Friday, November 27, 2015

70s Music Artist watch: Trammps

This Philadelphia group were once named the Volcanoes and then the Moods, before settling down to be The Trammps after many tries in the 1960s to get a hit, it really was not until 1972 when they broke through into the mainstream charts with the hit "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart", which incredibly was a hit in 1934, with Judy Garland doing a cover in 1938 in the film "Now Listen". The Trammps band members during the 70s were mainly Norman Harris who died in 1987, he was a founder member of MFSB Mother Father Sister Brother label, and worked with artists like Eddie Holman, and First Choice, cheesy 70s music from them.

Also in the group was Stanley Wade,Robert Upchurch and Earl Young who was the founder member of the group.

Later that year they had another minor hit called "Sixty Minute Man", which was originally a hit in 1951 for the Dominoes. It only charted at number 40 in the UK, and here it is.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Artist Watch: Tymes

Not many groups have a simultanous No1 in the UK and US, but the Philadelphia group The Tymes acheived this in the 1960s. The group was formed way back in 1956 under the name The Latineers, and achieved high US single hits in the 1960s, including a number one.

Their first 70s music single to chart in the UK, came in 1974, with the hit "You Little Trustmaker", this reached No.18 in the BBC charts. Released on RCA records and written by Christopher Mack Jackson, and the producer became the lead singer , his name was Billy Jackson.

The big hit of 70s music fame was to come in 1975 called "Ms Grace", a deserved No.1 single, it was written by husband and wife team John and Johanna Hall.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Artist Watch:Peters and Lee

They appeared on the ITV talent programme Opportunity Knocks with  host Hughie Green and won for seven consecutive weeks, which was a record. This then led to them rush releasing their biggest hit called "Welcome Home". This was originally a French song, and was translated into English by Bryan Blackburn, and it even appeared in the Billboard charts too. It was the only UK number one. The song is part of 70s music culture, and was used to remind people of the 70s music era in a successful crisp advert in the 1990s.

The team were on TV all the time, mainly singing the same song over and over, but they did release "By Your Side" which was a minor hit in 1973. It was not until April 1974, when "Don't Stay Away Too Long"  flew up the charts to No.3 in the UK.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Artist Watch:Roxy Music

Back in the 70s music era Bryan Ferry formed a group, that in one way or another is still going today. The group was called Roxy Music. Bryan the main writer and lead singer, he was joined in the band by Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay who joined in 1971, Paul Thompson who also joined in 1971 after working with John Miles. Brian Eno  who was with the group 1971 to 1973, Brian left the group after constant arguments with Bryan Ferry, and worked in the 1970s with Genesis and David Bowie. Graham Simpson was the other member for awhile.

Brian was replaced in 1973 by Eddie Jobson, who in the 1979s also worked for Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Billboard Top Ten 1974

01. Barbra Streisand The Way We Were 

02. Terry Jacks Seasons In The Sun 

03. Love Unlimited Orchestra Love's Theme 
04. Redbone Come And Get Your Love 
05. Jackson 5 Dancing Machine 
06. Grand Funk Railroad The Loco-Motion 
08. Ray Stevens The Streak (Intro's too long) 
09. Elton John Bennie And The Jets 
                                         10. Mac Davis One Hell Of A Woman

Friday, November 20, 2015

Top 50 UK Chart - 25 November 1972

70s Artist watch: Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers was born as Kenneth Donald Rogers in Texas in 1938, and in the US has spent over 200 weeks in the charts covering many musical genres, but mostly of course country and western. Kenny had minor hits in the 1950s and 1960s, but then in the late 60s he joined the band called "The First Edition", which of course later became Kenny Rogers and The First edition.

The first single to enter the 70s music chart was the 1969 release of "Ruby, Don't take your love to town"
The song was originally a hit in 1967 by Johnny Darrell, who died in 1997.

Lyrics to Ruby,don't take your love to town"

Kenny split from The New Edition in 1976 and went solo, and one of his biggest hits was "Lucille"

This song was to give him a Grammy and numerous country awards in 1977.

In 1979 he had a minor hit in the UK with "She believes in me", also releasing "Coward of the County", but that did not chart until February 1980.

But one that did chart in 70s music was the 1979 was"The Gambler" from the album of the same name. It was also the name of the TV series  for which it was the theme.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

In Memory 2011: Gary Moore

 Gary Moore died in on February 6th 2011, whilst on holiday in Spain.
Gary Moore was born Robert William Gary Moore in 1952, originally from Belfast, was a former member of the legendary Irish group Thin Lizzy during the 70s music bubble.
Gary had his first album in the 70s called "Skid" followed in 1971 by "34 Hours" and "Grinding Stone" followed in 1973.
Moore was originally drafted into Thin Lizzy by its late frontman Phil Lynott. He later gained acclaim for his solo work and was a former member of the Irish group Skid Row.
He was later brought into Thin Lizzy by Lynott to replace the departing Eric Bell, another guitarist from Northern Ireland. Gary appeared on the hit "Waiting For An Alibi", and left very shortly after. There is no doubt that Moore was one of the most influential guitarists during the 70s music phenomena.
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy said it been a pleasure to share a stage with Moore.
"Playing with Gary during the" Black Rose "era was a great experience, he was a great  player and a great guy," he said.The album also included "Sara" written by Moore and  Lynott
The lead guitarist received critical acclaim for his work on the 1974 Thin Lizzy album, Nightlife, but would never be constrained by the music group format.
Although returning to Thin Lizzy briefly in the late 1970s, his solo work continued to garner interest and he also enjoyed UK chart success with Lynott, via singles Parisienne Walkways.
Throughout his career, Moore was to embrace a range of genres including blues, metal and hard rock.
He performed on stage with a range of major artists and released 20 studio albums.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In Memory 2011: John Barry

Composer John Barry, famous for his work on Born Free, Out of Africa and the James Bond films, has died in New York of a heart attack aged 77.
Born John Barry Prendergast in 1933, the York-born musician first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven.
His arrangement of Monty Norman's James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 films in the series, among them Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.
In the 1970s he did "Diamonds Are Forever"

His work saw him win five Oscars.,

The last James Bond Theme film of the 1970s was Moonracker, another John Barry and Shirley Bassey mix.

Of course prior to that was the superior "Man With The Golden Gun", sung by Lulu.
i"Film seemed to bring out the very best in him," he said of a man who "was able to catch the mood of a scene or a whole film by the genius of orchestration with fairly conventional instruments".

Barry's son-in-law, BBC business reporter Simon Jack, said he "truly loved writing music as much as people enjoyed listening to it".
"He saw himself as much a dramatist as a composer and his music was inextricably linked to the stories told on the screen."
Jack also remembered him as "a wickedly funny man" whose "passion, genius and sense of humour will be terribly missed by his family and friends".

John Barry was famous for several TV themes in the 1970s too, the most famous being "The Persuaders"

1972 April 15th Non Stop UK Top 40 Show Replay Radio

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Billboard Top Ten 1973 End of Year Chart

For 70s music fans in the US, here are the top Ten records of the year 1973.

01. Tony Orlando & Dawn Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Ole Oak Tree
02. Jim Croce Bad Bad Leroy Brown
03. Roberta Flack Killing Me Softly With His Song
04. Marvin Gaye Let's Get It On
05. Paul McCartney & Wings My Love
06. Kris Kristofferson Why Me
07. Elton John Crocodile Rock
08. Billy Preston Will It Go Round In Circles
09. Carly Simon You're So Vain
10. Diana Ross Touch Me In The Morning

Sunday, November 15, 2015

1970s Top Ten by Steve King

The music of the 70s, was a mix of everything, from novelty records,disco,rock,country and so so much more. In an occasional series we ask readers to come up with their Top Ten of the 1970s.

Steve King lives in Luton in the United Kingdom and has put to memory all the lyrics Abba have ever sung.
Well they were the music of the 70s.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

1970s Top Ten by Michael Weare

The 70s music, was a mix of everything, from novelty records,disco,rock,country and so so much more. In an occasional series we ask readers to come up with their Top Ten of the 1970s.

Today another Englishman abroad chooses his Top Ten, however he gave me such a big list there will be some bonus tracks too. Michael Weare resides in Manila, and is  self employed , he admits only to being over thirty!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Billboard Top Ten 1972

For 70s music fans in the US, here are the top Ten records of the year 1972.

01. Roberta Flack The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
02. Gilbert O'Sullivan Alone Again
03. Don McLean American Pie
04. Nilsson Without You
05. Sammy Davis Jr.Candy Man
06. Joe Tex I Gotcha
07. Bill Withers Lean On Me
08. Mac Davis Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me
09. Melanie Brand New Key
10. Wayne Newton Daddy Dont You Walk So Fast

More hits

Monday, November 9, 2015

In Memory 2011: Gerry Rafferty

Scottish singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty has died at the age of 63 after suffering a long illness.
His career high came in the 1970s and included the anthemic Baker Street and Stuck in the Middle with You, recorded with his band Stealers Wheel.
Rafferty had battled a drink problem and spent time in hospital in Bournemouth with liver failure.
He was born in Paisley and began his musical career as a busker on the London Underground.
Rafferty died peacefully at home, with his daughter Martha at his bedside.
It is understood his funeral will be held in Paisley later this month.
Rafferty had recorded and toured with Billy Connolly as part of the Humblebums, before forming Stealers Wheel with his friend Joe Egan in 1972.
Stuck in the Middle with You was a hit in the early 70s and also appeared on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's debut film Reservoir Dogs in 1992.

 Baker Street charted in the UK and US in 1978 after Rafferty began his solo career and still achieves airplay on radio stations around the world.
Music journalist and BBC Radio 2 presenter Paul Gambaccini said it was a cruel irony that Baker Street, about Rafferty's unhappiness with being a star, brought him more of the fame he hated.
Gambaccini said: "He just wasn't of the constitution to deal with the music business, or to respect it.
"And thus he found fame and artistic success incompatible, and he became a wanderer, a lonely man, allegedly a drinker. And now we have this unhappy end."
Musician and BBC 6 Music presenter Tom Robinson said Rafferty would be greatly missed.
"I'm deeply saddened to hear that Gerry has lost the battle with his failing health," he said.
"His early work with Stealers Wheel was an inspiration to a whole generation of songwriters in the 70s, including me.

Here is a video of the making of Stuck in the Middle With You.
"Many of us had hoped his recent album Life Goes On in 2009 would lead to a full-time return to writing and performing for a lyrical and highly gifted artist."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

In the 1970s The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody

BOHIEMIAN Rhapsody  yep, that song!!!  Has to be one of the most recognized songs ever made. It was way back in October 1975..not that long ago for us old rockers. Anyway, it was 1975 that this epic song was recorded. For those of you who thought it was an original from the film Dumb and Dumber,please move on to the twilight zone are too damaged to be here.

 Queen (the band) practiced playing for three weeks before getting into  the studio  in Monmouth in the UK. History has ensured that this song will be heard forever, and forever...... but, why was it made? What was it about? And how did Freddie Mecury fool EMI into releasing a six minute song that was neither pop, classical or any genre that could be recognised for top 40 radio?

First the funny title. The name "Bohemian" in the song title seems to refer not to the region in the Czech republic, but to a group of artists and musicians living roughly 100 years ago, known for defying convention and living with disregard for standards. Very much like politicians of today.

A "Rhapsody" is a piece of Classical music with distinct sections that is played as one movement. Rhapsodies often have themes.

Brian May, Mercury, and Taylor reportedly sang their vocal parts continually for ten to twelve hours a day. We do not know what alcohol yet had to drink, but after 12 hours they must have had enough of the silly song.
The entire piece took three weeks to record, and in some sections featured 180 separate overdubs were used.  Remember, there was no digital at that time, it was all done on tape. The tapes were physically getting worn out and were becoming transparent.

Bohemian Rhapsody went on to spend 9 LONG LONG weeks at No.1 in the UK and more long, long No. 1 weeks when it was released again in 1991 following Freeddies death. The song became the UKs third biggest seller of all time and is regularly voted the best No.1 single ever.
The rest of the world loved it too. In the U.S. it only made No.9,  SHAME ON YOU, but in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Netherlands it was a big No.1.

The song has received so many awards it would be impossible to list them all. The list included in 2004, when it was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame  "Bohemian Rhapsody" received two Grammy Award nominations for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus and Best Arrangement for Voices. In 1977, only two years after its release, the British Phonographic Industry named "Bohemian Rhapsody" as the best British single of the period 1952–77.[46] It is a regular entry in greatest-songs polls, and it was named by the Guinness Book of Records in 2002 as the top British single of all time.[16] The song is also listed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

In other words it is the daddy pop song!!!

As of 2004, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the second most played song on British radio, in clubs and on jukeboxes collectively, after Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale".[51] On 30 September 2007 on the Radio 1 Chart Show, for BBC Radio 1's 40th birthday, it was revealed that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the most played song since Radio 1's launch in 1967... sorry Beatles you were beaten by the Queen..

By the end of January 1976 it had sold one million singles.

But what was the song about??????

For those who   that look hard at all the confusing lyrics, it could mean nothing, devil worship or just a glimpse into the Freddies mind at the time. Or. It could REALLY mean nothing.
Written only by Freddie Mecury himself, the song draws on previous work that mercury did in the 1960s,...THOS IS FREDDIE IN THE 1960S AT SCHOOL... The Cowboy  song BY FREDDIE was one such song, this included the lyrics  MAMA JUST KILLED A MAN.
Mercury refused to explain his composition other than saying it was about relationships; the band is still protective of the song's secret. Brian May supports suggestions that the song contained veiled references to Mercury's personal traumas. He recalls "Freddie was a very complex person: flippant and funny on the surface, but he concealed insecurities and problems in squaring up his life with his childhood. He never explained the lyrics, but I think he put a lot of himself into that song."[
Mercury a gay man had a flamboyant lifestyle, and it has to be remembered that AIDS was years away from hitting the news networks,,
 Queen states that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is about a young man who has accidentally killed someone and sold his soul to the devil.  Not a great thing to happen. I will continue....On the night before his execution, he calls for God saying, "Bismillah" (In the name of God in Arabic), and with the help of angels, regains his soul from Shaitan (The devil in Arabic).[32]
Did you guys forget that Freddie was born in Zanzibar and also lived in India before moving to the UK.
Despite this, critics, both journalistic and academic, have speculated over the meaning behind the song's lyrics. Some believe the lyrics describe a suicidal murderer haunted by demons or depict events just preceding an execution. One explanation points to Albert Camus's novel The Stranger, in which a young man confesses to an impulsive murder and has an epiphany before he is executed, as probable inspiration.
It is known that Freddie had read The Stranger in the 1960s.
The book is an existentialist novel. This relates to the first lines and can especially be seen in the line "Nothing really matters to me"
In the first part of the novel, the main character, Meursault, isn't fully conscious of the life around him. He doesn't even cry at his mother's funeral. He just goes through life, living day by day. Until he murders a man. Just as he truly began to live, he was imprisoned. 

"Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun (This line especially emphasizes this)
But now I've gone and thrown it all away"

The second part of the novel covers Mersault's time in prison and in court. Which is the second part of the song, 

", we will not let you go
(Let him go!)

At the end of the novel, he is sentenced to death. And again, he goes back to his old way of thinking. NOTHING MATTERS.

Mercury's parents were deeply involved in Zoroastrianism, and these Arabic words do have a meaning in that religion. His family grew up in Zanzibar, but was forced out by government upheaval in 1964 and they moved to England. Some of the lyrics could be about leaving his homeland behind. Guitarist Brian May seemed to suggest this when he said in an interview about the song:

Another explanation is not to do with Mercury's childhood, but his sexuality - it was around this time that he was starting to come to terms with his bisexuality, and his relationship with Mary Austin was falling apart. 

Others believe the lyrics were only written to fit with the music, and have no meaning; UK DJ and friend of Freddie  Kenny Everett quoted Mercury as claiming the lyrics were simply "random rhyming nonsense
Now, to understand what it meant to Freddie Mercury, we should first look into his life at the time he most likely completed the lyrics of the song. The album released on 31st October, 1975. Freddie was in a long term relationship with Mary Austin since the early 1970's. In the mid 1970's, he cheated on her by having an affair with a man who worked for a record company. He must have felt immense amount of inner turmoil and guilt to come clean in front of Mary. But he didn't just have to confess to his girlfriend that he cheated. He also had to confront the possibility of being judged for his bisexuality. The confusion, guilt, anger and fear of society's judgement – these are all emotions Freddie may have felt around that time. (Finally in December 1976, he disclosed Mary his sexuality)

Freddie said

I'm going to shatter some illusions, it was just one of those pieces I wrote for the album: just writing my batch of songs. In its early stages I almost rejected it, but then it grew. We started deciding on a single about halfway through. There were a few contenders – we were thinking of The Prophet's Song at one point – but then 'Bohemian Rhapsody' seemed the one. There was a time when the others wanted to chop it around a bit, but I refused. If it was going to be released, it would be in its entirety. We knew it was very risky, but we had so much confidence in that song – I did anyway. I felt, underneath it all, that if it was successful, it would earn a lot of respect. People were all going, You're joking, they'll never play it, you'll only hear the first few bars and then they'll fade it out. We had numerous rows. EMI were shocked – A six-minute single? You must be joking! The same in America – Oh, you just got away with it in Britain.
— Freddie Mercury


Roger Taylor (from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh): "Record companies both sides of the Atlantic tried to cut the song, they said it was too long and wouldn't work. We thought, 'Well we could cut it, but it wouldn't make any sense,' it doesn't make much sense now and it would make even less sense then: you would miss all the different moods of the song. So we said no. It'll either fly or it won't. Freddie had the bare bones of the song, even the composite harmonies, written on telephone books and bits of paper, so it was quite hard to keep track of what was going on

According to producer Roy Thomas Baker, he and the band bypassed this corporate decision by playing the song for Capital Radio DJ Kenny Everett: "we had a reel-to-reel copy, but we told him he could only have it if he promised not to play it. 'I won't play it,' he said, winking..." Their plan worked – Everett teased his listeners by playing only parts of the song. Audience demand intensified when Everett played the full song on his show 14 times in two days.

Friday, October 23, 2015

In The 1970s Al Green

This American gospel and soul singer was born as Mr. Albert Green in 1946. Al was one of ten children in a family from Arkansas. Al sang and toured in the 50s and 60s, having some success with Al Greene and the Soul Mates in 1967 and was then heard by band leader Willie Mitchell who took him on his record label.
In 1970 Green had his first album called Al Green Gets Next To You which produced several hit singles, including Tired Of Being Alone which became a hit the UK single charts in 1971 getting as high as No. 4 and also became a gold single, although the song was actually recorded in 1969. The follow up was also a gold single the same year.

That song was Let’s Stay Together which got as high as No. 7 and was produced by Willie Mitchell. It also became the bestselling single of 1972 on the Billboard charts and would be a huge hit a decade later for Tina Turner.

1972 gave Al two singles one at No. 44 called Look What You Done For Me.The second was I’m Still In love With You a No. 1 stateside, but got only as high as No. 35 in the UK. But with a gold single in the U.S. Al could do no wrong with his songs on both sides of the Atlantic. As You Ought To Be With Me scored a top ten in the U.S. but did not even chart in the UK.

1973 gave Al three hit singles in the top ten and two going gold too. But Al was about to have a shock as in 1974 he released a single called Let’s Get Married which was a minor hit in the U.S. However, his girlfriend wanted to marry Al, even though she was already married. During an argument with Al she threw a hot frying pan of oil over him and then shot herself dead. Luckily Al Green’s wounds were not too serious, but that moment changed his life as he turned to religion and gospel music.

Amazingly the next hit in both UK and the States was Sha La La (Make Me Happy) which became another Gold single in the U.S. The last hit single in the UK would come from 1975 called L.O.V.E (Love) which Al co-wrote with Marbon Hodges.

Al Green had eight top ten albums and twelve top thirty singles.