Here are some little known facts pulled from the rock and roll archives:
- Did you know that little Stevie Wonder was the first artist to have a number one song (“Fingertips”) and number one album at the same time?
- That Frank Sinatra was the first of the “Rat Pack” to record “Everybody Loves Somebody”?
- My, my my...how the plot thickens in the music industry. A young man named Eddie formed a group called The Distants and then changed the name to The Elgins of “Heaven Must Have Sent You” fame. With a little coaxing from Berry Gordy Jr., they later became the world famous Temptations...and yes, the founder of the group, Eddie, was, of course, Eddie Kendricks.
- I’ll bet that you can’t remember the star who recorded “The In Crowd.” Well, it was none other than Dobie Gray.
- Sylvia Robinson, whose sexy stylings powered the Mickey and Sylvia hits “Love is Strange” and “There Oughta Be A Law,” didn’t sit still when she and Mickey parted ways. She owned Vibration and Platinum Records and produced many demos on her own. It’s ironic that Al Green later turned down a record Sylvia wrote because he felt that it was too provocative- so did several others. Well, Sylvia had faith in the sexy your hearts out naysayers: “Pillow Talk” sold a million records.
- The well known jungle beat of Bo Diddley is such a primitive drive that few dance floors remain empty when it’s playing. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine that when holding someone special in your arms while listening to Robert Flack singing “Feel Like Making Love” you’re actually listening to a tune penned by a 300 pound keg of musical dynamite named Bo Diddley.
- The song that Barry Manilow chose as a vehicle to stardom was a fluke. He retitled “Brandy” and names it “Mandy.”
- The American dream inspired a young lady to go for broke and head for the land of opportunity. She left her own country in search of a miracle and soon found that being broke and out of work is also an American tradition. Her spunk and talent ultimately paved the way for her to reach stardom and become a spokeswoman for the woman’s liberation movement along the way. Yes, you can still feel her strength as she overpowers us with “I Am Woman.” Helen Reddy, that you are!
- Do you remember the beach girl? Do you know her name? Well, you may be surprised to learn that she as none other than Toni Tennile of The Captain and Tennille fame. A major record company bought their first song, “The Way I Want To Touch You,” a tune recorded in a garage. If you ever come across the demo, it’s worth a fortune- only 500 copies were produced before the buy out.
- Country and western’s Blue Ridge Rangers boasted of a lead singer named John Fogerty. We all know him as the lead singer of Credence Clearwater Revival.
- Brenda Lee had everything going for her. Even Loretta Lynn sang the demo tape of “Fool #1” to convince Lee to record the song.
- Did you know that Jackie Wilson, Kris Kristoferson and Lee Dorsey were all Golden Gloves boxers?
- I wish that Patsy Cline had lived long enough to record a duet with another great female singer, Kay Starr. Can you imagine the two of them belting out “Walking After Midnight”? Oh, just a note- Kay Starr once rejectred that song, one which was perfectly suited to her vocal style!
Well, that’s the facts, ma’am...just the rockin’ facts!