Hello there! Lyn is taking a break this week and asked us to fill in for her. My name is Bunny and my partner in crime is Brian. We’re volunteers at BayFM. I’m head of the Blonde Joke Division and Chairperson of the Funny Hat Task Force and Brian is Vice-President of Political Humour and Small Farm Animals.
We were very excited when Lyn asked us to actually present a show this week! So after fastening our seat belts, we made sure to keep our arms and legs inside the BayFM vehicle and we were off with a show on FUNNY SONGS.
What better way to open the show than with the kings of comedy, Monty Python, and THE LUMBERJACK SONG.
We know that one person’s idea of comedy heaven is another’s version of musical hell but we did our best to make up a playlist that Lyn would be proud of. We reckon that there was a bit of something for everyone in it. Lots of songs had to be omitted because they were a little too naughty for the timeslot. One that made us chuckle, and was clean as a whistle to boot, came from The Offspring. They have a go at the “wannabe gangsta” or “wangsta”, as they call it, who’s wrapped up in hip-hop culture – not because he truly loves or understands it, but because it’s trendy. Here’s PRETTY FLY FOR A WHITE GUY:
If you are looking for something just a little risque, then you may like Mighty Sparrow’s FRAID PUSSY BITE ME. It’s witty and ironic and just a little bit bad.
For straight out satire, together with a great jazz band, look to The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. On BIG SHOT they parody Raymond Chandler: “She had the hottest lips since Hiroshima”. It has to be one of the best lines ever. Equally briliant are the hilarious New Zealand duo, Flight of the Conchords. They gave us some folk’n’b jamming on BUSINESS TIME. Lyn’s posted this video before, so we won’t do that again.
Something a little more subtle, with a great Latin style song, to boot, is the clever and cruizy Kirsty McColl with IN THESE SHOES? That one was dedicated to Victoria. Byron Bay has a lot of SENSITIVE ARTISTS living up here, so King Missile had a perfect song for them. Just in case some of those artists are taking themselves too seriously (really?) then this song may just put life into perspective for them.
If you’re a Facebook addict, you might want to also take a listen to ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME, from Kate Miller Heidke. Now we went to great expense to bleep out all the swear words on this one. That’s how dedicated we were to bringing you our favourite FUNNY SONGS. Ok, the truth is that Lyn had already done this for another show, but it was well worth repeating.
Gotta love Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) with their ‘mock rock’ music. Check out TRIBUTE:
The brilliant Rodney Dangerfield told us how he never gets a break on RAPPIN RODNEY: “I Don’t Get No Respect!” He died in 2004 and his headstone reads simply, “Rodney Dangerfield…. there goes the neighbourhood.”
Lemonhead Evan Dando reveals a flair for comedy on THE OUTDOOR TYPE and we followed with a very silly song by a band with a very silly name: EVERYBODY WALK THE DINOSAUR from Was, (Not Was).
Here’s Fats Waller who’s out to prove that he’s an incredibly rude date on YOUR FEETS TOO BIG. Recorded in the late 1930’s, here’s some rare footage – we think from 1942:
Brian is a huge TISM fan. The name is an acronym of This Is Serious Mum. They’re known for their hilarious lyrics and Brian was out to prove that they work as poetry, not just as song fodder. A great example is their song LEO’S TOLTOY. Check out the lyrics here. It’s off the album, Hot Dogma, released in 1990. Unfortunaely no video clips of them performing this particular track so here’s an interview they did when they were promoting another of their albums, The White Albun.
I’m sure that it wasn’t in reponse to Brian’s poetry reading, but Screamin Jay Hawkins sang CONSTIPATION BLUES. “Yeah let it go, let it go, let it go.” It was probably the closest we got to toilet humour, because we’re way too sophisticated for that, we assure you.
So a couple of tunes that we reckon are of a more refined nature are, firstly, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s KARMA SUTRA and then the brilliant Tim Minchin with INFLATABLE YOU. Here he is performing at a benefit at the Royal Albert Hall in London:
Regular contributor Charlotte requested a beauty: The Bedroom Philosopher with NORTHCOTE, otherwise known as SO HUNGOVER. Thanks Charlie!
Flight of the Conchords deserved at least two songs in the list (we would have done a whole show of their songs!). Crazy funny is HIPHOPAPOTAMUS V RHYMENOCEROUS, which has a go at all the rappin’ and rhymin’ out there.
Comedy icon Peter Sellers does various versions of classic rock songs. One of the most bizarre is UNCHAINED MELODY. That was followed by another great suggestion from Charlotte, The Grand Spectacular with the latest i-Tube sensation, BEING A DICKHEAD’S COOL. Yeah “we’re having new age fun with a vintage feel.” Brilliant.
We owed it to everyone to finish up with a joke. And because I am BayFM’s Head of the Blonde Joke Division, here’s mine: How do you keep a blonde busy for hours? Write “Please turn over” on both sides of a piece of paper. Boom Boom.
Time for two last songs before we had to vacate the studio: First up, Monty Python’s ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE and then it was one for Hudson who hosts Postmodern Backlash on BayFM: another track from Melbourne band The Bedroom Philosopher: I’M SO POST MODERN.
Lyn wants you to know that next week’s show will feature a songlist about CALIFORNIA so, if you want to request a particular song, leave her a message right here on the blog. Thanks!
Here’s this week’s complete playlist:
Lumberjack song – Monty Python
Pretty Fly for a White Guy – Americana, The Offspring
I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song on the Radio – The Final Rip Off, Monty Python
Fraid Pussy Bite Me – Renaissance, Mighty Sparrow
Big Shot – Cornology [Disc 1], Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Business Time – Flight of the Conchords
In These Shoes? – Tropical Brainstorm, Kirsty McColl
Sensitive Artist – Fluting on the Hump, King Missile
Are You F_cking Kidding Me (radio edit) – Live At the Hi-Fi, Kate Miller-Heidke
Tribute – Tenacious D, Tenacious D
Peter Sellers sings George Gershin – EMI Comedy Classics, Peter Sellers
Rappin’ Rodney – Rodney Dangerﬁeld
The Outdoor Type – The Tao of Steve Soundtrack, The Lemonheads
Everybody Walk the Dinosaur – What Up, Dog?, Was (Not Was)
Your Feet’s Too Big – The Late ’30s, Fats Waller
Constipation Blues –Live at the Olympia, Paris 1998, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Kama Sutra – Cornology [Disc 1], Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
Inﬂatable You – Darkside, Tim Minchin
Northcote (So Hungover) – Songs from the 86 Tram, The Bedroom Philosopher
Daffy’s Rhapsody – Mel Blanc
Kyle’s Mom’s a B**ch – South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, South park
Hiphopapotamus v Rhymenocerous – HBO One Night Stand, Flight of The Conchords
Unchained Melody – EMI Comedy Classics, Peter Sellers
Being A D******d’s Cool – The Grand Spectacular
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life –The Life of Brian, Monty Python
I’m So Post Modern – The Bedroom Philosopher
You may be surprised at the scope of this week’s topic because when it comes to Elvis Presley, well nearly everyone’s got an opinion. The iconic nature of Elvis Presley in music and popular culture, has often made him a subject of, or a benchmark, in numerous songs. We launched the show with CALLING ELVIS by Dire Straits. Written by Mark Knopler and released in 1991, the song is about an Elvis fan that can’t believe that Elvis Presley is dead. Based on some of the bizarre ‘sightings’ over the years, I fear he is not alone.
A song from one of my favourite films followed: Public Enemy’s groundbreaking FIGHT THE POWER from the soundtrack of DO THE RIGHT THING, directed by Spike Lee in 1989. Like the film, the song broke at a crucial period in America’s struggle with race. Unabashedly political, FIGHT THE POWER was confrontational in the way that great rock has always been. It attacks a whole roster of American icons including Elvis and John Wayne in what amounts to a virtual flag burning. Because who better embodies the American ideal than the King? The song goes so far as to call Elvis racist. I don’t agree with that. But what I do know from the National Archives is that in 1970 Elvis wrote a six-page letter to Richard Nixon asking him to make him a ‘Federal Agent-At-Large’ in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. And amongst the gifts that Elvis presented to the then President was a Colt-45 pistol. So what do we make of all this? Maybe only that, like a lot of his countrymen, Elvis was a misguided patriot who defended the nation’s order – an order from which blacks, in particular, had been routinely barred. The irony, of course, is that Elvis was the first artist to successfully blend black and white music: country music and the blues. And didn’t he do it well?
It was time for a change of tone: The very whimsical and wonderful Kirsty McColl with THERE’S A GUY WORKS DOWN THE CHIP SHOP SWEARS HE’S ELVIS. The song made an appearance on the FAMOUS PEOPLE show, but definitely deserved another spin. We followed with Richard Thompson’s FROM GALWAY TO GRACELAND.
Robbie Williams’ ADVERTISING SPACE is a song not only about Elvis but, also, about the price of fame. Emmylou Harris followed with BOY FROM TUPELO. In case you weren’t aware Elvis was born in Tupelo Mississipi on January 8, 1935. And then it was the great Roy Orbison with HOUND DOG MAN.
Living Colour funked it up with their critique of the tabloids. The song ELVIS IS DEAD ups the ante with an appearance by Little Richard. Check it out.
We dived into the second hour of the program with Ann Margret singing the title song of the film BYE BYE BIRDIE. Based on the stage musical of the same name, the story was inspired by Elvis Presley being drafted into the US Army in 1957. Jesse Pearson played the role of teen idol Conrad Birdie, whose character’s name is a wordplay on another singer of the era, Conway Twitty. The film is credited with making Ann-Margret a superstar during the mid-1960s, leading to her appearing with Elvis Presley in Viva Las Vegas in 1964.
A couple of great songs were suggested to me by BayFM’s very own Cowboy Sweetheart, Carrie D. First up, Bap Kennedy with GLADYS & VERNON about Elvis’s parents and the night that Elvis was born. And then it was the great Waylon Jennings with the very entertaining NOBODY KNOWS.
I absolutely adore BLACK VELVET by Allanah Myles and have played that before. But, hey, when a song’s as good as this one it deserves a replay!
U2’s song ELVIS ATE AMERICA illustrates the many personas of Elvis, both good and bad. And then it was the romantically delusional Scouting For Girls with ELVIS ISN’T DEAD: “Elvis isn’t dead ’cause I heard him on the radio….. and you’re coming back to me.” Yeah, sure guys.
Time to get serious: First up, Kate Bush with her hit song about Elvis – KING OF THE MOUNTAIN. And then, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds transported us into a disturbing world with their song about the night that Elvis was born. Elvis was a twin but his brother was still-born. The song is TUPELO from the album THE FIRSTBORN IS DEAD. Here’s the totally mesmerising clip:
John Fogarty likens Elvis to the BIG TRAIN (FROM MEMPHIS). Neil Young reminded us that it’s “better to burn out than to fade away “, with his song MY, MY, HEY HEY.
Another of my faves followed: Cowboy Junkies with BLUE MOON REVISITED, otherwise known as SONG FOR ELVIS. And then it was Paul Simon’s song about travelling to Elvis Presley’s home, GRACELAND, with the Everly Brothers helping out on vocals. Don’t have a clip with the Everlys in it, but you can’t do much better than this concert performance of the song in Zimbabwe. Enjoy.
There was time for a little more mjusic dedicated to Elvis before signing off and what better than ELVIS HAS JUST LEFT THE BUILDING by the one and only Frank Zappa. And, of course, I had to play some of the King himself so we went out with BURNIN’ LOVE. Here’s what all the fuss is about:
Next week’s show will be dedicated to the patron saint of Theme Park, Roy Orbison, who died 21 years ago this December 6. So songs by Roy Orbison, The Travelling Wilburys, duets with Roy and covers of Roy Orbison songs. Anything connected to Roy Orbison qualifies. Personally I can’t wait!
Here’s this week’s playlist:
Hello thrillseekers! One of my regular listeners contacted me to say that after tuning into the show each week they felt as if they had been on a rollercoaster. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be a compliment but, hey, it’s not called Theme Park for nothing!! What I love about a program that investigates a different theme each week is that it necessitates me listening to music that I wouldn’t have otherwise. This week’s show did that for me with all kinds of songs about shoes – from sneakers to high heels, boots and shoes of every colour. But, more importantly, it took me on a musical trip that stretched from jazz and blues right through to hip-hop – and I loved every minute of it. So, this is how this week’s ride went:
We opened the show with BETTY LOU’S GOT A NEW PAIR OF SHOES by John Caferty & The Beaver Brown Band. They played the music on the Eddie and the Cruisers film soundtrack. I don’t think it was a great movie but the soundtrack did very well. And then it was one of my favourite tracks of the show: Kirsty McColl with IN THESE SHOES? Kirsty sadly passed away in a controversial accident a few years ago. Here she is appearing on a UK television program in 2000.
Some great funk followed with STEPPIN IN HER I. MILLER SHOES from Betty Davis, (ex wife of Miles Davis). Now if you haven’t heard of the I. Miller Shoe Company let me enlighten you. Israel Miller started his career as a designer and maker of shoes for the theatrical profession in New York. The I. Miller Shoe Company took over a large building in Times Square that he had remodelled in 1926 with decorative sculptures on the building’s façade. The building was a tribute to the theatrical profession with statues depicting Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller and Mary Pickford. The store’s slogan, (and I love this), was “The Show Folks Shoe Shop Dedicated to Beauty in Footware.” Another tidbit: In the mid 1950’s the I. Miller Shoe Company hired artist Andy Warhol on a retainer as their chief illustrator. You can still find examples of their shoes for sale on sites such as E-Bay and they, and the catalogues, are highly sought after.
Adam Ant sang GOODY TWO SHOES: “don’t drink, don’t smoke, goody, goody two shoes”. My guess is that Adam Ant is miles away from being a ‘goody two shoes’ but that’s what makes the song so memorable I guess. Check out this wonderfully kitch clip from the Solid Gold TV show of 1982. Ten points to Adam for the dance moves.
The Gorillaz impressed with GET THE COOL SHOE SHINE and then it was NEW SHOES by the very gorgeous Paolo Nutini from his 2007 album, These Streets: “Hey, I put some new shoes on, And suddenly everything is right, I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody’s smiling, It’s so inviting…”. Yes, Paolo I couldn’t agree more. Buying a new pair of shoes is the answer to all the world’s problems. Well, it’s as good a theory, as any, for being a shoe-a-holic, so I’ll stick with it. Here he is performing the song live at Bush Studios in the UK. Very talented…. and good looking too, which can’t hurt.
One of the defining tracks of Acid Rock was Traffic’s HOLE IN MY SHOE, so that got a play. And then it was time for some Blues and you can’t get better than Ruthie Foster singing DEATH CAME A-KNOCKIN’ (TRAVELLIN’ SHOES), Joe South & the Believers with the classic, WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES and Bobby Blue Bland with TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES.
My discovery this week was an album called Van Lear Rose. This was a collaboration between Loretta Lynn and Jack White of the White Stripes. It’s a Grammy award-winning album that was intended as a musical experiment, blending the styles of Lynn and White. The title refers to Lynn’s origins as the daughter of a miner working the Van Lear coal-mines. Until this week I have to confess that I hadn’t heard of the album but I am now a big fan. I played LITTLE RED SHOES – an outstanding track spoken, not sung, by Lynn. Amazing.
A very young Roy Orbison covered Carl Perkins’ BLUE SUEDE SHOES with his band, The Teen Kings, and then Robert Parker cranked out a hit from the 60s called BAREFOOTIN’. Graham Parker and The Rumour appear to know all about SOUL SHOES and the Presidents of the United States have a thing for PUFFY LITTLE SHOES, whatever they are….
I’m a big R&B fan and adore Chuck Willis’ rendition of HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES and Tommy Tucker’s HIGH HEEL SNEAKERS, so they had to make the list. And then Patti Griffin dedicated her song, BURGUNDY SHOES, to her Mother. We followed that with the Jenny Lewis track LET MY SHOES LEAD ME FORWARD from her terrific 2005 album Love and Youth. Here’s the clip, an animation, featuring 500 pairs of shoes. It was directed by Johannes Nyholm, Perisak Snalls and Andreas Nilsson. Brilliant fun.
I’m a new convert to Hip-Hop, (let’s face it, its not my era!) but when Rapper Slug from Atmosphere sings: “Those are your shoes, these are my shoes, we’ve got issues”, it does speak to me. Yes, we all know that the right or wrong shoe can define a relationship. The song’s name? SHOES (of course).
I couldn’t omit the fabulous Nancy Sinatra from the list and THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING brought back lots of memories. And it was great to discover that MAXWELL SMART is still talking into his shoe-phone when we played a nice little extract from Get Smart.
Ella Fitzgerald contributed the very cute GOTTA PEBBLE IN MY SHOE, Paul Kelly told us that YOU CAN PUT YOUR SHOES UNDER MY BED, (I bet he says that to all the girls), and the very lovely Katie Melua sang a great ballad – BLUE SHOES.
Steely Dan’s song BAD SNEAKERS is just as much about Pina Coladas as it is about shoes. Elvis Costello, apparently, is into RED SHOES. Here’s the Buddy Holly look-alike belting out RED SHOES on Top of the Pops in 1977. Loving the comments superimposed towards the end of the song. Take a look.
The Disco era wouldn’t have been complete without our last song this week: KC and the Sunshine Band with BOOGIE SHOES. A suitably upbeat finale that had us all up dancing.
Here’s the complete playlist:
Betty Lou’s Got A New Pair Of Shoes – John Caferty & The Beaver Brown Band
In These Shoes? – Kirsty McColl
Two Shoes – The Cat Empire
Steppin In Her I Miller Shoes – Betty Davis
Walk In My Shoes Feat Lupe Fiasco – Emily King
mr bowling shoe giver outer – Vintage radio commercial
Goody Two Shoes – Adam Ant
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
Get The Cool Shoe Shine – Gorillaz
New Shoes – Paolo Nutini
Hole In My Shoe – Traffic
Take off Your Shoes – Bobby Blue Bland
Death Came A-Knockin’ (Travelin’ Shoes) – Ruthie Foster
Walk A Mile In My Shoes – Joe South & The Believers
Little Red Shoes – Loretta Lynn
Blue Suede Shoes – Roy Orbison
Barefootin – Robert Parker
Soul Shoes – Graham Parker & The Rumour
Puffy Little Shoes – The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes – Chuck Willis
Hi-Heel Sneakers – Tommy Tucker
Burgundy Shoes – Patty Griffin
Let My Shoes Lead Me Forward – Jenny Wilson
Maxwell Smart Clip from Get Smart
These Boots Are Made For Walking – Nancy Sinatra
Shoes – Atmosphere
Gotta Pebble In My Shoe – Ella Fitzgerald
You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed – Paul Kelly
Blue Shoes – Katie Melua
Red Shoes – Elvis Costello
Bad Sneakers – Steely Dan
Boogie Shoes – K.C. and The Sunshine Band
Next week: each song will be about RADIO!
Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM Tuesdays 2-4pm, (Sydney time). Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org