Category Archives: Hit That Never Was

Wreckless Eric, Peter James & Syd Matters

“Any fool can have ideas. It’s what you do with them that matters. Ian Dury gave me that gem of advice”.

Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World

In Part Two of Norman B’s exclusive interview with Wreckless Eric, the man who penned Whole Wide World recalls his early days of being thrust into the limelight and discovering not everyone had an appreciation of culture, like he did. Eric was surprised by the deliberate reverse snobbery permeating the music world in the late 70’s, the 80’s and even up until today. He found a kindred spirit with the gifted Ian Dury, who became a mentor, advocate and friend. Wreckless Eric speaks passionately as he tells his story, but always with a healthy dollop of humor.

Dry wit, also figures into our conversation with Peter James, the best-selling and acclaimed author. Norman B invited Peter to give us his overview on the outcome of the recent UK election. Peter James a well-qualified and keen observer of life in the UK and America offers an interesting analysis of how the polls could have been so wrong and what the results mean to American and the rest of the world. When asked who the Brits would prefer to see next in the Whitehouse, Peter James replies, “Hilary! We’re afraid of some nutter getting in with a finger on the button! We need someone moderate, who understands the world!”

Also in the program, the Hit that Never Was, selected by a listener who asks for her request to be dedicated to her partner, currently working with a UN education team in Afghanistan. Her request is a beautiful song, My Lover’s On The Pier from French act Syd Matters.

Life Elsewhere airs Sunday, May 17 at 12 noon ET on The Source WMNF HD3 and Monday, May 18 at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

The Original Louie Louie & New Music

For the Hit That Never Was this week we selected a request from Spencer, who wrote: “Dear Mr. B, I read that Jack Elyformer singer of The Kingsmen who had a hit with Louie Louie, died this past week, age 71. The article went onto say The Kingsmen‘s was the original version. I don’t think that is true. Am I correct in thinking there was an earlier version by Richard Berry? If I’m right, can you play that version as this week’s Hit That Never Was?”

Spencer is absolutely correct, and we will play the “original” version of Louie Louie for the Hit That Never Was. Singer Richard Berry wrote Louie Louie in 1955. Berry was inspired to write the new calypso-style song, Louie Louie, based on the Rhythm Rockers‘ version of René Touzet‘s El Loco Cha Cha, and also influenced by Chuck Berry’s Havana MoonBerry also stated he had Frank Sinatra’s One For My Baby in mind when writing the lyrics. One night waiting backstage at the Harmony Club Ballroom, Berry took the rhythm of El Loco Cha Cha, and began to add lyrics, writing them down on toilet paper. Richard Berry & The Pharaohs recorded and released the song as the B-side to his cover of You Are My Sunshine on Flip Records in 1957. It was re-released as an A-side and, when the group toured the Pacific Northwest, several local R&B bands began to adopt the song and established its popularity. It finally became a major hit when The Kingsmen‘s raucous version – with little trace of its calypso-like origins other than in its lyrics – became a national and international hit in 1963 (Paul Revere & The Raiders also recorded the tune in the same studio the week after The Kingsmen, but their version was not a hit). The nearly unintelligible (and innocuous) lyrics were widely misinterpreted as obscene, and the song was banned by radio stations and even investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The song has been recorded over 1,000 times, However, Berry received little financial reward for its success for many years, having sold the copyright for $750 in 1959 to pay for his wedding. Berry commented in 1993, “Everybody sold their songs in those days. I never was bitter with the record companies. They provided a vehicle for five young black dudes to make a record.” In the mid eighties Berry was living on welfare at his mother’s house in South Central L.A.. Drinks company California Cooler wanted to use Louie Louie in a commercial, but discovered they needed Berry‘s signature to use it. They asked the Artists’ Rights society to locate him, and a lawyer visited Berry. The lawyer mentioned the possibility of Berry taking action to gain the rights to his song. The publishers settled out of court, making Berry a millionaire.

We’ll also introduce you to new music Norman B has discovered. First up, out of the UK, London-based DJ and producer, Throwing Shadewith Honeytrap featuring Emily Bee. The track serves as a taster for the upcoming sophomore EP, Fate Xclusive, due out on May 25th. When asked where and when Honeytrap would sound best, the answer was “whilst walking languidly through London on a hot summer evening.” We think it sounds excellent at anytime…anywhere.

Staying in the UK, we head down to Brighton, on the south coast and find Inad, a solo musician with the seemingly sweet Blue Nue. Yet listen closer and notice its got off-kilter sounds and a lovely guitar part. Also, we wondered if the title should be Crazy! Listen to the show and tell us what you think? We understand the record is coming out sometime this month on Hello Thor Records.

Make sure you visit our BACK. page and scroll down for many more of Norman B’s musical discoveries.

Life Elsewhere, airs Sunday, May 3, 12 noon ET, at The Source WMNF HD3 and Monday, May 4, 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Sandra Block. Peter James. Bibi Bourelly. Lonesome Ghost.

Next on Life Elsewhere, we’ll explore the work of mystery writers, Sandra Block and Peter James. Norman B will introduce music from Bibi Bourelly, a new artist, he believes will have a big hit. And, talking of hits, this week’s Hit That Never Was features Lonesome Ghost.

Little Black Lies is the debut novel from practicing neurologist, Sandra Block who centers her gripping mystery novel around Zoe, a doctor with ADHD. A new patient arrives, a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother, Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach. As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. Little Black Lies is about madness and memory and the dangerous lies we tell just to survive. Norman B explores this fascinating book and the ramifications of mental illness, doctors and lies.

The juxtaposition between real and crime-thriller police are discussed with bestselling mystery author Peter James who will talk about his book, Want You Dead, the tenth in the Roy Grace detective-thriller series. James offers thought-provoking observations about police procedures, criminal minds and the more innocent times of Dixon of Dock Green. Be sure not to miss the early part of the interview when Peter James and Norman B share their respective experiences with stalkers!

Bibi Bourelly, the 20 year-old who penned Rihanna‘s Bitch Better Have My Money and Higher, releases her own single, Riot. “I want to give people the truth because a lot of people aren’t so authentic”. Says Bibi, and this comes across in her voice and music confirms Norman B, who adds, Bibi is going to be a BIG hit!” Let us know if you agree with Mr. B, send your comments to normanb [at] life elsewhere [dot] co.

This week’s Hit That Never Was is by Lonesome Ghost, from Dallas, TX. The plaintive and memorable, My Dear available on the EP titled, None of These Songs Are About You Or Anyone You Know was released in 2011. A perfect example of a Hit That Never Was, says Norman B and suggests that you send your selection to hitthatneverwas [at] lifeelsewhere [dot] co.

This will be a must-listen to show, make sure you tune in at 12 noon ET, Sunday, April 19 at The Source, WMNF HD3 and 5.00pm PT, Monday, April 20 at NWCZ Radio

Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud

Marilyn Wedge. Gwen McCrae. John Szwed.

          

Next on Life Elsewhere we’ll cover three divergent topics. First, Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. a family therapist who has helped children, adolescents and families since 1988 talks about her new book, A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic. She asks, what some believe are controversial questions, such as, “Is ADHD a genetically based disorder?” “What roles do schools play in a child’s getting an ADHD diagnosis?” “What does neuroscience teach us about ADHD?” “Is there anything parents can do to help their ADHD child besides giving them medication?” Marilyn Wedge will talk candidly with Norman B about big pharma and the truth behind ADHD diagnosis.

This week’s Hit That Never Was features a singer who grew up in Pensacola, Florida, singing in her pentecostal church, later she discovered secular singers like Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. She began performing in local clubs as a teenager, and singing with local groups like the Lafayettes and the Independents. In 1963, she met a young sailor named George McCrae, whom she married within a week. Following husband George‘s  unexpected solo success with Rock Your Baby, she went on to have a major hit of her own in 1975 with Rockin’ Chair. Gwen McCrae went on to have a follow up hit with Love Insurance, but by this time the separate successes of George and herself took a toll on their marriage. Gwen moved on to have a few minor chart entries, but by the mid 80’s her records were mostly revered by the UK’s Northern Soul scene. Our Hit That Never Was, 90% of Me Is You never made a big dent in the charts but has consistently enjoyed rave reviews from the always enthusiastic Northern Soul scene.

When Billie Holiday stepped into Columbia’s studios in November 1933, it marked the beginning of what is arguably the most remarkable and influential career in ?twentieth-century popular music. Her voice weathered countless shifts in public taste, and new reincarnations of her continue to arrive, most recently in the form of singers like Amy Winehouse and Adele. Most of the writing on Holiday has focused on the tragic details of her life—her prostitution at the age of fourteen, her heroin addiction and alcoholism, her series of abusive relationships—or tried to correct the many fabrications of her autobiography. But now, Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth stays close to the music, to her performance style, and to the self she created and put into print, on record and on stage. Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, critically acclaimed jazz writer John Szwed considers how her life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy. Don’t miss Norman B’s conversation with John Szwed as he passionately talks about Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth.

Life Elsewhere, airs every Sunday, at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time at The Source on WMNF HD 3. Click on this link and then click on The Source. The show is repeated every Monday, at 5.00pm Pacific Standard Time on NWCZ Radio. The show will also be available at Soundcloud.

Check the cultural links at BACK.

Is Your Hit That Never Was Missing?

Every week at Life Elsewhere we play the Hit That Never Was, selected by a listener. Tell us about a song you think deserves to be the next Hit That Never Was. Send your pick, along with a few words about yourself to: hitthatneverwas@lifeelsewhere.co

Life Elsewhere airs Sundays, at 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  and Mondays, at 5.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio

Make sure you check out the cultural links at BACK.

Life Elsewhere is now available at Soundcloud

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