Friday, August 28, 2009

Forgotten Singles for Saturday 29 August 2009

To think, in the week following playing The Rascals - People Got To Be Free, with references to Bobby Kennedy, his brother Ted Kennedy sucumbs to cancer. Tried to play the Tom Clay song, What The World Needs Now but, my software in Taupo didn't seem to want to play the 6:17 song. Messy, spoiling my best attempts.

Mr. Lee Grant
Thanks To You
, NZ#1(3) from 24 August 1967 - Monster Hit
Mr Lee Grant was born Bogdan Charis Kominowski to Polish parents on April 22 1945, in a Nazi concentration camp just outside Dusseldorf. His father was killed, but he and his mother survived and emigrated to New Zealand in 1949, settling in Palmerston North.
His first interest in music came when he joined a local band called the Cyclones. He was happy to play with them at weekends but then a friend knew a DJ, and he soon had him doing dance gigs in the Hawkes Bay area. The DJ decided that Bogdan Kominowski was a bit of a handful, so he came up with a new name, Lee Grant. The Mr was added to avoid confusion with an Auckland actress Miss Lee Grant.

Mr Lee Grant's first recording was "Doo-Doodle-Do-Doo"/"As Long As I Have You" and to promote the re-release on Zodiac, he travelled to Auckland for an appearance on "Teen Scene". It was while doing that show, he met reporter, Dianne Cadwallader. She decided to become his manager and groomed the 21 year old as a presentable soloist. Dianne secured guest spots at "Teenarama" in Wellington and a recording contract with HMV. She had him dressed by a Wellington fashion mogul and he quickly became New Zealand's Mr Mod and his career was on a fashionable roll.

Jane Morgan with the Troubadours
FASCINATION Kapp [USA], This million-seller for Jane by 1958 (three million by 1965) is an oldie 'Valse Tzigane' of 1904 by F. D. Marchetti, with words (1954) by Dick Manning. It was featured in the film Love in the Afternoon (1957) starring Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn. Educated at the Juilliard School or Music (as lyric soprano) in New York, Jane Morgan sang at clubs to pay for her tuition. Offered a contract by French impresario Bernard Hilda, she became a hit in Paris in a few weeks. Her reputation spread throughout the Continent and Jane starred in Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Geneva and on the French Riviera, becoming a prolific linguist, Then America wanted her to star in the top clubs, and billed her as 'The American Girl from Paris'. She also appeared in many summer stock shows in the USA and in dramatic roles. She is one of the most sought-after night-club entertainers, The French words of 'Fascination' were written by Maurice de Ferandy in 1942. US#7, with 29 weeks in Top 100 from 26 August 1957 and NZ#1 in December 1957. HUGE HIT

Kathy Kirby
Dance On
- Written by three members of the group The Avons (who had success with their British cover of "Seven Little Girls Sittin' In The Back Seat") The instrumental version by the Shadows was UK#1(1) 24 January 1963. Kathy's vocal version made UK#11 from 31 August, Au#1(2) from 1 November 1963 and was a Big Hit in NZ. Kathy Kirby today

*The Beach Boys - Do It Again, UK#1(1), 28 August 1968, US#20, 10 weeks in Top 100 from 27 July 1968. Monster Hit in N.Z. (*regular on Coast)

Vanilla Fudge
You Keep Me Hanging On
, Au#1(5) from 28 August 1968, (US#6, UK#18 in Top 20 September 1967) Big Hit in N.Z. Had been in the US Top 100 the year before, 5 weeks in Top 100 from 8 July, peak #67. Psychedelic-rock quartet formed in New York in 1966; Mark Stein (lead singer, keyboards). Vinnie Martell (guitar), Tim Bogert (bassist) and Carmine Appice (drummer). The song had been a US#1 for the Supremes in 1966.

Tommy Roe
. US#1(2) from 1 September 1962, 14 weeks in Top 100 and a HUGE HIT in N.Z. Tommy Roe's own group from his teenage years, recorded "Sheila" for the Judd label in 1960 but the song didn't have any impact until after Roe signed to ABC Paramount.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Forgotten Singles for Saturday 22 August 2009

Too tired to create a tease, lets just post the info I've dragged out of my Million Sellers file ...

The Rascals (originally known as The Young Rascals)
People Got To Be Free, US#1(5) from 17 August 1968, 14 weeks in Top 100 from 20 July - Big Hit in N.Z.
Another big hit for the songwriters Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati of the group and the fastest seller for them at that stage, reaching #1 in a month of release. According to, this was written in reaction to the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. The song obtained a double meaning when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated before the single was released.

The Beatles
, UK#1(4) from 18 August and NZ#1(3) from 15 September 1966 Monster Hit
In the UK a double-sided No1 with
ELEANOR RIGBY, UK#1(4) from 18 August and NZ#1(1), 6 October 1966 Monster Hit

*Debbie Reynolds (in Coast system but not played much these days)
TAMMY (with Universal International orchestra conducted by Joseph Gershenson) US#1(5) from 19 August 1957, with 31 weeks in Top 100 from 22 July, and UK#2 with 17 weeks in the British bestsellers. NZ#1 in September 1957. HUGE HIT in N.Z.
This is actually Debbie's second million-seller, her first being a duet with Carleton Carpenter in 1951. The song is by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans from the film Tammy and the Bachelor, starring Debbie, in which she sang it and the record is from the soundtrack of the film.

Chuck Berry
, US#5, 11 weeks in Top 100 from 20 August 1955 his 1st million-seller and 1st chart, also R&B#1(11). San Jose, California born, January 1931, Charles Edward Berry became as popular as Bill Haley and Little Richard, sharing the bill with them on tours and signing with Chess and making this his first big hit. Not Released In NZ.

Herman's Hermits (in the Coast system?)
My Sentimental Friend, UK#2, 7 weeks in Top 20 from 3 May and Au#1(1), 20 August 1969 Big Hit

Billy J. Kramer (In Coast system)
UK#1(2) from 22 August 1963. The first act other than the Beatles to have a UK#1 with a Lennon and McCartney composition. Born William Howard Aston, August 1943 in Liverpool had been a guitarist with a number of bands while still working for British Rail. He was discovered by the Beatles manager Brian Epstein while singing with the Coasters and he became Billy J. Kramer (the middle initial standing for nothing at all and suggested by John Lennon) and Epstein replaced the Coasters with The Dakotas. Kramer's first single was a cover of the Beatles "Do You Want To Know A Secret" Monster Hit in N.Z.

Johnny Cash
, US#2(3) from 23 August 1969 - Monster Hit in N.Z.
Written by Shel Silverstein and performed at San Quentin
Johnny Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded this song live at San Quentin State Prison in California. The concert was recorded for broadcast by Granada Television on February 24, 1969 and for the Johnny Cash At San Quentin album. The song became Cash's biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending three weeks at #2 in 1969; it also topped the country music and adult contemporary charts that same year.

The Elegants
A modern rhythmic version of the old nursery rhyme, 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', and sole million-seller for white doo-wop group formed in Staten Island, New York in 1957. Tune adapted by lead singer Vito Picone and fellow member Arthur Venosa. US#1(1), sharing the same peak date (25 August) with Everly's "Bird Dog", through the dropping of Billboard's Best Sellers and introduction of 'Hot 100'. Big Hit in N.Z. (#1)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Forgotten Singles for Saturday 15 August 2009

UK#1(2) from 13 August and US#1(2) from 17 October 1964.
Another #1 success in 1964 for songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and MONSTER HIT in N.Z.

Rock-quintet consisting of four members from Spain and one from Germany. Mike Kennedy leader with a UK#2, 9 weeks in Top 20 from 16 July and US#4, 12 weeks in Top 100 from 13 August 1966 - Big Hit in N.Z.

A group with a UK#1(1), 14 August 1968
Led by Arthur Wilson, Whitby, England born June 1944, the band included drummer Carl Palmer, later of Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Monster Hit in N.Z.

An American pop music singer-songwriter, who was "widely perceived as one of the archetypal bubblegum artists of the late 1960s, with a NZ#1(1), 14 August 1969. In his home country, the song only made it to US#29 (8 weeks in Top 100 from 26 April) and the follow-up to his US#1(4) from 15 March and UK#1, 4 June 1969

US#8, 17 weeks in Top 10 from 17 August 1959. Missouri born in December 1928, a pop - country singer / guitarist who first recorded in 1951 and first charted in August 1956. This was his 4th US chart and a BIG HIT in N.Z.

A trio, comprising brothers, Dean and Marc Mathis with Larry Henley. They got their falsetto sound (of lead Larry Henley) from Dean Mathis pitching to Boudleaux Bryant a Four Seasons style rendition the trio did of Boudleaux's composition 'Bye Bye Love'. Needing a fourth song for their first recording session, they picked up on a recent demo of this song, rearranged it in falsetto style, and was released as the B-side of their first 45 from 15 August 1964 - and that became their only million-seller. HUGE HIT in N.Z. US#2(2) from 19 September 1964, but charted from 15 August - hence my inclusion in Saturday's programme.

And the songs:
Before 1pm - Manfred Mann - Do Wah Diddy Diddy, (first jpeg) already on the Coast playlist as I was reminded when I got in there, so played that just before 1pm.
1pm Los Bravos - Black Is Black, in the Coast system but not played on regular basis as far as I'm aware
2pm The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire (second jpeg)
3pm Tommy Roe - Heather Honey
4pm Jerry Wallace - Primrose Lane (third jpeg) [originally a mono recording] the version I played was off the Collectables 6035 Primrose Lane, Very Best Of Jerry Wallce CD and was a remake, played slightly faster and was shorter in duration at 2:13 than the original at 2:25.
5pm The Newbeats - Bread And Butter

Friday, August 7, 2009

Forgotten Singles for Saturday 8 August 2009

UK#1(2) from 4 August and NZ#1(3) from 13 October 1966 - Monster Hit in N.Z.

UK#1(3) from 5 August, Au#1(3) from 1 September and US#1(3) from 4 September 1965. The title song from this group's second film, it sold a million in one week in the States and 500,000 in the first week in Britain where it was an instant #1 also for 3 weeks.

This group received 5 gold disc awards in 3 months; including this track, a US#1(1) 7 August 1965, and (eventual) 5th million-seller for the group with a song that had been made famous in 1911 by the cockney comedian, Harry Champion. Monster Hit in N.Z.

US#25, with 14 weeks in the Top 100 from 7 August 1961. Backed with CRYIN’ which made the Top 100 one week later on 14 August and peaked higher at US#2. (16 weeks in the Top 100).

The biggest Merseybeat group not managed by Brian Epstein. Formed in 1962 the group were signed to Pye in 1963 and put under the care of staff producer Tony Hatch and this was the first of six such production successes for him. A cover of a Drifters hit it became #1 the day of the Great Train Robbery - UK#1(2) from 8 August 1963 and a Monster Hit in NZ.

and a US#4, UK#5 and NZ#1(1), 8 August 1968 - Monster Hit in N.Z.

And the songs;
1pm, The Troggs – With A Girl Like You
2pm, Beatles – Help
3pm, Herman's Hermits – I'm Henry VIII, I Am
4pm, Roy Orbison – Candy Man
5pm, Ohio Express – Yummy Yummy Yummy
The article in Wikipedia says; "Though marketed as a band, it would be more accurate to say that the name "The Ohio Express" served as a brand name used by Jerry Kasenetz and Jeffrey Katz's Super K Productions to release the music of a number of different musicians and acts. The best known songs of The Ohio Express (including their best scoring single, "Yummy Yummy Yummy") were actually the work of an assemblage of studio musicians working out of New York, including singer/songwriter Joey Levine."

and the biggest Merseybeat group not managed by Brian Epstein - I did play The Searchers - Sweets For My Sweet. A regular on the Coast playlist.