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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Dave "Baby" Cortez born 13 August 1938

David Cortez Clowney, known by the stage name Dave "Baby" Cortez (born August 13, 1938, Detroit, Michigan), is an American pop and R&B organist and pianist.
Clowney attended Northwestern High School in Detroit. His father played the piano, and encouraged him to pursue a musical career.

Clowney played the piano for 10 years, then he took up the organ.
Clowney made his first record in 1956 under his own name but it was not until three years later that he scored a major success using the stage name Dave "Baby" Cortez. 

His instrumental, "The Happy Organ", was the first pop/rock hit to feature the electronic organ as lead instrument; it featured drummer Gary Hammond and was co-written by noted celebrity photographer James J. Kriegsmann and frequent collaborator Kurt Wood. The guitar solo is by session musician Wild Jimmy Spruill. The 45 rpm single was the first instrumental No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart. Before making his big break with an instrumental record, Clowney had sung with two doo-wop groups, the Pearls and the Valentines.
The original 45 rpm single was released on the independent Clock Records label but the LP which featured it was released by RCA Victor by arrangement with Clock.
Cortez had another Top Ten hit in 1962 with "Rinky Dink" on Chess Records. This record became well known in the UK as the signature tune of the Saturday afternoon programme Professional Wrestling, introduced by Kent Walton, although few knew the name of the tune or the artist. The song has a strong resemblance to "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia, since it used the same guitar riff.
The mid-sixties saw him recording for the Roulette label and, keeping in tune with the times, Cortez soon moved into funky soul music. In 1973, he had his last chart entry with "Someone Has Taken Your Place" on All Platinum (# 45 R&B). His final single was also released in that year, "Hell Street Junction", which was an imitation of Sly and the Family Stone's "Life". By the 1980s he had turned his back on the music business and was living in Jamaica, New York, with a day-time job. Since then he has always refused to be interviewed about his career as a musician. There has been no domestic reissue of Cortez's songs, but there are import anthologies available.

In 2011, after a 39-year hiatus from recording, Cortez returned with a new album on Norton Records backed by Lonnie Youngblood and His Bloodhounds, including underground luminary Mick Collins of the Dirtbombs and the Gories. (Info various sources mainly Wikipedia) 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Dave Baby Cortez - Organ Shindig & Tweetie Pie & In Orbit [1965-1966] go here:

1. Shake
2. Watermelon Man
3. The Boy From New York City
4. Can't Buy Me Love
5. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
6. Twine Time
7. Stagger Lee
8. Yeh, Yeh
9. Searchin'
10. Come See About Me
11. Where Did Our Love Go
12. Paper Tiger
13. Tweetie Pie
14. Thing's Ain't The Way They Used To Be
15. Countdown Part 1
16. Countdown Part 2
17. Belly Rub Part 1
18. Belly Rub Psrt 2
19. Do Any Dance
20. Peg Leg
21. Sitcks & Stones
22. My Sweet Baby Part 1 & 2
23. In Orbit
24. Summertime
25. You Talk Too Much
26. Hula Hoop
27. Come Back

Thanks to Music is all Around blog for link.