Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 06/26/2019

Nigel Olssen played in a lot of almost successful bands in the late sixties. He recorded a single in the group Argosy (that also included Reginald Dwight), played in the band Uriah Heep, and worked in a reformed Spencer Davis Group with bassist Dee Murray long after Steve Winwood had left the group.

That Reginald Dwight fellow? He started using the name Elton John. In 1970, he hired Nigel and Dee to play in his touring band and shortly thereafter hired Davey Johnstone as a guitarist. Those three eventually became Elton’s studio musicians for several exceptional albums in the early seventies. In 1975, Elton replaced Nigel and Dee.

Nigel did a lot of studio work as well as a pair of solo albums. The 1975 album, Nigel, faded quickly. In 1978 he worked with producer Paul Davis, and the result was a second album that was also named Nigel. The first single from the album, Dancing Shoes, was a minor hit that reached #18 in early 1979. Nigel appeared on American Bandstand to promote the single.

The second single release from the album was A Little Bit Of Soap. The song got to #12 in 1961 for the Jarmels, and in 1970 Paul Davis released the song as a solo artist and got as high as #52. Perhaps when he produced Nigel’s album, Paul saw a second chance to succeed with the song…but Nigel’s version only got up to #34. After that, Nigel’s solo charting was finished.

Elton must have had a change of heart because in 1980 he brought Nigel and Dee back into his group. That time the partnership remained for a longer time: Nigel had played in over 2200 concerts with Elton by 2017.

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