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Catamount Community Radio - March 21, 2010

So, Spring is here. You can put away your long johns and get out your short pants. The daffodils are blooming, and the dogwoods couldn't be far behind. A quick look at the playlist will show tunes with "spring" in the title by Stanley Turrentine, Tom Waits, Oscar Peterson, and Freddie Hubbard. Plus, The Jackson 5 doing "Rockin' Robin," a tune I used to roller skate to back in the day when the wheel had just been invented.

Alex Chilton died a few days ago, and so we listened to a few of his tunes. He was the teenaged vocalist for a Memphis band, The Boxtops, which had a big hit in 1967, "The letter." You know the opening:

Get me a ticket on an air-o-plane
Ain't got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone
I'm a-goin' home
My baby, she wrote me a letter

He doesn't sound like a 16 year-old on the cut, since his voice was shot after doing like 30 takes before they found a keeper, and drinking all the while. But the tune beat out songs by the Beatles, the Stones, and the Doors to be the best-selling single of 1967. When asked about the Boxtops 25 years later, Chilton said that when he listened to the songs, he heard the producer, not himself. (Producer Dan Penn didn't give the band a very long creative leash.)

In the seventies, he formed a band, "Big Star," that despite critical acclaim, didn't achieve commercial success. We listened to one of their most popular numbers, "Thirteen."

Won't you let me walk you home from school?
Won't you let me meet you at the pool?
Maybe Friday I can
get tickets for the dance
and I'll take you.
Won't you tell your dad, "Get off my back"?
Tell him what we said 'bout 'Paint It Black'?
Rock 'n Roll is here to stay,
Come inside where it's okay,
And I'll shake you.
Won't you tell me what you're thinking of?
Would you be an outlaw for my love ?
If it's so, well, let me know
If it's "no", well, I can go
I won't make you.

Finally, we listened to one of his solo records, "Let Met Get Close to You," which is a cover of a Carole King /Gerry Goffin tune.

Beyond that, the usual freeform radio excellence. Catamount Community Radio airs Sunday mornings, 10-12, Eastern time, on Power 90.5.


1. Stanley Turrentine – Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most
2. Marc Ribot – It Could Have Been Very Very Beautiful
3. Tom Waits – You Can Never Hold Back Spring
4. Paul Desmond – The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
5. Chet Baker – Happy Little Sunbeam
6. Billie Holliday & Louis Armstrong – My Sweet Little Hunk of Trash
7. Steven Bernstein – Mazinka
8. Dinah Washington – New Blowtop Blues
9. The Boxtops – The Letter
10. Charlie Rich – I Take it on Home
11. Big Star – Thirteen
12. Merle Haggard – Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room
13. Madeleine Peyroux – You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
14. Oscar Peterson – Younger than Springtime
15. Ben Allison – Realization
16. Sly & the Family Stone – If You Want Me to Stay
17. Cassandra Wilson – Run the Voodoo Down
18. Zap Mama – Rafiki
19. James Brown – Mother Popcorn
20. The Jackson 5 – Rockin’ Robin
21. Art Pepper – Mambo de la pinto
22. Alex Chilton – Let Me Get Close to You
23. Jewels & Binoculars – Spirit on the Water
24. Lee Moses – Diana (from NYC)
25. Prince Buster – Al Capone
26. Mulatu Astatke & the Heliocentrics – Cha Cha
27. Albert Collins – Frosty
28. Freddie Hubbard – Up Jumped Spring
29. Prince – A Case of You
30. Hosono, James Brown, Maceo – Sex Machine (fragment)
31. The Inspirational Gospel Singers – The Same Thing It Took


Alex Chilton

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