The Friday Five: Your Car Songs (And A Couple More From Me)

On Memorial Day, I did a post on car songs, because that was the theme for Monday’s Music Moves Me that day. Naturally, you folks came up with a few more songs, and in putting this post together I realized there were a couple I forgot. So, we have ten more car songs for this edition of The Friday Five.

I should mention that I’ve been grouping the videos for these posts into playlists when I have five or more songs, because I know that, the more videos there are in a post, the more time it takes to load the site. How much time this saves, I don’t know, but that’s what I’m doing.

  1. Chuck Berry, “Maybellene” Dan suggested this one. This was Chuck’s first hit, and was recorded at the same time as “You Can’t Catch Me” and “Wee Wee Hours.” It peaked at #5 on the Billboard pop chart (the precursor to the Hot 100) and #1 on the R&B chart in 1955. And yes, that’s the way it’s spelled.
  2. Ricky van Shelton, “Backroads” Dan also thought of this one, and I’m glad he did, because I don’t know much about “modern” country (i.e. recorded after 1990 or so). It was the title track from his 1991 album. It peaked at #2 on the US Country chart and #3 on the Canadian chart in 1992.
  3. Prefab Sprout, “Cars and Girls” Arlee thought of this one. It’s from the 1988 album From Langley Park To Memphis, and reached #44 in the UK that year.
  4. NRBQ, “Ridin’ In My Car” Martha says she kicks off the summer with this one. Haven’t been able to find much about this one except it’s from 1977. The album they recorded with Carl Perkins, 1970’s Boppin’ The Blues, is one of my favorites. A great band that hasn’t gotten much recognition, though everyone seems to know of them and likes them.
  5. Gary Numan, “Cars” Birgit asked about this one. It’s from Gary’s third album, 1979’s The Pleasure Principle, and went to #9 in the US in 1980.
  6. Deep Purple, “Highway Star” Stephen came up with this one. It’s from their 1972 album Machine Head, and Jon Lord claims the guitar and organ solos are based on Bach-like chord sequences. Whatever, he and Ritchie Blackmore really shine on this one.
  7. Walter Egan, “Blonde In A Blue T-Bird” This is another suggestion by Stephen, and it’s one I never heard before today. Information is kind of sparse about the song and the album it comes from, so if you know anything about it, let us know in the comments.
  8. The Cars, “Drive” This one and the next two are songs I thought of while I was throwing this list together, and I decided to add them. This is from The Cars’ third studio album, Heartbreak City, and their highest-charting single in the US (#3 on the Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart) in 1984.
  9. Donald Fagen, “Trans-Island Skyway” From his 1993 album Kamakiriad, which The Blogger’s Best Friend calls “a futuristic, optimistic eight-song cycle about the journey of the narrator in his high-tech car, the Kamakiri (Japanese for praying mantis).”
  10. Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, “Too Many Drivers” Finally, some blues from one of the masters of the harmonica, from his 1973 album It All Comes Back, which I quite literally played the grooves off of during my blues stage.

Thanks to everyone who suggested these songs, and thanks for listening. That’s your Friday Five for June 16, 2017.


Monday’s Music Moves Me: Car Tunes!

I was going to start out by saying “Happy Memorial Day,” but Memorial Day isn’t actually a happy day, because it commemorates members of the United States armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard) who died in combat. However, Memorial Day weekend is considered by many to be the unofficial first weekend of summer, so Happy First Weekend of Summer! The kids here are out of school until the first or second Monday in August, which used to be called “summer vacation.”


Since summer and cars go together, today we were asked to come up with songs about cars. I’m sure I’ll be repeating some of what others have chosen, because no doubt when someone says “car songs,” people tend to think about the same ones. Anyway, here are the ten I chose, in a playlist for you. Enjoy!

  1. Golden Earring, “Radar Love” The one big hit for Dutch rockers Golden Earring, this reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Cash Box survey in 1973.
  2. The Beach Boys, “Little Deuce Coupe” The title track from their 1963 album. This was their highest-charting “B” side (the “A” side was “Little Surfer Girl”), reaching #15 on the Hot 100.
  3. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, “Hot Rod Lincoln” A cover of Charlie Ryan’s 1955 hit, it was the most-successful version, reaching #9 in 1972. It was on the Commander’s 1971 album Lost In The Ozone.
  4. Johnny Cash, “One Piece At A Time” The story of building a Cadillac piece by piece from parts stolen from the assembly line. It was the title track from Johnny’s 54th studio album, released in 1976. It reached #1 on the Country chart and #29 on the Hot 100.
  5. Chuck Berry, “You Can’t Catch Me” Chuck wrote a lot of songs about cars, and this was one of the first, released in 1956. It was recorded in the same session as “Maybelline” and “Wee Wee Hours.”
  6. Jan & Dean, “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” The first of two songs in this list by Messrs. Berry and Torrance, who did a lot of songs about cars and surfing. This one reached #3 in 1964.
  7. Ronnie & The Daytonas, “Little GTO” Ronny & The Daytonas were a surf and rock & roll band out of Nashville. They released a number of singles between 1964 and 1967. This was the first and the only to reach the Top Ten, peaking at #4.
  8. The Rip Chords, “Hey Little Cobra” From 1963, this peaked at #4 in the US, #5 in Canada, and #3 in New Zealand.
  9. Jan & Dean, “Drag City” Title track from Jan & Dean’s 1963 album, it reached the Top Ten in January 1964.
  10. The Playmates, “Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler)” Heard this one on Dr. Demento many moons ago. This was a 1958 novelty record that reached #4 and spent twelve weeks on the Billboard Top 40 chart.

Hope this brightens your Memorial Day. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for May 29, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.