Decades before streaming and downloading and even CD's,
music was purchased in the physical form of LP's, EP's, 45's and prior to that, 78's.
Particularly in the late 50's and early '60s before record albums grew in prominence in the mid 60’s,
45 rpm vinyl singles were king and radio was the ultimate promotional tool for the newest discs.
There was no internet to give you instant access to the latest releases but if you didn't own
the record you wanted to hear, radio request shows were there to fill the gap,
as Chuck Berry described in "Roll Over Beethoven" in 1956:
"I'm gonna write a little letter/Gonna mail it to my local DJ'
. 45 years later, the Black Eyed Peas Featuring Macy Gray kept the concept alive
in their 2001 hit "Request Line" which included the earnest plea
'Play a record by my favorite band'!
In an earlier "Door To Yesterday" blog (Vol.2, No.16),
I posted a list of songs that celebrated jukeboxes and this time, I've gathered together a group of vintage tunes
which refer to records or vinyl in their title or in their lyric. This is by no means a definitive list but it provides
a good cross-section of relevant rock, r&b and country discs.
ANALOG MAN (Joe Walsh/Drew Hester/Gannin Arnold) by Joe Walsh
Pro: Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh & Tim Armstrong (Fantasy: 2012)
'What's wrong with vinyl, I think it sounds great'
AT THE HOP (Artie Singer/John Madara/David White) by Danny & The Juniors
Orch & Chorus Cond: Artie Singer (ABC-Paramount: 1957)
US #1 Pop, #1 R&B, UK #3 all in '58.
'When the record starts spinnin'"
BABY SITTIN' BOOGIE (Johnny Parker) by Buzz Clifford/Arr: Tony Piano (Columbia: 1960) US #6 Pop, UK #17 both in '61.
'You know the record player is his favorite toy'
THE BACK ROOM (Van Morrison) by Van Morrison/Pro: Bert Berns (Bang: 1967)
'You turned the record player on'
B.J. THE D.J. (Hugh X. Lewis) by Stonewall Jackson
Pro: Don Law & Frank Jones (Columbia: 1963) US #1 Country in '64
'At record hops he stayed out late'
B SIDE BLUES (Bill Medley/Bobby Hatfield) by The Righteous Brothers/Pro: Bill Medley (Verve: 1966) https://youtu.be/JiSn1CmV7yQ
DANCIN' PARTY (Kal Mann/Dave Appell) by Chubby Checker (Parkway: 1962) US #12 Pop
'Make the scene with the record machine'
DON'T HANG UP (Kal Mann/Dave Appell) by The Orlons (
Cameo: 1962) US #3 R&B, #4 Pop.
'Stopped at the record hop'
45 (Elvis Costello) by Elvis Costello
Pro: Elvis Costello, Leo Pearson & Kieran Lynch (Island: 2002)
'There's a stack of shellac and vinyl'
HAVING A PARTY (Sam Cooke) by Sam Cooke
A Hugo & Luigi
Prod./Orch Cond: Rene Hall (RCA: 1962)
US #4 R&B, #17 Pop.
'Keep those records playin'" https://youtu.be/OmMbN_MrlTQ
HIT RECORD (Sibelius Williams) by Brook Benton
Arr & Cond: Malcolm Dodds
Pro: Shelby Singleton (Mercury: 1962) US #45 Pop
HIT SINGLE (Joe Jackson) by Joe Jackson/Pro: Joe Jackson & Ed Roynesdal (Virgin: 1991)
I CRIED (James Brown/Bobby Byrd) by James Brown
Arr: Dave Matthews/A James Brown Production (King: 1971) US #15 R&B, #50 Pop.
'Turn your record player down real low'
(James Brown produced an earlier version by
Tammy Montgomery on his own Try Me label in '63.
Tammy Montgomery later recorded as Tammi Terrell).
I WORE OUT OUR RECORD (Pam Sawyer/Helen Miller)
by Dodie Stevens
Arr & Cond: Ernie Freeman
Pro: Bob Reisdorff (Dolton: 1963)
I'M GONNA DJ (Michael Stipe/Peter Buck/Mike Mills) by R.E.M.
Pro: Jacknife & R.E.M. (Warner Bros: 2008)
'Death is pretty final/I'm collecting vinyl'
IF YOU WERE A ROCK AND ROLL RECORD (Jay Goodis)
by Freddy Cannon w/Frank Slay & His Orchestra
(Swan: 1962) US #67 Pop
IT'S ABOUT TIME (Guy Clark) by Guy Clark
Pro: Neil Wilburn (RCA: 1976)
'Looks like our dance while the record player fakes it'
IT'S MY PARTY (Herb Weiner/John Gluck Jr./Wally Gold) by Lesley Gore
Arr & Cond: Claus Ogerman/Pro: Quincy Jones (Mercury: 1963) US #1 Pop, #1 R&B, UK #9.
'Playin' my records, keep dancin' all night'
LOVE COMES A-TUMBLIN' DOWN (Rick Nielsen)
by Cheap Trick
Pro: George Martin (Epic: 1980)
'Those wonderful vinyl productions'
THE MOTOWN SONG (Larry John McNally) by Rod Stewart Featuring The Temptations
Pro: Richard Perry (Warner Bros: 1991)
US #10 Pop, #3 AC, UK #10.
'Bring over some of your old Motown records'
MR. RECORD MAN (Willie Nelson) by Willie Nelson/Music by Harold Bradley
Pro: Joe Allison (Liberty: 1961)
(Willie also wrote WRITE YOUR OWN SONGS in which he called out'Mr. Music Executive'! )
MUSIC (Madonna/Mirwais Ahmadzai) by Madonna
Pro: Madonna & Mirwais Ahmadzai (Maverick: 2000) US #1 Pop, UK #1.
'Hey Mister DJ, put a record on'
OLD DAN'S RECORDS (Gordon Lightfoot) by Gordon Lightfoot
Pro: Lenny Waronker (Warner Bros: 1972)
OLD RECORDS (Merle Kilgore/Arthur Thomas) by Margie Singleton
Pro: Shelby Singleton (Mercury: 1963) US #11 Country
OLD RECORDS NEVER DIE (Ian Hunter) by Ian Hunter
Pro: Mick Ronson & Mick Jones (Chrysalis: 1981)
OLD SMOKEY LOCOMOTION (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) by Little Eva
Pro: Gerry Goffin for Nevins-Kirshner (Dimension: 1963) US #48 Pop
'Well every Friday night now/They have a record hop'
OVERNIGHT SENSATION (Hit Record) (Eric Carmen) by The Raspberries/Pro: Jimmy Ienner (Capitol: 1974) US #18 Pop
'I just want a hit record'
PUT YOUR RECORDS ON (Corinne Bailey Rae/John Beck/Steve Chrisanthou) by Corinne Bailey Rae
Pro: Steve Chrisanthou & Jimmy Hogarth (Capitol: 2006) UK #2, US #64 Pop
RECORD EXECUTIVE BLUES (Bob Hodge) by The Catfish Hodge Band (Adelphi: 1979)
RE-CYCLED VINYL BLUES (Neil Innes plus a medley of vintage songs) by Neil Innes
Pro: Neil Innes (United Artists: 1974)
ROCK AND ROLL RECORDS (J.J. Cale) by J.J. Cale/Pro: Audie Ashworth (Shelter: 1974)
ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN (Chuck Berry) by Chuck Berry & His Combo
Pro: Leonard Chess (Chess: 1956) US #2 R&B, #29 Pop
'It's a rockin' rhythm record I want my jockey to play'
SHE'S GOT YOU (Hank Cochran) by Patsy Cline
Pro: Owen Bradley (Decca: 1962) US #1 Country, #14 Pop, #3 AC, UK #43.
'I've got the records that we used to share'
(The song was also a #1 Country record as SHE'S GOT YOU by Loretta Lynn in '77
and as HE'S GOT YOU, it was recorded by various male singers).
SITTING IN MY ROOM (Dee Dee Ramone) by The Ramones
Pro: Graham Gouldman (Sire: 1981)
'Record player on'
STACK-A-RECORDS (Tom Tall) by Tom Tall & His Tom Kats (Crest: 1958)
THAT'S SHOW BIZ (Dale Wright) by Dale Wright with The Wright Guys (Fraternity: 1959)
'Won't you please record it?"
THEY CALLED IT ROCK (Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe/Billy Bremner/Terry Williams) by Nick Lowe
Pro: Nick Lowe (Columbia: 1978)
'The record hit the charts'
THOSE D.J. SHOWS (William Robinson) by The Supremes
Prod: Smokey Robinson (Motown: rec.1961, unissued until 1986)
'I dig the records that they play'
TOP 40 (Mose Allison) by Mose Allison
Pro: Ben Sidran (Blue Note: 1987)
'When I make my Top Forty big beat rock 'n' roll record'
TOP OF THE POPS (Ray Davies) by The Kinks/Pro: Raymond Douglas Davies (Reprise: 1970)
'Life is so easy when your record's hot"
TURN ON YOUR RADIO (Harry Nilsson) by Nilsson
Pro: Richard Perry (RCA: 1972)
'Turn on your record player/Listen to my song'
VICTOR E (Gilbert O'Sullivan) by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Arr & Cond: Johnnie Spence/Pro: Gordon Mills (MAM: 1974)
'My record player began to do the two-step'
WHAT TO DO (Buddy Holly) by Buddy Holly
Chorus & Orch Dir: Jack Hansen (Coral: 1959) UK #27 in '61.
'The record hops and all the happy times we had'
WHILE THE RECORD GOES AROUND (Paul Vance/Lee Pockriss) by The Playmates
w/Hugo Peretti & His Orchestra (Roulette: 1958)
YOU SPIN ME 'ROUND (Like A Record) (Pete Burns/Mike Percy/Tim Laver/Steve Coy)
by Dead Or Alive (Epic: 1984) US #11 Pop, UK #1.
YOU'RE KNOCKIN' ME OUT (Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield) by Neil Sedaka
Pro: Al Nevins (RCA: 1959)
'Spinning like a record in a record machine'
In addition, on his 1988 live album "The Storyteller", Ray Davies sings the 1943 Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC and in the break, talks about how in his pre-Kinks days, he and his brother Dave
owned records of their early guitar heroes.
Let's close out this bulletin by swinging back to the 1940's when records were 78rpm shellac discs.
Here's JUKE BOX SATURDAY NIGHT (Al Stillman/Paul McGrane)
by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra w/Marion Hutton, Tex Beneke & The Modernaires (Victor: 1942).
It was a huge hit parade favorite and its lyric included the line
'Somebody else plays the record machine' .
A solid gold platter!
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"If you enjoyed this week's edition of The Door To Yesterday,
there's more where that came from!"