Friday, October 30, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 30 October 2009

, US#1(2) from 18 October 1969 - Moderate Hit in N.Z. A Detroit soul group formed in 1960 with Eddie Kendricks (d. October 1992 of lung cancer at age 52) Paul Williams (d. August 1973) Melvin Franklin, Otis Williams (not to be confused with the same-named member of The Charms) and Elbridge Bryant, who was replaced by David Ruffin in 1964. A number of other personnel changes followed. Recognised as American's all-time favourite soul group. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. This song charted between a number of tracks the group did with Diana Ross & The Supremes, I.e. the US#2 “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me” from late 1968 and “The Weight” which followed this song on the charts (September 1969). Another big hit for writers Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong, released 16 August 1969, this sold a million after spending two weeks at No 1 in the U.S. A UK#13 from January 1970.

Bobbie Gentry
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
, UK#1(1), 18 October and Au#1(2) from 11 November 1969 Monster Hit in N.Z. With this song, from their musical ‘Promises Promises’ Bacharach and David achieved their sixth No. 1 composition, maintaining their third position in the league of most successful Number One songwriting partnerships.
Bobbie Gentry, born Roberta Lee Streeter, 27 July 1944, began playing piano at the age of seven, going on to study music at the Los Angeles Conservatory Of Music. After seeing the film ‘Ruby Gentry’ she decided to adopt that surname for her stage name and by 1966 she was singing and writing songs for her own song and dance group.
Bobbie had approached Capitol Records with any eye to selling songs to other artists. Instead they asked to sing them herself. Her first hit was her lament against indifference to suicide, with the “Ode To Billy Joe”, a UK Top 20 and US#1 in 1967. This song was her next British chart, then her cover, with Glen Campbell, of the Everly’s “All I Have To Do Is Dream” made UK#3 in December 1969 and then a minor (UK#40) with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” from February 1970 was her lot on the UK charts.

The Jackson 5
. US#1(5) from 17 October 1970 A quintet of brothers formed and managed by their father beginning in 1966 in Gary, Indiana. Consisted of Sigmund ‘Jackie’, Toriano ‘Tito’, Jermaine, Marlon and lead singer Michael (the youngest b. 1958). First recorded for Steeltown in 1968. Known as the Jackson 5 from 1968-75. The group was backed by their sisters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet. Each had solo hits and Michael and Janet went on to have superstar solo careers.
This song was taken from the Jackson 5’s third album and was an even bigger success than their previous 1970 releases, selling over 350,000 copies in the US by November, after being at No 1 for 5 weeks. Released in the US 28 August and in the UK 13 November 1970, where it got to No 4 for a week and sold over 250,000 copies by early 1971. This fourth million for the group (all US#1 hits) was written by Berry Gordy Jr., B. West, W. Hutch and H. Davies. The quintet sold over 10 million singles in a nine month period since their first million seller of “I Want You Back” and was claimed to be in excess of sales figures by The Beatles within any given nine-month period.

Matthews’ Southern Comfort
. UK#1(3) from 31 October 1970. Ian Matthews, (born Ian MacDonald in Lincolnshire, England in June 1946) left the folk-rock band he helped found, Fairport Convention in 1969, and his first solo album, released at the beginning of 1970, was called ‘Matthews Southern Comfort’. His band took the name of the album and on this single the line-up was Matthews on vocals, Gordon Huntley, Ramon Duffy, Andy Leigh, Carl Barnwell and Mark Griffiths. It was their only hit, making them at the time, the 15th member of that exclusive one-hit wonder group and the fourth act to qualify during 1970.
In 1971, Ian Matthew had dissolved his band to go solo and without setting the world on fire with his music, has remained a respected performer on both sides of the Atlantic.

Chuck Berry
My Ding-A-Ling
, US#1(2) from 21 October and UK#1(4) from 25 November 1972. Originally recorded by the artist as “My Tambourine” in 1966. Recorded live at the Lanchester Arts Festival, Coventry, England. Chuck Berry wrote “My Ding-a-Ling” in the early 1950s but Mercury Records turned it down. It was however recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1954 and by Chuck under the new title of ‘My Tambourine’ in 1958. The song was issued under its original title on Berry’s 1972 album ‘London Chuck Berry Session’ and the single issue rocketed to No 1 with R.I.A.A. Gold Disc Award by September 1972. It took Britain by storm and was their Christmas hit of 1972. The risqué novelty number was a surprise Anglo-American hit and in Britain aroused attack by Mrs. Mary Whitehouse, the ‘clean-up TV’ campaigner of the time.
The publicity certainly helped revive Chuck Berry’s career and this song was his first certified million seller.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 24 October 2009

Cliff Richard And The Shadows
. UK#1(5) from 30 October 1959. Written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett and produced by Norrie Paramour. Cliff’s previous No 1 with this backing group was “Living Doll” when they were called the Drifters. Their name was changed was to avoid confusion with the American Drifters. Cliff’s first four singles had all been uptempo, all in the fashionable rock ‘n’ roll vein and sung with a hint of surliness in the voice but it was not until the success of the easy paced “Living Doll”, his 5th single, that Cliff topped the charts and the same winning format was used for “Travellin’ Light”.

Brenda Lee
US#1, 24 October 1960 and Monster Hit in N.Z. An adaption of an Italian song 'Per Tutta La Vita', that came after two million sellers for the singer, from late 1959 and mid 1960.A professional singer since age six and after she appeared on TV in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, she was described in France as ‘the most dynamic American artist since Judy Garland. Backing musicians included Floyd Cramer (piano), Bob More (bass), and Homer 'Boots' Randolph (sax)
Playd Tuesday 7 October 2008

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett * in NexGen but not regulary scheduled
MONSTER MASH. US#1(2) from 20 October 1962 (14 weeks in Top 100) and a Monster Hit in N.Z.
Bobby Pickett began his recording career in Hollywood while aspiring to be an actor. Co-written with Leonard Capizzi, his song charted twice more, #91 in 1970 and #10 in 1973.

Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs
*SUGAR SHACK US#1(5) from 12 October 1963 (15 weeks in Top 100)
The 1st million-seller for Jimmy who began singing as a youngster in La Grange, Illinois. He studied piano for four years and in 1957 organised his own rock 'n' roll band before meeting up with the Fireballs at a recording studio. The Fireballs had already had some success on record and Jimmy teamed up with them as singer and rhythm guitarist. Au#1(2) from 12 December 1963 and Monster Hit in NZ

Peggy Lee * also by Ruby Murray
MR. WONDERFUL, NZ#1 in October 1957 HUGE HIT in N.Z.
Ruby's version didn't show in the UK Top 20 whereas Peggy Lee made UK#5, 13 weeks in from 24 May 1957 (her first UK chart success) and US#14, 20 weeks in Top 100 from 3 March 1956 – from the year before! From the Broadway musical starring Sammy Davis Jr.

Question Mark & The Mysterians
, US#1(1), 29 October 1966 and a Big Hit in N.Z. A Mexican / American quintet out of Detroit via Acapulco. The lead singer Question Mark joined the group one night while they were playing at Michigan's Mount Holly Ski Lodge. At the time, not even other members of group knew Question Mark's real name (Rudy Martinez) or anything about his past. Part of his image was to wear dark glasses all the time and to live alone.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 17 October 2009

Robyn Bowskill sent me an email to Coast saying;
the songs are good that you play, the third after the top of the hour. why can't we have them on the playlist as well?

I suggested Robyn request those that she likes, for Jacqui to play during her 10am to 3pm show. Then maybe over time, some of these 'Featured Songs' of mine might end up on the playlist. An example was The French Song by Lucille Starr, that I introduced a year or so back and got requested so often that the Programme Director eventually got around to adding to the playlist.

Larry Verne
. US#1, 10 October 1960 (Poor seller. Monster hit here by the UK's Charlie Drake.)

Neil Diamond
*CRACKLIN’ ROSIE. US#1, 10 October 1970.
The Bee Gees
*MASSACHUSETTS (The Lights Went Out In), UK#1(4) from 11 October and NZ#1(3) from 23 November 1967 - Monster Hit in N.Z.
Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
*JE T'AIME ... MOI NON PLUS, Fontana [Britain] UK#1(1), 11 October 1969 Not Released In NZ –

Neil Sedaka
Bad Blood
, US#1(3) from 11 October 1975 and NZ#18, 2 weeks in Top 20 6 March 1975. I asked music collector Scott Hughes if he remembered the song being played much here in NZ and he responded ... Yes, I remember hearing Bad Blood a lot. I thought it might have even charted a bit higher here. Elton John sang back up on it, 1975 sparked Sedaka revival with Love Will Keep Us Together which he wrote being one of biggest hits that year.

Lieutenant Pigeon
*Mouldy Old Dough, UK#1(4) from 14 October 1972

Jimmy Young
THE MAN FROM LARAMIE, UK#1(4) from 14 October 1955. Only two of the ten different versions recorded made the British charts with Al Martino's version peaking out at #19. Not A Big Seller in N.Z.

Frankie Laine
. UK#1(4) from 19 October 1956. Written by Frank Loesser and produced by Mitch Miller. From the movie ‘Guys And Dolls’ and Not the same song as Barbra Streisand’s US#1 in 1980. This was Laine’s fourth and final UK No. 1. His total of 4 chart toppers established a record which was equaled, just over 6 months later, on 17 May 1957, by Guy Mitchell. Laine and Mitchell shared the lead until they were joined by Elvis Presly on 15 May 1959 and finally overtaken by him the following year with “It’s Now Or Never” making the top 3 November 1960.

Elvis Presley.
TREAT ME NICE Victor [USA]. Both songs came from Presley's film Jailhouse Rock to provide his 14th and 15th million-sellers. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote both songs. This disc sold well over two million and 'Jailhouse Rock' was US#1(7) from 21 October with 27 weeks in the bestsellers, and UK#1(3) from 24 January 1958. 'Treat Me Nice" US#18, with 10 weeks in from 14 October 1957 HUGE HIT in N.Z. and as Mark said Was actually the A side, not Jailhouse Rock

Johnny Mathis
, Written by Robert Allen (music) and lyrics by Al Stillman. US#1, 21 October 1957 (28 weeks in Top 100 from 16 September) and NZ#1 in February 1958 - HUGE HIT in N.Z. Born in San Francisco 30 September 1930, Johnny Mathis became an all-round athlete at George Washington High School. His father, a vaudeville artist began teaching him songs from the age of 10, then a local music teacher took him on for seven years without a fee. Heard singing with a group at this club in San Francisco he got referred to Columbia Records and his recording debut involved producing a whole album. This ended his plans of being a physical education teacher and he was sent on a nationwide tour, which included night clubs, concert halls and appearances on TV. The Johnny Mathis style was not of the teen beat variety and he became a big seller of albums (LPs). His LP ‘Johnny’s Greatest Hits’ was in the sellers charts consistently from 1958.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday10 October 2009

Had an email from Roberto Neves who listens to Coast online (he has a daughter and grandchildren living in Christchurch) making me aware of the passing of ..."the great Argentina singer and Latin-America, Mecedes Sosa, that died Sunday (04/10/2009). As much in its program of the Coast, how much in the Blog Unforgettable Music. Please, it has touched the great success of she, Gracias a la vida."
Regards, José Roberto Beserra Neves.

I didn't find any songs of hers that I could readily access and play on Coast, however she does have a page on Wikipedia

Featured Songs for Saturday 10 October 2009

The McCoys
, US#1, 2 October 1965. One of two versions that sold a million in 1965 (the other by Ramsey Lewis Trio) and the first release for the McCoys. A rock band formed in Union City, Indiana. Rick Derringer (real name Zehringer, vocals & guitar), brother Randy Zehringer (drums), Randy Hobbs (bass) and Ronnie Brandon (keyboards). Rick went solo in 1974. Monster Hit in N.Z.

David Essex
Hold Me Close, UK#1(3) from 4 October 1975 - Not available at this stage

The Shadows
Kon Tiki

UK#1, 5 October 1961. The Shadows fifth hit was their second to make the top of the charts. Written by Michael Carr, who also provided their follow-up to Apache in the UK#5 ‘Man Of Mystery’. By the time this tune was at No.l drummer Tony Meehan had left the group and had been replaced by Brian Bennett, who been with Marty Wilde’s Wildcats.

Half-Breed, US#1(2) from 6 October 1973

Four Aces
*LOVE IS A MANY SPLENDOURED THING, US#1(6) from 8 October 1955, their 5th million-seller and winner of the Academy Award for the Best Film Song of 1955, written by Paul Francis Webster & Sammy Fain. Monster Hit.
When this song is played on Coast I occasionally get comments about my not saying splen doured. If you listen to the Four Aces they sing "Love is a many splendoured thing" three times, the first two times as splendid and then finally splendoured!
Love is a many splendored thing
It's the April rose that only grows in the early spring
Love is nature's way of giving a reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king
Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love's a many splendored thing

Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love's a many splendored thing

David Soul
Silver Lady

UK#1(3) from 8 October 1977. Position 270R in Whitburn's Billboard Top 100 of 1977. The most successful (in the UK) of the 'Singing Detectives' (Starsky and Hutch) against Don Johnson - Miami Vice, Dennis Waterman - The Sweeney, Telly Savalas - Kojak and Lee Marvin (one time star of The Streets Of San Francisco)

Brian Poole & The Tremeloes
. UK#1(3) from 10 October, Au#1(3) from 20 December 1963. Brian Poole's group and The Beatles auditioned for Decca in January 1962 but Dick Rower would only sign one band and after listening to both tapes chose the band that resided 8 miles from his London office. Initially doing session work, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes had some success with their cover of the Isley Brothers "Twist And Shout" (in competition with The Beatles) then struck it big with their cover of The Contours 1962 hit. This gave Brian & The Tremeloes a #1 in 16 countries ( including the UK and Australia) and a Monster Hit in N.Z.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 3 October 2009

I'm not sure I'll be able to come up with a list of 'October' songs in time today. I've been trying to put together some songs to celebrate the years of friends Annett and Louise, both born in July 1959.
I'm looking at songs from '59, what their mothers were hearing that birth year, then at the 10 year mark, (1969) as sweet 16 years olds (1975) and so through other highlights of their years.

One I did find from 1959 was
Paul Anka
Put Your Head On My Shoulder. US#2(3) 18 in Top 100 from 31 August 1959
and Paul Anka made US#1 with Lonely Boy.

I think I allowed myself to waste time by going through each 1959 million seller, song by song, from my Million Seller file.

With so many million sellers, I should just stick to the No 1 hits of '59, '69, '75.

The year of; experimental television transmission tests in Auckland, the opening, 24 May, of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and no Maoris were included in the All Black team sent to South Africa

peak wks
20 2(2) 9/2 21 16 Candles
The Crests
Formed as a black quartet in 1955, with white singer Johnny Maestro joining as lead in 1956. All in their teens at the time of this, their 2nd chart and, their biggest hit (1 of only 3 Top 20's) Big Hit in NZ.

19 2(2) 23/2 23 Donna
Richie Valens
#20 (2) UKt20 28 March
Written by Richie Valens (real name Richard Valenzuela), this, his 2nd hit ("Come On, Let's Go" sold 750,000), was his only million-seller, backed with "La Bamba". Known from being with The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly when they were all killed in the 3 February 1959 plane crash Big Hit in NZ.

18 2(3) 9/3 15 Charlie Brown
The Coasters
The songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller proved to be very good for The Coasters in 1959, providing the group with this, their 3rd million-seller.

17 2(3) 15/6 19 Personality
Lloyd Price
NZ#1 in July and UK#9 from June 1959, another written by Lloyd in conjunction with Harold Logan to become his 4th million-seller Monster Hit in NZ.

16 2(3) 5/10 18 Put Your Head On My Shoulder
Paul Anka
#7 (12) UKt30 30 October, the 4th million-seller for Paul was another of his own compositions, written in 1958. Monster Hit and NZ#1 in July 1959.

15 1, 11/5 17 The Happy Organ
Dave 'Baby' Cortez
David Cortez Clowney's only #1 hit, with "Rinky Dink" his only other Top 20. The keyboardist/composer worked mainly as a session musician around New York. NZ#1 in June 1959

14 1, 28/12 16 Why
Frankie Avalon
His 4th million-seller, written by Bob Marcucci (words) and Peter de Angelis. The tune was later subject to much litigation on both sides of the Atlantic, it being claimed to be similiar to the 1926 song, "In A Little Spanish Town". The English High Court ruled that while there was a definite degree of similarity, there was no infringement of copyright. (The plaintiffs had to prove there was a concious or subconcious act of copying). In England the song was covered by Anthony Newley reaching #20. Monster Hit in NZ.

13 1, 16/11 20 Mr Blue
The 2nd million-seller for the trio, Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis and Gary Troxel all from the State of Washington (written by Dewayne Blackwell) Big Hit in NZ.

12 1(2) 10/8 14 A Big Hunk O' Love
Elvis Presley
Backed with "My Wish Came True" became Elvis' 24th million-seller and sold 2 million. 1 of only 4 new recordings during his Army hitch (along with "A Fool Such As I" also #1) Moderate Hit in NZ.

11 1(2) 18/5 16 Kansas City
Wilbert Harrison
Also NZ#1 in September 1959. The sole million-seller for Wilbert Harrison had been written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952, originally called "K.C. Lovin'" Moderate Hit in NZ.

10 1(2) 21/9 18 Sleep Walk
Santo & Johnny
Their sole million-seller. The Million Sellers Encyclopedia says "it owes its appeal to the pulsating slow background beat of Johnny's rhythm guitar and a melancholy, somewhat exotic melody of Santo's steel guitar. The Brooklyn born Farina brothers were aged 21 and 18 at the time.

9 1(2) 14/12 20 Heartaches By The Number
Guy Mitchell
6th million-seller for Guy Mitchell, and his last. There were only two more charts - making #51 and #45 before Guy disappeared off the American charts after July 1960

8 1(3) 19/1 19 Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
UK#1, 20 March and NZ#1 January 1959 and their 5th million-seller. Previously a #1 for Paul Whiteman's Orchestra in 1934 and from the 1933 musical 'Roberta'

7 1(4) 13/4 16 Come Softly To Me
All aged 19 when the trio achieved their 1st million-seller with their own composition. Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis and Gary Troxel - all from the State of Washington

6 1(4) 13/7 15 Lonely Boy
Paul Anka
The 3rd million-seller for Paul Anka was written by him in 1958. It spent 17 weeks in the UK charts and peaked at #3

5 1(4) 24/8 17 The Three Bells
The Browns
The 1st million-seller for this trio of Jim, Maxine and Bonnie Brown, then aged 25, 27 and 22 respectively, in 1959. The siblings had sung together since childhood. A French song written in 1945, was also big for Edith Piaf and Les Compagnons de la Chanson. English lyrics were written in 1948 and Les Compagnons visited Britain in 1951 with their English version but the Browns record proved to be the biggest hit of all, spending 17 weeks in the US charts and was #6 with 13 weeks in the British charts

4 1(4) 9/2 21 Stagger Lee
Lloyd Price
Lloyd Price heard an old American folk song called the 'Ballad of Stack-O-Lee' while in the services in the Far East, and rewrote it in modern style. Reaction with servicemen was so great he decided to record it on discharge from the Forces. The song is a story of two gamblers who meet a tragic end became a Top rhythm & blues record and a million-seller for Price

3 1(5) 9/3 17 Venus
Frankie Avalon
Frankie's 1st of three million-sellers for 1959, two of which made #1, the odd one out was "Just Ask Your Heart", US#7 and UK#16

2 1(6) 1/6 21 The Battle Of New Orleans
Johnny Horton
The original melody was said to be an 1815 fiddle tune, entitled 'The Eighteenth of January' composed in celebration of the decisive victory over the British the year before. The top country-and-western record of 1959 (#1 for 10 weeks) and Johnny Horton's first million-seller, it reached 7 figures within seven weeks of its release. Moderate hit in NZ, outsold by Lonnie Donnegan's version

1 1(9) 5/10 26 Mack The Knife
Bobby Darin
UK#1(2) from 16 October 1959, the 4th million seller for Bobby, sold over 2 million. Bobby first recorded this Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill - "The Threepenny Opera" song for an album entitled "That's All" and it was released as a single later in the year to become a million-seller in 1960. It became Bobby Darin's trademark and won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year (1959) and a Monster Hit in NZ.