Atlanta Georgia Stray 45 by The Hondells

April 30, 2012

Gary Usher was a songwriter and producer who gained fame through his association with the Beach Boys.

He also liked to put together studio bands. The best known was The Hondells who had a top ten hit during 1964 with the Brian Wilson song, “Little Honda” and the equally brilliant flip side, “Hot Rod High.”

Usher used studio musicians to record as the Hondells including Glen Campbell and Hal Blaine. He did assemble a touring band for a short time. The Hondells had three singles make the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart while recording for the Mercury label.

By the time they recorded “Atlanta Georgia Stray” for the Columbia label the group was about finished and Usher was about to move on to his next project.

Shake, Rattle and Roll by Big Joe Turner

April 30, 2012

Big Joe Turner, 1911-1985, began his career during the late 1920’s. For the next 20 plus years he made a name for himself as a blues artist.

All that changed during the 1950s when he moved his style over to a rock ‘n’ roll sound and suddenly, at the age of 43, he found himself a star.

“Shake, Rattle and Roll” was one of the seminal songs of early rock ‘n’ roll. The lyrics were raw and the vocal frenetic but the music was able to fuse blues and black rhythms into a mix that formed early rock.

During the 1960s he would return to his blues roots. He was elected to the Blues Hall Of Fame in 1983 and The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame during 1987.

(It’s No) Sin by Eddy Howard

April 29, 2012

The Big Band era was just about over in terms of chart success but Eddy Howard and His Orchestra still had one big hit song left in them.

He formed his first band during 1939 and had a great deal of success during the 1940s. His second and last number one hit came during 1951 when “(It’s No) Sin” reached the top of three BILLBOAD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts.

Best Sellers In Stores Chart – Dec. 15, 1951 – 2 weeks at #1.
Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart – Nov. 17, 1951 – 7 weeks at #1.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – Nov. 29, 1951 – 1 weeks at #1.

He was a rare big band leader who provided his own vocals. He died in his sleep during 1963 at the age of 48.

Respect 45 by Aretha Franklin

April 29, 2012

Aretha Franklin recorded for the Columbia label for close to six years, 1961-1966, without much success. While some of her signles did make the chart, there were no big hits.

That all changed when she signed with the Atlantic label during the mid-1960s. Her first chart single for Atlamtic, “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” made the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE top ten. The second was one of the greatest singles and vocal performances of all time.

“Respect” was released during early 1967 and before it finished its chart run, it had topped bith the BILLBOARD Pop Singles and Rhythm & Blues Charts.

Aretha Franklin was a gritty, gospel based R&B vocalist and performer, whose voice just overwhelmed the listener. The song was a cross between the civil rights movement and a person’s sex life. It has reverberated down through music histroy.

Cold Cold Heart by Tony Bennett

April 28, 2012

Tony Bennett had his first number one hit during September, 1951, when his “Because Of You,” topped all three of the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts.

It didn’t take him long to have his second number one as his release of “Cold Cold Heart” replaced “Because Of You,” which gave him two in a row.

“Cold Cold Heart” will always be associated with Hank Williams who took it to the top of the Country Charts and it remains one of the signature songs of not only Williams career but of country music as well.

Tony Bennett recorded a straight pop rendition of this country classic. It reached the top of two BILLBOARD Pop Charts.

Best Sellers In Stores Chart – November 3, 1951 – 6 weeks at #1.
Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart – December 8, 1951 – 3 weeks at #1.

Bennett’s version sounds very different from Williams and a little dated today. It may not be the memerable version but it was one of the biggest hits of his distinguihed career.

Until Its Time For You To Go 45 by Elvis Presley

April 28, 2012

Elvis Presley had some ups and downs in his career during the 1970s. “Until Its Time For You To Go” was somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

The song began life as a gentle folk composition by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Elvis took it in a pop direction with his patented vocal.

Released during early January of 1972, it peaked at number 40 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. It remains one of the more obscure Elvis releases to make the top 40.

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ 45 by The Righteous Brothers

April 28, 2012

Phil Spector made his mark by producing some of the best singles in rock ‘n’ roll history through his famous wall of sound. He usually worked with female vocal groups such as the Ronettes and Crystals.

The Righteous Brothers may have seemed out of place on the Spector’s Phillies label of artists but the results were spectacular.

Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield were an unusal duo as they rotated the lead vocal rather than singing in a classic duet style.

“You’ve Lost THat Lovin’ Feelin,” entered the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart just before Christmas, 1964, and eventually spent two weeks in the number one position. It also reached number two on the Rhythm & Blues Chart. It reached number one in the U.K. as well, just beating out Cilla Black’s version of the song, which peaked at number two.

It was a rare song that began with no intumental intro. but immediately started with the vocal. The song just built throughout as Spector multi-layered the vocals and backing instruments.

BMI stated that it was the most played song on radio during the 20th century, surpassing seven-million plays.