Cygnus Radio Playlist 5/31/13: A childhood regression of sorts

Dom-in-i-nique-a-nique-a-nique-a ...

Dom-i-nique-a-nique-a-nique-a …

June 3, 2013

Franorama 2.0 airs live from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT Fridays (7-10 a.m. PDT, 2-5 p.m. GMT) on Cygnus Radio, and in the archives in perpetuity. For the link this all all other previous shows, click here.

I had never done this before: recaptured my childhood in the context of a radio show. But that’s what I did last Friday: rounded up every single song I remembered from the radio from my toddler years in Brooklyn in the early-to-mid-’60s (yep, I lived in Greenpoint 40 years before it was hip) and played them at the top of the 11 a.m. hour. (That would be the third set in the playlist below.)

My folks listened to WMCA, now a right-ring talk station but then a top-40 station, home of The Good Guys, with Joe O’Brien as the morning-drive host (accompanied by an obnixious occasional “sidekick” named Benny, who would burst out with “Hey! O’Brien!”). That’s what we listened to until we moved to Connecticut in the fall of ’65.

My folks gravitated to the old-folks’ stuff, but of course, MCA, and their Good Guys, were the ones who broke The Beatles to the masses in NYC when I was 2 1/2. So I got some Beatles, but also a lot of other diverse sounds. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had diverse musical tastes, which is why you see The Singing Nun and Louis Armstrong and the robotic novelty hit “Mechanical Man” among the set list.

The lights are much brighter there ...

The lights are much brighter there …

But my favorite song from childhood was from a pretty English singer named Petula Clark, singing about a mythical place called “Downtown.” Except I lived just across the Queens-Midtown Tunnel from midtown Manhattan,and there really was a Downtown, and, as she painted it for me, it sounded like this wonderful place full of life and activity. And there was one evening when we visited my mom’s cousin in Chelsea. It was my first time through the tunnel, all gleaming yellow brick, and when we exited among the dark gray clouds above, I remember shouting “Go downtown, Daddy! Go downtown!” And, of course, to my thrill, he did.

But yeah, all that probably had something to do with this deejay’s musical tastes.

Anyway, other random items from this past show: The chicken or the egg — did Little Richard begat Esquerita or vice versa? Played them back-to-back … Sister Sledge’s original 1973 version of “Mama Never Told Me,” redone in the early ’80s by Paul Weller protege Tracie Young with The Questions, and Boffalongo’s original 1970 recording of “Dancing in the Moonlight” … the first time I played a mashup — a tasty mix of Stevie Wonder singing “Uptight” over the remix of The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” … and recent releases by The Outta Sites (whose frontman, Chris “Sugarballs” Sprague, come to Cafe Nine on Monday (June 10) playing drums with Los Straitjackets; Texas singer/songwriter Eric Hisaw, who’ll play in Zoe Muth’s group when she comes to the Nine this Wednesday (June 5); Albany-based garage fiends The Mysteios; a couple things from the new She & Him album; an d a selection from a new country-laced EP by one of my favorite singers, Boston’s Jenny Dee (Jen D’Angora) & Several Men of Mystery.

I had so much fun that, what the hell, might as well do it again this Friday. Catch you then …


American Beat ’84 – The Fleshtones

I Wanna Feel Something Now – The Fleshtones

You Can Make It – Richard & the Young Lions

Hold My Hand – The Pussywillows

Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard

Golly Golly Annie Mae – Esquerita

Too Too Too Fast – Ra Ra Riot

All Hail to the Sucker Queen – Stark Raving Lulu

Stand By Your Man – Wendy O. Williams & Lemmy


Jack the Ripper – The Raybeats

Uptight (Dunproofin’ Rock the Casbah Mashup Mix) – Stevie Wonder vs. The Clash

What You See Is What You Get – Brenda K. Starr

Beau Jocque Run – Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers

Shakedown – Bobby Fuller

One Track Mind – The Outta Sites

I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying – The Miracles


Dominique – The Singing Nun (Soeur Sourire)

Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean

Honeycomb – Jimmie Rodgers

Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto

Mechanical Man – Bent Bolt & the Nuts

King of the Road – Roger Miller

Downtown – Petula Clark

Hello, Dolly! – Louis Armstrong

I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

She Loves You – The Beatles


Mama Never Told Me – Sister Sledge

You Must Believe Me – The Impressions

Running Back and Forth – Edwin Starr

If You Ever Walk out of My Life – Dena Barnes

Waterfall – Quintron

Go Get It Somewhere Else – The Mysteios


That Summer Feeling – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

Dancing in the Moonlight – Boffalongo

Just Got Tired of Being Poor – Eric Hisaw

Never – Jenny Dee & Several Men of Mystery

Baby Gap – The Gravel Pit

I’ve Got Your Number, Son – She & Him

Somebody Sweet to Talk To – She & Him


Gemini – Del Shannon

This Whole World – The Beach Boys

I Wanna Be Your Love – The Cobras

She Got Soul – The dB’s

Come Anytime – Hoodoo Gurus

Heat Wave – Martha & the Vandellas

Getting Ready for Love – Martha & the Vandellas

Town Called Malice – The Jam


Just Got Lucky — JoBoxers


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