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Category Archives: 1960s

“ROBERT & JOHNNY – WE BELONG TOGETHER”

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We Belong Together” was a 1958 American rhythm and blues hit written and recorded by Robert & Johnny, with a co-writing credit to Hy Weiss. It reached #12 on the R&B charts and #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Cover versions

The song was later recorded by several others. The Fleetwoods released a version on their 1959 album, Mr. Blue.

A rendition by Ritchie Valens was released in 1959 on the Del-Fi record label and can be found on several of his albums. It’s also featured in a scene from the 1987 hit film about Valens, La Bamba in which the song was sung by Los Lobos.

The Belmonts released a remake on the Laurie label, Laurie 3080, in 1961, after they had split with Dion. It was not a hit, but was later reissued on a collector’s label because of its musical value.

In 1961, Jimmy Mullins, known as Jimmy Velvit,[1] recorded it in the Dallas, Texas area. It was issued in January, 1962 on M-G-M’s Cub Records label (K9105). It attracted a lot of attention and air-play and became the #1 song on the Dallas radio station, KLIF, for a period of six weeks.

A different singer, Jimmy Tennant, using the name Jimmy Velvet, had a #75 hit with the song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.[2] Tennant had initially recorded and released the song on his own Velvet label (co-owned with Ray Curran) in April, 1963 (Velvet 201-63), using the same name Mullins was using, Jimmy Velvit. That same issue was briefly re-issued in August, 1963 on the Cortland label’s Witch Records subsidiary (#115) in an effort to take the Velvet Records release to a national level. Tennant used another song from the session, “I’m Gonna Try” as the flip side of both releases, the same song the earlier Jimmy Velvit (Jimmy Mullins) had used on his 1962 Cub version. That song had been written by Mullins. The hit release (as by Jimmy Velvet) on ABC-Paramount 10488 used “History Of Love” (recorded at the same April session) as the flip side, which was first issued by November, 1963.[3]

Peaches & Herb included the song on their album, Let’s Fall In Love.

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“Shirley Bassey “Goldfinger” – Live at Royal Albert Hall, 1974.”

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“Goldfinger” was the title song from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Composed by John Barry and with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the song was performed by Shirley Bassey for the film’s opening and closing title sequences, as well as the soundtrack album release. The single release of the song gave Bassey her only Billboard Hot 100 top forty hit, peaking in the Top 10 at number eight and at number two for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart,[1] and in the United Kingdom the single reached number 21.[2]

The song finished at #53 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. In 2008, the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[3]

Background

Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley were asked to create the lyrics for the song. But when its composer John Barry played them the first three notes, Bricusse and Newley looked at each other and sang out: “. . . wider than a mile,” to the melody of “Moon River,” the popular theme song from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Barry was not amused.

One source of inspiration was the song “Mack the Knife”, which director Guy Hamilton showed Barry, thinking it was a “gritty and rough” song that could be a good model for what the film required. Bricusse and Newley were not shown any film footage or script excerpts, but were advised of the fatal gilding suffered by the Jill Masterson character, played by Shirley Eaton. Bricusse would later recall that once he and Newley hit upon utilizing “the Midas touch” in the lyric, the pattern of the song became evident and the lyrics were completed within at most a couple of days.

The first recording of “Goldfinger” was made by Newley in a May 14, 1964 recording session, with Barry as conductor, which produced two completed takes. Barry would recall that Newley gave a “very creepy” performance which he, Barry considered “terrific”. Newley’s recording, however, was made purely as a demo for the film’s makers. According to Barry, Newley “didn’t want to sing it in the movie as they [Newley and Bricusse] thought the song was a bit weird”.

Shirley Bassey was Barry’s choice to record the song; he had been conductor on Bassey’s national tour in December 1963 and the two had also been romantically involved. Barry had played Bassey an instrumental track of the song before its lyrics were written; the singer would recall that hearing the track had given her “goose bumps”. She agreed to sing the song whatever the lyrics might eventually be. Bassey recorded the track on August 20, 1964 at London’s CTS Studios in Wembley: the track’s producer credit named Bassey’s regular producer George Martin, but the session was in fact overseen by Barry. Vic Flick, Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan are all said to have been guitarists on the session, and at least Page has supported his involvement, recalling that Bassey had nearly collapsed after the final note.

The recording of “Goldfinger” lasted all night as Barry demanded repeated takes due to musicians’ or technical glitches, not any shortcomings in Bassey’s vocal. Bassey did initially have issues with the climactic final note which necessitated her slipping behind a studio partition between takes to remove her bra. Bassey would recall of the final note: “I was holding it and holding it – I was looking at John Barry and I was going blue in the face and he’s going – hold it just one more second. When it finished, I nearly passed out.”

The iconic two-note phrase which is the basis for the song’s introduction was not in the original orchestration, but occurred to Barry during a tea-break, following an hour and a half of rehearsal. By the time the musicians returned, twenty minutes later, he had written the figure into the orchestration.

The hit single was released in mono, with the album stereo issues (on the film soundtrack, Golden Hits Of Shirley Bassey and subsequent releases) using an alternate mix in which the instrumental take is the same, but Bassey’s vocal is different; a shade less intense and with a shorter final note. Newley’s version was later released in 1992 to mark the 30th Anniversary of James Bond on film, in a compilation collector’s edition: The Best of Bond…James Bond.

Bassey’s title theme was almost taken out of the film because producer Harry Saltzman hated it, saying, “That’s the worst *** song I’ve ever heard in my *** life”. Saltzman would also dislike Bassey’s subsequent Bond theme, that for Diamonds Are Forever. However time constraints did not allow for the possibility of a replacement Goldfinger theme song being written and recorded.

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“THE TEMPTATIONS I’M LOSING YOU”

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(I Know) I’m Losing You” is a 1966 hit single recorded by The Temptations for the Gordy (Motown) label[1] and produced by Norman Whitfield.

History

This song was another step away from the group’s softer records recorded with Smokey Robinson as producer, a change that Whitfield had begun with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” earlier in the year. “I’m Losing You” features a much more dramatic arrangement than most contemporary Motown songs: a rock-styled guitar riff (devised by Temptations road manager/band director Cornelius Grant), sharp horn blasts and the Temptations’ doo-wop vocals paint the backdrop for one of David Ruffin’s trademark raspy lead vocals.

As The Funk Brothers keep time with the song’s James Brown-inspired beat, Ruffin pointedly accuses his lover of gradually slipping away from him. The closing vocal riff to the song’s chorus had the other four Temptations call out an extended “losing you…!” shout in falsetto. The choreography for the line, with each member cupping their hands around their mouths as they shout the line out, became a Temptations standard.

“I’m Losing You” was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard R&B singles chart, and reached No. 8 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.[2] The single was included as the anchoring track for the summer 1967 album The Temptations with a Lot o’ Soul.

The Temptations performed the song live on the CBS variety program The Ed Sullivan Show on May 28, 1967,[3] and in a duet with Diana Ross & the Supremes later that year, on November 19, 1967.[4]

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http://www.youtube.com watch?v=aJcUFk8wGP4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2017 in 1960s, nostalgic, vintage music

 

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 “Mary Wells – Bye Bye Baby” 

 “Mary Wells – Bye Bye Baby” 

 

“Bye Bye Baby” is the first single by R&B singerMary Wells, released in December 1960 on the Motown label. The song was one of Motown’s earliest hit singles and showcased a much rougher vocal than the singer had during her later years.

History
In 1960, Wells, then 17 years of age, was a nightclub singer who was struggling to make ends meet in Detroit. She aspired to be a songwriter as well, so she wrote a song for fellow Detroiter and R&B singer Jackie Wilson. She saw Berry Gordy while attempting to deliver “Bye Bye, Baby” to Wilson, and asked Gordy to give Wilson her song. But Gordy, having severed ties with Wilson’s manager to form Motown, asked Wells to sing it herself for Motown. Mary recorded “Bye Bye Baby” in her version of Jackie Wilson’s style. Reports claim that the teen had to record the song 26 times or more, before Gordy had a version he approved for release. According to Detroit music mogul Johnnie Mae Matthews, Wells had come to her with four lines of the song, which Matthews said she finished up. When the song was issued, she didn’t get a songwriting credit.[1]

Release and reaction
Released in December 1960, the song became an R&B hit reaching number eight on the Billboard R&B singles chart and crossed over to pop stations where it peaked at number forty-five.[2] It was significant as the first single released under one of the Motown subsidiaries nationally after the label’s first singles were released through distributing labels such as United Artists.

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“MARY WELLS…”MY GUY””

“MARY WELLS…”MY GUY””

My Guy” is a 1964 hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, the song is a woman’s dedication to the goodness of her man (“There’s not a man today who could take me away from my guy”).

At the session for the “My Guy” backing track the studio musicians were having issues completing the intro: with the musicians having been playing all day and a half-hour scheduled studio time left, trombonist George Bohannon pointed out to keyboardist Earl Van Dyke that the opening measure of “Canadian Sunset” could be perfectly juxtaposed on the intro’s chord changes, and Van Dyke, the session bandleader, expediently constructed an intro incorporating the opening of “Canadian Sunset” and also the “left hand notes” from “Canadian Sunset” composer Eddie Heywood‘s rendition of “Begin the Beguine“. Van Dyke would recall: “We were doing anything to get the hell out of that studio. We knew that the producers didn’t know nothing ’bout no ‘Canadian Sunset’ or ‘Begin the Beguine’. We figured the song would wind up in the trash can anyway”.[1]

When Wells recorded her vocal she sang over the song’s outro with a huskiness evoking the line delivery of Mae West: Wells would recall: “I was only joking but the producers said ‘Keep it going, keep it going’.”[1]

“My Guy” became the biggest hit ever for Wells, Motown’s first female star, and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on 16 May 1964.[2] The song led the Cashbox magazine R&Bchart for seven weeks.[3] “My Guy” was also Wells’ last hit single for Motown, except for duets she recorded with label mate Marvin Gaye. An option in her recording contract let Wells terminate the contract at her discretion after she reached her twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1964. Encouraged by her ex-husband, Wells broke her Motown contract and signed with 20th Century Fox in hopes of higher royalties and possible movie roles. However, Wells’ career never again reached the heights it had at Motown, and she never again had a hit single as big as “My Guy”.

Her version of the song was used in the film “More American Graffiti” (1979)

In the United Kingdom, “My Guy” peaked at number five in June 1964.

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Mary Wells

-My Guy

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2017 in 1960s, nostalgic

 

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“Sherry”

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Sherry

” is a song written by Bob Gaudio and recorded by The Four Seasons

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Song information

According to Gaudio, the song took about 15 minutes to write and was originally titled “Jackie Baby” (in honor of then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy).[1] In a 1968 interview, Gaudio said that the song was inspired by the earlier song “Hey! Baby”.[2]

At the studio, the name was changed to “Terri Baby”, and eventually to “Sherry”, the name of the daughter of Gaudio’s best friend, New York DJ Jack Spector. One of the names that Gaudio pondered for the song was “Peri Baby,” which was the name of the record label for which Bob Crewe worked, named after the label owner’s daughter.

The single’s B-side was “I’ve Cried Before”. Both tracks were included in the group’s subsequent album release, Golden Hits of the 4 Seasons (1963).[3]

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“Clarence Henry – Ain’t got no home – 1956 (Frogman)”

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Clarence “Frogman” Henry (born March 19, 1937, Algiers, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States) is an American rhythm and blues singer and pianist and trombonist.[1]

Career

Clarence Henry was born in New Orleans in 1937. Fats Domino and blues singer and pianist Professor Longhair were cited as young Henry’s main influences while growing up.[1] When Henry played in talent shows, he dressed like Longhair and wore a wig with braids on both sides.

His trademark croak, utilized to the maximum on his 1956 debut hit “Ain’t Got No Home,” earned Henry his nickname of “Frogman” and jump-started a career that endures to this day.[1] A cover of the country artist Bobby Charles’ hit “(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do”, and “You Always Hurt the One You Love”, both from 1961, were his other big hits.[2]

Henry opened eighteen concerts for the Beatles across the US and Canada in 1964, but his main source of income came from the Bourbon Street strip in New Orleans, where he played for nineteen years.[1] His name could still draw hordes of tourists long after his hit-making days had ended. He still plays at various conventions, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in 1960s, 1970s, nostalgic, r&b

 

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