Brian's Weekly Sleevenotes - 19 July 14
My Love - Petula Clark
This became her thirteenth UK top twenty hit and also earned Petula the accolade of being the first British female singer to achieve two number one hits in America. After failing to make the American charts during the first fourteen years of her career, she hit an amazing winning streak beginning with ‘Downtown’. ‘My Love’ was written solely by Tony Hatch on a transatlantic flight and was the first hit she recorded in America.
You're Invited To A Party - The Victorians
The Victorians are Vik E Lee and Gloria Melbourne, they released an earlier single, 'Oh What A Night For Love' which was a popular track amongst girl group collectors. This single was produced by Marty Cooper, who in his time worked with many top artists including Bobby Darin, Andy Williams and Chubby Checker, and was arranged by Perry Bodkin Jnr whose work included 'Rhythm Of the Rain' by The Cascades and the incidental music for the successful TV series, 'Happy Days'.
Keep On Dancing - The Gentrys
Our first request this week came for this US No 4 hit from The Gentrys. This was the first major hit to come out of producer Chip Moman’s American Recording Studios in Memphis. Together with his partner Don Crews, they were recording a song, 'Make Up Your Mind' with local high school band The Gentrys, the session went well but they were having trouble completing the ‘B’ side. Momen suggested they try a different song and brought out 'Keep On Dancing', a song he had previously cut with R&B group The Avantis two years earlier. The Gentrys completed the song in just one take but it was only 90 seconds long, even too short for a ‘B’ side. Momen had the bright idea of merely repeating part of the chorus from earlier in the song after the original fade point. The track turned out so well it was decided to issue it as the ‘A’ side after the group’s contract had been bought by MGM. The song later became the first UK hit for The Bay City Rollers in 1971.
One In A Million - Karol Keys
Karol was originally a member of the Essex based folk group The Volunteers, before deciding on a solo career in 1964 when she was still only seventeen recording covers of American soul songs for her first three releases. They included 'You Beat Me To The Punch' for Fontana and in 1966, 'I’m A Fool In Love' for Columbia, the same label she issued this recording of Maxine Brown’s 'One In A Million', produced by Ray Davies. After returning to the Fontana label in 1967, she then decided to take up a career in modelling and acting.
So Deep Is The Night - Ken Dodd
This week's Classically Pop came from Ken Dodd. This became Doddy’s seventh UK top forty hit and the one before he hit the number one spot with 'Tears'. 'So Deep Is The Night' has an English lyric by Sunny Miller and is one of several songs based on Chopin’s Etude, opus 10 No 9. An early version by Webster Booth and Ann Ziegler was featured in the 1946 British comedy film, 'Demobbed' and Jo Stafford’s 1950 hit, 'No Other Love' was also derived from the same melody.
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
The song was written by Brian Wilson with Tony Asher, a former advertising copywriter who had collaborated with Wilson on the 'Pet Sounds' album from which this track was taken. The lead vocals were handled by Carl Wilson but although considered one of The Beach Boys most outstanding records, only managed to scrape into the lower half of the American top forty because it was originally released there as the ‘B’ side to 'Wouldn’t It Be Nice' partly because of record company fears that radio stations would reject a song with ‘God’ in the title.
Living In The Past - Jethro Tull
The song was originally recorded during sessions for the group’s second album, 'Stand Up' but was left off the final running order in favour of releasing it as a stand-alone single. It was restored as a bonus track for the 2001 CD reissue. Guitarist Mick Abrahams had just left the group over musical differences with Ian Anderson and marked the first appearance of guitarist, Martin Lancelot Barre.
Jennifer Eccles - The Hollies
Written by group members Alan Clarke and Graham Nash, and restored The Hollies’ position back into the top ten after the relative failure of their previous release, 'King Midas In Reverse'. Graham Nash at this point however, was getting somewhat despondent with the group. What with his disappointment over the lack of success of the album, “Butterfly” and their record producer Ron Richards rejecting his song, 'Marrakesh Express' as a possible future release, so it came as little surprise to the rest of the group when he announced he was leaving.
Daydream Believer - The Monkees
This US No 1 was written by John Stewart just before he left The Kingston Trio, The Monkees recorded the song during their sessions for their album, 'Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd', but it wasn’t until their next LP, 'The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees' that the song was released giving Peter Tork, who arranged the song, his only appearance on the album. Davy Jones didn’t see the potential in the song and was therefore agitated by the ongoing number of takes to complete the recording although his opinion changed once it had topped the American charts.
Close Your Eyes - Arthur Prysock
Ace Records have recently released a twenty-four track CD under the title of 'Arthur Prysock-The Old Town Singles 1958-1966' whose career spanned six decades and embraced every major strand of American music between the mid forties to the late nineties. He began singing with Buddy Johnson’s band in 1944 before going solo in 1952 when he signed to Decca where he achieved several R&B hits, then in 1959, he joined Old Town enjoying further success with R&B with songs that included 'Good Rocking Tonight' and this 1964 release, 'Close Your Eyes'. Have a look at this week's new blog from Bob Stanley, if you want to find out more about Ace Records.
Catch Us If You Can – The Dave Clark Five
Written by Dave Clark and the group’s guitarist, Lenny Davidson, this was the title song to their movie that was re-named ‘Having A Wild Weekend’ for the American market. In the seventies, the song was played before the start of Shrewsbury Town Football Club’s matches as the players ran onto the pitch and to this day is occasionally revived for big games.
Hello I Love You - The Doors
Early American pressings had the title as 'Hello I Love You Won’t You Tell Me Your Name'. The song came about whilst the band were having difficulty recording their third album, 'Waiting For The Sun' largely due to the intemperance of lead singer Jim Morrison who was making work impossible. One day drummer John Densmore threw his sticks across the room in frustration and announced he was quitting the band. Trying to calm him down, the rest of the band decided to thumb through some of Jim’s old poems and discovered 'Hello I Love You' that he’d written in Venice one afternoon when he and Ray Manzarek had watched a girl walk along the beach. Heading back to the studio, the group managed to complete what would be the album’s opening track and their biggest hit single.
Saturday Night Stomp - Eddie ‘Blues Man’ Kirkland
Born in Jamaica to a mother aged eleven who he believed was his sister, Kirkland was an American harmonica player as well as a guitarist, singer and songwriter. Known as ‘The Gypsy Of The Blues’ due to his rigorous touring schedules mainly with John Lee Hooker for whom he became his road manager until 1962 when Hooker decided to work overseas. Kirkland himself recorded for a number of labels including King, Fortune, Volt and Tru-Sound for whom he recorded the album 'It’s The Blues Man' and despite its lack of sales, it contained this infectious instrumental, his own 'Saturday Night Stomp'.