Sunday, May 23, 2010

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OK, more 60's: A 13 year-old girl from E. Orange, NJ started writing this song about interracial romance while waiting to see the school principal - one of only 6 non-African-Americans in her school. Finished it the following year - titled "Baby, I've Been Thinking". The producer changed the song's name. Sponsored by Leonard Bernstein, she recorded it on Verve. #1 in '67. Grammy Hall Of Fame '01. Artist? Song? Answer: "Society's Child" by Janis Ian.

OK, more one-hit wonders: This '74 Weiss/DeShannon composition spent 9 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 in '81. Also #1 in 31 countries. Song and Record Of The Year Grammys in '81. Recorded in one take! Famously covered by Eddie Murphy on SNL as Buckwheat in "Buh-Weet Sings". Song? Artist? Answer: "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes.

OK, more one-hit wonders: This Loudermilk/Langley doo-wop classic was released in '67 and peaked at #6 Pop. The group consisted of 9 men and it took them 9 years to crack the Top Ten. Langley was 15 at the time - inspired by a teenage breakup. Sold it for $1,500! Top 10 Country covers by Eddy Arnold and Neal McCoy. Song? Group? Answer: "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" by the Casinos.

OK, more 60's: This 1962 soul ballad written and performed by Arthur Alexander was a minor hit for him. The Beatles' cover appeared in their 1963 debut album and it fared much better. Recorded in 3 takes - a personal favorite of John's; he had a bad cold when he recorded it accounting for the nasal quality. My man Roger McGuinn covered it in '93 for the Alexander Tribute. Answer: "Anna"

OK, one for "Bijou Drains", the Birthday Boy (65 today!): This rock classic's title is derived from his spiritual guru and from an experimental musician whom he admired. The title is never mentioned in the lyrics and it was never released as a single. First time the synthesizer was used as a rhythm instrument. Answer: "Baba O'Riley" by The Who. Bijou Drains=Pete Townsend.

OK, more 60's: This Graham Gouldman (later of 10cc) composition was penned when he was 16 while commuting home from work. His father, Hyme, a playwright, wrote the opening lines. Recorded in 1 hr. 15 min. - the group's 1st U.S. top 10 hit (#5); also #5 in the UK. Covered by Herman's Hermits and the Classics IV. Song? Group? Answer: "Bus Stop" by the Hollies.

OK, back to the 50's: This 1959 Della Reese interpretation became her "signature" song. It was her biggest hit - #1 R&B and #2 Pop. Based upon "Musetta's Waltz" from Puccini's "La Boheme". Featured on DeNiro's "A Bronx Tale" soundtrack. Answer: "Don't you Know?"

OK, more 60's: This tune was written by John Stewart around the time he was leaving the Kingston Trio. It was The Monkees' last #1 single - for 4 weeks in '67. Anne Murray's 1979 cover peaked at #3 on the Country charts and at #12 on Billboard Hot 100. "7A!" "...just 'cause I'm short. I know." Answer: "Daydream Believer".

OK, more one-hit wonders: This singer/songwriter from Spokane, Wash. auditioned with Atlantic Records over the phone (!). His only hit spoke of "restless young people living dreary lives in dead-end small towns". It had all the elements of a Country hit but never made it - instead, it crossed over to peak at #9 in the Pop charts in '72. Covered by Elvis, Willie, Dwight, Waylon and Chet. Song? Artist? Answer: "Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues" by Danny O'Keefe.

OK, more one-hit wonders: This Andre Popp composition was first recorded by Vicky Leandros. A French orchestra leader's version hit #1 in the U.S. for 5 weeks in '68. He was also musical director for Maurice Chevalier and Charles Aznavour. Only French performer to top Billboard's Hot 100. Had a minor hit with "El Bimbo". Song? Orchestra? Answer: "Love Is Blue" by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra.

OK, back to The Beatles: This George Harrison/Jeff Lynne composition speaks of the days of Beatlemania. This was George's 18th solo single. #23 U.S. and #25 U.K. in '87. The single cover contains Klaus Voormann's 1966 line drawing of George from Revolver, as well as an "updated" version. He wore his original Sgt. Pepper uniform for the video 20 years later - admittedly "a little tight around the middle"! Answer: When We Was Fab".

1 comment:

  1. "Lookin For Love In All The Wrong Places" or Lookin for lub