Monday, July 30, 2007

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Song of the Week

With our Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders annual special next week on Treasure Island Oldies, I thought I'd get you in the mood with Tijuana Taxi, by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, our Song of the Week. What's really cool about this clip is that it was a Scopitone.

If you're not familiar with Scopitone, it was a system developed in France, essentially a video jukebox. Songs were shot on film, then film copies were made and loaded into the Scopitone Jukebox. And you used the machine as you would a regular jukebox, but you saw a performance as well as heard the song. For more information on Scopitones, check out their website.

So here's this week's Song of the Week by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Tijuana Taxi. And yes, it apparently was really shot on the streets in Tijuana, Mexico.


Booker T. & The MGs - Voice Your Choice

Booker T. & The MGs began as session players with Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee. They consisted of Booker T. Jones on keyboards, Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass and Al Jackson, Jr. on drums. In case you were wondering what MG stands for, it's Memphis Group.

Between 1962 and 1971 they appeared 18 times on the Billboard charts; and they had three Top Ten singles plus three Gold Records.

And we have two of their Gold records for your votes this week on Voice Your Choice: Time Is Tight and Soul Limbo. Which is your preference? Come to the Voice Your Choice page to cast your vote. We'll play the winning song in Hour 3 of next week's Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders Special on Treasure Island Oldies.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Peter And Gordon - Voice Your Choice

Peter and Gordon, the British pop duo, were Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. They stormed the charts during the British Invasion. Peter was from London, and Gordon hailed from Braemar, Scotland. Together they created hit songs filled with great harmonies and excellent production and arrangements. They recorded songs written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Del Shannon, Buddy Holly and Norman Petty, some of which were cover recordings, while others were written for them.

In the three years that they maintained chart prominence, they scored an impressive fourteen songs on the Billboard Top 100, eight of which were Top 20. Interestingly, their very first North American single, A World Without Love, reached No. 1.

After they split up, Peter Asher went on to continued success, this time as a producer and artist manager, and worked with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and 10,000 Maniacs.

This week on Voice Your Choice, Treasure Island Oldies spotlights Peter and Gordon with their second and twelfth singles: Nobody I Know and Knight In Rusty Armour. Which song would you like me to play? Help make that decision; cast your vote for the song you prefer by coming to the Voice Your Choice page at the Treasure Island Oldies website and making your selection. I'll play the winning song in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Song of the Week

A few weeks ago we featured Creedence Clearwater Revival on Voice Your Choice. They had a great run on the charts and on radio with hit after hit after hit. But they weren't just a 'singles' band; they were a solid rocking band who had their chops down as players, both in the studio as well as live.

Wait till you see and hear them play live in concert for our Song of the Week. This clip is CCR performing Born On A Bayou live. And WOW are they ever great! It's no wonder many consider Creedence Clearwater Revival one of the greatest rock groups to ever come out of the United States. All four guys, John Fogerty on lead guitar and vocals, his brother Tom Fogerty on guitar, Stu Cook on bass and Doug Clifford on drums were one tight unit! This is the song I first heard by CCR on "underground" FM radio way back. A big thank you to Fred in St. Catharines, Ontario for the tip to this clip!


Monday, July 16, 2007

Martha And The Vandellas - Voice Your Choice

Martha And The Vandellas were one of the key and most successful of the Motown Girl Groups. Martha Reeves was born July 18, 1941 (Happy Birthday Martha!) and I understand she has recently been voted a member of City Council in Detroit. The Vandellas consisted of Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford. Annette left the group in 1963 and was replaced by Betty Kelly, who had been with The Velvelettes. Martha and The Vandellas were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

Between 1963 and 1971, they had 23 Motown hits on the charts, including one Gold record and six Top Ten singles.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice features Martha And The Vandellas with two of their many Motown hits: Heat Wave and Quicksand. I know it's hard to decide, but you must. Come to the Voice Your Choice page and make your selection. We'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata - Song of the Week

Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and was at one time married to Hugh Masakela then later to Stokeley Carmichael. In 1967 she scored a worldwide hit with Pata Pata.

Here she is performing Pata Pata live.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Voice Your Choice

Creedence Clearwater Revival were from El Cerrito, California. With their early "swamp rock" songs such as Born On A Bayou, many mistook them for being from the Bayou itself. CCR first recorded as the Blue Velvets in 1959 on Orchestra Records, then in 1964 they called themselves the Golliwogs and recorded for Fantasy Records. In 1967 they re-named themselves Creedence Clearwater Revival, consisting of John Fogerty (vocals and guitar), his brother Tom Fogerty (guitar), Stu Cook (keyboards and bass) and Doug Clifford (drums). Sadly Tom Fogerty died at age 48 on September 6, 1990 of respiratory failure.

Between 1968 and 1976 CCR appeared on the Billboard charts 20 times, scoring an incredible 9 Top Ten hits, 5 Gold Records, and an additional 5 Platinum Records. Sadly the group disbanded in 1972 but that didn't prevent them from having their version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine on the chart four years later in 1976.

John Fogerty went on to a successful solo career, while in the past few years Stu Cook and Doug Clifford have gotten back together to form Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

This week on Voice Your Choice Treasure Island Oldies spotlights Creedence Clearwater Revival with two of their much loved hits: Fortunate Son and Lookin' Out My Back Door. Which song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page and cast your vote. The song with the greatest number of votes will get played in Hour 3 of this coming week's show.

The Four Seasons - Big Girls Don't Cry - Song of the Week

The Four Seasons with Frankie Valli on lead vocals were one of the top pop vocal groups of the early '60s. Here they are from 1962 with our Song of the Week: Big Girls Don't Cry, performed with live vocals.


Friday, July 06, 2007

Bill Pinkney Last Original Drifters Member Dead at 81

Oh my, we've lost another one! Bill Pinkney, the last original member of The Drifters has died. He was 81.

Here is the full story from The Associated Press.

Bill Pinkney, last survivor of the original members of The Drifters, dies in US at 81

The Associated Press
Thursday, July 5, 2007

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida: Bill Pinkney, the last survivor of the original members of the musical group The Drifters, has died. He was 81.

Pinkney was found dead Wednesday at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, Daytona Beach Police spokesman Jimmie Flynt said. The death was not considered suspicious, he said.

Pinkney was scheduled to perform for U.S. Independence Day festivities there.

The Drifters, whose hits include "Under the Boardwalk," "Up on the Roof," and "Save the Last Dance For Me," still performed Wednesday night. An announcement about Pinkney's death was made after the show, said the group's publicist, Donnie Lowery.

Pinkney, born in Dalzell, South Carolina, was not with The Drifters when they recorded their biggest hits. He left in the band in 1958 because of an argument over cash. His distinctive bass voice can be heard on the group's version of the holiday classic "White Christmas."

Even though he left the group, Pinkney didn't let go of The Drifters' name. He fought for laws allowing performers or bands to claim an affiliation with a classic group like The Drifters or The Coasters only if at least one member recorded with the original group.

The Drifters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Pinkney was a World War II veteran and pitched for the New York Blue Sox of the Negro Baseball League in the late 1940s and early '50s.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Will Schaefer Music Composer for TV Series Dead At 78

Will Schaefer, who wrote background music for television shows such as The Flinstones, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Jetsons, and many others has died at age 78.

Here's the full story.

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Will Schaefer, a composer whose music accompanied hit television shows such as "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Flintstones," has died in California, a family friend said Wednesday.

He was 78. Schaefer died of cancer Saturday in a nursing home in Cathedral City near Palm Springs, Calif., said Danny Flahive.

The Wisconsin native wrote background music, which is different from theme songs, for such TV shows as "The Flying Nun," "Hogan's Heroes," "The AristoCats," "The Jetsons," "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" and "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson.

He also composed and recorded music for more than 700 commercials, including ads for companies such as Ford, Chevrolet and Pillsbury. He also reworked the song "It's a Small World" for Disney to give it an international flavour corresponding to different rooms in the theme park ride.

His professional accolades included three Clio Awards for his work on commercials. He also was nominated for an Emmy Award for his score to the Walt Disney TV movie "The Skytrap" and for a Pulitzer Prize for his concert piece "The Sound of America," commissioned for the 1976 bicentennial celebration.

"He was brilliant. Even toward the end of his life, he was writing for a 100-piece orchestra of the Budapest symphony," Flahive said.

During the Korean War, Schaefer was the arranger and assistant conductor with the U.S. Fifth Army Band stationed at Fort Sheridan, Ill., where he wrote music for "Radio Free Europe" and "The Voice of America."

Schaefer was born in Kenosha, Wis., and had lived in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Boots Randolph - Yakety Sax Man - Dies at Age 80

Boots Randolph, best known for his signature hit Yakety Sax, has died at age 80.

Here is the complete Associated Press story.

By Joe Edwards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Boots Randolph, a saxophone player best known for the 1963 hit "Yakety Sax," died Tuesday. He was 80.

Randolph suffered a cerebral hemorrhage June 25 and had been hospitalized in a coma. He was taken off a respirator earlier Tuesday, said Betty Hofer, a publicist and spokeswoman for the family.

Randolph played regularly in Nashville nightclubs for 30 years, becoming a tourist draw for the city much like Wayne Newton in Las Vegas and Pete Fountain in New Orleans.

He recorded more than 40 albums and spent 15 years touring with the Festival of Music, teaming with fellow instrumentalists Chet Atkins and Floyd Cramer.

As a session musician, he played on Elvis Presley's "Return to Sender," Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman," Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree" and "I'm Sorry," REO Speedwagon's "Little Queenie," Al Hirt's "Java" and other songs including ones by Buddy Holly and Johnny Cash.

He had his biggest solo hit with "Yakety Sax," which he wrote.

"'Yakety Sax' will be my trademark," Randolph said in a 1990 interview with The Associated Press. "I'll hang my hat on it. It's kept me alive. Every sax player in the world has tried to play it. Some are good, some are awful."

"Yakety Sax" was used on the TV program "The Benny Hill Show" more than two decades after the tune was on the charts.

"It rejuvenated the song," Randolph said in 1990. "So many people know it from the show."

He also was part of the Million Dollar Band on the TV show "Hee Haw."

Randolph was born Homer Louis Randolph in Paducah, Ky., and grew up in the rural community of Cadiz, Ky., where he learned to play music with his family's band.

He said he didn't know where or why he got the nickname "Boots," although his website at the time of his death suggested it was to avoid confusion because he and his father shared the same first name.

Randolph began playing the ukulele and then the trombone but switched to the tenor sax when his father unexpectedly brought one home.

He graduated from high school in Evansville, Ind., then joined the Army and became a member of the Army Band.

After his discharge, he played primarily jazz at nightclubs for $60 a week. He finally landed a recording contract with RCA in Nashville in 1958 and also was hired as a musician for recording sessions.

Randolph had his own nightclub in Nashville's Printer's Alley for 17 years, closing it in 1994 because of declining business and to spend more time with his family.

He played regularly at other nightclubs before and after that. He had lived in Nashville since 1961.

Randolph had 13 albums on the pop charts from 1963 to 1972. His other single hits included "Hey, Mr. Sax Man" in 1964 and "Temptation" in 1967.

"Every time I pick the horn up, it's more intriguing to me," he said in 1990. "It satisfies my desire to do whatever I do."

"I think I probably get better because I work so much," he said at the time. "You get to a point where you can be lackadaisical or nonchalant. But I'm not like that. I worry if I play a tune bad or my horn is not working right."

Survivors include his wife, a son, a daughter and four grandchildren.

Here is a clip of Boots performing I Can't Stop Loving You live with Floyd Cramer.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Unchained Melody lyricist Hy Zaret dead at 99

Hy Zaret, who wrote the lyrics to Unchained Melody, one of the most recorded songs of all time, has died at age 99.

Here is the complete story from Yahoo Entertainment News.

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Lyricist Hy Zaret, who wrote the haunting words to "Unchained Melody," one of the most frequently recorded songs of the 20th century, has died at age 99.

Zaret died at his home Monday, about a month shy of his 100th birthday, his son, Robert Zaret, said Tuesday. He penned words to many songs and advertising jingles but his biggest hit was "Unchained Melody," written in 1955 for a film called "Unchained." It brought Zaret and Alex North, the composer, an Academy Award nomination for best song.

Zaret refused the producer's request to work the word "unchained" into the lyrics, instead writing to express the feelings of a lover who has "hungered for your touch a long, lonely time."

The song was recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Lena Horne, U2, Guy Lombardo, Vito & the Salutations and Joni Mitchell, who incorporated fragments into her song "Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody."

An instrumental version was a No. 1 hit in 1955 for Les Baxter, while a vocal version by Al Hibbler reached No. 3 the same year.

But most baby boomers remember the song from the Righteous Brothers' version. The record, produced by Phil Spector, reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart in 1965, and was a hit again 25 years later when it was used on the soundtrack of the film "Ghost."

In all, it was recorded more than 300 times, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, which listed it in 1999 as one of the 25 most-performed musical works of the 20th century.

Among other songs Zaret co-wrote were "My Sister and I," a hit in 1941 for Jimmy Dorsey; "So Long, for a While," the theme song for the radio and TV show "Your Hit Parade"; "Dedicated to You"; and the Andrews Sisters' novelty song "One Meat Ball."

"He had some big, big hits," said Jim Steinblatt, an assistant vice president at ASCAP.

In later years, Zaret had to fend off the claims by another man, electrical engineer William Stirrat, who said he wrote the "Unchained Melody" lyrics as a teenager in the 1930s and even legally changed his name to Hy Zaret. Robert Zaret and Steinblatt both said the dispute was resolved completely in favour of the real Zaret, who continued to receive all royalties. Steinblatt said Stirrat died in 2004.

In tribute to the late Hy Zaret, here is The Righteous Brothers' Bobby Hatfield performing the Unchained Melody on Shindig.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Jay The Techniques - Voice Your Choice

Jay and the Techniques were an inter-racial R&B/Rock group from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Jay Proctor was the lead singer, born October 28, 1940. The Techniques consisted of Karl Landis, Ronnie Goosly, John Walsh, George Lloyd, Chuck Crowl and Dante Dancho.

Between 1967 and 1968, they scored four singles on the charts including the two songs we're featuring this week on Voice Your Choice: Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie and Keep The Ball Rollin'. Which song do you prefer? Cast your vote at the Voice Your Choice page of the Treasure Island Oldies website. The winning song will be played in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Jimmie Rodgers - Oh Oh I'm Falling In Love Again - Song of the Week

Jimmie Rodgers was very successful in the '50s and '60s with Top Ten hits, Gold Records, great live performances, and even his own TV show. Then on December 1, 1967 everything changed. A mysterious assault on the San Diego Freeway left him with a fractured skull.

My friend Warren Cosford has passed on correspondence from Jimmie's son Michael Rodgers and I wanted to give you the opportunity to know what's been happening this past week with his dad.

Here it is...

Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 7:07:14 PM
Subject: This story and e-mail have been authenticated

Hello Everyone!
Perhaps we have not spoken for a while. Perhaps we have never even met but somehow we have been connected through this wonderful world of email. That being said, if you are considering this to be SPAM consider it the best kind because there is an opportunity here to be kind if for just a moment and truly bless someone. My name is Michael Rodgers. My father's name is *Jimmie Rodgers*. Some of you might remember him from his musical career that has now spanned fifty years.

In 1957 he recorded a song called "Honeycomb," and followed it up with a string of hit records totaling 25 top ten singles, eighty million records sold worldwide and concert appearances throughout the world. In 1967, when he was 33 years old, my father was injured in what is now known as a road rage incident with an off duty Los Angeles police officer. He suffered severe head injuries and underwent three brain surgeries. During one of those surgeries he lost 28 square inches of his skull on the right side of his head.

Since 1968 he has carried what is considered to be the largest steel plate ever implanted in someone's head. For 39 years the entire right side of his head has been entirely made of steel. It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last
surgery in 1968 as he had to learn to walk, speak and regain his motor skills. He was not supposed to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body as the body continually tries to reject these kinds of implants. As he has gotten older, the skin on his scalp has gotten thinner (as it does with everyone) and the steel has began to try to regain it's original shape and the edges of the plate that overlaps the remaining bone have become sharp and they continually cut his scalp open making the plate stick through the top of his head. When this happens his brain is exposed to air and possible infection, he has terrible mood swings and if left this way this situation will eventually lead to his death. During the last 15 years, he has had the plate filed, snipped, cut, and reshaped. He has had more than 60 different skin graphs and other surgeries to try to keep his head from opening up. The last such surgery was 18 months ago and it nearly killed him. He now has a hole in his head the size of a half-dollar, and it has been this way since February. There is not enough healthy skin left on his scalp to cover it over. My dad is tough. He is the definition of the word. He has avoided what is about to take place and tried everything imaginable to live with the constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a decision that will define what will be the rest of his life.

On Thursday June 28, 2007, a team of brain surgeons in Hot Springs, Arkansas will remove the steel plate that he has carried with him for 39 years. They plan to remove the outer layer of skin and lift the plate away from the position it has held covering the outer layer of his brain. If successful they will replace the plate with a new material that has been developed that will recreate the skull bone and will not be rejected by the body. They also plan to recreate new skin on his head using his own stem cells in a paste form so that no more skin graphs will be needed. If this surgery works he will no longer have the worry that his head will open up and his brain will become exposed anymore. If this surgery works he will have the chance to live what is left of his life without pain and the ever present knowledge that at any time his head will open up again. If this surgery works there is also a very real chance that he might never recover from the intense trauma that he is about to go through. At 33 years of age it took him 15 years to recover. At 73 years of age who
knows what the outcome might be. What we do know is that he cannot live with this in his body anymore and it needs to come out if he is going to have any chance to live whatsoever. Dad has made the decision. The Doctors feel confident that all will be
fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the right course of action. All of us are connected in this life in some way. I believe there is power in prayer and power in positive thought. I believe and claim that my father will completely
recover from this surgery and that his body will be restored. I believe that together all of us through prayer and positive energy and thinking can help that to happen.
My family and I thank you. And my father thanks you and will be most appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers.

Michael Rodgers

There's more; here's the follow-up news:

Miracles do happen and one happened this morning. The surgery began this morning with a group prayer with the Dr's and family.

About four minutes after beginning, the Dr's pulled back the scalp to reveal the plate. When they did that the plate literally jumped up away from his head. The
Dr's, five in all a Neuro Surgeon, Two Plastic Surgeons, Two Stem Cell Specialists and the rest of the team began to clean the plate and lift it away from the head. It released itself and came away clean. On the video we could hear the Neuro Surgeon say Oh my God look at that. How did that get there?

Under the plate was revealed a complete and intact skull bone where three months ago there was none. The entire hole in the bone which was an eight inch by six inch oval had grown completely closed with a new skull bone which was smooth and shaped to match the existing skull. It was perfect in every way and was the same thickness as the other bone.

The Dr's said that in 35 years of surgery they had never seen anything like it. They did not need to recreate a new skull bone at all. Dad was completely healed and made whole again after 40 years. The stem cell Dr's sprayed a stem paste made from Dads blood over the skull bone and onto the skin flap and the Plastic Surgeons closed him up. The stem paste will keep him from swelling and will encourage skin growth onto the bone.

The entire procedure took about 28 minutes and after one hour in recovery Dad walked out of the room on his own. He is coming home tomorrow. It was an amazing day. Prayer is so powerful.

Much Love to you all,
(Posted at Oldies. Com)

Folks, that this information has been authenticated by broadcaster and writer John Rook at his website.

In celebration of Jimmie Rodgers successful surgery, our Song of the Week is Oh Oh I'm Falling In Love Again by Jimmie Rodgers, a clip from the Ed Sullivan Show.