Archive for October, 2010

Hi,  Elvis recorded so many great songs during his career and everyone has their own favorite.  There is one song that stands out in my memory and that one is “IT HURTS ME” a hit for Elvis in 1964.  The song was the “B” side of his hit “KISSIN’ COUSINS” a #12 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 and the title song from his movie of the same name.  “Kissin’ Cousins” sold over 1 million copies and was one of the Kings many gold records.

The song “IT HURTS ME” was written by Joy Byers and future country music legend Charlie Daniels.  Elvis recorded the song on January 12, 1964 at RCA’s Nashville studios.  Charlie Daniels would say years later that Elvis recording his song was, “the biggest thing that had ever happened to me in my life”.  The single version made its Billboard Hot 100 debut on February 29, 1964 and though it was not his biggest hit record, I maintain, it was one of his best.  The single reached #29 and stayed in the Hot 100 for 7 weeks.  Elvis sings the blazes out of this song, he proves that given the right song, he could out sing just about anyone.

In 1968 in his “Comeback Special” Elvis sang “It Hurts Me”.  In 1995 I had a chance to talk to Charlie Daniels at the Jacob Javits center in New York City.  He was there as the national spokesman for a trivia board game that I and my partner had created.  The game was Trivia Country Style.  I asked Charlie Daniels about “It Hurts Me”, he said that it opened a lot of doors for him and because Elvis had recorded a song of his, it helped him on his way.  Charlie Daniels went on to become on the biggest stars in Country/Country Rock and is one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet.

Give a listen to this wonderful song, I’ll post a video on my Facebook Page for you.  I know you’ll enjoy a great song done by the King of Rock and Roll….Elvis Presley.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  Bill Justis was born on October 14, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama.  He was a session saxophonist/arranger and producer.  Bill grew up in Memphis, Tennessee.  After finishing college in 1954 he returned home to Memphis.  He was hired by Sam Phillips of Sun Records where he recorded music for himself and arranged music for Sun artists such as Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In November of 1957 Bill Justis charted one of the biggest instrumental hits of the 1950’s.  “RAUNCHY” on Phillips Records made its debut on November 18 and wasted very little time climbing the Billboard Top 100 chart.  Bill’s big hit just missed the top spot as it charted at #2, it also crossed over to the R&B chart and peaked at #1.  “Raunchy” was such a big hit record that it stayed on the Top 100 for 20 weeks.  “Raunchy” became the very first rock and roll instrumental hit.  It’s success was not just in the USA but it crossed the ocean to the UK where it reached #11 on the UK Singles Chart and went to #1 on the Australian charts.  The record sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”.  The “B” side, “THE MIDNITE MAN” received some air play but did not chart.

He would have one other Billboard Top 100 hit.  In March of 1958 Bill would chart, “COLLEGE MAN”, it would peak at #42.  In 1961 he would move to Nashville and become a successful record producer and arranger at Momument and Mercury Records.  In 1964 he played saxophone on the Elvis Presley soundtrack album, “KISSIN’ COUSINS”.  That year he took over as manager of the singing group, Ronny & The Daytonas.

In 1963 Bill had a #1 record in Australia, “TAMOURE”, it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100.  He also won a Grammy: Hall of Fame Award for his classic “Raunchy”.  It is amazing that in 1957 there were 2 other versions of this great song.  Ernie Freeman had a #4 hit and Billy Vaughn had a #10 hit, for a total of 3 Top 10 hits with the same song.  That’s a total of 3 Top 10 hits in the same year with the same song, WOW!!!   In July of 1982 Bill Justis passed away, he was 55 years old.  He has one of the biggest and best hits from the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi, Thanks for stopping by today.  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  “THE ROSE” by Bette Midler from the movie of the same name became a million seller in 1980 and one of the biggest records in her career, a recording career that began with her 1973 hit “DO YOU WANT TO DANCE?”.

Today’s Trivia Teaser question is:  Singer/actress Olivia Newton-John first appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971 with her hit record _ _ _ _ on the Uni Records label.  Can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Denise [Stereo]Kopie_van_Randy_and_the_Rainbows_fHi,  Randy & The Rainbows are a doo-wop group from the Queens, New York.  Members included, Dominick “Randy” Safuto-lead, his brother Frank Safuto, brothers Mike and Sal Zero and Ken Arcipowski.  The group was originally known as Jr. And The Counts.  They formed in 1962 and a year later recorded their biggest hit of all, “DENISE”.

On June 15, 1963 Randy & The Rainbows entered the Billboard Hot 100 with their timeless classic, “Denise” on the Rust Records label.  The record became a big hit nationally, charting at #18 on the R&B chart and #10 on the Hot 100.  “Denise” charted for 17 weeks and was a DJ radio favorite.  The groups follow-up single started off on a roll but soon slowed down, “WHY DO KIDS GROW UP” just broke the Hot 100 at #97.  It was their last Hot 100 hit.

They continued to perform and toured in future years with, The Spinners, Little Anthony & The Imperials, The 4 Seasons and many other top acts.  In 2001 they released a new album, “Play Ball” and appeared on the 2001 PBS special D00-Wop 51.  Turn on your favorite oldies station and your sure to hear Randy & The Rainbows singing “Denise”, this great oldie has continued to be a pop/doo-wop favorite and one of the big hits from the early 1960’s.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  She was born Rosemary Timothy Yuro on August 4, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.  Her family moved to Los Angeles, where she sang in her parents’ Italian restaurant.  Her vocal stylings put her in a few different genres, soul, R&B, pop.  The lady could flat-out sing.

She was signed to a recording contract with Liberty Records, on July 24, 1961 Timi debuted her first Billboard Hot 100 hit, her classic recording of “HURT”.  She found success as her record made its way to the top of the chart, peaking at #4.  “I APOLOGIZE”, the “B” side of “Hurt” also received air play, entering the Hot 100, it became a #72.  Not bad for your first hit, putting both sides on the national chart.  “Hurt” was such a big song that it crossed over and charted at #22 on the R&B top singles chart.

Her follow-up record charted in November of 1961 and again both sides found chart success.  “SMILE” was the “A” side, it just missed the Top 40, peaking at #42, while “SHE REALLY LOVES YOU”, charted at #93.  Timi’s next big hit record made its Hot 100 debut in July of 1962.  “WHAT’S THE MATTER BABY (Is It Hurting You)” became her second biggest hit going all the way to #12.  The single enjoyed 11 weeks on the Hot 100.  She also crossed over to the R&B chart where it became her biggest R&B hit, peaking at #16.

In 1963 Liberty Records released “MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY” an album of country and blues standards.  Timi was at her vocal peak on this album and the title song “Make The World Go Away” was released as a single record.  In July of 1963 her record was on the Hot 100, it became Timi’s third biggest hit, climbing up the chart to #24.  She would continue to record and have some success in the years that followed.  She would record for Mercury Records beginning in 1964.

Timi left the music business in 1969.  She began to sing again in the 1980’s.  Her doctor’s found that she had cancer in her throat.  Her larynx was eventually removed and in 2004 she died of cancer, at the age of 63.  Her popularity was world-wide as she performed from Las Vegas to London.  She made two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, was on American Bandstand and many other TV shows.

One of her biggest fans was Elvis Presley who had his own table at a casino where she was headlining in the late ’60s.  He would show his admiration for her by recording his own version of “Hurt” in 1976 and stay true to her fabulous recording.  Timi Yuro’s music lives on, her recordings display the passion and pure power of her remarkable voice, a voice that is part of the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll.”

Till the next time—Joe

Hi, welcome to Trivia Teaser today:  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  “IT’S TOO LATE” by Carole King was a #1 hit on both the Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart in 1971 and became one of her biggest hit records.

Today’s question is:  The fabulous Bette Midler had a million selling hit with a song from her movie of the same name in 1980.  The record became a #3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart for 5 weeks.  Can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  Carl Mann was born on August 24, 1942 in Huntingdon, Tennessee, he is a rockabilly singer and pianist.  Sun Records owner  Sam Phillips signed Carl to a three-year contract.  Soon after that Sun Records released Carl’s rockabilly version of Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa”.

Carl’s version made its Billboard Hot 100 debut on June 1, 1959 on the Phillips Records label, a subsidiary of Sun Records.  “MONA LISA” became a very popular tune in the summer of ’59.  The single peaked at #25 and enjoyed a long run on the Hot 100 of 16 weeks.  Conway Twitty heard Carl’s version, liked it and recorded his own version, his charting on July 20, 1959 on MGM Records and climbing to #29.

Carl followed with “PRETEND” another standard, and debuted on October 26, 1959.  “Pretend” remained on the Hot 100 for 7 weeks and peaked at #57.  It would be his last Hot 100 record.  He did a stint in the Army in 1964.  Carl returned as a country artist in 1974, releasing singles on ABC and Dot Records.  He toured occasionally in Europe int the 1980’s.  Carl Mann was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tennessee in 2006.  You can visit his website at .


Till the next time—Joe

Hi, Nino & The Ebb Tides were a doo-wop group from the Bronx, New York.  Members included Antonio “Nino” Aiello-lead, Tony DiBari, Tony Imbimbo and Vinnie Drago.  They were one of the first groups to sing of rock nostalgia.  They started out as the Ebb-Tides in 1956.  In 1957 they cut “FRANNY FRANNY” and “DARLING I LOVE ONLY YOU”, on Acme Records.

In 1961 on Madison Records they recorded “THOSE OLDIES BUT GOODIES” and were very successful with their recording on the Cashbox Top 100, actually doing better than the version by Little Caesar and The Romans but on the Billboard Hot 100, Nino & The Ebb Tides were nowhere to be found.

Their only Hot 100 entry came on September 4, 1961, a re-working of the Glenn Miller 1942 classic, “JUKE BOX SATURDAY NIGHT”, that featured the group doing imitations of  The Monotones, “Book Of Love” and The Silhouettes, “Get A Job”.  Their record on Madison Records became an East Coast hit as it reached #57 on the Billboard chart.  It would be the groups only Hot 100 hit.

They disbanded in 1965 and regrouped in 1971 for the big rock revival of the 1970’s.  Soon after that they disbanded again.  In the 1980’s they would get together from time to time for “live” appearances.  They remain a favorite of doo-wop fans of all ages and their music remains a special part of “The Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.


Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  Thanks for stopping by Trivia Teaser.  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  Frankie Laine had a million selling hit in 1969 with his recording of “YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN”.

Today’s Trivia Teaser question is:  In 1971 the talented singer/songwriter Carole King won a Grammy Award for “Record of the Year”.  Her classic recording became a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks and was also a #1 hit on Adult Contemporary chart for 5 weeks.  Her classic recording sold over a million copies.  Can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  In 1973 the GRAND FUNK RAILROAD changed its name to GRAND FUNK and a the same time began a string of 6 Billboard Hot 100, Top 20 hits that included 2 #1 hit records.  The Grand Funk Railroad began charting hit records and albums in 1969 with their first Hot 100 single “TIME MACHINE” a #48 hit record.  Their biggest single record before 1973 was their 1970 hit “CLOSER TO HOME (I’m Your Captain)” on Capitol Records.  It became a #22 hit.

The Grand Funk Railroad formed in Flint, Michigan.  Members included Mark Famer, Mel Schacher, Don Brewer.  Famer had been in Terry Knight and The Pack.   Schacher was a bass player in the band ? And The Mysterians.  Craig Frost was added to the band in 1973.

On July 28, 1973, the now Grand Funk made their chart debut with “WE’RE AN AMERICAN BAND” a hard-driving rock and roll song with a great beat.  The record was a huge hit climbing up the Hot 100 to #1 and remained on the Billboard chart for 17 weeks.  The record enjoyed strong sales and easily sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”.  That record would be followed-up by “WALK LIKE A MAN”, peaking at #19.  In March of 1974 their second chart topper entered the Billboard Hot 100.  A re-make of the Little Eva 1962 million seller “THE LOCO-MOTION”.  The Grand Funk’s version, in their own rock style with more metal than the original went to #1 and sold over 1 million copies, their second “Gold Record”.  Their version remained on the chart for 20 weeks.   “The Loco-Motion” was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  To their credit, the Grand Funk’s version was true to the original.  The lyrics were not changed and just the style was changed to fit the style of the Grand Funk.

They would score with 3 more Top 20 hits, “SHININ’ ON”-#11 in 1974, a great rock record, “SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL”-#3 in 1975 and “BAD TIME”-#4 also in 1976.  Grand Funk disbanded in 1976, re-formed in 1981 and disbanded again, shortly thereafter.  Mark Famer began recording Christian music in 1988.

The Grand Funk charted 19 Billboard Hot 100 hits between 1969 and 1976.  Their two #1’s, “We’re An American Band” and “The Loco-Motion”, sit at the top of their hit list and are two of the big hits of the 1970’s.

Till the next time—Joe