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Friday, 3 October 2014

Alan O'Day born 3 October 1940


Alan Earle O'Day (October 3, 1940 – May 17, 2013) was an American singer-songwriter, best known for writing and singing "Undercover Angel," a million-selling Gold-certified American #1 hit in 1977. He also wrote songs for several other notable performers, such as 1974's Helen Reddy #1 hit "Angie Baby" and the Righteous Brothers' #3 Gold hit "Rock And Roll Heaven". In the 1980s he moved from pop music to television, co-writing over 100 songs for the Saturday morning Muppet Babies series, and in the 1990s he wrote and performed music on the National Geographic series Really Wild Animals.
Alan was born in Hollywood, California, the only child of Earle and Jeannette O'Day, who both worked at the Pasadena Star-News. Earle took newspaper photos and did publicity for the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. Jeannette wrote for the Star News, as well as being a schoolteacher in Thermal, California and other schools in the Coachella Valley.
He stated that he remembered creating melodies on a xylophone at the age of six. By the fifth grade, his favorite artist was Spike Jones, and he was serenading his class on the ukulele. At Coachella Valley Union High School, after participating in one band called "The Imperials," he started his own rock'n'roll band, "The Shoves," with heavy influences from Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Fats Domino. A third band, "The Renés" played Latin and Mexican standards mixed with rock and roll tunes and gave him the opportunity to write his own songs.(above photo of The Renés)
In 1961, he found work via a friend from high school, Arch Hall, Jr., whose father, Arch Hall, Sr., was an independent movie producer. The senior Hall wrote and produced films that starred the junior Hall, and Alan helped out with the sound, in 1962, acting as music editor on the film Eegah and musical director on Wild Guitar, sound recorder on 1963's The Sadist, and sound mixer on the 1964 What's Up Front!. The work led to Arch Jr. and Alan putting together a four-piece band (called "The Archers") and playing in clubs on the Sunset Strip such as Whiskey A Go Go and Pandora's Box.
Around 1965, Alan was in the band "Alan & Bob & Denny," a show group which did pop songs and some comedy. They played nightclubs in the Pasadena & Hollywood area, and were on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 14, 1965, as the backup band for singer/actress/comedienne Virginia O'Brien.
Before Alan became a successful recording artist, he was writing hits for other singers. First there was "The Drum" in 1971 for teen idol Bobby Sherman, which was featured on his Portrait of Bobby album. "Angie Baby" for mellow Australian crooner Helen Reddy followed in 1974 on her Free and Easy album, and the single hit the top of the charts late that year.
Three years later, Alan stepped in front of the microphone and took "Undercover Angel," another song he penned, into the winner's circle. The single sold a couple of million copies in 1977 for Pacific Records. He went on to score another winner as a singer, this time in Australia. His "Skinny Girls" rose to number one in 1980. The following year he and Tatsuro Yamashita collaborated on "Your Eyes," which Yamashita released to popular acclaim in Japan. He also wrote "Rock and Roll Heaven" for the Righteous Brothers. 
Among the other artists who have recorded his songs are Cher, Three Dog Night, and Mel Carter. Alan travelled to Tokyo in 1983 to again collaborate with Yamashita on half a dozen new tunes that appeared on the latter's Big Wave album. The effort earned that country's Gold Disc Award. By that time, new wave had made an appearance and the face of music was changing. Alan moved on and started collaborating with Janis Liebhart, beginning in 1983. Together the two singer/songwriters contributed to kids' programs that included Jim Henson's Muppet Babies. The pair also contributed "There's Only One Ariel" to the Little Mermaid soundtrack for Disney.
Alan O'Day died at his home in Westwood, California in May 2013 after battling brain cancer for six months, he was 72 years old.(Info edited from Wikipedia & Allmusic)


boppinbob said...

found a few of Alan's songs here:

boppinbob said...

Just had the OK to share this link from Peter (Loadsamusic Forum)

Go here for Alan's 1977 LP "Appetizer"