The Bobby Fuller Four

Robert Gaston Fuller was born in Texas, in October of 1942. Robert, along with his brother, Randy, participated in a number of disparate bands.

“Bobby” Fuller moved to Los Angeles, in 1964, with his band, The Bobby Fuller Four. Bobby was its vocalist and also played the guitar. Just as his idol and fellow Texan, the late Buddy Holly, had done.

The group was signed to record for Mustang Records and, in January of 1966, what was to be its biggest hit entered Billboard’s Hot 100. “I Fought The Law” peaked at No.9. In Australia it only reached No.29 and, in Britain, No.33. The song had been written by Sonny Curtis, who introduced it to The Crickets, after he joined that group, in 1959, following the death of Buddy Holly.

The Bobby Fuller Four’s only other entry to the chart was “Love’s Made A Fool Of You”, a moderately successful cover of Buddy Holly’s recording.

The band disbanded shortly after the body of its leader was found, in his car, in July of 1966. Even to this day the cause of his death appears to be open to conjecture.

“I Fought The Law” was, in turn, covered by the English punk rock group, The Clash, in 1979.

Consecutive Centuries To Chappell: Monday, 23rd May, 1977

Despite the sunshine it was a cold nine degrees Celsius when we arose. At noon, “The Mike Walsh Show”, in the presence of a live audience, had among its guests Australian singers, Jamie Redfern and Ray Burgess. The latter, is the presenter of the pop series, “Flashez”, and sang “Gloria”, which was a hit in Australia, in 1965, for Them, a group, from Northern Ireland, led by Van Morrison. ‘Frankenstein’ came to life, however, when Mike Walsh pulled off its mask, it proved to be none other than the show’s resident larrikin, Mike Williams, whom, for whatever reason, is also regularly referred to as ‘Shirley Temple’. The irrepressible bandleader, Geoff Harvey, quaffed two glasses of champagne, served by a butler. Other guests included a lion cub, a seal called ‘Dopey’ and a penguin!

At three o’clock, Mannix looks for a Japanese courier, with the assistance of Tami Okada, a likeable Japanese private investigator.

“Flashez”, from half past five, is followed at six by “The Big Match”, in which Chelsea accounts for Hull City by four goals to nil. While still on the subject of soccer, Australian international, George Harris, who plays for St. George, in the Philips’ League, is interviewed on ATN Channel Seven’s “News” as a result of being unexpectedly struck above the right eye by a spectator at the conclusion to his side’s away game against Adelaide City.

“Michael Edgeley’s Circus Spectacular” was viewed from half past seven.

Australia defeated Gloucestershire by one hundred and seventy-three runs. Greg Chappell’s one hundred and two means that he has scored centuries in successive matches.

Deep Purple

Along with other British bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, Deep Purple is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal. The band formed in Hertford, England, in late 1967.

Initially, the rock group was called Roundabout and consisted of vocalist Rod Evans, bass guitarist Nick Simper, Hammond organist Jon Lord, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and drummer, Ian Paice. Nick had been a member of Johnny Kidd and The Pirates, which had taken “Shakin’ All Over” to No.1 on the British singles charts in the middle of 1960. He had also been in the car crash that claimed Johnny’s life, in 1966.

http://youtu.be/eLzqQupzzmA

It was Ritchie who suggested the name of Deep Purple for the band, for that was his grandmother’s favourite song. Among the band’s early recordings were “Hush”, a cover of the song from the pen of American singer/songwriter, Joe South and “Kentucky Woman”, which had already been a hit for its composer, Neil Diamond.

Rod Evans and Nick Simper departed from the Deep Purple, in 1969. Ian Gillan became the band’s new singer and Roger Glover, the new bassist.

In 1970, the group, sporting a new, more progressive sound took the single, “Black Night”, to No.2 in Great Britain. “Strange Kind Of Woman” (No.8, in 1971) and “Fireball” (No.15) came from the album, ‘Fireball’.

http://youtu.be/9ZpHl1x6JNc

In December of 1971, Deep Purple was in Switzerland preparing to record the album, ‘Machine Head’, when its members witnessed the fire that destroyed the Montreux Casino, situated across Lake Geneva. This event was to inspire the writing of “Smoke On The Water”, a single that was to sell well in the United States where it peaked at No.4. Deep Purple’s initial hit, “Hush”, had also reached its zenith there, in this same position, in 1968.

http://youtu.be/9f7LwuVF8Oo

Essentially, Deep Purple has primarily been a prolific producer and seller of albums. Sales in regard to these are in excess of one hundred million copies.

Deep Purple split up in 1976, only to re-form in 1984. The band continued to experience changes to its personnel although Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Ian Paice remained loyal for years to come.

“Strange Kind Of Woman” is listed amongst that of my favourite recordings. This is located in the suggested playlists. I shall be adding to this list it from time to time.

The McCoys

The Rick Z Combo formed in Indiana, in 1962. Thence this band became known as Rick and The Raiders before eventually evolving into the rock group, The McCoys. It was under this name that it experienced its initial and most successful hit, “Hang On Sloopy”, in 1965. This recording sold well in excess of a million copies.

http://youtu.be/Gi1WXYHHc2s

As the group sought to find sequential glory, it turned to reviving hits from the past. “Fever” had initially entered the charts for Little Willie John, in 1956 — two years before Peggy Lee’s definitive version — and “Come On Let’s Go” had meant success for the late Richie Valens, in 1958. “Fever” did rise as high as No.7 on Billboard’s pop chart for The McCoys but “Come On Let’s Go” could climb no higher than No.22, and was a sign of things to come.

http://youtu.be/saBtR_wv070

The B-side of “Fever”, “Sorrow”, was covered by the British male vocal duo, The Merseys, and peaked at No.4, in 1966, on the British singles charts. “Sorrow” was again revived, in 1973, this time by the significantly more famous David Bowie, who, on this occasion, took it to No.3 in Britain.

http://youtu.be/iDWCsp3Y-oU

“Hang On Sloopy” is just one title named in the list of my favourite recordings, located in the suggested playlists. I shall be adding to this list from time to time.

Chris Farlowe

John Henry Deighton was born in October of 1940, in London, England. As Chris Farlowe he became known for his singing of rock, blues and soul.

Being an admirer of Lonnie Donegan, his musical career began in a skiffle group. By 1965 he had recorded the first of what would be eleven singles. Five of these were to be covers of recordings by The Rolling Stones.

One of these five, “Out Of Time”, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richard, was destined to far outshine the other ten recordings, reaching No.1 on the British singles’ charts, in 1966, and No.12 in Australia.

http://youtu.be/zxerdh-3tc4

The names of more of my favourite recordings can be found in the suggested playlists. I shall be adding to this list from time to time.

Cream

Eric Clapton, the legendary blues guitarist, had played in The Yardbirds, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers prior to the formation of the trio, Cream. It was whilst playing with John Mayall that Eric met bassist, Jack Bruce and drummer, Ginger Baker.

This British trio was considered to be adventurous, even in the late 1960s, and quickly won a large following of devotees. However, the different temperaments within the group meant that, as an entity, it was to last for less than two years.

http://youtu.be/Cqh54rSzheg

“Sunshine Of Your Love”, “I Feel Free”, “Strange Brew” and “White Room” are the pick of Cream’s singles and of its albums, ‘Disraeli Gears’, is generally regarded as a classic.

Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett’s voice epitomised soul. A voice honed in travelling gospel groups; a voice that would cultivate what became known as the Scream.

Wilson was born in rural Alabama, in March of 1941. He was the fourth of eleven children whose future was totally dependant upon the crop, cotton.

In 1955, Wilson Pickett moved to Detroit where he lived with his father. It was there that he met the group, The Falcons, which contained Eddie Floyd among its members. Eddie was to write and record “Knock On Wood”, in 1966, the same song that Amii Stewart was to take to the top of the charts, in 1979, at the height of the disco era.

The Falcons modelled itself upon Hank Ballard and The Midnighters. Hank Ballard was to pen and record “The Twist”, in 1959, which, in 1960, Chubby Checker covered, and, in doing so, launched an international dance sensation.

“You’re So Fine” and “I Found A Love” were hits for The Falcons but Wilson was already aiming to become a solo artist. This aim, he thought, would come to fruition when he was signed to Atlantic Records, however, things did not work out, and it was not until 1965 when he moved to Memphis, to record in the Stax studio, that his goal began to take shape. “In The Midnight Hour” and “634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)” were among the tracks recorded there.

That following year, Wilson began recording in the famed Muscle Shoals studios, in Alabama. “Land Of 1000 Dances” topped the soul charts and rose to No.6 on the pop charts.

http://youtu.be/Kk4Uwge4DzQ

Wilson Pickett became an inductee into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, in 1991. His career received another boost from the film, ‘The Commitments’, in which he was viewed as the personification of soul. The film and its subsequent soundtrack introduced a new generation to songs such as “Mustang Sally”.

Wilson died from cardiac arrest in January of 2006, at the age of sixty-four.

The names of more recordings by Wilson Pickett can be found in the suggested playlists. While there, you may like to peruse the list of my favourite recordings. I shall be adding to it from time to time.

The Troggs

The Troggs became one of Britain’s most salient and distinctive bands of the mid-to-late 1960s. Unlike much of its material, the group did not write its initial hit, “Wild Thing”, which has been covered many times by artists as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Tommy Roe, Jeff Beck, The Runaways, The Creatures, Sam Kinison, and Tone Loc. The song was written by New Yorker, Chip Taylor, a brother to actor, Jon Voight. The recording of “Wild Thing” by The Troggs, in 1966, made the song an instant classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwRrXjWgkaY

The group arose from near the town of Winchester — famous for its cathedral — in southern England, and from 1966 until 1968 consisted of leading vocalist and the band’s principal songwriter, Reg Presley; guitarist, Chris Britton; bassist, Peter Staples and drummer, Ronnie Bond. “With A Girl Like You”, written by Reg, was the quartet’s follow-up to “Wild Thing”, and went to No.1 in Britain, as well as a number of European countries.

Reg Presley’s ability to write songs at either end of the musical spectrum is made no more stark than when one listens to the overtly sexual, “I Can’t Control Myself”, followed by the reflective poignancy of “Love Is All Around”. The latter has been revived by the likes of R.E.M. and the Scottish group, Wet Wet Wet. Unlike so many other artists in the retrospective 1990s, Wet Wet Wet’s cover was highly meritorious and spent fifteen weeks atop the British charts. What a pity so many other revivalists of that musically best-forgotten decade did not follow suit!

I have always thought that The Troggs’ “Little Girl” deserved to sell better than it did. Its controversial subject matter deals with having a child out of wedlock, and, in 1968, for this reason, was generally shunned by radio stations.

Reg Presley died in February of 2013, at the age of seventy-one.

The names of other tracks by The Troggs are available in the suggested playlists. A list of my favourite recordings can now be located in the suggested playlists.

The Rascals

I once heard it said that the years from 1964 to 1969 mark the most varied and innovative period in the history of popular music. For those of us who remember that period with clarity, it is difficult not to concur. These years were so musically unique and the quality of the songs being written, and subsequently recorded, so high, that the six were littered with what were termed ‘One Hit Wonders’: artists who failed to write or find another song of a sufficient standard as to enter or impact upon charts that were so brimful of talent.

The soul group, known as The Rascals, was no such ‘one hit wonder’. Formed by singer and organist, Felix Cavaliere, the band’s remaining members were singer, Eddie Brigati, Canadian guitarist, Gene Cornish, and drummer, Dino Danelli; it became the first all-white group to be signed to Atlantic Records.

The quartet jammed and wrote songs in 1964 and 1965, and by 1966 those who attended some of the more notable clubs in and around New York City were marvelling at the group’s showmanship and sensational sound. The band had been forced to change its name to The Young Rascals, in order to avoid the prospect of litigation being launched by a similarly named preexisting group. Nevertheless, eventually, the four were permitted to drop the word ‘Young’ from their title.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrCEEDyXYjE

The Rascals’ first hit of significance was “Good Lovin'”, in 1966, which had originally been released, one year earlier, by The Olympics. Five other such hits followed, the most prominent of which were “Groovin'”, “A Beautiful Morning” and “People Got To Be Free”.

Please, refer to the suggested playlists for the names of other tracks by The Young Rascals/The Rascals.

Clarence Clemons

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, in January of 1942, Clarence Clemons appeared destined for a career in sport, as opposed to one in rock and roll. This changed, however, when he received severe concussion in a car accident, which was to sideline him for two years, away from his beloved professional football.

Clarence had been playing the saxophone since the age of nine. He firstly became a member of Norman Seldin and The Joyful Noise, and it was while playing in Norman’s group that he met Bruce Springsteen. From there it was only a matter of time before Clarence joined Bruce’s E Street Band.

In 1983, Clarence found himself with some spare time and decided to embark upon his first recording as a solo artist. The result was the release of the album, ‘Rescue’, credited to Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers. From this LP came the single, “A Woman’s Got The Power”. The opening track, “Jump Start My Heart”, instantly reminds me of “Nutbush City Limits”. The last two tracks are the pick, “Savin’ Up”, written by Bruce Springsteen, and a cover of “Resurrection Shuffle”, which had originally been a hit for the British outfit Ashton, Gardner and Dyke, in 1971.

Two years later came Clarence’s second album, ‘Hero’, known best for his duet with Jackson Browne, “You’re A Friend Of Mine”. In my opinion it is a superior album to ‘Rescue’. The only track I wouldn’t care to listen to again is “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”, a cover of The Walker Brothers’ original from 1966. Some recordings are so good they just shouldn’t be revived!

Clarence passed away in June of 2011, at the age of sixty-nine. He had suffered a stroke a week before his death.

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