Posts Tagged ‘Bessie Banks’

BESSIE BANKS / THE MOODY BLUES

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

bessiebanksuka1, Bessie Banks, Denny Laine, The Moody Blues, London Records, Red Bird

Listen: Go Now / Bessie Banks BessieBanksGoNow.mp3

Listen: Go Now / The Moody Blues MoodyBluesGoNow.mp3

Yes, even the blues and purples of the Decca, London and Soul City labels compliment each other. A lot of purists claim Bessie Banks’ original recording of ‘Go Now’ surpasses The Moody Blues later cover. I say we have endless love for many things, why not multiple versions of songs too?

Bessie Banks sounds so young here, and The Moody Blues vocalist at the time, Denny Laine, has such an authentic delivery, what’s not to like? That band never did replace him, nor did they try. Seems the guys were bright enough to go after a completely different, post Denny Laine sound.

Usually, it’s impossible to mess with the magic of an original song the calibre of Bessie Banks’ ‘Go Now’, especially given this Leiber & Stoller production. But thanks to the courage of The Moody Blues, I guess you could say we ended up with a win/win.

Marie Knight

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Listen: Cry Me A River / Marie Knight
Cry Me A River / Marie Knight

Hey thanks Vicki Wickham, for keeping this one since the 60′s. Yes, it was part of her 45 collection that I was gifted by Saint Vicki herself last fall.

You know, I love you Vicki Wickham.

Let’s talk about Vicki Wickham. We first met in ’89, when she managed Phranc during her Island days. I remember exactly where we first shook hands: backstage at the Beacon Theater, in the the very stairway where Ahmet Ertegan took his last spill. Phranc had just hired her, and was at that time on tour with The Pogues.

I was actually meeting thee Vicki Wickham. The one that booked READY! STEADY! GO!, managed Dusty Springfield, co-wrote ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ with Simon Napier-Bell, produced Labelle. The one who not only booked the infamous Saville Theatre series, brought the Motown Review to England, worked at Track Records with The Who, Thunderclap Newman, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Marsha Hunt, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, John’s Children, and yes, The Cherry Smash; but also knew Scott Walker…and Brian Jones. I was nervous and in awe. Vicki Wickham was a higher form of life.

Fast forward. Nowadays, we meet often for lunch, on 9th Ave and 44th Street at Marseilles, possibly her favorite restaurant. She always orders the asparagus omelette and eats about half. I grill her for details: RSG, The BBC during the 60′s, Rediffusion Television, Top Of The Pops not to mention every band and everybody she ever encountered. Did she visit the Immediate Records office, Deram, Philips, Fontana. What was the Ready Steady Go canteen like, did she know Tony Hall, Steve Marriott, Inez Foxx, Joe Meek, Dozy. When did she last speak with Andrew Loog Oldham, P.P. Arnold or Madeline Bell…..we cover, discuss, judge and trash tons of people. Yes, we are guilty. Needless to say, there’s never a loss for topics.

On one such occasion last year, she mentions having just found boxes of 45′s in storage, and the only one she can remember seeing in the whole bunch was the Bessie Banks ‘Go Now’ UK A label pressing. Was I interested in the lot? That’s like asking Alago, Duane, Joe and I if we’d like a free bump in the VIP bathroom at The Ritz in the 80′s. Ahh, yeah.

Vicki, you ARE a saint, and a beloved friend.

And you turned me on to Marie Knight. Praise be.

Denny Laine / Trevor Burton

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

DennyLaineSayUK, Denny Laine, Trevor Burton, Denny Cordell, The Moody Blues, The Move, Balls, Deram, Epic
DennyLaineSayUS, Denny Laine, Trevor Burton, Denny Cordell, The Moody Blues, The Move, Balls, Deram, Epic

Listen: Say You Don’t Mind / Denny Laine
Say

In 67, when The Moody Blues ditched the blues, they ditched Denny Laine with it. Lead singer extraordinaire, his voice is the one we heard on ‘Go Now’, ‘Everyday’ and ‘Stop’, three favorites. Their version of ‘Go Now’ still holds it own against the Bessie Banks original. What were these guys thinking?

To this day, current members refuse to acknowledge that first lineup, excluding any of their tracks from Greatest Hits and anthology packages. Lighten up guys.

Still apparently signed to Decca, Denny Laine resurfaced on their newly formed subsidiary Deram, this being the first of two singles and getting a US release. Denny Cordell, The Moody Blues original producer, went in the layoffs too, so decided to stick with the other Denny. Their work together was terrific. Just listen for yourself.

TrevorBurtonFightUSA, Denny Laine, Trevor Burton, Denny Cordell, The Moody Blues, The Move, Balls, Deram, Epic
TrevorFightUS, Denny Laine, Trevor Burton, Denny Cordell, The Moody Blues, The Move, Balls, Deram, Epic

Listen: Fight For My Country / Trevor Burton
Fight

Within a year or so, Trevor Burton left The Move, teaming up with Denny to form Balls. Their lone single, ‘Fight For My Country’, was released in the US under his name, as a one-off for Epic. Unlike the UK version, which ran upwards of five minutes, the US promo and stock were edited down to under three, making for a better track which would not have been out of place on SHAZAM. It’s power deserves the attention much lesser records have achieved, packing so hard a punch, it knocked the wind out of both the band and Trevor’s solo career.