Newsletter for July 2018

BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, JULY 8th 2018
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, AUGUST 5th, 2018 THE FIRST SUNDAY

THIS MONTH’S MEETING

We really heard some rare music played last month thanks to Bob Friedman. Bob loves the Doo Wop and group harmony sounds and played many we’ve never heard before. Some of them coming from as far back as the late 1930’s. Thanks, Bob. We’ll have to do it again soon to hear the other platters you didn’t get to.

This month is mainly a work month. We will be getting our postcards ready to send out that advertise our upcoming record show in August. Putting address labels and stamps on over 1200 postcards is the order of business. Be there to help if possible. We will also have some announcements concerning our 2018 BRC Hall of Fame Class and a special guest expected to be at the record show selling their book and signing autographs.

BERTRAND RUSSELL ‘BERT’ BERNS

Recently I did an article about who did it first, listing hit songs that were not originally done by the artist who made it a hit. One of the names that kept coming up as a composer was Bert Burns. Burns also wrote as Bert Russell and Russell Byrd. He was one of the many writers who worked at the Brill Building in New York City. He composed some of his famous songs along with Jerry Ragovoy who I will mention more about in another newsletter.

If you are one who looks at composers on a 45 you may not be surprised at the following list of songs that Burns wrote. I am one who over the past 10 or so years looks at composers names more often. I have seen Bert Berns/Russell but never put all the titles together until recently. Check out his who’s who of hits.

‘Twist & Shout’ – # 17 Pop & # 2 R&B. Isley Brothers. Recorded originally by The Top Notes and later recorded by The Beatles on their 1st LP. Their single went to # 2.

‘Piece of My Heart’ – # 62 Pop & # 10 R&B. Erma Franklin. Recorded later by Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin).
# 12 Pop. Rolling Stones Magazine’s # 353 of all-time 500 great songs.

‘Here Comes the Night’ – # 2 Pop. Them (Van Morrison). Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) played guitar on the recording. Lulu released a version at the same time making the UK charts at # 50.

‘Hang on Sloopy’ – # 1 Pop. The McCoys. Originally recorded by The Vibrations as ‘My Girl Sloopy’, their version charting at # 26 Pop & #10 R&B. The story goes that the Strangeloves (‘I Want Candy’) had recorded the backing tracks for the song and Rick Derringer (McCoys guitarist and lead vocals) was brought in to sing the vocals over the already recorded musical parts.

‘A Little Bit of Soap’ – # 12 Pop & # 7 R&B. The Jarmels. Covers of the song made the charts at least five other times.

‘Cry to Me’ – # 44 Pop & # 5 R&B. Solomon Burke. It is said the Burke, a preacher, always had his pulpit in the recording studios. After ‘Cry to Me’ was released, Burke became one of the first to be called a soul singer. The song has been covered many times including Betty Harris, The Pretty Things, and The Rolling Stones.

‘Cry Baby’ – # 4 Pop & # 1 R&B. Garnet Mimms. Janis Joplin covered the song on her Pearl LP. A single from the LP charted at # 42.

Quickly here are other compositions from Bert Berns/Russell. ‘Tell Him’, The Exciters. ‘One Way Love’, The Drifters. ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’, Solomon Burke. ‘Baby Let Me Take You Home’, The Animals. ‘Are You Lonely for Me Baby’, Freddie Scott (backing vocals by Cissy Houston and The Sweet Inspirations). And most of the songs listed were produced by Berns as well. Not bad for a Jewish boy of Russian heritage who contracted rheumatic fever as a child and died at age 38 due to heart complications from the disease. His influence was the black and Latino music heard in his neighborhood. He would go dancing in local mambo nightclubs and even visited Cuba before their revolution. Thanks to Bert for all those great songs.
My Life Has Now Come Full Circle
(written and contributed by Paperboy)

Do you remember Saturday Night Date Night in the early to mid 1960’s?

I drive up to my date/girlfriend’s house, park, walk up on the front porch and ring the door bell. Her mother or father opens the door and asks me to come in because “she’s not ready.” Her parents are watching black and white TV and a group of singers are singing a “catchy” song. “Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Pleasant Dreams to you.” The Lawrence Welk Singers are closing his Saturday night TV Show. After the show ends, your date comes in and you take her hand and leave for the evening.
Fast forward for 40+ years. It’s Saturday night again, and I am walking down the hallway at the Nursing Home where my mother is a resident. I am coming to visit and bring her some things. I notice most of the resident’s doors are open, and I hear again that catchy Lawrence Welk Singers song; “Good Night, Sleep Tight and Pleasant Dreams to You.” They all are watching The Lawrence Welk Show, and my mother is to. But this time, its in color.
Fast forward again to last Saturday night. I am going through the channels, and stop when I hear the Lawrence Welk Singers singing “Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Pleasant Dreams to You.” These people haven’t changed at all in over 50 years. Then I realize, I’m watching The Lawrence Welk Show. My Life has now come full circle, and I have become my parents!

And so until we meet again, Adios, Au Revior, Auf Weidersehen. Good Night. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4sBV8YAlg

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE BRC MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTION

This year our induction ceremony will take place at Champy’s Restaurant in Muscle Shoals, AL on Tuesday, August 28th starting at 7:00PM. We have three inductees who all have contributed to the music scene in and around recording studios in the Muscle Shoals area so where would be a better place to have this take place. Champy’s has for a long time had live music including having HOF member Travis Wammack as a regular. I have been up there to see Travis and his band and you never know, being in Muscle Shoals who may be in house and introduced and most likely called up on stage to play or sing. I will need to give the manager at Champy’s a head-count from the BRC membership who plan to attend so be on alert so that when I ask you will be included if you plan to attend. Names of inductees will be in the August newsletter when things are finalized.

HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
‘Tick Tick Tock’
Teddy & The Continentals
(1961)

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS HIT?
‘Meet Me At Twistin’ Place’
Johnnie Morisette
(1962 – # 63 Pop – # 18 R&B written by Sam Cooke)

Happy Fourth of July! See ya,

Charlie

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