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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mazel Tov!

Jerry Lee Lewis

Save The Last Dance For Me

King Of The Road

"Every day is Saturday to a dog"

Roger Miller
Man Like Me
The Wrong Kind Of Girl

T. Valentine In Town!!

'Til We Drop

T. Valentine - Do The Do

Roger Miller on the Grand Ole Opry, Part Two

Technically, this is the wrong image, but it'll do as a placeholder

Roger Miller - "King Of The Road/Dang Me"

As I said last week:
     Today's selection comes from the record library of WCON in Cornelia, GA, where it was presumably played once, filed away, and forgotten until a few years ago, when I bought it in a stack of 50 or so Opry episodes at the J&J Flea Market in Athens.
      While neither the record nor the track listing sheet are dated, in his introduction on Program No.  231 (two weeks earlier), Bill Monroe had said that Miller would  have a TV show in the Fall, which dates this to somewhere between January and September 1966. On this episode, Roger is introduced by Hank Locklin, the host of the week. I've never found a lot of information about this syndicated version of the Opry, so I welcome any further data from you folks out there in Radioland.     These are the only appearances by Roger on the Opry that I have, but I'll probably be digging into them for some other surprises sooner or later. Don't touch that dial!

Sinister Saturday...

They're coming to GET you...

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lloyd Thaxton and Billy Strange Pay Tribute To The Great Man

Lloyd Thaxton (1927-2008) did a variety of things in his long career, but he's best remembered for The Lloyd Thaxton Show, an American Bandstand-style music show that he hosted from 1961-67 in Los Angeles, with the last three years nationally syndicated. Here are some videos for you to check out if you're interested. He also has his name stuck on a number of records that that he had little or nothing to do with, including albums by the Challengers, the Knickerbockers, and Round Robin. The album pictured above is in a similar vein, being mostly instrumentals by Billy Strange... but not entirely! Unlike the other "Thaxton" albums, Lloyd actually turns up on both the album and a single drawn from it.

Unlike Bandstand, Thaxton's show also included comedy routines and sketches, and that's the side of Lloyd on display here, in a novelty tune that, despite its title, has no traces of anything resembling blue-beat. Lloyd and Roger Miller were pals (read about that in this 2006 posting from Thaxton's still-extant blog), and he pays tribute to his pal here both in tone and through both name-checking and directly quoting him.

The beloved West coast studio musician kingpin (and cousin of Glenn "Frankenstein" Strange!) gives us an instrumental rendition of Roger's hit.

Swiped from Mr. Thaxton's blog

BONUS! If you want to hear the rest of the album, fellow WFMU family member Kliph Nesteroff has it posted at his blog here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blassie, King Of Men

The legendary Fred Blassie manhandles Dick Van Dyke, while Mary Tyler Moore and Mel Cooley look on, trembling fear. From "The Twizzle," a 1962 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Matt Fiveash Live On Ichiban!

Fiveash & Debbie D

I'm happy to announce that starting tomorrow at 1 PM EST, Ichiban All-Star, Matt Fiveash will be coming to you live on the Rock 'n' Soul webstream.  Tune in every Thursday from 1-3 PM or catch him in the archives while you're at work and getting paid.

And don't forget about Ted Barron, live on Wednesday 8-10 PM, me on Friday 3-5 PM and Dr. Filth and Greg Cartwright for the Saturday night dance party, live from the Admiral in scenic Asheville, NC, rock time - until.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!


Roger Miller Meets Dino

King Of The Road Motor Inn

Monday, March 26, 2012

Don't Rock the Jukebox

From Billboard, Nov. 20, 1965

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Ballad Of Roger Miller

Homer & Jethro - The Ballad Of Roger Miller (2:33)

You know you've really made it when Homer & Jethro point their satirical daggers at you.

Weeki Wachee

Marlin and the Mermaids - At Weeki Wachee 


Roger on Tour

My late friend Kurt Neiburg, former proprietor of Sound Trax Records in Clemson, SC, once told me about seeing Roger Miller live at an outdoor show on Bowman Field there when he he was a teen-ager*. As he described it, Roger was pretty drunk, and played his whole set while sitting precariously balanced on a stool. Thanks to Billboard's Music on Campus special issue (3/19/66; apparently not included in Google Books' Billboard archives) I can now confirm that Kurt attended this show on Monday, March 28, 1966. He would have been 13 at the time (Kurt, not Roger). It seems odd that they would have held an outdoor event like this on a Monday, but that's what he told me, and I'm afraid that follow-up questions aren't an option. I did check to see if I could find any corroborative evidence, but neither the local nor the college paper there are archived online, and I don't feel like traveling 80 miles and back again to check the microfilm for you folks. Sorry.

*Kurt also saw the Electric Prunes at the Anderson (SC) Civic Center, but I have no corroborative evidence to share at this time.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Live From The Admiral

DJ. Filth and Greg Cartwright

Tonight from 10 PM - until:  DJs Greg Cartwright & Dr. Filth spin live on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban.

All the way from Asheville, NC!!

The Asheville Two, live every Saturday night.  Set your Radioshift app.


Johnny Brown and the Joy Boys - Suspense

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roger Miller on the Grand Ole Opry, Part One

     Today's selection comes from the record library of WCON in Cornelia, GA, where it was presumably played once, filed away, and forgotten until a few years ago, when I bought it in a stack of 50 or so Opry episodes at the J&J Flea Market in Athens.
     While neither the record nor the track listing sheet are dated, in his introduction, Bill Monroe says that Roger will have a TV show in the Fall, which dates this to somewhere between January and September 1966. I've never found a lot of information about this syndicated version of the Opry, so I welcome any further data from you folks out there in Radioland.
    Next week, we'll be presenting his segment from a return engagement three weeks later. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Higher We Get The More Informal We Are

Do Wacka Do!
Roger Miller hamming it up on TV in 1966.
Complete with genius Thumbs Carlisle sportin' a nifty Batman shirt!!!

(Excuse the picture-less first 10 seconds or so)

Editor's note: see the entire show here!

Batwoman Lucha Libre!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Mr. Fine Wine Live

Our own Mr. Fine Wine has been entertaining patrons every Wednesday night at Botanica Bar in NYC for 16 years!!!  We will be celebrating this Wednesday night with a cavalcade of guest soul spinners.  Stop by in person to raise a glass or listen online on the Ichiban webstream.  Action starts at 10 PM EST and goes all night long.   Follow us on Twitter for an up to the minute account of the DJ schedule.  

Ikettes - Camel Walk

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Country Charley Pride!

Almost forgot to observe the 74th birthday of veteran Negro League baseball player and Member of the Grand Ole Opry Charley Frank Pride, born this day in 1938 in Sledge, Mississippi.  His late '70s- early '80s "crossover" material didn't do much for me, but if I can forgive Charlie Rich and Dolly for their excesses of the period, I can certainly overlook Charley's. Here's to another 74 years!

Roger Miller - "Husbands and Wives"

So... once more, I got scooped by our Beloved Ringleader, who already posted the song in question while I was busy digitizing some upcoming surprises for you that haven't been heard by the public in 46 years (stay tuned for further details!), but I've still got more to offer on this particular subject: to wit, the document below.

I like this one a lot, but maybe not as much as Debbie. I do recall a conversation with Mr. William Orten Carlton in which he cited this as his favorite Miller lyric. In matters of a musical, Ort is rarely wrong (or succinct!)

Roger Miller - A Man Like Me

Roger Miller - A Man Like Me (2:28)

Here's a stellar Decca honky-tonker that Roger recorded in late 1958, featuring the great Johnny Paycheck on harmony vocals. The rest of the guys on the session were from Nashville's fabled A-team.

Roger Miller - Vocal
Owen Bradley - Leader
Hank Garland - Guitar
Donald Eugene Lytle (Johnny Paycheck) - Guitar, harmony vocals
Jack Evins - Steel guitar
Joe Zinkans - Bass
Buddy Harman - Drums
Tommy Jackson - Fiddle
Floyd Cramer - Piano

This track, the photo above and all the session details were borrowed from Bear Family's excellent A Man Like Me CD that compiles all of Miller's recordings from 1957 - 1960 and features Deke Dickerson's liner notes that provide insight into Miller's many talents.

Take It All Off

"Take It Off" mp3
by Groundhog, 1969.

more where this came from at the Boogie Woogie Flu

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Just bought a stack of QSL cards this morning, and I figured it might be a good time to share this one with all you folks out there in Radioland. This one was sent to Mr. Donald Brown of 959 Cunningham Place, Atlanta, Ga., in October 1946.

Goober Talks About Roger

Saturday Matinee/Night at the Drive-In

Visit our snack bar...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Roger Miller Ichiban

My fave Roger Miller track Husbands And Wives (mp3)

Roger Miller Month: George Jones - Tall Tall Trees

Co-written by Roger Miller & George Jones

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mack The Knife

Generally speaking, I'm a firm believer in staying far, far away from square dance records. There are, however, a few exceptions. Joe Maphis, for instance, released a few square dance instrumentals that are worth hearing for Maphis completists.

Another exception is this oddly captivating version of Mack The Knife, by The Squarenaders, which is almost certainly one of the greatest band names in all the world.

Squarenaders - Mack The Knife (3:47!)

Keep On Dancing!

Yes, that Keep On Dancing

Roger Miller Month: Roy Clark - The Green Green Grass of Home

We posted a couple of different versions of this song by Joe Tex last month, so I thought it only appropriate that we post this Homer and Jethro-esque rewrite of "Green Green Grass of Home", written by Roger & Roy, and performed on the only really good Roy Clark album I know about, Roy Clark Live! on Dot, ca. 1972.

"That's Roger's.  I got it from him. I added a few lines to it but the whole premise of the song was his." Roy Clark

Roger Miller & Thumbs Carlisle

Roger Miller - This Town

"Things are so bad the weeds won't grow"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Phil Phillips!

The Evil Dope

"Peggy and the Snowman By the Sea"

     A clever enough gimmick song that probably went over pretty well live. Don't know if there are alternate verses, or whether he just used confederates in the audience to feed him the answers he was looking for (though the choices offered to the listener aren't really all that broad). 
     While unsuccessfully searching for an actual live recording, however, I found a fascinating discovery by one "." Listen and have your mind blown, man:

     Pretty trippy, huh?  Also, if you look at the cover of Words and Music By Roger Miller upside down in a mirror while striking yourself on the head repeatedly with a seasoned cast-iron skillet, you'll see the phrase "Paul is Dead, and I don't feel so good, either." Go ahead... try it!  Let me know how that works out for you.

POSTSCRIPT: I still couldn't find a real, live performance "in the wild," but I did find him performing it on The Dino Crocetti Show:

There's no significant deviation from the record here, but it's still worth a look.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tassel Twirler Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's A Gas!

Alfred E. Neuman - It's A Gas (2:03)

Roger Miller Month

Oh, so it's answer songs you want, eh?  Here's one from Mr. Mike Sarne

Ruby Wright - "Dern Ya"

    As you may recall, the headmistress of this institution posted Jody Miller's "Queen of the House" a couple of days ago. Ms. Miller is okay, I guess, but she's never been a personal favorite (I prefer Mrs. Miller). And while "female vocalists performing Roger Miller-themed answer records" is not a crowded field, I'm afraid that, to my ears, the best she can hope for is second place.
    I assert that the clear winner in this race would be none other than Ruby Wright, whose destiny would seem to have been predestined, given that she sprang from the loins of Kitty Wells, the singer of perhaps the greatest answer record of all, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels." And of course, her father was none other than Johnnie Wright, of Johnnie and Jack fame (as well as a distinguished solo career). 
     While she had earlier recorded as part of the trio Nita, Rita, & Ruby ("Nita" being Anita Carter and "Rita" being Ruby Winters, sister of Don Winters), and would perform with her parents on stage and on their TV show through the years, Ruby only had one big hit, as featured above. It was written by another scion of Nashville royalty , Justin Tubb (who was an ex-roommate of Roger Miller's!), and was also recorded without chart success by faded '50s pop singer Teresa Brewer.

     While assembling material for my various Miller-related posts for the month, I was going through one of my myriad souvenir booklets of country star photos and discovered a forgotten one with a bunch of autographs on the back page, presumably acquired at an appearance by the Kitty Wells/Johnnie Wright Family Show. They include Ruby, her parents, her brother Bobby Wright, fellow member of their show Bill Phillips, fiddler and Jimmy Martin sideman Vernon Derrick, bass fiddle player Bill Yates (I think this is the right guy) and Chris Warner (this is my least certain I.D., but all of these last three seem to have played with Jimmy Martin , so I imagine he must have been on the bill with them backing him).

Ruby with Bill Phillips

And more, backing up her daddy in a number from SECOND FIDDLE TO A STEEL GUITAR
(Available on DVD from Time/Life!)

     Outside of Bobby's string of hits in the '70s, the family ceased to be a force in the recording industry, but remained popular as a stage act until Kitty and Johnny's retirement in 2000.  Sadly, Ruby never lived to inherit the mantle of "Queen of Country Music," dying in September 2009. Her father followed in 2011, leaving Kitty a widow after nearly 74 years of marriage. Their grandson still maintains their recording studio in Madison, TN.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jim Reeves Sings Roger Miller

Co-written with Bill Anderson in the back of Roger's station
 wagon on tour in Texas. Title inspired by the 1951 film 
version of the Philip Wylie novel.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Shakers!

T***y Shakers Vol. 1 (mp3 mix)

. . . and Kirk Douglas on banjo . . .

"All star band performing with Jack Benny on violin, Tony Martin on clarinet, Fred McMurray playing saxaphone, Kirk Douglas on banjo and Dick Powell playing trumpet during an appearance on "The Jack Benny Show"." From the LIFE archives.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Roger Miller & Ray Price

Here's the great Ray Price belting out Invitation To The Blues, featuring some fine harmony vocals from Roger Miller, the song's author. Miller spent a year or so in the Cherokee Cowboys, Price's backing band.

Thanks to Gatorrock787 for the clip. He has the best YouTube channel going. Check it out.

The Wicked Pickett!

BBC Radio 2  presents a tribute to the late, great Wilson Pickett on Monday, March 12th at 10 PM.  It will also be archived for 7 days.  More info here.


Tune in to this Spazztastic tribute to Davy Jones from Music To Spazz By.