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DARING TO BE DIFFERENT: Songs about homosexuality


Sexuality, as the openly gay Michael Stipe has said “is a really slippery thing”. He says he’s not homosexual or heterosexual, he’s just sexual. I call that covering all your bases! With November 27th being Australia’s National Day of Action for Marriage Equality and December 1 being World Aids Day, it was a time for a show on HOMOSEXUALITY. I also wanted to pay tribute to a community who are still fighting for basic human rights.  India held its very first gay pride march on the weekend after repealing laws against homosexuality only last year. In the US, only California allows same-sex marriages and in countries where these marriages are legal they don’t necessarily come with the right to adopt children. And in Australia our Prime Minister, Julia Guillard, shocked her (until now, anyway) supporters with her stand against gay marriage. So there’s obviously still a long way to go.

For the record I identify myself as straight so, just to give me some credibility, I invited two beautiful and brazen gay friends into the studio to help present the show: fellow BayFM announcers Tommy T-Jet from ‘All Things Camp’ and the lovely Lou from the Tuesday morning breakfast show, ‘Cock a Doodle Doo’.

We opened with a song for Tommy: Elton Motello’s JET BOY JET GIRL is a risque little number about a 15-year-old boy’s sexual relationship with an older man, who then rejects him for a girl. With its chorus of “ooh ooh ooh ooh, he gives me head,” it has been embraced as something of a punk gay anthem. Talking of punk, one of the best bands to emerge from the Queercore movement that started in the 80’s is Pansy Division. They have a huge repertoire of funny and pertinent punk songs about the gay experience and I played one of my faves, FEM IN A BLACK LEATHER JACKET. Part silly, part raucous, part earnest, you cannot ignore them, that’s for sure!

As far as I know Ben Harper is straight. And he’s a good example of your typical New Age Sensitive Guy with an evolved attitude about sexuality. He does a great acoustic number about a woman who leaves her abusive husband for a relationship with a woman. It’s called MAMA’S GOT A GIRLFRIEND NOW.

Marc Almond (ex-Soft Cell) takes Charles Aznavour’s WHAT MAKES A MAN and gives it a whole new meaning. Here he is appearing at the Royal Albert Hall:

I caught up with Melia and Nerida from Scarlett Affection at the Mullum Music Fest and among other things we discussed gay marriage from a straight girl’s point of view. As they quite rightly state, it’s all about love. We followed it with another sister act, the openly gay duo Tegan and Sara with I WAS MARRIED. This video clip was shot at their show at the Pumphouse Theatre in Calgary. Love, love, love Tegan and Sara.


Gay icon k.d. lang is a girl with an appetite and she blames it all on CONSTANT CRAVING. This video looks amazing as does k.d.

The Gossip’s lead singer Beth Ditto wrote STANDING IN THE WAY OF CONTROL as a response to the US government’s opposition to same sex marriage. Check this vid of them performing live and then try and tell me that Beth D. doesn’t absolutely rock! So good to see a young rock band with political attitude and a young woman not starving herself to death to fit the media’s idea of what’s sexy.

Jens Lekman is fed up with being a pretend boyfriend for his lesbian mate on A POSTCARD TO NINA. In this videoclip, shot when he performed live in Melbourne in 2006, his guitar died so he played the song on his ukelele while his band mates tried to sort out technical difficulties. Is he as cute as a button, or what?

Franz Ferdinand are, (I think) heterosexual but that didn’t stop them from playing the homoeroticism game on the track MICHAEL. Look, if its good enough for Bowie, then why not?  Pete Shelley, on the other hand, isn’t shy about his sexual preference. The post-Buzzcocks pop single HOMOSAPIEN was banned by the BBC for its “explicit reference to gay sex”. Dear oh dear, when is the BBC going to get with the program?

Lou thought the list was getting a little male-dominated, so we couldn’t have that! She had a great suggestion – Ani DiFranco with BOTH HANDS. Following that I proved that Katie Perry is just another copycat. A cute copycat, but a copycat nonetheless. Jill Sobule’s I KISSED A GIRL was a hit way back in 1995. Check this out:

While I was at the Mullum Music Festival I spoke to volunteer David about his thoughts on AIDS and HIV awareness. His opinion is that there is a growing complacency within the gay community about safe sex and my guest presenter Tommy agreed with this. Yes, there is medication these days that can prolong your life but who wants to be on medication for the rest of their life? As with all diseases, prevention is always the best option.

A reminder that December 1 is WORLD AIDS DAY. The theme this year is TAKE ACTION. NO DISCRIMINATION. The aim is to encourage all Australians to be aware of the prevalence of HIV/AIDS; to take action to reduce the transmission of HIV by promoting safe sex practices; and to accept individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Bruce Springsteen’s STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA was written for the first mainstream film to confront HIV/AIDS, homosexuality and homophobia. Philadelphia was released in 1993. It was inspired by the story of Geoffrey Bowers,  an lawyer who in 1987 sued the law firm Baker & McKenzie for unfair dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases. Here’s Bruce baby with the official clip for the song which went on to win an Academy award:

I was feeling the need for an anthem and you can’t go past Gloria Gaynor’s I AM WHAT I AM. The song originally featured on the Tony award winning Broadway musical La Cage Aux Folles. Here’s Gloria in 1984:

Next up it was the always briliant Scissor Sisters with TAKE YOUR MAMA. Apparently, the band took their name from a sexual position between two women. Lou refused to elaborate! Here are they are performing at the 2010 Brit Awards. So wish I had been in that audience!

Our Gig Guide was ushered out with the very silly, but quite infectious, GAY BAR from Electric Six. It seems that we don’t have any lesbian or gay bars up here in the Byron shire. According to my panel of experts its all a bit underground. Oooh.

Time to get a bit more serious with my favourite socialist, Billy Bragg singing TENDER COMRADE and then a request from one of our listeners, Ryan, was granted with The Lemonheads singing BIG GAY HEART.

I absolutely adore the Joan Armatrading song THE WEAKNESS IN ME. Hard finding a decent videoclip of her performing it, but here’s one where she’s accompanied by keboards only. It’s not a great quality video but had to include it. What a voice.

Before I knew it the two hours was up and it was time to close the show and it had to be with the polymorphously perverse David Bowie and QUEEN BITCH. The year was 1972. Not sure what I think of the  introduction of Bowie as a ‘self-constructed freak’. I have the feeling that he might have enjoyed that!


Huge thank you to Lou and Tommy for their help this week and allowing me to be a gay for a day.

For more information on community based gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender health issues contact ACON via their website at: http://www.acon.org.au/ or use their Free Call number 1800 063 060.

Thanks to Tommy T-Jet for editing the opinion sections of the show. You can listen to us having a bit of a chat between songs at: http://soundcloud.com/tommytjet/theme-park-30th-november-2010-homosexuality

Next week I’ll be ushering in the Summer season with a show on the SUN. Please leave me a message here if you would like to request a track. Until next week, remember to love one another (anyway you like!).

Here’s the playlist:

Jet Boy Jet Girl – Jet Boy Jet Girl, Elton Motello

Fem in a Black Leather Jacket – The Essential Pansy Division, Pansy Division

Mama’s Got a Girlfriend Now – Pleasure and Pain, Ben Harper and Tom Freund

What Makes A Man – 12 Years Of Tears – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Marc Almond

I Was Married – The Con, Tegan and Sara

Constant Craving – Live By Request, k.d. lang

Standing In The Way Of Control – Standing In The Way Of Control, The Gossip

Do You Come Here Often – Telstar The Tornados

A Postcard To Nina – Night Falls Over Kortedala, Jens Lekman

Michael – Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand

Homosapien – Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits Of The 80’s, Pete Shelley

Both Hands – Ani DiFranco, Ani DiFranco

I Kissed A Girl – Hottest 100 Vol 03 [Disc 1], Jill Sobule

Streets of Philadelphia – Philadelphia Sountrack,  Bruce Springsteen

I Am What I AM – I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor

Take Your Mama – Scissor Sisters, Scissor Sisters

It’s Alright – Shaming of the Sun, Indigo Girls

Secret Love – All Blues, Chet Baker

Gay Bar – Triple J Hottest 100, Vol. 11 [Disc 1], Electric Six

Tender Comrade – Workers Playtime, Billy Bragg

Big Gay Heart – Come On Feel The Lemonheads, The Lemonheads

The Weakness In Me – The L Word Full Soundtrack [Disc 2], Joan Armatrading

Queen Bitch – Hunky Dory, David Bowie

Next week:  SONGS ABOUT THE SUN

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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LIFE’S LESSONS

You’re born, you learn, you work, you may reproduce and then you die. That’s pretty much it. But being human, we’re designed to question, argue and seek meaning in our life. We don’t all want the same thing: the kind-hearted want an explanation for poverty and suffering; the ambitious try to rise above everyone else and if you’re depressed you may be looking for a reason to even get out of bed in the morning. Yes, life’s a puzzle and I’m not sure that there are any definite answers. But songwriters can’t help themselves. Like all artists they’re fascinated by life’s mysteries.

HAPPY TALK, by jazz greats Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, is a great example of a Life Lesson song. Yeah, if you don’t have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true? My dream for the next two weeks, at least, is that our wonderful community radio station, BayFM 99.9, gets as many annual subscriptions as possible because we’re in full Major Subscriber Drive mode at the moment. It made for a really busy show which was also loads of fun.

We got the show moving with one of my favourite artists. It’s a song that has one of the best messages, especially for an optimist like me: YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT by Jimmy Cliff. Here he is perfoming the song with the Jools Holland Rythymn & Blues Band:

My choice of a Bob Marley song, and there were a few with life lesson lyrics to choose from, was his energetic attack on religions – the ones that neglect to preach “what life is worth”. The song, of course, is GET UP STAND UP.

Bob Dylan has a great life lesson song: DON’T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALRIGHT. Something I didn’t have to thinktwice about was the opportunity to work with Camp Quality over the next two weeks of BayFM’s Subscriber Drive. Camp Quality is a fantastic organisation that supports children suffering from cancer. They believe that laughter is the best medicine and so they aim to bring optimism and  happiness to these children and their families. Jana Ayre, who volunteers for Camp Quality in the Northern Rivers co-hosted the show with me this week, because we had a very special prize for Theme Park listeners who subscribe to the station before August 29th.

Thanks to Possum Creek Eco Lodge in the hinterland of Byron Bay, we are offering a Camp Quality family a respite break. This holiday will be donated in one lucky subscriber’s name and that subscriber then receives the tax deduction for the donation. It’s a fantastic prize, based on kindness and community spirit – and you can’t get better than that!  If you’re reading this and are inspired to subscribe and help keep community radio alive, whether you live in the Northern Rivers or not, just go online to http://www.bayfm.org and follow the prompts. Don’t forget to cite Theme Park as your favourite program!

Someone who did call in during the show to subscribe was a new resident in Byron, David Bridge. And he gets a special mention here because he also requested a terrific life lesson song for the show: UP THE JUNCTION from Squeeze. Thank you David!  Now, this is how to write a complete story about everyone’s life in a little over 3 minutes:

Another goodie from our British songwriters is ON THE EDGE OF A CLIFF from The Streets, known to his Mum as Mike Skinner. Check it out:

I became a big fan of The Drive By Truckers when they appeared at the Byron Blues Festival a couple of years back. I even bought the t-shirt (now that’s commitment!). They do a great Life Lesson song –  most people share the experience described by singer Patterson Hood and his 83-year-old friend on WORLD OF HURT: “To love is to feel pain.” The lesson here, I think, is to accept that pain can also be a positive thing.

De La Soul have a different kind of lesson. They reckon that sometimes you just have to TREAD WATER. They use cartoon creatures to get the message across. Very cute.

SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK N ROLL STAR? Well, the Byrds have some advice for you:  All you have to do is get an electric guitar, take some time and learn how to play? Sounds easy enough. But maybe life is like that: Practice makes perfect.

Midway through the show the lovely Gaudi from a new restaurant in Byron, Italian at the Pacific, came in to draw the daily prize for one lucky subscriber. The prize, a day with the chef of the restaurant and dinner for 8 people was won by Craig McGregor whose daughter Claire is a regular contributor to the show (sorry couldn’t fit in Coward of the Country this week Claire!) and another daughter Sarah, a fantastic musician. So I know that this big family will absolutely love this brilliant prize.

THAT LUCKY OLD SUN, by Dean Martin, our weather song for today was suggested by Andrew who also subscribed again this year on Theme Park, so thank you so much for supporting BayFM Andy.

Next up it was a double dose of Ska: Jools Holland and Prince Buster with ENJOY YOURSELF and Dandy Livingstone with RUDY, A MESSAGE TO YOU.

Lots of subscribers ringing in by this stage (thank you one and all!), so I thought a great piece of disco was appropriate ’cause my spirit was uplifted by all the support. The song is one that really speaks to me: YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE from Candi Staton. Here she is with a 1999 re-recording and video of her 1976 classic:

I think that QUE SERA, SERA (“whatever will be, will be”) has to be the ultimate Life Lesson song, don’t you? Look,  I know that Doris Day pretty much owns this tune but the version we played this week was by Sly & The Family Stone. I was feeling in a funky mood, you see.

One of many suggestions from regular contributor Robyn had to be included, if only because it’s title was perfect: LIFE’S LESSONS from Lynyrd Skynyrd. And then it was one for Frank Zappa fanatic, Hudson: COSMIK DEBRIS:

Our major prize for those subscribing this year is an amazing trip to Broome and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It’s in conjunction with the environmental group, Save The Kimberley. A great supporter of this cause is musician Xavier Rudd. And a great song with a life lesson, that he does so well, is BETTER PEOPLE.

Robyn had another request for a perfect Life Lesson song: DON’T STOP BELIEVING from Journey. So the least I can do is upload the video clip:

We closed the show with a classic:  “You have to know when to hold em, you have to know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run”. Yep, Kenny Rogers with THE GAMBLER. There was just a little bit of time, too, for a snatch of the Stones with YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT. So because we didn’t get to play it all the way through, I’ll give them their due here. Check out a very young David Frost and  an even younger Rolling Stones performing live in 1969:

Thanks to Jana from Camp Quality for coming in and helping host the show this week and to the many listeners who rang to subscribe. Thank you for your support of BayFM, Theme Park and Camp Quality. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, there is still time to get involved in this particular promotion. Just go to the BayFM website at: http://www.bayfm.org and follow the prompts to subscribe. You can also listen to the show online, there, as well.

I’d also love to hear from you with your requests for next week’s show when the topic will be THE ENVIRONMENT. You may be surprised at how many great songs there are on this topic, from all genres. I think this is going to be a very special show.

Here’s this week’s full playlist:

Happy Talk – Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley,

You Can Get It If You Really Want – The Harder They Come, Soundtrack, Jimmy Cliff

Get Up Stand Up – Back To Zion, Bob Marley & The Wailers (incl. Peter Tosh)

Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Best Of Bob Dylan

You’ve Got To Learn – Family/Friends/French Lesson, Nina Simone

Up The Junction – Singles, Squeeze

On The Edge Of A Cliff – Everything Is Borrowed, The Streets

A World Of Hurt – A Blessing And A Curse, Drive By Truckers

Tread Water – Feet High And Rising, De La Soul

So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – Byrds/20 Essentia,l The Byrds

That Lucky Old Sun – All Time Greats Vol 3 – The People, Dean Martin (Weather song for this week)

Enjoy yourself – Best Sellers, Jools Holland & Prince Buster

Rudy, A Message To You – This Is Ska!: 16 Original Ska Classics, Dandy Livingstone

Young Hearts Run Free – 54, Vol. 1, Candi Staton

Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be) – Take The Lead (Soundtrack), Sly And The Family Stone

Life’s Lessons – Vicious Cycle, Lynyrd Skynyrd

Cosmik Debris – Apostrophe, Frank Zappa

Better People – White Moth, Xavier Rudd

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2] The Rolling Stones

Next week: THE ENVIRONMENT

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

INSECTS & SPIDERS

Insects and spiders can be an absolute nuisance, especially in summer. They get in our hair, on our skin, even in our beds. They suck our blood and destroy our veggie gardens. But they also keep nature in balance, if we don’t go crazy with insecticides that is. And without those busy little bees we wouldn’t have all that lovely honey. So, like most of the subjects I pick for this show, our relationship with these creeping, crawling, flying and buzzing creatures is a complex one.

James Brown knows what I mean. He’s got ANTS IN HIS PANTS AND HE NEEDS TO DANCE Ouch! A great follow up to that was English soul singer Alice Russell with A FLY IN THE HAND. Here she is performing live in 2008. Great voice.

The B-52s’ song JUNE BUG is about a little beetle that only comes out at night. Sounds like a friend of mine. Lead singer, Fred Schneider, says the song’s message is to “go organic, don’t use pesticides”. Excellent. Loving the sound effects too.

Jason Mraz followed with a nice piece of pop about a BUTTERFLY and then it was Nina Simone with probably the best title for a song this week: FUNKIER THAN A MOSQUITO’S TWEETER. What is a mosquito’s tweeter? I have no idea and neither did any of our listeners when I asked. Anyone who does, please let me know.

The Eels do a great song about relationships, (the love/hate kind), called ANT FARM. And I’ve always loved Carly Simon’s version of ITSY BITSY SPIDER too. Who knew that there could be so many good songs about insects?

The Blues artists know how to make a song on any subject sound provocative. Slim Harpo does it to perfection with the very suggestive I’M A KING BEE. But if you want a funny song about a creepy crawly then you can’t go past country singer Jim Stafford’s rendition of  SPIDERS & SNAKES.

Our hard-working BayFM President, Ros, suggested Ziggy Marley’s DRAGONFLY. Did you know that dragonflies can fly both forward and backward? And they can fly up to 30 miles an hour. Perfect choice for someone who doesn’t ever seem to stay still.

The Who’s BORIS THE SPIDER was written by the band’s bassist John Entwistle. It was supposedly Jimi Hendrix’s favourite Who song. Go figure.

I love the quirkiness of the Presidents of the United States and BOLL WEEVIL is a great example of their crazy novelty punk style. It’s from their self-titled album, released in 1995.

Butterflies have to be one of the most beautiful creatures on earth and they are just so important ecologically, as agents of pollination. So I made sure that there were a few songs about these wonderful flying insects in the show. One of my favourites is by Corrine Bailey Rae. She says that the song BUTTERFLY was written with her Mum in mind.

Another terrific butterfly song is by Chakra Khan. It’s called PAPILLON, which if my schoolgirl French serves me correctly, also means butterfly.

Some butterflies have evolved symbiotic and parasitic relationships with social insects such as ants. So it seemed the right time to introduce Adam Ant with his signature tune, ANTMUSIC.

Louie the Fly introduced a couple of songs about a much maligned little insect:

SHOO FLY PIE AND APPLE PAN DOWDY, by Doris Day, isn’t so much about a fly than about a pie made with molasses. This sticky, sweet substance attracts flies that have to be “shood” away. Tim Buckley’s song BUZZIN’ FLY is also about being attracted to something sweet, but in this case it’s a girl’s affections.

Did you know that the humble cockroach has been around for over 350 million years?

They Might Be Giants, do a very cheeky version of the SPIDER MAN theme song that had to be included. And then it was another suggestion from Andrew, one of the few Theme Park listeners who could come up with a suggestion for this week’s topic.  It was a terrific song that I had totally forgotten: A SONG FROM UNDER THE FLOORBOARDS by Magazine. Here they are performing on the Jools Holland show in 2009:

We definitely needed a bit more Blues in the show, especially as I was giving away a great DVD, RED, WHITE AND BLUES,  part of the 7 part series on the Blues by Martin Scorsese. This part, on the Blues in Britain, was directed by Mike Figgis, director of the film Leaving Las Vegas. Congratulations Mike who won that. Enjoy.

So, looking for more Blues, I couldn’t go past John Lee Hooker’s song about spiders, CRAWLIN’ BLACK SPIDER.

Robyn Hitchcock has a bit of a thing about spiders with both an album and an EP with tarantula in the name, but INSECT MOTHER is actually from his first album with The Egyptians, Fegmania.

Andrew had another great suggestion: Iggy Pop’s LOCO MOSQUITO. Heres a bit of insect trivia for you: Did you know that a mosquito beats its wings an amazing 500 times per second? No wonder I can never catch the little buggers.

The Dire Straits song THE BUG is about how random life is. One minute you’re the windshield, the next you’re the bug. So yeah, live life to the fullest is what I suppose they are suggesting, because you never know when it might all end.

On that note, its only fair that we finished the show on an up note. What better than something from disco diva Tina Charles. She’s been bitten by the best bug of all: THE LOVE BUG.

I’d love to have your suggestions for next week’s show which, as a lead up to my election show the following week, will be on TRUTH AND LIES. I think this has the potential to be a really interesting show, so get your thinking caps on.

For now, here’s this week’s full playlist:

I Got Ants In My Pants -The Big Payback, James Brown

A Fy in the Hand (Remix) – Alice Russell

Junebug – Cosmic Thing, B52s

Butterfly – We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, Jason Mraz

Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter – Nina Simone

Ant Farm – Electro-Shock Blues, Eels

Coming Around Again/Itsy Bitsy Spider –  Greatest Hits Live, Carly Simon

Glow Worm Cha-Cha-Cha – Ultra Lounge, Jackie Davis

I’m A King Bee – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Slim Harpo

Spiders & Snakes –  Jim Stafford

Dragonfly (Live) – Love Is My Religion Re-release, Ziggy Marley

There’s A Change In The Weather (extract to intro Weather update) Preservation Act 1, The Kinks

Boris the Spider – My Generation: The Very Best of the Who,  The Who

Boll Weevil – The Presidents of the United States, The Presidents of the United States

Butterfly – Corinne Bailey Rae, Corrine Bailey Rae

Papillon – The Platinum Collection, Chaka Khan

Antmusic – Antbox 2, Adam Ant

Louie the Fly  (Mortein ad)

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy – The Story of Jazz, Doris Day

Buzzin’ Fly – The Dream Belongs To Me, Tim Buckley

La Cucharacha – Born Free, The George Mann Orchestra

Spider Man – They Might Be Giants

A Song from Under the Floorboards – Real Life and Thereafter / Forum, Magazine

Crawlin Black Spider – Boom Boom CD2, John Lee Hooker

Loco Mosquito – The Best of Iggy Pop, Iggy Pop

Insect Mother – Luminous Groove, Robyn Hitchcock And The Egyptians

The Bug – On Every Street, Dire Straits

Love Bug – Greatest Hits, Tina Charles

Next week: TRUTH & LIES

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

SWEETS

SWEETS: luscious lollipops, creamy cakes and pies, rich, dark chocolate and sticky toffees. Don’t pretend that these words don’t fill your mind with naughty thoughts. Yes, everyone knows that when songwriters come over all sweet it can only mean one thing, its “sexy time’.

You may be pleased to know that not all the songs on our playlist were about carnal delights. Having said that, we started the show with Bow Wow Wow’s cover of the Strangeloves I WANT CANDY. There is no doubting the sexual nature of this little ditty. “Candy on the beach, there’s nothing better.” “Someday soon I’ll make him mine and then I’ll have candy all the time.” Come on!

Nina Simone is hanging out for some more of something, and I don’t think its sugar, despite what she sings on the classic Blues track SUGAR IN MY BOWL. Big Maybelle is equally audacious. She reckons her man is just a nice piece of  CANDY.

I’ve definitely got a sweet tooth and, so, I was ecstatic to have Jackie and Renee from Brown Betty’s Bakery into the studio to tell us about their boutique business and to giveaway some mouth-watering goodies. I love Brown Betty’s, not just because they have the best baked goods out, but they really know how to work a theme. It’s 50’s retro:  the girls dress the part, the cakes look and taste delicious. During the show we gave away one of their specialties, the whoopie pie. It’s made of two round mound-shaped pieces of cake (usually chocolate), with a sweet creamy frosting sandwiched between them. It’s an American Amish tradition. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as ‘hucklebucks’ at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!” How cute is that.

Just for Jackie and Renee I played Dinah Washington’s version of MAKIN WHOOPEE, a case of a song that reverses my premise that all songs about sweet things are really about sex. This is just a song about sex, pure and simple. We followed with the Godfather of funk, Mr James Brown, and a song about another of my favourite treats. The song is called MOTHER POPCORN.

SEX AND CANDY, by Marcy Playground, is a track that doesn’t leave anything to the imagination. No room for innuendo, no sirree. The Four Tops gave us something a little less suspicious:  I CAN’T HELP MYSELF (SUGAR PIE, HONEY BUNCH). This is just one of those songs that puts a smile on your face. And you’ve got to love that.

Iggy Pop has this knack of dueting with the best people. On the track CANDY, he does it again, this time with Kate Pierson from the B-52s.

I try to play a couple of pieces of instrumental in each show, usually as background when we do Community Service Announcements or the local Gig Guide. The two I chose this week were perfect:  First up, Al Hirt with COTTON CANDY, known here in Australia as Fairy Floss. And, of course,  Hot Butter with POPCORN. With the latter, I swear I could not only hear the sound of popcorn popping, I could almost smell it. Mmmmmmm.

I was feeling an insulin rush coming on, so it was time for a little bit of Blues. MY COUNTRY SUGAR MAMA from Howlin’ Wolf was a perfect antidote. He was a big influence on the Rolling Stones so BROWN SUGAR, the opening track on the Rolling Stones album Sticky Fingers, was a perfect follow up. Seemingly about a favourite sweetener, BROWN SUGAR boasts some scandalous lyrics.  It’s essentially a mix of a number of taboo subjects, including interracial sex, cunnilingus, slave rape, sadomasochism, lost virginity and heroin.

That reminds me, I’ll be joining the Midnight Ramblers this Saturday night between midnight and dawn to help present the Rolling Stones All Nighter. So make sure all you night owls tune in then. Should be fun.

And talking of fun, next up it was a couple of guilty pleasures: Spinal Tap with CUPS AND CAKES and then a childhood hero of mine, The Cookie Monster: “What else starts with C. Who cares! C IS FOR COOKIE.

We followed with a French pop song LES SUCETTES. In English that’s LOLLIPOPS. It was written by Serge Gainsbourg and recorded by an 18 year old France Gall in 1966. On the surface, LES SUCETTES is a pleasant children’s song about a girl who likes aniseed-flavoured lollipops. But Gainsbourg’s lyrics are full of playful double meanings referring to oral sex, which Gall says she simply didn’t understand at the time. Well she was 18 and it was 1966. Naughty Serge!

Call me naive, but I like to think that the next song we played really is innocent. It’s Mille Small’s MY BOY LOLLIPOP. We paired that with the antithesis of innocent: Madonna, with some help from Pharrell, claiming that she’s a one-stop CANDY SHOP. I, for one, believe her.

If you’re looking for a real sugar hit you can’t go past Aqua with CANDYMAN, Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs with SUGAR SHACK or The Undertones with MARS BARS. Christina Aguilera broke things up somewhat with her rendition of CANDYMAN and then it back to more bubblegum pop with Mika singing LOLLIPOP. Cute animation in this clip at least:

Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers play with my head, in a good way. Certainly the track ICE CREAM MAN seems to be designed to make radio presenters pay attention. It has at last 4 or 5 false endings, but I’m proud to say he didn’t fool me!

All this frivolity needed some tempering. So it was quite a beautiful song, from the very tasty Paolo Nutini, pleading for some CANDY, that did the trick.

The always brilliant Tom Waites contributed CHOCOLATE JESUS and then it was one for all my loyal listeners who have been asking me why I don’t play Roy Orbison, at least as regularly as I used to. Yes, very remiss of me. To fill the void, I chose CANDY MAN. We followed with The Beatles and SAVOY TRUFFLE, a song written by George Harrison about Eric Clapton’s huge sweet tooth.

We closed the show with a a song about a guy whose all upset ’cause “someone left the cake out in the rain.” “He just can’t take it cause it took so long to make it and he’ll never have that recipe again.” Sounds like a bad night on Masterchef doesn’t it? No, it’s MACARTHUR PARK written by the great Jimmy Webb and sung by esteemed actor Richard Harris.

Thanks to Renee and Jackie from Brown Betty’s Bakery for the giveaway of the Whoopee Pies and to everyone who contacted me during the week to say how much they enjoyed last week’s show on UNLIKELEY COVERS.

My sister is having a birthday next Tuesday, so to celebrate, the show next week will be on SISTERS AND BROTHERS. Love to hear from you with your suggestions.

Here’s this week’s full playlist:

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

Sugar In My Bowl – Live And Kickin’, Nina Simone

Candy – Candy Disc 1, Big Maybelle

Makin’ Whoopee – The Very Best Of Dinah Washington

Mother Popcorn, Pt. 1 – 20 All-Time Greatest Hits!, James Brown

Sex And Candy – Marcy Playground

I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops

Candy (with Kate Pierson of B-52s) – Iggy Pop

Cotton Candy – Al Hirt

Sugar, Sugar – Billboard Top 100 Of 1969, The Archies

My Country Sugar Mama – The Real Folk Blues-More Real, Howlin’ Wolf

Brown Sugar – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971 [Disc 2], The Rolling Stones

Cups And Cakes – This Is Spinal Tap, Spinal Tap

C is for Cookie – The Cookie Monster

Les Sucettes – France Galle

My Boy Lollipop – Millie Small

Candy Shop – Hard Candy, Madonna

Candyman – Aqua, Aqua

Sugar Shack – Rock’n’Roll Love Songs, Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

Mars Bars – The Best Of: Teenage Kicks, The Undertones

Candy Man – Back To Basics, Christina Aguilera

Lollipop – Life In Cartoon Motion, Mika

Popcorn – Hot Butter

Ice Cream Man – Best of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, The Modern Lovers

Candy – Paolo Nutini

Chocolate Jesus – Tom Waits

Candy Man – The Essential Roy Orbison (Disc 1), Roy Orbison

Savoy Truffle – The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2], The Beatles

MacArthur Park – His Greatest Performances, Richard Harris

Next week: SISTERS & BROTHERS

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


SEXY SONGS

Just to prove that I don’t take anything too seriously, especially sex, we opened this week’s show with BUSINESS TIME from the absolutely brilliant Flight of the Conchords.

The ‘sexy’ theme seemed to connect with many of our listeners because I had quite a bit of input this week. And its clear that different music serves different moods. For smooth and erotic you can’t go past R&B and for hot and heavy it has to be rock or funk. I tried to steer away from the patently obvious, but some sex anthems just couldn’t be omitted because, hey what the hell, they do it for me!

What makes a song sexy?  Sometimes it’s in the smallest details. It can be an erotic tone to the voice or a throbbing bassline. A song that does both has to be AM I THE ONE from the amazing Beth Hart.

On FOXY LADY, Jimi Hendrix’s instrument isn’t so much a guitar as a penis with an amplifier. Even Hendrix might have met his match with Betty Davis, especially when she sings IF I’M IN LUCK I MIGHT JUST GET PICKED UP. Her hubbie, Miles Davis, suspected the two of having an affair at one stage. Despite the song’s title, her carnal, funk-rock delivery leaves no doubt as to who’s picking up who here.

OK, let’s calm down a bit. Time for the wonderful Dusty Springfield with BREAKFAST IN BED. On this track she offers a shoulder to cry on, and much more as well.  I have to agree with listener Ian that Al Green just can’t be left out of a playlist of sexy songs, so I included LETS STAY TOGETHER to keep both of us happy.

Dinah Washington and Julia Lee were a couple of free-spirits who used the thin veil of double entendre to sing about their basic desires.  Long before she made a name for herself singing the Great American songbooks, Washington often sang from a far more racy playlist that included the blatantly provocative BIG LONG SLIDIN THING. And Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends weren’t ashamed to demand that you DON’T COME TOO SOON.

Chris Isaak is one sexy looking dude and the perfectly pitched WICKED GAME was a certainty for this list. As was the far more explicit HEAD from pocket sexpot Prince. You can’t get a decent Prince clip and I prefer to show you the Isaak clip any old way. Helena Christiansen and Chris Isaak, directed by Herb Ritts. A no-brainer.

Santana’s SAMBA PA TI was suggested by Lynden who says that author Nick Hornby nominated it as a ‘song that exudes sex, despite having no lyrics/ vocals”. I think he may be right.

Alison Goldfrapp is the perfect fusion of disco, glam and electro. Not to mention sex. Check out the video clip of TWIST:

Is there a lyric as sexy as Kate Bush’s breathy, evocative “Mmmm yes” on  THE SENSUAL WORLD?

Tim Buckley’s  GET ON TOP was requested by Tracey, who assures me that his album, ‘Greetings From LA’ is what you need if you want to rock the Casbah with someone special. I can’t actually argue with that. After all, he talks in tongues and how good is that?

One of my favourite sexy songs comes from ex Belle & Sebastian member, Isobel Campbell, and Queens of the Stone Ager, Mark Lanegan, who sing the very provocative COME ON OVER TURN ME ON. Irresistible. I’d be over in a flash.

Don’t ask me what the title of Happy Mondays BOB’S YER UNCLE means but the lyrics seem to have as much to do with an Uncle Bob as Prince’s Red Corvette is about a car.

Fiona Apple’s  song CRIMINAL is apparently a guilty admission about using your sexuality to get what you want. So that’s a bad thing, right?

Two songs that I find pretty sexy, although they couldn’t be more different, followed. On paper, the lines, “Will you come inside me/Do you wanna ride inside my love?” would seem to defy subtlety, but Minnie Riperton’s famous five-octave range lends those words an almost spiritual dimension on INSIDE MY LOVE. Minnie’s polar opposite is the one and only Janis Joplin. From one of my top 10 albums, Cheap Thrills, I chose the desperate yearning of I NEED A MAN TO LOVE.

How sexy is Marvyn Gaye’s LET’S GET IT ON? Here he is a the 1980 Monreux Festival. Someone hand that man a towel! Hotter than hot.

Another sexy song, from the gorgeous vamp Meow Meow, is I’M HUNGRY (AND THAT AIN’T RIGHT). She’s a fantastic New York based cabaret performer that I saw in Sydney in March. If you ever get a chance to catch her act, do it!

Heading towards the end of the show and I hadn’t played any hard rock! Easily fixed with AC/DC’s YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG.   The music video has proven to be somewhat controversial with its use of leather clad women and a mechanical bull. During the shot with the bull, the woman playing lead singer Brian’s lover accidentally jabbed herself with her spur twice. The roadie who came to her aid married her a year later. Angus gave them a mechanical bull for a wedding present as a joke. When asked about the meaning of the video, the band said that its goal was to, quote, “be as politically incorrect as possible.” See what you think:

A natural closer was another rock classic – WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, by Led Zeppelin and we even got to fit in about 20 seconds of disco queen Donna Summer’s LOVE TO LOVE YOU BABY. Oh, come on, I had to have at least one disco cliche in there, surely.

Thanks to Steve from Sax Leather in the Byron Industrial Estate for a great giveaway of some very saucy sex toys. And thanks too to the Gay Mardi Gras Film Festival, which is taking place this weekend at the Dendy Cinemas, for their ticket giveaway.

Thanks also to Lynden, Tracey, Julie, and Steve for your suggestions this week. Apologies to those whose songs didn’t make the list including Andrew whose pick of Ian Dury’s WAKE UP AND MAKE LOVE TO ME, while amusing, wasn’t what I’d call erotic. But I love having your input.  And that brings me to next week’s theme, which was going to be on Winter until I remembered that I’d done that last June! So a little segue to the left and we’ll do a show on BAD WEATHER. Rain, storms, wind and even snow.  So get your thinking caps on, preferably a nice little woolly beanie and let me know what you’d like to hear.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Business Time – Flight of the Conchords

Am I The One – Beth Hart

If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up – Betty Davis, Betty Davis

Foxy Lady – Experience Hendrix: The Best Of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix

Breakfast In Bed  – Anthology Disc 2, Dusty Springfield

Let’s Stay Together – Tarantino Experience II, Al Green

Big Long Slidin’ Thing – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Dinah Washington

Don’t Come Too Soon – Ultimate Rock N’ Roll Drinkers & Sinners, Julia Lee And Her Boyfriends

Wicked Game – Best of Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak

Head – Dirty Mind, Prince

Samba Pa Ti – The Ultimate Collection (CD1), Santana

Twist – Black Cherry, Goldfrapp

The Sensual World – The Sensual World, Kate Bush

Get On Top – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley

Come On Over (Turn Me On) – Sunday At Devil Dirt, Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan

Criminal – Fiona Apple

Bob’s yer Uncle – The Platinum Collection  [Re-Mastered],  Happy Mondays

Inside My Love – Perfect Angel / Adventures In Paradise, Minnie Riperton

I Need A Man To Love – Cheap Thrills, Janis Joplin/Big Brother & The Holding Company

Stay With Me Til Dawn  –  Smooth Groove Masters

Let’s Get It On – Anthology (Disc 2), Marvin Gaye

I’m Hungry (and that ain’t right) – Here kitty kitty … the lost sessions, Meow Meow & Thomas M.Lauderdale

You Shook Me All Night Long – Back in Black,  AC/DC

Whole Lotta Love – Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin, Vol. 1, Led Zeppelin

Love To Love You Baby – Donna Summer

Next week: BAD WEATHER

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


HEAT

The mercury’s rising, summer is here and I’m feeling hot, hot, hot. So, it’s time to  get the sarongs out, start mixing up a marghertia or two and celebrate our steamy weather. Yes, folks this week’s show was a sizzler.

We opened with THE HEAT IS ON from American soul and funk group, The Isley Brothers, released in 1975 on the album of the same name and then it was Buster Poindexter, otherwise known as David Johansen of the New York Dolls. His cover of Arrow’s HOT, HOT, HOT apparently haunts him to this day. Well Dave, thats what happens when you record a hit pop tune. Just be happy with the royalties. He’s not looking too unhappy in this clip:

If the weather doesn’t deliver, you can always find other ways to raise the temperature. Ask Martha and the Vandellas who gave us one of the greatest intros in pop music with their song HEATWAVE. The high octane James Brown knows a thing or two about the topic of his tune,  BODY HEAT. Here’s a clip from The Lost James Brown Tapes, a 60 minute video tape available on DVD.

One of my all time favourite films is Napoleon Dynamite and the soundtrack to the film is great too. Check out one of the signature tunes, from the film, CANNED HEAT from Jamiroquai:

Every now and again I like to throw a bit of contemporary pop into the mix and this week it was Katy Perry with HOT ‘N’ COLD and we followed with one of my favourite dance tracks, Adam Freeland remixing the wonderful Sarah Vaughan’s version of  FEVER.

Anyone remember glam rock? Marc Bolan & T-Rex were up next with one of the best examples of this genre: HOT LOVE. Check out this clip from Top of the Pops, 1971. Ah go-go girls, whatever happened to them? Well, the ones in this clip are probably all grandmothers now. Scary.

More roaming down memory lane: Style Council with LONG HOT SUMMER and then it was The Triffids’ dreamy and disturbing TOO HOT TO MOVE, TOO HOT TO THINK. The song reflects on our hot, Australian summer nights.

The idiosyncratic, and highly influential, Captain Beefheart divides people. I’m a fan, especially of our next song, HOT HEAD. The Captain takes the usual hot-love cliches to deliriously literal extremes with his funky brand of the Blues.

Ella Fitzgerald reckons it’s TOO DARN HOT and Prince Buster agrees. His delicious piece of Jamaican Ska, TOO HOT had me up and grooving in the studio. And then it was time for one of the highlights of the recent Mullumbimby Music Festival, Oka with THAT’S HOT.

I can never listen to Glenn Frey’s THE HEAT IS ON without conjuring up the film BEVERLY HILLS COP. So to put it into context, here’s the official video, using footage from the film, starring Eddie Murphy:

Another favourite of mine is John Fogarty, this time with the wonderful gospel group The Fairfield Four, singing A HUNDRED AND TEN IN THE SHADE from Fogarty’s Blue Moon Swamp album. Great album and worth a listen if you’re a Fogarty or Creedence fan. Here’s a clip to whet your appetite:

Of course we had to include Billy Idol’s HOT IN THE CITY. Not so obvious, maybe, is the next tune we played: MELT YOUR HEART from the divine Jenny Lewis. A nice suggestion too, from listener Zoe: SUMMERTIME CLOTHES from Animal Collective.  Andy’s suggestion was Nouvelle Vague’s I MELT WITH YOU and Lynden’s suggestion was a little on the obscure side. But when John Lennon’s goes COLD TURKEY his temperature rises and his fever is high. So, yeah, into the show on HEAT it went.

The great Ray Charles was next with IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT along with a little smooth jazz from Paul Hardcastle and the Jazzmasters, with Helen Rogers on vocals for BODY HEAT.

We closed the show with disco queen Donna Summer and HOT STUFF and the Godfather of funk, James Brown with HOT PANTS! Can you believe that this clip from 1985 was just a rehearsal?

Next week’s show is my Christmas A-Go-Go special, so tune in for some surprising Xmas tunes and I’ll have some giveaways especially for my lovely Theme Park listeners. In the meantime, here’s this week’s complete playlist.

The Heat Is On (Parts 1 & 2) – The Isley Brothers
Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter
Heatwave – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Body Heat – James Brown
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Hot ‘N Cold – Katy Perry
Fever – Adam Freeland & Sarah Vaughan
Hot Love – T. Rex
Long Hot Summer – Style Council
Too Hot to Move, Too Hot to Think (Demo) – The Triffids
Hot Head – Captain Beefheart
Too Darn Hot – Ella Fitzgerald
Too Hot – Prince Buster
That’s Hot – Oka
A Hundred and Ten in The Shade – John Fogerty
The Heat Is On – Glenn Frey
Hot In The City – Billy Idol
Melt Your Heart – Jenny Lewis
I Melt With You – Nouvelle Vague
Summertime Clothes – Animal Collective
Cold Turkey – John Lennon
Body Heat – Paul Hardcastle
In The Heat Of The Night – Ray Charles
Hot Pants – James Brown
Hot Stuff – Donna Summer

Next week: CHRISTMAS A GO-GO

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 SUMMER OF LOVE

Slip on your kaftans and tie-dye t-shirts. Adorn yourself with flowers and beads. We’re going to light-up some joss-sticks, “ban the bomb” and “make love not war!” This week’s theme is dedicated to that period in 1967 that saw as many as 100,000 people converge on the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood of San Francisco,  creating what was to become known as the counterculture movement.  The melting pot of music, psychedelic drugs, sexual freedom, creative expression and politics became a defining moment of the 60’s and forever more will be known as THE SUMMER OF LOVE.

It’s easy to reject songs that seem to have been around forever, but consider the context of these songs’ origins and you’ll realize that what many of these musicians were doing hadn’t been done before and, in many cases, would never be done again. So respect to the hippies and the funk soul sisters & brothers and the year 1967 – a time of exploration and finding new ways of expression.

We opened the show with the THE ACID COMMERCIAL from Country Joe & The Fish and then it was the Beatles with ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE. Arguably the greatest band in the world at the top of their powers, Lennon’s anthem to love may not be his strongest but it’s definitely his catchiest. The Beatles made a worldwide television broadcast of the song, in between sessions of transcendental meditation, and it became a #1 hit in both the US & UK. Check out the clip from this transmission and see if you can see Mick Jagger in the audience.

A song that summed up the mood of those flocking to Haight-Ashbury in that Summer of 67 is, of course, Scott McKenzie’s IF YOU’RE GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO, (be sure to wear flowers in your hair). Written by John Phillips of the Mamas & The Papas, it was originally created to promote the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, which is regarded as being the beginning of the Summer of Love.

FOR WHAT ITS WORTH, by Buffalo Springfield,  is about the closing of the Pandora’s Box Club on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and the clash that followed between the police and kids. But the song quickly took on a larger meaning, symbolizing the generational friction happening all across the country as the hippies and flower children freaked out the authorities from coast to coast. Here’s a great clip from the Monterey Festival:

When you listen to PURPLE HAZE, from Jimi Hendrix’s  ‘Are You Experienced?’ album, you can’t help but imagine the rush of a million wanna-be guitarists running into music stores hoping to be just like Jimi.  Check out this video from 1967 with Jimi Hendrix on Guitar, Noel Redding on Bass and Mitch Mitchell on Drums:

In the early sixties The Beach Boys were synonymous with surfing and Californian youth culture. By the mid-sixties, however, their musical style had become a little more complex. A 1967 example of this new sophisticated sound was HEROES AND VILLAINS. We followed  with a song that had the distinction of being the first track to be played on BBC Radio One when it launched in 1967, FLOWERS IN THE RAIN by The Move.  And, to round out the triple play, The Turtles with HAPPY TOGETHER. This track can lift anyone’s mood. While their vocal harmonies verged on sugar-sweet, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like this song.

I’M A BELIEVER, the Monkees’ hit, was written by none other than Neil Diamond. The song stayed at the top of the charts for six weeks and was the biggest selling single of 1967. That’s right, they even outsold the Beatles and the Stones, and while Neil Diamond, continued to write and perform, he never really needed to work another day in his life after this song took off.  The Mamas & Papas hit, DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE, was originally a hit for the Shirelles in 1961. Here are the Mamas & The Papas with their ’67 version:

Three more classics of the period: Cream’s I FEEL FREE, the Byrds’  SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROCK N ROLL STAR and  Jefferson Airplane’s  SOMEBODY TO LOVE. And then it was Procol Harum with WHITER SHADE OF PALE. This track contains perhaps the most recognizable Hammond B-3 organ rock line ever, snatched from Bach and perhaps a soul player or two. The vague lyrics, however, aren’t very memorable, making the organ bit seem even more imposing and significant than it probably deserves. But hey, what do I know? Here they are on Top of the Pops 1967. Make up your own mind.

Three more songs from that magical time in 1967 referred to as THE SUMMER OF LOVE include I’M A MAN from The Spencer Davis Group, written by Steve Winwood, SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTS from Eric Burdon & the Animals and GET TOGETHER from the Youngbloods.

But the band that epitomised the musical creativity of the sixties is The Beatles. A DAY IN THE LIFE, from their Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, utilised a 40 piece orchestra taking 24 bars to go from the lowest note on their instruments to the highest and six people banging on three pianos at the same time in order to produce one huge power chord. The song obliterated every rule that ever existed for what a pop song should sound like and how it should be made, simple as that. Check it out:

One of the most instantly recognizable riffs in rock history is SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE, from Cream. And one of the most representative of the period is the Small Faces tune ITCHYCOO PARK. For me, though, when it comes to this period, I can’t overlook Janis Joplin. So an essential track from 1967 has to be Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin singing DOWN ON ME.

Jimi Hendrix also deserved another play and this time it was FOXEY LADY. It’s probably worth mentioning here that up until this point Blues guitarists would never have done what Hendrix does on this track. The rule was that the guitar sound should be clean and pure. Jimi however, never got that memo and thank goodness for that.

As well as a time that was marked by anti-Vietnam demonstartions, 1967, unfortunately,  was also a time of race riots, which also fed into the peace movement and hippie revolution with its ideals of compassion, awareness and love. So, in deference to our soul brothers and sisters, it was time for some R&B with I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE by Gladys Knight and the Pips. This song became a #2 hit in 1967 and Marvin Gay’s renditon hit #1 the following year.  But sticking to the plan, we listened to The Pips version and followed with the one and only Jackie Wilson with his landmark single, HIGHER AND HIGHER.

Although they were a white band, the  Young Rascals GROOVIN’ was pure soul  with its memorable Afro-Cuban mood and mid-tempo groove. Timeless song. Check out the clip of them performing live.

The next track was a bit of a cheat, since it wasn’t released until 1969, after the band had broken up. But TIME OF THE SEASON by The Zombies was written and recorded in August 1967 and the vibe is pure SUMMER OF LOVE, baby.  And then it was the Who with I CAN SEE FOR MILES, the only real hit from their crazy concept album The Who Sell Out and SHE’S A RAINBOW from the Rolling Stones. We’ll overlook the Stones vain attempt of trying to one-up the Beatles and just concentrate on those first seven piano notes, which have been likened to the musical equivalent of heroin.

We closed the show with STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER from the Beatles. The band recorded a version by themselves in one key and then they did a version with an orchestra in a different key. The version you know and love is BOTH versions mixed together, speeding the band version up and the orchestral version down. Magic. This promotional video was filmed in January 1967 and was directed by Peter Goldmann, at the time a Swedish TV director.

Now next week’s show is going to be hotter than hot. As a tribute to the upcoming Summer holiday season the theme will be HEAT. Put your thinking caps on and get in touch!

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

The Acid Commercial – Country Joe & The Fish
All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
If You’re Going To San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
Heroes &  Villains – The Beach Boys
Flowers In The Rain – The Move
Happy Together – The Turtles
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Dedicated To The One I Love – Mamas & the Papas
I Feel Free – Cream
So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – The Byrds
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Procol Harum
I’m a Man – Spencer Davis Group
San Franciscan Nights – Eric Burdon & The Animals
Get Together – The Youngbloods
A Day In The Life – The Beatles
Sunshine Of Your Love  – Cream
Itchycoo Park – Small Faces
Down On Me – Janis Joplin/Big Brother & The Holding Company
Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Gladys Knight & The Pips
(Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
Groovin’ – The Young Rascals
Time Of The Season – The Zombies
I Can See for Miles – The Who
She’s a Rainbow – Rolling Stones
Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles

Next week: HEAT

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


Lovin’ & Losin’: Part Two

Whew! December 2 and fifth show already – another biggie. More songs about Lovin’ and Losin’. It’s basically what lifes’ about isn’t it? I read somewhere, (and I honestly don’t remember where now), that the two big questions that rule our lives are “Do you love me?” and “Who’s in control?”. Think about it. 

The Captain (advisor to the lovelorn) was our guest again this week and he had us in stitches. I was greatly impressed when we ran out of questions from our listeners and he was able to recite from memory some hilarious lyrics from a TISM (This Is Serious Mum), song. They are an alternative rock band from Melbourne and my mission now is to get hold of some of their music for future shows. Here for your enjoyment (and the Captain’s) is their 2006 video ‘Everyone Else Had More Sex Than Me’. 

I really loved all the music this week. But I always do. Part Two of Lovin’ & Losin’ delivered everyone from Julie London to Led Zep. Here’s the playlist:

I’m In The Mood For Love  Julie London

Love Love Love  The Clovers

Thirty Second Lover  The Five Royales (in response to last week’s Sixty Minute Lover which some of our male listeners found a little intimidating but the girls thought was quite inspirational!)

The Glory of Love  The Five Keys

Don’t Know Much About History – Sam Cooke

A Teenager In Love  Dion & The Belmonts (dedicated to the schoolies in town celebrating end of high school)

My Boyfriend’s Back  The Angels

Chapel Of Love  The Dixie Cups

Mama Talk To Your Daughter  Magic Sam

All Your Love  John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton) 

Chain Of Fools  Aretha Franklin

Gimme All Your Lovin Or I Will Kill You  Macy Gray

Wake Up Alone  Amy Winehouse

I’m Not In Love  10cc

When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman  Dr. Hook

Cupid  Sam Cooke

Dearest  Buddy Holly

Anyone Else But You  The Moldy Peaches

Good Lovin’  The Rascals

Stoned Love  The Supremes

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me  Dusty Springfield

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’  The Righteous Brothers

Only The Lonely  Roy Orbison

Wild Thing  The Troggs

Gimme Some Lovin’  Steve Winwood (Spencer Davis Group)

I Heard It Through The Grapevine  Paul Weller & Amy Winehouse

Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’  Crazy  Elephant 

Whole Lotta Love  Led Zeppelin 

Next week we’re focusing on Summer – lots of music from the 60’s. We’re talkin’ beach, summer flings, ice-cream, surfing. Did I say ice-cream?

Listen to the Theme Park every Tuesday 2-4 pm, Eastern Standard Time on  BayFM 99.9fm. Streaming on http://www.bayfm.org.

Lovin’ & Losin’: Part One

A huge topic. So much so that I decided from the get-go to take it over two shows. Is it possible that all songs somehow are about Lovin’ and/or Losin? Could be, based on the enormous task of choosing songs for these two shows. Mammoth!

The first part of the Lovin’ & Losin’ show, on November 25, introduced a new guest to our listeners. ‘The Captain’ came in to give advice to the lovelorn and proved to be a big hit, even though his advice was unorthodox, to say the least!

My discovery this week was C.W. Stoneking who I saw at the Mullumbimby Music Festival. Incredible. Hard to describe but very influenced by 20’s and 30’s blues. I was knocked out by his album Jungle Blues. I included his song The Love Me or Die in the show. I’ve included here a great little clip from You Tube where C.W. sings Ragged and Dirty and also gives us some insight into what he is about. Enjoy!

We also had lots of other great songs (of course – why play stuff you don’t like when there is such a great amount of fantastic music out there?). I try to give some background info wherever possible,  to help navigate our listeners through the playlist. Here’s an item for you:

Percy Mayfield’s famous recording Please Send Me Someone To Love was a #1 R&B hit single in 1950. It was widely influential and recorded by many other singers. The song is a brilliant combination of sensitivity to wider issues of conflict in the world and the very personal need for love.  A 1952 auto accident left him seriously injured, including a facial disfigurement that limited his performing. However, that did not stop his prolific songwriting. His career continued to flourish with songs like Strange Things Happening, Lost Love, What a Fool I Was, Prayin’ for Your Return, Cry Baby, and Big Question.

 

Here’s the complete playlist:

Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)  Eartha Kitt lyn-the-captain

I’m in Love Again  Fats Domino 

Singing The Blues  Guy Mitchell 

He Will Break Your Heart   Jerry Butler 

Please Send Me Someone To Love  Percy Mayfield

Sixty Minute Man  Billy Ward & His Dominoes

Fools Fall In Love  The Drifters

Your Cheatin Heart  Hank Williams

I Ain’t Got No Business Doin’ Business Today Razzy Bailey 

Hallelujah I Love Her So  Ray Charles

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me  The Supremes With The Temptations

And I Love Her  The Beatles

Love Is Strange  Mickey & Sylvia

Love potion No. 9  The Clovers

Double Crossing Blues  The Johnny Otis Quintette with Little Esther & The Robins

The Love Me Or Die  C.W. Stoneking

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again  Tom Jones 

How Sweet it is (to be loved by you) – Marvin Gaye

Love the One You’re With  Luther Vandross

Unchained Melody  Al Green

All I Want Is You  Barry Louis Polisar

Never Be Anyone Else But You  Ricky Nelson

Love Hurts  Roy Orbison

Crazy Love  Ray Charles & Van Morrison

Love Is A Losing Game  Amy Winehouse

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted  Jimmy Ruffin 

I Need Love  Little Richard

I’m In The Mood  John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart –  Janis Joplin

Next week: Part Two of Lovin’ & Losin. 

Meanwhile, a couple of love quotes for you:

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet – Plato      

Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life – Lord Byron

Listen to ‘Theme Park’ on BayFM, 99.9 on the dial. Tuesdays 2-4pm Eastern Standard Time. Streaming on http://www.bayfm.org.


 

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