Saturday, 29 December 2007

The Temptations - My Girl

The recorded version of "My Girl" was the first Temptations single to feature David Ruffin on lead vocals. Previously, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams had performed most of the group's lead vocals, and Ruffin had joined the group as a replacement for former Temptation Elbridge "Al" Bryant. While on tour as part of the Motortown Revue, a collective tour for most of the Motown roster, Smokey Robinson caught the Temptations' part of the show. The group had included a medley of soul standards in the show, one of which, The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk", was a solo spot for Ruffin. Impressed, Robinson decided to produce a single with Ruffin singing lead. After some persuasion from Ruffin's bandmates, Robinson had the Temptations record "My Girl" instead of The Miracles, and recruited Ruffin to sing the lead vocals.
"My Girl" climbed to the top of the U.S. pop charts after its Christmastime 1964 release, making it the Temptations' first number-one hit.

More about the Temptations here

Friday, 7 December 2007

The Platters - Smoke gets in your eyes

From way back in the days when it was cool to smoke.

The Platters were a successful vocal group of the early rock and roll era. Their distinctive sound was a bridge between the pre-rock Tin Pan Alley tradition, and the burgeoning new genre. The act went through many personnel changes, with the most successful incarnation comprising lead tenor Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Herb Reed, and Zola Taylor.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich

Great to hear these guys are still gigging.
This was a big hit for them - reaching the Number One spot in 1968 - The Legend of Xanadu

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Sealed with a Kiss - Brian Hyland

I'll bet this one, which reached Number 3 in 1962, brings back a few memories.

Brian Hyland is a cousin (by marriage) of the late Louis Feinberg, aka "Larry Fine" of the Three Stooges.

Bet you never knew that!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Hollies - I'm alive

The Hollies were, and are, undoubtedly, one of the most accomplished groups of the Sixties.

In Britain they were regarded by many as "the third group" after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Sales and fan polls bore this out.

They are commonly associated with Manchester, as several original Hollies came from the city and its outlying communities.

They were also very big in Sweden throughout the '60s racking up numerous number ones.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Faron's Flamingos - Do you Love Me

My favourite version of this track sung by a guy who never enjoyed the fame he deserved purely as a result of "not being in the right place at the right time"

Faron's Flamingos were one of the most popular groups in Merseyside and had the potential to become major stars. A highlight of their show was their version of the Contours ‘Do You Love Me?’, they rearranged the vocal version into an exciting rock ‘n’ roll number and recorded it on the Oriole label, it was regarded as stunning debut record, a possible chart topper. Oriole, being a small recording label without the funds to promote the record, relied on Leeds Music to plug the group on radio. Leeds Music would only do this if ‘See If She Cares’ (a Leeds Music publication!!) was issued as the ‘A’ side, a decision which probably robbed them of potential fame.

Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, who where touring with them, had heard Faron’s Flamingos perform the song on stage and released their version of the song which went to number 1 in the charts and established them as a top group. The Dave Clark Five also had a hit with the same song. So that was two versions in the top 10, at the same time, with virtually the same arrangement as Faron’s Flamingos - what a bummer.

Disillusioned, the group broke up in November 1963, Faron and Paddy joined The Big Three, Nick joined The Mojos and Trevor joined The Peddlers.

This clip is part of a documentary on the Cavern and the presenter is for real - honest.

Eddie Cochran - Teenage Heaven

Way back to 1959 for this one ....

Friday, 16 November 2007

Take me for what I'm Worth - Searchers

Early version of one of my all-time favourite groups singing one of my all-time favourite songs ...... recorded long before they signed our guestbook.

Still more or less continuously on tour .... I saw them again last year and they were still fantastic.

They are appearing at the Gala Durham on the 27 November 2007

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Happy Birthday Booker T Jones

Booker T. Jones is a legendary performer, producer and songwriter perhaps best known for the million-selling instrumental "Green Onions," recorded by Booker T. and the MGs. His career highlights, however, also include recording with everyone from Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett to Bob Dylan, Boz Scaggs and Barbra Streisand.Booker produced Willie Nelson's multi-platinum Stardust album and Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine, as well as co-writing the classic hit "Born Under a Bad Sign." He's also performed live with Neil Young, Eric Clapton and George Harrison to name only a few. Booker currently records and performs with his own band, showcasing his impressive vocals and new original songs along with the tracks that make up what Booker calls the "soundtrack of his life"--the songs that have had the greatest impact on him and many of the rest of us.

Happy Birthday Booker T - and thanks for the music.

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Chants from Liverpool ....

..... singing "I could write a book"

I remember appearing with the Chants many years ago at Haltwhistle Club - they were an excellent male vocal-harmony act backed at various times by several Merseyside groups (including reputedly The Beatles). They made quite an impact as the first local group to sing songs by black acts like the Drifters and the Coasters in the way they were meant to be sung.

The Chants were championed by Merseyside MP, Bessie Braddock after their first single, I Don't Care, came to her attention. Her interest was primarily because they were a black group from a depressed area of Liverpool.

The band broke up, but Joey and Edmund Ankrah later had success on ITV's New Faces as part of Ashanti. Eddie Amoo went on to have chart success as part of the Liverpool soul group, The Real Thing.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Look at Life - guitar making

This seems to be taken from one of those "Look at Life" shorts which were shown at the Cinema in the days when you got two films, the Movietone News, a load of adverts and maybe even a cartoon for your money.

Now you have to get a bank loan just to get in, then all you get is one film full of unadulterated sex and bad language ..... and I don't like the bad language.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Little Miss Dynamite

Brenda Lee (born December 11, 1944) is an American pop singer, who was immensely popular during the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1960s she had more charted hits than any other woman, and only three male singers/groups (Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and The Beatles) outpaced her. She was one of the earliest pop stars to have a major contemporary international following.
She was given the nickname Little Miss Dynamite after recording
Dynamite in 1957; the explosive strength of the sound pouring out of her small frame amazed audiences and promoters. Her general popularity faded as her voice suffered damage and matured in the late 1960s, but she successfully continued her recording career by returning to her roots as a country singer. She was able to chart in Billboard's CW top ten twice in 1980.
She enjoys one distinction unique among successful American singers: her opening act on a UK tour in 1960 was a struggling foursome from
Liverpool, England - The Beatles.

Wonder what happened to them?

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Saturday Nite at the Duckpond - Cougars 1963

Another classic instrumental by one-hit wonders The Cougars.

I wonder where they are now?

Monday, 29 October 2007

Please Stay - The Cryin' Shames 1966

This record was Joe Meek's last chart hit before his demise.

Lyrics by Burt Bacharach, it was also released by the Bay City Rollers and the Drifters amongst others but this, to me, is the definitive version.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

My Babe ......

....... performed by Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury & Joe Brown - Together!!

Stand by Me - Ben E King

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, NC, in 1938, and sang with his church choir before the family moved to Harlem in 1947. In junior high, he began performing with a street corner doo wop group called the Four B's, which won second place in an Apollo Theater talent contest. While still in high school, he was offered a chance to join the Moonglows, but was simply too young and inexperienced to stick. He subsequently worked at his father's restaurant as a singing waiter, which led to an invitation to become the baritone singer in a doo wop outfit called the Five Crowns in 1958. The Five Crowns performed several gigs at the Apollo Theater along with the Drifters, whose career had begun to flounder in the years since original lead singer Clyde McPhatter departed. Drifters manager George Treadwell, dissatisfied with the group members' unreliability and lack of success, fired them all in the summer of 1958 and hired the Five Crowns to assume the name of the Drifters (which he owned).

The new Drifters toured for about a year, playing to often hostile audiences who knew they were a completely different group. In early 1959, they went into the studio with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to cut their first records. A song Nelson (still performing under his given name) co-wrote called "There Goes My Baby" became his first lead vocal and the lush backing arrangement made highly unorthodox (in fact, virtually unheard-of) use of a string section. "There Goes My Baby" became a massive hit, laying the groundwork for virtually every smooth/uptown soul production that followed. Over the next two years, Nelson sang lead on several other Drifters classics, including "Dance With Me," "This Magic Moment," "Save the Last Dance for Me," and "I Count the Tears."

Friday, 26 October 2007

Shout - Lulu - Ready Steady Go 1965

Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, OBE - the first British female singer to appear behind the iron Curtain.

She toured Poland with the Hollies in 1966.

The original version of Rock around the Clock ....

.... by Sonnie Dae and the Knights

You can't go much further back than this!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Love Potion No9 - Tygers of Pan Tang

Although the group are not Sixties - the song certainly is - and they started life in Whitley Bay UK which is our part of the world.

Gene Vincent Eddie Cochran

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Beatles - Royal Variety Show 1963

Anyone remember this classic clip from the 1963 Royal Variety Show when John tells the people in the cheap seats to clap and the rich folks to rattle their jewellery?

It is also notable for the fact that you could actually hear them sing - From Me to You - which in itself was a rare occasion at a live concert.

Sounds Incorporated - William Tell Overture

Cracking clip of one of my favourite groups of the Sixties, playing their hit version of the William Tell Overture.
Alan Holmes (Boots)

David Glyde (Griff West)

John Gillard (John St.John)

Barrie Cameron (Baz Elmes)

Dick Thomas (Wes Hunter)

Richard Anthony Newman (Tony Newman)

'Sounds Incorporated's own UK success with singles was very modest in comparison to their reputation as live musicians, but they managed two minor hits while still with Epstein. Through this association they soon found themselves backing Epstein's stars and can even be heard on the Beatles track 'Good Morning, Good Morning' from the 'Sergeant Pepper' album. They also opened the Beatles legendary show at New York's Shea Stadium.

Their greatest success was actually in Australia where their 'William Tell' went all the way to the #1 spot- despite passing almost unnoticed at home! However, as the 1960s progressed the group began to disintegrate. First off, Tony Newman joined Jeff Beck's group and later went on to work with David Bowie. He was followed by Barrie Cameron who wanted a career in A&R. The rest of the group soldiered on, mainly playing in Australia, until 1971 when they finally broke up to each pursue new musical careers.

The Shadows - FBI (1961)

Another fabulous Shadows clip from 1961 with their original line-up.

This time it was a TV appearance on Children's TV programme Crackerjack

Les Paul and Mary Ford - Multitracking 1953

Rare footage of the multi-tracking maestro from 1953

Rolling Stones - Shindig (1965)

Rory Storm and the Hurricanes

Rare footage of the group Ringo left to join the Beatles

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Cliff and the Shadows - Move It

This looks (and sounds) like a very early version - possibly 1960

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Crazy Rockers - The Carioca (1963)

There were quite a few very good Dutch Indo-rock bands out there in the Sixties.
This is one of them - the Crazy Rockers - recorded in 1963

They were a rock & roll group from The Hague featuring members of Indonesian and Surinamese origin. This group existed from 1961 'til 1966; mostly touring in Germany. Members: Harry Berg (first dr, later g, ex-Real Room Rockers, to Dick Scott & Barons), Eddie Chatelin (v, g, ex-Real Room Rockers), Woody Brunings (v, g, to Residents), Pim Veeren (b, ex-René & Alligators, to Residents) and Sidney Rampersadt (first v, later dr, ex-Black Dynamites). By the end of 1965, Sidney was replaced by Boy Brostowski (dr, ex-Danny & Favourites, to Dick Scott & Barons) and the group was also expanded with keyboardplayer Jack van Rossum (to Dick Scott & Barons). In 1964, Eddie made a few singles with his own group Eddy & Crazy Jets Show.

Shocking Blue - Venus (live)

Spotniks Theme

Jumping Jewels - Can Can 64

Dusty - I only want to be with you

Cliff Richard - Bachelor Boy