Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You

On this day October 31, 1958 at the Bell Sound studios in New York City, the Flamingos recorded "I Only Have Eyes For You."



 "I Only Have Eyes for You" is a popular song by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Al Dubin, written in 1934 for the film Dames where it was introduced by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler.

According to Billboard magazine, the song was a #2 hit for Ben Selvin in 1934. The orchestras of Peter Duchin and Anson Weeks also figured in the song's 1934 popularity, and was used the following year in the film, The Woman in Red, produced by Warner Brothers, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Gene Raymond. This song was recorded in 1950 by Peggy Lee, and most notably by The Flamingos in 1959, becoming one of their most popular hits. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the Flamingos' version #157 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This version peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #3 on the R&B charts. It was released in the UK in january 1960 on the Top Rank label but amazingly never entered the charts!

The song is a jazz standard, and has been covered by thousands of musicians. Frank Sinatra recorded this in 1962 with the Count Basie Orchestra. The Lettermen did a version in 1966, and Jerry Butler covered it in 1972. Johnny Mathis named an album after this song in 1976. The Count Basie Orchestra did it again in 1990 with George Benson. Art Garfunkel made a very romantic version on his 1975 Breakaway album, it became a number one song on the UK Singles Chart in October 1975 for two weeks. The song was his first hit as a solo artist in the UK. In the US, the song reached #18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the adult contemporary chart. Garfunkel performed the song on the second episode of Saturday Night Live. (Info mainly Wiki)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Crystals - There's No Other (Like My Baby)

On this day October 30, 1961 the Crystals released "Oh Yeah, Maybe Baby" b/w "There's No Other (Like My Baby)." 


The B-side became their first hit, peaking at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the first single on Philles Records, a label that derived its name by combining the first names of owners Phil Spector and Les(ter) Sill.  Barbara Alston is on lead vocals. The song was composed by Phil Spector and Leroy Bates.

The Crystals follow up, "Uptown", reached the American Top Ten early in 1962 buth their third disc, "He Hit me" was withdrawn shortyly after release following objections to its title, whereupon Spector issued the the classic "He's A Rebel" which topped the American charts in
November, 1961 and ushered in the so-called Spector Sound. Ironically this recording did not feature the real Crystals but an LA session group led by Darlene Love.

The Crystals were an American girl group formed in 1960, whose original members were Barbara Alston (b. 1943, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.), Merna Girard (b. 1943, Brooklyn), Delores (“Dee Dee”) Kenniebrew (b. 1945, Brooklyn), Mary Thomas (b. 1946, Brooklyn), and Pattie Wright (b. 1945, Brooklyn). Girard was replaced by Delores (“Lala”) Brooks (b. 1946, Brooklyn) in 1962. (Info various)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Four Lads - Put a Light in the Window

On this day October 28, 1957 at Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City, the Four Lads recorded "Put A Light In The Window."



The Four Lads is a male singing quartet from Canada that enjoyed major success in the 1950s. In 1950 they were recruited by Mitch Miller to do backup for some of the artists he recorded. Johnnie Ray became a major star in 1951 with "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried" with The Four Lads backup. Their first hit single was "The Mocking Bird" released in 1952. In 1953 they made their first gold record "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", which established them as major stars. Their most famous hits were "Moments to Remember" in 1955 followed by "Standin' on the Corner". "Put A Light In The Window" (written by Kenny Jacobson and Rhoda Roberts) was their last major hit and reached #8 on the  Billboard Hot 100 in December 1957. B-side is "The Things We Did Last Summer".

In the UK, this song charted at #25 for the King Brothers in February 1958.  

The  Four Lads is a male singing quartet from Canada that enjoyed major success in the 1950s. In 1950 they were recruited by Mitch Miller to do backup for some of the artists he recorded. Johnnie Ray became a major star in 1951 with "Cry" and "The Little White Cloud That Cried" with The Four Lads backup. Their first hit single was "The Mocking Bird" released in 1952. In 1953 they made their first gold record "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", which established them as major stars. Their most famous hits were "Moments to Remember" in 1955 followed by "Standin' on the Corner". "Put A Light In The Window" (written by Kenny Jacobson and Rhoda Roberts) was their last major hit and reached #8 on the  Billboard Hot 100 in December 1957. (Info YuTube)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Bob Dylan - Corrina Corrina

On this day 26 October, 1962 Bob Dylan recorded Corrina Corrina.


The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released in May 1963 by Columbia Records. Whereas his debut album Bob Dylan had contained only two original songs, Freewheelin' initiated the process of writing contemporary words to traditional melodies. Eleven of the thirteen songs on the album are original compositions by Dylan. The album opens with "Blowin' in the Wind", which would become one of the anthems of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary soon after the release of Freewheelin'. The album featured several other songs which came to be regarded as amongst Dylan's best compositions and classics of the 1960s folk scene: "Girl from the North Country", "Masters of War", "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right".

Dylan's lyrics embraced stories ripped from the headlines about
civil rights and he articulated anxieties about the fear of nuclear warfare. Balancing this political material were love songs, sometimes bitter and accusatory, and material that features surreal humor. Freewheelin' showcased Dylan's songwriting talent for the first time, propelling him to national and international fame. The success of the album and Dylan's subsequent recognition led to his being named as "Spokesman of a Generation", a label Dylan came to resent.

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan reached number 22 in the US (eventually going platinum), and later became a number one hit in the UK in 1964. In 2003, the album was ranked number 97 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2002, Freewheelin' was one of the first 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

Dylan resumed work on Freewheelin' at Columbia's Studio A on October 26, 1962 when a major innovation took place—Dylan made his first studio recordings with a backing band. Accompanied by Dick Wellstood on piano, Howie Collins and Bruce Langhorne on guitar, Leonard Gaskin on bass, and Herb Lovelle on drums, Dylan recorded three songs. Several takes of Dylan's "Mixed-Up Confusion" and Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right Mama" were deemed unusable, but a master take of "Corrina, Corrina" was selected for the final album. An 'alternate take' of "Corrina, Corrina" from the same session would also be selected for a single issued later in the year.

"Corrina, Corrina" was recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks, and by their leader Bo Carter in 1928. The song was covered by artists as diverse as Bob Wills, Big Joe Turner, and Doc Watson. Dylan's version borrows phrases from a few Robert Johnson songs: "Stones In My Passway", "32-20 Blues", and "Hellhound On My Trail". An alternate take of the song was used as a B-side for his "Mixed-Up Confusion" single. (Info Wiki)

Bob Dylan - Corrina Corrina (alternate version)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Donovan - Mellow Yellow

On this day October 24, 1966 Donovan released "Mellow Yellow" in the United States.



"Mellow Yellow" is the title of a song written and recorded by British singer/songwriter Donovan. It reached No.2 on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1966 and No.8 in the UK in early 1967.

The song was rumoured to be about smoking dried banana skins, which was believed to be a hallucinogenic drug in the 1960s, though this aspect of bananas has since been debunked. According to Donovan's notes accompanying the album Donovan's Greatest Hits, the rumour that one could get high from smoking dried banana skins was started by Country Joe McDonald in 1966, and Donovan heard the rumour three weeks before "Mellow Yellow" was released as a single. According to The Rolling Stone Illustrated
Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll, he admitted later the song made reference to a vibrator; an "electrical banana" as mentioned in the lyrics. This definition was re-affirmed an interview in NME magazine: "it's about being cool, laid-back, and also the electrical bananas that were appearing on the scene - which were ladies' vibrators."

The phrase "mellow yellow" appears on page 719 of the first American edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, where it is used to refer to Mrs. Marion Bloom's buttocks, but it is not known if Donovan got the phrase from there.

The record had a "Beatlesque" feel to it, and was sometimes
mistaken for a Beatles song. Donovan, in fact, was friends with the Beatles. Paul McCartney can be heard as one of the background revelers on this track, but contrary to popular belief, it is not McCartney whispering the "quite rightly" answering lines in the chorus, but rather Donovan himself. Donovan had a small part in coming up with the lyrics for "Yellow Submarine", and McCartney played bass guitar (uncredited) on portions of Donovan's Mellow Yellow album. Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin fame, is heard playing the solo on this song.(info Wiki)

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Stevie Wonder - Thank You For Loving Me All The Way

On this day 23 October 1962, 12 year old Little Stevie Wonder recorded his first single for Motown Records, 'Thank You For Loving Me All The Way.' 


Composed by Clarence Paul / Eddie 
Holland / William Stevenson. Produced & Arranged by Clarence Paul & William Stevenson
Musicians - Funk Brothers. Released as B side to Castles In The Air in January 1964.

 The soulful, bossa nova-inflected track—anchored by a still-subversive lyrical twist at track's end—was hardly a runaway success, but kicked off the career of one of the most influential and important songwriters in 20th century music.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Mel Blanc - Toot Toot Tootsie (Good-Bye)

On this day 18 Oct, 1949 Mel Blanc with Billy May and His Orchestra records the tracks "Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye" and "I've Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts" at Capitol Records Melrose Avenue studios in Hollywood, California. Capitol Records issues both tracks together as a single (Capitol 57-780). 


On Oct 29, 1949 it was announced Capitol Records was rushing into release Mel Blanc's burly take-off on Al Jolson doing "Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Good-Bye)" in an effort to ride the current plugs Jolson was getting on The Jack Benny Show. On Dec 3rd the song hit #26 on Billboard.

Mel had a pretty long term contract with Capitol and when he was
wasn't recording Looney Tunes records written by Foster and Pierce (and a couple with Maltese) he was recording out-and-and comedy songs. "Toot Toot..." is great since it features Mel doing a fine and totally over the top impression of Al Jolson.

Melvin Jerome "Mel" Blanc (May 30, 1908 – July 10, 1989) was an American voice actor and comedian. Although he began his nearly six-decade-long career performing in radio commercials, Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the
other characters from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoons during the "Golden Age of American animation." He later worked for Hanna-Barbera's television cartoons, most notably as the voice of Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons. Blanc was also a regular performer on The Jack Benny Program, in both its radio and television formats. Having earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” Blanc is regarded as one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry.

At the time of his death, it was estimated that 20 million people heard his voice every day. (Info mainly Wiki)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mickey & Sylvia - Love Is Strange

On this day October 17, 1956 in New York, Mickey and Sylvia recorded "Love Is Strange."


"Love is Strange" was a crossover hit by American rhythm and blues duet Mickey & Sylvia, which was released in late November 1956 by the Groove record label.

The song was based on a guitar riff by Jody Williams. The
co-writers of the song are of some dispute. The song has also been recorded by Buddy Holly and Bo Diddley, among others. The guitar riff was also used by Dave "Baby" Cortez in his 1962 instrumental song "Rinky DinK",

At a concert at Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. Mickey & Sylvia heard Jody Williams play a guitar riff that Williams had played on Billy Stewart's debut single "Billy's Blues". "Billy's Blues" was released as a single in June 1956 and the instrumentation combined a regular blues styling with Afro-Cuban styling. Sylvia Robinson claims that she and Mickey Baker wrote the lyrics, while Bo Diddley claims that he wrote them.
The first recorded version of "Love is Strange" was performed by Bo Diddley, who recorded his version on May 24, 1956 with Jody Williams on lead guitar. This version was not released until its appearance on I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 in 2007. Mickey & Sylvia's version was recorded several months later on October 17, 1956. The song is noted for its spoken dialogue section.

"Love is Strange" peaked at #1 Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart and #11 on the Hot 100. In 2004 "Love is Strange" was 
inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single. The song was featured in Dirty Dancing and included on the soundtrack, which is one of the best-selling albums.

Lonnie Donegan recorded a version which appeared on the B-side of his 1957 hit single, "Cumberland Gap". Chubby Checker, accompanied by Dee Dee Sharp, covered the song on the 1960 record "Twist with Chubby Checker". The Everly Brothers released a rendition in 1965 as a single and on their Beat & Soul album. Sonny and Cher also covered the song in 1964, as did Betty Everett and Jerry Butler.

In 1967, Peaches & Herb's version of the song charted on both Billboard's Hot 100 and R&B Singles charts peaking at #13 and 16, respectively. Their version does feature the spoken dialogue and the repeated phrases, similar to the Mickey and Sylvia version. Buddy Holly recorded a version of "Love is Strange" that was not released until 1969, a decade after his death. His version reached #115 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and #76 on the RPM 100.

 Paul McCartney sang it as a duet with wife Linda on the Wings album Wild Life (1971). Ian & Sylvia recorded a country rock-flavored cover in the early 1970s, but their version was unreleased until its inclusion in the 1996 CD The Beginning of the End. In 1975, Buck Owens and Susan Raye had a Top 20 country hit with the song. Everything but the Girl covered the song on their album Worldwide & again on a subsequent album Acoustic. The song also appears in the film Deep Throat and its soundtrack album, covered by unknown artists. The song was also covered in 1990 by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. The recording, the title cut of Rogers' Love is Strange album, was released as a single, and reached #21 on the U.S. country singles chart. Also in 1998, German synth-pop band Wolfsheim did a cover of the song for their EP Once in a Lifetime. Jackson Browne and David Lindley also covered the song on the live album Love is Strange, which captures live highlights from their 2006 tour of Spain. (Info Wiki)

Monday, 15 October 2012

Jim Reeves - He'll Have To Go

On this day October 15, 1959 in Nashville, Jim Reeves recorded "He'll Have To Go."



"He'll Have to Go" is an American country and pop hit recorded by Jim Reeves. The song, released in the fall of 1959, went on to become a massive hit in both genres early in 1960. 

Reeves recorded what became one of country music's biggest hits ever after listening to a version recorded by singer Billy Brown († January 10, 2009). The song, written by Joe and Audrey Allison, was inspired after the couple was having difficulty communicating by telephone. Audrey had a soft voice and was unable to speak up so her husband could adequately hear her, so Joe would have his wife place the receiver closer to her mouth.
When Brown's version failed to become a hit, Reeves recorded his. It was promptly released to country radio ... as the B-side of the intended hit, "In a Mansion Stands My Love." However, "Mansion" failed to catch on, and disc jockeys began playing the B-side instead. It wasn't long before the song became a huge country and pop hit; several rhythm and blues radio stations played the song, too.

The recording features a small group of musicians: Floyd Cramer on piano, Marvin Hughes on the vibraphone, Bob Moore on bass, Buddy Harman on drums, Hank Garland on guitar and the Anita Kerr Singers providing the background vocals. The track was recorded in Music City's famous RCA Studio B where  some tour guides enjoy telling visitors "the studio is haunted by the ghost of Jim Reeves."

The first verse set the tone: "Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone/Let's pretend that we're together all alone/I'll tell the man to turn the juke box way down low/And you can tell your friend there with you he'll have to go."

Country music historian Bill Malone noted that "He'll Have to Go" in most respects represented a conventional country song, but its arrangement and the vocal chorus "put this recording in the country pop vein." In addition, Malone lauded Reeves' vocal styling -
lowered to "its natural resonant level" to project the "caressing style that became famous" - as being why "many people refer to him as the singer with the velvet touch.

"He'll Have to Go" reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles chart on February 8, 1960, where it remained for 14 consecutive weeks. The song was one of just five different titles to occupy the chart's summit during 1960.

In addition, the song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1960 and #13 on the R&B Singles Chart. It also had success abroad, reaching #1 on the Australian Singles Chart and #12 on the UK Singles Chart. (Info Wiki)

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Charlie Rich - Lonely Weekends

On this day October 14, 1959 at Sun Studio in Memphis, Charlie Rich recorded "Lonely Weekends." 



Well, I make it all right from Monday morning to Friday night. But Oh, Those lonely weekends !!!!!

Personell: Charlie Rich (Roland Janes [gt], Billy Riley [bass], James Van Eaton [drums], Martin Willis [sax] + vocal chorus. Producer: Jack Clement)

In the spring of 1960, Charlie Rich reached #22 with his first chart hit, "Lonely Weekends"
[Phillips International 3552], but that proved to be the last charter for the label. Rich's success as a country artist was still several years away; in the late 1960s he became known as "The Silver Fox" and had a number of big country and crossover hits for Epic.

Rich hailed from Arkansas, but it was his air force service that jump-started his professional music career.  While stationed in Oklahoma, he started a blues and jazz outfit called the Velvetones.  Once out of the military, he moved to Memphis, where he expanded his repertoire to include R&B.   He earned some session work with Sun Records as he honed his songwriting craft.   This led to a deal with Phillips International Records, which produced a handful of minor hits and an acclaimed studio album in 1960, Lonely Weekends with Charlie Rich.

Rich would toil in obscurity throughout the sixties on Groove and then Smash Records, though some of these recordings would end up hits when re-released at the peak of Rich’s popularity in the mid-seventies.   He moved toward a polished country sound as the decade wound down, and his collaborations on Epic Records with legendary producer Billy Sherrill eventually caught the attention of country radio, starting with the hit “I Take it On Home” in 1972.

Then came the album Behind Closed Doors.  The sound was similar to his previous work with Sherrill, but the title track was an explosive hit, topping the country charts and hitting the top twenty of the pop chart.  The next single was even bigger, with “The Most Beautiful Girl” reaching #1 on both the country and the pop chart.  The combination of these two singles powered the album to sales that would eventually top four million.  His former labels flooded the market to capitalize on his success, with RCA managing to send three singles to the top of the country chart while competing with his Epic releases for airplay.

Rich dominated the award show circuit from 1973-1975, winning multiple Grammy, ACM, and CMA Awards, including the 1974 CMA trophy for Entertainer of the Year.    During that time, his popularity peaked, with another pair of gold albums following the multi-platinum success of his breakthrough work.   The hits slowed down as the seventies drew to a close, though he received wide critical acclaim for much of his work during this period, most notably his 1976 gospel album, Silver Linings.

Rich entered semi-retirement in the eighties, and was quiet on the recording front, even as his influence became increasingly prominent among the next generation of stars.   In 1992, he returned with what would ultimately become his swan song.  Pictures and Paintings seamlessly blended country, soul, and jazz, and was hailed as a return to form for the singer.   Sadly, he would pass away only three years later.  His legacy has only grown stronger since his passing, with his forward-looking fusion of multiple styles of music making him one of the genre’s most eclectic and visionary artists of all time.

“I don't mean to take anything away from Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee, but I don't think I ever recorded anybody who was better as a singer, writer or player than Charlie Rich."
-- Sam Phillips, Sun Records.

(Info mainly

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Who - My Generation

On this day Oct 13th 1965, The Who recorded 'My Generation', at Pye studios, London. 



'My Generation' was named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and 13th on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll. It's also part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value. High praise indeed. And it deserves it; the song is 3.19 of pure energy and attitude. When you hear 'My Generation' you hear the Who on their way to becoming one of the great British rock groups.

The song went through various stages as they tried to perfect it. Written by a 20 year-old Pete Townshend, it began as a slow song with a blues feel, and at one point had hand claps and multiple key changes. The final product was at a much faster tempo than the song was conceived; it was the Who?s manager Kit Lambert's idea to speed it up.
Like all great songs from a group defining their sound and feel, all four members made valuable contributions. Roger Daltrey would later say that he stuttered the lyrics to try to fit them to the music. The BBC in the UK initially refused to play the song because it did not want to offend people who stutter.

Townshend who reportedly wrote the song on a train is said to have been inspired by the Queen Mother who is alleged to have had Townshend's 1935 Packard hearse towed off a street in Belgravia, London, because she was offended by the sight of it during her daily drive through the neighborhood.

'My Generation' features one of the first bass solos in Rock history.
John Entwistle used a new-on-the-market Danelectro bass to play it, but after he kept breaking strings trying to record it, the bassist ended up recording his parts on his trusted Fender Jazz bass. And drummer Keith Moon's contribution to the song? Well, he played like he always did - like the complete madman that he was. And it sounds superb.

In a 1987 Rolling Stone magazine interview, Townshend explained: "'My Generation' was very much about trying to find a place in society. I was very, very lost. The band was young then. It was believed that its career would be incredibly brief."
The song was released as a single on 5 November 1965, reaching No. 2 in the UK, the Who's highest charting single in their home country and No. 74 in America. "My Generation" also appeared on The Who's 1965 debut album, My Generation (The Who Sings My Generation in the United States), and in greatly extended form on their live album Live at Leeds (1970). The Who re-recorded the song for the Ready Steady Who! EP in 1966, but this version was only released in 1995 on the remastered version of the A Quick One album. The main difference between this version and the original is that instead of the hail of feedback which ends the original, the band play a chaotic rendition of Edward Elgar's "Land of Hope and Glory". In the album's liner notes the song is credited to both Townshend and Elgar.

(Info from & Wiki)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Marty Robbins - The Hanging Tree

On this day October 11, 1958 in Hollywood, Marty Robbins recorded "The Hanging Tree."



During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Marty Robbins was an influential country singer as his tales of the old west consistantly crossed-over to the pop charts and opened up country music to millions of new fans.

“The Hanging Tree” was the title song of the movie by the same name starring Gary Cooper. Released during early 1959 it peaked at number 38 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart, but didn't chart in the UK..

Marty Robbins material from his GUNFIGHTER series of albums are some of the forgotten pleasures of their era.

The Hanging Tree is a 1959 movie directed by Delmer Daves. Karl Malden took over directing duties for several days when Daves fell ill. The film stars Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, George C. Scott and Malden and is set in the gold fields of Montana during the gold rush of the 1860s and 1870s.

Principal photography was done on location in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area; it is located in the mountains west of Yakima, Washington. The story follows a doctor who saves a criminal from a lynch mob, then learns of the man's past and tries to manipulate him.
This marked the first film of Scott. He and Malden later teamed for 1970's Patton, for which Scott won an Academy Award. Also the film has in its soundtrack the western ballad "Hanging Tree". It was scored by Max Steiner and written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston who received nominations for the Laurel Awards and the Academy Awards in 1960. The text is a short reference to the film's story. It was also released on the reissue of the album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs (1959) by Marty Robbins who performed this song in the opening credits of this film. A known cover-version is by Frankie Laine who performed this song at the 32nd Academy Awards. (Info Wiki & muskmellon)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Perry Como - Catch A Falling Star

On this day October 9, 1957 in New York, Perry Como recorded "Catch A Falling Star."



Catch a Falling Star, written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, is a song made famous by Perry Como's hit version, released in 1957. It was Como's last #1 hit, reaching #1 in the Billboard "Most Played By Jockeys" chart but not in the overall top-100, where it reached #2. Surprisingly it only reached #9 in the UK charts but the A side Magic Moments got to #1. Como's measured phrasing and way with a low-key arrangement saw the single becoming the first US disc to be certified gold and winning a Grammy into the bargain for Best Vocal performance, Male. 

The song has been featured in several films, including The Princess Diaries, Love Actually, Everybody's Fine and Never Been Kissed. It was often featured in the TV series Lost, and was most often associated with Claire Littleton and her baby, Aaron.
Pierino "Perry" Como (May 18,1912 - May 12, 2001) was an Italian-American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century he recorded exclusively for the RCA Victor label after signing with it in 1943. "Mr. C". as he was nicknamed, sold millions of records for RCA and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. His combined success on television and popular recordings was not matched by any other artist of the time. (Info Wiki & various)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - Mule Skinner Blues

On this day October 7, 1940 Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys recorded "Mule Skinner Blues."



The song was Monroe's first solo studio recording. Recorded on October 7, 1940 for RCA Victor, the song became a hit and one of Monroe's signature tunes.

"Mule Skinner Blues" (a.k.a. "Blue Yodel #8", "Muleskinner Blues", and "Muleskinner's Blues") is a classic country song written by Jimmie Rodgers. The song was first recorded by Rodgers in 1930 and has been recorded by many artists since then, acquiring the de facto title "Mule Skinner Blues" after Rodgers
named it "Blue Yodel #8" (one of his Blue Yodels).

"George Vaughn", a pseudonym for George Vaughn Horton, is sometimes listed as co-author. Horton wrote the lyrics for "New Mule Skinner Blues", Bill Monroe's second recorded version of the song.

William Smith Monroe (September 13, 1911 -- September 9, 1996) was an American musician who helped develop the style of music known as bluegrass, which takes its name from his band, the "Blue Grass Boys," named for Monroe's home state of Kentucky. Monroe's performing career spanned 60 years as a singer, instrumentalist, composer and bandleader. He is often referred to as The Father of Bluegrass.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Charlie Bop Trio - Mr. Big Feet

 On this day October 6, 1958 the Charlie Bop Trio recorded "Mr. Big Feet." 



I don’t know much about the Charlie Bop trio other than that two of the trio are Charles Johnson and lead singer Jimmy Kersey (who sadly passed away January 9, 2012.) The single came out on Capitol in November/December 1958 and was backed by Tokyo Queen. Like most people this side of the Atlantic, I didn’t hear it until the rockabilly revival when it was released on the Capitol Rockabilly Originals vinyl lp in 1977.

What an opening to a record – “Hello there man, what’s your front name?” – “They call me Big Feet”. Eat your heart out Tin Pan Alley, this is hillbilly Leiber and Stoller. According to Bear Family nothing is known about the band other than the record was recorded on 6th October 1958, and if Bear Family drew a blank that’s pretty much it. We might not have the details, but we’ve got the music. This Ken Nelson produced blast is really something. It has a jazz/blues based urgent swing combined with the urgency of
Rockabilly, punctuated with a hot solo sax half way through and call-and-response vocals, altogether creating a highly original entry into the Rockabilly world.

If you can’t find a copy of the single or the vinyl album, your best bet is the Bear Family’s 1993 CD, That’ll Flat Git It Volume 3 or the Disky CD, A Rockabilly Party Vol.2 (2000). Go, go, go, Mr Feet – that’s what you hear them hepcats say.
(Info mainly Dave Travis from Rockabilly Party CD)