The Lion Sleeps Tonight – Robert John – 1972

January 28, 2015

Robert John The Lion Sleeps Tonight 1972A two hit wonder, Robert John peaked at #3 on the US charts in 1972 with The Lion Sleeps Tonight, sometimes called The Wimoweh Song.  Seven years later he made it to #1 with Sad Eyes.

Robert John Arobert john fax

  • Born in Brooklyn, New York, Robert was only 12 years old when he first made it onto the US singles chart.  That was back in 1958 and the song was called White Bucks and Saddle Shoes.  Five years later he was heading a band named, Bobby & The Consoles who had a hit with My Jelly Bean.
  • Back then he was going under his real name, Bobby Pedrick.  By 1965 he’d changed his name to Robert John and signed with MGM.  His two MGM singles bombed.
  • In 1967, he signed with Columbia and recorded a number of singles before signing with A&M and releasing The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
  • By the 1980s he’d had a number of singles but only one made it onto the charts; Sad Eyes, released in 1979.
  • Robert’s last record release was a Greatest Hits album released in 1992.

Robert John 1the lion sleeps tonight fax

  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight was originally simply called, Mbube.
  • It was written and recorded in 1939 by a South African national named Solomon Linda and was originally in Zulu only.
  • Solomon Linda recorded it with South African band, The Evening Birds.
  • By the 1950s it was internationally known having been covered by a number of folk artists.  In 1961 it was a #1 US hit for The Tokens.
  • Solomon Linda made very little from the song and his descendants live in poverty, hence the laswsuit.  When Walt Disney used the song in the movie The Lion King, it earned mega-royalties, none of which went to Solomon Linda’s family.
  • In 1972, American Robert John recorded The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  It peaked at #3 on the US charts.
  • The song has also been covered by: The New Christy Minstrels, Pete Seeger, Chet Atkins, Desmond Dekker, The Tremeloes (on their album Silence is Golden), Brian Eno, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, R.E.M., ‘N Sync, The Muppets, Baha Men, and The Mavericks.
  • One theory is that the song is actually about a Zulu chief – it appears chiefs in Zulu tribes are often called lions.  Another theory states that the song refers to an incident in Solomon Linda’s own youth when he actually killed a lion cub…
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight lyrics.

the lion sleeps tonight – robert john – 1972 – video

sad eyes – robert john – 1979

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That Same Old Feeling – Pickettywitch – 1970

January 22, 2015

picketty 1Here’s a song you’ve probably forgotten about.  Tuneful and melodic, Pickettywitch’s, That Same Old Feeling, very much reflects the pop music of the early 1970s

Picketty 2pickettywitch fax

  • Pickettywitch were formed in the UK in the late 1960s by singer Polly Brown.
  • Pickettywitch was signed to Pye Records and, in July 1969,  released their debut single, You Got Me So I Don’t Know.
  • The band’s biggest hit was in 1970.  That Same Old Feeling was a hit in both the UK and US.
  • By the end of 1970, Pickettywitch had pushed two more singles into the UK charts; (It’s Like A) Sad Old Kinda Movie and Baby I Won’t Let You Down.  Although not a hit, the band is also remembered for the catchy, I get that Summertime Feeling.
  • By 1972, the band had folded. Polly briefly sang in a duo called Sweet Dreams before embarking on a solo career which saw her achieve hits in both the UK and the US
  • The only other Pickettywitch member to achieve anything significant in the music world appears to have been Keith Hall who became drummer for Gerry and the Pacemakers.
  • Polly continues to write music and perform.

Picketty 3pickettywitch trivia

The rumours of Polly’s death in 2006 have been greatly exaggerated.  Some years after the break-up of Pickettywitch, a band named New Pickettywitch was formed.  The lead singer’s name was Sheila Rossall.  She suffered from an ailment known as total allergy syndrome.

For much of her later career, Polly was asked, in interviews, about this syndrome and, when Sheila died in 2006, many papers reported that it was Polly who had passed away.

that same old feeling fax

  • That Same Old Feeling was written by John MacLeod and Tony MacAulay.  Both wrote a number of hit songs.  Tony’s songs included: Baby Now That I’ve Found You and Build Me Up Buttercup (The Foundations), (Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All (The 5th Dimenson), Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) (Edison Lighthouse), and Don’t Give Up on Us (David Soul).  John co-wrote Baby Now That I’ve Found You.
  • That Same Old Feeling was released by Pickettywitch in 1970 peaking at #5 of the UK singles chart and #40 on the US singles chart.
  • Two other bands recorded the song in 1970, The Foundations and The Fortunes.  The latter version peaked at #62 on the US singles chart about the same time as Pickettywitch’s version sat a few slots ahead of it.
  • That Same Old Feeling lyrics.

that same old feeling – pickettywitch – 1970 – video

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The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – Joan Baez – 1971

January 14, 2015

Joan Baez - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - 1971 Single CoverRespected as much for her civil rights work as her music, Joan Baez has been around forever… almost.  In 2009, she performed at the Newport Folk Festival, 50 years after her first appearance there.  Her biggest hit on the music charts was in 1971 with The Band’s, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.

Joan Baez 1joan baez fax

  • Joan hardly needs any introduction; an American folk singer, songwriter, and activist she has been performing publically since 1958 and has released over 30 albums.
  • Joan is known as a songwriter and yet most her music features interpretations of the work of others such as: The Allman Brothers Band, The Beatles, Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Ryan Adams.
  • Joan’s first three albums – Joan Baez, Joan Baez, Vol. 2, and Joan Baez in Concert – all achieved gold status and remained on the US album chart for over three years.
  • Joan performed at Woodstock.
  • Joan is credited with helping launch Bob Dylan’s career.  She recorded a number of his songs, was romantically involved with him and wrote at least three songs that are specifically about him: To Bobby, Diamonds & Rust, and Winds of the Old Days.
  • In the early 80s, Joan had a relationship with Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple Computer.
  • Joan Baez 3Joan once said, “Social justice is the true core of my life, looming larger than music.”  Joan is a long-time proponent of civil rights.  In 1956, she heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak about nonviolence, civil rights and social change.  She went on to participate in many of Dr King’s demonstrations.  She has also been outspoken on: the Vietnam war, opposition to the death penalty, gay and lesbian rights, environmental issues, the war in Iran, and the Occupy Wall Street movement.  She supported Barak Obama’s election to the Whitehouse.

the night they drove old dixie down fax

  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down was written by Robbie Robertson and released by The Band on September 22, 1969 as the B-Side to their song, Up On Cripple Creek.
  • Joan Baez 2The lyrics tell of the last days of the American Civil War and the suffering of white Southerners during those years.
  • In 1971, Joan Baez covered the song, which peaked at #3 on the US singles chart and #6 on the UK singles chart.
  • Joan did make a few changes to the words.  She altered, “Till Stoneman’s cavalry came” to “Till so much cavalry came,” “May the tenth” to “I took the train,”  “like my father before me, I will work the land,” to “like my father before me, I’m a working man,” and “the mud below my feet,” to “the blood below my feet.”
  • There was much made of these changes suggesting Joan had changed it from a soldier’s song to a labourer’s song.  Joan, however, told a Rolling Stone Magazine reporter that she learned the song by listening to the Band’s recording.  When she recorded it she’d never actually seen a printed version of the words and so sang the lyrics as she’d (mis)heard them. In her recent concerts, Joan has sung the original words.
  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is Joan’s highest charting single.
  • The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down lyrics.

the night they drove old dixie down – joan baez – 1971 – video

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Heard it in a Love Song – The Marshall Tucker Band – 1976

January 7, 2015

Marshall Tucker Heard it in a Love Song 1977 CoverIf southern rock is where you’re at, then you’ll know all about The Marshall Tucker Band.  Their biggest hit, Heard it in a Love Song, peaked at #14 on the US singles chart back in 1977,

Marshall Tucker 1the marshall tucker band fax

  • The Marshall Tucker Band is one of the original American Southern rock/country rock bands.
  • Originating from Spartanburg, South Carolina, they formed in 1972 and are still going strong today – although only lead vocalist Doug Gray remains from the original line-up.
  • Signing with Capricorn Records in 1973, they released their first LP, The Marshall Tucker Band, that same year.
  • Marshall Tucker 2In 1980, bassist Tommy Caldwell was killed in an automobile accident.  He was replaced by Franklin Wilkie.

heard it in a love song fax

  • Heard it in a Love Song was written by Toy Caldwell and appears on The Marshall Tucker Band’s sixth album, Carolina Dreams (1977).
  • Marshall tucker 3Heard it in a Love Song is the band’s highest charting single.  In March 1977, it peaked at #14 on the US singles chart.
  • In 2006, country singer, Mark Chesnutt, released his version of Heard it in a Love Song from his album of the same name.
  • Heard it in a Love Song lyrics.

heard it in a love song – the marshall tucker band – 1977 – video

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The Lumberjack Song – Monty Python – 1975

January 2, 2015

Wherever you live in this world, New YeLumberjack Song - Single Coverar’s Eve television can be pretty dire.  But this year, down our end of the planet, we were treated to the Monty Python stage show reunion which featured one of the best known and greatest comedy songs of all time – Monty Python’s, The Lumberjack Song.

Lumberjack song 2monty python fax

  • Monty Python is a comedy group who worked together between 1969 and 1983.  They are best known for their comedy show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus (which aired between 1969 and 1974).
  • Producing 45 episodes over four series, Monty Python members, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, went beyond mere comedy, often using their art to comment on political and social issues.
  • From the television series came touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and a stage musical.
  • Monty Python’s influence on comedy has been compared to The Beatles’ influence on music.
  • In a 2005 UK poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, three of the six Pythons members were voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: John Cleese at #2, Eric Idle at #21, and Michael Palin at #30.

Lumberjack song 1the lumberjack song fax

  • The Lumberjack Song was written by two members of the Monty Python comedy troupe: Terry Jones, Michael Palin; and Fred Tomlinson.  Fred was a well-known musician who composed music for shows such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Two Ronnies and And Now For Something Completely Different.
  • The Lumberjack Song first appeared on Monty Python’s Flying Circus in mid-December 1969.
  • Michael Palin has been quoted as saying The Lumberjack Song was created in about 15 minutes.  Monty Python were unable to come up with a suitable conclusion to a barbershop sketch and the song just “evolved.”  It has since been used a number of times to complete a number of comedy sketches.
  • On 14 November 1975, The Lumberjack Son” was released as a single in the UK.  It was produced by a certain Python fanatic by the name of George Harrison and performed at The Concert for George in November 2002, on the first anniversary of his death (with Tom Hanks featuring).
  • In the original sketch, the girl is played by Connie Booth, John Cleese’s then-wife.
  • The Lumberjack Song lyrics.

the lumberjack song – monty python – 1975 – video

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