The Platters – Song for the lonely “The ’59” #031

“The ’59” 2018 #031: 180131

The Platters – Song for the Lonely (1962)

The Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1952 and were initially managed by Federal Records A&R man, Ralph Bass. The original group consisted of Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter, David Lynch, Joe Jefferson, Gaynel Hodge and Herb Reed, who joined the group after he was discharged from the Army in December 1952. Reed also created the group’s name.

In June 1953, Gunter left to join the Flaires and was replaced by lead vocalist Tony Williams. The band then released two singles with Federal Records, under the management of Bass, but found little success. Bass then asked his friend music entrepreneur and songwriter Buck Ram to coach the group in hope of getting a hit record. Ram made some changes to the lineup, most notably the addition of female vocalist Zola Taylor; later, at Reed’s urging, Hodge was replaced by Paul Robi. Under Ram’s guidance, the Platters recorded eight songs for Federal in the R&B/gospel style, scoring a few minor regional hits on the West Coast, and backed Williams’ sister, Linda Hayes. One song recorded during their Federal tenure, “Only You (And You Alone)”, originally written by Ram for the Ink Spots, was deemed unreleasable by the label, though copies of this early version do exist.

Despite their lack of chart success, the Platters were a profitable touring group, successful enough that the Penguins, coming off their No.8 single “Earth Angel”, asked Ram to manage them as well. With the Penguins in hand, Ram was able to parlay Mercury Records’ interest into a 2-for-1 deal. To sign the Penguins, Ram insisted, Mercury also had to take the Platters. The Penguins would never have a hit for the label, but The Platters were altogether more successful.

“It’s Magic”, from their 1962 album ‘Song for the Lonely” was written by Jule Styne, with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. The song was introduced by Doris Day in her film debut, ‘Romance on the High Seas’ (known in the UK as ‘It’s Magic’ after the song), and was published in 1947.

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A date with the Everly Brothers (“The ’59”) #009

“The ’59” 2018 #009: 180109

A date with the Everly Brothers (1960)

A Date with the Everly Brothers was the third album from Don and Phil, released in 1960. It peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Pop albums charts and reached No. 3 in the UK.

The song “Love Hurts” appears here for the first time. It would subsequently be covered by numerous other artists.

Other than the “Cathy’s Clown”/”Always It’s You” single, all of the tracks on A Date with the Everly Brothers were recorded in just four sessions during July 1960.

Dean Martin – That’s Amore (Leaping Ahead #77)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #77: 160317

[A favourite 1950’s song (3)]

We have a favourite Italian restaurant close to where we live. Every time a birthday is celebrated there, they’ll bring out a cake with sparklers and all the restauranteurs will sing “Happy Birthday’. Then , as has become tradition now, Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’ will follow and we’ll all sing along and move in time to the music to that as well.

25 songs in 25 days #23

One song a day along with an explanation of why you picked it. Day 23 – a song you cannot stand to listen to

Barry Manilow – Can’t smile without you (1978)

 

You know, for someone like me for whom music is such a vital part of life, there actually aren’t that many songs or ‘artists’ that I hate. But Barry Manilow is very definitely one of them. He is a carbuncle on the bottom of the Music Industry and should be made illegal.

This ‘song’ is one of his most heinous crimes for which he should have been locked up for back in 1978 when he had the audacity to release it. The world would have been a better place and a great many people would have been spared the shameless brainwashing that has for years allowed them to believe that this master criminal has even a modicum of talent. I feel so sorry for those poor misguided souls rising to give him a standing ovation at the beginning of this video. They could have been spared this indignity had we been brave enough to lock him away the first time he tried this on back in the sixties!

Having said this, I always try to find something good in everything. And that’s true here as well in the opening lines of this absolutely awful song. “I can’t smile without you…” has come back to haunt Mr Manilow, as he’s had so much plastic surgery over the years that he can’t smile at all now! Bonus.

Rant over.

Classic albums A-Z: Bryan Ferry – These Foolish Things (1973)

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There are a couple of covers albums in this series. This is the first; Bryan Ferry’s ‘These Foolish Things’ from 1973. Released whilst he was still the lead of Roxy Music, Mr Ferry turned predominantly Stateside for this eclectic selection touching everything from Motown to the early jazz standard that gave its name to this, his first solo effort.

The opening track admirably sets the scene, with the Bob Dylan classic outrageously changed with sufficient aplomb to merit a single release of the track a month before the album in September 1973. And, whereas the official video may seem a little basic, the vampish backing singers are each a certain Mr Ferry.

The album manages to capture the instantly recognisable crooner overtone synonymous with the man in later life with classics here from Elvis’ ‘Baby I don’t care’ (via Leiber/Stoller), Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s my party’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ ‘The tracks of my tears’. There have been many covers albums over the years but this one sits up there close to the top with the likes of Cat Power, David Bowie and Jeff Healey.

Full track listing
  1. A hard rain’s a-gonna fall
  2. River of salt
  3. Don’t ever change
  4. Piece of my heart
  5. Baby I don’t care
  6. It’s my party
  7. Don’t worry baby
  8. Sympathy for the Devil
  9. The tracks of my tears
  10. You won’t see me
  11. I love how you love me
  12. Loving you is sweeter than ever
  13. These foolish things

Way too many collaborators for a lineup, so here’s the video…