Thursday, 6 December 2018

Steve Alaimo born 6 December 1939

Steve Alaimo (born December 6, 1939) is an American singer who was a teen idol in the early 1960s. He later became record producer and label owner, but he is perhaps best known for hosting and co-producing Dick Clark's Where the Action Is in the late 1960s. He had nine singles to chart in the Billboard Hot 100 without once reaching the Top 40 in his career, the most by any artist.

Stephen Charles Alaimo was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and moved to Rochester, New York, at the age of five. He entered the music business during his time as a pre-med student at the University of Miami, joining his cousin's instrumental rock band the Redcoats, becoming the guitarist, and eventually, the singer. The Redcoats consisted of Jim Alaimo on rhythm guitar, Brad Shapiro on bass, and Jim "Chris" Christy on drums.

After playing a Sock hop held by local disc jockey Bob Green and label owner Henry Stone, the band earned a record deal with Stone's Marlin Records. In 1959 "I Want You To Love Me" became
a regional hit for the band. Green became Alaimo's manager, ultimately giving up the role to Stone. That same year, Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars came to Miami needing a band to back up artists, so the Redcoats became that band.

The Redcoats broke up in 1960, and under Stone's tutelage, Alaimo became a "blue-eyed soul singer" with an all African-American back-up band. Alaimo and the group became the house band for a local club known as Edan Roc. Despite his rising local fame, he released two solo albums that didn't earn him the national spotlight. During this time, Stone put Alaimo to work as a promotion man for Stone's Tone Distributors, which acquainted him with the music industry at large.


Through his promotion job, Alaimo landed his first major record deal with Checker Records, a subsidiary of Chess Records, in 1961. There, he struck a minor amount of gold in 1963 with his single "Everyday I Have to Cry Some", peaking at Number 46 on the Billboard Charts. The song was also a top 5 hit in Miami on local 
radio stations. Later that year, Alaimo left Checker for Imperial Records, and ABC Records, but the fame of his recording career would soon be eclipsed.

Remembering the favour the Redcoats had done him, Dick Clark wanted to hire the band again for the music show Where the Action Is, but the Redcoats had broken up. Instead, Clark hired Alaimo as the male host and music director. As music director, Alaimo took the opportunity to promote his own records on air; however, he rarely had time to record new songs. Alaimo would also become co-producer of the show, which lasted from 1965-1967.

Linda Scott with Steve Alaimo
After the show's end, Alaimo signed with Atlantic Records/Atco Records. In the mid-1960s, he began producing music for groups such as Sam & Dave, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, and The 31st of February. Alaimo bought partial songwriting credits to some of Gregg Allman's songs recorded with the 31st of February. This became a very fertile period, with Alaimo producing many hit records. He also briefly tried his hand at acting during this time, appearing in four feature films, such as 1967's Wild Rebels and 1970's exploitation crime drama The Naked Zoo, starring Rita Hayworth. Most of his films became forgotten fodder, although Wild Rebels got renewed interest after being featured in an episode of TV's Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

In 1969, Henry Stone reunited with Alaimo, who set up Alston
Records as an outlet for Alaimo's music. Alaimo quit performing to focus on running a record label. In 1972, Timmy Thomas hit with "Why Can't We Live Together" for Stone's Glade Records, which released the single in partnership with Atlantic Records. Stone then consolidated many of his labels under the TK Records umbrella with Alaimo in 1973. Shortly afterward, the business partnership of Casey, Finch, Alaimo and Stone would achieve their greatest commercial success with the heyday of KC & the Sunshine Band.

Alaimo and Stone
TK Records closed in 1981, forcing Henry Stone to seek out Morris Levy for financial relief and forging a new partnership. Alaimo, edged out of the deal, had fallen on hard times. In 1987, Alaimo was back on his feet, forming Vision Records with engineering producers Ron and Howard Albert. Vision specialized in top-notch recordings for stars who had once graced Criteria Studios during the 1970s. The label also dabbled in the production and promotion of Miami Bass records.

Steve and his partners put Vision Records on hiatus around 2000 to concentrate solely on running their recording studio - originally built for in-house use, but later booked out to others. Alaimo still continues in the record business today.    (Edited mainly from Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For “Steve Alaimo ‎– I've Got It! - Greatest Recordings 1958-1962” go here:

01. Home By Eleven (And The Red Coats)
02. I Wanna Kiss You (And The Red Coats)
03. I Want You To Love Me (And The Red Coats)
04. Blue Skies (And The Red Coats)
05. She's My Baby (And The Red Coats)
06. Should I Care (And The Red Coats)
07. You Can Fall In Love (And The Red Coats)
08. Love Letters (And The Red Coats)
09. Blue Fire (And The Red Coats)
10. Unchained Melody (And The Red Coats)
11. It Happens Ev'ry Time (And The Red Coats)
12. I Cried All The Way Home
13. Big Bad Beulah
14. Mashed Potatoes
15. One Good Reason
16. Cry Myself To Sleep
17. Every Day I Have To Cry
18. Little Girl (Please Take A Chance With Me)
19. The Twist
20. Good, Good Lovin'
21. I've Got It
22. Boppin' The Blues
23. Let's Twist Again
24. This Little Girl's Gone Rockin'
25. Twist All Night
26. Ooh Poo Pah Do
27. Ya, Ya

Steve Alaimo was by the age of 19, one of the scores of teen idols who by 1958 were ruling America's pop music taste after the demise of the original rock and roll stars. However unlike many of his contemporaries he wasn't 'manufactured'. His career took him from garage band to teen idol to blue-eyed soul singer and producer. This excellent CD from Jasmine includes many superb tracks including 'Mashed Potatoes', 'Every Day I Have To Cry' and an outstanding version of James Brown's hit 'Good, Good Lovin''.

27 superb examples of Steve Alaimo's remarkable career from perhaps one of the true (not manufactured and from Philadelphia) teen idols.

A big thank you to Xena Dress @ ACM2 blog for original post.

frank tally said...

thank you i love this ,en and his music - Aussie

JennyD said...

Downright yummy! Thank you!