WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - Auto Show- January 18, 2006


The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit. This morning, Mike took us on the road again with his tribute to this year's Detroit Auto Show in which every song title has the name of a car model. Today's songs included many rarely heard old relics that never made the charts plus some vintage hot rod classics.

Note: The CD box set Hot Rods & Custom Classics includes every song played on today's program except for Ronny and the Daytona's "Antique '32 Studebaker Dictator Coupe."

Song Notes:

  • Dinah Shore was a very popular singer in the 1940s and much of the 1950s with a long string of hits going back to 1940. She also became famous as a TV host over the years starting with "The Dinah Shore Show" variety show in 1951 which became "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" in 1956 and ran through 1963. From 1970 through 1980, she hosted a daytime talk show first called "Dinah!," then "Dinah's Place" and finally "Dinah and Friends." In "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show," she always opened and closed with "See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet" which became one of her signature songs. "See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet" was written by Leon Carr and Leo Corday.
  • The "Carol & Cheryl" singing duo were sisters Carol and Cheryl Connors. Carol Connors was the lead singer of the Teddy Bears of "To Know Him, Is To Love Him" fame. She also recorded several songs and albums under various names including Carol Collins and Carol Connors & The Cycles, and she appeared in several movies. The noncharting "Go Go GTO" was recorded in 1965 as a single (Colpix CP 767 b/w "Sunny Winter").
  • The Customs were one of several studio groups put together by Richard Delvy for the 1963 LP, "Hot Rod City" (Vault 104). This LP included the Customs' noncharting "'54 Corvette" and another Customs' song entitled "RPM," plus "'41 Ford" by the Grand Prix as also heard today. Key members of the Customs included Gary Usher who wrote most of the Customs' songs and was the lead vocalist. Usher was a major songwriter and producer throughout the 1960s who worked with the Beach Boys and many other top bands and artists. Usher also recorded and/or produced many other surf rock, hot-rod, and other songs under different band names.
  • The noncharting "Wild Wild Mustang" by Dick Dale And The Del-Tones was released as a single in 1964 (Capitol 5187 b/w "Grudge Run"). Dick Dale is a highly influential and innovative guitar virtuoso known as the "King of the Surf Guitar." He had several chart hits in the early 1960s that included "Let's Go Trippin'" (1962) and "The Scavenger" (1963). Dale made a comeback in 1994 with the movie, "Cult Fiction," in which his now famous "Miserlou" was used as part of the soundtrack.
  • The noncharting and rarely heard "Antique '32 Studebaker Dictator Coupe" by Ronny and the Daytonas was on their 1964 LP, G.T.O. (Mala 4001). "Antique '32 Studebaker Dictator Coupe" is included on the CDs, Beach Land: 1964-67 and G.T.O.: The Best of the Mala Recordings.
  • Rocket "88", which topped the R&B charts in 1951, is a song about the Oldsmobile Model Rocket 88 in keeping with today's theme. Rocket "88" is of interest historically because many have cited it as a serious contender for being the very "first" rock and roll song (which is still a hotly debated topic). Rocket "88" is credited to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Kings who were actually the Kings of Rhythm, a group founded by Ike Turner in the late 1940s. As the story goes, Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm recorded Rocket "88" in 1951 at Sun studios with Jackie Brenston, who played tenor sax in Ike's band, serving as lead vocalist. The song was released as being by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats rather than Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm. The song's authorship is still somewhat unresolved as Jackie Brenston was the one who got the credit at the time but Ike Turner is today believed by many to be the true author. After the success of Rocket "88", Brenston went solo and had only one minor hit with "Trouble Up The Road" in 1961 (which peaked at #118).
  • The Routers were an instrumental rock group best remembered for "Let's Go (Pony)" (1962) from which the famous cheerleaders' chant originated (clap-clap clap-clap-clap clap-clap-clap-clap "Let's Go!"). They had one other chart hit with "Sting Ray" (1963) as played today. "Sting Ray" has a rhythmic hand clapping similar to that in "Let's Go (Pony)" accompanied by a car horn honking with the same rhythm.
  • "G.T.O." was Ronny & the Daytonas' chart debut song in 1964 and one of several songs they recorded with a hot rod theme. Ronny & the Daytonas also recorded as "Buzz And Bucky" (for the 1965 song, "Tiger-A-Go-Go"). The lead singer, Ronny, was John "Bucky" Wilkin.
  • The Rip Chords were a surf rock group from California whose members included Terry Melcher and Bruce Johnson. Melcher (the son of Doris Day) produced the Byrds and Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Bruce Johnson was a member of the Beach Boys. The Rip Chords had several hits from 1963-1964 and are best remembered for "Hey Little Cobra" (1964).
  • The Medallions were a doo-wop group from L.A. formed in 1954 and led by Vernon Green. They are best remembered for the noncharting "Buick '59" and its flip-side, "The Letter" (Dootone 347). Although both songs never charted nationally, "The Letter" had a lot airplay in L.A. and was also a regional hit throughout much of the North East. "Buick '59" also raised a lot of questions when it was released back in 1954 because (of course) there was no such car model back then nor was this a futuristic song. The Medallions remained together throughout most of the 1950s but with many personnel and group name changes.
  • "Black And White Thunderbird" was the B-side song of "Ronnie Is My Lover" (1959) which was their only national chart hit. "Ronnie Is My Lover" was only a minor hit nationally (peaking at only #105 on the Billboard charts) but a big hit locally. The Delicates were a New Jersey-based girl group that started as a trio of Denise Ferri, Peggy Santiglia and Arleen Lanzotti. Arleen Lanzotti left the group around 1960 and the Delicates continued as a duo. Peggy Santiglia joined the Angels (of "My Boyfriend's Back" fame) in 1962.
  • The noncharting "Bite Bite Barracuda" was performed by the Knickerbockers best remembered for their Beatles sound-alike hit, "Lies" (1966). The Knickerbockers were formed in New Jersey and Buddy Randell was the lead vocalist. Drummer and singer Jimmy Walker briefly replaced Bill Medley in the Righteous Brothers. "Bite Bite Barracuda" was released as a single in 1964 (Challenge 59268, b/w "All I Need Is You").
  • The Grand Prix was one of several studio groups put together by Richard Delvy for the 1963 LP, "Hot Rod City" (Vault 104). This LP included the Grand Prix's noncharting "'41 Ford" plus the Customs' "'54 Corvette" as also heard today. Grand Prix members included Delvy as well as Art Fisher, Glenn Grey, and Paul Johnson. "'41 Ford" was also released in 1963 as a single (Vault 906 b/w "Candy Apple Buggy").
  • The noncharting "Hopped Up Mustang" by Arlen Sanders (a.k.a. Arlen Sanders With The Pacifics) was recorded in 1964 as a single (Faro 616 b/w "A Letter To Paul"). This novelty song was written by Bill Romberger and Arlen Sanders and is a take-off on "Hot Rod Lincoln." Arlen Sanders was a deejay at KRLA-Los Angeles around the time this record was released.

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