RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL #_037 COUNTS DOWN THE 30 WORST ROCK AND POP SINGERS OF ALL TIME
This episode celebrates hit tunes by out-of-tune artists, off-key crooners, sandpaper-voiced singers, and various super stars whose personalities overcame their less than super-stellar songs.
Some were so bad they were good.
Others did it for laughs,
But the joke was on yet another group of performers who truly thought they were serious singers.
Then there are enduring acts whose occasional sour notes didn’t keep them from making some of the sweetest songs of all time.
We’ve reviewed thousands of tunes from the 1960’s to the 2010’s to arrive at what we like to call "30 Chart Topping Singers Who Couldn’t Sing."
And for this broadcast, we’ve brought in an acclaimed audio expert to help us explain the unexplainable success of these records. He’s our very own "Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll" Rockologist – Ken Deutsch.
We hope you’ll join us on our countdown of dissonant ditties.
"Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll" #_036 Presents The Entire Hit Singles History Of Bobby Rydell
This episode spotlights one of the most famous rock and roll teen idols of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In addition to snippets of all his hit singles we’ll also touch on this entertainer’s connections with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ann-Margret, Dick Van Dyke, Chubby Checker, and even the Beatles and Kiss – along with silent film legend Charlie Chaplin.
We’ll also recall his many television comedy roles with such immortals as Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, George Burns, Danny Thomas, and Joey Bishop.
Most of this singer’s records were out of print, unavailable, and ultimately collectors’ items for more than 30 years. That’s because the record company that owned them kept them off the market. But he remained a pop icon during those decades. A smash Broadway stage and Hollywood motion picture musical named a high school after him. And his Philadelphia home town did the same with a street.
He’s Bobby Rydell, and you’ll hear his remarkable story here.
For more information on the "Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll" podcast series, please visit www.rareandscratchy.com.
"Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll #_035 Celebrates "Earth Day"
-- Songs About The Environment --
This episode commemorates the "Earth Day" rock and pop music connection.
"Earth Day "was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in that took place on April 22nd, 1970. And it’s been celebrated annually around the world ever since.
We’re doing our part here at "Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll." Our very own EPA – environmental platter administration – has assembled a list of 40 ecologically sound songs that have been recycled from our renowned “groove yard” audio archive.
We’ll count them down for you. Marvin Gaye, John Denver, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Metallica, the Talking Heads, the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Cat Stevens, the Pretenders, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, the Kinks, the Eagles, the Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Byrds, and many others performed environmentally-friendly refrains and bio-degradable ballads. And you’ll hear about them here on this pollution-free podcast – all approved by Mother Nature.
For more information on the "Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll" podcast series, please visit www.rareandscratchy.com.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL -034 - WHAT'D THEY SAY? - THE NONSENSE LYRICS TOP 40
We play lots of "doo wops," "shoobie doo's," and "la la la's" on Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll. This episode is devoted entirely to those beloved nonsense lyrics.
And we’ll test your oldies I.Q. as we sample brief previews of these nonsense numbers. We’ve selected 40 such babbling blasts from the past. Then, you get to identify them before we play longer snippets that clearly reveal the names of each record and act.
Some of the performers will surprise you. In addition to numerous rhythm and blues and doo wop acts, artists such as the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Sedaka, and even Frank Sinatra included meaningless meanderings in some of their most meaningful melodies.
And based on the numerous names mentioned above, you probably know in advance some of the songs we’re going to play. We hope you’ll play along with us on this podcast.
For more information on the "Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll" podcast series, please visit www.rareandscratchy.com.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL _033 - THE GREATEST APRIL FOOLS IN ROCK + POP MUSIC HISTORY
This episode celebrates the April Fools – the greatest hit singles during the rock and roll era with the word “fool” or “fools” in the title.
These include studio recordings by the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin that both bands never performed live in concert. Then there’s Buddy Holly with the Crickets and the Crickets without Buddy Holly – both acts separately had hits with the same fool song.
And there’s the story of the criminally convicted mafia-connected record company owner who was no fool when it came to taking writing credit and royalties for hit songs by artists on his labels that he didn’t compose.
We’ll also fool around with Elvis Presley, Connie Francis, Leslie Gore, Rick Nelson, the Drifters, Bob Dylan, Dionne Warwick, Brenda Lee, Aretha Franklin, Ike & Tina Turner, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, George Michael, the Impressions, the Guess Who, and the Who, along with dozens of others.
Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll Presents The Complete Hit Singles History Of Del Shannon ... And A Whole Lot More
This episode celebrates a legendary performer, composer, and producer whose signature song has been an enduring element of pop culture for more than 50 years. And many people identify him and his entire career with just that one hit.
But this entertainer had many other distinctive dimensions. He was the first U.S. artist to have a hit with a Beatles tune.
He discovered Bob Seger and wrote and produced his first record.
He originated songs that later would be mega hits for Elvis Presley and Peter & Gordon.
And he had special connections with Dion, the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, country star Johnny Carver, the Smithereens, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Jeff Lynne & the Electric Light Orchestra, among many others.
He was Del Shannon.
And you’re about to hear every one of his hit singles along with his charted productions for other artists and lots of other related sound souvenirs.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL - COMPLETE HIT SINGLES HISTORY OF JAN & DEAN
This episode celebrates the complete hit singles history of an act whose trademark tunes are indelibly associated with songs about surfing and fast cars.
But there’s much more to their musical achievements.
They were innovative composers, singers, and producers. Long before their songs about riding the waves and racing dragsters, their early hits were mostly creative remakes of pop standards and other people’s records.
Eventually, some of their best-known material resulted from working with the Beach Boys.
And while they were doing all that, this duo attended college so they could expand their career horizons. One studied graphic design and went on to create the artwork for best-selling rock and roll albums. The other was in medical school until a tragic auto accident ended that endeavor.
Their names are William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence: Jan & Dean.
We’ll trace their trajectory from an early hit about an exotic dancer to their permanent place in the pantheon of performers who exemplified the California rock and roll sound of the 1960s.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL - U.S. HIT LOVE SONGS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
This episode celebrates the language of love as expressed in romantic records that made the hit singles charts in the U.S. during the rock and roll era, but were entirely or partially in languages other than English.
Many also were translated into English as cover versions – or based on overseas originals that might’ve been unfamiliar to American audiences.
Sometimes the lyrics in these redone refrains were so different from the originals that only the melodies remained the same. Or, radio stations and record buyers didn’t know what the lyrics really meant and mistakenly thought they were enjoying a passionate platter, when in fact they actually were hearing something much different.
We’ll feature an all-star cast of cupids. Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, Bobby Rydell, Dean Martin, the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Petula Clark, Stevie Wonder, and Elvis Presley, among many others. It’s the greatest international love affair on record.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL - #_029
"The Same Old Songs -- Different Hit Singles That Used The Same Melodies"
Ever since the stone age, singers, songwriters, and musicians have been imitating and copying each other. And the same’s been true throughout the “rock age.”
There’s a multiplicity of memorable melodies that have seen double duty. Totally different songs using a very similar or the exact same tune. Some were positively plagiarized platters. Still more could be called creative coincidences. Others were based on public domain ditties, and a few were re-purposed on purpose by the original composers.
We’ll spotlight 50 of them with a particular focus on the music of Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, and Ray Charles along with samplings of songs with surprising similarities by such artists as James Brown, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, and even Buddy Holly, among others.
Most of these recordings never went to court to determine if the copyrights had been copied wrong. So you’ll be the judge during this hearing of some same old songs.
A Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll Tribute To
This episode spotlights a much beloved pop singer who charted 47 singles and 12 albums in the U.S. and the U.K. between 1959 and 1975.
His career began in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy that ended Buddy Holly’s life, yet remarkable music connections between both singers endured for decades.
Bob Dylan called him “the most meaningful person I’ve ever been on stage with.”
Other names you know such as Carole King, Gene Pitney, and even members of Buddy Holly’s backup band – the Crickets – played parts in his success. And the Beatles emulated one of his signature songs when they auditioned for a record contract.
He was Bobby Vee.
And we’ll salute him with snippets of all his hit singles, including the originals by other artists he covered, as well some truly rare and scratchy answer records by singers who hoped for hits of their own by responding to his.
It’s all here for you on our salute to Bobby Vee.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL CELEBRATES THE HISTORY OF THE MONKEES
This episode spotlights a rock and roll act composed of actors who were hired for a television series about a make-believe band. But they became real-life pop icons.
Their 45s and LPs sold millions, thanks to songs written just for them by some of the top songwriters of the late 1960s. And leading studio musicians were instrumental to their initial success because this group wasn’t allowed to play on their own songs. At least not at first. Then this foursome banded together as one to take control of its own destiny so the group could produce and play on its own platters. Together they made memorable music, even while their personal differences about how to make music were driving them apart.
Hear about their connections to the Beatles, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Harry Nilsson, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Jack Nicholson, Annette Funicello, and Frank Zappa...and a whole lot more (did you expect less?).
Fifty years after its founding, this group still has a loyal world-wide following.
Hey, hey, they’re the Monkees.
And we’re "monkee-ing" around with all their hit singles, choice album cuts, and their solo successes, too.
THE HISTORY OF PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS FEATURING MARK LINDSAY
This episode spotlights an act that was all over your favorite rock radio stations and ubiquitous on network television in the 1960s and 1970s.
They made major record label history by being the first rock and roll group ever signed by Columbia. And their lead singer, primary producer, and frequent song composer moved on to a solo career and even became a senior record company executive himself.
They started as an instrumental group, moved on to rhythm and blues, adopted a garage band sound, and then emulated the rock groups of the British invasion. They ultimately evolved into flower power, political action, acid rock, heavy metal, country rock, and even easy listening styles with dozens of charted recordings.
Along the way, they sang about famous cars of the era, and those songs were given away as promotional records at automobile dealers and also used in commercials. They’re Paul Revere and the Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay.
It all began in a chance meeting in a restaurant in the late 1950s, and before this podcast ends, you’ll have a chance to hear about all their hit singles – not only as Paul Revere & The Raiders, but also Mark Lindsay’s solo releases – plus other sound souvenirs.
The Marvelous Stories Behind The Most Played Christmas Hit Records
The Rare & Scratchy Rock 'n Roll groove yard is home to one of the largest known collections of Christmas records this side – or any side of the North Pole – along with an encyclopedic archive of the histories behind those tunes.
And from holiday seasons past comes this Christmas present for you – the pick of those platters plus some pleasing patter with festive and fun factoids. Like the least-known stories behind the most played Christmas records, the first rock and roll Christmas hit, the top-secret technology from the 1940s that was used to create Christmas hits in the 1950s, and a Christmas hit from a blockbuster film that helped bust a real life villain.
This holiday mix also includes the rarest Christmas hit single ever, as well as a song that just could be the worst Christmas record of all time. And it’s all just in time to help you celebrate the songs of the season.
For more information, visit www.rareandscratchy.com / email@example.com.
Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll Salutes The 5th Dimension
This edition spotlights a group whose more than ten years of hits started in 1967.
Their music was a mixture of mainstream pop, rhythm and blues, soul, Broadway show tunes, Hollywood movie soundtrack songs, and even disco.
They were everywhere on television during their peak period. You saw them on network variety shows and their own special. They portrayed themselves on a murder/mystery/detecitive series episode.
And they chose their music wisely – drawing on some of the greatest songwriters of their era – especially Jim Webb, Laura Nyro, Hal David & Bert Bacharach, Ashford & Simpson, Neil Sedaka, and Paul Anka, among others.
As race relations evolved during the late 1960s and early 1970s, this singing group also made social action a part of several hit songs.
Their style was described as “champagne soul,” and we’ll serve up a sampling of all their vintage hit singles. They’re the 5th Dimension. Hear how they brought new dimensions to memorable music.
RARE & SCRATCHY ROCK 'N ROLL SALUTES
THE MAMAS & PAPAS
This episode spotlights an act whose name was inspired by a motorcycle gang.
These singers emerged from relative obscurity in the early 1960's folk music scene to be regularly seen on network television and heard on top 40 radio stations everywhere as their distinctive folk rock vocal harmonies and stage personalities made them international stars. But behind the scenes, sex and drugs also were a big part of their story and even inspired one of their biggest hit songs.
You’re about to hear snippets of every hit single they ever had – both as a group and as solo performers, selected album cuts, and their special connections to such acts as the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Beach Boys, the 5th Dimension, the Rolling Stones, and even Barbra Streisand, among many others.
Please download the tales behind the Mamas & Papas and their remarkable tunes.
It's The Presidents Of Rock & Roll!
Pop music and the presidency have a long history dating back to the founding of our nation. There probably have been thousands of tunes written about the occupants of the oval office, as well as candidates to be the chief executive.
On this episode we’ll survey more than fifty such songs since the dawn of the so-called rock and roll era in the early 1950s.
Most of these recordings made Billboard’s various hit singles and albums charts, and those that didn’t are still worth noting.
We’ve got the most popular presidents in pop music, as well as those who were reviled on records. One president was featured on a CD as a jazz artist. And another was castigated on a two-CD set by multiple artists.
But no matter what your political party is, please elect to download the presidents of rock and roll.
On this episode, we’re going in search of the wildest and wackiest record producers. And we'll countdown the top 10
They’re not usually the names you know when you listen to your favorite songs although they control the final sound that comes out of a recording session. But out of control is the best way to describe some of the greatest record producers of all time.
One held performers at gunpoint in the studio, and another turned a sandbox and an empty swimming pool into studios.
Then there’s the producer who practiced voodoo on his master tapes, and one more who was so obsessed with sound that he spent an entire week tuning a single bass guitar for a recording session.
Still another producer set up tape machines at cemeteries so he could record voices from beyond the grave.
Our Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll researchers have tabulated the top 10 madmen behind the mixer, so stay tuned for our craziest episode yet.
On this episode, we’ll spotlight one of the most popular and influential rock and roll groups of all time – the Byrds.
They flew high on the hit singles and albums charts from the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, covering songs written and sung by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and other folk artists. Simultaneously, the Byrds hatched hits with several of their own compositions.
Along the way, the Byrds gave wings to emerging new musical hybrids such as folk rock, country rock, and even psychedelic rock.
All but one of the original Byrds left the nest to form flocks of new rock groups that also flew to great success. Then from time to time, all or some of the Byrds got back together again on some great recordings.
Stay tuned for every Byrds hit single, selected album cuts, original versions of songs they covered, and the stories of how they made rock and roll history.
On this episode, we’ve improvised a sampling of jazz hits that used to be an important part of the playlists of rock and roll radio stations.
Prior to the mid-1970s, top 40 formats often included a wider spectrum of music than they do now. Back then you could hear rockabilly, easy listening, country, rhythm and blues, pop, Broadway show tunes, and jazz on the same station.
That was long before radio, satellite, and Internet streaming rock music stations splintered into more narrowly focused formats such as hard rock, soft rock, classic rock, oldies, album oriented rock, urban contemporary, and so on.
Many of the jazz hits played on top 40 radio stations were cover versions of then-current rock songs, and then there were rock and pop hits that were cover versions of jazz originals. And we’ll cover some of them, too.
So, stay tuned for all that jazz. We’ll hit the high notes here.
You’ve got a reserved box seat for the second podcast of a Rare & Scratchy Rock N' Roll baseball music doubleheader – covering rock, pop, rhythm and blues and baseball.
But first, a little pre-game patter about the platters we’re about to play. Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll show number _017, the first part of this two-part podcast set explores race relations and rock. This Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll podcast number 18 features an all-star roster of 25 baseball songs that rocked.
This lineup includes the only two Hall of Famers to perform on hit singles, a rhythm and blues star who simultaneously played the outfield for five teams, and several other players who went to bat in pop music, but struck out.
Then there’s the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, and John Fogerty - baseball music connection and the trendsetting version of the national anthem at a World Series game that caused a national controversy.
So, get your musical scorecard ready. The opening pitch for baseball show number two starts when you click to download this show.
You’ve got a reserved box seat for the first episode of a baseball music doubleheader – covering rock, pop, rhythm and blues and baseball.
But first, a little pre-game warmup. One of the most popular programs in the Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll podcast series to date is show number _09, which explores race relations and rock and pop music. So, we’ve expanded on that topic with the first of two baseball music podcasts. The opener features an all-star roster of 25 songs that celebrate and commemorate major league baseball’s race, religious, and gender diversity.
This lineup includes tunes about Jackie Robinson, Hank Greenberg, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, and other players who were standouts for what they stood for … and not just for their baseball statistics.
Our starting team also includes songs about the Negro Leagues, as well as women’s professional baseball. And we’ll also circle the bases on some related baseball history, too.
So, get your musical scorecard ready. The opening pitch for our baseball show number one starts when you click to download this show.
On this episode, Radio Dave tracks the entire hit singles history – and a whole lot more – of one of the most popular bands of the late 1960s – the Turtles.
They emulated the trends of their time, evolving from a surf and garage band to protest music and folk rock, ultimately enjoying their greatest commercial successes in pop tunes, and eventually some psychedelic sounds and even doo-wop.
These Turtles were snapping turtles, too. They kept their lawyers busy in a litany of law suits involving multiple managers as well as copyright clashes that have even spanned many decades after the group broke up. At least one of these cases changed copyright law forever,
Then there are the Turtles and their connections to the Byrds, Bob Dylan, the Vogues, the Beatles, the Monkees, Warren Zevon, the Kinks, Frank Zappa, T Rex, Alice Cooper, the Lovin' Spoonful, and even Bruce Springsteen, among many others.
There are a lot of terrific tidbits to tell about the Turtles, and you’ll hear them all right here.
Celebrate the teenage dances of the early 1960s and the way Top 40 radio was in those days. Travel back in time as Radio Dave visits once again with mythical DJ Johnny Lizard from the legendary Wonderful WORM Radio station at a 1964 sock hop and surveys some of the dances teenagers were doing then. Sample the patter and the platters when personality DJ's really mattered in the golden age of AM rock station.
Web site: www.rareandscratchy.com
On this episode, we’ll dive into the complete hit singles history surf music. It made its biggest splash on the rock music scene in the early 1960s, and there’s a strong undercurrent of it still around in the ocean of rock music we enjoy today.
Thousands of surf music releases rode the waves, but surprisingly, most wiped out in terms of sales. According to the Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll Research Department, only 48 ever floated on the Billboard rock and pop singles charts.
We’ll sample all of them for you, including a disco surfing hit from the 1970s and a rap surfing hit from the 1980s. Then there’s the first surfing single ever. No, it wasn’t by Jan and Dean or the Beach Boys, but it might have been by a future member of the Beach Boys or maybe a group inspired by the ghost of Buddy Holly.
So grab your surfboard, and catch a wave with Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll host Radio Dave.
This episode traces 15 rock and pop star love affairs and how those romances inspired some memorable songs. These range from tunes about teenage infatuation to tempestuous love triangles.
They include a wife who asked her faded rock star husband to write her a song that sold millions. And the jilted girlfriend of another rock icon who sued him for millions over one of his songs.
Some of these stories are heart-warming, and some of these stories are heart-breaking.
And they all involve names you know, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, the Mamas and the Papas, Paul Anka, Annette Funicello, Ritchie Valens, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, and John Denver among others. There’s passion in their music and music in their passion.
And all of us at Rare & Scratchy Rock 'N Roll think you’ll love hearing all about it all right here.