This is default featured slide 1 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured slide 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured slide 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured slide 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured slide 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Unknown Classic: Ginny Arnell--"I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear" (1964)

Ginny Arnell. had sung duets with Gene Pitney in the late 50's/early 60's with some success and began a solo career a few years later. She had one hit in 1963 with, "Dumb Head" and was poised as a bright light in the girl group sub-genre. However her best work came in 64-66 which coincided with the British Invasion. None of her singles even cracked the top 100, including the song your going to hear. "I Wish I Knew What Dress To Wear" is one of the best examples (and what i consider a classic) of the girl group era. Hope you like it as well....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Eric Clapton!

Happy 66th birthday to Eric Clapton......

The debate among music lovers about who's the best guitar player in rock history is a totally fruitless one. Since I'm not a guitar player, my thoughts are based on what I hear, or course friends of mine who do play have a different set of criteria when discussing this area. One thing for sure however is that Eric Clapton had solidified his place in rock history even before embarking on a solo career. He has come a long way from the purist who left The Yardbirds over the fact they were being too "commercial", but has since found a way for the most part to keep his music weaving in a blues base. Choosing some clips here is not easy...but we'll give you some of my favorites.....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Terry Jacks: Season in the Sun (1974)

    Happy 67th birthday to Terry Jacks.....

    Terry Jacks and his wife Susan led "The Poppy Family" to some chart success  in their native Canada and in the US, mainly on the strength of their #2 hit, "Where You Going Billy?". By 1973 however, the marriage and the band had gone separate ways as both released solo albums in that year.
     "Seasons in the Sun" was an English adaptation of the song, "Le Moribond" by Belgian singer Jacques Brel with lyrics by singer/poet Rod McKuen. The Beach Boys had been scheduled to record the song, but when those plans fell through, Jacks chose to record it himself. It was his only release in the US that came anywhere close to a hit although he had continued success in Canada for a few years after.
      Jacks gradually left the music business and now spends most of his time working on environmental issues..

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Psychedelic Era meets soft pop:The Arbors--The Letter (1969)

Many artists were criticized for jumping on the disco bandwagon in the late 70's, but the same phenomenon occurred in the late 60's during what was considered "the Psychedelic Era".  Artists and producers attempted things that later could be looked at as noble experiments, or just plain awful. All in the name of sounding "hip" enough to sell to an audience who's taste would change in just a year or two anyway.

The Arbors were four man vocal group that had success in 66 and 67 with a sound much like The Letterman. Very safe, very professional with a sound that appealed to that kind of audience. Nothing however really prepared one for their cover of The Box Tops, "The Letter'. From the start it sounded different (in a good way) from what had been released previously, then something happens during the song that could have only been done in the late 60's. It never fully turns into a head trip, but it sounded surprisingly satisfying for a group that never shown an inclination for creativity. It was by far the biggest hit they ever had, but after one more charting song, they went into writing and playing for commercials, which they did for the next 30 years.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Morning Vault: The Applejacks--Mexican Hat Rock (1958)

The Applejacks were a studio group led by Philadelphia native Dave Appell. The had three songs on the top 100 with this one being the first, and the highest rated (#16)....everyone enjoy their Sunday....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Apollo 100--Joy (1972)

Last night, we attended "Bachanalia", which is a yearly celebration of all things Bach. For 6 hours, over 100 artists plays selections from the great composer in all different styles. It's one of the highlights of my year, and a great way to kick off the springtime. In a later blog, I'll discuss further my love for classical music and how rock music had a direct hand in my discovery of it....

In 1972, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Tom Parker put together a band which delved into light classical pieces. They released two albums, "Joy" in 1972, and "Masterpieces" later that year. "Joy" made it's debut on the charts on Jan. 1 and stayed there for over 3 months, peaking at #6.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor Bio now in the Omnibus bookstore

The Book, "Elizabeth: The Story of Elizabeth Taylor" by Alexander Walker is now available at the Omnibus book and music store for only $10.86. Check that out along with our new releases this month from Dionne Warwick, Tommy Shaw, and Derek & The Dominoes. All at

You didn't think I'd forget Aretha did you??

As mentioned in my previous post, today is also Aretha Franklin's 69th birthday. The last year has been tough on the Queen of Soul, so we hope this next year brings her good health and happiness. And for OUR happiness...I just happen to have a few videos for our pleasure....the last one especially is one of the most amazing performances I've ever seen....


Happy 64th Birthday to Sir Elton!

This morning was a tough is Elton John's birthday, but it is also Aretha Franklin's. I respect the Queen of Soul, but anyone who knows me would figure Elton would go first (he IS the real Queen of England ya know....). Elton John is not only the artist that got me head over heels into the love of music, but into the love of the craft of making music.There isn't a lot to be said about him that already been talked am going to allow the music to do the talking. Since the release of "Songs From the West Coast", EJ has had a bit of a renaissance. His singles do not make the charts much anymore, and the albums don't sell like they used too, but John/Taupin have written a quartet of albums that, for consistency, rivals anything they have done since are some videos from Elton over the years.... 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New releases from the Omnibus bookstore.....

We have three new releases that are available at the Omnibus bookstore....

1. Dionne Warwick: Only Trust Your Heart   10.99
2. Tommy Shaw: Great Divide   11.62
3. Derek & The Dominoes: Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (40th Anniversary Edition 2CD Set)  21.75

If you have a special request to buy and album and we do not have it, please send me a note at and we will make it available for you. Remember

The O'Jays--Love Train (1973)

The O'Jays had been making records since the early 60's, but it wasn't until working with the production team of Gamble/Huff in the early 70's that things began to take off. The title track from the "Back Stabbers" album hit the charts in 72 reaching #3, but this song was the cut that they will always be remembered by. Upbeat, optimistic, and with a groove that just won't quit, "Love Train" soared to #1 on this day  in January 1973. Here is a great clip from Soul Train...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cher: Dark Lady (1974)

Am sure there are those out there who do not like Cher. Her "in your face" attitude about her life and how she lives it is probably off putting to some, but at the end of the day, no one can deny her talents or her drive. Cher has had 11 top ten hits, 5 of them #1, and has won a Grammy, Emmy, several Academy awards as well as Golden Globes, and Cannes Film Festival awards. On this day in 1974, "Dark Lady" became the last of her No. 1's until "Believe" in 1998, although she would always have a chart presence even during the time she was concentrating on being an actress.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lesley Gore: Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows (1965)

Am not sure if it's the warm weather here in the Mid-south, but when sitting here at the computer my mind is filled with little pop confections; we do one more..(maybe).

Lesley Gore was probably the best known female singer during the mid-60's while she was still a teenager. She made the move to attend college rather than continuing to tour and be in movies, so her popularity was fairly short lived, but left us with several classics of the genre. My favorite by far is the one seen today which was featured in the movie "Ski Party". It was written by Marvin Hamlisch who would be later known on the charts for his rendition of Scott Joplin's, "The Entertainer". A little extra nugget, this song, along with most of her hits were produced by Quincy Jones....enjoy and have a happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Morning Valut: Ann-Margret (1961)

When Ann-Margret came on the scene in 1961, her background had been acting, dancing and singing onstage, so signing a 7 year contract by 20th Century Fox in 1961 AND charting her first hit with RCA Victor shouldn't have been a surprise. However it was not long before the singing was confined to stage and screen and the career on the charts was over. "I Just Don't Understand", was her first and only top 20 hits. To me, her voice is an acquired taste, but as long as I can see the pictures, who cares? Have a happy Sunday everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Frogman: Clarence Henry!

My parents used to poke fun at some of the music I listened too as not making any sense. Then I'd hear something like, "I Ain't Got No Home" and go, "huh??". Every generation has songs that are popular but really don't make a lot of sense, the words just go good together and/or the beat is great. It's difficult to hear Clarence Henry sing this song and not find yourself swaying or moving about.....which is what is cool about remembering a song, isn't it?? We here at the bus want to wish the Frogman a happy 74th birthday...if you go on You Tube, you can find a video of him singing at the New Orleans Jazz Festival last year and still getting it done. This morning however....we hear the original....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to John Hartman of the Doobie Brothers

The Bus wishes John Hartman of The Doobie Brothers a happy 61st birthday. John was one of the original members of the Doobie Brothers and was with them until 1979. He came back in 1987 and was on two of the group's later recordings, "Cycles" (89) and "Brotherhood" (91), until retiring for good in 92. Hope you all have a great Friday....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy 70th Birthday Paul Kantner

If you don't feel old enough....Paul Kantner of the Jefferson Airplane/Starship turns 70 today. Here are a few clips to help celebrate....

In Praise Of: Paul Anka

The stories of those who were stars in the age before the British Invasion who became stars again in the 70's interest me because of their ability to adapt. A few weeks ago we briefly looked at Neil a longer look at Paul Anka.

Anka's first go-round with stardom occurred during the time between 57-62. Starting with the song, "Diana", he was in top 20 often, with 1959 being his biggest year in terms of chart action with songs like, "Lonely Boy", Put Your Head On My Shoulder" and "It's Time To Cry"....
Although it is certain that the British Invasion had effected it him like much of the hit makers of his day, his light on the charts began to dim by early 1963. He continued to have success during that time by writing for others. He wrote, "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones, and wrote the English lyrics to "My Way" made famous by Frank Sinatra. However, one of his more enduring compositions was this song that was written and recorded by Annette Funicello then later re written for the Johnny Carson is the song when it was called, "Toot Sweet"....
By the late 60's he was recording again, and for my money was the most fascinating part of his career. One could watch him struggle from one song to the next as he updated his sound for a new generation. One of those attempts was the song, "Jubilation" which was released in early 1972 and reached #65. It doesn't sound like anything he had ever done before....or would do later..I quite like it...but your mileage might vary.
Finally in 1974 he struck paydirt with "(Your're) Having My Baby, which hit No. 1 in the fall of that year. This was the first of six top 20 hits in 74-75. He continued writing for the rest of the decade and into the early 80's, even composing some with Michael Jackson when MJ was at the height of his career. He continues to tour and record.....this last video was the final top 10 of his career, "Times of Your Life"....have a happy day everyone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Nancy Wilson!!!

Nancy Wilson of Heart is 57 today....and I must say she not only looks good, but is still rocking it out. Frankly, I don't have a lot to say about her outside the context of the group, but it gives me a fine excuse to post some videos of her......the first one is an acoustic version of one of their hits, and the other is a kick-ass version of Led Zepplin's "Battle of Evermore"....

Thinking of Annette....

Annette was in the news a few days ago as a fire did some damage to her families home in LA. She was unhurt, but it brings our thoughts back to a woman who was an icon in the early 60's. The AP story can be found here:

Annette was discovered in a dance recital at the age of 12 and was the last of the original Mouseketeers to be chosen...and the only one to be chosen by Walt Disney himself. She quickly became one of the most popular of the group and later branched out into Disney movies. She moved on to become an early 60's icon through her "Beach" movies with Frankie's a trailer from, "Muscle Beach Party'

Although her career as a singer never reached the same heights, she had a lot of chart action in 1959-1960, and most of her movies featured her singing. Here is one of her bigger hits from 1960, "Pineapple Express".
She has been fighting multiple sclerosis since 1992 which has of course has curtailed her activity. We at the bus are thinking of you Annette....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jean Dinning, Songwriter of Pop Tragedy ‘Teen Angel,’ Dies at 86

This is a link that will take you to the NY Times story... 

.here is Mark Dinning doing "Teen Angel'......Thanks Susan for sending this along....

Happy Birthday Sylvester Stewart!!

Sylvester Stewart huh?? We all know him as Sly Stone and he celebrates his 67th birthday today.....have a good St. Patty's day today!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Clapton Leaves Over a Hit Song: The Yardbirds--For Your Love (1965)

The Yardbirds, a blues/rock group that was doing well in England, was looking for that breakthrough hit in the states. Bassist Paul Samwelll-Smith arranged a Graham Gouldman song called, "For Your Love" to include bongos and harpsichord in a pop/rock arraignment. Clapton was incensed by this and on this day in 1965 left the Yardbirds. This was actually a case of both doing well from the split, Clapton left for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and then on to Cream. He suggested Jimmy Page as his replacement, but at the time Page was doing very well with his studio work and didn't want to join a band, so Jimmy suggested Jeff Beck who came on just a few days after Eric left. Here are the Yardbirds with..."For Your Love"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Vault: Ruby Andrews--Casonova (Your Playing Days Are Over) 1967

Ruby Andrews was a Mississippi girl who had some chart success in the late 60's. She charted three songs in total, but the first one Casonova (Your Playing Days Are Over) did the best reaching #51 in the fall of 1967.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy Birthday James Taylor!!

It's a beautiful morning here in East Nashville and in a very mellow mood. Lo and behold I see that today we celebrate the birthday of someone who oozes mellow. Not a lot to say this morning except Happy 63rd Birthday to James Taylor. Now....we'll let him do what he does best.....good Saturday to you all!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bridge Over Troubled Waters 40th anniversary now available on the Bus!!

A new double CD set from Simon & Garfunkel. In this set you will find the remastered version of this album classic from the duo. Included is a DVD which contains a 1969 CBS special, "Songs Of America" and a documentary, "The Harmony Game. The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water", which includes interviews with Art and Paul! You can find this at our music store, just click on the tab "Book and Music Store"....check this and other great CD and books out...!!

Harry Nilsson--Without You (1972)

    Harry Nilsson (just known as Nilsson to most), was probably at his peak due to a series of excellent albums in the late 60's and early 70's. Just a few years later, between his poor behavior (being John Lennon's drinking buddy in the mid 70's), and rupturing one of his vocal chords, he lost a lot of commercial ground. He never returned to those heights again.   
    The group Badfinger had one of the most tragic stories in all of rock music. Their career being a series of bad management, bad decisions,and just plain bad luck which led eventually to the deaths of both principle songwriters by suicide.
    None of those things were in view in 1972 when Nilsson chose the Evans/Ham song, "Without You". It showed off Nilsson's fantastic range as a vocalist and Badfinger as a group that was more than a Beatles clone. In a few years, these gains would be pretty much forgotten, but almost 40 years later we show respect to these great artists.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What were they thinking?: Telly Savalas--If (1975)

     Many of us spend life wishing we could change what we do for a living. We forget that even those who are very successful in life also have those wishes. We live in an age where singers want to be actors, actors want to be singers and sports jocks want to do both. Sometimes that actually works out. The Billboard charts are littered with actors and others who record and do it with various degrees.

      For some reason, the 70's were a fertile time for these kind of acts. David Soul, David Cassidy, John Travolta and others had strong hits during that decade. Although you can argue about how well you actually liked the music, they could all SING (i.e. keep a tune...and don't forget there was no auto tune). Then there was the artists who you have to ask, "What WERE they thinking?"

      In the footsteps of artists such as Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, and Sebastian Cabot (at least he had the wisdom to call his albums, 'Dramatic Readings'), Telly Savalas chose to throw his lollipop into the arena. Now, before we go on, let's put to bed the idea that this is "singing". It is reading the lyrics to a song accompanied by music. As a reader, it's not half bad, his deep baritone resonates well. However part of the issues with all of these attempts is that poetry is one thing, music lyrics can be quite another and it's the mock seriousness of the proceedings that makes it truly enjoyable.

Before we get to the main event, let's look at some of this man's truly great work.....Who loves ya baby??

Now that we have secured Telly's claim to fame as a 70's TV icon....let's check out his softer side.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

In Praise of: Eric Burdon and the Animals

During the British invasion, the two groups that seemingly towered over all other were The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. There were many who followed in their wake during the mid-60's. One group in my opinion that never received the accolades deserving them was The Animals. Part of this might be due to the fact that the original group were only together a few years, not to mention the fact that the first charting single was, "House of the Rising Sun" which seems to be about the only thing you ever hear on the radio from them anymore.

The story of The Animals is truly a tale of two bands, the first steeped in R&B had it's heyday for a three year period (64-66), the second was more adventurous and psychedelic in nature. (67-69) Both are worth checking out, but as the latter was more experimental, the first incarnation was great quality R&B and something you need to check out, especially if you thought the Stones were the only ones doing this kind of stuff.

It was difficult to pick just three songs for the blog, because but you can't go wrong with any of their albums during the 64-66 period. I am a bit partial to Alan Price on the keyboards, but Mick Gallagher fit in well after Price's departure in 1965. The first video we are to hear is a song written by John Lee Hooker in 1961 and was released as a single in December of is "Boom Boom" (MGM 13298)

The second song was the follow up to "House of the Rising Sun" and didn't do nearly as well, but that doesn't mean the quality was any less. Here was the Sept. 1964 release of "Gonna Send You Back To Walker" (MGM 13242)
The last of our three songs this morning was the "B" side to "Help Me Girl" (MGM 13636) which was released in November of 1966. This was after the "first" Animals had broken up and technically was an Eric Burdon solo release. (on the album "Eric Is Here") is "That Ain't Where It's At"
I would be remiss to mention a couple of songs from the "second" Animals period. The first is one of the more heart wrenching songs written about the Vietnam war (or any war for that matter). There were a lot of anti war songs, and flag waving music as well during that era, most of it now all pretty laughable. "Sky Pilot" (MGM 13939) however, is a one that you have to listen to. It's experimental (especially with it's use of bagpipes), but well worth a listen. By the way, don't listen to the single...check out the full version off of the album, "The Twain Shall Meet"

The second one isn't one his best, and some might not say it's good at all, but if you were wondering the lengths that Burdon would go in his experimentations musically, check out "River Deep Mountain High" (yep...that's the Ike and Tina cover.). It's on the album "Love is" and was on the "B" side of "White Houses" (MGM 14013) here in the states. You may hate it, you may love it (with it's over 7 minute running time you might have both emotions), but it's a great period piece that would have never been done anytime except the late 60's. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday is almost gone.....

It's late here, but with Fat Tuesday going into Ash Wednesday I figured...who else but Dr. John. This was from his debut album in 1969.....

Olivia Newton-John: Have You Ever Been Mellow (1975)

On this day in 1975, Olivia Newton-John had her second #1 in the U.S. with "Have You Ever Been Mellow".

She was in the middle of a streak of 7 #1's that stretched from 1974 to 1976. She has 10 as of today. Will need to do a longer blog on her, her family history is a very interesting one. However, we just want to keep it mellow this morning....have a happy Tuesday!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Beautiful Monday...

Am not sure if this will be a regular feature, but thought Monday morning's would be a great time to keep everyone up to date on things in Omnibus land....

The stats are out for the month of February and it continues to show solid growth for all things bus. We started out the month 81st in our genre (Oldies) and 2,693rd overall. We ended at 71st in genre and 2195th overall. That is a fine increase. We also have 15 listeners who have made us a part of their presets (you download a desktop player that has presets like a car radio for easy access).

The blog has been read by people in 11 different countries and 22 states, with 9 to 10 people reading per day. That might not seem much, but it is steady growth over the last month and we appreciate each and every one of you. We also opened our book/music store on March 1st. We hope to make it a place for you to shop for the stuff about your favorite artists.

We are considering a bunch of different things for the Bus....we would like to get your input. We have already made some improvements concerning our play list and hope that you will enjoy the difference and variety. If you have not yet, please visit our facebook page, or click on the "followers" page on the blog....we know your out there, we'd like to get to know you better. OR you could just drop me a note at and let me know your listening.....

Thanks for all you do and keep rockin.....

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)

Happy 65th birthday to Matthew Fisher! (He's the second from the left)...

Keyboardist Matthew Fisher was a member of Procol Harum until 1969, but his organ at the beginning of "Whiter Shade of Pale" stands out as one of the most distinctive solos of all time. It is well worth seeking out those first three albums especially for it's melding of classical themes and breathtaking's a clip from 67....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Vault: Angel--That Magic Touch (1977)

Angel is a glam metal band based out of Washington D.C. They were discovered back in the mid-70's by Gene Simmons of KISS and signed to their label, Casablanca. The main output of the band was over a four year period (75-79) and broke up in 1981. However, they reformed in 1998 and is still active. You can find them at This song was from 1977....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just a little Saturday morning music to relax to: Barbara Streisand (1977)'s a rainy morning here in Nashville. I am home on a Saturday for the first time in months, and want to just chill and start my day with a sweet pop ballad. it turns out, today in 1977, the theme from "A Star is Born" because the #1 hit in the land.  I settle in with some coffee and a is Barbara and Kris, with the a scene from the movie. Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Rolling Stones Two-fer (1967)

On this day in 1967 "Ruby Tuesday" hit #1 on the U.S. charts....

Actually, it was the flip side that caused all of the fuss. "Let's Spend the Night Together" was actually the "A" side, but was banned in the UK. Although not banned in the US, broadcasters were a bit skiddish about playing it, so they also played the "Ruby" side.

The Stones were scheduled to play on the Ed Sullivan Show and beforehand Jagger was told to find another song. ("The songs go or you go"). They finally comprised and the words "let's spend the night together" was changed to "let's spend some time together". We don't have the actual tape for you to see, but every time Jagger sang that line, he rolled his eyes at the camera. Soon after that performance, they went to their dressing room and came out dressed in Nazi uniforms. Sullivan ordered them to get back into their stage outfits, instead they left the studio entirely. They never played on the show again.

So...we are playing both songs today...hope you all have a great Friday!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Band who formed with the help of a traffic jam: Buffalo Springfield

Just like in any aspect of life, the truth seems odder than any fiction. In the case of Buffalo Springfield, who today marks the 45th anniversary of it's forming, it was a traffic jam that helped solidify their lineup.

The story begins in 1965 when Stephen Stills met Nail Young at a club in Ontario. At the time, Stills was playing with "The Company" which was a spin off of "Au Go Go Singers". At that time Young was playing with The Squires, a group that he had been with for over two years.  The meeting must have been a positive experience for the both of them as they expressed a desire to work together.

Stills went to LA at the beginning of 66' and began to assemble a group, first by inviting Ritchie Furay who was also a former member of the "Au Go Go Singers". Young had been invited by Bruce Palmer to join the group, "The Mynah Birds" and had plans to record an album when singer Ricky James Matthews (known to music fans much later as Rick James) had been arrested by the U.S. Navy for going AWOL. With the plans now in the dump, they decided to head to LA to track down Stills.

According to legend, Stills and Furay were stuck in LA traffic when they spotted Young car headed the other way stuck in traffic as well. The story seems perfectly feasible since being stuck in LA traffic seems to be a normal occurrence, not to mention that Young's vehicle would be easy to spot since it was a black 1953 Pontiac hearse! Furay made an illegal U-turn and the two of them attempted to wave Young down. The result was them meeting again and deciding to work together as a band.

Buffalo Springfield is probably better known for the future success of it's members with other bands, but all three of the albums they recorded are worth seeking out. Our video for the day is their best known song from early 1967, "For What It's Worth" (at the Monterrey Pop Festival)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The hit isn't always the best song: 3 Songs from The Angels

Am not sure if radio programmers are responsible for this, but many times I find the best songs from an artist are the songs that are NOT hits. Am perfectly willing to admit that there might be the "I'm sick and tired of this crap", syndrome. However, in doing some research today, my theory comes back the fore.

The Angels had a half dozen hits in the early/middle 60's, with by far the most popular being, "My Boyfriend's Back" (1963).

They never had a strong follow up from a chart standpoint, but their last hit was called, "Wow Wow Wee (He's The Boy For Me)" (1964).  I found myself loving this song, and just as much fun as anything they had put out before. It reached #41 before fading out.

Three years passed without a recording, although the ladies kept busy singing background vocals on different recordings, probably the best known being, "Lighting Strikes" by Lou Christie....but for my ears...the best was yet to come.

The Angels signed with RCA in 1967 and reappeared with a more sophisticated sound. This didn't equate to any chart action, but one of the last releases just floored me and made me ask the question, "Why didn't this chart?". Here's "Boy With The Green Eyes", from 1968.....

The real life group that was the inspiration for The Partridge Family.

First of all....Happy 55th Birthday to John Cowsill.....more in him in just a moment.

The Cowsills were made up of Bill and Bob (guitars), Barry (Bass), John (drums), Susan, Paul and their mom Barbara. The group was formed in 1965 with the core of Bill, Bob and Barry, soon afterward John and then Barbara had joined by the release of  "The Cowsills" in 1967. Susan and Paul joined shortly after that.

For the rest of the 60's, the Cowsills were hitting the charts with bits of pop confection stamped with beautiful 4 and 5 part harmonies that could only be produced by siblings.
In 1969 Screen Gems approached them about doing a sitcom about themselves. Negotiations broke down however when it was decided that Barbara would be replaced by Shirley Jones. Later, David Cassidy was hired on the cast and it was renamed, "The Partridge Family" and started it's 4 year run on ABC.

Things would be pretty much over for them by 1972, although they have continued to perform on and off over the years...and that brings us back to the birthday boy.
John has made his mark in a lot of different places. He toured with Jan & Dean and the Dwight Twilley Band (as did his sister Susan). He has acted some on the soap "General Hospital", and the sitcom "Full House". He was with Tommy Tutone long enough to be heard on his huge hit, "867-5309/Jenny", and in 1993 he married Vicki Peterson of The Bangels. He is now the drummer and background vocalist for the Beach Boys touring band. Happy Birthday John!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pop Goes the Country: Lynn Anderson (1970) and Bill Anderson (1963)

Country pop in my eyes took on two different sides. First there was the pop song that was given a bit of a country treatment, we see most of them in the 70's. The other was songs that made it so big on the Country charts that it's sales were big enough to show up on the pop charts. We are looking at two different examples of that tonight.
Whisperin' Bill Anderson had a vocal delivery all his own, and used it to great success, especially in the 60's. The most popular of these was "Still" which reached #8 on the pop charts in the spring of 1963. His chart action continued unabated until the late 70's. However, he continued to write songs for others after that and won a Grammy in 2004 for "Whiskey Lullaby" and again in 2006 with "Give It Away"
Lynn Anderson was a rising star in country already when she hit #3 in late 1970. She had four more hits on the charts during the 70's, but became a superstar in country music. She still tours today and still rides horses. As late as 1999 and 2000 she was winning Equestrian tournments.

Happy Birthday Harry Belafonte!!

A quick note about the bus.....if you have not become our friend on facebook, please take the time to do so. It would help me know who's out there. I will not write to you (unless you write me first at Thanks!

The bus would like to wish Harry Belafonte a happy 84th birthday.

Solider (in WW II), singer, actor on stage and screen, author, and civil rights activist, Harry has had a long and varied career. With all of that, he is probably best known around the world for his popularizing Calypso music here in the US. Here are several cuts for your viewing pleasure....have a happy Tuesday.