Monday, January 28, 2008

Jerry Butler - Voice Your Choice

Jerry Butler was born December 8, 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi, and started out singing gospel music as a member of the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers, along with Curtis Mayfield.

Together they later joined The Roosters with Sam Gooden, and brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks. In 1957, they changed their name to The Impressions.

In the fall of 1958, Jerry left The Impressions to start a solo career. His first single, For Your Precious Love, was released on three different labels: Vee-Jay 280 (worth an astounding $6000 today!!!), Falcon 1013 and also Abner 1013. He went on to chart a very impressive 39 singles on the Billboard charts; including 3 Top Ten hits as well as two Gold records.

Today, Jerry Butler can be seen frequently as host of various Doo Wop specials on PBS - Public Television in the United States.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights two great Jerry Butler hits: Moon River (#11 in 1961) and Make It Easy On Yourself (#20 in 1962). Which is your preferred song? Go to the Voice Your Choice page at Treasure Island Oldies and make your selection. The song with the most votes will be played in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Lulu - Song Of The Week

Lulu, from Glasgow, Scotland, has had a wonderful career as a singer, actress and TV show host. For our Song of the Week, we focus the spotlight on her acting career, when she starred with Sidney Poitier in the movie To Sir With Love.


Monday, January 21, 2008

John Stewart of Kingston Trio Dead At 68

John Stewart, a member of the Kingston Trio who wrote "Daydream Believer" for the Monkees and recorded more than 40 albums of his own, died Saturday from a stroke surrounded by his family in the same San Diego hospital where he was born. He was 68 years old.

Stewart, who spent most of his adult life living in Marin County, had a Top 10 hit in 1979 with "Gold," featuring guest artists Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.

He first emerged as a songwriter when the original Kingston Trio recorded a couple of his songs. Stewart had formed a similarly styled folk group, the Cumberland Three. He joined the Kingston Trio in 1961, at the time one of the biggest selling acts in the world, to replace founding member Dave Guard. He quit the group in 1967.

With folk singing partner Buffy Ford, whom he would marry in 1975, Stewart hit the 1968 campaign trail for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, appearing with him at campaign rallies up until the night of his assassination in Los Angeles.

He released his classic "California Bloodlines" album in 1969, the first of seven solo albums to make the charts through 1980. His biggest solo hit was "Gold," from the "Bombs Away Dream Babies" album, which also produced lesser hits "Midnight Wind" and "Lost Her in the Sun." His songs were recorded by a number of artists, including Rosanne Cash, who scored a 1988 country hit with his "Runaway Train."

He continued to record over the years, releasing a number of recent albums on his own label and selling them through the Internet. He was working on a new album at the time of his death, with Buckingham playing guitar on the record. Recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Stewart wrote a song for the new album titled "I Can't Drive Anymore."

Since 2000, Stewart and fellow former Kingston Trio member Nick Reynolds have held the Trio Fantasy Camp, where campers practice their favorite Kingston Trio song and perform the number with the two former group members. Stewart was visiting Reynolds in San Diego when he was stricken last Thursday in his hotel room.

Friends and family came from across the country on Friday to hold a hospital room vigil. Stewart is survived by his wife, Buffy; three children from his first marriage, Mikael of Camarillo (Ventura County), Jeremy of Mission Viejo (Orange County) and Amy of Alisa Viejo (Orange County); a son, Luke, of San Francisco, from his second marriage; and six grandchildren. Services are pending.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Voice Your Choice

Creedence Clearwater Revival were from El Cerrito, California. With their early "swamp rock" songs such as Born On A Bayou, many mistook them for being from the Bayou itself. CCR first recorded as the Blue Velvets in 1959 on Orchestra Records, then in 1964 they called themselves the Golliwogs and recorded for Fantasy Records. In 1967 they re-named themselves Creedence Clearwater Revival, consisting of John Fogerty (vocals and guitar), his brother Tom Fogerty (guitar), Stu Cook (keyboards and bass) and Doug Clifford (drums). Sadly Tom Fogerty died at age 48 on September 6, 1990 of respiratory failure.

Between 1968 and 1976 CCR appeared on the Billboard charts 20 times, scoring an incredible 9 Top Ten hits, 5 Gold Records, and an additional 5 Platinum Records. The group disbanded in 1972, but that didn't prevent them from having their version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine on the chart four years later in 1976.

John Fogerty went on to a successful solo career, while in the past few years Stu Cook and Doug Clifford have gotten back together to form Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

This week on Voice Your Choice Treasure Island Oldies spotlights Creedence Clearwater Revival with two of their much loved hits: Travelin' Band and Up Around The Bend. Which song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page and cast your vote. The song with the greatest number of votes will get played in Hour 3 of this coming week's show.

Bill Haley And His Comets - Song Of The Week

Bill Haley And His Comets rocked the world with Rock Around The Clock when it appeared in the movie Blackboard Jungle. Here they are in a live performance, our Song of the Week.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Clyde Otis, Songwriter and Music Executive, Dead At 83

Clyde Otis, a songwriter and record producer who was one of the first black executives at a major record company, died on Jan. 8 in Englewood, N.J. He was 83. His death was announced by his son Isidro.

Born in rural Mississippi in 1924, Mr. Otis did not become seriously involved in music until he met the songwriter Bobby Troup, best known for “Route 66,” when both men served in the Marines during World War II. Inspired by Mr. Troup, he began writing songs when he moved to New York after his discharge, with limited success. After several years of struggle, he finally hit the charts in 1956 when Nat King Cole’s recording of his song “That’s All There Is to That” reached the Billboard Top 20.

In 1958 Mr. Otis joined Mercury Records as director of artists and repertory, an unusually high-profile position for an African-American in the mainstream music business at the time.

At Mercury, where he produced records and was responsible for signing acts, he forged an enduring partnership with the singer Brook Benton. He produced more than a dozen hits for Benton, also writing or collaborating on most of them, beginning with “It’s Just a Matter of Time,” which he and Benton wrote together. He also produced and helped write Benton’s two Top 10 duets with Dinah Washington, “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)” and “A Rockin’ Good Way (to Mess Around and Fall in Love),” both released in 1960. His many other Mercury hits included Washington’s “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” and Sarah Vaughan’s “Broken-Hearted Melody.”

After leaving Mercury in 1962 Mr. Otis worked briefly for Liberty Records before forming his own music publishing company, the Clyde Otis Music Group, and establishing himself as an independent producer. He spent some time in Nashville, where he shifted his focus to country music, producing sessions by Charlie Rich and others, before returning to the New York area and settling in Englewood.

Mr. Otis is credited as the writer or co-writer of almost 800 songs, according to Broadcast Music Inc., the music licensing organization. Among the countless artists who have recorded his compositions are Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Johnny Mathis and Natalie Cole, whose recording of his “Take a Look” won a Grammy Award for best jazz vocal performance in 1994.

In addition to his son Isidro, of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., Mr. Otis is survived by his wife, Lourdes; another son, Clyde Otis III of Maplewood, N.J.; a daughter, AnaIza Otis of Bloomfield, N.J.; and five grandchildren.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rod Allen, Lead Singer of The Fortunes, Dead At 64

Rodney Bainbridge (Rod Allen), singer and guitarist:
born Leicester 31 March 1944: married (one son, one daughter); died Coventry 10 January 2008.

Rod Allen's was the lead vocalist of the Sixties beat group the Fortunes, who had international hits with "You've Got Your Troubles", "Here It Comes Again" and "Freedom Come, Freedom Go". Allen never left the group, which is still touring, although since Barry Pritchard's departure in 1995 he had been the only original member in the line-up.

He was born Rodney Bainbridge in Leicester in 1944 and learned the piano and the cello at school. He and his friend Barry Pritchard joined the musicians living in
Clifton Hall, Rugby, the base of the Midlands promoter Reg Calvert, from where Calvert operated a kind of "pop academy", nurturing young talent. He encouraged
his charges to put on a good show while performing and at one time, Allen found himself playing bass for Robbie Hood and the Merry Men and being ridiculed for
wearing Lincoln-green tights. He knew then, he said, that his career could not get any worse. With Allen on bass, Pritchard on guitar, Glen Daly on guitar, David
Carr on keyboards and Alan Brown on drums, Calvert formed the Fortunes and groomed them as a close-harmony unit with a smoother sound than their Merseybeat rivals. They signed with Decca and their second single "Caroline", released in 1964, became the
theme song for the pirate station Radio Caroline North, leading to an appearance on a live album from the Cavern.

In 1965, the Fortunes broke through with "You've Got Your Troubles", a highly tuneful song written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway and helped by the counter-melody at the end. The record climbed to number two and also made the US Top 10. The Fortunes had follow-up hits with "Here It Comes Again" and "This Golden Ring" and travelled to the United States. "We went to America for a package show for Murray the K in Brooklyn," said Allen, "We had to be there at 10 in the morning and we got out at 1am, having done five shows in a day. We were on the show with Wilson Pickett, the O'Jays, Peter and Gordon, the Moody Blues and a great smooth singer that nobody ever mentions, Lenny Welch."

The group's manager, Reg Calvert, died in 1967 and for a time, the Fortunes were directionless. They made some strong singles - the psychedelic "The Idol" (1967),
"Seasons in the Sun" (1968, a cover version of a Jacques Brel song) and "Loving Cup" (1968) - but they didn't sell. They recorded a Coca-Cola ad, "It's the Real Thing", for the American market and had US success with the excellent "Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling Again" (1971). They returned to the UK charts with an early example of reggae in the mainstream, "Freedom Come, Freedom Go" (1971) and "Storm in a Teacup" (1972).

In 1984 the Fortunes were featured on a big-selling double-album, Hooked on Number Ones. Allen adjusted to being part of an oldies act without complaint and spent his spare time on the golf course.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Paul McCartney - Voice Your Choice

Paul McCartney continued to be very successful in his career after The Beatles broke up. He charted 47 singles between 1971 and 2001, including an astounding 9 Number One songs, 23 Top Ten hits, 11 Gold and 2 Platinum records!

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights Paul McCartney with Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and Live And Let Die. Phew! What a choice to have to make, but you must. Come to the Voice Your Choice page and cast your vote for the song you prefer. We'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Moody Blues - Song Of The Week

The Moody Blues have been one of my all time favourite groups for a very long time. I think I have most, if not all, of their albums. I've also been fortunate to see them on several occasions in concert, and are they ever great live! So this week's Song of the Week is by The Moody Blues, live in concert, performing Question. I know you'll enjoy this!


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Slow Twistin' - Song Of The Week

Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp teamed up for a duet on the hit song Slow Twistin', which went to #e in 1962. As we've just had our New Year's Dance Party on Treasure Island Oldies, I thought it would be fun to continue the mood.

So here are Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp performing Slow Twistin', our Song of the Week.


Brian Hyland - Voice Your Choice

Brian Hyland was born in Queens, New York on November 12, 1943. He got an early start to his music career, as he had his own group, The Delphis, when he was just 12 years old. He and Del Shannon worked closely together in 1970 when they had a production company.

His first single catapulted him to the top of the charts in 1960 with the Number One song Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, which also became the first of two Gold Records. The second Gold Record for him was in 1970, Gypsy Woman, a remake of the Top Twenty song by The Impressions in 1961.

This week on Voice Your Choice we spotlight two of the 22 charted songs by Brian Hyland: The Joker Went Wind and Gypsy Woman. What song do you prefer? Come to the Voice Your Choice page at Treasure Island Oldies and cast your vote. We'll play the song with the most votes in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Les Paul and Mary Ford - Song of the Week

Les Paul and Mary Ford are not part of the Rock and Roll era, however without Les Paul, there may not have been that era at all, let alone multi track recordings. Les invented the process of multi track recording. Bing Crosby, an early investor in the Ampex Corporation, gave an Apex tape recorder to Les Paul as a gift. Les did a lot of experimenting, with the results being multi track recording, the ability to record additional voices or instruments over an initial recording.

Les explains this a bit more in the clip below and then he and Mary perform How High The Moon. This is both an historical performance as well as an interesting brief explanation of multi track recording.

My thanks to listener Fred Waterer in St. Catharines, Ontario for the link to this very cool clip, our Song of the Week for 2008 on Treasure Island Oldies.



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Denny Doherty Tribute Podcast

I've recently had requests to re-post the Tribute to Denny Doherty Podcast that I did shortly after his untimely death last April. I am pleased to do so for your enjoyment. Here is the link to the Podcast.