Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gimme Some Lovin'

Some of you may remember a discussion that we had a couple of months back regarding the song "Gimme Some Lovin'" and the fact that, here in America, a group called The Jordan Brothers actually released THEIR version first ... despite the fact that the song was written by Stevie Winwood and recorded by his band The Spencer Davis Group. The question came up, "Could the ORIGINATOR of the song actually "COVER" their own tune."

Here's a quick recap of that piece we ran back in March:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
More Of What's Been On Your Minds

Scott Shannon's putting together another one of his True Oldies Channel's "Remakes" Weekends ... and this time around, Forgotten Hits and some of our readers have unearthed some REAL gems ... as soon as we get the broadcast dates, we'll let you know ... but there are some NEAT surprises planned. Meanwhile, while researching originals vs. remakes, THIS song came up:

I was listening to Scott Shannon's show last weekend on channel 1340 Reading, PA, when he was playing originals and remakes that might have done better than the originals. "Give Me Some Lovin' written by Steve Winwood, was originally recorded by the Jordan Bros, a band from Schuylkill County, Pa. The record was selling so well that Winwood decided to record it again himself. He had better connections than the Jordan Bros, so his record went national. Just some more rock and roll trivia.

Neither Scott nor I had ever heard that story before ... nor had we heard the record ... but I did, in fact, find a website for The Jordan Brothers, who made the local charts a few times in Pennsylvania. FH Regular Tom Diehl filled us in on a few more details ... and even sent us the cut to share with our readers. As to how on earth they got a-hold of The Spencer Davis Group's recording BEFORE it was released in America (in time to learn it and cut their own version), nobody seems to know for sure. I made contact with Frank Jordan, one of the original members of the band, but he hasn't responded to me yet ... if we get more details, we'll be sure to share them with the rest of the class. Meanwhile, here's what we know so far:

The Jordan Brothers version was released in 1966 but didn't manage any chart action until after the release of the Spencer Davis Group version the following year, and bubbled under in 1967. How it got into their hands, I have no idea. All I know is the Philips record number that it was issued on is smack dab in the middle of a hundred other 1966 releases while the Spencer Davis version didn't get released on United Artists until 1967. The Jordan Brothers had some much better records than that one, though they didn't manage any decent chart positions with their songs.
-- Tom Diehl

On The Jordan Brothers' official website, we found a 2-CD set of their Greatest Hits ... along with a survey showing their version of "Gimme Some Lovin'" on the Pennsylvania charts. Interesting ... learn something new here all the time!!! (kk)Click here: The Jordan Brothers


Clearly The Jordan Brothers COVERED the tune if Stevie Winwood wrote and recorded it ... the big mystery now is how they got their hands on it!!! Anybody out there have any information on this? (File it under the "Helping Out Our Readers" category!!) kk

If Stevie Winwood wrote "Gimme Some Lovin'", I don't see how you can really consider any other artist "covering" the song before he did it. Maybe it was a hit in England before it was a hit here or something and that's how The Jordan Brothers discovered it, I don't know, but clearly it's a Stevie Winwood song. Sounds to me like The Jordan Brothers just had a local Philly hit with it.
Dave The Rave

We had a number of Chicagoland acts "covering" Hollies tunes before The Hollies really made much of an impression on the national charts ... because they had access to import albums and such. (The Cryan' Shames ... one of the artists we'll be featuring this weekend ... had planned to release their version of The Beatles' tune "If I Needed Someone" as their first single ... but reportedly George Harrison put the kabosh on that idea after The Hollies' cover version of the same song failed in England. Instead, they broke through with a remake of The Searches' tune, "Sugar And Spice".) Clearly, the American bands were checking the British charts, looking for ANYTHING that would sound enough like a British hit to actually get played on the radio. The Buckinghams took their name as much from Chicago's Buckingham Fountain as they did from Great Britain's Buckingham Palace!!! The New Colony Six were inspired by the first colonies set up here in America who broke away from British rule. And on it goes!
As far as how these bands continued to find songs that most of us casual listeners weren't even aware of, we have to remember that back then it wasn't at all uncommon for the track line-ups to differ between the UK and the US album releases ... so I suppose The Jordan Brothers COULD have heard the song, jumped on it, and released it before The Spencer Davis Group single hit the charts here in America. (Actually, looking at the charts above, they pretty much charted simultaneously!) Again, not all that uncommon back in the wide-open AM Top 40 programming days when a local artist could chart with the same song as a major artist ... here in Chicago, we heard The Mauds' version instead of the classic Sam and Dave version of "Hold On."

A quick check of The British Charts shows the Spencer Davis version debuting on November 3, 1966 ... that's about eight weeks before the same single first appeared on our Billboard Chart. That means that The Jordan Brothers' version was already climbing the Philadelphia chart BEFORE The Spencer Davis Group's single made its first U.S. chart appearance. I can't imagine any other more reasonable assumption ... but again, in the meantime, if anybody can shed more light on this, please bring it on!!! (Who knows ... maybe we'll even hear back from The Jordan Brothers themselves!!!)

The Jordan Brothers

And that's pretty much how things have sat for the past two months.

Then, out of the blue, I FINALLY heard back from Frank Jordan ... who tells us a pretty interesting story. (It would seem that we weren't really that far off track with our "suppositions"!!!) Here's the OFFICIAL word from Frank Jordan himself:

Hi Kent!
I have tried on a few occasions to send this and to no avail. Found out today that I had a computer problem. That being rectified, I pray that this will finally go through.
Artists back in the 50's and 60's relied heavily on the record company's people to come up with a hit for them. This was the case with The Jordan Brothers' band. Upon recieving a phone call from the people at our record company in New York, we packed up our instruments and, along with our father, we went to the Big Apple. The people at our company played a "demo" or demonstration of the song Gimme Some Lovin' for us to hear and approve. We all agreed that we liked the song and agreed to record it. Little did we know that it was the actual 8 track tape we listened to containing Steve Winwood's vocal, organ, a lead guitar, bass guitar and drums. The other remaining tracks were open for any additional accompanyment. We did not know this at the time or how our record company got hold of the original recording. We may never know. Or how the other record company that recorded the other tracks on it got a hold of it. We learned the song, recorded it on that same trip and it was released in three major cities in the U.S. So, we did have the first release in the U.S. and the record took off immediately. It boasted huge sales in three major cities which would make the Spencer Davis version seem like it was a cover. The Spencer Davis version was inhanced with more instrumentation and background voices which gave it somewhat of a "soul sound", a term used back then for a sound produced at Motown records which was very popular at the time. The Spencer Davis version was released and it got immediate attention. It didn't take long for it to take over our version and cover it.
Our apologies for any confusion this may caused to all concerned, but most importantly, to our fans, for any inconvenience or misleading this might have generated.

We thank you all for your interest and that this clears this controversy up once and for all.
Frank Jordan

So there you have it ... once again, Forgotten Hits comes up with the REAL story. (Jeez, and up until a couple of months ago, I didn't even know that there WAS another version of this tune ... let alone a Philly hit!!!) This means that SOME parts of the country heard The Jordan Brothers' version of "Gimme Some Lovin'" before The Spencer Davis Group version tore its way up to the top of the charts. Amazing!!! (I'd say this makes The Jordan Brothers' version worthy of another spin here today!!!) kk