Fire – The Pointer Sisters – 1978

November 30, 2017

fireWritten by Bruce Springsteen in 1977, Fire, had its highest profile as a 1978 single release by the Pointer Sisters.

the pointer sisters fax

  • With a career spanning four decades, The Pointer Sisters began as a duo back in 1969. That’s when June and Bonnie began singing in clubs around Oakland, California.  Anita soon joined in and then, in 1972, Ruth completed the line-up.
  • 1972 was also the year they recorded their debut album, winning a 1975 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance for Fairytale.
  • Since then their repertoire has stretched across many genres, including pop, disco, jazz, electronic music, bebop, blues, soul, funk, dance, country and rock.
  • In all, The Pointer Sisters have won three Grammys, have a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame, and have had 13 US top 20 singles and five top 20 UK singles.
  • June passed away in 2004 and was replaced by Ruth’s daughter, Issa. Since 2009, the group has consisted of Anita, Ruth, Issa, and Ruth’s granddaughter Sadako Pointer.

fire fax

  • Fire was written by Bruce Springsteen in 1977.  In writing Fire, Bruce envisioned is as a song that could be recorded by his idol Elvis Presley.  Bruce says he sent Elvis a demo of it but he died before it arrived.
  • Bruce recorded Fire for his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town but it didn’t make it onto the disc. It was, however, included in the set list of the Darkness Tour.
  • As a single, Fire peaked at #46 on the US chart and #54 on the UK chart.
  • In 1978 The Pointer Sisters, then a trio of Anita, June and Ruth, released Fire as the first single from their album Energy.
  • The Pointer Sister’s version peaked at #2 on the US charts and #34 on the UK charts. Stopping it get to #1 in the US was Rod Stewart with Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
  • It became The Pointer Sisters first gold single.
  • Billboard named the song #48 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.
  • Fire lyrics.

fire – the pointer sisters – 1978 – video

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David Cassidy – 1950 – 2017

November 22, 2017

David

David Cassidy, pop culture idol of the 1970s, has died in a Florida hospital. The musician and actor remembered for his starring role in The Partridge Family was 67.

Read Rolling Stone Magazine’s tribute here.


Malcolm Young (1953 – 2017)

November 20, 2017

malcolm youngAC/DC guitarist and co-founder, Malcolm Young has passed away after a long period of illness.

Read the full story from Rolling Stone magazine here.


My Thang – James Brown – 1974

November 18, 2017

My Thang - James Brown - 1974 CoverWhat can you say? The Godfather of soul’s 1974 hit, My Thang…

james brown fax

  • Born in 1933, passed away in 2006; James Brown is called The Godfather of Soul because, for many people, he was the progenitor of soul and funk music.
  • Like many of his era, James’ career began as a member of the in the R&B gospel group, the Gospel Starlighters. During 1950s, they evolved into the Flames and James was the lead singer.
  • By the late 1950s they were known as The Famous Flames and began to find chart success with songs like Please, Please, Please and Try Me.
  • Many say James’ success was at its peak in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), and It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.
  • It was during the late 1960s that he began to refine his style – a style which greatly influenced the development of funk music.
  • By the early 1970s, James was playing with his band, the J.B.s and funk was a real thing. During this time, he became known for songs which made commentary of social issues of the day – songs like the 1968 hit Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.
  • James holds the record for the most singles to reach the US singles chart without ever reaching #1 – 64 singles. He did, however, have 16 singles that reached #1 on the R&B charts.  Between 1959 and 2002, James released a phenomenal 66 studio albums and 15 live albums.
  • The closest James came to a #1 US hit was in 1965 when, I Got You (I Feel Good) reached #3.
  • James is an inductee into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • When Joel Whitburn analysed the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, he placed James at #1 among The Top 500 Artists. He is also ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone also also cited James as the most sampled artist of all time.

my thang fax

  • My Thang was written and recorded by James Brown. From the album Hell, it was released in April 1974.
  • The song borrows lines from another of James’ songs, Funky Drummer. James often borrowed lines from his songs that did not chart to incorporate into a new song.
  • My Thang spent two weeks at #1 on the US R&B singles chart and reached #29 on the US singles chart.
  • My Thang is sampled on a number of Hip-Hop songs, including Brand New Funk by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
  • My Thang lyrics.

my thang – james brown – 1974 – video

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The Candy Man – Sammy Davis Jr – 1972

November 10, 2017

The_Candy_Man_Sammy_Davis_JrFrom the perennial Christmas movie… what would Christmas be without reruns of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on the tele? – The Candy Man which was a 1972 hit for Sammy Davis Jr.

sammy davis jr fax

  • Born into a show biz family, Sammy began his career when just three years old. He joined his father and Will Mastin to form the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally.
  • After WWII service – in which he was assigned to the Entertainment Special Services – Sammy returned to the trio.
  • Sammy’s solo career happened quickly. He became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at a West Hollywood bar after the 1951 Academy Awards.
  • He began his movie career in 1933, appearing as Rufus Jones in Rufus Jones for President, a short satirical musical. Sammy went on to appear in almost 40 movies, four stage musicals, and almost 30 television shows.
  • In all, Sammy released over 50 albums, with at least five different recording companies. Of his numerous singles, only two reached the US top ten; Something’s Gotta Give (1955) and The Candy Man (1972).  Two singles reached the UK top ten, Something’s Gotta Give and Love Me or Leave Me (both 1955).
  • The numerous awards won by Sammy include: a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Acheivement award (2001), a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and induction into the Internationcal Civil Rights Walk of Fame.
  • In 1954, Sammy was in a life-changing auto accident. In it he lost his left eye.  From the time on he had a glass eye.  A year before the accident, his friend, comedian Eddie Cantor, had given him a mezuzah. Instead of putting it by his door as a traditional blessing, Sammy wore it around his neck for good luck. The only time he forgot it was the night of the accident.  Taking it as some sort of omen, Sammy converted to Judaism in 1961.
  • Sammy was a member of The Rat Pack, a group of artistes prominent in the 1960’s. The Rat Pack was made up of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, with the three first mentioned being considered the leaders.
  • Sammy was a victim of racism throughout his life, particularly during the pre-Civil Rights era, and was a large financial supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. “Handicap?” he asked. “Talk about handicap. I’m a one-eyed Negro Jew.”
  • Sammy died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990, aged just 64.

the candy man fax

  • The Candy Man, sometimes called, The Candy Man Can, was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley specifically for the 1971 film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The soundtrack version of the song was sung by Aubrey Woods, who played Bill the candy store owner in the film.
  • When lyricist Anthony Newley heard Aubrey Woods’ version for the first time, he was so appalled by the performance that he wanted to record it himself. He was convinced the song could win an Oscar if it was sung and produced properly.  The producers of the record refused his offer so Anthony suggest he dub his own vocal and still market the record under Aubrey’s name.  Again, he was refused.
  • Anthony did, however, record his own version prior to Sammy Davis Jr’s version.
  • The Candy Man’s best-known version is by Sammy Davis, Jr. It appears on Sammy’s album, Sammy Davis Jr. Now.  Sammy always said he didn’t like the song.
  • The Candy Man was Sammy’s only #1 US hit. Despite Sammy having songs in the UK charts, The Candy Man did not chart there.  Billboard ranked The Candy Man as the #5 song for 1972.
  • BVs on Sammy’s version were provided by the Mike Curb Congregation. They had previously released their own unsuccessful version.
  • So closely associated with Sammy is this song that, later in his career, he was often referred to as The Candy Man.
  • In 2014, Sammy’s lead vocals from the original 1972 recording were sampled to create a virtual duet with Barry Manilow. It appeared on Barry’s album My Dream Duets.
  • The Candy Man lyrics.

the candy man – sammy davis jr. – 1972 video

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