Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connie Francis - Behind the Fame



Connie Franconero grew up in New Jersey, of Italian heritage.
In 1955 MGM gave Connie a contract for several singles. The first one was Freddy, which the MGM chief wanted as a gift for son Freddy's birthday. A pretty good song, but they say it was only played at the local park merry-go-round. For the following singles we witness the lousy musical judgment at the MGM music office. In 1957 Connie sang the voice of Tuesday Weld in the movie Rock Rock Rock  for two songs, which became one of the singles. Lousy lame songs.
After the 10th non-hit her father got serious and stepped in. He decided to choose the song Who's Sorry Now, which was a pop oldie. Finally she had a big hit and the rest is history.

From then on her father directed her recording career. In the earlier days they had been approached by mobsters, who said they could make her a star because they owned all the jukeboxes. Father turned it down. Now he seemed to have the golden touch in choosing records.
Connie became interested in a relationship with Bobby Darin then. Father didn't approve and that was stopped. I don't know but possibly Bobby had mob connections. There's a lot of that.
For her first movie Where the Boys Are in 1960 father approved only if there was nothing sexual for her. So Tuesday Weld did that stuff. Connie was not made up very attractive and was not presented as exciting. That improved in later films.

Now from 1958 to 1963 she was blessed by great pop-rock compositions by New York composers like Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. A lot of sentimental love songs with great harmony and melody.
From 1963 the caliber of American songwriting started to wane and like everyone else she was having less success.
That year she had a hit with In The Summer Of His Years, which was a tribute to President John F. Kennedy after his assasination. Strangely, that song is completely ignored since then. I think it's politics. Jews who mostly control the media want to suppress him.
Some songs are overlooked because of the timing of her hits albums. I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter came too late for her second hits album. However it did get included in the 15 Hits LP which covered her from the start. Other hits that came too late for the hits LPs were Blue Winter and Your Other Love.

Albums continued thru the 1960s along with some lesser hits.
As time went on she had problems with marriage, and around 1971 she was raped in her hotel in Las Vegas after performing.
In the late 60s she had plastic surgery to make her nose look less Italian and more American. She looked fine but it affected her vocal range negatively. Then a couple decades after that she had it again to somewhat revert her look, to where she is now.

Apparently she bought the copyrights to her recordings from MGM (or Polydor), which was having constant problems with repeated bankruptcies and ownership changes (also affecting the James Bond films). She does not tolerate unauthorized distribution, including posts on YouTube. If I could hear from her maybe I could present some samples here.

Connie still performs today. She was the best selling female artist in the world until Mariah Carey came (also one of my loves).

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Hit Parade Hall Of Fame


July 26, 2013

With the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame getting a lot of attention, 1950s Pop music wasn't getting enough. So John Rook decided to pay it tribute with a new Hall Of Fame organization. The first round of inductees was in 2007.
It has been selecting Pop artists from all decades since then. The first year told the tale of what it was all about.

Inductees of 2007 were
Pat Boone
Patti Page
Teresa Brewer
Bobby Darin
Bing Crosby
Perry Como
Nat King Cole
Jimmy Clanton
The Four Seasons
Connie Francis
Aretha Franklin
Ricky Nelson
Diana Ross
Roy Orbison
Paul Anka
The Beatles
Beach Boys
Tony Bennett
Dion
Doris Day
Fats Domino
Neil Diamond
Elvis Presley
Johnnie Ray
Neil Sedaka
Chubby Checker
Frank Sinatra
Johnny Cash
Ray Charles

John Harlan Rook was an American radio announcer and director going back to the 1960s.
Here are links:
The Hit Parade HoF site
The Wikipedia article                                        

This is an example of how the new wave of late 1960s hippie music displaced the former Pop and Rock and Roll music of the 1950s and early 1960s. Even Wikipedia refuses to have a separate article on the Hall, but buries it within the John Rook article. It took until 2007 to think of this, and it does not seem to be well known.
  
There is an element that disregards 1950s Pop. It favors jazz or punk or soul. It comes down to who controls the media the most.
When Dick Clark was alive he worked to feature the classic music. He also organized the annual Peoples' Choice music awards show, which was a reaction to the otherwise leftist control of the media which shoved soul and jazz down everyone's throats.
The radio music services don't have 1950s Pop channels.
Somehow 1940s Pop becomes categorized as jazz too.

Each year nominees are named early in the year, and you the public can vote until the results are counted about 11 months later.
So as The Democrats say, vote and vote often.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

À La Carte - Euro Girl Group

 (updated January 6)


In 1978 two then little-known German producers - a married couple Tony Hendrik and Karin Hartmann, employed by Hansa International (sub-label of Ariola-Eurodisc), developed the project of a female pop group. These girl-groups were especially popular in Europe in the late 70s.  Among others those included Arabesque (Germany), Baccara (Spain), Maywood and Luv (both from the Netherlands).

The first single of A La Carte "When The Boys Come Home" (Ariola/Hansa 100 478-100) was released in March 1979. The song, performed by three attractive girls from London: Patsy Fuller, Julia and Elaine, gained popularity and the group was invited to the famous German TV-show "Musikladen" ("Music Shop"). The single had good sales, and in October a second catchy single was released "Doctor, Doctor (Help Me Please)" (Ariola/Hansa 101 080-100), with a new line-up: Patsy Fuller, Jeanny Renshaw, Denise Distelle. After that nobody dared to deny their reputation as the best dance girl-band. In 1980 one more replacement occurs: instead of Denise Distelle came Katie Humble. In March 1980 this line-up a launched new single - a cover of Manfred Mann's 60s super-hit "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (Ariola/Hansa 101 677-100), in a short time followed by their first album - "Do Wah Diddy Diddy Round" (LP: Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 202 143-320).
The next single of A La Carte - "Ring Me, Honey" (Ariola/Hansa 102 429-100), was released in September 1980.
In January 1981, after a change of two members, Jeanny Renshaw, Linda Daniels and Joy Martin released the new single "You Get Me On The Run" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 102 871-100). The lead vocals in the song were of Jeanny and Joy. The third girl, Linda Daniels, was needed only for the "phantom" presence of the third singer, the recent Denise Distelle. Then were issued 3 singles and the next album called "Viva" (LP: Ariola/Hansa/Coconut). "In the Summer Sun Of Greece" was released on a single (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 104 263-100) in April 1982 and its front cover shows one more change in the line-up: Kati Humble's comeback instead of the blue-eyed blonde Linda Daniels. This line-up existed until the group's splitting.

In July 1982 they released the single "Aha Tamoure" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 104 569-100) and the group's activity was summed up on the first compilation - "The Wonderful Hits Of A La Carte" (LP: Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 204 935-302). This album included nearly all the hits of A La Carte: "When The Boys Come Home", "In The Summer Sun Of Greece", "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", "Aha Tamoure", "Viva Torero" and others.
In January 1983 was released the single called "Radio" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 104 918-100). The two new songs were never issued on any LPs.
The next album of the group "Rockin' Oldies" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 205 743-320) and new single "On The Top Old Smokie" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut 105 802-100) were released at the same time in September 1983. In 1984, the group launched the next single "Jimme Gimme Reggae" (Ariola/Hansa/Coconut). The title song was a new version of the one from the first album, and a completely new song - "Lightyears Away From Home" was on the back side.
After that, A La Carte disappeared from the scene. Probably, it was the result of the birth of the new "lovely child" of their producers, Karin Hartmann and Tony Hendrik, the male trio Bad Boys Blue, launched in 1984 with "L.O.V.E. In My Car ". But maybe also because of decreasing demand in the music market for female acts and a corresponding increase for male ones. The attractive girl-groups were getting competition from male duos and trios like Modern Talking, Joy, London Boys, Silent Circle, Pet Shop Boys...



[This article is based on a defunct old GeoCities website in order to keep the information alive. The credits given were:
Original Russian text by Alex (Invisible Man), with assistance of Marc Wiese.
2004-2005 English translation by L.D.]

Link:
The World Of A La Carte
               
LINK:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BOBBY CURTOLA singles discography

(Updated June 27, 2014)


 

Canadian 1960s singles, produced by Basil and Dyer Hurdon.
Tartan label
1001 Hand In Hand With You with the Don Trio                       1960
         / Johnny Take Your Time - by the Don Trio alone    
1002 My Love / Ever Near You
1003 You Must Belong To Me / Deeper and Deeper                1961
1004 Call Me Baby / It Started When You Stopped To Say Hello   + the Dons
1005 Don't You Sweetheart Me / My Heart's Tongue-tied   w Anita Kerr Singers
1006 I'll Never Be Alone Again / Hi-Tone   w Anita Kerr Singers
1007 Hitchhiker / My Love (rerecording)
1008 Fortune Teller / Johnny Take Your Time (rerecording)
1009 You Must Belong To Me (rerecording) / Nothing's the Same
               As Before                                                               1962
1010 I Cry and Cry / Big Time Spender
1011 Aladdin / I Don't Want To Go On Without You
1012 My Christmas Tree / Jingle Bells
1013 Destination Love / Don't Stop Dreaming Of Me             1963
1014 Gypsy Heart / I'm Sorry
1015 Indian Giver / Hand In Hand (rerecording)
1016 Three Rows Over / Dream Wishes
1018 Move Over / They Say
1019 Little Girl Blue / How'm I Gonna Tell You                      1964
1020 ? Little Girl Blue / You're Not A Goody Goody
1021 You're Not a Goody Goody / Far Away Heart
1022 As Long As I'm Sure Of You / I'd Do Anything For You
1024 Come Home Little Girl / Many Moons Ago
1025 Alone and Lonely / You'll Be Falling In Love                  1965
1026 It's About Time / Paper Heart
1027 Mean Woman Blues / Devil May Care Angel
1028 Walking With My Angel / Midnight
1029 Making Love / Donna
1030 Forget Her / If All Goes Well
1031 While I'm Away / Not Til Now                                      1966
1032 The Real Thing / Suddenly You Came Along
1033 Wildwood Days / Without Your Love
1034 It's Not Funny Honey / Tattletale Heart
1035 Devil Lips (Kisses Of Fire) / Give Me a Reason
                        To Stay                                                          1967
1036 Quando Quando / If All Goes Well
1040 Footsteps / What Can I Do
1041 Sandy / Indian Love Call
1043 Pretty Blue Eyes / Taking A Picture                            1968
1044 Can't Help Falling In Love / Step By Step
1045a ? Unless You Care / Taking A Picture
1045 Mammy Blue / Free To Carry On                                1969
1046 Gotta Give Love / My Christmas Tree

Tartan 54039 Have You Ever Really Been There / Lady With the Rose   ?


With 1005 they started recording in Nashville, with Bill Justis arranging.

Highlighted titles are linked to online samples.

Omitted numbers are mainly by other artists.
I'm not sure about 1020 and 54039.
1020 - I've seen a listing for these sides, with inaccurate number. I'm guessing 1020. I can't explain this one.
One song that's missing here is Mark My Word. Possibly that was 1020.
I'm not sure about Unless You Care.

Songs I'd like to hear at the moment include: Step By Step, Unless You Care, and the first recordings of  My Love, You Must Belong To Me.


Basil Hurdon and Dyer Hurdon - songwriters and managers at Tartan Records of Canada:


Canadian charts. Click to enlarge or download.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Teresa Brewer - early recordings


(updated March 8, 2014)

How her recording career started.
Her birth name was Theresa Veronica Breuer, her parents being German. They lived in Toledo, Ohio, USA. Birth date May 7, 1931 (a girl:).
She quit school at the age of 16 in early 1948, and zipped off to New York for professional singing engagements, accompanied by her aunt. She was a hit in clubs as in the Latin Quarter. Soon an agent offered his service.
At age 17 she was already married, to Bill Monahan.
In 1949 London Records, based in England, noticed and signed her.
It took two unsuccessful singles before she hit with Music Music Music. 1949 into 1950 it became a #1 international million seller, while she was 18.
Her permanent residence was just north of New York City, and she worked out of New York.

The singles I know of on London, with Billboard US chart positions and 78 numbers, were:
1949- When the Train Came In / A Man Wrote a Song (511)
- (duets with Bobby Wayne) Copper Canyon / Way Back Home (562)
- I Beeped When I Shoulda Bopped / Old Man Mose (563)
1950- Music M.M. (#1) / Copenhagen (604)
- Choo'n Gum (#17) / Honky Tonkin' (678)
- Punky Punkin' / Cincinnatti Dancing Pig (768)
- Molasses Molasses / Grizzly Bear (794)
- You've Got Me Crying Again / He Can Come Back Any Time He Wants To .... (795)
1951- The Thing (#20) / I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest  (873)
- If You Want Some Lovin' / I've Got the Craziest Feeling (967)
- Oceana Roll / The Wang Wang Blues (1083)
- If You Don't Marry Me / I Wish I Wuz (1085)
- Longing For You (#23) / Jazz Me Blues (1086)





Coral early singles:
1951- 1. Sing Sing Sing / I Don't Care
1952- 2. Lovin' Machine / Noodlin' Rag
- 3. Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now (#25) / Roll Them Roly Boly Eyes
- Til I Waltz Again With You (#1)
1953 - Dancing With Someone (Longing For You) (#17)
- Baby Baby Baby (#12) / I Guess It Was You All The Time (solo version) _ _ (from her movie Those Redheads From Seattle)
- a 1953 reissue single #65520 of Music Music Music (Coral rerecording) / Gonna Get Along wo Ya Now

Highlighted song titles are linked to online samples.
There were other singles where she sang in duets and groups.


Musical film shorts


Teresa filmed seven numbers in 1951. The songs were Music Music Music, Ol' Man Mose, If You Want Some Lovin', I'm the Lonesomest Gal In Town, Copenhagen, I've Got the Craziest Feeling, Honky Tonkin'. They were shot on 16mm film in Los Angeles for use as filler on television stations, and many other singers did the same. They were called the Snader Telescriptions, and were backed by the Firehouse Five Plus 2 band or The Dixieland Allstars. She was still on the London label at the time, aged 19.

------ video ------

The backing group in the Craziest Feeling film is the Dixieland Allstars with Jack Pleis on piano, an arranger for record labels.


Movie song - "Once More" 
Teresa Brewer publicity photo
for Those Redheads From Seattle
                                       
 In her one movie role she played a showgirl in Those Redheads From Seattle in 1953. A song has surfaced lately that apparently was recorded by her but unreleased - Once More. This should be investigated and a demonstration recording made.
The song music can be found HERE. If you do something with it LET ME KNOW.


 Music! Music! Music! - alternate masters:

It seems the hit of Music was processed and mastered at the time to change the sound.
In 1976 London Records reissued 12 songs on the "World Of Teresa Brewer" LP. It has a London recording of Music that's about 20 seconds shorter with a different tone. Maybe they wanted to lower the pitch of the voice by slowing it down. I don't think they had tape at the time, so I don't know the method. The original master was apparently preserved by London and reissued here. Did they realize which edit they were reissuing? In other words the hit issue was slower and longer than what Teresa recorded. Or conversely, did Teresa want to speed up the song in the reissue?

Music! Music! Music! - master from World LP













Child performer

Teresa first performed on a local radio show at age two,
First regular appearance on Major Bowes
singing Take Me Out To the Ball Game. At age 5 she won in a Major Bowes show when it came to Toledo. Then from age 7 to 12 she was a regular with the Major Bowes Amateur show on radio and on tour. From age twelve she was a regular on the local Toledo radio show Pic and Pat. Later she was the star of  Featherweight Follies on WHS Toledo radio. So she was no novice when she hit New York at age 16.
Press here to hear her singing on Major Bowes: Darktown Strutters' Ball
This is found on the DVD The Original Amateur Hour hosted by Pat Boone.


Teresa's high school Yearbook entry 1947-48









Publicity photo in New York probably 1948.

 









Performing in a club in the early years, probably The Latin Quarter.








Teresa's home after marriage, in New Rochelle north of New York city.



Teresa in the mid-50s in a rare cheesecake pose (sometime before hair permanents).


















Please comment if you have further knowledge.

Reference:
her fan site is at teresafans.org

Friday, February 27, 2009

Elvis Presley - The Rise and Decline and Comeback

(updated November 21, 2009)

In his hit period with RCA I see three phases. First before and during the army. Second from his army return to 1968. Third from his 1969 comeback til his supposed death in 1977.
What I call the decline started after 1965 and lasted til his comeback Christmas TV special in December 1968.
So there are two ways of looking at this - one by his 3 periods, and secondly by the ups and downs.

His first period 1956 - 1959 was the raucous rockabilly, using his instrumental trio as backup. When he was drafted in 1958 RCA picked as many songs as they could for him to record and release while away. These were not the best songs, but kept him afloat, and were collected on his second Golden Hits LP. They ran out of these hit singles by summer 1959 and he was not on the charts until his return in April 1960.

The second phase 1960 -1968.
In Europe he learned some classic European songs like O Sole Mio, and probably matured. On his return he asked the songwriters to adapt some of these for him. So O Sole Mio became It's Now Or Never, Torne a Sorrento became Surrender. Wooden Heart was from a German song.
No time was wasted when he returned. A couple of the songs debuted on the Top 40 immediately at #1. A couple others took a whole two weeks to reach #1.
Well the power of 1960 didn't quite continue in full force. I'd say he continued to have great original hits til the end of 1962 with "She's Not You". But even by 1961 they dropped to the level of "Feel So Bad", and people could sense this.
They were now using fuller arrangements at the Nashville scene. I suspect Boots Randolph was adding those great sax bits in the background, and maybe Floyd Cramer was in piano. These were his greatest productions, based on songs of the greatest writers like Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.
There were four great regular albums (non-movie) between 1960 and 1965 - Elvis Is Back, Something For Everybody, Potluck, and Elvis For Everyone.
By 1963 his singles started to lack that great originality, tho they were still fine - Return To Sender, One Broken Heart For Sale, Bossa Nova Baby ...
Now they fell back on recycling some previously recorded album songs like Such An Easy Question (from Potluck).
By now his last #1 was Good Luck Charm in 1962. In 1963 he had some top 10s, in 1964 no top tens. In 1965 came his last top 10 until 1969 - Crying In the Chapel at #3 (Billboard). There would be no more #1s until Suspicious Minds in 1969.
In an interview around 1970 Elvis said there was a problem finding great new rock&roll songs by then. RCA started wasting our time with singles like Puppet On a String, Love Letters, and Indescribably Blue. So 1966 - 1968 was the decline. They tried some rockers which were not good enough: Big Boss Man, US Male, Long-Legged Girl, Guitar Man, A Little Less Conversation. They hardly made the Top 40.
But there were also some gems in that period: You'll Be Mine, Judy, Come What May, Tell Me Why ... which deserve attention.

The Comeback Special
So in 1968 Colonel Parker arranged a TV special. Instead of a Christmas theme, Elvis succeeded in making it a general rock&roll theme. He harked back to his early days, rocked in black leather, and had his original trio back.
The following singles were then geared to a new style, fitting the hippie era. There were the liberal themes decrying Negro poverty. Songs like In the Getto and Don't Cry Daddy probably caused the Detroit black riots, because they stirred up the feelings of guilt or bitterness. The music was not the same as the earlier era either.
I call this his third phase, and I relate it to the Second era of rock&roll. The first era was late 50s/early 60s. The second era being late 60s/early 70s. You know how it goes. Second era people don't recognize any music before the Beatles. Oldies start with the Beatles and Supremes, nothing earlier even exists.
So Elvis continued in this vein til 1977.
By the way I don't believe he died at that time. But it sounds like he died maybe a couple years ago. There was talk of Priscilla being left out of the inheritance.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Record-Rama Archives

(updated June 2, 2009)

Record-Rama has been a record store in Pittsburg USA for a few decades. The proprietor Paul Mawhinney has collected the largest vinyl record archive in the world. Now the store is closed and he is trying to sell that archive.
He wants to sell it as a whole collection and wants it preserved that way. His minimum price is $3 million. I say it's worth it. 1.5 million 45s dating from 1948, and a million LPs. This is not store stock, but saved copies of every record he ever dealt with. His aim was to have every single by every artist, and he published his list in his MusicMaster catalog. It probably contains every release by any favorite artist you can think of.
I think the best use would be to make the records accessible to reissue companies and to broadcasters so that anything could be made available to listeners.
He is at the same time clearing out what remains of his store stock. That is arranged thru his website and is a big-time proposition involving a minimum $5,000 purchase.
His store was a mecca for collectors of obscure rare vinyl, and I hope this music will be preserved.



A video on this can be seen at the Vimeo site:


The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.


The first edition of the MusicMaster catalog in 1982 came in two volumes, one by title and one by artist. It illustrates what he had in the archive at that time. Click to view larger.




Mawhinney's website is recordrama.com.