Archive for the ‘Eydie Gorme’ Category

Chris Montez

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Listen: The More I See You / Chris Montez
The More I See You / Chris Montez

It was as if the guy who recorded ‘Let’s Dance’ a few years earlier was a completely different person. That song fit easily into both the surf and farfisa bubblegum spaces perfectly. A fit that suited The Ramones just fine, they covered it from nearly day one.

Along comes ‘The More I See You’ in ’66, and the first time I remember hearing it was at Carmen’s Barber Shop, the little dive my Dad took me for haircuts. The hour or so we’d spend there was rather fascinating, with me trying to figure out some of the coded adult talk amongst them all, yet with most attention being paid to the MOR station Carmen had permanently affixed on his little sound system. I believe the station call letters were WSEN or WSYR, but can’t be sure. What I am sure of is it would make for industrial strength hipster listening if only some of those shows had been air checked. Lots of Julie London, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jackie Trent with husband Tony Hatch. Seems they were the British Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, and most of their singles, both together and separately, are worth picking up if you stumble on them.

Tony Hatch in fact wrote ‘Call Me’, not only the Chris Montez single that preceded ‘The More I See You’, but the title of the album from which it came.

Turns out when switching to his A&M label in ’65, Herb Alpert suggested this more soft rock sound, possibly looking for his own version of Astrud Gilberto, who despite the slight technicality of being a different sex and therefore looked much better, sounded quite similar.

Julian Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Listen: Stars Fell On Alabama / Julian Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane
Stars Fell On Alabama / Julian Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane

Deciding to clean every number and letter contact in my Seeburg with alcohol and a cotton swab – by hand no less – is not at all within my character, but having let a jukebox tab slip between the speakers and turntable track basically necessitated the surgery, and ultimate sense of responsibility.

You see, I’ve had this baby, a pink, aqua and chrome Seeburg 222, one of my most cherished possessions, going on thirty years. And it still works like a charm. I dread the day this machine goes dead, as I’ve no idea where or to whom I need go for a fixing.

What I didn’t realize was F2, so caked with crud, hadn’t played in God knows how long. F2 in this case was ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’, by Cannonball Adderley & John Coltrane.

Now I remember exactly where this particular single was purchased: Two Guys Department Store, just off Route 81 in Syracuse, quite close to Thruway exit 36. They always had stacks on 10 for $1 cutout 7′s in large tubs for the sickos amongst us to paw through.

Corinne was in a very 40′s Silver Screen phase and pulled out loads of Judy Garland, Julie London, Eydie Gorme and even Keely Smith titles, boning up on our camp catalog. Well done.

I bought four copies of this one, there were so few Limelight singles that the stock sleeves were worth a dime each to me even then in ’74.

When I realized it had been ages since the single played in the box, I decided to pull a clean copy from the library – and sure enough, sticker still intact to prove the above remembrance, it sounded superb. This coming from a general non-fan of brass instruments by the way.

‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ is quite frankly the perfect va-va-va-voom record, the kind of song playing in a dive bar when a cheap perfume drenched Betty Page type in tight gold pedal pushers and fuck me heels is leaning over the jukebox making three choices for the quarter her sugar daddy had just inserted into the slot, if you will.

Eydie Gorme

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Listen: Blame It On The Bossa Nova / Eydie Gorme

Michael Alago got a pair of tickets for Frank Sinatra at Meadowlands in ’90 and made me crazy until I agreed to drive us over to New Jersey for the show. Am I ever glad he did. The seats were fantastic, maybe 6 rows back. The show was an event and in the round. One of the walkways was very, very close. Not that Frank ventured down them much. He was 75 and it was to be was his last area appearance ever.

Support act that night: Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme. Now they traveled those ramps a bit more, with between song banter that was risque, 50′s nightclub style and funny as hell. The music was easy listening, clearly catering to the demographic in attendance. Michael and I were the youngest people there without a doubt.

I was really hoping Eydie Gorme would break into at least a snippet of ‘Blame It On The Bossa Nova’, I mean it’s her biggest chart success ever (#7, ’62). When comically introduced as a bigger hit than husband Steve Lawrence ever had, she did what seemed like an extended version, shaking the dance down the ramp with her partner. Our evening was made…well not counting Nancy Sinatra sitting near us in the audience.

I remember ‘Blame It On The Bossa Nova’ from the adult radio station playing at Carmen’s Babershop, where I’d get my haircut as a little boy. Always a fascinating half hour or so of records that now fit in perfectly as bachelor pad classics, it was where I first heard the song.

Makes sense now why it caught my ear. Brill Building. It’s one by writers Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, and they’ve written a lot of songs we all know. Basically, girl group stuff.

Also loved this short period for Columbia. The orange label and and matching sleeve didn’t last long.

Otis Redding

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

OtisPain, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Pain In My Heart / Otis Redding

Leave it to The Rolling Stones, they turned all us really young white kids on to the great RnB and Soul that was right here at home. Yeah it’s the oldest story in the book, but 100% true. I for one, was completely oblivious to Otis Redding until they came along. And so I started to ask for his records at WMCR, the little adult station near my parent’s house that gave me all their unusable Rock and RnB singles. Unfortunately, most of the labels only serviced them with non-RnB stuff, logically as they were playing Eydie Gorme, Dean Martin and such. Atlantic was an example, so I had to buy the occasional one, if I’d find it that is.

The first time I saw The Rolling Stones, see my Alvin Robinson post, they played this. Can remember it like yesterday. I needed this original and within days….it was mine.

OtisDirect, Otis Redding, Volt, Atco, Steve Cropper, Upbeat, The Rolling Stones

Listen: Direct Me / Otis Redding

His last known TV performance was on Cleveland’s UPBEAT, a weekly pop show that rivaled any national counterpart, in fact preceeded both SHINDIG and HULLABALOO as well as outlasting them (’64 – ’71). Seems everyone passed through town, probably intentionally to get the coverage. I’ve mentioned the show in previous posts, and without question, even a partial list of performers is pretty impressive.

Well it’s hard to forget seeing that episode, watching Otis Redding, knowing what had just happened asit was never broadcast live) Despite being endlessly respected and always name checked, he’s seldom heard. Oldies radio overplaying ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ is almost an injustice. Despite all his classics, ‘Direct Me’ comes in as my favorite. Co-written with Steve Cropper, it may have been a castoff, but I don’t care. Got it in one of those ten for a dollar boxes. Despite the B side status (‘Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag’ was the A), the single just holds a memorable place in time for me. Woolworth’s, summer ’69.

There wasn’t a bad record in that box, which also included The Pretty Things ‘Cry To Me’.