Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gary Stites - Lonely For You (1960)

1960 LP Lonely For You (US Carlton STLP 12-120)

01. Gary Stites - Hurry Down
02. Gary Stites - Lonely For You
03. Gary Stites - I Tried
04. Gary Stites - Shine That Ring
05. Gary Stites - Shake A Hand
06. Gary Stites - Chicken Shack
07. Gary Stites - Gloria Lee
08. Gary Stites - Don't Wanna Say Goodbye
09. Gary Stites - Lawdy Miss Clawdy
10. Gary Stites - Starry Eyed
11. Gary Stites - Little Linda
12. Gary Stites - Hey! Hey!
13. Gary Stites - A Girl Like You (bonus)

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"Lonely for You" borrows a significant part of its melody from Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe," but nevertheless became Gary Stites' biggest hit and only Top 40 chart entry. Stites' label, Carlton Records, followed up with a complete LP, Lonely for You, in 1960, issued in mono and stereo editions. In addition to the hit title track, the album contains the minor hits "Starry Eyed" and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," a cover of Lloyd Price's 1952 R&B hit. The album tracks include the flip side of "Lonely for You" ("Shine That Ring") and a cover of Faye Adams' 1953 R&B chart-topper, "Shake a Hand." Stites proves himself adept at teen ballads ("Don't Wanna Say Goodbye"), rockers ("Chicken Shack"), and call-and-response party records ("Hey, Hey"), but doesn't establish much of a musical identity. He is a competent singer with a voice vaguely similar to Johnny Tillotson, but is otherwise lacking a distinctive sound. Collectors with a fondness for the early-'60s "teen sound" will appreciate Stites' well-executed recordings and formulaic songs, but it would be a stretch to argue that he created anything out of the ordinary.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adam Faith

1963 LP For You (UK Parlophone PMC-1213)

01. Adam Faith - The Wanderer
02. Adam Faith - My Kind Of Girl
03. Adam Faith - Forget Him
04. Adam Faith - Forget Me Not
05. Adam Faith - Let There Be Love
06. Adam Faith - Lazy River
07. Adam Faith - Hello Mary Lou
08. Adam Faith - Ginny Come Lately
09. Adam Faith - Things
10. Adam Faith - Take Good Care Of My Baby
11. Adam Faith - It Doesn't Matter Anymore
12. Adam Faith - Bye Bye Love

1964 LP On The Move (UK Parlophone 1228)

01. Adam Faith - Don't You Dig This Kind Of Beat
02. Adam Faith - Mighty Fine Girl
03. Adam Faith - I Do
04. Adam Faith - It'll Never Happen to You
05. Adam Faith - It's Alright
06. Adam Faith - I Gotta Get Going
07. Adam Faith - Here's Another Day
08. Adam Faith - Come Closer
09. Adam Faith - This Is The Feeling
10. Adam Faith - You've Got A Way With Me
11. Adam Faith - You're Nice to Know
12. Adam Faith - She's Smiling at Me
13. Adam Faith - Only One Such as You
14. Adam Faith - Come on Dream

1965 LP Fath Alive! (UK Parlophone 1249)

01. Adam Faith - Lady Oh Lady.mp3
02. Adam Faith - High Heel Sneakers.mp3
03. Adam Faith - Talk About Love.mp3
04. Adam Faith - Look Out Baby.mp3
05. Adam Faith - Everybody's Talking 'Bout a Thing Called Love.mp3
06. Adam Faith - Night Time Is the Right Time.mp3
07. Adam Faith - I Wanna Be Your Man.mp3
08. Adam Faith - Little Queenie.mp3
09. Adam Faith - Hey Little Lovin' Girl.mp3
10. Adam Faith - Hey Baby.mp3
11. Adam Faith - I Can't Think of Anyone Else.mp3
12. Adam Faith - You Can't Blame Him.mp3
13. Adam Faith - Heartbreak Hotel.mp3
14. Adam Faith - I Need Your Loving.mp3

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Freddy Cannon

In looking back over the history of rock & roll, the sad fact remains that very few of its original practitioners stayed true to its original big beat vision. Some made a handful of brilliant sides before broader horizons -- television or the movies -- beckoned. Others were rockers in name only, pop singers who couldn't wait to shimmy into a tuxedo, trading in stomp'n'shout hysteria for the more "respectable" future of dispensing supper club schmaltz. But Freddy Cannon was a true believer, a rocker to the bone. Freddy Cannon made rock & roll records; great noisy rock & roll records and all of them were infused with a gigantic drum beat that was an automatic invitation to shake it on down anyplace there was a spot to dance. Freddy Cannon remained true to the beat and made some really great fun rock & roll records in the bargain. Because of the time frame he enjoyed his biggest successes in -- the late '50s to the mid-'60s -- Cannon is wrongly lumped in with the "Bobbies and Frankies" that proliferated during that era. But a quick listen to any of his finest records quickly dispels any preconceived notions of him being a pretty-boy teen idol no-talent. Read On

Cannon could genuinely rock and on two of his very best records -- "Talahassee Lassie" and "Buzz-Buzz-A-Diddle-It" -- Freddy Cannon supplies his own electric rhythm guitar, with his scrappy work on the latter record being particularly effective. His records were masterminded by producers Bob Crewe and Frank Slay, all well-constructed discs with every thump of the big beat and every vocal "woo" out of Cannon perfectly placed and timed for maximum impact. Hits like "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "Action," and "Palisades Park" may be "slicker" records than the two mentioned above, but they still possess an enormous vitality and commitment to rock & roll; few others could bring an old chestnut like "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" into the modern age with a straight face. "Cannon"'s immense energy and contagious style make these noisy, very exciting records well worth investigating.

He was born Frederico Anthony Picariello in 1940 and grew up in the nearby Boston suburb of Lynn, MA. He got hit by the big beat early, but it helped having parents who had more than a passing interest in music; his dad blew trumpet, sang, and fronted local combos as Freddy Karmon while his mother's penchant for amateur songwriting would hand him the genesis of his first hit. Young Freddy soaked up the rhythm & blues of Big Joe Turner and the jump blues of bands like Buddy Johnson on the radio. But it was the guitar music of Chuck Berry that made the most lasting impression. As Cannon once said, "Give me four of five guys who can play hard and in the pocket and to me, you've got a rock & roll show." This stripped, down-to-basics motto became his credo, even when surrounded by big, brassy bands, singing old tunes his father had sung; in a time frame full of phony baloney teen idols, Freddy Cannon always remained a true rock & roller.

Like most American teenagers at the time, Freddy went in search of the new music, which wasn't plentiful back then, despite what revisionist history tells us. He soon threw his lot in -- playing rhythm guitar and singing -- with a group called the Spindrifts and cut his first record, a local almost hit called "Cha-Cha-Do." After the group's 15 minutes of local fame had evaporated, our hero formed his first rock & roll band, Freddy Karmon & the Hurricanes. With himself on rhythm guitar, another guy on sax taking most of the leads, a piano man, and a distant relative keeping the beat, Freddy had his first big beat combo. The record-hop scene in the Boston area was wide open for artists to make a local dent and Cannon and the boys played at every opportunity that came their way. In the meantime, he drove a truck after school, always coming home in time to watch Dick Clark's American Bandstand every afternoon, wishing he was one of the recordings stars, singing his song on the show.

One afternoon, he arrived home and his mother instructed him to grab his guitar; she had written a poem that she wanted Freddy to set to music. The poem was called "Rock and Roll Baby," which our hero put to a stomping, Chuck Berry beat and three-chord rock & roll progression. A quickie solo demo eventually found its way into the hands of indie producer Bob Crewe and his partner Frank Slay. Slay and Crewe rewrote the tune's verses and had Freddy Karmon & the Hurricanes go into a Boston studio and cut the new version as "Tallahassee Lassie." Even with local guitar twanging hotshot Kenny Paulsen brought into the lineup as a ringer, the record was only 75 percent of the way there to being a bona fide hit. After a pre-release acetate hearing at Dick Clark's house, the host of American Bandstand suggests the addition of a bass drum lick and hand claps in the middle, and back to the studio to overdub went Slay, Crewe, and Freddy. To fill up the remaining holes in the record, Crewe got the singer to go "wooo" at every available opportunity, a vocal gimmick that would soon become a signature trademark. A true piece of 1950s DIY studio craftsmanship and a record that simply rocks from beginning to end like few others, "Tallahassee Lassie" was his first solo record, his first hit, and the first record under his new name: "Freddy Cannon," newly named by Bernie Binnick, the president of his new record company, Swan Records in Philadelphia.

It was also the birth of a whole new style, a style that belonged to Freddy and his producers, lock, stock, and excitement galore. Following a formula of cutting tunes that named cities or states in the title, Cannon re-stormed the charts with records like "Okefenokee," "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans," "Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy," and "Muskrat Ramble." It is "Palisades Park," however, that remains his most enduring hit, a one-shot piece of amateur songwriter genius penned by later-Gong Show host Chuck Barris under the original title of "Amusement Park." It's a certified classic of oldies radio with a razor-sharp double tracked vocal by Cannon and roller-coaster sound effects dubbed in by Crewe as its audio hallmarks. Later chart entries like "Humdinger," "Transistor Sister," "If You Were a Rock and Roll Record," and "Teen Queen of the Week," showed that Cannon kept bringing the energy and the big beat at a time when most male singers were insipidly crooning. After leaving Swan with the height of Beatle mania lurking right around the corner, Freddy Cannon kept on rockin', extending his hit streak over to Warner Bros.; with records like "Abigail Beecher," "Beechwood City," "The Dedication Song" and providing the theme for Dick Clark's Where The Action Is!, also appearing in a couple of micro epic rock & roll movies along the way. He continued to knock 'em dead as a live act, something he still does today when the mood strikes him on the revival circuit, still capable of bringing the heat when a young band nails the groove behind him. (by Cub Koda)

1960 LP The Explosive Freddy Cannon (US Swan 502)

01. Freddy Cannon - Boston ( My Home Town )
02. Freddy Cannon - Kansas City
03. Freddy Cannon - Sweet Georgia Brown
04. Freddy Cannon - Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
05. Freddy Cannon - St. Louis Blues
06. Freddy Cannon - Indiana
07. Freddy Cannon - Chattanoogie Shoo Shine Boy
08. Freddy Cannon - Deep In The Heart Of Texas
09. Freddy Cannon - California, Here I Come
10. Freddy Cannon - Okefenokee
11. Freddy Cannon - Carolina In The Morning
12. Freddy Cannon - Tallahassee Lassie

1961 LP Freddy Cannon Sings Happy Shades Of Blue (US Swan 504)

01. Freddy Cannon - My Blue Heaven
02. Freddy Cannon - Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue
03. Freddy Cannon - Blue Suede Shoes
04. Freddy Cannon - Blue Skies
05. Freddy Cannon - Lavender Blue
06. Freddy Cannon - Blue Plate Special
07. Freddy Cannon - Bye Bye Blues
08. Freddy Cannon - Alice Blue Gown
09. Freddy Cannon - The House Of Blue Lights
10. Freddy Cannon - The Old Piano Roll Blues
11. Freddy Cannon - The Blacksmith Blues
12. Freddy Cannon - Happy Shades Of Blue

1961 LP Freddy Cannon's Solid Gold Hits (US Swan 505)

01. Freddy Cannon - Tallahassee Lassie
02. Freddy Cannon - Jump Over
03. Freddy Cannon - Humpdinger
04. Freddy Cannon - You Know
05. Freddy Cannon - The Urge
06. Freddy Cannon - Muskrat ramble
07. Freddy Cannon - Cuernavaca Choo Choo
08. Freddy Cannon - Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy
09. Freddy Cannon - Two Thousand-88
10. Freddy Cannon - Boston (my home town)
11. Freddy Cannon - Happy shades of blue
12. Freddy Cannon - Opportunity
13. Freddy Cannon - Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
14. Freddy Cannon - Okefenokee
15. Freddy Cannon - Buzz buzz a diddle it

1962 LP Palisades Park (US Swan 507)

01. Freddy Cannon - Palisades Park
02. Freddy Cannon - Transistor Sister
03. Freddy Cannon - Buzz Buzz A Diddle It
04. Freddy Cannon - The Merry Go-Round Broke Down
05. Freddy Cannon - Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
06. Freddy Cannon - Meet Me In St. Louis (Medley)
07. Freddy Cannon - Forever True
08. Freddy Cannon - For Me And My Girl
09. Freddy Cannon - Teen Queen Of The Week
10. Freddy Cannon - Summer's Comin'
11. Freddy Cannon - Splish Splash
12. Freddy Cannon - June, July And August

1963 LP Freddy Cannon Steps Out (US Swan 511)

01. Freddy Cannon - That's The Way Girls Are
02. Freddy Cannon - Patty Baby
03. Freddy Cannon - It's Been Nice
04. Freddy Cannon - Four Letter Man
05. Freddy Cannon - All I Wanna Be Is Your Boom Forever
06. Freddy Cannon - Do What The Hippies Do
07. Freddy Cannon - The Slide
08. Freddy Cannon - Betty Jean
09. Freddy Cannon - What A Party
10. Freddy Cannon - The Ups And Downs Of Love
11. Freddy Cannon - Come On And Love Me
12. Freddy Cannon - Everybody Monkey

1964 LP Freddie Cannon (US Warner Bros. W-1544)

01. Freddy Cannon - Abigail Beecher
02. Freddy Cannon - For You
03. Freddy Cannon - Southtown USA
04. Freddy Cannon - Gonna Send You Back To Georgia
05. Freddy Cannon - Shimmy Shimmy
06. Freddy Cannon - She Loves You
07. Freddy Cannon - California Sun
08. Freddy Cannon - Hey Little Cobra
09. Freddy Cannon - Come On
10. Freddy Cannon - Good News
11. Freddy Cannon - All American Girl
12. Freddy Cannon - I Want To Hold Your Hand

1965 LP Action (US Warner Bros. W-1612)

01. Freddy Cannon - Action
02. Freddy Cannon - Hang On Sloopy
03. Freddy Cannon - It's Happening
04. Freddy Cannon - She's Something Else
05. Freddy Cannon - High Heel Sneekers
06. Freddy Cannon - Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
07. Freddy Cannon - Let Me Show You Where It's At
08. Freddy Cannon - Beachwood City
09. Freddy Cannon - You Gotta Help Yourself
10. Freddy Cannon - How You Gonna Keep A Good Heart Down

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is

1967 LP Like It Is (US Minit LP-40007)

01. Aaron Neville - Over You
02. Aaron Neville - Get Out Of My Life
03. Aaron Neville - I Found Another Love
04. Aaron Neville - Don't Cry
05. Aaron Neville - Sweet Little Mama
06. Aaron Neville - Waiting At The Station
07. Aaron Neville - How Many Times
08. Aaron Neville - Let's Live
09. Aaron Neville - Every Day
10. Aaron Neville - Reality
11. Aaron Neville - Wrong Number (I Am Sorry, Goodbye)
12. Aaron Neville - How Can I Help But Love You

1966 LP Tell It Like It Is (US Parlo P-1)

01. Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
02. Aaron Neville - Why Worry
03. Aaron Neville - She Took You For A Ride
04. Aaron Neville - A Hard Nut to Crack
05. Aaron Neville - You Think You're So Smart
06. Aaron Neville - Jailhouse
07. Aaron Neville - Bet You're Surprised [Instrumental]
08. Aaron Neville - Love, Love, Love
09. Aaron Neville - Since You're Gone
10. Aaron Neville - Space Man
11. Aaron Neville - Hold on, Help Is on the Way [Instrumental]

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Although Aaron Neville is often compared to singer Sam Cooke in terms of sheer vocal refinement, he has a voice and style uniquely his own. He is well known as part of the New Orleans sound of the Neville Brothers. Yet, aside from the 1967 number one R&B hit "Tell It Like It Is," few have heard his incredible early solo recordings. Many of the first recordings of Neville, in the early and mid-'60s, were arranged, produced, and often written by the brilliant Allen Toussaint -- another talent only later being really appreciated. Most of these sides were cut for the Minit and, later, Parlo labels. Songs like "She Took You for a Ride" and "You Think You're So Smart" on Parlo are masterpieces. While his more recent work, including that with Linda Ronstadt, makes for pleasant listening, it lacks the sheer persuasion of his early songs. Neville has re-recorded his early work often, and it is important to hear the originals. The early sides are just waiting to be heard. (by Michael Erlewine)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Spiders

The Spiders - Eindhoven (1962-1967)

  1. 1964 Fontana YF 278043 Spiders - Oze Wieze - Woze / Thank You Girl
  2. 1965 Fontana YF 278080 Spiders - Christina / Amor, Amor

The Spiders, a Dutch group from Eindhoven, started as The Valents. When recording the first single the record company (Fontana) changed their name to The Spiders. The Spiders recorded 2 singels; "Oze Wieze Woze" backed up with "Thank You Girl" from The Beatles, and "Christina" with "Amor Amor" at the flip side. Both records are released in the most sought after Dutch 'Favorieten Expres' series. The Spiders was one of the first (maybe even the first) Dutch band with a performance in The Starclub in Hamburg, Germany. This happened on a festival with nonstop 20 hours/day bands from all over Europe, but mostly British. The Starclub was in the Sixties one of the most famous clubs where also The Beatles starred. After the second single success was over, and they disbanded in 1967.

Heinz van Tuyl - Solo guitar
Jos Panhuysen - Lead guitar + vocal
Hans Vermeulen - Bass
Peter v. Breemen - Drums

The Moody Blues - The Magnificent Moodies (1965)

1965 LP The Magnificent Moodies (UK Decca LK-4711)

01. The Moody Blues - I'll Go Crazy
02. The Moody Blues - Something You Got
03. The Moody Blues - Go Now
04. The Moody Blues - Can't Nobody Love You
05. The Moody Blues - I Don't Mind
06. The Moody Blues - I've Got A Dream
07. The Moody Blues - Let Me Go
08. The Moody Blues - Stop
09. The Moody Blues - Thank You Baby
10. The Moody Blues - It Ain't Necessarily So
11. The Moody Blues - True Story
12. The Moody Blues - Bye Bye Bird

13. The Moody Blues - Steal Your Heart Away
14. The Moody Blues - Lose Your Money (But Don't Lose Your Mind)
15. The Moody Blues - It's Easy Child
16. The Moody Blues - I Don't Want To Go On Without You
17. The Moody Blues - Time Is On My Side
18. The Moody Blues - From The Bottom Of My Heart (I Love You)
19. The Moody Blues - And My Baby's Gone
20. The Moody Blues - Everyday
21. The Moody Blues - You Don't (All The Time)
22. The Moody Blues - This Is My Home (But Nobody Calls)
23. The Moody Blues - Life's Not Life
24. The Moody Blues - He Can Win
25. The Moody Blues - Boulevard De La Madelaine

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The pre-psychedelic Moody Blues were represented in England by this album, which is steeped in American soul. The covers include songs by James Brown, Willie Dixon, and Chris Kenner, plus the chart-busting "Go Now" (originally recorded by Bessie Banks), interspersed with a brace of originals by lead singer/guitarist Denny Laine and keyboardist Mike Pinder, and one Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich number, "I've Got a Dream." The shouters, like "I'll Go Crazy" and "Bye Bye Bird," will be the big surprises, showcasing the rawest sound by the group, but "I've Got a Dream" shows a lyrical, harmony-based sound that is vaguely reminiscent of the Four Tops (which is ironic, as that group later cut a single of the latter-day Moody Blues original "So Deep Within You"), while "Thank You Baby," a Laine/Pinder original, offers them doing a smooth, dance-oriented number with some catchy hooks. The group's sound is good and loud, and Laine was a phenomenal singer, though the band lacked the charisma and built-in excitement of such rivals as the Rolling Stones and the Animals. This album is more interesting than its American equivalent, but also not as good, since it leaves off such single sides as "Steal Your Heart Away" and the Pinder/Laine "From the Bottom of My Heart," the latter being the best side this version of the group ever recorded. (by Bruce Eder)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tony Orlando - Bless You

1961 LP Bless You (US Epic BN-611)

01. Tony Orlando - Bless You
02. Tony Orlando - Dream Lover
03. Tony Orlando - I'll Never Find Another You
04. Tony Orlando - Will You Love Me Tomorrow
05. Tony Orlando - Tell Me Where To Run To
06. Tony Orlando - Some Kind Of Wonderful
07. Tony Orlando - Halfway To Paradise
08. Tony Orlando - Happy Times
09. Tony Orlando - Lonely Am I
10. Tony Orlando - The Lovin' Touch
11. Tony Orlando - Lonely Tomorrows
12. Tony Orlando - Am I The Guy

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In conjunction with his backing duo Dawn, singer Tony Orlando was one of the biggest pop stars of the early '70s, best remembered for the mammoth hit "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Ole Oak Tree." Born Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis in New York City on April 3, 1944, he entered the music business at the age of 16 following a successful audition for producer Don Kirshner. Orlando's first hit, 1961's "Halfway to Paradise," was written for him by Carole King, who also authored the Top 20 follow-up, "Bless You." However, after scoring a minor chart entry with "Happy Times (Are Here to Stay)," his career ground to a halt when Kirshner sold his company to Screen Gems, which showed considerably more interest in publishing music than recording it; Orlando was given a job with the company's promotional department, and in 1967 he was tapped by Columbia Records to head their own publishing division, April-Blackwood Music.

In early 1970, Orlando received a call from Bell Records producer Hank Medress requesting that he lay down a lead vocal over a demo recorded by a Detroit-based act called Dawn. The duo, consisting of vocalists Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent, had previously backed up singers including Edwin Starr, Johnnie Taylor, Freda Payne, and others; according to legend, Orlando never even met either singer until well after the record, "Candida," became a massive hit, rising to number three on the singles charts. Orlando quickly agreed to cut another record with Dawn, nonetheless adamantly insisting on keeping his day job; titled "Knock Three Times," the single topped the charts in early 1971, and finally he returned to music full-time, signing with Bell and going on tour with Hopkins and Vincent under the banner of Dawn, Featuring Tony Orlando.

Released in 1973, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" became Orlando's biggest hit yet, and was named the top-selling single of the year. Long after its original success, the song re-entered the public consciousness with renewed force in 1981, becoming something of anthem during the Iranian hostage crisis as American citizens regularly tied yellow ribbons around trees as a symbol of their hopes and prayers for the hostages' safe return. By that time, Tony Orlando & Dawn had long since dissolved: after scoring subsequent Top Ten hits with 1973's "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?," 1974's "Steppin' Out (Gonna Boogie Tonight)," and 1975's chart-topping "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)," the group's popularity began to slip, although they enjoyed considerable success with their CBS television variety series. However, in July 1977, Orlando -- reeling from the recent deaths of his sister and his close friend Freddie Prinze, as well as mounting drug problems -- announced his retirement, giving up show biz in the name of Christianity. (by Jason Ankeny)

Johnnie Ray - Hysteria! - The Singles

Johnnie Ray - Hysteria! - The Singles

01. Johnnie Ray - Whiskey And Gin
02. Johnnie Ray - Tell The Lady I Said Goodbye
03. Johnnie Ray - She Didn't Say Nothin' At All
04. Johnnie Ray - Give Me Time
05. Johnnie Ray - All Of Me
06. Johnnie Ray - Cry
07. Johnnie Ray - The Little White Cloud That Cried
08. Johnnie Ray - Don't Take Your Love From Me
09. Johnnie Ray - Please, Mr. Sun
10. Johnnie Ray - (Here Am I) Broken Hearted
11. Johnnie Ray - Mountains In The Moonlight
12. Johnnie Ray - Don't Blame Me
13. Johnnie Ray - Coffee And Cigarettes
14. Johnnie Ray - Walkin' My Baby Back Home
15. Johnnie Ray - A Sinner Am I
16. Johnnie Ray - Gee, But I'm Lonesome
17. Johnnie Ray - Faith Can Move Mountains
18. Johnnie Ray - Love Me (Baby Can't You Love Me)
19. Johnnie Ray - Ma Says, Pa Says
20. Johnnie Ray - A Full Time Job

01. Johnnie Ray - Glad Rag Doll
02. Johnnie Ray - Somebody Stole My Gal
03. Johnnie Ray - Let's Walk That-A-Way
04. Johnnie Ray - Candy Lips
05. Johnnie Ray - Such A Night
06. Johnnie Ray - Hey There
07. Johnnie Ray - Hernando's Hideaway
08. Johnnie Ray - Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
09. Johnnie Ray - Why Should I Be Sorry
10. Johnnie Ray - Papa Loves Mambo
11. Johnnie Ray - If You Believe
12. Johnnie Ray - Alexander's Ragtime Band
13. Johnnie Ray - As Time Goes By
14. Johnnie Ray - Paths Of Paradise
15. Johnnie Ray - Flip Flop And Fly
16. Johnnie Ray - Song Of The Dreamer
17. Johnnie Ray - Johnnie's Comin' Home
18. Johnnie Ray - Who's Sorry Now?
19. Johnnie Ray - Ain't Misbehavin'
20. Johnnie Ray - Goodbye, Au Revoir, Adios

01. Johnnie Ray - Just Walking In The Rain
02. Johnnie Ray - Because I Love You
03. Johnnie Ray - You Don't Owe Me A Thing
04. Johnnie Ray - Look Homeward, Angel
05. Johnnie Ray - Yes Tonight, Josephine
06. Johnnie Ray - No Wedding Today
07. Johnnie Ray - Build Your Love (On A Strong Foundation)
08. Johnnie Ray - Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air)
09. Johnnie Ray - Good Evening Friends
10. Johnnie Ray - Pink Sweater Angel
11. Johnnie Ray - Texas Tambourine
12. Johnnie Ray - Soliloquy Of A Fool
13. Johnnie Ray - Miss Me Just A Little
14. Johnnie Ray - Plant A Little Seed
15. Johnnie Ray - Endlessly
16. Johnnie Ray - Up Until Now
17. Johnnie Ray - When's Your Birthday, Baby
18. Johnnie Ray - What More Can I Say
19. Johnnie Ray - I'll Never Fall In Love Again
20. Johnnie Ray - I'll Make You Mine

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Although practically deaf, Johnnie Ray's tear-inflected delivery tabbed him as an early-'50s sensation. Leaving Oregon for Detroit, Ray found a gig at the Flame Club, an R&B and jazz institution. In 1951, Ray signed with Columbia's R&B subsidiary Okeh Records, although "Cry," his histrionic million-seller that year, was a pop entry all the way, with background vocals by the Four Lads. Produced by Mitch Miller, "Cry" remained perched atop the pop charts for nearly three months. Ray encored with "The Little White Cloud That Cried" before moving to the parent Columbia logo and enjoying a steady stream of pop hits, including "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" in 1952 and a cover of The Prisonaires' "Just Walking in the Rain" in 1956. Ray's frenzied antics set off riots among female admirers during his heyday, but the advent of rock soon dulled his hitmaking powers. By 1959, the hits were through.

Monday, July 11, 2011

1963 Teenage Triangle / Bye Bye Birdie

1963 LP Teenage Triangle (US Colpix CP-444)

01. James Darren - Goodbye Cruel World
02. Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel
03. Paul Peterson - She Can't Find Her Keys
o4. James Darren - Her Royal Majesty
05. Shelley Fabares - Johnny Loves Me
06. Paul Peterson - Keep Your Love Locked
07. James Darren - Gidget
08. Shelley Fabares - The Things We Did Last Summer
09. Paul Peterson  -Lollipops and Roses
10. James Darren - Conscience
11. Shelley Fabares - I'm Growing Up
12. Paul Peterson - Little Boy Sad

1963 LP Bye Bye Birdie (US Colpix CP-454)

01. James Darren - Put On a Happy Face
02. James Darren - A Lot of Livin' to Do
03. Paul Peterson - Rosie
04. Shelley Fabares - How Lovely to Be a Woman
05. James Darren - Baby, Talk to Me
06. Paul Peterson - Kids (Folks)
07. Shelley Fabares - Bye Bye Birdie
08. Phillips, Stu Orchestra And Chorus - We Love You Conrad
09. The Marcels - One Last Kiss
10. Paul Peterson - One Girl (Boy)
11. The Marcels - Honestly Sincere
12. James Darren - Bye Bye Birdie Medley

If you want to listen to the music... look up in the right column. 
Als je naar de muziek wilt luisteren... kijk boven in de rechter kolom.

Teenage Triangle is a joint album by three pop artists, Shelley Fabares, James Darren and Paul Petersen. It was released in 1963 on Colpix Records and included 12 tracks with 4 songs from each of the three singers. Seven of the singles were US Top 40 hits, 2 from Fabares, 2 from Petersen and 3 from Darren. The album was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips. It was available in both mono and stereo, catalogue numbers CP-444 and SCP-444. Teenage Triangle peaked on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart at #48 in May 1963.

Bye Bye Birdie was a 1963 musical comedy film from Columbia Pictures. It was a film adaptation of the stage production of the same name. The screenplay was written by Michael Stewart and Irving Brecher, with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. Directed by George Sidney, the film version starred Dick Van Dyke, reprising his Broadway role as Albert Peterson, along with Maureen Stapleton as Mae Peterson, Janet Leigh as Rosie DeLeon, Paul Lynde reprising his Broadway role as Harry MacAfee, Bobby Rydell as Hugo Peabody, and Ann-Margret as Kim MacAfee. The original soundtrack was released by RCA Records in 1964 but here is a 1963 Colpix production with their biggest stars of that time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shep & The Limelites - Our Anniversary (1962)

1962 LP Our Anniversary (Hull 1001)

01. Shep & The Limelights - Daddy's Home
02. Shep & The Limelights - This I Know
03. Shep & The Limelights - Ready For Love
04. Shep & The Limelights - You'Ll Be Sorry
05. Shep & The Limelights - What Did Daddy Do
06. Shep & The Limelights - Gee Baby What About You
07. Shep & The Limelights - Our Anniversary
08. Shep & The Limelights - Who Told The Sandman
09. Shep & The Limelights - Three Steps From The Altar
10. Shep & The Limelights - Oh What A Feeling
11. Shep & The Limelights - Stick By Me (And I'Ll Stick By You)
12. Shep & The Limelights - I'm A Hurting Inside

If you want to listen to the music... Look up in the right column.
Als je naar de muziek wilt luisteren... Kijk boven in de rechter kolom.

Shep & the Limelites' name will forever be etched in rock & roll history for recording the endearing "Daddy's Home," a tender ballad about returning from war that soared to number two on the pop charts in May 1961. James Sheppard's career began with the Heartbeats, a band from Jamaica, Queens, NY. (They were the Hearts until a female group from Harlem with the same name scored a minor hit called "Lonely Nights" in early 1955.) The Hearts would mimic songs by the Orioles, the Ravens, Five Keys, the Moonglows, the Larks, the Flamingos, and others. When not rehearsing, they competed with wannabes in parks and under street corner lamps. During one encounter they battled a group led by James Sheppard; impressed, the Hearts asked Sheppard to be their new lead.

The acquisition of Sheppard helped the Hearts twofold: not only could he blow, he also wrote gorgeous ballads. Shortly after he joined the Hearts, they became the Heartbeat Quintet and started playing clubs, weddings, graduations, ceremonies, and basement parties. Jazz saxophonist Illinois Jacquet befriended them and let them rehearse in his basement. Jacquet's brother arranged their first recording opportunity. "Tormented," a ballad written by Sheppard, was released on Network Records in Philadelphia, but lack of promotion killed any chance of success. After shortening their name to the Heartbeats, they came to the attention of William Miller, who worked for Hull Records. He introduced the quintet to owner Bea Caslin, who was impressed by their tight harmonies and Sheppard's songwriting skills; the group was soon signed to the label. Three initial releases sold well, particularly the magnificent "Your Way"; all were ballads written by Sheppard.
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The minor successes of the recordings encouraged Hull Records to invest in professional choreography to tighten the band's stage presentation. Appearances at premier New York venues like the Brooklyn Fox and the Apollo had become common. To the surprise of Hull Records, fans called radio stations in record numbers demanding to hear the flip of "Baby Don't Go," the exquisite "A Thousand Miles Away." Sheppard's craving for an ex-girlfriend who moved to Texas had inspired "A Thousand." Not only did the song do well locally and regionally, it started selling nationwide. Bookings poured in, providing appearances with luminaries like Ray Charles, B.B. King, and the Flamingos. Touring, however, didn't prove lucrative, as they experienced an inordinate share of misfortunes including vehicle breakdowns and promoters leaving with the proceeds. "Daddy's Home" would be the Heartbeats' final Hull Record release.

Bea Caslin then sold the Heartbeats' contract and the publishing rights to the Roulette Record conglomerate. "I Won't Be the Fool Anymore" came out on Rama Records in 1957; after another Rama release, Roulette switched them to Gee Records, and eventually to Roulette itself. "500 Miles to Go" and "After New Year's Eve" were the most successful commercially, while "Down on My Knees" was the most notable artistically.

Problems within the group began to show: the last straw came when Sheppard passed out at the microphone in Philadelphia, and bandmate Al Crump sang the lyrics until Sheppard was able to continue. The group wanted to breakup after this embarrassment but had commitments, so the group sang on gigs as a quartet doing standards, and Sheppard appeared afterward to sing the Heartbeat hits. They did their last gig in 1959 at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., and Sheppard opened a restaurant in Jamaica, Queens, singing solo on the side.

Two years after the the Heartbeats' demise, Sheppard met some old friends -- Clarence Bassett and Charles Baskerville of the Videos -- and formed Shep & the Limelites. Bassett had also warbled with the Five Sharps. After two flops on Apt. Records, Shep returned to Hull Records and Caslin signed them on the spot. "Daddy's Home" was Shep & the Limelites' first Hull release and it nearly aced the pop chart, stopping at number two. (Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man" kept it from the top spot.) Hull released 12 Shep & the Limelites singles between 1961 and 1965. "Our Anniversary" went to number seven R&B in 1962 and was their only other chart success. Personal differences caused the Limelites to disband by 1966. Baskervlle joined the Players, and Bassett sang with the Flamingos and later Creative Funk. Sheppard reunited with the Limelites in 1970 to perform on the oldie revival circuit, but this quickly ended when Sheppard was found on January 24, 1970, shot to death in his car on the Long Island expressway.

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