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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the three THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Monday, March 14, 2016

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio # 817

Forget about the performer for a second.  Forget the lead singer, and the guitarists and the bass player, the drummer, the keyboard noodler, the tambourine stylist and the lead glockenspieler.  Forget anyone who's a full-time member of the band.  For a just a moment, think of the magic created behind the scenes.

Beyond the famous names above the title, beyond the photogenic faces on the 45 sleeve and the slick magazine cover, beyond even the accolades legitimately earned by artists whose vision and craft and heart and soul transcend our expectations and set free our inner angels, there are those behind the curtain who helped to make it so.  In the history of this music we love, a few legends in the shadows stand just as tall as the legends they directed into the limelight:  Alan Freed. Leonard Chess.  Ahmet Ertegun.  Leiber and Stoller.  Sam Phillips.  Phil Spector.  Berry Gordy.

None stood taller than Sir George Martin.

The Beatles' producer, The Fifth Beatle, the man who said "Yes" when every record label in the UK said "NO, guitar groups are on the way out!," Sir George was far more than a guy in the right place at the right time.  The Beatles do not happen without George Martin.  Not just because he signed them to a record contract; that's a minor point in the long run.  No, The Beatles AS WE KNOW THEM do not happen without George Martin.  He helped make their music a real thing, something we could all hear; without George Martin, the genius of The Beatles would be unheard, unrealized.  His genius ensured that would not happen. Because of Sir George Martin, this world is different.  This world is better.  And this world will sing these songs forever and ever.  And you know that can't be bad.

This is what rock 'n' roll radio sounded like on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.

This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org

TIRnRR # 817:  3/13/16

THE RAMONES:  Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio? (Rhino, End Of The Century)
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THE BEATLES:  Rain (Apple, Past Masters)
THE BEATLES:  In My Life (Apple, Rubber Soul)
THE BEATLES:  A Day In The Life (Apple, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
THE BEATLES:  Strawberry Fields Forever (Apple, single)
THE BEATLES:  She Said She Said (Apple, Revolver)
THE BEATLES:  Penny Lane (Apple, promo single)
THE BEATLES:  For No One (Apple, Revolver)
THE BEATLES:  I Feel Fine (Capitol, single)
THE BEATLES:  Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Apple, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
THE BEATLES:  Paperback Writer (Capitol, single)
THE BEATLES:  Tomorrow Never Knows (Apple, Revolver)
THE BEATLES:  Baby You're A Rich Man (Capitol, single)
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CHEAP TRICK:  Stop This Game (Epic, The Essential Cheap Trick)
THE BEACH BOYS:  God Only Knows (Capitol, Pet Sounds)
THE KINKS:  Better Things (Velvel, Give The People What They Want)
FLEETWOOD MAC:  Go Your Own Way (Warner Brothers, Rumours)
THE SPONGETONES:  Have You Ever Been Torn Apart? (Black Vinyl, Beat & Torn)
JOY DIVISION:  Love Will Tear Us Apart (Rhino, Substance)
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THE SHONDIKES:  Music For Lovers (n/a, Psychotic Make Out Music)
THE UNDERTONES:  Teenage Kicks (Rykodisc, The Undertones)
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER:  Lucky Man (Razor & Tie, Come And See The Show)
THIN LIZZY:  The Boys Are Back In Town (Island, Dedication)
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE:  It Must Be Summer (Atlantic, Utopia Parkway)
RORY GALLAGHER:  Follow Me (Eagle, Crest Of A Wave)
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THE REMAINS:  Once Before (Epic, Barry & The Remains)
THE ARGONAUTS:  Ten Feet Tall (Hard Soul, VA:  Sugarlumps)
LULU:  To Sir, With Love [Museum Outings Montage] (Retroactive, VA:  To Sir, With Love OST)
MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL:  Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Motown, The Millennium Collection)
DOUG DEREK & THE HOAX:  Bobby's Gotta Get Back To Boston [1981 version] (Kool Kat Musik, Who The Hell Is Doug Derek?)
DONOVAN:  Colours (Epic, Donovan's Greatest Hits)
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THE ACTION:  In My Dream (Reaction, Rolled Gold)
THE MERRYMAKERS:  I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better (Not Lame, VA:  Full Circle)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS:  Wouldn't You Like It (Arista, The Definitive Collection)
THE BEATLES:  I Should Have Known Better (Capitol, single)
THE RASPBERRIES:  Tonight (RPM, Power Pop Volume Two)
GRIN:  Moon Tears (Sony, The Very Best Of Grin)
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EYTAN MIRSKY:  Funny Money (n/a, Funny Money)
THE KINKS:  Who'll Be The Next In Line (Sanctuary, The Ultimate Collection)
THE STEVE DEATON THREE:  Tall Dark Stranger (Plowhandle, The Steve Deaton Three)
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY:  Tell Me Now So I Know (Damaged Goods, Truly She Is None Other)
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS:  Just Like Me (Sundazed, Just Like Us!)
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS:  Alternative Ulster (Rhino, VA:  DIY:  The Modern World)
--
THE SHONDIKES:  It's So Sad To Be In Love With You (n/a, Psychotic Make Out Music)
THE BUZZCOCKS:  What Do I Get? (IRS, Singles Going Steady)
THE REMAINS:  Don't Look Back (Epic, Barry & The Remains)
THE MUFFS:  Saying Goodbye (Warner Brothers, The Muffs)
THE FLASHCUBES:  Make Something Happen (Northside, Brilliant)
THE LYRES:  Help You Ann (Matador, On Fyre)
THE MONKEES:  Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) (Rhino, Music Box)
BIG STAR:  Thirteen (Ardent, # 1 Record/Radio City)
THE BEATLES:  It's Only Love (Capitol, Rubber Soul)
TRACEY ULLMAN:  They Don't Know (Rhino, You Broke My Heart In 17 Places)
THE RAMONES:  Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
THE ROLLING STONES:  Paint It, Black (Abkco, Aftermath)
THE BEATLES:  She Loves You (Apple, Past Masters)
THE BEATLES:  Please Please Me (Vee-Jay, single)
THE BEATLES:  Pepperland (Apple, Yellow Submarine)