Category Archives: music
Tommy Edwards (February 17, 1922 – October 22, 1969) was a singer and songwriter. His biggest-selling record was with the multi-million-selling song “It’s All in the Game.”
Born Thomas Edwards in Richmond, Virginia, Edwards was an R&B singer most remembered for his 1958 hit “It’s All in the Game”, which appeared in the list of Billboard number-one singles of 1958. He sang his hit song on The Ed Sullivan Show, on September 14, 1958. The song was composed by then-future U.S. Vice-President Charles G. Dawes in 1912 as “Melody in A Major” with lyrics written in 1951 by Carl Sigman. Edwards originally recorded and charted the song in 1951, but it only climbed to #18 on the chart. The better-known 1958 version was on the same record label (MGM) and was backed by the same orchestra leader (Leroy Holmes), but with a different arrangement more suited to the rock and roll-influenced style of the time. As well as topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the song also got to number one on the R&B chart and the UK Singles Chart. The single sold over 3.5 million copies globally, earning gold disc status. The gold disc was presented in November 1958. He had a more modest hit with the follow-up, “Love Is All We Need,” which climbed to #15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
“That Chick’s Too Young to Fry”, written by Edwards, was a sizable hit for Louis Jordan. Edwards began recording for the Top label in 1949. When MGM heard his demo of it, they gave him a recording contract.
Although Edwards recorded a number of other songs, none came close to achieving the same level of success, though several of his songs later became hits for other artists (such as “A Fool Such As I” by Elvis Presley, “It’s All in the Game” by Cliff Richard and The Four Tops (Eddie Holman’s version of it was the B-side of his hit “Hey There Lonely Girl”), “Please Love Me Forever” by Cathy Jean and the Roommates (1961) and by Bobby Vinton (1967), and “Morning Side of the Mountain” recorded by Donny and Marie Osmond).
He died after suffering a brain aneurysm in Henrico County, Virginia, at the age of 47. The liner notes of his 1994 Eric Records release The Complete Hits of Tommy Edwards claim his death was caused by alcoholism. While the two may be related, there is no confirmation of this.
The Lovin’ Spoonful is an American rock band, inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and well known for a number of hit songs in the 1960s including “Summer in the City”, “Do You Believe In Magic”, “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?”, and “Daydream”.
Formation and early years (1964–1965)
The band had its roots in the folk music scene based in the Greenwich Village section of lower Manhattan during the early 1960s. John Sebastian grew up in contact with music and musicians, the son of a much-recorded and technically accomplished classical harmonica player (also named John Sebastian). He had reached maturity toward the end of the American folk music revival that spanned from the 1950s to the early 1960s. Sebastian was joined in the Spoonful by guitarist Zal Yanovsky from a bohemian folk group called The Mugwumps (two other members, Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, would later form half of the Mamas & the Papas), playing local coffee houses and small clubs. The formation of the Lovin’ Spoonful during this period was later described in the lyrics of the Mamas & the Papas’ 1967 top ten hit, “Creeque Alley”.
Drummer Jan Carl and bassist Steve Boone rounded out the group, but Carl was replaced by drummer-vocalist Joe Butler after the group’s first gig at The Night Owl in Greenwich Village. Butler had previously played with Boone in a group called The Kingsmen (not the hit group of “Louie Louie” fame). The group’s first Night Owl performances were reportedly so bad that the club owner told them to go away and practice, so they practiced in the basement of the nearby Hotel Albert until they had improved enough to draw audience attention.
The group made its first recordings for Elektra Records in early 1965, and agreed in principle to sign a long-term deal with Elektra in exchange for a $10,000 advance. However, Kama Sutra Records had an option to sign the Lovin’ Spoonful as recording artists as part of a previously signed production deal, and Kama Sutra exercised the option upon learning of Elektra’s intent to sign the band. The four tracks recorded for Elektra were released on the 1966 various artists compilation LP What’s Shakin’ after the band’s success on Kama Sutra.
Pop success (1965–1966)
The band worked with producer Erik Jacobsen to release their first single on July 20, 1965, “Do You Believe in Magic”, written by Sebastian. Additionally, they wrote all their own material (aside from a few covers, mostly on their first album), including “Younger Girl” (which missed the Hot 100), which was a hit for The Critters in mid-1966.
“Do You Believe in Magic” reached #9 on the Hot 100, and the band followed it up with a series of hit singles and albums throughout 1965 and 1966, all produced by Jacobsen. The Lovin’ Spoonful became known for such folk-flavored pop hits as “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice”, which reached #10, and “Daydream”, which went to #2. Other hits included “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?” (another #2 hit) and their only song to reach #1 on the Hot 100, “Summer in the City” (13–27 August 1966). Later that year, the #10 hit “Rain on the Roof” and the #8 hit “Nashville Cats” completed the group’s first seven consecutive Hot 100 hits to reach that chart’s top 10. The only other 1960s act to achieve that feat is Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
The Lovin’ Spoonful was one of the most successful pop/rock groups to have jug band and folk roots, and nearly half the songs on their first album were modernized versions of blues standards. Their popularity revived interest in the form, and many subsequent jug bands cite them as an inspiration. The rest of their albums featured mostly original songs, but their jug band roots showed up again and again, particularly in “Daydream” and the lesser-known “Money” (which only reached #48, in 1968), featuring a typewriter as percussion.
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes were an American singing group, one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. The group’s repertoire included soul, R&B, doo-wop, and disco.
Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 1950s as The Charlemagnes, the group is most noted for several hits on Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label between 1972 and 1976, although they performed and recorded until Melvin’s death in 1997. However, the remaining members, the Blue Notes, were reunited in 2013 for the Soul Train Cruise, and will reunite again in 2015, during the fourth sailing.
Despite group founder and original lead singer Harold Melvin’s top billing, the Blue Notes’ most famous member was Teddy Pendergrass, their lead singer during the successful years at Philadelphia International.
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Bad Luck (Tom Moulton Mix):
America is known for some really ‘far out’, memorable dances!
NOVELTY AND FAD DANCES
“Dance craze” that’s America! Crazy even silly the dances are, and a mockery of how so many creatures move about. Much humor here and great exercise for the body. Check this dance out!
Patti LaBelle, born Patricia Louise Holt-Edwards, is an American singer, author, and actress. Patti began her career in the early 1960s as lead singer of the band Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles. A decade later the group changed their name to Labelle and recorded the hit song “Lady Marmalade”. Patti became a solo artist in 1976 and her debut album was another success. During five decades she has sold more than 50 million records and also became an actress.