(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher – Rita Coolidge – 1977

January 10, 2016

Rita Coolidge Higher and HigherPart Scots, part Cherokee Indian, Rita Coolidge’s greatest hit was 1977’s, (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher.

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  • Born in Tennessee in 1945, Rita Coolidge continues to perform today.
  • Rita’s singing career began in bars around Memphis and in recording advertising jingles, before she was discovered by Delaney and Bonnie.
  • After moving to Los Angeles with Delaney and Bonnie, Rita sang background vocals for many popular artists of the time, including: Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, and Stephen Stills.  Rita features in Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen album, singing Leon Russell’s Superstar.
  • Rita was nicknamed, The Delta Lady and inspired Leon Russell to write a song of the same name for her.
  • 500_FRONT.jpgIn 1973, Rita married Kris Kristofferson.  Together they recorded several duet albums, which sold well and earned them two Grammy Awards for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal; From the Bottle to the Bottom (1974) and Lover Please (1976).
  • As a soloist, Rita scored four consecutive top 25 hits in 1977-78.  Coincidentally, they were all covers: Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, Boz Scaggs’ We’re All Alone, The Temptations’ The Way You Do The Things You Do, and Marcia Hines’ You.

the layla connection

  • Having recorded the initial version of Layla in 1970, Eric Clapton heard drummer Jim Gordon playing a piano piece he had allegedly composed himself.  Eric was impressed by the piece and convinced his drummer Gordon to allow it to be used as the song’s coda section. Jim Gordon has been officially credited with this part but keyboardist Bobby Whitlock claims,

Jim took that piano melody from his ex-girlfriend Rita Coolidge. I know because in the Delaney & Bonnie days, I lived in John Garfield’s old house in the Hollywood Hills and there was a guest house with an upright piano in it. Rita and Jim were up there in the guest house and invited me to join in on writing this song with them called Time.  Her sister Priscilla wound up recording it with her husband, Booker T. Jones (of Booker T. & the M.G.’s). Jim took the melody from Rita’s song and didn’t give her credit for writing it. Her boyfriend ripped her off.

  • Time ended up on the 1973 album Chronicles by Booker T. and Priscilla.

(your love has lifted me) higher and higher fax

  • Rita Coolidge 3(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher was originally recorded by Jackie Wilson.  It was released in August 1967 and peaked at #6 on both the US and UK singles charts.
  • The song was covered by The Move in 1968 and Bette Midler in 1973 – that was before Rita Coolidge’s hit.
  • Rita recorded the song in 1977 and included it on her album, Anytime…Anywhere.
  • Rita and her sister Priscilla Jones had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Priscilla’s husband Booker T. Jones; when that album was shelved Coolidge asked him if she could cut the song using his arrangement.
  • (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher was Rita’s first major hit despite nine years of recording.  Her version peaked at #2 on the US charts – it earned Rita her first gold record.
  • Rolling Stone magazine once ranked the song as #246 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
  • (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher lyrics.

(your love has lifted me) higher and higher – Rita Coolidge – 1977 – video

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Who’ll Stop the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival – 1970

November 19, 2015

Creedence+Clearwater+Revi+Wholl+Stop+The+Rain CoverSix Top Five US hits and never a #1 – little more than five years together – one of the great bands of the 70s; CCR or Creedence Clearwater Revival; in 1970 they had a double-sided hit single; Who’ll Stop the Rain and Travellin’ Band.

CCR 1creedence clearwater revival fax

  • John Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford formed The Blue Velvets (sometimes called, The Golliwogs) way back in 1959.  They played gigs and sometimes backed John’s big brother Thomas.  Eventually Tom joined the band.
  • In 1967, the boys were offered a recording contract but it came with one proviso – they had to change the name of the band!  The boys went away with a challenge; to each come up with ten possible names.
  • That’s how, in January, 1968, they came to be known as Creedence Clearwater Revival.  According to the boys, the name came from three sources:
  1. Tom’s mate Credence Newball, whose name they changed to form the word Creedence,
  2. A television commercial for Olympia beer (“clear water”); and
  3. The four members’ renewed commitment to their band.
  • CCR 3Over the coming years the band produced eight studio albums including the four times platinum, Cosmo’s Factory; and had at least 23 hit singles.  Never a #1 but six of them made the top five.
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and, in its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time, Rolling Stone magazine ranked CCR at #82.
  • The band members went their separate ways in 1972 – all continue to be involved in the music industry.

who’ll stop the rain fax

  • Who’ll Stop the Rain was written by John Fogerty and recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival for their 4xPlatinum 1970 album Cosmo’s Factory.
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain was one of three double-sided hits released by Creedence Clearwater Revival from Cosmo’s Factory.  In this case, the single was backed with Travelin’ Band.
  • Who’ll Stop the Rain peaked at #2 on the US singles charts and #8 on the UK charts.
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Who’ll Stop the Rain at #188 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • The meaning of the song has been long debated, some claiming it was a call to end the war in Vietnam.  Here’s what John said about his song;

Well, this next song has a bit of a fable surrounding it. A lot of folks seem to think I sang this song at Woodstock way back then. No. I was at Woodstock 1969… I think. It was a nice event. I’m a California kid. I went up there and saw a whole bunch of really nice young people. Hairy. Colorful. It started to rain, and got really muddy, and then (yelling) half a million people took their clothes off!!! (Normal voice again) Boomer generation making its presence known I guess. Anyway, then I went home and wrote this song.

  • Artists to have covered Who’ll Stop the Rain include: Bruce Springsteen, The Stereophonics, Engelbert Humperdinck, Bob Seger (as a duet with John Fogerty), Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam, and Bill Haley and the Comets.
  • John Fogerty signed away legal control of his old recordings to Fantasy Records, a move he may have come to regret as they have allowed his songs to be used in all manner of commercials.  John once said;

Folks will remember Forrest Gump and that was a great movie, but they don’t remember all the really poor movies that Fantasy Records stuck Creedence music into: car commercials, tire commercials. I’m remembering a paint thinner ad at one point,(actually, it was Thompson’s Water Seal) the song “Who’ll Stop the Rain”. Oh, boy. That’s clever, isn’t it?

who’ll stop the rain – creedence clearwater revival – 1970 – video

travellin’ band – creedeance clearwater revival – 1970 – video

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Heart of the Night – Poco – 1979

November 11, 2015

Poco Heart of the Night cover 1979Perhaps the first of the family of West Coast country-rock bands, Poco began life as an offshoot of Buffalo Springfield.  In 1979 they had a hit with Heart of the Night.

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  • Poco formed in California in the late 60s – original members including Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Rusty Young.
  • It was during the recording of Buffalo Springfield’s final album that the band’s three lead singers Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Richie Furay each recorded songs without the other members present. Richie’s (Kind Woman) featured Jim Messina and Rusty Young. Buffalo Springfield split and Poco was formed.
  • Many place Poco at the forefront of the West Coast country-rock genre that was later headlined by The Eagles.
  • Poco has performed in various line-ups over the years and is still (just) active.
  • Amongst musicians to make up Poco have been Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit who both went on the play as part of The Eagles.
  • Of all members, Rusty Young had been, until recently, the ever-present force; he left the band in 2013 after 45 years playing and touring with Poco.
  • Not high-fliers on the singles charts, Poco released 19 albums – the last in 2013.

heart of the night fax

  • Released as a single in May 1979, Heart of the Night is lifted from Poco’s 1978 album, Legend.
  • The lead vocal features Heart of the Night’s composer, Paul Cotton.
  • The song was not originally intended to be released by Poco – it was recorded by Paul and Rusty Young and was to be credited to the Cotton-Young band.  Their record company had other ideas; the song and others recorded were released as Legend, Poco’s eleventh album.
  • Heart of the Night peaked at #20 on the US charts.
  • Heart of the Night features a saxophone solo by Phil Kenzie whose talents can be heard on Al Stewart’s Year of the Cat.
  • Heart of the Night lyrics.

heart of the night – poco – 1979 – video

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Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me – Mac Davis – 1972

September 24, 2015

Mac Davis - Baby, Don't get hooked on me 1972In 1972, the man who wrote one of Elvis’ greatest hits had a hit of his own; Mac Davis – Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me.

Mac DAvis 2mac davis fax

  • Hailing from Lubbock, Texas and known as a country singer, Mac Davis also made quite a name for himself as an actor and songwriter.
  • Mac wrote and produced three hit records for Elvis Presley; In the Ghetto, A Little Less Conversation and Memories.
  • In the 70s Mac launched his solo career and had a handful of charting songs including, Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me, Stop and Smell the Roses, One Hell of a Woman and Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble.
  • In 1974, Mac was awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year award.
  • As an actor Mac had his own television variety show for three years.  He then appeared in a number of movies including, North Dallas Forty (1979), Cheaper To Keep Her (1981), The Sting II, and The Dukes of Hazzard movie.
  • Mac was listed as one of 12 Promising New Actors of 1979 by Screen World magazine.
  • In 2000, Mac was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the recording industry.

baby, don’t get hooked on me fax

  • Mac Davis 1Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me was written and sung by Mac Davis.
  • It is the title track of Mac’s third album.
  • Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1972.
  • Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me was covered by Liza Minnelli.
  • Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me lyrics.

baby, don’t get hooked on me – mac davis – 1972 – video

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Little Sister – Ry Cooder – 1979

August 26, 2015

Ry cooder little sister cover 1979Supremely talented but not overly commercially successful, Ry Cooder’s biggest hit was in 1979, an Elvis cover called Little Sister.

Ry cooder 1ry cooder fax

  • From Santa Monica, California, Ryland “Ry” Cooder is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, and record producer.
  • Known for his slide guitar work, Ry is a multi-instrumentalist and an exponent of most stringed instruments.
  • Ry has tended to leap between genres and embraced many different ethnic styles.
  • Ry has worked with a number of musicians, including: Captain Beefheart, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, David Lindley, The Chieftains, and The Doobie Brothers.
  • Ry Cooder 2As a producer he was responsible for the Buena Vista Social Club album (1997), which became a worldwide hit.
  • In 2003, Ry was ranked 8th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
  • Ry has won six Grammy awards including one for Best Recording for Children, and a couple in the Latin American genre.
  • Ry’s 8th album, Bop Till You Drop, was the first major-label digitally recorded album of Pop music.
  • Ry has been playing the guitar when he was three years old, and has had a glass eye since he was four, when he accidentally stuck a knife in his left eye.

little sister faxRy cooder 3

  • Little Sister was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.
  • Little Sister was originally released as a single in 1961 by Elvis Presley.
  • Ry Cooder’s version is the first track on his 1979 album, Bop Till You Drop.
  • Little Sister lyrics.

little sister – ry cooder – 1979 – video

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Hocus Pocus – Focus – 1973

August 5, 2015

Focus Hocus Pocus single cover

Remember the days of prog. rock with bands like Yes, Pink Floyd, Genesis and Rush? Well, stuck in the middle there somewhere was Dutch band, Focus, who had a 1973 hit with Hocus Pocus.

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  • Focus formed in The Netherlands in 1969.
  • Founding member Thijs van Leer was a classically trained organist and flautist.
  • With four breaks and reunions along the way, Focus continues to tour today.
  • Focus 3Past line ups have included, guitarist Jan Akkerman (a founding member) and American singer, PJ Proby.

hocus pocus fax

  • Hocus Pocus was recorded in 1971, released on the band Focus’s second album, Focus II (aka Moving Waves), in 1972 and hit the charts in 1973.
  • Hocus Pocus was written by Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman and flautist-keyboardist Thijs van Leer.
  • Focus 1Hocus Pocus peaked at #9 on the US singles charts and #20 on the UK singles charts. In 2010 it was featured in a Nike ad shown during the FIFA World Cup causing it to again enter the UK charts where it peaked at #57.
  • The original recording of Hocus Pocus was slower than the faster radio version which was, in turn, slower than the live version.
  • The song is often heard at sporting events, was featured in the 2014 remake of the movie Robocop, and has featured in television shows, Top Gear and My Name is Earl.
  • Hocus Pocus lyrics.

hocus pocus – focus – 1973

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I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash – 1972

June 3, 2015

Johnny Nash I Can See Clearly Now 1976 single cover74 years old and still performing – Johnny Nash’s biggest hit was back in 1972 – I Can See Clearly Now.

Johnny Nash 1johnny nash fax

  • Johnny Nash was only 18 years old when his first album – self-titled – was released.  Stardom came quickly; over the next six years he released four albums and 16 singles and had something of an acting career.
  • In 1965, Johnny joined with Danny Sims to form their own label – JODA Records. One of their first signings was The Cowsills – four brothers from Rhode Island.
  • In early 1968, Johnny travelled to Jamaica and met a struggling local band, Bob Marley & The Wailing Wailers.  Johnny produced a number of songs for them but none were successful.
  • Johnny Nash 2Throughout the 70s Johnny released a string of reggae styled singles, many of them recorded in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • Johnny’s first top ten US hit was Hold Me Tight, which peaked at #5 in 1968.  In 1972 he made it to #12 with the Bob Marley song, Stir It Up (later to become a hit for Bob).  Then came his biggest US hit; 1972’s I Can See Clearly Now which made it to #1.
  • Johnny’s biggest UK hit was Tears On My Pillow which made it all the way to #1 in 1975.
  • Johnny is in his 70s now but still performs.  His last hit was Rock Me Baby in 1986.

i can see clearly now fax

  • I Can See Clearly Now was written and recorded by Johnny Nash.
  • The title track of Johnny’s eleventh album, it was released in July 1972 and rose to #1 in the US and #5 in the UK.
  • Johnny Nash 3I Can See Clearly Now is one of the most covered tracks in music.  Artists to have recorded it include: Anne Murray, Bobby Goldsboro, Dobie Gray, Donny Osmond, Dusty Springfield, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Hothouse Flowers, James Last, Liza Minnelli, Neil Finn, Petula Clark, Procol Harum (in concert), Ray Charles, Richie Havens, Sonny and Cher, The Mamas & the Papas, Toots & the Maytals, and Willie Nelson.
  • It was also covered by Jimmy Cliff whose version was included in the movie, Cool Runnings, and reached #18 on the US singles chart.
  • I Can See Clearly Now has featured in a number of movies, including: The song also appears in various other films, such as Grosse Pointe Blank, The Break-up, Thelma & Louise, Antz, Hitch, Shrek 2, and Up in Smoke.
  • I Can See Clearly Now lyrics.

i can see clearly now – johnny nash – 1972 – video

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