Sunday, March 31, 2013
Album:Best Of Chris Isaak
It's likely that singer, songwriter and actor Chris Isaak would never have had chart success without his association with filmmaker David Lynch. His only big hit Wicked Game became a hit after it appeared in Lynch's 1990 film Wild At Heart. Isaak was born June 26, 1956 in Stockton, CA. If you've listened to his music for more than 30 seconds, you'll know that he is heavily influenced by the Sun Studios sound of the 50s and especially Roy Orbison. Isaak formed his rockabilly band Silvertone while attending college and then he signed with Warner Bros. in 1985. Dancin' was the first single from his debut CD Silvertone. The song appeared in the film Modern Girls. The album didn't get any attention until Gone Ridin' was used in David Lynch's 1986 film Blue Velvet and that began a long and successful association between Lynch and Isaak. Wicked Game was on Isaak's 1989 CD Heart Shaped World. When the song was used in Lynch's 1990 film Wild At Heart, Atlanta DJ Lee Chesnut played it to death until it became a top ten hit in Feb. 1991. It seems Chesnut was a huge Lynch fan. It is Isaak's only big hit and you can get it on this budget comp. Isaak has also done some acting. His first film was Married To The Mob in 1988. But he had significant roles in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me in 1992 and Little Buddha in 1993. Issak's latest CD Beyond The Sun was released Oct. 2011 and he recorded it at Sun Studios in Memphis. It's all covers of Sun rockabilly from the 50s. It is his first CD on Vanguard after leaving Warners. He is currently touring. Here's the video for Dancin' by Chris Isaak. The girl in the video is Sherry Stringfield from the TV series ER.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Song:No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
Album:Rock Instrumental Classics Vol. 2: The Sixties
This 1966 top five hit was based on a very popular Alka Seltzer commercial. The T-Bones were studio musicians. A band was formed after No Matter What Shape was a hit. Liberty Records producer Dave Pell loved instrumental surf music. So he hired arranger Perry Botkin Jr. to record instrumentals as The T-Bones. The musicians were the cream of the Los Angeles studio scene including Leon Russell on piano, Steve Douglas and Plas Johnson on sax, Tommy Tedesco and Glen Campbell on guitars, Ray Pohlman on bass and Hal Blaine on drums. After recording two albums of instrumental surf and hot rod music, Pell turned the group over to Ventures producer Joe Saraceno. It was his idea to record a cover of a very memorable Alka Seltzer commercial. TV themes had been hits before but commercials? No Matter What Shape reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in Feb. 1966. The song was written by Granville "Sascha" Burland. He's a jazz musician who had a top 20 hit in 1959 with Uh Oh Part 2 as one half of The Nutty Squirrels, a hipster take on The Chipmunks. He wrote a lot of jingles for ad agencies in the 60s. The T-Bones other chart single Sippin' and Chippin' was a Nabisco jingle also written by Burland. After No Matter What Shape was a hit, Liberty hired musicians to appear as The T-Bones. They did not play on the records. Saraceno and Botkin thought The T-Bones concept was getting stale so they ended it in late 1966. But the band who toured as The T-Bones were discovered by ABC Records producer Steve Barri and became Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds. All's well that ends well, I guess. You can get No Matter What Shape on this Rhino various artists comp. Here are The T-Bones performing No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) 1966.
Friday, March 29, 2013
|Emi Fujino, Amber Brown|
Today's edition of Big Bad Blog Video Theatre is Nanae Takahashi defending her World of STARDOM Championship against the big bruiser from Germany Alpha Female. When Alpha Female came to Japan last October, she terrorized Takahashi including beating her up in the bathroom. Their match ended in a 30 minute draw as Alpha Female was about to finish her. So I thought this match would be a heavy duty beatdown. It really wasn't. Takahashi got in a lot more offense than I expected. It just wasn't enough to finish Alpha Female. And the ending is way too abrupt. I think this match needed a more decisive beatdown to get Alpha Female over as a true monster. It's a good match but I don't think that part of the match was that successful. Alpha Female needed to be booked as impervious and that's not how it was booked. It needed more Alpha Female no selling Takahashi's offense. If you're going to book a monster heel, book her strong. Enjoy the video!
05. Nanae Takahashi (c) vs Alpha Female... by SenorLARIATO
05. Nanae Takahashi (c) vs Alpha Female... by SenorLARIATO
Yesterday Ayumi Kurihara held a press conference to announce that she plans to retire. Her retirement show will be Aug. 4 at Korakuen Hall. Pro Wrestling WAVE will promote the show and GAMI was at the press conference. Ayumi has been one of the most popular joshi wrestlers in recent days. Business is so bad that it's hard for anyone to make money. So I'm not very surprised she has decided to get out at age 28 while she can still walk. She doesn't need the joshi business as much as it needs her. The decision to retire came down to a lingering injury that is not going away unless she has more surgery. Fans may recall that Ayumi suffered a broken clavicle on a July 16, 2007 NEO show. She aggravated the injury when she foolishly returned for Michiko Ohmukai's retirement show and had reconstructive surgery in Dec. 2007. Ayumi says her shoulder has gotten worse and she can't lift her right arm anymore. She was told last August that is wasn't going to improve. So she started considering retirement. Then on a Feb. 10 WAVE show, Ayumi suffered a broken nose and a broken orbital bone. That was the last straw. She decided to retire. She doesn't feel she can wrestle the style fans have become accustomed to and remain healthy. And sometimes it's better to retire too soon than too late. Ayumi's parents own the Three Treasures restaurant so I expect her to eventually take it over. She grew up there. She also started her own company and provides noodle soup to the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team. I wrote about that in 2009 and you can read it at this link http://frankp316.blogspot.ca/2009/07/ayumi-kurihara-uses-her-noodle.html
I don't think she will get into acting or anything like that. She has a successful business waiting for her and she knows that business. Ayumi will be on next week's SHIMMER show in New Jersey and I expect her to go to Mexico as she is a fan favourite there. She says her first choice as an opponent for her retirement match is Meiko Satomura. So it is very sad news for joshi fans.
I don't think she will get into acting or anything like that. She has a successful business waiting for her and she knows that business. Ayumi will be on next week's SHIMMER show in New Jersey and I expect her to go to Mexico as she is a fan favourite there. She says her first choice as an opponent for her retirement match is Meiko Satomura. So it is very sad news for joshi fans.
The Jam was one of the most successful bands of the late 70s to early 80s in England. Start! was one of several number one hits. But they split up when they were unable to break into the US market. The leader of The Jam was guitarist, lead singer and songwriter Paul Weller. He started playing gigs with friends in his home town of Woking, Surrey, England in 1972. Eventually it turned into a band with Bruce Foxton on bass, Steve Brookes on guitar and Rich Buckler on drums. At first they were a cover band. Brookes left and they became a trio. The Jam signed with Polydor Records in 1977. They started to see success in England with the 1978 album All Mod Cons. Then they had their first number one hit in England with Going Underground in 1980. Start! also reached number one. It was the first single from the 1980 album Sound Affects. Start! is based on The Beatles 1966 hit Taxman. Weller lifted the guitar and bass riff. The Jam also had number one hits with Town Called Malice and Beat Surrender. But ultimately Weller disbanded The Jam because of their inability to break the US market. They split up after the 1982 album The Gift. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. Paul Weller formed The Style Council with Mick Talbot of The Merton Parkas. After a successful run, they split up in 1989. Weller has recorded solo since 1990. Bruce Foxton was a member of Stiff Little Fingers for many years. He currently leads The Jam tribute band From The Jam and announced plans to release a CD as Foxton. Back In the Room was released Oct. 2012. Here is the video for Start! by The Jam.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Album:The Very Best Of Soft Cell
Soft Cell's 1981 cover of the 60s soul classic Tainted Love has proven to be one of the more durable records of the early 80s New Wave movement. It was also very influential in its use of synthesizers. Soft Cell was formed in 1978 when Marc Almond and David Ball met at Leeds Polytechnic in England. They started experimenting with electronic instruments. At first they wanted to compose music for stage shows. But then they figured out they could do more than that. Ball's mother financed the 1980 EP Mutant Moments and this led to a record deal with Phonogram's Some Bizarre label. The single Memorabilia got some interest at dance clubs but their other singles flopped and Phonogram was unhappy. They gave Soft Cell one last chance. Tainted Love was written by Ed Cobb of The Four Preps and he produced Gloria Jones' 1965 recording. It flopped but became a favourite in England's Northern Soul circuit in the 70s. That's where Almond heard the song. Tainted Love was first released as a medley with The Supremes' classic Where Did Our Love Go. Soft Cell's performance of Tainted Love on Top of the Pops propelled the song to the top of the British charts. The song became a worldwide hit after Phonogram chopped the second part of the medley. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately Soft Cell became the victim of their own excess and drug abuse. They split up in 1984. They had some other minor hits in England which are on this comp. Tainted Love was #2 on VH1's 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders. Marc Almond has recorded solo for years. David Ball formed The Grid and then got into record production. Soft Cell have reunited a few times including for a 2001 tour. A remix of Tainted Love was released in 1991. Tainted Love was a big influence on other synth pop artists and it is frequently sampled. Here's the video for Tainted love by Soft Cell.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Song:I Miss You
Guy lead singer Aaron Hall had his biggest solo success with the 1994 weeper I Miss You. He is currently part of the reunited Guy. He was born Aug. 10, 1964 in The Bronx, NY and as a teen was a member of Hezekiah Walker's Love Fellowship Choir. He became one of the biggest stars of black music as lead singer of Guy. After Teddy Riley disbanded Guy due to a split with their manager, Hall went solo. Hall's singing style is heavily influenced by the legendary Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band. And they recorded the duet It's Gonna Be Alright for the 1991 film Boomerang. Hall also recorded the R & B hit Don't Be Afraid for the 1991 film Juice. The 1994 CD The Truth was his debut. I Miss You reached #2 on the R & B Singles chart but it also crossed over to pop and reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hall wrote and produced the song with Gregory Cauthen who has produced The Mighty Clouds Of Joy. This has been Hall's most successful song to date. The Truth is available as a budget CD. He released a CD in 1998 and then reunited with Guy in 1999. His most recent solo CD was in 2005. But Guy does reunite occasionally and apparently they are currently working on new music. Hall is also quite the dog expert and hosts the Youtube show Aaron Hall's Dog Rehab. Here's the video for I Miss You by Aaron Hall. Don't cry now.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Song:Boys In The Band
Album:The Best Of: A Time For Heroes
The Libertines had some success in their native England with their Brit Pop and Punk influenced sound. But they should have been much bigger and unfortunately they were best known for Pete Doherty's drug fueled bad behaviour. They only recorded two albums. The Libertines started when Pete Doherty and Carl Barat met in 1997 while Barat was attending Brunel University in Uxbridge. They formed The Strand with Steve Bedlow but then changed the name to The Libertines after Marquis de Sade's Lust of the Libertines. One of the problems was settling on a band lineup. But by the time they signed with Rough Trade Records in 2002, John Hassall was on bass and Gary Powell was on drums. Their 2002 debut CD Up The Bracket was produced by Mick Jones of The Clash. They had some chart success in England and the album was highly acclaimed. Though Boys In The Band was never released as a single, it's one of their best songs. While recording their second album Problems, Doherty's crack and heroin addiction was causing a rift in the band. Barat didn't want to work with Doherty anymore and it eventually led to the end of The Libertines. Doherty seemed to spend more time on his side project Babyshambles. Doherty also spent time in prison. Barat told Doherty that if he didn't get cleaned up, he wouldn't be allowed back in the band. Barat had already started his own band Dirty Pretty Things. Attempts to keep the Libertines together were ultimately unsuccessful and the band ended in Dec. 2004. Part of the problem was Babyshambles was doing well and Doherty didn't think he needed Barat. This comp is a good intro to their music. After no contact for several years, Doherty and Barat reunited The Libertines in 2010. But Doherty's continued drug abuse and high profile clashes with the law overshadow his musical talent. He continues to lead Babyshambles. Dirty Pretty Things split up in 2009 and Barat recorded a solo CD in 2010. These guys could have been big. Here are The Libertines performing Boys In The Band on Later with Jools Holland Jan. 2002.
Monday, March 25, 2013
|Alpha Female vs Io Shirai staredown|
Song:Hammer In My Head
Album:Y.U. So Shady?
One of the truths of the Canadian music business is Canada isn't a big enough market for bands to make a decent living. That's why the goal of most Canadian bands is to break the US market. Canadian blues rockers Big Sugar had a lot of success at home. But they were never able to break into the US market. So when they split up in 2004, Big Sugar leader Gordie Johnson decided to move to Austin, TX to form a new band Grady. He brought bassist Ben Richardson of The Phantoms with him and hired drummer Chris Layton formerly of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble. Y.U. So Shady? was their 2005 debut CD and was released on Universal in Canada. Jello Biafra's label Alternative Tentacles picked it up in the US. Big Sugar fans should enjoy Grady's blues rock sound. Layton was replaced by Billy Maddox in 2006. He left due to health problems and was replaced by Nina Singh. She left in 2011 and was replaced by Trinidad Leal. Grady has recorded four CDs. The latest is the live CD Calling All My Demons in 2010. Meanwhile Big Sugar reformed and released a new CD in 2011. And Johnson joined Wide Mouth Mason and produced their 2011 CD No Bad Days. Gordie Johnson sure is a busy guy. Here's the video for Hammer In My Head by Grady.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Song:Islands In The Stream
Album:42 Ultimate Hits
Though Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton were both successful solo artists, the duet Islands in The Stream was the biggest hit for either of them. It was the biggest hit single of 1983. Rogers had recorded successful duets with Dottie West, Kim Carnes and Sheena Easton when he was on Liberty Records. But in 1983 he moved to RCA Records. Eyes That See In The Dark was his first album for RCA. The album was produced by Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees along with Albey Galuten and Karl Richardson. all the songs were written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Islands In The Stream was not a duet at first. But Rogers was unhappy with the recording and suggested Dolly Parton be brought in to record it with him. And the rest is history. The song was a worldwide chart topper. It was the biggest hit single of 1983. It is also the biggest hit in Dolly Parton's career. And to think The Bee Gees wrote Islands In The stream for Marvin Gaye. Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton went on to record a Christmas album and a TV special. They recorded the 1985 duet Real Love which topped the country charts. That was on Dolly's album Real Love. I'm sure you can get Islands in The Stream on comps by both artists but I recommend this Rogers 2CD comp 42 Ultimate Hits because it covers his entire career including The First Edition. Here's Kenny Rogers featuring Dolly Parton performing Islands In The Stream 1984.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Album:The Only Doo-Wop Collection You'll Ever Need
The Marvelows had their biggest hit in 1965 with I Do. I'm sure most fans hear this song and wonder which Motown group recorded it. But The Marvelows were from Chicago Heights, IL. Melvin Mason formed The Marvelows with Frank and Johnny Paden, Willie "Sonny" Stephenson and Mason's wife's cousin Jesse Smith. Smith's mother was schoolmates with producer Johnny Pate. Pate produced The Impressions and was Chicago A & R director for ABC-Paramount Records. He signed The Marvelows and they recorded four singles. I Do was the last single and it reached #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a top ten R & B hit. The group used the song to warm up so it was recorded as an afterthought. It is a throwback to doo wop. You can get it on this Shout Factory 2CD doo wop comp which was compiled by the same folks who did the now unavailable The Doo Wop Box. Smith left The Marvelows in 1966 and was replaced by Andrew Thomas. The group changed their name to The Mighty Marvelows to avoid being confused with The Marvellos. They charted in 1968 with In The Morning and recorded an album. Then they split up in 1969. They reunited briefly in 1974. I Do got a boost and The Marvelows made some royalty money when J. Geils Band recorded I Do on their 1982 album Showtime. I'm sure many fans have discovered the original through that cover. Here's a video for I Do by The Marvelows.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Song:Bongo Rock '73
Though Bongo Rock was a minor chart hit in 1973, today it is hailed as one of the building blocks of hip hop because of its use of percussion. Of course there was no band. The man behind Incredible Bongo band was MGM Records executive Michael Viner. He was in charge of Pride Records and produced the 1970 joke album The Best Of Marcel Marceau. This album was complete silence ending with two minutes of applause. I know this album existed because I have seen it. Viner was asked to contribute music to the 1972 film The Thing With Two Heads starring Ray Milland and Rosey Grier as the title character. It's a film that frequently comes up on worst films of all time lists. Viner called producer and arranger Perry Botkin Jr. and he recorded Bongo Rock and Bongolia for the film. Botkin is best known for the single Nadia's Theme from the TV soap The Young and the Restless. When Bongo Rock started getting radio play, Viner decided to record a full album. Supposedly Ringo Starr played on the album. I don't know if that's true but veteran percussionist King Errisson and Derek & The Dominos drummer Jim Gordon did and should get credit for Bongo Rock's success. Bongo Rock was written and originally recorded by Preston Epps in 1959. It was a top twenty hit. This new version of Bongo rock reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100. Viner and Botkin recorded two Incredible Bongo Band albums. The interest came later when rappers like DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash sampled the drum break in Bongo Rock and today Incredible Bongo Band is considered to be a big hip hop influence. Michael Viner went on to found Dove Books on Tape with wife Deborah Raffin. He died in 2009. The 2012 documentary Sample This includes the Incredible Bongo Band story. Bongo Rock is available on CD. Here's a video for Bongo Rock '73 by Incredible Bongo Band.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Of course most music fans are familiar with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. That band evolved out of Mudcrutch. In 2008, Petty decided to reunite Mudcrutch and this CD was the result. Mudcrutch was formed in 1970 in Gainesville, FL. Bassist Tom Petty and guitarist Tom Leadon were in The Epics. Leadon is the younger brother of Bernie Leadon of Eagles. Other members were lead singer Jim Lenehan, drummer Randall Marsh and guitarist Mike Campbell. Leadon and Lenehan left in 1972 and were replaced by Danny Roberts. Keyboard player Benmont Tench joined. Leadon followed his brother to Los Angeles and was a member of the band Silver and played bass for Linda Ronstadt. Mudcrutch signed with Leon Russell's Shelter Records in 1974. They released one single and split up. Of course Petty, Campbell and Tench formed Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and they went on to great success. in 2007, Petty asked Leadon and Marsh if they wanted to reform Mudcrutch for a one off CD. They agreed to do it and Reprise Records released Mudcrutch Apr. 2008. They went on a short tour, released a live EP and a Mudcrutch documentary aired on VH1. The music is more country rock than The Heartbreakers as Mudcrutch was heavily influenced by The Byrds. Though the Mudcrutch reunion was very successful, it was always supposed to be a one time project and it's unlikely that there will be a second CD. Petty, Campbell and Tench returned to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Here's the video for Scare Easy by Mudcrutch.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Album:Doo Wop Party Favorites
I'm sure most music fans are familiar with Silhouettes but may not be familiar with the original version by the doo wop group The Rays. Like a lot of 50s groups, they were from New York City. Lead singer Harold Miller and second tenor Davey Jones were members of The Four Fellows. They formed The Rays with tenor Walter ford and baritone Harry James. They recorded for Chess with no success and then recorded Silhouettes for XYZ Records. The song was written and produced by Bob Crewe and Frank Slay. Crewe wrote the song after seeing a couple making out through window shades. When a local DJ fell asleep while playing Silhouettes, it repeated until he woke up. The song was a big enough hit that it was picked up by Cameo-Parkway for national distribution. Silhouettes reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. The Rays never had another hit but Silhouettes was covered by many artists. The Diamonds reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. They were a white group from Canada known for covering black songs. But the song's biggest success was when Herman's Hermits topped the charts with Silhouettes in 1965. That's the version most fans know. You can get The Rays' original recording on this 2CD various artists budget comp from the Sony label Play 27-7. Here are The Rays performing Silhouettes on The Ed Sullivan Show 1957.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Song:Future Starts Slow
With their latest CD Blood Pressures, The Kills are building to mainstream success on both sides of the Atlantic. They have been around since 2003. The most interesting thing about The Kills is they got together by correspondence. Alison "VV" Mosshart is from Vero Beach, FL and was lead singer of the punk band Discount. Jamie "Hotel" Hince is from Buckinghamshire, England and was in bands like Fiji, Scarfo and Blyth Power. They met when Alison was on a European tour with Discount and when she returned to Florida, they exchanged song ideas by mail. After Discount split up in 2000, Alison moved to England. The duo performed in London clubs as VV and Hotel and settled on the name The Kills when they signed with Domino Records. Since 2003, The Kills have evolved from a dark punk influenced sound to a more mainstream indie rock sound. The 2011 CD Blood Pressures is their most successful CD to date. It reached #37 on the Billboard Hot 200. The album got a big boost when Future Starts Slow was used extensively in an episode of the CW TV series The Vampire Diaries. This is how bands are promoted these days. The Vampire Diaries appeals to young people and when they hear a song they like on the show, they find it at iTunes. This has helped The Kills a lot. Alison Mosshart is also part of the Jack White side project The Dead Weather. She calls herself Baby Ruthless. Jamie Hince is married to supermodel Kate Moss. The Kills' next CD will be very important as it could launch them to mainstream success. Here's the video for Future Starts Slow by The Kills.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Album:Hard To Find 45s On CD Vol. II: 1961-1964
Diane Renay had her only big hit with Navy Blue in 1964. I'm sure fans have heard the song but they probably think it's by Lesley Gore. Diane had one other chart hit and drifted into obscurity. She was born Renee Diane Kushner July 13, 1945 in Philadelphia. As a child, she took singing lessons from Danny and the Juniors manager Artie Singer. He told her parents that Diane could be a professional singer. Her parents owned a jewelry store and one of their customers was record producer Pete DeAngelis. He listened to her and got her a deal with Atco Records as Diane Renay. She was dropped after two unsuccessful singles. But on the second single, she worked with producer Bob Crewe. Crewe had success with The Four Seasons and was just becoming a very hot producer. He signed Diane to 20th Century Records and Navy Blue was released in late 1963. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 and topped the Adult Contemporary chart. Crewe wrote the song with frequent songwriting partner Eddie Rambeau who had his own hit single Concrete and Clay in 1965. Diane also had a top 30 hit with Kiss Me Sailor in 1964. She also recorded for MGM and Fontana. But by the late 60s, Diane wasn't getting anywhere and she quit the music business. You can get Navy Blue on this various artists comp from Eric Records. She returned to music in the 90s and even released a 2CD comp of her music in 1996. And she tours the nostalgia circuit. I think most fans will only want to hear Navy Blue. But it's always amazing how much mileage singers can get from one big hit. Here's a video for Navy Blue by Diane Renay.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Album:The Prisoner: File #1
Ron Grainer is primarily known for writing themes for 60s BBC TV shows including Doctor Who and The Prisoner. I guess that makes him somewhat of a cult figure. He was born Aug. 11, 1922 in Atherton, Queensland, Australia. After studying at the Sydney Conservatory of Music, he moved to England to pursue a career in classical music. But he got work playing piano for visiting pop singers like Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine. And this led to work at the BBC. His first TV theme was for the series Maigret and it won him an Ivor Novello Award and a full time job at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. He won his second Ivor Novello Award for the theme for the sitcom Steptoe and Son. But he became a fanboy legend when he wrote the Doctor Who theme in 1963. Other composers usually wrote the incidental music. Grainer just wrote the theme. He also wrote the theme for the series Danger Man. And when Danger Man star Patrick McGoohan was working on The Prisoner in 1967, he got Grainer to write the theme. The Prisoner is one of the all time great cult TV shows and the theme is a big part of that. You can get it on this CD of music from The Prisoner. Unfortunately there is no Ron Grainer theme CD in print right now. Grainer worked on other TV shows and some films including the 1971 film The Omega Man. Apparently the music is based on The Prisoner. Health problems curtailed Ron Grainer's career in the 70s. After writing the music for the series Tales Of The Unexpected, he died on Feb. 21, 1981 at age 58. Here's the main title for The Prisoner by Ron Grainer.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Song:I Love You
Album:Hits And More
Martina McBride was one of the top country music stars of the 90s. I Love You was her biggest crossover hit in 1999 mainly because it was featured in the film Runaway Bride. Her CDs still sell but she's not racking up the hit singles like she used to. She was born Martina Schiff July 29, 1966 in Sharon, KS. She started singing with her father's band The Schiffters when she was eight years old. Her two brothers play in her touring band. While in the band Lotus in 1987, she met recording engineer John McBride and they got married. They are still married with four kids. They moved to Nashville in 1989 and he joined Garth Brooks' sound crew. Martina set up Brooks' souvenir trailer. He told her if she got a record deal, she could open for him. Martina signed with RCA Records in 1991 and her debut CD The Time Has Come was released in 1992. Her producer was session musician Paul Worley who was just getting established as a producer. Her first number one country hit was Wild Angels in 1995 followed by A Broken Wing in 1997 and Wrong Again in 1998. But with I Love You, Martina crossed over to the pop charts. The song reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is her highest charting pop hit to date. The song was featured in the hit film Runaway Bride. It was written by the husband and wife team of Keith and Adrienne Follese and Tammy Hyler. The duo have also written hits for Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Lonestar. That hit gave Martina enough momentum to continue to chart in both country and pop. Her final number one country hit was Blessed in 2001. Her albums still do well. All her hits are on this budget comp. Martina left RCA for Republic Universal for her 2011 CD Eleven. It did OK and she is planning a new CD for 2013 release. But it was recently announced that she has left Universal. There is no news about a new label. Someone will pick up a big star like Martina McBride. Here's the video for I Love You by Martina McBride.
Friday, March 15, 2013
Song:Just A Kiss
Album:Own The Night
In a short period of time, Lady Antebellum has become one of the most popular groups in music. That is likely to continue when their next CD is released in May. Though they live in Nashville and are primarily a country act, there is no question they are a mix of country and pop. Lady Antebellum was formed in 2005. Hilary Scott grew up in Nashville and is the daughter of 90s country music singer Linda Davis. Charles Kelley is from Georgia and is the brother of country music singer Josh Kelley. He moved to Nashville in 2005 and talked his friend Dave Haywood into moving to Nashville so they could write songs together. Scott met Kelley at a Nashville club and Lady Antebellum was born. They signed with Capitol Records in 2007 and appeared on the Jim Brickman single Never Alone. Producer Paul Worley left Warner Bros. for Capitol to work with Lady Antebellum. He has produced Big & Rich and Dixie Chicks. So Lady Antebellum's mix of pop and country is no accident. They have released five CDs including two Christmas CDs and their next CD Golden will be released in May. Just A Kiss was the first single from the 2011 CD Own The Night. It topped the country charts and reached #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band wrote the song with veteran songwriter Dallas Davidson. Their other big crossover hit was Need You Now in 2009. Their first single from Golden Downtown is currently on the charts. The group has won all kinds of awards. Hilary Scott recently announced she is pregnant. Lady Antebellum is currently on tour but they will have to come off the road at some point. Hilary's husband is the band's drummer. I expect the new CD to blow up. Here's the video for Just A Kiss by Lady Antebellum.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Song:If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away
Album:Outlaws Like Me
Country music artist Justin Moore has got off to a good start in his career with two number one country hits including If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away in 2011. He is currently recording new music. He was born Mar. 30, 1984 in Poyen, AR which is outside Little Rock. He grew up on his grandparents' cattle farm. He won a high school talent contest and moved to Nashville after graduation. Moore signed a publishing deal with Big Picture Music. He met songwriter and aspiring record producer Jeremy Stover who introduced him to former DreamWorks exec Scott Borchetta. After DreamWorks closed, Borchetta started Big Machine Records. He signed Moore and Stover has produced other Big Machine artists like Jack Ingram and Danielle Peck. Moore's debut CD Justin Moore was released in 2009 and the single Small Town USA topped the Country Singles chart. His 2011 CD Outlaws Like Me topped the Country Album chart and reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 200. If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away was Moore's second number one country hit. Though Moore writes a lot of his songs with Stover, If Heaven Wasn't So Far away was written by veteran songwriter Dallas Davidson along with Rob Hatch and Brett Jones. Rhett Akins recorded it in 2007 but it was not a hit. The ironic thing is Akins has written songs with Moore and Stover. Moore says that when he first heard If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away, he knew it would be a hit. Justin Moore will release a new single Point At You next week and a new CD should follow shortly. He is also going out on tour. I think he is too country to cross over to pop but I expect his success in country music to continue. Here's the video for If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away by Justin Moore.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Song:Oh! My Mama
Album:The Pirate's Gospel
Singer songwriter Alela Diane Menig has had success mostly in Europe. She is on a European record label. She was born Apr. 20, 1983 in Nevada City, CA. Her father Tom Menig tours with her and produces her albums. Alela became friends with fellow singer songwriter and Nevada City native Joanna Newsome. She was in the band Black Bear and self released a CD in 2003. Alela wrote most of the songs on the 2004 CD The Pirate's gospel on a trip to Europe. It was self released at first and then picked up by Holocene Music in 2006. Alela got enough attention to get a record deal with the British label Rough Trade. She has recorded two CDs for Rough Trade. The latest is the 2011 CD Alela Diane & Wild Divine. Her dad is part of the band. They toured the US and Europe opening for Fleet Foxes. Alela Diane will have a new CD About Farewell released in 2013. Alela Diane currently lives in Portland, OR. Folk music fans should check her out. Here's Alela Diane performing Oh! My Mama.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Album:Best Of John Conlee
John Conlee had a total of seven number one country music hits in the late 70s and into the 80s including Common Man in 1983. It's a song that sums up his appeal in a nutshell. He was born Aug. 11, 1946 in Versailles, KY which is near Lexington. He grew up on his dad's tobacco farm. Conlee was interested in music and was in a local barbershop group. But he didn't make music his career at first. He became a mortician and was a part time DJ. In 1971, he moved to Nashville to take a job at radio station WLAC. This eventually led to a record contract with ABC Records. Conlee's first single Rose Colored Glasses reached #5 on the Country Singles chart in 1978 and firmly established Conlee as a country music traditionalist. Then he topped the Country Singles chart with Lady Lay Down and Backside Of Thirty. He remained at MCA Records when MCA bought ABC in 1978. His next three albums didn't do as well. He wouldn't top the charts again until Common Man in 1983. Common Man was written by Sammy Johns. Johns is best known for his 1975 hit Chevy Van but he had success as a songwriter after that. The success of Common Man led to more success with the 1984 album In My Eyes. The number one hits I'm Only In It For The Love, In My Eyes and As Long As I'm Rockin' With You are all from that album. He left MCA for Columbia in 1986 and after the number one hit Got My Heart Set On You, Conlee faded into obscurity. This Curb Records comp is the only Conlee comp available right now but it is certainly not complete. John Conlee runs his own farm outside Nashville. He has been a spokesman for Farmaid for years. He still performs on a light schedule but he last recorded a gospel CD in 2004. But for a time in the 80s, he was the common man of country music. Here's John Conlee performing Common Man at Farmaid 1995.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Here's the match video from last night's TNA Lockdown PPV with Velvet Sky defending the TNA Knockouts Championship against Gail Kim. But the real story here is the feud they are planning between Gail and Knockouts ref Taryn Terrell. I think most of us have seen this coming for the last couple of months. The problem with this feud is it has nothing to do with the Knockouts Championship. Why TNA chose to start this feud on a PPV instead of developing the story on Impact is beyond me. I guess like with Brooke Adams aka Miss Tessmacher, they really really really like Taryn. Of course fans never bought into Miss Tessmacher. I don't expect them to buy into Taryn either. The match on this video is besides the point. TNA didn't care about getting Velvet Sky over. They want to get Taryn over. But don't ask me how they are going to get the emphasis back to the title. Also on this video is the interview segment where Gail attacks Taryn. So let me get this straight. Gail Kim left the WWE because she got tired of putting over models. So she returns to TNA and she is still putting over models. At least she would have got more money at the WWE. Enjoy the video!
TNA Lockdown 2013 Velvet Sky vs Gail Kim... by MTOMAReviews
TNA Lockdown 2013 Velvet Sky vs Gail Kim... by MTOMAReviews
Phronesis is a contemporary jazz trio led by Danish bassist Jasper Hoiby. They have been very successful on the jazz festival circuit. Hoiby formed Phronesis with British bassist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger after Hoiby moved to England in 2005. Their debut CD Organic Warfare was released on Loop Records in 2007. French first appeared on that CD. But it also appeared on the 2010 live CD Alive. This was their first CD for the British label Edition Records. Eger was unavailable so Avishai Cohen drummer Mark Guiliana was brought in for this recording. Phronesis appeared on the cover of Jazzwise Magazine and alive was named Jazzwise 2010 album of the year. They were also nominated for a 2010 MOBO Award. As I said, they work a lot of jazz festivals and and toured North America in 2011. They appeared on both the Montreal and Ottawa jazz festivals. Anton Eger returned to Phronesis for the 2012 CD Walking Dark. The band is currently touring Europe and will return to North America this summer. Ivo Neame has recorded solo for Edition Records. Jazz fans should check out Phronesis. Here's Phronesis performing French 2010.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Album:All The Rage
Like Fine Young Cannibals, General Public was a spinoff of the very popular group The English Beat. Tenderness was their most memorable song. They had one other single that charted higher but isn't as memorable. After The English Beat split up in 1983, bassist David Steele and drummer Andy Cox formed Fine Young Cannibals and singers Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger formed General Public. The Clash guitarist Mick Jones was an original member of General Public. But he left while the band was recording All The Rage and was replaced by Kevin White. Other members were keyboardist Mickey Billingham and drummer Stoker from Dexys Midnight Runners and bassist Horace Panter of The Specials. They signed with Virgin Records in England and I.R.S. Records in the US. Tenderness reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. The song was featured in the films Weird Science and Sixteen Candles. The single and album did particularly well in Canada. All The Rage is available as a budget CD. White and Stoker were replaced by Gianni and Mario Minardi. The 1986 album Hand To Mouth didn't do well and General Public dissolved. Wakeling and Roger both recorded solo projects. But they reformed General Public in 1994 to record a cover of The Staple Singers hit I'll Take You There for the film Threesome. The record topped the dance charts and reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100. So they revived General Public and recorded the 1995 CD Rub It Better for Epic Records. The album didn't sell and General Public split up for good. Dave Wakeling lives in the US and leads a version of The English Beat. Ranking Roger has reformed a version of The English Beat in England. Here's the video for Tenderness by General Public. The original video is not on Youtube and it's geo blocked on Vevo.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Song:Pas De Problemes
Album:Putumayo Presents World Reggae
Obviously when most folks think of reggae, they think of Jamaica. But there are reggae bands all over the world and the folks at Putumayo do a good job of showcasing bands from all over the world. Kana is from Mauritias and they have done well in France and other European countries. They were formed in 1997 by lead singer Phillippe "Zip" Rippoll. Other group members are Arthur Romijn on guitar, Matthias Dessagne on trumpet, Brice Adohan on bass, Victor Vagh on keyboards, Alex Chonville on drums and Pascal Chaune on sax. In 2000, they appeared on the French TV show MCM and that led to first place in a reggae competition. They had a hit single in France with Plantation in 2002. Unfortunately they were sued for plagiarism and had to pay 150,000 Euros in damages. Pas De Problemes is from their 2002 CD Entre Freres. This is only available as an mp3 download. It's the lead track on this Putumayo World Reggae CD. Other artists on this CD include Majek Fashek from Nigeria, Gnawa Diffusion from France, Chris Combette from French Guiana and Alpha Blondy from Ivory Coast. So the CD is a good sampler for reggae fans looking for off the beaten path sounds. Kana has released five CDs, most recently in 2010. They are very popular on the European music festival circuit. Here's the video for Pas De Problemes by Kana.
Friday, March 08, 2013
|Fallon Fox before and after courtesy of TMZ|
Song:Everything I Own
Album:Everything I Own
Jamaican singer Ken Boothe had his biggest success with his 1974 cover of the Bread hit Everything I Own. After that, record company problems stalled his career. He was born Mar. 22, 1948 in Kingston, Jamaica. His mother and older sister were also singers. He formed the duo Stranger & Ken with his friend Winston "Stranger" Cole. They recorded for Studio One in the mid-60s and hits included World's Fair and All Your Friends. Studio One owner Coxsone Dodd encouraged Boothe to record solo and his hits included You're No Good, Feel Good and Mustang Sally. Boothe left Studio One in 1970 for Leslie Kong's Beverley label. But Kong's untimely death left Boothe in limbo. He tried out several producers before settling on Lloyd Charmers. He was a member of The Charmers and the two worked together briefly in The Messengers. Charmers suggested covering the Bread hit Everything I Own. It was actually based on Andy Williams' cover of the song. In England, it was a much bigger hit than the original and topped the charts in 1974. And the funny part is Boothe actually sings Anything I Own instead of Everything I Own. In 1987, Boy George's hit cover of Everything I Own was based on Boothe's version of the song. Unfortunately, Trojan Records closed in 1975 and though Boothe has recorded occasionally, he has never been able to repeat the success of Everything I Own. This comp from the British label Spectrum is a good intro to his music. Here's Ken Boothe performing Everything I Own on Top Of The Pops 1974.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Song:(Make Me Do) Anything You Want
Album:The Best Of A Foot In Coldwater
The Canadian band A Foot In Coldwater had their biggest success with (Make Me Do) Anything You Want in 1974. Unfortunately their record company went bankrupt and that killed the band. A Foot In Coldwater came out of the late 60s band Nucleus. They had a local following in Toronto and recorded one album. Before that they were known as The Lords of London. A Foot In Coldwater lead singer Alex Machin and guitarist Paul Naumann were in the band Island. Nucleus bassist Hugh Leggat spotted them and invited them to join Nucleus. Other members were Bob Horne on keyboards and Danny Taylor on drums. They signed with Daffodil Records and label owner Frank Davies gave them the name A Foot In Coldwater. The name is a British term for "a shocking experience'. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want was on their 1972 debut album and was a hit in Canada. Capitol picked them up in the US and the song was a hit in 1974. By this time, Daffodil was having financial problems and went bankrupt in 1975. The band attempted to continue and released a single on Anthem in 1977. Then they split up. (Make Me Do) Anything You Want got a big boost when Helix covered it in 1984. You can get this classic of Canadian music on this comp from Unidisc. Hugh Leggat formed Private Eye with his brother Gord. They released an album in 1981 and then another in 1982 as Leggat. He currently is a member of The Mississippi Hippies. Alex Machin released a solo album in 1985 but mostly became a session singer. More recently, he was lead singer of Moxy. Taylor and Naumann also became session musicians. Naumann died in 2009. A Foot In Coldwater have reunited occasionally but with Naumann's death, it's unlikely that will happen again. Here's A Foot In Coldwater performing (Make Me Do) Anything You Want in 1972.
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
|Kikuyo Ishikawa, MIYOKO|
Song:I Will Wait
With the release of their second CD Babel, the British folk group Mumford & Sons became one of the most unlikely success stories in recent music history. They formed in 2007 led by Marcus Mumford along with Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane. They all play several instruments. The name Mumford & Sons is supposed to evoke and old family business. And Mumford is the primary lead singer. The band was part of the London folk scene backing up acts like Laura Marling and Noah and the Whale. They started touring England in 2008 and released an EP independently. Then they released the full length CD Sigh No More in 2009. This earned them a US record deal with Glassnote Records and they signed with Island in England. The single Little Lion Man was a hit mostly by word of mouth. It didn't really chart that high. But it paved the way for appearances on Late Show with David Letterman and other shows and then they were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy and they performed on the Grammy broadcast. Sigh No More got a big sales spike after the Grammys. The anticipation for the 2012 CD I Will Wait was so high that it blew up and topped the Billboard Hot 200 upon release. That doesn't happen very often. The CD has sold almost two million copies in the US. I Will Wait reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. You can get Babel in a deluxe edition with three bonus tracks. You can also get a Gentlemen of the Road edition which includes the DVD Live At Red Rocks which is also available on its own. Mumford & Sons are currently touring Europe and they are writing songs for their next CD. Here is the video for I Will Wait by Mumford & Sons. This is from the Live At Red Rocks DVD.
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Album:Never Trust A Happy Song
The Los Angeles based indie rock band Grouplove seemed to break through to commercial success with the very catchy single Tongue Tied. They seem to be poised for bigger things when they release their next CD. The band formed in 2009. Lead singer and keyboard player Hannah Hooper met lead singer and guitarist Christian Zucconi in New York. He was a member of ALOKE and they released a CD in 2006. Hooper is an artist and has done some CD covers. She took him along to an artist in residency program in Crete where they met the other band members. They are Andrew Wessen on guitar, Sean Gadd on bass and Ryan Rabin on drums. Rabin is the son of former Yes member Trevor Rabin. Of course that means he has access to a recording studio. So they moved to Los Angeles for that reason. Grouplove started playing gigs and released an EP independently in 2010. This got them a record deal with Atlantic Records. Their major label debut Never Trust A Happy Song was released Sept. 2011. Tongue Tied was the second single and it topped the US Alternative Music chart. The song appeared in an iPod Touch commercial. So this very catchy song has been very successful. Now they need to follow it up with a new CD. My guess is we'll see it later this year. Here's the video for Tongue Tied by Grouplove.
Monday, March 04, 2013
Album:Trojan Jamaican R&B Box Set
When most folks think of Jamaican music, they think of Reggae or Ska. The 1960 song Parapinto Boogie predates all that and shows the heavy influence of American R&B. Lloyd Clarke has been in the music business his whole life but has never been a star. He was born in 1937 in Linstead Saint Catherine, Jamaica but his family moved to the Trench Town area of Kingston when he was an infant. He grew up singing in church and performed locally as a teen. Pioneering Jamaican music producer Arthur "Duke" Reid spotted Clarke and brought him into his studio. Clarke wrote Parapinto Boogie and it was a big hit. Despite the success, Parapinto Boogie was the only song Clarke ever recorded for Reid. It would be soon after that Derrick Morgan would become one of the biggest stars of the early Jamaican music scene. My guess is Reid chose Morgan over Clarke. You can get Parapinto Boogie on this Trojan box set. Clarke went on to record hits like Girls Rush, Japanese Girl and Love You The Most with producer Leslie Kong. Clarke recorded for several producers in the 60s but was never able to reach stardom. When the Jamaican music business dried up for Clarke, he moved to England and was lead singer of the 80s band Jah Warriors. In recent years he formed United Reggae Band and continues to lead them today. Here's a video for Parapinto Boogie by Lloyd Clarke.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Song:Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Styx
Styx was one of the premiere arena rock bands of the 70s. They had a long string of hits including Blue Collar Man in 1978. They were from Chicago and started out in the early 60s as The Tradewinds. The founding members were twin brothers Chuck and John Panozzo and neighbour Dennis DeYoung. By 1965 they added Tom Nardini and changed their name to TW4 when a group called The Trade Winds had a national hit. While attending Chicago State College in 1969, John Curulewski replaced Nardini and they added guitarist James Young. They decided to change their name to Styx when they signed with Wooden Nickel Records in 1972. Wooden Nickel was co-owned by former Dunwich Records owner Bill Traut with RCA distribution. Styx recorded four albums for Wooden Nickel but they didn't feel the label was big enough and left for A & M Records in 1975. Lady became their first top ten hit after Styx signed with A & M. Wooden Nickel closed soon after. Styx recorded the album Equinox in 1975. But then Curulewski left and was replaced by Tommy Shaw. Shaw would share songwriting and lead vocals that were previously only done by DeYoung. The 1977 album The Grand Illusion was their breakthrough album. It was certified 3XPlatinum and Come Sail Away was a top ten hit. The success continued with the 1978 album Pieces Of Eight. Blue Collar Man reached #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shaw says the riff for Blue Collar Man was the sound of a motorboat failing to start. Then they had their only number one hit with Babe in 1980. Though Styx had two more top ten hits in 1983 with Mr. Roboto and Don't Let It End, DeYoung and Shaw weren't getting along and Shaw left to go solo at the end of that tour. Styx split up. You can get their hits on this budget comp. Shaw and DeYoung both had solo success that faded by the late 80s. DeYoung reformed Styx in 1989 with Glen Burtnik replacing Shaw. They recorded one album and A & M dropped Styx. Styx reunited again in 1995 this time with Shaw. A version of the band still tours today. Here's the video for Blue Collar Man by Styx.
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Song:Omigod You Guys
Album:Legally Blonde The Musical: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Though Laura Bell Bundy is now trying to become a country music star, she is primarily known for her work in Broadway musicals like Hairspray, Wicked and especially this musical adaptation of the popular 2001 film Legally Blonde. She was born Apr. 10, 1981 in Euclid, OH and grew up in Lexington, KY. She went to dancing school as a child and appeared in regional theater before appearing in the 1993 off-Broadway production of Ruthless! The Musical. After graduating from high school in 1999, she moved to New York and made her Broadway debut in Hairspray in 2002. She was also a standby in Wicked. Legally Blonde was a very popular 2001 film starring Reese Witherspoon as a sorority girl who goes to law school to win back her boyfriend. Adapting popular films to musicals is a common trend these days. Legally Blonde The Musical was written by Laurence O'Keefe and Neil Benjamin. O'Keefe had previously written Bat Boy: The Musical. Legally Blonde premiered on Broadway on Apr. 29, 2007. It was a big enough hit that MTV filmed it for broadcast. The show got positive reviews and was nominated for awards but didn't win any. Omigod You Guys is the opening number and along with Bundy features Tracy Jai Edwards, Asmeret Ghebremichael and Annaleigh Ashford and others. The Broadway production of Legally Blonde closed in Oct. 2008 and since then the show has been produced worldwide. Though Laura Bell Bundy had a recurring role in the sitcoms How I Met Your Mother and Hart of Dixie and has appeared on TV and in films, she signed with Mercury Records and released the CD Achin' and Shakin' Apr. 2010. It did OK but she didn't have the big country music hit she wanted. Her new single That's What Angels Do is from her upcoming CD Another Piece Of Me. She says growing up in Kentucky, country music was always her first love. I guess if country music doesn't work out, she can always return to Broadway. Here's Laura Bell Bundy and company performing Omigod You Guys from the MTV production of Legally Blonde The Musical.
Friday, March 01, 2013
|Sheila Gaff with coach Andre Balschmieter|
Last night's TNA Gut Check featured former WWE developmental wrestler Ivelisse Velez vs Lei'D Tapa. So we all know this is a work pretending to be a shoot. So that means both girls have signed TNA contracts. but based on this match, I believe Ivelisse is ready for the main TNA roster. She has been a pro wrestler for nine years. I can't imagine why the WWE released her. It wasn't because of looks or talent because she has both. She is also training for MMA. She was supposed to make her MMA debut tonight but postponed it so she could concentrate on TNA Gutcheck. This means she could cross over to Bellator. Lei'D Tapa is six feet tall. She is from Tonga and is the niece of former WWF and WCW star The Barbarian. She has been a wrestler for two years but she looked very green to me. Someone that big is very awkward to work with. At first Lei'D used her size to overpower Ivelisse. But I thought Ivelisse did a very good job of adapting to the size difference. She is very smooth in the ring and she was obviously told to emphasize her MMA moves. And she won the match with a guillotine choke. The judging is next week. But I think Ivelisse Velez is ready for TNA now. Lei'D Tapa should probably go to OVW for more seasoning. She has potential but she needs to be smoother. Enjoy the video!
Song:Walk Right In
Album:Best of the Vanguard Years
At the height of the 60s folk boom, The Rooftop Singers topped the charts with Walk Right In in 1963. They had mixed success after that until they split up in 1967. The leader of The Rooftop Singers was Erik Darling. He was born Sept. 25, 1933 in Baltimore and grew up in upstate New York. By his early 20s, Darling was a fixture on the New York folk music scene. He formed The Tunetellers which became The Tarriers and they had a top five hit with Banana Boat Song in 1957 before Harry Belafonte's version was recorded. BTW, actor Alan Arkin was a member of The Tarriers. Darling replaced Pete Seeger in The Weavers in 1958 and was replaced by Eric Weissberg in The Tarriers. Darling left The Weavers in 1962 and happened to hear blues pioneer Gus Cannon's 1929 recording of Walk Right In. He decided to form a group to record the song. Darling had already recorded a couple of solo albums for Vanguard Records. He brought in Bill Svanoe and jazz singer Lynne Taylor, an unusual choice because she had sung with Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich. Darling updated the lyrics and Walk Right In topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in 1963. Gus Cannon was still alive so he made a lot of money from Walk Right In. They played the 1963 Newport Folk Festival. The success didn't last. Protest songs became popular in 1964 and Darling wasn't interested in protest songs. He was more interested in taking blues classics and updating them. Their 1965 single Tom Cat was banned from many radio stations due to suggestive lyrics. Lynne Taylor left the group in 1966 and was replaced by Mindy Stuart. She wasn't as good as Taylor and after recording one album with The Rooftop Singers, she was replaced by Patricia Street. Though The Rooftop Singers split up in 1967, Darling and Street continued to work as a duo and released the album The Possible Dream in 1975. This comp is a good intro to The Rooftop Singers music. Lynne Taylor died in 1982. Erik Darling continued to record folk music and even led the country group Border Town in the 90s. He died Aug. 3, 2008 at age 74. I think Erik Darling is an unsung legend of folk music. Here are The Rooftop Singers performing Walk Right In 1963.