Hello, fans of Gilbert Gottfried and his Amazing Colossal Podcast! After a short “hiatus” of one month (for your friendly blog owner to complete and publish a novel!), For the Love of Gottfried is back among the living with a post about a mini-episode which originally went online on August 25, 2016. One-Hit Wonders of 1970 continues the series of Obsessions by Gilbert Gottfried and co-host Frank Santopadre that focus on our favorite tunes from the 1960s and 1970s—specifically those by artists who did not make the national Top Forty charts before or since. …
Click on the link below to continue reading and to check out some cool vids.
Lineup for the 11th annual Andy Kim Christmas Show (9 Dec 2015) has been announced. Artists include:
Cowboy Junkies’ Michael and Margo Timmins
Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning
Kim got his start as a teenager in the famed Brill Building in New York City, meeting songwriter-producer Jeff Barry and recording a number of singles and albums for Barry’s own Steed Records label, including “How’d We Ever Get This Way,” “Shoot ‘Em Up, Baby” (which Kim recently re-recorded for his newest studio album, It’s Decided) and “So Good Together,” as well as remakes of the Ronettes hits “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” both Barry with Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector and the latter of which earned Kim his first gold record in 1969. That same year, the Andy Kim/Jeff Barry-composed “Sugar, Sugar” was released by The Archies and went on to reach #1 on the charts and become RIAA Record of the Year; it too went gold as did the band’s followup single, “Jingle Jangle,” also penned by the Barry/Kim team. In 1974, with Jeff Barry having dissolved Steed Records, Kim recorded the self-penned “Rock Me Gently” and released it on his own label, Ice Records. The success of the single in Canada led Capitol Records to sign him to a recording contract and release the record here in the States where it soared to the top of the charts and added another gold record to Kim’s collection.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Kim recorded under the name Baron Longfellow (a moniker bestowed upon him by his manager at the time, the late Gordon Mills) before reverting back to Andy Kim in the new millennium. In 2010, Kim’s first studio album in 20 years, Happen Again, was released; earlier this year, 2015, Kim released It’s Decided, produced by Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew and released on Drew’s Arts & Crafts label. A short documentary of the same name was filmed in Manhattan during Kim and Drew’s sojourn to the city last March to perform one of the album’s cuts, “Sister OK,” on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Another music legend has gone to Rock and Roll Heaven. Paul Revere of The Raiders passed away on October 4, 2014. Revere, who was born Paul Revere Dick in Nebraska on January 7, 1938, died peacefully at his home in Caldwell, Idaho according to the group’s official website. He was 76 years old.
In 1958, Revere formed the group that would become Paul Revere & The Raiders two years later, when the band recorded its first single, the instrumental Like, Long Hair. The song, which was based on Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in C-Sharp Minor,” made the Billboard Top Forty in 1961. In 1963, the group recorded “Louie, Louie,” but it was the version by The Kingsmen, recorded at around the same time, that became a hit. In 1965, however, the band’s popularity took off under the production of Terry Melcher. Hits by Paul Revere & The Raiders included “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “The Great Airplane Strike,” “Good Thing,” “Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” and “Indian Reservation,” which went all the way to #1 in 1971.
Revere continued to perform with The Raiders until July of 2014, when health issues forced him to take a break from the tour and subsequently retire from the band altogether.
Paul Revere: 07 January 1938 – 04 October 2014
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Louie, “Louie”
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Kicks”
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Hungry”
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “The Great Airplane Strike” (on Hollywood Palace, 1966)
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)”
Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Like, Long Hair” (live at Casino Rama, Ontario, Canada, 2011)
Message from Paul Revere on his Facebook page, July 18, 2014
Announcement of Paul Revere’s passing on Facebook, October 4, 2014
Edit (13 October 2014)—Paul Revere memorial service at Cathedral of the Rockies:
Forty years ago today (September 28), Andy Kim‘s enduring classic, “Rock Me Gently,” hit the top of the U.S. charts. Of course, back then the song wasn’t yet a classic, enduring or otherwise. The track had just been recorded a few months earlier, and the single was released in June, when it began its steady climb to the #1 position. For disc jockeys and program directors, it was little more than business as usual; records hit the streets, get included on radio playlists and loaded into jukeboxes, garner radio play, are purchased at retail outlets, and (hopefully) ascend the charts, with the lucky ones going all the way to the pinnacle. An everyday occurrence and nothing to get worked up over. For Andy, however, the process was nothing short of a miracle.
When Andy Kim finished composing “Rock Me Gently” in February of 1974, he knew he had come up with a winner. He could feel it in his very heart, through which the melody and lyrics had flowed with sublime ease during a ten-minute session on guitar. So convinced was he that this was the song that would mark his return to the music charts that he carefully put his guitar down and proceeded to do a hand-spring across his living room, followed by a return hand-spring back to his instrument and the window through which he’d been gazing as the poetry residing in his soul was made manifest. It was the sort of moment we all live for, when everything comes together and the less athletically inclined among us pump our fists in the air—”YES!” A moment of joy when our grins all but split our faces in two, and we feel at one with the Universe. For some people, this happens only a handful of times in a lifetime.
Yet Andy’s euphoria was quickly followed by a strong dose of reality: He had been without a record label since the previous year, and if his new creation was to see the light of day, he had to get that little dilemma solved. And fast. Though only in his twenties, he knew that time waits for no man; all we have is the present in which to act. This was a life and work ethic to which Andy held fast. He had had a run of success as a songwriter and recording artist on Jeff Barry’s Steed Records from 1968 to 1971, recording eleven singles and three albums for the label. Five of those singles, including his first effort, “How’d We Ever Get This Way,” hit the national Top Forty; his remake of “Baby, I Love You,” which has come to be as identified with Andy as with the group that originated it, The Ronettes, made the Top Ten and earned Andy his first gold record. After Jeff Barry discontinued Steed Records and relocated from New York to California, Andy was signed to Uni and recorded an eponymous album for the label, in 1973. The Montreal-born singer of Lebanese extraction was accustomed to moving forward; he hadn’t become a successful singer/songwriter by resting on his laurels or sitting on his ass. There was work to be done, arrangements to be made, music to record. Details such as booking a studio and finding a record company willing to press and release this new creation of his had to be seen to, as well as getting all of the promotional ducks in a row. Andy enlisted the help of his older brother, Joe, to help with the business end of his chosen profession; then he raided his piggy bank for the funds needed for studio time. The record wasn’t going to cut itself.
For a time it looked as if the record wasn’t going to be cut at all. But Andy was nothing if not resourceful, and he decided to bring Muhammad to the mountain, so to speak, by founding his own label, Ice Records—a fitting name for a Canadian-based company—and proceeding with the studio work on pure faith. After getting the track laid down to his satisfaction and with the remaining session time down to minutes, Andy made the decision that, rather than his recording another song as a “B” side for “Rock Me Gently,” its flip would be the instrumental backing track (which would be entitled “Rock Me Gently [Part II]”). Actually, the decision was made for Andy by his newly svelte piggy bank, which vetoed the idea of paying for another session.
Andy had done all he could. Things were now in the hands of the gods … who came through with flying colors when the folks at Capitol Records heard “Rock Me Gently” and decided to sign Andy to a record deal and to release the single, with its instrumental counterpart on the B side. Andy was on his way, and the song itself was on its way to attaining hit status.
The rest is musical history. “Rock Me Gently” began a steady climb to the top of the (U.S.) charts and would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 28, 1974. It would go on to hit the #2 spot on the U.K. Singles Chart two weeks later, on October 12, 1974, and subsequently garner a second gold disc for Andy (which was intercepted and informally presented to him by John Lennon at the Capitol Records building!). In the years since, the song has stood the test of time and become a pop standard. It remains in constant rotation on classic rock radio stations and is probably being played somewhere on the planet at just about any given moment. It’s even been used in commercials. And, in 2012, Andy Kim himself good-naturedly recorded a parody of the song, entitled “Mock Me Gently,” for Toronto radio station CHBM-FM (Boom 97.3)’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.
“Rock Me Gently” came into being at the perfect time. First of all, it’s a wonderful dance tune, so it’s fitting that it became a hit as disco was emerging as a musical genre. Second, and perhaps more important for reasons of longevity, the song is classy; it makes perfect sense that it became a classic. “Rock Me Gently” is both romantic and sexy, without being blatantly sexual or using explicit lyrics of any sort; the physical intimacies are hinted at rather than baldly spelled out, with whatever may have been taking place between the sheets laying between the lines. It’s the perfect song for amorous couples to listen to during romantic nights in front of the fireplace, and in fact the track has shown up on more than one CD compilation of love songs. It’s safe to say that Andy Kim’s financial investment has paid off many times over—and his personal and emotional investment continues to pay off, with multiple generations of music lovers reaping the dividends. Thanks to the dream and vision of Andy Kim, “Rock Me Gently” has become part of the world’s DNA.
Andy Kim – “Rock Me Gently” (official video):
Live Performance of “Rock Me Gently” by Andy Kim on Top of the Pops (UK, October 1974):
TV Commercial for Jif Cleaner (UK):
2008 Jeep Liberty “Pouring In” Commercial feat. “Rock Me Gently” (US, 2007):
Andy Kim (with Blair Packham) performing “Mock Me Gently” for Boom 97.3 FM’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest (Toronto, 2012):
Distinguished Artists: Interview with Andy Kim (2009):
The world lost one of the true giants of the music industry when the legendary Bob Crewe passed away on September 11, 2014, at the age of 83. Although he was best known for his work with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, especially in the years since the musical Jersey Boys made its debut on the Broadway stage, Crewe had an extensive career as a singer, composer and producer spanning several decades.
Often referred to as the Fifth Season, Crewe was a true Jersey boy, born in Newark on November 12, 1930 and raised primarily in Belleville. A partnership formed in the early 1950s with Frank Slay, Jr. resulted in a record label, XYZ; and, ultimately, a national Top Ten hit with “Silhouettes” by The Rays. The song was written by the Crewe/Slay team and the record produced by Crewe. “Silhouettes” was covered by The Diamonds and later remade by Herman’s Hermits with whom the song again garnered Top Ten status, in 1965.
Crewe and Slay subsequently began working with Swan Records, where they co-wrote an infectious ditty called “La Dee Dah” (whose lyrics referenced other popular song titles of the era, a trend which seems to have been more or less in vogue at the time) for the duo Billy and Lillie; the song peaked at #9 on the charts. Additionally, the Crewe/Slay team added a couple of recordings by Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon to their list of successes, beginning with “Tallahassee Lassie” for which the pair wrote additional lyrics and revamped the arrangement. The result was yet another Top Ten hit on Crewe’s resume.
It was about this time when the Philly-based Swan Records signed a new young singer named Eddie Rambeau. “I met him [Bob Crewe] when I was working for Frank Slay in Philadelphia and Bob and Frank decided to rejoin forces,” Ed Rambeau says, referring to the merging of Crewe’s publishing company with Slay’s. Crewe became a songwriting partner of Rambeau’s as well, ultimately co-composing roughly a hundred songs by Rambeau’s estimation. One of these, “Navy Blue,” written by Crewe and Rambeau along with Bud Rehak, became a national Top Ten hit for Diane Renay in 1964. Subsequently, Rambeau adds, “I moved to New York and began working at the Bob Crewe organization along with Frank.”
Before “Navy Blue,” however, Crewe had begun the association with which he would be forever remembered, composing (with Bob Gaudio) and producing the song “Sherry” for a group called The Four Seasons. This record, which went all the way to the top of the charts in 1962, was the beginning of a collaboration which produced a number of hits for Frankie Valli and the group, among them “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and others forever immortalized on record and in the stage play and movie Jersey Boys.
In 1965, Crewe founded DynoVoice records, and its first release was “Concrete and Clay” by Eddie Rambeau. Crewe had brought a demo of the song back to the States after a visit to the UK; the voices on the demo were those of the song’s composers, Tommy Moeller and Brian Parker. Crewe had Rambeau record the song for the new label; the recording was produced and arranged by Charles Calello, who would go on to replace Nick Massi in The Four Seasons later that same year. A week after Rambeau’s version of “Concrete” was released, a second version, by its songwriters and their group, Unit 4 + 2, hit the streets and the airwaves. Despite this, DynoVoice’s inaugural release managed to make it to the U.S. Top Forty. Rambeau followed this up with his second single for the label, “My Name is Mud,” which like “Navy Blue” was composed by Rambeau with Crewe and Rehak.
During the 1960s and early ’70s, before and during his tenure as lead vocalist for The Archies and The Cuff Links, Ron Dante was an A-list session singer in New York City. Dante notes: “Bob was an incredible person. Really talented and visionary about pop music. I used to do backgrounds for him in the sixties. He would call at all hours of the day and night [asking me to] bring some singers over to a studio he was working in. Sometimes the sessions would start just before midnight and we’d work until the wee hours. Bob was a great man. I was so impressed with his musical skills.”
Over the years, much has been written about Bob Crewe’s incredible career and his many successes in the music world as songwriter, producer and recording artist, which in addition to his body of work with The Four Seasons and the other recordings mentioned in the previous paragraphs also included hits like “A Lover’s Concerto” (The Toys, 1965); “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” (The Walker Brothers, 1966; originally recorded by The Four Seasons); “Music to Watch Girls By” (The Bob Crewe Generation, 1967); “Jean” and “Good Morning Starshine” (Oliver, 1969); “Lady Marmalade” (Labelle, 1974); and “Get Dancin'” (Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, 1974). Rather than duplicating everything here, I recommend visiting Bob Crewe’s Wikipedia page, which includes a partial list of his hits over the years, and a second page on Wikipedia which lists songs written by him.
I also heartily recommend listening to the audio interview conducted by deejay Ronnie Allen a few years ago. Ronnie, who worked for Casey Kasem’s organization during a 15-year period from the early ’70s to the late ’80s as a researcher for the American Top Forty program, has for the past several years recorded interviews with a number of the music industry’s major players for the Jersey Girls Sing website
Here, word for word, is what Ronnie Allen has to say about his interview with Bob Crewe:
I first communicated with Bob in 2003 when he was my surprise live phone-in guest on a radio show that I did with Diane Renay. Five years later we did an 80-minute radio interview show for the Jersey Girls Sing website in which we focused on his amazing career. Laura asked my permission to share it with you and I said “you absolutely have it!”
If Bob had produced and written songs for the 4 Seasons and nobody else, his enduring place in pop music history would still be firmly established. But he also produced and/or wrote so many hits for other artists including the Rays, Billy and Lillie, Freddy Cannon, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Kenny Notan, LaBelle and even the outrageous Monti Rock III (AKA Disco Tex)!
In this radio show from January 2008, Bob’s stories about the artists and the hits are as fascinating and entertaining as the hits themselves. The unbelievable success of the 4-Seasons-based show Jersey Boys, the hottest ticket on Broadway and wherever else it is playing, is icing on this man’s proverbial cake; he wrote many of the hit songs from that show. And now there is additional icing as he is one of the main characters in the recently-released Jersey Boys film and of course his songs are prominently featured there as well.
Bob was an incredible talent and, just as important, a true gentleman with an engaging sense of humor.
It was truly an honor to do this show with him as a tribute to his prolific body of work.
And thanks again, Laura, for agreeing to share it with your very large number of followers.
The Bob Crewe Interview, by Ronnie Allen (January 2008):
A truly incredible career, the likes of which might be equaled but will probably never be surpassed. Bob Crewe was truly one in a million.
Sadly, Crewe was visiting his brother Dan’s home a few years ago when he suffered a fall down a flight of stairs, from which he never fully recovered. Crewe passed away at a care facility in Scarborough, Maine, on September 11, 2014. He was 83 years old.
Ron Dante, who was known as “Ronnie” during his demo- and session-singer heyday, remembers Bob Crewe with fondness—and also shares a surprising anecdote: “Personally,” Ron says, “he [Crewe] was so impressive as a human being. A true gentleman and kind taskmaster for the singers. He was the reason I changed my name from Ronnie to Ron. He did my numbers and said I would have much more success with [fewer] letters.”
As for Ed Rambeau, he has this to say about his friend and mentor:
“Bob was a really fun-loving guy and one of the most memorable things I remember about him is that when we went to see a movie, he always fell asleep in the movie theater. We usually went in a group and the person sitting next to him always had to keep nudging him awake … especially when he began snoring. However, as a talent, no one compared. He had an ear for a hit song like nobody else in the business. He was also quite a remarkable painter and that’s primarily what he was concentrating on before the accident when he fell down a flight of stairs at his brother’s house at around age 80. Since that fall, he was never the same. Although he’s gone, his music and art will live on forever. So to Bob Crewe I say, ‘It’s never goodbye, it’s just so long for awhile.'”
Videos and social media tributes from Jersey Boys movie cast members and others:
Bob Crewe performing “Water Boy” on the Jack Spector show, 1959:
“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” — the Walker Brothers:
“Lady Marmalade” — Labelle
Erich Bergen (Bob Gaudio in the movie adaptation of Jersey Boys, 2014):
Sadly I must report the passing the Four Seasons’ fifth member, the legendary Bob Crewe. We love you Bob. pic.twitter.com/Fz4ZfZKH9Q
The honeyed voice that urged America to reach for the stars for decades has been silenced.
Casey Kasem, the legendary radio DJ whose syndicated radio show was the most popular radio program in history, passed away Sunday — Father’s Day — in a Santa Monica hospice after a battle with Lewy Body dementia. He was 82.
Paul Goddard, the bass player and a founding member of the stylish Southern rock band the Atlanta Rhythm Section, died Tuesday of cancer in Atlanta, the group’s manager, Len Fico, told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 68.
Goddard performed on such ARS hits as “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Do It or Die” and the remake of the Classics IV’s “Spooky.”