More a link than a post! (Is it rock yet?)



I stumbled across one of those lists of songs that preceded and maybe anticipated rock n roll. A much better and more comprehensive one than many I’ve seen. Nice introductory article too. What it was doing on a schools-choosing website I am not quite sure but well worth a perusal.

Some of the videos they posted are no longer available so I’ve made a Youtube playlist of my own for any who would like to have a listen.

Here’s the link to the site itself:

And here is the playlist.



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