BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, MAY 7th 2017
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, JUNE 11th, 2017 THE SECOND SUNDAY
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
Many thanks to Henry Lovoy for being with us at last month’s meeting. The stories he told about his career in the music business were fantastic. Being on the same bill and sharing the stage with the likes of The Who, Herman’s Hermits, Spirit, Bob Seger, The Allman Brothers, Mitch Ryder, and backing Jayne Mansfield’s are memories Henry will always remember. And the beat goes on for Henry as he is still active with a band even now. Six decades of playing music. Not many can say that.
Be there for our May meeting as BRC member Andy Millard will be with us to introduce and discuss his recently released book, Magic City Nights, a historical journey through the music scene here in Birmingham beginning in the 50’s and going through current times. I believe you will find the book a very interesting read if you have an interest in early rock, the bands from this area that were a part of it, or just enjoy hearing stories from band members. Readers will see that Andy did a lot of research and did a great job to write a history of this areas music history. Magic City Nights has been released and Andy will have copies to sell. The cost will be $25.
If it’s May then Mother’s Day is right around the corner. As I consider that I thought of some of the recording stars who have mother’s that have a well known legacy themselves. How about Terry Melcher. Melcher was mainly a producer having produced the first two Byrds LP’s, most of Paul Revere & The Raiders hits, several Beach Boy’s singles during the 80’s-90’s including ‘Kokomo’, and was the producer of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. He also recorded with Bruce Johnston as Bruce & Terry and was producer for the Rip Chords. After two releases one of the members left so Melcher and Johnston sang as ‘ghost singers’ receiving no credits. The song, ‘Hey Little Cobra’ went to #4. Now about Melcher’s mom, she was Doris Day. I think everyone knows about her.
Another performer with a famous mom would be Desi of the band, Dino, Desi, and Billy. The guys were just 12 and 13 years old when they had the # 17 hit, ‘I’m A Fool’. Due to their famous parents, more in a moment, their first audition was for Frank Sinatra. At most of their recording sessions they sang but top session musicians played instruments. They also had top-notch producers such as Lee Hazelwood, Billy Strange, and Jimmy Bowen. Song writers were well known also, Hazelwood, David Gates, and Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. During their time together the group opened for Paul Revere and the Raiders, Tommy Roe, Sam The Sham, Lovin’ Spoonful, and The Mamas and the Papas. Now Desi had the famous mom that we are zeroing in on but Dino had of course Dean Martin as his father. Desi of course was the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. What about Billy? Not the blood-line the other two had but he did well for himself over the years in the business. He worked as a session player with the Beach Boys and toured with them during the late 60’s, He also did some background vocals for Elton John, Joan Jett, Warren Zevon, and America. His sister by the way was married to Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys.
Ricky Nelson’s mom came into many of our living rooms via the TV set during 50’s and 60’s. The TV show ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ brought us a real live family which included the couple plus their sons, David and Ricky. It all started on the radio with Ozzie and Harriet and two actors as the voices for the boys as they were too young but on February 20, 1949 the boys ages 12 and 8 made their appearance. On October 10, 1952 the TV show aired and stayed until April 23, 1966. Ricky got his start as a singer on the show on April 10, 1957 singing Fats Domino’s ‘I’m Walkin’. Ricky’s mom, Harriet made her vaudeville appearance at age three and did Broadway while in her teens. She met Ozzie while still doing vaudeville in 1932 and the two married. Ozzie was band leader and sax player.
Cissy Houston began as a gospel singer at age 5 with other members of her family. She would go on to record as a R&B and soul singer. An original member of the Sweet Inspirations, along with Doris Troy and cousin Dee Dee Warwick. They provided backup for Otis Redding, Wilson Picket, Lou Rawls, The Drifters, Dusty Springfield, Elvis, Aretha Franklin, and cousin Dionne Warwick. She would also win two Grammy Awards for her gospel work. She formed the Sweet Inspirations when she was expecting a child. That child would be Whitney Houston who had a career in music that left many hit records and Grammy Awards of her own. Mom, I’m sure had an influence on Whitney’s path to stardom.
John ‘Bucky’ Wilkin was Ronny of Ronny and the Daytonas. His mom had quite a legacy herself as a songwiter. Marijohn Wilkin was composer of such songs as ‘Waterloo’, ‘The Long Black Veil’, ‘Cut Across Shorty’, and the gospel standard, ‘One Day At A Time’. In 1975 she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Her son Ronny and his group, which was managed by Bill Justis had the hit, ‘GTO’ and two other minor hits.
Liza Minnelli’s career began on Broadway as a singer, dancer, and actress. She is one of the few performers who have won a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and Oscar. Her mother of course was Judy Garland. Judy’s career began as a child actress, singing and dancing in many, many movies over the years. I remember her most for her singing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in The Wizard of Oz. That performance was to be cut from the film because MGM head man, Louis B. Mayer and producer Mervyn LeRoy thought it slowed the picture down. I can’t imagine the picture without that song.
Well, I’m sure I left off many mother/child stardom connections, Dottie West / Shelly West, Mae Axton / Hoyt Axton (mom was a songwriter who co-wrote ‘Heartbreak Hotel’), but you get the idea. Happy Mother’s Day to all those out there. Next month we’ll check out some famous performers and their famous dads – send me some you may know.
GIP’S JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL
Gip’s 2nd annual festival will be this Saturday, May 6th at the Bessemer Civic Center. Doors open at 11:00 AM with music beginning around 12:30. The festival goes on till 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15 at the door but can be bought now for $10. Call Tom at 205-529-3003 for more info.
We send along our deepest sympathy to the Jerry Parsons family. Jerry spend many years as an officer for BRC and worked hard getting things ready for our annual show each year as our dealer rep. He passed away on Saturday, April 22 at the age of 71. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
# 90 – 1961 (written by Roy Orbison)