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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Similar Bat-Time, Different Bat-Channel: Fiveash pulls a David Brinkley

"What the f*ck is wrong with this thing?"

Over the last few weeks, some, if not none, of you Rock & Soul Ichiban Radio listeners may have been wondering what happened to my live Thursday show. Well, there has been a programming shake-up on WFMU's alternate webstreams, with Ichiban returning to its roots streaming obscure bizarro world hits-that-missed from the 50s and 60s. The reasons are complicated and not particularly interesting; the upshot is that my show, starting next Thursday February 7th, will be heard at a similar bat-time and different bat-channel: 2 to 4 PM Eastern Standard Time, Thursdays on WFMU's Give The Drummer Radio stream. Some Ichiban listeners may remember our sister stream GTDR from when they saved our asses in the dark days after Hurricane Sandy. Give The Drummer Radio is similar to Ichiban in that it's a 24-hour streaming jukebox (curated by WFMU veteran Doug Schulkind from his home in Pittsburgh), but with more live programming. Click here for the full schedule.

For those of you unfamiliar with my show, the playlists to date can be found here.  Expect more of the same.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The White Boots

Carl Butler & Pearl - May, 1963.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Get Out Of The Car (MP3)

Sammy Davis Jr.  -  Get Out Of The Car

In 1956, Sammy Davis Jr. headed for Broadway to headline a musical production called Mr. Wonderful, written expressly for him and giving him the opportunity to transplant his talents from the nightclubs he usually played to what is sometimes called the "legitimate stage."  In any event, the other side of this 45 featured Without You, I'm Nothing, a song featured in the play.  We're not going to worry about that one.  Instead, here's Sammy Davis' take on Get Out Of The Car, The Treniers' irredeemably insensitive song made a bit less appalling here by adding an extra verse (invoking Sgt. Joe Friday!), in which it's made clear that the young lady in question won't have to walk back to town after all.

Why Me

Dale Denny was the bass player for the Fendermen.  Here is his little known hit on Brandy Records.

Why Me (mp3)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Swingin' Time

Broadcast every day at 3:30 on CKLW-TV out of Windsor, Ontario Canada 1965-1968.  This episode features Bob Segar & The Last Heard, Dionne Warwick and her sister, Judy Clay among others.  Thanks, Freddie.  Integration now, segregation never.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1967 Interview With Double Dynamite!!

Talkin' bout their European tour, their music and if white men can have SOUL!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Do Knock the Rock: The Eternal Hipness of the Square-Biz Mind

By Gene Sculatti

You know what I miss from the past?  Sure, Moxie and men’s spats, The Old Philosopher, pre-surgery Kris Kardashian, etc. But what I really miss the most is comedians who made fun of rock ’n’ roll and pop music.

I was reminded of this by a clip I just came across on YouTube, from a Lloyd Thaxton TV show ca. 1965, in which Steve Allen and Milton Berle satirize the then-current fad of protest singers. In long-hair wigs and the fakest of beards, “Monty Mad” and “Billy Bitter” send up folk-rock with silly songs (“Grown-ups are old, youngsters are kid-ish/ If it wasn’t for George Washington we’d all be British”) and typically Allen-style cheap jokes (Thaxton: “You play piano, but you have a guitar around your neck. Why is that?” Allen: “Man, that’s because the piano’s too heavy!”).

The beauty part is that their deliberate stoopidity in making fun of a form they despise is only a couple of feet removed from the stoopidity of the real deal, like Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me” and “The Revolution Kind.” I mean, they’re practically brothers in bearskin. And it’s a hoot, even if they were coming from what we might think of as a square place.

Back then, as the new kid on the block, rock had to endure the slurs of the ageing, but still dominant, Greatest Generation (the most cited example being Dean Martin’s unsubtle dissing of the Stones on Hollywood Palace). But why shouldn’t pop be able to take a few sucker punches, especially when the punchers don’t really get it that the Showmen were absolutely right when they proclaimed, in 1961, “It Will Stand”?

And that’s the sad part. ‘We’ won. Our music (everything since the pre-rock Fifties) stood, and still stands, as the undisputed champ genre that itself is now above criticism. Where once Steve Allen had Elvis sing “Hound Dog” to a sad-eyed basset on national TV and Stan Freberg’s “Sh-Boom” deliciously spoofed doowop’s goofy syllable-stretching (check YouTube for both), now the New Yorker ponders “The Meaning of Michael Jackson” and asks, “What to Make of Rihanna?” Yeah, what?

Sure, TMZ and catty blogs and awards-show emcees dish the stars, but implicit in the very attention they pay them is the notion that pop culture, above all, matters and means something. And that’s an assumption the old-school rock-knockers, bless ’em, never made. It’s what allowed them to use it as just more joke fuel—like mother-in-laws, Gunsmoke and drive-in banks—and, in some cases, like Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner and Howie Morris’ Three Haircuts satires (YouTube), grab some of the very juice and crazed energy of their target itself. The Haircuts and hams like Freddie Cannon are almost brothers in Butch Wax.

One of the hippest comics ever is Pete Barbutti. Fans of first-rate rock-knocking should track down a copy of his VeeJay LP Here’s Pete Barbutti. Like Allen and Berle’s protest skit, it’s from 1965, just about the last time anyone really effectively skewered pop (outside of Mark Shipper’s 1978 book Paperback Writer). In front of a club audience, Pete takes on “Disc Jockeys,” explaining that “One of the reasons for the poor state of music in this day and age is that, no matter where you live, there’s at least one radio station that plays nothing but rock ’n’ roll music, song after song…” Thereafter follows his impersonation of motor-mouth Top-40 jocks and the music they play: each song sounds like the next, Pete’s screeching vocals attacking caveman-dumb lyrics as he counts down the hits by “Mary & the Knee-Knockers,” “Theresa & the Tree-Thumpers” and the rest. It’s priceless.

I'm Gonna Hang My Britches Up (MP3)

Onie Wheeler  -  I'm Gonna Hang My Britches Up 

Onie takes on the women's liberation movement...and throws in the towel.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This World Is In A Hell Of A Fix!

Editor's Note:  Thanks to Phil Milstein for this post and to Jim Blanchard for the comp!

I first met Jim Blanchard c.1995, when he was recommended as a possible cover artist for the song-poem compilation The Human Breakdown Of Absurdity I was then preparing. As I undertook due diligence on Jim I came away impressed not only with his brilliant illustration skills, but also with his great ear for music (or, perhaps more accurately, taste that closely matches my own) and his talent for enlightening cultural exploration. I did indeed hire him –– I’d have been a fool not to –– and 15-plus years later Jim remains a stalwart colleague and beloved friend.

He is also a superb mixtape compiler, although his comps have far too frequently been no more than privately distributed. I hope the posting here of his latest, The World Is In A Hell Of A Fix, will help break him out of his shell. The contents have been expertly culled from the fieldwork of Tom Ardolino, who was the ur-source for collector interest –– or, for that matter, any interest –– in song-poem music. When Penn Jillette purchased Ardolino’s song-poem collection outright a few years back, Jim was brought in to digitize the set. In the course of that work he kept copies of his favorite tracks for his personal listening, and his favorites from among those form today’s compilation.

I’m a tad disappointed that Jim chose to use a photograph of Gene Marshall, rather than his own drawing, to anchor the cover, although frankly his renderings, when he wants them to be, are so realistic that I’m not 100% that it’s not one. Anyway I’m comforted by the fact that the yellow he’s chosen for the background is so lurid it is unlikely to print correctly on any common desktop printer, and may cause some of them to break down completely.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stand Up!

Monday, January 14, 2013


 Via the JET magazine archives, hosted over at Google, we can look back and enjoy this insane photo of sax man Eddie Chamblee giving the people their money's worth in 1955.  Perhaps this is how he caught the eye of Dinah Washington, whom he married two years later.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sam and Dave 1967

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Live on the 1967 Stax/Volt European tour - Paris


Musical Chairs

B.B. Kings
A few programming notes here at Ichiban HQ. Starting this Saturday, Live From The Admiral in beautiful Asheville NC will be manned by Dr. Filth sans Greg Cartwright. Look for more DJ sets from Greg in the near future. Debbie Does WFMU moves to Sundays 3-5 PM. Skipping this Sunday for the WFMU Record Fair at the Bell House. Hope to see you there. Coming soon, Phil Milstein from Probe Is Turning On The People will do a live on tape show on Ichiban.   Ted Barron's show has been cancelled and Matt Fiveash has called it quits so you will hear more trackin', less yakkin' on Thursdays.

Also of note, Reigning Sound have had to cancel their appearance at the Bell House this Friday for the Norton Records benefit due to illness.  Watch this space for the make up show.

Reigning Sound - Straight Shooter

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Thank You

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hold On I'm Coming

Thanks Newton!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome To Sam and Dave Month On Ichiban!

Hank's Last Ride

Sixty years ago today, Hank Williams died in the back of a 1952 Cadillac headed for Canton, Ohio.

In 2003, on the 50th anniversary of Williams' death, the Nashville Tennessean published a superb article by Peter Cooper that includes everything you ever wanted to know about the fateful trip.

From The Cast And Crew At Ichiban

Genuine Parts Co.

Happy New Year!

Jet magazine, 1954.