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8/24/12 – “Rock Island Line” Cat Fight Podcast

Posted: August 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Doo Wop, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Podcast

“Rock Island Line”

This week’s “Friday Night Cat Fight” features the classic American folk tune, “Rock Island Line,” which was first discovered by musicologist John Lomax in 1934.  Lomax was making his way through the South recording and preserving folk music for the Library Of Congress.  It was at a penitentiary in Arkansas that he came across Kelly Pace and his group and they sang “Rock Island Line” for him.  It is documented that this tune was very popular among inmates, who sang it as they worked the prison yards.  Leadbelly also heard the tune while in prison and he first recorded it in 1937.  The version by Leadbelly up for competition this week, though was taking from a 1940 session he had with the Golden Gate Quartet. 
There are also five more versions of “Rock Island Line” vying for your vote, including the most popular one to date by British Skiffle sensation Lonnie Donegan.  His version was released in 1955 and went to #8 on the US charts in 1956.  Charting versions by Don Cornell and Johnny Cash are also featured.
Listen to the podcast in full and then decide which version of “Rock Island Line” you DIG THE MOST!  Then, voice your choice and vote below.


Which One Do You DIG THE MOST? - "Rock Island Line"

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10/15/10 – “Matchbox Blues” Cat Fight!

Posted: October 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Rock n' Roll, rockabilly | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Podcast

“Matchbox Blues”

The Friday Night Cat Fight takes on one of the greatest and most recognizable classic blues tunes this week with a 4-way Cat Fight over “Matchbox Blues.”  Blind Lemon Jefferson’s 1927 original will go up against Leadbelly’s 1934 Library Of Congress field recording, while Carl Perkins made it his own in 1957, it was The Beatles that took it into the American Charts in 1964.  Listen to all 4 and then decide for yourself which one you truly DIG THE MOST!

Plus, at the end of the Podcast, I’ll have a little tribute to 2 great soul singers that passed away over the past week (Solomon Burke & General Johnson).

Listen, Dig and VOTE!

Which One Do You DIG The MOST? - "Matchbox Blues"

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9/17/10 – The “Stagger Lee” Cat Fight!

Posted: September 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Podcast

Stagger Lee (Stack O Lee)

This week, a true story (Lee Shelton shot Billy Lyons in 1895) comes to life in song.  I’ve been wanting to do a Friday Night Cat Fight on “Stagger Lee” or “Stack O Lee” for a very long time.

The story comes to life in the form of the Delta Blues of Furry Lewis and Mississippi John Hurt, the New Orleans R&B of Archibald and Lloyd Price (who’s version topped both the R&B and pop charts) and many others along the way.  Listen to the podcast and then VOTE for your favorite version of “Stagger Lee” below.

Leave a comment on this page and let everyone know why you voted for one version of “Stag” over the others.

Which One Do You DIG The MOST? - "Stagger Lee (Stack O Lee)"

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8/13 – 9/10/10 – The Elvis Triple Threat Cat Fight!

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

**Extended Voting**

Friday Night Cat Fight Podcast


The dog days and cat nights of August are ON FIRE with this week’s Friday Night Cat Fight Battle Royale, THE ELVIS TRIPLE THREAT!  Matt The Cat commemorates the 33rd anniversary of Elvis’ death with not one, not two BUT THREE Cat Fight’s rolled into one.  In round one, the “King” returns from his stint in the Army only to battle Lowell Fulson over “Reconsider Baby.”  Then, round two heats up with Elvis’ top 10 rendition of Ray Peterson’s classic “The Wonder Of You.”  Finally, the crowd can’t sit still as the Big “E” takes it to the streets to battle the gang from Washington, DC better known as The Clovers way “Down In The Alley!”

Vote three times in this week’s historic Cat Fight.  Can Elvis win 2 out of 3 and take the title OR will he be defeated and sent back to the minors.  The answer is in your hands.

Listen to the Cat Fight Podcast and then vote THREE TIMES below!

Part One: "Reconsider Baby"

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Part Two: "The Wonder Of You"

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Part Three: "Down In The Alley"

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6/11/10 – The History of “Frankie & Johnny”

Posted: June 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock n' Roll, rockabilly | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments »

The History Of

“Frankie & Johnny”

This week, The Friday Night Cat Fight tackles one of the greatest folk tunes of all-time, “Frankie & Johnny.”  We trace the history of the tune back to the Nineteenth Century and play 15 different versions of the song.  Only 6 versions are in competition in the Cat Fight this week, though.  The classic blues rendition of the tune by Mississippi John Hurt leads us off, then we jump to Johnny Cash’s telling of tale as “Frankie’s Man, Johnny” from 1959.  From there, Brook Benton and Sam Cooke give the tune a soul twist from the early ’60s.  Versions by the Greenwood Country singers and Elvis round out the competition. 

The rest of the show is filled out with various blues, country, big band and rockabilly versions of “Frankie & Johnny” that it’ll make any man think twice before doing his woman wrong. 

So listen, dig and VOTE for your favorite version of “Frankie & Johnny” on the Friday Night Cat Fight Radio Podcast with Matt The Cat.

Which One Do You Dig The MOST? - "Frankie & Johnny"

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5/21/10 – The History of “Midnight Special”, 7-way Cat Fight & More

Posted: May 21st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Show


History Of

“Midnight Special”

The “Midnight Special” is a traditional folk tune about a passenger train that roared past a prison every night.  The singer of the tune dreamed of the freedom that waited just outside his prison walls.  It was first committed to paper in 1905, but didn’t appear on record until 1926 when Dave “Pistol Pete” Cutrell recorded it for Okeh with some new lyrics that referenced his band.  Leadbelly popularized the song after he let Alan Lomax record him singing it for the Library Of Congress in 1934.  The song entered the R&B charts as an instrumental in 1948 with Tiny Grimes cutting it for the then new Atlantic Label.  In 1952, The Weavers had a small hit with is, but it didn’t hit the Rock n’ Roll Era until Big Joe Turner cut it in 1957.  From there, it became a pop hit for Paul Evans in 1960 and Johnny Rivers in 1965.  Credence Clearwater Revival included their inspired version of “Midnight Special” on their 1969 LP, “Willie & The Poor Boys”.  This week, 7 versions of the tune (Leadbelly to CCR) will be competing for YOUR Vote.  For historical purposes, I do include the original 1926 recording by Dave Cutrell.

I’ll also take a look at some of the popular songs that were recorded on THIS DAY (5-21-10) in rock n’ roll history.

So listen, VOTE and DIG the “Midnight Special” Cat Fight With Matt The Cat.

Which One Do You DIG The MOST? - "Midnight Special"

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5/7/10 – The History of “See See Rider” Cat Fight!

Posted: May 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Friday Night Cat Fight Radio Show

History Of

See See Rider Blues”


This week, I trace the history of another blues and rock n’ roll standard, “See See Rider.”  It’s one of those songs that just feels like it’s been around forever, but like every great tune, there’s a story to tell.  Ma Rainey first dropped this on shellac in 1924 with the help of Louis Armstrong’s band.  It became a sensation in 1925 and that lead to many different covers of the tune.  I’m presenting a brilliant version by Bea Booze (1943), a doo wop version by The Orioles (1952), the first rock n’ roll version by Chuck Willis (1957), LaVern Bakers retelling of the tale (1962) and the Animals’ “take no prisoners” take from 1966.  Listen to all six versions in their entirety before making your decision and voting for your favorite.  I will also have a collage that features versions by Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt and Elvis Presley. 

Also on this week’s show, we bet on the horse races, hear a killer record from The Calvanes AND pay special birthday tributes to Johnny Maestro and Ricky Nelson. 

So listen, vote AND DIG!

Which One Do You DIG The Most? - "See See Rider"

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4/2/10 – The “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town” Cat Fight & More!

Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, R&B, Rock n' Roll | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

“I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town”

This week’s show contains a massive FOUR-WAY Cat Fight over the tune, “I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town.”  In contention will be Louis Jordan’s original 1941 version vs. Billy Ward & The Dominoes fantastic 1954 version feature Jackie Wilson on lead, Mel Torme’s tribute to Count Basie with his rendition and finally Ray Charles’ great Quincy Jones’ arrangement from 1961.  Please listen to all four versions before voting for the ONE you DIG the MOST! 

Also on this week’s program, some forgotten cowboy songs, Roy Orbison’s humble beginning and the history of “Ooby Dooby” with interview snippets from Roy himself and his old buddy Sonny Burgess, Guitar Slim on Atco and a whole lot more!

So listen, vote and dig.

Which One Do You DIG The Most? - "I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town"

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3/5/10 – History Of “Milk Cow Blues” & More!

Posted: March 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blues, Rock n' Roll, rockabilly | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments »

The History of

“Milk Cow Blues”

Do you ever wonder where classic songs come from?  I do constantly.  That’s a major reason why I’m tracing the interesting history of a true blues and rock n’ roll classic, “Milk Cow Blues.”  On this week’s program, I trace this song’s evolution over NINE songs.  However, only FIVE of those NINE are in contention in the Friday Night Cat Fight!  Please pick your favorite and vote for it.

This week’s show also contains a rare record by character actor Jim Backus, one of Ray Charles’ spiritual influences, a tribute to Patsy Cline and a few “notes” on the Beat Generation.  Listen, vote and dig, baby! 

Which One Do You DIG The Most? - "Milk Cow Blues"

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