Friday, 7 February 2020
Nobody I Know/ Lucille/Tell Me How/Long Time Gone
Nobody I Know is a song written by Paul McCartney (attributed to Lennon–McCartney) which Peter and Gordon recorded in an April 1964 Abbey Road Studio session: Peter and Gordon had had a UK/US #1 hit with the McCartney composition "A World Without Love" and McCartney wrote "Nobody I Know" with the specific intent of providing a follow-up hit for the duo. The track reached #10 UK and #12 US.
Shooting Star/Lady Penelope/Thunderbirds Theme/Zero X Theme
Thunderbirds Are Go is a 1966 British science-fiction puppet film based on Thunderbirds, a Supermarionation television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by their company AP Films (APF; renamed "Century 21 Productions" prior to the film's release). Written by the Andersons and directed by David Lane, Thunderbirds Are Go concerns spacecraft Zero-X and its manned mission to Mars. When Zero-X suffers a malfunction during re-entry, it is up to life-saving organisation International Rescue, supported by its technologically-advanced Thunderbird machines, to activate the trapped crew's escape pod before the spacecraft hits the ground.
Filmed between March and June 1966 at APF's studios on the Slough Trading Estate and on location in Portugal, Thunderbirds Are Go features guest appearances by puppet versions of Cliff Richard and The Shadows, who also contributed to the film's score. It was the first film to be shot using an early form of video assist called "Add-a-Vision". The film's special effects sequences, directed by Derek Meddings, took six months to complete.
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Winchester Cathedral/Whispering/Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square/Tap Your Feet
The New Vaudeville Band was a group created by songwriter Geoff Stephens in 1966 to record his novelty composition "Winchester Cathedral", a song inspired by the dance bands of the 1920s and a Rudy Vallee megaphone-style vocal. To his surprise, the song became a transatlantic hit that autumn, reaching the Top 10 in the United Kingdom and rising to #1 in the United States. Initially a studio group composed of session players, Stephens quickly assembled a permanent group to continue recording and to play live shows. The New Vaudeville Band placed several singles in the US and UK top 40 through 1967 before dissolving. The group has been periodically revived since, without Stephens' participation.
Assembling the continuing band (1966) When Stephens received several requests for the New Vaudeville Band to tour and to record a full-length album, he had to put together a group, for the song had been recorded by session musicians hired only for the recording. He contacted the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which played similar music at the time. Only Bob Kerr from that group was interested, so he left the Bonzos in order to help Stephens form a touring version of The New Vaudeville Band, which included original session drummer Henri Harrison. Meanwhile, John Carter had no interest in continuing with the group as a singer, though he still co-wrote the occasional song with Stephens for use by the group. The new lead singer of the group was Alan Klein, who was billed as 'Tristam - Seventh Earl of Cricklewood'. Klein also wrote some of the group's material. Mick Wilsher, on guitars, also sang occasional lead vocals. The official line-up as of late 1966 was:
'Moody' Mick Wilsher: guitar, vocals
Stan Haywood (aka Stanley K. Wood): piano
'Mad' Henri Harrison: drums, spoons, washboard, percussion and effects
Robert 'Pops' Kerr: trumpet, multiple instruments
Neil Korner: bass
Hugh 'Shuggy' Watts: trombone
Stephens was not officially part of the group, but produced and arranged their recordings, wrote or co-wrote much of the original material, and selected the cover tunes that the group played.
An initial long-playing album by this line-up was issued in late 1966 by Fontana Records, also titled Winchester Cathedral. This album contained the Geoff Stephens/Les Reed composition "
A little later in 1967, the New Vaudeville Band released the Finchley Central album, which was rejigged slightly and retitled On Tour in the US. (The albums shared 9 tracks; the US version dropped 3 tracks and added two others.) Both albums contained the single "Peek-A-Boo", which made the Billboard chart that February and reached No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart. The line-up fluctuated somewhat around this time, as Chris Eedy (on bass and tuba) replaced Korner, and trombonist Watts was replaced by a trombonist allegedly named Charles Obscure.
The New Vaudeville Band was managed by Peter Grant. Kerr left the group following disputes with Grant; he then formed his own group, Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band. "Green Street Green" was the band's final hit. A further single ("The Bonnie and Clyde") was issued in 1968, but flopped. The band quietly broke up shortly thereafter.
There's A Kind Of Hush", which was quickly covered by Herman's Hermits who had a huge hit with the song in most of the world in early 1967. However, the New Vaudeville Band version of the tune was issued as a single in Australia and South Africa, and became a significant chart hit in both those territories.
Finchley Central/There's A Kind Of A Hush/Peek A Boo/Rosie
"There's A Kind Of Hush" released in 1967 Reached #12 in Australia and #2 in South Africa. "Peek-A-Boo" released in 1967 Reached #7 in the UK #10 in Australia #53 in Canada and #16 in The USA. "Finchley Central"/"Rosie" also released in 1967 reached #11 in the UK #42 in Australia #14 in South Africa and #24 in the USA.
April In Paris (Vocal - Ella Fitzgerald)/Basie's Back In Town (Vocal - Ella Fitzgerald)/Every Day I Have The Blues (Vocal - Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams)/Party Blues (Vocal - Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams)
William James "Count" Basie August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, Basie formed his own jazz orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two "split" tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, Thelma Carpenter, and Joe Williams. Thanks to Sunny.
Help [With Film Introduction]/I Need You/Ticket To Ride/The Night Before
"Help!" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that served as the title song for the 1965 film and its soundtrack album. It was released as a single in July 1965, and was number one for three weeks in the United States and the United Kingdom it also reached #1 in Australia. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, "Help!" was written by John Lennon with some assistance from Paul McCartney. During an interview with Playboy in 1980, Lennon recounted: "The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help". It was ranked at number 29 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This EP was produced in Mexico. Thanks to Sunny.
Wednesday, 9 October 2019
The Rooster Song/My Happiness/As Time Goes By/Hey! La Bas Boogie
Fats Domino, byname of Antoine Domino, Jr., (born February 26, 1928, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.—died October 24, 2017, Harvey, Louisiana), American singer and pianist, a rhythm-and-blues star who became one of the first rock-and-roll stars and who helped define the New Orleans sound. Altogether his relaxed, stylized recordings of the 1950s and ’60s sold some 65 million copies, making him one of the most popular performers of the early rock era.
From a musical family, Domino received early training from his brother-in-law, guitarist Harrison Verrett. He began performing in clubs in his teens and in 1949 was discovered by Dave Bartholomew—the bandleader, songwriter, and record producer who helped bring New Orleans’s J&M Studio to prominence and who became Domino’s exclusive arranger. Domino’s first recording, “The Fat Man” (1950), became the first of a series of rhythm-and-blues hits that sold 500,000 to 1,000,000 copies. His piano playing consisted of simple rhythmic figures, often only triad chords over a boogie pattern, forcefully played and joined by simple saxophone riffs and drum afterbeats (accents in a measure of music that follow the downbeat). These accompanied the smooth, gently swinging vocals he delivered in a small, middle baritone range, with even dynamics and a slight New Orleans accent, all of which made Domino one of the most distinctive rock-and-roll stylists.
With “Ain’t That a Shame” (1955) Domino became a favourite of white as well as black audiences. “Blueberry Hill” (1956), his most popular recording, was one of several rock-and-roll adaptations of standard songs. The piano-oriented Domino-Bartholomew style was modified somewhat in hits such as “I’m Walkin’” (1957) and “Walking to New Orleans” (1960). He appeared in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It. One of his last hits was a version of the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” (1968). Domino was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Sunday, 6 October 2019
The Happy Song (Dum-Dum-De-De-De-Dum-Dum)/Open The Door/Good To Me/Scratch My Back
Otis Ray Redding, Jr. was born on September 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia. His father was a sharecropper and part-time preacher who also worked at Robins Air Force Base near Macon. When Otis was three, his family moved to Macon, settling into the Tindall Heights housing project. He got his first experience as a musician singing in the choir at Macon's Vineville Baptist Church, and as a pre-teen, he learned to play guitar, piano, and drums. By the time Redding was in high school, he was a member of the school band, and was regularly performing as part of a Sunday Morning gospel broadcast on Macon's WIBB-AM. When he was 17, Redding signed up to compete in a weekly teen talent show at Macon's Douglass Theater; he ended up winning the $5.00 grand prize 15 times in a row before he was barred from competition. Around the same time, Redding dropped out of school and joined the Upsetters, the band that had backed up Little Richard before the flamboyant piano man quit rock & roll to sing the gospel. Hoping to advance his career, Redding moved to Los Angeles in 1960, where he honed his songwriting chops and hooked up with a band called the Shooters. "She's Alright," credited to the Shooters featuring Otis, was Redding's first single release, but he soon returned to Macon, where he teamed up with guitarist Johnny Jenkins and his group the Pinetoppers; Redding sang lead with the group and also served as Jenkins' chauffeur, since the guitarist lacked a license to drive.
In early 1962, Otis Redding & the Pinetoppers issued a small label single, "Fat Gal" b/w "Shout Bamalama," and a few months later, Jenkins was invited to record some material for Stax Records, the up-and-coming R&B label based in Memphis, Tennessee. Redding drove Jenkins to the studio and tagged along for the session; Jenkins wasn't having a good day and ended up calling it quits early. With 40 minutes left on the session clock, Redding suggested they give one of his songs a try, and with Jenkins on guitar, Otis and the studio band quickly completed a take of "These Arms of Mine." Stax wasted no time signing Redding to their Volt Records subsidiary, and "These Arms of Mine" was released in November 1962; the single rose to number 20 on the R&B charts, and crossed over to the pop charts, peaking at number 85. Redding's follow-up, "That's What My Heart Needs," arrived the following October, and peaked at 27 on the R&B charts, but a stretch of singles released in 1964 failed to make much of impression.
Redding's luck changed in 1965. In January of that year, he released "That's How Strong My Love Is," which hit number 2 R&B and 71 Pop, while the B-side, "Mr. Pitiful," also earned airplay, with the song going to 10 R&B and just missed hitting the Pop Top 40, stalling at 41. Redding's masterful "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)," issued in May 1965, shot to number 2 R&B, and became his first single to make the Pop Top 40, peaking at 21. Redding landed another crossover hit in September 1965, as his song "Respect" hit number four R&B and 35 Pop. By this time, Redding was becoming more ambitious as an artist, focusing on his songwriting skills, learning to play guitar, and becoming more involved with the arrangements and production on his sessions, helping to craft horn arrangements even though he couldn't write sheet music. He was also a tireless live performer, touring frequently and making sure he upstaged the other artists on the bill, as well as a savvy businessman, operating a successful music publishing concern and successfully investing in real estate and the stock market. In 1966, Redding also released two albums, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads and Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul; he miraculously wrote and recorded most of the latter in a single day.
The Dock of the Bay"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was released in January 1968 and quickly became Redding's biggest hit, topping both the Pop and R&B charts, earning two Grammy awards, and maturing into a much-covered standard. An LP collection of single sides and unreleased cuts, titled The Dock of the Bay, followed in February 1968, and it was the first of a long string of albums compiled from the material Redding cut in his seven-year recording career. In 1989, Redding was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he was granted membership into the BMI Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.
Monday, 19 August 2019
Route 66/Cops And Robbers/You Better Move On/Mona
On Thursday Marh 19th,1964 a few days after the Stones found out they were going on their first tour of America in June and the day after they recorded 14 tracks for Radio Luxembourgh, the band went to the Camden Theatre to record a thirty minute BBC radio show.The show itself was part of a series called Blues In Rhythm broadcast at 9.30 on the morning of Saturday 9th May. The first half of the broadcast was given over to Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames and compered by singer Long John Baldry. He introduced the Stones as "those charming deviationists" They performed Route 66,Cops and Robbers,You Better Move On and Mona in front of an audience that had been imported from the Flamingo Jazz Club where the band had last performed in January 1963.
Cathy's Clown/ Temptation/That's Old Fashioned/Lucille
The Everly Brothers were not only among the most important and best early rock & roll stars, but also among the most influential rockers of any era. They set unmatched standards for close, two-part harmonies and infused early rock & roll with some of the best elements of country and pop music. Their legacy was and is felt enormously in all rock acts that employ harmonies as prime features, from the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel to legions of country-rockers as well as roots rockers like Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe (who once recorded an EP of Everlys songs together).
Don (born February 1, 1937) and Phil (born January 19, 1939) were professionals way before their teens, schooled by their accomplished guitarist father Ike, and singing with their family on radio broadcasts in Iowa. In the mid-'50s, they made a brief stab at conventional Nashville country with Columbia. When their single flopped, they were cast adrift for quite a while until they latched onto Cadence. Don invested their first single for the label, "Bye Bye Love," with a Bo Diddley beat that helped lift the song to number two in 1957.
"Bye Bye Love" began a phenomenal three-year string of classic hit singles for Cadence, including "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Bird Dog," "('Til) I Kissed You," and "When Will I Be Loved." The Everlys sang of young love with a heart-rending yearning and compelling melodies. The harmonies owed audible debts to Appalachian country music, but were imbued with a keen modern pop sensibility that made them more accessible without sacrificing any power or beauty. They were not as raw as the wild rockabilly men from Sun Records, but they could rock hard when they wanted. Even their midtempo numbers and ballads were executed with a force missing in the straight country and pop tunes of the era. The duo enjoyed a top-notch support team of producer Archie Bleyer, great Nashville session players like Chet Atkins, and the brilliant songwriting team of Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Don, and occasionally Phil, wrote excellent songs of their own as well.
Rip It Up/Ready Teddy/Tutti Frutti/Long Tall Sally
Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), known as Little Richard, is an American musician, singer and songwriter.
An influential figure in popular music and culture for seven decades, Penniman's most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. His music also played a key role in the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. Penniman influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to hip hop; his music helped shape rhythm and blues for generations to come, and his performances and headline-making thrust his career right into the mix of American popular music.
Penniman has been honored by many institutions. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" (1955) was included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010, which stated that his "unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music."
In 2015, the National Museum of African American Music honored Little Richard with a Rhapsody & Rhythm Award for his pivotal role in the formation of popular music genres and in helping to shatter the color line on the music charts, changing American culture significantly. Thanks to AussieRock
Monday, 5 August 2019
I'll Never Fall In Love Again/The Lonely One/Sixteen Tons/I'm Coming Home
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is a song written by Lonnie Donegan and Jimmy Currie, and first released by Donegan as a single in 1962. Its most commercially successful recording was by Tom Jones in 1967.
According to Jones
"I did some shows with Lonnie and we became friends.... One night he said: ‘Look, I have this song, you’d sing the pants off it. I've recorded it, but I can't really sing it. It's a sort of a rewrite of a song from the Thirties when the Depression was going on, called 'I'm Never Going To Cease My Wandering.' I knew that song, because a lot of guys used to sing it in pubs in Wales. I went to his house in Virginia Water, and he got this record out to listen to.... With the big chorus on it, it sounded fantastic. He was singing it Lonnie Donegan style, completely different from the way I did, like somebody busking..."
On first release, Tom Jones' recording reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart but was less successful in the United States where it peaked at number 49 on the Hot 100, and number 28 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
As the follow-up to Jones' "Love Me Tonight", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" was reissued in 1969 in the US, reaching number six on the Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.
"Sixteen Tons" was only released as a single in the US where it reached #68 on the Billboard Hot 100 it was the 3rd single of the "Green, Green Grass of Home" album.
"I'm Coming Home"/ "The Lonely One" UK #2 US #57 was a single only release and was written by Les Reed. The songwriter recalled Jones' vocal in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh: "When I recorded it in the studio, he insisted on singing amongst the strings, which is very hard for the engineer but he gave such a performance on that first take that all the musicians had tears in their eyes."
Sunday, 28 July 2019
Abyssinian Secret/Trees and Loneliness/There I Go (Se per te c-e soltanto quell-uomo)/Time
Priscilla Maria Veronica White OBE (27 May 1943 – 1 August 2015), better known as Cilla Black, was an English singer, television presenter, actress, and author.
Championed by her friends in the Beatles, Black began her career as a singer in 1963, and her singles "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "You're My World" both reached number one in the UK in 1964. She had 11 Top Ten hits on the British charts between then and 1971, and an additional eight hits that made the top 40. In May 2010, new research published by BBC Radio 2 showed that her version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" was the UK's biggest-selling single by a female artist in the 1960s. "You're My World" was also a modest hit in the US, peaking at No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Along with a successful recording career in the 1960s and early 1970s, Black hosted her own variety show, Cilla, for the BBC between 1968 and 1976. After a brief time as a comedy actress in the mid-1970s, she became a prominent television presenter in the 1980s and 1990s, hosting hit entertainment shows such as Blind Date (1985–2003), The Moment of Truth (1998–2001), and Surprise Surprise (1984–2001).
In 2013, Black celebrated 50 years in show business. British television network ITV honoured this milestone with a one-off entertainment special which aired on 16 October 2013. The show, called The One & Only Cilla Black, featured Black herself and was hosted by Paul O'Grady.
Black died on 1 August 2015 after a fall in her villa in Estepona. The day after her funeral, the compilation album The Very Best of Cilla Black went to number one on the UK Albums Chart and the New Zealand Albums Chart; it was her first number one album.
I Just Don't Know What to do With Myself/You Don't Own Me/Every Day I Have To Cry/He's Got Something
Dusty Springfield recorded "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" in a session at Olympic Studios in Westminster with production credited to Philips Records owner Johnny Franz - although Springfield later stated her solo Philips tracks were self-produced - and arranged by Ivor Raymonde who conducted his orchestra; personnel on the session included Big Jim Sullivan on guitar and Bobby Graham on drums. Springfield, whose first solo recordings had included covers of the Bacharach/David compositions "Anyone Who Had a Heart" and "Wishin' and Hopin' " - had brought back "I Just Don't Know..." from an overnight trip to New York City where she met up with Bacharach in February 1964.
The third UK single release of Springfield's solo career - following the "Brill Building" Sound-alikes "I Only Want to Be With You" and "Stay Awhile" - "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was Springfield's first UK single release to display her signature vocal style; rising to #3 in the summer of 1964 the track remained Springfield's highest charting UK hit until she reached #1 in 1966 with "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" which would remain Springfield's only UK solo hit to chart higher than "I Just Don't Know...".
A concurrent US release of Springfield's "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" was preempted by the presence of Springfield's "Wishin' and Hopin'" in the US Top Ten over the summer of 1964. Springfield's "I Just Don't Know..." received a belated US release in October 1965 featured on a single with Springfield's current UK hit "Some of Your Lovin'"; that month Springfield made a promotional junket to the US which included performances of both of the single's tracks on the TV shows Hullabaloo and Shindig but neither side reached the Billboard Hot 100.
Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet)/To Be Loved/Lonely Teardrops/My Heart Belongs To Only You
They called him “Mr. Excitement,” and indeed Jackie Wilson was a gifted singer of considerable range and a charismatic showman who commanded a stage like few before or since.
Wilson possessed a natural tenor. He sang with the graceful control of Sam Cooke and moved with the frenzied dynamism of James Brown. With all this flair and finesse at his disposal, Wilson routinely drove audiences to the brink of hysteria. A mainstay of the R&B and pop charts from 1958 to 1968, Wilson amassed two dozen Top Forty singles, all released on the Brunswick label.
On record, he was often saddled with grandiose arrangements and dated material, but he transcended even the most bathetic settings with the tremulous excitement of his vocals. Although he was over-recorded, averaging two albums a year from 1959 to 1974, there are some genuinely noteworthy albums in his catalog, including Lonely Teardrops (1959), Jackie Sings the Blues (1960), Soul Time (1965) and Higher and Higher (1967).
Wilson launched his solo career in November 1957 with the single “Reet Petite (The Finest Girl You Ever Want To Meet)." The song was written by Berry Gordy, Jr., a struggling songwriter who had yet to found his Motown empire. Another Gordy composition, “Lonely Teardrops,” was Wilson’s breakthrough, topping the R&B chart and becoming a Top Ten hit on the pop side. More R&B chart-toppers followed in quick succession: “You Better Know It,” “Doggin’ Around,” “A Woman, a Lover, a Friend.” He was now being managed by Nat Tarnapol, who aimed him more at the middle-of-the-road white market. A 1962 album, for instance, was recorded live at the Copacabana. (Berry Gordy Jr. similarly groomed the Supremes and the Temptations for upscale rooms and Vegas venues.) Wilson would alternate harder-grooving R&B songs like “Doggin’ Around” (Number One R&B, Number Fifteen pop) with almost operatic balladry such as “Night” (Number Four pop) in an attempt to cover all the bases.
In total, he amassed forty-seven R&B hits, twenty-four of which crossed over to the pop Top Forty. He was unfailingly versatile, too, handling up-tempo R&B and pop balladry with style and charisma. Jackie Wilson not only was “Mr. Excitement” but also, as some dubbed him, “the black Elvis.”
Wilson tore it up onstage with an act that radiated excitement and sex appeal. His popularity extended overseas, where in 1963 he headlined a British show that had the Beatles as one of his opening acts. As musical tastes shifted in the late Sixties and the hits slowed down, Wilson remained active on the performing front. He was, in fact, performing “Lonely Teardrops” onstage in New Jersey when he suffered a heart attack that plunged him into a four-month coma that left him permanently incapacitated. His was one of the most tragic denouements in rock and roll history. Wilson remained in nursing homes for more than eight years until his death in 1984.
Paper Cup/California My Way/Go Where You Wanna Go/Never Gonna Be The Same
An extremely important and underrated song and recording in the 5th Dimension's history, "Paper Cup" (which reached the Top 40 in autumn 1967) helped to define the group's dexterity in recording Jimmy Webb's material. Musically, the song is sort of Webb's tribute to the Beatles. Hooks from "It's Getting Better" and "Penny Lane" abound. A stately, uplifting march-time tempo carries the rhythm, and this is a great bed for the syncopated melody, which is one of Webb's finest early creations. Lyrically, the song is about isolation and escapism, and the dichotomy between this and the buoyant music is fascinating. Recording-wise, top marks must go to producer Bones Howe, whose definition in laying down Webb's daunting arrangement is quite a beautiful achievement.
The Fifth Dimension began life in Los Angeles in 1965 as the Versatiles. Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, and Billy Davis, Jr. all grew up in St. Louis, and moved to Los Angeles independently of one another; each was trained in a different area -- jazz, opera, and gospel/R&B, respectively. Marilyn McCoo was the first female singer to join, and she was soon augmented by Florence LaRue; both were ex-beauty pageant winners who'd attended college in the L.A. area. Their demo tape was rejected by Motown, but after a one-off single for Bronco, they caught the attention of singer Johnny Rivers, who'd just set up his own label, Soul City. Rivers signed the group in 1966 on the condition that they update their name and image, and thus the Fifth Dimension was born. Their first Soul City single, "I'll Be Lovin' You Forever," was a flop, but a cover of the Mamas & the Papas' "Go Where You Wanna Go" climbed into the Top 20.
The Age of AquariusThe Fifth Dimension's success peaked in 1969 when the group caught a Broadway production of Hair, and immediately decided to cut a medley of two songs from the show. "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" was a monster hit and grew to become one of the era's defining pop records; it spent six weeks at number one, sold a whopping three million copies, and won the group its second Record of the Year Grammy. Accompanying LP The Age of Aquarius went gold and nearly hit number one, and their Nyro-penned follow-up single, "Wedding Bell Blues," followed its predecessor to number one as well. The song was something of a mirror of real life; Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo were married that year, and Florence LaRue also married group manager Marc Gordon.
Johnny Rivers sold Soul City to the Bell label in 1970, and the first Fifth Dimension LP on Bell was that year's Portrait, which spawned several minor hits and the Top Five smash "One Less Bell to Answer," a Burt Bacharach composition. 1970 also brought a controversial performance at the White House; although the group sang "The Declaration," a socially conscious critique, the simple act of appearing before President Nixon further alienated the Fifth Dimension from the black wing of their fan base, at a time when their releases had already begun to peak higher on the pop charts than on the R&B side. Indeed, their Bell recordings moved farther into soft pop and away from R&B and the gently trippy vibes of their late-'60s material. Their album sales began to taper off, and their vocal arrangements now tended to spotlight soloists rather than unified harmonies. McCoo emerged as a focal point, singing lead on the 1972 Top Ten hits "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All" and "If I Could Reach You." They proved to be the group's last major successes; another Bacharach tune, 1973's "Living Together, Growing Together," barely made the Top 40, and the following year's Soul & Inspiration LP marked the end of their relationship with producer Bones Howe. 1975's Earthbound was another full-length collaboration with Jimmy Webb, and much like The Magic Garden, its thematic unity failed to produce a significant hit single. It was also the last album by the original lineup; McCoo and Davis left the group to form a duo, and scored a big hit in 1976 with "You Don't Have to Be a Star."
Up, Up and Away." An ode to the pleasures of flying in a beautiful balloon, the song became the group's first Top Ten hit, peaking at number seven, and went on to sweep the Grammy Awards, taking home five total (including Record of the Year and Song of the Year). Its success pushed the Fifth Dimension's first album, also titled Up, Up and Away, to gold sales status. The group stuck with Webb for its second album, The Magic Garden, which featured only one non-Webb composition; it produced a couple of minor hits in "Paper Cup" and "Carpet Man," but nothing on the level of "Up, Up and Away." Their third LP was thus more diverse, featuring several compositions by another up-and-coming songwriter, Laura Nyro. The title cut, Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic," went all the way to number three in the spring of 1968, selling over a million copies and putting Nyro on the map. The Nyro-penned follow-up single, "Sweet Blindness," also reached the Top 20.
Monday, 8 July 2019
Bye Bye Johnny/Money/You Better Move On/Poison Ivy
The Rolling Stones is the debut EP released by The Rolling Stones in January 1964. It was released both to capitalise on their first Top 20 hit "I Wanna Be Your Man" and to test the commercial appeal of the band before their UK label Decca Records would commit to letting them record an album. The Rolling Stones includes four songs recorded at two separate sessions in August and November 1963.
The Rolling Stones features R&B covers of some of the band's favorite artists, and some recent American hits. Impact Sound is officially listed as the EP's producer. Eric Easton is possibly involved, Andrew Loog Oldham produced the opening track "Bye Bye Johnny". Despite the rawness of the production, the EP reached no. 1 in the UK EP charts in February 1964, having entered the chart the week after its release.
The EP was released in Canada in 1964 by London Records Canada. The release was identical to the UK version lncluding the picture sleeve along with the British label number DFE 8560. The Canadian EP pressing also used British stampers.
Bruce Eder of AllMusic writes: "The real centerpiece was Arthur Alexander's 'You Better Move On,' an American-spawned favorite that the band had been doing in concert — this was their chance to show a softer, more lyrical and soulful sound that was every bit as intense as the blues and hard R&B they'd already done on record..."
"Bye Bye Johnny" and "Money" did not see official US release until 1972's retrospective More Hot Rocks (Big Hits & Fazed Cookies); "You Better Move On" was featured on 1965's December's Children (And Everybody's); and "Poison Ivy" was issued in 2002 on the remastered version of More Hot Rocks.
Unavailable for decades, The Rolling Stones was reissued on Compact Disc in 2004 on the Singles 1963–1965 box set through ABKCO Records.
In November 2010, it was made available as part of a limited edition vinyl box set titled The Rolling Stones 1964-1969, by itself digitally at the same time, and in 2011 as part of the 60's UK EP Collection digital compilation. On November 23, 2012 the EP was reissued on 7-inch vinyl record as a part of Record Store Day Black Friday 2012.
Sunday, 7 July 2019
Hubble Bubble Toil And Trouble/Sha La La/Come Tomorrow/Oh No, Not My Baby
Manfred Lubowitz was born into a well-to-do family on October 21st, 1940, in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a child he studied piano and while in his teens his love of music dominated his every thought, and he realised that he wanted to play Jazz and Blues for a living. To do this, he ultimately had to leave South Africa for England, where he invented a new stage name, Manfred Manne (the last name borrowed from Shelly Manne), later dropping the 'e' to just Manfred Mann. He also found a friend and collaborator in one Mike Hugg, a drummer with whom he formed a band they called The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. The line-up was completed by Paul Jones on harmonica and vocals, Mike Vickers on flute, guitar and saxophone and Tom McGuinness on bass. As time went on, against Manfred's wishes, the band took the name of its leader and became known as simply Manfred Mann.
After being signed by a talent-hungry HMV Records and following one unsuccessful instrumental record, Manfred Mann made an impression with the non-charting EP, "Cock-A-Hoop". The prominent use of Jones' harmonica gave them a distinct sound and they soon became one of Britain's leading groups. Two of their singles were used as the theme music to the pioneering British television music program, Ready Steady Go!. Another early release called, "5-4-3-2-1" provided their breakthrough Top 10 hit in early 1964. By the Summer, the group registered a number one record on both sides of the Atlantic with the catchy "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", a cover of The Exciters' #78 Hot 100 hit earlier that year.
"Oh No Not My Baby" is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and recorded by Manfred Mann in 1965 it reached #11 in the UK and charted low in Australia at #67.
"Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble Written By Mann, Hugg, Vickers, Jones, and McGuinness was released in1964 and charted at #11 in the UK.
"Come Tomorrow" Written By Elgin, Phillips and Augustus was released in 1965 and hit #4 in the UK charts and #24 in Australia.
Thanks to Mustang
Okolona River Bottom Band/Nicki Hoeky/Louisiana Man/Ode To Billy Joe
Bobbie Lee Gentry (born Roberta Lee Streeter; July 27, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who was one of the first female artists to compose and produce her own material. Her songs typically drew on her Mississippi roots to compose vignettes of the Southern United States.
Gentry rose to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative "Ode to Billie Joe" in 1967. The track spent four weeks as the No. 1 pop song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was fourth in the Billboard year-end chart of 1967 and earned her Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968.
Gentry charted eleven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and four singles on the United Kingdom Top 40. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. After her first albums, she had a successful run of variety shows on the Las Vegas Strip. In the late 1970s she lost interest in performing. Since 2010, Gentry has lived in a private gated community outside Memphis, Tennessee.
It generated eight Grammy nominations, resulting in three wins for Gentry and one for arranger Jimmie Haskell. "Ode to Billie Joe" has since made Rolling Stone's lists of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and the "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time" and Pitchfork's "200 Best Songs of the 1960s".
The song takes the form of a first-person narrative performed over sparse acoustic accompaniment, though with strings in the background. It tells of a rural Mississippi family's reaction to the news of the suicide of Billie Joe McAllister, a local boy to whom the daughter (and narrator) is connected. Hearsay around the "Tallahatchie Bridge" forms the narrative and musical hook. The song concludes with the demise of the father and the lingering, singular effects of the two deaths on the family. According to Gentry, the song is about indifference and unshared grief.
Take Me For What I'm Worth/Too Many Miles/Take It Or Leave It/Don't Hide It Away
Hailing from Liverpool, England, the Searchers were one of the many bands on the Merseybeat scene that enjoyed international fame in the wake of the Beatles' breakthrough in the early '60s. The group's trademark sound was bright, tuneful pop with ringing 12-string guitars and strong harmony vocals which gave even their covers of American R&B hits a touch of sweetness that made them hard to resist. The Searchers were also one of the most enduring Merseybeat acts, forming in the late '50s and continuing on into the 2010s, with guitarist John McNally a constant presence throughout their history, and bassist Frank Allen by his side from 1964 onward. Early hits such as "Sugar and Spice," "Needles and Pins," "Love Potion Number Nine," "When You Walk In The Room," and "What Have They Done To The Rain" defined the group's approach, and they rarely strayed from it, still sounding fresh on 1972's Second Take and falling in with the power pop bands they influenced on 1979's The Searchers and 1981's Love's Melodies. And while the group's bread and butter from the late '60s onward was live work, the band's professionalism and commitment to their music helped them remain a viable attraction decades after their success on the sales charts had faded.