Sunday, April 28, 2013

Record #0338: The Nitty Gritty / Give Me a List – SHIRLEY ELLIS

Congress 202 (original) USA, Oct. 1963
Words & Music by:  Side ALincoln Chase; Side B – Shirley Elliston, Lincoln Chase
Musicians: Shirley Ellis (lead vocals) and a chorus & orchestra conducted by Hutch Davie (who probably plays piano on the tracks)
Recording sessions: Produced by Hutch Davie in New York, NY, 1963
Highest chart positions:  US #8, US R&B #4

Here’s Shirley Ellis with her debut single as a solo artist. She’s probably most famous for her 1964 hit “The Name Game”, with the lyrics playing with names in the form of
“Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley
Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!”

Hutch Davie also produced recordings of Leslie Gore and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.

The flip is a real nice swinging R&B piece.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Record #0337: Stormy / (I’m So) Glad You’re My Baby – JOHNNY NASH

MGM 13805 (original, promo) USA, Sep. 1967
Words & Music by:  Side ALeonWare, Victoria Basemore; Side B – D. Brown, T. Dixon
Musicians: Johnny Nash (lead vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Mickey Stevenson in New York (?), NY, 1967
Highest chart positions:  Didn’t hit Top 100

Nash had a stint with MGM in 1966-67 and released three singles during that time. As none of those had any national success, he went to JAD where his first single “Hold Me Tight” went #5 in both US and UK charts. His biggest hit came in 1972 with “I Can See Clearly Now” (US #1, UK #5).

List price:  Very Good+ is $4, Near Mint is $8 (promo not listed)

Record #0336: Ginger Bread / Blue Betty – FRANKIE AVALON

Chancellor 1021 (original) USA, Jun. 1958
Words & Music by:  Side AClint Ballard, Hank Hunter; Side B – Leon Pober
Musicians: Frankie Avalon (lead vocals), The Four Dates (backing vocals), and an orchestra conducted by Peter De Angelis
Recording sessions: Produced by Peter De Angelis in Philadelphia, PA, 1958
Highest chart positions:  US #9, US R&B #10, UK #30

The lyrics of “Ginger Bread” are a bit too silly – even for a song of that era. Otherwise this is not a too bad single (for Frankie Avalon).

This was Avalon’s first Top 100 entry in the UK charts.

Leon Pober also wrote “Tiny Bubbles” for Don Ho in the mid-60’s.

List price:  Very Good+ is $7.50, Near Mint is $15

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Record #0335: Shaggy Dog / Oo-Oo – MICKEY LEE LANE

Swan 4183 (original) USA, May 1964
Words & Music by:  Mickey Lane, Bernie Lane
Musicians: Mickey Lane (vocals, backing vocals and all instruments), Bernie Lane (backing vocals on side A)
Recording sessions: Produced by Survey Music at Dick Charles Studio, New York, NY, 1963
Highest chart positions:  US #38

This was Lane’s only Top 40 hit.

List price:  Very Good+ is $6, Near Mint is $12

Record #0334: (You Were Made For) All My Love / A Woman, a Lover, a Friend – JACKIE WILSON

Coral 72407 (original) UK, Sep. 1960 (the US release was in Jun. 1960)
Words & Music by:  Side ABilly Myles, Jackie Wilson; Side B – Sid Wyche
Musicians: Jackie Wilson (vocals) and an orchestra & chorus conducted by Dick Jacobs
Recording sessions: New York, NY, 1960
Highest chart positions:  Side A – US #12, UK #33; Side B – US #15, US R&B #1

Here are two low tempo numbers by Jackie Wilson. He delivered amazing vocals here, especially on the flip side.

Sid Wyche co-wrote “A Big Hunk of Love” for Elvis, who got a #1 single with it in 1959.

List price:  UK pressings are not listed in the catalogs that I have.