ROCK FACTS-9/30/10

Hello, Thank you for stopping by ROCK FACTS today.

FACT:  DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES met while students at Temple University in 1967.  They passed THE EVERLY BROTHERS as the #1 charting duo of the rock era.  They have charted 35 Billboard Hot 100 hits, 6 #1 Hot 100 hits and 16 Top 10 hits since 1974.

FACT:  Pop singer/songwriter ALBERT HAMMOND who charted a #5 hit in 1972 with “IT NEVER RAINS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA” on the Mums record label also wrote such hits as THE HOLLIES, “THE AIR THAT I BREATHE” and STARSHIP’S, “NOTHING’S GONNA STOP US NOW”.  He was also a member of the MAGIC LANTERNS in 1971.  That group had a 1968 hit record, “SHAME, SHAME” on Atlantic Records.

FACT:  RICHARD HARRIS who portrayed “King Arthur” in the long-running stage production and movie version of “Camelot and later played “Headmaster Albus Dumbledore” in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” recorded the ultimate version of the classic “MAC ARTHUR PARK” in 1968 on Dunhill Records.  His version was from his album “A TRAMP SHINNING” and was long for a single record running 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

FACT:  DALE HAWKINS, rockabilly singer/guitarist, who recorded with great lead guitarists such as, JAMES BURTON, SCOTTY MOORE and ROY BUCHANAN charts his classic version of  “SUSIE-Q” on Checker Records.  His original version enters the Billboard Top 100 on June 10, 1957 and remains on the chart for 19 weeks, peaking at #27.  He became the first white rocker to play at the Apollo Theater in New York.

FACT:  RONNIE HAWKINS, first cousin to Dale Hawkins, formed his group THE HAWKS in 1952, moved to Canada in 1958.  On August 17, 1959 he charts his classic recording of “MARY LOU” on Roulette Records.  His recording charts at #26 and is on the Hot 100 chart for 16 weeks.  Ronnie assembled the group that would later be known as “THE BAND”.

Till the next time—Joe

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THE G-CLEFS–“I UNDERSTAND (Just How You Feel)”

Hello, The G-Clefs were an R&B vocal group from Roxbury, Massachusetts.  The group consisted of four brothers, Teddy, Chris, Timmy and Arnold Scott and childhood friend Ray Gibson.  They began performing locally in the early 1950’s.

The G-Clefs two big hits came five years apart.  The first hit entered the Billboard Top 100 on July 28, 1956.  “KA-DING DONG” on Pilgrim Records was a Top 30 hit, climbing to #24 and charting at #9 on the R&B chart.  The record stayed in the Top 100 for 13 weeks.  Freddy Cannon is playing guitar on the record.  “Ka-Ding Dong” was covered by The Diamonds-#35 in 1956 and by The Hilltoppers-#38 in 1956.  Their follow-up was a rocker “CAUSE YOU’RE MINE” also on Pilgrim.  The record did well in the Boston area but did not chart nationally.

Jack Gold their producer, left Pilgrim Records to start his own label, Paris Records in late 1956.  The G-Clefs were under contract with Gold so he took them with him to his new label.  They had 2 releases on Paris Records in 1957 but failed to chart on the Top 100 with either record.  They remained very popular with several appearances at the Apollo in New York.  They were also part of Alan Freed’s Easter Show at the Brooklyn Paramount.

In 1958 they were signed to George Goldner’s, Gone Records label but nothing happened and The G-Clefs didn’t record again until 1961.  On September 18, 1961 their biggest record entered the Billboard Hot 100, “I UNDERSTAND (Just How You Feel)” on Terrace Records began its climb up the Hot 100, peaking at #9 in the USA and #17 on the UK Singles Chart.  “I Understand” had been a #6 hit in 1954 for the Four Tunes.  The G-Clefs gave the record a new sound by adding a second melody of “AULD LANG SYNE” in the background.

There would be one more Hot 100 record in March of 1962.  “A GIRL HAS TO KNOW” also on Terrace Records charted at #81 and was on the chart for just 5 weeks. The group is still out there performing today with all the original members.  Their music is still heard on oldies and doo wop radio stations all across the USA.  “I Understand (Just How You Feel)” is a classic recording that has only improved with age.  “Ka-Ding Dong” has remained a doo wop classic and is the ultimate version of the song.

Till the next time—Joe

TRIVIA TEASER-133

Hello,  The answer to yesterday’s Trivia Teaser question is:  B.J. Thomas had a #1 hit record in 1970 with his million seller “RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD”, from the movies “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid”.

Today’s question is:  Bobby Rydell has charted 30 hit single records on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Can you name his very first Hot 100 hit, (hint it entered the Hot 100 in June of 1959).  Was it:  A-VOLARE,  B-WILD ONE, C-KISSIN’ TIME or D-SWAY

Know the answer, use the comment box or check back tomorrow for the answer.

Till the next time—Joe

DID YOU KNOW–Little Joe & The Thrillers–“PEANUTS”

Hello, Little Joe & The Thrillers were an R&B vocal group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Members included, Joe Cook, Farris Hill, Richard Frazier, Donald Burnett and Harry Pascle.  The group was formed in 1956 by Joe Cook who was the lead of the gospel group, The Joe Cook Quartet.

The groups one and only Billboard Top 100 pop hit was their 1957 recording of “PEANUTS” on Okeh Records.  Cook’s piercing falsetto lead became something that many R&B and Doo-Wop groups used in their recordings from the late ’50s through the 1970’s.  “Peanuts” entered the Top 100 on September 30, 1957 and had a 15 week run on the chart on its way to a peak position of #22.  The flip side of the record was the tune “LILLY LOU”, it did not chart.

After “Peanuts”, Little Joe & The Thrillers broke up.  Little Joe continued to record up to 1966 on small labels out of Philadelphia.  In 1964 he formed the all-girl group, The Sherrys.  Two of the group members (Dinell and Delphine Cook) were his daughters.  The Sherrys recorded the 1962 hit, “POP POP POP-PIE” on Guyden Records (#35 on the Billboard Hot 100).

The 4 Seasons recorded a cover of “Peanuts” in 1963 on Vee-Jay Records, their version was good but failed to reach the Hot 100.  Rick And The Keens version on Smash Records became a #60 hit in 1961.  

Till the next time—Joe 

ROCK & ROLL CLASSICS–MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS–“DANCING IN THE STREET”

Hello,  Martha & The Vandellas were an R&B vocal group from Detroit, Michigan.  Members included Martha Reeves, Annette Beard and Rosalind Ashford.  Beard left the group in 1963 and was replaced by Betty Kelly, formerly with The Velvelettes.  The group had already charted 5 hits by 1964 on Motown’s, Gordy Records label.  Two of the hits were Top 10’s, “HEAT WAVE”-#4 in 1963 and “QUICKSAND”-#8 also in 196

 A song written by William “Mickey” Stevenson and Marvin Gaye and originally offered to Kim Weston to record but she turned it down was offered to Martha Reeves.  She listened to the demo of the song and asked if she could arrange her vocals to fit the song’s message.  She was given the OK and with new Motown songwriter Ivy Joe Hunter adding to the song, it was recorded in just two takes.  On August 22, 1964 “DANCING IN THE STREET” made its Billboard Hot 100 debut.  The record went on to become Martha & The Vandellas biggest hit, spending 14 weeks on the chart, peaking at #2 (for 2 weeks) and selling over a million copies.  The record was a big hit in the UK charting at #28 on the UK Singles chart and then it charted again in 1969 in the UK, this time at #5.

In April of 2006 it was announced that Martha & The Vandellas’ version of “Dancing In The Street” would be one of 50 sound recordings preserved by the Library of Congress to the National Recording Registry.

The group would go on to chart a total of 24 Hot 100 hits between 1963 and 1972.  There would be more Top 10’s including: “NOWHERE TO RUN”-#8 in 1965, “I’M READY FOR LOVE”-#9 in 1966 and “JIMMY MACK-#10 in 1967.  The group disbanded from 1969-71 and re-formed with a new line up of Martha and her sister Lois Reeves and Sandra Tilley in 1971.  Martha left for a solo career in 1972.

“Dancing In The Street” would become a hit for Mick Jagger and David Bowie as a duo in 1985.  Their version would chart at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would be a #1 song on the UK Singles Chart.  Their version was from the Live-Aid project for Africa.

Martha & The Vandellas version of “Dancing In The Street” is the ultimate version.  The song has been selected for a Hall of Fame, Grammy Award.  It ranks #40 on the Rolling Stone Top 500 and was selected by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the songs that helped shape rock and roll and the honors go on.  Hey!!! after all, it’s a Rock and Roll Classic.

Till the next time—Joe

TRIVIA TEASER-132

Hello,  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  TRAVELING WILBURYS was the name of the supergroup whose members included, GEORGE HARRISON, ROY ORBISON, BOB DYLAN, JEFF LYNN and TOM PETTY.

Today’s Trivia Teaser question is:  In 1969 B.J. THOMAS  charted a hit record that would become a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit in January of 1970.  The song was from the movie “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid”, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  Can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

One-Hit Wonders–The Fiestas–“SO FINE”

Hello, Thanks for stopping by One-Hit Wonders.  The Fiestas were a doo-wop group from Newark, New Jersey.  Members were Tommy Bullock-lead, Eddie Morris, Sam Ingalls, Preston Lane and George Bullock.  The group was formed in 1958 and were signed to record for Old Town Records in 1959.  Their debut single was a song written by the legendary Johnny Otis, “SO FINE”.

On April 6, 1959 “SO FINE” on Old Town Records made its Hot 100 debut.  The Fiestas hit record reached #3 on the Billboard R&B chart and #11 on the Hot 100.  The Fiestas hit remained on the Hot 100 for 16 weeks.  Many singles followed including, “LAST NIGHT I DREAMED”, “YOU COULD BE MY GIRLFRIEND”, “ANNA” and “THINK SMART”, but none of them made the Billboard Hot 100.  In August of 1962 they would chart “BROKEN HEART”, it would only climb to #81 and drop off the chart after 6 weeks.  The Fiestas did much better on the R&B chart as “Broken Heart” charted at #18.

There would be only one more pop chart entry for the group and that would come in November of 1962.  “I FEEL GOOD ALL OVER” would enter the Billboard “Bubbling Under The Hot 100” chart at #123 and remain on the chart for just 1 week.  After leaving Old Town Records, the group recorded for Strand and Vigor record labels.  The Fiestas continued to release new music into the mid 1970’s.  “So Fine” can be heard on oldies stations all over the USA, it’s a good song from the “golden age of Rock and Roll”.

Till the next time—Joe