Tuesday, 30 April 2019
Harper Valley PTA/Empty Arms/She'll Have To Go/Be Mine
Bobbi Martin (November 29, 1943 – May 2, 2000) was an American country and pop music singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She grew up and began her singing career in Baltimore, working her way up from local venues onto the national nightclub circuit.
Martin recorded for Coral Records for several years before releasing her debut album, Don't Forget I Still Love You. The title track was a hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 2 on the Easy Listening (adult contemporary) chart and No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100. A follow-up single "I Can't Stop Thinking of You", first introduced on the nationally televised Dean Martin Show won her the Cashbox Disc Jockey Poll as Most Promising Female Vocalist of 1965. While popular at nightclubs in Miami Beach, New York, Las Vegas and Puerto Rico, and on TV appearances with the Jackie Gleason, Ronnie Dove, Tonight, and Dean Martin Shows, it would be 5 years before she scored another hit with "For the Love of Him", from the album of the same name. This song went to No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart and No. 13 on the Hot 100. The singer charted many smaller regional, Bubbling Under Hot 100 and Easy Listening chart records up to 1972.
Martin died of cancer on May 2, 2000 at the Brighton Wood Knoll medical facility in Baltimore. Martin had one daughter, Shane Clements.
Thursday, 11 April 2019
Hooked On A Feeling/Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/Mr. Businessman/ I've Been Down This Road Before
Billy Joe Thomas (born August 7, 1942) is an American popular singer. He is particularly known for his hit songs of the 1960s and 1970s, which appeared on the pop, country, and Christian music charts. His best-known recordings are the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and the original version of the Mark James song "Hooked on a Feeling".
Thomas was raised in and around Houston, Texas, graduating from Lamar Consolidated High School in Rosenberg. Before his solo career, he sang in a church choir as a teenager, then joined the musical group The Triumphs with Tim Griffith (guitar and keyboards), Denver "Zeke" Zatyka (bass), Don Drachenberg (sax) and Ted Mensik (drums). During his senior year he made friends with Roy Head of Roy Head and The Traits. The Traits and the Triumphs held several Battle of the Bands events in the early 1960s.
B.J. Thomas and The Triumphs released the album I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Pacemaker Records). It featured a hit cover of the Hank Williams song "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". The single sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The follow-up single, "Mama", peaked at No. 22. In the same year, Thomas released a solo album of the same title on the Scepter Records label.
Thomas came back to achieve mainstream success again in 1968, first with "The Eyes of a New York Woman", then five months later with the much bigger "Hooked on a Feeling", which featured the sound of Reggie Young's electric sitar and was first released on the album On My Way (Scepter Records). "Hooked on a Feeling" became Thomas's second million-selling record.
A year later Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid featured Thomas performing the Bacharach/David song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", which won the Academy Award for best original song that year and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1970. Sales of it also exceeded one million copies, with Thomas being awarded his third gold record. The song was also released on an album of the same title. Other hits of the 1970s were "Everybody's Out of Town", "I Just Can't Help Believing" (No. 9 in 1970, covered by Elvis Presley), "No Love at All", "Mighty Clouds of Joy", and "Rock and Roll Lullaby".
Thomas's earlier hits were with Scepter Records, his label for six years. He left Scepter Records in 1972 and spent a short period, in 1973 and 1974, with Paramount Records, during which time he released two albums, Songs (1973) and Longhorns & Londonbridges (1974).
In 1975, Thomas released the album Reunion on ABC Records, which had absorbed the Paramount label; it contained "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" (the longest titled No. 1 hit ever on the Hot 100). It was Thomas's first big hit since 1972 and secured him his fourth gold record.
On MCA Records, Thomas and Chris Christian recorded what would be his last Top 40 hit single, "Don't Worry Baby", on his last pop album, which also included the Adult Contemporary hit "Still the Lovin' Is Fun".
During the 1980s, his success on the pop charts began to wane, but many of his singles reached the upper regions on the country singles chart, including two 1983 chart toppers, "Whatever Happened to Old-Fashioned Love" and "New Looks from an Old Lover" (see 1984 in music), as well as "Two Car Garage", which reached No. 3 on the country charts. In 1981, on his 39th birthday, Thomas became the 60th member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Thomas scored another hit, recording "As Long As We Got Each Other", the theme to the television series Growing Pains. The first season theme was a solo for Thomas, but was re-recorded as a duet with Jennifer Warnes for the second and third seasons. It was re-recorded again for the show's fourth season with British singer Dusty Springfield, but the Thomas/Warnes version was reinstated for season five and some of season seven. Thomas first released this track on his 1985 album Throwing Rocks at the Moon (Columbia Records).
Monday, 1 April 2019
Delta Lady/She's So Good To Me/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/Change In Louise
Born in England in 1944, Joe Cocker was one of rock's most distinctive singers. He first rose to fame in the late 1960s with his cover of the Beatles' song "With a Little Help From My Friends." Cocker performed at the legendary Woodstock music festival in 1969. The following year, he released the live album Mad Dogs & Englishmen, which included such hits as "The Letter." More successful singles soon followed, including "Cry Me a River" and "Feeling Alright." Cocker won a Grammy Award in 1982 for "Up Where We Belong," his duet with Jennifer Warnes. An Academy Award for Best Original Song followed the next year. Some of Cocker's later albums include Hard Knocks (2010) and Fire It Up (2012). Cocker died in 2014.
Born on May 20, 1944, in Sheffield, England, singer Joe Cocker counted Ray Charles and Lonnie Donegan among his early influences. He made his singing debut with his brother Victor's skiffle band when he was only 12 years old. Several years later Cocker became a drummer and harmonica player for a band called the Cavaliers. Before long, however, Cocker took his rightful position at the front of the stage as a singer, working a day job as a gas fitter for the East Midlands Gas Board while he tried to make it as a performer.
Cocker tried his hand at pop music, performing as Vance Arnold and releasing a single on Decca Records in 1964. When it flopped, Decca dropped Cocker and he dropped his stage name, performing briefly with a new group before taking a break from music altogether. He returned in 1966 by forming the Grease Band, eventually landing a minor hit in the United States with the song "Marjorine."
Cocker landed his first number-one single in his native England in 1968 with his rendition of the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends." His cover of the iconic song was later featured as the theme song for the television series The Wonder Years. His album of the same name featured such guest performers as Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood. In 1969, Cocker hit the British charts again with "Delta Lady." This rough yet soulful singer also toured the United States that same year. His time in America included a career-boosting performance at the famed Woodstock music festival. Cocker started to attract a quite following with his bluesy rock sound. He also became known for his unpredictable way of dancing on stage.
In the 1980s Cocker had a career renaissance. His duet with Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong," was the title track for the Richard Gere-Debra Winger drama An Officer and a Gentleman. The ballad became a number-one hit and earned the pair a Grammy Award win for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocal in 1982 and the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983. At the close of the decade, Cocker returned to the pop charts again with "When the Night Comes."
Many members of the music world mourned Cocker's passing. Ringo Starr was just one of the people who took to Twitter to express their sadness, tweeting "Goodbye and God bless to Joe Cocker from one of his friends."
Thursday, 28 March 2019
I'm A Midnight Mover/Deborah/She's Looking Good/We've Got To Have Love
Of the major '60s soul stars, Wilson Pickett was one of the roughest and sweatiest, working up some of the decade's hottest dancefloor grooves on hits like "In the Midnight Hour," "Land of 1000 Dances," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway." Although he tends to be held in somewhat lower esteem than more versatile talents like Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, he is often a preferred alternative of fans who like their soul on the rawer side. He also did a good deal to establish the sound of Southern soul with his early hits, which were often written and recorded with the cream of the session musicians in Memphis and Muscle Shoals.
Before establishing himself as a solo artist, Pickett sang with the Falcons, who had a Top Ten R&B hit in 1962 with "I Found a Love." "If You Need Me" (covered by the Rolling Stones) and "It's Too Late" were R&B hits for the singer before he hooked up with Atlantic Records, who sent him to record at Stax in Memphis in 1965. One early result was "In the Midnight Hour," whose chugging horn line, loping funky beats, and impassioned vocals combined into a key transitional performance that brought R&B into the soul age. It was an R&B chart-topper and a substantial pop hit (number 21), though its influence was stronger than that respectable position might indicate: thousands of bands, black and white, covered "In the Midnight Hour" on-stage and record in the 1960s.
Pickett had a flurry of other galvanizing soul hits over the next few years, including "634-5789," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway," all of which, like "In the Midnight Hour," were frequently adapted by other bands as dance-ready numbers. The king of that hill, though, had to be "Land of 1000 Dances," Pickett's biggest pop hit (number six), a soul anthem of sorts with its roll call of popular dances, and covered by almost as many acts as "Midnight Hour" was.
Pickett didn't confine himself to the environs of Stax for long; soon he was also cutting tracks at Muscle Shoals. He recorded several early songs by Bobby Womack. He used Duane Allman as a session guitarist on a hit cover of the Beatles' "Hey Jude." He cut some hits in Philadelphia with Gamble & Huff productions in the early '70s. He even did a hit version of the Archies' "Sugar, Sugar." The hits kept rolling through the early '70s, including "Don't Knock My Love" and "Get Me Back on Time, Engine Number 9."
A Man and a Half: The Best of Wilson Pickett One of the corollaries of '60s soul is that if a performer rose to fame with Motown or Atlantic, he or she would produce little of note after leaving the label. Pickett, unfortunately, did not prove an exception to the rule. His last big hit was "Fire and Water," in 1972. He continued to be active on the tour circuit; his most essential music, all from the 1960s and early '70s, was assembled for the superb Rhino double-CD anthology A Man and a Half. It's Harder Now, his first new material in over a decade, followed in 1999. Pickett spent the early part of the 2000s performing, before retiring in late 2004 due to ill health. He passed away on January 19, 2006, following a heart attack.
Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Creeque Alley/Dedicated To The One I Love /Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)/For The Love Of Ivy
The Mamas & the Papas were an American folk rock vocal group who recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968. The group was a defining force in the music scene of the counterculture of the 1960s. The group was composed of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips née Gilliam. Their sound was based on vocal harmonies arranged by John Phillips, the songwriter, musician, and leader of the group who adapted folk to the new beat style of the early sixties.
The Mamas & the Papas released a total of five studio albums and seventeen singles over a four-year period, six of which made the Billboard top ten, and have sold close to 40 million records worldwide. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 for their contributions to the music industry. The band reunited briefly to record the album People Like Us in 1971, but had ceased touring and performing by that time.
"Dedicated to the One I Love" is a song written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass which was a hit for the "5" Royales, the Shirelles and the Mamas & the Papas. Pauling was the guitarist of The "5" Royales, the group that recorded the original version of the song, produced by Bass, in 1957. Their version was re-released in 1961 and charted at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100.In 1967, a subsequent and more popular cover version by the Mamas & the Papas released on the Dunhill label went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from number 1 by Happy Together by The Turtles. This version also reached number 2 on the UK's Record Retailer chart. The lead singer on the Mamas & the Papas version was Michelle Phillips. It was the first time that Phillips was given the lead over Cass Elliot. The song was also included on the group's 1967 album The Mamas & The Papas Deliver.
The song was written by John Phillips shortly after the band had relocated to Southern California in 1965. It is often cited as the band's last great single. In a 1968 interview, Phillips cited this arrangement as an example of "well arranged two-part harmony moving in opposite directions".
"For the Love of Ivy" is a song written by Written by Denny Doherty and John Phillips released in 1968 and taken from the album The Papas and the Mamas it reached #81 on the U.S. charts.
Thursday, 21 February 2019
Little Woman/One Too Many Mornings/La La La (If You Had To)/Time
Little Woman is a 1969 song recorded by Bobby Sherman and composed by Danny Janssen. Sherman's first single release on Metromedia Records, it reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and achieved gold certification. On the rival Cashbox chart, it reached No. 1 for one week. It also sold well in Canada, where it reached No. 2 in the RPM charts. In New Zealand, "Little Woman" reached No. 5. The song earned Sherman a gold record, his first of four in the U.S.
Session musicians on this recording included James Burton and Alton Hendrickson on guitar, Don Randi on piano, Jerry Scheff on bass, Richard Hyde on trombone, Joe Burnett and Ollie Mitchell on trumpet, Theodore Nash and Jim Horn on sax, William Kurasch, Leonard Malarsky, Paul Shure, Gloria Strassner, Assa Drori and Samuel Cytron on violins, David Filerman on cello, Emil Richards on percussion, Jim Gordon on drums.
Initial copies were released with Sherman singing Bob Dylan's song "One Too Many Mornings" as B-side. Some later copies substituted "Love", a song written by Sherman himself.
"La La La (If I Had You)" is a song released by Bobby Sherman in November 1969. The song spent 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 9, while reaching No. 14 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart. In Canada, the song reached No. 7 on the "RPM 100", No. 15 on RPM's adult contemporary chart, and No. 16 on Toronto's CHUM 30 chart. The song earned Sherman a gold record B-Side was Time.
Sunday, 20 January 2019
Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)/Hard To Believe/You-re Pouring Water On A Drowning Man/When She Touches Me (Nothing Else Matters)
Percy Sledge will forever be associated with "When a Man Loves a Woman," a pleading, soulful ballad he sang with wrenching, convincing anguish and passion. Sledge sang all of his songs that way, delivering them in a powerful rush where he quickly changed from soulful belting to quavering, tearful pleas. It was a voice that made him one of the key figures of deep Southern soul. Sledge recorded at Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, where he frequently sang songs written by Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. Not only did he sing deep soul, but Sledge was among the pioneers of country-soul, singing songs by Charlie Rich and Kris Kristofferson in a gritty, passionate style. During the '70s, his commercial success faded away, but Sledge continued to tour and record into the '90s.
While he worked as a hospital nurse in the early '60s, Sledge began his professional music career as a member of the Southern soul vocal group the Esquires Combo. On the advice of local disc jockey Quin Ivy, he went solo in 1966. Ivy fancied himself a record producer and he agreed to help shape Sledge's song "When a Man Loves a Woman" into a full-fledged single, hiring Spooner Oldham to play a distinctive, legato organ phrase. Ivy released the single independently and quickly licensed it to Atlantic Records, who quickly bought out Sledge's contract. "When a Man Loves a Woman" became a huge hit in the summer of 1966, topping both the pop and R&B charts. It was quickly followed that year by two Top Ten R&B hits, "Warm and Tender Love" and "It Tears Me Up," which were both in the vein of his first hit. Although few of his subsequent singles were hits -- only "Take Time to Know Her" reached the R&B Top Ten in 1968 -- many of the songs, which were often written by Dan Penn and/or Oldham, were acknowledged as classics among soul aficionados.
Despite his strong reputation among deep soul fans, Sledge's sales had declined considerably by the early '70s, and he headed out on the club circuit in America and England. In 1974, he left Atlantic for Capricorn Records, where he returned to the R&B Top 20 with "I'll Be Your Everything." Instead of re-igniting his career, the single was a last gasp, as far as chart success was concerned. Over the next two decades he continued to tour, and in the late '80s "When a Man Loves a Woman" experienced a resurgence in popularity, due to its inclusion in movie soundtracks and in television commercials. Following its appearance in a 1987 Levi's commercial in the U.K., the single was re-released and climbed to number two. Two years later, he won the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Career Achievement Award. Sledge was able to turn this revived popularity into a successful career by touring constantly, playing over 100 shows a year into the '90s. In 1994, he released Blue Night, his first collection of new material in over a decade, to uniformly positive reviews, and after the turn of the millennium he returned with Shining Through the Rain in 2004. The following year, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Percy Sledge died in April 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 73.
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Love Me Tender/Take Time To Know Her/Warm And Tender Love/When A Man Loves A Woman
Sledge was born on November 25, 1941, in Leighton, Alabama. He worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.
Sledge charted with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.
Sunday, 16 December 2018
Mission Bell/Let The Water Run Down/She Cried/Maria
Born and mostly raised in Texas, rock & roller P.J. Proby never really hit it big in his homeland, but his trouser-busting stage antics helped make him a genuine pop star in England at the height of the British Invasion. Proby was born James Marcus Smith in Houston on November 6, 1938, and grew up listening to country and black gospel; later on, he became fascinated by rockabilly, and his stepsister even dated the young Elvis Presley. After graduating from military school in 1957, he moved to Hollywood hoping to make it in the music business. Through his boyhood friend, teen-idol singer Tommy Sands, Smith made some connections that included songwriter Sharon Sheeley (who was dating Eddie Cochran and had written "Poor Little Fool" for Rick Nelson), and he soon began recording singles under the name Jett Powers, with little success. In the meantime, he worked as a demo singer and also did a bit of acting, appearing in several Westerns and an episode of Gunsmoke.
Meanwhile, Smith was working on his own original songs, which earned him a composition contract with Liberty at the end of 1959; his material was recorded by Johnny Burnette ("Clown Shoes"), the Searchers, Leroy Van Dyke, Rick Nelson, and Jackie DeShannon, among others. He also briefly joined producer Kim Fowley's studio group the Hollywood Argyles in 1960. In 1961, Smith (probably wisely) changed his alias from Jett Powers to P.J. Proby, the name of a childhood friend of Sharon Sheeley. Proby cut several singles from 1961-1963, ranging from rock to pop to country, again without much luck or promotion. With the single "Wicked Woman," he even resorted to changing his name to Orville Woods in hopes of getting played on R&B radio stations.
Saturday, 15 December 2018
It's My Party/She's A Fool/You Don't Own Me/Judy's Turn To Cry
Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015), known professionally as Lesley Gore, was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16 (in 1963) she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "She's a Fool", "You Don't Own Me", "Maybe I Know" and "California Nights".
Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.
When she recorded her version of "It's My Party" with Quincy Jones in 1963, she was a junior in high school. It became a number-one, nationwide hit. Gore's version sold over one million copies and was certified as a gold record. It also marked the beginning of a time when fans would show up on her front lawn.
"It's My Party" was followed by many other hits for Gore, including the sequel, "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US No. 5); "She's a Fool" (US No. 5); the feminist-themed million-selling "You Don't Own Me", which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "That's the Way Boys Are" (US No. 12); "Maybe I Know" (US No. 14/UK No. 20); "Look of Love" (US No. 27); and the Grammy-nominated "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (US No. 13), from the 1965 movie, Ski Party. In 1965 she appeared in the beach party film The Girls on the Beach in which she performed three songs: "Leave Me Alone", "It's Gotta Be You", and "I Don't Want to Be a Loser".
Gore was given first shot at recording "A Groovy Kind of Love" by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine with a melody borrowed from a sonatina by Muzio Clementi, but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Mercury subsidiary Smash Records, refused to let Gore record a song with the word "groovy" in its lyrics. The Mindbenders went on to record it, and it reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts.
Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures, and placed in the National Film Registry in 2006. Gore had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including "It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me", and "Judy's Turn to Cry".
After high school, while continuing to make appearances as a singer, Gore attended Sarah Lawrence College, studying British and American English literature. At college folk music was popularly lauded as 'chic', whereas pop music was often derided as 'uncool.' "Had I been tall with blonde hair, had I been Mary Travers, I would have gotten along fine." She graduated in 1968.
Gore signed a contract with Mercury Records for five years, which carried her obligations to the company through the spring of 1968. Her last big hit had been twelve months prior to this time, but Mercury still saw promise in her as an artist, and believed that one of her singles would make it, like they had in the past. They offered a one-year extension on the initial contract, and Gore was formally contracted to Mercury for a sixth year. During this time, "He Gives Me Love (La La La)", a single release based on a Eurovision Song Contest winner, rose to #96 on the Music Business charts, while bubbling under the hot 100 in Billboard. Mercury took out a full page ad in the trades to support the single, but its airplay was spotty, becoming a hit in only a few major markets. She was then paired with the successful soul producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell for two singles that took her into the "soul" genre: "I'll Be Standing By" and "Take Good Care (Of My Heart)." These songs did not fit the image Mercury had crafted for her, and the singles were not played. Her contract with Mercury ended after the release of "98.6/Lazy Day" and "Wedding Bell Blues" failed to make headway on the charts.
In 1970, she signed with Crewe Records and was reunited with producer Bob Crewe, who had produced her album California Nights. None of the Crewe releases charted.
Lesley with Bob Crewe
Night Train/Love Don't Love Nobody/You've Got The Power/Think
"Night Train" is a twelve-bar blues instrumental standard first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951.
James Brown recorded "Night Train" with his band in 1961. His performance replaced the original lyrics of the song with a shouted list of cities on his East Coast touring itinerary (and hosts to black radio stations he hoped would play his music) along with many repetitions of the song's name. (Brown would repeat this lyrical formula on "Mashed Potatoes U.S.A." and several other recordings.) He also played drums on the recording. Originally appearing as a track on the album James Brown Presents His Band and Five Other Great Artists, it received a single release in 1962 and became a hit, charting #5 R&B and #35 Pop.
A live version of the tune was the closing number on Brown's 1963 album Live at the Apollo. Brown also performs "Night Train" along with his singing group the Famous Flames (Bobby Byrd, Bobby Bennett, and Lloyd Stallworth) on the 1964 motion picture/concert film The T.A.M.I. Show.
"You've Got the Power" is a song written by James Brown and Famous Flames member Johnny Terry and recorded by Brown with Bea Ford as a duet in 1960. Released as the B-side of Brown and the Famous Flames' hit recording of "Think", it also charted, reaching #14 R&B and #86 Pop. It was Brown's first recorded duet and his first hit B-side. Brown briefly performs the song in a medley on his 1963 album Live at the Apollo.
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
Bumble Boogie/Boogie Woogie/School Day Blues/Near You
B. Bumble and the Stingers were an American instrumental ensemble in the early 1960s, who specialized in rock and roll arrangements of classical melodies. Their biggest hits were "Bumble Boogie", which reached number 21 in the US, and "Nut Rocker", which reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in 1962. The recordings were made by session musicians at Rendezvous Records in Los Angeles, but when they became successful a touring group was formed led by R. C. Gamble (3 November 1941 – 2 August 2008) as "Billy Bumble".
In 1959, Earl Palmer, René Hall and Plas Johnson, all African American musicians from Louisiana, were the house band at Rendezvous Records. According to Palmer, the three friends “always talked about how we could make some money and not leave the studio. One day I said, 'Let's do a rock version of "In the Mood"'. The single, credited to the Ernie Fields Orchestra, became a hit, reaching # 4 on the US pop charts in early 1960.
"Bumble Boogie" went to # 21 on the Billboard charts in June 1961. Because the session musicians all had other studio commitments, a teen band from Ada, Oklahoma, who had played no part in the recording itself, were recruited to handle promotion and public appearances. Their names were given as Fred Richards, Don Orr, and "B. Bumble", a pseudonym for guitarist R. C. Gamble.
A recording date was quickly arranged, but on the day, Freeman did not appear. In his place, guitarist and arranger René Hall rushed pianist Al Hazan into the Rendezvous office, which was rigged up as an improvised studio. According to Hazan, "Rod decided to record the first take while I was still trying to practice the piece with the other musicians. Because I was so rushed to learn 'Nut Rocker', I was not happy at all with my performance on that first take. However, in spite of my asking Rod to let me do it over again, he said he liked it just fine the way it was." Released as "Nut Rocker" in February 1962, the record went to # 23 in the US and # 1 in the UK. Del Rio struck a deal with Randy Wood of Dot Records and re-released what they were now calling "(The Original) Nut Rocker" by Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks, but it was not a hit.
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
The Windows Of The World/Walk Little Dolly/(I Never Knew) What You Were Up To/Blowing In The Wind
Dionne Warwick, original name Marie Dionne Warrick, Warwick also spelled Warwicke, (born December 12, 1940, East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.), American pop and rhythm and blues (R&B) singer whose soulful sound earned her widespread appeal. She is perhaps best known for her collaborations with such high-profile artists as Burt Bacharach and Barry Manilow.
Warrick was raised in a middle-class, racially integrated community in East Orange, New Jersey. Her family was both spiritually and musically inclined—her mother managed a renowned gospel choir, the Drinkard Singers, and her father became a gospel record promoter—and Dionne, as everyone called her, began singing in church at a young age. She often played piano or organ for the Drinkard Singers, and she sometimes sang in place of absent adult members. As a teen, she formed a group called the Gospelaires with her sister, Dee Dee. The group enjoyed relative success, singing backup for a number of musicians in local venues and on recordings. Warrick continued to perform with the Gospelaires after enrolling at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford, Connecticut, in 1959. She often made trips to New York to record with the group, and during one of these sessions she met composer and producer Burt Bacharach, who invited her to sing on some demos he was recording with lyricist Hal David. Her singing caught the attention of an executive at Scepter Records, and Warrick was soon signed to the label. In 1962 she released her first single—“I Smiled Yesterday,” with the more popular B side “Don’t Make Me Over”—written and produced by Bacharach and David. Warrick’s surname was misspelled as “Warwick” on the record, and she adopted the mistake as her name thereafter.
Warwick continued to record into the 21st century. Her releases included the gospel album Why We Sing (2008) and two collections of duets, My Friends & Me (2006), on which she sang her old hits with such artists as Cyndi Lauper and Reba McEntire, and Feels So Good (2014), on which her partners included Jamie Foxx and Cee Lo Green. In 2010 she published an autobiography, My Life, As I See It (cowritten with David Freeman Wooley).
Telstar/Red River Rock/The Lonely Bull/Percolator
The Ventures are an American instrumental rock band, formed in 1958 in Tacoma, Washington, by Don Wilson and Bob Bogle. The band, a quartet for most of its existence, helped to popularize the electric guitar in the United States and across the world during the 1960s. While their popularity in the United States waned in the 1970s, the group remains especially revered in Japan, where they tour regularly to this day. The classic lineup of the band consisted of Wilson (rhythm guitar), Bogle (initially lead guitar, switched to bass), Nokie Edwards (initially bass, switched to lead guitar), and Mel Taylor (drums).
Their first wide-release single, "Walk, Don't Run", brought international fame to the group, and is often cited as one of the top songs ever recorded for guitar. In the 1960s and early 1970s, 38 of the band's albums charted in the US, ranking them as the 6th best album chart performer during the 1960s, and the band had 14 singles in the Billboard Hot 100. With over 100 million records sold, the Ventures are the best-selling instrumental band of all time.
The Ventures have had an enduring impact on the development of music worldwide. The band was among the first to employ and popularize fuzz and flanging guitar effects, concept albums, and twelve-string guitars in rock music. Their instrumental virtuosity, innovation, and unique sound influenced a large number of musicians and bands, earning the group the moniker "The Band that Launched a Thousand Bands". Their recording of "Walk, Don't Run" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its lasting impact, and in 2008 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Leader of the Pack/Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)/ I Can Never Go Home Anymore/Give Him a Great Big Kiss
The Shangri-Las, American girl group whose string of hits in the mid-1960s included the bad-boy anthem “Leader of the Pack” (1964). The group was formed in 1963 by two pairs of sisters: Mary Weiss (b. 1946, Queens, N.Y., U.S.) and Betty Weiss (byname of Elizabeth Weiss; b. 1948, Queens, N.Y.) and twins Margie Ganser (byname of Marguerite Ganser; b. Feb. 4, 1948, Queens, N.Y.—d. July 28, 1996, Valley Stream, N.Y.) and Mary-Ann Ganser (b. Feb. 4, 1948, Queens, N.Y.—d. March 14, 1970, Queens).
Friday, 26 October 2018
Maybe Tomorrow/Brand New Heartache/I Wonder If I Care As Much/Hey Doll Baby
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.
Don and Phil's personal lives came under a lot of stress in the early '60s: they enlisted into the Marine Corps Reserves (together), and studied acting for six months but never made a motion picture. More seriously, Don developed an addiction to speed and almost died of an overdose in late 1962. By that time, their career as chart titans in the U.S. had ended; "That's Old Fashioned" (1962) was their last Top Ten hit. Their albums became careless, erratic affairs, which was all the more frustrating because many of their flop singles of the time were fine, even near-classic efforts that demonstrated they could still deliver the goods.