Buried Christmas treasure

christmas small
I recently received an early Christmas present in the shape of a pen drive loaded with the entire Buried Treasure back catalogue, and as Tom Petty’s radio programme is currently in its eighth season and there are 24-5 programmes per season with 20 or so tracks per programme you better believe that’s a fair old amount of music. I’m currently listening my way through Season Two and I came across this Christmas show which I thought you people might like. He does play two of his own recordings, which isn’t usual, but those of you who don’t like TP&TH can always skip those.

Happy Christmas!

1 Theme Song
2 I Feel OK – Detroit Junior
3 Merry Christmas, Baby – Otis Redding
4 Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5 Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – Staples Singers
6 Silver Bells – Booker T and the MGs
7 White Christmas – Otis Redding
8 Tom’s Mailbag
9 Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
10 Santa Claus Is Back In Town – Elvis Presley
11 Merry Christmas – Lightnin’ Hopkins
12 Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
13 Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ – Sir Mack Rice
14 The Christmas Song – King Curtis
15 Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
16 Red Rooster – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17 Back Door Santa – Clarence Carter
18 Happy New Year – Lightnin’ Hopkins
19 Christmas Song – The Chipmunks
20 Feels Like Christmas – Al Greene
21 Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/
Auld Lang Syne – Jimi Hendrix
22 Jingle Bells – Booker T and the MGs

Rock You Sinners!


This is a post on behalf of RockingMitch

I have compiled this list to attempt to show the many strands of music which came together to stand under the banner of “Rock & Roll”. Louis Jordan and Joe Turner are from the early days, before the term was used generally. Most of the rest comes from a bit later when the way to ask a young lady to dance consisted of “‘Ello, doll. Ow abaht lending me your frame for the struggle?”

There are many other artists I could (and probably should) have included such as Bill Haley, Little Richard, Link Wray etc., but these will do for now. Mitch


1: Louis Jordan – Blue Light Boogie. On the crossover between R & B and jazz.

2: Joe Turner with Fats Domino & The Dave Bartholomew Band – Love My Baby.

3:  Fats Domino – Whole Lotta Lovin’. The piano on this was played by Alain Toussaint as Fats was touring and only had time to put the vocals on the already cut music track.

4: The Coasters – Down In Mexico. One of their first under that name, having had personnel changes from the Robins. The Coasters moved with writers Leiber & Stoller to New York to be on Atco, an Atlantic subsidiary. Originally issued on L & S’s Spark label which Ahmet Ertegun had bought up for Atlantic.

5: Frankie Ford – Sea Cruise. One of my favourite “cheery” tunes. This was made by Huey Smith & The Clowns and the vocal was done by Smith’s regular frontman, Bobby Marchan (who also made a living as a female impersonator), Smith reckoned it would get more exposure on “Dick Clark’s American Bandstand” if a photogenic white boy fronted it. So, Marchan’s vocals were removed, and Frankie Ford was put on.

6: Gene Vincent – Blue Jean Bop. Gene’s 2nd gold disc which sold better in the UK, reaching no. 12 (5 places higher than “Be-Bop-A-Lula”) on our chart, but didn’t break into the US top 50. God sings!

7: The Everly Brothers – Claudette. Written and first done by Roy Orbison, and dedicated to his wife, this was the B-side of “(All I Have To Do Is) Dream”.

8: Jerry Lee Lewis – High School Confidential. “The Killer” at his finest from a much forgotten movie of the same name.

9: Eddie Cochran – Pretty Girl. One of the late, great Eddie’s best.

10: Merrill E Moore – Rock, Rockola. Bridging country hop & rock and roll, Merrill recorded without much sales success for Capitol. Great piano.

1: Moon Mullican – Granpa Stole My Baby. Along with Sid King, Moon shared vocal duties with Boyd Bennett & His Rockets. He was an inspiration to Jerry Lee.

2: Larry Williams – Bad Boy.  Larry was himself Rock & Roll’s bad boy, making, as he once said, more money from drug dealing and running prostitutes than he ever did from music, despite gaining 4 gold discs.

3: Esquirita – Believe Me When I Say (Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Here To Stay). S. Q. Reeder was a fixture on the New Orleans gay scene. He taught Little Richard to play piano and, despite the rest of America hardly knowing him, he was a huge star in France.

4: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You. Rock & Roll’s greatest nut case. Jalancey ‘Jay’ Hawkins, who was a former Golden Gloves boxing champ, got roaring drunk, along with the session men, and cut this classic.

5: Screamin’ Lord Sutch – Dracula’s Daughter. My old mate, Dave, was Britain’s best known loon. An erstwhile politician, he became better known for that than his records. Ritchie Blackmore on lead for this.

6: Danny & The Juniors – At The Hop. The group practised there vocals in the back of one of the band’s Buick. Danny (Rapp) had to be bailed out of jail to get to the recording session. Sadly, he was plagued by insecurity and committed suicide in 1983.

7: Gene Vincent – I’m Going Home (To See My Baby). Cut at Abbey Road and backed by Sounds Incorporated. (Surely Gene deserves two.)

8: The Crickets – Oh Boy. One of Buddy & The Crickets best known early tracks. For copyright reasons, Buddy’s name wasn’t on the label.

9: Chuck Berry – Carol.  No list would be complete without a track from one of Rock & Roll’s greatest poets.

10: Duane Eddy – Peter Gunn.  Let’s end with an instrumental. Sax player, the aptly named Jim Horn and on piano, doing his first pro job in music, Leon Russell.

He Says ~ She Says ~ Hello My Old China ! ! ! Chinese Language Music from 40′s, 50′s, 60;s and 70′s

“But Sakura ! ! ! Why I do I have to wear the ears?”

She Says:

This week we are moving in a new area for me.  We are going to share some tracks from an interesting period in Asian popular music.   I think that the Chinese are a maybe a  little like the Italians of Asia.  They tend to talk  a lot, are very funny, and are very romantic and nostalgic and this is reflected in their popular music.  The 1940 – 1980 period saw a huge change for Chinese speaking peoples.  The war and revolution in China lead to the establishment  PRC of course  but also Taiwan became an independant country and Hong Kong, as the last colony in Chinese territory grew into a wealthy centre for trade and finance for the whole of Asia.  Chinese language music was now developing in three very different environments, but some how there seems to be thread holding it together.

He Says:

China. Still, in some ways, a land of mystery to us in the West. So big, so many people. How on earth can you get your head round somewhere so vast, so different, so ancient ? We’d like to introduce you to some Chinese tunes this week. Many of them heavily “Westernised” and , therefore, somewhat easier on the ear than traditional Chinese music. Hope you enjoy them

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Take Out Some Insurance quiz

A quiz to keep you amused while we’re waiting for the new topic: and no, it’s nothing to do with insurance…that’s just the song. After the title there’s a series of 20 images each one representing a Tom Petty song. Your task is to identify all 20 of them! Some of them are very easy. Some of them are fiendishly hard. It’ll help if you’re a film/theatre/TV/radio buff; and oh yes – the answers are in alphabetical order, so that should help too. And googling is allowed.

While you’re puzzling over the images you will, of course, be able to enjoy the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers version of Jimmy Reed’s Take Out Some Insurance. Well, I hope you enjoy it anyway – this is the only version I’ve got of them doing the song and I think it’s just plain marvellous.

(I’ve had an earlier version of this video – I made it easier, folks! – up on YouTube overnight and it’s still there, so I’m hoping this one is safe and won’t get taken down. Famous last words? Possibly.)


Swing Low Sweet Cadillac – Dizzy Gillespie
Babaratiri – Beny More & Pérez Prado
Jesus Gave Me Water – Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers
Rocket “88” – Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
Quiet Village – Les Baxter

tfd’s 20

What? Am I the winner?

You most certainly are, Shirley – congratulations!

Hi ‘Spillers: this is an auspicious occasion (I’m having quite a week in fact), as I celebrate my 20th A-lister on RR. I first got drawn in for Illness, in November 2007, made all the usual mistakes that newbies make, and got my first A-lister the following January. Now, I’m sure you don’t want to listen to all 20 in one go (if at all) so I’m going to do two lists of 10. Here’s the first.

1 I’m The Face by the High Numbers, alias the Who. ‘I Am’ songs, Jan 25 2008
2 Nottamun Town by Shirley Collins and Davey Graham. Surreal songs, June 13 2008
3 Remember (Walking In The Sand) by the Shangri-Las. Songs about memory, Oct 10 2008
4 Ghost In This House by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Songs about ghosts, Jan 30 2009
5 Lord Gregory by Shirley Collins. Songs about social class, March 27 2009
6 Marilyn Monroe by the Ian Campbell Folk Group. Songs about actors, April 17, 2009
7 Complainte Pour Ste Catherine by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Songs in French, June 19 2009
8 The Cruel Mother by Shirley Collins. Cruel songs, July 24 2009
9 However Much I Booze by the Who. Songs about failure, August 7 2009
10 Barroom Girls by Gillian Welch. Songs about hangovers, January 8 2010

Ready for Part 2? OK then:

11 Killing Jar by Richard Thompson. Unsettling songs, January 22 2010
12 The Victory by Steeleye Span. Songs about historical figures, January 29 2010
13 Long Live Rock by the Who. Songs about concerts, May 27 2010
14 The Eyes Of Fate by the Incredible String Band. Songs about fate, September 24 2010
15 The Unquiet Grave by Shirley Collins. Songs about the afterlife, May 26 2011
16 Cherry Red Wine by Luther Allison. Songs about wine, June 9 2011
17 Blue Days, Black Nights by Buddy Holly. Debut songs, June 23 2011
18 The Dark-Eyed Sailor by June Tabor and the Oysterband. Songs about eavesdropping, July 14 2011
19 Barefootin’ by Robert Parker. Songs about dance styles, July 28 2011
20 So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) by the Everly Brothers. Songs about a change of mind, August 4 2011

Well, that should keep everyone amused for a bit!

Coming Across Criss

A few weeks ago, as her Question 31B, amylee asked for an instrumental song we love. I was thrilled at the clutch of warm responses to my choice of Sonny Criss playing I’ll Catch The Sun. The idea fermented to follow this up with a post celebrating the alto saxophonist, principally to give you a few more examples of his playing. This is what I’m doing here but it occurred to me that I’ve been trying off and on for 23 years to tell the world about Sonny Criss and thus the influence his voice has had on mine is also something I want to consider. As a result, I’m supersizing my blogging by twinning this post with one on my own blog, contemplating the literary issues that unspool from my Sonny Criss fandom.

This is a brief and not at all comprehensive primer, courtesy of YouTube, of my favourite instrumental voice in jazz. That’s an accolade that requires some clarification and contextualisation. There are, if we are to give these terms any meaning, ‘greater’ jazz musicians than Sonny Criss. Quite apart from anything else, Criss was one of the legion alto saxophonists who were turned onto a style of playing by Charlie Parker. There’s a reason we call the likes of Criss, Sonny Stitt, Cannonball Adderley, Jackie McLean, Sahib Shibab and more post-Bird saxophonists – it’s not to their detriment that they stood in the conceptual shadow of someone who, to all intents and purposes, made the music new again. You don’t look to Sonny Criss for game-changing innovation. He wasn’t pulling the blues inside-out: he was playing them straight, sultry, smoky and spine-tingling, as here in Black Coffee:

I bow before Mingus, Monk, Ellington, Carla Bley, Sun Ra and plenty more jazz composers before I think of Sonny Criss. But just as I can hear most songs better when they’re sung by Ella, Sinatra or Sarah Vaughan, Sonny could play a song lyric to the same level of perfection of those vocalists. Here he is on Charlie Chaplin’s Smile and Jimmy Webb’s Up Up And Away (links via text to save screen space).

Nor did he move with the times in the manner of Miles Davis or, more recently, David Murray. Things funked up a little in the seventies but the sound that soared over the top of the groove was still that wondrously fluid, human heart-tugging voice, as here in Cool Struttin’ .

Sonny Criss works for me as instantly as the voices of those I love most in the world. I’ll rave about and dance to and revere and be inspired by countless others but Sonny’s notes trigger a thousand awakenings in my brain and across my body. I feel encapsulated by the sense of mortality and intoxicated by the desire for joy that I hear throughout the dozens of his recordings I own. I want to line up loads more for you to enjoy but I’ll leave you with just this, and embed it so it doesn’t get overlooked and by way of a birthday gift to steenbeck, a captivating God Bless The Child:

Like a diamond

Young punk (?)(1977)

Insider (1981)

Outsider (2002)

Grand Old Man Of Rock (2011)

Well, the thing is that I’ve been wanting to do a podcast about TP for ages now, but the problem always was: how do I decide which songs to include? Then one day the answer came to me: during the 30 Days game I’d been keeping a list of my noms so as not to repeat any, and looking down the list at about the two-thirds mark I realised that my TP noms (which were many) in fact covered a good span of his recording career. There were still a few gaps though – and in fact not enough opportunities left to get one song in from each album, not to mention that some albums were already represented twice – but I made a valiant attempt through blatant shoehorning activities and finally arrived at a list which I think is pretty good. I’ve left out the compilation, soundtrack and live albums, and most of the songs in the podcast are different versions from the ones I posted for 30 Days, because they’re studio-recorded. So even if you watched all the videos I posted, you’ll still hear something new in the podcast, as well as my fab commentary of course, and some remarks from the great man himself who was happy to help. [Tell the truth, tfd - Ed.] OK, he didn’t know a thing about it.
Here we go then: Tom Petty, his music, from 1976 to now.
Woo hoo!

Podcast song list

Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1976
I Need To Know – You’re Gonna Get It! 1978
Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid) – Damn The Torpedoes 1979
The Waiting – Hard Promises 1981
Insider – Hard Promises 1981
Change Of Heart – Long After Dark 1982
Southern Accents – Southern Accents 1985
Spike - Southern Accents 1985
It’ll All Work Out – Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) 1987
End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys vol. 1 1988
Runnin’ Down A Dream – Full Moon Fever 1989
Learning To Fly – Into The Great Wide Open 1991
You Don’t Know How It Feels – Wildflowers 1994
Room At The Top – Echo 1999
Dreamville – The Last DJ 2002
Like A Diamond – The Last DJ 2002
Saving Grace – Highway Companion 2006
Shady Grove – Mudcrutch 2008
Lover’s Touch – Mojo 2010

All songs composed by Tom Petty except:
End Of The Line – George Harrison
Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Jeff Lynne
Shady Grove – trad.

Well, if you’ve got down this far you’ll certainly be up for the ‘Spill point challenge – I’ve mentioned shoehorning but (for only one point, now that Chris has made it easier by putting the spreadsheet in the box) which of the songs in the podcast did NOT feature in the 30-Day Challenge at all? Clue: it’s about a couple who are maybe about to set up home together but they are the opposite of Wills’n’Kate.

In Their Own Way They Changed Music

This year, 2011, marks 40 years since the death of Gene Vincent and 30 since the passing of Bill Haley. As most people will know, both are heroes of mine and I had the pleasure of working with both of them.
I therefore thought it appropriate to put up a few of their tracks to mark the occasion.
The Gene Vincent numbers are “B-I-Bickey Bi Bo Bo Go” which is a silly title but one of my personal favourites of his with the first set of Bluecaps. “Over The Rainbow” was made slightly later and I included this to show he didn’t just rock out all the time. The third is “Pistol Packin’ Mama” which attained his highest UK chart placing. Made at Abbey Road, the arrangement was by Eddie Cochran who was due to duet with Gene, but the car crash on the A4 at Chippenham put paid to that. Georgie Fame was in the backing group.
Bill’s tracks begin with “Crazy Man, Crazy” cut in 1953, just after he’d changed the name of his backing group from The Saddlemen to the Comets. It was his first US top 20 hit and resulted in him and the band being booked into a black club in Chicago. They didn’t believe white men could swing like that.

The second track is “Happy Baby” which is perfect for jiving to. It shows off the guitar playing of Franny Beecher who had replaced Danny Cedrone. Danny died from a fall down stairs shortly after cutting “Rock Around The Clock”
The third of Bill’s comes from the 60s and is titled “Train Of Sin”. He was trying to introduce new stuff into his repertoire, but audiences just wanted “Rock Around The Clock” which re-entered the charts in 1964,68 and 1974.
I feel that both men, in their own way, changed music for the better and even if you don’t like the tracks I’ve picked, you will agree with that statement. Without Bill Haley, it’s doubtful that Rock and Roll would have entered the mainstream and maybe there would have been no Elvis, Buddy Holly (both of whom were inspired to record by seeing Haley) or any of the others who followed.


Mr Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter

To keep you amused till midnight…and possibly beyond! This is my first ever attempt at a podcast, and it’s about my musical journey from when I first got interested in music, in the early 60s, till now. Plus there’s a competition, with valuable ‘Spill points for prizes – your challenge is to tell me, from those musicians/bands represented here…whose music do I have a complete collection of? (Clue: it’s more than one.)

I know this is a bit like the idea that Blimpy suggested the other day on bluepeter’s EOTWQ post, but I’d already started doing this then and I didn’t want to waste it.

The Frogcast is in two parts, the first being just over 30 minutes long and the second 37.

Low Lights & Trick Mirrors

Occasionally a tune is mentioned on RR that someone used to have on an New Musical Express cassette. For the uninitiated, during the eighties the NME would offer readers music compilation cassettes for the price of the post & packaging – for £1.99 you could get an NME approved comtemporary compilation championing new artistes and an archive compilation usually taken from a major label and was an introduction to so much good music.
The playlist here is a tape from 1986 of ‘cool’ jazz from EMI/Capitol Records archives that has the usual suspects – Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker and a blues from Billie; as well as gems from Johnny Dankworth, Gil Evans and Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes amongst others.

Enough chat, just imagine it’s the wee small hours of the morning and you’re driving through the city streets, preferably in black & white, with this as your soundtrack …


Rollin’ & Tumblin’ – Babey Face Leroy Foster Trio
Don’t Cha Go Way Mad – Ella Fitzgerald
Stack-A-Lee, Pt. 1 – Archibald
Como El Macao – Duo Los Compadres
Walkin’ Blues – Muddy Waters

Don’t Wop

The Flamngos

The Flamingos

Welcome to the latest in an occasional series, popularly known by the jaunty title ‘Spillers Post Music That You Wouldn’t Really Expect Them To Post, Knowing Their Musical Tastes Just A Bit, As You Do‘ – or words to that effect.

This time around it’s the turn of … well, I was just about to use a term which I suspect I really shouldn’t use. I understand from certain inhabitants of these parts that it’s a term which wasn’t used until many years after the music to which I’m referring, was popular.

So I’m going to bestow up on it the catchy sobriquet “Fifties Vocal-Based Rhythm & Blues Music”, largely because I can.

I realise that I am getting dangerously close to RockingMitch/RollinDanny territory here – by the way, what is it with those guys? Are they brothers or something? I suspect it’s only a matter of time until their sisters HipSwinginHatty and FingerClickinFreda jitterbug their way into town – and, as with the other similar posts I’ve done in the past (featuring Hip-Hop and Jazz) the experts in the field may well feel that my selection is too populist for their liking.

And if that’s the case, then so be it. All I know is that this sort of music has given me many, many hours of pleasure over the years and that several of the tracks in this playlist would stand a good chance of making it into my Desert Island list.

I noticed while putting this selection together that I have a large amount of this sort of music on those one foot diameter vinyl thingies up in my attic. So I was limited to the few recordings I have on CD – which might just have added to the whole populist bent. Anyway, this is my offering – let me know what you think.

Oh What A Nite – The Dells
Blues In The Letter – The Flamingos
Maybe – The Chantels
There Is Something On Your Mind – The Hollywood Flames
Please Send Me Someone To Love – The Moonglows
For All We Know – The Orioles
Stay In My Corner – The Dells
Daddy\'s Home – Shep & The Limelites
Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight – The Spaniels
Just Walking In The Rain – The Prisonaires

There you go. I got all the way to the end of the post without mentioning the words Doo Wop.


And here (thanks to makinavaja) is the whole playlist in one handy clicky thing …