Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ray's Song Pick of the Day from 23 June

Tommy Roe
DIZZY, US#1(4) from 15 March and UK#1(1), 4 June 1969 - Monster Hit in N.Z. Written by Tommy Roe with F. Weller and released in December 1968 and had sold two million by mid-April 1969. Described as ‘an easy riding, medium-paced pop dance disc with soft sound and violins.’ (Encyclopedia of Million Sellers)
Featured – Mon 23 June, 2008

THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO, UK#1(3) from 11 June, Au#1(4) from 7 July 1969 and US#8. Monster Hit in N.Z. This Lennon/McCartney song, with just John and Paul performing, tells the story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s marriage, their trip to Paris and Amsterdam and their life in general. John complains in song of people’s attitude to the events which immediately preceded and followed the marriage in Gibralter. The chorus had lines “Christ, you it ain’t easy” and “The way things are going/They’re going to crucify me”, which immediately caused the media to criticize the increasingly erratic Lennon. This was the 14th of the Beatles 17 numbers ones to reach the top in the second week on the UK chart and was also No 1 in Germany, Austria, Holland, Norway, Spain, Belguim, Denmark, Malaysia and Australia. No 2 in New Zealand with 9 weeks in the Top 20.
Featured – Tue 24 June, 2008

Paul McCartney & Wings
MY LOVE Apple [USA and Britain] Written by Paul McCartney and released in the UK in March 1973 and in the US in April 1973, the song peaked at #7 in the Britain and made US#1(4) from 2 June 1973, (18 weeks in the Top 100) and also US Adult Contemporary #1(3 wks). Awarded R.I.A.A. 6 July 1973.
Wings was formed in the northern summer of 1971, with no name for a start and comprised Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell along with Paul and Linda McCartney. Their first album, ‘Wild Life’ (1971) was not a success. Henry McCullough (guitar) joined but he and Seiwell subsequently quit. Wings second album ‘Red Rose Speedway’ (1973) which included “My Love”, was a big success especially in the US. The band toured Britain, playing at colleges, then Europe. It took the band some time to gel together and come up with good material, but ‘Red Rose Speedway’ dispelled all doubts, and Wings had taken off in a big way, with their next album ‘Band On The Run’ selling over 2.5 million and earning two Grammy Awards in 1974 (Best Engineered Recording [Non-Classical] and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus).
Global sale of “My Love” is estimated at two million.
Featured – Wed 25 June, 2008

Henry Mancini & Orchestra
LOVE THEME FROM 'ROMEO AND JULIET', Victor [USA] US#1(2) from 28 June 1969 - Monster Hit in N.Z. Mancini’s beautiful arrangement of the love theme from the Franco Zefferelli production of the film ‘Romeo and Juliet’ became a top instrumential single in the US. Released 4 April 1969 it had sold a million by 25 June with R.I.A.A. gold disc award (selling over 200, 000 copies in one week) and earned a 1969 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. The theme is based on Nino Rota’s score for the film which starred Leonard Whiting, then aged 17, and Olivia Hussey, 16, said to be the youngest performers ever to play Shakespeare’s famed lovers professionally.
A vocal version of the theme titled “A Time For Us” was written by Eddie Snyder and Larry Kuisk.
Featured – Thu 26 June, 2008

Roy Orbison,
IT'S OVER An estimated million-seller globally, Roy's 12th was written by him with Bill Dees. Roy appeared on TV in Britain in 1964, which no doubt helped his single reach UK#1(2) from 25 June 1964. His 2nd UK#1 (4 years after "Only The Lonely") “It’s Over” was the first American No 1 hit in the UK for 47 weeks. “It’s Over” had a highly orchestrated arrangement that helped display Orbison’s marvelous soaring voice to best effect. His tunes were often referred to as ‘pop arias’. Orbison attained even greater popularity in the UK than in his homeland, and during his second British tour in 1963 he topped the bill over the likes of Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Beatles. His motionless stage persona, with the dark glasses, black outfit and, occasionally motorcycle leathers, hid a man who was incredibly shy. The Guinness Book of Number One Hits suggested the song was not as well remembered as most of his lesser hits from the previous four years – ‘Running Scared’, ‘Crying’ and ‘In Dreams’ – now all standards.
US#9 with 9 weeks in Top 100 from August.
Featured – Fri 27 June, 2008

And one I didn’t feel would suit Coast ….
George Harrison
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth). US#1, 30 June 1973 (replacing McCartney/Wings – My Love at the top.) and came from George’s immediate Gold Disc album ‘Living In The Material World’ released in the US and UK in June 1973, with R.I.A.A. Gold Disc award (1 June 1973)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ray's Song Pick of the Day from 16 June

Elvis Presley
US#1(2) from 20 March & UK#1(4) from 1 June 1961 and 15th Top No 1 of 1961 in the US. The 32nd million-seller for Elvis had a reputed global sale of 5 million. Similiar to "It's Now Or Never" of the year before, this was another successful adaption of an old Italian song "Torna A Sorrento" - 'Return To Sorrento' from 1911. The new English words were by Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman in 1960. "Surrender" was #1 in its first week in Britain. MONSTER HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Mon 16 June, 2008

Further to the above and using "Torna A Sorrento" - 'Return To Sorrento' as the basis of a question to give away a copy of Mario Lanza - The Definitive Collection, I wondered if Mario Lanza's song, track 20, Torna A Surriento was the same as that 1911 song. Then I asked what Elvis hit was adapted from this Italian song. After getting a few "It's Now Or Never" answers, I hinted it rhymed with the suggested Love Me Tender and Return To Sender. It wasn't until I played the Elvis "Surrender" that I got a winner in Delia, who coming from the Swiss/Italian border assured me the two spellings were the same song, one was just a little more poetic.
Thank you Delia.

Roy Orbison
US#1(1) from 5 June 1961, 17wks in the Top 100 and 21st Top No 1 of 1961
His first US#1, but his 3rd million seller and one of 3 million-sellers for Roy in 1961, co-written by Roy with his regular song writing partner, Joe Melson back in 1952 (according to Encyclopedia of Million Sellers) MONSTER HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Tue 17 June, 2008

The Beatles
PAPERBACK WRITER UK#1(2) from 23 June 1966 and US#1(2) from 25 June
This sold over million in the States and over 500,000 in Britain and was No 1 simultaneously for two weeks in The US from 25 June and in England from 23 June and the 10th consecutive No 1 for the Beatles in the UK. It was also a No 1 hit in Holland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Ireland in the Northern hemisphere, and on the other side of the world, in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. A Paul McCartney song featuring Paul double-tracked singing lead and the first Beatle A-side that wasn’t considered a love song.
Featured – Wed 18 June, 2008

Bonds, Gary (U.S.) - Quarter To Three
US#1(2) from 26 June 1961, 15 weeks in the Top 100 (13th Top No1 of 1961)
The 1st million-seller for Gary Anderson, (the artist's real name and co-written by him. Florida born in 1939 he began singing in his church group at age 9. In 1952 he formed his own group, The Turks and became a solo artist after the group disbanded. His first record was "New Orleans" which was a top 10 hit, then came "Quarter To Three" followed by three more Top 10's. MODERATE HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Thu 19 June, 2008

The Hollies
I'M ALIVE, Graham Nash (b Feb 1942) and Allan Clarke (b Apr 1942) first sang together at their Salford Primary school. Later, as the Two Teens, they performed hits by Lonnie Donegan, Cliff Richard and the Everly Brothers for the Manchester Cabaret circuit. A number of name changes and increase in group size, they became The Hollies in tribute to Buddy Holly. The Hollies recorded a string of reworked American Rhythm & Blues until their EMI producer Ron Richards in 1965 began to find good original numbers for them, including their first million seller from 1966 by Graham Gouldman (later with 10cc) with “Bus Stop”. “I’m Alive” though was by Clint Ballard, who also wrote the hits; “Good Timin’” for Jimmy Jones and “The Game Of Love” by Wayne Fontana. (p 123 Guiness Book of No 1 Hits). A UK#1(1) 24 June and again #1(2) from 8 July 1965. Big Hit in N.Z.
Featured – Fri 20 June, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin

After the death of Cyd Charisse 17 June 2008, aged 86, and realising Charisse was married to singer Tony Martin for almost 60 years, a notable length among Hollywood marriages. (Singers Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence tied the know 29 December 1957) I decided to check out an earlier ‘Tonight At Seven’ feature on Tony Martin I did on Today FM, Thursday 20 June 1996.
I also had email correspondence with Maurice who said “Heard Tony Martin. Didn't know his style. Guess that has something to do with the fact that I've never heard him before. Have you ever seen Fred actually dancing to 'Puttin On The Ritz'. It's another knockout. But I still prefer Kelly. Had a fair bit to do with dancing myself.”
Born Alvin Morris, Christmas Day 1912 in Oakland, California. Tony played saxaphone in Tom Gerun’s band before launching his long and successful singing career. He sang in a hotel bandin San Francisco and after a radio broadcast he joined a band at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. Finally he went to Hollywood where he acted and sang in many musical films, to become internationally known. He was featured in many films from 1936 to 1957, and frequently performed on stage with his wife, movie star Cyd Charisse.
He first made the charts when he was a vocalist for a time with Ray Noble and His Orchestra in 1938.
Tonight we start with Tony Martin from late 1949 with There’s No Tomorrow, which was a song from one of his movies Two Tickets To Broadway.
I Said My Pajamas (And Put On My Pray’rs) a duet with Fran Warren from early 1950.
Voice Break 1
There was a sense of nostalgia with memories of postwar France with the song La Vie En Rose doing well in the States with seven versions making the US Top 30. The original by Edith Piaf was about the middle but the top charting version belonged to Tony Martin...
Voice Break 2
I Get Ideas was a #3 effort from Tony Martin that charted from June 1951 and was adapted from the Argentine Tango “Adios Muchachos”
Domino #9, 12 weeks in US Top 30 from November 1951

Wrap-up We also have available from Tony Martin, his duet with Dinah Shore, “A Penny A Kiss”and a 1956 chart “Walk Hand In Hand”

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The 'Oldie Stations' Are Out There

Recently I received a link about another Today FM, this one a low power FM station on 106.7 FM in Dargaville. The Today FM I worked on closed down in October 1997 – see first Blog.

The station in Dargaville is run by Brent and Alison Robertson who wanted to provide music for people aged 50 plus - music from the 1930s, 40s, 50s, country and gospel - so Today FM was born.

At the moment they run from 6.30am until 10.30pm, but plan eventually to run 24 hours a day.

Also recently in the ‘local news’ of was an article about Eric Allen and his Reef Radio run out of his place in Point Chevalier, also on 106.7 FM.

This Auckland City Harbour News | Friday, 30 May 2008 link may not be valid for too long, as don’t usually keep those links up for any great length of time.

Eric told the paper, "It’s good fun and it doesn’t involve much time."

The 25,000 titles on the station’s playlist are largely from his own record collection, which he started "a fair few years ago".

It includes everything from the 1930s to the early 1970s.

"There’s a bit of everything in there," he says, including his first love, jazz.

Late last year I received a call from a Dave Sergent up from Taranaki, listening to my 107.1 and he mentioned he operated a similar style of programme on 107.1 and 88.4 and wondered where I got some of my songs from.

Plus heading back through Tirau from the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge I found Corrugated Radio - with their bye line of ‘music for people with long memories’.

So the oldie stations are out there, including those associated with the Unforgettable Music Society Incorporated.

Helensville 106.8 FM “Holiday FM”

Ngatea 107.0 FM “3NZ Ngatea”

Taumaranui 107.0 FM “Radio Hikurangi” Uptown

Taumaranui 107.5 FM “Radio Hikurangi” Downtown

Taupo 107.3 FM “Radio Evergreen”

Te Aroha 106.8 FM “Unforgettable Music”

Wairoa 107.0 FM “Unforgettable Music”

Monday, June 2, 2008

It was the third of June

Sometime during May, I received an email at work that said ....
I wonder if on the
3rd of June you might want to look at playing - Back-to-Back
the 'Ode to Billy-Joe', the Bobby Gentry number and Neil Daimonds' tune 'Desiree'.

This is Not a Request as Such but Both of these Songs have same Opening Line .....
'It Was the Third of June ....' I thought you might want to make a point of
it in
some Subtle way.

No - I don't need a Hobby - I just Notice things.
Cheers Fred
So I looked up Lyrics World (which doesn't have annoying pop-ups)
Ode To Billie Joe -Artist: Bobbie Gentry
-peak Billboard position # 1 for 4 weeks in 1967
-Words and Music by Bobbie Gentry
It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

DESIREE Neil Diamond
Written by Neil Diamond
It was the third of June
On that younger day
Well I became a man
At the hands of a girl
Almost twice my age
And she came to me
Just like a morning sun