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“Kansas City-Wilbert Harrison-1959”

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“Kansas City”

is a rhythm and blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952.[1] First recorded by Little Willie Littlefield the same year, the song later became a #1 hit when it was recorded by Wilbert Harrison in 1959. “Kansas City” became one of Leiber and Stoller’s “most recorded tunes, with more than three hundred versions,”[2] with several appearing in the R&B and pop record charts.

Original song

“Kansas City” was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, two nineteen-year-old rhythm and blues fans from Los Angeles, who had their first success writing Charles Brown’s #7 R&B chart hit “Hard Times”. Neither had been to Kansas City, but were inspired by Big Joe Turner records.[3]

I’m goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come (2x)
They got a crazy way of lovin’ there, and I’m gonna get me some
I’m gonna be standing on the corner, of Twelfth Street and Vine (2x)
With my Kansas City baby, and a bottle of Kansas City wine…
Through a connection to producer Ralph Bass, they wrote “Kansas City” specifically for West Coast blues/R&B artist Little Willie Littlefield.[2] There was an initial disagreement between the two writers over the song’s melody: Leiber (who wrote the lyrics) preferred a traditional blues song, while Stoller wanted a more distinctive vocal line; Stoller ultimately prevailed. They taught the song to Littlefield at Maxwell Davis’ house, who arranged and provided the tenor sax for the song.[2] Littlefield recorded the song in Los Angeles in 1952, during his first recording session for Federal Records, a King Records subsidiary. Federal’s Ralph Bass changed the title to “K. C. Lovin'”,[4] which he reportedly considered to sound “hipper” than “Kansas City”. Littlefield’s record had some success in parts of the U.S., but it did not reach the national chart.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-13T11:45:56+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 13 Aug 2018 11:45:56 +0000 31, in 1950s, 1960s, nostalgic, r&b, vintage music

 

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“Fever – Peggy Lee”

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Peggy Lee (born Norma Deloris Egstrom; May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman’s big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. She wrote music for films, acted, and created conceptual record albums—encompassing poetry, jazz, chamber pop, and art songs.

Recording Career

In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, “Somebody Else Is Taking My Place”,[10] followed by 1943’s “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (originally sung by Lil Green), which sold over a million copies and made her famous. She sang with Goodman’s orchestra in two 1943 films, Stage Door Canteen and The Powers Girl.

In March 1943 Lee married Dave Barbour, a guitarist in Goodman’s band.[5] Peggy said, “David joined Benny’s band and there was a ruling that no one should fraternize with the girl singer. But I fell in love with David the first time I heard him play, and so I married him. Benny then fired David, so I quit, too. Benny and I made up, although David didn’t play with him anymore. Benny stuck to his rule. I think that’s not too bad a rule, but you can’t help falling in love with somebody.”

When Lee and Barbour left the band, the idea was that he would work in the studios and she would keep house and raise their daughter, Nicki. But she drifted back to songwriting and occasional recording sessions for the fledgling Capitol Records in 1947, for whom she produced a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour, including “I Don’t Know Enough About You” (1946) and “It’s a Good Day” (1947). With the release of the US No. 1-selling record of 1948, “Mañana”, her “retirement” was over. In 1948, Lee’s work was part of Capitol’s library of electrical transcriptions for radio stations. An ad for Capitol Transcriptions in a trade magazine noted that the transcriptions included “special voice introductions by Peggy.”[11]

In 1948 Lee joined Perry Como and Jo Stafford as a rotating host of the NBC Radio musical program The Chesterfield Supper Club.[12][13] She was also a regular on NBC’s Jimmy Durante Show and appeared frequently on Bing Crosby’s radio shows throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s.

She left Capitol for Decca Records in 1952, but returned to Capitol in 1957.[14] She is most famous for her cover version of the Little Willie John hit “Fever” written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport,[15] to which she added her own, uncopyrighted lyrics (“Romeo loved Juliet,” “Captain Smith and Pocahontas”) and her rendition of Leiber and Stoller’s “Is That All There Is?”. Her relationship with the Capitol label spanned almost three decades, aside from her brief but artistically rich detour (1952–1956) at Decca Records, where in 1953 she recorded one of her most acclaimed albums, Black Coffee. While recording for Decca, Lee had hit singles with the songs “Lover” and “Mister Wonderful”.

In her 60-year-long career, Peggy was the recipient of three Grammy Awards (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), an Academy Award nomination, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award, the President’s Award, the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Living Legacy Award[16] from the Women’s International Center. In 1999 Lee was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[17]

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-06T09:01:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 06 Aug 2018 09:01:00 +0000 31, in 1950s, 1960s, classic television, female vocalists, nostalgic, vintage music

 

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“Jimmy Jones “Handyman”

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James “Jimmy” Jones (June 2, 1937 – August 2, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter who moved to New York City while a teenager. According to Allmusic journalist Steve Huey, “best known for his 1960 R&B smash, ‘

Handy Man,’ Jones sang in a smooth yet soulful falsetto modeled on the likes of Clyde McPhatter and Sam Cooke.”

Career
Jones was born in Birmingham, Alabama. His first job in the entertainment industry was as a tap dancer. He joined a doo-wop group named the Berliners in 1954. They later changed their name to Sparks of Rhythm. In 1955 Jones co-wrote “Handy Man”, which was recorded by the Sparks of Rhythm in 1956 (after Jones left the group). After recording with other groups, Jones went solo and, in 1959, teamed up with Otis Blackwell who reworked “Handy Man” which Jones recorded on the subsidiary MGM record label, Cub.[2] When the flute player did not show up for the session, Blackwell famously whistled on the recording. “Handy Man”, released in 1959, gave Jones his first US and UK hit single. “Handy Man” went to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, and peaked at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. “Handy Man”, which introduced a rock falsetto singing style to the British audience, later scored hits for Del Shannon and James Taylor. A few months later in 1960, Jones’ recording of “Good Timin'” climbed to No. 1 in the UK and No. 3 in the US Both “Handy Man” and “Good Timin'” were million sellers, earning Jones two gold discs.

Although Jones had only the two million-selling Top 40 hits, he nevertheless kept active in the music industry as both a songwriter and recording artist and made personal appearances as he saw fit. Jones’ subsequent career was low key, although it included three more UK chart entries in the following twelve months. Jones remained with Cub until 1962, and then recorded for the next decade for a variety of labels, including Bell, Parkway, Roulette, and Vee-Jay.

Del Shannon cited Jones and Bill Kenny as influences on his falsetto style. Later singers who used falsetto included Frankie Valli of the Four Seasons, Lou Christie, Robert John, Jimmy Somerville, and Barry Gibb. Gibb cited Shannon, in turn, as an influence for his disco vocalizations with the Bee Gees. Jones released Grandma’s Rock & Roll Party in the 1990s on CD, perhaps, in part due to his popularity in the UK Northern soul circles.[2] It included new versions of “Handy Man” and “Good Timin'”. Castle/Sanctuary released a double album called Good Timin’: The Anthology in 2002.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-02T12:19:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 02 Jul 2018 12:19:00 +0000 31, in 1950s, 1960s, classic music, culture, nostalgic, vintage music

 

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“Chris Kenner -The Name Of The Place is, I Like It Like That, Parts 1 & 2 (1961)”

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Chris Kenner (December 25, 1929 – January 25, 1976) was a New Orleans R&B singer and songwriter, best known for two hit singles in the early 1960s that became staples in the repertoires of many other musicians.

Biography

Born in the farming community of Kenner, Louisiana, upriver from New Orleans, Kenner sang gospel music with his church choir. He moved to New Orleans when he was in his teens. In 1955 he made his first recordings, for a small label, Baton Records, without success. In 1957 recorded his “Sick and Tired” for Imperial Records; Fats Domino covered it the next year, and his version became a hit. “Rocket to the Moon” and “Life Is Just a Struggle”, both cut for Ron Records, were other notable songs Kenner recorded in this period.

Moving to another New Orleans label, Instant, he began to work with pianist and arranger Allen Toussaint. In 1961, this collaboration produced “I Like It Like That”, his first and biggest hit, peaking at #2 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart (covered in 1965 by the Dave Clark Five), and “Something You Got” (covered by Wilson Pickett, Alvin Robinson, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Chuck Jackson, Earl Grant, Maxine Brown, Bobby Womack, the Moody Blues (on their 1965 debut album), the American Breed, Fairport Convention and Bruce Springsteen). “I Like It Like That” sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.[1] In 1962 he produced his most enduring song, “Land of a Thousand Dances”, which was covered by various artists, including Cannibal & the Headhunters, Thee Midniters, Wilson Pickett, the Action, and Patti Smith.

Kenner continued to record for Instant and for other small local labels, including many of his lesser-known songs from the 1960s, such as “My Wife”, “Packing Up” and “They Took My Money”. He released an album, Land of a Thousand Dances, on Atlantic Records in 1966; the Collectors’ Choice label reissued it on CD in 2007.

In 1968 Kenner was convicted of statutory rape of a minor and spent three years in Louisiana’s Angola prison.

Kenner died from a heart attack in 1976, at the age of 46.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-07-02T10:48:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles07bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 02 Jul 2018 10:48:00 +0000 31, in 1960s, billboard, 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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Posted by on TueAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-19T15:04:19+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesTue, 19 Jun 2018 15:04:19 +0000 31, in 1960s, 1970s, female vocalists, nostalgic, vintage music

 

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“This is Dedicated to the one I love – The Shirelles”

“This is Dedicated to the one I love – The Shirelles”

Dedicated to the One I Love” is a song written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass which was a hit for The “5” Royales, The Shirelles and The Mamas & the Papas.[1] Pauling was the guitarist of The “5” Royales, the group that recorded the original version of this song, produced by Bass, in 1957. Their version was re-released in 1961 and charted at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

The Shirelles version

A version recorded by The Shirelles[1] reached #83 in 1959.[3] In 1961, they re-released their version and it reached #3 on the Hot 100 chart and #2 on the R&B charts.[4]

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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-16T12:14:14+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 16 Jun 2018 12:14:14 +0000 31, in nostalgic, vintage music

 

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“Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea (1960)”

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“Beyond the Sea” is a 1946 contemporary pop romantic love song by Jack Lawrence, with music taken from the song “La Mer” by Charles Trenet.

Trenet had composed “La Mer” (which means “the Sea”) with French lyrics completely different and unrelated to the English-language version that Lawrence later wrote. Trenet’s French version was a homage and ode to the changing moods of the sea, while Lawrence, by just adding one word “Beyond” to the title, gave him the start whereby he made the song into one of a dear lover mourning for a lost love.[1]

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-06-11T14:51:08+00:00America/Los_Angeles06bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 11 Jun 2018 14:51:08 +0000 31, in 1940s, 1960s, classic television, nostalgic, vintage music

 

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