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Remembering Ben E. King
May 13, 2015
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Vinyl Record Newsletter
Issue #034, May 10, 2015
Welcome to my Vinyl Record Lovers Newsletter and thank you for subscribing.
I do appreciate the time you take to read my newsletter.
In this issue:---What's New?
---Remembering Ben E. King.
---The longest titled #1 song.
---Suggestive lyrics for this 1976 song.
---Betcha didn't know - Music History Trivia from 1967.
---What's next? Neil Sedaka, a truly remarkable talent.
What's New - "Sleepwalk" challenge.The "Sleepwalk" challenge is up and I have received many nice reviews on the covers by Les Paul, Hank Marvin and Jeff Beck.
I love them all, but my choice is the Jeff Beck cover. He gets closest to the original more than anyone I have ever heard.
That's why he is rated as one of the top 5 best guitar players of all time.
See this amazing Jeff Beck cover of Sleepwalk here.
Ben E. King - "Stand By Me" is now recording history."There Goes My Baby" reached number two on the Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard R&B charts for two weeks, in the summer of 1959.
The Atlantic Records release was King's debut recording as lead singer of "The Drifters."
Two more favorites of mine performed with "The Drifters" were "Save The Last Dance for Me," (1960) and "This Magic Moment," also from 1960. He recorded many more with "The Drifters" that we all enjoyed.
In 1961 as a solo artist, King released "Spanish Harlem" and his signature single "Stand By Me," one of the best-known and most covered songs in history. It established Ben's legacy forevermore.
"Spanish Harlem" was originally intended for the Drifters, who passed on it.
In 2015, King's original "Stand By Me" version was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", just under five weeks before King's death.
Ben E. King died April 30, 2015, in Hackensack, NJ. He was 76.
What is the Longest titled #1 song?Answer: B.J. Thomas gets honors for longest titled song.
"(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", a 1975 B.J. Thomas hit, has a distinction on the Billboard charts of being the longest titled number one song ever.
Billboard lists this song as the longest titled number one song ever (as of the end of 2009).
The song itself was a B.J. Thomas hit which spent one week at the top of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts in the spring that year.
It was Thomas' second number one hit, the first being "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" in 1969.
The song also went to number one on the Country charts, paving the way for Thomas' success as a country artist, which lasted well into the 1980s.
Naughty, Cute or "A roll in the hay"? You decide.What song, which had some suggestive lyrics, made it to the top of the charts for The Starland Vocal Band in 1976?
Answer: "Afternoon Delight."
Nearly 40 years ago, "Afternoon Delight" was the song that made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts for The Starland Vocal Band for a two-week stay in July of 1976.
The lyrics themselves suggest a romantic rendezvous between two partners in the middle of the day and the term "afternoon delight" has come to mean just that in some circles.
I still have the 45rpm vinyl record I purchased new. Do you remember the first verse from this song?
Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight
Gonna grab some afternoon delight
My motto's always been; when it's right, it's right
Why wait until the middle of a cold dark night
When everything's a little clearer in the light of day
And we know the night is always gonna be there any way.
"Betcha didn't Know" - Fun Trivia about these Number 1 Songs of 1967.Looking through my old original 45rpm records, I began to wonder if there was more to the recordings and the artists than just the song itself.
I did some research and found some interesting trivia on the following songs and never knew about the original singer on the song, "Incense and Peppermints." And I'll "Betcha didn't know" that either.
February, 1967The week of February 18, 1967, saw a number one song by a Chicago-based band called "Kind of a Drag." Who took the song to number one?
Answer: - The Buckinghams.
Originally known as the Pulsations, the band enjoyed local success on Chicago station WGN-TV's "All Time Hits Show."
At the suggestion of a station employee they changed their name to reflect the band names of the British Invasion.
Jim Holvay and Gary Beisber of the Chicago band "The Mob" wrote "Kind of a Drag" and offered it the the Buckinghams. It entered the Hot 100 at number 90 and took five weeks to hit the top.
They left their small USA label, signed with Columbia Records and went on to have success with songs such as "Susan" and "Don't You Care?"
June, 1967.Otis Redding wrote a song that hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for Aretha Franklin the week of June 3, 1967. Which song did she propel to the top of the charts?
Answer: - Respect:
After little success recording show tunes for Columbia Records, Aretha Franklin signed with Atlantic Records.
They arranged for her to work with the Muscle Shoals Studio musicians where Otis and other artists were having success.
Atlantic even purchased a four-track recorder for the facility to use to record Aretha.
The formula worked because "Respect" was a huge hit and Aretha went on to have six consecutive top ten singles with Atlantic.
July, 1967.What song did The Doors rocket to the top of the charts the week of July 29, 1967?
Answer: - Light My Fire.
There's no doubt about it, "Light My Fire" put The Doors on top and they would have many more top ten hits the next three years.
Keyboardist Ray Manzarek met Jim Morrison at UCLA and agreed to organize a group. Ray knew two musicians in his meditation class.
Soon John Densmore and Robbie Kreiger became members of the band. There was an instant chemistry along with Jim's powerful stage presence that resulted in concert and chart success.
"Light My Fire" was not originally intended for release as a single.
August, 1967.A country flavored song hit number one the week of August 26, 1967. Which song did Bobbie Gentry take to the top of the charts?
Answer: Ode to Billy Joe.
Bobbie Gentry related that she woke up at 2:00AM one morning and jotted down the nucleus of the song.
To this day a lyrical mystery has developed concerning what was being thrown off the bridge.
Bobbie recorded the song for Columbia records in less than an hour, playing the guitar track herself. The song was originally the flip side of "Mississippi Delta" but started getting airplay and became a hit.
Bobbie received three Grammys for the song and became a regular Las Vegas entertainer.
October, 1967.The theme from the movie "To Sir With Love" headed the charts the week of October 21, 1967. Which singer sang this hit?
Answer: - Lulu
Lulu was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie and was only 14 when she was discovered singing with The Gleneagles in a Glasgow nightclub.
The Gleneagles became Lulu and the Luvvers and recorded a cover version of the Isley Brothers' song "Shout." Lulu was dubbed "The Scottish Brenda Lee."
To further her career her agent scouted possible movie scripts for her and she ended up featured in "To Sir With Love." Lulu was married to Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees from 1969-1973.
November, 1967.A psychedelic song called "Incense and Peppermints" topped the Billboard Hot 100 the week of November 25, 1967. Which band performed the song?
Answer: - Strawberry Alarm Clock.
The Strawberry Alarm Clock was given the lyrics by songwriter John Carter.
There was some initial resentment by the band when Carter suggested that a different singer do the vocal than the one they had doing it.
It was intended as a "B" side so they consented. The singer at the studio was actually just a friend of the band and was never heard from again.
When the song surprisingly achieved chart success the drummer, Randy Seol, sang the song because he more closely sounded like the missing singer.
After the group disbanded, guitarist Edward King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd and co-wrote "Sweet home Alabama."
What's Next?My music buddy from South Carolina, Bill Moore, has given me many good ideas and suggestions for my website.
When he recently hinted that I might add something in the newsletter about Neil Sedaka, I knew he was really saying; "For someone who has an oldies music site, how in the world can Neil Sedaka not be a part of it."
And I agree!
Bill and I grew up about the same time in different cities in different states, but both of us love the same music and the talent of Neil Sedaka.
Thanks for the reminder Bill, I have been long overdue writing a page on Neil Sedaka.
Do you have some favorites?If you have any favorite vinyl record topics you'd like to see on this site, please click here and enter your information in the contact form.
I'll respond withing 24 hours.
Have a great month.
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