Archive for November, 2010


Hi,  Welcome to another in our series of hit singles by Bobby Rydell.  On December 11, 1961 Bobby and Chubby Checker charted a duet of the Christmas classic, “JINGLE BELL ROCK”.  The single on Cameo Records climbed to #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained on the chart for 5 weeks.  Considering that this song had been a big hit for Bobby Helms, most artists would have stayed away from it, but not Bobby and not Chubby.  Their recording was very popular as it climbed up the Hot 100 in fact, it charted again in 1962, reaching the Hot 100 on December 15, 1962.

The “B” side in both 1961 and 1962 was “JINGLE BELLS IMITATIONS”.  I really like this recording.  In it Chubby Checker imitates, Elvis Presley and Fats Domino while Bobby does his imitations of Bobby Darin and Frank Fontaine.  The song concludes with their version of the Chipmunks.  It’s a great fun song one you enjoy listening to over again.

In May of 1962 Bobby and Chubby would team up again on “TEACH ME TO TWIST”.  The record would not reach the Hot 100 but would chart on the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #109.  The “B” side was “SWINGIN’ TOGETHER”. 1961 and 1962 would be big years on the Billboard charts for Bobby Rydell, we’ll look at all of his hit singles in upcoming posts.

Thanks to the Bobby Rydell fan club and my friend Linda Hoffman and to my Face Book friends the “Rydellettes”, your all so great.  It’s an honor to present the GREATEST HITS OF BOBBY RYDELL to you.  Don’t forget to let the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame know that you want Bobby inducted in the hall, where he belongs.

Till the next time—Joe

Hello,  The answer to yesterday’s Trivia Teaser question is:  Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker had a Christmas hit record in 1961 and 1962 with “JINGLE BELL ROCK” on Cameo Records.

Today’s question is:  In 1960 Jack Scott had his first hit record for his new record label, Top Rank Records.  Can you name that song?  It charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was one of his biggest all time hits.

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  Born Francis Guzzo on August 4, 1939 in Gretna, Louisiana, across the Mississippi River from New Orleans.  Frankie Ford appeared with many big name entertainers at local shows at an early age.  He was known as the “New Orleans Dynamo” and is still performing on the road.

On February 9, 1959 Frankie’s all time rock classic made its Billboard Hot 100 debut.  “SEA CRUISE” on the Ace Records label began its run on the Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 17 weeks and climbing as high as #14.  The rock and roll recording complete with bells and a ships horn was a smash.  Frankie sang his hit to a previously recorded Huey “Piano” Smith backing track.  A huge dance floor and radio favorite the single sold over 1 million copies and Frankie was awarded a “Gold Record”.  The “B” side was “ROBERTA”, a good record that received some air-play, but did not chart.

Frankie would follow-up his hit with “ALIMONY” in August of 1959.  The record only remained on the Hot 100 for 2 weeks and charted at #97.  In 1960 he would chart “TIME AFTER TIME” at #75 and then he would change record labels and record for Imperial Records.  He would have two minor hits on that label, “YOU TALK TOO MUCH” in 1960, #87 and “SEVENTEEN” in 1961 at #72.  That would be the last record to chart on the Hot 100.

Johnny Rivers would chart “Sea Cruise” in 1971 on United Artists Records.  His re-make would chart at #84.  On May 16, 2010, at the Louisiana Music Homecoming, Frankie Ford was inducted into “The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.  So, turn on your favorite oldies station and get your dancing shoes ready to go on a “Sea Cruise” with Frankie Ford, all aboard!!!

Till the next time—Joe

Hi, Welcome to Trivia Teaser.  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  “EBONY AND IVORY” was a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit and a million seller in 1982 for Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Today’s question is:  In 1961 and 1962 Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker had a hit Christmas record on the Billboard Hot 100, can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hello,  The Mello-Kings were a teen doo-wop group from Mount Vernon, New York.  Members included Bob Scholl-lead, Jerry Scholl, Eddie Quinn, Neil Arena and Larry Esposito.  They were originally known as The Mellotones but changed their name to The Mello-Kings since there was another group that recorded on Gee Records with the same name.

The groups only hit, never climbed to the top of the charts in the US, yet their one hit is still considered one of the most popular group harmony recordings of the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.  “TONITE, TONITE” made its Billboard Top 100 debut on August 19, 1957 on the legendary “Harold Records” label in New York.  The first pressings of the record list The Mellotones as the artists, that’s before the name change.  The record charted at #77 and remained on the Top 100 for 10 weeks.  The same record would be reissued in  1961 and chart again on the Hot 100 for 1 week at #95.  The group would not chart another Hot 100 hit.

The Mello-Kings appeared in revival shows in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.  Lead singer Bob Scholl was killed in a boating accident in 1975 at the age of 30.  In 1977 Jerry Scholl started The Mello-Kings up again.

Their story is even more impressive than most one-hit artists.  Their record didn’t go to the top of the chart, so why after all these years do we still hear “Tonite, Tonite” on oldies radio and why is it always listed with the top doo-wop hits of all time.  The answer is very simple, “BECAUSE THESE GUYS COULD FLAT OUT SING and BECAUSE THEIR HIT IS THAT GOOD”.  A classic from an era where great vocal groups roamed the earth.  An era we call “THE GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  The answer to yesterday’s Trivia Teaser question is:  “GREAT GOSH A’ MIGHTY!” by Little Richard in 1986 is his last Hot 100 hit to date.  It charted at #42.

Today’s question is:  Can you name the #1 hit record by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder from 1982?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hi’  The Passions were one of the best vocal groups to come from New York City in the late ’50s.  The group featured one of the best lead vocalists of the era Jimmy Gallagher.  Members included Albie Galione, Vinny Acierno and Tony Armato.  On a spring night in 1958 The Passions were formed.  They practiced very hard and were introduced to the Mystics’ manager, Jim Gribble, who signed them to a management contract.

On October 5, 1959 The Passions made their Billboard Hot 100 debut with the doo-wop classic “JUST TO BE WITH YOU”, on Audicon Records.  The single remained on the pop chart for 10 weeks and climbed to #69.  Much more than its chart position, the record became a doo-wop classic, a timeless hit and remains a standard today in the doo-wop genre.

On March 14, 1960 The Passions follow-up with “I ONLY WANT YOU” and “THIS IS MY LOVE”.  Although either side could have charted and been a hit, neither side reached the Hot 100.  “I Only Want You” did chart on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #113.  They would not chart another Hot 100 hit.

The Passions appeared on Alan Freeds first Brooklyn Fox show and hit “Big Beat” TV show.  They appeared on “American Bandstand” and were on a national package tour with Dion & The Belmonts, Isley Brothers, The Skyliners, Chubby Checker and The Mystics.  They also appeared on Clay Cole’s variety show.

The Passions continue to perform, their line up of  Albee Galione, Louis Rotundo, Lenny Trerotola and Wayne Smith sing their hits along with other great songs from the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.  Turn on your favorite oldies station and you are sure to hear The Passions with Jimmy Gallagher on the lead singing the great oldies classic “Just To Be With You”.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  Today’s hit single by Bobby Rydell is one of his all-time great hits.  On July 18, 1960 Bobby’s million seller “VOLARE” made its Billboard Hot 100 debut.  “Volare” climbed the pop chart all the way to #4 and remained on the Hot 100 for 15 weeks.  Bobby’s big hit also crossed over to the R&B chart where it reached #9 and became the last R&B hit Bobby would chart.  He also crossed the Atlantic and charted on the UK Singles Chart at #22.  Volare was an uptempo version of the original hit by Domenico Modugno from 1958.

On the “B” side of his single record was “I’D DO IT AGAIN”, in my opinion one of his best “B” sides and should have been a big hit of its own, but failed to chart.  “Volare” would be Bobby Rydell’s eithth hit record on Cameo and his 4th “Gold Record”.  “Volare” would be his second single record to chart on the UK Singles Chart, the first was “Wild One” in 1959 at #7.

Check back for more of Bobby’s single records in future posts.

Till the next time—Joe

Hi,  The answer to yesterday’s question is:  “WELL I TOLD YOU”, by The Chantels is the answer song to Ray Charles hit “HIT THE ROAD JACK”.  The Cantels hit charted at #29 in 1961.

Today’s Trivia Teaser question is:  The fabulous Little Richard charted his last Billboard Hot 100 hit in 1986 with a song from the movie “Down And Out In Beverly Hills”.  Can you name the song?

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

Till the next time—Joe

Hello,  The Flamingos an R&B group Chicago, Illinois were fairly new to the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959.  They had just had a hit with “LOVERS NEVER SAY GOODBYE” in January of ’59.  They would reach #52 on the Hot 100 chart with a song that would someday become one of their classic doo-wop hits.

On June 1, 1959 their second hit record made its Billboard Hot 100 debut.  “I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU” on End Records was a super fit for the beautiful vocal stylings of The Flamingos.  The haunting melody and music of this classic recording shot the record up the Hot 100, peaking at #11 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 13 weeks.

The song was written by Harry Warren and al Dubin in 1934 for the film “Dames” where it was introduced by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler.  The Flamingos version became one of the most popular versions of this classic song and one of their most popular.  The Flamingos version is ranked at #157 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  “I Only Have Eyes For You” would be included on the soundtrack for the 1973 movie American Graffiti.

The Flamingos hit is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it has won a Hall of Fame Grammy.  The “B” side of their hit record was “AT THE PROM”, it did not chart.  It was also released with two other “B” sides, “LOVE WALKED IN” which was released as a single in October of 1959 and charted at #88 and “GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART” which did not chart.  “I Only Have Eyes For You” is one of the classic ballads from the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.

Till the next time—Joe