Sandy Posey

Born in Jasper, Alabama, in June of 1944, Sandra Lou Posey moved to Memphis in her teens. Upon leaving school, she was employed as a receptionist at a recording studio.

Sandy’s talents as a vocalist led her into the field of recording. Firstly, as a session singer during which time she supported artists such as Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Tommy Roe, Joe Tex and Bobby Goldsboro.

Once she was signed up to sing by MGM Records, her recording career as a solo artist began. In all, Sandy Posey was to release four singles that were destined to become hits. Each single possessed a similar theme. A theme that, in some quarters, was perceived to be an anti-feminist one.

“Born A Woman” — for which Sandy was nominated for a Grammy Award — reached No.12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, in August of 1966. It achieved varying degrees of success internationally, for example in Britain it peaked at No.24 while in Australia it rose to No.3.

Sandy’s follow-up, “Single Girl”, again reached No.12 in her homeland and No.3 in Australia whilst, in Britain, it was to become her most successful release when it climbed to No.15. Both singles had emanated from the pen of Martha Sharp, who, too, was to turn to recording, in later years.

In 1967, the third single, “What A Woman In Love Won’t Do”, written by John D. Loudermilk, performed moderately by comparison, and it was left to “I Take It Back” to return Sandy to No.12 in America, in the middle of that year. Each of the first three songs had spawned an album which bore the same name as the single that had preceded it, and, “I Take It Back” continued this trend.

The expiration of Sandy Posey’s contract with MGM resulted in somewhat of a hiatus in her career. However, in 1971, she reappeared, as a country artist, having been signed to record by Columbia Records. Despite Sandy’s career in country being a relatively lengthy one, it became sporadic as she moved from label to label. None of her singles between 1971 and 1983 performed outstandingly well, with her most successful being her initial entry, “Bring Him Safely Home To Me”, which reached its zenith at No.18, early in 1972.

 

Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock

Billy Wayne Craddock was born in North Carolina, in June of 1939. At the age of six he had learned how to play the guitar and prior to reaching his teens had made a name for himself via a contest that showcased local talent.

Having been given the nickname, ‘Crash’, which reportedly related to his style of play in the arena of football, Billy formed a rockabilly band, The Four Rebels. His performances bore the influence of the legends of country, most notably Hank Williams and Ray Price. However, when he was signed to record for Columbia Records, in 1958, he became marketed as an idol to teenagers and recorded tracks that were aimed at appealing to them.

Try as he and Columbia might, to win over the American teenagers, Billy’s only entry to the singles chart was the plaintive “Don’t Destroy Me”, in November of 1959. Even then the single appeared for just one week, at No.94. Nevertheless, his recordings were receiving airplay in Australia and in December of that same year “Boom Boom Baby” entered the Top 40 at No.26 and for three weeks, from the 9th of January in 1960, sat atop the chart.

To capitalise on his initial success there, ‘Crash’ Craddock toured Australia with such stars as The Everly Brothers and Bobby Rydell. “I Want That” followed “Boom Boom Baby” and reached No.3 before “Well Don’t You Know” peaked at No.8.

“One Last Kiss” entered the Australian chart, in February of 1961, and spent a week at No.1 in March of that year. I have always found it somewhat incredulous that recordings of this calibre, being such prime examples of early rock, did not feature on the charts of Billy’s homeland.

Because of this continued lack of success on a much more lucrative market, Billy resorted to working at menial jobs until the opportunity arose for him to seek success within the sphere that initially influenced him as a lad.

Between 1971 and 1989 Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock entered Billboard’s country chart with forty-one singles. Of these, three ascended to sit at No.1: “Rub It In”, in 1974, “Ruby Baby” in 1975 and “Broken Down In Tiny Pieces”, in 1977.

“Ruby Baby” was a cover of an early composition by the legendary pairing of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, which had originally reached No.10 on America’s rhythm and blues chart for The Drifters, in 1956. Dion had also taken the song to No.5 (R&B) and No.2 (pop) in 1963.

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