Friday, January 16, 2009

Speaking of Roger Cook ...

Yesterday we mentioned British Songwriter Roger Cook in our special Madeline Bell profile. (Together, the two fronted a band called Blue Mink, who scored seven hits on The British Charts between 1969 and 1973.)

But the Roger Cook story is MUCH bigger than that!!!

Although he was in some way involved with literally DOZENS of chart hits, Roger

probably enjoyed his own biggest chart success as one half of the British duo David and Jonathan, who scored a #18 U.S. Hit with their rendition of the classic Lennon and McCartney song "Michelle." (The track was produced by Beatles' Producer George Martin ... who liked their vocals so much that he recruited Cook ... and Roger Greenaway ... the OTHER half of David and Jonathan ... to handle the background vocals on the Peter Sellers album he was producing, featuring Sellers' own version of "A Hard Day's Night", yet ANOTHER Beatles classic!)

But Roger Cook's REAL calling was as a songwriter ... over the next several years, his songs became BIG pop hits for a wide variety of artists, including:

Doctor's Orders (by Carol Douglas)
Green Grass (by Gary Lewis and the Playboys)
Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again (by The Fortunes)
I Believe In You (by Don Williams)
I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman (by Whistling Jack Smith)
I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing (Top 20 Hits for both The New Seekers and The Hillside Singers)
Long Cool Woman (by The Hollies)
My Baby Loves Lovin' (by White Plains)
Softly Whispering I Love You (by The English Congregation)
Talking In Your Sleep (by Crystal Gayle)
The Way It Used To Be (by Englebert Humperdinck)
You've Got Your Troubles (by The Fortunes)

... and that's just a few ... in fact, you'll find a 56-Page List of Roger's songwriting credits on his website:

Click here: Who is Roger Cook - Songwriter ?

Many of these tracks have gone on to become radio classics ... but today we're giving you two of Roger's Forgotten Hits.

First up, the David and Jonathan version of Michelle. (Since The Beatles themselves decided NOT to release Michelle as a single ... and since, incredibly, Capitol Records didn't jump the gun and release what would have been a sure-fire hit here in The States as yet another "extra" U.S. Beatles single ... David and Jonathan had a wide open path to score with their own hit version of this classic Lennon - McCartney tune.)

And secondly, how about "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman", a GREAT instrumental tune by Whistling Jack Smith from 1967 that went to #14 on the Cash Box Pop Singles Chart.

I hope some of the jocks on the list will see fit to feature these great, over-looked gems as part of their special "Forgotten Hits" programming ... odds are your listeners haven't heard them in YEARS!!!

(More on Roger Cook tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... so please stay tuned!!!)