1981 Gary Wright – I Really Want To Know You

1981 Gary Wright – I Really Want To Know You

Gary Wright grew up in New Jersey and had his first television at the ripe old age of seven on a television show that was filmed in New York City, Captain Video and His Video Rangers.

He studied keyboards and began playing in rock bands while in high school. He and Billy Markle recorded his first single for in 1960 for  20th Century Fox Records. The record company billed them as Gary and Billy; the single failed to chart nationally.

Gary studied to be a doctor, but put that career aside and joined the band Art. They changed their name to Spooky Tooth and recorded a few albums in the late sixties. He left the group to pursue a solo career in 1970. He signed with A&M and eventually recorded two unsuccessful albums for the label.

Gary worked on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album in 1970, the beginning of a long-term friendship with George. He not only played on all of George’s solo albums, but some other records that George produced (including two of Ringo’s hit singles).

From 1972 to 1974, Gary reformed Spooky Tooth. He then signed with Warner Brothers Records and returned to the studio, and recorded his third solo album. The album contained his two most successful singles. Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive each reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1976. Dream Weaver also reached #14 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Gary toured with three keyboard players and a drummer to support the album. His shows helped popularize the use of synthesizers.

It would be five years before he again released a record popular enough to reach the top forty. In 1981, he co-wrote a song with Ali Thomson, I Really Want To Know You. The single peaked at #16, which became Gary’s last record to reach the Hot 100.

Gary’s first two hit records had different versions recorded later. Chaka Khan covered Love Is Alive on her 1984 album I Feel for You. Her version had a new title, My Love Is Alive.

Gary re-recorded his hit Dream Weaver for the soundtrack of Wayne’s World in 1992.

Gary continued recording and touring through 2011.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Wright
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Really_Wanna_Know_You

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1980 Lobo – Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love

1980 Lobo – Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love 

Roland Kent LaVoie began recording music in 1964. He failed to have much success until he signed with Big Tree Records and began recording as Lobo.

He had seven top forty singles on the label, three of which reached the top ten on the Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart. 

His last hit on Big Tree came in 1975 with the release of Don’t Tell Me Goodnight. He wrote the single, which peaked at #27 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the AC chart.

and one last hit:

In 1976, Lobo released an album in Europe on Philips Records. Phillips did not release either of the singles in the US. He then signed with Curb Records, but did not complete an album with them.

Lobo signed with Curb/MCA Records in 1979 and released his first US album in four years. The lead single from the album, Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love, reached #23 on the Hot 100 and again took him to the top of the AC chart.

Lobo’s next single stalled at #75 on the Hot 100. Unhappy with the support he was getting, Lobo managed to get out of his recording contract. He moved to Nashville, and began recording on his own label, Lobo Records.

He never again charted on the Hot 100, but had some success on the Country charts in the early eighties.

The release of compilation albums that contained his earlier hits led to increasing popularity in Asia. He recorded a new album in Taiwan in 1989 and later re-recorded some of his old hits as well as an album of covers of standards. He even toured Southeast Asia beginning in 2006.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobo_(musician)

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

Yvette Marie Stevens grew up in Chicago with a father she described as a beatnik. At age 13, a Babalawo of the Yoruba community gave her the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi.

She formed an R&B group, the Crystalettes, and later began singing in the group Lyfe. She met and married another member of the group, Hassan Khan. This led to her using the name Chaka Khan. Besides singing, Chaka sometimes played bass and percussion.

When the American Breed fell apart in 1969, members of the group formed a new band, Smoke, that soon after became renamed Rufus. Chaka joined the group in 1972 when Paulette McWilliams left. Ike Turner asked her to become one of the Ikettes, but she turned down the invitation and stayed with Rufus.

Stevie Wonder wrote Tell Me Something Good for Chaka, and that single took Rufus to #3 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1974. A long string of successful recordings followed over the next few years.

While remaining a member of Rufus, Chaka signed with Warner Brothers and released her first solo album in 1978. The lead singleI’m Every Woman, was written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson and produced by Arif Mardin.

The single peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and reached the top of the R&B chart.

Rufus recorded a few albums without Chaka, but she participated in their final album, which was recorded live at the Savoy in 1983. She then pursued her solo career exclusively. While a few of her singles reached the Hot 100, most of them were more successful on the R&B chart.

The 1989 remix of I’m Every Woman reached the top of the US Dance chart.

In 2011, Chaka received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque.

In 2015, Chaka was the first dancer eliminated on Dancing With The Stars. In 2020, she performed as a contestant on The Masked Singer television show.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaka_Khan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaka_Khan_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27m_Every_Woman

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1977 Little River Band – Help Is On Its Way

1977 Little River Band – Help Is On Its Way

How is it that radio mostly ignores a group that had over a dozen top forty singles on the Hot 100, half of which made it to the top ten, and sold over thirty million records? Such is the fate of the Little River Band.

Six members of several local groups in Australia joined together in 1975 to form a new group. The primary members were Glenn Shorrock on lead vocals, Beeb Birtles on guitar and vocals, and Graeham Goble on guitar and vocals. The band initially called themselves Mississippi. That changed the night they were driving to their first live gig when they passed a road sign for Little River.

The first track the group recorded was a cover of the Everly Brothers song, When Will I Be Loved. Linda Ronstadt released her single in April and dashed any hopes they had of a hit, so they shelved the track. The group signed with EMI Records and began recording their first album in November. EMI released two singles from the album that did well in Australia.

The group signed with Capitol Records near the end of 1975 and guitar player David Briggs joined the group. They began touring in the UK and Europe in early 1976.

They toured the US in late 1976, opening up for the Average White Band. Their third single finally clicked in the states: It’s A Long Way There reached #28 on the Hot 100.

The band’s next album, Diamantina Cocktail, contained two singles that reached the top twenty in the US.

The group’s first single in 1977, Help Is On Its Way, reached #14 on the US Hot 100 and won Record of the Year at the Australian 1977 King of Pop Awards.

Happy Anniversary reached #16 on the Hot 100 later that year. It does not appear that they released the single in Australia!

The story of the band continues here:

Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1983 Little River Band – The Other Guy

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_River_Band
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_River_Band_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help_Is_on_Its_Way

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1976 Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – Good-Hearted Woman

1976 Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson – Good-Hearted Woman 

Waylon Jennings got tired of discipline problems and left high school when he was only 16, intending to pursue a career in music. He soon worked as a dj and eventually began singing and playing guitar on live radio shows in several cities.

Buddy Holly arranged Waylon’s first recording session in 1958 and then hired him to play bass for his group. In 1959, Waylon was playing in Buddy’s group on tour and gave up his seat to J. P. Richardson on a flight between shows – the flight that crashed and killed Buddy.

Waylon formed a rockabilly group and began playing in a club in Arizona for a few years. He recorded for several record labels, but failed to chart. 

Chet Atkins signed Waylon to a recording contract with RCA Records in 1965, and minor country hits followed for the next few years. A successful string of top ten country hits began in 1967.

In 1969, Waylon read an advertisement for a concert that promoted Tina Turner as a “Good hearted woman loving two-timing men,” a reference to her relationship with Ike Turner. He found Willie Nelson at a nearby poker game, pitched the line as the start for a possible song, and the two of them came up with lyrics that night. Waylon didn’t do anything with the song for a few years.

By the early seventies, Waylon had become fed-up with the way he was expected to look, dress, and sing, and wanted to change his style of music.

Waylon and Willie both signed with Neil Reshen as their new manager in 1971. Neil negotiated a new contract for Waylon with RCA that gave him creative control over his music, and Outlaw Country was born.

In 1972, Waylon was working on songs for a new album, and remembered his song about a good-hearted woman. He recorded the song, and the single became the title for the album. His solo version reached #3 on the Country chart in 1972.

Outlaw Country rapidly grew in popularity. In early 1975, Waylon’s semi-autobiographical recording of Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way topped the Country chart and reached #60 on the Hot 100. It was a bigger hit in Nashville.

In 1975, Waylon remixed his recording of A Good Hearted Woman. He added vocals by Willie and also added crowd noises to make the song sound live. The resulting single not only topped the Country chart, but it reached #25 on the Hot 100.

The hit single helped Waylon and Willie break into the mainstream, and each of them had additional hits on the Hot 100 over the next few years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waylon_Jennings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waylon_Jennings_singles_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Nelson
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_Nelson_singles_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Hearted_Woman_(song)

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1975 America – Daisy Jane

1975 America – Daisy Jane 

Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell, and Dan Peek were all sons of US Air Force personnel. They met when their fathers were each stationed near London. The three began performing together as America while still in high school in 1970.

The band had three top ten singles in the US in 1972, but struggled on the charts after that. In 1974, the group hired George Martin to produce their fourth album, and they instantly scored two more top ten hits that also reached the top of the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart.

George also produced their fifth album in 1975. The first single from the album, Sister Golden Hair, topped the Hot 100 in early 1975 and reached #5 on the AC chart.

Gerry also wrote their next single, Daisy Jane. The record peaked at only #20 on the Hot 100, but did even better than the prior single on the AC chart (where it peaked at #4).

George Martin not only produced the single, but it is likely that he played piano on the recording.

In early 1987, Janet Jackson released the single Lets Wait Awhile from her 1986 album Control. America’s road manager heard Janet’s song on his car radio. He immediately recognized the similarities between the two songs and called Gerry from a payphone to alert him. An out-of-court settlement kept everybody out of litigation. The similarity between the two recordings is striking.

In 2001, Janet recorded a song that sampled America’s Ventura Highway. That time, Dewey always had co-writing credit (and, one supposes, appropriate royalty sharing).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_(band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_discography#1970s_singles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_Jane
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_Wait_Awhile

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1974 The Osmonds – Love Me For A Reason

1974 The Osmonds – Love Me For A Reason 

Singer/songwriter Johnny Bristol worked for Motown through most of the sixties and began his own solo career in 1974. He co-wrote Love Me For A Reason with Wade Brown, Jr., David Jones, Jr. and produced the single for his first album in 1974.

Johnny’s solo album came out on MGM Records. Somehow, the song got also got covered by another MGM group: The Osmonds.

While we all associate Osmond singles with Donny singing lead vocals, the Osmonds recorded Love Me For A Reason with Merrill singing lead vocals. Their single reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1974, keeping Johnny’s original version of the song off the charts.

The genuine surprise came in the UK, where the Osmonds reached the top of the chart and stayed there for three weeks.

The group had one more top forty single in 1975, after which they suspended work on group recordings to concentrate on producing The Donny & Marie Show for ABC television.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Osmonds
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Osmonds_discography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Me_for_a_Reason

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1973 Bloodstone – Natural High

1973 Bloodstone – Natural High

In 1962, a collection of high school students in Kansas City formed the doo-wop group. They reached eventually learned to play instruments as well, and reached Las Vegas as a cover band in 1968.

In 1971, the band moved to Los Angeles, replaced their drummer, and signed with new management. Their new managers insisted that the group change its name, and they became Bloodstone.

No record label had shown any interest in the band, so they again followed their managers’ advice and moved to London. Once there, they signed a recording contract with Decca Records. By then, the members of the group were Willis Draffen Jr., Roger Durham, Charles Love, Charles McCormick, Eddie Summers, and Harry Williams.

Bloodstone began working with British Blues producer Mike Vernon. They recorded their first album and had their first hit record in 1973 with a song written by Charles McCormick, their bass player. The single Natural High peaked at #10 on the US Hot 100 and reached #4 on the R&B chart. It stalled at #40 in the UK.

The group had one more single reach #34, but other than that, they never reached the top forty on the Hot 100 again. Fortunately, they had eight more top forty singles on the R&B chart, half of which reached the top ten.

In 1975, Bloodstone starred in the film Train Ride To Hollywood, for which they wrote all the music. They continued to record new music through 1984.

Two of the band’s original members, Harry Williams and Charles McCormick, still lead the current Bloodstone on tour.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/bloodstone-mn0000053606/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloodstone_(band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_High_(Bloodstone_song)

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1972 Hot Butter – Popcorn

1972 Hot Butter – Popcorn

The Moog synthesizer first appeared on commercial recordings in 1967. An article that lists the first ten recordings included several recordings by legendary drummer Hal Blaine, the Strange Days album from the Doors, several songs Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. by the Monkees, and an album by Jean Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley.

Gershon began working on additional music as a solo artist and released the album Music To Moog By in 1969. The album contained covers of a two Beatle songs (including Paperback Writer).

The album also included some original music, including the song Popcorn. The song and video may not seem as impressive now, but they were groundbreaking at the time.

To demonstrate the capabilities of Moog synthesizers, Gershon formed the First Moog Quartet in 1970. One of the members of the group was jazz musician Stan Free, who also toured with the group for two years.

When the touring ended, Stan recorded the album Hot Butter with five studio musicians. One of the songs on the album was a cover of Popcorn. Musicor released the song as a single in 1972.

The peppy song climbed up to #9 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The single sold over two million copies, nearly half of them in France alone.

Somehow, somebody created a dance for the song, and they even shot a video showing off the dance moves.

It’s not a real surprise that it was the group’s only hit.

Moog: A History in Recordings—The First Moog Synthesizer Recordings


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gershon_Kingsley
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Butter
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popcorn_(instrumental)

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

1971 Liz Damon’s Orient Express – 1900 Yesterday

1971 Liz Damon’s Orient Express – 1900 Yesterday 

Betty Everett first reached the Hot 100 in early 1964 with her version of You’re No Good. The single peaked at #51 (although it later hit the top of the Hot 100 for Linda Ronstadt).

Her next single, The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss) went to #6 on the Hot 100. Later in 1964, a duet with Jerry Butler on Let It Be Me reached #5.

Betty only reached the top forty one more time, but that was in 1969 with a record that stalled at #26. The single became the title song on her album There’ll Come A Time.

John Cameron arranged several hit records for Donovan in the sixties, including Sunshine Superman and Jennifer Juniper. Besides working as Donovan’s music director, he began working on film soundtracks and also tried his hand at being a songwriter.

He wrote the song 1900 Yesterday. The title seems to use 1900 as the military time for 7 pm rather than as a date.

Betty Everett recorded the song on her 1969 album, but it did not get released as a single. 

 

Liz Damon and her sister formed Liz Damon’s Orient Express by adding a third female vocalist and a few backup musicians. The group played as the house band in the Garden Bar at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. They recorded an album that included 1900 Yesterday in 1970. White Whale Records picked up the album for distribution and released the song as a single.

The record peaked at only #33 on the Hot 100, but it also reached #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1971.

The single and album from the group were fated to be the last releases by White Whale; the owners intentionally folded the label after the Turtles disbanded (the label’s battles with The Turtles led to the use of the names Flo and Eddie). 

The owners of White Whale started a new label, Anthem Records. They moved Liz Damon’s Orient Express to Anthem, where they recorded another album, but the group never had another single reach the Hot 100. Anthem did not do well in spite of releasing a record by Freddie Mercury (that they credited to Larry Lurex) and an album by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks before they joined Fleetwood Mac.

Liz Damon and her group moved to Las Vegas in the seventies and eventually disbanded in the mid-eighties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Damon%27s_Orient_Express
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1900_Yesterday
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Everett
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cameron_(musician)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Whale_Records

I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!