1967 Herman’s Hermits – No Milk Today

Herman’s Hermits had an amazing run of hit records in the US in the mid-sixties. Many of them featured one or two members of Led Zeppelin playing instruments on their recordings.

The group even managed one two-sided hit in 1967. The a-side featured the top five hit There’s A Kind Of Hush, which later reached the top twenty when the Carpenters released their own cover version of the song in 1976.

The b-side, which is mostly ignored by radio stations now, was No Milk Today. The recording just barely got into the top forty in the US in 1967, but topped the charts in Australia and reached the top ten in a half-dozen other countries where they released it as the a-side of a different single in 1966.

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

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1960 Little Anthony And The Imperials – Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop

Little Anthony and the Imperials reached #4 on the Hot 100 in 1958 with their very first single, Tears On My Pillow, after which they struggled for a few years. The next time they got into the top forty came in early 1960 when they released Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop. The single peaked at #24.

It was a brief respite; the group’s next single only reached #86. They didn’t even reach the Hot 100 at all again until 1964, when their records ignored the chart dominance of the British Invasion and they scored four more top twenty hits.

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

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1959 The Islanders – The Enchanted Sea

1959 The Islanders – The Enchanted Sea 

The Islanders was an instrumental group in the late fifties. The primary members of the band were Frank Metis on accordion and Randy Starr on guitar. The pair wrote The Enchanted Sea and recorded it using sound effects produced by Ralph F. Curtis.

Their single on Mayflower Records reached #15 on the Hot 100 in 1959. They recorded an album, but never charted again. Randy continued with a solo career as a singer/songwriter. His biggest success came in 1964 when Elvis recorded a song Randy had written, Kissing Cousins.

Martin Denny led a group in Hawaii beginning in 1954. They played mostly on Oahu at the Shell Bar in the Hawaiian Village. One night, the band was fooling around and making noises like birds and frogs during one of their numbers, and the result inspired a listener to get the band to record the song for Liberty Records. The result was The Quiet Village, which reached #4 on the Hot 100 in early 1959. Their next single only reached #88 on the Hot 100. Searching for a better follow-up, they covered The Enchanted Sea. They once again added sound effects to the music, and the single reached #28 about the same time that The Islanders’ single peaked.

Their band recorded dozens of albums, but only reached the Hot 100 one more time. Their jazzy cover of A Taste of Honey reached #50 on the Hot 100 in 1962 and gave them their only entry on the Adult Contemporary chart, where it peaked at #13.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Islanders_(American_band)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Denny

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1958 Chuck Willis – Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes

Chuck Willis had more than a half-dozen top ten singles on the R&B chart beginning in 1952 before his cover of the old standard C. C. Rider reached #1 on the R&B chart and #12 on the Hot 100 in 1957.

The original a-Side of his next hit record, Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes charted, but only reached #9 on the R&B chart and #24 on the Hot 100 in 1958. Shortly after that single was released, Chuck died while undergoing surgery for ulcers, after which What Am I Living For began getting more airplay. That side of the single climbed up the charts and reached #9 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.

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

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1957 Teresa Brewer – Empty Arms

Here’s another song written by Ivory Joe Hunter! He released his own single in 1957, but in spite of reaching #2 on the R&B chart, the record peaked at only #41 on the Hot 100.

Teresa Brewer was there to help with her own cover version. Her single reached #13 on the Hot 100 in 1957. She again reached the top ten later that year when she covered Sam Cooke’s You Send Me. That release became her last top thirty single.

Fourteen years later, Sonny James had a chart-topping Country hit with the song that barely reached #91 on the Hot 100.

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1956 Bill Haley & His Comets – The Saints Rock ‘N Roll

Bill Haley and The Saddlemen were a County Music act that began performing live on the radio in 1951. Many of their songs featured Bill’s yodelling.

In 1953, the group changed their name to Bill Haley With Haley’s Comets and recorded the record that has a good claim to being the first rock-and-roll single, Crazy Man, Crazy. The record peaked at #12 on the Hot 100, after which the group changed their name to Bill Haley & His Comets.

The group released a string of hits that peaked with the release of the chart-topping Rock Around the Clock in 1955. The group’s third top twenty single in 1956 was The Saints Rock ‘N Roll, which peaked at #18 on the Hot 100.

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1955 Mindy Carson – Wake The Town And Tell The People

1955 Mindy Carson – Wake The Town And Tell The People 

Mindy Carson grew up in the New York City area in the thirties and forties. She won an audition to the Stairway to the Stars radio program and began appearing on the show singing with the Paul Whiteman band. After that gig, she was hired to sing with Harry Cool’s band. The duo released the single Rumors Are Flying and the record reached #12 on the charts in 1946.

Mindy sang on various radio shows but was unable to record any records that charted during the next few years. She began hosting her own variety show on CBS in 1949. That led to a new recording contract with RCA and a series of hit records beginning with the top ten hit My Foolish Heart in 1950. She had three more singles reach the top thirty, after which RCA dropped her and she moved to Columbia Records. Mindy began singing with the Ray Conniff Orchestra. 

In 1955, Jerry Livingston and Sammy Gallop published Wake The Town And Tell The People. Two hit versions emerged that year. Mindy recorded a single that reached #13 on the Hot 100, and Les Baxter released a single with a group of singers that reached the top five.

Mindy continued recording with Ray Conniff, but only reached the top forty one last time. Ivory Joe Hunter wrote and recorded Since I Met You Baby in 1956 and his single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100. 

Mindy recorded a cover of the song, but her single only reached #34 in 1957. She retired from the music industry by 1960.

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

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1983 Joe Jackson – Always Something Breaking Us In Two

New Wave artist Joe Jackson first reached the Hot 100 in 1979 when Is She Really Going Out With Him peaked at #21. He finally reached the top ten in the US with Stepping Out in 1982.

While his follow-up single in 1983, Always Something Breaking Us In Two, only reached #18 on the Hot 100, it did get into the top ten on the Adult Contemporary chart.

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1969 Keem-O-Sabe – The Electric Indian

Len Barry first came to prominence as the lead singer for the Dovells. He sang lead on the million-selling single Bristol Stomp in 1961 and four other top forty singles the next two years. 

Len went on to a solo career after leaving the Dovells in 1963. After a year of struggling to find a hit record, he co-wrote and recorded 1-2-3 and the single reached #2 on the Hot 100.

ILen organized a group of studio musicians that included Daryll Hall (who later formed Hall and Oates) and several musicans who later were in the band MFSB (which had the 1974 hit song T.S.O.P. aka The Sound Of Philadelphia).

Len was inspired to produce an album dedicated to Native Americans and called the group Electric Indian. The first single from the album was Keem-O-Sabe. The instrumental was named after a word used by Tonto on The Lone Ranger. The single peaked at #16 on the Hot 100 in 1969.

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1982 Cliff Richard – Daddy’s Home

1982 Cliff Richard – Daddy’s Home

Albert Crump, Wally Roker, Vernon Sievers, and Robbie Tatum of Queens, New York, formed a doo-wop group they called the Hearts in 1953. When a group using that name had a local hit in New York with a song called Lonely Nights in 1955, they changed their name to the Heartbeats. The other Hearts changed their name as well, to Lee Andrews and the Hearts, and they had an even bigger hit with Long, Lonely Nights.

James “Shep” Sheppard  joined the group as their lead singer and The Heartbeats signed with Hull Records. The group began recording songs in 1955 that were co-written by Shep and William Miller, an A&R man for Hull Records, and published by Kahl Music. Their most successful single came when they moved to Rama Records and recorded A Thousand Miles Away. The single reached #52 on the Hot 100 in 1957. Shep wrote the lyrics to the song told the after his girlfriend moved away to Texas. It began the first song cycle in the rock era, and their story continued in the song 500 Miles To Go

The group continued recording for several labels in the late fifties, but failed to chart in any significant way. The group disbanded in 1959. Shep recruited Clarence Bassett from the Five Sharps and Charles Baskerville from the Videos and they formed Shane Sheppard And The Limelites. After one record on a subsidiary ABC label, the group moved to Hull Records. They released Daddy’s Home in 1961. The single continued the story begun in A Thousand Miles Away and peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1962. Shep, Clarence, and Charles got credit as the songwriters and Kell Music published the song.Shep continued his story cycle with additional singles from Shep and The Limelites: Three Steps from the Altar, Our Anniversary, and What Did Daddy Do?

William, who owned Kahl Music, received no credit or money for the new singles, and sued everybody in sight, claiming copyright infringement with A Thousand Miles Away. His suit was successful, and that led to the destruction of Hull Records and the dissolution of Shep and the Limelites in 1966.

Shep died under suspicious circumstances that imply somebody murdered him in 1970.

Wally became an A&R man for Scepter Records and wrote several songs for the Shirelles. He also became the manager and producer of the Tower Of Power. He later helped establish the Doo-Wop Music Hall of Fame in Los Angeles.

The original members of The Heartbeats reformed after Shep’s death and appeared periodically in oldies shows.

Daddy’s Home has been covered successfully several times. Jermaine Jackson’s version reached #9 in 1973. Cliff Richard had his last top forty single on the Hot 100 in 1982 with his version of the song.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartbeats
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Thousand_Miles_Away
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shep_and_the_Limelites
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daddy%27s_Home_(song)

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