Monday, July 31, 2006

Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders

This week on Treasure Island Oldies it's the return of the popular annual special: Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders. It was very common in the 1950s, '60s and '70s to hear instrumental songs on the radio. Today it is a rare occurrence.

Once a year, Treasure Island Oldies digs into its music vaults and uncovers an entire four hours worth of those great instrumental hits. The beauty of songs like that are you can hum along and never have to worry about remembering the words.

You'll hear artists such as Bert Kaempfert, Hugh Masakela, Cliff Nobles And Company, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, Floyd Cramer, Bill Doggett, B. Bumble And The Stingers, The Bar-Kays, and so many more, including The Beatles!

Join me this week on Treasure Island Oldies for this fun four hour special: Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders.

See you for the live show Sunday, August 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. Pacific. And if you can't make the live show, the be sure to listen to the archive, all available at Treasure Island Oldies. Posted by Picasa

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass were a mainstay on the charts from their first single, The Lonely Bull, in 1962 through to Making Love In The Rain, their final single in 1987. Herb Alpert had been playing trumpet since he was eight years old. He got into the music business and joined the A&R (Artist and Repertoire) department at Keen Records, produced the first Jan And Dean recording session, and even wrote Wonderful World for Sam Coooke. He first recorded under the name Dore Alpert and then formed A&M Records, with partner Jerry Moss in 1962.

I had the pleasure of working for A&M Records from 1975 to 1986, also in the A&R Department, and I eventually became Vice-President. In 1978 I discovered Bryan Adams. Both Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss were gentlemen and I enjoyed working with them very much.

Incidentally, Herb is the only artist of the rock and roll era to have both a #1 Instrumental record and #1 Vocal record (Rise in 1979 and This Guy's In Love With You in 1968). For the first record in 1962, Herb used studio musicians for theTijuana Brass sessions, then in 1965 he formed his own band. During a very successful run between 1962 and 1987, there were forty songs that hit the charts, including nine in the Top Twenty and two Gold Records.

This week as we present the return of the Instrumental Gems - Wordless Wonders Special on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice features a very fitting artist: Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass. Come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote for either The Lonely Bull or Zorba The Greek. As usual, we'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 of this week's show.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bobby Rydell

Born Robert Ridarelli on April 26, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bobby Rydell was one of the major stars of Cameo-Parkway Records, along with Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, and Fabian. He was not just another pretty face teen idol, but a talented singer, drummer and actor. In 1956, he played drums with the group Rocco & His Saints, which included Frankie Avalon on trumpet. He was also an actor in the movies Bye Bye Birdie and That Lady From Peking.

Between 1959 and 1965, he charted 30 singles including an amazing fourteen Top Twenty hits, plus a Gold Record for Wild One.

For many many years, his records were not available and had also never been officially released on CD. Then in 2004, a 4-CD box set of Cameo-Parkway hits was released, along with individual greatest hits. Finally, Bobby Rydell's music was made available to his many fans once again.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies we feature Bobby Rydell on Voice Your Choice with two of his most-loved and biggest hits: Sway and Wild One. Come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote for the song you prefer. The record with the most votes will get played on the third hour of this week's show.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Dyke And The Blazers

Bernard Williams, one of two sax players in Dyke And The Blazers, has passed away. Originally from Buffalo, New York, the group re-located to Phoenix, Arizona, initially to back-up The O'Jays, and remained a mainstay there. The group was best known for the original version of Funky Broadway, later covered by Wilson Pickett. Sadly, Dyke (Arlester Christian) was shot to death in Phoenix on March 30, 1971.

ACE Records in the U.K. is planning the release in September of a double CD retrospective of their music, including some previously unreleased tracks.

Bernard Williams, R.I.P.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Peter and Gordon

Peter and Gordon, the British pop duo, were Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. They stormed the charts during the British Invasion. Peter was from London, and Gordon hailed from Braemar, Scotland. Together they created hit songs filled with great harmonies and excellent production and arrangements. They recorded songs written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Del Shannon, Buddy Holly and Norman Petty, some of which were cover recordings, while others were written for them.

In the three years that they maintained chart prominence, they scored an impressive fourteen songs on the Billboard Top 100, eight of which were Top 20. Interestingly, their very first North American single, A World Without Love, reached No. 1.

After they split up, Peter Asher went on to continued success, this time as a producer and artist manager, and worked with James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and 10,000 Maniacs.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights two Peter and Gordon songs for your votes: A World Without Love and Nobody I Know. Incidentally, these were their first two hit songs.

Come to Treasure Island Oldies and click on the song you prefer and would like to hear. The one with the most votes will get played in the third hour of this week's show.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Drifters

The Drifters were an R&B group formed in 1953 as a showcase for singer Clyde McPhatter. Prior to their first hit on the pop charts, they had eleven Top Ten songs on the R&B charts. The original lineup consisted of Clyde McPhatter, Gerhart and Andrew Thrasher, and Bill Pinkney.

When Clyde McPhatter left for a solo career, manager George Treadwell disbanded the rest of the group brought in The Five Crowns, and renamed them The Drifters (perhaps The New Drifters would have been more like it). This new lineup included Ben E. King, Doc Green, Charlie Thomas and Elsbeary Hobbs. The majority of their Top 100 chart hits were sung by three different lead singers: Ben E. King (1959-60), Rudy Lewis (1961-63), and Johnny Moore (1957, 1964-66).

Throughout their career and despite many personnel changes, they charted 36 records on the pop charts, including nine Top 20 and three Gold Records. The Drifters were indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and they continue to perform today in various forms.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice features two great hits of The Drifters for your vote: Sweets For My Sweet and There Goes My Baby. Got a preference for either song? Then come to Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote on Voice Your Choice. The song with the most votes will get played in the third hour of this week's show.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"Mama Said" songwriter, Willie Denson, Dead At 69

Willie Denson, singer and songwriter, and best known for the hit song Mama Said recorded by The Shirelles, has died of lung cancer at age 69.

He pubished more than 250 songs, some of which were recorded by artists such as Aretha Franklin, Gene Pitney and The Ronettes. He co-wrote Mama Said, one of four songs of his recorded by The Shirelles. He wrote the lyrics in memory of his deceased mother, Lillie.

In 2001, he won a $3 million Lotto Georgia jackpot, and took a $1.29 million cash option. But as his daughter, Danette Powell, said, "Winning didn't change him a bit. There was no difference".

Mercury Records Founder, Irving Green, Dead at 90

Irving Green, co-founder of Mercury Records along with Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge, one of the most successful independent labels, has died at age 90 from natural causes. He is credited with helping to break down the colour barrier by promoting black artists such as Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, and The Platters. He also hired Quincy Jones, the first Black American in the executive position ofVice-President of A+R.

During his very successful career, he saw Mercury Records grow from a little 'indie label' into a major label. He worked with countless other artists including Phil Phillips and The Twilights, Brook Benton, Patti Page, Roger Miller, Leslie Gore, Blue Cheer, Keith, Jay And The Techniques, The Blues Magoos, Spanky And Our Gang, Crispian St. Peters, Bobby Hebb, and countless others.

After Mercury Records was sold to Polygram Records in the mid-1970s, Irving Green became a major land developer in both Iran and later Palm Springs, California.

What a legacy he has left behind!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Treasure Island Oldies 24 Hour Request Line

I know. I can just picture it. You're listening to Treasure Island Oldies on your mobile phone or sitting at home listening online and you've just got to hear your favourite hit song. Well, you can do something about it right now!

Call the Treasure Island Oldies 24 Hour Request Line at 206-202-2866 and leave your personal voicemail with the song you'd like to hear. Oh yeah, please leave your First Name and City where you're calling from too.

This is a free service with no registration or personal information required. You just call the number and after you hear my greeting, leave your message. You just pay for the toll charges, and in today's ultra competitive long distance market, the call isn't going to set you back but a few pennies.

It new, it's quick, it's simple and it sure is fun! And best of all, is you could hear yourself on Treasure Island Oldies with your request. It's another first from Treasure Island Oldies.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Bye for now.

Tom Jones

Tom Jones, whose 'leather lungs' and sexual magnetism catapulted him onto the world stage, was born Thomas Jones Woodward on June 7, 1940 in Pontypridd, South Wales in the United Kingdom. He started out working local clubs using the name Tommy Scott. In 1963 he formed a trio, The Senators. He was spotted by another fellow Welshamn and harmonica player, Gordon Mills, who eventually became his manager.

In 1964 he moved to London, England and that's when things started to come together for him. He signed a record deal with Decca Records, but the first single went nowhere, a pretty typical siutuation. His second single, It's Not Unusual, was released but the BBC refused to play it. However, all was not lost as the off-shore pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, added it to their playlist and the song soared to Number 1 on the charts. Tom later appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and as a result of his electrifying performance, the song reached Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He became even more popular when his own TV show hit the airwaves.

Tom Jones charted 30 singles between 1965 and 1988, with eleven reaching the Top Twenty, and three of them attaining Gold Record status for sales.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Tom Jones is the featured artist on Voice Your Choice with It's Not Unusual and Delilah. Come to the website and click on the Voice Your Choice button, then make your selection. We'll play the song with the most votes in the 3rd hour of this week's show.