Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1967 Sandy Posey – I Take It Back

1967 Sandy Posey – I Take It Back

Sandra Lou Posey was born in Alabama and attended high school in Arkansas.

She got a job as a receptionist at a music studio in Memphis and slowly began to get work singing background vocals. She sang background vocals for artists as varied as Bobby Goldsboro, Tommy Roe, and Joe Tex. She also sang on some Elvis records that Chips Moman produced.

Sandra recorded the single Kiss Me Goodnight for Bell Records in 1965. The label listed her name on the record as Sandy Carmel. It failed to chart, perhaps because it sounded like a throwback to the fifties.

Her earliest success story came when she sang background vocals for Percy Sledge on the hit When A Man Loves A Woman in 1966.

Martha Sharpe wrote the song Born A Woman. Gary Walker was a music publisher who assisted Sandy in recording a demo record for the song. The demo impressed Chips, and he helped Sandy get signed with MGM Nashville. Chips then produced the single, which peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in August 1966. He also produced her first three albums. Sandy performed her single on Where The Action Is.

The month her first hit peaked on the chart, Chips produced A Single Girl, another song written by Martha. The song was the lead single from Sandra’s second album. The single reached #12 on the Hot 100 the last week of December.

John D. Loudermilk wrote Sandy’s next singleWhat A Woman In Love Won’t Do. The single only reached #31 on the Hot 100, preventing her from completing an unusual feat. Her fourth single also reached number 12, which would have made her the only artist to have three consecutive #12 records on the Hot 100. She recorded a video for I Take It Back that appeared on television in 1967.

Listening to Sandy’s singles when they came out gave me the impression that she was a Country singer, but none of her records reached the Country charts until she switched record labels and began working with producer Billy Sherrill in 1971. She never reached the Hot 100 after 1968, but she had minor success on the Country charts for most of the seventies (none of her singles peaked any higher than #18).


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1965 Beau Brummels – Laugh, Laugh

1965 Beau Brummels – Laugh, Laugh

Sal Valentino grew up in San Francisco, where he pursued a singing career. He was offered a job at a local club and they expected him to bring a complete group to play. His childhood friend, Ron Elliott, was a singer/songwriter and guitar player, and Sal invited Ron to join him. Ron recruited Ron Meagher on bass, Declan Mulligan on rhythm guitar and harmonica, and John Petersen on drums to fill up the group.

The band called itself The Stepping Stones. They got hired by the Morocco Room in San Mateo. San Francisco disk jockey Tom Donahue, one of the owners of Autumn records, saw the band perform there. Tom signed the band with Autumn Records.

The band changed their name to the Beau Brummels and worked on their first album with producer Sylvester Stewart. Sylvester later changed his name to Sly Stone, and he formed Sly and the Family Stone in 1966.

The group’s first single was Laugh, Laugh. The record peaked at only #15 on the Hot 100 in 1965. The single became recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as one of “The 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll,” thanks to its early influence on the San Francisco sound. Ron Elliott began having health problems when the band toured because of his diabetes and the difficulty of eating properly on the road. When the group appeared on the Mike Douglas show, Michael “filled in” for Ron when the band sang over their record.

They released their first album in April 1965. The album contained their second single, Just A Little, and that record crept into the top ten. The two hit singles even propelled the group onto television shows and film. They appeared in the science fiction film Village of the Giants, which was later rebroadcast as an episode on MST3k. They also portrayed  The Beau Brummelstones on the Flintstones.

Their second album came out in 1965 and spawned the single You Tell Me Why, which peaked at #38. That was the group’s last top forty record.

When Ron Elliott could no longer continue touring with the group, Don Irving took his place on the road. The army drafted Don in mid-1966.

In late 1966, John left the group to join another band on Autumn Records, Harpers Bizarre. John also eventually also married the sister of another member of that group, Ted Templeman. This left the group a trio, and that led them to name their next album Triangle.

Ron Meagher then also had the misfortune of being drafted. The two remaining members of the band (Sal and Ron Elliott) recorded a new Beau Brummels album with the help of studio musicians in Nashville in 1968, after which they disbanded the group.

Sal formed a new band, Stoneground, that released three albums over the next few years. Ron did some studio work for other groups and also released a solo album.

The five original members reunited and began touring again in 1974. They released a studio album in 1975 and recorded a live album that didn’t get released until 2000. The band fell apart again in late 1975. Various groupings of the members have toured off and on as the Beau Brummels since then.

In 2013 the remaining members reunited one last time and recorded their last studio album.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1963 Mongo Santamaria – Watermelon Man

1963 Mongo Santamaria – Watermelon Man

Mongo Santamaria grew up playing bongo and conga drums on the streets of Havana and worked his way up to playing in nightclubs. After joining a band and performing on a tour of Mexico, he moved to New York City in 1950. He played in a series of bands before recording his own solo album in 1959. The album included the song Afro Blue.

Mongo returned to Cuba and played on two Willie Bobo albums in 1960. When he returned to New York, he formed his own band and began playing regularly in clubs there.

In May 1962 Herbie Hancock’s released his debut album, Takin’ Off. One song on the jazz album was a seven-minute bluesy instrumental, Watermelon Man.

Mongo’s band included piano player Chick Corea, who had announced he would leave the group. Mongo hired Herbie to cover for Chick for some weekend shows in the Bronx. Donald Byrd, a jazz trumpet player, attended the show. At an intermission, he talked with Mongo about the ongoing fusion of African-Cuban and African-American jazz music. Donald asked Herbie to play Watermelon Man on the piano, Mongo joined in and began playing on his conga drums, the bass player added some bass, and the audience got up and danced.

Mongo later asked permission to record the song, and in December his band recorded their version of Watermelon Man. That version wasn’t exactly an instrumental, since a group of singers kept chanting and singing the title over and over. The single peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 in the early Spring of 1963.

Ray Barretto released another fusion single in 1963. The Orlons had a #2 hit with Wah-Watusi in 1962, and Ray’s group recorded the Latin-flavored El Watusi and the single reached #17 on the Hot 100 at the same time that Mongo’s hit was popular. The song was primarily an instrumental, but somebody (probably Ray) kept speaking Spanish over the music. The two songs marked the beginnings of boogaloo music, a genre that proved to be very popular through the rest of the sixties.

While both groups recorded successful albums that contained mixes of rhythm and blues and mambo, neither group reached the top forty again.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1961 Impressions – Gypsy Woman

1961 Impressions – Gypsy Woman

The Impressions recorded a few hit records with Jerry Butler in the fifties, but Jerry left the group to start a solo career and took member Curtis Mayfield with him at the end of the decade. Their departure seemed to put an end to the Impressions.

Curtis co-wrote some songs for Jerry and played guitar on some of his recordings, but in 1961 he reformed the Impressions with remaining members Arthur Brooks, Richard Brooks, and Sam Gooden. He also recruited Fred Cash to replace Jerry.

The first single the group recorded after reforming was Gypsy Woman. Curtis wrote the song and also sang lead vocals. The record reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart in 1961.

The Brooks brothers left the group in 1962, and the group continued on as a trio. Curtis remained with the group through 1970, by which time they had racked up 14 more top forty singles on the Hot 100 and two number-one singles on the R&B chart.

Curtis hit the top ten on the Hot 100 with Freddie’s Dead and Superfly in 1972. He had a total of 19 solo top forty singles on the R&B chart.

The Impressions continued recording without Curtis. Their biggest hit was Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man). Ed Townsend, the singer responsible for the fifties hit For Your Love, wrote and produced their 1974 hit. The single topped the R&B chart and peaked at #17 on the Hot 100. The group even sang the song on Soul Train. Fred and Sam continued leading the group with other temporary members until their farewell tour in 2018.

Brian Hyland hit #3 on the Hot 100 in 1962 with his single Sealed With A Kiss. His only other top forty singles for the next eight years were one single that reached #20 and two more that reached #25. In 1970, Del Shannon produced a few songs for Brian, including a cover of Gypsy Woman. That single peaked at #3, but it was the last of Brian’s records to reach the top forty.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1959 The Tempos – See You In September

1959 The Tempos – See You In September

Mike Lazo, Gene Schacter, and Bobby Vinton formed The Hilites in 1954 and sang at local record hops. Mike and Gene were drafted and sang together in USO shows in Korea. When they returned to the states, they joined up with Jim Drake and Tom Minito (two music majors at Duquesne University) and formed the Tempos. The group signed with Kapp Records and released three singles in 1957 that failed to chart.

Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards worked in the Brill Building on Tin Pan Alley in New York City, doing their best to write and sell songs. On a Friday in June 1959, Sid suggested writing a song called See You In September. A little over five hours later, they had successfully finished writing the song. The song generated an enthusiastic response from the second publisher they pitched it to, Jack Gold of Paris Records. Early that evening, he phoned the Tempos, who were based in Pittsburgh. The group came to New York the next day, and by Monday the record had been cut using the Billy Mure orchestra to play the background music. Climax Records pressed the record within a few days, and by Friday the single was already getting airplay on a local radio station.

The Tempos were lucky enough to lip-sync the song on the Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show. The single peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 on September 7, 1959.

See You In September was the only record by the Tempos that reached the Hot 100. They appear to have released a few more non-charting singles after their hit fell off the charts.

The song became a much bigger hit when the Happenings covered it in 1966. Bob Crewe (who also worked with the Four Seasons) produced the song for BT Puppy Records, a label owned by the Tokens that released the single. The record reached #3 on the Hot 100 in late August. The Happenings recorded three more cover songs that reached the top forty and five covers that didn’t get that high on the chart before the hits stopped coming.

The single by the Tempos briefly came to life again in 1973, thanks to its inclusion on the soundtrack of American Graffiti.


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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1958 The Applejacks – Mexican Hat Rock

1958 The Applejacks – Mexican Hat Rock

Dave Appell worked arranging music for Naval big bands during World War II. After the war, he began arranging dance music for orchestras. He signed with Decca Records and began recording with his own small group as the Dave Appell Four. Decca got him to change the name of his group to the Applejacks and released singles beginning in 1954. Sweet Patootie Pie was a typical single.

Tone-Craft released a single credited to Dave Appell and His Appell-Jacks in 1955. In 1956 they released two records on the President label, once again using Applejacks.

After a short stint in Las Vegas, the band returned to Philadelphia and began working for Cameo-Parkway Records. Dave played guitar on some recordings and did engineering, arranging, and even producing for others on the label. His band provided the music backing Charlie Gracie on his chart-topping record Butterfly in 1957.

John Zacherle, the Cool Ghoul, hosted a Saturday night horror movie show in Philadelphia and later New York City. The Applejacks provided the music for Zacherle’s album and his top ten novelty singleDinner With Zach.

Dave arranged and recorded an instrumental called The Mexican Hat Rock in 1958 and had it released as the Applejacks. The single was a rock version of the Mexican national dance, Jarabe Tapatío. The single peaked at #16 on the Hot 100.

The next single from the group was another instrumental, Rocka-Tonga. They changed the song title to Rocka-Conga, but it still peaked at only #38.

The Applejacks released quite a few more singles, but the only other charted record was their version of the Bunny Hop. That single reached #70 in 1959.

As the leader of the Cameo-Parkway house band, Dave worked on records for Chubby Checker, The Dovells, The Orlons, Bobby Rydell, and Dee Dee Sharp. He even co-wrote many of their hits, including The Bristol Stomp, Let’s Twist Again, South Street, Don’t Hang UpWild One, and Do The Bird.

In the seventies, Dave produced a series of hit records for Tony Orlando and Dawn.

Dave died in 2014.


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