Friday, 31 January 2014

Ottilie Patterson born 31 January 1932

Ottilie Patterson (31 January 1932 – 20 June 2011) was a Northern Irish blues singer best known for her performances and recordings with the Chris Barber Jazz Band in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Anna Ottilie Patterson was born in Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland, on 31 January 1932. She was the youngest child of four. Her father, Joseph Patterson, was from Northern Ireland, and her mother, Jūlija Jēgers, was from Latvia. They met in southern Russia. Ottilie's name is an Anglicised form of the Latvian name "Ottilja". Both sides of the family were musical, and Ottilie trained as a classical pianist from the age of eleven, but never received any formal training as a singer.

In 1949 Ottilie went to study art at Belfast College of Technology, where a fellow student introduced her to the music of Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, and Meade Lux Lewis. In 1951, she began singing with Jimmy Compton's Jazz Band, and in August 1952 she formed the Muskrat Ramblers with Al Watt and Derek Martin. In the summer of 1954, while holidaying in London, Ottilie met Beryl Bryden, who introduced her to the Chris Barber Jazz Band.

She joined the Barber band full-time on 28 December 1954, and her first public appearance was at the Royal Festival Hall on January 9, 1955. Between 1955 and 1962 Ottilie toured extensively with the Chris Barber Jazz Band and issued many recordings: those featuring her on every track include the EPs Blues (1955), That Patterson Girl (1955), That Patterson Girl Volume 2 (1956), Ottilie (1959), and the LP Chris Barber's Blues Book (1961); she also appeared on numerous Chris Barber records. She and Barber were married in 1959.

Here's ' Ottilie singing "I Can’t Give You Anything But Love" from above album.

From 1963 or so, she began to suffer throat problems and ceased to appear and record regularly with Chris Barber, officially retiring from the band in 1973. During this period she recorded some non-jazz/blues material such as settings of Shakespeare (with Chris Barber) and in 1969 issued a solo LP 3000 years with Ottilie which is now much sought by collectors.

She divorced Chris Barber in 1981. In early 1983 she made a comeback. Ottilie and Chris Barber gave a series of concerts around London, which were recorded for the LP Madame Blues and Doctor Jazz (1984). She sang her last engagement in the spring of 1991. Although another tour was arranged, Ottilie decided to quit as the travelling involved was too exhausting. Erratic health has kept her off the scene since that time, living quietly in St Albans before relocating to Ayr in Scotland, where she spent her final years in Rozelle Holm Farm Care Home in Ayr where she lived in anonymity until her death on 20 June 2011.

Ottilie is buried in Movilla Abbey Cemetery, Newtonards, Northern Ireland in the Patterson family grave. Her gravestone, marked Ottilia Anna Barber, is by the wall adjacent to the car park.
In Feb 2012 a plaque marking her birthplace in a terrced house in Comber was unveiled and the same evening a sell-out musical Tribute was performed at the La Mon Hotel, Comber.  (Info edited from mainly Wikipedia)

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Norma Jean born 30 January 1938

Norma Jean Beasler (b. January 30, 1938), better known as Norma Jean, is an American country music singer who was a member of The Porter Wagoner Show from 1961–1967. She had 13 country singles in Billboard's Country Top 40 between 1963 and 1968, recorded twenty albums for RCA Victor between 1964 and 1973, received two Grammy nominations, and was a Grand Ole Opry member for a number of years.

Norma got her start performing on radio stations in the Oklahoma City area. By age 12, she had her own radio show on KLPR-AM. She toured Oklahoma with various bands, starting with the Oklahoma Night Riders at age 16, followed by the Bill Gray Band at age 18. Norma was the Bill Gray Band's full-time vocalist, and made guest appearances with major country stars.

In 1955 she got a regular spot on the popular ABC-TV show Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Mo., where she stayed for two years and received her first national exposure. Host Red Foley suggested calling her simply "Norma Jean" and the name stuck. She met Porter Wagoner on the show, and also signed a recording contract in 1959 with Columbia Records. A string of unsuccessful singles followed, and she headed for Nashville, Tennessee. Wagoner invited her to audition for his new weekly TV program which became The Porter Wagoner Show. She became a regular on the show in 1961, where she stayed for six years. She toured and performed across the country with Wagoner, and legendary RCA producer Chet Atkins signed her to a recording contract with RCA.

From 1963 to 1967, Norma Jean produced a series of solid country singles and albums. She had her first chart single, "Let's Go All the Way," in 1964; the song made the Top 15 and was followed by the Top 25 hit "I'm a Walkin' Advertisement (For the Blues)." That year she had her first Top Ten single, "Go Cat Go," which stayed on the country charts for four months and became a minor pop hit as well. Her chart success continued through the mid-'60s with songs such as "I Wouldn't Buy a Used Car From Him" and the innovative love-triangle trio "The Game of Triangles" (1965), which also featured Bobby Bare and Liz Anderson.

She continued to be very successful on Porter Wagoner's show. On television, she projected a wholesome image, singing hurting and cheating songs which were relevant to her personal life. Norma Jean left the show in 1967 after marrying Jody Taylor (whom she later divorced) and was replaced by newcomer Dolly Parton, who went on to become one of country music's leading female stars. Parton said later that she had a hard time replacing Norma because she was so well-loved by country fans.

That year, her single, "Heaven Help the Working Girl" (an early feminist song) was a Top 20 hit, and proved to be the last one of her career. Despite a lack of major country hits, her albums continued to sell, like 1967's Jackson Ain't a Very Big Town, which peaked at No. 11 on the "Top Country Albums" list.

Norma Jean moved back to her home state of Oklahoma. By the late 60s, her career was winding down. She charted her last record, "The Kind of Needin' I Need," in 1971 and soon left RCA records.
In the later years of her life, Norma Jean struggled with an addiction to alcohol, then committed herself to Christianity. She inched back into the music industry in the 1980s with a few recordings and some personal appearances. She made a minor chart appearance with Claude Gray with a remake of her 1963 hit, "Let's Go All the Way."

In recent years, Norma Jean has been associated with Cowboy Church in Branson, Missouri. She released her first album of new music in 15 years in 2005, The Loneliest Star in Texas. This album contains a biographical song about her titled, "Pretty Miss Norma Jean", written by singer and performer Debbie Horton from Branson On The Road and recorded by rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. Her accomplishments include performing at New York's Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.

 Norma has now been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since moving back to Oklahoma in the late 60s. She is married to Al Martin. (info edited from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ann Cole born 29 January 1934

Ann Cole (born Cynthia Coleman, 29 January 1934, Newark, New Jersey - November 1986, Newark, New Jersey) was an &B/former gospel singer who was the first artist signed to the popular 1950s label Baton Records.

Cynthia Coleman's father, Wallace, was a member of a famous spiritual group, the Coleman Brothers. Cynthia formed her own spiritual group in 1949, the Colemanaires (Cynthia Coleman, Joe Walker, Sam Walker and Wesley Johnson). This family group travelled throughout the USA and made appearances in a number of major cities, with Cynthia doing most of the group's lead singing. They released five gospel singles in 1953-54, four for the Timely label and one for Apollo. In 1954, Cynthia made her first (secular) solo recordings, credited to Ann Cole, for Timely Records. Sales and distribution were poor, but one person who was impressed by Ann's voice was Sol Rabinowitz of Baton Records in New York City. He spent an entire year trying to find the obscure singer and finally succeeded.

Ann's first release on Baton was "Are You Satisfied" (a cover of a country number by Sheb Wooley), featuring the immediately recognizable guitar work of Mickey Baker, who plays on most of her Baton recordings. It went to # 10 on Billboard's R&B charts in January 1956. The fourth Baton single, "In the Chapel" (1957), also charted (# 14). However, these two hits are not the recordings for which she will be remembered. Though the song is usually associated with Muddy Waters, it was Ann Cole who recorded the original version of "Got My Mojo Working" (Baton 237) on January 27, 1957. 


On a month-long tour through the South together, Ann sang with Muddy's band. "Mojo" had not yet been released, but in spite of Sol Rabonowitz's warning not to sing unreleased material, Ann taught Muddy's band the song and performed it regularly during the tour. Muddy liked the song so much that he asked Leonard Chess to let him record it himself. Chess, who didn't know anything about the Ann Cole recording, gave the Waters record a rush release and both versions came out in the same week. The difference in the lyrics between the two versions resulted from Muddy's inability to remember the original words (written by Preston Foster). Waters claimed to have written the song. Eventually the matter went to court, where it was ruled that Foster was the composer. But the two versions are still separately copyrighted.

In 1956 she was voted the Most Promising Female R&B Artist. From 1956-1962 she scored 3 top 40 hits. Not long thereafter, Cole had a serious car accident, which confined her to a wheelchair. That was the premature ending of the musical career of a great R&B vocalist, who was ahead of her time.

According to the Social Security Death Index, she died in November 1986. Her birth date is given there as January 29, 1934, which is probably the correct date (all other sources say January 24, but they all copy each other as likely as not). (info mainly from

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Bill Phillips born 28 January 1936

Bill Phillips (January 28, 1936, Canton, North Carolina – August 23, 2010) was an American country music singer known for his yearning, emotional vocals .

William Clarence Phillips grew up in an area steeped in country music and learned guitar and began singing before leaving high school to work as an upholsterer. In 1955, he joined theOld

Southern Jamboree on WMIL Miami and sang at local clubs, before moving to Nashville in 1957. He joined Cedarwood Publishing as a songwriter and soon gained attention when he penned Webb Pierce’s 1958 Top 10 country hit ‘Falling Back To You’.

This success saw Phillips signed to Columbia Records and in 1959 and 1960, he registered his first two Top 30 hits with ‘Sawmill’ and ‘Georgia Town Blues’, both with Mel Tillis, and he appeared on the Grand Ole Opry. He joined Decca Records in 1963 and by 1971, had registered 12 more hits, the biggest being ‘Put It Off Until Tomorrow’ (1966) which, with Dolly Parton (the song’s co-writer) on harmony vocal, reached number 6.

Parton was living in something akin to poverty when Mr. Phillips heard her demo of “Put It Off Until Tomorrow,” a song she wrote with her uncle, Bill Owens. Impressed with the composition and also with the “girl singer” on the tape, Phillips recorded the song with Parton singing prominent harmony vocals.

The song became Phillips’ first Top 10 hit, and it launched Parton’s career. Months after “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard country singles chart in April of 1966, Parton secured cuts from Skeeter Davis and Hank Williams Jr., and she soon signed a record contract.

Phillips’ career did not ascend to Parton’s Hall of Fame heights, but he scored three more Top 10 hits, ‘The Company You Keep’ (1966), ‘The Words I’m Gonna Have To Eat’ and ‘Little Boy Sad’ (1969), the latter having previously been a 1961 pop hit for Johnny Burnette.

During the 70s, he registered five more minor hits, when recording on the United Artists or Soundwaves label. From the early 70s, he began to work as part of the Kitty Wells - Johnny Wright Show, although continuing to make a few recordings as a solo artist.

In 1995, he suffered a stroke and Wells, Wright and other country music friends played a charity show to raise money for him. He appeared as a guest artist on Wells and Wright's final performance in Nashville on Jan. 31, 2000.

Bill Phillips died Monday (Aug. 23. 2010) at his home in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., following a lengthy battle with diabetes. He was 74.  (Info from various sources mainly All Music, The Tennessean and Wikipedia)

     Bill Phillips & Ruby Wright - Put It Off Until Tomorrow

Monday, 27 January 2014

Helmut Zacharias born 27 January 1920

Helmut Zacharias (January 27, 1920-February 28, 2002) was a German violinist virtuoso.

He was born in Berlin in 1920 into a musical family. As soon as he could stand, at 2-and-a-half, his father put a toy violin in his hand. It was made of tin and imitation fine wood, but he was soon able to play simple tunes on it. By the age of six he was performing on the cabaret stage of the Faun club on Friedrichstrasse in the heart of the entertainment district in giddy 1920s Berlin. The Faun was a model for Christopher Isherwood's fictional Berlin nighterie which became the Kit Kat Klub in the stage and film version "Cabaret".

He made his radio debut at age 11 with Mozart's Violin Concerto in G-major. By the age of 14, Zacharias was making concert tours beyond Berlin's limits, finally landing a year later - 1935 - in Berlin's legendary Wintergarten music hall theatre, billed as the world's youngest violin virtuoso.

In 1936, he was now 16, he registered at the Academy of Music in Berlin, becoming Professor Gustav Havemann's youngest student. In 1937, he won the Bernard Molique Prize and in 1938 the Fritz Kreisler Academy Prize.

The clouds of war were already moving across Germany at the time. Nevertheless, in 1939, he toured Europe with the Berlin Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble formed from the Philharmonic, under the direction of Hans Benda. During the war, Zacharias defied a Nazi ban on "decadent" Swing music to form his own Big Band. Under the noses of Nazi officials, the band held a recording session at the Odeon Studios on Schlesische Strasse in the heart of Berlin in November 1941, producing three records.

A stint in the Wehrmacht interrupted his musical career and he returned to a war-ruined Berlin after V-E Day in 1945 to help set up post-war Germany's first radio orchestra for newly founded Berlin Radio.He was soon a featured soloist at other German radio orchestras, which sprang up after the war to fill the yearning amongst a war- weary nation for cultural entertainment.

By 1950, he was to be heard on all German radio stations, and AFN Frankfurt called him the "Best Jazz Violinist in the World" and was dubbed "The Magic Violinist" and "Germany's Mr. Violin"
A series of recordings of him as soloist, composer, arranger and conductor of large and small orchestras was made in the venerable Baroque Hall of the Musikhalle in Hamburg. Deutsche Grammophon, which had its headquarters in the Musikhalle, gave him a contract under the Polydor label, launching him on an international career. In 1956 he achieved his greatest success in the United States with the release of "When the White Lilacs Bloom Again" which, on 22 September, reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. On 21 November 1964 he reached number 9 in the UK Singles Chart with Tokyo Melody, following its use as theme music for the BBC's coverage of the 1964 Summer Olympics.

He played together with many other famous artists, including Yehudi Menuhin and had his own TV show from 1968 to 1973. He composed more than 400 works and sold over 14 million records worldwide.

In a career which spanned eight decades, Zacharias charmed audiences with his witty, jazzy renditions of classical motifs and pop themes. His last public performance was in December 1995 when he appeared on a nationally broadcast television show in Germany. Already diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the time, he retired to a sanatorium in Switzerland immediately afterwards.

He died 28th February, 2002. He was 82. He succumbed to Alzheimer's disease at a nursing home in Brissago on the shores of Lago Maggiore in Switzerland. (Info edited mainly from

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Hector Rivera born 26 January 1933

Héctor Rivera, (b 26 Jan. '33 in Manhattan, NYC, d 8 Jan. '06, NYC) was a talented and highly respected Latin pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader and producer.

Started pro career with rumba band of José Rodríguez; studied at NYC's Lecompte Academy of Music, as well as under pianist Luis Varona and Eddie Forestier '48; latter hired him to fill the piano chair with his band. Joined Elmo García's orchestra '51; departed '52 to organise his own band Los Tubos del Mambo, which debuted at Hunts Point Palace in the Bronx on same bill as Orlando Marín's recently formed group including pianist Eddie Palmieri. Drafted into the US Army '53-5, did a tour of duty in Korea; after his discharge he studied arranging and composing with Gil Fuller, played with bands of Alfredito Levy (a six month stint) and Moncho Leña.

During the cha cha chá era, Rivera secured a recording date from Fuller (in his capacity as A&R man) earmarked for an aggrieved García, whose other arranger had let him down; the outcome was Rivera's LP debut Let's Cha Cha Chá '57 on Mercury; he composed and arranged the entire album accompanied by Machito's band minus saxes. After this he led a quintet, did a one-year stint with Arsenio Rodríguez and replaced Palmieri in the Vicentico Valdés orchestra '58-64.

While still with Valdés, he made two classic early '60s LPs for Epic: Charanga & Pachanga!, including Manny Oquendo on bongo and Santos Colón, Rudy Calzado and Valdés contributing vocals, and Viva Rivera! '61. Following Valdés, he played and recorded with Johnny Pacheco's band Nuevo Tumbao '64-6. Contributed his talents to a number of Joe Cuba's key '60s albums. Had top 40 hit with the boogaloo / Latin soul single "At The Party" '67, included on the Latin soul set At The Party With Héctor Rivera '67.

Sadly, Rivera was among those bandleaders "locked-out" from NYC's monopolistically controlled salsa gig circuit during the '70s, and eventually retired from the frontline salsa scene.

In Feb. 2000, The Point Community Development Corporation, a Latino run organisation located in the Hunts Point Section of the Bronx, awarded Héctor and nine other individuals for their contributions to Latin music.

Hector contracted Parkinson's disease and reportedly died of pneumonia. (Info edited from The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music )

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Etta James born 25 January 1938

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel.

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938, in Los Angeles, California, to a 14-year-old mother, Dorothy Hawkins, who encouraged her daughter's singing career. James never knew her father.

By the age of 5, James was known as a gospel prodigy, gaining fame by singing in her church choir and on the radio. At age 12, she moved north to San Francisco, where she formed a trio and was soon working for bandleader Johnny Otis. Four years later, in 1954, she moved to Los Angeles to record "The Wallflower" (a tamer title for the then-risqué "Roll with Me Henry") with the Otis band. It was that year that the young singer became Etta James (an shortened version of her first name) and her vocal group was dubbed "the Peaches" (also Etta's nickname). Soon after, James launched her solo career with such hits as "Good Rockin' Daddy" in 1955.

After signing with Chicago's Chess Records in 1960, James's career began to soar. Chart toppers included duets with then-boyfriend Harvey Fuqua, the heart-breaking ballad "All I Could Do Was Cry," "At Last" and "Trust in Me." But James's talents weren't reserved for powerful ballads. She knew how to rock a house, and did so with such gospel-charged tunes as "Something's Got a Hold On Me" in 1962, "In The Basement" in 1966 and "I'd Rather Go Blind" in 1968.

James continued to work with Chess throughout the 1960s and early '70s. Sadly, heroin addiction affected both her personal and professional life, but despite her continued drug problems she persisted in making new albums. In 1967, James recorded with the Muscle Shoals house band in the Fame studios, and the collaboration resulted in the triumphant Tell Mama album.

James's work gained positive attention from critics as well as fans, and her 1973 album Etta James earned a Grammy nomination, in part for its creative combination of rock and funk sounds. After completing her contract with Chess in 1977, James signed on with Warner Brothers Records. A renewed public profile followed her appearance at the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Subsequent albums, including Deep In The Night and Seven Year Itch, received high critical acclaim.

Etta James was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, prior to her signing a new recording contract with Private Records.

With suggestive stage antics and a sassy attitude, James continued to perform and record well into the 1990s. Always soulful, her extraordinary voice was showcased to great effect on her recent private releases, including Blue Gardenia, which rose to the top of the Billboard jazz chart. In 2003, James underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost over 200 pounds. The dramatic weight loss had an impact on her voice, as she told Ebony magazine that year. "I can sing lower, higher and louder, " James explained.

That same year, Etta James released Let's Roll, which won the Grammy Award for best contemporary blues album. Her sons, Donto and Sametto James, served as producers on the recording, along with Josh Sklair. This team regrouped for her next effort, Blues to the Bone (2004), which brought James her third Grammy Award—this time for best traditional blues album.

In 2006, James released the album All the Way, which featured cover versions of songs by Prince, Marvin Gaye and James Brown. She participated in a tribute album the following year for jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, called We Love Ella.

As she entered her 70s, Etta James began struggling with health issues. She was hospitalized in 2010 for a blood infection, along with other ailments. It was later revealed that the legendary singer suffered from dementia, and was receiving treatment for leukemia. Her medical problems came to light in court papers filed by her husband, Artis Mills. Mills sought to gain control over $1 million of James's money, but he was challenged by James's two sons, Donto and Sametto. The two parties later worked out an agreement.

James released her latest studio album, The Dreamer, in November 2011, which received warm reviews. A few weeks later, James's doctor announced that the singer was terminally ill. "She's in the final stages of leukemia. She has also been diagnosed with dementia and Hepatitis C," Dr. Elaine James (not related to the singer) told a local newspaper. James's sons also acknowledged that Etta's health was declining and was receiving care at her Riverside, California, home.

Etta James died at her home in Riverside, California, on January 20, 2012. Today, she continues to be is considered one of music's most dynamic singers. (Info edited from


Friday, 24 January 2014

Kip Anderson born 24 January 1938

Kip Anderson (January 24, 1938 – August 29, 2007) was an American soul blues and R&B singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1967 single, "A Knife and a Fork." He recorded for a plethora of record labels, worked as a radio DJ, and maintained a career lasting from the late 1950s to the 1990s, despite undertaking a decade long custodial sentence. At various times Anderson worked with Sam Cooke, The Drifters, Jerry Butler and Jackie Wilson.

He was born Kiphling Taquana Anderson in Starr, Anderson County, South Carolina.

Anderson had his first musical exposure in church, where he both sang and played the piano. After featuring in his high school band, Anderson met his future business partner, Charles Derrick, at Columbia's radio station, WOIC. In 1959, Anderson's debut single "I Wanna Be the Only One", was eventually released by Vee-Jay Records. His follow-up release "Oh My Linda," featured guitar work from Mickey Baker. Lack of commercial gains led to Anderson working as a disc jockey.

Everlast Records released Anderson's third single "I Will Cry" (1962), and "Here I Am, Try Me," and "That's When the Crying Begins" (1964) followed; the latter reaching #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. His stock rose further with "I'll Get Along," "Woman How Do You Make Me Love You Like I Do," and "Without a Woman" (1966).


In 1967, Anderson released "A Knife and a Fork" on Checker, which had been recorded at the Fame Studios in Alabama. "A Knife and a Fork" was a mid-tempo warning concerning his girlfriend's food consumption – "girl, you gonna let a knife and a fork dig your grave". The single entered the US Billboard R&B chart. A follow-up release, "You'll Lose a Good Thing", issued on Excello, also made the Top 40 in the same chart. "I Went Off and Cried" (1968) remains alongside "A Knife and a Fork" as his most fondly remembered output. " A Knife and a Fork" was covered by Rockpile on their 1980 album, Seconds of Pleasure.

A dependency on heroin started to affect his work by 1970, and Excello cancelled his recording contract. Despite continuing to both record and perform in the 1970s, a ten year jail sentence in 1974 for possession of heroin, halted his activities. Later, Anderson opined about that time, "It probably saved my life." While inside he formed a gospel group with other inmates, who performed under surveillance at local churches and community events.

On release Anderson recorded a gospel album, before issuing more soul based material via Ichiban. His career as a DJ was also revived when he moved back to Anderson County. He also hosted a gospel show on WRIX-FM, and served as vice president of Electric City Record's gospel division. In 1996, Anderson duetted with Nappy Brown on the Best of Both Worlds joint album.

Kip Anderson died in Anderson, South Carolina, in August 2007, at the age of 69.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sid Bass born 22 January 1913

Sid Bass (January 22, 1913 – June 19, 1993) was a songwriter and orchestra leader.

He was born in New York City and and majored in music at the New York University. He spent three years in the Army Air Corps where he led several musical combos from the piano, playing hospital wards, radio shows, Officers Club dances and so on. As a composer, his work includes "The old soft shoe," "Greatest feeling in the world," "Pine tree pine over me," and many others. He subsequently arranged for several orchestras and supervised and arranged for radio and night club acts.

Bass worked for Muzak before joining RCA as a staff composer. While with RCA, he recorded a number pre-stereo hi-fi showcase music albums for RCA's budget label, Vik. From Another World is the best known of these  more for its cover than its contents. Its cover features a black-and-white photo of an ecstatic spacewoman (complete with glass bubble helmet) looking at a set of orbital/sine wave designs in front of her. The music is mostly big band-style arrangements whose only "spacey-ness" is a series of electronic outer space tones that introduce and end each cut.

Bass worked as an A&R man for a small label, Jubilee Records, in the late 1950s, and spent much of the 1960s as a producer for Muzak, pumping out covers of thousands of tunes. He also produced and arranged without credit a number of albums for RCA's budget label, Camden. Percussionist Phil Kraus recalls a lightning-fast session with Bass during which they recorded an entire album--10 cuts--of covers of current rock-n-roll hits in under 90 minutes.


According to the liner notes Sid got the idea for this record while reading Edgar Allen Poe's "The Bells". Here's "The Bells Are Ringing" as a taster!

He formed Sid Bass & His Orchestra and released several albums, and also conducted and led the orchestra for several other artists on single releases such as The Four Esquires on their "Repeat After Me" in 1958, The Four Seasons on their "Sherry" in 1962 and Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler on his chart topping " Ballad of the Green Berets" in 1966. One highlight of Bass' work was his orchestration of Gale Garnett's 1964 hit album "My Kind Of Folk Songs". Working alongside producer Andy Wiswell, Bass' efforts also yielded Gale's top 5 hit "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" (which she also wrote) that same year.

Other artists he is known to have recorded albums with are Ed Ames, Paul Anka, Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Al Hirt , Miriam Makeba, and Frankie Valli among others, as well as the DVD Treasury of Christmas by Thomas Kinkade. 

Bass popped (credited) again late in the sixties with Moog Espana, adapting a full palette of electronic sounds to Latin standards, much as Marty Gold adapted it to Beatles tunes.
Sid Bass died June 19, 1993 at Puney, Vermont , aged 80.

 (All I could muster was a grainy photo of Sid taken from  LP liner notes.  Sparce info edited from Wikipedia,liner notes, etc.)