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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lindsey Buckingham--Trouble (1981)

     From the early days of modern pop/rock, there have been the equivalent of the mad scientist, who loves to tinker with voices, sounds, and overall texture to produce their art. Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren just to name a few and one can put Lindsey Buckingham in that category as well.   
     Since his first solo album in 1981, (Law and Order) he has produced very listenable, melodically infectious music. Not all of it has sold well, but all of them have the mark of a pop craftsman.
     It shouldn't be surprising that he can do this work solo, since his stamp is all over post 1975 Fleetwood Mac. His superb guitar playing, vocals, producing skills, and vocals helped shape the sound of the modern Mac. Not to mention that it was his intervention which brought Stevie Nicks to the group. In the early 70's, the duo Buckingham Nicks was getting a little airplay, especially on FM stations. Mick Fleetwood would hear the song, "Frozen Love" off of that debut album and was very impressed by Buckingham's guitar work. Lindsay was asked if he would be interested in joining the group, replacing Bob Welch, but said that him and Nicks were a package deal. Mick said ok, and the two of them together would change the group, and the course of pop/rock history.

Monday, January 30, 2012

BT Express--Do It ('Till Your Satisfied) (1974)

     For those who didn't live through it, (and for many who did) the disco era began with "Saturday Night Fever". Actually SNF was the apex of the era, since the sound from the dance floor began to filter on the charts for a couple of years before what is considered "the disco era". For me, this song was one of the songs that began that move.
     BT Express (which stands for Brooklyn Trucking Express) started out as the R&B group Madison Street Express in 1972 and changed the name with the release of "Do It". It reached #2 on the charts in the fall of 1974, and continued to charts for the next two years.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Peabo Bryson--If Ever You're In My Arms Again (1984)

     It seems that during the 80's, if you were a female artist and wanted to sing a duet with someone, Peabo Bryson was your man. During the 80's and early 90's, he sang at least 15 duets. Chart entries included songs with Melissa Manchester, Roberta Flack, Regina Belle (#1 with, "A Whole New World), and Celine Dion.
     Robert Peapo Bryson (the name was changed to Peabo in 1965), began his career as a backup singer for a local group called Al Freeman & the Upsetters. Then a couple of years later joined, Mose Dillard and the Textile Display. They auditioned for a record contract at Bang Records. The general manager, Eddie Briscoe, didn't think much of the band, but liked Bryson and offered him a contract as a producer and writer, and encouraged him to work up his own material.
     Peabo stayed with Bang up until 1976 when he signed a contract with Capital Records. Prior to that, Bryson had one song on the top 100, "Do It With Feeling" under the name, Michael Zager's Moon Band (Featuring Peabo Bryson) that barely scraped the charts at #94 in 1976.
     His reign as duet companion extraordinaire began with, "Lovers After All" with Melissa Manchester in early 1981. A mix of duets and solo material kept him in the public eye for over a decade. You could also hear his voice on the theme from the soap opera, "One Life To Live" from 1987-1992.
     This song, "If Ever You're In My Arms Again" was his highest charting solo single, reaching #10 in the spring of 1984....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Brownsville Station--Smokin In The Boys Room (1973)

     Brownsville Station was another of the bands to come from the fertile Detroit rock scene of the late 60's. They had 7 songs on the top 100 over their 10 year career, but only one is thought of today. "Smokin' in the Boys Room" was written by lead singer Cub Coda and Mike Lutz and reached #3 on the charts in late 1973. A little over a decade later, Motley Crue covered the song and it became their first hit as well.
     The band broke up in 1979, but Cub Coda became a bit of a musicial renaissance man spending the next 20 years until his death in 2000 as a DJ, and music critic, writer (he co-wrote, "All Music Guide to the Blues), and his continued songwriting and singing. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jackson Browne--Doctor My Eyes (1972)

     Jackson Browne had been writing since the mid-60's. He was well known with other songwriters in and around the New York area, and then later, southern California
      Browne signed a songwriting contract with Electra Records on his 18th birthday, and five years later (1971) was rewarded with a record deal. The first album ("Jackson Browne" in 1972), caught the attention of music critics and the public, driven by the single, "Doctor My Eyes". It was his highest charting single until "Somebody's Baby" in 1982. The world weariness of his lyrics was evident from the beginning, but coming so closely after the turbulence of the 60's and early 70's, it struck a chord for so many and put into words the view of many who just wanted to shut out the previous 5 years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Polly Brown--Up In a Puff of Smoke (1975)

    Polly Brown was a white soul singer from England. This was her only release that made it on the charts here in the states....reaching #16 in late 1975/early 1976. She had hits with the groups, Pickettywitch, and Sweet Dreams, both reaching the top 10 in the UK. Brown did well all through the 70's, and continues to write and record today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peter Brown--Dance With Me (1978)

     Peter Brown had no real interest in becoming a musician. His mother was musically gifted and gave young Peter music lessons, and his dad was an electrical engineer. Both streams of the gene pool  became part of Brown's early career as, because of his father's job, became well versed in many of the early electronic devices of the day, which included a two-track recorder in which he would fiddle around with overdubbing. He would also take an interest in the early versions of the synthesizer.
     Despite all of this, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Chicago to study painting and graphic art. He loved music, never really saw it as a career. Enter Cory Wade who Peter met through mutual friends. Wade was a music producer, but was also connected to folks in the art world, and Brown was hoping to gain access to them to help his very new career. Using a 4 track recorder, Peter had experimented with different sounds using the keyboard and percussion. Wade, upon hearing those was very interested, and encouraged Brown to turn full time to music.
     Although he was never really a fan of the music, Brown began fiddling with disco since it was popular at the time, and put a band together to see what might happen. The demos that were cut were sent to Henry Stone, who was the president of TK records. Stone was so pleased with the result that he wanted to release the demos as is. Peter asked for some time in a proper studio (he was still recording with a 4 track), which he was granted to clean up some areas that Brown thought was deficient. The result was "Do You Want To Get Funky With Me?", which was a top 20 hit in 1977.
     "Dance With Me" was the second single, which reached #8 in the spring of 1978. He continued to write and record long after the disco craze waned, and is seen by many as a pioneer of "House" music. Other than his first two hits, he is best known as the composer of "Material Girl" which became a #2 hit for Madonna in 1985.  
     Brown began to develop tinnitus in his ears in the late 80's, and chose to leave music altogether. He returned to his first love of graphic arts, which he continues to do today from his home in the Rocky Mountains.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bobby Brown--My Prerogative (1988)

     It's almost been a generation ago now, but once a upon a time, Bobby Brown was at the top of the musical heap in the late 80's/early 90's. At one point, he had 10 straight top 20 hits, and was seen as a pioneer of New Jack Swing, which was a hybrid of hip hop and R&B.
     Most people under the age of 21 has only seen the decline. It wasn't that his fall couldn't be predicted either. He was voted out of the group New Edition back in 1986 because the others felt his onstage (and offstage) antics would hurt their careers. However, for a 5 year period he was by far the most successful former member of that group. As his reign on the charts began to wain, his anger (and drug) issues began to flare. Am not sure I remember meeting anyone who thought that his marriage to Whitney Houston would end up well. As it turned out, not only did his career disintegrate, but eventually her's along with it. Now Houston it attempting to pick up the pieces. Brown has not released an album since 1997, but has been touring with former New Edition mates Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill in a group called, "Heads of State" and showed up on Macy Gray's 2010 album. Here is hoping he can get his life back together....

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Crazy Word of Arthur Brown-- Fire (1968)

    They may have been influenced by him, but no doubt that artists like Alice Cooper, Kiss, Peter Gabriel, George Clinton and Marlyn Manson owe a debt to Arthur Brown.
     His band, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was made up of Vincent Crane (Keyboards), Drachen Theaker, (drums) and Nick Greenwood (bass). It was however, the onstage antics of Brown that drew the crowds. He had been kicked out of Italy for performing naked, he wore all kinds of makeup, and would wear this helmet that would lit on fire during concerts. The song, "Fire" was a #2 hit for him in the states during the fall of 1968, but in 1969 Crane and Carl Palmer (who had replaced Theaker on the drums) left to form Atomic Rooster and the Brown's band ceased to exist.
      Brown was seen in and out of music and sometimes in movies during the 70's. (He played 'The Priest' in the movie, "Tommy" in 1975). In 1980 he moved to Austin TX and received his masters degree in counseling (don't be shocked...before going into music he had studied law and philosophy at the University of London)  and has also followed his muse into painting and carpentry as well.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Brooklyn Dreams--Heaven Knows (1979)

     Bruce Sudano was wanting to go home. He was with the group Alive N' Kickin who had a hit in 1970 with the song, "Tighter, Tighter", but subsequent songs failed to chart and they were drifting apart. Bruce wanted to continue in music, but with his own group. So he went back home and formed the group, "Brooklyn Dreams" with Joe Esposito and Eddie Hokenson.
     The debut album garnered good reviews if not good sales, and someone at Casablanca records thought of putting Donna Summer with the group for an album. This spurred the sales of their second LP, along with the single, "Heaven Knows" which reached #4 in early 1979. Although initially a pop rock band, they were swept along the disco tide, and like many other artists suffered when the craze ran it's course.
      Esposito went on to record songs that found themselves on several major movie sound tracks of the 80's. Sudano found much more than a band with another hit song. The 80's found him writing for many artist, but his biggest move was marrying Donna Summer in 1980. The couple have raised two children and live outside of Nashville TN.

Johnny Bristol--Hang On In There Baby (1974)

     Johnny Bristol made his first successes as a producer for Motown. Among the many he produced hits for included, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Diana Ross & the Supremes, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. He left Motown in 1973 and briefly joined CBS/Columbia to produce, but was wanting to get back to writing and recording as he did in his very early career. CBS didn't show interest and he signed in 1974 with MGM on a recording contract.
     He reached the R&B charts about a half dozen times during the rest of the 70's, but his only top 20 song, "Hang On In There Baby" was his first release in 1974.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brighter Side of Darkness--Love Jones (1972)

    Just like with every other trend in entertainment, the success of the Jackson 5 put talent scouts and promoters on alert looking for the next R&B group with a diminutive singer. And just like most trends, the ones who come after are never quite as good. For at least one song however, the Brighter Side of Darkness found themselves on the charts. Led by 12 year old singer Darryl Lamont, the group struck gold with, "Love Jones" in late 1972. The rest of the group, who were all quite a bit older, were singing as a group in high school when promoter Anna Preston began working with them, and added Lamont to the mix. There was a followup single, but it did not chart. The group split up when three of the member were fired because of some "unprofessional" behavior in connection with an appearance on "Soul Train". New members were hired, but they never released another album.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alicia Bridges--I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round) (1978)

     Like fossils in amber, music will many times encase and freeze it's artists into a time frame. So much so sometimes, that they are defined by that certain period to the determent of their later career.  The rise and fall of disco is one of those periods. Many great songs came out of the era, but the trade off was that the artist was seen as a "disco" star, and when it went out of vogue, their career did as well.
     Alicia Bridges saw herself as a rock and blues singer. She had been singing since her days as a young child on her own show at WADA radio in Shelby, North Carolina. She co-wrote, "I Love The Nightlife" with Susan Hutcheson as a R&B number, but publisher Bill Lowery heard a disco tune in it and it was fashioned into a 12'' dance mix. His instincts were correct as the song shot up to #5 on the charts.
     A better representation of her music might be found in her follow up, "Body Heat", which while very danceable, had more of a straight ahead rock sound to it. and it scraped the bottom of the charts. Could she have had more success outside the disco era? It's hard to gauge. She might have been more successful if she had not been labeled a "disco diva"...on the other hand, "I Love The Nightlife" might have been her only shot at success. Either way, the song stands as one of the shining lights on an era, and one of it's best examples.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians--What I Am (1988)

     Edie Brickell was a student Southern Methodist University in the mid-80's, one night she went to hear a band with some guys who had gone to the same high school. Guitarist Kenny Withrow, drummer Brandon Aly, and percussionist John Bush from the group, "The New Bohemians" had all attended The Booker T. Washington Magnet School in Dallas TX with Brickell, although she was in the art department and never actually knew any of the guys while they attended.
     The group had been playing together since the early 80's as a 3 piece ska band with drummer Aly, Brad Houser on bass, and Eric Presswood on guitar. The other three joined in 1985. That night that Brickell she had been invited on stage to sing a song with the band. Am not sure of the circumstances surrounding that, but the band was impressed enough that they asked Edie if she wanted to join the band. She did that, and after releasing a debut album, they leaped up the charts in 1988 with their album, "Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars" and the first single, "What I Am".
     Brickell stayed with the band until marrying Paul Simon in 1992. They had met on the set of "Saturday Night Live" back in 1988. She took some time off to start a family, then returned with various groups including a regrouping of The New Bohemians.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Vault: Terry Bradshaw--I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (1976)

    For many years now, Terry Bradshaw is seen on FOX sports coverage of the NFL. However, in the 70's he was known as one of football's best quarterbacks with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Am not sure why he was given the opportunity, but he also recorded a couple of country singles in the mid-70's. There have been many over the years who make their living in other areas of entertainment who have attempted to record an album., most with so-so results (see Telly Savalas' blog for one of my favorites). But at least on this song, Bradshaw shows some better than average chops. Probably a couple of reasons why he didn't pursue a career in music (although he did release a Christmas album in the 90's) was the opinion among many that a proper place for a football player wasn't in the recording studio. Another, (and more likely one) was anxiety attacks that have plagued him all of his life.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Brewer and Shipley--One Toke Over the Line (1971)

     Brewer and Shipley was your average early 70's folkie duo who sang about social injustices and such...except for this song. It actually was a bit of a lark... something they threw together backstage before a gig, liked what they did and recorded it. Although they had a couple of other songs on the top 100, this was by far their biggest song.
     What is most interesting to me was how it was accepted at the time. There were some, like Vice President Sprio Agnew who condemned them personally as being detrimental to youth culture. Others, because of the use of the name "Jesus" considered it to be a spiritual song. Now....I have never inhaled (no...really....I haven't), but the vast majority of my friends growing up did, and I never remember any of them equating it to a religious experience. Anyway....I have included the two versions of this song. One is the original, and the other is from none other than the version sung on Laurence Welk! If you can't stomach listening to the entire video....I at least encourage you to fast forward to the last 15 seconds which is one of those TV moments you just can't make up.....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Boys Don't Cry--I Wanna Be A Cowboy (1986)

     Boys Don't Cry is the brainchild of lead vocalist/keyboard player Nick Richards who put together the band in the mid-80's. The music itself was easy to dance to, using humor and nostalgic references. "I Wanna Be A Cowboy" was the only song they ever charted here in the states, and probably could have only been produced in the mid/late 80's dance craze. However, it still is fun to listen to...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bread--Everything I Own (1972)

     Soft Rock for some seems an oxymoron, and perhaps it is. On the other hand, I don't think I've seen any album in more people's collection's than, "The Best of Bread". In the early 70's, Bread was the leading light of what was known as "soft rock". They didn't invent it, but along with The Carpenters, took it to a true art form. If Karen Carpenter was the queen of the genre, than David Gates was the king. Having been a producer/writer/singer since the early 60's, he had struck upon a formula that aimed for the soft hearted in all of us, and carved out a niche which brought them success . "Everything I Own" was one of my favorites, but could have put a half dozen songs here as well. For a young teenager who was painfully shy around girls, there couldn't have been better music to express the angst of a kid watching the object of his affections (there was more than one....) walk away with another guy. They're not The Beatles, but they helped me through adolescence, and for that are recipients of my gratitude.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Laura Branigan--Gloria (1982)

     Laura Branigan had been singing professionally since the early 70's. First with a group called, "Meadow" which went nowhere, then several other jobs including a stint as a backup singer for one of Leonard Cohen's European tours.
     She was signed to a solo contract in 1979, and it took a couple of years to figure out how to promote her. Her alto voice had a four octave range, and in the grand tradition of record executives, tried her out in several different areas before settling on pop.  
      Her first album consisted of dance pop with a European flair and it's first single, "All Night With Me" was chartworthy, but really didn't sell many records. The second single, "Gloria" was meeting the same fate but dance clubs were beginning to play it all of the time which it kept it around long enough for it to catch fire on the radio. It peaked at #2 which was her highest charting song (although she did have five others in the top 40), and she was nominated for a Grammy as well. It was on the charts for 36 weeks (which at the time was a record for a female performer) , due to it's inclusion on the "Flashdance" soundtrack.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Boy Meets Girl---Waiting for a Star to Fall (1988)

     Songwriters George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam met in 1975 as they both were performing at a wedding. As time went on, they became a professional and romantic couple with success coming in the mid-80's as two of their songs, "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance (With Somebody Who Loves Me" becoming huge hits for Whitney Houston.  They also wrote for Denise Williams and Bette Midler.
     They began recording as, "Boy Meets Girl" in 1985 with so-so success, but reached #5 on the charts in 1988 for a song originally intended for Houston, but when she rejected it, it was decided they would record it on their own. Another song, "Bring Down the Moon" was a middling hit in 1989. The couple has one daughter (who is in the video by the way), and although divorcing in the early 2000's, still work together as a songwriting team.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Morning Vault: Pat Boone--Love Letters in the Sand (1957)

     In the late 50's, the two most popular male artists were Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. Revisionist history want's to put all of the spotlight on Elvis and push Boone to the background, but the truth was that for all of the excitement that Elvis caused, America in the 50's was still very conservative, and many teens were as well. Boone made records that, in hindsight, were a natural progression of the early 50's pop sound, updated for younger listeners. He also appealed to many parents since he was practically asexual on record (and on screen as well), as opposed to artists such as Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis who practically oozed it.
      Many forget how young he actually was (21) when the hits started coming in 1955.  By the time he sang, "Love Letters In The Sand" hit #1, he had already been at the top of the charts three times. He would continue to be a force on the charts until 1962, and he still holds the record for having the most consecutive weeks (220) on the Billboard singles charts. Love Letters, was originally written in 1931 and was first a hit for Ted Black's Orchestra, Boone also used it in the film in which he starred, "Bernardine"


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Listen Here!! -#1 Sgt. Pepper (1967) Part 1

    I'm starting something new for the Omnibus this year. We are a people who love to make lists, and those who love music do the same. The Billboard top 40 has been a part of the landscape as long as Elvis as been shaking his hips. Since the blog and radio show deals with the music of our past, I thought it be a cool idea to write about the albums that have influenced modern music, and the albums that should have done so. There will also be a opportunity for me to stretch out a bit beyond the confines of where the Omnibus usually goes in the way of content. Hope you like it, and if you have any suggestions...I'm all ears.

      It's easy to pick this one as the first album to write about. For someone who was not familiar with music before 1990, I'd hand them this one, because much of what happened in rock music after 1967, for better or worse came because of Sgt. Pepper. Personally, it's not my favorite (that usually flips between 'Revolver' and 'Abbey Road' depending on my mood), but it is not arguable of it's influence in it's day, and in the decades since.

      There are many places where you can read the whole story of the album's conception, but the real beginning of the album came at the end of the group's last tour in 1966. Unencumbered by the rigors of touring the world, they could focus on the experimentation begun with the 'Revolver' album.

      The original concept was Paul's, that the group had become pigeon-holed and that a way they go beyond what the fans expected was to create an alter ego, which would have different names which would allow them to go in whichever direction musically they wanted to go. It seems like a bit of a silly proposition now, and the other members were not crazy about the idea per se, but all were interested in pursuing a different sound in the studio. As it turned out, other than the the opening song (and it's reprise), any of songs, as John Lennon later said, "could have been on any other album".

       The first song lays out that initial concept of Sgt. Pepper, and then leads into a song written especially for Ringo. "With a Little Help From My Friends" was sung in the character of Billy Shears, and looking back at it, was a perfect vehicle for the drummer. Starr rejected an original line in the song, "What you do if you sang out a tune/Would you stand and throw and throw tomatoes at me?" Ringo remembered a comment that George had made in the early days of Beatlemaina about liking jelly beans, and spending the rest of his touring days as a Beatle dodging the little missiles being throw at him from a distance. He begged the boys to change the lyrics....which they did....

     I remember reading about "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" for the first time. Even as a teenager it was hard for me to believe it when Lennon said it wasn't about acid. Was it really about a picture Julian drew and brought home for his dad to see? Well....sure. I don't have a doubt that the picture was the first inspiration for his song. It also wouldn't be the first time a Beatle would write a song that had layered meaning. All of that aside, it is a great song that has had a great cover as well. Lennon provided background vocals and guitar to Elton John's cover of the song in 1974. It became the only Beatle cover to reach #1 on the charts.

Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart: I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight (1967)

     Tommy Boyce got his break as a songwriter when he composed, "Be My Guest" for Fats Domino in 1959, which is the same year he met Bobby Hart. Beginning in 1964, they began writing a string of hits for Chubby Checker ("Lazy Elsie Molly"), Jay & the Americans ("Come a Little Closer"), and Paul Revere and the Raiders ("(I"m Not Your) Stepping Stone"). If you remember the soap opera, "Days of our Lives", they wrote that too.
     They were known (as songwriters) mainly for their work with The Monkees. They wrote the theme song for the TV show, and one of their best singles, "Last Train to Clarksville". It was this success that convinced them to record under their own names. The first charting single was, "Out & About" in the summer of 1967, but it was, "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" that broke them through as singers, as it reached #8 latter that year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Box Tops--The Letter (1967)

     The Box Tops had 7 top 40 singles in just a little over two years, and three of them made the top 20. However, for most listeners, the song that mattered was the first hit. Written by Wayne Thompson, it was the first time the Box Tops had been in a studio before. It was also producer Dan Penn's first song that he total production control over. It was led by the voice of 16 year old Alex Chilton, who's bad experiences with management, lawyers and promoters  throughout this period effected his entire career. In spite of all of this, the group had a series of great singles that defined blue eyed soul.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

David Bowie--Fame (1975)

     Madonna has been lauded for her ability to reinvent herself and her character, and rightly so. She used the video age to position herself in a way no woman has done before or since, and that very few artists have been able to do and I have always been a fan. Having said that, her music is still for the dance floor and has matured over the years, but a decade before "Like a Virgin", David Bowie was redefining himself musically EACH ALBUM.
      With each release in the 70's, Bowie was not only changing who he was, but the music changed along with it. From Aladden Sane to Ziggy Stardust, through the pop and soul of "Diamond Dogs" and "Young Americans", the thin white Duke morphing into his (in my opinion) most interesting years as a minimalist. Bowie never let anyone pigeonhole him into any one style. For the now strong underground FM movement, he became a superstar and early 70's rock hero. For top 40, he was maddeningly hard to slot, which is why many of his songs that are considered "hits" were either not released stateside, or never made the charts.
     "Fame" was born from a day spent with John Lennon. Bowie had met the star in New York, and after a long conversation which included the pros and cons of being stars, they went to a studio and jammed a bit. David, who was in a row with his management, poured his anger and resentment into a song developed from the earlier chat with Lennon.
     It was the only top 10 single he had in the US during the 70's reaching #1 in the spring of 1975. He was to go on to have much bigger chart success in the early 80s...


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Boston--More Than a Feeling (1976)

     I'll never forget the first time I heard Boston's, "More Than a Feeling" on a good stereo. A friend's house, shooting some pool and drinking beer, listening to albums. My ears immediately picked up on the sonic difference between this and other albums. It was crisper.....cleaner. Then the wall of sound washed over me like a warm musical bath. I was hooked, at least for that album. Their first solo album was one of my first purchases in my own collection.
     Tom Scholz started making music while a student at MIT in 1969. He joined a band in 1970 along with two of the guys would help make up Boston's debut album, Barry Goudreau and Brad Delp. Much of their signature sound was in place several years before finally being picked up by Epic Records. Scholz's perfectionism (and Delp's voice) helped that album shoot out of the gate as did it's subsequent release, "Don't Look Back".


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Debby Boone---You Light Up My Life (1977)

     Mike Curb was trying to convince her to try a solo recording career. The group "The Boones" containing her famous dad, mom and other three sisters had done well on the Billboard AC charts over the past several years. With the youngest sister in college, and the older two getting married, it left Debby with an opportunity to try a solo career.
     The first single given to her was a song written by Joe Brooks and originally recorded by Kasey Cisyk for the movie, "You Light Up My Life" starring Didi Conn. Boone's version was not on the soundtrack or on the movie, but it shot like a rocket to #1 and stayed there for 10 weeks. It was the only hit Boone had on the pop charts, but she has had success in the early 80's on the country chart with a #1 there, and was  a mainstay in the Contemporary Christian music scene throughout the 80's.
      Boone continues to record now and then, having released a tribute album to her mother-in-law, Rosemary Clooney in 2005, and has published several children's books.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Daniel Boone--Beautiful Sunday (1972)

     Since the dawn of the modern pop/rock era, there have been many "one hit wonders". I suppose since the years that molded my musical tastes were in the early 70's, several of the "OHW's" have found a soft place in my heart, no matter if I really liked the song or not. "Beautiful Sunday" is one that has always put a smile on my face. One reason perhaps is that it brings certain memories of my Jr. High years back to life, the other is that it is just a sunny, optimistic song. 
     It's singer, born Peter Green, then taking the stage name of Peter Lee Stirling had been around since the late 50's with The Bruisers, then as a solo artist. His first UK hit under his own name was, "Daddy, Don't You Walk so Fast" which later became a hit here in the states by Wayne Newton. The next year, Beautiful Sunday" was released and did well at home, but did even better on the US charts, reaching #15.
     The song took a life of it's own all over the world, and still remains the highest selling single by an international artist in Japan. The last time it was seen on the charts was in Russia in 1996 as it was covered by  Чиж и Ко.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Morning Vault: Gary "U.S." Bonds--Quarter to Three (1961)

     Gary Anderson had his name changed early in his career to "U.S. Bonds" to somewhat confused people in associating it with some public service announcements regarding government issued bonds. That was altered a bit when people started thinking that it was a group rather than an individual singer, so it was changed again to Gary "U.S." Bonds.
     His first hit was "New Orleans" in late 1960, but hit No. 1 with, "Quarter to Three". Despite 5 top 10 hits in those pre-Beatle years, this was the song that secured his fame in rock forever. He had a bit of a resurgence in the middle 80's with the help of Bruce Springsteen who was a big fan;.
     He still continues to tour and make records. His latest was 2009's, "Let Them Talk"