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41 41

There's a calm surrender
To the rush of day
When the heat of a rolling world
Can be turned away
An enchanted moment
And it sees me through
It's enough for this restless warrior
Just to be with you

And can you feel the love tonight?
It is where we are
It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
That we got this far
And can you feel the love tonight
How it's laid to rest?
It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
Believe the very best

There's a time for ev'ryone
If they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope
Moves us all in turn
There's a rhyme and reason
To the wild outdoors
When the heart of this star-crossed voyager
Beats in time with yours

And can you feel the love tonight?
It is where we are
It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer
That we got this far
And can you feel the love tonight
How it's laid to rest?
It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
Believe the very best

It's enough to make kings and vagabonds
Believe the very best

When staying with my dear friends in Normandy back in the mid-90’s, I was ”requested” to sit down with Aude, the then 5-year-old daughter, to watch “Le Roi Lion” - in full, and in French - time after time. When the tape finished, it was immediately rewound to the beginning and off we’d go again! It was several years before I actually watched it in English!!

Anyway, this lovely animated film got into my soul and I still love the whole thing (now-a-days, it’s “A Bug’s Life” that gets the repeat treatment, by the way!) Of course, it’s this beautiful vocal performance by Elton John which somehow catches the whole mood of the film.

I bought “Border Song” when it was first released and have always admired his consummate professionalism if not some of the less easily remembered songs by this true Brit. Isn’t this just the most lovely ballad? Elton has captured the essence of a true love song and has weaved the magic of “Le Roi Lion” into the lyrics too.

A tremendous recording by a national treasure.

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42 42

Early in the evenin' just about supper time,
Over by the courthouse they're starting to unwind.
Four kids on the corner trying to bring you up.
Willy picks a tune out and he blows it on the harp.

Down On The Corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin';
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Rooster hits the washboard and people just got to smile,
Blinky, thumps the gut bass and solos for a while.
Poorboy twangs the rhythm out on his kalamazoo.
Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.

Down On The Corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin';
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Down On The Corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin';
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

You don't need a penny just to hang around,
But if you've got a nickel, won't you lay your money down?
Over on the corner there's a happy noise.
People come from all around to watch the magic boy.

Down On The Corner, out in the street,
Willy and the Poorboys are playin';
Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

At the turn of the 60’s decade, the Beatles were approaching break-up. It’s difficult to put this accurately into words that will be meaningful to those who were not there at the time, but for some of us, the steam was running out of the incredible British pop scene of the past six or seven years. We wanted something different - something not as serious as the heavy, pretentious rock that was in vogue at that time. There was an opportunity for simple rock with a new slant. Our attentions turned back to the States, as there were some great sounds crossing the Atlantic again.

Any act with a name like “Creedence Clearwater Revival” had to attract attention. It was a great bonus when this group actually sounded brilliantly different from the British sound of the past few years. I fell totally for this raw, rocking, American sound, and from “Proud Mary” to “Someday Never Comes” was a complete fan. Apparently, the foursome believed that their music would always sound different from whatever else was in fashion at the time, whatever the time might be! I could have chosen any one of 10 tracks from CCR - listen to “Chronicle” - their “Best of” album of 20 tracks, and see what I mean. I have chosen “Down On The Corner” because it is typical of them - simple, joyful rock’n’roll. Thanks CCR for giving us such good-time music. They were the only group to beat the Beatles in a top British poll of groups while the Liverpool lads were still together - yes - THEY BEAT THE BEATLES (and I voted for ’em too!). Now read on for I have reproduced the full history of John, Tom, Stu & Doug from their website - it makes very interesting reading!

Though generally bracketed with the post-psychedelic wave of San Franciscan groups, Creedence Clearwater Revival boasted one of the region's longest pedigrees. Formed in El Cerrito, a suburb in San Francisco Bay Area, this accomplished quartet of

John Fogerty (b. 28 May 1945, Berkeley, California, USA; vocals, lead guitar),
Tom Fogerty (b. 9 November 1941, Berkeley, California, USA, d. 6 September 1990; rhythm guitar, vocals),
Stu Cook (b. 25 April 1945, Oakland, California, USA and
Doug Clifford (b. 24 April 1945, Palo Alto, California, USA; drums)

began performing together in 1959 while attending Portola junior high-school. Initially known as Blue Velvets, the group started as a trio with Fogerty on guitar, Clifford on drums and Cook on piano. John's older brother Tom was added in November 1959 and the original cast of later Creedence Clearwater Revival was born.

Under the new name Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets, the quartet changed into a vocal band, became a popular attraction in El Cerrito and as such completed three singles for a local independent outlet of Orchestra. The second 45RPM, "Have You Ever Been Lonely"/"Bonita", was a local hit.

The group developed its unique sounds by listening to records of such Delta bluesmen as Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, plus such early rock artists as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Chuck Berry. Young John Fogerty was also inspired by Duane Eddy, Ray Charles, and Booker T & the MGs. By his mid-teens, John Fogerty could play guitar, dobro, piano, organ, tenor saxophone, harmonica, drums, and several other instruements. He also had a good voice from the start of the group and contributed original compositions throughout the band's career. Similarly, Tom taught himself to play almost as many instruments as his brother, but his main instrument remained rhythm guitar.

In 1963, John Fogerty became a packing and shipping clerk at Berkeley located Fantasy Records. Next year the group auditioned for Fantasy as an instrumental band. Fantasy's Weiss brothers signed them but encouraged their UK style beat music rather than their instrumentals. Weiss printed the name for their debut single as the Golliwogs to make them sound British. The band disliked but accepted the name as a precondition to their recording deal. The foursome was never happy with the appellation, nor the blond wigs they were sometimes required to wear.

Tom Fogerty dominated early releases, but in late 1965 and early 1966 his younger brother decided to took over the vocals. By 1967, John Fogerty was wresting control of the group. The series of the singles released by Golliwogs included Beatles-influenced "Don't Tell Me No Lies", "Where You Been", "You Can't Be True", "Brown Eyed Girl" (biggest Golliwogs seller, selling 10,000 copies around Northern California), "Fight Fire" and "Walking On The Water". All were released between November 1964 and November 1967. The one and only album of the Golliwogs, a compilation of their A and B sides, was released a decade later in 1975. Musically, the Golliwogs recordings were heavily influenced by several British Invasion bands, particularly the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Kinks.

In 1966 John and Doug were drafted into the army. After both members back from service in 1967, they cut "Porterville" that made some inroads with the audience, but didn't make charts, althought they had developed a defined, original sound. During the year, Fantasy was bought by one of its employees, Saul Zaentz. Looking over his company's catalogue, he was impressed by the Golliwog's recordings. This resulted in discussions that led the group turning fully professional in December 1967 and in doing so became known as Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The late 60's and early 70's saw the rise of complex progressive rock, proto heavy metal and gum pop. Creedence Clearwater Revival was out of these mainstreams. They cut a series of classic three-minute songs featuring singer-songwriter John Fogerty's growling vocals. Their music was economical, straightforward rock and roll. They were the most successful and exhilarating band in the United States during that era. After adapting the new name Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Fogerty brothers, Cook, and Clifford spent weeks rehearsing their new, tougher sound. In June 1968 Fantasy launched their first album "Creedence Clearwater Revival", and a single, "Suzy Q (Parts 1 & 2)", based on a decade old rock standard by Dale Hawkins.

Despite criticism from various sources, most notably from Rolling Stone magazine, the album earned a gold record status by the end of the year. The pseudo psychedelic rock and roll LP has well stood the test of time, and today it's regarded as one of the most promising debut LPs in the history of rock. The single peaked on the 11th position in the US. The recordings helped bring engagements in more prestigious rock venues, for instance in the summer of 1968 at Bill Graham's Fillmore West. Extended versions of their early songs peppered their gigs on these early days.

Creedence's second single, Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You", made the charts briefly, and disappeared. Then came the beginning of the year 1969 and their second album, "Bayou Country," with a single "Proud Mary"/"Born On The Bayou". The album introduced the mixture of Southern US creole styles, rhythm & blues and rockabilly with tight and economical touch defining the music of Creedence Clearwater Revival during their late 60's-early 70's hey-day. The single about a Mississippi river boat was their international breakthrough, making number 2 in the US and 8 in the UK. With his writing of "Proud Mary", John Fogerty became one of rock's foremost composers and lyricists.

The achievement of "Proud Mary" was followed by three 1969 gold-record hits: "Bad Moon Rising"/"Lodi", "Green River"/"Commotion" and "Down On The Corner"/"Fortunate Son". In fall, they released their third album "Green River" and right after that the fourth one, "Willy & The Poorboys". The latter album marked an expansion of John Fogerty's themes from material with a Missisippi Delta flavor to social commentary on such topics as nuclear holocaust ("Effigy"), and political and military pressures ("Fortunate Son"). In 1969 Rolling Stone named Creedence the Best American Band and Billboard reported they were the Top Singles Artists of 1969. The band could easily fill the largest available auditoriums for concert after concert. In August, they performed on the 2nd highest bill at the Woodstock rock festival.

CCR started 1970 with another gold single, "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop The Rain". In April, the next gold 45 "Up Around The Bend" came out. The spring also saw their first European tour. After returning home, their fifth album "Cosmo's Factory" moved to stores in July 1970. The LP was an immediate success, both in artistic and commercial terms. It went to the #1 position in several countries, including USA, UK and Finland. Creedence closed out 1970 with the release of another best-selling album, albeit a critical failure, "Pendulum". By the beginning of 1971, Creedence was beginning to run out of new worlds to conquer and a certain restlessness set in among the members. Even as the single "Have You Ever Seen The Rain"/"Hey Tonight" moved toward becoming the group's eighth gold-record, rumours said that changes were impending.

Besides doing lead vocals and lead guitar, John Fogerty wrote all of their own songs and arranged and produced each cut before the "Mardi Gras" album. He also managed the band. Rest of the group demanded more voice in artistic and financial issues. With several gold records on their credit and a successful musical formula in his hands, Fogerty didn't believe the new division of labour would be advantageous for the band and declined. In February 1971, Tom Fogerty announced his departure from the band to work as a solo artist. The remaining group continued to work as a trio. The first single of reorganized CCR, "Sweet Hitchhiker" came out in July. The band's major tour of the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan began in July and met with a reasonably good reception. On their seventh and last studio album, "Mardi Gras", Stu Cook and Doug Clifford wrote two thirds of the album's songs. In October 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival was officially disbanded.

After the break-up, John Fogerty ended up to legal and contractual disputes with his label, Fantasy Records. In mid-70's he managed to work out a deal allowing him a release from his contract with the label. Perhaps due to legal disputes, John Fogerty has released only five studio albums during his solo career. Tom Fogerty continued his solo career without major commercial success. He died of AIDS on September 6th, 1990.

The rhythm section of the group, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, followed pursuits independently and together in Don Harrison Band, Southern Pacific, and Sir Douglas Quintet. In 1995, they comprised a band called Creedence Clearwater Revisited. With three additional musicians, they tour the world and perform the songs of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The post-disband performances of Creedence Clearwater Revival have been extremely rare. They all gathered together in the recording sessions of the "Zephyr National" album of Tom Fogerty in 1974. They also did two on-off performances together in Tom Fogerty's wedding in 1979 and their high school party in 1983. A decade later, Creedence Clearwater Revival was nominated in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. However, John Fogerty didn't play with his former bandmates in the festivities. In this light, the reunion of the band in the near future seems unlikely.

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43 43

Just runnin’ scared each place we go
So afraid that he might show
Yeah, runnin’ scared, what would I do
If he came back and wanted you

Just runnin’ scared, feelin’ low
Runnin’ scared, you love him so
Just runnin’ scared, afraid to lose
If he came back which one would you choose

Then all at once he was standing there
So sure of himself, his head in the air
My heart was breaking, which one would it be
You turned around and walked away with me.

On my “Family History” pages, you will see a photograph of Susannah Stephens. She was my maternal grandmother and really the only one of my grand-parents I can remember. I loved her dearly and as a little 5 or 6 year-old always looked forward to the times when she came to stay in our house, crawling into her great big double bed in the morning to share confidences only grandparents and their grand-children were allowed to share! Gran died in 1965, when Alzheimers finally claimed her, but it was the precious few years prior to then that I remember quite vividly and how she patiently listened to my 45’s, despite not really liking most of that “modern music”! She loved this record though - she told me so one day after I had played the Orbison single over and over again on my Dansette.

Roy Orbison was one of the greatest ever pop singers - maybe THE best. His voice was unforgettable and instantly recognisable. Of course Gran had to listen to the other records I had by the "Big O", but it was always “Running Scared” that she liked the most. Consequently, Roy will always have a special place in my heart, and it is interesting to recall that my mother liked him too, and shortly before she passed away, saw the "Big O" with me, live on stage at the Taunton Gaumont. It was my treat for her, and she sang along to the songs together with the audience in that lovely theatre.

Roy Orbison died in the late 1980’s. His death robbed us of the greatest of talents, but at least we have some great recordings to conjure up visions of those dark glasses, the simple yet electric delivery and above all, the sublime vocal chords of the "Big O" - Roy Orbison. Of all the artists I was fond of back in the 60’s, Roy Orbison stirs up the most emotion in me. I can’t listen to his incredibly beautiful voice without feeling so very sad. I can’t help it, but Roy had such a tragic life in so many respects and then, when he was having massively-deserved renewed success late in the 1980’s, he died - at much too young an age.

We didn’t really appreciate Roy as much as we should have when he was with us. This gentle, softly-spoken Texan was a mighty colossus in modern American popular music. I’m glad that shortly before he died, some great contemporary musicians, including George Harrison, told him just how good he really was. His songs were pop classics and his soaring vocal range almost unsurpassed in modern times. I’m sad because he didn’t live long enough to enjoy his resurgence in the charts.

When God was handing out talent, he endowed so much on Roy Orbison, and that voice is still heard regularly on radio as today’s DJs’ continue to play his songs - and so they should!

It’s a privilege to have seen Roy perform live on the several occasions that I did between 1963 and 1989. And the musical link to my mother and grandmother is a wonderful memory to have.

Roy Orbison - a lovely man and a very special singer.

The remarkable canon of work recorded by Roy Orbison is tied not to any one decade but virtually to the entire lifespan of rock 'n roll. He began his career in the '50's, a friend and contemporary of Elvis Presley; he shared billings in Britain with The Beatles in the '60's; saw his work covered by the likes of Linda Ronstadt in the '70's; watched as his classic In Dreams became a keystone of David Lynch's film Blue Velvet. His posthumous album Mystery Girl - became the biggest selling album of his illustrious career. Roy Orbison remains as one of rock's truly legendary figures: a consistent talent whose influence grows with each passing year. His is a combination of voice and songs that, harnessed together, unleash a rare power which grabs listeners by the heart and holds them forever enthralled.

Orbison's was a special talent no better acknowledged than by Bruce Springsteen when inducting Roy into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.

"In 1975, when I went in to the studio to make Born To Run, I wanted to make a record with words like Bob Dylan that sounded like Phil Spector. But, most of all, I wanted to sing like Roy Orbison."

Born Roy Kelton Orbison on April 23rd 1936, he grew up in the heart of the Texas oil fields. He began playing and singing with local bands - his first was with The Wink Westerners.Roy moved on to The Teen Kings who - at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico - recorded a single which was only released locally. Acting on Johnny Cash's advice, Roy sent a copy of the song - Ooby Dooby - to Sun Records' founder Sam Phillips. Phillips liked what he heard, Roy drove to Memphis, and by June 1956 Sun had released its first Roy Orbison hit single.

Roy's time at Sun was not, however, particularly happy. Only his debut single - the recut version of Ooby Dooby - made any kind of chart impression. Other Sun cuts - Sweet and Easy To Love, Chicken Hearted and Rock House - were upbeat and went against the grain. Years later, Orbison recalled his earliest meetings with Sam Phillips who had played him some previously recorded Sun singles.

"He wasn't talking my language. I wasn't sophisticated but I was university educated. And, when he brought out the first record (Arthur Crudup's That's Alright) and the second (Mystery Train) he said, 'now sing like that.' If he'd have said 'sing with the same emotion, the same feeling in everything that you do that this man is doing' then I would have said 'I understand exactly what you mean.' But, I didn't understand what he meant, I didn't know what he was getting at. I couldn't sing like that. I had already been in the business a good while and I was patterned in my own way."

Roy left Sun in 1957 and signed to music publishers Acuff-Rose, convinced his true calling was as a songwriter. Indeed, his song Claudette - written while at Sun - was a Top Thirty hit for the Everly Brothers in 1958. A brief stint with RCA followed but neither of the Chet Atkins produced singles he recorded met with much success. Nonetheless, Roy's star was soon to be in the ascendant following a conversation between his manager Wesley Rose and a former Mercury promotion man, Fred Foster. Foster had heard a record by Warren Smith on Sun - Rock and Roll Ruby. "Fred thought I'd recorded that and so he signed me, thinking I was someone else!" said Roy.

Orbison, nonetheless, found his niche with Foster's newly formed label - Monument, beginning with the 1960 hit Up Town - one of the very first Nashville sessions to incorporate strings as opposed to fiddles. "Foster was smart enough to get out of the way at the right time. He didn't say 'sound like this' or 'play it this way.' He just knew what sounded good to him. Which is the best producer you can have. Whatever sounds beautiful to the producer is fantastic," Roy remembered.

On a songwriting level, Orbison began collaborating with fellow Texan Joe Melson. Beginning with Up Town, the pair had a long and extremely productive writing partnership. Of Roy's first 15 top 40 hits, six were penned by the Orbison/Melson team. They included the breakthrough record, Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel); a pure gold fusion of R&B and country which narrowly missed out on hitting number one in America.

In Britain, however, it didn't just top the charts but remained in the Top 40 for nearly 6 months. Only The Lonely is, of course, the song regarded by many as the starting point of Roy's classic ballad sound. Most of the hits that would follow - such as Running Scared, Crying, Dream Baby, In Dreams and It's Over - contained a vivid combination of hurtful romantic longing combined with near-operatic vocals that established Roy as a truly unique talent. But, as Orbison would stress repeatedly, his hits were by no means a catalogue of sad songs or romantic tragedy. "On balance, I'd say it was at least fifty-fifty. Dream Baby, Mean Woman Blues, Running Scared, even Pretty Woman has a happy ending!".

Eight top ten hits in the four years between 1960 and 1964 paved the way for the biggest selling record of his career, Oh, Pretty Woman. Estimated to have sold over 7 million copies in 1964 alone, it topped the American charts for three weeks, holding at bay the British invasion by bands such as The Animals and Manfred Mann. In Britain, it gave Roy his second straight Number One (It's Over had dominated the UK charts in the spring of '64) and, like its predecessor, remained on the chart for over four months.

While he was the only American vocalist to ride out the British invasion, Orbison also toured Britain regularly, initially sharing a bill with The Beatles (who, at that time, were by and large unknowns in America). "I messed up the first day I got there. I walked out in this little theatre and they had Beatles placards everywhere, life-size ones. And I said, 'what's all this? What is a Beatle anyway?' and John Lennon said, 'I'm one'. He was standing right behind me."

The Beatles, of course, were hugely influenced by Orbison and their slow-tempo version of Please Please Me was very much a tribute to him.

In 1965, Orbison signed to MGM, lured by a lucrative deal that also offered the potential of Presley-level movie stardom. Indeed, he did star in 1968's The Fastest Guitar Alive but MGM were getting in to financial trouble and Orbison's rich vein of hits began to dry up. To compound this, Roy's private life was marred when - in the midst of reconciliation with his ex-wife, Claudette, she was killed in a motor-cycle accident. Two years later in 1968, two of Roy's sons were killed in a housefire.

Reduced to touring clubs, Roy returned to his country roots and recorded for Mercury and Asylum in the '70's. His reputation as an influential master, however, began to soar once again via covers of his earlier work. Linda Ronstadt set the ball rolling with Blue Bayou (1977) and three years later, Roy won a Grammy for his duet with Emmylou Harris (That Loving You Feeling Again.) A year later, Don McLean scored with Crying, but real success came Roy's way again when his re-recording of the 1963 hit In Dreams became a pivotal element of David Lynch's 1986 movie, Blue Velvet.

Signing to Virgin, and with all of his old original recordings embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings, Orbison set about re-recording his songs "just so's they would be available" and released a double-set - In Dreams. In 1987, Roy was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame and within twelve months had become a member of the Traveling Wilburys alongside Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and George Harrison. With his career rejuvenated, Orbison fronted the extraordinary TV special recorded at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles - Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White Night. Roy's friends, who became his backing band, were indeed stellar - Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, kd lang, Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, J.D. Souther, Jennifer Warnes and more.

In December 1988, Roy died, suddenly, from a heart attack. Among the multitude of artists he had influenced paying tribute, U2's Bono summed up many feelings when he said, "Writing for him was like writing for Elvis, who was the only comparable vocal talent. His great gift was to turn the pain and bad luck that he experienced into ground breaking songs."

Bono, of course, had written She's A Mystery To Me especially for Roy - released after his death, it gave Orbison his last Top 30 hit in Britain. Paul McCartney simply said,

"He was and always will be one of the greats of rock 'n roll."

Posthumously released in 1989, Roy's Mystery Girl album became the biggest selling record of his career. That success was sparked by two more top ten hits, You Got It (written by fellow Wilburys' Petty and Jeff Lynne) and I Drove All Night. In 1992, Virgin released King Of Hearts, a collection of previously unissued songs.

In 1997, Orbison Records released several significant Roy Orbison recordings. Greatest Hits - In Dreams, a special nineteen song collection was re-recorded for superior sound. The historic Cocoanut Grove performance, Black And White Night was made available on CD and VHS. And a 60's television appearance by Roy and band was captured on Combo Concert 1965 Holland. In June, 1999, The Anthology was released, along with a companion home video documenting Roy's body of work over five decades.

Additional releases from Orbison Records, featuring rare or previously unavailable performances by Roy Orbison are planned for the future. Roy Orbison's flame will continue to burn brightly for decades to come.

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44 44

You smile at me and angels sing,
You speak my name and winter changes into spring,
But there's an emptyness that makes me feel so blue,
When will you say I love you
Oh yeah

I tried so hard to make you care,
This life of mine was meant for you alone to share,
I need you close to me in everything you do
When will you say I love you.

Oh I never thought this could ever happen to me
Three little words from you and you could end my misery.

Oh say those words I'm longing for,
Then I'll know you'll be mine until forever more,
And all this world will be just like a dream come true,
When will you say, I love you, I love you, I love you

Dear old Billy! Britain’s answer to Elvis? Maybe, but a wonderfully unique performer in his own right and a man who, without question, was one of the greatest British pop artists of this or any other generation.

It was so very, very sad when his always delicate health finally proved too much and he passed away at much too young an age in the early 1990’s. Billy Fury could sing a rock ballad unlike any other British singer of the period. For several years he was unsurpassed in that genre - and achieved great things in the charts. “Halfway To Paradise” was a classic - one of those heart-stopping songs which will live on for as long as there’s pop music.

I have chosen “When Will You Say I Love You” - a hit a couple of years after “Paradise” - as it is, in my opinion, the best song that he ever recorded. It has an instantly remembered melody and Billy performs it beautifully, backed by a full orchestra. It was a massive hit back in ‘63, when life was good and the world was beginning to get to know the Beatles.

Perhaps the Mersey Beat sound diminished Billy’s popularity somewhat in the years that followed, but listening now to his performance, it is so obvious that we lost someone very special when he sadly passed away.

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45 45

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn't mean to hurt you
I'm sorry that I mad you cry
I didn't want to hurt you
I'm just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure,
You night not love me any more,
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you were trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain

Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music were the 70's "Kings of Glamour" - the classy end of the glam-rock movement which included T-Rex, Sweet & Slade at the other end of the spectrum! Bryan was suave, ever-so-slightly decadent (in the nicest possible way!) and a very fascinating individual. As a solo artist, he tried his hand at standards like "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", and succeeded in crossing over from glam to mainstream. "Jealous Guy", a John Lennon composition, is a beautiful song which suits Bryan's vocal style well, and was his tribute to the Beatles, following his tragic death in 1980.

From their earliest steps, Roxy left a massive footprint on British popular culture. They were formed in 1971 by Ferry, Mackay and Brian Eno, the axis completed with Manzanera's official arrival early next year, by which time the music press was buzzing. Their self-titled debut album in the summer of '72-declared by many then and ever since as the best first album ever-cleared the path for a saunter into the UK top five by the ravishingly stylish first single 'Virginia Plain'. Before the year ended, Roxy had completed their opening tours of both the UK and US. For once, fans in the industry and in the real world were unanimous: here was a triumph of style AND substance.

Almost everything that happened chez Roxy during the next decade, and seven more studio albums, has become part of the fabric of rock history, from rule-trashing singles like 'Pyjamarama', Street Life' and 'Love Is The Drug'to Bryan's ever-influential wardrobe and those legendary album covers. Three times they topped the album charts during their active lifetime, with 1973's 'Stranded', 1980's 'Flesh and Blood' and their last studio album 'Avalon', and it wasn't long before the compilation album 'Street Life' raced to No.1 in 1986 and stayed there five weeks. The more recent remastered reappearance of the entire Roxy catalogue, and the rapturous reviews it engendered, confirmed that the legacy had only appreciated with time. Ferry's 1999 solo album 'As Time Goes By' gained significant recognition with a Grammy 2001 nomination.

For all the imitators and admirers, no one has ever successfully cloned the unique and unknowable combination of elements that comprised Roxy Music. Three decades later take your partners: it's time, again, to do the strand.

Bryan Ferry has recently been named by the Sunday Times of London as a 'godfather' of contemporary style in a series on 'icons' of our time. Even so the role of rock'n'roll revolutionary which made Ferry famous in the first place, almost twenty-five years ago, is one he hasn't relinquished yet. You might think so, given the amount of media space he commands in which music is not so much as mentioned. Many of those who haven't heard his latest records may know what he wears, where he eats, who he loves. The Guardian newspaper describes him as "the greatest living Englishman to his acolytes". For Ferry this celebrity status is unbidden and forbidding, and he protects his privacy. What's left exposed are the brief moments entering a restaurant or leaving a club, because that's where the paparazzi gather: they give a picture of a door-to-door existence, perceived as a non-stop social whirl Yet this myth has arisen only because behind it lies the real story of a career that almost singlehandedly revamped the idioms and attitudes of popular music. Bryan Ferry truly is a godfather - of today's rock'n'roll: the figure to whom more than any other the new bands of the 80's and 90's have looked as their prime mover. His vocal style, his song-writing, his visual flair, together they represented a whole new sensibility, one that not only drew on unexplored past traditions but demanded a constant evolution and modernism. This is why Ferry still drives himself forward instead of resting on his laurels. Ignoring the miasma of misrepresentation and gossip that envelops him like a modern London fog, he goes about his daily business - his life's overriding passion - of making unique, stirring music, just as he has for more than four decades now.

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46 46

Time and the river will bring my love to me
If I must I'll wait forever by the river that took her to the sea
Here by the river we loved, we laughed, we cried
But with time my love, my darling
Left my arms and was gone with the tide

How long I've been lonely
Star of love, shine bright
I need her, oh, lead her
To my arms tonight

Time and the river, how swiftly they go by
But my heart will beat for no other
Till time stands still and the river runs dry

Time and the river, how swiftly they go by
But my heart will beat for no other
Till time stands still and the river runs dry

From 1961, through the decade of the 60's, Gene was the alternative face of pop. While the British groups, led by the Beatles and Stones, took on and beat the world, a clean-cut, shorthaired American lad in a sober, dark blue suit toured the UK year after year and just - well, he just sang! Boy could he sing (and still can!). Dramatic ballads were his forte and his list of hits (and almost hits) is so impressive. This song, a hit for Nat "King" Cole in the 1950's was included in the album "Gene Pitney Sings Just For You", and it showcases the remarkable range of his voice. I was a massive fan of Mr Pitney back in the 60's, and I still enjoy listening to his albums as much today. Gene is one of the greats.

One of the most interesting and difficult-to-categorize singers in '60s pop, Gene Pitney had a long run of hits, distinguished by his pained, one-of-a-kind melodramatic pitch. Pitney was a successful '60s artist, scoring 16 top forty songs in the USA from 1961 to 1968, and forty such songs in the UK all the way up to 1974.

Gene Francis Alan Pitney was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1941, but spent most of his youth in Rockville, Connecticut. Pitney studied piano, guitar, and drums while at Rockville High School while performing with his group, "The Genials" and had written and published some songs. By the time he had dropped out of the University of Connecticut he was performing with Ginny Arnell as the male half of Jamie and Jane, then as singer/songwriter under the name Billy Brian for "Blaze Records" and under his own name for "Festival Records" in 1961. Pitney broke into the music business as a songwriter in his late teens, getting his first taste of success when Rick Nelson had a hit with "Hello Mary Lou" and "Rubber Ball" for Bobby Vee in 1961. In 1962, he wrote "He's a Rebel" for the Crystals and became friends with producer Phil Spector. He also wrote for Roy Orbison and Tommy Edwards.

Yearning for a hit of his own, in 1961 Pitney went into a small four-track studio on 7th avenue in New York, and for a cost of thirty dollars, played and overdubbed every instrument and multitracked his vocals. The result was his first hit "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away" (#39, 1961). This attracted the attention of songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David who co-wrote "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance," and "24 Hours from Tulsa" for him. Other than Dionne Warwick, he was the best interpreter of Bacharach-David's early compositions. Another 1961 single, Goffin-King's "Every Breath I Take," was produced by Phil Spector, and is one of the very first examples of his pull-out-the-stops Wall of Sound productions. Pitney didn't really find his metier, however, until late-1961's "Town Without Pity," which became his first Top 20 entry. Pitney's label, "Musicor Records" was primarily involved in country and western music and Pitney began recording material in that vein.

In 1964 Pitney's publicist, Andrew Loog Oldham, introduced him to the Rolling Stones, whom he produced. He recorded the Jagger-Richards composition "The Girl Belongs to Yesterday". Pitney assisted in the recording of their 12 X 5 album. With Phil Spector, Pitney sat in during a 1964 Rolling Stone recording session, during which they recorded "Not Fade Away", had a brief fling with a teenage Marianne Faithfull, and recorded songs by Randy Newman and Al Kooper long before those musicians became famous.

Pitney withstood the initial onslaught of the British Invasion fairly well, scoring Top 10 hits in 1964 with "It Hurts to Be in Love" and "I'm Gonna Be Strong." The same year he began recording albums in foreign languages. In 1965 and 1966, Pitney recorded country albums with George Jones and Melba Montgomery, scoring country hits with "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night" and "Louisiana Mama" with Jones and "Baby Ain't That Fine" with Montgomery. By 1966, though, his popularity was fading stateside. Ironically, by this time he was a much bigger star in Britain, making the U.K. Top 10 six times in 1965-66. He could also depend on a faithful international audience throughout Europe, and frequently recorded in Italian and Spanish for overseas markets. In 1966, he became one of the first artists to reach success with Randy Newman compositions, taking "Nobody Needs Your Love" and "Just One Smile" into the British Top 10.

Pitney remained a prolific recording artist, putting out many albums a year in America in the mid-Sixties. Tremendously popular in Italy too, he recorded albums of country tunes in Italian. His last chart hit in America was in 1969, but he continued to to hit the U.K. charts until 1974, and continued to tour Britain and Europe, avoiding the oldies revival shows.

In 1970, after spending nearly a decade on the road (eleven months of every year), Gene decided to drastically cut back on his touring commitments. "I had a family at home, two boys starting to grow up, and I was getting a guilt complex about not being there with them. So I decided to make a six-month commitment to touring and spend the rest of the time at home with the family." He decided to quit the long tours of the US and, without meaning to, increasingly found himself in countries other than America due to his love of exotic travel. "There is nothing more exciting to me than to get on that airplane and know I'm going to get off in a totally different country, in a different part of the world." His annual tours of Britain, Europe, and Australia became a way of life. With every tour proving a sellout, the plan was an outstanding success.

In 1983, when an agent gently twisted his arm, Gene embarked on his first North American Tour in over a dozen years. It became a huge personal triumph. Gene Pitney was back "with a vengeance" even though he'd never been away. In the last few years, many exciting things have happened to Gene in both the studio and performance. In 1993, Gene played the prestigious CARNEGIE HALL in New York City the day THE WORLD TRADE CENTER was bombed. Gene Says, "New Yorkers, being New Yorkers, still gave us a sold-out show. No one stayed away!" The tour of the UK in the same year completely sold out, closing at the beautiful LONDON PALLADIUM. 1994 GENE saw tours in the UK and Australia, the latter closing at the BURSEWOOD CASINO in PERTH. In 1995, Gene worked the crowds at THE TAJ MAHAL in ATLANTIC CITY, NJ, and did a two-part, 46-day tour in the UK in May/June and Oct/Nov. During 1996, he performed at the UNIVERSAL AMPHITHEATER in Los Angeles and then moved onto a twenty-city concert tour of AUSTRALIA, followed by a quick trip to Catania, Italy.

1997 was another busy year with shows in LAS VEGAS, ATLANTIC CITY, FOXWOODS RESORT, ST. LOUIS, KANSAS CITY, BOSTON, THE NEW YORK STATE FAIR, and another twenty-city concert tour of AUSTRALIA, finishing at the new MELBOURNE CASINO. 1998 saw Pitney continuing to tour as his composition, "HE'S A REBEL" received a BMI MILLIONAIRE AWARD for having surpassed one million airplays in the US. 1999 saw another sellout tour of AUSTRALIA and ended with a twenty-four-city concert tour of ENGLAND, finishing at the beautiful LONDON PALLADIUM.

Very sadly, Gene passed away on 5th April 2006, in Cardiff, midway through another sell-out tour of the United Kingdom. He had lived in Connecticut, not far from where he was raised, in a big rambling Dutch Colonial house set in an old apple orchard, with his wife, Lynne, whom he married in 1966. He will be very sadly missed by fans all over the world. A true legend in popular music in the 20th Century.

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47 47

There was a wild Colonial Boy, Jack Doolan was his name,
Of poor but honest parents he was born near Castlemaine.
He was his father's only son, and his mother's pride and joy,
So dearly did his parents love their wild Colonial Boy.

Barely sixteen years of age he first began to roam,
And found Australia's sunny shores and called it his true home.
He robbed the wealthy squatters, their assets to destroy,
A terror to the rich ones was the wild Colonial Boy.

Back in Eighteen sixty-one began his wild career,
With a head that knew no danger, and a heart that held no fear.
He held the Mudgie mail-coach up , and he shot Judge MacEvoy,
A curse to every copper was the wild Colonial Boy.

Later on that very day as Jack he rolled along,
Listening to the kookaburra‘s pleasant laughing song,
He spied three mounted troopers - Kelly, Davis and FitzRoy
With a warrant for the capture of the wild Colonial Boy.

"Surrender now, Jack Doolan, for you see we’re three to one
.Surrender now, in the Queen‘s high name, or your living days are done"
Jack drew two pistols from his belt, and he waved ‘em proud and high,
"I'll fight, but not surrender," cried the wild Colonial Boy.

Jack fired once at Kelly and brought him to the ground,
Then turning round, from Davis gun received his mortal wound.
A bullet pierced his proud young heart from the pistol of FitzRoy,
And that's the way they captured him - the wild Colonial Boy
Yes, that's the way they captured him - the wild Colonial Boy

This song has never been officially released in the U.K. I have to thank my dear friends in Australia & Norway for enabling me to own a copy of what I believe is one of Dennis & Ray’s best performances.

“Wild Colonial Boy” is a traditional Australian folksong, performed by many folk artists, but recorded here by Dr. Hook and released in Oz in 1983 on an album of the same name. That album was re-titled “Let Me Drink From Your Well” and released in the UK, but did not include this exclusively Australian recording.

We all know how versatile Dr. Hook were - Country, Rock, Disco, Comedy & out-and-out Pop all came easy to Dennis, Ray & the lads. Here they try their hand at folk - and of course succeed admirably. The story (slightly truncated from the full traditional version) is sincerely told by Messrs Locorriere and Sawyer, with the former’s unique vocals taking the lead.

A rare and precious addition to my collection - it fully merits its’ inclusion at no. 47. What a talented group they were!

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48 48

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo moaned
To the winds that listened best.

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

It is my opinion, no doubt hotly contested by some, that Bob Dylan’s songs are invariably performed so much better by other artists! There is no argument, though, that Dylan is a song-writing genius, and there is a list as long as your arm of wonderful songs that he has composed over the years. In addition to the melodic Byrds, think of Joan Baez, Manfred Mann, Peter Paul & Mary etc., and Bob Dylan’s songs immediately come to mind.

The Byrds, in 1965, released a simply marvellous album of Dylan compositions. There are so many great songs on that L.P., including the mega hit “Mr Tambourine Man” , but “Lay Down Your Weary Tune” is my own personal favourite. Poetic in a style so unique to Bob Dylan, I just love the gentle, sweet approach of Messrs McGuinn, Crosby, Hillman, Clarke & Clark.

Of all those wonderful Stateside groups of the 60’s who counteracted the British pop music invasion of the time, the Byrds stand out at the very top of the tree. The harmonies and instrumental backing is most appealing - the whole package just oozes class. Wonderful stuff.

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49 49

Say goodbye, my own true lover,
As we sing our lover's song,
How it breaks my heart to leave you,
Now the carnival is gone.

High above, the dawn is waking,
And my tears are falling rain,
For the carnival is over,
We may never meet again.

Like a drum my heart was beating,
And your kiss was sweet as wine,
But the joys of love are fleeting,
For Pierrot and Columbine.

Now the harbour light is calling,
This will be our last goodbye,
Though the carnival is over,
I will love you till I die.

Like a drum my heart was beating,
And your kiss was sweet as wine,
But the joys of love are fleeting,
For Pierrot and Columbine.

Now the harbour light is calling,
This will be our last goodbye,
Though the carnival is over,
I will love you till I die.

Though the carnival is over,
I will love you till I die

The Seekers - Judith Durham: lead vocals, piano, tambourine, Athol Guy: double bass, vocals, Keith Potger: twelve string guitar, banjo, vocals and Bruce Woodley: guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals - were a group of Australian folk-influenced popular musicians that was formed in Melbourne in 1962. They were the first Australian popular music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States. They were a highly popular band during the 1960s. They had nine hits in Britain and Australia in the 1960s: "I'll Never Find Another You", "A World of Our Own", "The Carnival Is Over", "Someday One Day", "Walk With Me", "Morningtown Ride", "Georgy Girl" (the title song of the film of the same name), "When Will the Good Apples Fall" and "Emerald City". More recently, Bruce Woodley's and Dobe Newton's song "I Am Australian", which has been recorded by The Seekers, and by singer Judith Durham with Russell Hitchcock and Mandawuy Yunupingu, has become an unofficial Australian anthem. It is said that, to date, The Seekers have sold over 50 million records.

The Seekers were formed by Athol, Keith and Bruce, who all attended Melbourne High School. Their lead singer was Ken Ray, who later left the group to get married. His place was taken by Judith Durham, who was an established traditional jazz singer, having recorded an EP with the Melbourne group Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers. The Seekers soon gathered a strong following in Melbourne, and Durham's connections with W&G Records led to the group's being offered a contract. After the release of their debut album in Australia, Introducing The Seekers, in 1963, The Seekers were offered the chance to travel to the UK on the Sitmar cruise liner Fairsky in 1964, in exchange for providing on-board entertainment. They had intended to return to Australia ten weeks later on the same ship, but on arrival in the UK they were offered work by the Grade Organization. The group decided to remain in the UK and after filling in on a bill headlined by Dusty Springfield, they met her brother, songwriter-producer Tom Springfield, who had experience with folk-pop material with his earlier group The Springfields. He penned a song for them called "I'll Never Find Another You", which they recorded in November 1964. It was released by EMI Records (on the Columbia label) in December 1964 and was championed by the offshore radio station Radio Caroline. Despite the fact that the group had not signed a contract with EMI, the single reached the UK Top 40 and began selling well. In February 1965, it reached no.1 in the UK and Australia, and no.4 in the U.S.

The distinctive soprano voice of lead singer Judith Durham, the group's harmonies, and memorable songs encouraged the BBC to give them exposure, allowing them to appeal to a broad cross-section of the pop audience. "I'll Never Find Another You" sold 1.76 million copies worldwide, and made The Seekers the first Australian pop group to have a Top 5 hit in all three countries (Australia, UK, and United States) simultaneously. They were also the first Australian recording artists to sell more than a million copies of a single. The Seekers followed "I'll Never Find Another You" with two more Tom Springfield compositions, "A World of Our Own", and the song which features here in my All-Time Top 100, "The Carnival Is Over", which reached No.1 in the National Charts in November 1965. At its peak, "The Carnival Is Over" was selling 90,000 copies a day in the UK alone. In 1966, the group appeared at a Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium, before Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. "Morningtown Ride" was the Seekers' sixth major hit, reaching No.2 on the British Charts in December. The single had been recorded earlier on the 1964 album Hide and Seekers and the 1965 American debut, The New Seekers but, for copyright reasons, the song was re-recorded for The Seekers' Christmas 1966 single.

Less than two years later, Judith made the announcement that she was leaving The Seekers to pursue a solo career, and the group disbanded. Their final performance in July 1968 was screened live by the BBC as a special called Farewell The Seekers, with an audience of more than 10 million viewers. The special had been preceded by a week-long season at London's Talk Of The Town nightclub, and a live recording of one of their shows was released as the LP record, The Seekers Say Goodbye Live From The Talk Of The Town. It reached #2 on the UK charts. Potger formed the successful group The New Seekers in the UK. Bruce Woodley would release several solo albums and focus on songwriting, including in the unofficial national anthem "I Am Australian". Eventually Potger re-joined Woodley and Guy in reforming The Seekers in 1975 with Louisa Wisseling, then Julie Anthony in the 1980s, and then Karen Knowles, but the unique timbre of Durham's voice was missing from their sound. Durham later rejoined the group in 1992. Woodley himself left for a time in the 1970s and was replaced with Buddy England, before rejoining in the 1980s.

The Seekers re-united late in 1992, with the classic line-up of Durham, Guy, Potger and Woodley. A 25-Year Silver Jubilee Reunion Celebration tour in 1993 was sufficiently successful that The Seekers remained together for a further 11 years. They staged several sell-out tours of Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, releasing a number of albums, including new studio albums Future Road and Morningtown Ride to Christmas. After much speculation, The Seekers reunited again for the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games on 29 October 2000, with a performance of "The Carnival Is Over". Durham had suffered a broken hip and performed at the Paralympics in a wheelchair.

I never had the opportunity to see the group live, more's the pity. But, on a solo tour of the UK in May 1996, I was finally fortunate enough to attend a Judith Durham concert - at the now sadly demolished Festival Theatre on Paignton sea-front promenade in South Devon. That evening we saw this lovely lady sing all of her big Seekers successes - including my favourite, "The Carnival Is Over", plus a number of tracks from her lovely album, "Mona Lisas". The tiny lady with the big, big voice wowed us all that night and ensured she has a special place in my heart. Bravo Judith Durham (and her fellow-Seekers, of course!)

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50 50

I'll never let you see,
The way my broken heart is hurtin' me,
I've got my pride and I know how to hide
All my sorrow and pain,
I'll do my cryin' in the rain.

If I wait for cloudy skies,
You won't know the rain from the tears in my eyes,
You'll never know that I still love you so,
Though the heartaches remain,
I'll do my cryin' in the rain.

Rain drops fallin' from heaven
Could never wash away my misery,
But since we're not together,
I look for stormy weather,
To hide these tears I hope you'll never see.

Some day when my cryin's done,
I'm gonna wear a smile and walk in the sun,
I may be a fool but till then darling
You'll never see me complain,
I'll do my cryin' in the rain.

I'll do my cryin' in the rain,
I'll do my cryin' in the rain.

The Everly Brothers (Don, born Isaac Donald Everly, February 1, 1937, in Powderly, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky and Phil born Phillip Everly, January 19, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois) are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The brothers are the most successful U.S. rock and roll duo of all time. Their most successful period was between 1957 and 1965. For virtually all the Everly Brothers recordings, Don sings the lower harmony part, while Phil takes the higher part. As the brothers transitioned out of the family act and into a duo, family friend Chet Atkins became an early champion of The Everly Brothers. Atkins engineered a chance for The Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. However, their first and only single for the label, "Keep A' Lovin' Me", was a flop, and they were quickly dropped from Columbia. Atkins still encouraged the Everly Brothers to continue on, and introduced them to Wesley Rose of Acuff-Rose music publishers. Impressed with the duo's songwriting talents, Rose told them that if they signed to Acuff-Rose as songwriters, he would also get them a recording deal. The duo signed to Acuff-Rose in late 1956, and by 1957 Rose had introduced them to Archie Bleyer, who was setting up his new Cadence Records label. The Everlys signed to Cadence, and entered the recording studio for their first Cadence session in early 1957.

They became stalwarts of the Cadence label. Working with the Bryants, the duo had hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, the biggest being "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have to Do Is Dream", "Bird Dog", and "Problems", all penned by the Bryants. The Everlys also found success as songwriters, especially with Don's "('Til) I Kissed You", which hit no. 4 on the US pop charts. The brothers toured extensively with Buddy Holly during 1957 and 1958. Phil Everly was one of Buddy Holly's pallbearers at his funeral in February 1959, although Don did not attend.

After three years on the Cadence label, the Everlys signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1960, for a reported 10-year, multi-million dollar deal. They continued to have hits for Warner Brothers and their first, 1960's "Cathy's Clown" (written by Don and Phil) sold eight million copies, making it the duo's biggest-selling record. "Cathy's Clown" was number WB1, the first release in the United Kingdom by Warner Bros. Records. Other successful Warner Brothers singles followed, such as "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" (1960), "Walk Right Back" (1961) and this favourite of mine, "Crying In The Rain" in 1962. Their star had begun to wane two years before the British Invasion in 1964 — although their appeal remained strong in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere. By 1965, the duo took a back seat to the new sound of the beat boom — including bands like The Beatles, who were highly influenced by, ironically, the Everly Brothers. If their US fortunes were fading, the Everlys remained a successful act in Britain and Canada throughout most of the 1960s, reaching the top 40 in the United Kingdom with singles through 1968, and the top 10 in Canada as late as 1967. The 1966 album Two Yanks in England was a reflection of the Everlys' popularity in the UK; the album was recorded in England with backup by major UK chart act The Hollies, who also wrote many of the album's songs.

Towards the end of the 1960s, the Everly Brothers returned to an emphasis on their country-rock roots, and their 1968 album Roots is touted by some critics as "one of the finest early country-rock albums". However, by the end of the 1960s, the Everly Brothers were no longer hitmakers in either North America or the United Kingdom, and in 1970 their contract with Warner Bros. lapsed after ten years. In 1970, they were the summer replacement hosts for Johnny Cash's television show. In 1970, Don Everly released his first solo album, but it was not a success. The Everly Brothers resumed performing in 1971, and signed a contract with RCA Records, for whom they issued two albums in 1972 and 1973. The brothers got back together in 1983. Their reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 23, 1983, was instigated by English guitarist Albert Lee (who was also the concert's musical director). This concert spawned a well-received live LP and video. The brothers then returned to the studio as a duo for the first time in over a decade, resulting in the album EB '84, produced by Dave Edmunds. Lead single "On the Wings of a Nightingale", written by Paul McCartney, was a minor success and returned them to the U.S. and UK charts.

The Everly Brothers had 26 Billboard Top 40 singles and 35 Billboard Top 100 singles. They hold the record for the most Top 100 singles by any duo, and trail only Hall & Oates for the most Top 40 singles by a duo. In 1986, the Everlys were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, they were introduced by Neil Young, who observed that every musical group he belonged to had tried and failed to copy the Everly Brothers' harmonies. That year on July 5, the Everlys returned to their boyhood home of Shenandoah to a crowd of 8,500 for a concert, parade, street dedication, class reunion and other activities. Concert fees were donated to The Everly Family Scholarship Fund which gives scholarships to middle and high school students in Shenandoah every year.

"Crying in the Rain" is a song written by Howard Greenfield and Carole King and originally recorded by the mercurial Everly Brothers. It was covered by many other artists including Country singer Tammy Wynette in 1981, Crystal Gayle on her album "Hollywood, Tennessee", the British duo Peter and Gordon, Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, on his 1993 album "Up 'til Now" as a duet with James Taylor and on ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz's "King For a Day" album in 2010.

The brothers were a great favourite of my good friend in the 60's, Alan Vowles. So, it was a great day back in that marvellous decade when they headlined a Package Tour which played the Gaumont Theatre in Taunton. On the bill that night - Bo Diddley, Little Richard and an embryonic Rolling Stones. The Everly's topped the bill and created a lasting impression with me. Their unsurpassed harmonies soared around the theatre and we were transported somewhere else by the wonderful music. Of course they sang my own favourite, "Crying In The Rain" and created another magical, musical memory for Alan, myself and a few more friends of ours. Ah - the 60's!!

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51 51

Distinctive vocal style is paramount as far as I’m concerned, but singers who date back to the pre-1960’s are not too well represented in my list of favourites! "Crooners" like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Al Martino, Tony Bennett, Perry Como etc. didn’t play a significant part in my early musical education. The exception is Nat "King" Cole.

The husky, completely one-off vocal cords first came to my attention when at the height of my record-buying I was one of the millions who bought "Rambling Rose"! I liked the voice a lot, and to the amazement of all my friends and my parents, I went out and bought Nat’s "Best Of..." album and began to take an interest in his style of music.

Again, I could have chosen any of a number of songs performed by Nat. "Nature Boy", "Mona Lisa" and "When I Fall In Love" spring readily to mind. "Stardust" is my choice, as it is a well-structured song with strong lyrics and a memorable chorus.

Nat "King" Cole had a remarkable career and was at the forefront of race-hatred and segregation in the States. He had to overcome so much prejudice, but he did it with a dignity and persistence which is to his eternal credit. Personally, I don’t think of him in the same bracket as Sinatra & Co. He was better than all of them!

It’s ironic too that the husky quality of his voice owes so much to the extremely heavy smoking habit that was to take his life too damn early. Still, we have dozens of albums to keep his memory alive - a memory sprinkled with golden "stardust".

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52 52

Richard Willis Hawley, born on 17th January 1967 in Sheffield is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer. After his first band Treebound Story (formed while he was still at school) broke up, Hawley found success as a member of Britpop band Longpigs in the 1990s. He later joined the band Pulp, led by his friend Jarvis Cocker. As a solo musician, Hawley has released six studio albums, the latest being "Truelove's Gutter" in 2009.

In 2001, "Late Night Final", named after the cry of vendors selling the Sheffield Star evening newspaper on the streets of the city, was released. Two years later Hawley released "Lowedges", another Sheffield reference, this time to the curiously named suburb of the city that had so entranced the young Hawley when he had seen it on the destination board of a bus. After the demise of Setanta Records in 2004, Hawley eventually signed to Mute Records, a division of EMI. Legal wrangling delayed Coles Corner, Hawley's fourth release, until September 2005. Again, Hawley mined the theme of his beloved home city, this time referencing the location where courting lovers meet. Coles Corner eventually gained a nomination for the Mercury Prize in 2006.

Hawley's 2007 album Lady's Bridge (again named with a Sheffield reference - Lady's Bridge is in the centre of Sheffield) was released in the United Kingdom on 20 August 2007. He performed a 16-date tour during September 2007 to promote the album. And it is this album that features a beautiful ballad - "Valentine". It was released as a single in early 2008, was played a lot on the BBC, but sadly did not make the high chart position it deserved. It was at this time that Hawley was nominated for his first solo Brit Award for Best British Male Performer. Truelove's Gutter, Richard's sixth studio album, was released on Mute Records in September 2009. The album was nominated for, and won, the Mojo record of the year.

Richard Hawley is a singer whose vocal style can relax, sadden or inspire the listener. He has the knack of producing beautiful songs and interpreting them in his unique way. He really deserves greater success in the future.

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53 53

Roy's back catalogue is extensive with hundreds of classic performances cherished and loved by his many admirers to this day. Then there are the "lesser" recordings - all in the mid- to late-1970's - which, in all honesty, aren't his most outstanding. Sometimes, however, buried away is a classic track. "Regeneration" is one of those old vinyl LP's. Produced by Fred Foster, it marked Roy's return to Monument Records in the States, where Orbison had launched his greatest successes more than fifteen years earlier. However, it would be a one-time only rekindling of the business relationship, not really setting the world on fire or regenerating Roy's career to any great extent. The album did though, feature one great track - regarded by a few of his aficionados as a real gem.

I'll be honest. I didn't buy "Regeneration" at the time of its' release and didn't happen upon "Born To Love Me" until, updating my own collection, I purchased the Monument double CD, "The Original Singles Collection" - released in 1998. And there, tucked away near the end of disc 2, was this. I was about 60 seconds into listening to what was, to me, a new song and I couldn't believe it! Oh, it was just lovely. It was also the b-side of the UK single "I'm A Southern Man" - again, I didn't buy this 45 back when it was released (shame on me!).

"Born To Love Me" melts the heart. It is wonderful. It is Roy Orbison at his finest, and has become one of my real "Big O" favourites here in the 21st Century. Take a listen to it sometime on YouTube, and I think you will understand. Roy was the greatest pop singer of all time as far as I'm concerned and "Born To Love Me" reinforces my belief. Thanks, Roy.

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You may well have noticed that the British groups of the mid-1960's aren't featured greatly in my Top 100. It wasn't as if that era didn't play a major part in my musical education and I bought many of the biggies of the day back then - and that most definitely included the Beatles. It was a magical time and there were so many groups, so many hit records to consider, some you very rarely hear these days on the radio and some you hear time and time again.

I bought "Love Me Do" in the early weeks after its release and followed it up by purchasing all the group's many following hits. I saw them live on stage at the Princess Theatre in Torquay one never-to-be-forgotten Sunday evening in August 1963. I bought their LP's too - and played 'em and played 'em! Most of my friends were Beatles fans. You just were!

So came "Rubber Soul". Released for the Christmas market in December 1965, it went to no.1 in the album charts in the last week of the year, staying there for 8 weeks - finally dropping out in September 1966. One of the tracks is "In My Life". The song originated with Lennon, and while McCartney contributed to the final version, the extent of his contribution is in dispute. It is ranked 23rd on the Rolling Stone article "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" as well as fifth on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. The song placed second on CBC's 50 Tracks. Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000. The song was recorded on 18 October 1965, and was complete except for the instrumental bridge. At that time, Lennon had not decided what instrument to use, but he subsequently asked George Martin to play a piano solo, suggesting "something Baroque-sounding". Martin wrote a Bach-influenced piece that he found he could not play at the song's tempo. On 22 October, the solo was recorded at half-tempo (one octave lower) and tape speed was doubled for the final recording, solving the performance challenge and giving the piano solo a unique, harpsichord-like timbre.

It is my favourite Beatles track by some considerable distance. It seems to cleverly include all that was unique about the group in their early years - thanks to George Martin's remarkable production, but the group were changing from the simple foursome into major musicians capable of composing pop classics. I look upon "In My Life" as representative of that change in it's early stages. A great song by a great British group - the most successful of them all.

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It would be unforgivable of me not to include this most classic of tracks by one of the 20th Centuries most gifted vocalists. Those wonderful warm tones wrap themselves around Irving Gordon's magical melody.

This most popular version of the song was first recorded by Nat "King" Cole in 1951, with an arrangement written by Nelson Riddle. It was also the feature track on the 1954 10" LP of the same name. Nat again recorded the tune in 1961, this time in a stereo version of the Riddle arrangement, for the album "The Nat King Cole Story".

In 1991, Nat's 1961 recording of the song was edited and remixed to create a duet with his daughter, Natalie, which won three awards at the Grammy Awards of 1992 - Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.

Nat "King" Cole's original recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. A fitting tribute to both a marvellous song and a truly magnificent singer. Yes, "Unforgettable" indeed.

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In 1962, shortly after leaving school, the late Clifford T. Ward (1944-2001) formed a beat band 'Cliff Ward and The Cruisers'. The band was popular in Birmingham and also in demand at American Army bases in France. It was during this time abroad that Ward wrote "Home Thoughts From Abroad" (a song that would later appear on his second solo album and also as the B-side of "Gaye"). In the mid 1960s and after several member changes, the group was re-named 'Martin Raynor and The Secrets' with Ward in the role of the elusive Raynor. The fictitious name was soon dropped and the band continued on as 'The Secrets', and went on to tour around Britain and France, achieving moderate success. Along the way, six singles were recorded by the group (ten of the songs penned by Ward himself), though these made little impact.

In 1968, following the demise of The Secrets, Ward decided he needed to get a 'real job', and so spent the following three years at a teacher training college, ultimately finding employment at nearby North Bromsgrove High School, teaching English and drama. The children heard singing on Ward's early albums were from North Bromsgrove High School. In his spare time, he continued songwriting and recorded his first solo album Singer Songwriter. His first album, "Singer Songwriter", was released in 1972 on Dandelion Records (a label formed by the late disc jockey John Peel) just before it went into liquidation. As a result, the album received little media coverage and went largely unnoticed. Signing a new recording contract with Charisma Records, Ward went on to have a hit with the single "Gaye". It sold over a million copies worldwide and reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1973.

In July 1973, following the success of "Gaye", Ward's second album "Home Thoughts" achieved healthy sales and reached number 40 in the UK Albums Chart. At this point, wanting to concentrate on music full time, he gave up the teaching profession. He made a rare public appearance in August, performing "Gaye" on Top of the Pops. In January 1974 Ward entered the singles chart again at number 37 with "Scullery", a track from his third album "Mantle Pieces". Subsequent singles were loved by countless presenters and programmers but Ward never made it into the UK charts again. It was said that he would have had more commercial success were it not for his dislike of touring, public appearances, interviews and photo shoots.

"The Best Is Yet To Come", from the album "Both of Us", enjoyed success when covered by Justin Hayward, but I really prefer Clifford's beautiful original version, and I am proud to feature this lovely track here. His songs, which have strong melodies and concise, original lyrics, were also recorded by Cliff Richard, Jack Jones and Art Garfunkel.

In 1984 Ward was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis. He continued to record and write songs while living at home being cared for by his wife, Pat. In 1994, Ward was interviewed by a local paper where he told its reporter that, "I have not and will not come to terms with this illness. There are times - usually quite late at night - when I'm almost normal again. But unless they find a cure for this dreadful MS, then I don't see a future." He recorded his eleventh and what would be his last new album, "Julia And Other New Stories", crawling on all fours into his home-based recording studio to finish it. At around the same time, a stage musical, "Shattered World", was produced as a tribute to him, based on his life and his battle against MS. Half of the songs were Ward's own and half were numbers written by others about him. In the winter of 2001, he fell ill from pneumonia and entered a hospital. He died there a few weeks later on the morning of Tuesday December 18.

What Clifford would have gone on to achieve no-one will ever know, but he has most certainly has left behind a legacy of lovely songs most beautifully sung, and, amongst his fans - of which I am but one - a deep respect for a career that may well have progressed to much greater things - perhaps "The Best Was Yet To Come".

We all give thanks for the life and talent of Clifford T. Ward.

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The late, great Harry Chapin has been described as an acquired taste. Well, if that is the case, then I have most definitely acquired a taste for this storyteller extraordinaire. His many self-penned songs are more than just songs - they are novelettes, short stories which obviously are somewhat autobiographical. No-one could possibly make up the situations he sung about so descriptively and eloquently. From his debut with "W.O.L.D." as a morning DJ, through "Cat’s In The Cradle" - a lovely father/son prophesy to "Circle" (a song he penned which took the New Seekers to no.4 in the charts in the early 70‘s) Harry has enthralled millions of his fans with slice-of-life vignettes, mixing comedy with tragedy, bitterness with pretty tunes.

Born in Greenwich Village, New York in 1942, a son of a big-band drummer, he was a member of the Chapin Brothers together with younger siblings Tom and Steve, but really concentrated on his greatest talent - song-writing. A solo star from 1971, Harry went on to amass a catalogue of highly memorable compositions which delighted a growing army of fans. Unfortunately, Harry Chapin - a man who had such a caring nature and who was world famous for his many charity and benefit appearances - would not live to see the fulfilment of his life’s guiding theme, as he was tragically killed in a car crash on July 16th 1981.

This remarkable, beautiful song - released on the "Sequel" album - is very special to Chapin fans the world over (there really should be more of them) and it was used as the title of the 3-CD set of Harry's greatest work, released in 1999 together with a superb booklet touching on all aspects of the man's life and career. Harry - one of life's great story-tellers in song. Unique and irreplaceable, words often over-used in tribute to artistes of all genres - but in Harry's case, absolutely appropriate.

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I've always had a great deal of respect for David Bowie. It's like he's always been there! Never setting me wildly on fire, every now and again a track is played somewhere and I think, "hey, let's dig out that old CD of "Ziggy" and give a whirl! And then I know why he's remained so influential, so respected and so, well, untouchable really.

David Bowie, born David Robert Jones in 1947, is a rock musician who has also worked as an actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for five decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s, and is known for his distinctive voice and the intellectual depth of his work.

Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in July 1969, when the song "Space Oddity" reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era as the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single "Starman" and the album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars". The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation.

The "Ziggy Stardust" album, combining the hard rock elements of The Man Who Sold the World with the lighter experimental rock and pop of Hunky Dory, was released in June 1972. "Starman", issued as an April single ahead of the album, was to cement Bowie's UK breakthrough: both single and album charted rapidly following his July Top of the Pops performance of the song. The album, which would remain in the chart for two years, was soon joined there by the six-month-old Hunky Dory.

"Starman" is that most rare of things - a simple pop song transformed into a classic by a great arrangement, top class vocals and easily remembered lyrics. It conjures up indelible images of the early-70's - a unique and unfathomable time for me personally. Not the magic of the 60’s but still something rather special in my life. Yes, that’s what “Starman” does. Thanks, David!

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Goodness me. The Drifters - where do I start to tell the story of my long-lasting love of this most enigmatic of pure-American vocal groups? I was familiar with many of their songs, but it always seemed that a British cover version by some lesser lights managed to take the songs into our charts! But I suppose it was Ben E. King who really awakened my interest, although I was aware of the group in the late 50’s. I loved King’s voice and unique delivery.

To chose a song (or two) to represent the group’s vast and varied catalogue in my Top 100 isn’t easy as there are so bloomin’ many spread over many years, with many lead vocalists to be considered. There are numerous classic tracks which actually did hit the UK charts, but this song is very special to me personally. "I Don't Want To Go On Without You" is a soul ballad written by Bert Berns and Jerry Wexler and produced by Bert Berns for The Drifters in 1964. Originally intended to be the A-side to "Under The Boardwalk," the song was recorded in May 1964 under the direction of songwriter and producer Bert Berns. After the death of The Drifters' lead singer, Rudy Lewis, who unexpectedly died of a heroin overdose the night before, the song was led by long-time Drifters tenor Charlie Thomas.

“Under The Boardwalk” was also set to be recorded on that fateful May day in 1964, but Lewis had sung lead on all of their hits since the 1960 departure of Ben E. King, including "Up on the Roof". Rather than reschedule the studio session to find a new front-man, former Drifters lead vocalist Johnny Moore was brought back to perform lead vocals for the recording. The last-minute move was a success, as the single, released on Atlantic Records, went to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and number one for three non consecutive weeks on Cashbox Magazine's R&B chart. It was a very small hit in the UK - reaching no.45 here in the Autumn of 1964. So, it was “Boardwalk” which was the hit and I love it, but somehow the flip-side, "I Don't Want To Go On Without You" does it for me. It’s a classy, sad performance by an under-rated member of the group.

Here’s a little more about the history of the group, mainly taken from the extensive entry on Wikipedia. The Drifters are a long-lived American doo wop/R&B vocal group with a peak in popularity from 1953 to 1962, though several splinter Drifters continue to perform today. They were originally formed to serve as Clyde McPhatter's (of Billy Ward & the Dominoes) backing group in 1953. Rolling Stone magazine states that the Drifters were the least stable of the vocal groups due to being low-paid hired musicians of their management. The Treadwell Drifters website states that there have been 60 vocalists in the history of the Treadwell Drifters line. Several splinter groups by former Drifters members add to the count. Only one splinter Drifters group features a classic Drifters member, Charlie Thomas' Drifters. Nevertheless, there are two versions of the Drifters that are notable. The first classic Drifters formed by Clyde McPhatter was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as "The Drifters" or "The Original Drifters". The second Drifters formed by Treadwell featuring Ben E. King was separately inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as Ben E. King and the Drifters. In their induction, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eclectically selected four members from the classic Drifters, two from the second Drifters, and one from the post-King Treadwell Drifters. According to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, "Through turmoil and changes the (original) Drifters managed to set musical trends and give the public 13 chart hits, most of which are legendary recordings today."

Treadwell owned the rights to the name "Drifters", and still had a year's worth of bookings for the Apollo when he fired the group. In the summer of 1958, he approached Lover Patterson, the manager of The Five Crowns featuring lead singer Ben E. Nelson, better known by his later stage name of Ben E. King. The new line-up consisted of King (lead tenor), Charlie Thomas (tenor), Doc Green (baritone), and Elsbeary Hobbs (bass). James "Poppa" Clark was the fifth "crown"; he was not included due to an alcohol problem, which Treadwell had considered to be a problem with the first group. The group went out on the road to tour for almost a year. Since this new group had no connection to the prior Drifters, they often played to hostile audiences.

This new lineup, widely considered the "true" golden age of the group, released several singles with King on lead that became chart hits. "There Goes My Baby", the first commercial rock-and-roll recording to include a string orchestra, was a Top 10 hit, and number 193 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. "Dance with Me" followed, and then "This Magic Moment" . "Save the Last Dance for Me" reached no.1 on the U.S. pop charts and no. 2 in the UK. This was followed by "I Count The Tears." This version of The Drifters was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 as Ben E. King and the Drifters. The writeup indicates an award primarily as a tribute to Ben E. King with a nod to his time in The Drifters, with only one of five paragraphs exclusively devoted to The Drifters, though Charlie Thomas was also cited by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame's induction of the original Drifters, which technically was only through 1958).

With this brief golden age lasting only two years, personnel changes quickly followed. King was only able to record with the group for about a year. Johnny Lee Williams, who sang lead on "True Love, True Love", the flipside of "Dance with Me", handled the vocals on tour along with Charlie Thomas. When the group passed through Williams' hometown of Mobile, Alabama, Williams left the group. When King asked Treadwell for a raise and a fair share of royalties, a request that wasn't honored, he left and began a successful solo career. Williams left at the same time, and new lead Rudy Lewis (of The Clara Ward Singers) was recruited. Lewis led the Drifters on hits such as "Some Kind Of Wonderful", "Please Stay" and "On Broadway", which reached no. 5 on the U.S. pop singles chart and no. 4 on the U.S. R&B singles chart in 1962. Lewis was also named in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Drifters induction.

Hobbs was drafted for military service and eventually replaced by the returning Tommy Evans (from the first group). Green left in 1962 and was replaced by Eugene Pearson (of The Rivileers and The Cleftones). Evans left again in 1963 and was replaced by Johnny Terry, an original member of James Brown's singing group, The Famous Flames ,(who was co-writer of their first hit, Please Please Please). After his military service and a failed solo career, Johnny Moore returned in 1964, making the group a quintet of Moore, Thomas, Lewis, Pearson, and Perry. Later that year, the group was scheduled to record "Under the Boardwalk" on May 21. However, Rudy Lewis died the night before the session, and Johnny Moore took over as the sole lead (he and Lewis had been alternating). Terry was replaced in 1966 by Dan Dandridge for a couple of months, then by William Brent, who had been with Johnny Moore in the Hornets in 1954. Gene Pearson was replaced by Rick Sheppard that same year. By late 1966, baritone/bass Bill Fredricks replaced William Brent. Charlie Thomas, the group's last member from the Five Crowns, left in mid-1967 and was replaced by Charles Baskerville, a former member of The Limelites. Baskerville stayed only a short time. It was in 1972 that The Drifters quietly left the talent roster of Atlantic artists.

What an amazing story - truly one of the most unique in the history of American music. I still love all the varied material the group produced and it’s fascinating listening to many of their discs today, tying it in with all the facts on the many vocalists. One group? More like 10 - that’s the incredible Drifters!!!

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Originally released as a track on Gene's "Just One Smile" album on the Stateside label in the autumn of 1967, this song had always been a very strong Pitney favourite of mine and I was surprised and delighted that it was finally released in the UK as a single some 6 years later. It charted at the end of April in 1973 but was only a minor hit, staying in the charts for just 7 weeks, reaching no. 34 before slipping away. 18 months later Gene had his final solo hit in this country with "Blue Angel".
The song showcased Gene's strong vocal talent - he hit those high notes with his usual effortless ease. The man was a massive star at the time of British domination on both sides of the Atlantic and charted regularly. He shared the bill on many Package Tours of the UK with lesser artists topping the bill on a number of occasions, but he didn't seem to mind! Loved by male and female fans alike for his classy look the impressive delivery of his vast library of hit songs, Mr Pitney stood for all that was good coming out of the States, musically. I look back with great affection to the late 60's and Gene Pitney's appearances on stage and on television. He was sheer class!

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