Charlena, don't you know I care?

The Sevilles - Charlena

mp3: The Sevilles - Charlena

The Sevilles were a vocal group from Los Angeles and Charlena was their first, biggest and only hit. Released in November 1960, it had climbed up the charts to #84 by February, but that's as high as it got. With an off-beat, shuffling rhythm, Charlena almost sounds like Ska. A very rough version is played by Lou Diamond Phillips and his mates in the '80s Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba. Thankfully, Los Lobos covered it nicely for the soundtrack.

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Nasty Bartender's Heavy Sugar session

Nasty Bartender joined Fritz and I as a special guest Heavy Sugar DJ towards the end of August. He travelled all the way from Belgium to entertain the crowds at our club night in Dalston and entertain them he did. A hard working man, we squeezed three sets out of him. This recording is of the middle one, just around the time the club really started to buzz. From his big box of tasty 45s, he pulled out dancefloor thrilling song after song. Huge thanks to Nasty and everyone who came out for the party.

Roy Head - Treat Her Right
Little Esther Phillips & Big Al Downing - You Never Miss Your Water
J.B. Lenore - Mama Talk To Your Daughter
Annisteen Allen - Rough Lover
LaVern Baker - It's So Fine
The Tokens - A-B-C, 1-2-3
Bobby Lee Trammell - Twist Everybody Twist
Ruth Brown - Mama (He Treats Your Daughter Mean)
Googie Rene - Bigfoot
The Four Tophatters - One Arabian Night
The Nite Riders - Looking For My Baby
Emmet Davis - How About It Baby
Clarence Henry - Troubles, Troubles
Pike Cavalero - Black Hearts Club

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Ted Taylor doesn't care

Ted Taylor - I Don't Care

mp3: Ted Taylor - I Don't Care

The heart-breakingly high vocals of Ted Taylor feature on today's selection, a b-side from 1961. I Don't Care is rhythm & blues with soul from an Oklahoman icon who left this world in 1987 after a car accident following a gig in Louisiana. I first heard it when Lady Kamikaze played it at my Heavy Sugar club night early last year.

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Work It Out

Nathaniel Mayer - Work It Out

mp3: Nathaniel Mayer - Work It Out

Nathaniel Mayer was a singer from Detroit. Along with his Fabulous Twilights, he scored a big hit on the Fortune label with Village Of Love in 1962. Work It Out was released a year later as a b-side and is cut from a similar mold. Impassioned, raspy vocals, a doo-wop setting and a solid beat; it's a winning combination. I actually met the man once in the lobby of a Holiday Inn in New Orleans. It was the day after I saw him perform at the Ponderosa Stomp and he was checking out. Sadly he checked out for good a few years later, but we have his records and we can work it out.

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Where's My Radio?

I was joined in the NTS radio studio this week by Sister Cookie. She's got a new single coming out, her first, called Where's My Money, so we played a whole hour of songs that pose a question. This isn't the place to come looking for answers, we're just interested in the where, what, why and who of the situation.

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Shortnin' Bread and Nicotine

Paul Chaplain - Shortnin' Bread Paul Chaplain - Nicotine

mp3: Paul Chaplain - Shortnin' Bread
mp3: Paul Chaplain - Nicotine

I always thought that Shortnin' Bread was a traditional song, but apparently not. According to my sources (Wikipedia) it was written by poet James Whitcomb Riley in 1900. Sixty years later, Paul Chaplain and his Emeralds released their version on Harper Records and almost 60 years after that I present it here for you today. It's got a tough-as-nails garage-rockabilly sound, which creates quite the juxtaposition with the nursery rhyme alike lyrics about baking bread. Maybe that's the whole idea; Shortnin' Bread did make it into the national charts, peaking at #82. Nicotine, the title of the flipside, seems like a more appropriate subject matter for this rockin' group from Webster, Massachusetts.

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Link Wray's Swag

Link Wray - The Swag

mp3: Link Wray - The Swag

This is the flip to the Linkster's magnus opus, the 1958 game-changer, one of the few instrumentals ever to be banned from the radio, the song that invented the power-chord - you know the tune I'm referring to, right? Anyway, The Swag has its own, erm, swagger. Nowhere near as outwardly menacing as its big brother a-side, The Swag saunters into the room with a smirk on its face before slitting your throat with a switchblade. Don't ever turn your back on a Link Wray record.

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