Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1956 Eddie Heywood – Soft Summer Breeze

1956 Eddie Heywood – Soft Summer Breeze

Eddie Heywood Jr. grew up in Atlanta. His father had been a popular jazz and blues pianist in the 1910s and 1920s, and he taught Eddie to play the piano. Eddie played professionally by the time he was only fourteen-years-old.

Eddie played with several bands in the thirties and moved to New York City in 1938. Besides leading his own band, Eddie sometimes played piano for artists like Billie Holiday. He put together his own six-man band in 1943, and in 1944 they recorded a version of Begin The Beguine that reached #16 on the Hot 100. The single sold over a million copies and led to several years of successful appearances.

In 1947, partial paralysis of his hands kept Eddie from playing the piano at all for three years.

Hugo Winterhalter played saxophone in several orchestras and taught music. He arranged music and played for Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, and others through the thirties and early forties. In 1948 he became the music director for MGM Records. He moved to Columbia Records and his orchestra and chorus had their own top ten single in 1949 with Jealous Heart.

In 1950, Hugo moved to RCA Victor. Besides recording a series of hit records, he also arranged music for  Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, Eddie Fisher, and others.

In 1954, Hugo and Eddie recorded Land Of Dreams together, and the single reached #22 on the charts. After that success, Eddie began recording several albums each year.

In 1956, Eddie wrote and recorded Soft Summer Breeze. The single peaked at #11 on the Hot 100. The song sounds very familiar, but somehow not quite right because of our familiarity with his other 1956 single overshadows it. They credited Canadian Sunset to Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra With Eddie Heywood and that single reached #2 on the Hot 100 two months later.

Neither Eddie nor Hugo reached the Hot 100 again, but they each continued recording.

Eddie again suffered with paralysis in his hands for three years beginning in 1966, but he successfully began playing again in the eighties.

Eddie has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Eddie died in 1989 after struggling with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1955 Bonnie Lou – Daddy-O 

1955 Bonnie Lou – Daddy-O 

Mary Joan Okum grew up in Illinois and began singing and playing the violin and guitar while still in high school.

She signed a five-year contract to perform Country music on the Brush Creek Follies barn dance show as Sally Carson in 1941. Since she was only 16 when she signed the contract, she was able to void it a few years later.

In 1945, Mary signed with WLW to appear on the Boone County Jamboree. The show later became named Midwestern Hayride Country & Western Radio Program and she appeared on broadcasts and live shows for the program. Since she could no longer use her prior stage name, she suggested using Mary Jo, but the station insisted that name did not sound Country enough and gave her the stage name Bonnie Lou.

She continued the broadcasts into the fifties and even sang on the Grand Ole Opry a few times.

Bonnie signed with King Records in Cincinnati and reached the Country charts for the first time in 1953 when her single Seven Lonely Days reached #7. A few months later, Tennessee Wig Walk followed it onto the chart and peaked at #6. The single also reached #4 in the UK and became one of the most popular British Football anthems.

Bonnie then began performing rock-and-roll in a format that came to be known as rockabilly. She recorded the single Two-Step Side-Step in 1954. Murry Wilson, the father of the three Wilson brothers in the Beach Boys, wrote the song (which failed to chart).

Her recording contract with King Records expired, and RCA offered Bonnie a new recording contract. RCA wanted Bonnie to move to New York City, so she chose to sign with a local label, Fraternity Records, instead. She recorded the song Daddy-O, which entered the Hot 100 chart in 1955. When the record reached the top twenty, she wanted to leave town to make public appearances, but the radio station she worked for refused to let her off work. When she could not further promote the record, it peaked at #14 in early December. The Fontane Sisters also recorded the song, and three weeks after Bonnie’s record began to fade, their less-Country version reached #11 on the Hot 100.

Midwestern Hayride moved to television on the NBC network and Bonnie continued to appear on the show until it went off the air in 1972. She hosted the Six Star Ranch, a live music radio show on the Mutual network. She also appeared regularly on the Ruth Lyons 50-50 Club, an entertainment and talk show.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1989 1989 Fine Young Cannibals – Don’t Look Back

1989 Fine Young Cannibals – Don’t Look Back

David Steele and Andy Cox had been members of the group The Beat playing guitar and bass guitar respectively until the group split up. They spent at least eight months listening to over 500 cassette tapes in search of a vocalist to join them in the formation of a new band. In 1984, their search yielded Roland Gift, who had formerly played saxophone and sung lead vocals for the group Akrylykz.  Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood starred in the 1960 film All The Fine Young Cannibals, and the band decided to use Fine Young Cannibals as the name for their trio.

Drummer Martin Parry and trumpet and keyboard player Graeme Hamilton worked with the group as studio musicians and later were also part of their touring band. David and Roland co-wrote the song Johnny Come Home, and the band created a video for the song. The group’s video was broadcast on the British TV show The Tube and that enabled them to sign a recording contract with London Records. The single reached #8 in the UK in 1985. It only reached #76 on the Hot 100 in the US but also got as high as #8 on the US Dance chart.

Later that year the group’s cover of Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds also reached #8 in the UK and #23 on the US Dance chart.

The group’s second album came out in 1988 and gave the group back-to-back #1 singles in the US with the releases of She Drives Me Crazy and Good Thing. The third single from that album, Don’t Look Back, reached #11 on the US Hot 100 but failed to chart on the US Dance chart.

The group never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again, although the single I’m Not The Man I Used To Be made it into the US Dance chart top ten in late 1989.

The group disbanded in 1992. They reunited long enough to record a new song for a greatest hits album in 1996, but the single only charted in the UK.

Sometime in the early 2000s, Roland began appearing in shows as Roland Gift and the Fine Young Cannibals. He also began an acting career.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1988 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Dreaming

1988 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Dreaming

Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys met when they were in primary school. From time to time they played in several bands together. In 1977 they assembled The Id, a seven-person group that played at local clubs. They also worked on a side-project concentrating on synthesizers and other electronic experimental music that they called VCL XI. The Id fell apart in 1978, and later that year the two rejoined and renamed their side-project Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). They released the single Electricity three times in 1979 and 1980, but the single never charted.

In 1980 the group finally had success on the UK charts with their singles even though they still hadn’t reached the US Hot 100. Their first top ten single in the UK was Enola Gay, a protest song about the plane that bombed Hiroshima in World War II. Four more top ten singles followed over the next four years. Souvenir reached #3 and was their biggest hit during that period.

The group expanded to six members in 1985 and recorded So In Love. While the record failed to even reach the top twenty in the UK, it became their first US chart record when it reached #26 on the Hot 100 and #16 on the US Dance chart.

The makes of the film Pretty In Pink asked the group to produce a song for the soundtrack of the film. The song OMD selected did not test well with audiences, so the group wrote a replacement, If You Leave, in less than 24 hours. In 1986, The #4 single became their biggest Hot 100 record, but it failed to even enter the UK top forty.

In 1988, the band opened for Depeche Mode at the Rose Bowl and once again reached the US Hot 100 when the single Dreaming peaked at #16. The record was the first of four OMD singles to chart in the top ten on the US Dance Chart. The group never charted on the Hot 100 again.

Paul left the group in 1988 and formed a new group and took several other members of OMD with him. Andy began working as a solo artist with help from studio musicians but continued to release his records as OMD until 1996 when he declared the band inactive.

Andy and Paul reformed the band in 2006. OMD has appeared in concert sporadically and released new music as recently as 2019. They even released Electricity a fourth time, and while it didn’t chart on the regular UK chart,  it reached the top of the UK Vinyl Singles Chart.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1987 Michael Bolton – That’s What Love Is All About

1987 Michael Bolton – That’s What Love Is All About

Michael Bolotin recorded a pair of solo albums of hard rock music in 1975 and 1976. He decided to form an actual band and Bruce Kulick agreed to join him. Michael was using Steve Weiss as his manager (Steve also managed Led Zeppelin) and Steve got Sandy Gennaro and Jimmy Haslip added to the group. The group called itself Blackjack.

The band signed with Polydor Records and recorded their first album in 1979. The album sold about 100,000 copies. Michael, Bruce, and Bruce’s brother Bob co-wrote all the songs on the album. The single Love Me Tonight peaked at #62 on the Hot 100 and was the only time they reached the chart. A promotional video of the group performing the song gives us a glimpse at Michael as a rocker.

Blackjack recorded a second album in 1980, but low sales led to poor support from their label and the band broke up.

Michael changed his last name to Bolton, signed with Columbia Records, and recorded a new solo album in 1983. While he released a single from the album, it fell off the charts after only reaching #83 on the US Hot 100.

Laura Branigan recorded a song that Michael had written and her single, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You made it up to #12 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.

Michael recorded another album of hard rock songs in 1985, and sales were dismal once again.

Perhaps inspired by the success Laura had with one of his tunes, Michael’s 1987 album, The Hunger, abandoned his hard rock roots and included songs that were more adult-radio friendly. Musicians on the album included three members of Journey.

The first release from the album was That’s What Love Is All About. The single peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the AC chart. Michael’s cover of (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay also reached the top twenty on both charts and the new direction of his career got underway.

Michael’s next album included his own version of How Am I Supposed To Live Without You, which topped both the Hot 100 and the AC chart. Six more #1 records on the AC chart followed in the next three years, and one of them also topped the Hot 100. Michael went on to sell over 75 million records.

Michael recorded three Christmas albums and sang in Winter Honda ads regularly. He also sang a love song to the IRS on John Oliver’s HBO show.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1986 Loverboy – Heaven In Your Eyes

1986 Loverboy – Heaven In Your Eyes

Loverboy is a Canadian group that formed in Calgary, Alberta. The group included lead singer Mike Reno, Paul Dean on guitar, Doug Johnson on keyboards, Scott Smith on bass, and Matt Frenette on drums. The band first performed live as the opening act for Kiss in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1979.

Every American record company the group approached declined to sign them. Loverboy signed with Columbia Records of Canada and recorded their first album in 1980. The group’s first single, Turn Me Loose, only reached #35 on the Hot 100 but peaked at #6 on the US Mainstream Rock chart and #7 in Canada in early 1981. The hit single allowed the band to tour extensively and their album sold over two million copies in the US.

Their first single from their second album, Working For The Weekend, reached #2 on the US Mainstream Rock chart but stalled at #29 on the Hot 100.  After five more singles failed to do well, the band finally had another hit in 1983 with the single Hot Girls In Love.

In 1985, the group finally reached the US Hot 100 top ten with a single written by Mutt Lange, Lovin’ Every Minute Of It. The band co-wrote their 1986 single, This Could Be The Night, and that slow ballad also reached the top ten.

The film Top Gun came out in 1986 and featured the band’s song Heaven In Your Eyes. The video for the song included clips from the film and helped the single reach #12 on the Hot 100.

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora wrote the group’s 1987 single Notorious. The record became the group’s last appearance in the Hot 100’s top forty when it peaked at #38 in 1987. The record managed to reach the US Mainstream Rock top ten, but after that, only one more of their singles got into the Rock top thirty.

In 2001, Scott died in a boating accident and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve took over playing bass guitar for the group. That remains the only change in the group’s lineup in over forty years.

The group has appeared in several television commercials and released their most recent single in 2017.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1985 Limahl – Never Ending Story

1985 Limahl – Never Ending Story

A band that dared name itself Art Nouveau formed in Bedfordshire, England in 1978. The group released the single Fear Machine on Gimgydak Records but only sold a few hundred copies. Perhaps sensing that they needed something at least a small bit more commercial, the group ran an ad for an additional member: a “front man who could sing and look good.”

Chris Hamill grew up in Northwestern England and began his career as an actor. He toured in a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, appeared in television shows, and was an extra in the video for Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants. He then joined a series of bands in England before reading the ad from Art Nouveau. He created an anagram of his last name and joined the group using the name Limahl. The group changed its name to Kajagoogoo, named after the kinds of babbles that babies make.

While working as a waiter, Limahl met one of the founding members of Duran Duran, keyboard player Nick Rhodes. Nick agreed to co-produce a record for Limahl’s new group and that helped the group sign with EMI Records. They released Too Shy as their first single and it topped the UK chart and reached #5 on the US Top 100 in early 1983.

Limahl wrote the lyrics for their next single, which reached #7 in the UK. He also co-wrote the lyrics for their third single, which peaked at #13 in the UK. Neither of those singles did well in the US.

The band then called Limahl and fired him from the band over the phone. The band wanted to go in a different direction musically and they hired a new lead singer. Subsequent singles charted at #8 and #25 in the UK, and then the band stopped reaching the top forty.

Limahl began work on a solo career. His first singleOnly For Love, reached #16 in the UK but only got as high as #51 in the US. His second single performed even less well.

Limahl sang the title song for the film Neverending Story. The single reached the top five in the UK and #17 on the Hot 100 in the US. Limahl also recorded a French version of the song, and one of the two versions was a #1 record in four European countries. The song found new life in 2019 when it was used in the ending of the third season of the mini-series Stranger Things.

Limahl appeared on several television shows that revolved around musicians looking for a fresh start to their fading careers, but never had another hit record.

In 1985, artist Arthur Adams found inspiration for the design of Longshot, a new member of the X-Men, in Limahl’s look, especially his hairstyle.

Limahl reunited with Kajagoogoo in 2008, but by 2011 the group had not released another successful record and they announced the end of Kajagoogoo.

Limahl has continued appearing in concert, mostly as a part of eighties music reunion shows.


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