Well, sir, the folks at the radio station have decided that we need a show that plays the best of our genre. Of course my inclination is to ignore them completely. As usual. We don't have a genre. Well, okay- "good."
Now, though, for some reason I'm starting to warm to the idea. Two hours of the bedrock of what I drag out every week. My favorites of my favorites.
One of the problems for me is that I will give you a different answer every time you ask me about my favorite record. A boy has a right to change his mind.
I do know this: nothing excites me more than playing my favorite music for someone who might not have heard it. I don't care if it was Elvis' biggest hit of 1956 or if it was a b side of a Bobby Marchan flop.
As I'm wrapping up a playlist for today's Rhythm Revival I'm looking forward a couple of weeks to this "greatest hits" show. I'm not good at keeping secrets. Here's what I'm thinking.
We've been opening the show for the last several months with a version of Albert Brumley's classic Turn Your Radio On. I suppose I'm gonna have to go with Jerry Lee Lewis' version from 1987. I love so many of them but, as usual, the Killer makes it his own. Stylist, indeed.
Then we might as well get right to Roxy Gordon's "Indians." Pretty much sums up what the show is all about. Roxy and I would have quibbled about some few specifics but it's his record and a perfect one it is, too.
There are the ones who have become the patron saints of the show. The Reverend and I seem to always see eye to eye on this list. We would get to some Little Willie John, a bit of Wynonie Harris, a touch of Arthur Alexander, Big Joe Turner, and some 5 Royales. Oh yeah, a taste of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, too. Don't let me leave out the Maddox Brothers and Rose,
There are messages that come through the songs that we're always proud to bring. Tom Russell sums it all up with "Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?" Difficult decisions with the Staples Singers, Chip Taylor and John Trudell.
Some favorites come close to fitting the one hit wonder category. If they had all been hits it would be a better fit. The King Pins, Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces, the Showmen.
There are one of a kind characters who each deserve their own genre, Grandpa Jones, Screaming' Jay Hawkins, Ken Nordine, Andre Williams. We could fish from just this hole and fill our two hours.
We haven't even touched on the obvious. Which Fats Domino? Which Little Richard, LaVern Baker, Bill Haley, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Coasters, Drifters? Which Phil Spector records, which Leiber and Stoller?
Oddly, I suppose, my favorite Elvis record is "His Latest Flame." Billy's, too. That's today of course.
Now that I've opened this can of worms, how do I stop this madness? Who puts worms in cans to begin with? I haven't gotten to New Orleans, novelty records, spoken word, Hank Williams, blah, blah, blah.
Two hours won't ever do. I'm warming up today at 3:00. Join me if you can. Turn your radio on.