Song:The Night Chicago Died
Album:Super Hits of the 70s: Have A Nice Day Vol. 13
The Night Chicago Died topped the charts in 1974. It was the only big hit in North America for the British group Paper Lace. They are perceived as a one hit wonder but some of their other songs charted. Paper Lace are from Nottingham, England. Supposedly they are the only band from Nottingham to ever have a hit single. They started out in 1967 as Music Box and changed their name to Paper Lace in 1969. It looks like the leader of Paper Lace was drummer and lead singer Phil Wright. Other members were Mick Vaughan on lead guitar, Cliff Fish on bass, Chris Morris on guitar and Carlo Paul Santanna on guitar. They played local clubs and released the 1972 album First Edition on Polydor. Paper Lace's big break came when they appeared on the ITV talent show Opportunity Knocks and they were spotted by the production and songwriting team of Peter Callander and Mitch Murray. Murray wrote the Gerry and the Pacemakers hit How Do You Do It?. And as a team, Murray and Callander wrote and produced The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde by Georgie Fame and Hitchin' A Ride by Vanity Fare. They signed Paper Lace to their Bus Stop label with Philips distribution. The first single was Billy, Don't Be A Hero. It topped the British charts. But by the time Mercury released it in the US, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods covered the song and that version was a hit in the US. The Night Chicago Died was the next single and it did top the US charts in 1974. Of course there were complaints about the historical accuracy of the song. Murray has apologized for this and joked that he and Callander had never been to Chicago and did research for the song by watching old gangster movies. Unfortunately, Paper Lace were unable to tour America to support the single and the band split up soon after. Wright and Fish attempted to continue and a version of the band led by Santanna still plays occasional gigs. You can get The Night Chicago Died on this Rhino various artists comp. Here's Paper Lace performing The Night Chicago Died 1974.