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SLEEP & INSOMNIA

This week’s show is for all of you who like their sleep and also for those that have trouble sleeping, for one reason or another. Thankfully I’ve never been an insomniac. I hit that pillow and I’m a gonna and if you deprive me of my sleep its not safe to be around me, let me tell you.

We opened the show with the delightful Louis Jordan, who agrees with me about the value of sleep, singing A MAN’S BEST FRIEND IS A BED.

The Beatles song I’M ONLY SLEEPING is a classic and it’s from, possibly, my favourite album of theirs, ‘Revolver’ so that had to make the mix. As did SOMEBODY’S BEEN SLEEPING from funky soul group 100 Proof (Aged in Soul).  It’s inspired by the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Spiderman gets a mention on The Cure’s LULLABY, the only song of theirs to make the UK top 5 (can you believe it?) but the brilliant videoclip was voted the best of the year in 1989. Well deserved too. Check it out:

Three songs about sleep deprivation followed:  the Eels who portray anxiety to perfection on I NEED SOME SLEEP; Peter Wolf with SLEEPLESS from his album of the same name, released in 2002. And rounding out the triple play, Craig David who’s love life is causing him to lose sleep on INSOMNIA.

Swedish band Acid House Kings do the twee-pop thing to perfection on SLEEPING. That was followed by Bobby Lewis who delivered a real blast from the past with the 60’s recording of TOSSIN’ AND TURNIN’. Then it was The Romantics with TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP from 1989. Viewing this clip of The Romantics, I think the 80’s have a lot to answer for, when it comes to fashion and hair.

Written by Ray Davies of The Kinks, I GO TO SLEEP was originally recorded by Peggy Lee on her 1965 album Then Was Then – Now Is Now!. Davies didn’t write many songs that weren’t specifically for The Kinks, but this one was widely covered. We played the only version to have chart success – The Pretenders who took it to #7 in the UK.

Talking of Peggy Lee, we had to play her version of BLACK COFFEE. There are lots of great versions of this standard, but for me Peggy Lee does it best. Sorry k.d.

Jody Reynolds uses sleep as a metaphor for death on ENDLESS SLEEP and the iconic Hank Williams Snr knows that you can’t sleep when you have a guilty conscience, on the country classic YOUR CHEATIN HEART.

More golden oldies with Frank Sinatra’s IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING and The Four Tops with SHAKE IT, WAKE IT.

Contemporary (and Australian) singer Sarah Blasko brought us back to the present with a beautiful song on the topic of sleep: SLEEPER AWAKE. We followed that with a great suggestion from Quentin: James Kahu with SLEEP. It’s from his 2010 album ‘Through Me’. Take a look:

The nostalgia bug still had me on The Everly Brothers’ WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE, Berna Dean’s I WALK IN MY SLEEP and Sammy Myers  SLEEPING IN THE GROUND.

And it was inevitable that I would play John Lennon’s little dig at Paul McCartney on HOW DO YOU SLEEP.

REM’s DAYSLEEPER is not only perfect for our theme, with its references to Circadian rhythms and all, but even the name of the band is a sleep reference. Did you know that REM sleep, or Rapid eye movement sleep, accounts for 20–25% of total sleep time in most human adults? And that most of our memorable dreaming occurs in this stage? True.

Edwyn Collins contributred  LOSING SLEEP from his album of the same name and then it was The Smiths with quite a sad song where, once again sleep serves as a metaphor for death. The song is ASLEEP.

Then it was even further back in time for the sublime Julie London and her version of TWO SLEEPY PEOPLE, followed by SLEEP from Little Willie John and ROCK ME TO SLEEP from Little Miss Cornshucks.

We closed the show with a couple of my favourites: First up it was Tom Waits, who probably knows more about late nights than I’ve had hot breakfasts. MIDNIGHT LULLABY is from his Closing Time album. Then it was the always brilliant Ian Dury & the Blockheads with WAKE UP AND MAKE LOVE TO ME.   Beats sleeping every time, or so they tell me.

I’m really going out on a limb for our Easter Show. The topic is RESURRECTION. And I’m talking about dying and coming back from the grave, literally. Come on, by now you’ll know that Theme Park will go where others fear to tread! Now we’re not talking musical comebacks – that’s a whole other theme altogether! Of course there will be lots of gospel and blues and I can see some rock and punk and even some songs about zombies on the list already. What do you have for me?

While you’re contemplating that, check out this week’s playlist:

A Man’s Best Friend Is A Bed – Louis Jordan

I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles

Somebody’s Been Sleeping [UK Single Edit] – 100 Proof (Aged In Soul)

Lullaby – The Cure

I Need Some Sleep – Eels

Insomnia – Craig David

Sleepless – Peter Wolf

Sleeping – Acid House Kings

Tossin’ And Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis

Talking In Your Sleep – The Romantics

I Go To Sleep – The Pretenders

Black Coffee – Peggy Lee

Your Cheatin Heart – Hank Williams Snr

Endless Sleep – Jody Reynolds

In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning – Frank Sinatra

Shake Me, Wake Me – The Four Tops

Sleeper Awake – Sarah Blasko

Sleep – James Kahu

Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers

I Walk In My Sleep – Berna Dean

Sleeping In The Ground – Sammy Myers

How Do You Sleep? – John Lennon

Sleep Walk – Santo and Johnny

Daysleeper – R.E.M.

Losing Sleep – Edwyn Collins

Asleep – The Smiths

Two Sleepy People – Julie London

Sleep – Little Willie John

Rock Me To Sleep – Little Miss Cornshucks (Mildred Cummings)

Midnight Lullaby – Tom Waits

Wake Up And Make Love With Me – Ian Dury and The Blockheads

Next week: RESURRECTION

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

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Heart

Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year? Or a stressful, sentimental, overly commercialised nightmare? Whatever your opinion, it was time to enjoy a whole lot of songs with the word ‘heart’ in them. Because, let’s face it, this is a theme show and I’m not above exploiting this silly holiday for my own benefit either!

This week I want to give a big shout out to those of you who listen to the show via the web. I know that Alex listens every week in Sydney (because he texts me during the show when he particularly likes a track!) and Zoe and Steve have been listening in Tokyo. Isn’t technology wonderful!

41se3cq2a2l_sl500_aa240_My discovery this week was Little Miss Cornshucks. Who? You may well ask. To be honest I hadn’t heard of her either but Hudson from BayFM’s ‘Postmodern Backlash’ turned me onto her and I’ve got to say, she is amazing. She was a unique live performer who riveted audiences from LA to Chicago to New York in the post World War 2 years.This was the period of the “after-hours blues”, between swing and rock’n’roll, when the break between jazz and popular R&B was not yet a chasm.

 She was a huge influence on performers like Ruth Brown. And Judy Garland’s schtick, of sitting on the edge of the stage and communicating directly to the audience, is taken straight from Little Miss Cornshucks performance. I found a compilation of her recordings on both Amazon and ITunes, if you want to check her out for yourself.

The 101ers were a pub rock band from the 1970s, notable as being the band that Joe Strummer left to join the Clash. The group was named for the squat where they lived together: 101 Walterton Road. The 101ers were supported by the Sex Pistols at the Nashville Room on 3 April 1976, and this is when Strummer claimed he saw the light and got involved in the punk scene. Joe Strummer commented on this event in the Don Letts documentary ‘Westway to the World’ on the end of the 101ers by saying “Five seconds into their (the Pistols) first song, I knew we were like yesterday’s paper, we were over.” I played Keys To Your Heart which still stands up today, so maybe he was being a trifle hard on the 101ers, but hey, we got The Clash. So no complaining. Have a listen to the 101ers courtesy of YouTube. 

A bit of trivia: Did you know that Kiki Dee was the first white British artist to be signed by Tamla Motown, releasing her first Motown album in 1970 (Great Expectations). She is better known for her duet with Elton John, and that’s the song we played this week – ‘Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart’.

The two hours just flew by and, as usual, I had a lot of fun. If you aren’t in a relationship at the moment, think of this Saturday February 14 as “Singles Awareness Day”. Otherwise, remember what Anais Nin had to say:

“Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.”

So, for all you music lovers out there, here is the playlist:

Unchain My Heart  Ray Charles

Hearts Of Stone – The Jewels

Keep Your Hand On Your Heart – Little Miss Cornshucks

The Heart of Saturday Night  Tom Waits

Your Cheatin Heart  Hank Williams

Heartbreak Hotel  Elvis Presley

Breakin’ Up Is Breakin’ My Heart  Roy Orbison

Melt Your Heart  Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins

Heart Of Gold  Neil Young

Heart Full Of Soul  The Yardbirds

Heart Of Glass  Blondie

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around  Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty

Heart Of Stone  The Rolling Stones

Don’t go breaking my heart  Elton John & Kiki Dee

Good Morning, Heartache  Billie Holiday

I’m Hanging Up My Heart For U  Solomon Burke

Ruler Of My Heart  Irma Thomas

Piece Of My Heart  Big Brother & The Holding Company

Owner of a Lonely Heart  Yes

Chemical Heart  Grinspoon

Hearts A Mess  Gotye 

He Will Break Your Heart  Jerry Butler

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted  Jimmy Ruffin 

Zing, Went The Strings Of My Heart – The Coasters

Next week, its ‘Cats & Dogs’. Hope to have your company.

Listen to Lyn McCarthy on BayFM 99.9 Tuesdays 2-4pm, Sydney time. Also streaming on http://www.bayfm.org

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