Hello, Steve Alaimo holds a record…having the most pop hits by an artist without a Top 40 hit…9 of his records charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Steve was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 6, 1939, his family moved to Rochester, New York when he was five years old. He attended the University of Miami as a pre-med student, and joined his cousin’s instrumental rock band The Redcoats, playing guitar and eventually taking over as the groups singer. In 1959 the group was playing a record hop and record company owner Henry Stone heard them playing. He signed the group to a record deal. They recorded I WANT YOU TO LOVE ME on Stone’s, Marlin Records. The single became a regional hit. That same year Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars came to Miami, they needed a band to back up the artists, The Redcoats became that band. In 1960 The Redcoats dis-banded and Steve Alaimo became a solo artist.
He landed his first major record label, Checker Records a part of the Chess Records label. His first charted record for Checker Records made its debut in March of 1962. The fast paced MASHED POTATOES (PART 1) became a minor hit, charting at #81. In January of 1963 his biggest hit would make its Billboard Hot 100 debut, EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY. The single would chart at #46 and remain on the Hot 100 for 10 weeks.
Steve would leave Checker Records to record for Imperial Records and then ABC-Paramount Records. Dick Clark hired Steve to be the male host and music director for his music show, “Where The Action Is”. He also became co-producer of the show that was on the air from 1965-1966. His last Billboard Hot 100 hit charted in April of 1972 on Entrance Records. AMERIKAN MUSIC a song featuring the names of great American rock and roll artists, charted at #79.
Steve Alaimo’s career was not just about making records…by the mid-1960s he was producing records for groups including, Sam & Dave and others. His production work made this period, a very successful time in his career. In 1969 he reunited with Henry Stone and produced Betty Wright’s huge hit record, CLEANUP WOMAN on Alston Records. Steve retired as a singer and worked in production and running a record company. His greatest success would be putting out the great hits of KC and The Sunshine Band on TK Records.
Steve Alaimo may have had limited success as a recording artist, but his success behind the scenes as a producer and record company executive is one of the best stories in pop music. Steve Alaimo’s recording of EVERY DAY I HAVE TO CRY is a favorite on oldies radio and Steve, his music and his fabulous career are a part of the history from the “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.
Till the next time—Joe