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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Thurston Harris born 11 July 1931

Thurston Harris (born Thurston Theodore Harris, 11 July 1931, Indianapolis, Indiana — died 14 April 1990, Pomona,California ) was a male American singer, briefly popular in the early to mid 1950s.

Harris settled in Los Angelis where he made his recording debut in 1953 as a member of Lamplighters. One of the many groups on the early R&B scene in South Central Los Angeles, that were prolific throughout the early 1950s. The group later evolved into The Tenderfoots, then The Sharps. As The Lamplighters they released over a dozen, now highly sought-after singles, but to no success.



Harris returned to Indianapolis where he joined the Aladdin label and achieved fame as a solo act with his 1957 US Top Ten hit “Little Bitty Pretty One” (with a solid band featuring the ubiquitous Earl Palmer on drums and his friends in the Sharps doing 
background vocals). This irresistible slice of tongue-in-cheek R&B was written by Bobby Day and reached the Top 10 in both US R&B and pop charts and was to be Aladdin's all-time best selling single, with well over a million sales. Later the song was immortalized by several British beat groups who covered the song during the sixties.

Much later, the song appeared on the soundtracks to films or television dramas, such as Telling Lies in America, Lipstick on Your Collar, and Christine.
In 1958, Harris scored a Top 20 R&B hit with "Do What You Did," but he failed to have any chart success afterwards. His other best known song was "Runk Bunk", recorded in 1959, and released by Aladdin Records (Aladdin 3452). Harris subsequently recorded for Cub, Dot and in 1963, Reprise, while members of the Lamplighters / Sharps formed the nucleus of the Rivingtons.
Sadly, after declining record sales, Harris was dubbed a one-hit wonder and became a bus driver in 1965 for twenty years in the Los Angeles, California area. In 1985, Harris took a job as a bus driver/tour guide for Universal Studios before succumbing to acute alcoholism and heart failure in 1990, passing away at the age of fifty-eight.  

                   Thurston Harris & Alan Clark 15 Dec 1988

Unbeknown to him, Thurstons recordings remained popular UK and European among rock and roll revivalists decades later - with tracks such as "Do What You Did", " Hey Baba Leba" and "In the Bottom of My Heart" remaining popular dance floor tracks. In 2012, his version of the song "Over Somebody Else's Shoulder" was used for an ESPN commercial advertising the mobile app ESPN VIEW for the upcoming Bowl Championship Series.

(info scarce but from various sources, mainly Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Thurston Harris - Complete Early Recordings go here:

01 Over And Over
02 Little Bitty Pretty One
03 Fine Fine Frame
04 Hey Little Girl
05 I'm Out To Getcha
06 Hey Baba Leba
07 Do What You Did
08 Cross My Heart
09 My Love Will Last
10 Paradise Hill
11 I'm Asking Forgiveness
12 (I Got Loaded At) Smokey Joe's
13 Purple Stew
14 Slip - Slop
15 I Hear A Rhapsody
16 Over Somebody Else's Shoulder
17 Tears From My Heart
18 You're Gonna Need Me
19 Runk Bunk
20 I Hope You Won't Hold It Against Me
21 Bless Your Heart
22 In The Bottom Of My Heart
23 One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer
24 You Don't Know (How Much I Love You)
25 Send Me Some Lovin'
26 Only One Love Is Blessed
27 Tell Me So
28 Recess In Heaven
29 Moonlight Cocktail
30 Poop-A-Loop
31 Dance On Little Girl
32 Dancing Silhouettes
33 She's The One
34 Quiet As It's Kept
35 Mr Satan