As a tribute to all the Capricorns celebrating their birthdays at the moment, (including me!), the theme this week was GOING OUT AND PARTYING. Some famous Capricorns include Elvis Presley, who would have turned 75 this week, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin, Dolly Parton… the list goes on. Oh, what amazing company I’m in!
We opened the show Pink’s GET THIS PARTY STARTED and if that song can’t get you in the party mood I don’t know what will. If you’ve never seen Pink perform live, you are really missing out. Here’s some footage from her show at the Wembley Arena. Enjoy.
Wanda Jackson also has the right attitude. Her song LET’S HAVE A PARTY was a hit for her in 1959, a year after Elvis Presley released it. I totally adore Louis Jordan and included two of his tracks this week. The first has a great clip to show you. Have a look at LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL :
The Theme Park party was off to a great start and the party continued with Santana’s INTERPLANETARY PARTY from the 2007 album, Ultimate Santana. But, I ask you, what’s a party without James Brown? One thing you can count on, he’s GONNA HAVE A FUNKY GOOD TIME. Joe Jackson was also STEPPIN OUT and, as the Showstoppers explained, with their hit of 1968, it AIN’T NOTHIN BUT A HOUSE PARTY.
Loved Sam Cooke’s smooth rendition of WE’RE HAVING A PARTY but I have to admit that I was totally intrigued by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song title, GOING TO A GO-GO. I have no idea what a Go-Go is, but the song is a sure fire dance floor filler, so it has to be about a party, surely.
The Irish Rovers sound as if it was one hell of a get-together with their ditty WASN’T THAT A PARTY. It’s hard to find a full clip of the Rovers singing any song but here’s one that includes this catchy tune, which they used to open their 80’s television series “Party with the Rovers”. Take a peek:
Claudine Clark’s one-hit wonder of 1962, PARTY LIGHTS, stands out because she wrote the music and the lyrics herself, which was unusual for a female performer during that time. Sung from the point of view of a teenage girl ordered to her room while her friends were out having a good time, “Party Lights” struck a chord and shot into the Top Five on both the pop and R&B charts.
What’s the purpose of a party? Well, let’s face it life can be pretty serious a lot of the time, so getting together with your friends and celebrating the positive things in life can be a lot of fun. Although I can testify that the after effects don’t always make it worth the effort. But that’s just my hangover talking. I’m sure the wonderful Amos Milburn wouldn’t agree and he has a great song to prove it – LET’S HAVE A PARTY.
Friday night seems to be the favourite night of the week to go out, so I thought it was appropriate to include Lily Allen’s FRIDAY NIGHT and The Specials’ FRIDAY NIGHT, SATURDAY MORNING. Then Three Dog Night claimed that their MOMMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME. They had to find out the hard way that “This is the craziest party there could ever be”. Check out the clip from 1970:
We played PARTY TRAIN by the Dazz Band on our Train show but it deserved a second listen. Smiley Lewis followed with CALADONIA’S PARTY. Now anyone with a name like Caledonia deserves to have a party in her honour, don’t you think?
Bobby Darin was just sitting in his bath, minding his own business and gets out of the bath with just a towel around him. Now how did he know there was a party going on? That’s how he tells it anyway in SPLISH SPLASH.
ZZ Top know how to do party. They’re turning up the radio and having a PARTY ON THE PATIO. Lesley Gore, on the other hand, needs a bit of sympathy. As she tells it, ITS MY PARTY (and I’ll cry if I want to).
The Donnas give short shrift to gatecrashers on WHO INVITED YOU? And for my guilty pleasure it was Kiss: “and you say you wanna go for a spin, the party’s just begun, we’ll let you in, you drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy.” Yes, indeed, I WANNA ROCK AND ROLL.
Maybe the party lifestyle isn’t what its all cracked up to be. Not according to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, anyway, with PARTY GIRL or Marc Almond and Soft Cell with their reality check of a song, BEDSITTER.
I’m not convinced. Give me the optimisim of Michael Jackson’s OFF THE WALL or anything from the disco era, like Kool and the Gang’s CELEBRATION or Alicia Bridges with the party girl’s anthem, I LOVE THE NIGHLIFE. The song will forever be associated with the film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and who am I to change that? Check out the clip:
The Beastie Boys are ready to FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY. Excellent. Even Bob Dylan had a song for us about parties – MILLION DOLLAR BASH.
Time to finish the show and what better way than with the brilliant Blossom Dearie with THE PARTY’S OVER followed by the Beatles’ BIRTHDAY. Here’s a cute piece of animation created by Mery, for all the Capricorns out there.
I thought next week I might have to work off some of the birthday cake, so it’s a show more for the walkers, than the talkers. The theme is WALKING AND RUNNING. Any suggestions?
Here’s this week’s playlist:
I’ve got something I want to tell you. I like grass. No, I’m not ‘fessing up to the local authorities. I really do like the smell and feel of good old-fashioned grass, the kind you find in paddocks, or lawns if you’re in the suburbs, especially after it’s just rained. And with the Splendour in the Grass music festival about to descend on Byron Bay once more, this week’s theme ‘GRASS’ seemed an obvious choice. And, yes, there was some mention of a certain recreational substance in the line-up this week. But hey, it was all in good fun and not necessarily an endorsement.
And talking of fun: Pink is in Brisbane next weekend as part of her FUNHOUSE TOUR. The tour’s major sponsor,Optus, kindly offered Theme Park two tickets to give away on air to one lucky listener. The winner, Vanessa, is off to see a dazzling carnival style set, daring aerial feats and the vocal powerhouse that is PINK. Thanks Optus!
We opened our show about grass with GRAZING IN THE GRASS from the Friends of Distinction and the R&B feel continued with a couple of songs about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence: Wilson Pickett’s advice is DON’T LET THE GREEN GRASS FOOL YA while Dr John still thinks that THE GRASS LOOKS GREENER YONDER.
After Tom Waites entertained us with the brilliant GREEN GRASS from the Real Gone album, it was QUIT PLAYING GAMES WITH GOD! from Mark Mothersbaugh (ex Devo), the theme music from a terrific documentary by Ron Mann called GRASS. You can watch the whole film, in several parts, on You Tube, btw. Thanks Ron! And then a perfect follow up: Petula Clark’s pop-hit about more castles in the sky: THE OTHER MAN’S GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER. As the lovely Pet puts it: let’s be thankful for what we’ve got. A track from 1966 that supports that notion is GREEN GRASS by Gary Lewis and the Playboys and it was great to hear that particular piece of pop again too.
The Ink Spots gave us a great, if somewhat strange, track called WHISPERING GRASS. A song about gossiping: Be careful what you tell those “blabbering trees” say the Spots. Okaaaaay. Time then for some vintage blues with Lil Johnson lamenting the fact that her best friend stole her man, the low-down dirty SNAKE IN THE GRASS. She’s talking about the friend there, not the boyfriend. Hmmmm. I think there might be two snakes in that crop of grass.
A couple more songs from the GRASS soundtrack followed: FRESH AIR from Quicksilver Messenger Service and John Prine singing ILLEGAL SMILE. Loving the help he gets from the audience at what sounds like a particularly good-time live performance. Yeah, they were ” just trying to have me some fun”. Fair enough too.
Buck Owens knows how to get to a woman: if you break up with him, he asks, WHO’S GONNA MOW YOUR LAWN? Yes, worth considering I’m sure. Check out this clip fronm 1969. Hee Haw indeed.
I had to have a chuckle when Japanese punk group Hi-Standard delivered the television theme GREEN ACRES for our listening pleasure. Nicely followed by Toby Keith and Tim McGraw with some serious country with WHERE THE GREEN GRASS GROWS and then it was the beautiful voices of the Everly Brothers with BOWLING GREEN, recently covered by Neko Case. But as much as I love Neko, you can’t top the original version.
Time then for some jazz and blues: Sarah Vaughan does a great version of BLUE GRASS that was recorded in 1947. I love the line – ‘you can’t keep me warm with a racing form’.
Cab Calloway’s REEFER MAN was followed by THE LUNATIC IS ON THE GRASS from Pink Floyd’s album Dark Side of the Moon and then it was some Aussie nostalgia. A Glenn Shorrock double: Axiom with ARKANSAS GRASS followed by the Twilights with NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK. Let’s have a look at one the fastest songs ever: Cab Calloway and REEFER MAN. Loving the outfits!
Appropriately, we followed with KILLING JIVE from the Cats & The Fiddle, ITCHYCOO PARK from the Small Faces and RAINY DAY WOMEN from Bob Dylan. They made up a nice trio of ‘Grass’ songs dedicated to all my friends out at Nimbin.
Crazy about the experimental sound of Animal Collective, especially the track GRASS from their Feel album of 2005. Apparently they had a piano untuned (yes, you read that correctly) and then tuned all their instruments to the out of tune piano. Mad. Check out this video and then try to convince me that psychedelia is dead!
My last song about grass was the great soul sound of Ella Washington with THE GRASS IS GREENER.
The show finished with a tribute to Terrie Wells, otherwise known as Red Terra, one of BayFM’s most dedicated and skilled presenters who, sadly, died on Monday July 20th after collapsing at home on the previous Thursday. Our thoughts go out to her family and I know I speak on behalf of everyone at BayFM when I say that we will miss her passion and commitment to community radio and to the environment. She was simply an inspiration. The O’Jays STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN was played in her honour.
Here’s the complete playlist: