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Sue Thompson Sings – “Norman”

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Sue Thompson

(born Eva Sue McKee; July 19, 1925) is an American pop and country music singer. She is best known for the million selling hits “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” and “Norman”, both pop hits in the 1960s.

Early life

Recording career

Within only a year, she had divorced Martin to marry Hank Penny, a comedian and singer. Penny and Thompson hosted a TV show in Los Angeles together before eventually moving to Las Vegas. Thompson recorded separately and also with her husband for Decca Records. However, none of their songs ever gained any real success. In 1960, Thompson signed on with Hickory Records. In 1961, “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” became a No. 5 hit on the pop charts, and she followed this up successfully with ”

Norman

,” which reached No. 3. Both of these hit singles were written by songwriter John D. Loudermilk. They both sold over one million copies, and were awarded with gold discs.[2]

In 1962, “Have a Good Time” was a Top 40 hit and in 1963, “Willie Can” was a minor hit. Her early 1960s’ hits made Thompson, then in her mid-thirties, a favorite among the teenage crowd and briefly a rival to the much younger Connie Francis and Brenda Lee. Two additional hits, also written by Loudermilk, were “James (Hold the Ladder Steady)” and “Paper Tiger.”

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Posted by on June 19, 2017 in 1960s, female vocalists, nostalgic

 

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“Edd Byrnes & Connie Stevens – Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb) – 1959”

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Edd Byrnes (born July 30, 1933) is an American actor best known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip. He also was featured in the 1978 film Grease as television teen-dance show host Vince Fontaine, and was a charting recording artist with “Kookie, Kookie — Lend Me Your Comb” (with Connie Stevens).

Early life
He was born Edward Byrne Breitenberger. He had two siblings, Vincent and Jo-Ann. When he was 13, his father died. He then dropped his last name in favor of “Byrnes” based on the name of his maternal grandfather, a fireman.[1]

Screen career
His enduring and most famous role was as Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III, on the ABC/Warner Brothers detective series 77 Sunset Strip. He played a continually hair-combing serial killer in the pilot, Girl on the Run, but he was so popular (a national teen sensation) that the producers brought him back the following week as a regular cast member in the role of a chrome-plated hotrod-driving, hipster-talking (“Kookie-talk”) parking valet and sometime protégé private investigator. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., explained the situation to the audience:

We previewed this show, and because Edd Byrnes was such a hit we decided that Kookie and his comb had to be in our series. So this week, we’ll just forget that in the pilot he went off to prison to be executed.

— From the pre-credit sequence for the episode “Lovely Lady, Pity Me”

Kookie’s recurring character—a different, exciting look to which teens of the day related —- the valet parking attendant who constantly combed his piled-high, greasy-styled teen hair, often in a windbreaker jacket, who worked part-time at the so-called Dean Martin’s Dino’s Lodge restaurant, next door to private investigator agency at 77 Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Kookie frequently acted as an unlicensed, protégé detective who helped the private eyes (Zimbalist and Roger Smith) on their cases based upon “the word” heard from Kookie’s street informants. Kookie called everybody “Dad” (as in “Sure thing . . . Dad.”), and was television’s homage to the “Jack Kerouac” style of cult-hipster of the late 1950s.

To the thrill of teen viewers, Kookie spoke a jive-talk “code” to everyone, whether you understood him or not, and Kookie knew better than others “the word on the street.” Some say the Kookie character borrowed much from James Dean’s character in the film “Rebel Without a Cause”, and was the progenitor to Henry Winkler’s The Fonz character of the Happy Days series (switch hot rod for motorcycle; same hair, comb and a leather jacket).

Kookie’s constant onscreen tending of his ducktail haircut led to many jokes among comedians of the time, and resulted in the 1959 charted ‘rap’ style recording (13 weeks), “Kookie, Kookie–Lend Me Your Comb”, recorded with actress and recording artist Connie Stevens, and which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.[2] The song also appeared on the Edd Byrnes album, entitled (what else) Kookie. He and Stevens appeared together on ABC’s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. During the run of 77 Sunset Strip, Byrnes, as the “Kookie” character, was a popular celebrity (Elvis Presley-level national attention), and Byrnes received fan mail volume that reached 15,000 letters a week, according to Picture Magazine in 1961, and rivaled most early rock recording stars in the day.[citation needed]

Byrnes walked off the show in the second season demanding a bigger part and bigger pay; the producers eventually agreed.[3] He appeared as a guest star in other WB series, including Lawman and Sugarfoot, in the latter with John Russell, Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., and Will Wright in the 1958 season-premiere episode “Ring of Sand”.

Owing to restrictions in his Warner Brothers television contract, Byrnes was forced to turn down film roles in Ocean’s Eleven (1960), Rio Bravo (1959), North to Alaska (1960) and The Longest Day (1962). However he appeared in the Warner Brothers films Darby’s Rangers (1957; replacing Tab Hunter), Marjorie Morningstar (1958), Up Periscope and Yellowstone Kelly (both in 1959). He tested for the role of John F. Kennedy in PT 109 but President Kennedy preferred Cliff Robertson.[citation needed]

Though a popular celebrity the years of unfortunate “Kookie” typecasting led Brynes to ultimately buy out his television contract with Warner Brothers to clear his way for films—though it was accomplished too late to allow Byrnes to capitalize on feature-length cinema projects based upon his established television series fame.

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LITTLE “ESTHER PHILLIPS – Release Me”

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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).

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“THE DELICATES – I WANT TO GET MARRIED”

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The Delicates formed in South Central Los Angeles as the Darlenes after Richie Darlene Henderson, aka Darlene Walton, formed the group with Freddie Poole, Billie Rae Calvin, and Brenda Joyce. Discographers always lumped their recordings with a previous and more successful Delicates’ group that recorded on Unart, United Artists, Roulette, and possibly Celeste Records, but they were two separate entities. These Delicates recorded on Challenge, Soultown, and Pulsar Records. They signed their first contract while in junior high school after wowing ’em at Friday night Sock Hops, or Canteens as they were called in some areas. Ex-Robin writer and producer H. B. Barnum acted as the liaison for their initial studio sessions. At the time, Barnum was busy arranging for Lou Rawls, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and others, producing the O’Jays on Imperial Records, and running Little Star Records, among other things. Barnum later managed the Honey Cone, the Sweet Inspirations, a later-day edition of the Toys, with original June Montero and two new members. The Toys’ project ended faster than the original Toys from New York, NY (who couldn’t get along). Bobby Sanders took over from Barnum and played a major role in the production of their recordings and subsequent deal with Challenge, a label that initially (1957-1958) was owned in part by TV cowboy Gene Autry; Autry sold his interest in 1958. Berry Gordy was also interested and had Frank Wilson and Hal Davis cut a demo on them entitled “Crying,” written by Davis and Vincente Love, but Motown only wanted Poole and the deal never materialized.

They debuted on Challenge late in 1964 as the Delicates with “I’ve Been Hurt” (written by Love) b/w “C’mon Everybody.” 1965 saw two final releases on Challenge: “I Want to Get Married,” a Bobby Sanders/Darlene Walton song, and “Stop Shovin’ My Heart Around” b/w “Comin’ Down With Love.” Nothing sold outside of Watts, so they left to kick off Sanders’ Soultown label with a reworking of “Stop Shovin’ My Heart Around” as “Stop Shovin’ Me Around.” A final single on Pulsar Records, Sanders and Jerry Flanagan’s “I’ve Got a Crush on You” undersided by “You Said You Love Me,” ended the Delicates career as front-line recording artists, but opened the door for lucrative careers as session singers, particularly, Brenda Joyce and Billie Rae Calvin, who sang on the Four Tops’, Diana Ross’, and Edwin Starr’s recordings.

It’s been said that Bobby Taylor reintroduced Joyce and Calvin to Motown, but it was Norman Whitfield who put the two in the spotlight by grouping them with Joe Harris (Moroccos, Peps, and Ohio Players) to form Undisputed Truth’s original lineup, the one that glossed with “Smiling Faces Sometimes.” But success was fleeting, after a couple of albums, the Magictones, an unsuccessful Detroit vocal group, replaced the soft singing femmes, and with Whitfield’s tinkering, changed the sound into an amalgamation of psychedelic/soul/and metal-rock. In 2001, Freddie Poole was still singing with Sherrie Payne and Lynda Laurence as the Former Ladies of the Supremes. ~ Andrew Hamilton, Rovi…

http://www.mtv.com/artists/the-delicates/biography/

 
 

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“Linda Scott – I’ve Told Every Little Star”

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Linda Scott (born Linda Joy Sampson, June 1, 1945 (New York City) [1]) is an American pop singer who was active from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Her biggest hit was the 1961 million-selling single, “

I’ve Told Every Little Star

“[1] She went on to place twelve songs on the charts over the next four years, the last being “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed,” inspired by the film and written by the songwriting team of Hal David and Burt Bacharach.

Biography
Born in Queens, New York, Linda Sampson was 11 years old when she moved with her family to Teaneck, New Jersey. She was still in school (Teaneck High School) when she auditioned to appear on Arthur Godfrey’s hit CBS Radio show in 1959.[2] After having won a place on the show, Scott and other young performers became regular guests on the show. During the show’s run, the young singer came to the attention of Epic Records, and Scott made her recording debut (singing as Linda Sampson) with the single, “In-Between Teen”.[3]

Though still in high school, in 1961 she signed with Canadian-American Records, which had struck gold with the Santo & Johnny’s “Sleep Walk”. The label changed her performing name to Linda Scott, producing and releasing the hit “I’ve Told Every Little Star,” a standard written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern for their 1932 production Music In The Air.[4] The track sold over one million copies, earning Scott a gold disc.[1]

Scott’s three biggest hits came in that first year, with “I’ve Told Every Little Star” (U.S. #3), “I Don’t Know Why” (U.S. #12), and “Don’t Bet Money, Honey” (U.S. #9). The first two were standards, while the third was one of Scott’s own compositions.

Scott was the showcase artist when Canadian-American started a subsidiary label, Congress Records, in 1962, and in fact both labels released new material of hers simultaneously. The following year, she sang her hit “Yessirree” in the Chubby Checker vehicle, Don’t Knock the Twist. Scott’s final U.S. chart appearance was “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed,” released in January 1964, the same month that The Beatles made their first chart appearance. In 1965, she became a cast member of the TV rock show Where the Action Is, which she co-hosted with singer Steve Alaimo. Her last U.S. recording, “They Don’t Know You”, was released in 1967 on RCA Records. She continued to record as a backing vocalist (most notably on Lou Christie’s 1969 hit, “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”) before finally quitting show business in the early 1970s to pursue studies in theology.[citation needed]

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“Jennell Hawkins Moments To Remember”

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Jennell Ruth Hawkins (née Grimes, April 8, 1938 – October 13, 2006) was an American R&B and jazz singer and musician who recorded in the 1950s and early 1960s, and had a US Top 50 chart hit in 1961 with “Moments To Remember”.

Biography

Jennell “Jenny” Grimes was born in Los Angeles, and while at Jefferson High School formed a singing group, the Fidelitones, with friends Marc Gordon (later a successful songwriter and record producer), Ray Brewster, and Bill Piper. She also became acquainted with fellow pupil and aspiring songwriter Richard Berry, and in 1954 she and Berry recorded one of his songs, “Each Step”, with arranger Maxwell Davis, which was released on the Flair label, credited to Ricky and Jennell. She also played piano on “My Aching Heart” by the Flippers in 1955.[1] Although initially reluctant, as she saw herself as more of a pianist and organ player than a singer, she joined Berry’s backing group, the Dreamers, and sang lead on the Dreamers’ own 1957 single, “Since You’ve Been Gone.”[1][2] She married Lawrence Hawkins in 1956,[3] and around that time joined another vocal group, the Combonettes, who recorded three singles for the Combo label, including “Hi Diddle Diddle”.[1]

She made her first solo recordings in 1961, releasing “I Pity You Fool” on the Dynamic label before recording Richard Berry’s song “Moments To Remember” on the small Titanic label. The record became locally successful and, retitled ”

“Moments”, was reissued by the larger Amazon record label owned by DJ Rudy Harvey. The record rose to no.16 on the national Billboard R&B Chart, and no.50 on the pop chart. She followed it up in 1962 with a version of Barrett Strong’s hit “Money (That’s What I Want)”, co-written by Berry Gordy, which reached no.17 on the R&B chart.[4] She also released two albums on the Amazon label, The Many Moods of Jenny (1961), credited to the

Jennell Hawkins Quintet, and Moments To Remember (1962).[1][2]  However, Hawkins became disillusioned with Harvey’s business practices (he was later the victim of an unsolved murder), and she left the recording business soon afterwards to devote herself to her family and church. She later worked for funeral companies, driving a hearse and playing the organ at funerals. In the 1970s she re-emerged with a sextet to back Johnny Morisette on his jazz-funk recording of “I’m Hungry”. She also performed occasionally with her sextet in Los Angeles nightclubs, often appearing together with saxophonist Big Jay McNeely. In 2002, she reunited with the Dreamers to perform at a doo wop revival event.[1][2] She suffered a serious stroke in 2005, and died the following year at the age of 68, on the day she was due to receive a mayoral certificate to recognise her contributions to local music.[1][2]

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“The Superbs-Baby, Baby All The Time”

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The Superbs, from California, USA, were one of the best mid-60s sweet-soul groups to meld doo-wop harmonies into the sound of soul. The members were Eleanor ‘Punkin’ Green’ (lead), Walter White, Bobby Swain, Gordy Harmon and Ronny Cook. Green possessed a soprano lead that sounded much like a male falsetto and it was an era when falsetto-led groups were regularly on the charts. After their first record in 1964 on Lew Bedell’s Dore label, ‘Storybook Of Love’, flopped, Harmon left to form the Whispers (the Whispers were the Superbs’ labelmates and were likewise outstanding in merging doo-wop with soul). The next record, ‘

Baby Baby All The Time’,

with its relaxed lope, proved a success in 1964. Similar-sounding and equally appealing follow-ups were ‘Sad Sad Day’ (1964) and ‘Baby’s Gone Away’ (1965). Around this time Swain left the group to form the Entertainers Four, who also recorded for Dore. He was replaced by Lawrence Randall. Green left in 1966 to get married and the group regrouped, but the magic was gone and by the 70s the group had broken up. Lawrence Randall formed a new Superbs group in the mid-80s to play on the southern California revival circuit.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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