Friday, December 2, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers (Part Three)

How 'bout one more round??? 

It appears that the UK group, Amen Corner, also recorded Bend Me, Shape Me, which we all know as done by the American Breed. It was also popular there in the early winter of 1968. The question is, since the American Breed did not write the song, who did?  Writers' credits are shown as Weiss - English. No first names are given. Amen Corner's arrangement is totally different.
I turned your inquiry over to FH Reader (and noted CD liner notes writer and authority) Clark Besch ... he not only helped put together The American Breed's Greatest Hits CD but, over the years, has shared other versions of "Bend Me, Shape Me" with our readers.  Here's a brief history of this track (a #1 Record here in Chicago ... and Top Five nationally, too!) kk

The American Breed seem to have won the worldwide contest between all of the versions released on this song.  They sold a million here in the US, went top 10 in Canada and even though Amen Corner had THEIR first UK top 10 hit with their version, the Breed reached #24 in UK as well the following month in February, 1968.  This helped the Breed have releases worldwide throughout the next years.  I have many of their import 45s with sleeves and it is obvious that they were a name recognized in the music world internationally.
Scott English and Larry Weiss wrote the song.  Scott had a 1964 minor hit with "High On A Hill" and much later wrote "Brandy", which was a solo hit for him in the UK that Clive Davis grabbed for Barry Manilow, turning it into HIS first hit, "Mandy."  Larry would go on to write "Rhinestone Cowboy" for Glen Campbell!
In between all of this, as a team, Weiss / English wrote many good songs.  The Outsiders battled the Animals with the W/E song "Help Me, Girl" here in the US. The Montanas played their version of "Bend Me" live on the BBC "Top of the Pops" as well as recording W/E's "Caio Baby," also a nice 45 by Lynne Randall.  I am sure I have seen their names pop up on various 45s over the years, as well.
"Bend Me, Shape Me" was first recorded by the Models on MGM as a 45.  The Outsiders recorded "Bend Me" on their "In" album in 1967 as an album track.  The Models' 45 came out in summer of 67.  The American Breed's came out in November, 67 and the Amen Corner version in the UK in December, 67.  Other versions have surfaced over the decades, as well.
The American Breed tried many different writers over the years on their 45 "A" sides and eventually returned to Weiss for their great 45, "Keep The Faith" in 68, which they performed live on Lloyd Thaxton's NBC show "Showcase '68."  You might also remember the great Coke jingle the American Breed did that was played on WLS throughout 68 and 69, "Cool It, Let's Go Get a Coke!"  When working with Gary Loizzo on the American Breed CD comp in 1991, he told me he wrote the jingle.  This might be, but the popularity of the jingle prompted their struggling record label, Acta, to want to put it out as a 45.  The result was "Cool It (We're Not Alone)" in which the Coke line was replaced with "Cool It, Girl, We're Not Alone."  Writers credits go to Weiss / English on the 45.  The Breed also performed "Cool It' (the 45 version) on "Showcase 68" as well!
So now you know a little more of the "rest of the story." 
Clark Besch

Here's the original version by The Models ... this one never even charted!

And here it is by The Outsiders ... that's TWO Major Top Five Hits that lead singer Sonny Geraci missed out on ... after releasing "Bend Me, Shape Me' as an album track with The Outsiders ... and then watching The American Breed climb the charts with the hit single ... he later also had a missed opportunity (with his band Climax) and the hit "Rock And Roll Heaven", which became a HUGE hit for The Righteous Brothers.  
Here's the one that sparked this inquiry in the first place ... the British Hit Version by Amen Corner.

And finally, here's the familiar American Breed HIT version of this tune. 

And, speaking of popular music used in commercials ... we're STILL getting emails about some of our older "commercial" postings!!!

>>>My brother (Colorado) and I (South Dakota) are trying to remember who produced an advertising song in the 1960's called (something like) "There's a Man Who Hears a Different Drummer Drumming." Some men's cologne or aftershave, I think. It was popular enough that they made and either gave away or sold a 45 record with this song on it. We had one. We're trying to remember what product it advertised. Maybe your readers would remember.  It's driving us CRAZY -- and can't find it on the interent.  (Marsha Ahrenkiel)  
Hi There,
I am responding to the post I found on your site.  Hopefully, you can pass on the info I found concerning this great tune to those wondering. I had a copy of this when I was a boy and used to play the heck out of it.  For some reason I remembered the name of the cologne - Bravura.
I found 2 videos posted on YouTube of the 45. Here are the links:  
Click here: Bravura Cologne: "The Man Who Hears A Different Drummer" - YouTube     
Click here: The Man Who Hears A Different Drummer - YouTube
I saw on your site that there was a previous response to the original inquiry. Someone else remembered it also. Don't know if the original posters ever followed up on reading the response.
Thanks for a great website,

While I didn't recognize this tune by its title, I knew it IMMEDIATELY when I heard this sound clip ... and I'm betting most of our readers will, too.  Funny ... I don't recall the cologne at all ... but they had a clever and unique ad campaign ... and the song is just catchy enough to stick in your head ... even some 40 years later!!!  Thanks, Carlos!  (kk)

I just found your page about the Heaven Sent commercial.  I have been looking for that on the internet for several years!  I don't think I have heard it since the 60s sometime.  Thanks a BUNCH for putting it on there!  Who'da ever thunk it - getting nostalgic for a commercial!
Edwin Clements 
Those "Heaven Sent" clips probably generated as much mail as ANY other topic we've featured in the last year or so ... unreal!!!  People really DO remember this stuff!!! (kk)

We're still looking for some very rare charts for a couple of our readers if anyone out there can help out.  Here's the latest: 
Kent -
I met with a gentleman yesterday who had contacted me regarding about WLS surveys he has. He had about 30 original surveys from 1961 which I needed. That helped me almost complete my collection of WLS surveys of all originals. I have the complete WLS set, almost ALL originals from October 14, 1960 - May 5, 1990 including Z95 WYZT-FM! Some of the 1960-1961 are copies or bad originals ... otherwise 1963-1990 are all originals. I'm down to 15 original surveys left that I need from 1960 - 1961. Between the copies of these early editions and the ones from 1972 - 1973 that I made up from the foam boards that you provided, this should make this the most complete collection that I know of!  (He also had some old surveys from Gary that are available for sale if you know anyone who might be interested.  They're from WLTH ... radio 1370 ... out of Gary, IN.
Meanwhile, here's the official list of "originals" that I'm missing ... would love to "upgrade" to originals on these (at a reasonable price of course!):
WLS - 1960:  October 14, 15, 22 (?) and 29
                     November 5, 12, 19
                     December 3, 10, 17
WLS - 1961:  January 7, 14, 21, 28
                     April 8, 15
                     May 6
                     June 10, 17, 24
                     July 8, 15
                     August 5, 12
WCFL - 1966:  February 10, 17, 24 
WLSSurvey Bill
While we've had a complete set of WLS (and WCFL) surveys for quite a while now, nearly ALL of mine are copies (which are sufficient for my use.)  I believe Ron Smith is missing just ONE more survey from WJJD, which would be the SECOND survey ever issued (dated 6/18/56).  Quite honestly, we're not even sure it actually exists ... but the survey dated the following week DOES show most of the titles listed in their third week on the chart.  We can speculate as to which records belong where but without an actual real copy, that's all it would be. 

Ron tells me he's missing three WIND Surveys from 1957 preventing him from completing THAT collection, too ... and now he's looking for 1980's charts ... see his note below:
Nobody seems to have the three WIND surveys I'm missing from 1957 either. (9/20, 10/5 and 11/28).  They may be hiding out there somewhere ... so it's always worth asking!
-- Ron 

And finally, Randy Price (who has been compiling our "Super Charts" for several years now) has narrowed HIS search down to a select few titles as well.  Here's a list of what Randy'd like to find in his Christmas Stocking this year:
Jan. 25, 1964 (#868): Top 100 Pop / Looking Up chart [top 10 positions]
Feb. 1, 1964 (#869):  Top 100 Pop / Looking Up chart [top 10 positions]
Feb. 29, 1964 (#873): Top 100 Pop / Looking Up chart [top 10 positions]
April 11, 1964 (#879): Top 100 Pop / Looking Up chart [top 10 positions]
April 18, 1964 (#880): Singles Coming Up chart [top 10 positions]
April 25, 1964 (#881): Singles Coming Up chart [top 10 positions]
May 2, 1964 (#882): Top 100 Pop / Singles Coming Up chart [top 10 positions]
Aug. 15, 1964 (#897): Top 100 Pop / Singles Coming Up chart [top 10 positions]
Actually, we're still looking for charts from BEFORE 1960 ... but this short list will bring Randy current from 1960 - 1980 ... and that's one hell of a starting point!!!
As always, thanks to ANYONE out there who can help these collectors realize their dreams!  (kk)