Indiana Wants Me – R. Dean Taylor – 1970

July 23, 2016

R. Dean Taylor Indiana Wants Me 1971Quite an unlikely Motown artist/producer, Canadian and white, R. Dean Taylor was once described as “one of the most underrated acts ever to record under the Motown aegis.”  R. Dean had two big hits – I Gotta See Jane (1968) and 1970’s Indiana Wants Me.

r. dean taylor fax

  • Richard Dean Taylor was born in Toronto, Canada back in 1939.  He began his music career in 1961 and still works in the music business today.
  • R. Dean Taylor 1R. Dean in the US and UK for his three hits, Indiana Wants Me, Gotta See Jane (later covered by Golden Earring, and There’s a Ghost in My House.
  • Taylor began his career in Toronto before moving to Detroit in 1964, where he was hired by Motown Records as a songwriter and recording artist.
  • R. Dean’s first Motown single (on their V.I.P. label), Let’s Go Somewhere was Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, who had already produced five No. 1 scoring songs for The Supremes. In 1968, Taylor’s self-produced single Gotta See Jane, (co-written with Brian Holland), hit #2 on the UK singles chart. 
  • In the late 60s and early 70s, R. Dean found success as a Motown songwriter.  As part of the Motown writing and production team known as The Clan he wrote material for Diana Ross & the Supremes (Love Child), The Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Four Tops, Jackie DeShannon, Marvin Gaye, La Toya Jackson, Graham Parker and Rick Danko.
  • In 1970, R. Dean signed to Motown’s subsidiary Rare Earth, which was dedicated to Caucasian artists.
  • R. Dean Taylor 2His first Rare Earth single, Indiana Wants Me, became a #1 hit in the US and Canada.
  • After a break from the music industry, R. Dean attempted a comeback during the early 1980s but found little success.
  • He owns his own record company, Jane Records.

indiana wants me fax

  • Indiana Wants Me was written and recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter R. Dean Taylor.
  • R. Dean wrote Indiana Wants Me after watching the movie Bonnie and Clyde.
  • The single features a police siren at the beginning.  Thes was removed from some copies supplied to radio stations after complaints that drivers hearing the song on the radio had mistakenly pulled over, thinking that the sounds were real.
  • Released in August 1970, Indiana Wants Me was a #1 hit in both the US and Canada.  It was R. Dean’s only US hit and his biggest hit in the UK where it peaked at #2 in May 1971.
  • Indiana Wants Me lyrics.

indiana wants me – r. dean taylor – 1971 – video

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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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Jeans On – David Dundas – 1976

February 25, 2015

David Dundas Jeans On LyricsIt’s not often a member of the British aristocracy gets to sit on their country seat and the UK top ten at the same time but it happened to Dundas, aka Lord David Paul Nicolas Dundas, back in 1976 when his song, Jeans On, hit the UK and US charts.

Photo of David DUNDASdavid dundas fax

  • David Dundas is a bona fide lord.  Son of the 3rd Marquess of Zetland, he is now rightly titled, Lord David Paul Nicolas Dundas.
  • His 1976 single, Jeans On, earns David (I mean, Lord David) entry to the one hit wonder club.
  • Lord David went on to release further singles including Another Funny Honeymoon (peaked at #29) and Where Were You Today, but he is remembered for his one big hit, Jeans On.
  • Lord David began his music career as a writer of advertising jingles.  In fact, at least two of his singles, Jeans On and Where Were You Today, had their beginnings as jingles.
  • Still in the music business, Lord David is going to be 70 years old this year and is known for writing film and television soundtracks.

jDavid Dundas 1aeans on fax

  • Jeans On was originally an advertising jingle for Brutus Jeans.  It was so popular that the jingle’s writer, David Dundas, with the help of iconic songwriter, Roger Greenaway, transformed it into a full length song and released it as a single.
  • In 1977, David (I’m letting go of the “Lord” bit – it gets rather tedious!) included Jeans On on his first album.  Self-titled it was the first of his three albums.
  • Jeans On peaked at #3 on the UK singles chart and #17 on the US chart.
  • David also released a French version of Jeans On – it was called Blue Jeans.
  • Keith Urban appears to be the only musician of note to cover Jeans On.
  • Fatboy Slim sampled the opening piano riff for his 1998 track, Sho Nuff.  Check it out; David is given credit as co-writer.  Coincidentally, Fatboy Slim’s track was also used in a commercial.  This one was for the SEAT Ibiza car.
  • Jeans On lyrics.

jeans on – david dundas – 1976 – video

brutus jeans ad – 1974 – video

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Hot Child in the City – Nick Gilder – 1978

April 17, 2014

nick-gilder-hot-child-in-the-city-chrysalis-2Sweet, innocent and poppy – Nick Gilder’s 1978 hit, Hot Child in the City, is about something rather more sinister.

nick gilder fax

  • Born in the UK, moved to Vancouver as a kid, Nick began his musical career as the frontman for a Canadian glam-rock band named Sweeney Todd.  When Nick left the band to go solo, he was replaced by Bryan Adams!
  • Sweeney Todd had one #1 Canadian hit.  Back in June 1976, Roxy Roller sat at the top of the charts for three weeks.
  • Pretty much a one hit wonder, Nick has had a successful songwriting career writing for artists such as Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, and Pat Benatar.
  • Now 62, Nick continues to sing and tour.

hot child in the city fax

  • Hot Child in the City was written by Nick Gilder
  • Lifted from Nick’s second solo album, City Nights, it was released in 1978.
  • Hot Child in the City is about runaway young people.
  • Hot Child in the City hit #1 in both the US and Canada; it barely touched the charts in the UK.
  • The song sounds poppy and innocent but it’s about Nick’s experiences witnessing child prostitution.

I’ve seen a lot of young girls, 15 and 16, walking down Hollywood Boulevard with their pimps. Their home environment drove them to distraction so they ran away, only to be trapped by something even worse. It hurts to see that so I tried writing from the perspective of a lecher – in the guise of an innocent pop song.

hot child in the city – nick gilder – 1978 – video

roxy roller – sweeney todd – 1976 – video

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It Never Rains In Southern California – Albert Hammond – 1972

October 31, 2013

Albert Hammond 1Written and sung by an Englishman in the US, Albert Hammond’s, It Never Rains in Southern California peaked at #2 on the US charts in 1972.

songwriter extraordinaire

Albert Hammond was born in London, England. His family were from Gibraltar but had to evacuate during WWII. When the war ended, he returned to Gibraltar and grew up there before moving to Spain, and then the US.

Albert’s best known as a songwriter, co-writing with people such as, Mike HazeAlbert Hammond 2aalwood, Hal David and Carol Bayer Sager.

Here’s a few of Albert’s better known efforts:

  • Leapy Lee’s, Little Arrows
  • The Pipkins’, Gimme Dat Ding
  • Blue Mink’s, Good Morning Freedom
  • The Fortunes’, Freedom Come, Freedom Go
  • The Hollies’, The Air That I Breathe
  • Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson’s, To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before
  • Starship’s, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
  • Leo Sayer’s, When I Need You,
  • Chicago’s, I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your Love, and
  • Whitney Houston’s, One Moment in Time (the theme song to the 1988 Seoul Olympics).

He’s also written songs for:

That’s quite a list!!

Albert Hammond 2awards well deserved

Albert received an OBE in and is an inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

these days

These days Albert lives in LA. His most recent success was co-writing and co-producing Duffy’s album, Endlessly.

like father like son

Albert’s, Albert Hammond, Jr., is a member of The Strokes.

it never rains in southern california fax

  • It Never Rains in Southern California was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood. It was released on October 21, 1972.
  • While it peaked at #2 in the US, It Never Rains in Southern California never made the top 40 in the UK. Throughout the 70s, it was re-issued at least five times by various labels but never became a hit, despite still being played regularly on UK radio.
  • The chorus of It Never Rains in Southern California is sung by Julio Iglesias his 1984 hit, Moonlight Lady, which Albert wrote with Carole Bayer Sager.
  • It Never Rains in Southern California lyrics.

it never rains in southern california – albert hammond – 1972 – video

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Yellow River – Christie – 1970

September 19, 2013

Christie Yellow River 1970 single coverThe musings of a young soldier who is looking forward to returning to his home town on Yellow River, is the theme of Christie’s 1970 #1 UK single, Yellow River.

not quite a one hit wonder

Formed in the 1960s, Christie was a UK band whose greatest hit was Yellow River. The follow-up single, San Bernadino, peaked at #7 on the UK charts before the band faded away…

Many US one-hit-wonder lists include Christie because, while Yellow River peaked at #23 in the US, classifying it as a hit, San Bernadino didn’t survive the Atlantic crossing and was unheard of Stateside.

(I must confess – for years I thought Christie were an American band, linking their second hit to San Bernardino, California).

name-dropper

The band’s name came from the founder – Jeff Christie. The band broke up in 1976, but Jeff resurrected it (well, the name at least – it was a completely new line-up) in 1990. They toured until 2009.

In all, the band released five albums between 1969 and 1976.

yellow river fax

  • Yellow River was written by Jeff Christie.
  • Yellow River was originally offered to, and recorded by, The Tremeloes. They decided against releasing it although it has since appeared on a number of their compilation albums.
  • So, rather than Christie recording it, the vocals were taken off The Tremeloes version, and Jeff’s vocals added to their music.
  • Where is Yellow River? No one has ever said. The video of the song had Christie on a barge sailing down the Thames River, however.
  • Yellow River lyrics.

yellow river – christie – 1970 – video

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Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot – 1974

September 12, 2013

Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown - 1974 - single coverBack in the 70s, Canadian Gordon Lightfoot helped define the folk/pop scene.  His greatest hit was 1974’s, Sundown.

how time flies

He’s 74 now, but Gordon Lightfoot is still revered in his native Canada. Often referred to as Canada’s greatest songwriter, his career has lasted over 50 years and he’s produced more than 200 recordings.

gordon’s awards include:

  • Juno Awards* for top folk singer in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1977.
  • Juno Awards for top male vocalist in 1967, 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973.
  • 2 Juno Awards for composer of the year in 1972 and 1976.
  • ASCAP awards for song-writing in 1971, 1974, 1976, and 1977.
  • Five Grammy Award nominations.
  • Pop record of the year in 1974 for Sundown.
  • Canadian male recording artist of the decade (1970s).
  • Induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2001.
  • Induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 1998.
  • He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour, in May 2003.
  • In 2007, Canada Post honoured Gordon Lightfoot and three other legendary Canadian music artists (Anne Murray, Paul Anka, and Joni Mitchell) with postage stamps.
  • On June 24, 2012, Gordon was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (at the same ceremony as Bob Seger.

*Juno Award = a Canadian Grammy Award.

the guess who connection

The Canadian band The Guess Who recorded a song called “Lightfoot” on their 1968 album Wheatfield Soul, made up of many of Gordon’s song titles.

Gordon Lightfoot 3ultimate trivia – the john belushi connection

Another of Gordon’s big hits was If You Could Read My Mind. It was said to have been written during the breakdown of his first marriage. He was involved with another woman, Cathy Smith.

Cathy Smith was a hard-core groupie of The Band. Her real fame came, however, when she was sentenced to 15 months in prison for injecting John Belushi with a fatal dose of heroin and cocaine in 1982.

sundown fax

  • Sundown was released in March 1974. Gordon’s career had stalled after his 1971 hit song, If You Could Read My Mind. Sundown reignited his career.
  • Sundown hit number one on the US singles chart.
  • Sundown lyrics.

sundown – gordon lightfoot – 1974 – video

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