I Wonder – Sixto Rodriguez – 1970

July 28, 2018

Rod - Cold FactIf you have never heard the music of Sixto Rodriguez, you are sorely missing out. Doubly so if you’ve never seen the movie, Searching for Sugar Man. I Wonder is a single from his first album, Cold Fact; recorded in 1969, released in March 1970.

rodriguez fax

  • Now drawing close to 80 years’ old, Sixto Rodriguez – known professionally as Rodriguez – hails from Detroit, Michigan.
  • Initially spoken of as a singer-songwriter in the same breath as Bob Dylan et al, Rodriguez’s US music career was short lived. Unknown to Rodriquez, however, in South Africa, he became a superstar. His albums apparently outselling Elvis Presley. Fans were told he had committed suicide shortly after releasing his first album.
  • In the 1990s, determined South African fans managed to find and contact Rodriguez and his musical career was revived – cue the 2012 Academy Award–winning documentary film Searching for Sugar Man.
  • In recent years, Rodriguez has played Glastonbury and the Montreux Jazz Festival.
  • Despite his success, Rodriguez has released only two studio albums: Cold Fact, and Coming from Reality.

i wonder fax

  • I Wonder was written by Sixto Rodriguez and features on his first album, Cold Fact.
  • I Wonder was recorded in August – September 1969 and released in March 1970.
  • The album Cold Fact has gone platinum in South Africa and five-times platinum in Australia.
  • I Wonder lyrics.

i wonder – sixto rodriguez – 1970 – video

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Love Will Find a Way – Pablo Cruise – 1978

July 23, 2018

Love will find a way - pablo cruise - 1978Remember this one? Soft rock band Pablo Cruise – this was one of their greatest hits; from 1978, Love Will Find a Way.

pablo cruise fax

  • Pablo Cruise formed in San Francisco back in 1973.
  • Over the 13 years they were together, they released eight studio albums and had five singles make it into the top 25 of the US singles charts.
  • The story goes that, when the band first began performing, people would come to their shows and ask, “Which one of you guys is, Pablo Cruise?” The band would answer, “He’s the guy in the middle.”
  • The band partially reformed in 1996. Then in 2004, all four original members of the band played at one of the band member’s wedding. This led to three of them reuniting. They are still playing together today.
  • Original band members were, Cory Lerios (keyboards and vocals), David Jenkins (vocals and guitar), Steve Price (drums), and Bud Cockrell (bass and vocals).

love will find a way fax

  • Love Will Find a Way was written by David Jenkins and Cory Lenios, members of American band Pablo Cruise.
  • It was released in May 1978, from the album Worlds Away.
  • Love Will Find a Way peaked at #6 on the US singles chart.
  • The song received a considerable amount of airplay during the summer of 1978, prompting critic Robert Christgau to say, “Hear David Jenkins sing ‘once you get past the pain’ fifty times in a day and the pain will be permanent”, referring to the lyrics of the chorus.[1]
  • Love Will Find a Way lyrics.

love will find a way – pablo cruise – 1978 – video

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Le Freak – Chic – 1978

June 18, 2018

chic-le_freak_1978Still touring, still featuring the incredible Nile Rodgers, still Le Freak remains their greatest hit – American band, Chic had a massive hit in 1978 with Le Freak.

chic fax

  • Chic was formed in 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. One of their original names was, the Big Apple Band. This was dropped in favour of Chic when Walter Murphy released the single and album A Fifth of Beethoven under the name Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band.
  • Chic went on to produce a number of success disco hits, including: Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) (1977), Everybody Dance (1977), Le Freak (1978), I Want Your Love (1978), and Good Times (1979).
  • The band has been cited as having influenced many successful bands, including a number from the UK. John Taylor, bassist from Duran Duran, claims the bass part of their top 10 single Rio was influenced by his work with Chic.  Johnny Marr of The Smiths cited Chic as a formative influence. Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust was inspired by the bass guitar riff on Good Times.
  • Chic have been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eleven times – the most nominated act not to receive induction. In 2017, Nile Rodgers was inducted for Musical Excellence.
  • The band still tours under the name, Nile Rodgers and Chic.

le freak fax

  • Written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, Le Freak was the third single by American R&B band, Chic. It was the first of three singles from their second album, C’est Chic.
  • Released in September 1978, Le Freak was the band’s first #1 US single; it peaked at #7 in the UK. The following year, Chic had a second #1 US single with Good Times.
  • Many of Chic’s songs had deeper meanings. Le Freak commemorates the nightclub Studio 54 for its notoriously long customer waiting lines, exclusive clientele, and discourteous doormen. On New Year’s Eve 1977, Nile and Bernard were refused entrance to the club, where they had been invited by Grace Jones. The original lyrics refrain were “F*** off!” later tempered to “Freak out!”
  • Le Freak” was the first song to score the #1 position on Billboard’s Hot 100 three separate times. Around five songs have since achieved this.
  • In 2018, Le Freak was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the US Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”
  • Le Freak lyrics.

le freak – chic – 1978 – video


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Wand’rin’ Star – Lee Marvin – 1970

June 5, 2018

Wand'ring Star Lee Marvin 1970Sometimes the most unlikely people wind up with a #1 hit – take actor Lee Marvin for instance, and his 1970 song, Wand’rin’ Star.

lee marvin fax

  • Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor, best known for his deep voice which made him perfect for playing the roles of cowboys, villains, police detectives, and soldiers.
  • Lee’s acting awards included, an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
  • Lee served as a US marine during WWII. After the war, he found work as a plumber’s assistant at a local community theatre in New York.  One night, he was asked to replace an actor who had fallen ill during rehearsals. Lee fell in love with acting and the rest is, as they say, history.
  • But, we’re interested in his song… Lee gained a the role in the 1969 movie, The Wild Bunch but fell out with the movie’s director, Sam Peckinpah.  He pulled out of the movie and took a role alongside Clint Eastwood in the Western musical Paint Your Wagon.
  • No one would claim Lee was a great singer but, despite that, he had a hit song with “Wand’rin’ Star”.
  • This was back in 1970, and he was getting paid a million dollars per film—a phenomenal amount at the time.
  • Lee featured in around 65 movies and several television programmes and series.
  • Lee died of a heart attack on August 29, 1987.

wand’ring star fax

  • Wand’rin’ Star was written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical Paint Your Wagon in 1951.
  • In 1969, a movie version was released starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. Lee took the role of prospector Ben Rumson who had a number of songs in the film, including Wand’rin Star.
  • It was initially suggested that Lee mime to the voices of other singers but, despite his limited singing ability, he refused.
  • Wand’ring Star hit #1 in the UK and Ireland keeping The Beatles’ Let it Be at #2 in the UK. It was Lee’s only single. It didn’t feature on the US charts.
  • The B-Side to Lee’s version featured I Talk to the Trees—also from Paint Your Wagon—by Clint Eastwood.
  • In 1990, Wand’rin’ Star was covered by English comedian Julian Clary. It was also covered by Shane MacGowan and The Popes on their 1997 album, The Crock of Gold.
  • Wand’ring Star lyrics.

wand’ring star – lee marvin – 1970

i talk to the trees – clint eastwood – 1970

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Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan – 1978

May 30, 2018

Magnet_and_SteelHere’s one you forgot about – Walter Egan’s rather easy-going 1978 gold record hit, Magnet and Steel.

walter egan fax

  • Despite releasing around a dozen singles, American muso, Walter Egan, can probably be considered a one hit wonder.
  • Walter graduated from uni with a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture.
  • Barely out of his teens, Walter began writing songs and played guitar in a college band known as Sageworth and Drums. The band broke up in 1971, Walter moved to LA and began his career as a solo artist.
  • In LA, Walter met members of Fleetwood Mac – Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks produced his first album, Fundamental Roll, and songs on his second album, Not Shy.
  • Walter’s highest charting song was Magnet and Steel (#8 on the US charts). He also wrote Hearts on Fire, which was covered by Gram Parsons on his album Grievous Angel, and Hot Summer Nights, which was the first hit for the band Night, which included such session musicians as Nicky Hopkins and Robbie McIntosh.
  • Walter is credited as a co-writer of the Eminem hit We Made You because Dr. Dre, who produced the song, believed he was inspired by the bass line from Hot Summer Nights.
  • Walter remains involved in the music industry and, as recently as 2011 produced an album titled Raw Elegant.
  • Walter is also known for appearances on US game shows. In 1985, he was a four-time champion on Catchphrase. In 1986, he appeared as a contestant on the television game show Scrabble. During his introduction on the latter show, Walter was introduced as a singer and songwriter. When the show’s host asked Walter to sing something he’d written, he sang the main chorus of Magnet and Steel.
  • Walter is apparently currently employed as a substitute teacher in Williamson County, Tennessee, near Franklin.

magnet and steel fax

  • Magnet and Steel was written by Walter Egan. Released in May 1978, it was the first single from Walter’s, second solo album, Not Shy.
  • Magnet and Steel peaked at #8 on the US singles chart.
  • Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham sang background vocals and co-produced the song. The third producer was Richard Dashut who produced a number of Fleetwood Mac albums, including: Rumours, Tusk and Mirage.
  • Stevie Nicks is said to be Walter’s inspiration for the song.
  • Magnet and Steel features in at least three movies: Boogie Nights (1997), Overnight Delivery (1998) and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999).
  • Magnet and Steel lyrics.

magnet and steel – walter egan – 1978 – video

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Ol’ ‘55 – Tom Waits – 1973

May 6, 2018

Tom Waits Closing Time 1973Ol’ ‘55 – Tom Waits – 1973

A wonderful song from one of the great poets/singers – Tom Waits’ 1973 song, Ol’ ’55.  If you haven’t heard this song before – you are in for a treat!!

tom waits fax

  • Tom Waits has one of those distinctive voices – once described as, “sounding as if it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car” – and is almost as well-known for his persona as he is his music. (Tom’s persona is perhaps best observed when we compare the live and studio versions of Ol’ ’55).
  • Aged 12 years and living in San Diego, Tom was inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation. Four years later, he began singing in local folk clubs before moving to LA.
  • In LA, Tom worked as a songwriter before gaining a recording contract of his own. The result was the fabulous album, Closing Time (1973).
  • Since then, he has released a further 15 studio albums and has worked as a composer for movies and musicals. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.
  • He has also appeared in 39 movies to date with a couple more due for release later this year.
  • An incredible 19 Tom Waits tribute albums have been released around the world!
  • Although his albums have experienced mixed commercial success in the US, Tom is cited as an inspiration by many well-known artists. His albums have also gone gold in a number of nations around the globe.  Some of this songs are best known for the cover versions produced by more commercial artists, e.g. Jersey Girl by Bruce Springsteen, Ol’ ’55 by The Eagles, and Downtown Train by Rod Stewart.
  • Tom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He is included in the 2010 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers, and the 2015 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

ol’ ’55 fax

  • Written by Tom Waits, Ol’ ’55 is the opening track and lead single from Tom’s debut studio album, Closing Time.
  • Recorded in early 1972, Ol’ ’55 was released in March 1973 on Asylum Records.
  • Ol’ ’55 has been covered by numerous artists including: Eagles (1974 on the On The Border album and B-side of Best of My Love), Fairport Convention singer Iain Matthews (1974), Richie Havens (1980) and Sarah McLachlan (1994).
  • In a 1975 interview Tom criticised Eagles’ cover version of his song, admitting that he was “not that particularly crazy about (their) rendition of it … I thought their version was a little antiseptic.” Tom has since admitted he had a chip on his shoulder, and he is prouder now of that version.
  • Ol’ ’55 lyrics.

ol’ ’55 – tom waits – 1973 – video – LIVE

ol’ ’55 – tom waits – 1973 – video – STUDIO VERSION

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Why Me – Kris Kristofferson – 1973

March 11, 2018

Why Me - Kris K - 1973Kris Kristofferson, the man who wrote the fabulous Me and Bobby McGee, had his greatest hit with a 1973 gospel country song, Why Me.

kris kristofferson fax

  • Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, in the USA; his grandparents were from Sweden, which explains the surname.
  • Kris is a pretty bright guy. He graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in literature and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in the UK.  At Oxford he was awarded his Blue for boxing and played rugby for his college.
  • About this time, he began writing and recording songs using the name Kris Carson. He found little success in the music world but graduated with a B.Phil degree in English literature.
  • Kris joined the US Army and attained the rank of captain. He also worked as a helicopter pilot for a while.
  • In 1965, he left the army, moved to Nashville, and began pursuing his music career between working various odd jobs. While sweeping floors at Columbia Studios, he met June Carter and handed her a tape which he asked be given to Johnny Cash.  Johnny didn’t get around to listening to it for a while and, frustrated with waiting, Kris landed a helicopter in Johnny’s front yard.  Apparently, Johnny wasn’t home, but it did get Johnny’s attention.  A short time later, Johnny recorded Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, earning Kris the Songwriter of the Year award at the Country Music Awards.
  • Kris continued writing songs and other artists continued to have success with them – including Janis Joplin (who Kris dated until her death) with Me and Bobby McGee. Kris recorded his own music but with little initial success.
  • Then, in 1971, Kris’ second album, The Silver Tongued Devil, was released. It was successful, as was his third album, Jesus was a Capricorn.
  • In 1972, he appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test in the UK with Rita Coolidge (to whom he was married for a while), singing Help Me Make It Through The Night, a song off his unsuccessful first album. His success as a solo artist was established.
  • About this time, Kris made his acting debut in in The Last Movie, directed by Dennis Hopper. He enjoyed acting and made the that a focus for a while.  He is best known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Heaven’s Gate, and A Star Is Born, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
  • In 1985, Kris joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen.
  • In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

why me fax

  • Why Me was written by and recorded on July 8, 1972, by American country music singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson. It was released as a single in April 1973 – the third single from Kris’ third album, Jesus was a Carpenter.
  • Why Me was Kris’ greatest hit, peaking at #16 on the US singles chart, but topping the US and Canadian Country singles chart.
  • Artists to cover Why Me include, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty.
  • Why Me lyrics.

Why Me – Kris Kristofferson – 1973 – video


the why me story – kris Kristofferson – video

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