Dust in the Wind – Kansas – 1978

April 19, 2017

Dust in the wind kansas 1978Starting life as an early seventies album band, by midway through the decade, Kansas were churning out the hits, including Dust in the Wind.

kansas fax

  • Kansas began life as The Reasons Why. That was back in 1969 when Lynn Meredith, Don Montre, Dan Wright and Kerry Livgren began gigging around their home town of Topeka, Kansas.
  • They changed their name to Saratoga, and began focussing on Kerry’s original material with Scott Kessler playing bass and Zeke Lowe on drums.
  • Then, in 1970, they merged with prog rock band, White Clover to become Kansas.
  • Initially, more an on album-oriented band, they hit the chards in 1976 with Carry on Wayward Son – #11 in the US and #51 in the UK (their only song to chart in the UK).
  • Kansas has produced 16 studio albums, the last in 2009. Eight of these have gone gold and three multi-platinum (Leftoverture, Point of Know Return, The Best of Kansas).
  • They also had one platinum live album (Two for the Show) and a million-selling single, Dust in the Wind.
  • Apart from a brief hiatus in 1984, the band had been together since 1973 and still tour today.

dust in the wind fax

  • Dust in the Wind was written by Kerry Livgren and recorded by his band, Kansas.
  • Dust in the Wind appeared on Kansas’ 1977 album Point of Know Return.
  • Dust in the Wind peaked at #6 on the US singles Chart in April, 1978 – it was Kansas’ only to ten hit.
  • The song sold over one million copies. Then, by 2008 had sold over one million downloads.
  • One of Kansas’ first acoustic tracks, the guitar line was originally a finger exercise for Kerry. His wife said she liked it so he wrote it into a song.
  • A parody titled Dust Up His Nose, was sung by Larry Rand in 1978.
  • Dust in the Wind lyrics.

dust in the wind – kansas – 1978 – video

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I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family – 1970

April 7, 2017

I think I love you - Partridge FamilyDebut single from debut album – straight to #1 – I Think I Love You from The Partridge Family!

the partridge family fax

  • I think we all know the story – The Partridge Family, an American musical-sitcom. A widowed mother (Shirley Jones) and her five children somehow become pop stars.
  • The show ran from September 25, 1970, until March 23, 1974, the band ran for almost exactly the same time span.
  • Apparently, the show was loosely based on The Cowsills; a real-life family band.
  • To promote the show, ABC released a series of albums and – did they play their own instruments? No.  David Cassidy sang, and Shirley Jones provided some BVs, but that was it.  No other cast member featured on any recording.
  • Of course, David Cassidy became a teen idol leading him to be signed as a solo act. David gathered his own band and toured across the USA, UK, Europe, Japan and Australia, singing his own songs and those of “his family.”
  • The Partridge Family’s biggest hit was back in 1970 – their debut single, I Think I Love You.
  • The band’s first album, The Partridge Family Album, peaked at #4 on the US album charts and sold over a million copies.
  • A number of hits followed: Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted, I’ll Meet You Halfway, I Woke Up In Love This Morning, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, etc.
  • In just four years, The Partridge Family released 89 songs on 9 albums.

Even as late as 2017, David was touring and singing the old hits. He had his battles with drink, but now battles dementia and has retired from singing.

In 1971, The Partridge Family were nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Artist category.

i think i love you fax

  • I Think I Love You was written by Tony Romeo who previously wrote a number of hits for The Cowsills.
  • In 1970, I Think I Love You was released as the debut single by The Partridge Family, featuring David Cassidy on lead vocals and Shirley Jones on BVs.
  • The song went straight to #1 on the US charts – the band’s only #1 hit. It peaked at #18 on the UK charts.
  • I Think I Love You was 1970s top selling record in the US. It sold over five million copies, outselling the Beatles’ Let It Be, and making The Partridge Family the third fictional artist to have a #1 hit (after The Chipmunks and The Archies).
  • I Think I Love You lyrics.

i think i love you – the partridge family – 1970

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Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – 1970

April 2, 2017

The Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - 1970Music by Stevie Wonder – how could you go wrong?! Smokey Robinson and the Miracles had a #1 hit in 1970 with, The Tears of a Clown.

smokey robinson and the miracles fax

  • The Miracles formed in 1955 and soon became the first successful recording act for Motown Records.
  • Well, actually, they began life as The Five Chimes, then became the Matadors, and then the Miracles.
  • And Motown wasn’t their first tilt at stardom. They auditioned for Brunswick Records but were turned down.
  • They toiled away for five years until 1960 saw them record their first hit – Shop Around, which peaked at #2 on the US Charts.
  • 26 Top 40 Pop hits followed. Sixteen reached the Top 20, seven reached Top 10, and one -The Tears of a Clown – went all the way.
  • In 1965, the band became Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. That lasted until 1972 when Smokey (and his wife Claudette Rogers) left the band.
  • With a couple of breaks, the Miracles have reformed and split again twice. 1980 – 1983, and 1993 – 2011.
  • The genius of the band is that they wrote many of their own hits. They also took on other roles within the Motown company.  In 1964, Smokey became Motown’s vice-president.
  • The band were, in 2011, named at #32 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all Time. They have a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame and were, in 2012, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The induction was surrounded in controversy because, Smokey had been inducted as a soloist in 1987, an act that even he expressed surprise about.
  • The legacy of the Miracles is huge. Stevie Wonder once said,

Without the Miracles, there would be no Stevie Wonder.

  • Barry Gordy said,

Without the Miracles, Motown would not be the Motown it is today.

the tears of a clown fax

  • The Tears of a Clown was written by Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Hank Cosby.
  • It was recorded by in 1966 by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla Records label subsidiary of Motown.
  • First appearing on the 1967 album Make It Happen, it was re-released in the UK as a single in July 1970, and went straight to #1. That prompted Motown to release the song in the US where it also went straight to the top.
  • The Tears of a Clown was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • Stevie Wonder and Hank Cosby wrote the music for the track and gave it to Smokey to see what words he could come up with. Thinking the music had a circus motif, Smokey wrote about a clown and, the rest is history.
  • Cover versions have been released by several artists including: Petula Clark, Phil Collins, Michael McDonald, Marc Cohn, and Boyzone.
  • The Tears of a Clown lyrics.

the tears of a clown – smokey robinson and the miracles – 1970 -video

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I’m Gonna Make You Mine – Lou Christie – 1969

March 22, 2017

I'm_Gonna_Make_You_Mine_-_Lou_ChristieI love this song! From late 1969, Lou Christie’s hit single, I’m Gonna Make You Mine.

lou christie fax

  • Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco grew up in Pittsburgh, USA; by the time he was 19 he had a recording contract and was smart enough to adopt a stage name = Lou Christie.
  • Lou’s career had three phases; first, his pre-army days. While still in school, Lou wrote and recorded songs.  On leaving high school, he travelled to New York and worked as a session vocalist.  A record producer heard him, liked his falsetto voice and suggested he listen to The Four Seasons song, Sherry.  Lou loved it.  He got back together with his long time song writing partner, Twyla Herbert, and wrote, The Gypsy Cried.  It was released as a single and Lou’s career was on the way – the song peaked at #24 on the US charts.
  • A couple of other hits followed, as did Lou’s being drafted into the army – he didn’t release another charting single for two and a half years.
  • Next came the post-army career phase. On being discharged from the army, Lou signed with MGM and his career was reborn.  Apparently MGM disliked his first single, Lightnin’ Strikes.  The fans loved it – on Lou’s 23rd birthday, it hit #1 on the US charts.
  • For some reason, Lou was dropped by MGM. He worked under the Columbia for a short (and unfruitful) while, before signing with Buddah Records.  His first song with Buddah, I’m Gonna Make You Mine, was a 1 hit, peaking at #7 in the US.
  • Phase three began in 1971 and has continued through to the present day. Lou continued to make music but without the success of previous years.  He continued to tour.
  • In 1997, Lou released his first album since 1971.

i’m gonna make you mine fax

  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine was written by well-known bubble gum music producer, Tony Romeo.
  • It was recorded and released by by Lou Christie in 969.
  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine spent 12 weeks on the US singles chart, peaking at #7. It reached #2 in the UK.
  • It was the title track of Lou’s fifth album, his first on Buddah Records.
  • The song was ranked No. 60 on Billboard Magazine’s Top Hot 100 songs of 1969.
  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine lyrics.

i’m gonna make you mine – lou Christie – 1969 – video

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Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Dawn featuring Tony Orlando – 1973

March 16, 2017

tieayellowribsmWho could forget this one – the #1 hit from Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1973’s Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.

tony orlando and dawn fax

  • Tony Orlando first hit the charts as a 16-year-old back in 1961 but by the time the 70s began he’d given up singing. He’d had two solo top 40 hits and one as lead singer for the studio group Wind.
  • Having retired from singing, he became a music publisher for a a division of Columbia Records. It was here that he came across the song Candida.  Tony wanted to record and release the song but couldn’t use his name because of his role with Columbia.  So, it was released on Bell Records and labelled as being performed by the band Dawn – Tony on lead vocals and the four writers of Candida singing backup.
  • The song became an almost instant success, peaking at #3 on the US singles chart.
  • That was all it took – Tony wanted to sing again. They released a follow-up single, Knock Three Times, which topped the charts.
  • Tony’s recording company wanted a band to tour and promote the records. That lead Tony to ask former Motown/Stax backing vocalists Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to join him and become Dawn – the band was known initially as Dawn featuring Tony Orlando.
  • Their third single also hit #1 – remember Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree?
  • That was followed by seven consecutive Hot 100 US hits, including the #1 US hit, He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).
  • In 1973, the band began calling themselves, Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • In 1974 (through until December 1976), when The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour ended its run, CBS gave the band a television variety show entitled Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • The band has reformed a number of times over the years, the last time being in 2015.

tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree fax

  • Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown and recorded by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando (later Tony Orlando and Dawn) in February 19, 1973.
  • The song reached #1 on both the US and UK single charts where is sat for four weeks. It was the top-selling single in 1973 in both the US and UK.
  • In 2008, Billboard ranked the song as the 37th biggest song of all time.
  • The song is sometimes said to be about a released convict returning home, hoping his girl still loves him. Composer L. Russell Brown says this is wrong:

This is “NOT” the story of a convict who had told his love to tie a ribbon book to a tree outside of town. I know because I wrote the song one morning in 15 minutes with the late lyrical genius Irwin Levine. The genesis of this idea came from the age old folk tale about a Union prisoner of war–who sent a letter to his girl that he was coming home from a confederate POW camp in Georgia…. Anything about a criminal is pure fantasy….

tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree – dawn featuring tony orlando – 1973 – video

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Stuck in the Middle with You – Stealers Wheel – 1973

March 9, 2017

Stuck in the Middle with You - Stealers Wheel - 1973I can’t believe we haven’t visited this tune before now… from the One Hit Wonder files, Stealers Wheel’s fabulous 1973 hit, Stuck in the Middle with You.

stealers wheel fax

  • Stealers Wheel was formed by school mates Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan in Scotland back in 1972.
  • Having released three albums and five singles, the band broke up in 1975. They reformed in 2008 without Gerry or Joe who had long since gone onto finer things.
  • Gerry’s musical career is well-known and includes the wonderful Baker Street (cue for saxophone solo). In 2011, Gerry died of liver failure having thrashed it over the years – his alcoholism has been widely documented.  Gerry’s first band, before Stealers Wheel, was the Humblebums which included comedian Billy Connolly.  Billy and Gerry were close friends right until Gerry’s death.
  • Stealers Wheel’s self-titled first album was released in 1972. It was produced by Leiber and Stroller and reached #50 on the US album charts.  Their hit Stuck in the Middle with You was lifted from this album.  By the time of release, Gerry had already left the band.

stuck in the middle with you fax

  • Stuck in the Middle with You was written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, recorded by their band Stealers Wheel, and released as a single on 27 April 1973. It was produced by renowned American producers, Leiber and Stroller.
  • The song peaked at #6 on the US singles chart and #8 on the UK chart. It sold over one million copies.
  • Stuck in the Middle with You is famously used in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 debut film Reservoir Dogs. Quentin once said of the song:

That was one of those things where I thought [the song] would work really well, and [during] auditions, I told the actors that I wanted them to do the torture scene, and I’m gonna use ‘Stuck in the Middle with You,’ but they could pick anything they wanted, they didn’t have to use that song. And a couple people picked another one, but almost everyone came in with ‘Stuck in the Middle with You,’ and they were saying that they tried to come up with something else, but that’s the one. The first time somebody actually did the torture scene to that song, the guy didn’t even have a great audition, but it was like watching the movie. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is gonna be awesome!’

stuck in the middle with you – stealers wheel – 1973 – video

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It’s Too Late – Carole King -1971

March 5, 2017

its-too-late-carole-king-1971What can you say about one of the greatest song writers of all time – except that one of her greatest songs (my opinion) is her 1971 hit, It’s Too Late.

carole king fax

  • It’s difficult to believe Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein) is now 75 years old – for those of us who had the good fortune of growing up in the 60s and 70s, Carole has written a fair piece of the soundtrack of our lives.
  • Carole must surely be the most successful female songwriter of our times. She’s written or co-written a staggering 118 pop hits which have made the US singles charts.  61 of her songs have made the UK charts.
  • Carole’s music career began in the very late 50s as a song writer teaming up with her then husband, Gerry Goffin.
  • In the 70s, Carole began to sing her own songs. Her first album, Writer, didn’t fare too well but her second album, Tapestry – well, it hit #1 in the US (sitting there for a massive 15 weeks and remaining in the charts for 6 years) and #4 in the UK.  It sold over ten million albums in the US alone.
  • In all Carole has given us 25 solo albums with three of them, Tapestry, Music, and Wrap Around Joy, making it to the top of the US charts.
  • In all, that equates to around 75 million albums sold worldwide.
  • Carole has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her song writing.

it’s too late fax

  • It’s Too Late is a song from Carole King’s 1971 hit album Tapestry; Toni Stern wrote the lyrics and King wrote the music.
  • Released as a single in April 1971, It’s Tool Late reached #1 on the US and Canadian singles charts and #6 on the UK charts.
  • A double A-side single, the other side of the record featured I Feel The Earth Move.
  • It’s Too Late won the Record of the Year Grammy in 1972 and is ranked at #469 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
  • A number of artists have released cover versions including: The Isley Brothers, Billy Paul, The Stylistics, and Gloria Estefan.
  • It’s Too Late lyrics.

it’s too late – carole king – 1971 – video

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