Friday, January 25, 2013

Georgie Fame--The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde (1968)

     The movie "Bonnie and Clyde" was released in 1967 to mixed reviews, which could be divided up between the younger generation of film critic and the old guard. Directed by Arthur Penn, the film had one of the bloodiest endings of a movie up to that time, and was panned as glorifying violence. Looking back it DID contain a lot of gratuitous blood , but it was also a very well done movie with great performances by it's stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Both received Oscar nominations as well as Estelle Parsons (who won), Gene Hackman, and  Michael J. Pollard.

    Songwriters Mitch Murray and Pete Callender saw the movie and were surprised that it deserved a hit song written about it. The soundtrack is full of bluegrass numbers and period pieces, but nothing that would have made top 40 fodder (although it DID bring the song, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" into public prominence). They looked around for a singer to pitch the song too, and CBS Records had just signed Jazz/R&B singer, Georgie Fame and was looking for some material. The writers added a bit a jazzy break to it, and Fame recorded it.
     Fame wasn't crazy about the song, but it turned out to be his first (and last) top 5 hit in the US, and continued a streak of hits in the UK.


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