Archive for the ‘Mel Torme’ Category


Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Listen: A Satisfied Mind / Bobby Hebb BobbyHebbASatisfiedMind.mp3

I hated his hit ‘Sunny’ when it was current in ’66. Absolutely loathed that sucker. Got rammed down everyone’s throat, plus being so safe and mellow it managed to cross all the formats – you literally couldn’t get away from it. Logically it peaked at #2 during it’s healthy fifteen week US chart run.

Yet ‘Sunny’ was so strong that everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and The Electric Flag to Georgie Fame and Les Mc Cann were covering it too. Now I wish I’d had better taste at the time. Not only has it become a favorite through the years (I’ve collected over 30 covers on 7″) but I’m hooked on his voice as well. Like Jon Lucien years later, and probably Mel Torme prior, he has this calming tone that appeals to my valium side. His follow ups were pretty great too. I think he should’ve been around a lot longer.

The followup single, released just after ‘Sunny’, was a great double sider. ‘A Satisfied Mind’, despite possibly being a bit ‘Sunny’ sounding, has held up – I know cause it’s on my jukebox and plays a lot. I never tire of it. Not so with the public, peaking at #39, and lasting only six weeks total on the Billboard Top 100.

Listen: Love Love Love / Bobby Hebb BobbyHebbLoveLoveLove.mp3

The B side, ‘Love Love Love’, is now considered to be his ‘other’ hit – having gained UK Northern Soul success in ’72. When re-released there due to demand, it sold well and charted at #32. Most tracks on his one and only Philips LP, SUNNY BY BOBBY HEBB are worth many listens too. Get it if you can.

The Seeds

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

A Thousand Shadows / The Seeds

Listen: A Thousand Shadows/ The Seeds

I often find myself referring to records as night time or winter. Chris Blackwell once said of Marianne Faithfull, “She’s very much a wintertime artist”, making me quite happy to hear I wasn’t the only one who thought that way. Probably stems from, particularly in the case of night time, when I’d hear the actual music the most, or at least initially.

With The Seeds, I have confidence I never heard them during the day, not once, when they were current. In the northeast, they only were played at night, when the playlists loosened up a bit. Funny, given that on the west coast, like Love and X, they were pretty much mainstream which came with being local. Those singles by The Seeds are just imprinted as night time records for me, and I like that. They have a darkness and mystery to them, every last one. All a bit menacing, due to the eerie keyboards mostly. Sky Saxon is one of a kind too, you just never mistake his voice. When ‘A Thousand Shadows’ was released in summer ’67, it coincided with my first ever radio show, Friday nights from 6 – 8 pm on the very small, very local AM station WMCR. I had successfully been blagging records off them for about two years at that point.

I lied. Told them I was from the local Children’s Hospital and seeking donations of their unplayed teen records, as their format was adult contemporary at the time. And I mean very adult, your parent’s music if you will: Mel Torme, Steve Lawrence, Eddie Fisher. We turned our nose at this stuff, but would go home and freak out to Scott Walker. In hindsight, it was pretty much the same sound but with a much better haircut admittedly. Mark Warner, then evening DJ while home from college for the summer, got me the job, I think, once he went back to school in the fall. His parents owned the station. They knew all along the donation drill was a scam, but figured they weren’t using the records anyways, and Mark’s Mom coined me that clever little boy that loves his music. That was the last time I ever heard that one, but bless her. I got a radio show out of it instead of being ratted on. Mind you, it only lasted a few weeks into the school year.

About seven years ago, December ’01 to be exact, when I went home to visit my Mom and Dad, I just drove by for the heck of it and decided to ring the bell. It was Christmas Eve, lo and behold, Mrs. Warner was there and still in charge! She was so sweet, welcomed me right inside. The place was pretty much the same, still had the two Gates turntables in the control room. She even took me downstairs to see what was left of the record library. “If you see something you really want now, I’m sure it won’t be missed”. All these years later, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

The Seeds were the first band I played, ever, on the radio. The theme of the show was to pretty much stick with the latest sounds from England, so how The Seeds got the first spin…but they did.