Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>Hoping you can help me. I've been trying to find a song for more than five years and everyone thinks I'm hearing things! LOL.  1970 or 1971 ... maybe 1972.  One hit wonder. I believe the name of the song is "Sea Trip". Sung by a male vocalist. It's about a guy stranded on an island and he imagines the girl of his dreams is also somewhere on this island or will arrive at the island. Some of the lyrics are: "I was hit by the sound of a heavy heart beat" "stars were bright as diamonds".  Can you help?  (Larry)   

Sea Trip was done by Jackson Homar. I've  never heard it.  In many cases will give you the flip side, by just entering the name of the song.  


Can't even call this one a One Hit Wonder ... I don't show it charting at all!  I DID find a used copy of the 45 on, however ... didn't even check Gemm or EBay.  

Click here: sea trip / feel it 45 rpm single: HOMAR JACKSON: MP3 Downloads

>>>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.  (Jack)  
>>>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)  

Thanks for the info. I had thought it might be Larry Weiss and had I thought about it long enough, I would have come up with Scott English, too.

FH Reader Jersey John got THIS inquiry from one of the visitors to his website recently:
I love your site!  I’m hoping you can help me.  For years I’ve been trying to remember a song from the late 60’s — possibly 69.
I thought the girl’s name was Patty, but I’ve searched and searched and couldn’t find anyone who had a song with the lyrics:
“When I met you, I knew that I was gonna love you. . . .”
Does this sound familiar to you?  Many thanks.
Diane Rebbec
Unable to help, he turned it over to us ... and this one was a no-brainer.  In fact, we featured the answer to this question several years ago in Forgotten Hits ...
Hi Diane!
Maybe Patty Drew? I know she had a hit, "Tell Him", but lyrics don't match. am ROTTEN with lyrics!
Patty Duke: for straws! :)
It would be best if you could remember the singer, white or black?
I assume a slow tempo song, being a love song?
Where were you residing when you heard the song? Was it on radio? It may be a regional hit!
If I'm no help, I'll send the question elsewhere, and I'm sure someone can answer it.
Actually, I'll also send this to Kent at Forgotten Hits, maybe one of his reader knows!!
John - NJ
p.s. Kent, if you could help Diane, that would be mighty nice!
You were DEFINITELY on the right track.  It WAS Patti Drew, who had a Top 20 Hit here in Chicago with HER version of "Workin' On A Groovy Thing" in 1968, a song that would go on to national success when it was recorded by The Fifth Dimension a year later.  (The Fifth Dimension's version went to #20 nationally ... Patti Drew's take topped out at #62 on the national charts.)
I've always loved this song ... BOTH versions actually ... but since Diane grew up right here in Illinois, I'm betting the farm that she remembers the Patti Drew version.  (kk)

Before we could even run this in "Helping Out Our Readers", John and HIS reader were able to solve this on their own:
Well, damn!  You did it!  After nearly 40 years, I found someone who gave me a lead — and it was right!  The singer was, indeed, Patty Drew, and the song was “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing”.  It was 1968!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You have no idea how many years this has haunted me, trying to remember.  Now, can you name a book I read in 1997 where the heroines name was . . . . ? 
Diane Rebbec
PS.   I’m a fan from now on!
Kent: Cancel that help! Thanks! This Jersey Boy has the situation under control! :)

Hey Kent -
A record buddy and I were talking last night and wondered ...
We have been collecting all these years.  When we started as kids ... and on till the nineties ... there would be cut out bins in the stores for vinyl.  You never see that for cd's. Where do the cut out cd's go?
This is a GREAT question for the aforementioned Jersey John.  He scourers EVERY available source looking for cut-out CDs, unusual pressings, imports, budget CDs, etc.  I've asked John to give our readers some CD-searching advice.  (kk) 
I find cut-out CDs all the time. Probably see less of them than records because less are "pressed".  Some CDs never make it to distribution; I find those lacking that silly white tape sealer quite often!!  Many of the CDs I find without silly white tape sealers are already considered cut-outs (never made it to distribution), those selling them can't return those CDs for a refund! Others do have some type of cut-out, either a saw kerf or bullet hole, as sold. Lots of current music isn't distributed to radio stations by Compact Disc (CD), but by a web site with binary files, to save cost!
I agree about CDs vanishing off the face of the earth! Me, I buy 'em at some Pathmark food stores. However, the selection is growing small and one store even stopped selling them all together! I found 'em in dollar stores, too, but nothing worth mentioning, except Tony Orlando & Dawn, where I have every single CD from a box set, except one! Oh, and lots of foreign acts showing up, too (welcome to the US!) on CD. But, for the "good" stuff, I seek Amazon and eBay. Worth mentioning, even though I thought it was a great CD, but Jay & The Americans CD, on EMI, the Legendary Masters series, can be found at Pathmark. I guess few like them anymore - just sits and collects dust :-(
But, you or whoever is right, to hear a great selection of songs that we enjoy, they are played over PA systems, even at Pathmark.
Hope that helps.
Thanks, K'!
From what we've been hearing, the entire CD format may become obsolete in the next year or two ... virtually everything is downloaded digitally nowadays.  (Weird, too, because vinyl seems to be making a comeback of late!)  As for me, I'm just making sure I've got both a CD player, a turntable and a cassette deck that are all operational ... 'cause I AIN'T buying all this stuff AGAIN!!!  (kk)  
Click here: Uncommon Top 40 - '50's '60's '70's+  

Could this be the same Johnny Holliday who charted at #40 on the November 25, 1961 WLS Silver Dollar Survey with "One More Time" on Roulette?
Dave The Rave asked me the same question when I talked with him about having Johnny on his show.  I asked Johnny and go no answer at all ... which tells me it isn't him ... because if it WERE, I'm sure he'd have a fascinating story to tell about his brief (if uneventful) recording career.  (kk)