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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 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

FATHERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone  – The Temptations 

Daddy’s Home – Shep & The Limelites

Tank Park Salute – Billy Bragg

My Father’s Waltz – Hem

Kooks – David Bowie

Sail To The Moon – Radiohead

Fortunate Son – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Old Man – Neil Young

My Father’s Eyes – Eric Clapton

Don’t Cry Daddy – Elvis Presley

Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross

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

Color Him Father  – The Winstons

Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown

Daddy – Julie London

Go Daddy-O – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Rattlesnakin’ Daddy – Hawkshaw Hawkins

Rockin’ Daddy O – The Heartbreakers 

Grand Old Dad – Fats Waller

Dreams of Our Fathers – Dave Matthews Band

Father Of Mine  – Everclear

Daddy’s Song – Harry Nillson

Beautiful Boy – John Lennon

Father and Daughter – Paul Simon

Tears In Heaven  – Eric Clapton

Bridge Over Troubled Waters – Roy Orbison & the Mavericks

Ships (That Pass In The Night) – Ian Hunter

My Old Man – Ian Dury & The Blockheads

Song For My Father – Horace Silver

Next week: BIRDS (the feathered variety).

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

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

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

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

 

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

RADIO

radio iconWhat I love about radio is the notion that while I’m listening to a song, whether its old or new, there are thousands of other listeners out there having the same experience. We probably don’t know each other but we’re connected on an intimate level.

So this week at the Theme Park we honoured RADIO. I reckon that most of the great radio songs were recorded when radio ruled supreme, (you know, way back then).  As one of my favourite New Zealand bands, Everclear, note: There was no VCR or DVD or World Wide Web dominating our attention and radio played a really important part in people’s lives. Even though the role of radio may be somewhat diminished today, one thing’s for sure: video did not kill the radio star! And as I was the one in charge, I allowed the Buggles to have their say, anyway.

The Ramones  opened the show with DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK N ROLL. We kept the nostalgia and  the party going with a great trio of oldies:  THOSE DJ SHOWS was written by the one and only Smokey Robinson for Patrice Holloway;  Sam Cooke sang WE’RE HAVING A PARTY and Chuck Berry told us that he loved listening to ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN on his radio. The Ramones were the precursors of punk and were incredibly influential. Take a look at them performing DO YOU REMEMBER ROCK N ROLL, live:

Everclear really appeal to me with their longing for the past on AM RADIO. The Selector offered up a nice piece of Ska revival with ON MY RADIO and then it was one for all the lovers tuning in. Regina Spektor’s  ON THE RADIO is spine-tingling stuff. The unlikely epiphany that takes place while she’s listening to Guns & Roses ‘November Rain’ on the radio is worth the price of the album Begin To Hope. This clip is from the Jonathon Ross Show, from the UK. A very funny guy, btw, worth catching his show as it is now screening in Australia.

The Buggles claimed that VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR. Not true of course, we’re still here and going strong! LL COOL J knows that because, as he says,  he CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT MY RADIO.

Harry Chapin is the king of schmaltz and W.O.L.D is no exception. That one was dedicated to all the morning announcers at BayFM. Charlie Dore was a bit of a one-hit wonder with PILOT OF THE AIRWAVES and then it was the Patron Saint of BayFMs Theme Park, Roy Orbison, with HEARTBREAK RADIO from his King of Hearts album. 

Grandpa JonesThe Grandpa Jones track TURN YOUR RADIO ON, was recorded in the mid 60’s by Louis Marshall Jones.  He adopted his nickname Grandpa when he was performing at a radio station in the 30’s and an announcer told him that he was like a grouchy old grandpa first thing in the morning. The name stuck. Ah the power of the radio announcer. And then in complete contrast it was The Clash with THIS IS RADIO CLASH and Wall of Voodoo with MEXICAN RADIO.

What better way to follow a God-fearing classic, some timeless punk and a dose of new wave than with a cheeky number from the very eclectic Scissor Sisters? The song?  TITS ON THE RADIO. (Oops did I day that. Oh well. The Devil made me do it). 

Last WaltzThe Band and Van Morrison performed CARAVAN from the soundtrack to The Last Waltz. The documentary of The Band’s last concert in 1978 was filmed by Martin Scorsese and is considered one of the greatest concert films ever. And if you’ve never seen it, the DVD should be readily available. Highly recommended. 

Whatever happened to Autograph? Loved their 1984 hit, TURN UP THE RADIO.  That catchy bit of rock was followed by Elvis Costello bemoaning the corporate beast that is commercial radio with RADIO, RADIO and The Modern Lovers with ROADRUNNER.

Warren Zevon got a little help from Stevie Nicks with MOHAMMED’S RADIO and then it was Queen with the classic RADIO GA GA. The brilliant clip features scenes from Fritz Lang’s 1927 film MetropolisFreddie Mercury’s solo song ‘Love Kills’ was used in Giorgio Moroder’s  restored version of the film, and in exchange Queen were granted the rights to use footage from it in their ‘Radio Ga Ga’ video. However, Queen had to buy performance rights to the film from the communist East German government, which was the copyright holder at the time. Take a look:

I thought I’d go out on a rather melancholy note, just because its a beautiful song, and I do have a soft spot for the Carpenters: YESTERDAY ONCE MORE.

radio cartoonNext week get ready to Accentuate the Positive in a show dedicated to OPTIMISM! I went to a party the other night and this was a challenge put to me by my friend Susie D. So Susie, next week’s show is for you. Everyone else: Get your thinking caps on and send some suggestions. 

Meanwhile here is this week’s complete playlist:

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

Those DJ Shows – Patrice Holloway

We’re Having A Party – Sam Cooke

Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry

AM Radio – Everclear

On My Radio – The Selector

On The Radio – Regina Spektor

Radio – The Corrs

Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles

i can’t live without my radio – LL Cool J

W.O.L.D. (Original Studio Version) – Harry Chapin

Pilot Of The Airwaves – Charlie Dore

On the Radio – Donna Summer

Turn Your Radio On – Grandpa Jones

This Is Radio Clash – The Clash

Mexican Radio – Wall of Voodoo

Tits On The Radio – Scissor Sisters

Caravan (live – The Last Waltz) – The Band & Van Morrison

You Turn Me On (I’m A Radio) (1972) – Joni Mitchell

FM (No Static At All) – Steely Dan

Radio Radio  – Elvis Costello

Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers

Turn Up The Radio – Autograph

Mohammed’s Radio – Warren Zevon (and Stevie Nicks)

Radio Ga Ga – Queen

Yesterday Once More – The Carpenters

Next week: OPTIMISTIC SONGS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy on BayFM’s Theme Park, Tuesdays 2-4pm, (Sydney Time). Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio 3:52 The Ramones Shrek OST Punk Rock 4 12/06/09 9:10 AM
Those DJ Shows 2:32 Patrice Holloway Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan (Disc 2) 60’s Soul Pop 5 12/06/09 9:24 AM
We’re Having A Party 2:27 Sam Cooke R&B 1 13/06/09 6:12 PM
Roll Over Beethoven 2:25 Chuck Berry Hits Of The 50s Rock 5 12/06/09 9:26 AM
AM Radio 3:56 Everclear Songs From An Amercian Movie AlternRock 7 12/06/09 9:30 AM
On My Radio 3:13 The Selector Ska revival 3 12/06/09 9:32 AM
On The Radio (2006) 3:22 Regina Spektor Begin To Hope Alternative 3 13/06/09 4:47 PM
Radio 4:51 The Corrs Pop 2 13/06/09 4:52 PM
Video Killed the Radio Star 4:11 The Buggles The Age of Plastic Alternative 1 13/06/09 6:25 PM
i can’t live without my radio 5:29 LL Cool J The Pitchfork 500 Rap 3 13/06/09 5:02 PM
WOLD (Original Studio Version) 5:16 Harry Chapin Country 4 13/06/09 5:07 PM
Pilot Of The Airwaves 3:20 Charlie Dore The 80’s Pop Explosion Pop 3 13/06/09 5:10 PM
Heartbreak Radio 2:59 Roy Orbison The Soul Of Rock And Roll (Box Set) Rock 3 13/06/09 5:13 PM
On the Radio 4:04 Donna Summer Endless Summer Soul and R&B
Turn Your Radio On 3:00 Grandpa Jones Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan Country 8 13/06/09 5:30 PM
This Is Radio Clash 4:10 The Clash Punk Rock 3 13/06/09 1:21 PM
Mexican Radio 4:10 Wall of Voodoo Call of the West Alternative 4 13/06/09 1:25 PM
Tits On The Radio 3:18 Scissor Sisters Sissor Sisters electro 2 13/06/09 1:39 PM
Caravan (live – The Last Waltz) 6:02 The Band & Van Morrison The Last Waltz Rock 1 11/06/09 6:55 PM
You Turn Me On (I’m A Radio) (1972) 2:40 Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell Rock 7 13/06/09 1:54 PM
FM (No Static At All) 4:47 Steely Dan A Decade of Steely Dan Pop/Rock
Radio Radio 3:08 Elvis Costello The Very Best of Elvis Costello (1 of 2) Rock 5 13/06/09 5:17 PM
Roadrunner 4:06 The Modern Lovers Theme Time Radio Hour with Your Host Bob Dylan (Disc 2) Punk 5 13/06/09 1:44 PM
Turn Up The Radio 4:37 Autograph Sign in Please Rock
Mohammed’s Radio 3:40 Warren Zevon (and Stevie Nicks) Rock
Radio Ga Ga 5:43 Queen “Queen – The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III” Rock
Yesterday Once More 3:57 The Carpenters The Greatest Popsongs Of The Century Vol 1 Pop 1 13/06/09 5:22 P

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