Thursday, March 7, 2019

Hey, That Sounds Just Like... Vol. 3:
Candlelight Afternoon with the Old Man Down the Road




This is the series that compares recorded songs that sound similar
to each other and, in some cases, sound almost exactly alike.
Which do you prefer, the originals or the soundalikes?

Remember, ladies and gentlemen...

This is only an exhibition...
This is not a competition...
Please... no wagering.


Singer, songwriter and guitarist John
Fogerty came to fame in the late 60s
as leader of Creedence Clearwater
Revival. Creative differences
between Fogerty and his mates
took their toll, as did contract
hassles with their label Fantasy
Records. Fogerty departed and
CCR dissolved. In late 1984, as
a solo artist, Fogerty released
"The Old Man Down the Road,"
the first single from his come-
back album Centerfield.

 "Old Man" made the top 10, and the music video
is one of the most memorable of the 80s, edited
to make it appear a guitar cord is miles long.

"The Old Man Down the Road" - John Fogerty
(Feb. 1985, highest chart pos. #10 Hot 100,
#1 Top Rock Tracks)


Film producer Saul Zaentz, winner of Best Picture Academy
Awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestAmadeus and
The English Patient, was also owner of Fantasy Records.

Zaentz sued John Fogerty, claiming
the chorus of "The Old Man Down
The Road" sounded too similar to
CCR's "Run Through The Jungle,"
a song from the band's album
Cosmo's Factory released on
a single in the spring of 1970.
(To get out of his contract with
Fantasy, Fogerty had signed
away his rights to the music
he made with CCR.)

 Fogerty won the court battle when he brought his guitar
to the witness stand and pointed out differences
between the two recordings. Can you
detect those differences?

"Run Through the Jungle" - Creedence Clearwater Revival
(May 1970, highest chart pos. #4, B side of "Up Around the Bend")


Early in 1962 a North Carolina doo-wop
group calling themselves The Corsairs
(featuring Jay "Bird" Uzzell) scored
a top 10 R&B hit with the single
"Smoky Places," a song penned
and produced by Abner Spector,
an A&R man for Chess Records
and founder of his own Tuff label.
Later that year The Corsairs made
the top 30 on the R&B chart with
"I'll Take You Home." In 1965,
the group, now recording as
The Corsairs & Landy McNeil,
waxed Spectorian (Phil, that is) with
this fab slab-- "On the Spanish Side."

"On the Spanish Side" - The Corsairs & Landy McNeil
(Feb. 1965, uncharted)

 BEN E. 

To Shady's ears "On the Spanish Side"
sounds a lot like "Spanish Harlem,"
a song written by Jerry Leiber and
Phil Spector and recorded by former
Drifters lead singer Ben E. King.
Released in November 1960, King's
single went top 10 on the pop chart
and made Rolling Stone's list of
The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

"Spanish Harlem" - Ben E. King
(Mar. 1961, highest chart pos. #10)


Disco was hot at Christmas 1978 when Philadelphia's sibling girl group
Sister Sledge released "He's the Greatest Dancer," a song composed
by Chic members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers.

The single reached the top 10 in the spring of '79 and might have gone higher,
but its momentum stalled and it was overtaken by an even bigger Sister Sledge
hit, "We Are Family" which rocketed all the way to #2. From the group's hit
album We Are Family, produced by Edwards and Rodgers, here are the
discofied siblings performing "He's the Greatest Dancer."

"He's the Greatest Dancer" - Sister Sledge
(April/May 1979, highest chart pos. #9 Hot 100,
#1 R&B, from Jan. 1979 album We Are Family)


In 1984 Phyllis St. James, a Los Angeles singer and
songwriter, signed with Motown Records and recorded
the album Ain't No Turnin' Back. The album spawned
the club classic "Candlelight Afternoon," a boogie
number that samples "He's The Greatest Dancer."

"Candlelight Afternoon" - Phyllis St. James
(from 1984 album Ain't No Turnin' Back)








Stick around. I've got more cool copycats for your
listening  pressure  pleasure coming soon in vol. 4.

Have a Shady day!


  1. I'd listen for the differences in the first two songs, but then I'd have that first one stuck in my head all day.
    We Are Family was indeed huge for the band.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for being the early bird again this time, good buddy!

      I take it you don't want that Fogerty melody stuck in your noggin. I can think of worse fates. What if you had this song stuck in your mind on endless repeat: "They're Coming To Take Me Away-- HA! HA!"? :)

      The Sister Sledge album We Are Family was a smash. It topped the R&B albums chart, went top 3 on the Pop 200 and spawned four hit singles including the song in this post, "Greatest Dancer," which primed the pump for their biggest hit and sig song "Family."

      Thanks again for coming, good buddy Alex!

  2. Not a fan of CCR and John Fogerty so like Alex, i'm not listening but they do resemble.
    There have been many lawsuits over borrowing the same sound. Tom Petty won his lawsuit against Sam Smith just a few years ago before his death. Sam's song No Hard Feelings resembled I wont back down.
    Have a great day!!

    1. Hi, Holli!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend!

      Two people in a row are not fans of Fogerty! That surprises me. CCR is not my all time favorite band and I didn't care much for John's "Put me in, coach" Centerfield song and comeback album, but I do have a handful of CCR favorites.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion by citing the Tom Petty case as another example of the phenomenon I am exploring in this series.

      I hope you are coping as the mourning process continues following the loss of your dear Nanny. Take care and try to enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Holli!

  3. I'm so glad to see I'm not the only person who doesn't care for CCR.

    "Spanish Harlem" and "On the Spanish Side" do have a very similar sound, but they're still distinctively different songs. I prefer Spanish Harlem, but that's probably just because I was already familiar with it!

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for coming!

      Three people in a row who don't like the roots rock band CCR? I feel as though I have gone through the looking glass and entered a parallel universe. :)

      Yessum, "Spanish Harlem" was a major hit for Ben E. King, while "On The Spanish Side," a recording that seems to have been inspired by it, failed to make the chart. I didn't help that the record was released on the small independent Tuff label. It's a pretty label, however, and this single is certainly collectible if you can find a copy in near mint condition.

      Thanks again for coming by, dear friend Kelly!

  4. Hi Shady!

    No new ideas, huh? This was highly interesting, I do love backstories ;-) I do not believe Fogerty should have won that case. With or without the guitar, the 'Old Man' (sadly, no good on his own) was definitely running through the jungle.
    I've always been fond of 'Spanish Harlem' - thanks for the memory ;-) Although I could detect the influence in the 'Spanish Side' I don't think it was enough to fan a Flamenco flame ;-)
    For some reason, Sister Sledge sets me on edge, so I didn't go there. But thanks for offering ;-)
    I look forward to more cool copycats!

    1. Hi, diedre!

      Thank you very much for joining the fun, dear friend!

      It's interesting that Fogerty stole his own idea, his own song, but they tried to get him on a technicality because he had signed away his rights to the music he made with CCR in order to get out of his contact with Fantasy.

      I'm glad you like "Spanish Harlem" and sorry Sister Sledge puts you on edge for some reason. I can't help wondering what specifically it is about the sister act that has that effect on you. I saw them perform "Greatest Dancer," "We Are Family" and a couple other songs at the York Fair later that year and they did a fine job.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend diedre, and enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

  5. Ok, maybe it's just my unsophisticated ears but I didn't think any of them sounded similar...well, maybe Fogerty but I guess the judges ears were like mine and that's why he won the lawsuit! Well, those orange outfits were pretty cool. Not sure how they could move in them but I don't think that's what this post is really about! So have a good weekend. We're looking forward to some warmer temps...30's and 40's is like a heat wave these days! Take care!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for coming by to experience volume 3 of my series Hey, That Sounds Just Like.

      It amazes me how many different responses I am getting to these songs. We all have our own set of filters, To me these pairs of recordings sound similar. I knew your eye would be drawn to Sister Sledge and the outfits they wore for that performance. I'm thinking they might actually be red and the aging video makes them appear orange. I hope you enjoyed a tune or two during your visit.

      Our coldest morning of the season was yesterday and it was something like 47 degrees, but the daily high and low are rebounding now and I think winter's on the run. Spring is only a couple of weeks away so hang on up there.

      Thanks again for coming over, dear friend YaYa, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. Hi Shady,

    CCR's and Fogerty's songs do sound similar and I know this is common in music. As someone above said: Tom Petty and Sam Smith, Vanilla Ice and Queen, a rapper sampling Black Sabbath's Crazy Train and then Mac Miller sampling some oldies when he first started out. I think all artists are guilty is charged. :)

    CCR holds special meaning to me - I remember when one piercer I had back in 2012 played "Fortunate Son" as I was getting my rook pierced. Good times! I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of CCR, but I do like many of the songs. :)

    Ah, Ben E. King! I love Ben E. King and his talent. You picked some great songs today and I can't wait to listen more in the morning.

    Have a great Thankful Thursday, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thank you very much for swinging on over for some music and fun, dear friend!

      I am very surprised to find so many people who are not big fans of Creedence. All my life I encountered one avid fan after another. There are a handful of CCR tunes that I like a lot and just as many that I dislike. The rest of their catalog I can take or leave. Therefore I supposed I would not be considered a huge CCR fan either.

      I know you are still reeling from the death of rapper Mac Miller last fall, a very big loss to music. I'm delighted to know that you remember Ben E. King and recognize his talent.

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

    2. Hi Shady,

      I feel like everyone has strong feelings regarding CCR - there are a lot of hardcore fans out there, but there are a lot of people out there that detest them. I know my mom really likes CCR, but isn't too much of a fan of Fogerty. To her, he sounded better in CCR. She feels that way about Gwen Stefani too - much better in No Doubt than solo.

      Someone on Instagram posted a photo of Mac Miller yesterday that said, "Mac Miller is celebrating 6 months sober." Thursday was six months since he died. :'( That was so mean; I don't like when people make fun of other people who have died. It's uncalled for and mean spirited.

      I am catching a cold, I think, though I hope it's allergies. I'm relaxing tonight! Have a great Saturday evening, dear friend.

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      I suppose you are right, but I never met two people in a row who didn't like CCR. Fogerty solo is another matter. I don't like his solo work as much as his output with the band.

      That was indeed a cruel remark to make about Mac Miller. We all have our faults and demons and his cost him his life. It isn't funny.

      I hope you aren't coming down with a cold. I just got over a two week long cold a month ago. It was the most stubborn cold I ever had.

      Don't forget to spring forward tonight. I wish you a happy Sunday and a great week ahead, dear friend JM!

  7. Hey Shady O'Grady! I see you and Letterman got together for another comparison session, and you picked quite a selection! I still like John Fogerty, and his "Old Man Down the Road" is so cool! I don't know if I heard that song before, and, as you say, it is similar to "Run Through The Jungle", but the guitar riffs are different. I think I like this one better! When you hear the two back to back, you can see the difference in the guitar play.

    "On The Spanish Side", lol! It's a funny title, but what a great song! It has a nice Latin rhythm and beat-not to mention the smooth vocals. Ben E King is one of my old favorite crooners, and "Spanish Harlem" is a great classic. Again, I detected a similarity between the two songs. Enjoyed them both.

    Wow! That Phyllis St. name and great looking record cover! "Candlelight Afternoon" is a good song, and should have blasted upward. With a name like hers, and that title screams romance and mystery to me. I mean, there is a slight similarity to Sister Sledge's "He's the Greatest Dancer", but, that title "Candlelight Afternoon" should have blown it away! This song has a stronger beat and more powerful vocals-I believed it!

    Great post guys! The choices are spot clever! You put a lot into this, and the videos are fantastic!

    Sorry to be so late, don't know what I was thinking. Along with my daily homeowner duties, I'm working on a post for KardKorner, and didn't even look at the reading list until later this afternoon! Scootie's school had open house and book fair this evening, and we made an appearance. Then went to our neighborhood Pizza parlor for dinner! I thought I saw cooler weather heading your way on this morning's weather, Shady. We had a beautiful 70's day...ahhh! Thank you for presenting some old and new works! Take care, dear friend Shady! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      I am very happy to see you dear friend. Thanks for coming! I'm glad you could stop in and check out vol. 3 of "Hey..." Like Eighties Greaties, it's a series I started years ago and have been neglecting.

      First of all, you may call me Shady O'Grady if you wish, but keep away from me Lucky Charms. :) Second, I hope you obeyed the posted rules and refrained from wagering. I'd hate to have to make a citizen's arrest! :)

      I'm happy to find at least one friend who digs John Fogerty. As a veteran musician you are better equipped than I to detect the differences between his solo single "Old Man" and the CCR "Jungle" song. I am also happy you recognized the similarity between the two Spanish themed recordings. Again, I wasn't familiar with "Spanish Side" until I bought the various artists CD Phil's Spectre: A Wall of Soundalikes.

      I'm excited that you singled out Los Angeles thrush Phyllis St. James and her sound-alike recording "Candlelight Afternoon." It's my Pick To Click for this post, a hit that never was but coulda been, woulda been and shoulda been. "Candlelight Afternoon" has all the essential ingredients - a sexy title, theme and lyrics, the vocals of a sultry soul sister, a melody similar to the SS hit "Greatest Dancer" and an irresistible bass line. Truth be told I don't remember hearing "Candlelight Afternoon" during my 80s clubbing years. A couple of years ago I discovered it for the first time on a various artists CD of Motown club remixes. It's a classic and I am so glad you took the time to get into it. In addition to her solo work as a funky soul recording artist, Phyllis St. James is a backing vocalist, a prolific songwriter and a percussionist.

      I'm happy to know you're putting together a KardKorner post. It was good of you to take Scootie to his school's open house and book fair. I am sure your interest and involvement in his education mean the world to him and that his teachers take note of it. We had a drastic cold snap a couple of days ago, but now the temps are moderating and soon the heat and humidity will creep back in.

      Thank you again for taking time to thoroughly investigate the songs in the post and for writing such a great comment, Suzanne. Next post hits on Tuesday. Take care, dear friend, and I'll see you again soon!

  8. Tom,

    How do you come up with these? I hear mewsic sometimes that reminds me of another song but I rarely can make the connection. The first four mewsic comparisions I detected the similarities but the last two my ears just couldn't pick it out. You'll be interested to know that 'Run Through the Jungle' is the only song track I've heard before today. This is a fun post and I look forward to more song comparisons. Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you for dropping by while you are busy preparing for the A to Z. That's very nice of you, dear friend!

      I ain't much good at anything else, but I seem to have a knack for finding similarities in popular recordings. I read about the Fogerty - CCR debate online. In the case of "Spanish Side," it turned up on a various artists compilation I bought a couple of years ago. As I listened to it the first time, it occurred to me that it sounds like "Spanish Harlem." I recently obtained the last song, "Candlelight Afternoon," on an album of Motown club remixes. It states in the booklet (and my ears agree) that "Candlelight Afternoon" samples "He's The Greatest Dancer."

      I'm happy to have introduced you to some new sounds today, dear friend Cathy. I have neglected this series in recent years, but there are more volumes in the pipeline, so stay tuned. Thanks again for coming and have a safe and happy weekend!

  9. Hi, sowed in cat here … Thank you for your new blog entry, friend Shady … I got as far as the popcorn video … then memories came flooding in from way back when … You remember this one? Love, cat.

    1. … snowed in … smiles … c.

    2. Hi, cat!

      Thanks for coming down to experience the "paws that refreshes" - Shady's Place. :) You have me laughing, dear friend. I didn't know what you meant by "the popcorn video." Then I noticed that the video of The Corsairs' song is marked "Popcorn Oldies." I followed your link and listened to the popcorn song you recommended. I remember that tune well, but now it's stuck in my head on repeat! :) "Popcorn Oldies" refers to records played by deejays in Belgian nightclubs that were popular because their seductive medium tempo is conducive to a particular style of ballroom dancing. I am happy to know you are snowed in instead of sowed in! :)

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend cat!

  10. I actually have the vinyl LP Centerfield which has "Old Man on the Road" on it, but haven't listened to it in years as I threw out my turntable about ten years ago (I was in the process of moving and was suffering from packing-things-in-boxes fatigue.) I never thought "Old Man" and "Run Through the Jungle" sounded much alike, but I do remember the court case. It wasn't just about that, though, Zaentz also sued for libel because of "Zantz Can't Dance" from the same album. I don't believe he won that, either. Maybe he had to prove he could dance in the court room but failed.

    I didn't think the Sister Sledge and Phyllis St. James song sounded too much alike either. However, "Spanish Harlem" sounds a LOT like "On the Spanish Side"

    I'm eager for the next volume

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      Thanks for coming over, good buddy!

      You need to get a new turntable, Kirk. Vinyl's the coming thing! :) That isn't really a joke, because I am noticing many new uploaders on YouTube playing their audiophile vinyl albums and near mint 45s on high end equipment. Many purists prefer the rich, organic, full spectrum sound that comes from playing vinyl. "Vinyl breathes."

      It's amazing how some people's ears pick out similarities that other people do not notice. I am constantly hearing familiar riffs in recordings, old and new. Glad you hear the similarity between the two Spanish singles.

      Thanks again for reporting in, good buddy Kirk. I hope your weekend is going well and I wish you a wonderful week ahead. Next post is Tuesday, another birthday celebration, and I hope to see you then!

  11. Wow. The Spanish Side definitely sounds like Spanish Harlem. I bet it's even in the same key. I'd call that one a blatant rip off.

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend!

      Some people can't hear the similarities between those two "Spanish" singles. I'm glad your ears agree with mine. Since the Corsairs record came and went without ever reaching the chart, nobody made a fuss about it.

      Thanks for taking and look and a listen to the latest volume of Hey... That Sounds Just Like. More volumes are on the way so stick around.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend Sherry, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. I think just goes to show how many are inspired by certain songs and, maybe without realizing it, used the same or similar beat. There are many that have done this..I think George Harrison was accused of this. A famous one is the "Make 'em Laugh" number from Singing in the Rain sung by Donald O'Connor and the "Be A Clown" number from The Pirate, sung by Gene Kelly

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      I keep forgetting you reply to two or more comments at a time. Thank you for this one, dear friend! Yessum, I have that controversial George Harrison song coming up in another installment of this series. Thanks for contributing an example of your own.

      Thanks again and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!


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Tell me what's on your mind