Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1984 Ratt – Round and Round

1984 Ratt – Round and Round

Singer Stephen Pearcy and a collection of musicians formed the hard rock group Mickey Ratt in San Diego in 1977. Could the name be a play on Mickey Mouse? By 1981, everybody but Stephen had left the group. Stephen moved to LA and recruited four more musicians to round out the group: Robbin Crosby and Warren DeMartini on guitars, Juan Croucier on bass guitar, and Bobby Blotzer on drums.

The band released an EP of six songs in 1983 that impressed Atlantic Records sufficiently to earn the group a contract with the label. Their first album, Out Of The Cellar, came out the next year and spawned the single Round and Round. Thanks to a lot of airplay on MTV, the single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 in 1984 and helped establish the hair metal band.

By 2010, the band had ten more top forty singles on the Mainstream Rock chart, but they only had one more single do well on the Hot 100. Lay It Down peaked at #40 on the Hot 100 in 1985 but got as high as #11 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The band released their last single in 1991.

Their first two albums went 3x and 2x platinum, and two more platinum albums and one gold album followed by 1990.

The band split up in 1992. Stephen formed Arcade and later joined Vicious Delite in 1995 and Vertex in 1996. Robbin joined the band Secret Service. Bobby tried running several small businesses and played with Montrose. Warren joined Whitesnake for a while before releasing two solo albums. Juan ran his own studio and produced underground bands.

Stephen, Warren, and Bobby added new member Robbie Crane and reformed Ratt and began touring again in 1997. Stephen left again and joined the group Nitronic, which began billing itself as Ratt Featuring Stephen Pearcy in 2000.

Robbin died from a heroin overdose in 2001. The remaining four members of Ratt reformed and began touring in 2006 with other musicians joining the band on tour. The band recorded another album in 2010 and then drifted apart again. In 2014, Stephen announced that he was finished with Ratt due to internal group problems.

Bobby formed Bobby Blotzer’s Ratt Experience and began touring in 2015. Juan formed a touring band that used the Ratt logo and the lawsuits over the band’s name and logo began. Juan eventually prevailed in court.

At the present time, Stephen and Juan lead the touring band.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/ratt-mn0000340152/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratt_discography

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1983 Laura Branigan – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

1983 Laura Branigan – How Am I Supposed To Live Without You

Laura Branigan grew up near New York City. She worked as a waitress until 1972 when she became a member of Meadow, a folk-rock band. The band broke up and she worked at various jobs, including background singer for Leonard Cohen’s 1976 European tour.

Laura signed with Atlantic Records in 1981 and released her first album the next year. After several singles failed to produce results, the song Gloria broke out at dance clubs and eventually reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1982. The single sold over two million copies. Her recording of Solitaire from her second album also reached the top ten in 1983.

Michael Bolton co-wrote a song with Doug James, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. Air Supply had seven top-five records on the Hot 100 in 1980 through 1982, and the president of Arista Records (Clive Davis) had lined up the group to record Michael’s song. Clive requested permission from Michael to change a few lyrics in the chorus, and when Michael refused the request, Arista dropped the song from their schedule.

Laura snapped up the song, which became her second single release in 1983. Her single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 and easily topped the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart for a few weeks. Michael would release his own version of the song and finally have his first #1 record in 1990.

Falco co-wrote and recorded Der Kommissar and had a big hit in Germany and most of Europe in 1981. Unfortunately for Falco, American radio wasn’t quite ready for his version of the song. Laura recorded Deep In The Dark on her second album. About twenty seconds into the record it becomes clear that her song is new lyrics with the old melody sung over the top of similar instrumental backing from Der Kommissar. Laura’s record company released the single as her follow-up to How Am I Supposed To Live Without You in 1983. About the same time, the British band After The Fire released a more direct cover of Der Kommissar with English lyrics and reached the top five on the Hot 100. Laura’s record vanished from the airwaves. It would be three more years before Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus would make him an overnight sensation.

In early 1984 Laura released her third album and the title song, Self Control, would become her most successful single. It reached #4 on the Hot 100 and topped the charts in a half-dozen other countries.

In 1986, Michael worked with Laura again and wrote another song for her. She recorded and released I Found Someone, but while the single reached #25 on the AC chart, it barely got up to #90 on the Hot 100. Cher covered the song in 1988 and her version reached the top ten in the US.

Laura had a few more singles that reached the Hot 100, but none got higher than #20. By 1991 the chart hits were a thing of the past.

In 1994, Laura recorded the duet I Believe with David Hasselhoff that got used over the closing credits for season five of Baywatch.

Laura died in her sleep in 2004 at the age of only 52 after suffering from headaches caused by an undiagnosed ventricular brain aneurysm.

The National Hockey League team, The St. Louis Blues, adopted Laura’s recording of Gloria as their victory song on their road to winning the Stanley Cup in 2019.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Branigan
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Branigan_discography

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1982 Greg Guidry – Goin’ Down

1982 Greg Guidry – Goin’ Down

Greg and five of his brothers and sisters formed a gospel group while still teenagers. Curtis Mayfield signed them to Curtom Records as an R&B act, but no recordings appear to exist.

He also played in bands in the St. Louis area with Michael McDonald (and shortly after that, Michael became a member of the Steely Dan touring group and ended up a member of the Doobie Brothers).

Greg signed with CBS Records in 1977. He worked with Nashville’s Rich Lang and recorded demos. The list of artists that recorded songs Greg wrote includes Climax Blues Band, Robbie Dupree, Johnnie Taylor, Sawyer Brown, and Reba McEntire. He also did some studio work, including background vocals on an Allman Brothers album in 1981.

Greg signed with Columbia Records in 1982 and John Ryan produced his first album, Over the Line. Greg wrote the song Goin’ Down and co-produced the recording with John. He sang and played piano on the single. It peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1982 and reached #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart. A follow-up single only reached #92, and that was Greg’s last chart appearance.

Greg’s next albums did not appear until 2000 when he self-released two more albums.

Police found Greg’s burned body in a car in his garage in 2003, with his death resulting from suicide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Guidry
https://www.melodicrock.com/phorum52/read.php?1,103019,103019

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1981 J. D. Souther & James Taylor – Her Town Too

1981 J. D. Souther & James Taylor – Her Town Too

John David (J. D.) Souther recorded as a member of The Cinders in 1965 and as John David and the Cinders on their second release the next year. He moved to LA and became roommates with future Eagle Glenn Frey. He and Glenn appeared as the duo Longbranch Pennywhistle and released an album of folk music in 1970.

J. D. released a solo album in 1972 and then became a founding member of  The Souther-Hillman-Furay band. David Geffen brought together J. D., Chris Hillman from The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Manassas, and Richie Furay from Buffalo Springfield and Poco to form the country-rock supergroup. Three other members of Manassas and session drummer Jim Gordon were also initially members of the group.

The group’s first album earned a gold record and contained the single Fallin’ In Love, which reached #27 on the Hot 100 in 1974. Tensions in the group tore it apart after their second album received little praise and sold poorly.

J. D. wrote or co-wrote some of the Eagles’ biggest hits with Glenn Frey and Don Henley, including Best of My Love and a song the trio co-wrote with Bob Seger, Heartache Tonight. He also wrote songs for Linda Ronstadt and co-produced one of her albums. He dated both Linda and Stevie Nicks.

J. D. recorded another solo album in 1979 that yielded the top ten hit with You’re Only Lonely.

J. D. and James Taylor co-wrote and recorded the single Her Town Too. While the single appears on James Taylor’s Dad Loves His Work album, the record label for the single gives equal billing to both artists. Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon produced the single, and it peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in 1981.

J. D. got work as an actor with recurring roles on television’s Thirty Something and Nashville. He also appeared in several films.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame added J. D. in 2013 and acknowledged him as, “a principal architect of the Southern California sound and a major influence on a generation of songwriters.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._D._Souther

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1980 Dr. Hook – Better Love Next Time

1980 Dr. Hook – Better Love Next Time

George Cummings, Ray Sawyer, and Billy Francis played together in the band the Chocolate Papers in the early sixties. After the group broke up, George got the other two and a few more musicians together and formed a group in 1968. Ray sported an eyepatch because of an automobile accident and that look inspired George to name the group Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. Dennis Locorriere joined the group as their bass player and eventually became their lead singer. Eight other musicians joined the group over the years.

The group toured for three years without a recording contract. Their big break came in 1971 when they were picked to record several Shel Silverstein songs for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? That turned out to be such a good fit that Shel wrote all the songs for the group’s first album, including the top five single Sylvia’s Mother.

The group is probably best known for a song Shel wrote that showed up on their second album, On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone. Ray sang lead vocals on that single, and it not only reached the top ten but also propelled them onto the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine.

In the next two years, the group charted no single higher than #68. George left the group, and they shortened their name to Dr. Hook and signed with Capitol Records. They released the album Bankrupt in 1975 and subsequently released two singles from the album that failed completely.

Sam Cooke wrote and recorded Only Sixteen in 1959. His single only reached #28 on the Hot 100. Dr. Hook released their cover of the song as their third single from the album and finally had another hit: the single reached #6 on the Hot 100 in early 1976.

The group had six top ten singles spread out through the seventies and early eighties. Sandwiched in between the million-selling records When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman and Sexy Eyes, the group released Better Love Next Time. That single still did fairly well even though it didn’t sell a million copies. It peaked at #12 in early 1980.

The group’s last visit to the top forty came in 1982 when Baby Makes Her Blue Jeans Talk reached #25. The video for the record is simply too politically incorrect to get much airplay anymore. It’s not clear if they meant the song to be satire or funny or not.

Dennis has ownership of the group name. He licensed Ray to appear as “Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook” or “Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer” through 2015, after which Ray retired from public performances. Ray died in 2018.

When his health permits, Dennis still leads a Dr. Hook group on tour.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Hook_%26_the_Medicine_Show

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1979 Robert Palmer – Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)

1979 Robert Palmer – Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)

Robert Palmer grew up in Scarborough, England. By the time he was 21, Robert had performed in multiple bands, singing and playing rhythm guitar. He joined the jazz-rock fusion band Dada for a year, after which he and several other members formed the soul-rock band Vinegar Joe. That group released three albums, after which Robert started a solo career. He recorded three albums between 1974 and 1976.

After his third album failed to garner many sales, Robert moved to the Bahamas. As a result, his 1978 album, Double Fun, reflected a Caribbean sound. He released Every Kinda People as the first single from the album and it finally brought him onto the charts in the US. The record peaked at #16 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

He released four singles in 1979 that came from his next album. The most successful single was Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor). It reached #14 on the Hot 100 and topped the chart in Canada.

Robert continued to record albums and appear in concert but didn’t reach the top forty again in the next four years. In 1983, he performed at a Duran Duran’s charity concert and became friends with members of the group.

A year later, Robert formed the group The Power Station with two members of Duran Duran. Andy Taylor played guitar and John Taylor played bass and former Chic drummer Tony Thompson filled out the group. Their first two singles both reached the top ten on the Hot 100. Robert played in concert with the group only once, after which he left to work on a solo album. Michael Des Barres took over vocals for the group, but they never had another hit.

Several members from The Power Station helped Robert record his album. The first two singles from his album did not do well, but the third single had a kick-butt video and Addicted To Love reached #1 on the Hot 100. A lot of hit singles followed in the wake of that break-through.

All the members of The Power Station except John reunited to record a second album and tour briefly in 1995.

Perhaps at least partially a result of his heavy smoking habit, Robert suffered a heart attack and died in 2003 at the relatively young age of 54.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Palmer_(singer)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Palmer_discography

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Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1978 LeBlanc and Carr – Falling

As a teenager, Lenny LeBlanc lived in the Daytona Beach area. He got a job washing dishes so he could save up to buy a bass guitar. Lenny played at dances and in clubs until he graduated and moved to Cincinnati in 1970.

Pete Carr was born in Daytona Beach and began playing guitar when he was 13 years old. He became friends with Duane and Gregg Allman. Pete preferred doing studio work to performing live and moved to Muscle Shoals, where he could focus on producing and engineering music.

When Eddie Hinton left his role as lead guitarist for the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Pete took over that job in 1971. He did studio work for most of the music recorded in Muscle Shoals in the early to mid-seventies.

Pete and Lenny had previously played together in a band (probably in the Daytona Beach area when they were both young) and Pete convinced Lenny to come to work at Muscle Shoals. Lenny began playing bass and singing background vocals for a series of Country singers and the Supremes and Roy Orbison.

Lenny released a solo album, after which Atlantic Records asked him to work with Pete in hopes of producing some hit records. They began working on a joint project.

The duo recorded an album and released the single Falling. The record first reached the charts in October 1977. They signed up to tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd later that year. They were bumped from the plane that carried tour members to a show, and that likely saved their lives. The plane crashed in Mississippi, and the tour ended.

Their record hung around in the Hot 100 for over six months and peaked at #13. While they may have worked together on other projects after that, they never again recorded as Leblanc and Carr.

Pete decided to return to studio work. He worked on singles and albums by Bob Seger, Barbra Streisand, Art Garfunkel, and many other artists.

Lenny became a born-again Christian and began recording Christian music. He had a series of top ten Christian singles in the eighties and the nineties and won a Dove Award for Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year in 2003.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_LeBlanc
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Carr

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