Tag: John Mellencamp

Monday 1/30/23 9pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Uh-huh (1983)

Uh-Huh was released October 23, 1983 by John Cougar Mellencamp, a stage name for John Mellencamp and a transition from his early work under the name John Cougar. It was Mellencamp’s seventh studio album and the first in which he used his real last name. It charted at #9 on the Billboard 200.

Uh-Huh contained three Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 hits: “Crumblin’ Down” (#9), “Pink Houses” (#8), and “Authority Song” (#15). In 1989, it was ranked No. 32 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 80’s.

The remastered version was released March 29, 2005 on Mercury/Island/UMe and includes one bonus track.

Crumblin’ Down” – 3:33
“Pink Houses” – 4:43
Authority Song” – 3:49
“Warmer Place to Sleep” – 3:48
“Jackie O” – 3:04
“Play Guitar” – 3:25
“Serious Business” – 3:25
“Lovin’ Mother Fo Ya” – 3:06
“Golden Gates” – 4:04
“Pink Houses” (acoustic version, 2005) – 3:45

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar, tambourine
Larry Crane – guitar
Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion
Toby Myers – bass

Mike Wanchic – guitar, background vocals
Louis Johnson – bass
Caroll Sue Hill – vocals
Maggie Ryder – vocals
Jay Ferguson – vocals

Friday 11/4/22 9pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Scarecrow (1985) (2022 Expanded Edition)

Scarecrow is the eighth studio album by John Mellencamp. Released August 5, 1985, it peaked at #2 on the U.S. chart. The remastered version was released May 24, 2005 on Mercury/Island/UMe and includes one bonus track.

This album contained three Top 10 hits, a record for a Mellencamp album: “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” which peaked at #2 in the U.S.; “Lonely Ol’ Night,” which peaked at #6; and “Small Town,” which also peaked at #6. “Lonely Ol’ Night” also peaked at #1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, his second chart-topping single on this chart.

In 1989, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Scarecrow #95 on its list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, saying: “Scarecrow consolidated the band’s rugged, roots-rock thrash and the ongoing maturation of Mellencamp’s lyrics.”

Rolling Stone also reported that the band spent a month in rehearsals, playing a hundred rock and roll songs from the 1960s before going into the studio. According to the record’s producer, Don Gehman, the idea was to “learn all these devices from the past and use them in a new way with John’s arrangements.” The album was recorded at Mellencamp’s own “Belmont Mall” studio in Belmont, Indiana.

The overall theme of the album is the fading of the American dream in the face of corporate greed. Rolling Stone wrote that songs such as “Face of the Nation,” “Minutes to Memories” and “Small Town” have a “bittersweet, reflective tone.”

In his 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, Mellencamp said: “With Scarecrow, I was finally starting to find my feet as a songwriter. Finally, for the first time, I realized what I thought I wanted to say in song. …I wanted it to be more akin to Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Faulkner, as opposed to The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan.”

On November 4, 2022 an expanded release was offered.

“Rain on the Scarecrow” 3:46
“Grandma’s Theme” 0:56
“Small Town” 3:41
“Minutes to Memories” 4:11
“Lonely Ol’ Night” 3:45
“The Face of the Nation” 3:13
“Justice and Independence ’85” 3:32
“Between a Laugh and a Tear” 4:32
“Rumbleseat” 2:58
“You’ve Got to Stand for Somethin'” 4:32
“R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to 60s Rock)” 2:54
“The Kind of Fella I Am” 2:55
“Small Town” (Acoustic Version) 4:14

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar, harmonica on “Small Town”
Larry Crane – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Kenny Aronoff – drums, tambourine, vibes, backing vocals
Mike Wanchic – electric guitars, backing vocals
Toby Myers – electric bass, backing vocals
John Cascella – keyboards
Rickie Lee Jones – vocals on “Between a Laugh and a Tear”
Sarah Flint – background vocals on “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
Laura Mellencamp (John Mellencamp’s grandmother) – lead vocal on “Grandma’s Theme”
Mimi Mapes – backing vocals on “Minutes to Memories”
A. Jack Wilkins – saxophone on “Justice and Independence ’85”
Richard Fanning – trumpet on “Justice and Independence ’85”
Ry Cooder – slide guitar on “The Kind of Fella I Am”

Monday 10/31/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Big Daddy (1989)

Big Daddy is the tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, released May 9, 1989 by Mercury Records. It was his last album to be released under the name John Cougar Mellencamp, a combination of his real name and his original stage name of Johnny Cougar. The album peaked at number seven on the Billboard 200 and contained the singles “Pop Singer” and “Jackie Brown”, which peaked at No. 15 and 48, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100. A re-mastered version of the album was released on May 24, 2005, and contains a bonus acoustic version of “Jackie Brown”. Like The Lonesome Jubilee, Big Daddy is folk-inspired as violins and fiddles (among other instruments) are significantly utilized on a number of tracks. The album’s lyrics largely take a serious tone and the album as a whole is regarded by some as Mellencamp’s most reflective.

In 1991, Mellencamp said: “Big Daddy was the best record I ever made. Out of my agony came a couple of really beautiful songs. You can’t be 22 years old and had two dates and understand that album.”

“Big Daddy of Them All” – 3:31
“To Live” – 3:18
“Martha Say” – 3:41
“Theo and Weird Henry” – 4:49
“Jackie Brown” – 4:03
“Pop Singer” – 2:48
“Void in My Heart” – 2:30
“Mansions in Heaven” – 3:06
“Sometimes a Great Notion” – 3:33
“Country Gentleman” – 3:17
“J.M.’s Question” – 3:40
“Let It All Hang Out” (B.B. Cunningham, McEwen, Master, Hunter) – 3:11
“Jackie Brown” (acoustic version) (2005 re-issue bonus track) – 4:24

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Larry Crane – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin
Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion, background vocals
Mike Wanchic – electric guitar, bass, dobro, background vocals
Toby Myers – bass guitar, background vocals
John Cascella – accordion, keyboards
Lisa Germano – violin
Pat Peterson – background vocals
Crystal Taliefero – background vocals, percussion

Friday 7/1/22 1am ET: Live Track Show

Tonight we feature:

Paul McCartney & Wings, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Mariah Carey, Three Dog Night, Paul Young, Elton John, John Mellencamp, REM, Billy Joel, Doobie Brothers, Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, Santana, UFO, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz

Friday 6/3/22 1am ET: Feature Live LP: John Mellencamp – Good Samaritan Tour 2000 (2021)

Live album released August 27, 2021

1 Small Town 4:10
2 Oklahoma Hills 4:13
3 In My Time Of Dying 2:24
4 Captain Bobby Stout 3:08
5 Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) 5:05
6 All Along The Watchtower 3:20
7 The Spider And The Fly 3:02
8 Early Bird Cafe 2:40
9 Hey Gyp 3:39
10 Street Fighting Man 2:46
11 Cut Across Shorty 3:33
12 Pink Houses 5:23

Accordion, Vocals – Mike Flynn
Art Direction, Design – Joe Spix
Cover, Photography – Harry Sandler
Fiddle – Miriam Sturm
Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals – Merritt Lear
Guitar – Mike Wanchic
Guitar, Vocals – John Mellencamp
Mastered By – Robert Ludwig
Mixed By – Andrew York

Friday 4/22/22 10pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – American Fool (1982)

American Fool is the fifth studio album by John Mellencamp, released under the stage name John Cougar on April 12, 1982. The album was his commercial breakthrough, holding the No. 1 position on the Billboard album chart for nine weeks.

According to a 1983 article in the Toledo Blade, the song “Danger List” originated when Mellencamp heard his guitarist Larry Crane playing some chords in a basement rehearsal room. “I turned on the tape recorder and sang 30 verses,” Mellencamp explained. “I just made them up. Then I went and weeded out the ones I didn’t like.”

A remastered version of American Fool was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005; it includes one bonus track, the previously unreleased title track.

Hurts So Good” – 3:42
Jack & Diane” – 4:16
Hand to Hold On To” – 3:25
“Danger List” – 4:28
“Can You Take It” – 3:35
“Thundering Hearts” – 3:40
“China Girl” – 3:34
“Close Enough” – 3:38
“Weakest Moments” – 4:07
“American Fool” (2005 re-issue bonus track) – 3:46

John Mellencamp – lead vocals, guitar, tambourine
Larry Crane – guitar, background vocals
Mike Wanchic – guitar, background vocals
Kenny Aronoff – drums
George “Chocolate” Perry – bass
Mick Ronson – guitar, background vocals
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass, background vocals
Eric Rosser – keyboards
Dave Parman – background vocals

Friday 2/4/22 8pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Strictly a One-Eyed Jack (2022)

Strictly a One-Eyed Jack is the 24th studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp. The album was released on January 21, 2022, by Republic Records. The album’s cover, a portrait of Mellencamp, was painted by Mellencamp’s son Speck, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently the executive director of Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, Indiana.

  1. “I Always Lie to Strangers” 3:36
  2. “Driving In the Rain” 3:25
  3. “I Am a Man That Worries” 4:33
  4. “Streets of Galilee” 2:49
  5. “Sweet Honey Brown” 5:18
  6. “Did You Say Such a Thing” (featuring Bruce Springsteen) 3:39
  7. “Gone So Soon” 3:31
  8. “Wasted Days” (featuring Bruce Springsteen) 4:31
  9. “Simply a One-Eyed Jack” 4:41
  10. “Chasing Rainbows” 3:27
  11. “Lie to Me” 3:30
  12. “A Life Full of Rain” (featuring Bruce Springsteen) 5:27

Andy York – acoustic and electric guitar, autoharp, banjo, bass, backing vocals, musical director
Dane Clark – drums and percussion
Joey Tartell – trumpet
John Gunnell – bass

John Mellencamp – vocals and acoustic guitar
Merritt Lear – violin and backing vocals
Mike Wanchic – electric guitar and backing vocals
Miriam Sturm – violin
Troye Kinnett – piano, accordion, organ, harmonica
Bruce Springsteen – electric guitar, vocals

Thursday 1/20/22 11pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Trouble No More

Trouble No More is American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp’s 18th studio album and his final recording for Columbia Records, released June 3, 2003. It consists of blues and folk covers.

A re-working of “To Washington” featuring new lyrics critical of President George W. Bush and the Iraq War, generated much controversy upon the album’s release.

In addition to the album, a documentary titled Trouble No More: The Making of a John Mellencamp Album was produced and directed by Ron Osgood, along with students from his documentary course at Indiana University. The documentary won a Regional Emmy and several small festival awards in 2004 and 2005.

“Stones in My Passway” 3:17
“Death Letter” 6:14
“Johnny Hart” 4:31
“Baltimore Oriole” 3:54
“Teardrops Will Fall” 4:24
“Diamond Joe” 4:37
“The End of the World” 3:24
“Down in the Bottom” 3:31
“Lafayette” 3:55
“Joliet Bound” 3:34
“John the Revelator” 3:19
To Washington” 2:39

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Andy York – guitars, bass
Dane Clark – drums, percussion
Miriam Sturm – violin, viola
Michael Ramos – accordion, organ
Toby Myers – upright bass
John Gunnell – electric bass
Pat Peterson – background vocals, tambourine
Courtney Kaiser – background vocals, tambourine
Heather Headley – background vocals
Janas Hoyt – background vocals
Michael Clark – pedal steel
T. Blayde – kazoo

Tuesday 12/21/21 12am ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Cuttin’ Heads (2001)

Cuttin’ Heads is the 17th album by American singer-songwriter and musician John Mellencamp, released on October 16, 2001. It was his second album for Columbia Records, and it peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 in early November 2001. The album is noteworthy for having only one single, the India.Arie duet “Peaceful World”.

“Cuttin’ Heads” – 5:03
“Peaceful World” – 4:05
“Deep Blue Heart” – 3:29

“Crazy Island” – 3:47
“Just Like You” – 4:04
“The Same Way I Do” – 3:20
“Women Seem” – 5:14
“Worn Out Nervous Condition” – 3:32
“Shy” – 3:25
“In Our Lives” – 4:03

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Andy York – electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, banjo, lap steel, bass, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Steve Jordan – drums and percussion
Willie Weeks – bass
Miriam Sturm – violin, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Jenn Cristy – flute, percussion, background vocals, piano, organ, violin
Moe Z M.D. – organ, clavinet, drums, percussion, backing vocals
Pat Peterson – background vocals
Courtney “PeeWee” Kaiser – background vocals
Mike Wanchic – guitar, backing vocals
Dane Clark – drums, percussion
John Gunnell – bass
Kenny Childers – acoustic guitar, background vocals
David Wierhake – accordion on “Peaceful World” and “In Our Lives”
Chuck D – vocals on “Cuttin’ Heads”
India.Arie – vocals on “Peaceful World”
Trisha Yearwood – vocals on “Deep Blue Heart”

Wednesday 10/6/21 12pm ET: Artist Countdown: John Mellencamp Top 30 Hits

John J. Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, an American singer-songwriter with over four decades in the recording industry, has released 23 studio albums, two live albums, four compilation albums, 65 singles and has appeared on one tribute album and one guest single respectively.

His 1976 debut album Chestnut Street Incident (credited to the stage name Johnny Cougar) failed to make any significant impact and was therefore considered a major disappointment for his then record label Mainman. Consequently, Johnny Cougar (the artist) was dropped by Mainman, but his story did not end there. John Mellencamp refused to give up, and was eventually re-signed, (this time to Riva records) although he would continue to record under the John Cougar moniker for several more years. Mellencamp’s first album to chart on the Billboard 200 was the (then self-titled) John Cougar album in 1979, which was certified Gold by the RIAA. Mellencamp’s major commercial breakthrough came in 1982 with American Fool, which reached number one on the Billboard 200 and yielded two singles, “Hurts So Good” and “Jack & Diane”, which reached number two and number one respectively on the Billboard Hot 100. American Fool would eventually sell ten million copies worldwide (5 million in the US alone). From 1983 to 1987, Mellencamp released three consecutive albums—Uh-Huh (1983), Scarecrow (1985), and The Lonesome Jubilee (1987)—which were all certified Triple Platinum by the RIAA. Combined, the three albums spawned sixteen singles, six of which—”Crumblin’ Down”, “Pink Houses”, “Lonely Ol’ Night”, “Small Town”, “Paper in Fire” and “Cherry Bomb”—became top ten hits in the US. In 1997, Mellencamp released his first ever greatest hits collection entitled The Best That I Could Do 1978–1988. To date, this compilation has sold six million copies worldwide.

Mellencamp has charted twenty eight singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including twenty two hits in the Top 40, seventeen of which made the Top 20 and ten of those would crack the Top 10. He has scored twenty two albums on the Billboard 200, including seventeen in the Top 20 and eleven in the Top 10. Mellencamp has sold about thirty million albums in the US and over sixty million worldwide.

1Wild Night (featuring Me’Shell Ndegéocello)
2Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)
3R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A. (A Salute to ’60s Rock)
4Jack & Diane
5Cherry Bomb
6Small Town
7Pop Singer
8Paper in Fire
9Lonely Ol’ Night
10Jackie Brown
11Check It Out
12Hurts So Good
13Just Another Day
14Again Tonight
15Human Wheels
16Rooty Toot Toot
17Your Life Is Now
18Get a Leg Up
19Dance Naked
20Crumblin’ Down
21Pink Houses
22Hand to Hold on To
23Authority Song
24Rave On
25I’m Not Running Anymore
26Rain on the Scarecrow
27Ain’t Even Done with the Night
28Peaceful World (featuring India.Arie)
29Now More Than Ever

Thursday 5/20/21 2pm ET: Sounds of 2000

Featuring music from 2000 – 2009. This week music from John Mellencamp, Ben’s Brother, Elton John, Shania Twain, AC/DC, Goo Goo Dolls, Martina McBride, Doobie Brothers, Poison, Jack Ingram, and more . . .

Thursday 2/25/21 7pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Lonesome Jubilee (1987)

The Lonesome Jubilee is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, credited as John Cougar Mellencamp. The album was released by Mercury Records on August 24, 1987. Four singles were released from the album, the first two in 1987 and the last two in 1988.

The album was one of Mellencamp’s most successful worldwide, charting in ten countries. The album was most successful in Canada where it topped RPM magazine’s Top Albums chart and became the artist’s highest certified album by Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) becoming 6x platinum.

“We were on the road for a long time after Scarecrow, so we were together a lot as a band,” Mellencamp said in a 1987 Creem Magazine feature. “For the first time ever, we talked about the record before we started. We had a very distinct vision of what should be happening here. At one point, The Lonesome Jubilee was supposed to be a double album, but at least 10 of the songs I’d written just didn’t stick together with the idea and the sound we had in mind. So I just put those songs on a shelf, and cut it back down to a single record. Now, in the past, it was always ‘Let’s make it up as we go along’ – and we did make some of The Lonesome Jubilee up as we went along. But we had a very clear idea of what we wanted it to sound like, even before it was written, right through to the day it was mastered.”

“Paper in Fire” – 3:51
“Down and Out in Paradise” – 3:37
“Check It Out” – 4:19
“The Real Life” – 3:57
“Cherry Bomb” – 4:47
“We Are the People” – 4:17
“Empty Hands” – 3:43
“Hard Times for an Honest Man” – 3:27
“Hotdogs and Hamburgers” – 4:04
“Rooty Toot Toot” – 3:29
“Blues from the Front Porch” – 2:02

John Mellencamp – vocal, guitar
Kenny Aronoff – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Larry Crane – guitars, mandolin, harmonica, autoharp, banjo, backing vocals
John Cascella – accordion, keyboards, saxophone, melodica, penny whistle, claves
Lisa Germano – fiddle
Toby Myers – bass guitar, banjo, backing vocals
Pat Peterson – backing vocals, cowbell, tambourine
Crystal Taliefero – backing vocals
Mike Wanchic – guitars, dobro, banjo, dulcimer, backing vocals

Monday 1/18/2021 1am ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did (1980)

Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did is John Mellencamp’s fourth studio album, under his pseudonym of John Cougar.   Released September 15, 1980 and produced by soul pioneer Steve Cropper, the album includes the Top 40 hits “Ain’t Even Done with the Night”, which reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the album’s second single, and “This Time”, which peaked at No. 27 as the album’s lead single.

The woman pictured on the album’s cover and seen in the music video for “This Time” is actress Edith Massey, a member of the Dreamlanders troupe who often appeared in the films of John Waters. Massey was chosen because, as Mellencamp told Rolling Stone in late 1980, “I was looking for a typical heavy woman to convey a lower-middle-class way of living.”

A remastered version of Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did was released on Mercury/Island/UMe on March 29, 2005; it includes one bonus track, “Latest Game”, which, according to the liner notes, was taken from the sessions for Mellencamp’s 1982 album American Fool.

The album is certified Platinum by the RIAA.

1. “Hot Night in a Cold Town” 3:47
2. “Ain’t Even Done with the Night” 4:38
3. “Don’t Misunderstand Me” 3:33
4. “This Time” 4:18
5. “Make Me Feel” 4:04
6. “To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)” 4:50
7. “Tonight” 3:17
8. “Cry Baby” 0:25
9. “Wild Angel” 3:13
10. “Peppermint Twist” 0:28
11. “Cheap Shot” 3:00

John Mellencamp – vocals, guitar
Doc Rosser – piano
Mike Wanchic – guitars, backing vocals
Larry Crane – guitars, backing vocals
Rick Shlosser – drums
Ed Greene – drums
Jeff Baxter – pedal steel guitar
Dave Woodford – saxophone
Kenny Aronoff – vibes
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass guitar, backing vocals
John Barlow Jarvis – piano
Susan Duitch Helmer – backing vocals on “This Time”

Monday 1/4/2021 10pm ET: Feature LP: John Mellencamp – John Cougar (1979)

John Cougar is the third studio album by John Mellencamp. It was his first album to be released by his new record company Riva Records and to credit him as “John Cougar”. Released in 1979, following the success in Australia of the single “I Need a Lover” from his previous album A Biography (which did not receive a U.S. release), John Cougar included the aforementioned track for U.S. audiences, as well as a re-working of A Biography’s “Taxi Dancer”.

“I Need a Lover”, upon the release of this album, became a Top 40 hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 28 in December 1979, after having been a No. 5 hit in Australia in 1978 when it was released as a single from A Biography. “Miami” was also a hit single in Australia, his second Top 40 hit in that country. “I Need a Lover” was subsequently covered by Pat Benatar on her album In the Heat of the Night. In the U.S., however, “Small Paradise” was released as a single in place of “Miami”, but it was not very successful, peaking at No. 87 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1980. During concerts in 1979 and 1980, guitarist Mike Wanchic would trade lead vocals with Mellencamp on “Miami”.

Mellencamp recorded a solo acoustic rendition of “Sugar Marie” for his 2010 box set On the Rural Route 7609, stating in the set’s liner notes: “‘Sugar Marie’ suffered from young musicians not knowing how to present the music. I’ve always had an affection for the song, and I’ve always known it had something I didn’t get at on the album.”

On his inspiration for writing “I Need A Lover”, his first Top 40 hit, Mellencamp said: “The song’s about a friend of mine who goes to Concordia College. When that song was written, he was pretty sad. He was . . . livin’ in his bedroom. I told him, ‘You got to get the hell out of the house!’ He’d say, ‘Man, if I only had a girl, she’d make me forget my problems.’ I just said, ‘Well . . . ’”

“A Little Night Dancin'” – 3:43
“Small Paradise” – 3:40
“Miami” – 3:53
“The Great Midwest” – 4:29
“Do You Think That’s Fair” – 4:48
“I Need a Lover” – 5:35
“Welcome to Chinatown” – 3:59
“Sugar Marie” – 4:16
“Pray for Me” – 3:30
“Taxi Dancer” – 5:02
“I Need A Lover” (Single Edit) – 3:39

John Mellencamp – vocal, guitar
Brian Bec Var – piano, keyboards
Larry Crane – guitars, backing vocals
Mike “Chief” Wanchic – guitars, backing vocals
Robert “Ferd” Frank – bass
Tom Knowles – drums

Wednesday 6pm ET: Sounds of The 70s

This week on the Sounds of The 70s we feature music from:  Pablo Cruise, Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, John Mellencamp, Elton John, Doobie Brothers, Village People, America, Hillside Singers and more . . .