12/26 in a nutshell…
Gotta cut straight to the Home Stretch highlights this week… a Lollipop by Kyoko Koizumi that we’re given to understand Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra had a big hand in… and that wraps up a whole year’s worth of no-repeat Lollipops that date back to before Millie Small… Barbie Gaye’s 1956 original, to be exact! And speaking of stretching, The 5@5:05 expanded to consume the whole rest of the hour, excepting of course The End. The theme was… 2013 Ska Roundup (tho’ we did get in one cut from 2010’s Moodsteady by Tsuyoshi Kawakami & his Moodmakers. The rest was 2013 releases by everybody from The Slackers to The Dualers to TC locals The Prizefighters and Umbrella Bed. We also blasted 2-in-a-row from The Selecter’s sparkling String Theory, which this dj scored at the band’s wonderful Cedar show a few months back. Australia was well-represented by big band the Melbourne Ska Orchestra and the smaller-scale, but equally energetic Cat Empire, and the aforementioned Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra got in “Aranjuez Con Tu Amor* from their live appearance at the 2013 420 Fest in Guadalajara, Mexico. “The Season” was honored by Inspecter 7 (“Old Man Winter”) and Begoña Bang Matu (“Smiles in December”), and on Sherwood’s Planet by Billy May (“Snowfall Cha-Cha”) and Original Love, whose “Winter’s Tale” started out life as a Sapporo Beer ad jingle back in ’92. Pete Rugolo (whose Dec. 25th birthday guarantees him Christmastime airplay in Sherwood’s universe!) also turned up with “Our Waltz” from An Adventure in Sound. The “Ooh” crew missed a good bet… being as the show this week happened on Boxing Day, it would have been fun to hear one of Prince Buster’s “Big Fight” 45s. The onetime boxer himself (and longtime friend of The Greatest) did get airplay, though… “Ain’t That Saying a Lot” appears on the Prince’s “Ten Commandments” reissue. By this time next week, the New Year will have begun, and that means we’ll play some Hepcat. Tune in, and stay tuned!

Christmas music from around the world on this holiday edition of Global Beat. Creole zydeco tunes, classics redone w/ a flamenco feel, Hawaiian swing or an African flavor.

Today’s show incorporated Ellen Stanley’s Women Folk so Rollin & Tumblin actually lasted 4 and a half hours today instead of 2 and a half. In honor of the season, I played party music to help folks complete all the holiday tasks they had yet to do. So instead of holiday music, and instead of taking the A-Train today, folks got to ride on the KFAI Soul Train.

It was the holiday show today, with Larry McDonough and Richard Terrill in the studio to talk about Larry’s new CD – Angels, Kings, Favorite Things. I also did a phone interview with Karrin Allyson, coming to town to sing from her holiday CD – Yuletide Hideaway. Other seasonal fare included songs from Laura Caviani, Connie Evingson & Dave Frishberg, Lucia Newell, Ellis Marsalis, Susan Arioli, Charlie Parker, Babs Gonzalez, Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery, and Bullmoose Jackson.

Episode #437: Flaming Strings, Blazing Brass, and You!

12/19 in a pinecone…

“Adam and Eve went up my sleeve and they never came down until Christmas Eve,” so Merry Skanxmas all you cats! Ol’ Cozy Claws has the skaliday goodies to perk up yer ears, with Sir Lord Comic leading the way. Bob Andy turns life into a symphony, Roland Alphonso dreams of being a bell, and those cannibal kids (tee-hee-hee) from the Gable Hall School Choir are still feasting on Santa the Candy Man. Our joy ride through ska oldie-dom leads, as always, to the fabulous flying party palace known across space (at least in the hyperactive imaginings of Sherwood’s Planet DJ Sherwood B. Funn) as the Voovie Doo Lounge, where we learn who’s birthday Dec. 25th really is… why, it’s Pete Rugolo’s, of course, and he’s heard here doing “Snowfall” and “Skyliner” with Billy May’s “Snowfall Cha-Cha” in the middle of that sandwich. Billy later outs himself as Santa Claus! Listen also for the Nutcracker, as cracked open by Les Brown, Duke Ellington, and the Hot Club of San Francisco (doing the Duke’s “Sugar Rum Cherry” a la French Gypsy Swing). A Christmas present the RSST crew made for KFAI yields up songs with titles like “Winter Love”, “Sno King”, “Winter’s Tale” (written as an ad jingle for Sapporo beer by Hiroshi Takano) and “Snowbound”, that last one being a 7+min. slow-funker by Steely Dan vet Donald Fagen, produced by fellow Danster Walter Becker. In the Home Stretch, Israeli Gila Adari served up this week’s Lollipop, “Od Daka Achat” from a mid-60s 7“ep. The rest of the Stretch delivered wintertime cheer from The Selecter, The Dualers, Bad Manners, The Toasters, Suggs (from Madness), August Darnell as his character Kid Creole, his associate Gichy Dan, and more. Remember, Gina… he’s just a ski instructor! The rest of you… tune in, and stay tuned!

Today’s program carries on from last week’s focus on South Africa as a continuation expanding out to even more voices & styles of music from Africa.