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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Stuck in the Middle with You – Stealers Wheel – 1973

March 9, 2017

Stuck in the Middle with You - Stealers Wheel - 1973I can’t believe we haven’t visited this tune before now… from the One Hit Wonder files, Stealers Wheel’s fabulous 1973 hit, Stuck in the Middle with You.

stealers wheel fax

  • Stealers Wheel was formed by school mates Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan in Scotland back in 1972.
  • Having released three albums and five singles, the band broke up in 1975. They reformed in 2008 without Gerry or Joe who had long since gone onto finer things.
  • Gerry’s musical career is well-known and includes the wonderful Baker Street (cue for saxophone solo). In 2011, Gerry died of liver failure having thrashed it over the years – his alcoholism has been widely documented.  Gerry’s first band, before Stealers Wheel, was the Humblebums which included comedian Billy Connolly.  Billy and Gerry were close friends right until Gerry’s death.
  • Stealers Wheel’s self-titled first album was released in 1972. It was produced by Leiber and Stroller and reached #50 on the US album charts.  Their hit Stuck in the Middle with You was lifted from this album.  By the time of release, Gerry had already left the band.

stuck in the middle with you fax

  • Stuck in the Middle with You was written by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, recorded by their band Stealers Wheel, and released as a single on 27 April 1973. It was produced by renowned American producers, Leiber and Stroller.
  • The song peaked at #6 on the US singles chart and #8 on the UK chart. It sold over one million copies.
  • Stuck in the Middle with You is famously used in Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 debut film Reservoir Dogs. Quentin once said of the song:

That was one of those things where I thought [the song] would work really well, and [during] auditions, I told the actors that I wanted them to do the torture scene, and I’m gonna use ‘Stuck in the Middle with You,’ but they could pick anything they wanted, they didn’t have to use that song. And a couple people picked another one, but almost everyone came in with ‘Stuck in the Middle with You,’ and they were saying that they tried to come up with something else, but that’s the one. The first time somebody actually did the torture scene to that song, the guy didn’t even have a great audition, but it was like watching the movie. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is gonna be awesome!’

stuck in the middle with you – stealers wheel – 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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Indian Reservation – Paul Revere and the Raiders – 1971

February 28, 2017

paul_revere_and_the_raiders_-_indian_reservationAfter over a decade in the industry and 32 single releases, Paul Revere and the Raiders finally hit #1 in the US in 1971 with Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian).

paul revere and the raiders fax

  • Initially known as The Downbeats, The Raiders began as an instrumental band led by organist and founder Paul Revere Dick. That was in 1958.  By 1960 they had changed their name to Paul Revere & the Raiders and Mark Lindsay had joined the band as lead singer. (Remember Mark’s single, Arizona?)
  • In late 1961, Paul was drafted for military service. He became a conscientious objector and served as a cook at a mental institution for a year and a half of deferred service. Meanwhile, Mark Lindsay and the band continued to tour with a replacement pianist who went by the name of Leon Russell.
  • By 1962 Paul was back and, having signed to Columbia Records, the hits started coming. These included, Kick” (1966; ranked No. 400 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time), Hungry (1966), Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be? (1967) and the Platinum-certified classic #1 single Indian Reservation (1971).
  • By 1973, the band had produced around 20 charting singles and then, by 1978, the band had parted ways.
  • paulreveretheraiderskicks1963-1972-407649Gone but not forgotten – the punk and new wave 80s, saw fresh interest in the Raiders’ music; I’m Not Your Stepping Stone was covered by the Sex Pistols, Just Like Me was covered by Joan Jett and Pat Benatar. While David Bowie covered Louie, Go Home. The Who had earlier taken the same song and changed the title and lyrics to Lubie (Come Back Home). Kicks was covered by Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as one of three new recordings included on their 1986 compilation, Then & Now… The Best of The Monkees.
  • The band reformed in 1978 and still perform today – in all over 35 musicians have been able to call themselves Raiders at some point in time, including Paul’s son, Jamie.
  • Paul died on October 4, 2014. He was 76.

indian reservation fax

  • Indian Reservation’s full name is, Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian).
  • The song was written by is a song written by the renowned, John D. Loudermilk and first recorded by Marvin Rainwater (aka The Pale Faced Indian) in 1959 – it attracted little (i.e. no) interest.
  • Indian Reservation’s second serious recording was by Don Fardon in 1968. It reached #20 on the US charts and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
  • Then, in 1971, Paul Revere & the Raiders had a go – their version topped went all the way to #1 in the US and sold over two million coples.
  • It was Paul Revere and the Raiders’ first and only #1 hit.
  • BTW – The Raiders’ lead singer Mark Lindsay is part Cherokee.
  • Indian Reservation lyrics.

indian reservation – paul revere and the raiders – 1971

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Radar Love – Golden Earring – 1973

February 22, 2017

golden-earring-radar-love-cover-1973Formed in 1961 and still going strong today, Golden Earring must be one of the longest performing bands in the world – in all those years they have had only one major hit, but it was a massive one – Radar Love in 1973.

golden earring fax

Golden Earring began life in 1961 in the Dutch city of The Hague when two neighbours, 13-year-old George Kooymans and 15-year-old Rinus Gerritsen got together to form The Tornados.

  • By 1970 the band had added a couple of members to become the line-up that remains together today.  Although, other musicians have come and gone over the years.
  • Discovering that there was already a band named The Tornados, the boys changed their name to Golden Earring.
  • By the late 60s, Golden Earring were quite popular in The Netherlands and had had a number of hit records and, in 1969, they embarked on their first US tour.  By 1984 they had completed 13 US tours and played alongside acts such as with Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Procol Harum, and Eric Clapton. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed 13 U.S. tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, King Crimson, The Doobie Brothers, and Rush.
  • Following the success of Radar Love, the band became stars in their own right and, at various times, had Kiss and Aerosmith as their opening act.
  • Those living outside The Netherlands may not realise the popularity of Golden Earring in their homeland.  They have released 25 studio albums – seven of which have reached #1 on the Dutch album chart (the last in 2012).
  • Add to this 73 single releases of which 42 have made the Dutch Top Ten!
  • Outside of the Netherlands, however, they will be remembered for Radar Love.

radar love fax

  • Radar Love was written by Golden Earring members George Kooymans and Barry Hay and recorded by the band in 1973.
  • It featured on the album Moontan.
  • There were three versions of the song: a 5:07 single, a 3:44 single edit and the album version which went for 6:21.
  • Radar Love, a #1 hit in the Netherlands, peaked at #13 in the US and #7 in the UK.
  • The song has been covered by a number of bands including, U2, R.E.M., White Lion, Blue Man Group, Def Leppard and Carlos Santana.  The White Lion version charted at #59 on the US singles chart.
  • Radar Love lyrics.

radar love – golden earring – 1973

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One Bad Apple – The Osmonds – 1970

February 19, 2017

one-bad-apple-cover-the-osmonds-1971The seventies saw a number of family bands hit the charts.  The Jacksons, The Cowsills, Sly and the Family Stone, Sister Sledge, The Partridge Family… well, maybe not the Partridge Family – At the forefront of these brother/sister bands were the Jacksons and The Osmonds.  The latter having a 1970 hit with One Bad Apple.

 the osmonds fax

  • The Osmonds were six brothers (six of eight brothers and a sister) who became teen idols in the early 70s.
  • The boys began as a barbershop quartet featuring, Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay.  They were joined by younger brothers Donny and Jimmy; changed their name to The Osmonds, and the rest is history.
  • the-osmondsTwo older brothers, George and Tom were born deaf and didn’t originally perform with the family band but, in later years, made several television appearances in the Osmond Christmas specials.
  • Donny and Jimmy, and sister Marie, went on to have successful solo careers.
  • The Osmonds continue to perform in various line-ups or as soloists today.  Collectively, the family has sold 102 million records worldwide and have a star on the Hollywood Wall of Fame.

one bad apple fax

  • One Bad Apple was written by songwriter George Jackson and recorded by The Osmonds on October 26, 1970.
  • Released as a single, the B-side was a cover of The Hollies’, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.
  • Released in late 1970, One Bad Apple hit #1 on the US charts in February 1971, sitting comfortably there for five weeks.  It ended the year being ranked as #4 song for 1971.
  • The song is lifted from The Osmonds debut album, Osmonds.
  • George Jackson wrote the song with The Jackson 5 in mind – Michael Jackson apparently once said his brothers almost recorded the song but recorded ABC instead.
  • One Bad Apple lyrics.

one bad apple – the osmonds – 1971 – video

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Cold As Ice – Foreigner – 1977

February 14, 2017

foreigner-cold-as-ice-single-coverA couple of Brits and an American walk into a band and form, Foreigner; a band who go on to have multiple hit records including 1977’s, Cold As Ice. And, the next minute… it’s in an NFL Super Bowl advertisement!

foreigner fax

  • Foreigner formed in New York back in 1976. Original members were Englishmen, Mick Jones (not to be confused with The Clash guitarist) and Ian McDonald (ex-King Crimson) and American vocalist, Lou Gramm, another Englishman, Dennis Elliott, and a couple more Americans, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.  That’s quite a line-up – within a year they had a #4 US hit with Feels Like the First Time.  A couple of decades later, they are still going strong (with a few line-up changes) and have become one of the world’s best-selling bands with over 80 million records sold worldwide.
  • Included in their successes is the huge hit I Want to Know What Love Is, which reach the top of both the US and UK charts. Add to that, Cold As Ice (1977), Hot Blooded (1978), Double Vision (1978), Urgent (1981), and Waiting for a Girl Like You ((1981), and you got the potential for a pretty strong Greatest Hits album!
  • Foreigner have released ten studio albums and 47 singles. The singles release in recent years have failed to achieve great chart success and one would have to conclude, the band’s heyday was in the 70s and 80s.  Having said that, Foreigner continue to tour and play to large and adoring audiences.

cold as ice fax

  • Cold as Ice was a 1977 hit for British-American band Foreigner. It was lifted from their eponymous debut album.
  • Written by Foreigner members, Mick Jones and Lou Gramm, Cold as Ice was originally the B-side of some versions of the single, Feels Like the First Time.
  • Cold As Ice peaked at #6 on the US singles chart and #24 on the UK singles chart.
  • Kanye West sampled Cold As Ice as part of the intro for his song Cold at Glastonbury 2015.
  • A cover version of Cold As Ice was used in a Wendy’s advertisement commercial during the 2017 NFL Super Bowl.
  • Cold As Ice lyrics.

cold as ice – foreigner – 1977 – video

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