Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston – 1976

October 26, 2017

thelma-houston-dont-leave-me-this-way-1976Singer, actress, Grammy Award winner – Thelma Houston had a 1976 #1 hit with Don’t Leave Me This Way.

thelma houston fax

  • Born Thelma Jackson in Leland, Mississippi, by the time she was 23, Thelma Houston was married, had two children, and was signed to Dunhill Records.
  • Her first album, released in 1969, was produced by Jimmy Webb.
  • In 1971, she signed with Motown Records with little success.
  • As well as singing, Thelma loved acting. In 1974 she featured in The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine, playing various characters during the show’s skits.  When the show was cancelled she worked on producing demo recordings and performing at small venues.
  • She also took acting lessons while working on her musical career. It was a slow climb for her: she recorded Do You Know Where You’re Going To which was set for single release when it was pulled and the song given to Diana Ross to serve as the theme song for the movie Mahogany.  She sang backing vocals for Jermaine Jackson on his album My Name Is Jermaine.
  • Then in 1976, Thelma Houston released her third album, Any Way You Like It. The first single from that album, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes’ 1975 song Don’t Leave Me This Way, went straight to #1.  It won Thelma a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance in 1977.  She never had another top ten single.
  • Thelma still performs, however. She recently toured with Nile Rodgers and Chic.
  • She has appeared in half a dozen films and a number of television programmes, along with being featured on a number of movie soundtracks.

don’t leave me this way fax

  • Don’t Leave Me This Way was written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert.
  • The song has charted three times, first in 1975 as a hit for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass – #3 in the US and #5 in the UK. Next in 1977 as a #1 US hit for Motown artist Thelma Houston in 1977 (peaked at #13 in the UK. Then a third time for British group the Communards in 1986 (#1 in the UK and #40 in the US).
  • Thelma Houston’s version was originally to be recorded by Diana Ross as a follow-up to Love Hangover. It was handed onto Thelma – some justice after she’d lost Do You Know Where You’re Going To to Diana.
  • Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Thelma’s version became an unofficial theme song for the AIDS epidemic in gay male communities of the west.
  • The song appeared in the stage show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and in the movie, The Martian (2015).
  • Cher has also covered the song in her live shows.
  • Don’t Leave Me This Way lyrics.

don’t leave me this way – thelma houston – 1976 – video

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Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort -1970

October 8, 2017

matthews-southern-comfort-woodstock-1970A great song recorded by a number of 70s artists – this the ’70 version of Woodstock by English band, Matthews Southern Comfort.

matthews southern comfort fax

  • Iain Matthews was a singer with Fairport Convention before forming his own band, Matthews Southern Comfort.
  • Influenced by both rock and roll and folk music, Iain Matthews performed mainly as a solo act, although he was a member of Fairport Convention during the early period when they were heavily influenced by American folk rock.
  • Iain led the bands Plainsong, Hi-Fi, No Grey Faith, More Than a Song, and Matthews Southern Comfort.
  • The latter were one-hit-wonders with the 1970 hit, Woodstock.

woodstock fax

  • Woodstock was written by Joni Mitchell and included on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon.
  • Woodstock has been covered by both Matthews Southern Comfort and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
  • The song was first released by Joni as a B-side to her hit, Big Yellow Taxi. Joni said she wrote the song from what she had heard from then-boyfriend, Graham Nash, about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. She had not been there herself, since she was told by a manager that it would be more advantageous for her to appear on The Dick Cavett Show.
  • A month before Joni’s folky version, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released a rocker version as the lead single from their 1970 Déjà Vu album.
  • About three months after the two US releases of Woodstock, the song became an international hit thanks to Matthews Southern Comfort who performed to song on the Live in Concert programme broadcast live by BBC Radio 1 on June 28, 1970. Iain Matthews tells the story of how his band required an additional song for their set on the scheduled radio session.  Woodstock was his suggestion – Iain had purchased Ladies of the Canyon album earlier that week.
  • Matthews Southern Comfort’s version was received so well that the BBC contacted Matthews’ label Uni Records. The label suggested they add the song to the newly recorded Matthews Southern Comfort album, Later That Same Year.  Iain declined to mess with the completed album, but agreed to have them release the song as a single.
  • The Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young version of Woodstock peaked at #11 on the US charts. The Matthews Southern Comfort version peaked at #23 in the US but spent three weeks at #1 in the UK.
  • Woodstock lyrics.

woodstock – matthews southern comfort – 1970 – video

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Tom Petty 1950 – 2017

October 3, 2017

Tom petty

One of the true greats of rock music, Tom Petty, has passed away following a heart attack.  After a premature announcement by the LAPD, Tom’s family has now announced that he has gone – truly a rock ‘n’ roll great!

Read Rolling Stone Magazine’s tribute here.