Diamond Girl – Seals and Crofts – 1973

March 30, 2015

Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl coverSeals and Crofts album, Diamond Girl was one of the first albums I bought.  It was back in 1973 and I thought it was pretty darn cool!

Seals and Crofts Aseals and crofts fax

  • Jim Seals and Dash (real name Darrell) Crofts are their full names… and back in the 70s they had three hits, Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl and Get Closer, all peaking at #6.
  • Coming together as a duo in 1969, Jim and Dash disbanded in 1980, reunited for a year or so in 1991 and again in 2004.
  • Jim and Dash released their final album, Traces, in 2004.
  • Seals and Crofts 1Prior to working as a duo the pair had worked together in a number of bands including, The Champs (Glenn Campbell’s original band).  Jim was also a part of Eddie Cochran’s toruing band.
  • Followers of the Baha’i faith, Jim and Dash included Baha’i references, including passages from Baha’i scriptures, in many of their songs.
  • When last heard of Jim was living on a coffee farm in Costa Rica.  Dash had settled in Nashville after living in Mexico and Australia for a while.
  • Jim’s brother Dan Seals was England Dan of England Dan and John Ford Coley fame – Dan died of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009.

diamond girl fax

  • Seals and Crofts 2Diamond Girl was written by Jim Seals and Dash Crofts and is the title track of their fifth studio album.  It was released as a single in 1973.
  • Like their previous top 10 hit Summer Breeze, Diamond Girl peaked at #6 on the US singles chart.  Their follow-up single, Get Closer, also peaked at #6.
  • Diamond Girl lyrics.

diamond girl – seals and crofts – 1973 – video

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Barracuda – Heart – 1977

March 23, 2015

Heart-Barracuda-1977-Single CoverIt’s hard to believe this week’s song is almost 40 years old!  Sounding as good today as it did in 1977, Heart’s hit, Barracuda.

Heart 1heart fax

  • From the US, Heart’s initial success was in Canada – it took some time before their compatriots caught the Heart bug.
  • Founded in 1974 and still performing today, the band has gone through a number of line-ups but at the heart (‘cuse the pun) of each morph has been the Wilson sisters, Ann as lead singer and Nancy on guitar.
  • Heart has sold over 35 million records worldwide, 22.5 million of those in the US. They have had Top 10 albums on the US charts in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2010s.
  • Heart 2Heart ranked #57 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
  • They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

barracuda fax

  • Barracuda was recorded by Heart in 1977 for their second album, Little Queen.
  • Barracuda was Heart’s second Top 20 US single – it peaked at #11.
  • In 2009, VH1 named Barracuda the 34th best hard rock song of all time.
  • Heart 3The meaning of Barracuda has been often written about; Ann Wilson says it tells of Heart’s anger towards a publicity stunt instigated by Mushroom Records.  They created a rumour that Ann and her sister, Nancy, were involved in an incestuous affair. The song focuses on Ann’s anger when a man came up to her after a concert and asked how her lover was. It took Ann a while to realise he was talking about her sister.  Ann went back to her hotel room to write the original lyrics of the song.
  • Barracuda was covered by Fergie for the soundtrack Shrek the Third (2007) and is on her album The Dutchess.  It was also covered by Alice in Chains and Gretchen Wilson in 2007, and appeared in the television show, Glee, sung byLea Michele and Adam Lambert.
  • Barracuda lyrics.

barracuda – heart – 1977

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This Masquerade – George Benson – 1976

March 19, 2015

George BEnson This Masquerade 1976Back in 1976, jazz guitarist George Benson had a top 10 US single with Leon Russell’s fabulous, This Masquerade.

George Benson 1george benson fax

  • George began playing at age 6.  He was performing in a local nightclub by age eight.  And by ten years old, he’d released his first record.  By age 21 George was an accomplished jazz guitarist.  Fifty years later, he’s still going strong.
  • On the way, he’s won ten Grammy Awards and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • George BEnson 2George’s breakthrough album, Breezin’, was released in 1976 and was certified triple-platinum on the Billboard 200 chart.

this masquerade fax

  • This Masquerade was written by Leon Russell – it first appeared on the B-side of Leon’s 1972 single Tight Rope.
  • George Benson included it on his iconic (I reckon anyway!) 1976 album (his debut album with Warner Bros), Breezin’.
  • George’s version peaked at #10 on the US singles chart and #3 on the US soul charts.
  • George Benson 3In 1977, George won the Grammy for Record of the Year with This Masquerade (it had been nominated in two other categories).
  • This Masquerade has been covered by a number of artists including: Helen Reddy (1972), The Carpenters (1973), Shirley Bassey (1982), Willie Nelson, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’77, and Kenny Rogers.
  • Leon Russell’s version appears in at least two movies; The Exorcist and The Pursuit of Happyness.
  • This Masquerade lyrics.

this masquerade – george benson – 1976 – video

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She’s a Lady – Tom Jones – 1971

March 14, 2015

TSince his first #1 single (It’s Not Unusual) back in 1965, Tom Jones has clambered all over the UK Top 40  Singles Chart 36 times, and the US Top 40  Singles Chart 19 times.  One of his most popular singles, She’s a Lady, was released in 1971.

Tom Jonestom jones fax

  • What can be said about Sir Thomas Jones Woodward?  Welsh singer Tom Jones has been performing since the mid-60s and, as we all know, is still going strong today.
  • Tom has had 36 Top 40 UK singles and 19 Top 40 US singles.
  • Tom won the 1966 Best New Artist Grammy – since then, too many awards to list.
  • Despite many well publicised affairs, Tom has been married to the same woman, Melinda, since 1957.

Tom Jones 2she’s a lady fax

  • She’s a Lady was written by Canadian singer/songwriter, Paul Anka.
  • Recorded by Tom Jones in 1971, his version went on to sell over one million copies.
  • She’s a Lady went on to become Tom’s highest charting US single to date hitting #2 in the US and #13 in the UK – he has had three #1’s in the UK and 20 Top 10 UK hits.
  • The She’s a Lady version sung by Tom is not the original – the lyrics of that version were too explicit for commercial release (even for Tom!) and so Tom and Paul rewrote them.
  • The B-side of Tom’s version track was My Way whose lyrics were also written by Paul Anka.
  • Tom Jones 1Paul Anka released She’s a Lady on his 1970 album, Paul Anka ’70s.
  • Paul and Tom recorded a duet on the song in 2013.  It was released on Paul’s album, Duets.
  • Ali Campbell (ex UB 40) and Shaggy released a cover version of She’s a Lady in 2009, on the album Flying High.
  • She’s a Lady has featured in at least six television programmes and twelve movies including: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Bend it Like Beckham, and Miss Congeniality.
  • She’s a Lady lyrics.

she’s a lady – tom jones – 1971 – video

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Jackie Blue – Ozark Mountain Daredevils – 1975

March 11, 2015

Ozark Jackie Blue 1975Another 70s band still performing today – The Ozark Mountain Daredevils had a couple of hit songs, the most successful being Jackie Blue in 1975.

The_Ozark_Mountain_Daredevils 2ozark mountain daredevils fax

  • Formed in 1972, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils hail from Springfield, Missouri and are still performing today with three of the foundation band members.
  • The band’s original name was Family Tree.  When they discovered that this was already being used by a band, the guys got together for a band naming party.  John Dillon suggested, Cosmic Corn Cob & His Amazing Ozark Mountain Daredevils.  Because the guys didn’t want to be known as corn cobs of any sort, especially cosmic ones, the name was shortened.  The word “amazing” was dropped too, because they didn’t want a name that sounded like The Amazing Rhythm Aces.
  • Between 1974 and 1980 the band released seven studio albums. An eighth album was released in 1997.  Their latest album release was a live collection in 2011.

Ozark_Mountain_Daredevils_1975 1jackie blue fax

  • Jackie Blue comes from The Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ 1974 album, It’ll Shine When It Shines.
  • Jackie Blue peaked at #3 on the US Charts.
  • Larry Lee, the band’s drummer, supplied the lead vocals for the song.  Singing in a higher register, many listeners came to believe it was sung by a woman.
  • Jackie Blue found its way onto the album when, during the recording of It’ll Shine When It Shines, drummer Larry Lee was overheard singing a song about a mysterious friend of his who sometimes dealt drugs on the side.  The band loved the melody and, while downplaying the drug references, altered the lyrics to be about a girl.  The song’s writers are credited as band members Larry Lee and Steve Cash.
  • Jackie Blue was covered by The Smashing Pumpkins in 1991.
  • Jackie Blue lyrics.

jackie blue – the ozark mountain daredevils – 1975

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Mr Bojangles – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band -1970

March 2, 2015

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Mr BojanglesEven if you dislike country music you can’t help but love this song – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1970 hit, Mr Bojangles.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1nitty gritty dirt band fax

  • Founded in Long Beach California in 1966, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has had a number of incarnations over the years.  They are still performing today, though only two members have remained constant throughout the band’s history: singer-guitarist Jeff Hanna and drummer Jimmie Fadden.
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s most successful moment is their cover version of Jerry Jeff Walker’s Mr. Bojangles – this song eclipses every one of their other musical endeavours.
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 3They have had other successes, however.  In 1972 they released an album entitled, Will the Circle be Unbroken.  It featured traditional country artists Mother Maybelle Carter, Earl Scruggs, and Merle Travis.  A follow-up album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two was released in 1989.  It won two Grammy Awards.
  • Mr Bojangles was not the only single of note released by the band.  They had minor hits with: House at Pooh Corner, Some of Shelly’s Blues, and Jambalaya (On the Bayou).

nitty gritty dirt band trivia

  • Although only a member of the band for a few months, Jackson Browne was one of the original line up.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 2mr bojangles fax

  • Mr. Bojangles was written by Jerry Jeff Walker and was the title track of his 1968 album.
  • In 1970 it was recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for their album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy.
  • As a single it peaked at #9 on the US singles chart
  • The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s version begins with Prologue: Uncle Charlie and his Dog Teddy.  Once it became a hit, the original B-side was changed to include a version of Mr Bojangles without the interview. Jerry Jeff Walker said the song was written after an encounter with a street performer in a New Orleans jail.  Jerry was locked up for being drunk in a public place and met a homeless white man who called himself Mr. Bojangles in an effort to hide his true identity from the police. Mr. Bojangles told a story about his dog.  It was all rather sad and so someone in the cell asked for something to lighten the mood. Mr. Bojangles obliged with a tap dance.
  • The song has been covered by many artists including: Garth Brooks, JJ Cale, Sammy Davis Jr., John Denver, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Tom T. Hall, Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Elton John, Lulu, Rod McKuen, Don McLean, Harry Nilsson, Cat Stevens, Robbie Williams, and Dolly Parton.
  • Mr Bojangles lyrics.

mr bojangles – nitty gritty dirt band – 1970 LIVE


mr bojangles – nitty gritty dirt band – 1970 FULL VERSION

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