ROCK FACTS–8/31/10

Hello,  Thank you for stopping by today.  FACT…Did you know that, RANDY BACHMAN, a member of  THE GUESS WHO, left that group in 1970 to form BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE.  The group included brothers RANDY and ROBBIE BACHMAN, C. FRED TURNER and BLAIR THORNTON.  Many radio announcers shortened their name to BTO.  The group had two HUGE classic rock hits in 1974, “TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS”-#12 and “YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET”-#1.  RANDY BACHMAN left  BTO in 1977 to form the group IRONHORSE.

FACT…Did you know that, LaVERN  BAKER was born Delores Williams on November 11, 1929 in Chicago, Illinois.  Recorded at first as LITTLE MISS SHARE CROPPER and then BEA BAKER before using LaVERN BAKER as stage name.  She is one of the most popular female vocalists of the GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL, charting 20 Billboard Top and Hot 100 hits.  Her hits, TWEEDLEE DEE in 1955, JIM DANDY in 1956 and I CRIED A TEAR in 1958 are considered rock classics.  She was inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1991.  She died in 1997 at the age of 67.

FACT…HANK BALLARD AND THE MIDNIGHTERS were originally THE ROYALS an R&B vocal group from Detroit, Michigan.  HANK BALLARD  joined the group in late 1953.  Hank’s birth name is JOHN KENDRICKS and he was born on November 18, 1927.  He became lead singer and the group’s name was changed to THE MIDNIGHTERS in 1954.  Hank recorded and wrote the original version of  THE TWIST  the world-wide hit that made CHUBBY CHECKER a big star.  Hanks version charted at #28 in 1960.  Hank Ballard and The Midnighters had 2 Top 10 hits in 1960…..FINGER POPPIN’ TIME-#7 and LET’S GO, LET’S GO, LET’S GO-#6.  They charted 13 Billboard Hot 100 hits between 1959 and 1962.  They also charted 3, #1 R&B hits…..ANNIE HAD A BABY in 1954, WORK WITH ME ANNIE also in 1954 and LET’S GO, LET’S GO, LET’S GO in 1960.  Hank died in March of 2003 at the age of 75.  Hank Ballard and The Midnighters were inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1990.

Till the next time—Joe

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Rock & Roll Classics–The Five Satins–“IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT”

Hello,  There have been so many things written about The Five Satins and their classic recording of “IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT” but I wanted to write this because “In The Still Of The Night” is truly a classic.  Not only in rock or doo-wop, but in any genre.

The group was formed in New Haven, Connecticut.  Members were, Fred Parris-lead, Al Denby, Jim Freeman, Eddie Martin and Jessie Murphy.  The Five Satins recorded “In The Still Of The Night” as the “B” side to the single “THE JONES GIRL”.  The single was originally released on the tiny local label, Standord Records.  After some local sales in the Connecticut area the record was re-issued in 1956 on the New York label, Ember Records, with “In The Still Of The Night” as the “A” side.

On September 8, 1956  The Five Satins entered the Billboard Top 100.  Their record climbed the chart, enjoying a 19 week stay on the Top 100 and peaking at #24.  Which in 1956 was rare, because most R&B hits were usually covered by white artists.  “In The Still Of The Night” was also a huge hit on the Billboard R&B chart as it climbed to #3.  The Five Satins classic hit sold well over a million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”.

Fred Parris entered the US Army when “In The Still Of The Night” was climbing the charts, he was stationed in Japan.  The group re-formed with Bill Baker as lead singer.  Parris returned in January of 1958 and replaced Baker as lead singer.

In January of 1960 “In The Still Of The Night” was reissued and entered the Billboard Hot 100 again.  On the second go round it charted at #81 and remained on the chart for 4 weeks.  There would be another reissue in January of 1961.  This time The Five Satins would just make the chart at #99.  Three separate years 1956, 1960 and 1961 that this all time classic made the Billboard chart, that is some kind of a feat.

The Five Satins continued to record and make very good records.  They would chart 4 more Hot 100 singles with the biggest being “TO THE AISLE” in 1957, it peaked at #25 and remained on the chart for 17 weeks.

“In The Still Of The Night” is listed as one of best Doo-Wop records of all time by Graibin/Schiff in their book, “The Complete Book Of Doo-Wop”.  It is one of the most famous and most requested oldies of all time.  A song does not get any “bigger” the The Five Satins classic hit.  Anyone who grew up in the late ’50s and early ’60s heard this song on the radio all the time.  It remains one of the most requested songs that I’m asked to play on the road.  Sadly Bill Baker died in 1994 at the age of 58.  Fred Parris and Jim Freeman continue to perform and carry on the legacy of The Five Satins.

“In The Still Of The Night” is listed at #90 on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs of All-time.  It was awarded a Hall of Fame, Grammy Award, and is listed at #100 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which selected the” Top 365 Songs Of The Century”.  Joel Whitburn in his ” Top Pop Singles” edition has “In The Still Of The Night” listed at #44 on “Honor Roll Of Hits, Top 100”.

Get your favorite dance partner, turn down the lights and slow dance across the floor, to one of the greatest oldies of all time, “In The Still Of The Night” sung by the original hit makers, The Five Satins.

Till the next time—Joe

TRIVIA TEASER-103

Hello,  The answer to yesterday’s Trivia Teaser question is: C-SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL-#3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

Today’s question is:  “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in what city? was it A-Detroit, Michigan…B-Memphis, Tennessee…C-New Orleans, Louisiana

Leave your answer in the comment box or check back tomorrow for the answer.

Till the next time—Joe