Cygnus Radio playlist 4/5/13: Tributes because I can

Marvin Gaye: Cause for joy and sorrow.

Marvin Gaye: Cause for joy and sorrow.

For the link to the archives to this and all my Franorama 2.0 shows on Cygnus Radio, click here.

The first Franorama 2.0 of April on Cygnus Radio was one of tributes — because I can. And both the living and dead were honored — no waiting ’til the person is stuck in the ground here.

That includes three sets of Marvin Gaye, for whom there was a twin milestone: what would have been his 74th birthday last Tuesday (April 2), preceded by the 29th anniversary of his death (April 1). And not one note of “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Rather, I mixed in some rarely heard solo songs (including one of my favorites of his, a 1965 B-side called “When I Had Your Love”), as well as some  rarely heard Tammi Terrell duets: the Sinatras’ “Somethin’ Stupid” and “California Soul,” which was written by Ashford & Simpson for The 5th Dimension.

And on to the living. I think it came out of my occasional recent Facebook messaging with one Rick Stone of El Paso. Rick was the road manager for The Bobby Fuller Four, was a friend of Bobby and is

Sonny Curtis: Who says you have to die to get a tribute?

Sonny Curtis: Who says you have to die to get a tribute?

a longtime flamekeeper. He friended me after I posted a photo of Bobby on my page a year or so ago.

Anyway, I got to thinking about the man who wrote “I Fought the Law,” Sonny Curtis. He’s still alive, and his birthday (76) isn’t until May 9, but I decided to honor him — well, because I can. It’s my show, and why wait ’til someone’s dead, especially when he’s only a year younger than my mother?

He was a guitarist in Buddy Holly‘s Crickets, went off to play with other musicians, then returned when Holly died, and wrote his greatest anthem (and sang lead) for the first Crickets album after Holly’s death. I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter if you’ve only written one or two songs, as long as they’re the right two songs. In this case, it was the above song and his major contribution to television: “Love Is All Around,” the Mary Tyler Moore theme.

Naturally, “I Fought the Law” took up a chunk of the tribute, with six versions, three by Bobby Fuller: the Four’s classic 1966 version on Del-Fi; Bobby’s original 1964 single version on Exeter Records; and an alternate take of the Exeter single. (Useless bit of fun trivia: Each of the Fuller versions contains a different robbin’-people weapon — a zipgun in the original, a shotgun in the alternate take, and the well-known six-gun of the hit version.)

There was also a song Curtis wrote for The Crickets that was revived 20 years later in an easy-listening hit by Leo Sayer, a tune Glen Campbell recorded on the Wichita Lineman album; the 1987 country song of the year by the departed-too-soon Keith Whitley; and a heartfelt version of “Love Is All Around” by one of Minneapolis’ most famous musical products, Husker Du. (And I can kick myself for forgetting to include the third-most famous song Sonny wrote — The Everlys’ “Walk Right Back” — but I can make amends the next show.)

And there was one tiny mini-tribute in the final set: a couple of movie-related songs and a tune about eternity in memory of Roger Ebert, who died the day before.

And, as a tribute to music, and how it makes us feel, I’ll do the same thing this Friday and hopefully many more Fridays to come — same Bat-time, (10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT), same Bat-channel. Ciao …


American Beat ’84 – The Fleshtones

10-5-60 – The Long Ryders

Happy – The Rolling Stones

Crazy Baby – The Coasters

The Wish Song – The Charms

Candy – The Charms

Do Ya – The Move

Right Where I Wanna Be – The Double Naught Spys

Big Man – Stark Raving Lulu


Stubborn Kind of Fellow – Marvin Gaye

Lucky Lucky Me – Marvin Gaye

When I Had Your Love – Marvin Gaye

Hitch Hike – Marvin Gaye

What’s the Matter With You Baby –Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells


Can I Get a Witness – Marvin Gaye

You’re a Wonderful One – Marvin Gaye

How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye

Ain’t That Peculiar – Marvin Gaye

Baby Don’t You Do It – Marvin Gaye

You’re All I Need to Get By – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

If This World Were Mine – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Somethin’ Stupid – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

I’ll Never Stop Loving You Baby – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

California Soul – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell


What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye

Trouble Man – Marvin Gaye

Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

Got to Give It Up, Pt. 1 – Marvin Gaye

Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

The Lord’s Prayer – Marvin Gaye


I Fought the Law – The Crickets

More Than I Can Say – The Crickets

I Fought the Law (Exeter Records version) – Bobby Fuller

I Fought the Law (alternate take) – Bobby Fuller

I Fought the Law (Del-Fi Records version) – The Bobby Fuller Four

The Straight Life – Glen Campbell

Love Is All Around (opening credits) – Sonny Curtis

Love Is All Around (closing credits) – Sonny Curtis

I Fought the Law – The Clash

I Fought the Law – Dead Kennedys

I’m No Stranger to the Rain – Keith Whitley

Love Is All Around – Husker Du


Celluloid Heroes – The Kinks

Eternity – Anne Marie Menta

35-Millimeter Dreams – Garland Jeffreys

Girl Don’t Tell Me – Fuzzy

Maybe I Know – Lesley Gore

Not a Second Time – The Smithereens


Desiree – The Left Banke


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