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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.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A GIRL AND A BOY: The Story So Far

I love citing Irwin Shaw's description of what a writer is supposed to do:  to chronicle "where I think I am, and what this place looks like today."  And I think you can do the same thing with pop songs.  I've long been a fan of song cycles, where different songs from different artists can be arranged in a specific sequence to convey a mood, or even tell a story.

Late in 2014, when my This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio co-host Dana Bonn needed some time off to add "Cancer Survivor" to his resume (and mission accomplished there!), I decided to devote an entire three-hour TIRnRR to a song cycle, detailing the story of a girl and a boy.  And here 'tis: 

                              
                               


In Dana's absence this week, rather than trying to do a regular show, we're going to try something a little bit different.  If you just wanna kick back and listen to the music, then we have a spectacular set o' tunes lined up for you. But if you want to pay closer attention, you'll discover that the individual songs come together to tell a story. It's a simple story, a universal story, about a girl and a boy:  how they meet, how they fall in love, and what happens to them after that. The story is told as a dialogue between the girl and the boy, chronicling their relationship as they see it, as it happens.  We'll hear from girls named Susan, and Maura, and Holly, and Gail, and Rachael, and Lisa, and Kirsty, and Kelley; we'll hear from boys named Sid, and Joey, and Gary, and John, and Paul, and Jeff, and Steve, and Chris, and Eytan.  But all of the female leads we hear will speak collectively from the point of view of just one girl; all of the male vocals will sing on behalf of just one boy.   We'll tell you the names of that one girl and that one boy near the end of the program.  But until then, we'll let the music do the talking, as we present our story without further interruption.  Right now, turn your radio up as THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO presents A GIRL AND A BOY:  The Story So Far.

THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org.  GET WELL, DANA!

TIRnRR # 751:  A GIRL AND A BOY: THE STORY SO FAR

THE MONKEES [with JULIE DRISCOLL]:  "I'm A Believer" (from 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE)
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BMX BANDITS:  "I Wanna Fall In Love"(Big Deal, Theme Park)
THE GANTS: "I Wonder" (Rhino, VA:  Nuggets)
THE BURNS SISTERS BAND: "I Wonder Who's Out Tonight" (Columbia, The Burns Sisters Band)
THE RAMONES:  "Do You Wanna Dance?" (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
THE PORTUGAL JAPAN:  "Boy Meets Girl" (Dionysus, VA:  Innocence Is Bliss)
AL GREEN:  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (The Right Stuff, Green Is Blues)
ELLIE GREENWICH:  "Medley:  Goodnight Baby/Baby I Love You" (Razor & Tie, I Can Hear Music)
THE FLASHCUBES:  "No Promise" (Northside, Bright Lights)
THE PATTI SMITH GROUP:  "Because The Night" (Arista, Easter)
SHOES:  "Tomorrow Night" (Bomp!, VA:  The Roots Of Powerpop)
THE COWSILLS: "Cross That Line" (Robin, Global)
THE RASPBERRIES:  "Tonight" (RPM, Power Pop Volume Two)
P.P. ARNOLD:  "Angel Of The Morning" (Immediate, The First Cut)
TODD RUNDGREN:  "Couldn't I Just Tell You" (Rhino, Something/Anything?)
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND:  "I'll Be Your Mirror" (Polydor, Peel Slowly And See)
THE PARTIES: "Let's Call It Love" (Rainbow Quartz, Coast Garde)
NANCI GRIFFITH & THE CRICKETS:  "Well...All Right" (Decca, VA:  Not Fade Away)
THE DIRTY ROYALS:  "I'm In Love" (n/a, Star Burrito)
WE FIVE:  "You Were On My Mind" (Big Beat, There Stands The Door)
THE ROMANTICS:  "When I Look In Your Eyes" (Nemperor, The Romantics)
THE GO-GO'S:  "Head Over Heels" (IRS, Return To The Valley Of The Go-Go's)
THE VOGUES: "Five O'Clock World" (Varese Sarabande, The Best Of The Vogues)
THE KENNEDYS:  "Half Of Us" (Jiffyjam, Get It Right)
THE ZOMBIES:  "This Will Be Our Year" (Big Beat, Zombie Heaven)
COCKTAIL SLIPPERS:  "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (Wicked Cool, Saint Valentine's Day Massacre)
THE BEATLES: "We Can Work It Out" (Apple, 1962-1966)
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY:  "Time Will Tell" (Damaged Goods, Truly She Is None Other)
THE RECORDS:  "Hearts Will Be Broken" (Virgin, Smashes, Crashes, And Near-Misses)
THE CATHOLIC GIRLS: "Someone New" (Renaissance, The Catholic Girls)
THE NERVES:  "Walking Out On Love" (Alive, One Way Ticket)
RACHAEL GORDON:  "When You Find Out" (Wizzard In Vinyl, Rock 'n' Roll Girl)
THE EVERLY BROTHERS:  "Gone, Gone, Gone" (Warner Brothers, Walk Right Back)
THE MUFFS: "Saying Goodbye" (Warner Brothers, The Muffs)
THE WELL WISHERS:  "Goodbye" (n/a, A Shattering Sky)
NUSHU:  "Spill" (n/a, Nevermind Lullabye)
SAMMY AMBROSE:  "This Diamond Ring" (Ace, VA:  You Heard It Here First!)
ADELE:  "I'll Be Waiting" (Columbia, 21)
SPLITSVILLE:  "Why It Can't Be" (Zip, Let's Go!)
BLUE ANGEL: "I'm Gonna Be Strong" (Hip-O, Blue Angel)
SQUEEZE:  "Another Nail For My Heart" (A & M, Singles--45's & Under)
THE PRETENDERS:  "Back On The Chain Gang" (Sire, The Singles)
STEVE STOECKEL & HIS THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO ALL-STARS:  "You Don't Love Me Anymore" (unreleased)
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS:  "Love Is Pain" (Blackheart, I Love Rock 'n' Roll)
THE STALLIONS:  "Why" (Junk, Hey Baby, It's The Stallions)
KIRSTY MacCOLL:  "Days" (Capitol, Galore)
THE SPINNERS:  "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)" (Motown, The Best Of The Spinners)
MAD MONSTER PARTY:  "Can't Stop Loving You" (Kool Kat Musik, VA:  This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, Volume 3)
THE HOODOO GURUS:  "Bittersweet" (Elektra, Mars Needs Guitars!)
FEAR OF STRANGERS:  "Shopping For A Dog" (Faulty Products, Fear Of Strangers)
THE FOUR TOPS:  "Reach Out I'll Be There" (Motown, The Ultimate Collection)
ASTROPUPPEES:  "Drop Down And Get Me" (Manatee, Lost Valentines)
ARROGANCE:  "Open Window" (Vanguard, Rumors)
LULU:  "The Boat That I Row" (Rhino, From Crayons To Perfume)
THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES:  "I Can't Hide" (Rhino, At Full Speed)
THE DAHLMANNS:  "Shake Me Up Tonight" (Pop Detective, All Dahled Up)
P76:  "Let's Get Back To Where We Started" (Zip, Into The Sun)
THE BANGLES:  "September Gurls" (Columbia, Different Light)
GUADALCANAL DIARY:  "Litany (Life Goes On)" (Elektra, 2 X 4)
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD:  "I Only Want To Be With You" (Mercury, The Very Best Of Dusty Springfield)
EYTAN MIRSKY:  "This Year's Gonna Be Our Year" (M-Squared, Year Of The Mouse)

And one last toast to our young lovers, whose story was first told years ago, when Ray Davies looked at the world from his window, and imagined a boy and a girl named Terry and Julie:

THE KINKS:  "Waterloo Sunset" (Essential, Something Else)
THE MIKE MORRISON CONGREGATION:  "I Got You Babe" (n/a, VA:  Reader's Digest Music--Airport Pop)