Friday, May 31, 2013

Record #0356: My Sharona / Let Me Out – THE KNACK

Capitol 4731 (original) USA, Jun. 1979
Words & Music bySide A – Doug Fieger, Berton Averre; Side B – Fieger, Averre
Musicians: Doug Fieger (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Berton Averre (lead guitar), Prescott Niles (bass), Bruce Gary (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Mike Chapman at MCA Whitney Recording Studio, Glendale, CA, Apr. 1979
Highest chart positions:  US #1, UK #6, Canada #1, Australia #1, New Zealand #3

The previous post was a hit single produced by Mike Chapman. Here's another one produced by the same man.

This was one very successful debut single. It sold over a million copies in less than three months.

List price:  Not listed in Goldmine's catalog.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Record #0355: One Way Or Another / Just Go Away – BLONDIE

Chrysalis (original) USA, May 1979
Words & Music bySide A – Deborah Harry, Nigel Harrison; Side B – Harry
Musicians: Debbie Harry (vocals), Chris Stein (guitar), Nigel Harrison (bass), Frank Infante (guitar), Jimmy Destri (keyboards), Clem Burke (drums)
Recording sessions: Produced by Mike Chapman at Record Plant, New York, NY, Jun./Jul. 1978
Highest chart positions:  US #24 (was never released as a single in the UK, but it went to #192 there in 2009)

This was the 7th hit single of Blondie, but it was only the 2nd one in the States (the first one was the US #1 hit "Heart of Glass" earlier the same year).

Blondie was notably more popular in the UK ( 20 Top 40 singles) than in the US (8 Top 40 singles).

List price
:  Not listed in Goldmine's catalog

Record #0354: Carrie Anne / Signs That Will Never Change – THE HOLLIES

Epic 10180 (original) USA, May 26, 1967
Words & Music by:  Side A – Tony Hicks, Allan Clarke, Graham Nash; Side B – Hicks, Clarke, Nash
Musicians: Allan Clarke (lead vocals and guitar), Graham Nash (vocals and guitar), Tony Hicks (vocals, guitar and keyboards), Bernie Calvert (bass), Bobby Elliott (drums on side B, percussion), Dougie Wright (drums on side A)
Recording sessions: Produced by Ron Richards at EMI Studios (Abbey Road), London, UK, May 1, 1967
Highest chart positions:  US #9, UK #3, Norway #7, Germany #8

Nash has said that he wrote "Carrie Anne" for Marianne Faithful, but was too shy to use her real name in it.

Though written by Hicks, Clarke and Nash, the flip side was originally released by The Everly Brothers on their album "Two Yanks in England" in 1966. The Hollies were actually the backing band on most of the tracks on that album.

Reportedly "Carrie Anne" is the first hit record to feature real steel drums.

List price:  Very Good+ is $4, Near Mint is $8, picture sleeves listed for $7.50 and $15 correspondingly.

Record #0353: Mack the Knife / Maryland, My Maryland – TURK MURPHY AND HIS BAND

Columbia 40586 (original) USA, 1955
Music bySide A – Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill, arr. Turk Murphy ; Side B – trad.
Musicians: Turk Murphy (trombone), Bob Helm (clarinet), Wally Rose (piano), Dick Lammi (banjo), Bob Short (tuba), others unknown
Recording sessions: San Francisco (?), CA, 1955?
Highest chart positions:  unknown

I already posted Louis Armstrong's and Bobby Darin's takes on "Mack". Here's the man who came up with the arrangement for Armstrong's version.

List price:  Not listed in Golmine's catalog

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Record #0352: - For Your Dance Party (EP) – BILL HALEY AND THE COMETS

A1 “Stop Beatin' Round the Mulberry Bush”, A2 “Watcha Gonna Do”, B1 “I'll Be True”, B2 “Juke Box Cannon Ball

Essex EP-118 (original) USA, 1954
Words & Music by:  A1 – Bickley Reichner, Clay Boland; A2 – Bill Haley; B1 – William McLemore; B2 – Jesse Rogers, Keefer, Barrie
MusiciansBill Haley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Marshall Lytle (upright bass), Art Ryerson (lead guitar on A2, B1), Danny Cedrone (lead guitar on A1), Billy Williamson (steel guitar), Johnny Grande (piano), Billy Gussak (drums on A1, A2), Cliff Leeman (Drums on B1), Dave Miller (clapboard on B1), Tony Lance (baritone sax on B1)
Recording sessions: A1 – WVCH Radio Station Studio, Chester, PE, Nov/Dec. 1952; A2 - Coastal Recording Co., New York, NY, Apr/May 1953; B1 - Coastal Recording Co., New York, NY, Dec. 1953; B2 - WVCH Radio Station Studio, Chester, PE, Jan. 1952
Highest chart positions:  Unknown

Bill Haley & His Comets recorded most of these tracks before they got their first hit with "Crazy, Man Crazy" (mid-1953, US #12). In fact, A2 was recorded in the same session and it was the flip side of the hit.

At the time of recording tracks A1 and B2, the group's name was Bill Haley and the Saddlemen.

I hand-picked this record in memory of Marshall Lytle (Sep.1, 1933 - May 25, 2013).

List price:  Both the record and the picture sleeve are quite rare.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Record #0351: Next Door To an Angel / I Belong To You – NEIL SEDAKA

RCA Victor 47-8086 (original) USA, Sep. 1962
Words & Music by:  Side A – Howard Greenfield, Neil Sedaka; Side B – Greenfield, Sedaka
Musicians: Neil Sedaka (vocals), Side A – orchestra conducted by Alan Lorber; Side B – orchestra conducted by Chuck Sagle
Recording sessions: Produced by Al Nevins and Don Kirshner in New York, NY, Side A - 1962; Side B - 1959
Highest chart positions:  US #5

This was Sedaka’s last US Top 10 single until “Laughter In the Rain”, which topped the charts in 1974.

Later on Don Kirshner became the manager of The Monkees and the president of Colgems label.

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

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One Year Down ...

So, I've had this blog for a year now - still quite a few records to post. It hasn't quite been "one record per day", but with the average of 0.96 per day I'd say it's pretty darn close. :)

I've learned a lot about the records I have posted here; many things I didn't know about these discs and the artists.

Feel free to comment on the posts...



Record #0350: Be-Bop-a-Lula / Woman Love – GENE VINCENT AND HIS BLUE CAPS

Capitol F3450 (original) USA, May 1956
Words & Music by:  Side A – Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis / Donald Graves (disputed credit for the words), Gene Vincent; Side BJack Rhodes, Dick Reynolds
Musicians: Gene Vincent (vocals), Cliff Gallup (lead guitar), Willie Williams (rhythm guitar), Jack Neal (upright bass), Dickie Harrell (drums and screams)
Recording sessions: Produced by Ken Nelson at Owen Bradley Studio, Nashville, TN, May 4, 1956
Highest chart positions:  US #7, US R&B #8, US Country #5, UK #16

This was the great debut single of one of the greatest bands of early rock’n’roll.

The flip was banned from airplay in many radio stations in the States and BBC banned it in the UK. “Woman Love” was originally the title song of the record, but as “Be-Bop-a-Lula” started climbing the charts, Capitol soon flipped the disc.

A superb record with amazing vocals, brilliant lead guitar and the rest of the band isn’t too shabby either. Not a single session musician was needed here; The Blue Caps were that good. Reportedly Owen Bradley had brought Hank Garland and Grady Martin to the session in case Cliff Gallup could not do the job right. When they heard Gallup doing a warm-up with his Gretsch 6128, they smiled and left the studio.

Vincent recorded new versions of Be-Bop-a-Lula later in his career. The twist flavored version released in 1962 was a fair success in the UK, though not in Top 100. It also climbed to #2 in Sweden and #7 in Finland. I’ll post that record here later on.

I got this piece as a going away present from Bernie's Antiques & Collectibles (in Bothell, WA), when my family and I were about to leave the States. A great gift indeed! Super thanks, Bernie!

List price:  American Premium Record Guide lists this to be $15-$20. In eBay these have been selling for $25 and up.

Record #0349: I Lost My Baby / Keep Your Mind on What You’re Doin’ – JOEY DEE

Roulette 4456 (original) USA, Oct. 1962
Words & Music by:  Side AJohnny Nash; Side B – Charles Singleton, Otis Blackwell, Morris Levy 
Musicians: Joey Dee (vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Produced by Henry Glover in New York, NY, 1962
Highest chart positions:  US #61

Joey Dee & The Starlighters had a smash hit with “Peppermint Twist” in early 1962 (US #1, US R&B #8, UK #33). Here’s Dee going solo the same year with more soulful material and a big orchestra.

Nice guitar work on side A. This was likely done by a session musician (Al Caiola??), not the Starlighters’ guitarist. 
One Jimmy James also played guitar in Dee’s band 3 years later in 1965. :)

Nash also wrote “What Kind of Love Is This” for Joey Dee & The Starlighters in 1962. That went to #18 in the US.

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

Record #0348: Haunted House / Hey, Hey Little Girl – JUMPIN’ GENE SIMMONS

Hi 2076 (original) USA, May 1964
Words & Music by:  Side ARobert Geddins; Side B – Gene Simmons, Ray Harris
Musicians: Jumpin’ Gene Simmons (vocals), others unknown
Recording sessions: Memphis, TN, 1964
Highest chart positions:  US #11

No, this is not that Gene Simmons (of Kiss) but there is a link between the two as Gene Klein chose his stage name as a tribute to this rockabilly artist, who started his career with Sun Records in 1958. Before working for Sun he performed as an opening act for Elvis Presley in Tupelo, MS, back when the latter was just starting to gain fame.

This was Simmons’ biggest hit as a recording artist, and he had only one other entry in US Top 100 (“The Dodo”, later in 1964; US #83, US R&B #24).

Simmons worked with groups such as The Bill Black Combo and later he also co-wrote (with Tommy Barnes and John D. Loudermilk) Tim McGraw’s first US Country Top 40 single “Indian Outlaw” in 1993.

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

Record #0347: Itchy Twitchy Feeling / A Thousand Dreams – BOBBY HENDRICKS

Sue 706 (original) USA, Jun. 1958
Words & Music by:  Side A – Jimmy Oliver; Side B – Jimmy Oliver
Musicians: Bobby Hendricks (lead vocals), The Coasters (backing vocals), Jimmy Oliver (guitar) and his orchestra
Recording sessions: New York, NY, May 1958
Highest chart positions:  US #25, US R&B #5

Before his solo career, Hendricks was the lead singer in various vocal groups and did the job briefly with The Drifters as well. 

He has had only two US Top 100 singles in his solo career. The other one was “Psycho”, which went to US #73 in 1960. This was not the “Psycho” that was written by Leon Payne in the 60’s.

List price:  Very Good+ is $15, Near Mint is $30