Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues

One of the surprise Top Ten Hits of 1972 came from Spokane, Washington, born singer / songwriter Danny O'Keefe. His Big Hit, Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, was ALL over the radio the fall of that year.
It had all the makings of a hit country song: a slight drawl to the semi-sung / semi-spoken vocal, a nice, laid-back, story-telling lyric (with just the right amount of pain and heartache), a stripped down musical arrangement, a softly moaning harmonica wailing in the background ... for God's sake, the man even whistled!!! ... but it tanked on the country charts ... and instead, crossed over to become an unlikely pop hit, eventually peaking at #9 on The Billboard Pop Singles Chart in The Fall of 1972. (For the record, this song was later covered by everyone from Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson to Dwight Yoakam to Waylon Jennings to Chet Atkins to Charlie Rich, despite the fact that country radio refused to initially embrace it.)

Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues didn't sound like anything else on the radio at the time ... and we loved it!!! (And so did a whole lotta other people ... the song was a smash ... yet you hardly ever hear it on the radio anymore today ... and that's a shame. Thankfully, a number of the deejays on the list are now featuring our Forgotten Hits Fridays selections as part of their programming ... so folks will have a chance to hear this great track again this week and, hopefully, call in to request it again and again.)

Although O'Keefe never again hit the pop charts as a singer, many of the songs he's written were recorded over the years by a number of other artists, including Jackson Browne (The Road), Judy Collins (Angel Spread Your Wings), Leo Sayer (Magdalena), John Denver (Along For The Ride), Jimmy Buffett (Souvenirs), Sheena Easton (Next To You) and Alan Jackson (Anywhere On Earth You Are).

He co-wrote Well, Well, Well with Bob Dylan, which was later recorded by Bonnie Raitt, David Lindley, Maria Muldaur and The Blind Boys Of Alabama.

O'Keefe's musical career got its start in the mid-'60's when Danny was signed to the Jerden Label by Jerry Dennon, the same guy who discovered The Kingsmen and released their #1 Smash Louie Louie. When nothing happened there, O'Keefe moved through a series of record labels without much success.

Thanks to a connection made with Charlie Greene and Brian Stone, (who had previously helped guide the careers of The Buffalo Springfield, Sonny and Cher, Iron Butterfly and Bob Lind), O'Keefe was given the opportunity to audition over the phone with Atlantic Records President Ahmet Ertegun, who signed him to his Cotillion label. Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues was released in September of 1972 and peaked at #9 on The Billboard Chart dated November 4, 1972.

Danny is still recording new material today and also making live appearances from time to time. You can read all the latest Danny O'Keefe news right here: Click here: Danny O'Keefe

In fact, he has a new CD available for purchase right now titled "In Time" ... and you can check out four of the tracks on his MySpace Page:
Click here: - Danny O Keefe - Washington - Folk Rock -

Kent -
Thanks for your interest and help ... and for featuring my song in Forgotten Hits. Much appreciated!
Danny O'Keefe