Monday, July 28, 2008

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - Voice Your Choice

Herb Alpert has had an absolutely amazing career. He was born March 31, 1935 in Los Angeles, California and began playing trumpet when he was eight years old. He worked for Keen Records as their A&R man (Artist and Repertoire), produced the first Jan & Dean recording session, and co-wrote Wonderful World for Sam Cooke with Lou Adler, who would later start his own label, Dunhill Records.

In 1962, Herb Alpert formed A&M Records with Jerry Moss, and the label went one to become one of the most successful independently-owned record companies in the world. And I was fortunate to work for A&M Records from 1975 to 1986, becoming Vice-President of A&R for A&M Canada.

For the Tijuana Brass records recorded between 1962 and early 1965, when he formed his own band, Herb had been using studio musicians, many of whom were part of The Wrecking Crew.

Herb Alpert is the only artist from the rock era to hit the Billboard Hot 100 Number One spot with both a vocal and an instrumental record!

This week, as part of our annual Wordless Wonders Instrumental Gems Special on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice spotlights Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass with two of their signature songs, Tijuana Taxi and The Lonely Bull. Cast your vote for your favourite by clicking the Voice Your Choice button on any page of the website. Then select the song. We'll play the winning tune in Hour 3 of next week's show.

This Week on Treasure Island Oldes

This week on Treasure Island Oldies
July 27th to August 2nd 2008

It was great to be back in action with the Nuts in The Hut once again this week, as the Chat Room server was back up and running. We welcomed first time visitors Charite and Howard; by the end of the show, you'd think they had been regulars. I must stress that you carefully read the instructions for joining the chat room, which are located on the Chat page accessible from the Menu buttons.

A huge thank you to Tom Locke, the writer of our regular weekly feature, Moment In Time, for joining me live in the studio for a fascinating and eyebrow raising look at Race Records and Censorship. I would hazard a guess that many of you had never heard some of those risque records before. In a way, they almost sound tame compared with lyrics in some of today's music. And thank you for the great feedback I have received already. Both Tom and I appreciate it very much. I am constantly striving to keep the show fun, fascinating and informative. And this week you sure got an earful! lol

Next week is our ajnnual Wordless Wonders Instrumental Gems Special on the show. Every song will be an instrumental that you will instantly recognize or one that will jar your memory with an instrumental song you have not heard in years. I am very much looking forward to playuing these instrumentas from a time when it was quite commonplace for instrumental music to become a hit record.

So good to hear Dusty Springfield on Ian Chapman's Girl Groups this week and so neat to hear the backgroiund story to her hit Stay Awhile. Ian will be taking a break from next week's show, but will return in two weeks with another episode of Ian Chapman's Girl Groups, heard ONLY on Treasure Island Oldies

Over at the Treasure Island Oldies Blog, it's an all-time classic by The Animals with Eric Burdon on lead vocals with a live performance of The House Of The Rising Sun. Enjoy!

We've got a very fitting couple of songs for your votes this week on Voice Your Choice. It's my former boss at A&M Records in Los Angeles, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass with two of their classics, Tijuana Taxi and The Lonely Bull. Cast your vote for one of the songs performed by the man who wrote Wonderful World for Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert. Click the Voice Your Choice button on any page of the website to make your selection. We'll play the winner in Hour 3 of next week's Wordless Wonders Instrumental Gems Special next week.

I'd like to say hello to listeners who joined us from London, England; Yokohama, Japan; Blumenau in Brazil; Milan, Italy; Coventry, England; Santa Catarina, Mexico; Kanpur, India; Singapore, and all kinds of cities and countries in between. It was very nice hearing from a wonderful jazz singer and friend of mine, Tammy Weis, who has been living and singing in London for the past several years. She's coming home to Vancouver for a visit and will be playing at a couple of local jazz bistros. Welcome home, Tammy. I appreciated hearing from Lennart Persson in Gothenburg, Sweden. He was enquiring about a song I played on the Salute to the Music of Canada Special, specifically the song On The Road To L.A. He was wondering who the singers were, as he did not quite get their names at the beginning of the song. I told him it was Terry Black and Laurel Ward, who also sang with Dr. Music. Terry wqas also the very first artists to be signed to Lou Alder's Dunhill Records. Incidentally, Lou Adler co-wrote Wonderful World with Herb Alpert for Sam Cooke. My friend and music industry compatriate Artie Wayne sent a nice note too and still baiting us with more bits about his upcoming book on the music business. No word yet though on a final release date. Hello and welcome to the show to new listener Nancy from Pittsburgh who sent a nice note and a request for me to play These Eyes by The Guess Who. Also nice to hear from Heather and Mike in 100 Mile House in the Caribou Country of British Columbia. Nice to receive your email and your visit in the Chat Room. A long time friend and associate of mine from Toronto, Jane Harbury, who has been a major publicist oin the Toronto music and entertainment scene for longer than she'll allow me to say, was also in touch and sent me a big box of CD reissues of albums by Canadian artists and groups, some appearing on compact disc for the first time. It was sure amazing to see albums by McKenna Mendelson Mainline, Whisley Howl, 49th Parallel, Peter Foldy, Kensington Market, and many others. If you're interested in vintage Canadian music, drop me an email and I'll give you the complete list.

Lots of listeners have signed their name to the Treasure Island Oldies World Map. Chuck Gators from Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole, Wyoming recently stopped by to sign his name. I invite you to sign the map as well. Just click on the World Map, then fill in your name, city and any comment you'd like to make. You'll join the many listeners who have put themselves on the Treasure Island Oldies World Map. Let the world know you're a proud listener!

If you missed the live show, you can enjoy the Archive of July 27th, 2008, including our mini special in Hour 2, Race Records and Censorship. Just click the Listen button on the Menu. Have a great week.


The Animals - Song of the Week

This week we present one of the all-time classics; it's The Animals with Eric Burdon on lead vocals with The House Of The Rising Sun. This is vintage!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Conway Twitty - Song of the Week

Now here is a neat clip that I'd never seen before. It's Conway Twitty performing It's Only Make Believe live. It's our Song of the Week.


Conway Twitty - Its Only Make Believe - Music Video via

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Singer Jo Stafford Dead at Age 90

Singer and radio star Jo Stafford dies at 90

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jo Stafford, the honey-voiced band singer who starred in radio and television and sold more than 25 million records with her ballads and folks songs, has died. She was 90.

Stafford died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at her Century City home, her son, Tim Weston of Topanga, said Friday. She had been in declining health since October, he said.

Stafford had 26 charted singles and nearly a dozen top 10 hits, her son said. She won a Grammy for her humor.

Stafford's records of "I'll Walk Alone," "I'll Be Seeing You," "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" and other sentimental songs struck the hearts of servicemen far from home in both World War II and the Korean War. They awarded her the title of "GI Jo."

In 1939, she was working with a group of male singers called the Pied Pipers. The group was invited to join the Tommy Dorsey band, a big attraction in the swing era. Soon the Pied Pipers were singing in major hotels and ballrooms and on radio.

A year later, 24-year-old Frank Sinatra joined Dorsey after a brief stint with Harry James, and he and the Pied Pipers melded ideally. Their languorous "I'll Never Smile Again" became the No. 1 hit for 12 weeks and sold 2 million copies. A half-century later, Sinatra remarked about Stafford, "It was a joy to sit on the bandstand and listen to her."

Dorsey gave Stafford her first solo, "Little Man With a Candy Cigar," and it became a hit record. One night in 1944 in Portland, Ore., the temperamental Dorsey got into an argument with one of the Pied Pipers and fired the group.

The Pied Pipers signed with the fledgling Capitol Records, but Stafford left the group to join Johnny Mercer, one of the Capitol founders. Mercer guided her new career with hits such as "Candy," "Serenade of the Bells" and "That's for Me." In demand for personal appearances, she accepted a date at New York's Club Martinique. A shy person, she never played a nightclub again.

"I'm basically a singer, period," she said in a 1996 interview, "and I think I'm really lousy up in front of an audience_ it's just not me."

She was a "reluctant star," her son said. "She loved making records and really didn't crave the attention of personal appearances."

At Capitol, Stafford, who had been married to Pied Piper John Huddleston from 1941 to 1943, became reacquainted with Paul Weston, who had been an arranger for Dorsey. They married in 1952, and he acted as her arranger and conductor for the rest of her career. They had two children, Tim and Amy, and four grandchildren.

Despite her shyness, Stafford appeared before studio audiences in radio and television during the 1940s and 1950s. She alternated with Perry Como on a nightly 15-minute radio show in 1944, guest starred on many TV variety shows and had her own series, "The Jo Stafford Show," in 1955-56.

She recorded more than 800 songs during a versatile career that included ballads, folk, Scottish, country and novelty. She even tried comedy. She and Weston recorded an album of numbers on which she sang painfully off-key and he played miserable piano. They were billed as Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, but their identity was soon discovered. A second album won them a Grammy in 1960 for best comedy album.

Jo Elizabeth Stafford was born Nov. 12, 1917, in Coalinga, Calif., where her Tennessee father had come to work in the oil fields. When a new field was discovered in Long Beach, he moved his wife and four daughters south. Young Jo studied classical music for more than three years and was cast in a high school production of "Robert." But the 1933 Long Beach earthquake destroyed the school, and she joined her two older sisters singing pop songs on radio as the Stafford Sisters.

The Staffords sang background music at film studios — where Jo met the Pied Pipers.

Stafford made her last recording in 1970 although her songs continue to be used in movie soundtracks, her son said.

She retired voluntarily, he said.

"It really was to raise my sister and I. She walked away from it," he said. "People would sort of ask her, `How come you stopped singing?' She said: `For the same reason that Lana Turner doesn't pose in bathing suits anymore.'"

In addition to her son, Stafford is survived by a daughter, Amy Wells of Calabasas, and four grandchildren.

Paul Weston died in 1996.

My thanks to Rick in Madison, Wisconsin for letting me know this sad news.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Darlene Love - Voice Your Choice

Darlene Love was born Darlene Wright on July 26, 1938 in Los Angeles, California. Not only was she the lead singer of The Blossoms, a great group of backup singers, she also sang lead vocal on two songs by The Crystals. She also sang with Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans. Her voice is synonymous with the sound of the Girl Groups of the 1960s and her annual appearance 0n Late Night With David Letterman performing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) has become legendary.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents Darlene Love with two of her solo hit singles: (Today I Met) The Boy I'm Gonna Marry and Wait Til' My Bobby Gets Home.

Cast your vote for the song you would like to hear on next week's show by coming to the Voice Your Choice page. We'll play the winner in Hour 3 of next6 week's show.

The Monkees - Song of the Week

Our Song of the Week is by the Pre-Fab Four, better known as The Monkees, and a song that is not often heard anymore. It's called Valleri.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Jimmy Ruffin - Voice Your Choice

One of Motown's greatest singers, Jimmy Ruffin, is in the spotlight this week for Voice Your Choice on Treasure Island Oldies.

Jimmy Ruffin was born May 7, 1939 in Collinsville, Mississippi. While signed to Motown Records, he had 8 appearances on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1966 and 1971.

This week on Treasure Island Oldies, Voice Your Choice presents his first two Motown singles: What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted and I've Passed This Way Before. For me, this is a difficult vote to cast. Fortunately I don't have to, but you must decide which song will get played.

Come to the Voice Your Choice page and cast your vote. The winner will be played in Hour 3 of next week's show.

Mamam Cass Elliot - Song of the Week

This week we have a real treat for you for our Song of the Week. It's the beautiful Dream A Little Dream Of Me by Mama Cass Elliot. And this is a live performance too. Enjoy!


Friday, July 04, 2008

Raymond Lefevre - Orchestra Leader - Dead At Age 78

Raymond Lefevre-- the French composer and performer who had top 40 hits with The Day The Rains Came"(#30) in 1958 and Ame Câline (Soul Coaxing) (#37) a decade later-- died Friday (June 27) at the age of 78. Born in 1929 in Paris, he attended the conservatory of music there before playing piano in Franck Pourcel's orchestra (with Paul Mauriat) in the fifties. He left in 1956 to begin a solo career that saw him score numerous French television programs and movies and participate in four Eurovision contests.

My thanks to Ron Smith at Oldies for letting me know about this sad news. I know that
Ame Câline (Soul Coaxing) was a favourite among many Treasure Island Oldies listeners and is always requested on our annual Instrumental Gems Special. You can be sure it will be played again this year when the Instrumental Gems special returns Sunday, August 3, 2008.

Happy 4th of July

I'd like to wish all of our American friends and listeners a very Happy 4th of July.

I hope you enjoy celebrating Independence Day!

All the best.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to all our Canadian friends and listeners in Canada and living around the world. Enjoy your celebration of the Confederation of Canada.

Please be sure to join me on Treasure Island Oldies this coming Sunday, July 6th for our annual Salute to the Music of Canada Special. We'll be live from 6 to 10 pm Pacific time, 9 pm to 1 am Eastern Time.

You'll hear great songs by great artists by very talented songwriters, and all of them Canadian!

Here's a preview of what you can expect to hear on the show. The groups is A Foot In Coldwater and their big hit in Canada, Make Me Do Anything You Want.

Bye for now.