Thursday, June 30, 2016

Billy J. Kramer

In 1964, Brian Epstein was adding to his stable of acts when he signed Billy J. Kramer.  Providing Billy with a string of songs written by Lennon-McCartney, Billy enjoyed a bunch of successes, in both Britain and the USA. Although Billy's career fizzled in just a couple years, he did make a mark.  In 1964, he released the only debut single in the USA ever to have both sides enter the top ten of the hot 100... "Little Children" B/W "Bad To Me", #7 and #9 respectively.  To me, "Little Children" is Billy's best song, but today it's forgotten.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grass Roots

You could easily do forgotten oldies for the American Band the Grass Roots for many, many days without a repeat... since they put 21 songs on the hot 100 in the late 60's and early 70's. They were unusual for their time with a brass section well before Chicago popularized the use of a brass section.  They also had a tendency to go through members almost monthly.  But they had a lot of hits, big hits.  Today a song that hit top twenty status in 1969... "Bella Linda", taken from an old italian hit.  Today, this song and much of their other great music is forgotten.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Smith

This is one of my favorite forgotten oldies.  In 1969 a band named Smith scored a top 5 hit with "Baby It's You".  The song had been a hit for the Shirelles and the Beatles, but Smith's version out-charted it's predecessors selling over a million copies.  But Smith's follow-ups fizzled and the band eventually folded.  But this is an absolutely great record, and deserves airplay.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

First Big Hit

"She Cried" was the 1962 smash hit that started the long career of Jay and the Americans.  Reaching #5 on the Hot 100, the song was a preview of many songs the band would record with amazing vocal work.  The most interesting thing to me is that the song "She Cried" was sung by Jay Traynor who left the group shortly after and was replaced by Jay Black.  A great story.  Today "She Cried" is a forgotten oldie.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dr. John

Malcolm John Rebennack, better known to rock fans as Dr. John, had a top twenty hit in 1973 with "Right Place Wrong Time".  Although Dr. John has had a very successful musical career mostly as a blues musician, he was truly a one hit wonder and never had a hit on the charts again.  But his one hit was a good one, and dominated the radio in 1973... sadly forgotten today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Harry Nilsson's birthday!

Harry Nilsson was born June 15, 1941... 75 years ago today.  He was amazingly talented, with a 3 1/2 octave range.  When Paul McCartney was asked who his favorite American group was, he replied Nilsson.  An interesting trivia fact about Nilsson... both Keith Moon of the Who and Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas died in Harry's London apartment.  Harry chose personal satisfaction over commercial success throughout his career, and he suffered from heart disease from excessive drug and alsohol abuse, but he had some monster hits.  From 1971 I bring you a top ten hit in honor of Harry's birthday... and a forgotten oldie as well, "Coconut".
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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Billy Joe Royal

Best known for his 1965 hit "Down in the Boondocks", American singer Billy Joe Royal actually had several hot 100 hits in the 60's.  Interestingly he became a big Vegas act in the 70's, also a steady TV and movie actor, and reinvented himself as a country singer in the 80's with a bunch of country hits.  Billy died in 2015. But back in 1969 he went to #15 on the chart with "Cherry Hill Park".  Just a good, solid song, today it's another forgotten oldie,
watch it here