I Go To Rio – Peter Allen – 1976

May 28, 2015

Peter Allen I Go To Rio 1976On hearing the name Peter Allen many people would ask, Who?  Peter Allen was a prodigious songwriter and flamboyant cabaret performer most widely known for his signature song, the 1976 hit, I Go To Rio.

Peter Allen 1peter allen fax

  • Born in Tenterfield, Australia, Peter Allen (real name: Peter Richard Woolnough) was performing in Hong Kong when Mark Herron, the husband of Judy Garland, discovered him.  Mark invited Peter to join him and Judy in the United States.  Peter went on to perform with Garland.
  • That was in the early 70s.  Peter began a solo recording career but found his greatest success in writing songs for others.
  • Perhaps Peter’s greatest song writing successes were, Olivia Newton John’s, I Honestly Love You – which hit #1 in the US and won two Grammy Awards – and Allen Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) which he co-wrote with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Christopher Cross.  It hit #1 in the US also and won the 1981 Best Song Academy Award.
  • Peter Allen 2aPeter was Liza Minnelli’s first husband.  After seven years of marriage they divorced and Peter later declared that he was gay.
  • Peter died in 1992 of an AIDS-related throat cancer.
  • A musical, The Boy from Oz, was written about his life.  It ran on Broadway for some time and earned Hugh Jackman a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
  • Peter’s songs were recorded by some of the best known showbiz names including:

Bobby Sherman (Jennifer, Just Ask Me I’ve Been There)

Carole Bayer Sager (I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love, Don’t Cry Out Loud, You’re Interesting, You and Me, etc.)

Anne Murray (Everything Old is New Again)

Peggy Lee (I Go to Rio)

Dusty Springfield (Quiet Please There’s a Lady on Stage, I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love, (But It’s A) Nice Dream)

Carly Simon (Someone Waits For You)

Pablo Cruise (I Go to Rio)

Frank Sinatra (You and Me, We Wanted It All)

Dionne Warwick and Sarah Dash (Somebody’s Angel)

Patti LaBelle (I Don’t Go Shopping)

Maureen McGovern (I Could Have Been A Sailor)

Olivia Newton-John (I Honestly Love You)

Melissa Manchester (Don’t Cry Out Loud, You and Me)

Judy Collins (I Could Really Show You Around)

Rita Coolidge (I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love)

Peter Allen 2i go to rio – peter allen – fax

  • I Go to Rio was written by Peter Allen and Adrienne Anderson.
  • I Go to Rio was released on Peter’s 1976 album, Taught By Experts – it became Peter’s signature song.
  • I Go to Rio was covered by Peggy Lee and Pablo Cruise (peaking at #46 on the US charts).
  • While never charting in the US or UK, Peter’s version hit the #1 spot in Australia and sat there for five weeks.
  • As well as featuring in The Muppets, I Go To Rio has featured in a number of movie soundtracks including: One Crazy Summer, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Muriel’s Wedding and Strange Bedfellows
  • Coldplay used the song’s opening piano riff in their song, Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.
  • I Go To Rio lyrics.

i go to rio – peter allen – video

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Chuck E.’s In Love – Rickie Lee Jones – 1979

May 24, 2015

Rickie Lee Jones - Chuck E.'s in Love - 1979 Single CoverRickie Lee Jones 1The very first song on her very first album became her greatest hit – from 1979, Rickie Lee Jones’, Chuck E.’s In Love.

rickie lee jones fax

  • Rickie Lee was born into show business – her paternal grandparents were vaudeville performers and, although her father worked as a waiter, he was a singer, songwriter, artist and trumpet player.
  • Having been born in Chicago and travelled around a lot during her childhood, Rickie Lee was, by the time she hit 18, living in Santa Monica where she studied anthropology and music.  Three years later she began to play local clubs and, by 1977, was performing original material at the Ala Carte club in Hollywood with Albert Johnson.
  • Rickie Lee Jones 3In a case of “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” Rickie Lee soon came to the attention of Dr. John and Lowell George. Lowell included his version of Rickie Lee’s song, Easy Money, on his first solo album.
  • As Rickie Lee’s talent became known, a number of record companies vied for her signature; she eventually signed a five record deal with Warner Brothers and began work on her debut album.
  • About this time Rickie Lee met Tom Waits.  The two became lovers and musical collaborators for a time.
  • Rickie Lee continues to perform and record.  Her latest album, The Other Side of Desire, is due out on June 23, 2015.

Rickie Lee Jones 2chuck e.’s in love fax

  • Chuck E.’s In Love was written by Rickie Lee Jones; the first track on side one of her 1979 eponymous debut album.
  • Chuck E.’s In Love peaked at #4 on the US single chart and remains Rickie Lee’s biggest hit.

who was chuck e and was he really in love with the little girl singing the song?

  • In the late 70s, Rickie Lee was in a relationship with Tom Waits.  They would hang out with their friend, songwriter Chuck E. Weiss.  At some point Chuck E. disappeared for a while.  When he eventually phoned Rickie Lee and Tom he explained to Tom that he had fallen in love with a cousin in Denver where he now lived.  Tom came of the phone and said four words to Rickie Lee, “Chuck E.’s in love.”  Rickie Lee liked the sound and rhythm of that sentence and Chuck E.’s In Love was born.
  • The final words of Chuck E.’s In Love are, “Chuck E.’s in love with the little girl singing this song, Chuck E.’s in love with me.”  This is fictional.  Rickie Lee was never the girl with whom Chuck E. was in love.
  • The first line of the song says, “How come he don’t come and PLP with me down at the meter no more?”  There was once much debate about what PLP stands for.  It actually means, “Public Leaning Post.”  That’s old American slang for one person (usually female) leaning against another (usually male) in a friendly fashion.

Chuck E.’s In Love lyrics.

chuck e.’s in love – rickie lee jones – 1979 video

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BB King – The King of the Blues

May 15, 2015

BB1The incomparable blues legend BB King has died in Las Vegas, aged 89.

Read the BBC report here.

the thrill is gone – bb king – video – 2010


Garden Party – Rick Nelson – 1972

May 14, 2015

Rick Nelson - Garden Party - 1972An autobiographical song by a man who just wanted to make the music he loved but was rejected by his fans – Rick Nelson’s 1972 hit, Garden Party.

But it’s all right now, I’ve learned my lesson well You see,

you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself

Rick Nelson 1rick nelson fax

  • Rick Nelson’s real name was Eric.  A child prodigy, he began his celebrity life as an actor in the television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66).  As a 19 year old, he starred alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin the 1959 western, Rio Bravo.
  • As a singer-songwriter he made 53 visits to the US singles charts between 1957 and 1973.
  • Rick’s 1958 hit, Poor Little Fool was the very first #1 song on Billboard magazine’s then-new Hot 100 chart.
  • Of Rick’s 53 top 100 hits, 19 made it into the top 10.
  • Rick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Rick Nelson 2By the time his 17th birthday rolled around, Rick had had his first hit record.  Recorded under the name Ricky Nelson, it was a cover of Fats Domino’s, I’m Walkin’.
  • On his 21st birthday, Ricky changed his name to Rick.  He also began to change his music style from rockabilly/rock ‘n’ roll to country/folk – a fact that is important when considering the story behind his hit song, Garden Party.
  • Rick died on December 31, 1985 when the cabin of the plane he was on caught fire.  It endeavoured to land but crashed.

garden party fax

  • Garden Party was written by Rick Nelson in 1972 – it was recorded by Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band.
  • Garden Party is autobiographical – Rick had been a clean cut rock ‘n’ roll singer.  At a Madison Square Garden concert he appeared with long hair and contemporary clothes, nothing like the 1950s/60s rock ‘n’ roll crooner people wanted him to be. He sang his old songs but when he started on some more county-genre songs, was booed by the audience – Rick left the stage and refused to return.  Garden Party talks about the concert and mentions a number of those who were there or who were on the bill.
  • Garden Party was Rick’s last top ten US hit, peaking at #6.
  • Among the few artists to cover Garden Party are John Fogerty and Owl City.
  • Garden Party lyrics.

references within garden party

  • A garden party – October 15, 1971’s Rock ‘n Roll Revival concert at Madison Square Garden, New York City
  • My old friends – fellow performers at the concert Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Bobby Rydell
  • Yoko – Yoko Ono
  • Yoko’s walrusJohn Lennon
  • Mr. Hughes George Harrison
  • (Mr. Hughes) hid in Dylan’s shoes – Harrison’s planned (but later abandoned) album of Bob Dylan covers
  • I said hello to Mary Lou, she belongs to me – Nelson’s song “Hello Mary Lou”, which he played at the concert; also a reference to “She Belongs to Me”, a Bob Dylan song covered by Nelson
  • I sang a song about a Honky-TonkThe Rolling Stones song “Country Honk”, the song that allegedly caused the booing
  • And it was time to leave – Nelson’s subsequent departure
  • Out stepped Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry’s song “Johnny B. Goode”
  • Playing guitar like a-ringing a bell – the line in “Johnny B. Goode”, “he could play guitar just like a-ringing a bell”

garden party – rick nelson – 1972 – video

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You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate – 1975

May 10, 2015

Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate - 1975The death this week of the original Hot Chocolate frontman, Errol Brown, meant the airwaves were fit to bust with Hot Chocolate hits including the 1975 hit, You Sexy Thing.

Hot Chocolate 1hot chocolate fax

  • Originally known as The Hot Chocolate Band, UK soul band Hot Chocolate began their career with Apple Records under the production of Mickie Most.
  • The link with Apple arose when Hot Chocolate recorded their first song, a reggae version of John Lennon’s, Give Peace a Chance.  When he discovered he needed permission to release the song, lead singer Errol Brown contacted John Lennon.  John loved their version and not only gave permission for them to use it – he signed them to the Apple label.  It was a short-lived relationship.  The Beatles broke up and the contract ended.
  • Hot Chocolate 2Hot Chocolate released at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984 – Diana Ross and Elvis were the only other acts to have hits in every year of the 1970s.
  • It wasn’t until 1977 that Hot Chocolate made the #1 spot in the UK; with You Win Again.
  • Hot Chocolate parted company in 1986 and Errol began a solo career.  The band was reformed, without Errol, in 1992 and continues to perform today.
  • Errol received a MBE; he died on May 6, 2015 of liver cancer.

you sexy thing fax

  • You Sexy Thing was written by Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown and produced by Mickie Most.
  • It peaked at #2 on UK singles chart in 1975 (beaten to #1 by Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody); and #3 on the US singles chart a year later.
  • You Sexy Thing was originally the B-side of the 1975 Hot Chocolate single, Blue Night.
  • Hot Chocolate 3You Sexy Thing made the British top ten in three consequtive decades – the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
  • You Sexy Thing featured prominently in the movie The Full Monty.  It’s also featured in a number of other moives including: Boogie Nights, Reservoir Dogs, Bicentennial Man, Rat Race, Dude, Where’s My Car, and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.
  • It has been used in a number of television commercials including a popluar Burger King television commercial (1999).  The song played while the camera panned across a BK Double Whopper.
  • You Sexy Thing has been covered by a number of artists and was, for a short time, a part of Bruce Springsteen’s live show.
  • You Sexy Thing lyrics.

you sexy thing – hot chocolate – 1975 – video

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