WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - Ron Coden Interview And Music - December 29, 2004

The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit. Today's show featured an interview with Detroit-based folk singer and TV personality Ron Coden. Interspersed throughout were various songs that Ron cited as being major musical influences and other folk songs and story songs from the late 1950s-early 1960s.


  • "Rawhide" as performed by Frankie Laine is that famous title theme from the TV series. Frankie Laine had numerous chart hits going all the way back to 1947, and his distinctive baritone can be heard in the opening theme songs of many Westerns.
  • "Banana Boat (Day-O)" (a.k.a. "The Banana Boat Song") is based on a Jamaican folk song. This song, which was a chart hit for Harry Belafonte in 1957, also charted that same year for the Tarriers, the Fontaine Sisters, Steve Lawrence, Sarah Vaughn, and Stan Freberg.
  • "Don't Take Your Guns To Town" was one of many hits for famed country singer Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash was elected to the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 1980 and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1992.
  • "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio was their chart debut song. This song, which is a modern day version of a traditional American folk song, topped the charts in 1958.
  • "In The Middle Of The House" by Vaughn Monroe starts and ends with the sound of a roaring train.
  • "Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers was their chart debut song which topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts in 1963. "Walk Right In" was also a chart hit for the Moments (1963) and Dr. Hook (1977).
  • "M.T.A." by the Kingston Trio is a song about the Boston mass transit system with a farcical lament about "the man who never returned."
  • The New Christy Minstrels' "Green, Green" features a gruff and gravelly solo by lead vocalist Barry McGuire (of "Eve Of Destruction" fame).
  • "Michael" was the Highwaymen's chart debut song in 1961, and it topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts that year. The Highwaymen's "Michael" is a modern day version of the 19th century folk song, "Michael Row The Boat Ashore."
  • Josh White was a highly acclaimed and influential smooth blues singer and guitarist who recorded throughout most of the 1930s-1960s. White's songs incorporated many elements of folk music such as story telling and socio-political commentaries, and around the early 1960s he became a folk revival artist. Josh White's "Timber (Jerry the Mule)" was included on his ca. 1956 album, "Josh At Midnight" (Elektra EKL-102). This song can also be found on his CD Josh at Midnight: Sings Ballads & Blues. His son, Josh White, Jr., is an actor and folk singer who, as a child, performed alongside his father and continues to follow in his footsteps.

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