Archive for the ‘Upbeat’ Category

Inez & Charlie Foxx

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

Listen: (1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx
(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days / Inez & Charlie Foxx

There’s not a person I play this to who doesn’t, after one spin, decide they need a copy.

I was always extremely partial to this poor man’s Ike & Tina Turner, as I’d seen them referred to. Inez & Charlie Foxx had their biggest love in the UK, like so many before and after would too. But seeing them perform on Cleveland’s UPBEAT show in the 60′s confirmed my loyalty. UPBEAT was a weekly music program, with a good six to ten acts miming their latest releases on every episode. I guess the local network cornered all of them as they passed through Cleveland, happy to get any TV exposure. It was syndicated to various cities in the US, including Syracuse hence I got to see it every Sunday.

There’s a website for the show, and it is particularly boring to navigate – I believe the producer’s son deals with the estate, and basically highlights only the name acts, when the true interest in the show would be the many obscure ones that were on. Hopefully that footage was preserved and will be freed up. There is definitely a goldmine there.

So it was May of ’67 when I saw Inez & Charlie on that very show. We had recently upgraded to a family color TV, so everything was a technicolor dream come true. No bigger one than Inez Foxx in a skin tight floor length carnation pink dress playing a matching pink Stratocaster; and brother Charlie off behind her to the left singing and dancing on a very small riser perfectly clad in a matching pink chino suit, black shirt and pink tie. Talk about having your visual together. And ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’ was the song they performed. Produced and written by Charlie Foxx and Swamp Dogg, Gene Pitney covered it a year or so later. As great a singer as he definitely was, it was no match for Inez Foxx’s delivery. Along with Inez & Charlie Foxx’s ‘Come By Here’, ‘Tightrope’ and ‘Hurt By Love’, it’s a life long favorite.

Otis Redding

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

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

Listen: Pain In My Heart / Otis Redding
Pain

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
Direct

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’.

The Legend Of Dave Dee

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Yes – that’s my opinion about him and his band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. Legendary. I have totally avoided the passing of musicians on the blog. I prefer to keep this a bit of a fantasy flashback, about all the great things music brought into our childhoods, teenage years and lives in general, timeless in a way. But an exception is the loss of Dave Dee.

Like everyone, I’ve had many favorites through the years, always feeling, at the moment, they were irreplaceable forever – then life goes on and others move in to that top spot. But still, an absolute favorite in so many ways is Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. My soundtrack to being a kid, and an aspiration to living someplace where people could dress in wild colourful clothes, as this band did while my upstate NY peers did not.

Fontana letter 1

Fontana letter 2

I began writing their US label, Fontana and started a dialog (above) with Claranelle Morris, who would send along their photos, bios, promotional oddities and occasionally records (see more scans at end of post). A year or two later when I had her trust, she would sneak the latest releases by The Mindbenders, The Troggs, The Pretty Things and The Herd in the post to me as well. I do wish I knew her whereabouts now to say thanks a million.

Okay / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Okay / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Listen: Okay / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich DDDBMTOkay.mp3

Okay / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich sheet music

I love all of their records, but for some reason, ‘Okay’ has a sentimental thing about it. That opinion is clearly just mine, as most of their singles are wonderfully eclectic musically, and possibly more interesting, whereas ‘Okay’ is fairly straight forward singalong pop. Still it reached #4 in the UK charts doing just as well as their others. This band, if fact, during 1966, sold more records in the UK than either The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, as well between ’66-’68 chalked up more weeks in the British charts than, believe it or not, again, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. Watching them do ‘Okay’ on Piccadilly Palace made my summer that year – and that’s saying a lot given it was the infamous summer of ’67! See the below clipping from the local newspaper.

piccadillydddbmt1, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich, Piccadilly Palace

They only ever made two appearances on National US television: Cleveland’s Upbeat, which was shown locally in Syracuse too, (May 28, 1967) performing ‘Hold Tight’ and ‘Bend It’, and then on the above mentioned, nationally syndicated Piccadilly Palace (August 26, 1967) doing ‘Okay’ and ‘If I Were A Carpenter’.

Bend It (Original Censored Version) / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Listen: Bend It (Original Censored Version) / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich DDDBMTBendItUKVersion.mp3

Bend It (Clean US Version) / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

Listen: Bend It (Clean US Version) / Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich DDDBMTBendItUS.mp3

A last ditch attempt was made by US Fontana to find a way for ‘Bend It’, a worldwide smash, to be heard in America. So they had Dave go in and re-vocal it, taking out a few suggestive lyrics – which clearly were about sex, and changing some words into an implied dance routine, ‘The Bend’. The single was re-serviced with a dance instruction sheet (see scan below). Unfortunately, they couldn’t change the important line “when night’s ending, we’ll be bending” and hence a failed experiment.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich Bend Dance Letter

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich Bend Dance Instructions

To think nowadays the original would be on Disney Radio right next to Lil Kim, no problem. For the real fussy collector, you can tell the rare ‘dirty’ version from the ‘clean’: the ‘dirty’ leaves out the comma between Dozy Beaky on the label as opposed to the ‘clean’, whereby the punctuation is correct ie: Dozy, Beaky. Luckily, this was a hit in the northeast, including my hometown Syracuse, where it went #1 on the WOLF chart. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy from that particular week’s survey, but do have one from two weeks prior (see scan below). Anyone with a copy – name your price.

Wolf Chart 12-10-66

In the late 80′s, I made friends with Safta Jaffery, an English manager who looked after (still does) some prominent producers. He came to see me at Elektra, we got to talking and I discovered he knew Dave Dee. My excitement was obvious, so he graciously said “Next UK trip, give me a heads up and I’ll get you an introduction”. He went a few steps further, arranging a lunch. I trembled waiting for Dave in the lobby of the studio that housed his office. I’m pretty sure it was Mickie Most’s RAK. Although I arrived on time, to the minute, he finally came barreling down the circular staircase about half an hour late (the longest half hour of my life), all smiles and very apologetic. As we walked to the restaurant, he said he’d been tied up on the phone with a musician friend who needed some advice. I asked who, being rather casually curious. “Scott Walker” he replies. Holy shit. I almost passed out. Walking down a London street with Dave Dee as he spoke nonchalantly about a Scott Walker telephone conversation he’s just had. I wasn’t ready.

We spent a good hour together, talking non stop about the 60′s, answering all kinds of questions, just the nicest, most courteous guy. Of course he was only too happy to fill out a jukebox tab for me too:

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich Okay jukebox tab

Above: Jukebox Tab signed by Dave Dee

Today is a sad one, that I won’t ever forget.

The Guardian Obituary:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jan/09/dave-dee-obituary

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 1

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 2

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 3

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 4

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 5

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 6

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 7

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 8

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US Bio 9

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich US press photo

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich fan club application

Inez & Charlie Foxx

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Listen: Come By Here / Inez & Charlie Foxx InezComeByHere.mp3

Starting the New Year off with a classic has to be good luck. There are about six desert island essentials by Inez & Charlie Foxx on my list – and ‘Come By Here’ is one. Now live, they were hard to beat. Crawling the sweaty chitlin circuit, crowds would urge Inez to even greater vocal heights while Charlie and the band drove a relentless groove. Their well oiled touring machine made for consistent studio performances. With it’s rich blend of blues and gospel, ‘Come By Here’ is one of the two songs they performed on Cleveland’s UPBEAT show in May ’67 (the other was ‘(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count The Days’ – see my post from 6/6/08 to listen). UPBEAT is a TV cult classic, and it would be huge if someone could free up all those episodes. Word is they still exist. There was a pretty weak website for the program at one time, but it focused on the bigger names (like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) when in fact, many obscure acts were on as well (Love / The Seeds / The Hullaballoos / Terry Knight & The Pack / The Velvet Underground). A weekly hour long show, syndicated in many markets, it predated Shindig but then survived concurrently – and in short, any act passing through the Cleveland area got herded in to mime a couple of numbers. On this particular episode, Charlie, wearing a black shirt with matching carnation pink chino suit and tie, sang and danced on a small circular podium behind Inez. In her pink dress and heels, she sang a live vocal over the prerecorded bed, picking on a pink stratocaster and strutting not unlike The Duchess. Have mercy indeed.

Please God let this footage resurface.