Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell – 1975

May 21, 2017

Rhinestone Cowboy Glen Campbell 1975It’s difficult to believe Glen Campbell is now 81 years old! And there is also his well-publiscised battle with Alzheimers.  I hope, in some way, he appreciates how much those who love 70s music value the contribution he made to our musical lives throughout the 60s, 70s and beyond.

glen campbell fax

  • Born in Arkansas in 1936, Glen was the seventh son of 12 children.
  • Glen started playing guitar in his teens, taught by his uncle whose band he joined in 1954.
  • By 1958, Glen had formed his own band, the Western Wranglers before moving to Los Angeles in 1960 to become a session musician, songwriter and recorder of demos. He was a part of a group of musicians known as The Wrecking Crew.  The Wrecking Crew would back him on a number of recordings throughout his career.
  • As a backing musician, Glen played on recordings by Campbell played on recordings by many of the eras great artists, including, Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Phil Spector.
  • In 1961, Glen was signed to Crest Records he signed to Capitol Records a year later) and began his solo career.
  • Throughout the 60s and 70s, Glen had a string of hit songs and, for three years, hosted his own music and comedy variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
  • During his 50 years in show business, Glen released over 70 albums and sold over 45 million records. 12 of those albums achieved gold record status, with four becoming platinum albums and one double-platinum album.
  • He has had over 80 singles hit the charts, 29 top 10’s and nine #1s, including, Gentle on My Mind; By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Wichita Lineman, Galveston, Rhinestone Cowboy and Southern Nights.
  • In 1967, Glen won four Grammys total in the country and pop categories – two for Gentle on My Mind in the country and western category and two for By the Time I Get to Phoenix in the pop category.
  • In 2012, Glen was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • Glen has appeared in 11 movies, including playing alongside John Wayne in the classic, True Grit.
  • In June 2011, Glen announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six months earlier. He embarked on a “Goodbye Tour,” with three of his children joining him in his backup band.  His final show was on November 30, 2012, in Napa, California and he performed Rhinestone Cowboy as a goodbye at the 2012 Grammy Awards ceremony held on February 12, 2012, his final televised on-stage performance.  Since April 2014, he has been a patient at an Alzheimer’s long-term care and treatment facility where, he is reported to be unable to communicate with people and understand what people say.  His family have stated, Glen is receiving good care and is “happy” and “cheerful.”

glen campbell trivia

  • From December 1964 to early March 1965, Glen was a touring member of The Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson. He also played guitar on the band’s Pet Sounds (1966) album, among other Beach Boys recordings. On tour, he played bass guitar and sang falsetto harmonies.

rhinestone cowboy fax

  • Rhinestone Cowboy was written by Larry Weiss and recorded on his 1974 album Black and White.
  • In late 1974, Campbell heard Rhinestone Cowboy on the radio. He was touring Australia and decided to learn the song. On returning to the US, he was talking to a record company exec. who told him about a great song he should record… the song was Rhinestone Cowboy.
  • Glen recorded the song in March 1975 with The Wrecking Crew. It was released on May 26, 1975.
  • Rhinestone Cowboy hit #1 on the US singles chart and #4 on the UK singles chart. Interestingly, it was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the US singles chart and the US Country singles chart. The others being: Before the Next Teardrop Falls by Freddy Fender, (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song by BJ Thomas Thank God I’m a Country Boy and I’m Sorry/Calypso, both by John Denver, and Convoy by C. W. McCall.
  • In 2013, Glen recorded a new version of Rhinestone Cowboy for his final studio album, See You There.
  • Rhinestone Cowboy served as the basis for the 1984 movie Rhinestone, starring Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton.
  • Amongst artists to cover Rhinestone Cowboy are, Slim Whitman, Guns N’ Roses and Tony Clifton (aka Andy Kaufman).
  • Rhinestone Cowboy lyrics.

rhinestone cowboy – glen campbell – 1975 – video

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Memphis, Tennessee – Roy Orbison – 1972

May 5, 2017

One of the greatest ever songs of all time was a hit for neither Chuck Berry nor Roy Orbison – but it’s a great song all the same – Memphis Tennessee

roy orbison fax

  • Born in Texas in 1936, died in Hendersonville, Tennessee in 1988 – he was only 52, but what a ride!!
  • Most of Roy’s success was in the early rock and roll era from 1957 to 1964. At the height of his popularity, Roy had 22 songs on the US top 40, 6 Top five hits and, 2 went all the way to #1 – Running Scared and Oh, Pretty Woman.
  • In the UK Roy had ten Top 10 hits between 1960 and 1966, including three #1’s – Only the Lonely, It’s Over, and Oh, Pretty Woman.
  • In the 1980s there was a resurgence in Roy’s popularity via The Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, and George Harrison).
  • Roy’s start in music came thanks to Sam Phillips at Sun Records where he had moderate success.
  • Later he recorded several songs at Monument Records under producer Fred Foster. With Fred and song writing partners Joe Melson and Bill Dees, Roy wrote songs that were more suited to his unique voice.
  • Roy died of a heart attack on December 6, 1988. He had taken on a heavy workload and had complained to Johnny Cash that he was having chest pains that he feared were health related.
  • Two posthumous albums have been released. Mystery Girl, just after his death (1989) – he was working on it at the time of his death.  And, King of Hearts (1999) which was put together from master sessions and demos by Jeff Lynne for Virgin Records.
  • Most of the16 singles Roy released in the 70s didn’t even dent the charts. He did, however, do a great version of Memphis, Tennessee, which peaked at #84 in Australia; it didn’t chart anywhere else in the world – but is a great version.

memphis, tennessee fax

  • Memphis, Tennessee was written and first recorded by Chuck Berry.
  • Chuck released it in 1959 – surprisingly, it failed to chart anywhere in the world except the UK where it peaked at #6 in 1963.
  • Interestingly, at the same time as Chuck’s release was in the UK charts, Decca Records issued a cover version in the UK by Dave Berry and the Cruisers – it also became a UK Top 20 hit single.
  • Johnny Rivers covered the song in 1964 – his version made it to #2 on the US charts.
  • Memphis, Tennessee may be one of the most covered songs of all time. Artists to have covered it include: The Beatles, The Animals, The Who (as The High Numbers), Paul Anka, Count Basie, The Dave Clark Five, Bo Diddley, Faces, Al Green, The Hollies, Jan and Dean, Tom Jones, Jerry Lee Lewis, Led Zeppelin, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers, The Rolling Stones, Del Shannon, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, The Statler Brothers, Rod Stewart, George Thorogood, Conway Twitty, and Hank Williams Jr.
  • Chuck Berry later composed a sequel, “Little Marie”, which appeared in 1964 as a single and on the album St. Louis to Liverpool.
  • The Beatles first performed this song for their failed Decca audition on 1 January 1962, with Pete Best on drums.
  • Memphis, Tennessee lyrics.

memphis, tennessee – roy orbison – 1972


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I Think I Love You – The Partridge Family – 1970

April 7, 2017

I think I love you - Partridge FamilyDebut single from debut album – straight to #1 – I Think I Love You from The Partridge Family!

the partridge family fax

  • I think we all know the story – The Partridge Family, an American musical-sitcom. A widowed mother (Shirley Jones) and her five children somehow become pop stars.
  • The show ran from September 25, 1970, until March 23, 1974, the band ran for almost exactly the same time span.
  • Apparently, the show was loosely based on The Cowsills; a real-life family band.
  • To promote the show, ABC released a series of albums and – did they play their own instruments? No.  David Cassidy sang, and Shirley Jones provided some BVs, but that was it.  No other cast member featured on any recording.
  • Of course, David Cassidy became a teen idol leading him to be signed as a solo act. David gathered his own band and toured across the USA, UK, Europe, Japan and Australia, singing his own songs and those of “his family.”
  • The Partridge Family’s biggest hit was back in 1970 – their debut single, I Think I Love You.
  • The band’s first album, The Partridge Family Album, peaked at #4 on the US album charts and sold over a million copies.
  • A number of hits followed: Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted, I’ll Meet You Halfway, I Woke Up In Love This Morning, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do, etc.
  • In just four years, The Partridge Family released 89 songs on 9 albums.

Even as late as 2017, David was touring and singing the old hits. He had his battles with drink, but now battles dementia and has retired from singing.

In 1971, The Partridge Family were nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Artist category.

i think i love you fax

  • I Think I Love You was written by Tony Romeo who previously wrote a number of hits for The Cowsills.
  • In 1970, I Think I Love You was released as the debut single by The Partridge Family, featuring David Cassidy on lead vocals and Shirley Jones on BVs.
  • The song went straight to #1 on the US charts – the band’s only #1 hit. It peaked at #18 on the UK charts.
  • I Think I Love You was 1970s top selling record in the US. It sold over five million copies, outselling the Beatles’ Let It Be, and making The Partridge Family the third fictional artist to have a #1 hit (after The Chipmunks and The Archies).
  • I Think I Love You lyrics.

i think i love you – the partridge family – 1970

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Tears of a Clown – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – 1970

April 2, 2017

The Tears of a Clown - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - 1970Music by Stevie Wonder – how could you go wrong?! Smokey Robinson and the Miracles had a #1 hit in 1970 with, The Tears of a Clown.

smokey robinson and the miracles fax

  • The Miracles formed in 1955 and soon became the first successful recording act for Motown Records.
  • Well, actually, they began life as The Five Chimes, then became the Matadors, and then the Miracles.
  • And Motown wasn’t their first tilt at stardom. They auditioned for Brunswick Records but were turned down.
  • They toiled away for five years until 1960 saw them record their first hit – Shop Around, which peaked at #2 on the US Charts.
  • 26 Top 40 Pop hits followed. Sixteen reached the Top 20, seven reached Top 10, and one -The Tears of a Clown – went all the way.
  • In 1965, the band became Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. That lasted until 1972 when Smokey (and his wife Claudette Rogers) left the band.
  • With a couple of breaks, the Miracles have reformed and split again twice. 1980 – 1983, and 1993 – 2011.
  • The genius of the band is that they wrote many of their own hits. They also took on other roles within the Motown company.  In 1964, Smokey became Motown’s vice-president.
  • The band were, in 2011, named at #32 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all Time. They have a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame and were, in 2012, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The induction was surrounded in controversy because, Smokey had been inducted as a soloist in 1987, an act that even he expressed surprise about.
  • The legacy of the Miracles is huge. Stevie Wonder once said,

Without the Miracles, there would be no Stevie Wonder.

  • Barry Gordy said,

Without the Miracles, Motown would not be the Motown it is today.

the tears of a clown fax

  • The Tears of a Clown was written by Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and Hank Cosby.
  • It was recorded by in 1966 by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles for the Tamla Records label subsidiary of Motown.
  • First appearing on the 1967 album Make It Happen, it was re-released in the UK as a single in July 1970, and went straight to #1. That prompted Motown to release the song in the US where it also went straight to the top.
  • The Tears of a Clown was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • Stevie Wonder and Hank Cosby wrote the music for the track and gave it to Smokey to see what words he could come up with. Thinking the music had a circus motif, Smokey wrote about a clown and, the rest is history.
  • Cover versions have been released by several artists including: Petula Clark, Phil Collins, Michael McDonald, Marc Cohn, and Boyzone.
  • The Tears of a Clown lyrics.

the tears of a clown – smokey robinson and the miracles – 1970 -video

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I’m Gonna Make You Mine – Lou Christie – 1969

March 22, 2017

I'm_Gonna_Make_You_Mine_-_Lou_ChristieI love this song! From late 1969, Lou Christie’s hit single, I’m Gonna Make You Mine.

lou christie fax

  • Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco grew up in Pittsburgh, USA; by the time he was 19 he had a recording contract and was smart enough to adopt a stage name = Lou Christie.
  • Lou’s career had three phases; first, his pre-army days. While still in school, Lou wrote and recorded songs.  On leaving high school, he travelled to New York and worked as a session vocalist.  A record producer heard him, liked his falsetto voice and suggested he listen to The Four Seasons song, Sherry.  Lou loved it.  He got back together with his long time song writing partner, Twyla Herbert, and wrote, The Gypsy Cried.  It was released as a single and Lou’s career was on the way – the song peaked at #24 on the US charts.
  • A couple of other hits followed, as did Lou’s being drafted into the army – he didn’t release another charting single for two and a half years.
  • Next came the post-army career phase. On being discharged from the army, Lou signed with MGM and his career was reborn.  Apparently MGM disliked his first single, Lightnin’ Strikes.  The fans loved it – on Lou’s 23rd birthday, it hit #1 on the US charts.
  • For some reason, Lou was dropped by MGM. He worked under the Columbia for a short (and unfruitful) while, before signing with Buddah Records.  His first song with Buddah, I’m Gonna Make You Mine, was a 1 hit, peaking at #7 in the US.
  • Phase three began in 1971 and has continued through to the present day. Lou continued to make music but without the success of previous years.  He continued to tour.
  • In 1997, Lou released his first album since 1971.

i’m gonna make you mine fax

  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine was written by well-known bubble gum music producer, Tony Romeo.
  • It was recorded and released by by Lou Christie in 969.
  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine spent 12 weeks on the US singles chart, peaking at #7. It reached #2 in the UK.
  • It was the title track of Lou’s fifth album, his first on Buddah Records.
  • The song was ranked No. 60 on Billboard Magazine’s Top Hot 100 songs of 1969.
  • I’m Gonna Make You Mine lyrics.

i’m gonna make you mine – lou Christie – 1969 – video

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Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree – Dawn featuring Tony Orlando – 1973

March 16, 2017

tieayellowribsmWho could forget this one – the #1 hit from Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1973’s Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree.

tony orlando and dawn fax

  • Tony Orlando first hit the charts as a 16-year-old back in 1961 but by the time the 70s began he’d given up singing. He’d had two solo top 40 hits and one as lead singer for the studio group Wind.
  • Having retired from singing, he became a music publisher for a a division of Columbia Records. It was here that he came across the song Candida.  Tony wanted to record and release the song but couldn’t use his name because of his role with Columbia.  So, it was released on Bell Records and labelled as being performed by the band Dawn – Tony on lead vocals and the four writers of Candida singing backup.
  • The song became an almost instant success, peaking at #3 on the US singles chart.
  • That was all it took – Tony wanted to sing again. They released a follow-up single, Knock Three Times, which topped the charts.
  • Tony’s recording company wanted a band to tour and promote the records. That lead Tony to ask former Motown/Stax backing vocalists Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson to join him and become Dawn – the band was known initially as Dawn featuring Tony Orlando.
  • Their third single also hit #1 – remember Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree?
  • That was followed by seven consecutive Hot 100 US hits, including the #1 US hit, He Don’t Love You (Like I Love You).
  • In 1973, the band began calling themselves, Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • In 1974 (through until December 1976), when The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour ended its run, CBS gave the band a television variety show entitled Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • The band has reformed a number of times over the years, the last time being in 2015.

tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree fax

  • Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree was written by Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown and recorded by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando (later Tony Orlando and Dawn) in February 19, 1973.
  • The song reached #1 on both the US and UK single charts where is sat for four weeks. It was the top-selling single in 1973 in both the US and UK.
  • In 2008, Billboard ranked the song as the 37th biggest song of all time.
  • The song is sometimes said to be about a released convict returning home, hoping his girl still loves him. Composer L. Russell Brown says this is wrong:

This is “NOT” the story of a convict who had told his love to tie a ribbon book to a tree outside of town. I know because I wrote the song one morning in 15 minutes with the late lyrical genius Irwin Levine. The genesis of this idea came from the age old folk tale about a Union prisoner of war–who sent a letter to his girl that he was coming home from a confederate POW camp in Georgia…. Anything about a criminal is pure fantasy….

tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree – dawn featuring tony orlando – 1973 – video

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It’s Too Late – Carole King -1971

March 5, 2017

its-too-late-carole-king-1971What can you say about one of the greatest song writers of all time – except that one of her greatest songs (my opinion) is her 1971 hit, It’s Too Late.

carole king fax

  • It’s difficult to believe Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein) is now 75 years old – for those of us who had the good fortune of growing up in the 60s and 70s, Carole has written a fair piece of the soundtrack of our lives.
  • Carole must surely be the most successful female songwriter of our times. She’s written or co-written a staggering 118 pop hits which have made the US singles charts.  61 of her songs have made the UK charts.
  • Carole’s music career began in the very late 50s as a song writer teaming up with her then husband, Gerry Goffin.
  • In the 70s, Carole began to sing her own songs. Her first album, Writer, didn’t fare too well but her second album, Tapestry – well, it hit #1 in the US (sitting there for a massive 15 weeks and remaining in the charts for 6 years) and #4 in the UK.  It sold over ten million albums in the US alone.
  • In all Carole has given us 25 solo albums with three of them, Tapestry, Music, and Wrap Around Joy, making it to the top of the US charts.
  • In all, that equates to around 75 million albums sold worldwide.
  • Carole has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her song writing.

it’s too late fax

  • It’s Too Late is a song from Carole King’s 1971 hit album Tapestry; Toni Stern wrote the lyrics and King wrote the music.
  • Released as a single in April 1971, It’s Tool Late reached #1 on the US and Canadian singles charts and #6 on the UK charts.
  • A double A-side single, the other side of the record featured I Feel The Earth Move.
  • It’s Too Late won the Record of the Year Grammy in 1972 and is ranked at #469 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
  • A number of artists have released cover versions including: The Isley Brothers, Billy Paul, The Stylistics, and Gloria Estefan.
  • It’s Too Late lyrics.

it’s too late – carole king – 1971 – video

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