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“Neil Sedaka – Laughter In The Rain”

Rise to fame with RCA Victor: the late 1950s 

After graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School, Sedaka and some of his classmates formed a band called The Tokens. The band had minor regional hits with songs like “While I Dream”, “I Love My Baby”, “Come Back, Joe”, and “Don’t Go”, before Sedaka launched out on his own in 1957. Eventually, after a few personnel changes, in 1961, the Tokens hit No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts with the international smash “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Meanwhile, the very young Sedaka’s first three solo singles, “Laura Lee”, “Ring-a-Rockin'”, and “Oh, Delilah!” failed to become hits (although “Ring-a-Rockin'” earned him the first of many appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand), but they demonstrated his ability to perform as a solo singer, so RCA Victor signed him to a recording contract.

His first single for RCA Victor, “The Diary”, was inspired by Connie Francis, one of Sedaka and Greenfield’s most important clients, while the three were taking a temporary break during their idea-making for a new song. Francis was writing in her diary, Sedaka asked if he could read it, and Connie promptly replied with a “no.” After Little Anthony and the Imperials passed on the song, Sedaka recorded it himself, and his debut single hit the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 14 in 1958.

However, his next two singles did not fare so well. His second single, a novelty tune titled “I Go Ape”, just missed the Top 40, peaking at No. 42 but it became a more successful single in the United Kingdom with a No. 9. The third single, “Crying My Heart Out for You”, was a commercial failure, missing the Hot 100 entirely, peaking at No. 111 but it also became a very successful single on the pop charts in Italy with a No. 6. RCA Victor had lost money on “I Go Ape” and “Crying My Heart Out For You” and was ready to drop Sedaka from their label. But Sedaka’s manager, Al Nevins, persuaded the RCA executives to give him one last chance.

Knowing he would not get another chance if he failed again, and desperate for another hit, Sedaka himself bought the three biggest hit singles of the time and listened to them repeatedly, studying the song structure, chord progressions, lyrics and harmonies—and he discovered that the hit songs of the day all shared the same basic musical anatomy. Armed with his newfound arsenal of musical knowledge, he set out to craft his next big hit song, and he promptly did exactly that: “Oh! Carol” delivered Sedaka his first domestic Top 10 hit, reaching No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 1959 and going to No. 1 on the Italian pop charts in 1960, giving Sedaka his first No. 1 ranking. In the UK, the song spent a total of 17 weeks in the top 40, peaking at No. 3 (4 weeks).[5] In addition, the B-side, “One Way Ticket”, reached No. 1 on the pop charts in Japan. Sedaka had dated Carole King when he was still at high school, which gave him the idea to use her name in the song. Gerry Goffin – King’s husband – took the tune, and wrote the playful response “Oh! Neil”, which King recorded and released as an unsuccessful single the same year.[6][7][8][9] Thus, this was the only time the melody of the song was used by a popular artist and a future sensation around the same time.

Big hits in the early 1960s 

After establishing himself in 1958, Sedaka kept churning out new hits from 1960 to 1962. His flow of Top 30 hits during this period included: “Stairway to Heaven” (No. 9, 1960); “You Mean Everything to Me” (No. 17, 1960); “Run, Samson, Run” (No. 27, 1960); “Calendar Girl” (No. 4, 1961; also reached No. 1 on the Japanese and Canadian pop charts); “Little Devil” (No. 11, 1961); “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” (No. 6, 1961); his signature song, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (No. 1, two weeks: August 11 and 18, 1962); and “Next Door to an Angel” (No. 5, 1962). Singles not making the Top 30 during this period included “Sweet Little You” (No. 59, 1961) and “King of Clowns” (No. 45, 1962). RCA Victor issued four LPs of his works in the United States and Great Britain during this period, and also produced Scopitone and Cinebox videos of “Calendar Girl” in 1961, “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” in 1962, and “The Dreamer” in 1963. (His second LP was the only one made in the big band style with songs combined in a single record.) He made regular appearances on such TV programs as American Bandstand and Shindig! during this period.

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“Stevie Wonder – Blowin’ In The Wind”

“Blowin’ in the Wind” is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released as a single and on his album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war, and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

Blowin’ in the Wind” has been recorded by hundreds of artists. The most commercially successful version is by folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, who released the song in June 1963, three weeks after The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was issued. Albert Grossman, then managing both Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary, brought the trio the song which they promptly recorded (on a single take) and released. The trio’s version, which was the title track of their third album, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard charts. The group’s version also went to number one on the Middle-Road charts for five weeks.

Other notable recordings include those by Sielun Veljet, who released it as a single, and Stevie Wonder, whose version became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The Me First and the Gimme Gimmes’ version appears on their album Blow in the Wind, a play on the title of the song. Marlene Dietrich recorded a German version of the song (titled Die Antwort Weiss Ganz Allein Der Wind”) which peak at #32 in Germany charts.
Tore Lagergren wrote lyrics in Swedish, “Och vinden ger svar” (“and the wind gives answer”), which charted at Svensktoppen for two weeks in 1963, first as recorded by Otto, Berndt och Beppo, peaking at number 8 on October 12, and by Lars Lönndahl during November 9–15 with sixth & seventh position. Both were released on single A-es in 1963. This version was also recorded by Sven-Ingvars as the B-side of the single “Du ska tro på mej”, released in March 1967. With these lyrics, the song also charted at Svensktoppen in 1970, with Michael med Salt och peppar.
Glen Campbell recorded an instrumental version of the song for his 1964 album The Astounding 12-String Guitar of Glen Campbell.
Neil Young recorded an electric version of the song for his 1991 live album Weld_(album).
Dolly Parton recorded the song for her 2005 covers album Those Were the Days.
Steve Alaimo recorded the song in 1965. Despite his national presence on Where the Action Is, his version failed to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100. It did however reach #139 on Cashbox charts.
In some live performances, Pete Seeger includes an additional verse as a spoof which criticizes Dylan’s use of over-extended metaphors and wordiness. The verse is usually sung as follows,

“How many words can be written on a page, before they begin to bleed? How many books can one man own, before he has learned to read? How many meanings can he give to a phrase, before, from his lexicon he’s freed?”

 

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“Soul Survivors – Expressway To Your Heart”

“Soul Survivors – Expressway To Your Heart”

The Soul Survivors were an American, Philadelphia-based R&B group, founded by New York natives Richie and Charlie Ingui and Kenny Jeremiah, known for their 1967 hit single “Expressway to Your Heart“, which was the first hit by Philadelphia soul record producers and songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.[1]

History

The Soul Survivors first played together in New York under the name The Dedications, founded by member Kenny Jeremiah, who released several singles under this name in 1962 and 1964. They adopted the name Soul Survivors in 1965. They signed to Philadelphia label Crimson Records, who put them in touch with Gamble & Huff. “Expressway to Your Heart” was a #1 hit regionally in Philadelphia and New York in the fall of 1967, and the tune reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 nationally. “Expressway to Your Heart” spent 15 weeks in the charts and sold over one million copies.[1]

The follow-up was “Explosion in Your Soul,”[2] which was not as successful (U.S. #33); a third release, “Impossible Mission”, also was a minor hit in 1969 (U.S. #68). They quit playing for a few years, but re-formed with a different lineup in 1972. They had one more hit, “City of Brotherly Love” in 1974.[2] In the 1970s, the group lost its record contract and its manager and eventually disbanded.[3] Charlie Ingui became a landscaper, Richie Ingui became a house painter, Paul Venturini became a restaurateur, and drummer Joe Forgione owned an auto body shop.[3] In 1987, the Inqui brothers began playing occasional gigs as the original Soul Survivors and signed a five-record contract in 1991 with Society Hill Records.[3] As of 2006, they were playing occasional dates in the Eastern United States.

Chuck Trois also went on to release a solo 45 rpm single on A&M Records in August 1969, with “Mr. Holmes” on one side, and “A National Band” on the other.

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“The Beatles – Long and Winding Road (1970)”

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The Long and Winding Road” is a ballad written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) from the Beatles’ album Let It Be. It became the group’s 20th and last number-one song in the United States in June 1970,[2] and was the last single released by the quartet.

While the released version of the song was very successful, the post-production modifications by producer Phil Spector angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in court for breaking up the Beatles as a legal entity, he cited the treatment of “The Long and Winding Road” as one of six reasons for doing so. New versions of the song with simpler instrumentation were subsequently released by both the Beatles and McCartney.

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“Heart Full Of Love – The Invincibles” 

“Heart Full Of Love – The Invincibles” 
The Courtesy of Pinterest

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The Invincibles: Heart Full Of Love

Soulful soprano voices exist everywhere in Deep Soul music but few reach the stirringly emotional heights of this track from the LA group, The Invincibles. A few singles exist to their name (none being remotely affordable) but even fewer LPs. Well, to be precise, none.

Dave Richardson, Clifton Knight and Lester Johnson recorded their first few singles under Warner Bros. and their R&B subsidiary, Loma. “Heart Full of Love” is backed by and riddled with a noodling guitar of the sunny yet begging “I’ll Come Crawling” and then their relationship troubles continue with 1966’s deep anthem, “Can’t Win” about a guy whose done whatever it takes but just can’t seem to get there. Though these gems are extremely hard to acquire in their original forms,“Heart Full of Love” can be procured through the wonderfully out of print compilation, Soul Over The City, which spotlight’s a for favorites from the historic soul radio station KSOL of San Francisco. words / p dufrene

http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2015/09/17/the-invincibles-heart-full-of-love/

 

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“(OLIVIA ) LOST AND TURNED OUT – The Whispers”

“(OLIVIA ) LOST AND TURNED OUT – The Whispers”

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The Whispers are an American group from Los Angeles, California, who have scored hit records since the late 1960s. The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003,[1] and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008.[2] By popular vote, the group was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.[3]

Career
The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, California. The original members included twin brothers Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell. After being invited to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1966 by Sly Stone, the group relocated to that area where they began developing a reputation as a show-stopping live act. Walter Scott was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War during that period for eighteen months, returning to the group in 1969 after discharge. After Harmon injured his larynx in a driving accident in 1973, he was replaced by former Friends of Distinction member Leaveil Degree. Scotty Scott’s fluid, melodic voice is featured on virtually all of their hits.

The group scored many hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1980 with “And the Beat Goes On / “Can You Do the Boogie” / “Out the Box”. In 1987, they enjoyed a brief tenure in the Top 10 when “Rock Steady” became their first Top 10 success on the Hot 100, reaching #7, while also capturing the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

After a series of singles on Los Angeles label, Dore, the group signed to a small LA label, Soul Clock, run by producer Ron Carson, who was responsible for their breakthrough hit, “Seems Like I Got To Do Wrong” in 1970. Moving to the larger New York-based Janus label, they continued to be produced by Carson, before he sold all of his recordings to Janus with the group then recording mainly in Philadelphia in the mid ’70s. Since that period, most of their studio work has been done in Los Angeles. Their most successful period was in the 1980s with SOLAR Records (Sound Of Los Angeles Records), which was operated by their manager at the time, Dick Griffey. The Whispers later established their own production company, Satin Tie Productions, through which they released their independent 2006 album For Your Ears Only.

The group opened Game 2 of the 1989 World Series at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with their rendition of the National Anthem.

Marcus Hutson left the group in 1992 due to prostate cancer. According to the Whispers’ website, when Hutson died of it in 2000, they vowed to never replace him and started performing as a quartet.

Jerry McNeil resigned his position as keyboardist in the latter part of 1993 in order to spend more time with his family. In 2014, The Whispers was inducted into The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame.

The Philadelphia soul songwriter team Allan Felder, Norman Harris, Bunny Sigler, and Ronnie Baker provided several of The Whispers’ songs including “A Mother for My Children” and “Bingo”.

Nicholas Caldwell died of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home on January 5, 2016.[4]

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“Fleetwood Mac – Rhiannon [with lyrics]”

The Rolling Stone Album Guide [7]Fleetwood Mac is the tenth album by the British-American band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1975. It was the band’s second eponymous album; the first was their 1968 album. Among Fleetwood Mac fans, the album is often referred to as the White Album.[8] This is the first Fleetwood Mac album to feature Lindsey Buckingham as guitarist and Stevie Nicks as vocalist, after Bob Welch departed the band in late 1974. The album was also the group’s last to be released on the Reprise label until 1997’s The Dance (the group’s subsequent albums until then were released through Warner Bros. Records, Reprise’s parent company).

The album reached number one on the Billboard 200 over a year after entering the chart, spent 37 weeks within the top 10, and more than fifteen months within the top 40. It launched three top twenty singles: “Over My Head”, “Rhiannon” and “Say You Love Me”, the last two falling just short of the top ten, both at No. 11. In 1986, it was certified 5x platinum by the RIAA representing shipments of five million units in the United States.[9]

“Warm Ways” was the first single lifted from the album in 1975 in the UK.[10] It was not released as a single in the United States, where Over My Head was released instead. Initially, the album generated limited interest in the UK, as the first three singles released by the new lineup failed to chart. “Say You Love Me” charted on the UK Singles Chart and it reached No. 40[11] Following the massive success of Rumours two years later, interest in the band re-ignited and Fleetwood Mac was re-released in 1978, along with the single “Rhiannon” which peaked just outside the Top 40 at No. 46.[10] The album eventually peaked at No. 23 on the UK Albums Chart[11] but was a prelude to a run of hugely successful albums for the band in Britain, including four multi-platinum number ones: Rumours, Tusk, Tango in the Night and Behind the Mask.[10]

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