Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 08/14/2019

Gary Anderson was born in Jacksonville Florida in 1939. He began singing professionally and in church with a group called the Turks in Virginia in the late fifties.

Gary signed with the Legrande record label. Struggling for a way to promote the singer into a crowded field of singers, the label owner decided to put a new name on the records: U. S. Bonds. That was back in a time when US Savings Bonds were commonplace. The hope was that disk jockeys might misunderstand the label as some sort of public service announcement and listen to the records. His first three singles went out to radio stations with that name. It’s difficult to know how much the pseudonym had to do with Gary’s success, but there’s no denying that something clicked: the first single went to #6 (Orleans) and the third single went to 1 (Quarter To Three). Don’t ask about the second single.

At that point, the label decided to partially undo the fake name, and his real first name was returned to the label. Thus was born Gary (U. S.) Bonds. It took a while, but they eventually dropped the parentheses as well.

Gary’s next five singles included three top ten records and two top thirty hits. The steam ran out, and Gary’s career burned out in 1962.

“Maybe everything that dies someday comes back.” The man who wrote that line was Bruce Springsteen, and in 1981 he performed the resurrection of Gary’s career. Bruce and most of the E Street Band backed up Gary on two new albums. Bruce wrote three of the songs on the first album, including This Little Girl. That release was Gary’s first hit single in nearly twenty years and nearly reached the top ten. Additional singles did not fare as well, but a second album was cut in 1982.

The lead single from On The Line was Out Of Work. The single was again written by Bruce and it was produced by Bruce and Miami Steve. This time the single only got up to #21; it was the last time Gary was on the charts.

Jump forward about three decades, and Bruce and Gary were still on good enough terms that Bruce brought Gary along to sing a few songs at a concert. He and the E Street Band backed up Gary at MetLife Stadium in (where else?) New Jersey.


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