1958 Kalin Twins – Forget Me Not

1958 Kalin Twins – Forget Me Not

The twins, Harold and Herbert Kalin, were born in 1934 in a small town northwest of Manhattan. After they moved to Washington, D.C., in 1957, they began pursuing a career in music.

Clint Ballard was an aspiring songwriter who had worked at the Brill Building in the mid-fifties. He met the Kalin brothers when he visited Washington and became their manager and got them signed with Decca Records as the Kalin Twins. They had their first recording session in late 1957. Clint co-wrote their single Jumpin’ Jack, but little happened with the record.

Paul Evans and Jack Reardon had written When, and their record label used it as the b-side of their single Three O’Clock Thrill. When the a-side failed to perform well, their record label re-released When as the a-side of a new single.

When became a monster hit. It peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 in the US, but reached the top of the UK chart and spent 15 weeks at number one in France. The brothers toured to support the single and even got to open for Cliff Richard on their tour of the UK.

While on the road, the pair quickly recorded a new single. Larry Kolber wrote the lyrics and Larry Martin composed the music for Forget Me Not, and their single came out a few months after When began to fade. The new single peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1958.

The Kalin brothers were unable to capitalize on their two hit records. Their manager left them to pursue a songwriting career, and they moved to Nashville and began working with Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, songwriters who had been successful with the Everly Brothers. They continued recording for a few more years, then left the music industry and returned to college in 1962.

In 1977, one of their friends booked them to perform in his nightclub. They appeared a few times, even teaming up with their younger brother (Jack) as the Kalin Brothers. In 1989, Cliff Richard recruited the pair to perform in his Wembley Stadium appearances.

The twins reappeared on the oldies circuit from time to time. Harold died in 2005 and Herbert died the next year.

Larry Kolber went on to co-write songs with Barry Mann, including I Love How You Love Me and Patches.

Clint went on the have a successful career as a songwriter. He wrote Ginger BreadYou’re No GoodThe Game Of Love, and many more hit records.

Paul Evans reached the top ten in 1959 with Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Backseat and also recorded the most successful version of Midnight Special.


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1957 Jill Corey – Love Me To Pieces

1957 Jill Corey – Love Me To Pieces

Norma Jean Speranza grew up in a small town near Pittsburgh. She won a talent contest when she turned 13 that awarded her the chance to sing a song live on a local radio station. That led to having her own program, and within a year she was singing with an orchestra seven nights a week. The gig only paid her $5 a night.

A tape of her singing led to an audition with Mitch Miller at Columbia Records. Mitch gave her a choice: audition with Arthur Godfrey or Dave Garroway. She chose Dave, and she passed the audition and signed a recording contract with Columbia. Dave picked up a phone book and selected a new stage name for her, and she became Jill Corey. She sang on The Dave Garroway Show from 1953 to 1954. Her next two years found her on The Robert Q. Lewis Show. She also appeared on the Tonight Show a few times.

Jill began recording singles for Columbia, and in late 1956, she released her first charting singleI Love My Baby (My Baby Loves Me) peaked at #21 in early 1957.

Je t’appartiens was a hit in France in 1955. Manny Curtis penned English lyrics for the tune, and Jill recorded the song with the Jimmy Carroll Orchestra later in 1957. Her single reached #57 after she performed the song on the CBS drama anthology series Climax.

Jill was the first of six artists to reach the Hot 100 in the US with the song. It later became a top ten hit for the Everly Brothers in 1960 and for Jerry Butler and Betty Everett in 1964.

Jill made regular appearances on Your Hit Parade between 1957 and 1959. She had her biggest hit with the release of Love Me To Pieces. The single peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1957.

Jill appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show a half-dozen times and made guest appearances on nearly a dozen other television series before taking time off to raise a family in 1965. She attempted a comeback in 1972, but found it very difficult to cope with the changes in the music industry.

Jill died in April 2021.


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1979 Patrick Hernandez – Born to Be Alive

1979 Patrick Hernandez – Born to Be Alive

Jean Vanloo signed Patrick to a recording contract. They went to Belgium in 1978, where Jean produced Patrick’s first album. A year later, the album was released. The first single from the album became Born To Be Alive.

The single, propelled by the spread of Disco, quickly spread to charts all over Europe. Patrick held auditions in New York City to recruit some dancers for his tour of the US; one of the dancers was a very young Madonna, three years before she broke into the record charts.

The single reached the top of the charts in at least 14 different countries. The record only reached #16 on the US Hot 100 in 1979, but an extended disco remix topped the US US Billboard National Disco Action chart.

Soul train even allocated over ten minutes of the show to the extended disco version of the song on one program to allow the dancers every opportunity to show off.

A follow-up single stalled at #88 on the dance chart and completely missed the Hot 100. While Patrick continued recording and releasing music through at least 1997, he never found the US charts again.


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1979 Ace Frehley – New York Groove

1979 Ace Frehley – New York Groove

Ross Ballard was born in Hertfordshire, England in 1945 and began playing guitar in the band Buster Meikle & The Day Breakers in 1961. He did a stint with Unit 4+2 and then joined Argent as their lead singer. While with the band, he wrote the song Liar, which became a top ten hit for Three Dog Night in 1971.

Ross left Argent and put his focus on songwriting. In 1975, the British band Hello recorded another song Ross wrote, New York Groove. The single reached the top ten in the UK, but failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.

Paul Daniel Frehley grew up in the Bronx, in a family that included two siblings who studied classical guitar. He got an electric guitar as a Christmas present in 1964 and proceeded to teach himself to play the instrument without taking any lessons. This may explain the unusual way he plays the guitar! Friends in high school commented that he was a real Ace at getting dates, and the nickname stuck.

Ace answered an ad and attended an audition as a guitar player for a new band in 1972. Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley chose Ace as their new lead guitar player, and the band Kiss was born. When they started wearing makeup, Ace drew stars around his eyes and began appearing as Space Ace. That nickname later became Spaceman. The band released their first album in 1974, and quickly became a popular metal band.

In 1978, each of the four current members of Kiss recorded their own solo album. Although Ace wrote several of the songs on his own album, it was a cover of Hello’s New York Groove that became a hit. The single peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 in early 1979.

Kiss released a new studio album in 1979, but it was markedly different from the albums that came before. Peter Criss’ hands had been injured in a car wreck the prior year, so he only played drums on one song. Several of Ace’s songs did not have contributions from any of the other members of the group other than some backup vocals from Paul. The album did not have all four members performing together on any of the songs.

Ace left the group and later rejoined Kiss a few times. The band has already had several “final” tours and performances together, including the current final tour that they plan to restart again this Summer after a break brought on by the pandemic.


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1978 Toby Beau – My Angel Baby

1978 Toby Beau – My Angel Baby 

A band formed in South Texas in the early seventies featuring three guitar players (Danny McKenna, Art Mendoza, and Balde Silva), Rob Young on drums, and Steve Zipper on bass. The band used a name based on a wooden shrimp boat at Port Isabel, Texas: Toby Beau. Nobody in the group was named Toby or Beau…yet.

The band moved to San Antonio and signed a contract with RCA Music. The label assigned Sean Delaney (who was already producing music for KISS) as the group’s producer. Ron Rose replaced Art in the band, playing banjo and guitar.

The group recorded and released their first album, moved to New York City, and began touring. When a single from the album reached the charts, they reissued the album using the name of the single, My Angel Baby. It was one of the songs on the album written by Danny and Balde.

The single peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 in 1978 and also took over the #1 spot on the Adult Contemporary chart. 

The group relocated to Miami to record their second album. Unfortunately, none of the songs they recorded were accepted, and the group had to move to Tennessee and record even more songs using studio musicians. That decision by the record label caused Danny to leave the band.

The first single from their second album was Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, a cover of the Casino’s 1967 hit. 

The single peaked at only #57 in 1979. After that disappointment, everybody left the band except Balde. He moved to California and recorded a third album by himself to complete the band’s contract with RCA. One single from that album peaked at #70. RCA then dropped the band.

Balde began appearing using the name Toby Beau himself and continues to appear on with a band in clubs.


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1977 Steve Miller Band – Swingtown

1977 Steve Miller Band – Swingtown

Bertha Miller was a jazz singer, and her husband was a physician who became an accomplished recording engineer. The pair lived in Milwaukee with their son Steve. They were close friends with Les Paul and Mary Ford, who frequently visited their household in the late forties. Steve began playing guitar when he was barely six years-old.

The family moved to Dallas in 1950, where some of the new household visitors included T-Bone Walker, who helped teach Steve to play the guitar. Steve played in various groups through his teenaged years, including a stint in a blues band in Chicago.

By 1966, Steve had moved to San Francisco and formed the Steve Miller Blues Band in 1966. The band backed Chuck Berry when he recorded his Live at Fillmore Auditorium album in 1968 and recorded their first album in the UK later that year after dropping the “Blues” from the band name. Their albums focused on psychedelic blues music.

The second album contained the single Living In The USA, which peaked at #94 on the Hot 100 in 1968.

The band had a difficult time reaching the charts until they retooled to playing more traditional rock music. The Joker went to the top of the Hot 100 in 1973. Their record label re-released Living In The U.S.A. and it returned to the charts in 1974, peaking at #49.

Fly Like An Eagle, The band’s next album in 1976 generated three sizeable hits: Take The Money and Run, the number one hit Rock’n Me, and the million-selling title track.

They recorded all the tracks for their next album, Book Of Dreams, during those same sessions and released that album in 1977. The first two hits from the album were Jet Airliner (#8) and Jungle Love (#23). The album included a song entitled Swingtown that ran nearly four minutes.

The record company cut about a half-minute from the song and the resulting single peaked at #17 in 1977.

Ford used the song as the background music for an ad for the 1979 Mustang.

Steve took a break from recording and touring after that album, and it was 1981 before the band recorded anything new. The band’s last new album came out in 2011, and they released two new live albums in 2014.

They inducted Steve as a solo artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Steve continues to lead the band in concert appearances.


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1977 David Dundas – Jeans On

1977 David Dundas – Jeans On

Lord David Dundas had the good fortune to be the younger son of the 3rd Marquess of Zetland, which gives David the ability to use the title of Lord. He attended the Harrow school for boys and later studied at the  Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

He actively made a career out of acting, appearing in an endless series of television shows and films beginning in 1968. Beginning in 1971, he extended his career to include working as a musician as well.

David wrote and recorded a jingle for Brutus Jeans that became very popular thanks to a video used in their advertising campaign.

The ad was so popular that David recorded a full song based on the jingle. The most important change came when he replaced the line, “I pull my Brutus jeans on,” with, “I pull my old blue jeans on.”

The single ran up the UK chart, peaking at #3. The single also topped the German chart and even reached #17 on the Hot 100 in the US in 1977.

David released a handful of other singles and two albums, but could not recapture his initial level of success.

David’s third album was produced when he and Rick Wentworth wrote and recorded the new music for the soundtrack of the 1987 film Withnail and I.


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1977 Bob Seger – Mainstreet

1977 Bob Seger – Mainstreet

Bob Seger was a long-time local musician in the Detroit music scene, beginning in 1961. He joined a long series of groups and only had one hit record in his first dozen years. He recorded Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man while a member of the Bob Seger System and reached #17 on the Hot 100 in 1969. When he was unable to capitalize on that success, Bob briefly gave up on his music career and returned to college. He was back on the stage with a different group within a year.

His career turned around when he recruited the members of the Silver Bullet Band in 1974. The group’s live album in 1976 catapulted them into the national spotlight. The title single from their next album in 1976, Night Moves, reached #4 on the Hot 100.

The band released two more singles from that album. While  neither one did much on the charts, the songs became staples on classic rock stations.

Mainstreet was a song about Ann Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Bob grew up. The single peaked at only #24 on the Hot 100 in the Summer of 1977.

His next singleRock and Roll Never Forgets, stalled at #41 on the Hot 100. Oldie stations have totally forgotten the song while classic rock stations seem to play it constantly.

Bob returned to #4 on the Hot 100 with his next single in 1978, Still The Same, and eventually had his first number one single a decade later with a song from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop II: Shakedown.


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1976 Foghat – Slow Ride

1976 Foghat – Slow Ride

Drummer Roger Earl, guitar player and lead vocalist Dave Peverett, and bass player Tony Stevens left the blues group Savoy Brown in 1971. They recruited guitar and slide guitar player Rod Price and formed Foghat. Dave Edmunds (I Hear You Knocking) produced the group’s first album, which included the single I Just Want To Make Love To You. The single got a lot of airplay on FM stations, but stalled at only #83 on the Hot 100 in 1972.

The band’s first, third, and fourth albums were all certified gold records. The band picked up Nick Jameson as their temporary bass player for the recording of their next album, Fool For The City. The album featured an eight-minute song written by Dave Peverett, Slow Ride.

A version of the song that ran almost four minutes was released as a single, and the record reached #20 on the Hot 100 in early 1976.

The band continued constantly touring and released several more albums that went gold or platinum through 1978. 1977’s Foghat Live became their best-selling album, eventually reaching double platinum status.

Three more of the band’s singles reached the thirties on the Hot 100, and they had their last top forty single in 1979. Third Time Lucky (First Time I Was a Fool) peaked at #23 on the Hot 100.

By the time their most recent album came out in 2018, the band had recorded over twenty albums.

Dave died in 2000. When Rod died in 2005, Tony retired from touring. Roger continues to lead the current lineup of Foghat in concert appearances.


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1975 Kraftwerk – Autobahn

1975 Kraftwerk – Autobahn

Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider formed Kraftwerk in Germany in 1970. Many other musicians came and went through the years, but Ralf and Florian were the major forces within the group until Florian left the band in 2008.

The band’s name translates as “Power station.” The band recorded two albums using traditional instruments and then sent the music through various electronic modifications. With their 1973 album Ralf und Florian, the band switched to extensive use of synthesizers and drum machines and began using a vocoder.

Their next album contained a title cut that ran nine and a half minutes, Autobahn. Many people think the band is singing, “Fun, fun, fun on the Autobahn,” but they were actually singing, “Drive, drive, drive on the Autobahn,” in German.

Their record company edited the song down to a radio-friendly version that only ran three and a half minutes. The single made the top ten in Germany and nearly got that high in the UK, but stalled at #25 in the US.

Even the edited version featured the band’s groundbreaking use of the new technologies like the vocoder and synthesizers that eventually paved the way for electro pop. The commercial success of their Autobahn album made it possible for the band to purchase and experiment with even more electronic equipment. The band even began to tour in the US.

Kraftwerk released a half-dozen additional albums and recorded released their most recent album in 2003. While the band never again reached the top forty in the US, their singles continued to do well in Germany and the UK.

A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 acknowledged the band’s accomplishments in pioneering electronic music.

Ralf still leads the band on tour.


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