Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fangs for the Music & Memories, Wolfman!


Mercy mercy me! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it,
baby. This here's your old pal Wolfman Jack sittin' in
for my good friend Shady Del Knight right here at
the greatest little station in the nation - Shady's
Place Music & Memories. I'm your doctor of
love, and I got the cure you're looking for -
the best oldies you ever heard... plus the
best oldies you never heard!

Darkness falls across the land.
The midnight hour is close at hand.

Cuddle your cutie while I strike up the band.
You're tuned to SPMM and the Wolfman!

Now, you pay close
attention to these songs,
baby, or the Wolfman's
gonna GETCHA!

This is your cat on the radio, Wolfman Jack,
with a sweet trick or treat. I want you to
get real close to the speaker and touch
the whiskers on the old Wolfman's chin
while I tell you about this first record.

In February of 1966, Motown soul man Edwin Starr
issued his top 10 R&B 45 "Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S)."
That same month, Philly Pheeline Christine Cooper
sent out her own "S.O.S. -- (Heart In Distress)."

 "S.O.S. (Heart in Distress)" - Christine Cooper 
 (Feb. 1966, highest chart pos. #101 Bubbling Under) 

  Goodness gracious, the Wolfman's gonna retire
the side and send the blues to the dugout with
a fantastic double play! Christine Cooper's
back with another killer dance floor filler,
and this one channels The Supremes.
Baby, I want you to stop in the name
of love and think it over as you listen
to Christine's Northern Soul gem--
"Heartaches Away My Boy! 

 "Heartaches Away My Boy" - Christine Cooper 
 (Apr./May 1966, uncharted) 

Awwwww land sakes alive, the Wolfman's
takin' you back to old school and teachin'
you a lesson. This Los Angeles group was
inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
With cuddle classics like this one to their
credit, it's easy to understand why. The
Wolfman's sending this one out to you
and your sweetie, one of the biggest
hits of the 50s, a #1 best seller by
The Platters, "The Great Pretender!"

 "The Great Pretender" - The Platters 
 (Jan./Feb. 1956, highest chart pos. #1 Hot 100 & Cash Box & R&B

Oh my my. The Wolfman's got another great
snuggle song for you and your baby, and if
I'm lyin' I'm dyin'. It's the dynamic duo of 
ohnnie Richardson and Joe Rivers singing
a ballad that made the top 3 on the R&B
chart and cracked the top 10 on the pop
side. From the summer of 1957, here are
Johnnie And Joe singing-- "Over The
Mountain, Cross The Sea!"

 "Over The Mountain, Cross The Sea" 
 aka "Over The Mountain, Across The Sea" - Johnnie And Joe 
 (July/Aug. 1957, highest chart pos. #3 R&B/#8 Hot 100/#22 Cash Box

rNow you listen to the Wolfman because
I'm gonna tell you about another rare
relic. There's strong evidence that the
platter I'm about to play was waxed by
Tresia Cleveland & Ann Gissendanner,
an R&B duo better known as The Soul
Sisters, an act that had a hit in 1964
with "I Can't Stand It." 

On this 45, released later that same year, they call
themselves The Kolettes and ask the musical question
"Just How Much (Can One Heart Take)?"

 "Just How Much (Can One Heart Take)" - The Kolettes 
 (Oct. 1964, B side of "Who's That Guy") 

Yes, gracious, it's all according to how your boogaloo situation stands,
ya understand. From the fall of '64, those were The Kolettes, also
known as The Soul Sisters, with "Just How Much (Can One
Heart Take)," issued as the B side of "Who's That Guy."

  You're listening to Wolfman Jack, and that's a fact.
Now I got a question: What two things go together
like a horse & carriage? Answer: love & marriage!
In the early weeks of 1957, Chi-town R&B thrush
LaVern Baker topped the chart with "Jim Dandy
(to the rescue)." A few months later, LaVern was
back in business and continuing the saga with
the follow-up-- "Jim Dandy Got Married!"

 "Jim Dandy Got Married" - LaVern Baker 
 (May/June 1957, highest chart pos. #7 R&B/#76 Hot 100
 perf. on The Milt Grant Record Hop, WTTG Washington, D.C.) 

Mercy me, we done rocked around the clock,
baby, but now it's time for the old
Wolfman to say goodbye.

Before I go I wanna give a special shout out
to all you rat packers up there on the hill
at the Shady Dell.

Now you listen to the Wolfman. Be kind
to your fine feathered friends. Obey your
ma and pa. Love thy neighbor and see how
good it feels to help a stranger in need.

This is your good buddy Wolfman Jack
signing off and wishing you health, but
much more than wealth, I wish you
love... and a happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Is Red Line 7000 a Thing?


Two of my favorite movies and one of my favorite
actresses are represented above and below.


What do they have in common?



What does the 1951 sci-fi/horror movie The Thing From Another World
have in common with the 1965 stock car racing drama Red Line 7000?
The answer is director Howard Hawks.

Christian Nyby is credited as director of The Thing, but it was produced by Hawks'
Winchester Pictures Corporation, and many people believe that Hawks did most
of the directing or at least was the guiding force behind the great horror flick.

Late in his career Hawks directed Red Line 7000.

The exciting auto racing
saga starred a young
James Caan.

The film also featured one of my favorite actresses,
sultry enchantress Laura Devon, seen above and below.

They don't make 'em like this anymore...


or movie stars.

LAURA DEVON (1931–2007)

Have a Shady day!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cruisin' 1958 With Saint Louie's Jack Carney!

 Time for another volume of 

 the album series that pays tribute to 

 top 40 radio and features simulated 

 broadcasts by some of the greatest 

 disc jockeys of the 1950s and 60s. 

Today our Cruisin' journey takes us back to 1958 and the Home of the Blues -
the Gateway to the West - St. Louis, where we find top 40 radio personality
Jack Carney entertaining the heartland with his Silver Dollar Survey.

 Jack Carney - WIL, St. Louis 

I wanna testify that it was
great to be age eight in '58.
Everywhere I looked I found entertainment seemingly
designed with me in mind,
much of it coming from
the Walt Disney studios:
The Mickey Mouse Club,
Annette, Spin and Marty,
Boys of the Western Sea
and The Hardy Boys.

TV Westerns were huge: The Lone Ranger and Tonto, Cisco and Pancho,
"Hoppy" Cassidy, Roy and Dale, Wild Bill Hickok and his sidekick Jingles,
Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Paladin, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.
Then there was Mike Nelson underwater on Sea Hunt and
Ricky Nelson on the bandstand in Ozzie & Harriet.
Man, it was all must see TV!

Drive-in theaters screened
low budget horror and sci-fi
flicks in a double-feature
format. All across the
U.S.A. (via Route 66)
crazy mixed-up kids
like me, Shady D, were
getting their kookie
way-out kicks!

In 1958, a lot of rock was schlock,
but it sure nuff kept me interested.
As the story goes, teen heartthrob
Frankie Avalon held his nose as
he recorded portions of his single
"Dede Dinah." Later on, Frankie
held his breath as he waited to see
if listeners would hold their noses
and plug their ears. Lucky for him,
most didn't. Frankie's record made
a run at the top 5 and remains a
favorite of mine. Go! Go! Go!

 "Dede Dinah" - Frankie Avalon 
 (Mar. 1958, highest chart pos. #7 Hot 100/#11 Cash Box
 dancers on Dec. 18, 1957, ep. of American Bandstand


Hard to believe that young, handsome, talented Bobby Darin has been gone almost
46 years. While still a boy, Bobby learned he had a serious heart condition and
would likely die young. The grim prognosis drove Bobby to achieve as much
as he could in his short life, a lesson for us all. In the years before his death
at age 37, Bobby achieved fame as a singer, songwriter, musician, music
business entrepreneur, actor and humanitarian. In the summer of 1958
Bobby released the top 5 rock 'n' roll hit "Splish Splash" followed later
that year by "Queen of the Hop," another rocker that cracked the top 10.

 "Queen of the Hop" - Bobby Darin 
 (Oct./Nov. 1958, highest chart pos. 
 #9 Hot 100/#12 Cash Box


Carolina born Betty Johnson started out singing religious songs in her family group,
the Johnson Family Singers. In 1957 Betty became a regular on Jack Paar's Tonight
and stayed with the program until 1962 when the Johnny Carson era began. Betty
Johnson is best known (to me, at least) for her single "The Little Blue Man," a
creepy novelty number about a stalker from another planet. The voice of the
Little Blue Man was provided by Hugh Downs who at the time was Paar's
announcer on Tonight. As you might recall, Downs went on to host the
TV game show Concentration and later, with Barbara Walters, co-
hosted the long running news program 20/20. I always wondered
why this Halloween friendly record was released, not in October
as you might expect, but around Christmas in 1957!

 "The Little Blue Man" - Betty Johnson 
 (Mar./Apr. 1958, highest chart pos.
 #17 Hot 100/#25 Cash Box


The Monotones were a doo-wop vocal group from Newark, New Jersey.
They went into the music history books as one-hit-wonders, their only
claim to fame being this song about a book-- the "Book Of Love."

 "Book Of Love" - The Monotones 
 (Apr./May 1958, highest chart pos. #3 R&B, 
 #5 Hot 100/#7 Cash Box


Page through "The Book Of Love" and you're sure to find
"The Ten Commandments Of Love." That's the name of the
hit by Harvey And The Moonglows, a group from Louisville,
Kentucky, led by R&B singer, songwriter and record producer
Harvey Fuqua. Motown great Marvin Gaye got his start as
a member of Fuqua's Moonglows. Listen now to the
group's top 10 single from Halloween 1958-- 
"Ten Commandments Of Love."

 "Ten Commandments Of Love" - Harvey And The Moonglows 
 (Oct. 1958, highest chart pos. #9 R&B/#22 Hot 100/#39 Cash Box


"Short Shorts," the squeaky sax novelty number
by The Royal Teens, brings 1958 back alive.

The group included Bob Gaudio, who
later partnered with Frankie Valli to
form The Four Seasons, and Al Kooper,
one of the leading figures in 60s rock.
Kooper toured and played guitar with
The Royal Teens in 1959. In January
of 1958, the self-contained band was
jamming and goofing in the studio at
the end of a recording session when
"Short Shorts" came together. Two
young women were found hanging
hanging around the studio and the
guys pressed them into service as
singers on the call-and-response
parts of the song. Two different
short shorts girls were later used
when the band performed the
song on TV and at live shows.

"Short Shorts" is way out there, daddy-o... crazy, man, crazy!

 "Short Shorts" - The Royal Teens 
 (Mar. 1958, highest chart pos. #3 Hot 100 & Cash Box

 Don't miss the next 
 thrill packed episode of 
 coming soon! 

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel - Vol. 2: Yeh, Yeh!

...and the cow was returned to its rightful owner.

And that's the latest from S-P-M-M news...
fast, up-to-the-minute, completely fake
and proud of it. Now stand by for


 T I M E  T U N N E L 

on the station that's #1 for music and fun - S-P-M-M!



"Just One Look" - The Hollies
(May 1964, highest chart pos. #98 Hot 100/#2 UK)

Retrosonic Radio
in Futuresonic
Stereo Surround...
that's S-P-M-M!

Heidi-ho! It's me again, your puppy pal
Toto Moto. Hey, if my buddy Jerry Blavat
can call himself The Boss with the Sauce,
then I'm The Pooch with the Hootch...
your Hi-fi Fido, your Musical Mutt,
your All Nite Satellite, welcoming
you into my wormhole, the Top
Tunes Time Tunnel, for another
fun-filled trip back to the
best years of your life!

To open the show, we flashed back to the British Invasion in 1964 and listened
to a new enhanced version of "Just One Look," the fist single to reach the U.S.
chart by the English pop-rock band The Hollies, a cover of the top 10 hit the
previous year for American R&B singer Doris Troy who co-wrote the song.
Amazingly, the Hollies fabulous version lasted only one week on the U.S.
chart at #98 while soaring to #2 back home in the UK. When reissued
in the states in 1967 the single cracked the top 50 but should have
done better, doggone it!

In 1966 the British Invasion was followed by a Spanish Invasion
of sorts in the form of Los Bravos, a beat band from Madrid
that scored a top 5 hit in the UK and here in the states
with "Black Is Black."


Two years later Los Bravos released another rousing single that brushed
the top 50 stateside, a song written by members of the Aussie band
The Easybeats. The excitement meter is pegged as Los Bravos
performs-- "Bring a Little Lovin'."

"Bring A Little Lovin'" - Los Bravos
(June 1968, highest chart pos. #51)

That was "Bring A Little Lovin'" by the Spanish band Los Bravos,
a minor hit in America that deserved to be a major hit!

If you're just tuning in, I'm Toto Moto,
your Rover of the Radio, the Dawg
who Put the "WOW" in Bowwow...
and you're traveling through my
Top Tunes Time Tunnel here
on S-P-M-M... the station
with personality.

I used to chase a feline named Felix,
and next, here's another Felix who's
a very cool cat. He's Felix Cavaliere
who, along with Eddie Brigati, Gene
Cornish and Dino Danelli, made up
the exciting blue-eyed soul quartet
The Young Rascals... one of the
most popular acts of the 60s.


From 1966 to '68 the Jersey boys placed nine singles in the top 20
and here's one of them. From the summer of '66, a song written
by Eddie and Felix-- "You Better Run!"

"You Better Run" - The Young Rascals
(July 1966, highest chart pos. #20)

Old school's the rule and every song is certifiably K-9 cool here in
Toto's Time Tunnel - the Paws that Refreshes - and you just heard from
Felix the musical cat and his group doing "You Better Run," a single
released when they were still "Young" - before they shortened
their name to The Rascals.

Shady's dog Toto with you on the radio,
and I'll be doggone if I don't get a chuckle
out of "The Jolly Green Giant," the nifty
novelty number by the Kingsmen, the
rowdy garage rockers from the Pacific
Northwest who shook up the civilized
world with their cover of "Louie Louie."


"The Jolly Green Giant" was written by
Lynn Easton, one of the founders of the
Kingsmen, and so was this one, the flip
side of that 1965 single, another titanic
tune called-- "Long Green!"

"Long Green" - The Kingsmen
(Jan./Feb. 1965, uncharted B side of "The Jolly Green Giant")

The Kingsmen with "Long Green (the root of evil)," the fab flip on the
back side of "The "Jolly Green Giant" single. "Long Green" was also
released on the band's 1964 album The Kingsmen Volume II and
again on the 1965 album The Kingsmen Volume 3.

Wassup, pup? Chief Petting Officer Toto behind the mic on
the greatest little station in the nation, S-P-M-M.  I aim to fleas
by spinning the best sounds of the 60s here in the Time Tunnel.

Back across the pond we go for one of the
coolest grooves featured on Hullaballoo
London. The Blue Flames, a British R&B
jazz band, were the backing musicians for
English singer Billy Fury until he sacked
them for being "too jazzy" and replaced
them with another band, The Tornados,
the guys who recorded the instrumental
hit "Telstar." Out on their own with key-
boardist Georgie Fame taking over on
lead vocals, The Blue Flames burned up
the chart with a groovy cover of "Yeh Yeh,"
originally recorded by Afro-Cuban per-
cussionist Mongo Santamaría, the artist
best known for his hit "Watermelon Man,"
a standard written by Herbie Hancock.


Do I dig this sound from Georgie Fame? "Yeh Yeh!"
That's what I say, I say-- "Yeh Yeh!"

"Yeh, Yeh" - Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames
(Feb./Mar. 1965, highest chart pos. #21 Hot 100/#1 UK)

Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames with "Yeh, Yeh," a great song you don't hear
very often on oldies radio. Leave it to me, your Hound of Sound, to find it and
play it for you. "Yeh, Yeh" brings back marvelous memories of Brian Epstein
hosting Hullabaloo London during those exciting years of The Brit Invasion.

Toto Moto of The Shady Bunch keeping you
company all night long as we cruise through
my Time Tunnel here on S-P-M-M Radio.
Know what? I admit it - I'm a horndog. :)
I love bands from the mid 60s through
early 70s that featured strong,
brassy horn sections.


Here's one of my horn-driven favorites,
The Buckinghams, the sunshine poppers
from Chi-town who cranked out a string
of feel-good hits including the one you're
listening to right now. 1967 gold--
"Don't You Care!"

"Don't You Care" - The Buckinghams
(Mar./Apr. 1967, highest chart pos. #6)

From the Windy City, those were The Buckinghams with "Don't You Care,"
a sad song that makes you happy when you listen to it. "Don't You Care"
was one of the group's five top 10 hits of the mid 60s if you count
the Cash Box chart along with Billboard.

Oh bowwow, we're nearing the end of
Toto's Top Tunes Time Tunnel. I know
for sure because I can see the dawn's
early light. Thanks for spending the
wee hours of the morning with me,
your All Nite Satellite. Stay tuned
for my good friend Shady Blue
coming up on the B side of news to
get you Stuck Like Glue to his dusty
ditties, and I'll be back soon to start
from scratch and satisfy your itch for
terrific tuneage in my Time Tunnel.


To play us off, Tommy James and the Shondells with "Mirage,"
a hit born when a tape of "I Think We're Alone Now"
was accidentally played backward. Bye bye!

"Mirage" - Tommy James And The Shondells
(May/June 1967, highest chart pos. #10)

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Cookin' Philly Style with The Sherrys -
The Best Girl Group You Never Heard!



The fabulous Philadelphia
girl group The Sherrys was
formed in 1961 by R&B
veteran Little Joe Cook,
lead singer of Little Joe
& The Thrillers, a group
that scored a hit in 1957
with "Peanuts," covered
by Rick & The Keens
and The Four Seasons.

 "Peanuts" - 
 Little Joe & The Thrillers 
 (Nov. 1957, highest chart 
 position #23 Hot 100, 
 #32 Cash Box


The Sherrys consisted of Little Joe Cook's daughters Delphine
and Dinell Cook, their cousin Charlotte Butler and their friend
Delores "Honey" Wiley. Early on, The Sherrys lineup also
included Tammi Montgomery who went on to Motown
stardom using the stage name Tammi Terrell.

The Sherrys started as background
singers for teen idol Bobby Rydell.
When New Orleans gave birth to
a dance craze called the Popeye
and Chubby Checker scored a
Halloween hit in 1962 with
"Popeye (The Hitchhiker),"
The Sherrys recorded their
own Popeye record entitled
"Pop Pop Pop-Pie," written and
produced by Madara & White.
"Pop Pop Pop-Pie" reached the
top 40 on the pop chart and top
30 on the R&B Singles survey.

 "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" - The Sherrys 
 (Nov. 1962, highest cht. pos. #35 
 Hot 100, #40 C-Box, #25 R&B

The success of "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" landed The Sherrys a gig on Bandstand,
but it turned out to be the high water mark of their career. Their follow-up
single, "Slop Time," a cover of "Let's Do The Slop," papa Joe's regional hit
of the 50s, lasted only one week on the chart at #97 before vanishing!

 "Slop Time" - The Sherrys 
 (Jan. 1963, highest chart pos. #97) 

Simply put, The Sherrys were a great girl group and deserved more hits.

Need additional proof? Listen to this album track. It's a
buzzworthy cover of Chubby Checker's big hit-- "The Fly!"

 "The Fly" - The Sherrys 
 (from 1963 album At the Hop

That Sherrys album also includes a nifty cover of
Danny & the Juniors' rock 'n roll classic "At the Hop."

 "At the Hop" - The Sherrys 
 (from 1963 album At the Hop

"Dance" is another great song from the album that had
hit potential, yet it was never released as a single!

 "Dance" - The Sherrys 
 (from 1963 album At the Hop

Here's another dance ditty that coulda been, woulda been and
shoulda been a hit single. "Double Order Mashed Potatoes"
reminds me of James Brown's "Night Train."

 "Double Order Mashed Potatoes" 
 The Sherrys (from 1963 album At the Hop

I hope you enjoyed learning about Little Joe Cook
and his family girl group The Sherrys... cookin'
Philly style from the late 50s through early 60s.

Query: Why did Guyden
let so many great Sherrys
recordings go to waste un-
released when they could
 have issued them on 45s
and scored lots of hits?
Eve, make a few calls and
see what you can find out.
And bring me a cup of coffee!