So … I’ve been listening to Chip Ordway’s Friday night record show on WPTR, the Capital District’s local community radio station. The show airs Friday nights, 6-8pm, and can be streamed at wptrradio.com or heard on your AM radio (1240 AM). Yes, AM radio. Just like back in the day.
Over his two-hour broadcast, Chip has pulled a ton of rarities from the record vaults, and given them a new spin on his radio show. Some of these are so rare, I didn’t even know they existed. And I’ve been pulling rarities out of my archive for these K-Chuck Radio posts for more than a decade now.
So … here’s several records that I heard (and liked) from first hearing it on the Chip Ordway Record Shop on Friday nights at WPTR. And if you tune in, you can hear them as well.
She’s Not There
This is a cover version of the Zombies’ classic, and “The Road” – originally known as the Mellow Brick Road – was a popular Western New York band that made some inroads in the Capital District. Although this song wasn’t a big hit, it was THEIR biggest hit.
Snowman, Snowman, Sweet Potato, Nose
Yes, this song uses as much of the orchestration of the Jaynettes’ big hit, “Sally Go Round the Roses,” as well as pulling in enough lyrical content to “Old McDonald Had a Farm” that you almost expect one of the Jaynettes to start chanting, “E I E I O.” And is this one of the only records out there that makes use of a Jew’s Harp in the bridge?
TERRY KNIGHT AND THE PACK
I (Who Have Nothing)
This song actually hit #1 in Albany. “The Pack” would later transition into Grand Funk Railroad, with Terry Knight becoming their manager. Again, not every record was #1 in every market in the country … but somehow this went to the top of the WPTR charts. Might have also hit #1 on WTRY, but I don’t know that for certain.
Wait, did Pat Boone accidentally wander into a Brian Wilson recording session? Maybe … I mean, the record was co-written by future Beach Boy Bruce Johnson and producer-singer Terry Melcher of the Rip Chords … but seriously, Pat Boone? Did he get sand in his white bucks? Did he mix up his Coppertone with Acne-Statin?
2 OF CLUBS
This Cincinnati duo didn’t get as much coverage as they should have, but … this song did hit #1 in the winter of 1966-67 on WPTR. It’s currently a hit “Northern Soul” stomper in British oldies dance clubs.
I Can’t Help It
Yes, you’ve heard her multi-million selling song “The End of the World.” You might even know her as one-half of the Davis Sisters, singing “I Forgot More About Him (Than You’ll Ever Know).” But on WPTR, Chip Ordway will pull out this ultra-rare 45 in which Skeeter Davis takes her turn with the Nashville “country-politan” sound.
THE MAJIC SHIP
This monster fuzz freakbeat classic was a major hit in the Northeast, and I would imagine that Boom Boom Brannigan played the grooves off this record every hour on the hour.
Coming On Strong
Yes, THIS was the song that Golden Earring referenced in their hit “Radar Love.” And thanks to WPTR, now you can actually hear what all the buzz was about. 😀
Couldn’t Find the Time To Tell You
The late 60’s had a ton of Boston-based rock groups that were marketed as the “Boss-town” sound, along with other MGM Records-signed New England rock/psychedelic bands like the Beacon Street Union and the Ultimate Spinach. Orpheus was from Worcester, and this was their biggest hit.
Now I would tell you at this point in time to listen to K-Chuck Radio … but instead, I want you to point your browser to wptrradio.com on Friday and tune in at 6:00 p.m. for the Chip Ordway Record Show.
Trust me on this. If he’s pulling cool records like these out of the stacks, what else can he find that you’ll enjoy?
I’m betting lots.