WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - Answer Songs - May 11, 2005


The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit. This week's theme was answer songs. An "answer song" is one that responds or refers to another song. Many answer songs capitalized on the success of their much better known counterparts and often mimic the songs they are answering both in the melody and in the wording. With notable exceptions, these songs were often the only chart hits for the bands and artists recording them. Listed below are the answer songs that were played on today's show. The songs that inspired these answer songs are given below each song title.

  • (I'm The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain - Jo Ann Campbell - 1962
    ("Wolverton Mountain" by Claude King)
  • Son-In-Law - The Blossoms - 1961
    ("Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe)
  • Oh! Neil - Carole King - 1960 (by request)
    ("Oh! Carol" by Neil Sedaka)
  • Got A Job - The Miracles featuring Bill "Smokey" Robinson - 1958
    ("Get A Job" by The Silhouettes)
  • Stay Away From Bobby - The Sherry Sisters - 1963
    ("Bobby's Girl" by Marcie Blane)
  • I'll Save The Last Dance For You - Damita Jo - 1960
    ("Save The Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters)
  • I'll Be There - Damita Jo - 1961
    ("Stand By Me" by Ben E. King)
  • The Wallflower (a.k.a. "Roll With Me Henry") - Etta James - 1955
    ("Work With Me Annie" by The Midnighters)
  • The Dawn Of Correction - The Spokesmen - 1965
    ("Eve Of Destruction" by Barry McGuire)
  • Duchess Of Earl - The Pearlettes - 1962
    ("Duke Of Earl" by Gene Chandler)
  • Don't Let Him Shop Around - Debbie Dean - 1961
    ("Shop Around" by The Miracles featuring Bill "Smokey" Robinson)
  • Stay-At-Home Sue - Linda Laurie And The Del-Satins - 1962
    ("Runaround Sue" by Dion)
  • I'll Bring It Home To You - Carla Thomas - 1962
    ("Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke)
  • Well, I Told You - The Chantels - 1961
    ("Hit The Road Jack" by Ray Charles)

Notes:

  • Jo Ann Campbell's 1962 hit, "(I'm The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain," an answer to Claude King's "Wolverton Mountain," made the Top 40 on both the Country and Pop/Rock charts. Jo Ann Campbell had several chart hits from 1960-1965 and appeared in the movies, "Go, Johnny, Go!" (1959) and "Hey, Let's Twist" (1961). She was also part of the Jo Ann & Troy duo with husband Troy Seals.
  • The Blossoms, whose members included Darlene Love, served as a backup group for many singers including Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley, and Paul Anka. This group had one Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1961 with "Son-In-Law" which was an answer to Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-In-Law." The Blossoms also had one R&B chart hit, "Good, Good Lovin'" (1967).
  • The early and noncharting "Oh! Neil" by Carole King, an answer to Neil Sedaka's "Oh! Carol" which he had written about her, was released as a single in 1960 (Alpine-57 b/w "A Very Special Boy"). By the time her 1971 album, "Tapestry," was released, Carole King had already established herself as a songwriter. She and then-husband Gerry Goffin co-wrote numerous oldies classics including "One Fine Day," "Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow," and "The Locomotion." In 1990, Carole King and Gerry Goffin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • The Miracles' noncharting "Got A Job," an answer to the Silhouettes "Get A Job," was released in 1958 as a single (End 1016 b/w "My Mama Done Told Me") before the Miracles had their first chart hit (in 1959 with "Bad Girl"). Got A Job," which was co-written by Berry Gordy, Jr., Smokey Robinson, and Tyran Carlo, was the first song recorded by the Miracles. At that time, Berry Gordy was producing the Miracles and just starting up the Tamla/Motown record label. The Miracles went on to record a long string of hits for Tamla/Motown and Smokey Robinson became one of that label's most prolific songwriters. Robinson went solo in 1972 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • The Sherry Sisters were one of many lesser known girl groups that never charted nationally. Their "Stay Away From Bobby" was an answer to Marcie Blane's "Bobby's Girl." "Stay Away From Bobby" was released as a single in 1963 (Okeh 7169 b/w "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"). This song is included on the CD And The Answer Is: Great Pop Answer Discs From The 50's & 60's, Vol. 2. The Sherry Sisters also recorded several other songs on the Epic and Jamie record labels.
  • Damita Jo's "I'll Save The Last Dance For You" was her chart debut song in 1960 and an answer to the Drifters' "Save The Last Dance For Me." Damita Jo (b. Damita Jo DuBlanc) was a featured singer with Steve Gibson and the Red Caps and a regular on Redd Foxx's TV variety show.
  • Damita Jo has recorded more than her fair share of answer songs, "I'll Be There" being her second and a reply to Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." Damita Jo's "I'll Be There" and "I'll Save The Last Dance For You" are exceptional in that they were both Top 40 hits, which is rare for answer songs. ( Note that her "I'll Be There" is not to be confused with the many other songs that have this same song title, e.g., the Jackson 5 1970 smash hit).
  • Hank Ballard and the Midnighters' "Work With Me Annie," which topped the R&B charts in 1954, spawned many sequels and answer songs including Etta James' "The Wallflower" (a.k.a. "Roll With Me Henry"), which topped the R&B charts in 1955. Georgia Gibbs recorded a revised pop version of both songs entitled "Dance With Me Henry (Wallflower)," which topped the Pop/Rock charts in 1955. Etta James best known songs include "All I Could Do Was Cry" (1960), "Don't Cry Baby" (1961), and "Tell Mama" (1968). She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
  • The Spokesmen are best remembered for their 1965 hit, "The Dawn Of Correction," an answer to Barry McGuire's "Eve Of Destruction." Besides "The Dawn Of Correction," which made the Top 40, the Spokesmen also had a minor hit in 1966 with the Beatles' "Michelle" (which peaked at only #106). Members of the Spokesmen included David White who had been with Danny and the Juniors.
  • "The Duchess Of Earl," an answer to Gene Chandler's "Duke Of Earl," was the Pearlettes only charted song. The Pearlettes were an LA-based female quartet.
  • Debbie Dean's "Don't Let Him Shop Around," which was her only charted song, was an answer to the Miracles "Shop Around." "Don't Let Him Shop Around" by Debbie Dean is included on the hard-to-find compilation CD "Those Rock 'n' Roll Answer Songs - Volume 1."
  • The noncharting "Stay-at-Home Sue" by Linda Laurie and the Del-Satins was an answer to Dion's "Runaround Sue." This song, which was cowritten by Dion Di Mucci and Ernie Maresca, was released as a single in 1962 (Rust 5042 b/w"Lazy Love”). Singer-songwriter Linda Laurie had only one charted song in 1959, "Ambrose (Part Five)." She also wrote the Helen Reddy hit, "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)."
  • Carla Thomas' 1962 hit, "I'll Bring It Home To You," was an answer to Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me." Both songs were written by Cooke. Carla Thomas had a long string of hits on both the R&B (1961-1972) and Pop/Rock charts (1961-1969), her best known songs including "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)" (1961) and "B-A-B-Y" (1966).
  • The Chantels' 1961 hit, "Well, I Told You," was an answer to Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack." The Chantels were a girl group from the Bronx with a string of hits from 1957-1963. Their best known songs include "Maybe" (1958) and "Well, I Told You" (1961).

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