Friday, March 15, 2019

Best of Bandstands in Foreign Lands - Vol. 10:
Born To Be Alive... Out on Thunder Island!

Welcome to vol. 10 of
my globetrotting series


I'm Shady Seaweed, here to bring you more great
music performances that originated from TV studios,
big halls and nightclubs in Europe and other parts
of the world from the 1960s through early 2000s.

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of music,
the thrill of Vic Tory (the little known "Fifth Beatle")... and
the agony of the feet (from so much dancing)... this is:

Bandstands in
Foreign Lands!



Our globetrotting tour begins in Germany and the bandstand of the music TV show
DISCO carried on the German public-service television broadcaster ZDF based
in Mainz. That's where we find Foreigner, a rock band containing British and
American members. In this appearance on DISCO, the band performed
one of their hits, the lead single from their chart topping 1981 album
Foreigner 4. Here's Foreigner making it sound-- "Urgent!"

"Urgent" - Foreigner
(Aug/Sept. 1981, highest chart pos. #4 Hot 100,
#1 U.S. Mainstream Rock, perf. on DISCO)




Many times over the years I have used the words "Silly Love Songs" in conversations
about the 60s music revolution from sweet and tender to brash and sassy.  I borrowed
the expression from Paul & Linda McCartney. "Silly Love Songs," a chart-topper in
America, was released from the fifth studio album recorded by McCartney's
post-Beatles band Wings. Our next stop is a bandstand in a foreign land
called England where one of the talented dance companies on the
London based music series Top Of The Pops is set to perform
to the song. Try 'em on for size-- Ruby Flipper!

"Silly Love Songs" - Wings
(May/June 1976, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100/#2 UK,
dance perf. by Ruby Flipper on Top of the Pops)


P.I.T. - ZDF

Our next Biffle stop takes us back to Germany where a wildly popular New Jersey
funk band is set to perform on P.I.T. (Peter-Illmann-Treff), a German music
TV series on ZDF moderated by television and radio actor and pop music
expert Peter Illmann. ("Treff," FYI, translates to "haunt, rendezvous
or meeting place"). Here they are, Kool And The Gang,
with one of their top 10 hits of the 80s-- "Fresh!"

"Fresh" - Kool and the Gang
(May/June 1985, highest chart pos. #9 Hot 100/#1 R&B,
perf. on German TV series P.I.T.)



Penned and recorded by French singer Patrick Hernandez, our next featured
recording is one of the greatest hits of the Disco 70s, a single that reached
#1 in France and a dozen other countries including Germany. We now
switch to a club somewhere in Europe - might be France, might be
Italy, might be Belgium - I don't know. What I do know is that
this is a great song and an exciting performance. It aired on
Kultnacht - "cult night," - a music program carried by the
German PBS broadcaster ZDF. Here now is Patrick
Hernandez doing his worldwide hit and signature
song-- "Born To Be Alive!"

"Born To Be Alive" - Patrick Hernandez
 (Aug. 1979, highest chart pos. #16 Hot 100, #1 U.S. Disco,
#1 in 13 other countries, perf. on German TV show ZDF-Kultnacht)



Now let's hear from soft rock maestro Jay Ferguson. Jay was an original member
of the late 60s jazz and Beatles-influenced psych band Spirit known for their hit
single "I Got A Line On You." In the early 70s Jay formed Jo Jo Gunne, an
LA rock band that took their name from a Chuck Berry hit. In the mid 70s
Jay began a solo career, and in early '78 scored a top ten hit with this
one, "Thunder Island," the title song from his second studio album.
"Thunder Island" is a soft rock record that has more meat than
Manilow, a slightly harder rock edge, thanks to the featured
guitar playing of James Gang and Eagles vet Joe Walsh.
Our Biffle tour now takes us to The Netherlands where
Jay performed on the Dutch music show TopPop.

"Thunder Island" - Jay Ferguson
(Feb./Mar. 1978, highest chart pos.
#6 Cash Box,/#9 Hot 100, perf. on TopPop)



For the grand finale of our show, I'd like to stay right here in Holland... wooden shoe?
Gotta love 'em (or not)... they're Barbarella, a female Dutch trio that released two
synth-pop, dance-pop, Euro disco style albums in 1990, Sucker For Your Love
and Don't Stop The Dance. I'm a sucker for girl groups and cool covers and
here's one now. From Don't Stop The Dance here's Barbarella on the
Dutch TV channel RTL 4, headquartered in Luxembourg, doing
their version of the Beatles biggie-- "Please, Please Me!"

"Please, Please Me" - Barbarella
(1991 single from 1990 album Don't Stop The Dance,
perf. on Dutch TV channel RTL 4, Luxembourg, Holland)

I hope you enjoyed volume 10 of


Stay tuned for the next edition coming soon.

Have a Shady day!


  1. And I knew all but the last one. Several of those were from my junior high-high school days.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      You claim early bird honors yet again, good buddy. Thanks for coming!

      This "Biffle" series will probably contain more songs from your teenage years than any of my other features. I'm glad you knew most of these. I never heard of the Dutch girl trio Barbarella until the other day when I came across their nifty Beatles cover and decided to add it to the post.

      Thanks again for coming by, good buddy Alex, and have a great weekend!

  2. Oh the dancing and the costumes!!! Thank Goodness for videos to capture the awesomeness of Ruby Flippers. LOL

    1. Hi, Holli-berry!

      How are you holding up, dear friend? Thinking about you again today, and I thank you very much for dropping in to take another Biffle tour!

      Yessum, you will see many lavish costumes in this series along with some skimpy ones like those worn by the dancing damsels of Ruby Flipper. That particular video is one of the most nicely restored clips of the various dance companies on Top Of The Pops which also included Pan's People, Legs & Co and Zoo, the latter the last of the TOTP troupes.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend Holli!

  3. That's a Kool and the Gang song I'd forgotten about... not one of their bigger hits.

    I always loved Thunder Island, but could not have told you who performed it. Thanks, I enjoyed this little trip to the past and the memories it evoked! :D

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks so much for coming by, dear friend. It's Biffle time! :)

      You might not remember "Fresh" as being one of the biggest hits for Kool And The Gang, but it was a smash on the R&B chart. It went all the way to #1 and spent 19 weeks on the survey.

      Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" makes its debut on my blog today. The video clip is so pristine, both picture and sound, that I wanted to run it before the YouTube gremlins strike and it is removed. I love the guitar solo by Joe Walsh which adds street cred to a recording that otherwise might have sounded like a Barry Manilow song.

      I'm delighted this whirlwind world tour brought back some pleasant memories. Thanks again for being here, dear friend Kelly, and have a wonderful weekend!

    2. Now, now... you utter the words "Barry Manilow" as if they were vulgarity. ;) Though I'll admit some (if not most) of his songs were sappy, I really liked a few of them - especially Copacabana!

    3. Hi again, Kelly!

      I didn't mean to convey that impression, and I do like "at the Copa." I bought that Manilow single when it came out. It's simply a matter of taste. I have always preferred rock songs that capture the rebellious spirit of youth to easy listening pop songs that appeal to older, more sedate audiences. Considering the fact that extreme heavy metal is my favorite style of rock, almost any recording augmented in such a way that moves it toward the rock side of the spectrum gets my approval. :)

      Thanks again for continuing our thread, dear friend Kelly!

  4. Well, Seafarin' Shady Seaweed! I just don't know about your attraction with the dancers! The "Ruby Flippers"? Oh, they're attractive enough, but, hardly in a category with the River Dancers, lol! Just giving you a hard time! I always liked "Silly Love Songs" by McCartney! I am just amazed that you can find this stuff! (smiling)

    Don't you know I love Foreigner! This group can bring back the 'UMPH' in you, just when you think you've lost it! "Urgent" is one of a kind, and one of my favorites from that group! Funny, I had a cassette tape of theirs back in the day, but never have upgraded to a CD-I'd better get on the ball, huh? I sure enjoyed their video...the sax player is great, isn't he!
    How did I miss Patrick Hernandez and "Born to Be Alive"? I don't really recognize this one or him. It is a good dance tune, and the audience seems to be captivated by him, but I didn't feel a lot of stage presence there, maybe it was the outfit?

    "Thunder Island" was vaguely familiar to me...can't say for sure if I have heard it because I don't recognize Jay's name. I always liked the "James Gang", and although Joe Walsh is a bad boy, he is a guitar great, and I appreciate his work. I like watching him perform, and especially with the Eagles. I like "Thunder Island", and Jay has good hair! By the way...I also like Barry Manilow. There is just something about his voice that draws me in.

    Kool and the Gang are pretty cool guys! I don't remember "Fresh", but I did like the song and video. They are good entertainers and very talented. I really got a good feel for their delivery-great smiles, great vocals, musicians, costume and dancing!

    So, "Squidly" Shady! A great job done here. I did enjoy!

    We've temps in the upper 40's, with promises in the upper 50's by day's end. ST. Patrick's day is upon us, guess I'll put my green shamrock earrings on and go for it, haha! Scootie and I have some green and white decor to take to the cemetery this afternoon. I'm not a fan of green beer (or any beer, actually), but I always have enjoyed seeing celebrations of parades, etc for St Patrick's Day. Have a safe weekend, dear friend! I've got a chilly north wind, that I would like to push your way! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thanks for hustling over on day one to take the Biffle world tour, dear friend!

      Here is my rationale for wanting to include TOTP dancers in every post of this series. During the 60s, 70s and into the 80s, in-house dance troupes were an important part of that music series and others, foreign and domestic. Whenever I am able to find a nicely restored video featuring a performance by one of those dance companies, I plug it into the lineup and hope it remains intact for the duration of the post's run. Too often high quality videos vanish before I can even post them. "Silly Love Songs" featuring Lulu Cartwright (the petite blonde in green) and two other members of Ruby Flipper, is one of the best clips I have found in years of searching. It is interesting that a few members of Pan's People were carried over to become members of Ruby Flipper, and a few members of that troupe went on to perform with Legs & Co. It is also sad to note that some of these lovely young dancers are now deceased, more than I would have expected.

      I'm glad you like Foreigner. Yessum, they do put some 'UMPH' in you, and that's the kind of music I prefer at this stage of the game. While I do like Barry Manilow, I prefer listening to music that packs more of a punch.

      I'm a bit surprised you are unfamiliar with the international chart-topper "Born To Be Alive" by Patrick Herandez. The 12-inch dance version was absolutely huge in the discos I frequented at the time, one of the biggest and best disco anthems of them all. "Thunder Island" was played heavily on the radio in my region. I'm glad you like the song and appreciate the contribution of rock guitarist Joe Walsh. I am also a little surprised you don't remember Kool And The Gang's crossover hit "Fresh" which spent an impressive 19 weeks on both the R&B and the pop chart. I am pleased to be introducing you to songs that formed the soundtrack of my life decades ago.

      Gosh, your temps are 30 to 40 degrees lower than ours, dearie! That chilly north wind sounds delightful. I'll gladly take some cooler air if you can send it my way. Just a minute ago, I needed to turn the air conditioner down one more degree because it was getting too hot in my office. Yessum, St. Patrick's Day is coming up this weekend, and I wish you a Scootie a great one. I hope you can take him to some kind of event in your community. I am thinking about you today as you make the sad trip out to the cemetery. Bless you.

      I wish you a safe weekend as well, dear friend Suzanne. Thanks again for coming over, and I'll see you next Thursday when I will bust your brain with trivia questions about an old TV series! :)

  5. Hi Shady,

    You’ve brought back a lot of good (and some bad) music memories (for me)!
    I’ve always loved most everything Foreigner put out!
    I never like the song,”Silly love songs”! And especially from this group, Ruby Flipper! Speaking of silly, LOL!
    Cool and the gang? Always cool and smooth in my book!
    “Born to be alive”? One of my favorite dance tunes when I was in my late teens! That one really got ya going on the dance floor.
    But, as for “ Thunder Island”? That song was too cheesy for me, LOL!
    I like how you started and ended in remakes of Paul McCartney songs. I was never a Beatles/ Wings fan but, I think I like their version a little better! But The remakes were certainly fun to watch!
    Thanks, Shady for reliving some of my old music/dance memories on today’s post!

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thanks for popping in on your weekend, dear friend, and for joining me on my latest tour of Bandstands in Foreign Lands!

      I'm happy to know you enjoyed Foreigner. I was pleased to find that nice clean video performance of theirs from the DISCO show in Germany. Truth be told, I was never crazy about the Wings band, and "Silly Love Songs' is a pretty silly love song. Just to be clear, Ruby Flipper only danced to the song. They did not sing it. I have learned, however, that TOTP dance troupes actually did release a few records along the way to please their fan base.

      I'm happy to have you here to testify about "Born To Be Alive," a biggie when you were in your late teens. At the same time I was in my late 20s doing my second stint at a bachelor and hitting the nightclubs hard. The disco length single of "Born" was a monster in those clubs.

      Interesting that you think "Thunder Island" is too cheesy. Does it remind you of the Pina Colada Song" - "Escape"? That's kinda how it strikes me. Soft, romantic rock isn't my thing, but "Thunder Island" is saved in my opinion by Joe Walsh on guitar. I'm glad you enjoyed watching Barbarella. I think they did a nice job of covering that early Beatles song.

      Thank you again for joining the fun on your Saturday, dear friend Toni. Don't forget to wear green tomorrow. Have a super Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!

  6. Hi Shady,

    I'm still in the process of recovering from acute bronchitis, but you had me rocking! It's a night to celebrate since I got my ability to taste and smell back!

    You picked some great songs. I love that Wings' song, as well as that Barbella song. They were some of my favourites growing up.

    While I've heard of Kool and the Gang, I can't say that I've really listened to them in depth. You sold me, I might have to check out more of their hits.

    Have a great Saturday, dear friend.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks for coming by on your Saturday, dear friend! I was wondering how you are feeling. I'm sorry your cold turned into acute bronchitis. That's scary! I'm glad you are celebrating the return of your ability to taste and smell. I hope you continue to improve until you are back to 100%.

      I'm thrilled that you appreciated the two Beatles related offerings on this Biffle tour, "Silly Love Songs" by McCartney's Wings and the cover of the early Beatles' hit "Please, Please Me" by the Dutch trio Barbarella. Kool and the Gang were prolific and terrific, and you will find many smooth songs by the funky band on YouTube.

      I hope you stay well, dear friend JM. Thanks again for coming and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    2. Hi Shady,

      95% back to normal, but still have the cough. The doctor did say the cough could linger for a few weeks, even after I recover. Makes sense.

      I must have been sick on Saturday because I missed Urgent. That's my favourite foreigner song!

      Have a great Wednesday, dear friend.

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      I am very happy to learn that you are 95%. I could tell you were really hurting before, especially if you didn't notice the first song, "Urgent," which is your Foreigner fave.

      A lingering cough is a nuisance, but if you are getting better day by day, that's what's important. I'm rooting for you!

      Thanks again for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend JM!

  7. Oh these songs bring back memories and wish variety shows or these types of shows would come back, lip sync and all:). I was never one for the song Urgent but the rest of them I could boogie to. I had to snicker at the British gals trying their best I; those silly skimpy outfits. Jay Ferguson seem to just pop up from behind the piano...that made me giggle. I am not much into the little gals in short, short dresses singing Please, Please Me. The whole style of it was not my fav but I like their title and thought you were bringing something from that Jane Fonda flick.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      I'm very happy to see you, dear friend. Thanks so much for coming by on a Sunday!

      I'm excited to learn that 5 of the 6 songs in this edition of BIFL got you up on your feet boogieing. I agree it would be great to see the return of music shows like Top Of The Pops, DISCO, P.I.T., ZDF-Kultnacht and Top Pop, especially the ones that had in-house female dance troupes. Yessum, I could't help noticing the skimpy outfits on Ruby Flipper. Shame on them. I'll give them 50 years to cut that out! Yessum, Jay Fegsuson apparently bounded up a short flight of stairs at the rear of the stage to get to his piano and it did look rather comical. Like you, I am not into little gals in short, short dresses singing "Please, Please Me." I'll give them 50 years to cut that out. Mark my words - Barbarella is destined to become the next Diana Ross and the Supremes! :)

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend BB. Have a wonderful week ahead!

  8. Tom,

    WOW, you really brought some boogietastic tunes out of the woodworks in this installment of Bandstands in Foreign Lands! All of your mewsic selections I know and love quite well.

    I had to go back to watch the video again for 'Silly Love Song' because the first time around I just hit play while walking away to get my coffee and cereal. When I turned around I noticed the gals dancing. I always get a chuckle out of seeing stuff like this because you of how the times have changed. It's so evident 30+ years ago of how much girls enjoyed being girls. Everything about them said, "I love being a girl!" from the way the moved, dressed, or talked. I love their boots. In fact, I had a pair sorta like them when I was a majorette. 'Silly Love Song' came out about the time my first serious boyfriend breakup and then over that summer while I was trying to still mend my heartache it played constantly on the radio only to make me sad. Of course, now I just love the song because it's so sweet. :)

    The talent from the 70s and 80s still amazes me! I'm so glad the oldies will always be with us to enjoy as time passes because newer artist can't touch these classic acts. Thanks for the great share mewsic, my friend!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      I'm delighted to see you, dear friend! Thank you very much for breaking away from your A to Z preps (more new sketches, I hope) to feast your eyes and ears on the mewsic acts in this installment of Bandstands in Foreign Lands.

      I'm happy to know you didn't miss the dance routine to "Silly Love Songs" performed by Cherry Gillespie, Patti Hammond and Lulu Cartwright, three members of the dance troupe Ruby Flipper on Top Of The Pops. In 1976, shortly after the girls danced to this McCartney song, Ruby Flipper disbanded, but Lulu, the petite blonde in green, and Patti, the dancer in red, went on to become members of the show's next dance troupe, Legs & Co, which you also see regularly in this BIFL series. Cherry Gillespie, the dancer in blue, had been a member of the earlier dance company Pan's People, and she retired from the show at that point. I'm glad you appreciate their beauty, femininity and graceful moves as much as I do. Thanks for sharing the anecdote that comes to mind whenever you hear "Silly Love Songs." This is the kind of sharing I very much appreciate here at Shady's Place because it allows me to know you better and understand where you've been, what you life has been like.

      I am thrilled that you find value in the artists, groups and bands of the past that I present here at Shady's Place, and I thank you for doing your part to showcase mewsic of the past on CAAC. Together we are keeping the memories alive, memories of what, in some ways, was a happier time period.

      Thank you again for your visit and wonderful comment, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy your week!

  9. Surprisingly, I knew many of these groups and songs. Foreigner was one of my favorite bands. When I saw the title, Please, Please Me, it made me think of a new release from Bruno Mars and Cardi B. called Please Me. I wonder if they were influenced in any way by your group here.

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming to the latest Biffle party, dear friend. I'm pleased to see you!

      I am also delighted to learn that most of these music acts are familiar to you and that you are a Foreigner fan. I never heard that Bruno Mars - Cardi B. song, and therefore I went to YouTube and watched the video. It's not the same song, of course, and the only way they might have been influenced by Barbarella is through the wardrobe choice of sexy revealing outfits worn by Cardi and her female posse. The Beatles' influence on Barbarella is much more obvious to me.

      Once again I thank you for popping in, dear friend Sherry. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. Sorry, I'm late, friend Shady … Everything went wrong last week … from frozen pipes to fried computer … A few $$ later all is well again … Sending smiles and happy Spring wishes … Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      Oh, my, dear feline friend! I'm sorry to learn that you had a string of problems, and I thank you for being here to enjoy some sounds in spite of them. Frozen pipes are bad and broken pipes are the worst, and a fried computer is also a disaster for us active bloggers.

      I hope winter's on the run in your part of the world. You deserve a break by now.

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend cat. I'll be up to see you soon and stay tuned for my next post starting tomorrow!

    2. … do I dare say this ??? … smiles … Manamanah … Love, cat.


      You got me again, dear cat! Now I'll be playing that goofy song in my head for hours! :)

      Thanks for helping to run up my comment total, dear friend, and please come back again tamale! :)

  11. Hi Shady! Just stopping by to ask if you'd heard the new Lilly and Madeline lp yet? My discover list played a track called Can't Help The Way I Feel that was really good, and I remembered you introed them to me (if I haven't lost my marbles), so...

    1. Hi, Chris!

      I am pleasantly surprised to see you, good buddy. Thanks a lot for dropping by!

      Maybe I'm losing my marbles, because I do not remember introducing you to Lily & Madeleine. In fact I never heard of them. As it turns out, therefore, it is you who introduced them to me, tonight, and I'm glad you did. I just visited YouTube where the songs on their 2019 Canterbury Girls album are uploaded. Those folk singing sisters from Indianapolis have angel voices and put down a unique, dreamy sound. I love them! So to answer your question, yes, I have heard their new LP because I just listened to the songs tonight including the retro style "Can't Help The Way I Feel." I think we have two new contenders for your next Beauty Contest.

      Thanks again for coming over, good buddy Chris. Please give Scrappy a Milk Bone for me, say hello to Laurie, and take care of yourself, okay?

    2. Ah... actually I introed YOU to L&M back in March 2016 with their song Hourglass... I stand corrected....

    3. That's AOK, Chris. It surprises me to know I heard those gifted sisters three years ago on Tilting and forgot them. They're "unforgettable" in every way.

      Thanks again for visiting Shady's Place, good buddy!


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