News for November 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/30/10

Song Of The Day – “Discovering Japan” by Graham Parker from the album “Squeezing Out Sparks” 

In the late ’70s you had The Stones with “Some Girls,” Elvis Costello with “This Year’s Model,” Bruce with “Darkness,” and a “new discovery” that had been around forever, Graham Parker.  He had been making records with his group, The Rumour, since the early 1970s. Much like Costello, his first three albums were also produced by Nick Lowe. In many ways this Jack Nitzsche-produced gem was his breakout album and deservedly so! Featuring tight hooks and enough anger to further fuel the Punk movement, Parker hatched this classic that still holds up over thirty years later.

Listen: “Discovering Japan” by Graham Parker

Edited: November 30th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/29/10

Song Of The Day – “Seven Steps To Heaven” by Miles Davis Quintet

This 1963 classic marked the beginning of Miles Davis’ second great group featuring Ron Carter on bass, Herbie Hancock on piano, Tony Williams on drums and George Coleman on sax. Coleman would be replaced by Wayne Shorter on subsequent recordings. This group recorded through 1968 on such legendary albums as “Seven Steps To Heaven,” “Miles Smiles,” “Nefertiti,” “Miles In The Sky,” “Four And More,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Sorcerer,” “Filles De Kilimanjaro” and “ESP” to name a few. Nothing like some Miles to kick off a new week!

Listen: “Seven Steps To Heaven” by Miles Davis Quintet

Edited: November 29th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/28/10

Song Of The Day – “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” by Utopia 

Formed as a Todd Rundgren offshoot group in 1974, the 1982 version of Utopia included Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sultan, Willie Wilcox and Roger Powell. This Beatle-esque gem sank into obscurity due to their record label, Network, going under shortly after the record was released.  It’s time Todd Rundgren was added to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame!

Listen: “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” by Utopia

Edited: November 28th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/27/10

Song Of The Day – “Good Old Desk” by Harry Nilsson from the 1968 album “Aerial Ballet”

Just finished watching the excellent documentary “Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talking About Him)” Not only was he a favorite artist of The Beatles…he’s also one of my all-time favorites. Fun film fact…The song title “Good Old Desk” stands for its initials “GOD.” Listen to is now knowing that!

Listen: “Good Old Desk” by Harry Nilsson

Edited: November 26th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/26/10

Song Of The Day – “Black Friday” by Steely Dan from the album “Katy Lied” 

Today’s choice is a little obvious…but so is the hype that is attached to this non-event in our non-stop-shop culture. Sure, it’s good for the economy…but is it good for YOUR economy? Great song…great album…great group!

Listen: “Black Friday” by Steely Dan

Edited: November 26th, 2010

It’s “Turkey Lurkey Time!”

“Turkey Lurkey Time” from the musical “Promises, Promises” written by one of the greatest songwriting partnerships of all time Burt Bacharach and Hal David!

Listen: “Turkey Lurkey Time” from “Promises, Promises”

Edited: November 25th, 2010

Thanksgiving Bonus – “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen

BIRD IS THE WORD! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Listen: “Surfin Bird” by The Trashmen

Edited: November 25th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/25/10

Song Of The Day – “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie from the album “Alice’s Restaurant” 

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Arlo’s classic 1967 shaggy dog story of a bunch of hippies doin’ their best to lend a hand to a friend by disposing some garbage on Thanksgiving.  It’s a true story about a true Alice…in fact, my Aunt’s sister (who is also on Facebook — Hi Judy!) was good friends with the real Alice back in the day!  What starts off as a silly story about disposing garbage turns comically serious when it gets around to the draft.  I found this neat little illustrated video of the original album version in two parts. Enjoy and have a safe, happy and thankful Thanksgiving!

Listen: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (Part 1) by Arlo Guthrie

Listen: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (Part 2) by Arlo Guthrie

Edited: November 25th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/24/10

Song Of The Day – “Rock My Soul” by The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet

The quartet was born in a Virginia barber shop in 1930. They were originally comprised of two friends from the Booker Washington High School glee club, the barber and a one-legged bass singer. On this particular 1938 recording the quartet includes Willie Johnson, Henry Owens, Clyde Riddick and Orlandus Wilson. The Quartet’s Jubilee sound mixed barbershop harmonies, jazz and scat singing with a healthy helping of old time religion and was a great influence on groups like The Ink Spots and many of the Doo Wop groups of the 1950s. The quartet performed for close to 70 years with Riddick staying in the group until he retired in 1995 and Wilson’s death in 1998.

Listen: “Rock My Soul” by The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet

Edited: November 24th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/23/10

Song Of The Day – “Not Fragile” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive from the album “Not Fragile”

In 1971 the rock godz gave us “Fragile” by Yes…then in 1974 along came the riff fest “Not Fragile” by BTO! There’s something to be said about what I call “big dumb rock records.”  They’re the riff-crazy tracks that make you grab for your air guitar whilst rocking your head back and forth…oh, and don’t forget the obligatory pain-ridden facial expressions a la Carlos Santana.  We’ve all been there and I even still go there from time-to-time today.  Anybody who’s been to a concert with me has probably seen it.  It ain’t pretty…but it’s the rock abandon that tracks like this conjure that makes it all happen. This C.F. Turner penned track is probably BTO’s most riff-heavy moment. Love the twin guitar break in the middle! Now go for it!

Listen: “Not Fragile” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Edited: November 23rd, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/22/10

Song Of The Day – “Gone Gone Gone” by The Everly Brothers from the album “Gone Gone Gone”

Common knowledge says that after the Everly Brothers left Cadence Records for greener pastures at Warner Brothers in 1960, it marked the beginning of the end of their hit making days.  While it’s true that they only had a handful of huge hits like “Cathy’s Clown,” “Walk Right Back” and “So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad), the quality of their music never dipped.  In fact it got much better as can be evidenced by this 1964 gem pulled from a Trini Lopez TV show that charted at #31. And meanwhile while the Everlys were struggling in America trying to land hits up the charts against a backdrop of Beatlemania, they were still scoring sizable hits in England, even recording an album with The Hollies serving as their backing band.

Listen: “Gone Gone Gone” by The Everly Brothers

Edited: November 22nd, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/21/10

Song Of The Day – “Bodies” by Cee Lo Green from the album “The Lady Killer” 

It’s taken over 20 years for Cee Lo to finally reach the level of soul superstar and his slow climb has made for one of the more interesting career trajectories.  Starting with several albums as a member of the group Goodie Mob followed by two often-times brilliant solo records for Arista that never took off.  Finally hitting the big time with DJ Danger Mouse as Gnarls Barkley and the “Crazy” hit that was impossible to escape. Now Cee Lo is at it again with the “F**k You” single and a brand new album that includes this deep soul track with a very dark underbelly.  Cee-Lo has finally “arrived” and it’s great to have him around. “I could kill it with kindness or murder it…”

Listen: “Bodies” by Cee Lo Green

Edited: November 21st, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/20/10

Song Of the Day – “When I Turn Off The Living Room Light” by The Kinks from the album “The Great Lost Kinks Album”

This hilarious song was an unreleased castoff recorded and unused for a British TV show from the early 70s.  It finds Ray Davies doing what he does best…taking the simple things in life, injecting them with sly humor and setting it all to a great melody.  “The Great Lost Kinks Album” was originally released in 1973 as a contractual obligation record when the Kinks jumped labels from Reprise to RCA.  The band found out about the existence of the record when it hit the Billboard charts and they immediately took legal action to have the record removed from the market making it a collectible today.  It’s a shame since the record holds together as a great set of music, even though many of the songs have since been issued as bonus tracks on CDs.

Listen: “When I Turn Off The Living Room Light” by The Kinks

Edited: November 20th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/19/10

Song Of The Day – “Around The Way Girl” by LL Cool J from the album “Mama Said Knock You Out”

James Todd Smith (aka Ladies Love Cool J…aka LL Cool J) released his first record in 1984 when he was 16 years old after submitting his tapes to two up-and-coming NYU students named Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. They went on to great fame with their Def Jam Records label empire and as producers to the super stars.  LL went on to a long career in a field not known for its longevity making numerous hit records, acting in movies (“The Hard Way” and “Toys”), TV series (“In The House”) and developing clothing lines. The album where this top-ten gem hails from was produced by Marley Marl and also includes the hip hop classics “Jingling Baby,” “Boomin’ System” and the take no prisoners title track.

Listen: “Around The Way Girl” by LL Cool J

Edited: November 19th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/18/10

Song Of the Day – “Circle Sky” by The Monkees from the film and LP “Head” 

Right from the beginning, it was always the intention of The Monkees’ handlers for them to make the jump from the small screen to the big screen. However, by 1968 when the film “Head” was made, The Monkees’ TV show had been cancelled and they were in dire need of some credibility in the music world.  Enter film maker Bob Rafelson and an up-and-coming actor named Jack Nicholson who wrote and directed a film that would make Frank Zappa’s “200 Motels” look positively coherent by comparison.  “Head” is a psychedelic mess in the first degree…but an interesting one interspersing drug-induced visuals with graphic scenes of war…and, of course, The Monkees.  The “Head” album had some of their finest songs on it also interspersed with sound collages that made it an uneven listening experience.  This Mike Nesmith gem is one of his finest songs and the Monkees’ performance centerpiece of the film. This clip includes a false start of the song and a resynching of the film to the song when it starts up again and plays to the end. The “Head” album has been expertly expanded into a 3 CD box set by Andrew Sandoval and Rhino Handmade…not for the casual fan for sure…but if you are a Monkees obsessive it’s well worth the price of admission.

Listen: “Circle Sky” by The Monkees

Edited: November 18th, 2010

Bonus Clip Of The Day – 11/17/10

Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen as a young Bruce Springsteen perform Willow Smith’s hip-hop hit “Whip My Hair” on last night’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Show.”

Watch: “Whip My Hair” by Jimmy Fallon as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen

Edited: November 17th, 2010

Bonus Song Of The Day – 11/17/70

Bonus Song Of The Day – “Take Me To The Pilot” by Elton John from the album “11/17/70″

I play this album every year on this day, and it is certainly Elton John at his near best…especially on this song! Recorded for radio broadcast at the A&R Studios in New York City back on this date in 1970. A six song album from the broadcast was released in 1971. The seven songs performed on that evening and not released on the album were “Amoreena,” “I Need You To Turn To,” “Country Comfort,” “Border Song,” “Indian Sunset,” “My Father’s Gun” and, of course, “Your Song.”  This year would have been perfect for a deluxe expanded reissue of the complete broadcast since forty years later is still is powerful!

Listen: “Take Me To The Pilot” by Elton John

Edited: November 17th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/17/70

Song Of The Day – “Compared To What” by John Legend & The Roots from the album “Wake Up” 

It’s the classic late 1968 Les McCann & Eddie Harris hit reimagined by Legend & The Roots from one of the best albums to come out this year.  The “Wake Up” collection is chock full of impassioned takes on lesser known old school soul covers including Curtis Mayfield’s “Hard Times,” Marvin Gaye’s “Wholy Holy” and Bill Withers’ “I Can Write Left Handed” all featuring some of the best vocals Legend has ever committed to wax.  As a backing band, The Roots are second to none not only on this record, but as the house band on Jimmy Fallon’s late night talk show. “Tryin’ to make it real. Compared to what?”

Listen: “Compared To What” by John Legend & The Roots

Edited: November 17th, 2010

Bonus Song Of The Day – 11/16/10

Rare Harry Nilsson videos from 1968 of the songs “1941″ and “Good Old Desk”

Words cannot explain just how great Nilsson was! Let the music do the talking!

Watch: “1941″ and “Good Old Desk” by Harry Nilsson

Edited: November 16th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/16/10

Song Of The Day – “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Neil Diamond from the 2010 album “Dreams” 

After two stellar albums of original material under the production helm of Rick Rubin, Neil Diamond returns with a self-produced new album of cover tunes.  Some people can pull off cover albums well…Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash come to mind of folks who can take other people’s material and make it their own.  For some reason, when Neil Diamond does a cover album, it comes off pretty uncool…except for a few songs.  This understated version of the Gilbert O’Sullivan classic has just what it takes to make the song and Diamond relevant…it’s a superb choice of cover material.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most of the rest of the “Dreams” album.  Anyway, Diamond is still an amazing songwriter and artist and thank goodness the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame has finally gotten around to nominating him…it’s long overdue…now only if they’d wake up and give Todd Rundgren the nod he so deserves…

Listen: “Alone Again (Naturally)” by Neil Diamond

Edited: November 16th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/15/10

Song Of The Day – “Amateur Hour” by Sparks from the album “Kimono My House”

American brothers Ron and Russell Mael formed the group Halfnelson in 1970. Their first two albums were recorded in Woodstock, New York, produced by Todd Rundgren and released on the Bearsville label. After striking out on American soil, the brothers relocated to England where they hit it big as Sparks.  Although part of the glam movement, the brothers had a much different persona…visually Russell was the flamboyant lead singer while Ron was the straight man with the Hitler mustache who played keyboards and barely moved.  “Kimono” was recorded in England in 1974 and it quickly hit the top five of the charts due to this song and its other hit “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us.” While most of their peers have either retired, faded out or died, the Mael brothers keep on touring and releasing new innovative albums as Sparks today.

Watch: “Amateur Hour” by Sparks

Edited: November 15th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/14/10

Song Of The Day – “Tango Till They’re Sore” by Tom Waits from the album “Rain Dogs”

Not only is “Rain Dogs” one of Tom Waits’ very best albums…I think it is one of the greatest albums ever recorded by anyone!  I had the pleasure of meeting Tom Waits once by chance around the time he was recording this record.  It was 1984 and I was at an Alex Chilton concert in a small club somewhere in New York City.  Standing toward the back of the sparsely filled hall was none other than Tom Waits.  It was between the end of the opening act’s set and Chilton’s when I approached him and struck up a conversation.  We talked about the record he was working on at the time which ended up being “Rain Dogs.” Two of the songs from the “Rain Dogs” album ended up in the Jim Jarmusch film “Down By Law” which starred Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni and “Fishing-With-John-Lounge-Lizard” John Lurie. I also have had the pleasure of seeing Tom Waits in concert several times at the Beacon Theater in New York on the “Rain Dogs” tour, on Broadway for “Frank’s Wild Years” and at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago for the “Orphans” tours.  “Send me off to bed for evermore…”

Listen: “Tango Till They’re Sore” by Tom Waits

Edited: November 14th, 2010

Bonus Clip – 11/13/10

Concert etiquette from Jeff Tweedy of Wilco!

Watch: Jeff Tweedy

Edited: November 13th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/13/10

Song Of The Day – “Egyptian Gardens” by Kaleidoscope from the album “Side Trips” 

Before the band El Rayo-X…before being Jackson Browne’s right hand man…before being sideman to artists like Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor to name but a few, David Lindley formed the West Coast band Kaleidoscope.  They released four albums between 1967 and 1970 that went nowhere and if it wasn’t for Lindley, they’d probably be totally forgotten today.  Their sound was an amalgam of Psychedelia, Bluegrass and especially on this track Klezmer.  Fortunately, our friends at Sundazed Music have reissued most of their classic ’60s albums.

Listen: “Egyptian Gardens” by Kaleidoscope

Edited: November 13th, 2010

Bonus Song Of The Day – 11/12/10

Bonus Song Of The Day – “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett And the Union Gap 

What was so seemingly innocent back in 1968 comes off downright creepy today.  Case in point is this single that went all the way to number two on the charts!

Listen: “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett And The Union Gap

Edited: November 12th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/12/10

Song Of The Day – “Don’t Make Promises” by Gary Puckett And The Union Gap

Here is a cover of a Tim Hardin classic featuring the lead vocals of one of the greatest, most soulful voices of the 1960s. Gary Puckett and the Union Gap scored numerous hits including “Woman Woman,” “Lady Willpower,” and “Young Girl” in the late 1960s, featuring horn-soaked arrangements a la label mates Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears. This song comes from their very first album called “The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett.”  After listening to the album the other day for the first time in years (on vinyl of course), it struck me how positively middle of the road they were. This clip comes from The Ed Sullivan Show. Love the sideburns and outfits!

Listen: “Don’t Make Promises” by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

Edited: November 12th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 10/11/10

Song Of The Day – “Get Real Get Right” by Sufjan Stevens from the album “The Age Of Adz” 

It’s been another prolific year for Sufjan Stevens releasing a 60-minute “EP” called “All Delighted People” in August and this full length record last month. Here’s a typically elaborate tune from Stevens’ latest collection featuring an intricately woven melody and layers of instrumentation creating a satisfying patchwork of sound. Stevens is a multi-instrumentalist who usually plays everything on his albums. On this album, Stevens’ trades in his usual acoustic instrumentation in for electronics making this record far more orchestral in feel than his others. While the record is awashed in electronic sound, Stevens manages to keep the warmth he’s known for intact.

Listen: “Get Real Get Right” by Sufjan Stevens

Edited: November 11th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/10/10

Song Of The Day – “People Like Us” by John Goodman from the film “True Stories”

Actor John Goodman shows off his singing chops on this Talking Heads song from the film “True Stories.”  Talking Heads recorded their own version of the song with David Byrne on vocals from the album “True Stories.”  It always mystified me as to why the Goodman version of the song wasn’t included on the official non-Talking Heads soundtrack to the film.  It was released as the B-side to the long-out-of-print single “Wild Wild Life” instead.  Indeed, this wasn’t Goodman’s only singing role.  He can also be heard singing “Viva Las Vegas” over the opening credits to the film “Father Of The Pride, ” “Good Golly Miss Molly” in the film “King Ralph,”  and on the TV show “Rosanne” singing “Sweet Home Chicago” with John Popper and “There’s A River.” Rock on John Goodman!

Listen: “People Like Us” by John Goodman

Edited: November 10th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/9/10

Song Of The Day – “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” by Country Joe & The Fish 

Here’s a splash of orange sunshine from the 1967 debut album by Country Joe & The Fish called “Electric Music For The Mind And Body.” Country Joe McDonald, Barry “The Fish” Melton and company were already well established on their San Francisco home turf releasing several albums before their landmark appearance at Woodstock put them on the map. While many thought the band’s name was goofy, it actually carried political overtones for those in the know. “Country Joe” was a nickname for Joseph Stalin in the 1940s while “the fish” is a reference to Mao Tse Tung’s famous statement that a true revolutionary must “swim among the people as fish.” They originally were going to name the band “Country Mao & The Fish.” While many consider the band to be just a footnote to the psychedelic era, their influence and their records still hold up today.  I put ol’ Country Joe & The Fish right up there with Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

Listen: “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” by Country Joe & The Fish

Edited: November 9th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/8/10

Song Of The Day – “Magical Misery Tour” by National Lampoon 

Another spot-on parody courtesy of National Lampoon from the 1972 album “Lemmings.” Tony Hendra supplies the Lennon vocals while the piano comes courtesy of Melissa Manchester. “Lemmings” spoofed the Woodstock generation with a cast that included a pre-SNL Chevy Chase and John Belushi, plus Christopher Guest, Alice Playten and Paul Jacobs.  It was here that Belushi first performed his Joe Cocker impersonation that lit up the stages of SNL. “Genius is pain…”

Listen: “Magical Misery Tour” by National Lampoon

Edited: November 8th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/7/10

Song Of The Day – “Southern California Brings Me Down” by National Lampoon 

This spot-on parody of Neil Young comes courtesy Tony Scheuren from the 1975 National Lampoon album “Goodbye Pop.” The album also features several hilarious skits that find Bill Murray playing late-night DJ Mel Brewer to Christopher Guest’s Ron Fields….”Whaling songs are the best…”  Other Lampooners on this album include Paul Shaffer, Gilda Radner, Brian-Doyle Murray, John Belushi, plus many others.

Listen: “Southern California Brings Me Down” by National Lampoon

Edited: November 7th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/6/10

Song Of The Day – “She’s The One” by Elvis Costello from the TV show “Spectacle”

The King meets The Boss!  One of Springsteen’s finest songs performed by Elvis Costello on his “Spectacle” TV show.  Part homage…part introduction of special guest Bruce Springsteen.  Two of the all-time greats on stage at the same time.  I would have donated my children to be there…well maybe not my children…but you get my drift.  Love Costello’s impassioned intro of Springsteen here.  Elvis released a new album this week called “National Ransom.”  Stylistically, it’s all over the map…but like every album he’s released, there are great songs to be heard…and of course there is “The Promise” from Bruce Springsteen coming out in a few weeks examining the “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” sessions in all their glory.  Can’t wait to watch the 1978 concert DVD in that box set!  A plethora of goodies this holiday season!

Listen: “She’s The One” by Elvis Costello

Edited: November 6th, 2010

Costello & Colbert! The new Everly Brothers! 11-5-10

Listen: “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by Elvis Costello & Stephen Colbert

Edited: November 5th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/5/10

Song Of The Day – “Oh Father” by Madonna from the album “Like A Prayer”

While many go ga-ga over Ga-Ga, if there wasn’t a Madonna 20 years prior, she wouldn’t exist at all!  Don’t get me wrong…I do think Lady Ga-Ga has some good songs and outfits to match. But while watching our good Lady in concert at Lollapalooza this summer, I realized how similar the two are…right down to their messages of empowerment, sexual freedom and religion. Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” album was seen as pushing the envelope back in  1989 with its merging of religious imagery and sexual prowess in both lyrical content and the videos that accompanied the songs.  With over 20 years of hindsight available, it amazes me what we thought was shocking and titillating then is pretty tame by today’s standards. “Oh Father” finds Madge in a semi-autobiographical introspective mood highlighting one of her most gorgeous melodies.

Listen: “Oh Father” by Madonna

Edited: November 5th, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/4/10

Song Of The Day – “Tevye’s Dream” from original soundtrack recording of “Fiddler On The Roof”

Today’s song of the day is in tribute to composer Jerry Bock who passed away yesterday at the age of 81. “Fiddler” is one of the longest running and best-loved musicals ever. The story was based on “Tevye And His Daughters” written by Sholem Aleichem. The Broadway musical, starring Zero Mostel, held the record for longest running musical for ten years until “Grease” came along.  The film version starring Topol as Tevye was directed by Norman Jewison and won three Academy Awards.  Bock also wrote the music for “Mr. Wonderful” (starring Sammy Davis Jr.), “The Rothschilds” and “Fiorello!” for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Here is the famous dream scene from the film which must have been an inspiration for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

Listen: “Tevye’s Dream” from “Fiddler On The Roof”

Edited: November 4th, 2010

Bonus Song Of The Day – 11/3/10

“Chicken Fat” by Robert Preston

How many of you remember this gem from the early 1960s?  I was born the year this record was distributed to schools across the U.S.A. (1961) as part of President Kennedy’s fitness program, but I do  distinctly remember exercising to this song when I was in grade school.  I also have a cherished copy of the record! “Go you Chicken Fat, Go Away!”

Listen: “Chicken Fat” by Robert Preston

Edited: November 3rd, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/3/10

Song Of The Day – “Nowhere To Run” by Martha & The Vandellas

After yesterday’s debacle they call an election, this song has taken on new meaning! Martha Reeves was a secretary at Motown Records when one day Mary Wells failed to show up for a recording session. Reeves was asked to fill in signaling the beginning of a singing career that led to such indelible hits as “Dancing In The Streets,” “Heat Wave,” Come And Get These Memories,” “Jimmy Mack,” “Quicksand,” plus this song seen here on a TV performance from “Shindig” in 1965. Reeves could also be heard singing background vocals on many a Motown classic including Marvin Gaye’s “Stubborn Kind Of Fellow.” On this Holland-Dozier-Holland track, the Vandellas consist of Rosalind Ashford, Gloria Williams and Betty Kelly. “I know you’re no good for me…but free of you I’ll never be…”

Listen: “Nowhere To Run” by Martha & The Vandellas

Edited: November 3rd, 2010

Election Day Special – 11/2/10

The Temptations: “Ball Of Confusion”

Vote For Me…And I’ll Set You Free!

Listen: “Ball Of Confusion” by The Temptations

Edited: November 2nd, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/2/10

Song Of the Day – “Elected” by Alice Cooper from the album “Billion Dollar Babies”

GET OUT AND  VOTE!  That way we can put this horrible election cycle behind us for good.  If politics are not your cup of tea (get it), then thankfully, there’s Alice Cooper to see us through.  I’d vote for him over some of the goofs we’ve got to choose from this time…

Listen: “Elected” by Alice Cooper

Edited: November 2nd, 2010

Song Of The Day – 11/1/10

Song Of The Day – “Theme From Shaft” by Isaac Hayes

Nobody dresses up as John Shaft for Halloween.  Now that would be one badass costume…just like this is one badass track! Call him “Shaft”…call him “Black Moses”…call him “Chef”…but one thing is for sure, he was responsible for some of the funkiest and smoothest hot-buttered soul ever committed to wax. Hayes started out playing sax for The Mar-Keys before becoming the keyboard player for the STAX Records house band writing classic songs with his partner David Porter like “Soul Man,” “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and “B-A-B-Y.” He also wrote the not-so-classic “Chocolate Salty Balls” for “South Park” where he provided the voice behind Chef before falling out with Trey Parker and Matt Stone over the content of an episode that poked fun at Scientology. “Theme From Shaft” was Hayes’ first chart-topper in 1971 going on to win an Academy Award for best film score that year.

Listen: “Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes

Edited: November 1st, 2010