1967 Tommy Roe – It’s Now Winter’s Day
Sam Phillips started Sun Records in Memphis in 1952 and played a pivotal role in the birth of rock-and-roll. His brother, Judd, worked with his brother at Sun and started his own record company. Judd Records began releasing singles in 1958, and had their biggest hit with Rockin’ Little Angel by Ray Smith in 1960.
The label also discovered singer/songwriter Tommy Roe. Teenaged Tommy had written the song Frita about a girl in his high school, and Judd Records produced Tommy’s song after getting him to change the name to Sheila. The song featured Tommy’s backup band, The Satins, and also used the female back-up singers in The Flamingos. The single came out in 1960, but failed to chart.
Tommy graduated from high school and went to work soldering wires for General Electric. In 1962, Tommy signed with ABC-Paramount Records and began working with producer Felton Jarvis in Nashville. They recut several of the songs Tommy had previously recorded. While several singles were unsuccessful, the newly re-recorded version of Sheila topped the Hot 100 in 1962.
His record label convinced Tommy to tour to promote his single. While the tour resulted in a second top ten single (Everybody), the trip to England didn’t go well because of the early growth of Beatlemania.
Tommy made a second tour of England with Roy Orbison, and that went so well that Tommy moved to England and remained there for a few years. Tommy continued recording records, but his sales stalled until 1966. He wrote and recorded two more top ten singles that year, Sweet Pea and Hooray For Hazel.
In 1967, Tommy released It’s Now Winter’s Day. The ballad peaked at #23 on the Hot 100.
Another dry spell followed that single. Guitarist Freddy Weller and Tommy had worked together at ABC before Freddy became the new lead guitarist for Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1969. Tommy and Freddy co-wrote Dizzy and Tommy’s single reached #1 on the Hot 100. It also hit the top of the charts in Canada and the UK. A few more singles reached the charts before his hit singles ran out in 1972.
Tommy recorded records aimed at the Country market through the late eighties, but he never achieved the success he had on the pop charts. He continued appearing in oldies shows until he announced his retirement from public appearances in February 2018.
I post links to my Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day each day on Facebook. My books are on sale on Amazon (or free with Kindle Unlimited) and contain a lot more Lost or Forgotten Oldies. You can visit my author page to see them and you can read them for free with Kindle Unlimited!