDs over and over again, they become part of our collective memory. Even if you’ve never seen the film King Kong you know that there’s a scene where a big gorilla climbs up the Empire State Building with a human girl in his hand. And whenever a comedy show or film features a scene where someone is killed or threatened in a shower most people understand it’s a parody of Psycho. So mass media,  film and television in particular, have contributed hugely to a memory that we share with millions of other people.

Unfortunately, we remember melancholy and pleasure in equal measure. The concept of looking back in hindsight is also a bit complicated. It’s easy to write off youthful idealism as simply being naïve as Stevie Wonder did in our opening number YESTERME, YESTERYOU, YESTERDAY. According to Stevie it was all “a cruel and foolish game we used to play”. Well that’s how he remembers it anyway.

And talking of cruel, I can’t imagine anything worse than getting Alzheimer’s disease and Elvis Costello’s song VERONICA is all about that. It tells the story of an old lady who lives in a nursing home and is gradually losing her memory. It was inspired by Costello’s grandmother.

The Ramones want to know DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO? Has it ever gone away?

Collecting objects  that remind us of old times should bring back good memories, but that’s not always the case as Soft Cell tell it in MEMORABILIA. Sarah Vaughan would rather experience something that didn’t work out than never do anything at all in  I’D RATHER HAVE A MEMORY THAN A DREAM. The real classic of this triple play, however, was the Shangri-Las with their ode to a lost love affair: REMEMBER (WALKIN IN THE SAND). Here’s a great clip from the excellent “Songmakers Collection” DVD, with interviews with Mary Weiss and writer producer George ‘Shadow’ Morton about this track and their other hit, LEADER OF THE PACK.

Jurassic 5 dug deep into their memory banks for REMEMBER HIS NAME. As did Fall Out Boy for THNKS FR TH MMRS . The Zutons, REMEMBER ME is about those kind of  friends who seem to forget you once they are entrenched in a romantic relationship. Don’t you just hate that!

THOSE WERE THE DAYS is from Cream’s 1968 album Wheels of Fire. The album cover was designed by Australian artist Martin Sharpe and it won the the New York Art Directors Prize for best album cover in 1969. The sound on the album was characterised by a hybrid of blues, hard rock and psychdelic rock, combined with Eric Clapton’s blues guitar, Ginger Baker’s jazz-influenced drumming and the basslines and voice of Jack Bruce.

One of the most beautiful voices I’ve heard belongs to Sarah McLachlan. And one of my favourite songs of hers is one that I  first heard on the soundtrack to the film The Brothers McMullen. It’s called  I WILL REMEMBER YOU.

Otis Redding’s name is synonymous with the term ‘soul’ and we had to include his classic with I’VE GOT DREAMS TO REMEMBER. Redding died at the very early age of 26 but his memory is kept alive with the Youth Educational Dream Foundation and a very good website. Go to: http://www.otisredding.com/

British group Bloc Party look back regretfully on an opportunity for love that wasn’t realised in I STILL REMEMBER:

The Kinks wonder what ever happened to their childhood friend in  DO YOU REMEMBER WALTER? It’s from their album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

The Supremes reflected on the good and bad memories of a love that used to be in REFLECTIONS while Jimi Hendrix had only good memories of a past love, (he even wants her back!),  in REMEMBER.

Relationships that survive depend partly on shared memories, but those memories need constant topping up.  Indie rockers, Yo La Tengo document this well in OUR WAY TO FALL.

There was a fair bit of nostalgia in this week’s show, (well what did you expect?) and one of my faves was The Platters with REMEMBER WHEN. Also fitting the bill was Elvis Presley who seems somewhat confused in I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET.

Memories, daydreams, disconnected thoughts – they fill our minds in a never-ending rush. Our next song, THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND, evoked this beautifully, conveying the incredible weirdness of our thought processes. If you’re after nostalgia then what about Noel Harrison with the original version of the song that served the film The Thomas Crown Affair so well.

Ok back to recent memories. Jack Johnson wonders DO YOU REMEMBER? and P.M. Dawn are SET ADRIFT ON A MEMORY. Thanks to Lynden for suggesting that one and several others on our list today.

One of my favourite films deals with amnesia. Memento, starring Guy Pearce, and directed by Christopher Nolan, is a fascinating story about someone who can’t store new memories. A song about about the subject is I DON’T REMEMBER by Peter Gabriel.

Bob Dylan’s memory song is a love ballad from the Empire Burlesque album: I’LL REMEMBER YOU. And if its nostalgia that you’re after, consider MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS from Dean Martin. An oldie but a goodie, as they say.

I’ll never forget Michael Jackson with REMEMBER THE TIME from the Dangerous album. Another sad memory for me is Freddy Mercury singing THOSE WERE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES which many think was the song he dedicated to his fellow Queen members when he knew that he was dying.

Back to the 70’s and some Aussie based punk rock: remember The Saints and MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS?

We closed the show with a cover of a song that I swore I wouldn’t play this week, but this version is so sweet it had to make the cut: The Waifs with a little help from Clare Bowditch. They’re singing Frank Ifields I REMEMBER YOU.

This week’s theme on MEMORY segues nicely into next week’s topic. My computer crashed last week and I had to invest in a drive with a lot more memory to cope with all the songs that I collect for these shows. So next week its MACHINES, ROBOTS AND COMPUTERS. No Television or Radio songs please because you know they are a whole theme to themselves. and no modes of transport, for the same reason.  But any other gadget or gizmo is up for grabs.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist. All songs available on iTunes.

Yesterme Yesteryou Yesterday – Stevie Wonder

Veronica – Elvis Costello

Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio – The Ramones

Memorabilia – Soft Cell

I’d Rather Have a Memory Than a Dream – Sarah Vaughan

Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand) – The Shangri-Las

Remember his name – Jurassic 5

Thnks fr th Mmrs – Fall Out Boy

Remember Me – The Zutons

Those Were The Days – Cream

I Will Remember You – Sarah Mclachlan

I’ve Got Dreams To Remember – Otis Redding

I Still Remember – Bloc Party

Do You Remember Walter – The Kinks

Reflections – Diana Ross & the Supremes

Remember – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Our Way to Fall – Yo La Tengo

Remember When – The Platters

I Forgot to Remember to Forget – Elvis Presley

Do You Remember – Jack Johnson

The Windmills Of Your Mind – Noel Harrison

Set Adrift On Memory Bliss – P.M. Dawn

I Don’t Remember – Peter Gabriel

I’ll Remember You – Bob Dylan

Memories Are Made Of This – Dean Martin

Remember The Time – Michael Jackson

Memories Are Made of This – The Saints

Those Were The Days Of Our Lives – Queen

Remember You (feat. Clare Bowditch) –  The Waifs

Next week: MACHINES, ROBOTS & COMPUTERS

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

GOING OUT AND PARTYING

As a tribute to all the Capricorns celebrating their birthdays at the moment, (including me!), the theme this week was GOING OUT AND PARTYING. Some famous Capricorns include Elvis Presley, who would have turned 75 this week, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton… the list goes on. Oh, what amazing company I’m in!

We opened the show Pink’s GET THIS PARTY STARTED and if that song can’t get you in the party mood I don’t know what will. If you’ve never seen Pink perform live, you are really missing out. Here’s some footage from her show at the Wembley Arena. Enjoy.

Wanda Jackson also has the right attitude. Her song LET’S HAVE A PARTY was a hit for her in 1959, a year after Elvis Presley released it. I totally adore Louis Jordan and included two of his tracks this week. The first has a great clip to show you. Have a look at LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL :

The Theme Park party was off to a great start and the party continued with Santana’s INTERPLANETARY PARTY from the 2007 album, Ultimate Santana. But, I ask you, what’s a party without James Brown? One thing you can count on, he’s GONNA HAVE A FUNKY GOOD TIME.  Joe Jackson was also STEPPIN OUT and, as the Showstoppers explained, with their hit of 1968, it AIN’T NOTHIN BUT A HOUSE PARTY.

Loved Sam Cooke’s smooth rendition of WE’RE HAVING A PARTY but I have to admit that I was totally intrigued by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song title, GOING TO A GO-GO. I have no idea what a Go-Go is, but the song is a sure fire dance floor filler, so it has to be about a party, surely.

The Irish Rovers sound as if it was one hell of a get-together with their ditty WASN’T THAT A PARTY. It’s hard to find a full clip of the Rovers singing any song but here’s one that includes this catchy tune, which they used to open their 80’s television series “Party with the Rovers”. Take a peek:

Claudine Clark’s one-hit wonder of 1962, PARTY LIGHTS, stands out because she wrote the music and the lyrics herself, which was unusual for a female performer during that time.  Sung from the point of view of a teenage girl ordered to her room while her friends were out having a good time, “Party Lights” struck a chord and shot into the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts.

What’s the purpose of a party? Well, let’s face it life can be pretty serious a lot of the time, so getting together with your friends and celebrating the positive things in life can be a lot of fun. Although I can testify that the after effects don’t always make it worth the effort. But that’s just my hangover talking. I’m sure the wonderful Amos Milburn wouldn’t agree and he has a great song to prove it – LET’S HAVE A PARTY.

Friday night seems to be the favourite night of the week to go out, so I thought it was appropriate to include Lily Allen’s FRIDAY NIGHT and The Specials’ FRIDAY NIGHT, SATURDAY MORNING. Then Three Dog Night claimed that their MOMMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME. They had to find out the hard way that “This is the craziest party there could ever be”. Check out the clip from 1970:

We played PARTY TRAIN by the Dazz Band on our Train show but it deserved a second listen. Smiley Lewis followed with CALADONIA’S PARTY. Now anyone with a name like Caledonia deserves to have a party in her honour, don’t you think?

Bobby Darin was just sitting in his bath, minding his own business and gets out of the bath with just a towel around him. Now how did he know there was a party going on? That’s how he tells it anyway in SPLISH SPLASH.

ZZ Top know how to do party. They’re turning up the radio and having a PARTY ON THE PATIO. Lesley Gore, on the other hand, needs a bit of sympathy. As she tells it, ITS MY PARTY (and I’ll cry if I want to).

The Donnas give short shrift to gatecrashers on WHO INVITED YOU? And for my guilty pleasure it was Kiss: “and you say you wanna go for a spin, the party’s just begun, we’ll let you in, you drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy.” Yes, indeed, I WANNA ROCK AND ROLL.

Maybe the party lifestyle isn’t what its all cracked up to be. Not according to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, anyway, with PARTY GIRL or Marc Almond and Soft Cell with their reality check of a song, BEDSITTER.

I’m not convinced. Give me the optimisim of Michael Jackson’s OFF THE WALL or anything from the disco era, like Kool and the Gang’s CELEBRATION or Alicia Bridges with the party girl’s anthem, I LOVE THE NIGHLIFE. The song will forever be associated with the film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and who am I to change that? Check out the clip:

The Beastie Boys are ready to FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY. Excellent. Even Bob Dylan had a song for us about parties – MILLION DOLLAR BASH.

Time to finish the show and what better way than with the brilliant Blossom Dearie with THE PARTY’S OVER followed by the Beatles’ BIRTHDAY. Here’s a cute piece of animation created by Mery, for all the Capricorns out there.

I thought next week I might have to work off some of the birthday cake, so it’s a show more for the walkers, than the talkers. The theme is WALKING AND RUNNING. Any suggestions?

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Get This Party Started – Pink
Let’s Have A Party – Wanda Jackson
Let The Good Times Roll – Louis Jordan
Interplanetary Party – Santana
Gonna Have A Funky Good Time – James Brown
Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
Ain’t Nothin’ But a House Party – Showstoppers
Party Time (Soca Steel Drums) – Jimmy Buffett
We’re Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Going To A Go Go – Smokey Robinson And The Miracles
Wasn’t That A Party – Irish Rovers
Party Lights – Claudine Clark
Let’s Have A Party – Amos Milburn
Friday Night – Lily Allen
Friday Night, Saturday Morning – The Specials
Momma Told Me Not To Come – Three Dog Night
Party Train – The Dazz Band
Caldonia’s Party – Smiley Lewis
Splish Splash – Bobby Darin
House Party – Louis Jordan
Party On The Patio – ZZ Top
It’s My Party – Leslie Gore
Who Invited You – The Donnas
I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night – Kiss
Party Girl – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Bedsitter – Marc Almond & Soft Cell
Off the Wall – Michael Jackson
Celebration – Kool and the Gang
I Love the Nightlife – Alicia Bridges
Fight For Your Right To Party – Beastie Boys
Million Dollar Bash – Bob Dylan
The Party’s Over – Blossom Dearie
Birthday – The Beatles The Beatles
Next week: WALKING AND RUNNING

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

THE BIG ‘O’

Anyone who listens to the show on a regular basis knows that I adore Roy Orbison and this is why: First there’s the voice. It transcends generations by singing of universal longings that touch the heart. His voice sends quivers through my spine: part country, part rock and part pop, it’s a voice that reaches something approaching perfection.

Then there are the songs: a world defined by dreams yet rooted in reality, songs that teach us something about our own vulnerability. Songs of loss and desire and loneliness and, yes, songs about love.

Roy Orbison was born on April 23, 1936 in Vernon Texas,  the middle son of Orbie Lee Orbison, an oil well driller and car mechanic, and Nadine Shultz, a nurse. He was creating music as young as 6 or 7. We played interviews throughout the program, many from Roy himself and he covered his childhood, learning guitar from his father and uncle, his time at Sun Records, why he started wearing sunglasses on stage and whether he was really lonely, amongst other things. Rather than repeat all that here, let me remind you that you can listen to the Theme Park wherever you are by using your internet connection. Go to http://www.bayfm.org and press the listen button.   You should hear the show in real time via your iTunes or other media player. Theme Park airs on Tuesdays 2-4pm (that’s Sydney, Australia time).

So back to the music.  First up it was OOBIE DOOBIE, recorded with the Teen Kings in 1956. We followed with CLAUDETTE, a song about Orbson’s first wife, Claudette Frady. The track was recorded in 1958. Claudette died tragically in a motocycle accident in 1966. We followed with ONLY THE LONELY written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson and recorded by Orbison in 1960; it was his first major hit. Here he is performing in Australia in the 60’s:

Then it was a great triple play: BLUE ANGEL, I’M HURTIN’ and RUNNING SCARED. We also included the song LOVE HURTS,  originally recorded by the Everly Brothers in 1960. Roy Orbison’s version was issued as the B-side to RUNNING SCARED which was a #1 hit, in 1961. Here’s a rare clip of Roy and his band, The Candymen, taken from a Dutch Tv Show from 1965. The concert was from the Singer Concert Zaal in Laren, Holland, during their European tour.

We had to include the next three songs from the early sixties: CANDY MAN, DREAM BABY, (about the birth of his second son with Claudette)  and WORKING FOR THE MAN – a song about a Summer he worked in the Texan oil fields alongside his father.

By 1963 Orbison was touring extensively throughout the UK, Europe and Australia with The Beatles, The Stones and the Beach Boys. We played a  couple of love ballads from that  era: FALLING and IT’S OVER.

Roy also filled us in on his time, while on tour,  with the Rolling Stones and how PRETTY WOMAN influenced them to write Satisfaction. PRETTY WOMAN, of course, went on to be a big hit and was destined to become Orbison’s signature song. Here’s a great piece of kitch from the 70’s: An American TV variety show called Pink Lady and Jeff. Pink Lady was a popular singing duo from Japan brought to America for the show.  Comedian Jeff Altman was the cohost. Worth watching just to see Roy struggling to keep a straight face and also for the 70’s fashion.

I rarely dedicate a whole show to one performer. The only other time was a tribute to Michael Jackson. But, in my opinion, Orbison is one of the great rock and rollers: a forceful, yet gentle, voice capable of dynamic crescendos. He sang both heartbroken ballads and bluesy rock numbers, running up a formidable hit streak in the early Sixties. From the release of ONLY THE LONELY in 1960 to PRETTY WOMAN,  a span of four years, Orbison cracked the Top Ten nine times.

Orbison’s most memorable performances were lovelorn melodramas, in which he emoted in a brooding tremulous voice. The melancholy in his songs resonated with listeners of all ages.  IT’S OVER is one great example of that style. Another is CRYING. It was great to hear how he came to write that song and we listened to the version he re-recorded with kd lang in 1987.  It went on to win them a Grammy Award.

After his first wife Claudette’s death in 1966, Orbison threw himself into work, which included starring in the film THE FASTEST GUITAR ALIVE, and he continued to tour. In the late 1960s, however, music was very much a part of the psychedelic movement. Orbison felt lost, later saying “[I] didn’t hear a lot I could relate to so I kind of stood there like a tree where the winds blow and the seasons change, and you’re still there and you bloom again.”

During a tour of England in 1968 he received news that his home in Tennessee had burned down and his two eldest sons had died. The property was sold to Johnny Cash, who planted an orchard on it. On March 25, 1969, Orbison married his second wife, Barbara Jacobs, and they had two children of their own.

During the 70’s several artists released covers of Orbison’s songs that performed very well. LOVE HURTS was remade by Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris, and again by heavy metal band Nazareth and Sonny James sent ONLY THE LONELY to # 1 on the country music charts.

Linda Ronstadt covered BLUE BAYOU in 1977, which went to No. 3 and stayed on the charts for 24 weeks. And later that year, Orbison and Emmylou Harris won a Grammy Award for their duet THAT LOVIN’ YOU FEELIN’ AGAIN. WAYMORES BLUES is from the Class of 55 album with Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. While the album was in part a tribute to Elvis Presley, it was mainly a commemoration of those young performing hopefuls who came to Sun Records  in 1955 to make music in the new era o Rock and Roll.

During the 80’s Orbison participated in a number of movie soundtracks. We played two of the most prominent: LIFE FADES AWAY from the film Less Than Zero, starring Robert Downie Jnr and IN DREAMS, from the controversial film by David Lynch, BLUE VELVET.

Orbison’s return to the public eye really began in earnest in 1987 with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the taping of a tribute concert, Black and White Night. The concert featured such disciples as Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, kd lang and Bonnie Raitt and was produced by T. Bone Burnett. Here’s a clip from the DVD. The song is UPTOWN.

It was a great pleasure to include a 7 minute interview with members of the supergroup of all supergroups: THE TRAVELLING WILBURYS: Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison. The year was 1988. We also included the song, HANDLE WITH CARE, from the album The Travelling Wilburys Vol 1.

In the same year Orbison was recording a major comeback album, Mystery Girl. It was awaiting release when Orbison suddenly died of a heart attack on December 6, 1988.  The album was finalized for release in the weeks following his death through the collaborative efforts of several artists who were all friends and admirers. The album, MYSTERY GIRL, was named after the chorus from the track SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME, written for Orbison by U2’s Bono and The Edge.

The album was released posthumously in 1989 and would join Travelling Wilburys Vol 1 on the Billboard chart. The dual success meant that Roy Orbison joined Elvis Presley as the only two singers to simultaneously have two Top 5 albums on the Billboard chart posthumously, at that time. (This record has now been smashed by Michael Jackson who dominated the Billboard Top 10 albums when he passed away this year).

But back to Roy: Mystery Girl was extremely well received and went on to become the highest-charting album of his career. We took a listen to SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME and YOU’VE GOT IT from that album. Rather than show a performance clip, take a look at Bono and others talking about the writing and recording process of the album. Roy sings SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME as background to the story.

There was time for more of Roy commenting on how he would like to be remembered: “I’d just like to be remembered. If my contribution to the music scene brought someone some happiness or helped them keep things together, then that would be great.” A medley of some of Roy’s best loved tunes then closed the show: I DROVE ALL NIGHT, OH PRETTY WOMAN, LANA and HEARTBREAK RADIO.

When Elvis Presley stated that Roy Orbison is “The world’s greatest singer”, we know that he wasn’t kidding, that’s for sure.

Next week: We’re going back to THE SUMMER OF LOVE. Yes, its all love beads, incense, tambourines and the great music of the Summer of 67. Peace man.Contact me if you have any suggestions. Meanwhile, here is this week’s playlist:

Childhood – Roy Orbison Interview

Ooby Dooby – Roy Orbison Interview

Ooby Dooby  –  Roy Orbison

Claudette – Roy Orbison

Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison

Loneliness – Roy Orbison Interview

Blue Angel – Roy Orbison

I’m Hurtin’ – Roy Orbison

Running Scared – Roy Orbison

Love Hurts – Roy Orbison

Candy Man – Roy Orbison

Dream Baby – Roy Orbison

Working For The Man – Roy Orbison

Leah – Roy Orbison

Sunglasses – Roy Orbison

Mean Woman Blues – Roy Orbison

Falling – Roy Orbison

It’s Over – Roy Orbison

Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

Crying – Roy Orbison interview

Crying – Roy Orbison & kd lang

Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt

That Lovin’ You Feelin’ Again – Roy Orbison with Emmylou Harris

Waymore’s Blues – Roy Orbison with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins (Class of 55)

Life Fades Away – Roy Orbison

In Dreams – Roy Orbison

Uptown – Roy Orbison

Travelling Wilburys  interview

Handle With Care -Traveling Wilburys

She’s A Mystery To Me – Roy Orbison

You Got It – Roy Orbison

Being Remembered – Roy Orbison interview

Medley: I Drove All Night/Oh, Pretty Woman/Lana/Heartbreak Radio – Roy Orbison

Next week: SUMMER OF LOVE (1967)

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


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