Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) – Daddy Dewdrop – 1971

July 28, 2011

Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) – a 1971 one hit wonder that somehow eluded the censors, but not my Year Seven teacher!

the innocence of children

So, I’m at Intermediate School – that’s Year 7 or Grade something for our American friends. Everyday, straight after lunch, the teacher lets us listen to a piece of what she calls, “popular music.” She says “popular” with an emphasis on the “POP-u-LARRR” which somehow accentuates her total disapproval for all things contemporary.

Anyway, it’s that time of the day. We’re waiting expectantly. David Johnstone slips today’s 45 (that’s a single record for the young folks) from his bag and hands it over. It’s a song called Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) by Daddy Dewdrop. Teacher looks at it and screws up her nose – as she does everyday! Seating the disc on the turntable, she lowers the needle and we start grooving to the familiar Hammond Organ intro.

We’re singing along to the catchy chorus and listening with childhood naivety as the story of the girl in the black bikini unfolds, all the time totally unaware of the growing look of indignation on teacher’s face.

standing up for women

The song ends. Approving nods are passed from pupil to pupil – boys and girls alike. And then teacher speaks.

With a quavering voice she begins to talk about the degrading nature of the song. She talks about feminism and chauvinism and a number of other –isms I’ve never heard of. And, while some argue with her, scales fall from my eyes!

revelation

I recall this moment of my childhood quite vividly. It was the first time I ever heard anyone argue a point of view that came anywhere close to expressing an opinion that had to do with an issue of social justice.  Years later I’m involved in the leadership of aid agencies that champion the cause of various social justice initiatives and I wonder if this is the point such a desire for social justice was planted inside of me?

daddy dewdrop??

It probably won’t surprise you to know that Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) was a one hit wonder. And neither will it surprise you to discover that Daddy Dewdrop was not the singer’s real name.

Daddy Dewdrop was a pseudonym Dick Monda, an American songwriter. Dick went on to become a successful songwriter penning songs for artists such as; Ringo Starr, Kenny Rogers, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sammy Davis Jr.

Dick still records, sometimes as Daddy Dewdrop, and sometimes under his full name, M. Richard Monda.

chick-a-boom (don’t ya jes’ love it) fax

  • Chick-A-Boom was originally recorded for the cartoon, Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies.
  • Chick-A-Boom was re-recorded, renamed Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It), and released in 1971 on an album of novelty tunes.
  • Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) reached #9 in the US.
  • The follow-up singles didn’t do so well. Neither The March of the White Corpuscles nor Nanu Nanu (I Wanna’ Get Funky With You) charted.
  • Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It) lyrics.

You’re Moving Out Today – Carole Bayer Sager – 1977

July 21, 2011

You're moving out today coverMany people think of Carole Bayer Sager as a one hit wonder. Well, You’re Moving Out Today, may be the only single she ever charted with as a singer, but as a songwriter…

carole bayer sager twice in one day.

I often see Carole Bayer Sager’s name in the songwriter space on all manner of CD’s. And each time I do I wrack my brains to think of the title of the hit record she had back in the 70s. Then, not only did my mate Wozza mention Carole in his blog, goo goo gargoob but,  on the very same day, I heard the song on the radio.

give it a listen, it’ll come flooding back

If you were listening to music in the 70s, you’ll remember this song. Sung in a high pitched (think Minnie Mouse) voice, it rose to #6 on the UK charts. If you’re struggling to recall it, listen to the video below – I can guarantee it’ll come flooding back.

I mean, with words like these, who could forget it:

So, pack up your rubber duck,

I’d like to wish you luck.

Pack up your fork and spoon

Please leave my Lorna Doones

Your map of Mozambique

Your water bed that leaks

I like You’re Moving Out Today because so many aspects of it are representative of the typical 70s pop song. For instance; it has a very catchy music line, crazy lyrics, and is about a relationship breaking up in less than amicable circumstances… what more is there?!

you’re moving out today fax

There’s not a lot to say about You’re Moving Out Today except:

  • Carole Bayer SagerIt was written by Carole, Bette Midler (who also recorded a version), and Bruce Roberts.
  • It climbed to #6 on the UK charts and #1 on the Australian charts.
  • It was from Carole’s self-titled album which went platinum in Australia, Japan and the UK (but not in the US).
  • A simply ghastly version was recorded by Lynda Carter (TV’s Wonder Woman) who acted it out as she sang(!). If you’re unlucky enough, you can find that version on YouTube also.
  • It includes the wonderful lyric: “So, pack up your rubber duck, I’d like to wish you luck.”
  • It also has a guy do a sort of trumpet solo with his mouth in the middle – quite weird when you think about it – perhaps the world’s first beatboxing attempt?
  • You’re Moving Out Today lyrics.

what’s more interesting is…

Carole Bayer Sager.

carole bayer sager fax

  • Carole is a prolific song writer. She wrote her first hit as a teenager – A Groovy Kind of Love – recorded by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.
  • Carole was married for a time to Burt Bacharach with whom she wrote a number of her hit records.
  • Carole has also worked with many well known recording artists including; Neil Diamond, Marvin Hamlisch, Peter Allen, Melissa Manchester, Sheena Easton, Neil Sedaka, Albert Hammond, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Donald Fagen, Babyface, Clint Eastwood (for the movie True Crime). Celine Dion with Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, LeAnn Rimes, Anita Baker, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Christopher Cross, The Pointer Sisters, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Patti Labelle,
  • Carole has been nominated for an Academy Award six times, A Grammy Award nine times, and a Golden Globe Award seven times.
  • She’s won; one Academy Award, one Grammy, and two Golden Globes.
  • Carole’s Academy Award was for the theme from the movie Arthur – Arthur’s Theme (The Best that You can Do). It was co-written by Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, and Christopher Cross.
  • Carole’s Sager Grammy Award was for the 1987 Song of the Year That’s What Friends Are For. Originally recorded by Rod Stewart, this song was re-recorded in 1986 by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, and Sir Elton John. It became a #1 hit and raised millions of dollars for research into the cause and treatment of AIDS.
  • Carole was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Carole’s personal life contains many interesting features, one of which is that, before Burt Bacharach, she was in a relationship with Marvin Hamlisch, a prolific writer of songs and music for movie scores. Perhaps his best known being the tune The Entertainer, from the movie, The Sting.
  • In recent years Carole has made a name for herself as an artist.

The Air That I Breathe – The Hollies – 1974

July 14, 2011

All I need is the Air that I Breathe Cover artOne of the great things about music is that  there is no right or wrong – one person’s love can be another person’s pet-hate – for instance, The Hollies’ 1974 #1 UK hit, The Air That I Breathe.

my least favourite song of all time…?   …maybe…

Okay, we all have songs which, though loved by others, just don’t grab us. In fact, all of us have a song which immediately comes to mind when we’re asked, “What’s your worst song of all time?”  Chances are, it’s not a particularly terrible song – there’s just something about it that grates you.

Well, with that in  mind, mine is, without a shadow of a doubt, The Hollies’ version of The Air That I Breathe.

For a long time I thought it was the song itself I didn’t like. Then, I heard kd Lang’s  magnificent version. It made me realise, it’s not the song – it’s the way The Hollies sing it…

instant dislike – never recovered

So, there I am doing my homework, transistor blaring as usual. The DJ announces, “Coming up the latest hit single from super-group, The Hollies.”

“Should be good,” I assume. I like their other singles. Just a few years before they turned out Magic Woman Touch and, before that, the smooth sound of, Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.

Prior to that were a string of hits characterised by 60s harmonies and the joie de vivre that infused so many songs of that era – Just One Look, I’m Alive, Bus Stop, Carrie Anne, Stop, Stop, Stop, Jennifer Eccles, Sorry Suzanne, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother, I Can’t Tell the Bottom From the Top, Too Young to be Married,

So, I’m waiting, bated breath… and on comes the most gloomy, dreary, dour, (insert your own word here) drone I’ve ever heard in recorded form. It goes on to become one of The Hollies’ greatest hits – one of their three #1 UK hits – but I dislike it immediately. And, all these years later, I sense a feeling of ‘blueness’ descend whenever I hear it. To be blunt, I find it depressing. In fact, to my ears, this song is even worse than, Debbie Boone’s, You Light Up My Life – and that’s saying something!

Having said all that, some of you will love it and that’s the great thing about music.

origins

In 1992 Albert Hammond said:

When you listen to the song, you’d think this is a show stopper, and lyrically, you’d think I wrote it probably for the most beautiful woman that ever existed in the world. And in fact, The air that I breathe was written for quite an ugly person actually, I mean ugly outside, physically outside. She wasn’t a great looking girl, but she was a terrific person inside. She was warm and kind and… This person was the person who gave me shelter in Los Angeles, when I didn’t have any place to stay. I had no money, I had no Green Card, I couldn’t work, I could have been a homeless. I sat down with Mike Hazlewood, and I said “Mike, this is what’s happened to me, and this is the person.” And I think Mike came up with [the line] “the air that I breathe.” More than my story, it was because we lived in LA, and for the first time in our lives, we were introduced by smog. And every time we woke up, we’d look at the Hollywood Hills, and there was like a yellow monster up there. And I think that was his reason for coming up with [the line] “the air that I breathe”. My reason was a love story, his was ecology or whatever you want to call it, you know. But it worked.

Deservedly, The Hollies were inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

the air that i breathe fax

  • The Air That I Breathe was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood.
  • The Air That I Breathe was originally recorded by Albert Hammond and appears on his 1972 album It Never Rains In Southern California.
  • The Air That I Breathe was The Hollies last major hit.
  • Over ten major acts, and scores of others, have recorded The Air That I Breathe. Acts to have covered the song include: Phil Everly, Olivia Newton-John, Hank Williams Jr., Julio Iglesias (with harmonies by The Beach Boys), Barry Manilow, kd lang, Simply Red, The Mavericks.
  • Contrary to the information on a number of Internet sites which state that Maroon 5 recorded this song, The Air That I Breathe by Maroon 5 is a different song bearing the same title.
  • In 1976 Albert Hammond recorded a Spanish version entitled, Necesito poder respirar.
  • For the Radiohead song, Creep, Thom Yorke shares royalties and writing credits with Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood, because of the similarities between that song and The Air That I Breathe.
  • The Air That I Breathe has been in a number of movies and television programmes including; the 1999 film, The Virgin Suicides; the series finale of teen drama Dawson’s Creek; and the 2007 Adam Sandler film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
  • The Air That I Breathe lyrics.

what about you?

We all have a worst song – push the COMMENT button and share it with the rest of us.

the hollies version;

Albert Hammond’s Original version;


Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix – 1970

July 7, 2011

Band of Gypsys cover artI recall how we, my brother and ,I came to own Band of Gypsy’s, the fourth, the final, and the only live album by Jimi Hendrix – it came flying over the fence like a Frisbee.

jimi – flying high!

So, there we are in the backyard. It’s a warm Saturday afternoon and we’re hanging out like a couple of ten and twelve year old brothers would. The lady next door comes out and shouts something and hurls this record over the fence. It’s a copy of Band of Gypsys – the relatively new Jimi Hendrix live album.

Now, turns out the reason it came to be jettisoned over the fence is that her kids have been playing it on high, high rotation and she’s well and truly over it – their loss is our gain.

It’s not the first time we’ve come across an album in such circumstances – refer to my Brown Sugar blog; April 11, 2011.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth, so they say. We take Jimi straight inside and crank up the stereo and I’m hooked.

jimi – shot!

Jimi HendrixSomething else about this album, or rather the cover – now, when I tell you this please remember, I was only ten…

So, there we are inside with the album blaring. I pick up the cover and notice there’s a hole that goes right through it. It’s perfectly round and about a centimetre in diameter. And it has burn marks around it.

“It’s a bullet,” my brother tells me. “Someone’s shot a hole clean through it.”

Well I’m awestruck. I’ve never seen a bullet hole before and because he’s almost 12 and, in my eyes, a man of the world, I assume my brother’s seen shotgun blasts a-plenty and therefore knows what he’s talking about.

It was years later that it suddenly dawned on me that the hole was not caused by some record-album hit-man. Someone had used a cigarette to burn a hole through the cardboard!

jimi – short time career, long time legend

Jimi Hendrix is widely acclaimed as being the greatest guitarist of all time. I’ve seen him play (only on film, of course) and he’s truly something to behold. I recall the first time I saw him. I was transfixed by the way his hands move. They are so fast and seem to barely touch the instrument. I’ve heard people talk of musicians whose hands float on the strings, but Jimi is the only one I’ve ever seen.

Jimi Hendrix put out a mere three studio albums in his lifetime. Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland. Technically these albums were by the band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Jimi split with his band and produced a live album – Band of Gypsys – just six months before his death on September 18th (my birthday) 1970.

There have been at least eleven posthumous studio albums.

Jimi Hendrixvoodoo child (slight return) fax

  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is the last track on Jimi’s final studio album Electric Ladyland.
  • Also on Electric Ladyland is a 15 minute blues jam named Voodoo Chile. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is a shortened version of that track. The story goes that while Electric Ladyland was being recorded a film crew visited the studio to do a news piece on Jimi and the band. They told them to make out like they were playing something. Jimi simply said, “Okay, let’s do this in E,” and launched into Voodoo Chile. The result was this shortened version – Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was released as a single a week after Jimi’s death in 1970.
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) went #1 in the UK – Jimi’s only #1 single.
  • On September 6th 1970, 12 days before his death, Jimi played a concert in Germany. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was the last song Jimi performed live.
  • Jimi’s guitar solo in Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was voted the best guitar riff in rock’n’roll history, by readers of Music Radar.
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) is #101 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest songs of all time.
  • On the Live at Fillmore East version, Jimi introduces Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by saying: “This is the Black Panthers’ National Anthem.”
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Lyrics.