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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Bebe Daniels born 14 January 1901



Bebe Daniels (January 14, 1901 – March 16, 1971) was an American actress, singer, dancer, writer and producer.

She began her career in Hollywood during the silent movie era as a child actress, became a star in musicals like 42nd Street, and later gained further fame on radio and television in Britain. In a long career, Bebe Daniels made over 230 films.

Daniels was born Phyllis Virginia Daniels (Bebe was a childhood nickname) in Dallas, Texas. Her father was a theater manager and her mother a stage actress. The family moved to Los Angeles, California in her childhood and she began her acting career at the age of four in the first version of The Squaw Man. That same year she also went on tour in a stage production of Shakespeare's Richard III. The following year she participated in productions by Morosooa and David Belasco. She was in silent films from the age of nine and had made many films by the time that she signed a contract with Paramount Pictures, all this while attending a convent school.

She became a tremendously popular leading lady, starring opposite big names such as Rudolph Valentino and making dozens of silent films. The advent of talking pictures served only to boost her career and she was successful in Rio Rita (1929), in which she also sang.


Altogether, Daniels appeared in more than 200 films. Among these is Dixiana (1930), in which she plays opposite Metropolitan Opera House star Everett Marshall and which also features comics Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey although most interest lies in Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson’s dancing. She had a supporting role in 42nd Street (1933, also starring Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, George Brent and Dick Powell), while in Music Is Magic (1935, starring Alice Faye and Ray Walker), Daniels had one of her best roles as a fading movie star, even though she was only in her mid-thirties. As it happens, her real life film career was waning by this time and in 1936 she went to London with actor Ben Lyon, her husband since 1930.

Daniels and Lyon became popular in the UK and when they opted to stay in bomb-ravaged London during World War II, their stock with the general public knew no bounds. From 1941 they had an immensely popular BBC radio show, Hi Gang! which also featured Vic Oliver, and a 1941 film, Hi Gang! was based on their radio series.






Following the war, Daniels was awarded the Medal of Freedom by Harry S. Truman for war service. In 1945 she returned to Hollywood for a short time to work as a film producer for Hal Roach and Eagle Lion. She returned to the UK in 1948 and lived there for the remainder of her life. Daniels, her husband, her son Richard and her daughter Barbara all starred in the radio sitcom Life With The Lyons (1951 to 1961). This show also spawned a 1955 television series and two indifferent films, Life With The Lyons (1954) and The Lyons In Paris (1955). Daniels not only performed on the radio and television shows, she was also deeply involved in the scripts. Poor health in the 60s curtailed Daniels’ activities during the final years of her life.

On March 16, 1971, Daniels died of a cerebral haemorrhage in London at the age of 70. Her remains were cremated at London's Golders Green Crematorium and the ashes brought home where she was interred in the Chapel columbarium at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California. Her husband Ben died eight years later of a heart attack. (Info edited from Wikipedia & Allmusic)


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Lew Williams born 12 January 1934

 
Lew Williams (born January 12, 1934, Chillicothe, Texas) is an American rockabilly singer and songwriter, known as the "Cab Calloway of rockabilly".
Williams began singing at age four, and moved with his family to Dallas at age eleven. He played in local clubs after graduating Adamson High School and entered Midwestern State University in 1952. However, a few months later he secured a job as a headliner for a radio program on Frederick, Oklahoma station KTAT.
The following year, Williams recorded demos at Jim Beck's recording studio and managed to get a single released on Flair Records in June 1953, but "I've Been Doin' Some Slippin' Too" was not a hit, and he did not release further material from these sessions. He sent some of the demos to Imperial Records, who offered him a publishing contract; Williams attempted to secure a recording contract as well but was unsuccessful initially.
 
 
 
 
 
 





Imperial finally signed him as a recording artist in 1955, and his first releases came out in 1956. A few singles were issued in 1956 and 1957, with Jimmie Haskell producing and Barney Kessell on guitar; they did not sell and Williams was dropped early in 1957.

He graduated from the university in 1957 and devoted himself to songwriting full-time. He wrote material for Jimmy Hughes (with Mae Axton), Ferlin Husky, Floyd Cramer, Porter Wagoner, and Hoyt Johnson (de). After serving time in the Army, Williams took the pseudonym Vik Wayne for one final release on Dot Records, "The Girl I Saw on Bandstand".
Lew made his last appearance as a performer in January 1959 and then concentrated on song writing and talent management. A couple of months later, with a partner, Adrene Bailey, he opened
Le-Drene Productions, a recording studio and talent agency. They managed and booked artists and produced rock and roll stage shows, primarily for their radio station clients. They also had a touring event, The Battle of the Bands, which utilized local bands in each sponsoring station's broadcast area. And they produced a talent contest for their radio station clients, The Starmaker, which provided a recording contract to the winners in each contest.
After the partnership dissolved, Lew continued producing musical and other events for radio stations and their sponsors. Lew owned an interest in two more recording studios in Dallas but was out of the music business entirely by the end of 1963.
Being familiar with the growing African-American market, in 1964 he began producing the Miss Tan America talent and beauty pageant, and ran it for several years until desegregation reduced interest in such pageants.
Other business ventures included early forays into professional sports management back when it was far from the hugely lucrative business it is today. In the mid '60s he became involved in the mail order business and over time moved into the publishing field.
After Bear Family Records released some of his material in the 1990s, fed by the burgeoning interest in rockabilly in Europe and Japan, he made a comeback, appearing in Las Vegas in 2000 and touring widely thereafter until 2005. (Info mainly Wikipedia & lewwilliams.com)


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Monday, 9 January 2017

WARNING Zippyshare redirecting.

Having lot's of problems with Zippyshare mp3 players. Seems to be redirecting to a Ransomware site. So am no longer using mp3's or Zippyshare as as a file host. I apologise to any of my readers who have had problems but it's beyond my control.

Will resume blog once I get things sorted safetly.

Regards, Bob

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Jack Greene born 7 January 1930


Jack Henry Greene (January 7, 1930 – March 14, 2013) was an American country musician. Nicknamed the "Jolly Greene Giant" due to his height and deep voice, Greene was a long time member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Greene was born in Maryville, Tennessee and learned to play guitar when he was ten years old. His first involvement with the music industry came when he was still a teenager, working as a disc jockey at radio station WGAP in Maryville.
By the age of 18, Greene was a regular on the Tennessee Barn Dance show on WNOX (Knoxville, Tennessee). In the early 1950s he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys. Greene was lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist for the group for eight years. In 1959, he moved back to Tennessee and settled in Nashville and formed another band, The Tennessee Mountain Boys. A major career break came Greene's way in 1961 when his band served as the opening act for Ernest Tubb. Impressed, Tubb asked Greene to become a part of his backing band, the Texas Troubadors in 1962.
For the next few years, Jack Greene was a drummer, guitarist, vocalist, and master of ceremonies for the Troubadors' performances. He soon began serving as opening act on a regular basis for Tubb, as well as playing in the band. In 1964, Jack released his first solo record with The Last Letter. Another single, Don't You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me), followed in 1965 but failed to make the Country music charts, having the bad luck to come out at the same time as Ray Price's version. Tubb encouraged Jack Greene to leave the Texas Troubadors and pursue a solo career.
 
   



Greene's first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with Ever Since My Baby Went Away, peaking at #37. Later that year, Decca released what would become his signature song, There Goes My Everything. The song reached #1 and stayed on top of the Country charts for 7 weeks while becoming a crossover hit; the album stayed No. 1 for an entire year. In 1967, he received the prestigious awards for Male Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year from the Country Music Association. In all, he recorded nine number one country hits on various charts including 5 number one Billboard hits.
In 1969, he had 2 number 1 hits with Until My Dreams Come True and Statue of a Fool. He completed the year out with the Top 5 Back In The Arms Of Love. It was also in 1967 that Jack Greene became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He became an Opry mainstay, performing there frequently each year until his health failed.
In 1970, Greene gained a duet and a touring partner in Jeannie Seely. Together they had three Country hits including Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You, which reached #2 on the charts and became Greene's last top ten hit. Jack and Jeannie's stage show became one of the biggest touring acts during the 1970s. Jack continued to have both solo hits and duets with Seely.
Decca became MCA Records in the early 1970s but Greene kept on having chart success with Satisfaction (1973), I Need Somebody Bad (1973), and It's Time To Cross That Bridge (1974). Afterwards, his chart success declined rapidly as another song in 1974 and one song in 1975 were minor hits, and he was dropped by MCA Records in 1976.
Jack Greene enjoyed a brief comeback with the Frontline Records label in 1980 as the song Yours For The Taking peaked at #28 on the Country charts. The song would be Greene's last in the Country Top Forty. He achieved several more minor hits however on Frontline and then on EMH and Step One Records. He continued to tour regularly and appear on the Grand Ole Opry; 2007 marked his 40th anniversary with the Opry.
Greene continued to record sporadically in the 2000s including the duet You Have Won My Heart with Santana Maria. However, it failed to chart. Greene recorded his final studio album Precious Memories, Treasured Friends in 2010. An album of duets, it featured fellow Country stars like Lorrie Morgan and George Jones.


In failing health, Greene retired from performing in 2011. He died on March 14, 2013 from complications of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 83 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Info edited from Wikipedia)


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Richard Hayes born 5 January 1930


Richard Herbert Hayes (January 5, 1930–March 10, 2014) was an American actor and singer and, in his latter career, a game show host and disc jockey.
Richard Herbert Hayes was born on January 5, 1930 in Brooklyn, New York. Hayes was a part of the glee club in high school. Hayes got his first singing job on Bob Emery's Rainbow House children's radio program. He heard the program on WOR radio one day when he was 14. After auditioning to sing on the show, he got a part in the show's choir. The series was cancelled shortly after Hayes joined the cast.
Hayes was discovered by personnel from Mercury Records in 1948. Hayes was singing at the Leon & Eddie's nightclub in New York City. He was approached by somebody who invited Hayes to perform on Art Ford's local Saturday night TV series on station WPIX in New York.
Hayes eventually became a regular performer on Art Ford Saturday Night. A vice president from Mercury saw Hayes on the series and invited him to record for Mercury. Hayes had much success as a recording artist while in his late teens. Between 1948 and 1953, Hayes had fourteen top 25 hits. That included four top-10 hits recorded and produced during his time at Mercury Records. His most successful record was his rendition of The Old Master Painter which was released in 1949. The song, produced by Mitch Miller, reached no. 2 on the National charts in December 1949 and remained on the charts for twelve weeks until March 1950.



 
 Hayes was also noted for his military service and career during that time. He was drafted into the military, (Army specifically), in 1953. His rank was second lieutenant. Hayes was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey then Governors Island, New York. He served during the Korean War which ended in June 1953, a few months after Hayes' conscription, and the Cold War. The fact that he was in the army and his musical/acting background, Hayes earned a permanent spot as the emcee and co-host with Arlene Francis on the ABC competition series Soldier Parade in 1954. He was hired after the departure of Steve Allen. He remained on the show until its cancellation in June 1955. He also left the army that same year.
Hayes left Mercury Records in 1954 in hopes of joining Columbia Records where Miller had gone four years earlier. But when Columbia turned him down, Hayes joined the ABC label. He left ABC in 1957 and joined the Decca label. He remained with Decca for two years before Columbia finally signed Hayes in 1960. He left Columbia in 1961. He released more than 40 sides with ABC, Decca and Columbia but none of them ever made the charts. Finally he recorded for Contempo Records until 1964.
Hayes was well-known during television's golden age as the unnamed boyfriend opposite his real-real-life wife Peggy Ann Garner to Barbara "Babs" Smith on the ABC sitcom Two Girls Named Smith for two seasons in 1951. He perused a further career in television making several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Robert Q. Lewis Show between 1956-1964.  Hayes also was a regular guest on Arthur Godfrey's television and radio series between 1958 and 1972.
Shortly after the release of his last record in 1964, Hayes worked on several game shows. He first worked as an announcer on the original ABC game show Supermarket Sweep from 1965-1967. From 1970-1971, Hayes was the host of the syndicated version of the game show Name That Tune. He also was the host of the Canadian syndicated hidden camera game show All About Faces from 1971-1972.
In the late 1970s, Hayes moved back to New York where he became a congenial radio host. He first spent several years at WMCA in New York then he went to WWDB in Philadelphia and from there went to WCAU, (now WOGL), where he stayed until retiring in 1990.
Hayes was originally married to actress Peggy Ann Garner from 1951-1953. Hayes was Garner's co-star on Two Girls Named Smith. Garner and Hayes divorced in 1953. Hayes married a second time. With his second wife, Hayes had four children; Drew, Jackie, Jim and Gideon. His son Drew works for Cumulus Talk Radio in Los Angeles.

Hayes died on March 10, 2014 at the age of 84 in his home in Los Angeles, California after battling a long illness. (Info edited from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Lance Fortune born 4 January 1940


Christopher Morris, known by the stage name Lance Fortune (born 4 January 1940, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England) is an English pop singer.
Until he received a guitar at Christmas 1956, this grammar school student had studied classical piano. He formed a rock and roll group called the Firecrests while a student at Birkenhead School, and served as lead vocalist; they recorded the songs "That'll Be the Day", "I Knew From the Start", and "Party", but were strictly a local attraction.
Morris sacrificed a scholarship at a Welsh university to work as an odd-job man at the famous London coffee bar, the 2I’s, and it was there that he was heard singing by top manager and impresario Larry Parnes in 1959.


Although he did not manage him, Parnes rechristened him Lance Fortune (a name he had previously given to Clive Powell, a singer and pianist, whom he later renamed Georgie Fame).
 


The newly christened Fortune signed to Pye Records as a solo artist and released four singles, two of which became hits in the UK Singles Chart in 1960. His first single ‘Be Mine’, an Adam Faith -styled pop song, backed by John Barry’s musicians, eventually climbed to number 4 in the UK.
The producer/engineer was Joe Meek and this was his first all solo production. During the time it took to reach the charts in Britain, Fortune toured with his idol, Gene Vincent. He also managed to put the follow-up ‘This Love I Have For You’ into the Top 30 but it was his last taste of success - long-term fame was not on the cards for Mr. Fortune.
In April 1960, Fortune and Jerry Keller replaced Eddie Cochran on Gene Vincent's then current UK tour, after Cochran's untimely death in a road accident.
Later during 1963, Lance joined Redruth based Dave Lee & the Staggerlees, replacing their Bass player, John Chapman, Lance also sang with the group. The group moved up to Sheffield and according to Kernowbeat , the band were active until the mid 90s, touring clubs.


According to Vince Eager on Whirligigtv he states that Lance suffered a stroke during the 2000’s  (but I have not found any evidence regarding this on the web).  Here's a photo of Lance taken at a Stagerlees reunion in 2008.

 
(Info edited from Wikipedia, All Music & liverpoolbeat.com)