Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Playlist for Wednesday June 11, 2008
Two Little Men In A Flying Saucer
Hosted by Greg Denton with guest Tristan O'Malley

1. Sugar In The Gourd - The Holy Modal Rounders

2. Flying Saucer Boogie - Eddie Cletro
3. Mr. Spaceman - The Holy Modal Rounders
4. Holidays In Space - Das Macht Show

Now known as The Dust Poets, Das Macht Show started as a Brandon, Manitoba band in 2001 and changed their name after touring their second album 'Four Legs Good' in 2003. Though the members of the band are scattered across the continent from Manitoba to Toronto and Arizona these days, they still manage to convene, record, tour, and spread their dusty prairie-fed humour and infectiously spirited acoustic music to the winds. Just off a Spring tour of New England, folks in British Columbia can look forward to a few shows in the late Autumn and early Winter.

5. Honeymoon On A Rocketship - Hank Snow
6. Rocket 69 - Todd Rhodes
7. Rocket 88 - Bill Haley & The Saddlemen

Bill Haley called his band The Saddlemen from c.1949 until he changed it to Bill Haley & His Comets in 1952. Rocket 88 was originally recorded by Ike Turner compadre and saxophonist, Jackie Brenston, in Memphis, in March of 1951. Sam Phillips did the recording and sold the rights to Chess Records in Chicago. It was a #1 R&B hit. Sam Phillips asserts Rocket 88 was the first Rock'n'Roll record and used the success of the song to launch the now legendary Sun Records label. Bill Haley & The Saddlemen also recorded the song in 1951 for Dave Miller's Philadelphia based label Holiday Records. Their plan was to leap the race barrier for black music by marketing the song to a broader audience with a white singer. The success of this venture encouraged Miller and Haley to do some further experiments combining R&B with country music. Bill Haley & The Saddlemen's version of Rocket 88, as a result, is also often tagged (along with hundreds of other contenders) as "The First Rock'n'Roll record".

8. Rocket Piano Man - Carolyn Mark & Amy Honey

From Carolyn Mark's 2005 'Just Married: An Album of Duets'. A deliciously witty rewrite of David Bowie's Space Oddity: "Ground Control to Elton John/I hope you've got your platforms on/Ground Control to Billy Joel/Too bad you had to sell your soul..."

9. The Flight Of Astronaut John Glenn - Joe Bussard & Oscar Myers
10. The Voyage Of Apollo 8 - Blind Robert Ward

Two songs written in tribute to the American Space Program. John Glenn was, in 1962, the first American to orbit the earth. Apollo 8 was, in December 1968, the first manned flight to orbit the moon. Both songs were written and recorded for Joe Bussard's Frederick, Maryland 78rpm-only label, Fonotone Records, which he ran out of his basement from 1956 to 1970. Legendary fingerstyle guitarist and eccentric, John Fahey, made and released his first ever recordings there in 1958 under the name Blind Thomas. These and the above tracks can be found on a five CD anthology of Fonotone recordings released in 2005.

11. Two Little Men In A Flying Saucer - Ella Fitzgerald
12. Jet Propelled Papa - Helen Humes

Born in Kentucky in 1913, Helen Humes began her Jazz/Blues recording career in 1927. She was Billie Holiday's replacement as lead female vocalist for The Count Basie Orchestra in 1938, and went on to record as a soloist bridging big band swing music and R&B through the 40s and 50s. After a hiatus through most of the 1960s she returned to the stage at the Newport Jazz Fesitival in 1973, maintaining her career until she passed away from cancer in 1981 at the age of 68. Helen Humes recorded Jet Propelled Papa for the Mercury label in 1949.

13. Walking On The Moon - Lucia Pamela

From Lucia Pamela's 1969 'Into Outer Space' album via Irwin Chusid's anthology 'Songs In the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music'. A former beauty queen (Miss St. Louis 1926), Lucia Pamela claims to have actually recorded her album on the moon because "the air is different up there". She plays all the instruments herself. Sweet!

14. Shoot Me To The Moon - Dan Reeder

15. Happy On The Moon - Willie P. Bennett with Amos Garrett

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