Friday, February 27, 2009

Ray’s Song Pick of the Day from Monday 23 February 2009

The tease for Monday 23 February
Tonight a US#1(2) from 1 February and NZ#1(3) from 24 April 1969 This group’s 5th million-seller, with global sales of over 4 million - Monster Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Tuesday 24 February
Tonight a US#1(4) from 25 February 1956 and the 1st million-seller for this artist whose freelance arranging work on Nat ‘King’ Cole’s “Too Young” and “Mona Lisa” brought him to the attention of recording executives. This tune was originally published with Portugese words and with English lyrics became a million seller in 1956 and a Big Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Wednesday 25 February
Tonight, a UK#1(4) from 20 February and NZ#1 March 1959 for a singer from Tiger Bay who became a popular club attraction in America in 1961 but who didn't chart in the States until 1965. MODERATE HIT in N.Z. Written by the same American team that came up with "Whatever Will Be" for Doris Day

The tease for Thursday 26 February
This Cardiff based band first charted with the blues-based hit 'Gin House'. Their style changed to bubblegum pop with their next two releases before this hit - UK#1(2) from 12 February 1969 (7 weeks in Top 20) Monster Hit in NZ (#5)

The tease for Friday 27 February
Tonight, the 6th million-seller for this artist, US#5 in 1956, 23 weeks in Top 100 from 25 February with a cover of a R&B#15 hit the same year for Ivory Joe Hunter. Big Hit and popular artist in N.Z.

And the songs;
Monday, Tommy James & The Shondells – Crimson And Clover
Tuesday, Nelson Riddle – Lisbon Antigua
Wednesday, Shirley Bassey – As I Love You
Thursday, Amen Corner – (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice
Friday, Teresa Brewer – A Tear Fell

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ray’s Song Pick of the Day from Monday 16 February 2009

The tease for Monday 16 February
US#2(7) from 12 March, 20 weeks in from 5 February 1955. Held out of top slot by Fontane Sisters – Hearts Of Stone (US#1(2) from 5 February) and then McGuire Sisters – Sincerely (US#1(10) from 12 February 1955).
From a Texas born honky tonky pianist/bandleader with a medley of tunes inspired by 'Crazy Otto' AKA Fritz Schulz-Reichel, a German artist famous for his honky tonk piano playing. Big Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Tuesday 17 February
The US#1(3) from 5 February 1955 that initially kept the Johnny Maddox medley hit The Crazy Otto from the top slot in early 1955. As was the trend in the pop music world then, this was yet another Rhythm & Blues cover - of The Charms #15 hit Monster Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Wednesday 18 February
Another song that kept the Johnny Maddox medley hit The Crazy Otto from the top slot in early 1955. US#1(10) from 12 February 1955, and 2nd Top Song of the year - the three sisters' 6th hit and the 1st million-seller for Christine, Dorothy and Phyllis. Cover of the Moonglows #22 hit and a Monster Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Thursday 19 February
Tonight a UK#1(3) from 28 February 1968 - Monster Hit in N.Z. from a husband and wife team from Israel (one of only two husband & wife teams to top the UK charts – the other being Sonny & Cher).

The tease for Friday 20 February
Tonight the 4th million-seller for this artist who worked as dancer from age 12. She became a model during high school and toured Canada as a dancer in the late forties. She first recorded for Sharp in 1952. US#2, 16 weeks in Top 100 from 19 February 1955. Big Hit in N.Z.

And the songs;
Monday, Johnny Maddox - Crazy Otto Medley
Tuesday, Fontane Sisters - Hearts Of Stone
Wednesday, McGuire Sisters – Sincerely
Thursday, Esther & Abi Ofarim – Cinderella Rockafella
Friday, Joni James – How Important Can It Be

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ray’s Song Pick of the Day from Monday 9 February 2009

The tease for Monday 9 February 2009
Tonight a UK#2, 9 weeks in Top 20 from September 1966. Monster Hit in N.Z., making #1(2) from 2 February 1967. From a band that lost one of their founding members who died 9 January 2009, aged 65.

The tease for Tuesday 10 February
Tonight a UK#1, 20 February1964 and a MONSTER HIT in N.Z. Originally formed as a novelty instrumental trio called the Harmonichords, being three married men from Dublin, two brothers and a friend. Their clean, smiling image and highly professional stage presence made them a particular favourite with TV producers.

The tease for Wednesday 11 February
The 2nd British hit (after 'Heartbeat') for this shy 19 year old from Belfast. UK#1(3) from 18 February 1955. By the end of the year, this singer had taken seven songs into the British Top 10 and it wasn’t until 1985 that another female vocalist, Madonna, passed her 1955 total. Monster Hit in N.Z.

The tease for Thursday 12 February
Tonight an artist born Michael Milne in Liverpool in November 1925 or 1928? who used his mother's maiden name for his showbusiness career. This song was the first of six Bacharach/David UK No 1's and other versions in Britain included those by Alma Cogan, Dave King and Gary Miller they but didn't match the success of our artist tonight - UK#1(2) from 14 February 1958 and a Big Hit in N.Z., but an even bigger hit here by a Mitch Miller artist.

The tease for Friday 13 February
R&B tinged rock group from London, England comprising two brothers, with a UK#1(1) 18 February 1965, their second UK#1 and their 2nd million-seller. US#6 and a Big Hit in N.Z. This song was a gentler offering than the first two singles had been and in hindsight was seen as the beginning of a long spell of more subtle songs that were to bring the group an impressive run of hits in the 60s and 70s.

And the songs;
Monday, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - Bend It
Tuesday, Bachelors – Diane
Wednesday, Ruby Murray – Softly, Softly
Thursday, Michael Holliday – Story Of My Life
Friday, The Kinks - Tired Of Waiting For You

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ray’s Song Pick of the Day from Monday 2 February 2009

It has been fifty years since Buddy Holly, along with Richie Valens and The Big Bopper died in that plane crash 3 February 1959. For this week I focused mainly on Buddy Holly and his influence. Monday and Tuesday nights I featured comparisons between Buddy Holly songs and the covers from two of the groups influenced by his music. The Rolling Stones on Monday with “Not Fade Away” and the Beatles on Tuesday with “Words Of Love”. Wednesday, I played the Eddie Cochran tribute song, “Three Stars”. As explained in Wikipedia; Eddie Cochran, Holly's good friend and fellow rock 'n' roll pioneer also recorded the song "Three Stars" but it was not released until after Cochran's own premature death, because he was too upset to allow it to be issued in his lifetime.
Thursday night I played Waylon Jennings - The Stage, his tribute song about a Stage in Heaven. On that fateful night, Waylon Jennings gave his seat up to Richardson, who was running a fever and had trouble fitting his stocky frame comfortably into the bus seats.
When Holly learned that Jennings wasn't going to fly, he said, "Well, I hope your old bus freezes up." Jennings responded, "Well, I hope your plane crashes." This friendly banter of friends would haunt Jennings for years. Also each night I played extra Holly, Valens and J.P. Richardson tracks, including Valley Of Tears (Domino song by Buddy) Richie’s Blues, and Come On Let’s Go by Richie Valens and Big Bopper’s Wedding. Big Bopper’s Wedding prompted a call from a listener to say they never expected to hear such a ‘non politically correct’ song played on Coast.
Each day with the ‘On The Show Today’ section I pointed web viewers to the meaning of the Don McLean – American Pie lyrics ', with this Link