Monday, 30 June 2014

Tony Hatch born 30 June 1939

Tony Hatch (born Anthony Peter Hatch, 30 June 1939, Pinner, Middlesex, England) is an English composer, songwriter, pianist, music arranger, and producer.

The British Bacharach, they called him. It is an epithet he surely deserves. Like his great American contemporary, Tony Hatch was also a recording artist in his own right, as well as a highly skilled arranger, conductor, musician and record producer. Bacharach might have had Dionne Warwick but Tony Hatch had Petula Clark. Together they were a perfect team, ruling the world of international pop music for many years with a series of million-selling singles and albums.

'Downtown', 'Call Me', 'Joanna', 'Sugar And Spice', 'I Know A Place', 'Where Are You Now (My Love)', 'You're The One', 'Forget Him', 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' . . . There is no prize for knowing that what links these great titles is that each and every one was written by Tony Hatch, the subject of this brief career summary and a likely contender for Britain's top pop composer of the 1960s. A more complete list of his hit songs would fill several paragraphs such as this. Furthermore, the addition of the unforgettable themes for such TV shows as 'Crossroads', 'Sportsnight', 'Man Alive', 'Neighbours' and 'Emmerdale Farm' make Tony Hatch one of the most broadcast composers this country has ever known.

After reaching the UK Top 50 under his own name in 1962 with the light orchestral piece, "Out Of This World", Hatch emerged as a respected songwriter, arranger, and producer of immensely popular hit records. He began taking piano lessons at the age of four, and when he was 10, joined the choir of All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London. While in his teens he worked for a firm of music publishers, before taking a job as assistant producer Top Rank Records. During his National Service in the Army, Hatch was a staff arranger with the Band of the Coldstream Guards, and continued to work part time as a freelance producer with Pye Records and Top Rank. For the latter label he wrote (under the nom de plume of Mark Anthony) and produced Gary Mills' recording of "Look for A Star", which was a UK and US hit.

After his release from the Forces, Hatch joined Pye on a full time basis, and soon had his own roster of artists which included the Brook Brothers, the Viscounts, Emile Ford, the Alexandra Brothers, and the Dagenham Girl Pipers. He also co-wrote and produced several of comedian Benny Hill's popular novelty numbers.

In 1963, Philadelphia teen idol Bobby Rydell hit the charts with "Forget Him", written and produced by Hatch, who went on to produce, arrange and write for other American stars such as Keely Smith, Connie Francis and Pat Boone. In 1963, Hatch introduced the Searchers to Pye, and, after producing their first hit, "Sweets For My Sweet", wrote (under yet another nom de plume, Fred Nightingale) their follow up, "Sugar And Spice".

The following year brought "Downtown", the first of many numbers of his which became popular for Petula Clark. It boosted her career in the UK and US, and gained her a Grammy Award. She won another one in 1965 for her version of Hatch's "I Know A Place". Hatch wrote most of the other chart successes for Clark with Jackie Trent, including "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener', Colour My World", and "Don't Sleep In The Subway". The duo also wrote the dramatic ballad, "Where Are You Now (My Love)", which Trent took to the top of the UK chart in 1965 after it had featured in an episode of the Inspector Rose television series, It's Dark Outside.


"Sugar And Spice" from above 1965 album

In 1967, to mark their wedding day, Pye released Hatch and Trent's version of "The Two Of Us". It was the beginning of the couple's highly successful secondary career in cabaret and concerts, although they still continued to write songs, one of which, the lovely ballad "Joanna", was successful for Scott Walker in 1968. In 1972, Hatch composed the music for George Cukor's film Travels With My Aunt, and a year later collaborated with Trent on the score for the West End musical The Card, starring Jim Dale and Marti Webb. Among the songs were the lovely "Opposite Your Smile" and "I Could Be The One".

In the 70s, after Hatch had spent some time as a member (an acerbic member) of the panel for the New Faces television talent show, he and Trent lived in Southern Ireland for several years in an effort to escape the high rate of taxes in England. Their next move was to Australia, where they have subsequently continued to spend most of each year. In 1985 they wrote the theme song for a new television series, Neighbours, which has since become a favourite in the UK. Hatch's other, highly lucrative, small screen signature tunes have been for UK television programmes such as Crossroads, Man Alive, Sportsnight, Hadleigh, Mr. & Mrs., and Emmerdale Farm. Hatch produced the spectacular annual Carols In The Park which attracts over 100,000 people to one of Sydney's largest parks.

In 1992, Hatch and Trent added the BASCA Award For Services To British Music to their several Ivor Novello Awards, and two years later were in London to supervise a revival of their 1973 show, The Card. In 1995, they announced that their marriage was over. Hatch was then based in Minorca, while Trent returned to England to resume her solo career.

Hatch has two daughters from his first marriage to Jean, a son and daughter from his marriage to Trent, and now lives in Menorca, Spain with his third wife, Maggie. He married Maggie in London on 7 May 2005.

Hatch performed at the Hackney Empire on 9 September 2012, for a Grand Order of Water rats evening - 'The Golden Years of Variety'. At the piano he played the theme tunes of Emmerdale Farm, Neighbours, and Crossroads and encouraged a sing - along to "Downtown".

On 13 June 2013, Hatch was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, at a ceremony held at the New York marriott Marquis. He was accompanied by his wife, Maggie. (Info various mainly NME)

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Roberto Inglez born 29 June 1913

Roberto Inglez (born Robert Inglis,Elgin, Morayshire,29th June 1913 - died 4th September 1978.Santiago, Chile) 

Robert displayed early proficiency on the piano, and by the age of 15 was leading his own dance band, reputedly earning £10 a week in the process. It was hardly surprising therefore that music won out over attempts to point him towards a career as a dental technician. By the mid-thirties he was leading a semi-pro five piece band which supplied the music for dancing at a roadhouse called The Oakwood, two miles out of Elgin on the Inverness road. In 1935 they won the Melody Maker Dance Band competition for the North East of Scotland, and he took the prize for best musician. His band were called the Melodymakers, which title may well have originated from their triumph. It seems also to have encouraged him to head south, leaving the band in the lurch – minus not only pianist but also transport. 

In 1937, studying at the Royal Academy of Music, he met Edmundo Ros, then newly arrived in England. Subsequently Ros joined Don Marino Barreto’s Cuban Orchestra, and when he left to form his own outfit he recruited Bertie (as he was then known) as the pianist. Edmundo suggested that being the only British player in the group, he should adopt a Spanish persona by the simple expedient of adding one letter and altering two others. Ros opened on 8th August 1940 at the Cosmo Club in Wardour Street, but his music proved such a draw that the audience outgrew those premises. He relocated to the nearby St. Regis Club, but that was soon demolished by a German bomb, so the band kept moving!

Roberto was ambitious, and within a relatively short space of time he left to form his own small group, somewhat to Edmundo’s consternation. In early 1944 he was involved with Paul Adam (a well-known society bandleader) in taking over at the Milroy Club while Harry Roy took his own band off on an extended tour. According to the Radio Times, in 1945 he was playing at the Berkeley Hotel, part of the Savoy chain. The band began broadcasting regularly on the BBC, and in 1946 he secured a residency at the Savoy Hotel itself, which was the domain of that doyen of the keyboard, Carroll Gibbons.

He began recording in late 1945, using an augmented line-up, and his records were issued in England by Parlophone, and on the associated Odeon label in Spain and South America. Overseas sales figures were sensational (one release was said to have sold 10,000 per day) thereby confirming the authenticity of his interpretation of the Latin-American idiom. Not that he was confined to it, and in 1950 he accompanied Steve Conway on six sides that were recorded for Columbia. 

                 Here's Delicado from above album from 1954

"The Melody Maker" was a composition written by Noel Gay, and it was the natural sobriquet for Roberto Inglez, who subsequently adopted it as his signature tune. In August 1952 the Melody Maker magazine informed its readers that following repeated approaches from a Brazilian impresario, Roberto Inglez had agreed to visit that country and lead a 30-piece local orchestra. The fact that he would receive a net fee of £1,000 per week net of Brazilian tax and xpenses seems to have clinched the deal. The tour began on September 11th, and they played for four weeks in Rio at the Casablanca nightclub, followed by two weeks at the Hotel Lord in San Paulo, with broadcasts from both venues by the local radio stations. 

That trip was a resounding success, and he returned to England in triumph. Later that year one of Brazil’s most popular female singers, Dalva de Oliviera, came to London and undertook a two-week engagement at the Savoy, backed by his band. They also recorded seventeen titles together, thirteen of which were released in Brazil, including the Christmas song "Noite de Natal" (Silent Night).

Given that he seemed at the peak of his career, there was something of a mystery about his abrupt decision to sever his connection with the Savoy Hotel in early 1954. Carroll Gibbons was ill at the time and he died in May, added to which there were problems with the Musicians Union. The deciding factor was probably rather more personal, because he had met and married Patricia Palma, a Chilean who worked at the American Embassy in London. In any case, it was to her home country that they emigrated in March 1954. 

There he styled himself as Roberto Inglez y sua Orchestra Romanza, and featured a vocal sextette known as the Choro Brasileirinho. He broadcast regularly and toured the sub-continent, but did very little more in the way of recording. He also undertook a year-long tour of the USA, which included an engagement at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (whose resident bandleader for many years was Xavier Cugat) and gave a concert at the Pasapoga Hall in Madrid in 1956.

Roberto Inglez believed that the Scots had a natural affinity with Latin-American rhythms. That may well be because many of the crews of the defeated Spanish Armada were shipwrecked on the north-west coast of Scotland after Philip the Second’s fleet was scattered in the English Channel in 1588. Certainly his dark good looks could well have attested to a Latin ancestry. If so, he found his roots both in the music he produced and in his choice of Santiago as his home, where he died on 4th September 1978. (info from Memory Lane)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

George Morgan born 28 June 1924

George Thomas Morgan (June 28, 1924 – July 7, 1975) was a mid-20th century country music singer.

The Candy Kid — as George Morgan was known after his first hit "Candy Kisses" spent three weeks at the top of the country chart — was a grand country crooner in the tradition of Eddy Arnold, whom he replaced on the Grand Old Opry in 1948. 

Born in Waverly, TN, on June 28, 1924, Morgan and his family moved to Ohio not long after. He grew up listening to the Opry and formed his first band in the mid-'40s. Occasional spots on local radio did little for Morgan's career, but after he wrote "Candy Kisses," WWVA-Wheeling (WV) hired him for the Wheelin Jamboree. The Grand Old Opry called soon after, and Columbia Records contracted Morgan in 1948.

"Candy Kisses" was finally released early the following year and it hit number one in April; though it proved George Morgan's only chart-topper, he placed six of his next seven singles in the Country Top Ten. "Please Don't Let Me Love You," the B-side of "Candy Kisses," reached the Top Five soon after, and another double-sided hit, "Rainbow in My Heart"/"All I Need Is Some More Lovin'" continued the success. 

Three Top Ten singles (plus the near-miss "All I Need") in the span of a month was simply astonishing for a debut artist, and Morgan proved he was no fluke by closing out 1949 with three more Top Five hits: "Room Full of Roses," "Cry-Baby Heart," and "I Love Everything About You."

It was almost inevitable that Morgan's chart success would taper somewhat, though the three-year gap between hits from late 1949 to 1952 was surprising. "Almost" reached number two in April 1952, however, and Morgan's performances on the Grand Old Opry sustained his reputation. He left the show in 1956 to host a TV program in Nashville, but returned to the Opry three years later. He christened his return in 1959 with "I'm in Love Again," which hit number three. Early the following year, "You're the Only Good Thing (That's Happened to Me)" hit number four, but it was Morgan's last Top 20 entry.

From 1965 to 1975, George Morgan remained with the Opry and recorded frequently, hitting the nether reaches of the Country charts consistently. In 1974 George Morgan was the last person to sing on the stage of the Ryman auditorium before the Grand Ole Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House, A week later he was the first to sing on stage at the new Grand Ole Opry.

In 1973 Morgan watched proudly when youngest daughter Lorrie Morgan made her Opry debut. Sadly, George Morgan died not long after his fifty-first birthday, from complications following open-heart surgery.He was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee.

His posthumous father-daughter duet, "I'm Completely Satisfied with You," hit the charts in 1979. (info mainly AMG)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Maurice Rocco born 26 June 1915

Maurice Rockhold was born in 1915 in Oxford, Ohio to a music teacher mother. His mother taught him classical piano starting at age 10, but did not interfere with his interest in rhythm playing as long as he finished his lessons. He entered Miami University as a music student (from where he was later to earn a Master of Music degree,) but soon quit to work for radio station WLW. In addition, he also taught piano harmony at Oberlin College.

His work at WLW impressed Noble Sissle so much that he hired him to work with the Rogers Sisters at the Kit Kat Club in New York, and the act was renamed The Three Roccos. He was to later legally change his last name from Rockhold to Rocco. In 1938 he left the club to participate in two films, Vogues of 1938 and 52nd Street. He returned to New York to form his own band, which included Alton Moore, Arville Harris, and Bobby Holmes among its members. By the early 1940s he was no longer fronting a band, but was working as a solo act.

Between 1940 and 1941 he cut 14 sides for Decca, most of which were released on their "Sepia" series. He did not join active military service because his poor eyesight classified him as 4-F, but during World War 2 he entertained American troops, both in person and as part of the American Forces Network Jubilee radio program. Rocco spent most of the 1940s headlining at nightclubs and theaters (where his engagements would extend into months) and participating in vaudeville revues. By 1944 he had a US $500,000 insurance policy on his hands. 1945 was a very busy year for Rocco. Alongside Mary Lou Williams, he represented the United States in the second African Dance Festival at Carnegie Hall in April. He was married to Iantha on July 3. Later that year he appeared in his most famous role in the film Incendiary Blond. His earnings in 1945 topped U.S. $250,000. Despite all the professional success, this marriage was short lived. Iantha filed for divorce before their first anniversary amid allegations physical and mental abuse. He signed to RCA Victor Records in 1949.

      Rocco's Boogie Woogie (recorded 27 September 1940)

Rocco was billed as "Maurice Rocco and His Rockin' Rhythm" in nightclubs and his recordings. Maurice was most famous for standing while playing, not using a piano bench. The origin of his playing posture has been credited to different sources. In 1944 Rocco claimed that he started standing in 1941, when a customer was sitting on his piano bench and Rocco, intimidated by the heft of this customer, decided that it would be best to play without the customary seat. He eschewed a piano bench from this point on because of the positive reaction from the crowd that night. While playing, he would alternately beat out the rhythm with his feet, or perform dance moves. 

Billboard described his playing as "Rocking and Riotous" but panned his singing ability. His nightclub performances were known to be uncommonly boistrous for the period, even moving the piano from one end of the stage to the other with "violent energy," but Duke
Ellington and Mabel Mercer praised his ability to perform in a sophisticated manner. His showmanship was as recognized as his piano playing, and he was known to favor wearing a pea-green dinner jacket.

In the early 1950s he made tours of Europe and South-East Asia. Alongside Slim Gaillard he was in 1953 solicited to play a lead role in a film to be entitled "Two Joes from Georgia". Maurice fell into legal difficulties in the late 1950s regarding bad checks: he was jailed over Christmas 1957 in Cleveland, and was accused of the same offense in July 1958. He moved to Europe before spening the last 15 years of his life performing in Thailand. Here he was a regular tourist attraction at the Bamboo Bar in the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. He was found slashed to death in his apartment, death having occurred on Wednesday, March 24, 1976. The murder weapon was his own Malaysian knife. At the time of his death he was married to Mary Arlene Rocco (1914–1994). He is buried at Woodside Cemetery in Oxford. 

(Info edited from Wikipedia)

Here's Maurice Rocco performing Boogie-woogie in action (1950)

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Dean Martin born 7 June 1917

Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, actor, comedian, and film producer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed the "King of Cool" for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assuredness. He was a member of the "Rat Pack" and a star in concert stage/nightclubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television. He was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show (1965–1974) and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast (1974–1985).

Martin's relaxed, warbling crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare", and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?".

If there had to be one image for cool, the one man to fit it would be Dean Martin. Born in Steubenville, Ohio, he spoke only Italian until age five. Martin came up the hard way, with such jobs as a boxer (named Kid Crochet), a steel mill worker, a gas station worker and a card shark.

In 1946 he got his first ticket to stardom, as he teamed up with another hard worker who was also trying to hit it big in Hollywood: Jerry Lewis. The duo were to become one of Hollywood's truly great teams. They lasted 11 years together, and starred in 16 movies. They were unstoppable, but personality conflicts broke up the team.

Even without Lewis, Martin was a true superstar. Movies such as The Young Lions (1958) and Rio Bravo (1959) brought him international fame. One of his best remembered films is in Ocean's Eleven (1960), in which he played Sam Harmon alongside  Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

As Martin's solo career grew, he and Frank Sinatra became friends. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Martin and Sinatra, along with friends Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. formed the Rat Pack, so-called after an earlier group of social friends, the Holmby Hills Rat Pack centered on Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, of which Sinatra had been a member.

The Martin-Sinatra-Davis-Lawford-Bishop group referred to themselves as "The Summit" or "The Clan" and never as "The Rat Pack", although this has remained their identity in popular imagination. The men made films together, formed part of the Hollywood social scene, and were politically influential (through Lawford's marriage to Patricia Kennedy, sister of President John F. Kennedy).

The Rat Pack were legendary for their Las Vegas Strip performances. For example, the marquee at the Sands Hotel might read DEAN MARTIN---MAYBE FRANK---MAYBE SAMMY. Their appearances were valuable because the city would flood with wealthy gamblers. Their act (always in tuxedo) consisted of each singing individual numbers, duets and trios, along with seemingly improvised slapstick and chatter. In the socially charged 1960s, their jokes revolved around adult themes, such as Sinatra's womanizing and Martin's drinking, as well as Davis's race and religion. Sinatra and Martin supported the civil rights movement and refused to perform in clubs that would not allow African-American or Jewish performers.

As a singer, Martin copied the styles of Harry Mills (of the Mills Brothers), Bing Crosby, and Perry Como until he developed his own and could hold his own in duets with Sinatra and Crosby. Like Sinatra, he could not read music, but he recorded more than 100 albums and 600 songs.Elvis Presley was said to have been influenced by Martin, and patterned "Love Me Tender" after his style.

On June 27, 1964 Dean Martin hit the charts with “EVERYBODY LOVES SOMEBODY”, the record was a huge success.  Dean went to the top of the Hot 100, #1 on August 15, moving a Beatles song “A HARD DAY’S NIGHT” out of the #1 spot.  His hit record was on the Hot 100 for 15 weeks.  The record crossed over to the Adult Contemporary chart where it held the #1 spot for 8 weeks.  “Everybody Loves Somebody” sold well over a million copies and Dean was awarded a “Gold Record”. Prior to his hit “THAT’S AMORE” had been Dean’s signature song, now it became “Everybody Loves Somebody”.  He sang it as the theme of his weekly TV variety show from 1965-1974.

Martin, like Elvis, was influenced by country music. By 1965, some of Martin's albums, such as Dean "Tex" Martin, The Hit Sound of Dean Martin, Welcome to My World and Gentle On My Mind, were composed of country and western songs by artists such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. Martin hosted country performers on his TV show and was named "Man Of the Year" by the Country Music Association in 1966.

But the image of Martin as a Vegas entertainer in a tuxedo has been an enduring one. "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?", a song Martin

performed in Ocean's 11, did not become a hit at the time, but has enjoyed a revival in the media and pop culture.

For three decades, Martin was among the most popular acts in Las Vegas. Martin sang and was one of the smoothest comics in the business, benefiting from the decade of comedy with Lewis. Martin's daughter, Gail, also sang in Vegas and on his TV show, co-hosting his summer replacement series on NBC. Daughter Deana and son Ricci are singers who continue to perform. Eldest son Craig was a producer on Martin's television show. Though often thought of as a ladies' man, Martin spent a lot of time with his family; as second wife Jeanne put it, prior to the couple's divorce, "He was home every night for dinner."

Film wise Dean went on to more critically acclaimed ventures, such as in Sergeants 3 (1962), Toys in the Attic (1963), and Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1963). In 1965 Martin explored a new method for entertaining his fans: Television. That year he hosted one of the most successful TV series in history: "The Dean Martin Show" (1965), which lasted until 1973. In 1965 it won a Golden Globe Award. In 1973 he renamed it "The Dean Martin Comedy Hour", and from 1974 to 1984 it was renamed again, this time "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts". It became one of the most successful TV series in history, skewering such greats as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, James Stewart, George Burns' Milton Berle, Don Rickles Phyllis Diller, and Joe Namath.

After the 1980s Martin took it easy--that is, until his son, Dean Paul Martin died in a plane crash in 1987. Devastated by the loss, from which he never recovered, he walked out on a reunion tour with Sinatra and Davis. His final Vegas shows were at Bally's Hotel in 1990. There he had his final reunion with Jerry Lewis on his 72nd birthday. Martin's last two TV appearances involved tributes to his former Rat Pack members. On December 8, 1989, he joined stars in Sammy Davis Jr's 60th anniversary celebration, which aired a few weeks before Davis died from throat cancer. In December 1990, he congratulated Frank Sinatra on his 75th birthday special.

Martin was diagnosed with lung cancer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in September 1993, and in early 1995 retired from public life. He died of acute respiratory failure resulting from emphysema at his Beverly Hills home on Christmas morning 1995, at age 78. The lights of the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed in his honor. His tombstone features the epitaph "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime", the name of his signature song.

Martin is buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. (Info mainly edited from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Freddy Fender born 4 July 1937

Freddy Fender (June 4, 1937 – October 14, 2006), born Baldemar Garza Huerta in San Benito, Texas, United States, was a Mexican-American Tejano, country and rock and roll musician, known for his work as a solo artist and in the groups Los Super Seven and the Texas Tornados. He is best known for his 1975 hits "Before the

Next Teardrop Falls" and the subsequent remake of his own "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights".

Freddy Fender was one of the few Hispanic stars in country music, a singer and songwriter whose work was defined largely by its strong Latin sensibility. Fender began playing guitar early in his childhood. After dropping out of school at the age of 16 to join the Marine Corps, he released his first Spanish-language recordings under his given name in 1958.

While his initial sides were successful with listeners in Texas and Mexico, in 1959 he decided to adopt his stage name, along with a stronger rockabilly feel, in order to attract "gringo" audiences. The following year, he released the self-penned "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," his most successful single yet. But in May of 1960, Fender was convicted of marijuana possession, and was sentenced to five years in Louisiana's notorious Angola State Prison (the same correctional facility which once held blues legend Leadbelly). After serving three years, he was paroled thanks to the efforts of Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis, on the condition that upon Fender's release he stay away from the corruptive influences of the music scene. After his parole ended, Fender tried to re-ignite his career, but with the exception of a few scattered nightclub gigs in the New Orleans area, he found little success, and ultimately returned to San Benito.

In Texas, he spent several years working as an auto mechanic, and even returned to school to pursue a degree in sociology. In 1974, he met Huey P. Meaux, the owner of the Houston-based Crazy Cajun label; after agreeing on a recording deal, it was Meaux who convinced Fender to steer in the direction of country & western while maintaining his music's Hispanic roots. After Fender's first Meaux-produced single, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls," failed to attract the attention of a major label, it was released on Crazy Cajun; in the first weeks of 1975, the song hit the top of both the country and pop charts, and Fender became an overnight star.

For the follow-up, he re-recorded his early single, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights," and notched his second straight number one country hit. Before the year ended, he had released yet another chart-topper in "Secret Love," and also issued two LPs, Since I Met You Baby and a self-titled effort.

Throughout the remainder of the '70s, Fender's success continued, most notably with the number two single "Living It Down" in 1976. That same year, he released two more albums, Your Cheatin' Heart and Rock 'N' Country. In 1977, he also issued a holiday record, Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad. As the 1980s dawned, however, his popularity began slipping; after his final chart hit, 1983's

"Chokin' Kind," he focused on an acting career, highlighted by an appearance in the 1988 Robert Redford film The Milagro Beanfield War. He remained largely silent as a musician until 1990, when he formed the Tex-Mex supergroup Texas Tornados with Doug Sahm, Flaco Jimenez, and Augie Meyers. After three albums, the group disbanded, and Fender again resumed his solo career.

In the late 1990s, Fender joined another supergroup, Los Super Seven, with Los Lobos' David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas, Flaco Jiménez, Ruben Ramos, Joe Ely, and country singer Rick Trevino. The group won a 1998 Grammy in the Mexican-American Performance category for their self-titled disc.n 2001, Fender made his final studio recording, a collection of classic Mexican boleros titled La Música de Baldemar Huerta that brought him a third Grammy award, this time in the category of Latin Pop Album.

Freddy Fender underwent a kidney transplant in 2002 donated by his daughter and a transplant of the liver in 2004. Nonetheless, his condition continued to worsen. He was suffering from an "incurable cancer" in which he had tumors on his lungs. On December 31, 2005, Fender performed his last concert and resumed chemotherapy.

He died in 2006 at the age of 69 of lung cancer at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas, with his family at his bedside. He was buried in his hometown of San Benito. (Info edited from Wikipedia & All Music Guide)

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Dakota Staton born 3 June 1930

Dakota Staton (June 3, 1930–April 10, 2007), was a highly respected American jazz and blues singer known from the 1950s on for her bright, trumpetlike sound and tough, sassy style.
Described by influential critic Leonard Feather as "a dynamic song stylist recalling at times elements of Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan," Dakota Staton never enjoyed the widespread acclaim or commercial success of her reference points, but remains one of the soulful and commanding jazz singers of the postwar era.
Born outside of Pittsburgh on June 3, 1930, Staton began singing and dancing as a child, later attending the Filion School of Music. At 16, she starred in the stage show Fantastic Rhythm and two years later joined local bandleader Joe Wespray. From there, Staton headlined a lengthy residency at Detroit's landmark Flame Show Bar, followed by years traveling the Midwest club circuit. Eventually she settled in New York City, and while performing at Harlem's Baby Grand she captured the attention of Capitol Records producer Dave Cavanaugh, who extended a contract offer. Staton's debut single, "What Do You Know About Love?," appeared in 1954, and a year later she claimed jazz magazine Down Beat's Most Promising Newcomer award.

By no means strictly a jazz act, however, she was also a bold, brassy R&B singer and performed alongside Big Joe Turner and Fats Domino at legendary disc jockey Alan Freed's first Rock 'n' Roll Party showcases. Freed regularly played Staton's "My Heart's Delight" on his daily WINS show, and when long-awaited full-length debut The Late, Late Show finally hit retail in 1957, it proved an enormous crossover hit, peaking at number four on the Billboard pop charts. Its 1958 follow-up, The Dynamic Dakota Staton!, reached the number 22 spot and more importantly heralded the beginning of her long collaboration with arranger and conductor Sid Feller.
 After marrying trumpeter Talib Ahmad Dawud in 1958, Staton converted to Islam and for a time performed under the name Aliyah Rabia. She was also an active member of Dawud's advocacy group the Muslim Brotherhood, which existed in large part to combat the radical politics of black supremacist Elijah Muhammad. The Muslim Brotherhood found itself the center of controversy when Muhammad claimed "they should be ashamed of trying to make fun of me and my followers while serving the devil in the theatrical world." The resulting media attention undermined Staton's commercial momentum, and while 1959's Crazy He Calls Me still charted, she never again enjoyed the crossover success that greeted her previous records.

Dakota Staton is best known for the 1957 hit The Late, Late Show. This is her 1959 cut of My Babe, a song written by Willie Dixon who penned numerous memorable classics including Little Red Rooster, Hoochie Coochie Man, Evil, Spoonful ...

After ten Capitol dates, culminating in 1961's live Dakota at Storyville, she jumped to United Artists for 1963's From Dakota with Love. After two more UA sessions, Live and Swinging and Dakota Staton with Strings, she exited the label and did not cut another record for eight years. Upon relocating to Britain in 1965, Staton worked hotels and cruise ships, and was largely forgotten by the time she returned to the U.S. in the early '70s, signing to Groove Merchant and cutting the 1972 comeback attempt Madame Foo Foo with soul-jazz great Richard "Groove" Holmes. Sessions for Muse and Simitar followed, and in 1999 she signed with High Note for her final studio date, A Packet of Love Letters.

After she suffered a triple aneurysm stroke in 1999 her health slowly declined.  In poor health she stopped performing.  Staton died at the Isabella Geriatric Centre in New York City on April 10, 2007. (info maily AMG)

This rare outdoor concert of Ms. Staton was recorded live in 1993 by Jazz City TV in Philadelphia @The Robin Hood Dell East.