Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell – 1975

May 21, 2017

Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell 1975It’s difficult to believe Glen Campbell is now 81 years old! And there is also his well-publiscised battle with Alzheimers.  I hope, in some way, he appreciates how much those who love 70s music value the contribution he made to our musical lives throughout the 60s, 70s and beyond.

glen campbell fax

  • Born in Arkansas in 1936, Glen was the seventh son of 12 children.
  • Glen started playing guitar in his teens, taught by his uncle whose band he joined in 1954.
  • By 1958, Glen had formed his own band, the Western Wranglers before moving to Los Angeles in 1960 to become a session musician, songwriter and recorder of demos. He was a part of a group of musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.  The Wrecking Crew would back him on a number of recordings throughout his career.
  • As a backing musician, Glen played on recordings by Campbell played on recordings by many of the eras great artists, including, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Phil Spector.
  • In 1961, Glen was signed to Crest Records he signed to Capitol Records a year later) and began his solo career.
  • Throughout the 60s and 70s, Glen had a string of hit songs and, for three years, hosted his own music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
  • During his 50 years in show business, Glen released over 70 albums and sold over 45 million records. 12 of those albums achieved gold record status, with four becoming platinum albums and one double-platinum album.
  • He has had over 80 singles hit the charts, 29 top 10’s and nine #1s, including, Gentle on My Mind; By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights.
  • In 1967, Glen won four Grammys total in the country and pop categories – two for Gentle on My Mind in the country and western category and two for By the Time I Get to Phoenix in the pop category.
  • In 2012, Glen was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • Glen has appeared in 11 movies, including playing alongside John Wayne in the classic, True Grit.
  • In June 2011, Glen announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six months earlier. He embarked on a “Goodbye Tour,” with three of his children joining him in his backup band.  His final show was on November 30, 2012, in Napa, California and he performed Rhinestone Cowboy as a goodbye at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12, 2012, his final televised on-stage performance.  Since April 2014, he has been a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility where, he is reported to be unable to communicate with people and understand what people say.  His family have stated, Glen is receiving good care and is “happy” and “cheerful.”

glen campbell trivia

  • From December 1964 to early March 1965, Glen was a touring member of The Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson. He also played guitar on the band’s Pet Sounds (1966) album, among other Beach Boys recordings. On tour, he played bass guitar and sang falsetto harmonies.

rhinestone cowboy fax

  • Rhinestone Cowboy was written by Larry Weiss and recorded on his 1974 album Black and White.
  • In late 1974, Campbell heard Rhinestone Cowboy on the radio. He was touring Australia and decided to learn the song. On returning to the US, he was talking to a record company exec. who told him about a great song he should record… the song was Rhinestone Cowboy.
  • Glen recorded the song in March 1975 with The Wrecking Crew. It was released on May 26, 1975.
  • Rhinestone Cowboy hit #1 on the US singles chart and #4 on the UK singles chart. Interestingly, it was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the US singles chart and the US Country singles chart. The others being: Before the Next Teardrop Falls by Freddy Fender, (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song by BJ Thomas Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry/Calypso, both by John Denver, and Convoy by C. W. McCall.
  • In 2013, Glen recorded a new version of Rhinestone Cowboy for his final studio album, See You There.
  • Rhinestone Cowboy served as the basis for the 1984 movie Rhinestone, starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton.
  • Amongst artists to cover Rhinestone Cowboy are, Slim Whitman, Guns N’ Roses and Tony Clifton (aka Andy Kaufman).
  • Rhinestone Cowboy lyrics.

rhinestone cowboy – glen campbell – 1975 – video

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Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – 1976

May 18, 2017

manfred-manns-earth-band-blinded-by-the-light-cover 1976From a track on Bruce Springsteen’s 1973 debut album, to a 1976 #1 hit for English Band, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Blinded by the Light must be one of the great tracks of the 70s.

manfred mann’s earth band fax

  • Manfred Mann is 76 years old now – born in South Africa, he began working as a jazz pianist and recording music when he was just 19 years old. His first band was The Vikings, rumoured to be South Africa’s first rock ‘n’ roll band.
  • Unable to stomach the apartheid of his homeland, Manfred moved to the UK in 1961, where he joined forces with keyboard player Mike Hugg to form a large blues-jazz band called, The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. They signed to EMI who suggested a name change to Manfred Mann.  From 1964 – 1969, the band had a number of hits including: Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Pretty Flamingo and Mighty Quinn.
  • Manfred Mann split in 1969 and Mike and Manfred formed a new band; Manfred Mann Chapter Three. Two albums later they split also.
  • In 1971, Manfred had another go, forming Manfred Mann’s Earth Band which still records and performs to this day.

blinded by the light fax

  • Blinded by the Light is a song written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen. It first appeared on his 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
  • Bruce wrote Blinded by the Light because his record company president, Clive Davis, felt the album lacked a potential single. Blinded by the Light and Spirit in the Night were written in response.
  • Blinded by the Light was Bruce’s first single – it did not appear on the charts anywhere!
  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band covered the song in 1976. It hit #1 in the US and #6 in the UK.
  • Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s version of Blinded by the Light changes the lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Bruce’s “cut loose like a deuce” is replaced with “revved up like a deuce.”
  • Blinded by the Light is used in the movies, Blow and Running with Scissors.
  • Blinded by the Light lyrics.

blinded by the light – manfred mann’s earth band – 1976 – video

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Memphis, Tennessee – Roy Orbison – 1972

May 5, 2017

One of the greatest ever songs of all time was a hit for neither Chuck Berry nor Roy Orbison – but it’s a great song all the same – Memphis Tennessee

roy orbison fax

  • Born in Texas in 1936, died in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 1988 – he was only 52, but what a ride!!
  • Most of Roy’s success was in the early rock and roll era from 1957 to 1964. At the height of his popularity, Roy had 22 songs on the US top 40, 6 Top five hits and, 2 went all the way to #1 – Running Scared and Oh, Pretty Woman.
  • In the UK Roy had ten Top 10 hits between 1960 and 1966, including three #1’s – Only the Lonely, It’s Over, and Oh, Pretty Woman.
  • In the 1980s there was a resurgence in Roy’s popularity via The Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison).
  • Roy’s start in music came thanks to Sam Phillips at Sun Records where he had moderate success.
  • Later he recorded several songs at Monument Records under producer Fred Foster. With Fred and song writing partners Joe Melson and Bill Dees, Roy wrote songs that were more suited to his unique voice.
  • Roy died of a heart attack on December 6, 1988. He had taken on a heavy workload and had complained to Johnny Cash that he was having chest pains that he feared were health related.
  • Two posthumous albums have been released. Mystery Girl, just after his death (1989) – he was working on it at the time of his death.  And, King of Hearts (1999) which was put together from master sessions and demos by Jeff Lynne for Virgin Records.
  • Most of the16 singles Roy released in the 70s didn’t even dent the charts. He did, however, do a great version of Memphis, Tennessee, which peaked at #84 in Australia; it didn’t chart anywhere else in the world – but is a great version.

memphis, tennessee fax

  • Memphis, Tennessee was written and first recorded by Chuck Berry.
  • Chuck released it in 1959 – surprisingly, it failed to chart anywhere in the world except the UK where it peaked at #6 in 1963.
  • Interestingly, at the same time as Chuck’s release was in the UK charts, Decca Records issued a cover version in the UK by Dave Berry and the Cruisers – it also became a UK Top 20 hit single.
  • Johnny Rivers covered the song in 1964 – his version made it to #2 on the US charts.
  • Memphis, Tennessee may be one of the most covered songs of all time. Artists to have covered it include: The Beatles, The Animals, The Who (as The High Numbers), Paul Anka, Count Basie, The Dave Clark Five, Bo Diddley, Faces, Al Green, The Hollies, Jan and Dean, Tom Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Led Zeppelin, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers, The Rolling Stones, Del Shannon, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, The Statler Brothers, Rod Stewart, George Thorogood, Conway Twitty, and Hank Williams Jr.
  • Chuck Berry later composed a sequel, “Little Marie”, which appeared in 1964 as a single and on the album St. Louis to Liverpool.
  • The Beatles first performed this song for their failed Decca audition on 1 January 1962, with Pete Best on drums.
  • Memphis, Tennessee lyrics.

memphis, tennessee – roy orbison – 1972


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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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