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.

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