Bruce Springsteen’s 25th DJ show on SiriusXM satellite radio, titled “Frat Party,” debuted July 21 on the network’s E Street Radio channel (channel 20). It featured music by The Trashmen, Question Mark & the Mysterians, The Kingsmen, Sam the Sham and others.
In was one of the shortest shows in the series, but still featured 13 songs, since “Frat Party” songs are so short. Springsteen focused on vintage songs that he undoubtedly first heard as a young musician rather than modern variations on the theme, though he did include songs recorded in the ’70s (The Romantics’ “What I Like About You”) and the ’80s (The Fleshtones’ “Ride Your Pony”).
He didn’t play any of his own songs, though he did mention “Sherry Darling” when talking about the “party sounds” of The Premiers’ “Farmer John.” And he didn’t do much in the way of personal storytelling, preferring to give a little background information about each group, Casey Kasem-style.
The show was part of Springsteen’s “From My Home to Yours” series. You can see an index of all songs previously played (with links to what he said and videos for the songs), here.
Here is today’s transcript and videos. In some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from what is embedded in this post.
“Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love),” The Swingin’ Medallions
Oh yes, oh yes! The Swingin’ Medallions, who unforgettably guested with us down South with the E Street Band, with “Double Shot (of My Baby’s Love).” Greetings, fans, friends, freaks and listeners at home in the U.S.A. and around the world. We’re coming to you from Stone Hill Studios via E Street Radio on satellite XM. And we are so glad to be here with you today with Vol. 25 of “From My Home to Yours,” titled “Frat Party”! Let’s get with it.
“Surfin’ Bird,” The Trashmen
That was the immortal “Surfin’ Bird,” by a group with one of the greatest names in rock ‘n’ roll, The Trashmen. Sung in a state of transcendental grace by their drummer and vocalist, Steve Wahrer, this wild motherfucker of a record reached No. 4 on the charts — impossible to believe — and as far as I know, they never had a comparable hit. How do you follow up perfection? One and done. Put this record in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“96 Tears,” Question Mark & the Mysterians
“96 Tears,” by Question Mark & the Mysterians. Another one of the coolest monikers in rock ‘n’ roll history, by one of the coolest frontmen in rock ‘n’ roll. It is absolutely perhaps the ultimate organ lick of all time. The song was written by Question Mark, Rudy Martinez, in 1962, in his manager’s living room. It was recorded in Bay City, Mich. Rumor: The original title was “69 Tears.” But it was changed due to fear it would be banned from the radio. I don’t know why. So came “96 Tears” and, once again, immortality and one of rock’s most mysterious frontmen awaited.
Here’s Farmer John, one of the most fabulous party-sound records that we stole quite a bit of for “Sherry Darling” ourselves. With one of the greatest introductions: “Has anybody seen Kosher Pickle Harry? Tell him Herbert’s lookin’ for him.” I’ll let the band introduce themselves:
“Farmer John,” The Premiers
That was brothers Lawrence Perez and John Perez, on lead guitar and drums, respectively. It was producer Billy Cardenas who suggested doing the song in an East L.A. style similar to “Louie Louie.” It was Billy Cardenas performing its spectacular opening monologue. And though the record sounds totally live, it was recorded at Stereo Masters studio in Hollywood with the all-girl Chevelles Car Club supplying the spectacular background brawl.
Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs — not out of Egypt, but Dallas, Texas. Domingo “Sam” Samudio wrote this masterpiece and recorded it in Memphis at the Sam C. Phillips — yup, that Sam Phillips — Recording Studio. This studio was the successor to Sam’s original Sun Studios. “Wooly Bully” sold 3 million copies and was a worldwide success, reaching No. 2 in America. The song was the first American record to sell during the British Invasion. Greatness cannot be stopped! Mixing British rock sounds with traditional Mexican-American conjunto rhythms, it stayed in the Hot 100 for 18 weeks, and in our hearts and souls forever. With its great opening count and Tex-Mex rhythms, it became one of the most recognizable openings in rock ‘n’ roll history. Do it, Sam!
“Wooly Bully,” Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs
“Money,” Flamin’ Groovies
That was the classic “Money,” performed by The Flamin’ Groovies, out of San Francisco, formed in 1965, one of the early forerunners of power-pop and punk. Here’s The Fleshtones, with Lee Dorsey’s “Ride Your Pony.”
“Ride Your Pony,” The Fleshtones
I love that version. It just swings. CBGB alumni, they had a long career of excellent, excellent records. Check out The Fleshtones.
Let’s go to Philly. Formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia as a doo-wop group, The Brooktones, they changed their name and had a national hit with “The Bristol Stomp.” “You Can’t Sit Down” was an E Street Band barn burner of a encore for quite a few years. Of course, my man Little Steven Van Zandt played and traveled with The Dovells for a number of years. With its great organ and frenetic pace, it is a guaranteed showstopper. Get out of your seats!
“You Can’t Sit Down,” The Dovells
“Land of 1000 Dances.” Cannibal & the Headhunters were one of the first Mexican-American groups to have a national hit record. They were an opening act for The Beatles’ second American tour. They were discovered by Rampart Records owner Eddie Davis. They were among the 1960s Mexican-American musicians and singers who pioneered the East Side Sound of Los Angeles. Francisco Mario “Frankie Cannibal” Garcia founded the group in 1964. They came from the Ramona Gardens and Estrada Courts Housing Projects of East L.A. They were inspired by the African-American doo-wop groups in their neighborhood before honing their own sound of doo-wop and garage rock in East L.A. They played the historic Beatles Shea Stadium concert but will always be remembered for (sings) “Na, na na na na, na na na na, na na, na na na, na/Na na na na.” Enough said.
“Land of 1000 Dances,” Cannibal & the Headhunters
This song was simply another one of the E Street Band’s favorite early live encores, copped simultaneously from the version by The Kingsmen and, of course, The Righteous Brothers. “Little Latin Lupe Lu” was written by a 19-year-old Bill Medley in 1962 and was the song that launched their careers. He said the song was inspired by a girl he dated at Santa Ana High School in California named Lupe Laguna, whose nickname was Lupe Lu, who loved to dance. Well, she danced straight into rock ‘n’ roll history with this one.
“Little Latin Lupe Lu,” The Righteous Brothers
Oh yeah! The Righteous Brothers. But where would we be if we didn’t include this next song. It’s simply hits too fuckin’ hard! Let’s hear it.
“What I Like About You,” The Romantics
That was The Romantics with their ass-kickin’, hard-rockin’ “What I Like About You” out of Detroit, Mich. Where else? What I can’t believe is this song only made it to No. 49 on the Billboard chart. What is the matter with people! There will never be peace on Earth with that kind of judgement, people! The Romantics. One fuck of a job, boys! P.S.: Another great vocal sung by a drummer! Mighty Max, your day will come.
This next song is one of my favorite completely nonsense-syllable songs that makes absolute sense! I mean, you know exactly what she’s saying: “You put the shama lama in my rama lama ding dong.”
“Shama Lama Ding Dong,” Scooter Lee
That’s our show for today. I just want you to drink beer and go apeshit listening to this music. Go in peace.
“Louie Louie,” The Kingsmen
Springsteen has been doing “From My Home to Yours” shows since April of 2020. Click here for an index of all the songs played in the series, as well as links to videos for the songs and transcripts for each show.
The shows have lasted from about 45 minutes to about two hours each, with repeats and on-demand availability following the initial broadcasts. The “Frat Party” show will also air July 21 at 6 p.m.; July 22 at noon; July 23 at 6 am. and 4 p.m.; July 24 at 2 p.m.; July 25 at 10 p.m.; and July 26 at 8 a.m. and midnight.
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