Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Songs from Last Night's Show/Thanksgiving Eve Party at Atwood's Tavern with Jittery Jack!

Hi, Folks!

Thanks for tuning in to last night's show. If you missed it, the archive MP3 will be available for free download from and iTunes in just a few days. See below for a list of what we played. Come down to Atwood's Tavern this coming Wednesday for our big Thanksgiving Eve party with Jittery Jack and Easy Ed's Record Hop! I hope you all have a great holiday next week. 

Here’s what we played on last night’s show (November 20).

Larry Brinkley “Move Over Rover”
from Various: Original Tennessee Rockin', Vol. 1 (Collector Records) —Westwood Records 1962

The Sabres “Hot Rod Kelly”
from Various: Record Hop Madness, Vol. 1 (RHM Challenge Records) —Gala Records 1960

Eddie Cochran “Blue Suede Shoes”
from Never To Be Forgotten VINYL ALBUM (Liberty Records) —Liberty Records 1962

Ray Allen “Ole Gang Rock”
from Rock, Jive & Stroll with Me! (Rhythm Bomb Records / Finetunes) —

Dorothy Donegan “Roll Em D.D.”
from Various: Great Rockin' Girls (Collector Records) —Background/ambient

The Margraves “Not Guilty”
from Rockin’ Records 45 (Rockin’ Records) — Rockin’ Records—find that cool little record label on Facebook:

David Starr “Teen Doll”
from Various: Rockabilly And Rockers (Collector Records) —Canon Records 1961

The Greenbeats “I’m on Fire”
from Various: Greasy Rock 'n' Roll, Vols. 9 and 11 (Blakey Holdings Blakey Holdings) —Pye Records 1965

The Caps “Redheaded Flea”
from Various: Strictly Instrumental, Vol. 4 (Buffalo Bop) —Background/ambient

Charlie Rich “Lonely Weekends”
from Charlie Rich: That's Rich CD COMP (Charly) —Phillips International 1960

Jerry Lee Lewis “Friday Nights”
from Classic Jerry Lee Lewis ALBUM (Bear Family Records) —Sun Records (date?)

Chuck Slaughter “Luck Eleven Rock”
from n/a (Lucky Records 45) —Lucky Records

The Sureshots “Because You're Mine”
from Sure Hot 10‑INCH EP (Tail Records) —

Eddie Skelton And His Rhythmaires “Rebels Retreat”
from Various: Dixie Rock And Roll (Collector Records) —Background/ambient

Biller & Wakefield “Martian Guts”
from The Hot Guitars Of Biller & Wakefield (Hightone Records 1999) —Background/ambient

Scotty Baker “You Doggone Done It”
from I’m Calling It (Press-Tone Music Press-Tone Music) —Press-Tone Music

Sonny Rogers and The Kingpins “Breakin’ Hearts”
from Sonny Rogers and the Kingpins (Enviken Records) —

Bennie Leaders “Miss Fannie”
from Various: Hillbilly Blues (Master Classics Records 2008) —OK'ed Records 1953

Sid King and His Five Strings “Purr, Kitty, Purr”
from Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight CD COMP (Bear Family Records Bear Family Records) —Columbia Records 1956

Hank Garland “Baby Guitar”
from Hank Garland and His Sugar Footers (Bear Family Records Bear Family Records) —Background/ambient

Bert Weedon “Red Guitar”
from Guitar Boogie Shuffle (Master Classics Records) —Background/ambient

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys “When I Found You”
from Jumpin' from 6 to 6 (Hightone Records) —

Ray Pennington and The Cincinnati Gang “Billy Jo”
from Various: Great Rockers from Cincinnati CD COMP (Collector Records) —Lee Records 1960

Jonny Seals “My Babe”
from Various: Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies & Honky Tonkers, Vol. 3 (Stomper Time Records) —Rebel Records 1961

Big Jay McNeely “Texas Turkey”
from King of the Honkin' Sax (JSP Records) —Background/ambient

Louis Jordan “Happy Birthday Boogie”
from Louis Jordan: Let The Good Times Roll (1938-1954) (Bear Family Bear Family Records) —Happy birthday, Poison Ivy!

Milt Trenier and His Solid Six “Flip Our Wigs”
from Various: Rhyme and Reason (El Toro Records El Toro Records) —RCA Victor 1953

Jimmy Beasley “I'm so Blue”
from Various: Heavy Sugar (Fantastic Voyage) —Modern Records 1956

The Jackson Brothers “We're Gonna Rock This Joint Tonight”
from Various: The R&B Years 1952 (Boulevard Vintage) —RCA Victor 1952

Cliff (Honky Tonk) Scott “Fros-Tee Night”
from n/a (King Records 45) —Background/ambient

Dakota Staton “A Little You”
from n/a (Capitol Records 45) —Capitol Records 1955

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs “High Blood Pressure”
from The Best of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs (Herald Records) —Herald Records 1961

H.B. Barnum “Tia Juana” SINGLE (Imperial Records 45) —Imperial Records 1958

Hank Ballard and The Midnighters “Keep on Dancing”
from Hank Ballard and the Midnighters: Dancin' and Twistin' CD ALBUM (Ace Records) —King Records 1961

Slim Harpo “I Got Love If You Want It”
from I'm a King Bee (Flyright) —Excello Records 1957

Mario Bradley “Shake It Up”
from The Unissued Recordings (Fury Records) —

Teddy "Mr. Bear" McRae “Hi Fi Baby”
from Various: Rock N' Roll '50s Blues Essentials (Master Classics Records) —Amp 3 Records 1958

Bill Doggett and His Combo “Ooops!”
from Oops (Columbia Records) —Background/ambient

Jan Davis “Fugitive”
from Various: Lost Legends of Surf Guitar 2: Point Panic (Sundazed) —A&M Records 1964

The Fanatic IV “Ramblin' Man”
from Go Where the Action Is - EP (El Toro Records El Toro Records) —

Harmonica Sam With the Domestic Bumblebees “Barefoot Rock”
from Rocker No. 1 (Enviken Records) —

The Bill Black Combo “Yogi”
from Let's Twist-Her/The Untouchable Sound of Bill Black's Combo (Hi Records (UK)) —Background/ambient

Bill Duniven “Knocking on the Backside”
from n/a (Vaden Records 45) —Vaden Records 1960

Ricky Nelson “Thank You Darling”
from n/a (Imperial Records) —Imperial Records 45

Alton and Jimmy “Made in the Shade”
from Still Shakin’ (Wisteria Hill Music Publishing / CD Baby) —Originally unissued

The Flatfoot Shakers “You’ve Got a Hold on Me”
from Let's Go to Planet Bop (Preston Records) —

The Casuals “Move Over”
from Various: The Boss Instrumentals EP! (Romulan Records) —Background/ambient

Lloyd Arnold “Hang Out”
from Various: Record Hop Madness, Vol. 1 (RHM Challenge Records) —Katche Records 1960

Ray Smith “You Made a Hit”
from Various: Rock Baby Rock It, Sun Rockabilly, Vol. 2 CD COMP (AVI) —Sun Records 1958

The Tielman Brothers “Java Guitars”
from Various: Instrumental Jukebox Hits of the 50's & 60's (flashback) —Background/ambient

Jittery Jack “Little Red Book”
from Gonna Have a Time with Jittery Jack CD/LOSSLESS ALBUM (Annabelle Records 2014) —See Jittery Jack November 25 (Thanksgiving Eve) at Atwood’s in Cambridge, MA, along with Easy Ed’s Record Hop!

The Caezars “Hail Caezar!” SINGLE (Wild Records) —

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving, Radio, Jittery Jack, and Rockin' Records

If you're reading this, and you celebrate Thanksgiving, I send my best wishes to you, your friends, and your families. It's a wonderful holiday--my favorite, in fact. I hope you have time off from your labors to relax, reflect, and enjoy for a few days.

My radio show, "Easy Ed's Variety Hour," will broadcast this Friday, November 20 on WMFO in Medford, MA (and possibly on November 27 as well--I'll let you know.) If you've heard the show I hope you will listen in again. If you haven't, maybe you'll check it out. To get an idea of what it's all about you can look at the history of songs I've played in my (nearly) ten years on the air here. (On the Spinitron site, click "Playlist" to see the songs from each listed week.)

Many people listen to the program after the fact. MP3 files of each show are available for free download from my web site, You can also find the show on iTunes, and you can subscribe there so that new shows come to you automatically. (The show is also rebroadcast twice each week on Rockabilly Radio.) Here's this week's flier:

As the fine print states, the great Jittery Jack will play a show Thanksgiving Eve at Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge. He's asked me to bring the mobile version of my show, "Easy Ed's Record Hop," along, so I'll be spinning 45s for you that night. Jittery Jack is a dynamic, world-class performer who really knows how to entertain a crowd. This event at Atwood's isn't just for the greasy rockers, folks. Jittery Jack appeals to a wide array of music fans, and he's got a top-notch band backing him: Miss Amy on guitar, Johnny Sciascia on bass, and Judd Williams on traps. (BTW, he hosts a talk show on youtube. See his page for info. It's a fun watch.) We hope to see you at Atwood's.

Atwood's Tavern
877 Cambridge St, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02141

I tip my hat to small, independent record labels that put out vinyl 45s. That format is the weapon of choice for many live DJs, including me. These labels face steep challenges: Find great acts to record, get them to the studio, then jump into the highly competitive world of record pressing.  Record plants are few; they can't keep up with demand these days. It can take a loooong time to get your records. So, big kudos to Rockin' Records in Vancouver. They are dealing with all the headaches and getting things done right. I really dig their latest release, "Not Guilty" by The Margraves. If you're a fan of rockin' 45s, check out Rockin' Records.

That's all for now! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2015

I'm a Fanatic IV Fan!

The Fanatic IV from Helsinki caught my ear a few months back with a preview track from "Go Where the Action Is!," a 4-song EP on the El Toro label. This record has taken up permanent residence next to Deck 1 in my record room, except when traveling around in the "Gotta Spin NOW" box I bring to DJ gigs. This is straight ahead rock 'n' roll sung and played by guys who know exactly what they're doing. But it's also more than that. You don't make a record like this by dabbling in a genre for ten minutes before rolling tape. A lifetime of rock 'n' roll is wrapped in this small orange package.

About the format: Although the Fanatic IV most definitely have the firepower to deliver a full LP/CD--I expect that's already in the works--the four-song EP packs a solid punch. The term "all killer--no filler" would not be misapplied here. More bands should do the short form. Bash four scorchers down and blast your best sounds around the world.

Make that three scorchers and one moody burner, a twist-era cover of Hank Williams' "Ramblin' Man." You're right to be skeptical, but the results are infectious. (This band could get the Statue of Liberty out on the dance floor.) There are two originals on the disc--including the title track, which I've found fits perfectly between Lelan Rogers' "Hold It" and "Las Vegas Scene" (Wes Dakus) in a live set--and another cover, Bobby Darin's "Irresistible You."

Here's how The Fanatic IV summarized their sound on Facebook: "Imagine frat rock at its moronic peak in ’63 mixed with heartfelt teen ballads done by the last of the greasers in the time when blond Fender Amps were the loudest thing in town and everybody was doing the twist." Nicely said, and, sure, it is all that. But they're holding back more than a little bit. This is a very special little record.

Monday, November 9, 2015

DJ Night at Brass Union (November 11, 2015)

I've gotten some flak/questions about not promoting many band/DJ shows in the last few months. That may change in 2016. I sure want to do it, but the time just isn't available at the moment. For now, in addition to the radio show, I've been putting a lot into various DJ nights in the Boston area. In addition to our twice-monthly Primitive Sounds night at River Gods, P.J. Eastman and I spin together once a month at Brass Union in Somerville, MA. The next one is coming up this Wednesday. This is a blog post, not an ad, but I do hope you check out our night sometime as P.J. and I put a lot into it. Brass Union is a fun place, with a good draft beer/wine/cocktail selection. They've got room to dance, games (e.g., shuffleboard), and a top-notch sound system. And we play records. Lots of records! The night goes from 8:00 to 1:00.

Brass Union
70 Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143

This month's Brass Union is by Alex F.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reconnected by Records

Yesterday afternoon I drove up to Lowell, MA, to check out the record show at Mill No. 5. I like that city--hadn't been there in a while--and the event poster (above) was eye-catching. If you haven't been to Lowell it may seem a bit gritty and worn on the surface, but the history of the place is fascinating and I find the people to be friendly (in a New England sorta way). In Boston a lot of cool old stuff gets torn down and replaced with new stuff that tries to be cool and look old. Lowell tends to leave things as they were.

Mill No. 5, however--as the name suggests--is an old mill building that's being renovated as retail space. For yesterday's show, on the building's fourth floor, art and craft vendors, record-dealer tables, and a DJ were set up. They had a healthy crowd, but the dealers mostly had LPs and I was after singles. 

Vinyl Destination is a permanent record store at Mill No. 5, and they had all their 45s on sale for $2.00 each. I had fun digging through their boxes and amassed a small stack to buy. (Again, the inventory was mostly LPs.) Nice folks there. It was good to see kids buying records--the busy store made me think of Saturday record shopping when I was a kid--and it was refreshing to pick up some bargains. I probably already have four copies of "Why" by the Cues, but couldn't pass up a pristine example with a cool "Hot Stuff" sleeve. Also got a nice copy of "Dinky Doo" by Eddie Bo. (You'll have to come out to Brass Union this week to hear the others.) 

Strange thing: A few of the records I bought had a name-and-address sticker on the them, and the name was familiar. I Googled the guy and learned that it was who I thought it might be, a former day-job colleague from many years ago. He died in 2014, and someone must've sold off his records. He and I never discussed music at work, but I see now that we should have since we apparently had similar taste. It feels eerie to own records of a dead person you used to know, but they are in good hands and will be enjoyed. He'd probably be happy to know that. 

This of course leads to the inevitable question: What will happen to all my records after I hand in my lunch pail? I guess someone else will need to worry about that. OK. Enough morbidity. Time to go play some more of the newly acquired finds. 

Just for the Record(s)

This summer I was hired to DJ at an out-of-town, day/evening gig. It was a little like DJing a wedding. I didn't know many people there and wasn't sure what the crowd would want to hear. But it was my job to entertain them, and I did. I brought tons of 45s with me that day and ended up playing fairly well known stuff (well known to me anyway). Some of these records I play at regular club shows close to home (Boston/Cambridge), but most don't see daylight too often because I always think everyone's heard them too much already. But for an event like this you need to try to read the crowd and give them what they like (e.g., stuff they know or stuff that sounds like other records they know). 

I know--this is all basic DJ info, so why bring it up now? Well, I realized the day after that show that I had kept all the records I'd played in one box, in the exact order I'd played them. I'm usually not that neat. I always start out with my records organized into logical groups, but by the end of the night everything's all over the place. Because I'd kept everything in order after this particular gig--possibly the only time in my DJ career that I'll do that--I decided to type up a list the next day over my late-morning coffee. (I think I was procrastinating about something more important that also needed to get done that morning.) 

Here, preserved in digital amber, are my sets from that day. It's kinda interesting to me to read through it again now. (I'm a bigger Ricky Nelson fan that even I knew.) Maybe it will be interesting to you also. Some of these are requests. Most of the records are originals, although I do spin repros when necessary. The event went from early afternoon--a hot, sunny day--until late at night, and there were several band sets interspersed with the DJ sets.

 1.The Ventures/Instant Mashed (Dolton)
2.    Wanda Jackson/Mean, Mean Man (Capitol)

3.    Dale Hawkins/Susie Q (Checker)
4.    Glen Glenn/Everybody’s Movin’ (Era)
5.    The Cotillions/Surf Twist (Alley)
6.    The Seeburg Spotlite Band/Slow Down (Seeburg)
7.    Bo Diddley/Road Runner (Checker)
8.    Guitar Jr. /The Crawl (Goldband)
9.    The Delroys/Bermuda Shorts (Apollo)
10. Chuck Berry/Back in the U.S.A (Chess)
11. Ann Cole/Got My Mo-Jo Working (Baton)
12. Edgar Blanchard/Let’s Get It (Ric)
13. Gary U.S. Bonds/Not Me (Legrand)
14. Jim and Monica/Slippin’ and Slidin’ (instro side) (Betty)
15. Gene Vincent/Git It (Capitol)
16. The Trophies/Somethin’ Else (Nork)
17. Freddie Cannon/Tallahassee Lassie (Swan)
18. Fabian/Got the Feeling (Chancellor)
19. Sandy Nelson/Let’s Go (Polydor International)
20. The Rivieras/Let’s Have a Party (Riviera)
21. Arthur Alexander/A Shot of Rhythm and Blues (Dot)
22. Joe Tex/Ain’t I a Mess (Anna)
23. Googie Rene/Wiggle-Tail, Part 2 (Class)
24. Big Buddy Lucas/Bump Te Bump (Lawn)
25. John Fred and His Playboys/Shirley (Paula)
26. The Blue Dots/Saturday Night Fish Fry (Ace)
27. Lavern Baker/Jim Dandy Got Married (Atlantic)
28. Joe Turner/Flip, Flop, & Fly (Atlantic)
29. Varetta Dillard/Promise Mr. Thomas (Savoy)
30. Noble “Thin Man” Watts/Hot Tamales (Baton)
31. Big Sandy/Have Love Will Travel (HipShakin’)
32. Mike Waggoner & The Bops/Guitar Man (Vee)
33. Larry Williams/Slow Down (Specialty)
34. Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters/What ‘Cha Gonna Do (Atlantic)
35. Ray Sharpe/Linda Lu (Jamie)
36. The Jive-a-Tones/Wild Bird (Fraternity)
37. Ricky Nelson/Hello Mary Lou (Imperial)
38. Roy Clark/Wildwood Twist (Capitol)
39. Bill Haley and His Comets/Rock the Joint (Roller Coaster)
40. Billy Lee Riley/Pearly Lee (Sun)
41. Ricky Nelson/Believe What You Say (Imperial)
42. The Belairs/Mr. Moto (Arvee)
43. Al Casey/Guitars, Guitars, Guitars (Stacy)
44. Roy Montrell/The Mellow Saxaphone (Specialty)
45. Little Richard/Heeby-Jeebies Love (Specialty)
46. Larry Dale/Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (Atlantic)
47. Joe Houston/Shtiggy Boom (RPM)
48. Ritchie Valens/Come On, Let’s Go  (Del-Fi)
49. Johnny O’Keefe/Real Wild Child (Brunswick)
50. Jack Kitchen/Hot Rod Boogie (Repro)
51. Link Wray/Turnpike U.S.A. (Swan)
52. Gene Summers/Alabama Shake (Capri)
53. Jerry Lee Lewis/Lovin’ Up a Storm (Sun)
54. H.B. Barnum/Tia Juana (Imperial)
55. Don and Dewy/Justine (Specialty)
56. Big Al Downing/Georgia Slop (Columbia)
57. The Chancellors/Little Latin Lupe Lu (Soma)
58. The Pastel Six/Twitchin’ (Downey)
59. The Rivingtons/The Bird Is the Word (Liberty)
60. Hand Ballard and the Midnighters/Sugaree (King)
61. The Royal Lancers/Good, Good Lovin’ (Hi Mar)
62. Johnny Knight/Rock & Roll Guitar (Morocco)
63. Dick Dale/Shake-N-Stomp (Deltone)
64. Gene Vincent/Right Now (Capitol)
65. The Champs/Midnighter (Challenge)
66. Dick Holler and the Holidays/Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love) (Comet)
67. Harold Dorman/Uncle Jonah’s Place (Sun)
68. Little Bob/I Got Loaded (La Louisianne)
69. Johnny Guitar Watson/Looking Back (Escort)
70. The Five Royales/Catch That Teardrop (Reissue)
71. The Velvettes/Needle in a Haystack (V.I.P.)
72. Baby Jean/If You Wanna (Reissue)
73. The Everly Brothers/I’m Not Angry (Warner Brothers)
74. Jerry Lee Lewis/Money (Sun)