Monday, June 29, 2009
Gale Storm was one of the bright stars of the 50's, simultaneously winning TV ratings and scoring Top 40 hits.
Born in Texas, given an American Indian middle name that means "Bluebird," Josephine Owaissa Cottle was the winner on an "American Idol"-type radio show called "Gateway to Hollywood" at age 17. The prize was a movie contract at RKO.
A year or two later, Storm ended up at the low-budget Monogram studios, where she was tossed into dozens of films opposite such luminaries as Frankie Darro and Frank Graham. Gale became one of the early TV stars when she joined Charles Farrell for "My Little Margie" in 1952. After the run of that series, she co-starred with Zasu Pitts on her own "Gale Storm Show," also known as "Oh Susanna." Both shows played on Gale's ebullient personality as she got herself into and out of sitcom trouble.
During the run of "My Little Margie," Gale sang on a TV variety show, which caught the attention not of a record exec, but the guy's young daughter. She pleaded with Dad to sign her up, and he did. Randy Wood, of Dot Records, was taken by Storm, too, and she soon had some cover version hits for the label, including "I Hear You Knockin'" and her take on the R&B flirt tune "Lucky Lips." Gale put her authentic rockabilly sensibilities into her songs, becoming one of those early artists leading pop into rock. The perky singer rocked out a lot more often than label-mate Pat Boone did!
Storm was also adept at ballads, and in 1957 hit the Top Ten with "Dark Moon." Storm's retirement years were marked with conflict. She battled alcoholism, and was married twice; both husbands died. Health problems over the past few years sidelined her memorabilia show appearances, which were always a treat for her fans. She was known to be just as gracious and charming in real life as she was on TV. She died two days ago, June 27th, with her sons and their families close by. This contemplative moment suits "Dark Moon" and "Memories Are Made of This" a bit more than her trademark rave-ups, and that's the combo you get below.
DARK MOON/MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS Instant download or listen on line. No pop-ups, porn ads or peculiarities.
Joseph Brooks was a fairly pleasant-looking fellow when he sat at the piano and let Patti Smith holler his "You Light Up My Life" song. (This was on a kiddie TV show circa 1980...you can find it on YouTube). As you see from the photo (which expands if you click it, as most pix here do), the years have not been kind to him, which might explain why, even with his vast wealth, the ferret-faced weasel had to use casting-couch tactics to get any action.
Brooks allegedly raped nearly a dozen girls (18 to 24) many ready to face him in court. His M.O. between 2005 and 2008 was to have his middle-aged female assistant place the ads and make the girls feel comfortable enough for their "big moment." According to NYPD Lt. Adam Lamboy, one persuasive trick Brooks used was to wave his 1977 Academy Award for "You Light Up My Life" and say "This could be you holding the Oscar. I could make you a star."
From somebody who might be called to the stand to testify:
"I worked with Joe Brooks in the late 70's and he was doing this long before Craigslist. He'd thumb through modeling catalogues, pick one out, and take her to the Carlyle -- or to his apartment when his wife (an ex-playmate) wasn't there. There must be literally hundreds of women who 'auditioned' for him. Even Debbie Boone's mother wouldn't allow him to be alone with her because she sensed that he was a sociopath. And anyone who ever worked for him will tell you that they had to sue to get their money. Total wacko."
As for his best known tune, the dirge-like "You Light Up My Life," which moves from a grim, minor-key lament to an ear-splitting wail, it was always one of Patti Smith's favorites. Your download is from a late 70's live gig. Her mongrel yowl better serves the song's emotional core, which Patti might tell you has a religious sense of desolation and redemption. "Amazing Grace" and "You Light Up My Life" have similarities...the singer is a wretch who has been saved by a shining brand of love...and can't help bawling about it.
The difference is that "Amazing Grace" is graceful, while the clumsy "You Light Up My Life" could be used in a commercial for Eveready flashlights.
Patti's crowd goes wild with delight and amusement when she offers a few stanzas and you'll be lit up, too.
YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE
Posted by Ill Folks at 7:30 AM
Placing a distant third in the coverage of celebrities who died on June 25th, Yasmine's departure at least got the front page in Belgium and the Netherlands. Elsewhere, it was Farrah and Jacko.
Known for covering Leonard Cohen songs ("Vandaag" was an entire album of Cohen material), the depressed singer was found hanging from a tree. Just two months earlier, her six-year marriage ended in divorce. They had a daughter, now three years old.
Yasmine (born Hilde Rens, March 3, 1972 – June 25, 2009) was from the province of Antwerp in Belgium, and was only 19 when she recorded her first album, "Mooi zo." She issued an album in every odd year from 1991 to 2001 (that's six, if you're counting).
2004 was the big year for the Leonard Cohen material, and a live concert DVD followed, with Yasmine covering "M'n Gasten" (The Guests), "In M'n eigen huis" (In my secret life), "Je Eeuwige Regenjas" (Famous Blue Raincoat), "Het Venster" (The Window), "Eerst nemen we Manhattan" (First we take Manhattan), "Je weet wie ik ben" (You Know Who I am), "Ik ben je man" (I'm your Man), "Wervelwind" (Avalanche) and others.
Motherhood seemed to take over as the more important aspect of Yasmine's life, with "Dans Me" her last single (2005) and "Licht Ontvlambaar" her last album (2006). She was probably also very busy with her other job...a television host (or "presenter," to use the European term).
Was Yasmine bleak? Yes and no. Though she could also handle minor-key ballads effectively, she was a polished singer whose hits were mostly very commercial pop. She was able to give her America-crazed fans in the Netherlands a taste of smooth R&B or lightly country-tinged rock in their own language.
LICHT ONTVLAMBAAR (translate it as "Highly Flammable.") Here's the title song on her last album, which includes some other spooky tracks (such as "Uur Blauw.") This dramatic and dark tune seems like it's going to morph into "First We Take Manhattan," but instead goes right into a hellish Dutch oven.
SUZANE/VINGERS OP MIJN HUID. Two songs on one download. First, a hit Leonard Cohen cover, performed live with Frank Boeiyen, followed by a sample of her smooth-groove work, the R&B-tinged tune that translates as "Fingers on my Skin." And yes, the rather abrupt ending is the song, not Illfolks editing.
IK VOEL ME BLAUW/RIJDEN. "I Feel Blue" and "Ride" were recorded in 2004. You don't need to speak the language...Yasmine's vocals betray ache, sadness, weariness and vulnerability. The heavy drums, the minor key guitar, and the gloomy violin help dampen the mood. Her suicide makes these two songs all the more chilling, poignant and depressing.
IK VOEL ME BLAUW/RIJDEN 2004
Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original links. Below is a link for "FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN," via a better company.
FIRST WE TAKE MANHATTAN sung in Yasmine's native language
You know Jimmy Dewar for his vocals on Robin Trower's first seven studio albums (plus "Robin Trower Live"). From 1973 to 1980 he was able to match the disoriented and spaced ruminations of Robin's guitar, with pained yet numbed vocals ("I Can't Wait Much Longer" being typical). He was also able to lead the charge on the galloping upbeat numbers that displayed real "Trower power."
On his extremely obscure solo disc, "Stumbledown Racer," you'll find him pursuing mainstream pop, personal and religious lyrics, and things lighter than heavy metal. If the title track sounds more suited to a Matthew Fisher solo album, it's because the disc was indeed produced by Mr. Fisher. While Fisher was able to work with Trower's style (they were in Procol Harum together, Fisher producing the "A Salty Dog" album) and was behind Robin's most successful records, he was also able to show the great versatility in Jimmy Dewar. The title track's notable for somber colors, regretful lyrics and pretty keyboard work. It's an original Fisher/Dewar tune, as is "Nature Child."
"Hosanna," a ballad with Biblical references to the newborn king, is also a serious departure from the world of Trower, and sounds more like a track from a Gary Brooker solo album...Brooker having dabbled so often in religious themes.
If you thought Dewar couldn't get farther away from Trower than that, hold on for "Bright Lights," with a chorus right out of the Elton John play book. Jimmy's pretty successful even though his voice is nowhere near an Elton John, or a Sedaka or Nick Gilder...the type of bright voice a pop tune usually requires. Another pop oddity is the rock chestnut "(Baby baby, you're) Out of Time," opening with some bright Farfisa-styled accents. "Heartbeat" is a croon with a Tex-Mex flavor, the kind of thing that Roy Orbison could've recorded during his MGM days. If you enjoy this, buying the CD itself would be a nice tribute to Jimmy, and you'll also be getting the liner notes, full musician credits and composer credits.
Yes, sometimes this rare find seems dated, but it's an interesting audio document. Fans of Trower may be disappointed, but those who admire the solo work of Procol's vocalists (Brooker and Fisher) will find this one sometimes in that league, and often similar in style to the era's Elton, Hall & Oates, Paul Rodgers and John Farnham albums.
Some facts about Dewar (October 12, 1942-May 16,2002) remain shrouded in mystery. Just why he left the Trower band hasn't been fully explained, nor the "progressive illness" (sometimes reported as brain damage) that began in 1987 and caused him to require constant medical care. Before his own death, his son passed away. And after Jimmy died, his wife soon followed. The grave marker is one of the many images you'll find at the dot.com bearing Jimmy Dewar's name.
Over at Elektra in 1978, they thought they had the second coming of Van Morrison in Dirk Hamilton. Or another "new Dylan."
The lyrics for title track "Meet Me at the Crux" were scribbled all over the back cover. The idea was that anyone browsing the album would be awed by the song's edgy profundity.
The song opens: "Horace Tidas was murdered by the hatred that he leveled on himself. Guilty weighted, he walked around pretending he was somebody else..."
A while later, Dirk focuses his attention on an exotic dancer in a bar:
"Blame your mama. Egg a duck. I'm watchin' what your doin' and what your doin' sucks. It ain't bad timin' it ain't bad luck. When will you Meet Me at the Crux."
(Yes, ala Dylan, Dirk invented his own punctuation.)
A woman who seemed to know Horace Tidas: "She's blind but she sure can feel. She's crippled and she reverently kneels, in thanks for the new pair of wheels he got thrown in with the deals that he maimed her to seal."
This leads to another Dylanesque put-down of the woman with the sucky occupation:
"I'm watchin' your behind, out on the dance floor shakin' at eye level all the time. Stop and take a breather. Let me freshen up your drink. Explain to me in detail how your urine hits the sink."
If you aren't gettin' it all, Mr. Jones, then listen to the download several times.
Vincent Price, in Tallulah Bankhead's dressing room, watched her pause in the midst of the conversation to hoist herself onto the sink and piss. Since it was Tallulah, Vinnie was hardly shocked or surprised. He didn't go into detail how her urine hit the sink, but he did make note of this unusual event.
Other songs on Dirk's album include "Mouth Full of Suck" and "Billboard on the Moon," and his follow-up disc featured "Moses & Me" and "Colder than Mexican Snow." Challenging stuff, no? Dirk may have left Elektra scratching their heads, but he's kept sharp, with many more albums. The full details are on the dot.com bearing his name.
This intro-Dirktion could mark the beginning of a new artist you'll want to start following and collecting. If so, you can leave a thanks in the comment section. You can also use the comment section to explain in detail how your urine hits the sink. NEW LINK
Urine Luck! Dirk's a Click Away NEW LINK
Dirk's a pisser
Friday, June 19, 2009
You know Ron Moody...the guy who played Fagin in the musical "Oliver," a performance enjoyed by antisemites everywhere. Ron also had the lead (opposite a very young Frank Langella) in the Mel Brooks cult classic "The 12 Chairs," a performance enjoyed by semites everywhere. That evens it out.
Before this international acclaim, Moody was a variety favorite in his native England, where he made his revue debut in 1953. He appeared in various Myers & Cass (they issued one album in America) productions including "For Amusement Only." He had his own TV show, and with demand mounting, recorded the obscure "Move Along Sideways" album. Modern listeners will note its similarities to the solo work of Peter Sellers at that time. Sellers had a hit with a very strange album combining sketches and musical parody. Thanks to his vocal prowess, the at times subtle (if not downright weak) script didn't matter. Much.
Similarly, the producers of Ron Moody's album seemed to have relied on Ron's manic vocal dexterity more than a sharp script. Sellers was put in the hands of a first-rate music director, and Mr. Moody was given an ace, too, in Johnny Gregory, someone who could handle all song styles being parodied.
The album notes don't mention anything about where these songs came from, just a long, unfunny recollection on how the record label and Moody's people met at a bistro to discuss the project. "I like Avocado better than the whole meal." "A great fruit." "Must be ripe though." "Take it in the palms and if it yields slightly to pressure it's ready...How can they make a profit serving both halves of the Avocado to each customer?"
This album probably went out of print a week after it was issued, but it wouldn't be hard to find by checking the usual on-line dealers or local used record stores. They'd be happy (if not astonished) to sell it, and wonder what kind of weird mood (and Moody) prompted it.
"When You Walk Upon a Stage," finds Ron wandering around a theater and in parody of those "no business but show business" songs Merman and Durante used to sing, starts doing impressions of Al Jolson and others.
The other sample is "Johnny Guitar." This requires more explanation than anyone, probably including Moody, could give. Succinctly, it's a manic send-up of a guy trying to learn the day's popular music (mostly folk) to impress someone (anyone). For some reason, everybody the guy meets speaks in the high voice Senor Wences used for his (literal) hand puppet Johnny...only with a Jewish accent.
Now you're on your own.
WHEN YOU WALK UPON A STAGE Instant download, no wait period, pop-ups or pestiness.
JOHNNY GUITAR RS download.
Duane Eddy's twangy guitar intro is deep and resonant...but Lee Hazlewood's voice is smoother and higher than you remember. This is an early performance from Lee, well before he met up with Nancy Sinatra.
Duane and Lee met up when they were in high school, and Lee produced Duane's early singles in 1958 on the Jamie Label (which, no conflict of Payola, was partially owned by Dick Clark). "Moovin' 'n' Groovin'" was played on Dick's "American Bandstand" show and sold 100,000 copies. Eddy's fab "Rebel Rouser" followed...the irony here being that the howlin' rednecks you hear overdubbed onto the song, are actually black guys. They were The Sharps, who eventually earned novlty fame as The Rivingtons.
Released in 1960, "The Girl On Death Row" was used (very briefly) on the end credits to Terry Moore's depressing 1960 "Why Must I Die" film, which was in turn inspired by the 1958 Susan Hayward opus "I Want To Live." The tune lopes along at a country-rock pace as Lee sketches in the story:
"They take her life tomorrow. Is she guilty? She says no. The girl on death row. Now someone holds her trembling hand. Another says, "Please understand." Why can't they see it in her face? Another should be in her place..."
And the reason for posting it? Oh, just killing time.
THE GIRL ON DEATH ROW
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Returning to the Illfolks reason for blogging in the first place - giving some attention to unusual folkies - we pay tribute to Sammy Walker. When Phil Ochs heard Sammy perform on Bob Fass's WBAI late night radio show, he instantly vowed to produce a record for him. That Walker was a "Dylan sound-alike" had all kinds of implications.
Following the Ochs-produced "Song For Patty" (with Hearst on the cover), Sammy was able to move from Broadside to Warners for a two-disc deal. By the second, Sammy was singing a farewell to the late Phil Ochs (on the song "Legends')...and his own major label career was at an end. He has surfaced now and then for indie releases.
Your sample comes from "Sammy Walker" his first Warners album, and his best release. The Illfolks choice is naturally the morbid "My Old Friend." The rest of the album isn't quite so emotionally rending (stand-outs being "Catcher in the Rye" and "Decoration on the Wall.")
The song is either about one woman who went through three horrid stages of life, or a trilogy; a look at three people in hellish misery:
"The rain was cold in Cedartown, the street lights hurt my eyes. The shoes were wore out on my feet, the air was stiff with lies. Not a thousand lords or prophets know the pain that's filled my head, a message come from Utah sayin' my long lost son was dead..."
The second story opens this way: "My husband left me years ago, the children they're all grown, and scars from the fire won't ever leave me alone...."
The third misery: "When I had to fight I fought, and when I had to die I died. And when I had to live without my legs oh heaven knows I tried. But what's the use, who really cares? Please tell me who's to blame. We always seem so different even though we're all the same."
The song seems be about three different people, since one person couldn't absorb so much pain, and in the first verse the singer has shoes, but in the last verse has no legs at all. Otherwise, it's one pretty star-crossed woman singing about three different stages of her life.
Each refrain is the same "...so I turn to you, old friend...with your dark and valiant magic, all the heartaches that you mend."
Just what that "dark and valiant magic" might be, who knows. Are we talkin' about a real friend? Jesus? Or is Death the old friend, come to take away the pain? Could each stanza's misery refer to a different "friend" who got the person through? No wonder Sammy was considered another Dylan...his lyrics here are slightly elusive and ambiguous.
People often ask, "Imagine what Sammy's friend and mentor Phil Ochs would be singing about if he were alive today..." Maybe the melting ice caps and the world foolishly looking to God for help rather than helping themselves. That's Sammy Walker's subject matter on "If Jesus Don't Show," on "Misfit Scarecrow," an album released last year...a rare re-emergence for this enigmatic artist.
The track sounds like a demo, with the piano a little more prominent than the vocal, but indie artists can not afford a lot of studio time or back-up musicians. If this song was more lushly arranged and better produced, and sung by Springsteen or Mellencamp, "If Jesus Don't Show" would be known around the world. Instead, here it is, on the Illfolks blog.
Remarkably, all of Mr. Walker's music is still in print, either on CD or via download on such sites as lala.com. Artists do not get to record if nobody supports them, and they aren't as likely to write new songs without encouragement. That probably explains the gaps between Walker's releases.
The comparison of Sammy Walker to Dylan can be heard in both tracks. Like Bob, Sammy started out spry and passionate, and is now often gruff and prone to dark meditation.
MY OLD FRIEND
IF JESUS DON'T SHOW
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Kenny Rankin swooped the planet two days ago, June 7, 2009. He was 69. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer three weeks ago. Far from retired, he had a concert scheduled for September 20, 2009 in Norfolk, CT at a venue called Infinity Hall.
As an artist, Rankin was adept at appealing to all types of music fans. He was George Carlin's opening act for years, and Johnny Carson wrote the liner notes for Kenny's 1967 debut album "Mind Dusters." Rankin covered folk, jazz and smooth rock in the early 70's and just as easily put out an album of standards ("The Kenny Rankin Album") in 1976 with Don Costa conducting a full orchestra. He was not only a talented singer and guitarist, he wrote some classic songs. "In the Name of Love" was covered by Peggy Lee and "Haven't We Met" was memorably recorded by Carmen McRae.
Kenny also covered songs so well that he earned praise from the original composers. On his fifth album, "Silver Morning" (1975) he offered an elegant jazz-folk rendition of "Blackbird." It was so memorable that a dozen years later, Paul McCartney asked him to perform it as part of a medley at a Songwriters Hall Of Fame ceremony honoring the works of Lennon-McCartney.
"Blackbird" is a song open to many interpretations. A favorite, is the concept of resurrection and rebirth...sunken eyes once again able to see, and broken wings once again able to fly. It is quite a fitting song, in contemplating a good man and the rewards of an afterlife.
And so is "Here's That Rainy Day," which was, oddly enough, a favorite of melancholy comedian Spike Milligan and talk show host Johnny Carson. The lyric speaks in a way of that day of reckoning...when the sunshine is just a memory.
Rankin's inspiration for a musical career did, after all, have its roots in a religious moment. He recalled, ""I was in the fourth grade and sang 'O Holy Night' in a Christmas play. My teacher, Miss Isabel Pringle, came over to me and patted me on the head and said 'Kenneth, that was lovely.' She set me on the path in music..."
KENNY RANKIN - Here's That Rainy Day
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September 14, 2001 concert at the Hell Blues Festival, Norway.
Only one guy remains from the original 1967 band. Singer/pianist Gary Brooker and organist Matthew Fisher split over legal dispute concerning Fisher's uncredited contribution of the famous organ solo that opens "Whiter Shade of Pale." As of this writing, Matthew's won a victory - his name is now officially on the credits. But Brooker's also won a victory - he doesn't have to split past royalties. The latter part is on appeal, with Fisher asking for royalties going back at least since the case was brought to trial, and also asking that court costs be paid by Brooker.
Without Fisher, and with an increasingly older lead singer not always in the best of voice, Procol's found fewer and fewer gigs over the years, mostly doing a few summer nights in the dark countries...Denmark, Norway or Germany. Below is a vintage concert from Norway back when it was just a pit-stop on a longer tour of Europe, and Fisher was still across the stage on his Hammond.
Procol's muscular rock music was in contrast to the ill lyrics of Keith Reid, whose Dylan-influenced words self-admittedly "wallowed in a morass" that darkly verged on pretentiousness. Their few chart hits involved a woman turning from ghostly to a "A Whiter shade of Pale" (dead) and the grim philosophizing over the corpse of a "Conquistador." Focused on destruction, torment and painful self-consciousness with mere glimpses toward nirvana, Procol's hardest rocking songs bubble in a cauldron of bile ("Piggy Pig Pig" and "Bringing Home the Bacon") and are steaming with wretched excess ("Whiskey Train") or angry angst ("Typewriter Torment"). Their prettiest songs tend to be eerie ("Salty Dog"), decadent ("Grand Hotel") or filled with semi-disguised put-downs ("Homburg"). There's not a song in this set that does not have an undercurrent of pessimism, anger or despair.
Any band critically praised for a blend of classical music, eclectic lyrics and R&B blues is bound to suffer, especially one with an intellectual name (Latin for "Beyond these Things") so Procol Harum remains beyond fame, often written off as a one-hit (or two-hit, counting "Conquistador") wonder. Concert Note: This is one of those times when The Commodore chooses to sing the "extra verse" omitted from the original "A Whiter Shade of Pale." Morbid Note: the band pronounces its last name "Horrum," closer to horror than a harem.
Procol Harum Live Concert? Go to...
OH, it's HELL, Folks!
Two reasons to be amused by "Snoopy vs the Red Baron" sung in Italian. First, that it's sung in Italian. Second, that Giorgio Gaber tosses in a fragment of "Hang On Sloopy," (which so many thought was "Hang On Snoopy" when it first crackled through bad transistor radios years ago).
Gaber (January 25, 1939-January 1, 2003) was a frolicsome fellow who gained some fame back in 1958 with a novelty tune that translates as "Don't Hog the Telephone."
He went on to appear at the San Remo Festival several times with straight songs, before returning to the novelty genre with what is technically titled, "Snoopy Contro Il Barone Rosso." A few years later he had his biggest success in Italy in 1969 with another serious tune, "How Beautiful the City Is."
The "Bloody Red Baron" Manfred Richtofen earned his nickname by downing at least three dozen planes. In 1916 he shot down his British rival Major Lanoe Hawker, and the following year was awarded "The Blue Max" for his deadly accuracy. In April of 1917, he went on a rampage, and in less than 30 days was credited with knocking 22 airmen out of the skies.
One Brit, Captain Donald Cunnell, nearly killed The Red Baron, but Richthofen managed to land his plane despite a severe head wound that grounded him for a while, leaving him battling severe headaches and nausea. During his recuperation he published his autobiography, which naturally made himself out to be even greater than he was.
He piloted an awesome Fokker (no cheap jokes, please) but, true to Snoopy's fantasies, was downed by an ace flying the unlikely-named Sopwith Camel. Almost exactly a year after his bloody success in April of 1917, The Red Baron met his end. On the morning of April 21, 1918, he was chasing down a Canadian pilot, Lieutenant "Wop" May when another plane, piloted by another Canadian, Captain Arthur Brown, came to the rescue. Richthofen was shot in the chest, but managed to safely land his plane...in enemy territory. Most reports said he died only minutes after landing. One soldier at the scene claimed The Red Baron gasped out one last word: "Kaput!"
In 1966, "Snoopy vs The Red Baron" became a Top Ten novelty single, focusing on the heroic beagle's imagined Sopwith Camel victory over that German Fokker. The single was such a hit, an entire album was quickly thrown together, and it too reached the Top Ten in January of 1967. Giorgio Gaber's Italian version arrived soon after, adding a bit of "Hang On Sloopy" (if you're keeping score, that tune by The McCoys was a Top 10 in 1965).
SNOOPY VS THE RED BARON, IN ITALIAN. Instant listen on line, or via download. No waiting time. No pop-ups.
Swing it! Squalkin' trumpets, bouncin' 'bones, twangy guitar, chuggin' drums...it's time for three Big Band treatments of Liverpool and Mersey faves!
Your RS download gets you all three tracks:
"Can't Buy Me Love...Needles and Pins...Glad All Over."
Back in the mid-60's, one of the comical ways in which the "British Invasion" music was accepted, was via a mainstream cover version. Like: "Really, this mop-top music isn't bad, it has some nice melodies, if only that bad singing didn't get in the way."
Not far from the rack containing Keely Smith's album of Lennon-McCartney covers (a sample is on this blog), was Buddy Morrow's "Beatlemania: The Big Hits of 1964." Which included covers of The Dave Clark Five and others.
Buddy Morrow now 90 [update...he's died since this posting], was a trombone player and band leader who had a powerful interest in the more splashy side of jazz. One of his notable instrumental hits was a version of "Night Train," and one of his best albums was "Impact," his bold collection of TV Themes, including a fierce take on "M Squad," the Count Basie classic. Along with Al Caiola, Doc Severinsen and others, Morrow's exciting work has managed to survive a period of neglect to be respected once again for cool charts performed with hot chops. There's some rockin' stuff buried in the "Big Band" part of the local record store.
Which isn't to say that Big Band is the perfect setting for "Beatlemania" songs...but you'll still have some fun with these. Pretty cool guy, Buddy Morrow...or as he was known in the old neighborhood...Moe Zudekoff
Here's a medley of "Glad All Over" and "I Saw Her Standing There."
Update: Nov, 2011. Rapidshare's annoying "30 days without a download kills it" policy killed the original links. They are back via a better company.
BIG BAND BEATLEMANIA
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