Starting the Home Stretch, GotchaSKAvered reinaugurated the Lollipop-of-the-Week in high style, going back to the beginning_ Barbie Gaye’s 1956 original recording of “My boy Lollypop”, 8 years before Millie Small had a global smash with it. As you can hear, the backing band on Barbie’s version laid down the very rhythmic foundation of what would become Bluebeat and early Ska: shuffled drums, a driving 4/4 walk on the upright bass, and relentlessly clipped 8th-note upstrokes on rhythm guitar, doubled by the piano_ a true ska (pre-) history lesson. Watch this spot! We’ve got enough Lollipops to fill up an entire year, and we’re gonna follow through… ‘cuz it is, after all, the most-recorded cover song in the history of ska. GotchaSKAvered, indeed! The 5@5:05 gave us 5 Japanese ska bands we only learned of in the past week, including Skylarking, Cubetone and JJ Session. Leading up to The End are a tune each from Tune In and Stay Tuned (not in that order!), and, believe it or not, Jimi Hendrix and Adele_ ska-remixed by Bost & Bim for Pirates Records. Sherwood, meanwhile, has been picking up on how sometimes a vinyl record sounds as cool at the “wrong” speed as it does at the “right” one, and occasionally, a “Wrong-Speed Special” will be aired during Sherwood’s Planet. Tommy Dorsey, featuring his trombone guy Warren Covington, cut a Decca 45 of “Satan Takes a Holiday”, and it gets wrong-speeded this week. “Freaky (January)” is the psychedelically percussive Hal Blaine’s track-of-the-month, and a well-rounded selection of ska oldies from the ’60s to the ’80s, including a few Lost Decade tracks of the ’70s, made the “Ooh” a true hop-skip-and-jump affair. Tune In… and Stay Tuned!
A set of some of ska’s best non-Jamaican oldies kicked off the “Ooh” this week, led by Cyril Stapleton’s band backing Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds (“The Beazers”) doing The Blue Beat. We also threw in some Lost Decade stuff by artists like Zap Pow, Vin Gordon and Gichy Dan. When we got to Sherwood’s place, a pre-Tennessee Birdwalk, Joe Meek-obsessed Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan (a.k.a. “Jacqueline Hyde”) were waiting for us, inviting us to run away with them_ which we did, through a sonic landscape peppered with weird-era Ferrante & Teicher (think “Soundblast”), Milt Raskin, Arthur Lyman, the Dusk ‘til Dawn Orchestra (conducted by the one and only Mort Garson who we’re seriously gonna have to do a tribute to one of these weeks), “Knuckles” O’Toole (doing a cha-cha!) and the Art Of Noise, among others. In the Home Stretch, Millie Small had the GotchaSKAvered Lollipop-of-the-Week in mixed English/German, the 5@5-past-5 featured tracks from Jump Up-label compilations, and Graham Reynolds and his Golden Arm Trio, augmented by horn section, fired up the ol’ Miracle Machine. ‘Til next time, Tune In… and Stay Tuned.
Oooooh, we’re liking what we’ve done with the Opening Oldies Hour… still Jamaica-heavy, still ’60s-heavy, but with plenty of curveballs thrown at the plate: everything from 2Tone (which, after all, turns 34 this year!) to Spaghetti Western to That Ol’ Mooooon Stompin’ are livening up the mix. We even tossed in the Hollywood Bananas’ cover of an original 45 Sherwood discovered and opened his timeslot with. His set sorta kinda careened from a “colors” theme (“Green Eyes”, “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White”, “The Moon was Yellow”, etc.) into a (largely instrumental) “talk” theme (“Say Si Si”, “Three Little Words”, “Gossipo Perpetuo”, etc.) until Harry Hosono blew the concept out of the water with “Galaga” and Shiina Ringo flew us all to heaven. Oh, and Charlie (who?) did the Cha Cha in Hawaii. In the Home Stretch, Agnes Loti dropped the “lollipop” imagery from a certain smash Millie Small hit with “C’est Toi Mon Idole” (I’m presuming she digs pop heartthrobs), after which a mostly 2Tone-era set took us to the 5@5… except there wasn’t one: 5:am kicked off an entire Skapanese hour of 13@5! The Land of the Rising Ska gave us Runa Miyoshida, Triple Slott, The Miceteeth, The Silver Sonics, Cool Wise Men, The King Lion, ARTS, Skapontas, The Determinations and The Oldtones.OMG, no TSPO??? We’ll get around to those guys next week, ‘right? Tune In… and Stay Tuned!
Buy ‘em by the sack! Clue J & the Blues Blasters, accompanied in all likelihood by Nyahbinghi hand-drumming legend Count Ossie, feed us “The Slider” from way back in 1962… and after half a century, it STILL hasn’t gone stale! (Talk about yer “pre-ska-vatives”… ) Also in the “Ooh”: “Pound for Pound #1”, a Carlos Malcolm & the Fireburners lost-decade ska/funker from 1970 (there was also a “Pound for Pound #2”, the same tune slowed-down and more heavily accentuating the funk in the groove)… some earlier Malcolm doing a ska “Ghost Riders”, both sides of a Roy Richards 45, “Maureen” and “Contact”, and Little Darlin’ (name of the artist! The song was “No One”)… The Blues Blasters bookend the “Ooh” with their “Marjie”, just before Sherwood takes over with two “January” tracks from what he has dubbed “calendar” albums, Emil Richards’Stones and Psychedelic Percussion by Hal Blaine, respectively, followed by another “Margie”, this one by Buddy Morrow. That’s followed up by Margie, the singer… Margie Rayburn, that is. Tommy Dorsey and Warren Covington’s 45, “Satan Takes a Holiday”, a Wrong-Speed Special from a couple of weeks back, actually gets spun at 45 this week… sounds great at both speeds! “Mangos”, a Rosemary Clooney/Perez Prado collab we’ve played here before, gets the instrumental treatment from the (Francis) Bay Big Band. By the way, I should mention the fact that I have Shiina Ringo and her shady nuke ;^) to thank for hipping me to this song. She sings her non-album track “Superficial Gossip” this week. The Home Stretch got off to a classy start with Trio Esperanca’s high-gloss “Meu Bem Lollipop”… Of The Week. Thanks, GotchaSKAvered! There were 5 Mutant Frogs in a row at 5 (not 5:05), some Jamaican-grown lounge/exotica from the likes of Cecil Lloyd, Kes Chin, and better-known Tommy McCook and Roland Alphonso, and “electro-swingers” Parov Stelar with the very ska-like “Dandy…” I’m looking for more of this electro-swing… tune in, and stay tuned!
Ooh! The Cap’n & Cozy unearthed more great old skas previously un-aired by RSST, including, all the way from the UK, Pama Records’ own… Milwaukee Coasters??? Yep, from the year that kicked off Ska’s Lost Decade, 1968, a ska/funk stomper paradoxically enough titled “Sick and Tired (Oh Babe)” hot on the heels of Val Bennett’s ska shuffle “Jumping with Mr. Lee” (Bunny, not Byron), from the same year, on Island. Sherwood’s Planet highlights included Cal Tjader’s cover of Paul Horn’s something blue track “Half and Half” and some flutey 5/4 business from Italy’s Marc 4. In the Home Stretch, GotchaSKAverd hit us with a Czech Lollipop (er, “Libi Bob”) from Yvonne Prenosilova. Never released on 45 or LP in its day (1964), it instead turned up as a clip on Czech TV! While we’re across the pond, the 5@5:05 asks you, “Won’t you come aboard and fly Transatlantic Skaways with us?” The Bost & Bim Crosstown Traffic (Jimi Hendrix) remix brought us right up to The End… “Crosstown Skaffic”, anyone?
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