Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1967 Jay & The Techniques – Keep The Ball Rollin’

1967 Jay & The Techniques – Keep The Ball Rollin’ 

Jay Proctor was the lead singer of Jay and the Techniques, a group formed in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the mid-sixties. The seven member band also had a second singer and five other members on instruments: guitar, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, and trumpet. Jerry Ross produced their records using studio musicians. Future stars Ashford and Simpson provided backup vocals, long before they had their own hit in 1984 with the single Solid.

The group’s very first single on Smash Records, Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart in 1967. Maurice Irby, Jr. wrote the record and Jerry offered to produce the song for Bobby Hebb, who turned it down for being too much like a novelty record. Jerry then produced the record for Jay and the Techniques and their single sold over a million copies, helping their first album get onto the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

They followed that with two more singles that reached the top forty on the Hot 100, but never got onto the R&B top forty charts again. Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer wrote Keep The Ball Rollin’, and the single by Jay and the Techniques reached #14 on the Hot 100 later in 1967. The Philadelphia Eagles put out a special version of the record with a special jacket in 1981 to celebrate the City of Champions Philadelphia Eagles when they won the Super Bowl.

Jay and the Techniques last top forty single came out the next year. Strawberry Shortcake barely reached the top forty in February when it spent a week at #40 followed by a single week at #39.

The group continued to release singles for at least four different labels until they disbanded in 1976.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_%26_the_Techniques
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apples,_Peaches,_Pumpkin_Pie
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_the_Ball_Rollin%27

Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1969 Elvis – If I Can Dream

1969 Elvis – If I Can Dream 

Two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Elvis appeared in a 1968 television show that came to be known as his Comeback Special. It had been three years since Elvis had recorded a single that even came close to the top ten. 

Songwriter Walter Earl Brown was asked to write a song for Elvis to perform at the end of his special. Walter knew how Matin Luther King’s death had affected Elvis, and he wrote a song that included quotes from the civil rights speaker’s speeches. The song was If I Can Dream, and Elvis is reported to have had tears streaming down his face as he finished recording the song prior to the show.

The record peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in early 1969 and earned Elvis yet another gold record. More importantly, it helped kick-start his singing career again and led to three more top ten singles later that year, including his last #1 record on the Hot 100.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_I_Can_Dream

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PS – Elvis had another half-dozen number one singles on either the Adult Contemporary chart or the Country chart, but his last Hot 100 chart-topper was Suspicious Minds in 1969.

Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1966 Dave Clark Five -Try Too Hard

1966 Dave Clark Five –Try Too Hard 

The Dave Clark Five took over the number one position on the UK charts when they knocked the Beatles off the top of the chart in 1963. A few months later they crossed the Atlantic and began placing records into the US top ten.

The group’s records stuck out in a very unusual way. When playing records on the radio, we had a VU meter that showed the volume level of the music as the song played. While you played most records, the needle went back and forth as the sound got louder or quieter.

But not for the records by the Dave Clark Five!

Somebody apparently sent their recordings through an equalizer, because when their records started, the needle went up and stayed in almost exactly the same spot until the record ended. And then it dropped back to zero again. Maybe that made it easier to dance to, but it certainly is a distinctive sound once you know to listen for it.

One of their singles that almost had some dead air in the middle of the song was Try Too Hard. A few carefully placed notes played one at a time on a piano helped keep the level of the volume up, making the record appear to have a fixed level of sound throughout. The single didn’t chart in the UK, but it reached #12 on the US Hot 100 in 1966.

The group’s singles struggled to even reach the top forty after Try Too Hard. They reached #7 on the Hot 100 in 1967 with their single You Got What It Takes, followed that with a song that only got as high as #35, and never reached the top forty again.

The group continued to have top ten records in their native UK until they disbanded in 1970. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dave_Clark_Five
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dave_Clark_Five_discography

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1965 Patty Duke – Say Something Funny

Patty Duke had an exceptional career on television and in film ,and for a brief moment in 1965, she also had a career in music.

Thanks to her success playing twins on the Patty Duke Show, inevitably United Artists Records tried to use her to sell records. They multi-tracked her voice to enhance her singing and selected songs that allowed her to emote as much as sing, and it worked. Her first single, Don’t Just Stand There, peaked in the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1965.

Her second singleSay Something Funny, struggled a bit, and peaked at only #22. That was enough for a Greatest Hits album, and her last charting single only reached #64 in 1966.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patty_Duke

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1965 The Turtles – Let Me Be

1965 The Turtles – Let Me Be 

 Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, and three other high school friends in Los Angeles formed The Crossfires in 1963. After a few singles failed to catch any fire at all, the group signed with White Whale Records as a folk-rock group and changed their name to The Tyrtles. The deliberate misspelling went by the wayside, and the group made it into the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1965 with their cover of the Bob Dylan song It Ain’t Me Babe

P. F. Sloan had written the song Eve Of Destruction and it was offered to the Turtles. While they were looking to record a protest song, Howard felt that the record made a statement that would be career-ending. Barry McGuire recorded that song (with the help of the members of the Grass Roots playing backup music) and the single hit the top of the charts. He proved Howard’s opinion was correct by never reaching the top forty again.

Instead of ending their careers, the Turtles recorded a second song written by Sloan, Let Me Be. The milder protest song got the group back on the top forty without burning down their future. The single peaked at #29 on the Hot 100 in the fall of 1965. 

The Vogues recorded another song by P. F. Sloan & Steve Barri in 1965, but failed to release the song until 1996. You Baby was a non-protest song the Turtles released in 1966. The single took them up to #20 on the Hot 100. The group released five more singles that year, none of which charted any higher than #81 in the US.

The Turtles started off 1967 with the release of the #1 single Happy Together, and their career took off. In 1970, the group finally released a single version of Eve Of Destruction that they had recorded back in 1965. As you might expect, the record only reached #100 on the Hot 100 before fading away, and their career was seemingly over. Well, at least their charting days were over, and the band members mostly went their separate ways.

Howard and Mark stayed together and recorded and toured as Flo and Eddie. In 1983, the duo regained the rights to use of the name “The Turtles” and began touring as The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie. Their Happy Together tours, which primarily featured singers and bands from the sixties, continued through 2019.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turtles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turtles_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_Me_Be_(The_Turtles_song)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Baby_(song)

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1964 The Jelly Beans – I Wanna Love Him So Bad

1964 The Jelly Beans – I Wanna Love Him So Bad 

One boy and four girls who attended high school together in Jersey City started singing together as a group in the early sixties. They were heard by somebody who signed up as their manager. The manager succeeded in getting the attention of songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller just as they were starting up their own record label, Red Bird Records.

The label assigned the group to the songwriting team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, who came up with the song I Wanna Love Him So Bad. Ellie arranged the record, and Jeff produced it. It was the third single released by Red Bird, and it was an instant success: the single peaked at #9 on the Hot 100 in 1964.

The group followed that with another song created by Jeff and Ellie, Baby Be Mine. That single only reached #51 on the Hot 100, and its failure seemed to doom the group. Red Bird never released another recording by the Jelly Beans. Jeff, Ellie, and Red Bird moved their resources to the Shangri-Las, who were having a lot more success.

Eskee Records released another single by the group in 1965, but it never charted, and the group disbanded shortly thereafter.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-jelly-beans-mn0000074302/biography

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1963 Randy & The Rainbows – Denise

Junior & the Counts and The Encores were two of the early names used by a group from Queens, New York. The group recorded the song Denise in 1963. Bright Tunes Productions, the same group that produced the Tokens, produced the record. Laurie Records released the record after renaming the group Randy & The Rainbows.

The single barely managed to reach the top ten on the Hot 100, affording them the chance to perform the song live in Murray the K’s Brooklyn Fox Theater shows.

The group released more than a dozen additional singles, but the best they could manage was one record sitting at #97 for a week. The band eventually became two different groups performing their hit in oldies shows, Mike Zero’s Randy & The Rainbows and Randy Safuto’s Randy & The Rainbows.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_%26_the_Rainbows

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1962 The Lettermen – Come Back Silly Girl

1962 The Lettermen – Come Back Silly Girl 

Tony Butala and two other singers started a vocal group in the late fifties. Jackie Barnett hired them after an auction to portray a 1920s vocal trio named The Rhythm Boys in The Newcomers of 1928 revue at the Las Vegas Desert Inn in 1958. Jackie named the new group The Lettermen. The revue moved to Miami for a few weeks. Gary Clarke and another singer joined Tony as replacements for the two members who left the group. After the revue ended, the group disbanded and Tony and Gary joined Bill Norvis and the Upstarts and began singing in lounges. After a few months, Gary left the group and Jim Pike took his place.

Tony and Jim left the Upstarts and form their own group. Jim and Bob Engemann had met back at Brigham Young University and sung together in Los Angeles until Bob joined the California National Guard. He contacted Bob and invited him to join their new group. The group decided to use the Lettermen name that Tony had sung under in the past. 

Bob’s older brother Karl had a job as a record producer at Warner Brothers Records and helped the group get a recording contract there. They recorded and released two singles in 1960 that failed to perform well. Karl moved to Capitol Records as the new head of A&R and got the Lettermen out of their WB contract and signed them with Capitol. 

The group released The Way You Look Tonight as their first single on Capitol in 1961. The single peaked at #13 on the Hot 100. Their next singleWhen I Fall In Love, did even better, and reached #7 later that year. 

Walter Brennan had a hit in 1962 with Old Rivers. Jim and Bob recorded a parody of the song, The Son Of Old Rivers. Captiol Records released their single credited to Tony, Bob, and Jimmy on the label. The single immediately vanished and didn’t even get included on their first album.

In 1960, Steve Lawrence recorded a single written by Barry Mann. The single, Come Back Silly Girl, failed to chart and was quickly forgotten. 

The group’s first album contained their cover of that song. The single version of Come Back Silly Girl came out in 1962 and put the group back on the charts. It reached #17 on the Hot 100 and got as high as #3 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.

The Lettermen recorded countless albums and singles over the next decade. While they only had three more top forty singles on the Hot 100, they scored 13 more top ten singles and more than another dozen top forty singles on the AC chart.

Tony, the final original member to appear in concerts, announced his semi-retirement from performing in 2019. 

The group’s lineup changed over the years, but a group of Lettermen has appeared in concert continuously. The Lettermen have continued to release albums periodically, including six Christmas albums since 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lettermen

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1962 Bobby Rydell – I’ve Got Bonnie

1962 Bobby Rydell – I’ve Got Bonnie 

Bobby Rydell began releasing singles in 1959 and scored four top ten singles and four more top twenty singles in his first two years. After that, things slowed down a bit, but he may have had a bigger influence than he knew during that period.

In 1960, Bobby recorded Swinging School, a record that reached #5 on the Hot 100. A pair of aspiring singer/songwriters were sitting on twin beds and working on a song that became influenced by Bobby’s record. Paul and John had an idea for a song that would have one of them sing, “She loves you,” and the other would answer back, “Yeah, yeah.” They worked on the song for a bit, and they credit Bobby’s current hit as giving them a framework for the singing/answer idea of their song the way Bobby would sing and girl singers would reply. If nothing else, hearing Bobby’s song helped expand the second line of their song to “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” The Beatles recorded She Loves You a few years later.

Bobby’s career slowed down a bit for a few years, although it did get some help when he cut an album with Chubby Checker in late 1961 that included their version of the now-classic Christmas song, Jingle Bell Rock

Bobby’s first single in 1962 was I’ve Got Bonnie. The record peaked at #18 on the Hot 100. 

In 1963, Bobby co-starred in the film Bye-Bye Birdie with Ann-Margaret, which gave him several chances to sing and dance his way back into America’s heart. In one of life’s little coincidences, the pair sang a song in the film that was easily rewritten into the top forty hit We Love You Beatles by the Carefrees in 1964. 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Rydell

1961 – Ann-Margaret I Just Don’t Understand

Ann-Margaret’s recorded her first album in Hollywood. Marty Paich produced the album and conducted the orchestra, but neither of the singles from the album caught any traction.

Her second album was produced in Nashville by Chet Atkins, resulting in an obvious Country music influence. The first single from the album, I Just Don’t Understand, reached #17 on the Hot 100 in 1961. It was her first and only top forty record.

Fortunately, starring in State Fair in 1962 and Bye-Bye Birdie in 1963 turned her into a major star and she no longer had to depend on hit singles.

An up-and-coming British group recorded I Just Don’t Understand in 1963, but they didn’t release the recording until 1964. The group? The Beatles.

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An up-and-coming British group recorded I Just Don’t Understand in 1963, but they didn’t release the recording until 1964. The group? The Beatles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann-Margret

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