A few posts back, Manfred Mann on April 24th to be exact, I mentioned a terrific site lovingly maintained by Mary Payne and dedicated to 60′s pirate station Radio London. A day later, I get an email from this very iconic lady – thanking me for the kind words. I couldn’t have been more pleased – or so I thought.
Mary certainly did some trolling around, finding my post about the history of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich’s ‘Bend It’ in the US, and proceeded to include some of those details on her Radio London site. What an knockout – thank you Mary. If ever I’d have thought as a kid that someday, even my name alone would get a mention by Radio London, I would’ve expired.
Listen: Touch Me, Touch Me / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich DDDBMTTouch.mp3
Well within her post, she wonders what US Fontana did about a later single ‘Touch Me, Touch Me’, by the band for the American market – given ‘Bend It’ had been cock blocked due to suggestive lyrics. My real belief is US dj’s didn’t want to bother learning the band’s name – that simple. Add to it, they only visited Stateside once for press and local TV’s, never playing live, which also didn’t make for a successful recipe.
As for ‘Touch Me, Touch Me’, US Fontana simply didn’t release it. A few months later, (June ’67), it was included on the band’s US GREATEST HITS album, a collection of all their singles that traded pretty exclusively off some regional US hits like ‘Bend It’ and ‘Hold Tight’ (although I did hear ‘Hideaway’ twice on WOLF). It faltered at #155 in Billboard’s Top 200. Even that was a surprise showing. The icing on the Fontana brainforce’s cake was to NOT include the band’s then current single ‘Okay’ (released July ’67) on the LP – despite the group getting their first National US TV that very summer (August ’67) performing…..’Okay’. It was to be their last release with Fontana.
Debuting on Imperial with ‘Zabadak’ the following November, they finally got a loads of airplay and ultimately cracked Billboard’s Top 100.
Oh boy. I’ve been there for a few hours and have barely had time to do this here post. Visit it and prepare. You will need to set aside even more hours.
Thank you again Mary, you’ve made my year – and keep up the great work on your Radio London site.