BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, MAY 6th 2018
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, June 10th, 2018 THE SECOND SUNDAY
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
Everyone really enjoyed the video we watched last month of Sammy Salvo and his brother George. A very informative and interesting interview. Thanks to Sammy and George for taking time out of their day to do it and thanks to BRC members, Ray, Don, and John for putting it together.
This month we will have BRC Music HOF member Bunky Anderson as our guest speaker. Be sure to be there to hear Bunky tell about his career in the music business. I know you’ll be surprised to hear all that he has done.
WHO’S ON FIRST OR IN THIS CASE, WHO DID IT FIRST
When looking over the great line-up of hit recordings we remember, many times we are prone to think that the singer, singers, or group did such a fine job that the song was written for them or maybe even written by them. But when you start really looking into the history of recorded music you fine that many times it was not the case. What I thought I’d do this month is mention a few popular recordings and the recording history behind them. In some of the cases the original is from an LP, a 45 that didn’t make it or a flip side of a 45 and sometimes the original recording is really just a demo tape that may have never been intended for release anyway.
Let’s start with a major hit for Otis Redding – ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. When you listen to his version you may think the song was written for him. He, at least for the listeners of 1966, owned the song and did the quintessential recording. But before Otis the song had been released at least 46 times and was first recorded in 1932. The Ray Noble Orchestra (with Val Rosing doing the vocals) was the first and the song has been recorded by at least 160 artists over the years. Some notables that did the song before Otis include Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, The Platters, Sammy Davis, Jr, Jackie Wilson, Connie Francis, Paul Peterson, Aretha Franklin, and Brook Benton. By the way, Booker T & The M G’s backed Otis with Issac Hayes putting together the arrangement.
I suppose when the song ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ is brought to mind we think of Glen Campbell. Again, was it written in the studio for him? Did he have an input? Who else could have made it ‘their song’? Well, although Glen was the second to record it, it was a year after Johnny Rivers did the song for his 1966, Changes LP. Give his version a listen. I think you’ll like it.
Elvis did a lot of recordings of songs that were written for him but he did many more covers. One cover was ‘(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame’. The original recording of this # 1 hit for Elvis was done six weeks earlier by Del Shannon. It was included on the Runaway With Del Shannon LP.
The Animals had a big hit with the Mann/Weil song, ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’. Although their recording was the first to be released, Barry Mann did the original recording as a demo. He sang and played piano. It was said to have been written for the Righteous Brothers but his demo was liked so much that the people at Red Bird Records asked him to release it. But before he could do so, the Animals producer, Mickie Most had the group record it and it was released.
The Swingin’ Medallions broke into the charts big time with their version of ‘Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love)’. It charted at #17 on Billboard although many radio stations banned the song due to references to sex and drinking. But over two years earlier it was recorded by Dick Holler & The Holidays and released on the Comet label.
What a hit ‘Johnny Angel’ was for Shelley Fabares going all the way to # 1 in 1962. Shelley was the third person to record the song. About two years before her version was released, Georgia Lee released it on Decca. The same year Georgia’s version was released Laurie Loman’s version was released on ABC Paramount. The song was due to be a hit sooner or later but it was Shelley’s version that caught the public’s attention.
OK, here’s one that is hard to follow but researchers say that the history of the record goes this way. One of the all time girl group/wall of sound hits was the Crystals, ‘He’s A Rebel’. It was a song written for the Shirelles by Gene Pitney (he is one guy that was all over the place in the music business). They turned it down. Liberty Records was going to have Vikki Carr release it as her debut. Phil Spector wanted the Crystals to do it and have it on the shelves before Liberty could get it ready. With the Crystals on tour Spector brought in the Blossoms, with Darlene Love on lead, to record it. It was pressed and released giving the Crystals the credit. The Blossoms were paid for the session but that was about it. Love says the group got triple scale. Oh, by the way, the Vikki Carr version reached # 115 in the US.
I can remember when ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’ came out and signaled the Supremes breakup with Diana Ross going solo. The song pretty much fit the occasion. You would have thought someone at Motown wrote it for them. But long before Diana Ross recorded the song (solo, without Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong) it was recorded and released by Johnny & Jacky for the Tri-Phi label. Their version only made the airwaves mainly in the Midwestern US. Upon purchasing Tri-Phi, Motown executives were planning on having Jr Walker do a version. Tracks had been recorded even with background vocals when Berry Gordy heard the song and decided to have Diana Ross release it.
The list goes on and on so I will continue this segment in the June newsletter. If you have any you would like to share please send them to me.
GET WELL SOON
We send our well wishes to BRC member Don Campbell who has going through heart surgery recently. Don is an integral part of the club and we hope he gets well soon.
Check out our old and NEW BRC Radio shows . Send us your requests. Check out the music and fun on BRC Radio! http://www.birminghamrecord.com/brc/category/radio/
BRC Record & CD Show
Our 34th annual record & Cd show is just 3 months away. August 17, 18,19. Gardendale Civic Center. Please make plans to attend and volunteer to help where needed. Once again it looks like we will sell all tables. We expect another ‘really big show’. Be there.
In last month’s newsletter there was a mistake in wording. Where the term ‘Don’t Drop Out’ was used on the Swan label the newsletter stated the label wanted kids to ‘stray in school’. Probably a Freudian slip on my part since I did stray in school. Anyway it should have said ‘stay in school’. I have talked to our editor, writer, typist, and proof reader to be sure mistakes aren’t made in the newsletter again. Good help is hard to find.
HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
(1958 – United Artists 132)
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS HIT?
(# 19 – Pop #2 – R&B – 1960)