Blog Archives

SONGS WITH SOUND FX

I’ve been away in my home town of Sydney for a couple of weeks but you can’t keep me from Byron Bay for long, so I was all fired up for this week’s show on SONGS WITH SOUND FX in them. I’ve discovered that many a song has been enhanced by a clever piece of non-musical noise and our opening song, MY BROTHER MAKES THE NOISES FOR THE TALKIES summed up the program beautifully. It’s by the very entertaining UK group, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

Sounds of thunder accompany a song that suits the weather we’re having up here at the moment. WALKING IN THE RAIN is by the Ronettes,  best known for their work with Phil Spector. With their beehive hairdos and tight skirts, they were known as the ‘bad girls’ of rock n roll. And now you know where Amy Winehouse go her ‘look’.

The sound of lapping waves welcomes in Otis Redding’ standard, SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY. Redding wrote this song while living on a houseboat in Sausalito on the San Francisco Bay. It was recorded shortly before his tragic death at the age 0f 26.  Released posthumously, it is his biggest hit ever.

There’s lots of playground noise on Cat Steven’s (REMEMBER THE DAYS OF) THE OLD SCHOOL YARD. And The Beatles use all kinds of carnival noises on BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE.

Jazz great Charles Mingus got his band to use their instruments to sound like foghorns and other harbour sounds on the remarkable A FOGGY DAY. In complete contrast, but somehow weirdly complementary, is M.I.A.’s PAPER PLANES. She utilizes the sounds of a cash register and heavy gunshot noise on this very provocative piece of hip-hop.

There were lots of requests for MONEY by Pink Floyd.  And it had to be played, if not for the very good use of various sound effects, but because, well ….. it’s Pink Floyd!

Another fantastic song with sound effects is NO TIENE BILLET from Fruko y Sus Tesos. The rifle fire that tears through this brilliant Colombian tune implies that the eruption of violence, in a very poor country especially, is almost inevitable. On NITE CLUB, by the Specials,  the only aggression heard is raised voices and the clinking of glasses.

George Gershwin’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, written in 1928, is full of imagery gone wild. It’s a brilliant song and a brilliant film too.  This was Gene Kelly’s magnum opus. His choreography was of such a standard that the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences created a special Oscar that year in recognition of his achievement. Dancing to a segment of George Gershin’s stunning music, here is Kelly’s duet with the beautiful Leslie Caron:

Michael Jackson uses sound effects to the hilt on THRILLER and the Doors gave us another perfect weather song, with its thunder and lighting sound effect: RIDERS ON A STORM.

There are  some very suggestive street sounds on what happens to be one of my all time favourite songs: LOOKING FOR THE HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT from the sublime Mr. Tom Waits. And then there’s a beautiful song that reminds me of my home town, Sydney:  The Platters’ HARBOR LIGHTS.

Yep, that’s a baby gurgling throughout Stevie Wonder’s ISN’T SHE LOVELY. And as far as car sounds go, you can’t go past the  highly influential electronic pioneers, Kraftwerk, with AUTOBAHN. Check this out:


Talking of road sounds, you didn’t actually think I was going to leave out LEADER OF THE PACK by the Shangri Las did you? This clip is from the television show ‘Ive Got a Secret’, recorded in 1964. The ‘bikie’ is Robert Goulet!

Dancehall queen, Lady Saw, inserts self-made creaking sounds on BED NOISE. They’re so convincing that I can hear the neighbours complaining already! Neo Ska group, The Specials, seem to put sound effects on most of their songs. This is one of their big hits: GHOST TOWN. These guys have been around for 30 years and still going strong. Here they are on Top of the Pops in 1981. Blast from the past. Love, love, love.

The Surfaris break a surfboard just to make a point on WIPEOUT. Creaking doors and other creepy sounds illustrate MONSTER MASH, by the marvellously named Boris Pickett and the Crypkickers. And crashing glass introduces Billy Joel’s YOU MAY BE RIGHT. How’s that for a trio of songs with sound effects? And just because I can, here’s a nice little clip with lots of fun horror film clips, backed up by MONSTER MASH. Do you see where Michael Jackson got his inspiration for Thriller?

Our last song went out to Des who so ably sat in for me while I was away for a few weeks. His favourite is Bob Dylan and it seems that Bob isn’t against using a sound effect either. There’s a mean sounding whistling siren on HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED.

Hopefully I won’t need to use any alarms to keep you awake during next week show on SLEEP AND INSOMNIA. Lots of great songs in this category so get your thinking caps on and send me your suggestions. But remember, we’ve done DREAMING and TIREDNESS, so the list has to be specifically about sleeping, or not.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

My Brother Makes The Noises For The Talkies – Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

Walking In The Rain – The Ronettes

(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

(Remember The Days Of The) Old School Yard – Cat Stevens

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! – The Beatles

A Foggy Day – Charlie Mingus

Paper Planes – M.I.A.

Money – Pink Floyd

No Tiene Billete – Fruko y Sus Tesos

Nite Club – The Specials

An American In Paris – George Gershwin

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Riders on the Storm – The Doors

(Looking For) The Heart Of Saturday Night – Tom Waits

Harbor Lights – The Platters

Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder

Autobahn – Kraftwerk

Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las

Bed Noise  – Lady Saw

Ghost Town – The Specials

Wipe Out – The Surfaris

Monster Mash – Bobby (Boris) Pickett and the Crypt-kickers

You May Be Right – Billy Joel

Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan

Next week: SLEEP AND INSOMNIA!

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
Advertisements

SONGS ABOUT CALIFORNIA

Our theme this week was about a place that’s linked to money, sunshine, fame and freedom. It sounds a lot like my home town of Byron Bay, but  no, this week’s program was about the equally tantalising American state of  CALIFORNIA.

We started with Al Jolson’s CALIFORNIA HERE I COME. Written for the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, it’s often called the unofficial state song of California. Another standard is the Mamas & The Papas’ love song to their home state: CALIFORNIA DREAMING. Bobby Womack’s version is, in my opinion, just sublime. Here’s some original footage and images of California in the 50’s, set against his music:

Chuck Berry wrote THE PROMISED LAND while in jail and, apparently, he used the prison library to plot his hero’s trip from Virginia to Los Angeles.

Train is a band that comes from San Francisco so their song, SAVE ME SAN FRANCISCO, is, we assume,  straight from the heart. And like a lot of the tunes in today’s list, it’s really about missing someone you’ve left behind. The songs is  from the album of the same name, released in 2009.

Led Zeppelin’s GOING TO CALIFORNIA is reportedly about Joni Mitchell. The story goes that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were both infatuated with her at the time. They were all in their early 20’s and it was crazy days for all and sundry. Here’s Led Zepp. playing live at Earls Court in 1975:

Arlo Guthrie contributed a song that’s based on him going through LA airport with a couple of joints in his pocket. Not that I condone that kind of behaviour, of course (!) He performed COMING INTO LOS ANGELES live at Woodstock in 1969 where, it appears, it went down a treat:

Yes, Arlo Guthrie just wants to have some fun. I don’t think he’s the only one. Sheryl Crowe is in a similar state of mind on ALL I WANNA DO.

The Rivieras are also out there havin’ fun on CALIFORNIA SUN, a hit for them in 1964. Albert Hammond’s IT NEVER RAINS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA also reminds me of Byron Bay. Must be the sub-tropical thing.  Does this ring a bell? “It Doesn’t Rain in California but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, it pours.” Sounds like Byron to me.

We followed with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The title of CALIFORNICATION was borrowed for the title of one of my favourite  television shows.

Two of the best voices ever belong to Dionne Warwick and Roy Orbison.  Warwick sings of being a deflated Hollywood hopeful heading home, on DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE? Orbison, who can’t wait to get back to where his lover is – and therefore where the sun always shines –  is brilliant on CALIFORNIA BLUE. It’s from his comeback album, Mystery Girl, recorded just before he died in 1988.

I bet you were wondering how long it would take me to play HOTEL CALIFORNIA by The Eagles? Only an hour! Yes how could I not play this song on a show dedicated to songs about California?

Latest media favourite, pop-singer Kate Perry, gets a little bit of help from Snoop Dogg on CALIFORNIA GURLS. Can you believe that this video clip has racked up nearly 50 million hits? Sweet.

Unbelievably,  I found a slice of hip-hop I could use with no swear words in it!  2PAC and Dr Dre are almost subdued on CALIFORNIA LOVE. We followed with some Thin Lizzy who know how hard it is to make it in HOLLYWOOD (When you’re down on your luck).

The Sir Douglas Quintet’s MENDOCINO is also a classic. It’s a song about a county in the north of California, renowned for distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, old growth forests, wine production and liberal views on cannabis. Sounds like it should be Byron Shire’s sister state, doesn’t it?

Everclear do a  song about my favourite part of Los Angeles, SANTA MONICA. It’s a place, also not unlike Byron, with a great beach, fantastic restaurants, farmers markets and a laid-back feel to it. The song was written by the band’s lead singer Art Alexakis and its actually quite a melancholy tune about suicide.

When Otis Redding sang about  SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY, it was the very groovy city of San Francisco he was referring to. We followed that with a piece of music that pays homage to the Mexican population of California: The brilliant Chicano rock band Thee Midniters with WHITTIER BOULEVARD.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers seem to be obsessed with California as they have recorded quite a few tracks about the area. Our second Peppers track was DANI CALIFORNIA which we followed with a number by  Tom Petty.  FREE FALLING references areas of Los Angeles, from the San Fernando Valley to Ventura Boulevard and Mulholland Drive, all of which conjure up various movies out of Hollywood.  Petty has been qouted as saying that the multitude of acoustic guitars on the track were used to create a dreamlke quality.

Now if you really want dreamy, then you can’t go past the  epitome of Californian folk/rock, Joni Mitchell, with CALIFORNIA. You can sort of see what those bad boys from Crosby, Stills & Nash  and Led Zeppelin saw in her, can’t you?

The song we had to have,of course, was CALIFORNIA GIRLS.When you think of California, you can’t help but think of surfing and, of course, The Beach Boys. They recorded the song in 1965 and it maintains its popularity today, simply because it sums up everything that is great about the beach lifestyle.

Even Kings of Leon do a song about this sunny state.  However, CALIFORNIA WAITING doesn’t sound like too much fun somehow.  Here they are performing on the Jonathan Ross show:

We finished the show with LA WOMAN, from the last studio album recorded by The Doors before Jim Morrison’s death in July 1971. It’s arguably the most blues/rock oriented tracks that the band recorded.

Now if you would like to contribute to next week’s show, and I hope you do, then the topic will be one that’s close to my heart: SHOPPING. Drop me a line if you have a suggestion or a request.

And as the governor of California would say….. I’LL BE BACK.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

California Here I Come – Al Jolson

California Dreaming – The Very Best of Bobby Womack, Bobby Womack

The Promised Land – Chuck Berry Greatest Hits, Chuck Berry

Save Me San Francisco – Save Me San Francisco, Train

Going to California – Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin

Coming into Los Angeles – Woodstock 1969, Arlo Guthrie

All I Wanna Do – Sheryl Crow

California Sun – The Rivieras

It Never Rains In Southern California – Albert Hammond

Californication – Californication, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Do You Know the Way to San Jose – Her All Time Greatest Hits, Dionne Warwick

California Blue – Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison

Hotel California – Hotel California, Eagles

California Gurls – California Gurls, Kate Perry ft. Snoop Dogg

California Love – All Eyez On Me, 2pac ft. Dr.Dre

Hollywood (Down On Your Luck) – Renegade, Thin Lizzy

Mendocino – Sir Douglas Quintet

California – Orange County Soundtrack, Phantom Planet

Santa Monica – Everclear

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

Whittier Blvd. – Latin Oldies, Thee Midniters

Dani California – Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Free Falling – Tom Petty

California – Joni Mitchell, Joni Mitchell

California Girls – Made in U.S.A., The Beach Boys

California Waiting – Holy Roller Novocaine, Kings of Leon

LA Woman – Legacy: The Absolute Best, The Doors

Next week:  SHOPPING!
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

UNLIKELY COVERS

A while back I did a show on ‘Covers That Are Better Than The Originals’ and I had so much fun with that. So this week it was UNLIKELY COVERS.  Anything in the previous show was excluded, just to keep me on my toes. But have no fear, there were plenty more, and even quirkier versions, to choose from.

We opened the show with Peter Sellers’ hilarious version of the Beatles A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, in the style of Lawrence Olivier’s  Richard 111. Thanks to Andrew for this request.

Andrew also requested the next track on our list: Hellsongs’ version of THUNDERSTRUCK. Hellsongs is an acoustic three-piece that plays what is best described as Lounge Metal. That means metal classics performed with surprisingly clear female vocals, soft guitars, an organ and two male choir-boys. They do a brilliant job of this AC/DC cover.

Stevie Wonder’s  version of the Beatles classic WE CAN WORK IT OUT is a good example of what I think defines an UNLIKELEY COVER. Not only does he switch genre, he also reinterprets the emotions that underpin the track, taking it from melancholia to pure elation. So, here’s a treat: A clip from the recent 2010 Glastonbury Festival where Stevie sings both Master Blastin’ and We Can Work It Out. Enjoy.

I’LL BE MISSING YOU by P. Diddy, Faith Evans and 112, borrows the melody and arrangement of Police’s EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE to create a song that was recorded in memory of rap artist Notorious B.I.G., murdered in 1997. Thanks to Robyn for that suggestion.

Scottish alternative pop band Camera Obscura do a great version of the Abba hit SUPERTROUPER, so that had to be included. As did Nick Cave, with the very unlikely cover of  Louis Armstrong’s WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD.

Algerian musician Rachid Taha does an intriguing Arabic version of the Clash standard ROCK THE CASBAH. Check it out:

As someone who loves their Bluegrass and is a hardcore Queen fan, (what’s not to love?), Hayseed Dixie appealed with their cover of Queen’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Come on, you’ve got to get a chuckle out of this, surely:

We followed with a very gentle rendition of the Guns & Roses’ track SWEET CHILD OF MINE. It’s from Swedish singer Victoria Bergstrom, under her Taken By Trees moniker.

SWITCHED ON BACH is the name of an album by Walter (later to become Wendy) Carlos. Recorded in 1968, using the Moog synthesiser, it became the highest selling classical music recordings of its era. We played one of the best tracks from that album,  SINFONIA 35. Carlos went on to make many more recordings, including scores for the Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Paul Kelly only needs his guitar, and his great voice, to create a knock-out acoustic version of the Amy Winehouse signature tune REHAB. I found this on one of the very excellent Triple J Like a Version albums.

One of my favourite films of all time is JUNO and one of the best songs on that soundtrack is Sonic Youth’s cover of The Carpenter’s SUPERSTAR. Karen would have been proud:

The phones ran hot when this next track was played:  Legends Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings gave Procol Harum’s A WHITER SHADE OF PALE a country voice. And then the totally indiosyncratic William Shatner covered Pulp’s COMMON PEOPLE.

But if you thought that was crazy, how about Ani DiFranco and Jackie Chan (yes, that’s correct, Jackie Chan the Hong Kong actor). They contributed a bizarre duet of Nat King Cole’s UNFORGETTABLE. Ani’s voice is great, but methinks that Jacki should just stick to acting (or maybe not!).

We followed with The Clash’s version of Junior Murvin’s reggae classic POLICE & THIEVES. While a punk rock group covering reggae does seem a bit unusual, Joe Strummer makes this great track his own.

Gee, it was hard choosing one of Johnny Cash’s covers. His album American IV: The Man Comes Around is particularly good for UNLIKELY COVERS. My favourite is his version of the Nine Inch Nails song HURT but I have played that before, so I thought I’d bring you his cover of Depeche Mode’s PERSONAL JESUS instead. This album is especially moving as Cash died soon after its release.

Lesley Gore, (that’s right, she of IT’S MY PARTY AND I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO), gave us a great version of AD/DC’s DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP. Just to prove that she can sing anything she wants to!

R & B great Billy Preston does an interesting cover of pop band Duran Duran’s GIRLS ON FILM.  As do the Ramones when they do a punk version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN?

Here’s a combination I really love: C.W. Stoneking, with another track from Triple J’s Like a Version compilation:  the White Stripes SEVEN NATION ARMY. Two of my favourite artists, Stoneking and Jack White. I think what makes this so good is that Stoneking hadn’t even heard the song before it was suggested that he do a cover, so it has this incredible freshness to the interpretation. Here’s an interview and his performance live in the studio. So jealous of that presenter!

We followed that with a great pairing: Jim Morrison and The Doors with their version of Howlin Wolf’s BACK DOOR MAN and Patti Smith’s amazing cover of Prince’s WHEN DOVES CRY. Thanks again to Rob for suggesting that one.

How perfect is Sid Vicious’s punk version of MY WAY, made famous originally by Frank Sinatra? Let’s face it, he couldn’t sing, couldn’t play but gee he knew how to take the piss out of society. Miss that.

What to finish the show with? Well, a cover of Led Zeppelin’s STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN seemed an obvious choice but which version? Rolf Harris came to mind, especially after his recent appearance at Glastonbury but I’m not a big fan. Instead, the honour went to one of the best musicians in rock history, Frank Zappa.

Next week the theme is a staple of pop music: SWEETS, all those yummy sugary foods that symbolise so much about personal relationships. Let me know if you have any good suggestions. Love having your input.

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

A Hard Day’s Night (Beatles cover) – Time To Remember 1965, Peter Sellers

Thunderstruck (AC/DC cover) – Hymns In The Key Of 666, Hellsongs

We Can Work It Out (Beatles) – Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, Stevie Wonder

I’ll Be Missing You (Police) – P. Diddy

Super Trouper (Abba cover) – Tears For Affairs, Camera Obscura

What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong cover) – B-Sides & Rarities, Nick Cave/The Bad Seeds

Rock el Casbah (Clash cover) – Arabian 2000 & 1 Nights, Rachid Taha

Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover) – Killer Grass, Hayseed Dixie

Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns & Roses cover) – Taken By Trees (Victoria Bergsman)

Sinfonia 35 – Switched on Bach, Walter (Wendy) Carlos

Rehab (Amy Winehouse cover) – Like A Version Four, Paul Kelly

Superstar (Carpenters Cover) – Juno Soundtrack, Sonic Youth

A Whiter Shade of Pale (Procol Harum cover) – Always On My Mind, Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings

Common People (Pulp) – Triple J Hottest 100: Volume 12 William Shatner/Joe Jackson

Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)- When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Ani DiFranco & Jackie Chan

Police & Thieves (Junior Murvin) – The Clash, The Clash

Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode) – American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (AC/DC cover) – When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Lesley Gore

Girls on Film (Duran Duran cover) – When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You’d Hear, Billy Preston

Have You Ever Seen the Rain (Creedence Clearwater) – The Ramones

Sinfonia 35 – Switched on Bach, Walter (Wendy) Carlos

Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover) – Like A Version Four, C.W. Stoneking

Back Door Man (Howlin Wolf cover)- The Doors, Jim Morisson/The Doors

When Doves Cry (Prince cover) – When Doves Cry, Patti Smith

Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys) –   The Jesus & Mary Chain

My Way (Frank Sinatra) – The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle, Sid Vicious

Stairway To Heaven (Led Zepelin Cover) – Frank Zappa

Next week: SWEETS (Yummy, yummy, yummy I’ve got love in my tummy!)

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

BAD WEATHER

The weather has been in the news, more than usual of late, what with hurricanes, tornadoes and our own Lennox Head being declared a national disaster area after a mini tornado destroyed homes and caused chaos to this beautiful little coastal town. What’s a girl to do but to create a playlist around BAD WEATHER?

We opened the show with a request from Robyn: the incredibly seductive BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE by Ray Charles and Betty Carter. The song could just as easily fitted into our Sexy Songs list for last week, but glad we held it over.

Now when it comes to songs about the weather, rain seems to be the metaphor of choice. It can describe heartache or happiness, and lots more in-between.  The Ronettes daydream about the qualities that make up the perfect boyfriend on WALKING IN THE RAIN. However, the Walker Brothers – with their remake of Frankie Valli’s THE SUN AIN’T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE – see bad weather as a symbol of loneliness. Either way, two great songs. Here’s a blast from the past for all you baby boomers, the Walker Brothers on Ready, Steady, Go in 1966:

Next it was Status Quo with RAIN from their Blue for You album, released in 1976. The track was originally intended for  the album On The Level, but at the time of the recording sessions Rick Parfitt had not completed the song and so it was held over to the band’s next release.

Shirley Manson only seems to be happy when she’s miserable in the Garbage song I’M ONLY HAPPY WHEN IT RAINS. Fitting then that we followed with the Prince of Darkness himself, Nick Cave. The song TUPELO, with its great sound effects and talk of black clouds, was also a perfect fit for a show on Bad Weather.

A great song that carries an emotional whallop is LOUISIANA 1927, a devastating account of the great Mississippi floods, which has become identified with the more recent Hurricane Katrina.  Written, and originally recorded by Randy Newman, Aaron Neville’s version is sublime. Here he is performing at the Concert for Hurricane Relief in 2008:

We followed with the great Muddy Waters and BLOW WIND BLOW and then it was Leon Russell with a cover of the Bob Dylan classic, A HARD RAINS A GONNA FALL. This track was requested by  for Judi, listening in Cairns, where they know a little bit about a rainy season. The song STORMY WEATHER is one of my favourites. Written and originally recorded in 1933,  its been covered by all the greats, but I do particularly like the Etta James version that we played this week.

The inspiration for RAIN, by the Beatles – according to Neil Aspinall, the Beatles roadie, and John Lennon – was Australia’s own weather. Apparently when they arrived here to tour, the weather was so bad that Lennon was quoted as saying that: “I’ve never seen rain as hard as that.” He went on to say that RAIN was “about people moaning about the weather all the time”. Three promotional films were made for the song. These videos, along with other Beatles videos at the time, sparked George Harrison  to say during the Beatles Anthology, “So I suppose, in a way, we invented MTV”.

The Red Hot Chilli Peppers track SNOW may not be about the kind of snow that makes cute little snowmen, but it is a great song in any case. Its from the Stadium Arcadium album. And while we’re talking of metaphor, Tom Waits has a lot to say about the weather on EMOTIONAL WEATHER REPORT. The track is featured on the album Nighthawks at the Diner, recorded in 1975.  The title was inspired by Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting Nighthawks. Here’s Tom performing the song at the Rockpalast in Koln, West Germany in 1977:

Irma Thomas is quite rightfully called “the Soul Queen of New Orleans” and she has several songs about the weather that fitted the bill, but none better, in my opinion, than ITS RAINING SO HARD. We followed with Bill Withers and AIN’T NO SUNSHINE WHEN SHE’S GONE. Neil Young was lucky enough to get some help on harmonies from the wonderful Nicolette Larsen on FOUR STRONG WINDS. Larsen, who died in 1997, had a big hit with a cover of Young’s LOTTA LOVE in 1978.

I couldn’t do a show on Bad Weather and not include AC/DC’s THUNDERSTRUCK. Rumour is that the song was inspired by Angus Young’s hair-raising experience when a plane he was on was struck by lightning. Not sure if that’s true or not.

What I do know is that Natalie Merchant and the 10,000 Maniacs “get a shiver in their bones” just thinking about the climate conditions on LIKE THE WEATHER. We  followed with Blur and THIS IS A LOW, which was inspired by, of all things,  a shipping forecast.

Back to some rock with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s HAVE YOU SEEN THE RAIN and a song for Alex in Sydney, and all the other Deep Purple fans,  STORMBRINGER.

When it comes to R&B, The Temptations just want the weather to match their mood on I WISH IT WOULD RAIN but Anne Peebles finds the weather brings back unwanted memories of a past love on I CAN’T STAND THE RAIN.

I love the infectious tone of Bob Dylan’s RAINY DAY WOMEN, which is matched by the very excellent COLD COLD FEELING from T-Bone Walker. As much as I was enjoying myself, we closed the show with The Doors and RIDERS ON THE STORM. The song was inspired by the song “Ghost Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend”.  It incorporates real sound effects of thunder and rain, along with Ray Manzarek’s Fender Rhodes electric piano playing, which emulates the sound of rain. Good stuff.

The topic for next week’s show is a doozy. They say success is the best revenge, but, when it comes to musos a bitchy payback song seems to fit the bill. I thing we’ll have a lot of fun with our playlist of REVENGE SONGS, so I hope you’ll join me then. And if you have any suggestions for the playlist please get in touch. It’s always great to have your input.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Soulful Christmas, Ray Charles & Betty Carter

Walking In The Rain – Phil Spector Wall of Sound Vol. 1 – The Ronettes

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore –  Walker Brothers

Rain – Blue For You, Status Quo

I’m Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage, Garbage

Tupelo – The Best Of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Louisiana 1927 – Warm Your Heart, Aaron Neville

Blow Wind Blow – Baby Please Don’t Go, Muddy Waters

A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall – Remember the Titans (Movie Soundtrack), Leon Russell

Frosty – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues – A Musical Journey, Albert Collins

Stormy Weather – At Last!, Etta James

Rain – Past Masters Volume Two, The Beatles

Snow ((Hey Oh)) – Stadium Arcadium, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Emotional Weather Report – Nighthawks at the Diner, Tom Waits

It’s Raining So Hard – Irma Thomas

Ain’t no Sunshine – Bill Withers

Four Strong Winds – Comes a Time, Neil Young

Thunderstruck – The Razors Edge, ACDC

Like The Weather – MTV Unplugged, 10,000 Maniacs

This Is A Low – Parklife, Blur

Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Stormbringer – Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple, Deep Purple

I Wish It Would Rain – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Tempations [Disc 1], The Temptations

I Can’t Stand The Rain – I Can’t Stand The Rain, Ann Peebles

Rainy Day Women – Forrest Gump (Movie Soundtrack),  Bob Dylan

Cold Cold Feeling – The Talkin Guitar (The Best Of), T-Bone Walker

Riders on the storm – The Doors (movie soundtrack), The Doors

Next week: REVENGE SONGS

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


DEAD MUSICIANS’ CLUB

I’m writing this with a slight hangover. Last night was BayFM’s trivia fundraiser on the theme of The Dead Musicians Club. Great night had by all. I loved the theme so much that I organised this week’s show around the same topic. And, let’s face it, a little bit of outrageous promotion for the event didn’t hurt either. And if you are wondering, I teamed up with the lovely Andy and we dressed as Sid Vicious & Nancy Spungeon.

Trying to fit all my favourite musicians into the two hour slot was, of course, impossible. But I had a good go at it. First up it was Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions with PEOPLE GET READY. Mayfield died in 1999 after 10 years of ill health due to being paralysed after an onstage accident. His music continues to be part of hip-hop’s DNA. Rappers like Jay-Z and Snoop Dog have sampled his lyrics and its reported that his estate receives five sample requests a month, with each one fetching up to $350,000. So Curtis, or at least his estate, isn’t doing too badly.

In order to fit as many of the artists that I could into the line-up it was necessary to occasionally play a duet. And, I ask you, is there any better than Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong? Ella died in 1996 and is widely considered one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Louis Armstrong passed away in 1971. His influence extends way beyond jazz music. By the end of his career in the 1960’s, he was widely regarded as a profound influence on popular music in general.The duet I chose was DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME.

Both Buddy Holly and Patsy Cline died in plane crashes and both were very young at the time of their passing. They continue to influence country, rock and pop music to this day. We played LEAVIN’ ON YOUR MIND from Patsy Cline and CRYIN’ WAITIN’ HOPIN’ from Buddy Holly. Oldies, but goodies.

Wilson Pickett was known for his influence on R&B, rock n roll and soul. Is there a better dance floor filler than his rendition of DEVIL WITH THE BLUE DRESS ON? No way.

Two artists who found the fame game just a bit too difficult are Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and singer/songwriter Nick Drake.  Both committed suicide while still very young.  At the time of Cobain’s death in 1994 he was worth less than $1 million but future royalties have been valued at over $100 million. Drake failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, however his work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition. He now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. He died in 1974. We played Drake’s FRUIT TREE, a request from Anthony, and Nirvana’s COME AS YOU ARE. Here’s a clip of Nirvana performing unplugged in New York in the early 90’s:

Naturally I couldn’t do a show about dead musicians without including Michael Jackson. We chose ROCK WITH YOU from the Off the Wall album. After his death in 2009 Jackson became the best-selling artist of the year, selling over 31 million albums worldwide. He named James Brown “his greatest inspiration”. So it was fitting that we played I FEEL GOOD from Brown as well.  He died on Xmas Day 2006 due to complications from pneumonia.

It’s a myth, you know, that Mama Cass Elliott died chocking on a peanut butter sandwich. The real story is that she died of a heart attack after performing back-to-back concerts in London in 1974. She died in the same flat in Mayfair, (on loan from Harry Nilsson), that the Who’s drummer Keith Moon would die in, a little over four years later. I played Elliot’s great version of the Buddy Holly classic, WORDS OF LOVE and followed with a song for Rolling Stones founder, and multi-instrumentalist, Brian Jones. It’s one that showcased Jones’ skill on the side guitar:  LITTLE RED ROOSTER.

Lynard Skynard came to worldwide recognition in 1973 before three members and one road crew member died in a plane crash in 1977.  Keyboardist Billy Powell died in 2009, aged 56, from a heart attack.  Of its original members, only Gary Rossington remains as part of the present line-up. We followed with another good ol’ Southern boy you may have heard of: cultural icon Elvis Presley with BURNING LOVE.

Bob Marley, who passed away in 1981, had to wait for death to make him a U.S. superstar. The week he was diagnosed with cancer he played Madison Square Garden — opening for the Commodores. Fellow Wailer, Peter Tosh, was on the brink of a successful solo career when he was murdered in 1987. I played the Wailers version of  GET UP, STAND UP, with both Peter Tosh and Bob Marley on the track.

We said goodbye to both Malcolm McLaren and  Sid Vicious with the Sex Pistols’ anthem GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. Here’s what all the fuss was about, way back then:

While punk rock stirred things up, for a while, R&B never went away. Marvin Gaye’s career spanned the entire history of Rhythm & Blues from 50’s doo wop to 80’s contemporary soul. He was murdered by his own father after an argument in 1984.  Otis Redding died in plane crash a month before his biggest hit was released. He was only 26. We listened to Marvin Gaye’s sublime WHAT’S GOIN’ ON followed by the song that would make Otis Redding’s estate worth more money than he ever saw when he was alive – SITTIN ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY.

If we’re talking punk, however, I have to say that my favourite band is The Clash. Lead singer and lyricist for the group, Joe Strummer, died suddenly in 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Highly intelligent and politically pro-active, he was the first artist to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral. Onya Joe. Check out this clip of LONDON CALLING:

Two great artists who died of cancer are  60’s icon, Dusty Springfield, and the incredible Ray Charles. For Dusty we played the power ballad, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME, and for Ray Charles, the very appropriate, HARD TIMES.

I’ve played Johnny Cash’s amazing cover of the Nine Inch Nails track, HURT, before but it couldn’t be left out of a show like this. He recorded it in 2002 and it was one of Cash’s final releases before his death in 2003. The  video for the song is regarded as his epitaph.

One of my sentimental favourites is Freddy Mercury who died of pneumonia resulting from AIDS in 1991. As lead singer of rock group Queen he also composed many of their hits. He had a successful solo career too and I chose one of those recordings for this week’s show: THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE THAN THIS.

Another of my favourites is Tim Buckley and one of my favourite albums is his Greetings from LA.  Buckley died at 28 from a drug overdose with nothing more than a guitar, amplifier and a lot of debt to his name. His legacy of 11 albums has rectified that somewhat, I hope. Hard to pick one track but we went with MOVE WITH ME.

Another victim of drug addiction was the pioneering Janis Joplin. She died at 27 from a heroin overdose and one of the last songs she recorded was a birthday greeting for John Lennon. The founder of the Beatles was assassinated in 1980, aged 40. So we started the set with Joplin’s CRY BABY and followed with Lennon’s HOW? from the Imagine album.

And finally, my favourite artist, dead or alive – Roy Orbison with his signature tune, PRETTY WOMAN.  This clip is from the Black & White Night DVD, a great video featuring Orbison and friends including Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Rait, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. Heaven. And for all things ‘Roy’ go to the website at: http://www.royorbison.com/

We wrapped the show up  with a great artist who passed away only a couple of days ago, at the ripe old age of 92. Lena Horne helped break down barriers for generations of performers. We played her signature tune, STORMY WEATHER from the 1943 film of the same name. It’s a sizzling performance. I want that movie for my collection!

And we still had time to fit in the very charismatic Jim Morrison and The Doors with RIDERS ON A STORM. Whew. Now I know that there are some glaring omissions. But it’s only a two hour show folks!

Next week I’ve been inspired by some postings on Facebook to create a show on SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS. Like Na-Na-Hey-Hey and Doo-Ron-Ron. That kind of thing. Love to hear your suggestions.

Here’s this week’s complete playlist:

People Get Ready – The Anthology 1961-1977, Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions

Dream A Little Dream Of Me – Easy Listening, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong

Leavin’ On Your Mind – The Patsy Cline Story, Patsy Cline

Cryin’ Waitin’ Hopin’ – Buddy Holly

Devil With The Blue Dress On – Wilson Pickett

Come As You Are – Nirvana, Nirvana

Fruit Tree – Twentyfourseven Soundtrack, Nick Drake

I Feel Good –  James Brown

Rock With You (Single Version) – Off the Wall, Michael Jackson

Words of Love – Mama’s Big Ones, Mama Cass Elliot

Little Red Rooster – Rolling Stones

Summertime – Charlie Parker & Chet Baker

Sweet Home Alabama – Forrest Gump Soundtrack, Lynard Skynard

Burning Love – Elvis Presley

Get Up Stand Up – Back To Zion, Bob Marley & The Wailers

God Save The Queen – Never Mind The Bollocks, The Sex Pistols

What’s Going On – The Big Chill soundtrack,  Marvin Gaye

Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

London Calling – The Clash

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – The British Beat: Best Of The ’60s, Dusty Springfield

Hard Times – Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Ray Charles

Hurt – American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash

There Must Be More To Life Than This – The Very Best of Freddie Mercury, Freddie Mercury

Fever – Verve Remixed 3,  Adam Freeland & Sarah Vaughan

Move With Me – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley

Purple Haze – Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix

Cry Baby – Cry Baby (The Ultimate Collection), Janis Joplin

How? –  Lennon,  John Lennon

Oh, Pretty Woman –  Roy Orbison

Stormy Weather – Hollywood Musicals, Lena Horne

Riders on the storm – The Doors soundtrack, The Doors

Next week: SONGS WITH MEANINGLESS WORDS

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

%d bloggers like this: