DAVE “BABY” CORTEZ–“THE HAPPY ORGAN”

Hello,  Dave “Baby” Cortez was born on August 13, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan.  He is an R&B keyboardist/composer.  He played organ and sang with the vocal group The Pearls, 1955-1957 and with the Valentines from 1956-1957.  Dave made a record in 1956 using his birth name, David Cortez Clowney but did not have a solo hit record until 1959.

On March 16, 1959 Dave charted his first and biggest hit record.  THE HAPPY ORGAN on Clock Records became the first pop/rock hit to feature an electronic organ as lead instrument.  The 45RPM record was the first instrumental #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The Happy Organ remained on the Hot 100 chart for 17 weeks and was the #1 song in America for one week.  The single record was released on Clock Records, but when the album was released, which featured the single, it was released by RCA Victor by an arrangement with Clock Records.

In his recording career Dave “Baby” Cortez would chart 11 hit records.  In 1962 he would have another Top 10 hit, RINKY DINK on the Julia/Chess Record label would chart at #10 and remain on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks.  His hits continued through 1966.  Dave did a lot of session work in New York.  Dave learned to play piano, his father encouraged him to pursue a musical career.  He played piano for 10 years, then he took up the organ.

Dave “Baby” Cortez has secured his place in the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll” with his many hit records.  One of them, The Happy Organ is an instrumental rock and roll classic and can be heard on oldies radio, sounding as good today, over 50 years after it became a hit, as it did in 1959.

Till the next time—Joe 

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