Moday’s Music Moves Me: Smoke Alarm Battery Charge (Change?)

Cathy pulled out her calendar again for this week’s M4 theme. Evidently today is National Battery Day, so have a good one. She gave us four words, smoke, alarm, battery and charge, around which to center our songs. I added a fifth, change, because I thought there might have been some miscommunication; after all, Time Change Sunday is coming, a day when we not only change the clocks, we change the batteries in the smoke detectors. Sound good?

So, the list starts with two songs about smoke. First is Buck Owens, the Bard of Bakersfield, with his cover of Red Ingle and His Natural Seven’s “Cigareets, Whuskey and Wild, Wild Women.” I usually use the version done by Peter Sellers and The Muppets, so I figured you could use a break. Then, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke That Cigarette,” the 1947 original by Tex Williams, who wrote it with the Dean of Fingerstyle Guitar Players, Merle Travis.

Next, a couple about alarm. First is “Incense and Peppermints,” the 1967 hit by Strawberry Alarm Clock (see what I did there?). It was their one and only hit, reaching #1 and earning a Gold record. Next is Peter, Paul & Mary’s “If I Had A Hammer,” because, after all, hammering/ringing/singing out danger and warning sounds like an alarm to me.

On to battery… now, in this case, I relied on the fact that the French word for a drum kit is la batterie and chose a couple of songs that feature some amazing drumming. First, a couple of scenes from the 1941 comedy classic Ball of Fire, which starred Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck and featured the incredible drumming of Gene Krupa, appearing with his orchestra, on “Drum Boogie.” Miss Barbara’s voice was dubbed by Martha Tilton on the song. Then, The Surfaris with their 1963 hit song “Wipeout.” A friend of mine (who came from another school) said that he and his friends all owned copies of the record and would play the drum part on their desks when the nun was out of the room.

Next is charge. To do this, I looked up songs that had “charge” in the title, coming up with the finale of Rossini’s “William Tell,” also a part of the Overture and the theme song for the radio and TV versions of The Lone Ranger, and a song called “Charge” done by an electronic band called Bossfight. I have no clue if this is music from a video game or just stands on its own, but I thought it sounded interesting.

Finally, since I thought change was appropriate (also giving me five groups of two songs), we have a couple of “lite rawk!” favorites: The Little River Band’s “Cool Change” from their 1979 album Just Under The Wire, a song that reached #4 in the US that year, and Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” title track from his 1977 album.

And that’s your Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 18, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The #40’s Of 1963

Continuing my #40 series, here are the #40 songs on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for the last Friday of each month. This week, 1963.

  • January 25: The Matys Bros., “Who Stole The Keeshka?” A polka, because polkas were always popular in Chicago. You’ll note the phonetic spelling of the word kishka… This spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #17.
  • February 22: Marvin Gaye, “Hitchhike” Marvin was still gaining traction when this was released. It peaked the following week at #36 before dropping off the survey.
  • March 29: Bobby Vinton, “Over The Mountain (Across The Sea)” Some schmaltz from Bobby Vinton, and don’t you love it? Spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #19.
  • April 26: Etta James, “Pushover” I’m surprised this didn’t take off better than it did. Spent four weeks on the survey, peaking at #28.
  • May 31: Fats Domino, “There Goes My Heart Again” Considering this song only reached #59 nationally, Fats did all right in Chicago. Spent three weeks on the survey, peaking at #35.
  • June 28: Al Casey, “Surfin’ Hootenanny” Both surfing and hootenannies were popular in 1963, so Al figured that if you put them together, they’d be a big hit. Try again, Al. Nevertheless, it reached #27 after five weeks on the survey.
  • July 26: The Cookies, “Will Power” A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song; The Cookies did several of their songs, including “Chains,” later covered by The Beatles. Peaked at #34 in its second week, also its last.
  • August 30: Kelly Garrett, “Tommy Makes Girls Cry” This entered the survey at #36, because the four songs occupying #37-40 (Sam Cooke’s “Frankie and Johnny,” The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey,” Kyu Sakamoto’s “China Nights” (at least they didn’t rename it “Tempura” or “Yakitori”), and Gene Chandler’s “Man’s Temptation”) were on their way down from higher positions, so I decided to feature this instead. It fell to #40 the following week and spent two more weeks on the survey, peaking at #23.
  • September 27: The Orlons, “Crossfire” This rockin’ little number spent four weeks on the survey and also peaked at #23.
  • October 25: The Allisons, “Surfer Street” This is all Wikipedia had to say aout The Allisons: “The Allisons were an American girl group who had a minor hit with the song ‘Surfer Street.’ This song was released on Tip Records and charted for one week in December 1963, in the number 93 position. The song capitalized on the popularity of early 1960’s surfing culture.” It spent three weeks on the chart at WLS, peaking at #32.
  • November 29: Jan and Dean, “Drag City” This was the one success story for 1963 as far as #40’s go. It spent ten weeks on the chart and reached #1 for a week in January.
  • December 27: The Cookies, “Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys” Finally, we have this little gem which was written by Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller. It spent five weeks on the chart and peaked at #31.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 11, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: What In The World, Cathy?

Today’s prompt was brought to us by our guest conductor, Cathy, who gave us the prompt, “mail, soup, vacuum,” evidently after reading a national day calendar. I got a little creative with it, and managed to come up with ten songs anyway.

The first four songs are “letter” songs. “Roll Over Beethoven,” the Chuck Berry classic, starts with the line “gonna write a little letter, gonna mail it to my local DJ.” I used the Beatles version from With The Beatles, the British album that became Meet The Beatles and The Beatles’ Second Album in the US (it’s the second song on the latter). Next, although Cathy already used “Air Mail Special,” I’m using the version by The Benny Goodman Sextet, which featured Charlie Christian on guitar. After that, we have Muddy Waters, with Little Walter on harmonica and Big Crawford on bass, playing the original version of his “Sad Letter,” from 1950. He re-recorded it on 1974’s Can’t Get No Grindin’, but the original is cleaner. Muddy got a lot of use out of the guitar licks in this song, because you can hear the same guitar part in about half of his songs. The last song in the “letter” set is The Box Tops’ classic “The Letter,” their first big hit.

Next, I have three “vacuum” songs. The way I did this was to remember that space is a vacuum. So, we have The Tornados’ “Telstar” from 1962, Billy Preston’s “Outta Space” from 1971, and Harry Nilsson’s “Spaceman” from 1972’s Son of Schmilsson.

Finally, three “soup” songs, more or less. First up is Carole King’s “Chicken Soup With Rice,” from the 1975 musical Really Rosie, which was written by Maurice Sendak. Carole wrote the music and sang it in the original 1975 animated special. Then, I got a little creative: In the US and in most of the rest of the world, the most popular brand of canned soup is Campbell’s (they’re based in Camden, New Jersey, and had a plant in Chicago). True to their Scottish roots, the “Campbell Kids” were dressed in kilts and tam o’shanters and the song “The Campbells Are Coming” was used in some of their commercials. This all told me that the song was perfect for the theme, so I chose Tex Williams’s Western swing version of it. And finally, we have the adorable Shirley Temple singing her classic song “Animal Crackers In My Soup,” which is a lot more violent than I remember it being.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 4, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The #40’s of 1962

A couple of weeks ago, I played the #40 song on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey from the last survey of each month in 1961. This week, let’s do the same for 1962. This time, I followed the songs as they progressed through the survey. In some cases, they vanished almost immediately.

  • 1/27/62 – Marlowe Morris Quintet, “Play The Thing” Marlowe played piano and organ, and was a distant relative of Fats Waller. He recorded with jazz greats Lester Young, Tiny Grimes, and Coleman Hawkins, among others. Disc jockey Jim Bartlett said of this song, “‘Play the Thing’ features some tasty playing behind Marlowe, although his roller-rink organ style probably isn’t for everybody.” Rose to #38 the following week, then dropped off the survey.
  • 2/24/62 – Saverio Saridis, “Love Is The Sweetest Thing” Saridis earned the sobriquet “The Singing N.Y. Cop,” and he had a pretty nice voice, but his song vanished from the survey by the following week.
  • 3/31/62 – The Angels, “Cry Baby Cry” The Angels had a big hit the following year with “My Boyfriend’s Back,” which topped the chart. This song, on the other hand, rose to #37, then exited quietly.
  • 4/28/62 – Marty Robbins, “Love Can’t Wait” This was a minor hit on the Country (#12) and Adult Contemporary (#18) charts, but didn’t do so well on Top 40 stations. On WLS, it was gone the next week.
  • 5/26/62 – Barbara English, “La Ta Tee Ta Ta” Barbara had a brief acting career in the ’50’s and ’60’s, mostly guest appearances on TV dramas such as Peter Gunn, 77 Sunset Strip, and The Twilight Zone. This spent a couple more weeks on the survey, rising as high as #34 before saying ta-ta.
  • 6/30/62 – Lawrence Welk, “Theme From The Wonderful World of The Brothers Grimm From the 1962 fantasy film that starred Laurence Harvey and Karlheinz Böhm and a whole lot of stars besides them. Welk’s cover rose to #32 the following week, then dropped off the survey.
  • 7/28/62 – The Duprees, “You Belong To Me” The one legitimate hit among this group (and a beautiful song besides), it spent nine weeks on the survey, rising to #4.
  • 8/25/62 – Joey Dee & The Starliters, “What Kind Of Love Is This?” Joey and company had a couple of big hits in the early ’60’s, “Peppermint Twist” (#1) and “Shout” (#6). In Chicago, it spent eight weeks on the charts, peaking at #9. Nationally, it rose to #18.
  • 9/29/62 – Bobby Darin, “If A Man Answers” Theme song from Bobby’s and wife Sandra Dee’s 1962 movie. The movie did well at the box office and was nominated for a couple of Golden Globes, but the theme song wasn’t as fortunate, only rising to #32 nationally. It spent four weeks on the survey at WLS, peaking at #25.
  • 10/27/62 – Dean Christie, “Heartbreaker” Can’t find anything about Dean or the record, but it spent five weeks on the WLS survey, peaking at #17.
  • 11/24/62 – Gene McDaniels, “Spanish Lace” Gene is probably best known for “100 Pounds of Clay,” which he took to #3 on the Hot 100. This spent one more week on the chart at #33, pretty close to his #31 nationally.
  • 12/29/62 – Jan Bradley, “Mama Didn’t Lie” Discovered by manager Don Talty, who had her audition for Curtis Mayfield. Her first record, Mayfield’s “We Girls,” was a local hit in Chicago and around the Midwest, and this record went to #8 on the R&B chart and #14 on the Hot 100, but went nowhere on The Big 89. It spent three more weeks on the survey, peaking at #30.

And that’s your Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 28, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: Out Of The Shadows

Our prompt from our mystery conductor this week is “songs about shadows.” Here are 8 songs about shadows and 2 by bands with “shadow” as part of their name.

  1. The Beatles, “Cry For A Shadow” The only instrumental the Beatles ever did, which never appeared on an album until the first Anthology came out in late 1995. Written by John Lennon and George Harrison, it probably just started out as something they did to tune up or while to kill time on or off-stage.
  2. The Four Tops, “Standing In The Shadows of Love” One that I suspect will be on a lot of people’s playlists today. Written by the team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, the Four Tops released it as a single in 1966 and it reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.
  3. Astrud Gilberto, “The Shadow Of Your Smile” Written by Johnny Mandel with lyrics by Paul Francis Weber, it was the love theme for the 1965 movie The Sandpiper which starred Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor and was directed by Vincente Minnelli. The lovely Senhora Gilberto used it as the title track for her 1965 album.
  4. Andy Gibb, “Shadow Dancing” Sorry, Dan… The baby brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice recorded this in 1978 as the title track for his hit album. It spent seven weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 and probably had a lot to do with his relationshiop with Dallas beauty Victoria Principal.
  5. Lindsey Stirling, “Shadows” YouTube has done a lot to bring talented musicians to everyone’s attention, and one of the more prominent is violinist/performance artist/composer/singer Lindsey Stirling, who started her YouTube channel in 2007. To play the violin well is difficult enough, but to play the violin well while dancing as well as she does is remarkable.
  6. Florina, “In The Shadows” Famous Birthdays tells us she’s a “French singer/songwriter who rose to fame after she began recording cover versions of popular top 40 hits and publishing them on her FlorinaXPerez YouTube channel. She has garnered over 350,000 subscribers on the platform.” This was a performance from the French TV show Destination Eurovision, which was intended to choose the singer who would represent France in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest (held this year in Tel Aviv). She placed 8th, due mostly to the fact that none of the judges (who came from Armenia, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and the UK) voted for her.
  7. Aero Chord, “Shadoqws (feat. Nevve)” Alex Vlastas (aka Aero Chord) is, according to Wikipedia, “a Greek electronic trap producer.” He recorded this for Monstercat, his label, last year. Interesting stuff.
  8. Chromatics, “Shadow” Chromatics are an American electronic music band from Portland, Oregon. This was played at the end of the two-hour premiere of Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival in 2007.
  9. The Shadows of Knight, “Gloria” A Chicago area garage band who came into some prominence in 1966 with their cover of Them’s “Gloria,” which many radio stations were reluctant to play because of some of the lyrics. SoK’s version omitted the lyrics and as a result rose to #10 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Cash Box survey.
  10. The Shadows, “Apache” The Shadows were a British instrumental band (who never quite made it in the US) led by Hank Marvin (the nerdy guy in the glasses). Their cover of “Apache” topped the British charts for five weeks in 1960. Jørgen Ingmann’s cover, which was recorded in 1960 but released in 1961, reached #2 in the US and Canada.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 21, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.