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STAR SIGNS

Our theme this week was Star Signs –  songs of the zodiac, songs that highlight the way someone’s birth date can influence their very being (or maybe not).  All the songs on this week’s list try to deal with the notion that we’re emotionally and intellectually influenced by the movement of some distant stars and planets. Some songwriters are more than happy to go along with the idea and some reject the concept outright. We opened the show with Diana Ross and the Supremes singing NO MATTER WHAT SIGN YOU ARE. Written by Berry Gordy and recorded in the the late 60’s it tried to cash in on the success of the musical HAIR and the hit tune AQUARIUS.

For jazz great Cannonball Adderley the zodiac was so fascinating that he devoted a whole 1972 album to it. With narration by DJ Rick Holmes – noted on the sleeve for his “sophisticated rhetoric” – SOUL ZODIAC is seduction par excellence, not to mention a reflection on an era when ‘The Age of Aquarius’ captured everyone’s imagination. If you’re celebrating your birthday this month, like BayFM presenters Helen from Q’s Jazz & Blues or Post Modern Backlash’s Hudson, or my gorgeous daughter Zoe, then you’re a Pisces. So it was fitting that we chose PISCES from Adderley’s album to move the show along.

Kris Kristofferson reminded us that there was a very famous Capricorn who “ate organic foods, believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes”. Yes, JESUS WAS A CAPRICORN. And then it was Creedence Clearwater Revival with a warning: there’s a BAD MOON RISING. Here they are performing the song live, in a rare video clip:

Curtis Mayfield’s “funky woman” decides, rather unfairly I think, that they’re incompatible because of what she reads in the newspaper. He tells us all about it in READINGS IN ASTROLOGY. The Floaters followed with their very groovy 1977 hit FLOAT ON.

Albert King blames the zodiac for all his troubles in BORN UNDER THE BAD SIGN. Albert was born on April 25, which makes him a Taurian. Seems like negativity might be a Taurian trait.

Jamiriquai were having a BLACK CAPRICORN DAY. Singer Jason Kay was born on December 30 and the song is reputedly autobiographical, telling of how he was kicked out of home as a teenager and surviving on the streets. I’m a Cappie myself, so I know how it feels when those occasional dark times descend. Luckily we’re essentially the zodiac’s eternal optimists so there’s always a silver lining under every black cloud. Check out the Jamiriquai video clip:

Talking of optimists,  Adem is totally swept away with the power of the stars in  THESE LIGHTS ARE MEANINGFUL.  Tori Amos seems to be saying farewell to a February/March lover in GOODBYE PISCES.  Cannonball Adderley and DJ Rick Holmes were at it again, this time with  what many consider the best track from the SOUL ZODIAC album, CAPRICORN.

The Moody Blues delivered a song for all my crazy, brilliant, Gemini mates: GEMINI DREAM. Check out this video of them performing live in 1984 at Wembley Arena. Little bit of overkill on the smoke machine, methinks, but you’ve got to love the Moodies.

It’s been raining cats and dogs up here in the North, so a dose of the The Fifth Dimension with AQUARIUS and LET THE SUNSHINE IN lifted the mood somewhat and, hopefully, will influence the weatherman.

Some more Cannonball Adderley (it’s a great album, really!): Having already heard about the water sign PISCES and the earth sign CAPRICORN, it was time to find out about the fire sign ARIES. Prince couldn’t care less what sign you are, all he wants is your KISS.

Teenage Fanclub try to dismiss the power a star sign can hold: “Hey, there’s a horseshoe on my door,” they sing, “big deal. Hey, there’s a black cat on the floor, big deal.” But the Fanclub accept that people’s days are changed by whatever they wish to believe. For Rush, the question of whether the “stars aren’t aligned, or the gods are malign” is very simple. “I will choose a path that’s clear,” they proclaim. “I will choose freewill.” Hmmm, now there’s some food for thought. Check out the video of Rush performing live in 1981. Brilliant.

Regina Spektor is another favourite if mine. She’s an Aquarius and she’s recorded a song of the same name that’s intensely personal and worth checking out if you are also one of those  highly intelligent, humanitarian people born under this particular water sign.

A great piece of instrumental followed, called SCORPIO, from the brilliant jazz guitarist and ex-Funk Brother, Dennis Coffey. This guy has played with all the soul greats, including Mavin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder….. the list goes on. And he’s white! Just goes to show, there’s no colour barrier to soul. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

More Cannonball Adderley (can I help it if the guy’s a genius and he just so happened to record a whole album that suited the theme?). He gives the air sign LIBRA its due attention, and we know that Librans like attention don’t we! . German Big Bander Gunter Noris contributed the track GEMINI from an album called ‘The In Kraut Hip Shaking Grooves”. I kid you not. The 70’s have a lot to answer for.

SAGITTARIUS SILVER ANNOUNCEMENT is from the album Embryonic, by the band that dared to remake Dark Side of the Moon and actually got away with it – the Flaming Lips. I don’t have a decent clip of them performing this great track, but I encourage you to check out their very good website at http://www.flaminglips.com

The next double was a very moving one. First up it was George Harrison with a song about his own star sign, PISCES FISH and we followed with one of the most beautiful tunes I’ve heard of late, GUIDING STAR by Neil Finn. It was recorded on the album Caution: Life Ahead as a fundraiser for the Buttery rehabilitation centre here in the Northern Rivers.

Now I did choose to cover Western Astrology for this week’s show but I want to recognise that this is the Chinese Year of the Tiger. For those of you born under this sign you are courageous, daring, confident and a born leader. But you can be unpredictable and tempestuous, sometimes territorial and possessive. Because 2010 s the Year of the Metal Tiger, it also brings you additional strength and determination. And in celebration of what looks like a dynamic year for all of us, and as a tribute to all the Leos out there, we closed the show with Al Stewart’s YEAR OF THE CAT.  Kung Hei Fat Choy! That is, I hope this year brings you all good fortune and prosperity.

I’m often quoted as saying that I’ll do a show on almost anything, including fruit and vegetables and I realized I hadn’t actually created a show about these very healthy food items, so next week FRUIT AND VEGIES it is. Whatchagot?

Here’s this week’s playlist:

No Matter What Sign You Are – Diana Ross & the Supremes
Pisces – Cannonball Adderley
Jesus Was A Capricorn – Kris Kristofferson
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Readings In Astrology – Curtis Mayfield
Float On – The Floaters
Born Under The Bad Sign – Albert King
Sunrise in Aries – God is an Astronaut
Black Capricorn Day – Jamiroquai
These Lights Are Meaningful – Adem
Goodbye Pisces – Tori Amos
Capricorn – Cannonball Adderley
Gemini Dream – Moody Blues
Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension
Aries – Cannonball Adderley
Kiss – Prince
Star Sign – Teenage Fanclub
Freewill – Rush
Aquarius – Regina Spektor
Scorpio – Dennis Coffey
Libra – Cannonball Adderley
Gemini – Günter Noris
Sagittarius Silver Announcement – The Flaming Lips
Pisces Fish – George Harrison
Guiding Star – Neil Finn
Year of the Cat – Al Stewart
Next week: FRUIT & VEGETABLES

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

SMILING & LAUGHING

71944As the saying goes: if you smile the whole world smiles with you. A genuine, infectious smile and/or laughter can make a bad date turn good, seal a business deal and make friends wherever you go. So, it was my job this week to put a smile on everyone’s face with an absolute abundance of songs about SMILING AND LAUGHING. What better way to open the show than with David Bowie’s attempt at a novelty song – THE LAUGHING GNOME – released as a single in 1967. I’m not sure that he was laughing all the way to the bank with that release, but hey, I got a kick out of it.

sly-fresh-cover-500x1Now I’ve discovered that not all songs about smiling and laughing are cheerful at all, which kind of threw me as I was hoping to enjoy a fully upbeat show this week.  But those renegade R&B singers, in particular, are prone to turning any song into a lover’s lament, but what can you do!  It was up to Sly & The Family Stone to deliver a very funky pop tune with YOU CAUGHT ME SMILIN’ to get the show moving in the right direction.

Winners of the prize for silliest band name ever has to be The The. Luckily, they are a very good band. We played what was probably their most successful track, UNCERTAIN SMILE, from the 1983 Soul Mining album. Jools Holland, in his role as session muso, played piano on the original recording. Here they are, without Jools, unfortunately, performing live.

It was inevitable that the 60’s soul singers would bring the sad clown into the mix. Mary Wells sang about her LAUGHING BOY and  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles reminded us of the paradox that is the TEARS OF A CLOWN, written, by the way, by Stevie Wonder. We needed to jump a couple of generations to entertain both sides of the love coin. Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas is madly in love with a particular girl, particularly WHEN SHE SMILES but that little vixen Lily Allen finds a bit of revenge on an ex-lover is all she needs to make her SMILE. The video made me smile, I know that much. Take a look:

Next it was Nat King Cole with IF YOU CAN’T SMILE AND SAY YES, recorded in 1946, which explains all the references to nylons and the like. The beautiful voice of Alison Krauss followed with her cover of WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL. Krauss was already a veteran bluegrass fidler and vocalist at age 23 when the recording won the 1995 CMA award for “Single of the Year”. Take a look:

More R&B songs followed and, as expected,  smiling was a struggle: The Undisputed Truth were Motown hitmaker Norman Whitfield’s favourite band and their track, SMILING FACES SOMETIMES,Wendy Renerepossessed from the Temptations, was their only chart success. Wendy Rene’s song AFTER LAUGHTER (Comes Tears) was recorded on the Stax label in 1964. In 1967 Wendy was scheduled to fly with Otis Redding to what would have been her last live performance. She changed her mind at the last minute, wanting to stay home with her family. The plane crashed and Redding and six others perished. Thankfully Wendy is alive and well and resides today in Tennessee where she runs a publishing company.

album-20th-century-masters-the-millennium-collection-the-best-of-astrud-gilbertoThank goodness for reggae! Max Romeo and The Upsetters (great name) cheered us up with SMILE OUT A STYLE.  And you can always rely on the Jazz singers for inspiration. Astrud Gilberto does a stunning version of THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE that had to be included (Thanks Quentin for the suggestion).

I also love Regina Spektor and her song that questions God’s sense of humour – LAUGHING WITH – is beautiful. It’s from her latest album ‘Far’. Here’s the official clip:

Even more sad songs about smiling and laughing: Teddy Pendergrass’ has a problem with his ego. He reckons that THE WHOLE TOWN IS LAUGHING AT ME; Dusty Springfield is pining for  JUST ONE SMILE and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, milking the sad clown story for all its worth, gave us the much covered THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS. Happily, Bowling For Soup have got a completely different outlook on life. As their song SHUT UP AND SMILE states, all they need is love and beer. 

Happy to include three musical icons: Van Morrison with JACKIE WILSON SAID, Bob Dylan with IT TAKES A LOT TO LAUGH, IT TAKES A TRAIN TO CRY and Neil Young with THE OLD LAUGHING LADY.

We closed the show with Michael Jackson’s rendition of the classic ballad, SMILE. The song was originally used as an instrumental theme in the soundtrack for the 1936 film Modern Times and was written by comic genius Charlie Chaplin. Here’s a great video clip of Chaplin’s work with MJ singing SMILE over. Two of the best all-round entertainers the world has known:

Thanks to Quentin, Kira & Des for their help with the playlist this week. Remember, whatever happens: keep on smiling!

Here’s the complete playlist:

Children Laughing 0:07 FX 7
The Laughing Gnome 3:06 David Bowie David Bowie The Collection Rock 4
You Caught Me Smiling 2:54 Sly & The Family Stone Funk 6
Uncertain Smile 6:52 The The Soul Mining Alternative 5
Laughing Boy 2:53 Mary Wells Ultimate Collection R&B 6
The Tears Of A Clown 3:01 Smokey Robinson & the Miracles ’70 Motown Motown 5
When She Smiles 3:06 Matchbox 20 Pop 4
Smile 3:14 Lily Allen Triple J 14 Pop 2
If You Can’t Smile and Say Yes 2:21 Nat King Cole Embraceable You Jazz 7
The Smile On Your Face 4:21 Allison Krauss Country 5
We Laugh Indoors 4:58 Death Cab For Cutie The Photo Album Alternative 2
Smile Out A Style 3:34 Max Romeo & The Upsetters War Ina Babylon Reggae 2
After Laughter (Comes Tears) 3:02 Wendy Rene The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968 Disc 3 Classic Soul 2
Smiling Faces Sometimes 3:15 The Undisputed Truth Soul Hits Of The 70’s – Volu. Soul 4
Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) 4:01 Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel Lost and Found 4 1971-1976 Pop 2
The shadow of your smile 2:31 Astrud Gilberto Verve Jazz Masters 9 Lounge
Sara Smile 3:10 Hall & Oates Rock ‘n Soul, Pt. 1: Greatest Hits Rock 2
Laughing With 3:16 Regina Spektor Laughing With / Blue Lips – Single Alternative 2
The Whole Town Is Laughing At Me 4:29 Teddy Pendergrass Rhythmic Soul
The Tracks Of My Tears 2:56 Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 65 The Big Chill Motown 4
Just One Smile 2:40 Dusty Springfield 70’s The Silver Collection Pop 6
Shut Up and Smile 4:03 Bowling for Soup Punk 3
Male Laughing Hysterical 0:08 FX 5
Die Laughing 2:48 Therapy? Troublegum Alt Metal 1
The Old Laughing Lady 5:38 Neil Young Neil Young Rock
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry 4:09 Bob Dylan Highway 61 Revisited Rock 8
Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) 2:59 Van Morrison Classic Rock 11
Fooled By A Smile 4:05 Swing Out Sister Shapes and Patterns Pop
Smile Like You Mean It 4:00 The Killers Mr Brightside Rock 1
Smile At Me 2:56 Rocksteady Rock 3
Smile 4:56 Michael Jackson History CD2 Pop 3

The Laughing Gnome – David Bowie

You Caught Me Smiling – Sly & The Family Stone

Uncertain Smile  – The The

Laughing Boy – Mary Wells

The Tears Of A Clown – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

When She Smiles – Matchbox 20

Smile – Lily Allen

If You Can’t Smile and Say Yes – Nat King Cole

The Smile On Your Face – Allison Krauss

We Laugh Indoors – Death Cab For Cutie

Smile Out A Style – Max Romeo & The Upsetters

After Laughter (Comes Tears) – Wendy Rene

Smiling Faces Sometimes – The Undisputed Truth

Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

The Shadow Of Your Smile – Astrud Gilberto

Sara Smile – Hall & Oates

Laughing With – Regina Spektor

The Whole Town Is Laughing At Me – Teddy Pendergrass

The Tracks Of My Tears – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles 

Just One Smile – Dusty Springfield 

Shut Up and Smile – Bowling for Soup

Die Laughing – Therapy?

The Old Laughing Lady – Neil Young

It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry – Bob Dylan

Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile) – Van Morrison

Fooled By A Smile – Swing Out Sister

Smile Like You Mean It – The Killers

Smile At Me  – Rocksteady

Smile – Michael Jackson

Next week: UNREQUITED LOVE.
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

 

GREAT COVERS

So what makes a great cover? I think it’s when an artist makes a song his or her own, while still respecting the essence of the original. There are some SoundMusicexceptional covers that completely redefine a song to the point that we identify the tune with the cover artist forever more. And we had a few of those this week in our show about COVERS THAT ARE BETTER THAN THE ORIGINALS.

jazz-150-0John Coltrane transformed The Sound of Music’s perky pick me up MY FAVOURITE THINGS into something of a jazz landmark, so, as our opener,  it served as a very good example of a song that was reinvented for the listener. Another supreme example of a good cover is Ray Charles rendition of the Beatles ELEANOR RIGBY.  His powerful and  moving version uses R & B piano and gospel vocals to create something unique from what was a pretty perfect piece of pop to begin with. Check out this clip from the Dick Cavett show 1972. Loving the Raelettes moves, not to mention the pastel kaftans!

In his latter years Johnny Cash recorded a number of covers that, at first glance, seem at odds with his ‘country’ persona. None is more moving than HURT. Cash takes all the self-pity out of the Nine Inch Nails junkie confessional and turns it into an old man’s devastating deathbed testimonial. Take a look at this video clip. It’s a poignant performance that’s almost haunting, as it was created just prior to Cash’s untimely death. Whether or not you’re a Johnny Cash fan, this performance is powerful and deep with emotion. 

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER from Jimi Hendrix was written, and first recorded, by Bob Dylan.  He’s one of the most-covered musicians in history for a reason: Besides writing some of the best songs of the rock era, he’s made lots of recordings that sound unfinished, even skeletal.The original of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER is spine-chilling in its own strange way, but the song didn’t become a classic until Jimi Hendrix unleashed his version. Hendrix seems to channel pure myth and mystery. Of course, it wouldn’t work without Dylan’s lyrics and unsettling chords, but the Hendrix solos actually sound like wind howling and wildcats growling, don’t you think?

Canadian band, Cowboy Junkies, version of The Velvet Underground’s SWEET JANE was based on the one that was included in 1969: The Velvet Underground Live. Lou Reed himself described it as “the best and most authentic version I have ever heard”. At the risk of including way too many video clips, I have to show you this:

The Lennon/McCartney single, WE CAN WORK IT OUT, comes from the middle of The Beatles most radical creative reinvention, the 1965 shift from steviewonder13the straightforward pop of Help! To the multi-faceted Rubber Soul, which would revolutionise their music, and by extension, everybody’s else’s. So, it’s fitting that when Stevie Wonder covered the song on 1970’s Signed, Sealed & Delivered, he was in the middle of a similar transition from Motown’s teenage wunderkid to the socially conscious and superfunky artist he became in the mid 70’s. Wonder’s performance is so powerful, in fact, that it changes the meaning of the song without changing a word.

We teamed that with Ike & Tina Turner’s version of PROUD MARY. As Tina explains in the fairly subdued preface: “We never, ever do nothin’ nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough.” The Turners – and their band – then tear the intro to shreds by kicking up the tempo, adding horns and driving it all with a beat that practically demands that people dance. By comparison, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s original mid-tempo rock number sounds positively bland. 

One sure-fire way to reinvent a song is to flip the sex of the singer. Two examples of that are  Melanie’s version of the Stones’ RUBY TUESDAY and Regina Spektor’s version of John Lennon’s REAL LOVE

Another is  Janis Joplin’s cover of Roger Miller’s ME AND BOBBY MCGEE. Joplin’s version gave her the only number one single of her career and only the second posthumous number one single in rock n roll history (the first was Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding).

Back to boys on boys:   Edgar & Johnny Winter do a wonderful version of TOBACCO ROAD, recorded originally by the Nashville Teens. And idiosyncratic Melbourne performer,  C.W. Stoneking, puts a whole new spin on the White Stripes SEVEN NATION ARMY. The clip is from radio station’s Triple J’s ‘Like A Version’ series, available on CD/DVD. Wild.

My favourite number in this week’s playlist was suggested by a Sydney listener, Lynden (thank you!):  Jazz singer Patricia Barber with her interpretation of Sonny & Cher’s THE BEAT GOES ON. And then Stevie Ray Vaughan gave Jimi Hendrix a run for his money with his version of VOODOO WOMAN. 

Two of my all time favourite R&B artists followed: Al Green taking the Bee Gees ballad HOW CAN YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART to a whole new level and Aretha Franklin showing us how her version of Otis Redding’s RESPECT made it, not only an anthem for the feminist movement and the civil rights moviement, but, her very own signature song. Here’s a great little doco from Ovation TV looking at Aretha’s background and the important place that the song has in history.

English groups of the 60’s, in particular The Beatles, weren’t adverse to borrowing from the American R&B artists of the day to create some of their early hits (think of the Beatles Please Mr. Postman as an example). One R&B song that achieves a great transformation from R&B to rock is the Rolling Stones cover of the  Temptations JUST MY IMAGINATION.

Patti-Smith-799533A male rock song that benefited greatly from being sung by a woman is GLORIA. Patti Smith introduced bisexuality and religious guilt to the horny garage rock song, originally recorded by Van Morrison’s band Them.

BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX was originally recorded by Jimmy Webb. Isaac Hayes takes the listener on an epic journey by re-imagining the song’s entire context so persuasively that by the time he starts actually singing, the emotional force just about knocks our socks off. 

Sometimes it’s hard to listen to any Doors song with a straight face, let alone LIGHT MY FIRE. Jackie Wilson had a bit of fun with his vastly superior version: its pure funk and I love the way Wilson punctuates it with his trademark squeals and screeches. It’s way sexier than the Doors’ psychedelic original, that’s for sure.

One of those songs that will forever be owned by the cover artist is Sinead O’Connor’s NOTHING COMPARES 2 U. Originally recorded by Prince’s group Family but no-one much remembers that now. Here’s the official clip showing her at the pinnacle of her career. Beautiful.

Now before the messages start filling my inbox, I’m sure that I’ve missed some obvious great covers and two hours is not nearly enough time to give credit where credit is due. Let’s go on the record as saying that, yes, every cover of a Leonard Cohen number is probably better than the original (sorry Leonard) but if I hear HALLELUJA one more time I will scream; that Cat Power is very good, but not a genius and that no-one can do Roy Orbison like Roy Orbison, not even kd lang.

And so I chose to go out with the Clash’s cover of  I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON, originally recorded by The Bobby Fuller Four and royorbisonbeatlesthen it was something quite special: ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT? was first published in 1926 and was most notably covered by Elvis Presley in 1960. I have no idea when this version was recorded, most probably when the Beatles toured the US in the mid 60’s. It’s Elvis with Roy Orbison and the Beatles doing back-up. I’ve only been able to find it as a download but if anyone has any back story on this, let me know. And the finale was The Beatles covering TWIST & SHOUT, originally recorded by the Top Notes but most people may be more aware of the Isley Brothers version. The Beatles definitely made this one their own.

Here’s the complete playlist, with original artists in brackets:

My Favourite Things (From The Sound Of Music) 4:38 John Coltrane Broadway Originals Jazz 4
Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) 3:00 Ray Charles Jazz 9
Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) 3:39 Johnny Cash American IV: The Man Comes Around Country 8
All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) 4:00 Jimi Hendrix The Ultimate Experience Classic Rock 4
Sweet Jane (Lou Reed) 3:35 Cowboy Junkies Alternative 8
We Can Work It Out (Beatles) 3:18 Stevie Wonder Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 R&B 6
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival) 4:57 Ike & Tina Turner R&B 10
Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones) 4:37 Melanie Safka Folk/Pop 3
Real Love (John Lennon) 3:15 Regina Spektor Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to save Darfur Alternative 5
Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) 3:15 C.W. Stoneking Like A Version Four Alternative
Tobacco Road (Nashville Teens) 4:06 Edgar & Johnny Winter Entrance Blues/Rock
Me And Bobby McGee (Roger Miller) 4:33 Janis Joplin Country/Blues 3
The Beat Goes On (Sonny & Cher) 5:28 Patricia Barber Companion Jazz 4
After Midnight (JJ Cale) 2:54 Eric Clapton The Cream Of Clapton Blues 5
Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) 7:58 Stevie Ray Vaughan Chicago Blues Fest 1985 Blues 6
How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? (Bee Gees) 6:19 Al Green Love & Happiness: The Very Best Of Al Green [Disc 2] R&B 1
Respect (orig. Otis Redding) 2:29 Aretha Franklin (Otis Redding cover 65) Forrest Gump – The Soundtrack R&B 5
Just My Imagination (The Temptations) 4:38 The Rolling Stones Some Girls Classic Rock 3
Gloria (Van Morrison/Them) 5:56 Patti Smith Horses Alternative 5
By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Johnny Rivers/Glen Campbell) 7:06 Isaac Hayes Soul Hits of the 70s Soul 2
Light My Fire (The Doors) 2:51 Jackie Wilson Super Breaks Rhythmic Soul 2
Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family/Prince) 5:07 Sinead O’Connor She Who Dwells [UK] Disc 2 Rock/Pop 5
I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) 2:41 The Clash London Calling Punk 5
Are You Lonesome Tonight 2:49 Elvis Presley & Roy Orbison (with the Beatles as the backup singers) Rock Ballad 5
Twist And Shout (Top Notes/Isley Bros) 2:33 The Beatles Please Please Me Rock

My Favourite Things (Julie Andrews/ The Sound Of Music) – John Coltrane

Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) – Ray Charles

Hurt (Nine Inch Nails) – Johnny Cash

All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) – Jimi Hendrix

Sweet Jane (Lou Reed/Velvet Underground) – Cowboy Junkies

We Can Work It Out (Beatles) – Stevie Wonder

Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – Ike & Tina Turner

Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones) – Melanie Safka

Real Love (John Lennon)  – Regina Spektor

Seven Nation Army (White Stripes) – C.W. Stoneking

Tobacco Road (Nashville Teens) – Edgar & Johnny Winter

Me And Bobby McGee (Roger Miller) – Janis Joplin

The Beat Goes On (Sonny & Cher) – Patricia Barber

After Midnight (JJ Cale) – Eric Clapton

Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) – Stevie Ray Vaughan

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart? (Bee Gees) – Al Green

Respect (Otis Redding) – Aretha Franklin 

Just My Imagination (The Temptations) – The Rolling Stones

Gloria (Van Morrison/Them) – Patti Smith

By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Johnny Rivers/Glen Campbell) – Isaac Hayes

Light My Fire (The Doors) – Jackie Wilson

Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family/Prince) – Sinead O’Connor

I Fought The Law (Bobby Fuller Four) – The Clash

Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley & Roy Orbison (with the Beatles as the backup singers)

Twist And Shout (Top Notes/Isley Bros) – The Beatles

Next week we’re going to Burn, Baby, Burn as all our songs will be about FIRE.
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

 

RADIO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile here is this week’s complete playlist:

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

Those DJ Shows – Patrice Holloway

We’re Having A Party – Sam Cooke

Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry

AM Radio – Everclear

On My Radio – The Selector

On The Radio – Regina Spektor

Radio – The Corrs

Video Killed the Radio Star – The Buggles

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

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

Pilot Of The Airwaves – Charlie Dore

On the Radio – Donna Summer

Turn Your Radio On – Grandpa Jones

This Is Radio Clash – The Clash

Mexican Radio – Wall of Voodoo

Tits On The Radio – Scissor Sisters

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

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

FM (No Static At All) – Steely Dan

Radio Radio  – Elvis Costello

Roadrunner – The Modern Lovers

Turn Up The Radio – Autograph

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

Radio Ga Ga – Queen

Yesterday Once More – The Carpenters

Next week: OPTIMISTIC SONGS

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

FEMALE ARTISTS

Throughout the world, since 1975, we have set aside the 8th of March as a day to inspire women and celebrate their achievements. So a radio show airing on March 10, hosted by a pretty feisty woman at that, had a fairly predictable theme begging. I roped in young Zoe to help give the show a wider perspective and we got stuck into presenting some of our favourite female artists. That’s both of us at the end of the show, about to down a well earned shot of caffeine! 1

We opened the show with ‘Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves’, from Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox. A great feminist anthem, the tune was recorded in 1985 – the year that Zoe was born! Feeling more than a little ancient, I squeezed in my favourite Blues singers – Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin – before handing over the program to Zoe’s first three choices – The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Feist and Robots in Disguise (‘their song La Nuit’ is great – I never thought I could be converted to Electro! Go figure). The video clip is mad, mad, mad…..

When I was putting together my choice for ‘rock chicks’,  Zoe suggested Stevie Nicks (much to my surprise), and who was I to argue? The title of ‘Edge of Seventeen’ was inspired by Tom Petty’s wife Jane who has a strong Southern accent. When Nicks misheard her say ‘the age of seventeen’ as ‘edge of seventeen’ she swore 220px-stevienicks1that she would write a song with the latter as the title. The song’s lyrics came about as a direct result of the grief she felt over the death of both an uncle and John Lennon’s death in the same week of December 1980. The track became the 3rd single from her hit album Bella Donna. It was used in the film ‘School of Rock’ with Jack Black which brought the song, and Stevie, to the attention of a whole new generation.

I also totally approved of Zoe’s next three selections: M.I.A., Soko and Cat Power. M.I.A. is an interesting singer. We all know who she is now because of her Academy Award nomination (with A.R. Rahman)  for  ‘O…Saya’ as Best Song, from the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. It didn’t win but now my generation is aware of this precocious young performer. An accomplished visual artist by 2002, she came to prominence in early 2004 through file-sharing of her singles ‘Galang’ and ‘Sunshower’s on the Internet.

But I have to say that Soko is my favourite of this bunch. She may turn out to be a one-hit wonder with her very cute and controversial song ‘I’ll Kill Her’ but if you keep your sense of humour intact, she is a rare and refreshing new talent. Here’s hoping that we hear more of her. She was supposed to have released an album in February of 2009 but her MySpace page, as of January, insists that she has quit singing. Hope not! Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25AsfkriHQc

There are so many other great female artists. My selection included the original rock chick – Joan Jett – more blues and r&b with Dinah Washington and Etta James and I even got in some country with Linda Ronstadt singing her version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Blue Bayou’ (and you were wondering how I was going to fit a Roy Orbison song into a show about women! No worries).

Zoe and I both wanted Nina Simone in there and what better song to showcase that amazing voice than ‘I Put A Spell On You’, originally recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1957. And then, of course, there was Amy Winehouse, P.J.Harvey, Shirley Manson, Aretha Franklin and we finished the show with Regina Spektor’s fantastic version of John Lennon’s song ‘Real Love’. This is a song that Spektor contributed to the Amnesty International album to save Darfur. So many of the artists we showcased today are not only strong women artists but they are politically aware and contributing positively to change, not just for women but for all mankind. Respect indeed. Have a look at Regina Spektor at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2007:

Here’s the complete  playlist:

Sisters Are Doin It For Themselves (1985) – Aretha Franklin/Annie Lennox

Billie’s Blues (1936) – Billie Holiday

One Good Man (1969) – Janis Joplin

Rich (2003) – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Mushaboom (2004) – Feist

La Nuit (2005) – Robots In Disguise

Up The Neck (1980) – The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde

Edge of Seventeen (1981) –  Stevie Nicks

Bad Reputation (1981) – Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Paper Planes (2007)  – M.I.A.

I’ll Kill Her (2008) – SoKo

Sea Of Love (2008) [Remastered Version] – Cat Power

Crazy (1962) – Patsy Cline

Jolene (1973) – Dolly Parton

Blue Bayou (1977) – Linda Ronstadt (Roy Orbison cover)

Glory Box  (1994) – Portishead

Bachelorette (1997) – Bjork

Big Long Slidin’ Thing (1954) – Dinah Washington

Tell Mama (1968) – Etta James

Push It (1986) – Salt N Peppa

I Put A Spell On You (1968)  – -Nina Simone

Cupid (2006) – Amy Winehouse

Cry Baby (1971) – Janis Joplin (With Full Tilt Boogie)

C’mon Billy (1995) – PJ Harvey

Stupid Girl (1996) – Garbage (Shirley Manson)

Respect (1967) – Aretha Franklin

Real Love (2007) – Regina Spektor

Next week: Inspired by the this week’s leaping of generations, the theme next Tuesday will be ‘Age’ – young, old and in-between.

Tune into the Theme Park with Lyn  at BayFM 99.9 each Tuesday 2-4pm (Sydney time), or streaming at http://www.bayfm.org.

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