RSS

Category Archives: female vocalists

“I Know Something About Love…. Tell Him”

image

The Exciters was an American pop music group of the 1960s. They were originally a girl group, with one male member being added afterwards. At the height of their popularity the group consisted of lead singer Brenda Reid, her husband Herb Rooney, Carolyn Johnson and Lillian Walker.

Career

Brenda Reid, Carolyn (Carol) Johnson, Lillian Walker, and Sylvia Wilbur formed the group while at high school together in Queens, New York City, in 1961. They were originally called the Masterettes, as a sister group to another group called the Masters, and released their first recording, “Follow the Leader”, in early 1962. Wilbur then left the group to be replaced by Penny Carter, and they auditioned for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, winning a recording contract. Penny Carter then left, and was replaced by Herb Rooney, a member of the Masters; Reid and Rooney later married.[1]

The group’s name was changed to the Exciters, and their first hit record, arranged by George “Teacho” Wiltshire and produced by Leiber and Stoller for United Artists Records, was “Tell Him”, which reached no.4 on the U.S. pop chart in early 1963. The song had previously been recorded unsuccessfully, as “Tell Her”, by Gil Hamilton later known as Johnny Thunder.[2] According to Jason Ankeny at AllMusic, the Exciters’ version of “Tell Him” “…boasted an intensity that signified a sea change in the presentation and perception of femininity in popular music, paving the way for such tough, sexy acts as the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes.”[1]

Dusty Springfield was on a stop-over in New York City en route to Nashville to make a country music album with the Springfields in 1962, when she heard the Exciters’ “Tell Him” playing while taking a late-night walk by the Colony Record Store on Broadway. The song helped Springfield decide to embark on a solo career with a Pop/Soul direction. She’d recall: “The Exciters sort of got you by the throat…out of the blue comes blasting at you “I know something about love”, and that’s it. That’s what I wanna do.”[3]

Other songs by the group included “He’s Got the Power” (written by Ellie Greenwich and Tony Powers), “Get Him”, and Northern Soul classic “Blowing Up My Mind”. The Exciters also recorded “Do-Wah-Diddy”, written by Greenwich and Jeff Barry, in 1963; with a revised title of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” it was covered shortly after by Manfred Mann, for whom it was an international hit.

In 1965, the Exciters left the Leiber-Stoller management team, and the United Artists label, for Roulette Records. There they issued a remake (with revised lyrics) of the Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers’ song “I Want You to Be My Boy.” They continued to record through the 1960s for Bert Berns’ labels Bang and Shout, and later for RCA, but with little success.[1] Ronnie Pace and Skip McPhee replaced Johnson and Walker.[4] The group broke up in 1974.[2]

en.m.Wikipedia.org

Watch “Exciters 1963” on YouTube

Advertisements
 

Tags:

LITTLE “ESTHER PHILLIPS – Release Me”

wp-1474795137045.jpeg

Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984)[1] was an American singer, best known for her R&B vocals.[2] She was a versatile singer and also performed pop, country, jazz, blues and soul music.

Biography

She was born Esther Mae Jones in Galveston, Texas. Her parents divorced when she was an adolescent, and she divided her time between her father, in Houston, and her mother, in the Watts section of Los Angeles. She was brought up singing in church and was reluctant to enter a talent contest at a local blues club, but her sister insisted. A mature singer at the age of 14, she won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club, owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, billed as Little Esther. She later took the surname Phillips, reportedly inspired by a sign at a gas station.[3]

Her first hit record was “Double Crossing Blues”, with the Johnny Otis Quintette and the Robins (a vocal group), released in 1950 by Savoy Records, which reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart. She made several hit records for Savoy with the Johnny Otis Orchestra, including “Mistrusting Blues” (a duet with Mel Walker) and “Cupid’s Boogie”, both of which also went to number 1 that year. Four more of her records made the Top 10 in the same year: “Misery” (number 9), “Deceivin’ Blues” (number 4), “Wedding Boogie” (number 6), and “Far Away Blues (Xmas Blues)” (number 6). Few female artists performing in any genre had such success in their debut year.[2]

Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records. But just as quickly as the hits had started, they stopped. She recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, but only one, “Ring-a-Ding-Doo”, made the charts, reaching number 8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her deepening dependence on heroin, to which she was addicted by the middle of the decade.[4] Being in the same room when Johnny Ace shot himself (accidentally) on Christmas Day, 1954, while in-between shows in Houston, did not help matters.

In 1954, she returned to Houston to live with her father and recuperate. Short on money, she worked in small nightclubs around the South, punctuated by periodic hospital stays in Lexington, Kentucky, to treat her addiction. In 1962, Kenny Rogers discovered her singing at a Houston club and helped her get a contract with Lenox Records, owned by his brother Lelan.

The Comeback
Phillips eventually recovered enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, “Release Me,” with the producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 on the R&B chart and number 8 on the pop chart. After several other minor R&B hits for Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of the Beatles’ song “And I Love Him” nearly made the R&B Top 10 in 1965. The Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances.[5]

She had other hits in the 1960s for Atlantic, such as the critically acclaimed Jimmy Radcliffe song “Try Me” (YouTube video), which featured a saxophone part by King Curtis (and is often mistakenly credited as the James Brown song of the same title), but she had no more chart-toppers. Her heroin dependence worsened, and she checked into a rehabilitation facility. There she met the singer Sam Fletcher. While undergoing treatment, she recorded some sides for Roulette in 1969, mostly produced by Lelan Rogers. On her release, she moved back to Los Angeles and re-signed with Atlantic. Her friendship with Fletcher resulted in an engagement at Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper club in late 1969, which produced the album Burnin’. She performed with the Johnny Otis Show at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1970.

The 1970s
One of her biggest post-1950s triumphs was her first album for Kudu Records, From a Whisper to a Scream, in 1972. The lead track, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”, an account of drug use written by Gil Scott-Heron, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Phillips lost to Aretha Franklin, but Franklin presented the trophy to her, saying she should have won it instead.[6]

In 1975, she released a disco-style update of Dinah Washington’s “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes”, her biggest hit single since “Release Me”. It reached the Top 20 in the United States and the Top 10 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] On November 8, 1975, she performed the song on an episode of NBC’s Saturday Night (later called Saturday Night Live) hosted by Candice Bergen. The accompanying album of the same name became her biggest seller yet, with arranger Joe Beck on guitar, Michael Brecker on tenor sax, David Sanborn on alto sax, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Steve Khan on guitar and Don Grolnick on keyboards.

She continued to record and perform throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, completing seven albums for Kudu and four for Mercury Records, which signed her in 1977. In 1983, she charted for the final time with “Turn Me Out,” recorded for Muse, a small independent label, which reached number 85 on the R&B chart. She completed recording her final album a few months before her death; it was released by Muse in 1986.

Death
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California, in 1984, at the age of 48, from liver and kidney failure due to long-term drug abuse.[8] Her funeral services were conducted by Johnny Otis.[6] Originally buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave at Lincoln Memorial Park in Compton,[9] she was reinterred in 1985 in the Morning Light section at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, in Los Angeles. A bronze marker recognizes her career achievements and quotes a Bible passage: “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions” (John 14:2).

en.m wikipedia.org

 

“The Shangri-Las -Leader Of The Pack Video with High Quality Sound”

image

The Shangri-Las were an American pop girl group of the 1960s. Between 1964 and 1966 they charted with often heartbreaking teen melodramas, and remain perhaps best known for their hits “Leader of the Pack” and “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)”.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

Tags:

“Be my baby – The Ronettes”

image

The Ronettes were an American girl group from New York City. One of the most popular groups from the 1960s, they placed nine songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits. The trio from Spanish Harlem, New York,[1] consisted of lead singer Veronica Bennett (later known as Ronnie Spector), her older sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. Among the Ronettes’ most famous songs are “Be My Baby”, “Baby, I Love You”, “(The Best Part of) Breakin’ Up”, and “Walking in the Rain”, all of which charted on the Billboard Hot 100. “Walking in the Rain” won a Grammy Award in 1965, and “Be My Baby” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[2] The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

The girls had sung together since they were teenagers, when they were known as “The Darling Sisters”. Signed first by Colpix Records in 1961, they moved to Phil Spector’s Philles Records in March 1963, and changed their name to “The Ronettes.” In late 1964, the group released their only studio album, Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica, which entered the Billboard charts at number 96. Rolling Stone ranked it number 422 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[3] The group were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. The Ronettes were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

Tags:

“The Chiffons – My Boyfriend’s Back”

“The Chiffons – My Boyfriend’s Back”

My Boyfriend’s Back” was a hit song in 1963 for the Angels, an American girl group. It was written by the songwriting team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer (a.k.a. FGG Productions who later formed the group the Strangeloves).[1] The recording, employing the services of drummer Gary Chester,[2] was originally intended as a demo for the Shirelles, but ended up being released as recorded.[3] The single spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100chart, and reached number two on the R&B Billboard.

The song is a word of warning to a would-be suitor who, after the narrator of the song rebuffed his advances, went on to spread nasty rumors accusing the narrator of romantic indiscretions. Now, the narrator declares, her boyfriend is back in town and ready to settle the score, and she tells the rebuffed would-be suitor to watch his back.

Other musicians on the record included Herbie Lovelle on drums, Billy Butler, Bobby Comstock, and Al Gorgoni on guitar, and Bob Bushnell overdubbing on an electric and an upright bass. This song also features a brass section as well.

The song begins with a spoken recitation from the lead singer that goes: “He went away, and you hung around, and bothered me every night. And when I wouldn’t go out with you, you said things that weren’t very nice.”

The album version features the line: “Hey. I can see him comin’/ Now you better start a runnin'”. before the instrumental repeat of the bridge section and a repeat of one stanza from the refrain, before the coda section.

The inspiration for the song was when co-writer Bob Feldman overheard a conversation between a high school girl and the boy she was rebuffing.

Billboard named the song #24 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.

Wikipedia.org

 

Tags:

“Rose Marie – Make The World Go Away”

image

Rose Marie

Mazetta (born August 15, 1923), known professionally as Rose Marie, is an American actress. As a child performer she had a successful singing career as Baby Rose Marie. A veteran of vaudeville and one of its last surviving stars, her career includes film, records, theater, night clubs and television. Her most famous role was television comedy writer Sally Rogers on the CBS situation comedy The Dick Van Dyke Show. She later portrayed Myrna Gibbons on The Doris Day Show and was also a frequent panelist on the game show Hollywood Squares.

Early years

Rose Marie Mazetta was born in New York City, New York, to Italian-American Frank Mazetta and Polish-American Stella Gluszcak. At the age of three, she started performing under the name “Baby Rose Marie.” At five, she became a radio star on NBC and made a series of films. Rose Marie was a nightclub and lounge performer in her teenage years before becoming a radio comedian. She was billed then as “The Darling of the Airwaves”. According to her autobiography, Hold the Roses,[1] she was assisted in her career by many members of organized crime, including Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel.

She performed at the opening night of the Flamingo Hotel, which was built by Siegel.[2] At her height of fame as a child singer, from late 1929 to 1934, she had her own radio show, made numerous records, and was featured in a number of Paramount films and shorts.[citation needed]

In 1929, the five-or six-year-old singer made a Vitaphone sound short titled “Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder”, now restored and available in the Warner Bros. DVD set of The Jazz Singer. She continued to appear in films through the mid-1930s, making shorts and a feature, International House (1933), with W. C. Fields for Paramount.

Recordings

Between 1930 and 1938, she made 17 recordings, three of which were unissued. Her first issued record, recorded on March 10, 1932, featured accompaniment by Fletcher Henderson’s band, one of the premier black jazz orchestras. According to Hendersonia, the bio-discography by Walter C. Allen, Henderson and the band were in the Victor studios recording the four songs they were intending to produce that day and were asked to accompany Baby Rose Marie, reading from a stock arrangement.[citation needed]

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

Tags:

BRENDA HOLLOWAY – WHEN I’M GONE

BRENDA HOLLOWAY – WHEN I’M GONE

When I’m Gone” is a song written by Smokey Robinson and a single he produced twice, one for early Motown star Mary Wells and the other for fellow Motown vocalist Brenda Holloway. Holloway’s version became a hit while Wells’ was aborted after the singer left the label in 1964.

“When I’m Gone” was produced under a beat similar to Mary Wells’ big hit, “My Guy” though this song included hand claps, and was originally recorded by Wells. In the song, the narrator asks her cheating lover what would he do if she were to leave him explaining how everybody around them thinks they’re happy in front of the public when inside the woman is suffering from the lover’s behavior calling him a “real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” character. She also complains that though he flirts with “every girl that he sees”, he comes running back to her when they do him wrong. Throughout the song, the narrator threatens to leave him and in the end repeats the question she asks in the beginning: “what are you gonna do when I’m gone?”

Wikipedia.org

https://g.co/kgs/nR8yYM

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 30, 2018 in female vocalists, nostalgic, r&b

 

Tags: ,

 
%d bloggers like this: