Album:Lavender Blue: The Very Best Of Sammy Turner
Singer Sammy Turner had brief success working with the legendary production and songwriting team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Lavender Blue was his biggest hit in 1959. He was born Samuel Black June 2, 1932 in Paterson, NJ. There's not much info about him so I can only assume he grew up singing in church and appeared in doo wop groups in the 50s. He signed with Bigtop Records in 1959 and was produced by Lieber and Stoller. Bigtop would later have success with acts like Del Shannon and Johnny & The Hurricanes. Most of the songs they produced for Turner were more pop than R & B influenced by guys like Nat King Cole. And the record It's All In The Game by Tommy Edwards was a huge hit at the time. Lavender Blue is a British folk song dating back to the 17th century. Eliot Daniel adapted the song for the 1948 Disney film So Dear To My Heart. Burl Ives sang it in the film and it was nominated for an Oscar. Sammy Kaye and Dinah Shore charted with their versions of Lavender Blue. Lieber and Stoller probably heard Solomon Burke's mid-50s recording of Lavender Blue and figured they could add some strings and turn it into a pop hit. Sammy Turner's recording of Lavender Blue reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. Turner's recording of the old Vincent Lopez hit Always reached #19. The orchestra was conducted by Stan Applebaum. A Sammy Turner comp CD is available on Collectables. In the 60s, Turner recorded for Motown, 20th Century Fox and Verve. And he also wrote and produced for others. One album he appeared on was Jesus Christ Superstar The Soul Version in 1973. That album was produced by Atlantic Records co-founder Herb Abramson and Robert Banks who has worked on several projects with Turner over the years. Here's a video for Lavender Blue by Sammy Turner.