Monday, 29 May 2017
Wonderful Summer/Moon River/I Could Have Danced All Night/Dream Boy
Jacqueline McDonnell was born in 1941 to a military family in Hawaii (her father served in the US Navy) and raised in Nebraska. Her first public singing performances were with her two sisters in a Nebraska church - she was eight years old at the time. After the trio won a national talent search run by Horace Heidt, they moved to Los Angeles to look for work in the music industry.
At the age of 13 she was hired by television station KTLA to sing on a Your Hit Parade-like program, Bandstand Revue, in which she sang popular hits for four years as part of the house singing ensemble. After she parted ways with KTLA, she started a career of singing in demo recordings for various LA-based songwriters and session singing for several California-based record companies and producers. One result of her session work was the recording for her voice singing the "La la la" parts in Pat Boone's last million-selling single, "Speedy Gonzales", in 1962 (Elton John stated that the "hook" in his best-selling single "Crocodile Rock" was inspired by his listening to Ward's vocal on "Speedy Gonzales").
In 1963, songwriter-producer Perry Botkin, Jr. needed a session singer to make a demo recording of "Wonderful Summer", a song that he wrote with his co-writer and co-producer, Gil Garfield. Botkin may have been looking for a Lesley Gore sound-alike, and he found her in Jackie. A now-married Ward agreed to record it in Gold Star Studios. After an experiment in which Botkin sped up the recording by wrapping splicing tape around the capstan of the recorder, he and Ward agreed that the finished recording (with bird and surf sound effects added) would not be just a demo but a recording to be released as a 45 revolutions-per-minute single.
An album followed, to limited success, before a duet with Wink Martindale, another Dot artist. "Wonderful Summer" remains the only hit for Ward on the Hot 100.
In 1964 Ward released the single "Winter's Here", which reached #123 on the Billboard chart.
Session singing for television
While Ward was disappearing from the record charts, her session singing career was becoming quite lucrative. In the early to mid-1960s she was one of the stable of singers for The Red Skelton Show; at roughly the same time, she performed the same job for The Danny Kaye Show, and later, The Carol Burnett Show. In the 1970s she worked similarly for The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.
Her voice is heard in dozens of television theme songs, including Flipper; Batman; Love, American Style; Maude (with Donny Hathaway providing the lead vocal); and The Partridge Family. She has sung in hundreds of television commercials, most notably those for Rice-a-Roni ("The San Francisco treat").
The theme song was not the only recording that she did for The Partridge Family: she was one of a group of four background vocalists—herself, brothers John and Tom Bahler, and Ron Hicklin—to record all the music for television play and record releases while "posing" as the Partridge Family (only two members of the TV series—Shirley Jones and David Cassidy—recorded with them).
In the 1965 movie Beach Blanket Bingo, she sang two songs off-screen, "New Love" and "Fly Boy", which were lip-synched by Linda Evans onscreen.
After "A Wonderful Summer", she kept busy with not only television and motion picture session work, but hundreds of recordings for the music industry, including backing Barbra Streisand on "Stoney End"; broadcast recordings of Hair, Grease, Annie, and Hello Dolly; and backup singing for dozens of major recording artists, including Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Gordon Lightfoot, the Carpenters, Cass Elliot, and Joan Baez. Ward also sang alto as a member of vocal groups the Anita Kerr Singers, the Ron Hicklin Singers and the Ray Conniff Singers, having recorded several lead and solo vocals on a few of Conniff's albums. Ward sang a duet with Allan Sherman on his song Here's To the Crabgrass from his 1963 comedy album My Son The Nut
Paper Sun/Smiling Phases/Hole In My Shoe/Giving To You
Traffic were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham. The group formed in April 1967 by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason. They began as a psychedelic rock group and diversified their sound through the use of instruments such as keyboards like the Mellotron and harpsichord, sitar, and various reed instruments, and by incorporating jazz and improvisational techniques in their music. Their first three singles were "Paper Sun", "Hole in My Shoe", and "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush".
After disbanding in 1969, during which time Winwood joined Blind Faith, Traffic reunited in 1970 to release the critically acclaimed album John Barleycorn Must Die. The band's line-up varied from this point until they disbanded again in 1975. A partial reunion, with Winwood and Capaldi, took place in 1994. Traffic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
The single's B-side, "Giving to You", features an opening vocal section with lyrics sung by Winwood. The original B-side version was later released as a bonus track on a CD reissue of Mr. Fantasy. The song was later issued in a modified version (4:20) on Mr. Fantasy. The album version begins and ends with overdubbed spoken parts (probably by Chris Wood).
"Hole in My Shoe" is a song by English rock band Traffic which as a single release reached number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 22 in the German charts, in 1967 B-side is "Smiling Phases". Composed by guitarist Dave Mason, it was disliked by the other three members of the group who felt that it did not represent the band's musical or lyrical style.
The brief monologue, over the mellotron passage, is spoken by Francine Heimann, the stepdaughter of Island Records' owner Chris Blackwell.
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
Travelin' Band/Gloomy/Who'll Stop The Rain/The Working Man
"Travelin' Band" is a song written by John Fogerty and originally recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It was included on their 1970 album Cosmo's Factory. Backed with "Who'll Stop the Rain", it was one of three double sided singles from that album to reach the top five on the U.S. Pop Singles Chart and the first of two to reach the #2 spot on the American charts, alongside "Lookin' Out My Back Door". "Travelin' Band" was also a hit in the UK, reaching number eight on the UK Singles Chart.
The song was inspired, both musically and for Fogerty's vocal delivery, by 1950s rock n' roll songs, particularly those by Little Richard. In October 1972, the company that held the publishing rights to Richard’s "Good Golly, Miss Molly" felt that "Travelin' Band" bore enough similarities to warrant a plagiarism lawsuit that was later settled out of court. The lyrics of the song describe what life is like for a musician on the road. The opening line "Seven-thirty-seven coming out of the sky" refers to the Boeing 737, then coming into service on short-to-medium range routes.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, often informally abbreviated to Creedence or CCR, was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed the roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they played in a Southern rock style, with lyrics about bayous, catfish, the Mississippi River, and other popular elements of Southern United States iconography, as well as political and socially-conscious lyrics about topics including the Vietnam War. The band performed at 1969's famed Woodstock Festival.
Creedence Clearwater Revival's music is still a staple of U.S. radio airplay; the band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone. Rolling Stone ranked the band 82nd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Friday, 19 May 2017
James Bond Theme/The Hungry Eye/Rough Road/Kaw Liga
Johnny and the Hurricanes were an American instrumental rock and roll band from Toledo, Ohio, that had a number of hits, especially in the UK, in the 1950s and early 1960s.
They began as the Orbits in Toledo in 1957. Led by saxophonist Johnny Paris (born 29 August 1940 as John Matthew Pocisk, Walbridge, Ohio, died 1 May 2006, Ann Arbor, Michigan), they were school friends who played on a few recordings behind Mack Vickery, a local rockabilly singer.
They signed with Harry Balk and Irving Micahnik of Twirl Records, which led to national engagements in 1959. Johnny and the Hurricanes recorded "Crossfire" in a vacant cinema to provide echo. It became a nationwide U.S. hit, and ranked No. 23 in the U.S. chart in the summer of 1959.
They specialised in versions of old tunes with a rock and roll beat. They chose these songs because they were well recognized and easier to accept with the beat. Tunes were credited to 'King, Mack' and usually one other name: King and Mack were in fact pseudonyms for Harry Balk and Irving Micahnik, the band's managers. In 1960, they recorded the United States Army bugle call, "Reveille", as "Reveille Rock", and turned "Blue Tail Fly" into "Beatnik Fly". Both tunes made the Top 40 achieving number 15 and 25 respectively. The band also recorded "Down Yonder" for Big Top Records. In the same year, they recorded "When The Saints Go Marching In" as "Revival", but it ranked in the charts for just one week, peaking at No. 97. The record was flipped over in the UK, where "Rocking Goose" reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.
Johnny Paris and his band toured Europe occasionally until the end of 2005. He died on 1 May 2006 at the University Clinic of Ann Arbor, Michigan, of hospital-borne infections after an operation. Paris's second wife and widow, the German journalist, novelist and vocalist Sonja Verena (Reuter) Paris, took over his business (Atila Records, Sirius 1 Music and Johnny and the Hurricanes Incorporated) and the rights to his songs and trademarks. Paris claimed that over 300 musicians played in the band in its fifty-year existence.
The band inspired the song "Johnny and the Hurricanes" on the album How I Learned to Love the Bootboys, by the band the Auteurs. They were also namechecked in the Kinks' 1973 song "One of the Survivors", and in "Bridge in Time" on the 1990 Burton Cummings album Plus Signs.
Drummer Bill "Little Bo" Savich died on 4 January 2002. Bassist Lionel "Butch" Mattice died on October 16, 2006. Guitarist David Yorko died on 17 February 2017 at the age of 73.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
A Beautiful Morning/Rainy Day/My World/Silly Girl
"A Beautiful Morning" is a song written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and recorded by The Rascals. Coming out in early 1968, it was the group's first single released under that name rather than The Young Rascals. The first album on which the song appeared was Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits. It continued the theme of carefree optimism that had distinguished the previous year's "Groovin'". The song was a big hit in the United States, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and also reaching number 36 on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart. It was RIAA-certified as a Million Seller on June 28, 1968. "A Beautiful Morning" charted in Australia at #36. The song had an introductory sound of mystical wind chimes and bells.
A Beautiful Morning was used in advertisements for the drug Vioxx produced by Merck & Co., for Bounce fabric softener, and in the early 1990s for the Days Inn hotel chain. The song also featured in a Scrubs episode, at the start of a season 6 episode with Zach Braff who plays J.D. dancing to it. It was also featured at the end of a second season episode of The Greatest American Hero in which Ralph had to disarm a nuclear missile. It was also featured in the movie Kingpin immediately following the scene that shows how Roy got his rubber hand. The song was featured during the 1969 college graduation scene in The First Wives Club. The song was also used in the 1993 movie A Bronx Tale opening the racetrack scene, as well as on Arrow at the end of the eighteenth episode of the fifth season, titled "Disbanded."Renée Geyer covered the song on her album Dedicated (2007).
Saturday, 6 May 2017
Melting Pot/Our World/Good Morning Freedom/Blue Mink (Instrumental)
Roger Coulam (keyboards) formed the band in the autumn of 1969, with Madeline Bell (vocalist), Roger Cook (vocalist), Alan Parker (guitarist), Herbie Flowers (bassist), and Barry Morgan (drummer). Most of the songs were written by Cook and Roger Greenaway.
Flowers, Morgan and Parker all worked with Coulam at London's Morgan Studios. The four of them recorded several backing tracks, with which Coulam approached Bell and Greenaway, (who had been half of David and Jonathan), as vocalists. Greenaway declined, but put forward Cook (the other half of David and Jonathan).
The band's debut single "Melting Pot", written by Cook and Greenaway, was recorded with this line-up and released on 31 October 1969 on the Philips label (catalogue BF1818), with the B-side "Blue Mink" (penned by Alan Parker); it peaked at No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. An American cover version entitled "People Are Together" by soul singer Mickey Murray proved too radical for American radio and failed to get any meaningful airplay.
The members continued with their session work despite the success of the band. In March 1970, Cook, Bell, Parker and Morgan appeared on Elton John's eponymous first solo album; Elton John covered "Good Morning Freedom" (written by Albert Hammond) anonymously on the Deacon Records budget compilation album Pick Of The Pops. In April, Cook and Greenaway played briefly in Currant Kraze, and together they continued to write songs such as "You've Got Your Troubles", "I've Got You On My Mind" and "I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing". Other side projects included: involvement with Parker's band The Congregation; Herbie Flowers' contributions to Lou Reed's Transformer album; and the involvement of Flowers, Morgan and Parker in sessions with Pete Atkin in March 1971, that later appeared on his Driving Through Mythical America album.
Ray Cooper (drums) and Anne Odell (keyboards) joined the band that summer and played on the single "Stay With Me" co-written by Herbie Flowers, which charted at No. 11 in November 1972. By the time of Blue Mink's fourth album, Only When I Laugh, glam rock was supplanting the lighter pop sound of the previous few years. The associated single, "By The Devil (I Was Tempted)", written by Guy Fletcher and Doug Flett, only reached No. 26 and the Top 10 single "Randy" in June 1973 was their last success.
The band reformed in 1976 featuring Mike Moran. They recorded a few singles on the Target Records label that was owned by Cook and Greenaway. The best known of their three releases was "Where Were You Today", written by Greenaway and Dundas, previously "Come and C&A", a television and radio commercial jingle theme for the department store C&A.
Since the band's demise, each of the members maintained a presence in the world of session musicianship and songwriting. The Rimshots covered Blue Mink's "Get Up", retitled as the disco single "7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)" in 1976, and had a hit.
In 1994, Cook, Bell and Flowers were re-united for a television rendition of their hit "Melting Pot" on the Michael Barrymore show.
Friday, 5 May 2017
Glad All Over/Can't You See That She's Mine/Thinking Of You Baby/Bits And Pieces
For a very brief time in 1964, it seemed that the biggest challenger to the Beatles' phenomenon was the Dave Clark Five. From the Tottenham area of London, the quintet had the fortune to knock "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the British charts with "Glad All Over," and were championed (for about 15 minutes) by the British press as the Beatles' most serious threat. They were the first British Invasion band to break in a big way in the States after the Beatles, though the Rolling Stones and others quickly supplanted the DC5 as the Fab Four's most serious rivals.
The Dave Clark Five reached the Top 40 17 times between 1964 and 1967 with memorable hits like "Glad All Over," "Bits and Pieces," "Because," and a remake of Bobby Day's "Over and Over," as well as making more appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show than any other English act. The DC5 were distinguished from their British contemporaries by their larger-than-life production, Clark's loud stomping drum sound, and Mike Smith's leathery vocals. Though accused by detractors of lacking finesse and hipness, they had a solid ear for melodies and harmonies and wrote much of their early material, the best of which endured quite well. Interestingly, and unusually for that era, bandleader Dave Clark managed and produced the band himself, negotiating a much higher royalty rate than artists of that period usually received. After a couple years of superstardom, the group proved unable to either keep up with the changing times or maintain a high standard of original compositions, and called it quits in 1970.
All Right Now (Long Version)/My Brother Jake/Wishing Well
Free were an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song "All Right Now". They disbanded in 1973 and lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to become a frontman of the band Bad Company along with Simon Kirke on drums. Lead guitarist Paul Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler and died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 25 in 1976. Bassist Andy Fraser formed Sharks.
The band became famed for their sensational live shows and nonstop touring. However, early studio albums did not sell very well – until the release of Fire and Water which featured the massive hit "All Right Now". The song helped secure them a place at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 where they played to 600,000 people.
Rolling Stone had referred to the band as "British hard rock pioneers". The magazine ranked Rodgers No. 55 in its list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", while Kossoff was ranked No. 51 in its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Free were signed to Island Records in the UK and A&M Records in North America. Both labels became part of the PolyGram group in 1989, then Universal Music Group in 1998; UMG now controls the band's catalogue worldwide.
"All Right Now" was a #1 hit in over 20 territories and was recognised by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in 1990 for garnering 1,000,000 plus radio plays in the U.S. by late 1989. In 2006, the BMI London awards included a Million Air award for 3 million air plays of All Right Now in the USA.
According to drummer Simon Kirke, "All Right Now" was written by bassist Andy Fraser and singer Paul Rodgers in the Durham Students' Union building, Dunelm House.
One of the engineers during the recordings of "All Right Now" was Roy Thomas Baker, who would later become Queen's producer (he mixed "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Don't Stop Me Now" among others).
Thanks to Sunshine.
Saturday, 15 April 2017
The Kids Are Alright/It's Not True/ A Legal Matter/La-La-La Lies
The Who are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work.
The Who's major contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall stack, large PA systems, use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon's lead playing styles, Townshend's feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by hard rock, punk rock and mod bands, and their songs still receive regular exposure.
Thanks To Mr. Purser
David Watts/Two Sisters/Lazy Old Sun/Situation Vacant
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of the era. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat, and were briefly part of the British Invasion of the US until their touring ban in 1965. Their third single, the Ray Davies-penned "You Really Got Me", became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States. Between the mid-1960s and early 1970s, the group released a string of hit singles; studio albums drew good reviews but sold less than compilations of their singles. Their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including rhythm and blues, British music hall, folk and country. They gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies' observational writing style. Albums such as Something Else (1967), The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968), Arthur (1969), Lola Versus Powerman (1970), along with their accompanying singles, are considered among the most influential recordings of the period.
The group had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, the group had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums. Four of their albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and have gone on to sell over 50 million albums worldwide. Among numerous honours, they received the Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding Service to British Music". In 1990, the original four members of the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005.
Sunday, 9 April 2017
If I Were A Carpenter/Rainin'/The Ballad of Cat Ballou/The Sweetheart Tree
If I Were a Carpenter is an album by American singer Bobby Darin, released in 1966. It was a significant change in direction for Darin considering his previous album (In a Broadway Bag) was a collection of show tunes.
Having previously built his career recording mainstream pop music, Darin's musical output became more "folky" as the 1960s progressed. In 1966, he charted with folksinger Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter". It was Darin's return to the Top 10 after a four-year absence (the single peaked at No. 8 in the US and No. 9 in the UK in 1966). The tracks leaned heavily towards songs by Hardin and John Sebastian — seven of the songs were written by these two songwriters and Darin's next album would follow a similar process. The song "Red Balloon" had not yet been released by Hardin. It would appear on his album 1967 album Tim Hardin 2. In his Allmusic review, Richie Unterberger, stated "Hardin himself was convinced that Darin had copied his vocal style by listening to his yet-to-be-issued version and the album as a whole boasts a production similar to the orchestrated folk-rock heard on the debut album in question, though it sounds like an inferior copy." Both Darin's If I Were a Carpenter and Hardin's Tim Hardin 2 were produced by Charles Koppelman and Don Rubin and Koppelman had originally signed Sebastian's band, The Lovin' Spoonful.
The album reached number 142 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. Darin's cover of "Lovin' You" reached the Top 40. If I Were a Carpenter was reissued in 1998 on the Diablo label combined with Darin's next release, Inside Out.
Monday, 3 April 2017
Detroit City/It's Been A Change/Take Me (Just As I Am)/I Stayed Away Too Long
Soul-R&B pioneer Solomon Burke never gained the level of fame afforded to contemporaries James Brown, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, or Sam Cooke. Rather, artists such as the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, and the Blues Brothers introduced him to a wider audience through their cover versions.
The Stones’ early versions of “Cry to Me” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” especially stand out. In fact, the former appeared over 20 years later in the 1987 blockbuster Dirty Dancing, garnering renewed interest in the singer.
Born above Philadelphia’s Solomon’s Temple church, Burke was an ordained minister throughout his life as well as a mortician. He certainly led a very colorful life, as evidenced by a revealing Rolling Stone profile. Always full of life, the singer never actually slowed down even in the face of obvious weight gain and immobility, recording, touring, and often preaching from the pulpit of his Los Angeles church, the House of Prayer for All People and World Wide Center for Life and Truth (the church must have a wide sign). He passed away suddenly on Oct. 10, 2010, of natural causes after arriving in Switzerland by jet for a live performance with Dutch rock band De Dijk. Hold on Tight, a final, collaborative studio album featuring the decidedly odd couple, was ultimately released one year later.
Burke wasn’t strictly pigeon-holed as a soul music interpreter. During his early Atlantic years, the singer was usually backed by a full orchestra with a decidedly pop sound, vocally resembling Sam Cooke on his first Atlantic single in 1961, the non-charting, yet very charming “Keep the Magic Working.” Burke was a masterful interpreter of pop standards, including one of his most neglected performances, a 1969 rendition of “That Lucky Old Sun,” which idiosyncratic Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson revived almost 40 years later.
Artists such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, to producers ranging from Don Was and Willie Mitchell, all contributed songs to Burke’s 21st century discography. Burke’s penultimate album, Nothing’s Impossible, was the epitaph for producer Willie Mitchell, and it also serves as a fitting almost-finale for Burke. Listen to the opening song, “Oh What a Feeling,” cut in Memphis at Royal Studios with Mitchell’s trademark strings, organ, and rich rhythm section anchoring Burke’s longing vocals.
Sixty-eight years old when that performance was tracked, Burke’s singing had lost nothing with the passage of time. When he moans, almost preaching the lines “One night’s sleep is never enough, it feels so good, I don’t wanna wake up, oh what a feeling, I can’t help myself, I’ve just got, what a feeling I have inside for you,” you know he’s singing from plenty of hard-earned experience.
Stranger In Town/Do You Wanna Dance/Keep Searchin' (Follow The Sun)/Handy Man
One of the best and most original rockers of the early '60s, Del Shannon was also one of the least typical. Although classified at times as a teen idol, he favored brooding themes of abandonment, loss, and rejection. In some respects he looked forward to the British Invasion with his frequent use of minor chords and his ability to write most of his own material. In fact, Shannon was able to keep going strong for a year or two into the British Invasion, and never stopped trying to play original music, though his commercial prospects pretty much died after the mid-'60s.
Born Charles Westover, Shannon happened upon a gripping series of minor chords while playing with his band in Battle Creek, MI. The chords would form the basis for his 1961 debut single, "Runaway," one of the greatest hits of the early '60s, with its unforgettable riffs, Shannon's amazing vocal range (which often glided off into a powerful falsetto), and the creepy, futuristic organ solo in the middle. It made number one, and the similar follow-up, "Hats Off to Larry," also made the Top Ten.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Goodbye/Those Were The Days/Water, Paper And Clay/Knock Knock Who's There
Mary's story has been told many times over. At some point we may write a sheer unadulterated biography for this website, but for now, here are the basics, pulled from Wikipedia:
Mary Hopkin (born May 3, 1950) is a Welsh folk singer. She is best known as one of the first artists to sign to The Beatles' Apple Records label.
Alongside playing solo gigs and with her band around the local clubs, Mary released an album of Welsh language songs on a label called Cambrian who were based in her home town of Pontardawe, before signing to the Beatles' Apple Records. The model Twiggy saw her winning the British ITV television talent show Opportunity Knocks and recommended her to Paul McCartney. She became one of the first artists to record on The Beatles' Apple record label.
Mary's debut single, 'Those Were the Days', produced by Paul McCartney, was released in the UK on August 30, 1968. On 21 February 1969 her debut album, 'Postcard', also produced by McCartney, was released.
She represented the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest singing 'Knock Knock, Who's There?', coming second in the competition. If you mention Eurovision to Mary now, she pulls a disgusted face, not because she came second, but because this represents the pinnacle of the sugary sweet pop world that she hated.
Her second album, 'Earth Song, Ocean Song', was released by Apple on October 1, 1971. The record was produced by Tony Visconti and included cover versions of songs written by Cat Stevens, Gallagher and Lyle, and Ralph McTell. This is by far Mary's favourite album and she regrets being unable to promote it properly, being tied up in a summer season. Her Apple releases have now been remastered and are available on CD and downloads.
She was in a band called Sundance with Mike Hurst and Mike de Albuquerque of ELO, and then she made an album with the original band called Oasis (nothing to do with those naughty brothers) which also featured Julian Lloyd Webber and Peter Skellern. In 1989 she recorded "Spirit" with Benny Gallagher. Now being re-released on MHM.
Her daughter, Jessica Morgan, released 'Live at the Royal Festival Hall 1972' in 2005 under the label Mary Hopkin Music. When Jessica opened Space Studios later that year with her partner Christian Thomas (the other one, not the Pink Floyd record producer), Mary Hopkin Music was incorporated into the studio which now provides a haven where Mary can record. The discovery of yet more unreleased tracks recorded with Tony Visconti has led to our release of the "Archive" albums on Mary Hopkin Music. Additionally, Mary has since found a huge stash of other songs written by herself. We are working on releasing these too.
Mary lives a nomadic lifestyle, flitting about between countries. Rumour has it that she lives in a chateau in France where she can only be reached by carrier pigeon. While not strictly true, she still values her privacy.
Summer Wine/Shades/I Can't Grow Peaches On A Cherry Tree/The More I See You
"Summer Wine" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood. It was originally sung by Suzi Jane Hokom and Lee Hazlewood in 1966, but it was made famous by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood in 1967. This version was originally released as the B-side of "Sugar Town" the previous year, before featuring on the Nancy & Lee LP in 1968. It was the first of Sinatra and Hazlewood's string of popular duets.
Lyrically, "Summer Wine" describes a man, voiced by Hazlewood, who meets a woman, Sinatra, who notices his silver spurs and invites him to have wine with her. After heavy drinking, the man awakens hungover to find his spurs and money have been stolen by the mysterious woman; the subtext of which being they experienced intercourse and as payment she took his "silver spurs, a dollar and a dime". He then declares a longing for more of her "wine". One interpretation is that the man singing the song was seduced by the woman in order to steal his money and belongings. Another interpretation, sometimes cited, is that the song contains an allegorical description of drug use and that the lyric "she reassured me with an unfamiliar line" specifically refers to cocaine though that is anomalous for the apparent period setting. Thanks to Sunshine
Get it On (Bang a Gong)/Hot Love/Debora/Ride a White Swan
T. Rex were an English rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, and released four psychedelic folk albums under this name. In 1969, Bolan began to shift from the band's early acoustic sound to an electric one. The following year, he shortened their name to T. Rex. The 1970 release of the single "Ride a White Swan" marked the culmination of this development, and the group soon became a commercial success as part of the emerging glam rock scene.
From 1970 until 1973, T. Rex encountered a popularity in the UK comparable to that of the Beatles, with a run of eleven singles in the UK top ten. One of the most prominent acts in British popular culture, they scored four UK number one hits, "Hot Love", "Get It On", "Telegram Sam" and "Metal Guru". The band's 1971 album Electric Warrior received critical acclaim as a pioneering glam rock album. It reached number 1 in the UK. The 1972 follow-up, The Slider, entered the top 20 in the US. Following the release of "20th Century Boy" in 1973, which reached number three in the UK, T. Rex began to experience less commercial success but continued recording one album per year.
In 1977, Bolan died in a car accident several months after releasing their final studio album Dandy in the Underworld. Since then, T. Rex have continued to exert a vast influence on a variety of subsequent artists.
Friday, 31 March 2017
Lady Willpower/Daylight Stranger/Over You/If The Day Would Come
Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (initially credited as The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett) was an American pop rock group active in the late 1960s. Their biggest hits were "Woman, Woman"; "Over You"; "Young Girl"; and "Lady Willpower." It was formed by Gary Puckett, Gary 'Mutha' Withem, Dwight Bement, Kerry Chater, and Paul Wheatbread, who eventually named it The Union Gap. It featured costumes that were based on the Union Army uniforms worn during the American Civil War. They were noticed by Jerry Fuller, who gave them a recording contract with Columbia Records. The group eventually grew unhappy with doing material written and produced by other people, leading them to stop working with Fuller. The band eventually disbanded and Puckett went on to do both solo work and collaborations.
"Lady Willpower" is a song written by Jerry Fuller and recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap for their 1968 album, Incredible. It is sung from the point of view of a man who is frustrated that the woman he is seeing will not agree to have sex with him. He promises, if she complies, to "shower [her] heart with tenderness," but it is also implicit that the relationship will end ("It's now or never") if she does not. The song hit #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 and #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968. It also reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart during the year. The single was awarded a million-selling Gold disc from the RIAA. It ranked among Cash Box magazine's Top 100 singles of 1968, where it hit the #1 position the week ending August 3, 1968. The song was the #34 song on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles in 1968
"Over You" is a hit song written by Jerry Fuller and recorded by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap for their 1968 album, Incredible. The song reached #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It peaked at #5 in Cash Box as well as #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late 1968. This cut was the group's fourth consecutive million-selling Gold-certified single produced and written by Jerry Fuller. It received a Gold disc from the RIAA in December 1968. The song was an international success, reaching #3 in Canada, #6 in Australia, and #17 in New Zealand. It ranked #41 on the US Cashbox chart Top 100 Hits of 1968.