Hey guys, that spot about Jack Nicholson still unsettled...
Meanwhile, here's the School.
First of all, there are two kinds of marching songs playing: First after Graham Parker's “Back to Schooldays” - more accurately, after a message from Carla Thomas, while Mr. Dylan is talking about cheerleaders.
Second - after Babs Gonzales' song, while talking about college mascots.
And there is some kind of organ music playing while Mr. Dylan taling about what valedictorian is.
I'm guessing at least two of these tunes should be familiar to all former American high school students.
Plus: After the last song, Mr. Dylan is saying: "That was Guillotine and golf aficionado – Alice Cooper, (???) us to the end of school year." Need a help with those question marks.
Do you think Bob Dylan played golf with Alice Cooper?
“The Lady in Red” (Ellen Barkin): It's night time in the Big City. A writer stares at a blank sheet of paper. A pet poodle scratches at a window.
“The Lady in Red”: It’s Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan.
[Nat 'King' Cole Trio – “You Don't Learn That In School” plays in the background]
Bob Dylan: Welcome to Theme Time Radio Hour. School’s now in session. Please, take your seats – take that gum out of your mouth! – and pay attention, there’s plenty of lessons to learn. Today we’re gonna talk about school. The school of thought, and the school of hard knocks.
[Nat 'King' Cole Trio – “You Don't Learn That In School” stops to play in the background]
[Fast Times at Ridgemont High excerpt:
“Wait. Did you hear the bell ring?”)]
Bob Dylan: Let’s take the roll and start out with the guy who was part of the whole pub-rock scene, over in England. The pub rock scene was the roots based musical movement in the mid-70’s that was kind of a reaction to the overproduced popular music of the day. The punk rockers were the big fans of the pub rock music scene, and there was a certain amount of overlap. Some people thought this guy was a bit of a punk, but I just thought he make good records.
[Graham Parker – “Back to School Days” starts playing]
Bob Dylan: This is Graham Parker, “Back to School Days.”
[Graham Parker – “Back to Schooldays”]
Bob Dylan: That was Graham Parker playing along with Brinsley Schwarz, and Martin Belmont, “Back to Schooldays,” from the 19 and 76 album “Howlin’ Wing.”
[Carla Thomas: Hi, Carla Thomas Speaking. Listen, there’s no harm in staying in school – you gain so much, and you have so much more to offer to your country, yourself, and to other young people who will follow in your footsteps. There’s a key to the door of your future – in the classroom – go and get it, and do something with it. ]
Bob Dylan: This is Theme Time Radio Hour, and it ain’t all about reading, writing, and arithmetic, sometimes it’s about sports.
[famous school march playing in the background]
Bob Dylan: And wherever there’s sports, there’s gonna be cheerleaders. And you won’t believe some of the people who started out of school cheerleaders. I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Ann-Margaret, Paula Abdul, and Halle Berry were cheerleaders, but what about Katie Couric, and two of our Presidents? George W. Bush, and Dwight David Eisenhower were both cheerleaders. As was Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Steve Martin, Trent Lott, Samuel L. Jackson, and Madonna – well I could believe Madonna.
Bob Dylan: This next record is by Tommy Facenda, he was one of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps, and this is a crazy record. This song is called “High School USA,” and Tommy recorded like 40 versions of it. The first version mention all of the local high schools around Norfolk, Virginia. He recorded 40 different versions, each version about the different city mentioning the local high schools of that area. We don’t have time to play all 40 version, so I’m just gonna play my favorite. Here’s “High School USA (The Minneapolis/St. Paul Version)” by Tommy Facenda.
[Tommy Facenda – “High School USA (Minneapolis/St Paul version)”]
Bob Dylan: That was Tommy Facenda, kicking it old school with “High School USA – the Minneapolis/St Paul version.” Like I said, he did like 40 versions of it, recorded them all in like two days. Imagine what the last version must have sounded like! (laughs) I get tired just doing this radio show! (laughts). As older teachers retire, school districts have stepped up their hiring, especially in rural and inner city areas. I wonder what Tommy Facenda would have had to say about that.
Bob Dylan: I remember when I was back in school, the teacher said: “If you have to go to the bathroom, just raise your hand.” I asked: “How’s that gonna stop it?”
[James Brown – “Don't Be a Dropout” starts playing]
Bob Dylan: Here’s one of the great teachers, the father of gunk, the great hit-maker, has never lost sight of his place, as a conscious to his community. James Brown in the middle of all his hit-making, he still found time to record this important message – “Don't Be a Dropout.”
[James Brown – “Don't Be a Dropout”]
Bob Dylan: That was James Brown, without an education you might as well be dead, “Don’t Be a Dropout.” On Theme Time Radio Hour, your school for themes, dreams, and schemes. Your university of perversity. James Brown, a Barnwell, South Carolina native, he ran afoul of the law the law by the late 40’s with an armed robbery conviction, and got much of his education at the Alto Reform School, but he learned from his mistakes, and tried to spread the gospel of education.
[Les Paul and Mary Ford ad:
“Hi, this is Les Paul.”
“And Mary Ford”
School bells ring and children sing
It's back to Robert Hall again.
Mother knows for better clothes
It's back to Robert Hall again.
You'll save more on clothes for school
Shop at Robert Hall!]
Bob Dylan: Here’s the man who brought rock ‘n’ roll into America’s living room, week after week. You got to remember, there was no MTV, there were no channels showing rock ‘n’ roll around the clock. You had to figure out where you could find it, and sometimes it was only three minutes a week talked away on some show, like The Ed Sullivan Show. But Ricky Nelson changed lot of that as one of the stars of his parent’s TV-show – Ozzie and Harriet – he was given central stage to perform a song just about every week. Alongside Ricky was the magical guitarist James Burton. Ricky gets kind of a bad wrap, and isn’t considered as high (the rocker), as people like Elvis, Gene Vincent, and Carl Perkins. But for my money, he’s right up there, in the stratosphere.
[Ricky Nelson – “Waiting in School”]
Bob Dylan: That was Ricky Nelson, a man who agreed with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who once said: “The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to economize.” By the way, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was also a cheerleader, as well as being our 32nd President.
[Fast Times At Ridgemont High excerpt:
“I have one question for you – can you attend my class? It is for your own good, and you can’t make it, I can make you.”]
Bob Dylan: You’re listening to Theme Time Radio Hour, get your nose out of the book, you get an “E” for effort just for attendance.
[Fast Times At Ridgemont High excerpt:
“Sorry I’m late, it’s just like this new schedules totally confusing”]
Bob Dylan: Let’s go to our next class, it’s being taught by Otis Rush, the left-handed guitarist, who came to fame with a wondrous strick of records for the Cobra label. Songs like: “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” “My Love Will Never Die,” “Three Times a Fool,” and “All Your Love.” Some of the most atmospheric blues records ever made. In the early 60’s he moved over to Duke Records, with Don Robey, ad recorded this track, all about why he’s having difficulty doing his homework. I’d just like to point out, at the time of recording this song Otis Rush was 28-years-old. What kind of homework was he doing?
[Otis Rush – “Homework”]
Bob Dylan: Otis Rush, “Homework.”
Bob Dylan: Well any visit to the university would not be complete without checking in on the coeds, Harry Reser loves the coeds, and he’s gonna sing about them here, along with His Six Jumping Jacks. During the 20’s and 30’s Harry Reser played in a number of bands, including, The Jazz Pilots, The Campus Boys, The Rounders, The Park Lane Orchestra, The Clicquot Club and Bill Ridges and His Orchestra. Harry was an influential banjo player, showing amazing clarity and technique, he loved performing novelty songs, like this one, “I Love the College Girls.” Like Bob Wills, he enjoyed throwing it spoken interjections, which give the songs a sense of immediacy, and fun.
[Harry Reser and his 6 Jumping Jacks – “I Love the College Girls”]
Bob Dylan: That was Harry Reser and his Six Jumping Jacks, professing his love for the girls who matriculate, “I Love the College Girls.” I certainly do! If he likes the college girls so much, he should hang around at some of the women’s colleges, perhaps he should go to Barnard, or Smith, Mount Holyoke is nice, so is the college of St. Benedict, and Wellesley college of course, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Women now make up 56% of the college population, and that number continues to rise – way to go, ladies!
[Violent Is the Word for Curly (1938) excerpt:
“You'll just love it. Mildew has a lovely student body.”
"Yours wouldn't be too bad, either, if you took off about 20 pounds!"
“Come on (sister) let’s go”]
Bob Dylan: Horace Man once said: “A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” Here are The Marquees, on Okeh Records. They were a group that was only together a short time, matter of fact, I only think they made one record, they recorded it in Bo Diddley’s basement studio, and in the band was the young man named Marvin, Marvin Gaye, who later went on the great fame when he moved up north to Michigan, and was one of the biggest artists, on the home of the hit, Motown Records. But for now, give a listen to Marvin along with Chester Simmons, Reese Palmer and James Nolan – The Marquees.
[The Marquees – “Hey, Little School Girl”]
Bob Dylan: That was The Marquees, “Hey, Little School Girl.”
Bob Dylan: Mark Twain, was no ding gong, he once said: “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” On the other hand, Victor Hugo once said: “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”
Bob Dylan: Brenda Holloway was one of the sexiest singers on the Motown label, The Beatles certainly thought so, they gave her an opening slot on their 1965 American tour, it’s a dead sin she’s pretty much forgotten nowadays. Except for the fact that she wrote and recorded the original version of "You've Made Me So Very Happy." A song that was later (became) a big hit by the band Blood, Sweat & Tears. Here’s Brenda Holloway with a little bit of help from The Supremes, with an important message – “Play it Cool, Stay in School.”
[Brenda Holloway with The Supremes – Play it Cool, Stay in School]
Bob Dylan: That was Breanda Holloway, cranking it out with “Stay in School.” While we’re on that subject, here’s a poem by Gwendolyn Brooks, called We Real Cool:
We real cool. We
Left school. We
Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We
Sing thin. We
Thin gin. We
Jazz June. We
Right on, Gwendolyn.
Bob Dylan: There are many kinds of teachers: the shop teachers, Latin teachers, there’s professors of law, professors of medicine. (And) one of my favorites, Babs Gonzales – he’s professor Bop. Babs was the pioneering scat singer, and a great talent scout. On this record he presents Sonny Rollins, in one of his first appearances, along with J.J. Johnson on a trombone, Wynton Kelly on a piano, and Roy Haynes on drums.
[Babs Gonzales – “Professor Bop”]
Bob Dylan: That was Babs Gonzales and His Orchestra, from the college of musical knowledge, “Professor Bob.” Check out Babs’ autobiographies, he wrote two of them, and they’re more colorful than they are accurate. Imagine that!
[another march starts playing in the background]
Bob Dylan: You know, a lot of college sports teams have mascots, here’s a couple of our favorites: Albert the costumed alligator mascot, for the Florida Gators; Dunker the Inflatable Horse, Murray State University; Sammy the Slug, is a banana slug, and a mascot of the UC Santa Cruz; WuShock, is an anthropomorphic shock of wheat, the mascot of Wichita State University, – and believe me, (he’s) quite a sight to see; and finally – go down to the Z’s – Zippy the Kangaroo – you can see Zippy at the University of Akron, and he's all that he's cracked up to be.
[another march stops playing in the background]
Bob Dylan: You know, here on Theme Time Radio Hour, we have a bunch of favorite artists – they’re kind of our mascots. Sam Cooke is a favorite here, on Theme Time Radio Hour, and he wrote most of his songs himself, but he had a little bit of high-profile help on this number – Lou Adler, and Herp Albert helped him write this song, which reached number two on the R&B charts, and number twelve on the pop charts. “Wonderful World,” Sam Cooke.
[Sam Cooke – “Wonderful World”]
Bob Dylan: That was Sam Cooke, and hearing that song it’s pretty obvious that today’s subject is “School.” And let me help Sam out a little. Sam, you don’t know much about History – well The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066. You say, you don’t know much about Biology? The Cerebrum is the largest region of the mammalian brain. And if you don’t know much about a Science book, let me hip ya, that the Kinetic and Potential energy of a body is the result of motion, and determined by the product of its mass and the square of velocity. And finally, if you don’t know what Slide Rule is for – it used to be the most commonly used calculation tool in science and engineering; it’s kind of a mechanical analogue computer, consisting of at least two finely divided scales. So now you know a lot, about a lot of things.
[Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) excerpt:
“I'd just like to say to all students everywhere – that you may think the school is yours for a while, but it's always run by the principal and her administration.”
“What would you have done with the school anyway?”
“Rock the roof of it!”]
[Gene Summers – “School of Rock ‘n' Roll” playing in the background]
Bob Dylan: You know, nowadays seems like the only subject on the school of rock ‘n’ roll is Electric Guitar. But other instruments have always been just as important. Listen to the piano playing on this record, it just pushes the thing along, without that piano the guitarist might as well just drop out. Here’s Gene Summers.
[Gene Summers – “School of Rock ‘n' Roll”]
Bob Dylan: That was Gene Summers, from Dallas, Texas, where they shoot presidents, and shoot people who shoot presidents. Where the school of rock ‘n’ roll in session all year long.
Bob Dylan: I feel obligated to tell you that the school of rock ‘n’ roll is just one type of school. Here’s some alternative schools. The Global School of Private Investigation, The ABC Bartending School, Dave’s Accordion School at Atwater Village, Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, Second Nature School of Taxidermy, The Superior Fashion Institute of Montreal, and The Eastern School of Musical Instrument Repair. Seek out these fine avenues of higher learning.
Bob Dylan: Here’s a quick question for ya – a kind of pop quiz – what does these people have in common? Johnny Bench, Cindy Crawford, W.C. Handy, William Rehnquist, Emmylou Harris, Alicia Keyes, Conan O'Brien, Weird Al Yankovic, and W.E.B Du Bois? If you answered “A – They were all valedictorian of their class,” you’d be correct.
[organ music is playing in the background]
Bob Dylan: Valedictorian is the top graduate of the graduating class of an educational institution. They have the traditional role as the last speaker at the graduation ceremony. I wonder if William Rehnquist gave the same type of speech as Weird Al Yankovic. Somehow I Doubt it.
[organ music stops playing in the background]
“School bells ringing, (returns the) golden rule
Children singing – (let’s back to) school!
Vacation’s over except to sing
Maybe one last (frame) before the big day.
School bells ringing, children singing
And here’s the best way to start September singing,
Going back to school – the school days are here.”]
Bob Dylan: Here’s a band that’s been around for more than thirty years – NRBQ. It stands for “New Rhythm and Blues Quartet,” or “...Quintet,” depending on how many members they have in a band at any given time.
The piano player Terry Adams somehow manages to sound like Jerry Lee Lewis and Thelonious Monk at the same time. Here they are, from their album “All Hopped Up” with kind of an Everly Brothers sounding song, called “Still in School.”
[NRBQ – “Still in School”]
Bob Dylan: That was NGBQ on Red Rooster Records “Still in School,” here on Theme Time Radio Hour. They probably to be the teacher’s pet – the student, who is especially liked by teachers, and receive special treatment from them. But be careful, if you try to become a teacher’s pet, you might find yourself on the business end of a school bully’s fist.
[Lulu – “To Sir with Love” starts playing]
Bob Dylan: And now a gal fro Glasgow, Scotland, who’s gonna sing about the man, who took her from crayons to perfume. It’s Lulu with “To Sit with Love.”
[Lulu – “To Sir with Love”]
Bob Dylan: That’s Lulu, with the title track to the Sidney Poitier movie from 19 and 67, where he plays a schoolteacher in a tough London high school. Look for Lulu playing one of the students. I love this version of “To Sir With Love.” Perhaps the weirdest version I ever heard was the one Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant sang during the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton. Definitely a man who could take you “from crayons to perfume.”
Bob Dylan: One of the greatest movies about schools is “High School Confilential” where a tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into a drug scene.
[High School Confidential! (1958) excerpt
“What about maryjane?”
“Oh I- I’d like five pounds.”
“Five pounds, man!? I don’t carry nothing like that. Just stick or two, you know what I mean? (takes up a) couple of the heads at school.”]
Bob Dylan: As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt Gwen played by the curvy Mamie Van Doren tries to seduce him, and the "weedheads" are eager to use his newly found enterprise, but he has his own agenda. To find out more, you gonna have to watch the movie. And there’s a real treat in the opening credits – Jerry Lee Lewis on a flat bed truck singing the title song, here it is – sounds as good, as the day it was recorded, “High School Confidential.” The killer.
[Jerry Lee Lewis – “High School Confidential”]
Bob Dylan: That was Jerry Lee Lewis, “High School Confidentional.” If you see it in a movie theatre, when Jerry singing the title song, take a look at a bass player, that’s J.W. Brown, his daughter Myra Gale married Jerry Lee. That didn’t go over too good, ‘cause she was quite young. Jerry was on tour overseas when news of his marriage came out in a press, “High School Confidential” dropped right off the charts, and Jerry’s career was never the same. I wonder if Myra dropped out of school.
[Otis Redding PSA:
“Hi! This is The Big O. – Otis Redding! I was just standing here, thinking about you, thought I’d write a song about you! And dedicate it you! Take a listen!
If you didn't go back to school this year you're really not groovy
Maybe you think that school is a drag, it just don't move you
But did you ever think about how square you look standing
In an employment line because school didn't interest you
You really oughta think about it
Without an education you can only be a tramp
Brogan shoes, no haircut, just plain old country
Don't worry 'bout the fellows on the corner calling you green
Because you're bettering your future condition
You really oughta think about it
And furthermore tell them that Otis Redding saved you very wisely
‘Cause you'll be at the top
When they get there if they make it
When they get there if they make it
When they get there if they make it
You really ought to think about it”]
Bob Dylan: (While) we’ve got an email, and whoever wrote it must have had some good schooling, ‘cause every word is spelled correctly. Let me look here, who is it from... Ah, here it is! Bob Hilburn from Los Angeles, California. He writes: “Dear Bob! I recently retired and have some extra time on my hands. I’m thinking about going back to school, but I can’t decide what area of education to pursue. Any ideas?” Signed “Bob.” Well, Bob, I don’t really know you that well, so I’d be hesitant to suggest anything. However, I will say that the University of Michigan in Ann Arborn has a good curriculum including Behavioral Neuroscience, perhaps, Experimental Psychology might be more of your bag? They teach that pretty good at Princeton. Harvard University, of course, has a stellar Historical Sociology department, and they don’t care about sex or gender. But whatever you decide, my heads off to you for climbing back on the educational horse.
Bob Dylan: Graduation is almost here. But before we put on our gowns, and throw our mortarboard in the air, we got time for one last song. And what could be more appropriate than the national anthem of summer vacation? Courtesy of Mr. Vincent Furnier, who put on demonic make-up and changed his name to Alice Cooper. No more teacher’s dirty looks, school’s out.
[Alice Cooper – “School's Out” starts playing]
Bob Dylan: They ain’t got no class, ain’t got no principle. I can’t even think of the word that rhymes.
[Alice Cooper – “School's Out”]
Bob Dylan: That was Guillotine and golf aficionado – Alice Cooper, (???) us to the end of school year.
[Sonny Boy Williamson – “Good Morning Schoolgirl” starts playing]
Bob Dylan: Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and it seems hardly fair, because to you listeners, the school year’s just beginning. But don’t worry, summer’s around the corner, when it gets here we’ll be here with ya, on Theme Time Radio Hour. Now go do your homework.
[“Top Cat (underscore)”]
“Pierre Mancini”: You’ve been listening to Theme Time Radio Hour, with your host, Bob Dylan. Produced by Eddie Gorodetsky. Associate producer, Sonny Webster. Continuity by “Eeps” Martin. Edited by Damian Rodriguez. Supervising editor, Rob Macomber. The Theme Time research team: Diane Lapson and Bernie Bernstein, with additional research by Lynne Sheridan, Kimberly Williams, and Robert Bower. Production assistance by Jim McBean. Special thanks to Randy Ezratty, Debbie Sweeney, Coco Shinomiya, and Samson's Diner. Travel arrangements courtesy Sabudio International Airport. For XM Radio, Lee Abrams. Recorded in Studio B, The Abernathy Building. This has been a Grey Water Park Production in Association with Big Red Tree.
“Pierre Mancini”: This is your announcer, Pierre Mancini, speaking.
“Pierre Mancini”: Join us again next week for Theme Time Radio Hour, when the subject is, “The telephone.”
Bob Dylan: I went to a tough high school, even the debating team was on steroids.