1967 The Parade – Sunshine Girl

1967 The Parade – Sunshine Girl

The sunshine pop groups began springing up in Southern California in the mid-sixties. One of the groups playing that sort of music was The Parade. The members included:

  • Jerry Riopelle, a songwriter and producer who played keyboards on several Phil Spector records.
  • Murray MacLeod, an actor who had appeared in many television shows beginning in 1965, including The MunstersThe Donna Reed ShowGidget, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 
  • Allen “Smokey” Roberds, an actor and singer who had appeared on Shindig.

The three co-wrote the song Sunshine Girl, which they recorded for A&M Records. Their recording session used several members of the Wrecking Crew. The single peaked at #20 on the Hot 100 in 1967.

Actor Stuart Margolin, who had a recurring role as Angel on The Rockford Files, co-wrote the b-side of their single. He also co-wrote several of the group’s later releases and eventually joined the group.

The Parade released five more singles, but when none of them followed up their early success, the group disbanded.

Jerry wrote songs and produced records for Brewer & Shipley and We Five and wrote songs  recorded by many artists. He also recorded over a dozen albums as a solo artist. He invented the Beamz in 2001, a contraption that allows users to create music by interacting with laster beams.

Stuart Margolin had a recurring role as Angel on The Rockford Files. He also had recurring roles on Bret Maverick and Mr. Smith and has appeared on countless television shows.

Allen and Murray formed the duo Ian & Murray and recorded unsuccessfully for Epic Records. After they split up, Murray appeared as a guest star on dozens of television shows over the next thirty years.

Allen began recording as Freddie Allen. Allen was friends with Roger Nichols, who had written a song with Paul Williams that was used as a commercial for the Crocker Bank in 1970.

Allen recorded the song as a single arranged by Roger that White Whale Records released in 1970. It wasn’t very successful.

The commercial impressed Richard Carpenter, and he ran into fellow A&M artist Paul and began working on a single for his group’s second album. The Carpenters took We’ve Only Just Begun to #2 on the H0t 100 in 1970.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Parade_(band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We%27ve_Only_Just_Begun

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1967 Tommy Roe – It’s Now Winter’s Day

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Roe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Roe_discography

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1966 Barry Young – One Has My Name

1966 Barry Young – One Has My Name 

Clarence LaVonne Fitzgerald was born in Oklahoma in 1932. And that seems to be about all anybody knows about him. He began appearing in public as Barry Young, doing an act where he sang like Dean Martin.

Eddie Dean wrote the song One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) with his wife Lorene and Hal Blair. Eddie was a popular singing cowboy, and his single version of the song reached #11 on the Country chart in 1948. Jimmy Wakely covered the song and took it to the top ten on the pop chart and hit number one on the Country chart that year as well. 

Barry recorded the song for Dot records in 1965, and his cover peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 in 1966. Until recently, every time I heard the song, I simply assumed it was Dean Martin singing.

Scopitone made video jukeboxes beginning in the late fifties that played videos they filmed for popular songs. While the videos often featured popular acts such as Bobby Vee and Neil Sedaka, one of the videos they put in their jukeboxes in 1966 was Barry’s version of One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart) that featured Barry singing to two very different women.

Barry was also lucky enough to perform his one-hit wonder on Hollywood A Go Go as well.

Jerry Lee Lewis covered the song and took it to #3 on the Country chart in 1969.

Barry released three singles on Columbia Records in 1966, but none of them approached the charts. One of the singles featured A Heart Without A Home, a song written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. His recordings began drifting closer to Country music, but he never charted on the Country chart at all.

near the end of 1966, Barry died from a brain abscess at age 35.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Young_(musician)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Has_My_Name_(The_Other_Has_My_Heart)

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1966 Sandy – Ronny and the Daytonas

1966 Sandy – Ronny and the Daytonas

Bill Justis worked for Sun Records in the early to mid-fifties, arranging music for many of their artists. After leaving Sun, he had a number two single with Raunchy in 1957. Bill moved to Nashville in 1961 and became a successful producer.

formed a group with Paul Jensen, Lee Kraft, Thomas Ramey, and Lynn Williams. John performed with the name Ronny Dayton and the  group became Ronny and the Daytonas.

John “Bucky” Wilkin was a singer, songwriter, and guitar player. His mother was Marijohn Wilkin, a successful Country music songwriter. She worked with  Bill to form Buckhorn Music. Bill produced a session with John in 1964 to record a song he had written as a senior in a physics class. Using Nashville studio musicians, they recorded Little G.T.O.

He told John to come up with a group name, and John named himself Ronny Dayton  and tacked on The Daytonas as his imaginary backup group. They signed with Mala Records, a sub-label of Bell Records, to release the single.

The single reached #4 on the Hot 100 in 1964 and sold over a million copies. They added Paul Jensen, Lee Kraft, Thomas Ramey, and Lynn Williams as members of the Daytonas, recorded a complete album, and toured the country to promote their record.

Their next single (California Bound) stalled at #74. They turned their sights back to putting out another song that was clearly about a car.

Jan and Dean released Bucket T on a 1964 album, a song written by Jan and Roger Christiansen. They did not release the song on a single until they put it on the b-side of Batman in 1966. Ronny and the Daytonas covered the song as their third single and it peaked at #54 in early 1965.

A surprise cover of the song came from The Who in 1966.

In 1965, Buzz Cason joined the group and he and Ronny wrote some new songs together for the Daytonas’ second album, Sandy. The title single, which was about a girl rather than a car, broke into the charts in December and peaked at #27 on the Hot 100 in early 1966.

The group released at least nine more singles, but never found their way back to the top forty on the Hot 100 again. The group disbanded by 1968, although a few members reunited to appear in oldies shows beginning in the eighties.

Ronny remained in the Nashville area and found work as a session guitarist on Country and pop records in the seventies, most notably on Outlaw Country albums by Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ronny-the-daytonas-mn0000282422/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronny_%26_the_Daytonas
https://www.allmusic.com/artist/john-bucky-wilkin-mn0001231556/biography

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1965 Jonathan King – Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

1965 Jonathan King – Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

Jonathan King grew up in London and cut a demo of himself singing as a teenager. While still in college, he joined the Bumblies, and they recorded several failed singles. His efforts to promote their records paid off when he wrote and recorded a solo record, Everyone’s Gone To The Moon.

Watch closely and you’ll see Jimmy Savile at the start of the video.

The single peaked at #17 on the US Hot 100 in 1965 and reached #4 in the UK. His next single only got to #97 on the Hot 100.

Later in 1965, Jonathan wrote and produced It’s Good News Week by Hedgehoppers Anonymous. The single peaked at only #48 in the US, but reached the top five in the UK.

The US version of the song included the line, “lots of blood in Asia now, they butchered off the sacred cow, they’ve got a lot to eat.” A different version was used in the UK, with the line replaced by, “Families shake the need for gold by stimulating birth control, we’re wanting less to eat.” The group recorded four more songs before disbanding.

Jonathan recorded and produced solo records and records released using group names that continued to find success in the UK, but never reached the US charts again.

Jonathan discovered a group of boys aged 14 and 15 performing in a band named Anon in 1967. Some familiar names were in the group: Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford, and Chris Stewart. Jonathan signed the group to Jonjo Records and produced their first album. He also renamed the group Genesis. After that album, Phil Collins and Steve Hackett joined the group and Genesis moved to another label.

Jonathan later produced hits for 10 CC and The Bay City Rollers. In the early eighties, he moved to New York City and hosted a morning talk show on WMCA radio. He later returned to England.

His later songwriting career included Tubthumping by Chumbawamba and Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Men.

In 2001, a UK court convicted Jonathan of child sexual abuse activities that occurred in the eighties, and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Many other allegations of sexual abuse surfaced as well.

Jimmy Savile died in 2011, and a flood of sexual abuse allegations followed his death.

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

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1965 The Bachelors – Marie

1964 The Bachelors – Marie 

Brothers Conleth and Declan Cluskey invited John Stokes to join their group, The Harmonichords, in 1957. They appeared on a few television shows and then on an Irish radio comedy show for over six months.

Dick Rowe worked in A&R at Decca Records, and in 1960 he convinced the group to change their name to The Bachelors. They began recording for Decca in 1962. Their first chart record was Charmaine, which reached the top ten in both their native Ireland and the UK the next year.

Ernö Rapée and Lew Pollack wrote Charmaine in 1926 and also wrote the song Diane to use as the theme song for the 1927 silent film Seventh Heaven. The Bachelors covered Diane and had their first number one record in the UK. The single also crossed the Atlantic and reached #10 on the US Hot 100 in 1964.

 

The group had three more top ten singles in the UK and Ireland before 1964 ended. The next year they released the single Marie, a song written by Irving Berlin in 1939. The record again placed in the UK top ten in 1965, but only reached #15 on the US Hot 100.

Four of the group’s hit records had been remakes of songs from films in the twenties. It may or may not be a coincidence, but Country singer Jim Reeves also recorded and released four songs in the fifties that the Bachelors later had hits with: Charmaine, Diane, Ramona, and Marie!

To sound more current, the group covered a song by Simon and Garfunkel in 1966. Sounds of Silence did well for the group in the UK, where the single reached #3, but does not appear they released it as a single in the US.

The group kept recording music through the end of the sixties, but their charting days ended in 1967. They continued appearing in concerts and smaller venues until John and the brothers suffered a bad breakup.

Conleth and Declan began appearing as The New Bachelors and eventually as “Con & Dec, The Bachelors.” The duo recorded some new songs that appeared on a greatest hits album in 2006.

John briefly appeared with Steve Coe as Stokes & Coe and later toured with other musicians as the Bachelors with John Stokes. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bachelors
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_(Erno_Rapee_and_Lew_Pollack_song)
http://www.thebachelors.co.uk/JohnStokesTheTruth.htm
http://the-bachelors.com/

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1964 The Beatles – I’ll Cry Instead/I’m Happy Just To Dance With You

1964 The Beatles – I’ll Cry Instead/I’m Happy Just To Dance With You 

When the Beatles finally caught fire in the US in early 1964, they found themselves with the top five records on the Hot 100 in the first week of April. I described the craziness that led to that in my blog as part of a preview for a book I still haven’t finished.

Beatlemania hit the country like nothing before or since, and twenty singles had already reached the US Hot 100 in the first six months of 1964.

The release of the first Beatles movie in the UK in July started a string of single releases. A Hard Day’s Night kicked things off, and Capitol Records released another single every week until they released the film in the US in August.

The first single was the title song from the film, and it easily reached the top of the charts. None of the next three singles even got into the top ten; perhaps Capitol miscalculated their attempt to push multiple singles by the Beatles into the top ten simultaneously. And I Love Her only reached #12, and I’ll Cry Instead stalled at #25. The latter single was on the soundtrack album, but the song wasn’t even used in the film!

A song that actually came from the movie that featured George singing lead filled the b-side of the single, I’m Happy Just To Dance With You. George had not yet started performing songs in public media that he had written. He usually only sang lead on songs he wrote himself. The only two songs written by John and Paul that George sang lead on were this song and Do You Want To Know A Secret. John and Paul wrote the song specifically so George could sing lead on a song in the movie.

The b-side charted, but only reached #95 on the Hot 100. Only two other records by the Beatles charted lower: the German version of She Loves You (#98) and The Inner Light (#96, the b-side of Lady Madonna). There were a few other b-sides that did not reach the Hot 100 at all. They used the song in the film, and as a result, the song got plenty of airplay on the radio in 1964 despite not charting higher.

Once the label began releasing singles on a schedule that was closer to one every three months, the Beatles scored five consecutive number one singles in late 1964 and 1965.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_discography#Singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ll_Cry_Instead
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Happy_Just_to_Dance_with_You

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1964 Joe Hinton – Funny (How Time Slips Away)

1964 Joe Hinton – Funny (How Time Slips Away)

Willie Nelson signed with D Records and moved to Houston in 1958. While working as a disk jockey, he also began songs that would later become major Country hits after he moved to Nashville in 1960. One of those songs was Funny (How Time Slips Away).

Willie did not release his own version of that song until 1965, four years after Billy Walker recorded the song and reached #23 on the Country chart.

Jimmy Elledge recorded and released his slightly less Country version in 1961 and it reached #22 on the Hot 100 later that year.

Johnny Tillotson began charting hits in 1958 and his records reached the pop chart, the Country chart, and even the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart in 1962. In 1963 he covered Funny (How Time Slips Away). His single only got up to #50 on the Hot 100, but reached #16 on the AC chart.

In 1964, a completely different read on the song came from Joe Hinton. Joe was born in Evansville, Indiana, and began singing professionally with a series of gospel groups. In 1958 he signed a contract with Peacock Records in Memphis and began working on secular records with owner and producer Don Robey. A series of singles came and went before he released You Know It Ain’t Right in 1963. The single peaked at #5 on the R&B chart and reached #88 on the Hot 100.

Two singles later, Joe had the biggest hit of his career with his soulful version of Funny (How Time Slips Away). The initial records were labeled with the title Funny, but they changed to the song’s full title once the record became a hit.

Joe’s single reached #13 on the Hot 100 in 1964 and sold over a million copies.

He only released a few more singles before skin cancer ended his life in 1968.

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

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1963 Freddie Scott – Hey Girl

1963 Freddie Scott – Hey Girl

Freddie Scott was born in Rhode Island and began singing with his mother’s gospel group. When he was only 12 years old, he toured England with the group. He studied medicine in colleges in Rhode Island and Georgia. Singing with the Swanee Quintet Juniors not only distracted his studies, but it also convinced him to pursue a career in music.

In 1956, Freddie began recording singles for a small label in New York City. He also began writing songs, and he wrote one of the songs on Ricky Nelson’s first album. He recorded many of his own demos and started recording his own records again in the early sixties.

Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote the song Hey Girl and worked with Freddie to record a demo of the song to pitch to Chuck Jackson. When Chuck missed a recording session for the song, Gerry produced the song with Freddie filling in for Chuck. The resulting recording was released as a single by Colpix Records. The single peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 in 1962, although it was not one of the top 100 records of the year. The record also reached #10 on the R&B chart.

The song was also a top ten hit for Donnie Osmond in 1971.

It also became Billy Joel’s last charting single in the US when his cover reached #15 on the Adult Contemporary Chart in 1997.

Freddie released a non-stop series of singles through 1973, but only one more song reached the top forty on the Hot 100. His recording of Are You Lonely For Me peaked at only #39 on the Hot 100 in February 1967. The single was still a success, since it also topped the R&B chart.

Freddie had four more singles reach the top forty on the R&B chart. The most notable of those records was (You) Got What I Need – a quick listen will reveal that they sampled the single for the Biz Markie rap song Just A Friend in 1989.

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

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