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07-27-2017: In selecting a song for this week's Cavalcade of Covers, I discovered its complicated history. Toni Basil's Mickey may or may not be a tribute to The Monkees' Micky Dolenz, but it is not the original version of the song. A British group named Racey recorded the song Kitty in 1979, minus the cheerleader "'re so fine..." chant. Other than that and the changed gender, the songs are identical. Racey's version appeared on their Smash and Grab album but was never released as a single, and it languished in obscurity. Even Basil's version took a year to catch on, becoming a monster hit in 1982.

07-20-2017: We salute jazz producer Joe Fields, who passed away this week, in our second hour this morning. Joe founded Muse Records, and later with his son Barney started HighNote Records, releasing music from new and legendary jazz musicians. An attentive listener recently suggested a song for the Cavalcade of Covers that serves as a key component of one of our station IDs, so Tico-Tico No Fuba gets the treatment in the third hour, with versions from Orquestra Colbaz (the 1931 original), Les Paul and Mary Ford, Charlie Parker, and a great vocal outing by Carmen Miranda.

07-13-2017: James Roger McGuinn was indecisive for years about which first name to use on stage, Jim or Roger. He settled on the latter. Roger cites John Coltrane as an influence in his playing style: "The engineer, Ray Gerhardt, would run compressors on everything to protect his precious equipment from loud rock and roll. He compressed the heck out of my 12-string, and it sounded so great we decided to use two tube compressors in series, and then go directly into the board. That's how I got my 'jingle-jangle' tone. It's really squashed down, but it jumps out from the radio. With compression, I found I could hold a note for three or four seconds, and sound more like a wind instrument. Later, this led me to emulate John Coltrane's saxophone on Eight Miles High. Without compression, I couldn't have sustained the riff's first note."

07-06-2017: There will be many future Beatles tunes featured in the now-regular Cavalcade of Covers segment after concert information. A Hard Day's Night attracted talent as wide ranging as banjo player Bill Evans, "singer" Elva Miller, and comedian Peter Sellers.

06-29-2017: Pianist Geri Allen passed away this week. Her versatility is evident in the fine collaborations we visit in the first hour. Those at the station who knew her held her in high regard. She seemed comfortable in both conventional and experimental settings. I particularly enjoyed her trio work wih Charlie Haden and Paul Motian.

06-22-2017: Today's five birthdays honor living artists, a rare treat. Eumir Deodato created a funky version of Also Sprach Zarathustra" that blasted out of AM radios in 1973. Todd Rundgren produced and performed some of the seventies' best power pop. Cyndi Lauper channeled Buddy Holly by re-introducing the hiccup as a pop music effect, Peter Asher harmonized sweetly with Gordon Waller, and Howard Kaylan's soaring voice gave The Turtles' pop masterpieces a dollop of drama. A curiously familiar Latin tune graces our final half-hour.

06-15-2017: A song from The Ramones' album Rocket to Russia takes on many interpretations in our Cavalcade of Covers segment, following concert information in the third hour.

06-08-2017: Friedrich Wieck had a practical reason for objecting to his daughter Clara’s marriage to Robert Schumann; Her career as a concert pianist formed a good portion of the Wieck’s income. A long legal battle ended in the newlyweds’ favor. Robert composed mainly for piano, and we hear his “favourite work,” Kreisleriana: Phantasien für das Pianoforte, in the first hour. Nancy Sinatra spent many years learning piano, dance, and dramatic performance, in addition to her months of voice lessons. The effort paid off when she partnered with producer/musician Lee Hazlewood to create the iconic These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ in 1966. Her duet with her father a year later broadened her appeal to all ages. We hear some of her songs in the third hour. And if you thought Plastic Bertrand’s Ça Plane Pour Moi couldn’t translate to other genres, you may change your mind when you hear the last half-hour of the program.

06-01-2017: By the end of 1966, The Beatles were tired of endless concert tours, and wanted the flexibility of recording music that was not necessarily easy to perform live onstage. Paul said later, "I made a suggestion. I said, 'We need to get away from ourselves - how about if we just become sort of an alter ego band?'" What started as one song became a full album, based around the theme of a fictitious ensemble led by Billy Shears. The album was released, according to The Beatles website, on June 1, 1967, in two forms: mono and stereo. Engineer Geoff Emerick explains that the mono mix of Sgt. Pepper’s was the more carefully prepared version: "We spent three weeks on the mono mixes and maybe three days on the stereo." We hear the full mono album on LP, mastered all-analogue, in the first hour of our show today. Ronnie Wood’s work before his joining The Rolling Stones is highlighted in the second hour, and Nelson Riddle’s arrangements provide a swingin’ backdrop for some of Frank Sinatra’s best tunes in hour three.

05-25-2017: Last Monday, Frank transformed the last hour of Radio Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa into a tribute to Strobe, former WCBN host Joe Doll’s innovative psychedelic rock radio experience, and included a 1967 interview Joe conducted with Frank Zappa. In passing, Mr, Zappa mentioned the Swedish group Tages as one of his current favorite bands, so we play one of their tunes near the end of the first hour. The Strobe retrospective no doubt influences our show today to be heavy on the psych sounds.

05-18-2017: Rick Wakeman had his finger in a number of progressive bands in the early 1970s—ten fingers, actually, as he was prog rock’s most recognizable keyboardist. We sample his work with The Strawbs and Yes, as well as some of his session work with Elton John. Many fans thought Kai Winding’s first name was pronounced KAY to rhyme with frequent collaborator J.J. Johnson’s first and middle initial, but Kai rhymes with MY. The trombonist was an early member of the Impulse! label’s roster of artists, and we hear some of his work in the second hour.

05-11-2017: No less a legend than Louis Armstrong was quoted to say, “If it had not been for Joe Oliver, Jazz would not be what it is today.” Joseph Nathan “King” Oliver started as a cornet player and bandleader in New Orleans before moving to Chicago in 1918 to join Lawrence Duhé’s band. By 1922, they renamed themselves King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band. A young Louis Armstrong was Oliver’s protégé on second cornet, and the band expanded their size and influence through the 1920s, from which we hear three selections in the third hour on his birthday today.

05-04-2017: Peggy Santiglia had already recorded the irresistibly cute Black and White Thunderbird with some elementary school friends in her hometown of Belleville, New Jersey, when The Angels’ lead singer, Linda Jansen, left the group for a solo career. Peggy was asked to join. Enter the songwriting team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer. As Bob tells it, “I graduated from Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1958. I spent a great deal of my time in a sweet shoppe right across the street. In 1963 I heard that the sweet shoppe was being torn down and I went to say good-bye to the people who owned the place. While I was there an altercation started between a young girl and a hoody-looking man with a leather jacket and a great D.A. She was pointing a finger at him and screaming ‘My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be in trouble.’ ‘You’ve been spreading lies about me all over school and when he gets a hold of you, you’re gonna be sorry you were ever born.’ That night I told my two partners about it and we sat down and wrote it.” We hear the finished product in the third hour, right before our birthday tribute to the King of the Surf Guitar, Dick Dale.

04-27-2017: Ann Peebles, contemporary of Al Green, may not have achieved the same level of commercial success as her record label-mate, but her singing was solid and soulful, and we present some of those songs in our second-hour birthday tribute. Pete Ham led Badfinger to create some of rock and roll’s earliest and finest power pop. His compositions include Without You, made famous by Harry Nilsson, heard in the third hour. Kate Pierson plays many instruments but is best-known for her and Cindy Wilson’s piercing vocals for The B-52s. We include a recently issued live performance recorded just after their first album was released in 1979.

04-20-2017: We honor two musicians who shared a birthday, and who used mallets as essential tools of their craft. Before Lionel Hampton established his sound on the newly-invented vibraphone, he played drums with the Les Hite band. Louis Armstrong asked him to play vibes on two of his songs, and Lionel stuck with his new instrument through big bands and small groups, some of which we hear in the second hour of our show. Tito Puente, El Rey de los Timbales, took piano lessons as a child, but enjoyed beating on pots and window frames as instruments, to his neighbors’ regret. His break came when Machito’s regular drummer was drafted, and Tito took his place. RCA gave Mr. Puente unusual freedom in programming his first four albums for the label, which we sample in the third hour.

04-13-2017: Albert Greene was kicked out of his family’s home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, when his father caught him listening to Jackie Wilson songs. The horror! Perhaps the elder Mr. Greene should have expected this when he moved the family to the urban north from rural Arkansas. Al decided to copy Wilson’s style and become a singer, but several records failed to chart before he met Willie Mitchell, record producer at Hi Records in Memphis. Mitchell coaxed Greene to find his own voice. One small change was to come before success: Al dropped the final e from his last name, and Al Green was born. We hear some of his records in the final hour of our show.

04-06-2017: Andre Previn has one foot firmly planted in the classical genre, and one in jazz. A student of Pierre Monteux, he got his first gig as music director in Houston in 1968, succeeding Sir John Barbirolli. But his work in jazz piano goes back further, to the 1950s. We hear music from both genres in the first hour of our program, including one of his last recordings with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Previn plays piano and conducts Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Everyone knows ABBA won the Eurovision song contest in 1974, but did you ever hear the winning performance? Now you can, in the third hour.

03-30-2017: Graeme Edge brought two very different skills to The Moody Blues: his drumming and his poetry. Mike Pinder usually (but not always) voiced Graeme's poems on record because they agreed his years of cigarettes and whiskey better suited their delivery. Mr. Edge was the only original member of the group to survive the transition from mediocre R&B cover band to masters of the mellotron. You can hear his contributions in the second and third hour of today's program.