We did “back to school” songs last year. I presented five songs and asked if you had any, and of course you had a few, but never did anything with the suggestions. So, here’s what I did: I put my songs, and your suggestions, into a playlist. Ain’t I clever? (I did have to remove Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May,” because WMG “blocked” it.)
- Allan Sherman, “The Drop-Outs March” This got a few laughs last year. From Allan’s 1964 album Allan In Wonderland.
- Chuck Berry, “School Days” One of Chuck’s best-known songs, fom 1957. He had an all-star band behind him: Hubert Sumlin (Howlin’ Wolf’s longtime guitarist) on guitar, Willie Dixon (one of Chicago Blues’ most prolific songwriters) on bass, and Fred Below (from The Four Aces) on drums. It went to #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
- Brownsville Station, “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” The pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, they went to #3 with this in 1973, when I was in high school and smokin’ in the boy’s room myself.
- The Coasters, “Charlie Brown” Singers of some of the more hilarious songs to hit the charts, The Coasters released this in February 1959. It went to #2 in the US and #6 in the UK.
- The Police, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86” Kip suggested the song; I remembered this version of it, and liked it better.
- The Happenings, “See You In September” Originally done by The Tokens in the Fifties, The Happenings had a hit wth this in 1966. Kip thought it was done by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and so did a lot of other people, I think, myself included.
- Sam Cooke, “Wonderful World” Kip had trouble remembering the third song he wanted to suggest, and I surmised it might have been this one. Sam’s version peaked at #12 on the Hot 100. It was also covered by Herman’s Hermits, who reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #4 in the UK. Simon and Garfunkel teamed with James Taylor for another cover that’s best left forgotten.
- Frankie Avalon, “Beauty School Dropout” Uncle Jack remembered this from the film Grease. I think this was my favorite scene in the movie.
- Good Rats, “School Days” A suggestion from Arlee Bird. The Good Rats are from Long Island, New York and mainly popular there. Not sure what album this is from.
- Van Halen, “Hot For Teacher” Alana Mautone suggested this one. From VH’s sixth studio album 1984, released early that year. It reached #56 on the Hot 100.
- Cheech & Chong, “Sister Mary Elephant” From the album Big Bambu, this was always good for a laugh. The kid who uploaded this synced it with a Naruto anime, and though I’m not fond of it, he did a pretty good job. Kip suggested this.
- The Ramones, “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” I was bummed about “Maggie May,” then thought of this, the theme song for the 1979 movie of the same name. It peaked at #67 in the UK but didn’t chart in the US.
- Muddy Waters, “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” Arlee’s latest Battle of the Bands used this song, and I had to include it. Muddy’s joined by Buddy Guy on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Clifton James on drums.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for September 25, 2017.