12th Post: A-D – (44 Groups) Last Names

1950 and 1960s MUSIC GROUPS (A-D)

This post includes 44 musical groups and artists from the 1950 and 1960s that have last names ending between A-D:

The Animals, The Association, Gene Autry, Mo Bandy, Eileen Barton, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Brook Bennett, Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Booker T & The MGs, Earl Bostic, The Box Tops, Jan Bradley, Arthur Brown, Jackson Browne, James Brown, The Browns, The Bryds, The Buckinghams, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat, Jimmy Charles, Ray Charles, Don Cherry, Lou Christie, Jimmy Clayton, Mary Clayton, Patsy Cline, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sam Cooke, Cream, Bing Crosby, Danny & The Juniors, Dave Clark Five, The Del-Vikings, Deep Purple, Bo Didley, Dion & The Belmonts, Fats Domino, The Doors, Patti Drew, and The Drifters.

The Animals
Photo credit: Group Portrait- 1964
GAB archive – Redferns

Animals, The 1963-1969

“House of the Rising Son.” (https://youtu.be/MJkr0DWbhTk) (RQ 10). Eric Burdon lead singer. Rock & Roll HOF. Music used in 43 movies including the Sopranos. An English group.

The Association
Photo credit: Songbook – Never My Love – 1967

Association, The

“Cherish” (https://youtu.be/bg9uVA9-Uuk). (RQ 10)

“Never My Love” (https://youtu.be/UzgpB9xpyT8) (RQ10)

“Windy” (https://youtu.be/bPYT9Vyu62A) (RQ 10). Sold over 1M copies. Jules Alexander and Terry Kirkman from CA formed group. “Along Comes Mary” (https://youtu.be/sYJhhKSXOBo) (RQ 7) first hit.

Gene Autry
Photo credit: desertsun.com

Orvon Grover “Gene” Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998), nicknamed the Singing Cowboy, was an American singer, songwriter, actor, musician, and rodeo performer who gained fame largely by singing in a crooning style on radio, in films, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was the owner of a television station, several radio stations in Southern California, and the Los Angeles/California Angels Major League Baseball team from 1961 to 1997. From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films, and between 1950 and 1956 hosted The Gene Autry Show television series. During the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important pioneering figures in the history of country music, considered the second major influential artist of the genre’s development after Jimmie Rodgers. His singing cowboy films were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience. In addition to his signature song, “Back in the Saddle Again” (https://youtu.be/E5F-O_19lSI) (RQ8) and his hit “At Mail Call Today”, Autry is still remembered for his Christmas holiday songs, most especially his biggest hit “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as well as “Frosty the Snowman”, “Here Comes Santa Claus”, and “Up on the House Top”.

Moe Bandy
Photo credit: cactustheater.com

Marion Franklin “Moe” Bandy Jr. (born February 12, 1944) is an American country music singer. He was most popular during the 1970s, when he had several hit songs, both alone and with his singing partner, Joe Stampley.

In 1962, he began to pursue a career in country music. He assembled a band that he called Moe and the Mavericks and found work playing small beer joints, honky-tonks, and clubs over a wide area around San Antonio. When he was young he tried to sound like Hank Williams and George Jones – “I even had my hair cut short like his.” An example of his earlier work is “That’s What Makes a Jukebox Play.” (https://youtu.be/mwZMbwa6eqc) (RQ 9).

During the day he worked for his father as a sheet metal worker, a job that lasted for 12 years, during which time he made a few recordings for various small labels. In 1964, his first single, “Lonely Girl”, made little impression. In 1973, he went solo when record producer Ray Baker, who had listened to his demos, suggested that he come to Nashville, Tennessee. Bandy’s song “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today” was initially released on Footprint Records but it came to the attention of the GRC record label. In March 1974, it entered the US country chart, eventually peaking at number 17. Other minor hits followed, including “It Was Always So Easy To Find An Unhappy Woman (Till I Started Looking For Mine)” and “Don’t Anyone Make Love at Home Anymore”

Eileen Barton
Photo credit: diomedia

Eileen Barton (November 24, 1924 – June 27, 2006) was an American singer best known for her 1950 hit song, “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake. (https://youtu.be/G1wEVPqFFCg) (RQ 8). Barton was a child star. By age 6, she appeared on The Horn and Hardart Children’s Hour, a radio program sponsored by Horn & Hardart’s Automat, a then-well-known restaurant chain, and, by age 7, in 1936–37, she was working with Milton Berle on his Community Sing radio program, using the name “Jolly Gillette” and playing the sponsor’s “daughter” (the sponsor was Gillette Razors). She would ask to sing, he would tell her she couldn’t, and she would remind him that her daddy was the sponsor, so he’d let her sing a current hit song. She also was a regular on The Milton Berle Show in 1939. At 8, she had a daily singing program of her own on radio station WMCA, Arnold’s Dinner Club. At 10, she appeared twice on Rudy Vallée’s network radio program in 1936. She also acted on radio series such as Death Valley Days. At age 11, she left show business briefly. At age 14 she went on the Broadway stage as an understudy to Nancy Walker in Best Foot Forward, followed by an appearance under her own name with Elaine Stritch in Angel in the Wings. At age 15, she appeared as a guest singer on a Johnny Mercer variety series, leading to her being noticed by Frank Sinatra, who took her under his wing and put her in a regular spot on the CBS radio show that he hosted in the 1940s. She co-starred on Sinatra’s showbeginning August 16, 1944, and was also part of Sinatra’s act at the Paramount Theaterin 15 appearances there. She also appeared on her own and as a guest performer with such stars as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, and Danny Kaye. In 1945, Barton had her own radio program, Teen Timers. That November, the program’s name was changed to The Eileen Barton Show. It was broadcast Saturday mornings on NBC. In 1954, she starred in The Eileen Barton Show, a 13-episode transcribed program for the United States Marine Corps. Her first record, for Capitol Records, was “Would You Believe Me?” (catalog number 402), with the orchestra of Lyle “Skitch” Henderson, in 1948. In 1949, she recorded “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake” (written by Bob Merrill, Albert Hoffman and Al Trace; Trace used the pseudonym Clem Watts) and introduced it on Don McNeill’s radio program, The Breakfast Club. On the record, Trace’s band musicians backed her, but were given billing as “The New Yorkers.” It was first released by National Records, a small New York–based label, mostly specializing in rhythm & blues records, as catalog number 9103. When National’s owner, Al Green, decided it had become too big a seller for National to handle, the record was later distributed by Mercury Records, whose co-owner was Al Green’s son, Irving Green. The record became one of the best-selling records on an independent label of all time, charting at #1best selling in stores for 2 weeks and most played by jockeys for 10 weeks, and altogether on the Billboard charts for over four months. In a 2005 interview for the liner-notes of her Jasmine Records CD release, Eileen indicated that she never received a penny in royalties from either National or Mercury for her record’s success, although by contract she was supposed to receive 5% of each sale.After the success of this record, she became a night club and stage performer, appearing at all the important clubs in New York City and many others. In the 1950s, she was a featured singer with Guy Lombardo and his orchestra. In 1956, Barton began recording for Epic Records. She continued to record for both National and Mercury, making “Honey, Won’t You Honeymoon with Me?” (catalog number 9109) and “May I Take Two Giant Steps?” (catalog number 9112) for National and “You Brought a New Kind of Love” (catalog number 5410) for Mercury. Later she moved over to Coral Records, and charted with some cover versions of songs that were bigger hits for other artists, such as “Cry”, “Sway”, and others. She also appeared in motion pictures and television, working the restaurant and night club circuit until around 1980.

The Beach Boys
“The Beach Boys Today”
Photo credit: Ultimate Classic Rock – 1965

Beach Boys, The. 1961-present

Brian, Carl & Dennis Wilson and friend Al Jardine (lead singer) and cousin Mike Love formed the group. One of their top hits was: “Good Vibrations.” (https://youtu.be/Eab_beh07HU36) (RQ 10). The song made was charted No1. It sold over 100M records. The Beach Boys had three more No1 songs:

“ I Get Around” (https://youtu.be/wREBD2og5iY) (RQ 9)

“Help Me Rhonda” (https://youtu.be/cUxMupNEno4) (RQ 6)

“Kokomo” (https://youtu.be/tIieHL8LerI) (RQ 10)

They have been elected into the Rock & Roll HOF.

The Beatles
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
Photo credit: Apple Corps Ltd. – June 1, 2017

Beatles, The. 1960-present

From Liverpool, England. Band members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Geo Harrison & Ringo Starr (Sir Richard Starkey at birth). In May of 1964 they recorded: “Love Me Do” (https://youtu.be/KPon7i1-T1U) (RQ 9). It was charted No1.

The group suffered an immeasurable loss when Lennon was shot and killed in December of 1980. Then, Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001.

They have earned 7 Grammys. And, in 1970, they won an Academy Award for “Let It Be.” (https://youtu.be/QDYfEBY9NM4) (RQ 9). It was also charted No1. They also have been elected into the Rock & Roll HOF. They have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, 8 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and one silver. Along with “Love Me Do” and “Let It Be,” the Beatles recorded 18 more No1 hits:

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” 1964 (https://youtu.be/jenWdylTtzs) (RQ 7)

“She Loves You” 1964 (https://youtu.be/S302kF8MJ-I) (RQ 9)

“A Hard Days Night” 1964 (https://youtu.be/Yjyj8qnqkYI) (RQ 8)

“I Feel Fine” 1964 (https://youtu.be/WrAV5EVI4tU) (RQ 10)

“Can’t Buy Me Love” 1964 (https://youtu.be/srwxJUXPHvE) (RQ 7)

“Help!” 1965 (https://youtu.be/2Q_ZzBGPdqE). (RQ 10)

“Yesterday” 1965 (https://youtu.be/wXTJBr9tt8Q). (RC 9)

“Ticket to Ride” 1965 (https://youtu.be/SyNt5zm3U_M) (RQ 10)

“Eight Days a Week” 1965 (https://youtu.be/kle2xHhRHg4) (RQ 10)

“We Can Work It Out” 1966 (https://youtu.be/Qyclqo_AV2M) (RQ 10)

“Paperback Writer” 1966 (https://youtu.be/yYvkICbTZIQ) (RQ 9)

“All You Need is Love” 1967 (https://youtu.be/_7xMfIp-irg) (RQ 10)

“Hello Goodbye” 1967 (https://youtu.be/rblYSKz_VnI) (RQ 10)

“Penny Lane” 1967 (https://youtu.be/S-rB0pHI9fU) (RQ 10)

“Hey Jude” 1968 (https://youtu.be/A_MjCqQoLLA) (RQ 10)

“Come Together” 1969 (https://youtu.be/oolpPmuK2I8) (RQ 7)

“Get Back” 1969 (https://youtu.be/IKJqecxswCA) (RQ 10)

“The Long and Winding Road” 1970 (https://youtu.be/fR4HjTH_fTM) (RQ 9)

After the Beatles: Paul McCartney

The Beatles ceased playing live shows in 1966. After their breakup in 1970, Paul McCartney recorded two solo albums, “McCartney” “Lovely Linda, etc.” (1970) (https://youtu.be/WrRCkQEw9Dk) (RQ 7) and “Ram” (https://youtu.be/7ppNnQ-slEg) (1971) (RQ9), before forming the band Wings with his wife Linda (formerly Linda Eastman), an American photographer and musician whom he had married in 1969.

In 1970, McCartney debuted as a solo artist with the album McCartney. Throughout the 1970s, he led Wings, one of the most successful bands of the decade, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums. McCartney resumed his solo career in 1980. Since 1989, he has toured consistently as a solo artist. In 1993, he formed the music duo the Fireman with Youth of Killing Joke. Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.

McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot100 and as of 2009, had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Toll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member if the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music. As of 2020, he is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million.

McCartney produced eight No1 charted songs (the first six with his band Wings):

“Coming Up” (https://youtu.be/E1-G4zyIAs8) (RQ 7)

“Silly Love Songs” (https://youtu.be/wh15LOppcWQ) (RQ 10)

“With a Little Luck” (https://youtu.be/KzH-2NgtaZk) (RQ 8)

“My Love” (https://youtu.be/ZmjN1O1ejS4). (RQ 10)

“Band on the Run” (https://youtu.be/RjlvdcBAKdg) (RQ 8)

“Listen to What the Man Said” (https://youtu.be/kRT3V-q_gBI) (RQ 10)

“Say, Say, Say” with Michael Jackson (https://youtu.be/aLEhh_XpJ-0) (RQ10)

“Ebony and Ivory” with Stevie Wonder (https://youtu.be/fXAlfh6QKQs) (RQ 10)

After the Beatles: George Harrison

After the band’s breakup in 1970, George Harrison released the triple album “All Things Must Pass” a critically acclaimed work that produced his most successful hit single, “My Sweet Lord” (https://youtu.be/SP9wms6oEMo) (RQ 10+) and introduced his signature sound as a solo artist, the slide guitar. His recording “What is Life” (https://youtu.be/fiH9edd25Bc) (RQ 8) charted Top10. He also organised the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, a precursor to later benefit concerts such as Live Aid. In his role as a music and film producer, Harrison produced acts signed to the Beatles’ Apple record label before founding Dark Horse Records in 1974 and co-founding HandMade films in 1978.

Harrison released several best-selling singles and albums as a solo performer. In 1988, he co-founded the platinum-selling subgroup the Traveling Wilburys. A prolific recording artist, he was featured as a guest guitarist on tracks by Badfinger, Ronnie Wood and Billy Preston, and collaborated on songs and music with Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Tom Petty, among others. RollingStone magazine ranked him number 11 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. He is a two-time Rick and Toll Hall of Fame inductee – as a member of the Beatles in 1988, and posthumously for his solo career in 2004.

Harrison’s first marriage, to model Patti Boyd in 1966, ended in divorce in 1977. The following year he married Olivia Arias, with whom he had a son, Dhani. Harrison died from lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58, two years after surviving a knife attack by an intruder at his Friar Park home. His remains were cremated and the ashes were scattered according to Hindu tradition in a private ceremony in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India. He left an estate of almost £100 million.

After the Beatles: Ringo Starr

After the band’s breakup in 1970, Ringo Starr released several successful singles including the US top-ten hit “It Don’t Come Easy” (https://youtu.be/anpjEN9KeJ0) (RQ 8) and number ones “Photograph” (https://youtu.be/t6CMSuT98-E) (RQ 10) and “You’re Sixteen” (https://youtu.be/vkR7u_sOtHI). (RQ 10). His most successful UK single was “Back Off Boogaloo” (https://youtu.be/BXg1AxBXN5g) (RQ 6) which peaked at number two. He achieved commercial and critical success with his 1973 album “Ringo” “I’m the Greatest” (https://youtu.be/Ua5EAfAMYpM) (RQ 8) which was a top-ten release in both the UK and the US. He has featured in numerous documentaries, hosted television shows, narrated the first two series of the children’s television programme Thomas & Friends and portrayed “Mr. Conductor” during the first season of the PBS Children’s television series Shinning Time Station. Since 1989, he has toured with thirteen variations of Tingo Starr & His All-Starr Band.

Starr’s playing style, which emphasised feel over technical virtuosity, influenced many drummers to reconsider their playing from a compositional perspective. He also influenced various modern drumming techniques, such as the matched grip, tuning the drums lower, and using muffling devices on tonal rings. In his opinion, his finest recorded performance was on the Beatles’ “Rain” (https://youtu.be/cK5G8fPmWeA) (RQ 7). In 1999, he was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. In 2011, Rolling Stone readers named him the fifth-greatest drummer of all time. He was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a Beatle in 1988 and as a solo artist in 2015, and appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to music. In 2018, he was cited as the wealthiest drummer in the world, with a net worth of $350 million.

After the Beatles: John Lennon

In 1970: John Lennon releases “Instant Karma” (https://youtu.be/xLy2SaSQAtA) (RQ 10). He later attends primal scream therapy, designed to provoke the patient to release their deepest traumas as screams. Feeling lighter than he had in years, John records the raw, confessional “Plastic Ono Band” including “Blue Suede Shoes” (https://youtu.be/hsbllVibGVg) (RQ 8). The album is not as successful as Paul or George’s debuts. It is, however, generally considered the best Beatles solo album and one of the very best in rock history.

In 1971: John records “Imagine” (https://youtu.be/v27CEFE02Hs) (RQ 9) was the single and album, both masterpieces. The lyrics are almost as raw and confessional but the melodies are more commercial; coating the medicine in sugar as it were. It is regarded as a return to form as it was a bigger success. John and Yoko moved to New York in the fall. They fall in with a far left intelligentsia crowd.

In 1972, inspired by his new friends, John releases his worst album, the self indulgent “Some Time In New York City” (https://youtu.be/GlwuwEx2zLA) (RQ 3). His association with this crowd unnerved the Nixon administration, who begin deportation proceedings on John based on his 1968 conviction for marijuana possession. Nixon was concerned ‘the youth’ will vote against him due to John’s influence.

In 1973, John humiliated Yoko by getting drunk and cheating on her at a party she was in attendance at. Yoko kicks him out, commencing the infamous ‘Long Weekend’. John moves to Los Angeles, falls in with Ringo, Harry Nilsson and some other expatriates and they attempt to drink the West Coast dry. John also releases “Mind Games” (https://youtu.be/bVYXWVs0Prc) (RQ 8) was a solid effort that was a rebound from the uneven Some Time. John settles with the publisher of Chuck Berry’s catalog over “Come Together” (https://youtu.be/_WBeG9wjGmM) (RQ 8). He agrees to record an album of 50s hits featuring several of the songs the man owned. The project would not be released for nearly two years.

In 1974, John released “Going Down on Love” (https://youtu.be/oQKTLI7IWWE) (RQ 6), his best album since Imagine. He makes up with Yoko and moves back to New York.

In 1975, John releases “Rock and Roll” “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (https://youtu.be/S8huF2Jgn4c) (RQ 7) the 50s album. Due to the delay (Phil Spector had stolen the master tapes for some reason), the album goes from being ahead of the curve to being behind it and is not as successful as it might have been (Bowie had released, “Pin Ups”, a similar concept, 18 months earlier, for example). John releases “Shaved Fish” “Happy Christmas” (https://youtu.be/yN4Uu0OlmTg) (RQ 7) a greatest hits collection and allows his record contract to expire in Jan, 1976. John’s second son, Sean is born and John gets his green card as a permanent resident alien of the U.S.

1976–1979, John sits in his apartment, bakes bread and raises his Sean. A three year “layoff.”

In 1980, John regrouped, fully rested, returns to making music. The 5 1/2 year gap between studio albums, which would not even be noteworthy today, was astonishing for the time. John and Yoko record “Double Fantasy”, (https://youtu.be/pZCxyOcvp5A) (RQ 9). John’s most focused album since Imagine, although not everyone warms to the record, which is similar in theme to McCartney, Paul’s debut. Nonetheless it augurs perhaps a bright future for John and his music, which tragically was never to be.

Joe Bennett & The Sparkletones
Photo credit: wspa.com

Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones were an Americanrock and roll/rockabilly group from Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Sparkletones formed in 1956 at Cowpens High School in Spartanburg when the group’s members were between the ages of 13 and 16. In January 1957, Bob Cox, a talent scout for CBS, held auditions at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium; The Sparkletones took first prize at the event. Convinced they would be a success, Cox quit CBS to manage the group and flew them out to New York City to sign with ABC-Paramount. At their first recording session they recorded the 12-bar blues “Black Slacks”. Paul Anka, who had been recording in the studio earlier that day, added falsetto background on a different song that the group recorded that day, “Boppin’ Rock Boogie”. Band members Joe Bennett (born Joseph H. Bennett, February 21, 1940 – June 27, 2015) and Jimmy Denton co-wrote “Black Slacks” (https://youtu.be/kfmtyaj4NXQ) (RQ 8). Released as a single soon after, “Black Slacks” became a local hit and slowly built up national recognition as the group set out on a tour that crisscrossed the U.S. several times over, also performing on The Nat King Cole Show, American Bandstand, and The Ed Sullivan Show. “Black Slacks” remained on the U.S. charts for over four months, peaking at #17 on the BillboardTop 100 in late 1957. The Sparkletones’ next single, “Penny Loafers and Bobby Socks”, reached #42 on the Billboard charts early in 1958, staying on the charts for 8 weeks, while “Cotton Pickin’ Rocker”, “We’ve Had It”, “Late Again”, “Run Rabbit Run”, all failed to chart over the course of the next three years. In 1959 the group’s contract with ABC-Paramount expired, and they released three singles on Paris Records, and only the single “Boys Do Cry” had any semblance of success, peaking at #105 in 1959. Around this time original guitarist Sparky Childress and drummer Jimmy Denton left and were replaced by Gene Brown and Donnie Seay, respectively. The group broke up about 1961. Childress played country in the 1960s. A compilation LP was released by MCA Records in 1980, and European bootleg CD reissues were put out in the 1990s. The band members did occasional reunions in South Carolina into the 2000s. Joe Bennett served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. During that time he was exposed to Agent Orange. In his later years he suffered from complications related to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Bennett continued in music as a publisher and teacher. He died on June 27, 2015, at age 75.

Brook Benton
Photo credit: tunefind.com

Benjamin Franklin Peay (September 19, 1931 – April 9, 1988), better known as Brook Benton, was an American singer and songwriter who was popular with rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and pop music audiences during the late 1950s and early 1960s, with hits such as “It’s Just a Matter of Time” and “Endlessly”, many of which he co-wrote. In 1959, he finally made his breakthrough with hits like “It’s Just a Matter of Time” (https://youtu.be/7Dv9B_W8tSk) (RQ 10) and “Endlessly” (https://youtu.be/OwrPutH55l8) (RQ 10). “It’s Just a Matter of Time” peaked at No. 3 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 chart, sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. “Endlessly” made it to No. 12. Both of the first two hits were written by Benton with Clyde Otis. They were originally offered to Nat King Cole, but when Otis became an A&R manager and producer at Mercury, he convinced Benton to sign with the label and record them himself, while asking Cole not to record the songs as planned. Benton followed this success with a series of hits, including “So Many Ways” (No. 6), “Hotel Happiness” (No. 3), “Think Twice” (No. 11), “Kiddio” (No. 7), and “The Boll Weevil Song” (No. 2). In 1960, he had two top 10 hit duets with Dinah Washington: “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)” (No. 5) and “A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)” (No. 7). In the mid 1960s, Benton recorded for RCA Records and Reprise Records with minimal commercial success. Then, in 1968, he signed with Cotillion Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, where, the following year, he enjoyed his last major hit with “Rainy Night in Georgia” (https://youtu.be/X7VsQwVSqXw) (RQ 10), written by Tony Joe Whiteand produced and arranged by Arif Mardin, a million-seller which topped the Billboard R&B chart. Benton recorded a total of five albums with Mardin, including a gospel album, during his stay at Cotillion. Benton eventually charted a total of 49 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, with other songs charting on Billboard‘s rhythm and blues, easy listening, and Christmas music charts. The last album made by Benton was Fools Rush In, which was released posthumously in 2005. He also had records released on various other labels, including All-Platinum, Brut, Olde Worlde, Stax and Groove Records.

Blood, Sweat & Tears
Photo credit: The Essential album
April 4, 2014

Blood, Sweat & Tears 1967-present

“Spinning Wheel” (https://youtu.be/SFEewD4EVwU) (RQ 10) and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” (https://youtu.be/9cWPbLxtsLs) (RQ 10) were their top hits. Al Cooper first formed group in NYC. David Clayton-Thomas next lead singer. Jerry Fisher last singer.

Booker T & The MGs
Photo credit: The Guardian
Dave Simpson – March 11, 2019

Booker T & The MGs. 1962-

Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Lewis Steinberg, Al Jackson Jr. First integrated band in Memphis (2 of 4 white) First hit instrumental single: “Green Onions.” (https://youtu.be/0oox9bJaGJ84) (RQ 10). Inducted into the HOF.

Earl Bostic
Photo credit: Deezer

Eugene Earl Bostic (April 25, 1913 – October 28, 1965) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and a pioneer of the post-war American rhythm and blues style. He had a number of popular hits such as “Flamingo”, “Harlem Nocturne”, “Temptation”, “Sleep”, “Special Delivery Stomp”, and “Where or When” (https://youtu.be/P3HlIz_2Uk8) (RQ 9) which all showed off his characteristic growl on the horn. He was a major influence on John Coltrane.

The Box Tops
Photo credit: Toppermost – Dave Stephens

Box Tops, The. 1967-

Alex Chilton lead singer. Died of heart attack in 2010 (Five members). There hits were: “Cry Like a Baby” (https://youtu.be/dmhtxLSUhYU) (RQ 7) and “The Letter” (https://youtu.be/HIWY8UyW9bw) (RQ 10). They both charted No1 on Billboard. And, sold more than 4M records.

Jan Bradley
Photo credit: secondhandsongs.com

Jan Bradley was born in Byhalia, Mississippi, and grew up in Robbins, Illinois. She was noticed by manager Don Talty (who also managed Phil Upchurch) at a high school talent show singing with The Passions. After graduating, she auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, and soon recorded the Mayfield-penned “We Girls”, which became a hit regionally in the Midwest (on Talty’s Formal Records label). Several singles followed, and another Mayfield song originally issued on Formal, “Mama Didn’t Lie” (https://youtu.be/dtFNVo4HsEA) (RQ 9) (b/w “Lovers Like Me”), was released nationally in the U.S. by Chess Records in 1963 and hit #8 R&B and #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Following the single’s success, Mayfield and Chess got into a legal battle over the publishing rights to Mayfield’s songs, and as a result Bradley was no longer able to work with him. She started writing her own songs and released several further singles on Chess. “I’m Over You” hit #24 R&B in 1965; other Chess releases included “Just a Summer Memory” b/w “He’ll Wait on Me”, “It’s Just Your Way”, and “These Tears” b/w “Baby What Can I Do”. Bradley continued working with Talty after her arrangement with Chess ended, releasing singles for the smaller Adanti, Hootenanny, Doylen, Spectra Sound, and Night Owl labels.

Arthur Brown
(The Crazy World)
Photo credit: songkick.com

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown are an English psychedelic rock band formed by singer Arthur Brown in 1967. The original band included Vincent Crane (Hammond organ and piano), Drachen Theaker (drums), and Nick Greenwood (bass). This early incarnation were noted for Crane’s organ and brass arrangements and Brown’s operatic voice and the burning helmet he wore during live shows. Their song “Fire”(https://youtu.be/k3C7ziLZQz0) (RQ 10) (released in 1968 as a single) sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc reaching number one in the UK Singles Chartand Canada, and number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as its parent album The Crazy World of Arthur Brown which reached number 2 on the UK album charts and number 7 in the US. In the late 1960s, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s popularity was such that the group shared bills with the Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Mothers of Invention, the Doors, the Small Faces, and Joe Cocker, among others.

Jackson Browne
Photo credit: wsmv.com

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Emerging as a precocious teenage songwriter in mid-1960s Los Angeles, he had his first successes writing songs for others, writing “These Days” as a 16-year-old; the song became a minor hit for the German singer and Andy Warhol protégé Nico in 1967. He also wrote several songs for fellow Southern California bands Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (with whom he was briefly a member in 1966) and the Eagles, the latter of whom had their first Billboard Top 40 hit in 1972 with the Browne co-written song “Take It Easy”. Encouraged by his successes writing songs for others, Browne released his self-titled debut albumin 1972, which spawned two Top 40 hits of his own, “Doctor, My Eyes” and “Rock Me on the Water”. For his debut album, as well as for the next several albums and concert tours, Browne started working closely with The Section, a prolific session band that also worked with a number of other prominent singer-songwriters of the era. His second album, For Everyman, was released in 1973, and while it lacked an enduring single, has been retrospectively assessed as some of his best work, appearing highly on several “Best Album of All Time” lists. His third album, Late for the Sky, was his most successful to that point, peaking at number 14 on the Billboard200 album chart, and earning Browne his first Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. His fourth album, The Pretender (https://youtu.be/SqRvJLH_-vU) (RQ 8), continued the pattern of each album topping the previous by peaking at number 5 on the album chart, and spawned the hit singles “Here Come Those Tears Again” and “The Pretender”. It would be the 1977 album Running on Empty, however, that would be his signature work, peaking at number 3 on the album chart, and remaining there for over a year. Both a live album and a concept album, the songs on the album explore the themes of life as a touring musician, and the album was recorded both on stage, and in places touring musicians spend time when not playing, such as hotel rooms, backstage, and in one case on a moving tour bus. The album produced two Top 40 singles, “Running on Empty” and “The Load-Out/Stay”, and many of the other tracks became popular radio hits on the AOR format. Successful albums continued through the 1980s, including the 1980 album Hold Out, his only number 1 album, the non-album single “Somebody’s Baby”, which was used in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and 1983’s Lawyers in Love, which included the hit single “Tender Is the Night”. In 1986, he released Lives in the Balance, which had several radio hits and included the introspective “In the Shape of a Heart”, which was inspired by the suicide of his first wife a decade prior. His string of hit albums came to an end at that point, as his next several albums failed to produce a gold or platinum RIAA rating. He released two compilation albums, The Next Voice You Hear: The Best of Jackson Browne in 1997, and The Very Best of Jackson Browne, released in conjunction with his Rock and Roll Hall of Fameinduction in 2004. His most recent studio album is 2021’s Downhill From Everywhere, the follow-up to 2014’s Standing in the Breach, which included the first fully realized version of his song “The Birds of St. Marks”, a song he had written at age 18. In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him as 37th in its list of the “100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time”.

James Brown
Photo credit: The Atlantic
Jessie Jarnow – March 28, 2012

Brown, James. 1933-2006

“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (https://youtu.be/QE5D2hJhacU) (RQ 10) reached No1 on Billboard and No 7 on Rolling Stones top 100 artists of all time. Recorded 17 singles. Inducted into 2 HOFs.

The Browns
Photo credit: countrymusichalloffane.org

The Browns were an American country and folk music vocal trio best known for their 1959 Grammy-nominated hit, “The Three Bells” (https://youtu.be/fRKokjU2s74) (RQ 10). The group, composed of Jim Ed Brown and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie, had a close, smooth harmony characteristic of the Nashville sound, though their music also combined elements of folk and pop. They disbanded in 1967 and were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in March 2015.

The Bryds
Photo credit: Observer Music
John Kruth – February 6, 2017

Bryds, The. 1964-2000

Roger McGuinn led group out of LA. David Crosby also a member. HOF in 1991. “Mr. Tambourine Man” (https://youtu.be/uPqAvgN6Tyw) (RQ 7) was their first No 1 hit. First to embrace use of a moog synthesizer. After “Eight Miles High” (https://youtu.be/J74ttSR8lEg) (RQ 10) was when their primary song writer Gene Clark left the group (cause of fear of flying).

The Buckinghams
Photo credit: LaCrosse Tribune – Dawn Lee Wakefield
August 21, 2013

Buckinghams, The. 1966-

Hail from Chicago. Five top 20 hits in 1967. Including: “Kind of a Drag.” Sold over 1M copies (https://youtu.be/Hq1fpN1qWv8) (RQ 8) and “Don’t You Care” (https://youtu.be/S3iVXwR6JVU) (RC 10). Dissolved in 1970, reformed in 1980. Billboard said they were the most listened group in America in 1967.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Photo credit: Ultimate Classic Rock
Jeff Giles – December 16, 2014

Butterfield, Paul (Blues Band). 1963-1987

Paul was a blues “harp” harmonica player. Mike Bloomfield was their lead guitarist. “Born in Chicago” (https://youtu.be/kCjFRNWN3o4) (RQ 6) was their best song. Blues HOF in 06 and Rock & Roll HOF in 2015. Cleared way for white blues players. Bloomfield died in 1987 from a drug overdose.

Canned Heat
Photo credit: NotInTheHallofFame.com #256

Canned Heat 1965-

Formed in LA by Alan Wilson and Bob Hite. Hits: “Going Up Country” (https://youtu.be/4eQMA_noRYQ) (RQ 10) & “On the Road Again” (https://youtu.be/qRKNw477onU) (RQ 10+). Known as “the bad boys of rock.” Were jailed for drug use, sold their publishing rights to Liberty Records to meet their $10,000 bail.

Jimmy Charles
Photo credit: discogs.com

Jimmy Charles (born 1942) is an American singer with a distinctive “crying style”. He was born in Paterson, New Jersey and before he sang professionally, he performed at churches and community functions. When Charles was 12 years old, he began to study singing with jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott. At 16, he entered the amateur talent shows held at the Apollo Theaterin New York City and won the contest for four consecutive weeks. Phil Medley, a songwriter, soon became involved in Charles’ career. Impressed by his ability, Medley recorded a demo with Charles singing “A Million to One” (https://youtu.be/-KHrbh5tFOk) (RQ 10), written by Medley. After playing it for Bill Lashley, an executive at Promo Records, the label signed Charles to a recording contract. He re-recorded Medley’s song with vocal backing by the Revellettes, a trio of sisters Jackie and Evelyn Kline, and Dottie Hailstock, whom Charles knew from Patterson. After 16 takes, the master was chosen. The ballad-style song reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1960. It was also released on the London label in both the UK and Australia, and it was issued by Reo in Canada.

Ray Charles
Photo credit: Sunset Jazz Club (Paris, France)
A Tribute
October 16, 2019

Charles, Ray. 1930-2004

Last name was Robinson at birth. Started losing his vision when he was 6 due to glaucoma. Combined blues and rhythm and blues. “Georgia on my Mind” )https://youtu.be/qIp9TwSEgFg) (RQ 10+) was the first of three No 1 hits in 1960. The other two were “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (https://youtu.be/w-YqaTDDCDM) (RQ 10) and “Hit the Road Jack” (https://youtu.be/CyVuYAHiZb8) (RQ 6). He won 17 Grammys. In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine rated him as the No 2 of 100 greatest singers of all time.

Don Cherry
Photo credit: nytimes.com

Don Cherry was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He started in his early 20s as a big band singer in the orchestras of Jan Garber and Victor Young. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces. In 1951, he recorded his first solo hits, “Thinking of You” and “Belle, Belle, My Liberty Belle”. In 1955, came his biggest hit, “Band of Gold” (https://youtu.be/BXAfgnLtEjw) (RQ 9), which reached No. 4 on the Billboard chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at No. 6 in the UK Singles Chart. He had three more hits in 1956: “Wild Cherry”, “Ghost Town”, and “Namely You”, all backed by orchestra leader Ray Conniff. He was also the voice of the Mr. Clean commercials during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In 1962, he also recorded the original version of “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,” which became a hit much later for The Casinos and others. Throughout his singing career, Cherry was also a top-ranked amateur golfer, and was in contention to win the 1960 U.S. Open before eventually finishing tied for ninth along with Ben Hogan, four strokes behind winner Arnold Palmer. Cherry played on three Walker Cupteams (1953, 1955, and 1961), in the Americas Cup twice (1954 and 1960) and in nine Masters Tournaments, making the cut seven times with a best finish of T-25 in 1959. He captured the Canadian Amateur Championship in 1953 and the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur title in 1954. In 1962, Cherry decided to turn professional and “Pro” became his nickname among fellow entertainers. His volcanic temper on the golf course (which, according to Cherry, “…made Tommy Bolt look like a choir boy!”) was in startling contrast to his velvety-smooth singing voice and pleasant stage persona.

Lou Christie
Photo credit: Magnet – Real Music Alternatives
Peter Holsupple

Christie, Lou. 1943-

Real name: Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco. His hs music teacher wanted him to pursue classical music. He wanted to cut a record and get on American Bandstand. Nick Censi approached him about changing his name with something with Christ in it.

His first of 2M sales record was “The Gypsy Cried” (https://youtu.be/dYQsbOYHKcA) (RQ 9). The second was “Two Faces Have I” (https://youtu.be/w05w1XbZTG8) (RQ 8). His next 3 were after the Army:

“How Many Tear Drops” (https://youtu.be/zGJjEAAZX18) (RQ 6)

“Lightin Strikes” (https://youtu.be/LyRqdzF8swY) (RQ 10)

“Rhapsody in the Rain” (https://youtu.be/GnFU-bMDICE) (RQ 8)

Jimmy Clanton
Photo credit: discogs.com

Jimmy Clanton (born September 2, 1938) is an American singer who became known as the “swamp pop R&B teenage idol”. His band recorded a hit song “Just A Dream” (https://youtu.be/IDTVgF-Z7as) (RQ 10) which Clanton had written in 1958 for the Ace Recordslabel. It reached number four on the Billboardchart and sold a million copies. Clanton performed on Dick Clark’s American Bandstandand toured with popular artists like Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Platters.

Merry Clayton
Photo credit: nola.com

Merry Clayton (born December 25, 1948) is an American soul and gospel singer and an actress. She provided a number of backing vocal tracks for major performing artists in the 1960s, most notably in her duet with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones song “Gimme Shelter” (https://youtu.be/8kl6q_9qZOs) (RQ 8) Clayton is featured in 20 Feet from Stardom (https://youtu.be/A2KOV2Veut4) (RQ 7), the Oscar-winning documentary about background singers and their contributions to the music industry.

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Photo credit: Video Beat – In Concert 1970

Creedence Clearwater Revival 1967-

Members were: John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty (his brother), Doug Clifford & Stu Cook. Famous songs: “Proud Mary” (https://youtu.be/5hid10EgMXE) (RQ 9) and “Suzie Q” (https://youtu.be/18kqUNG9mO4) (RQ 10 +) reached top 40. “I Put a Spell on You” (https://youtu.be/xeXqtzusIU0) (RQ 10+) was next. Some songs were in the movie Cool Hand Luke. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Sam Cooke
Photo credit: We Had Faces Then

Sam Cooke. 1951-1964

Cooke was known as the “King of Soul.” Probably his most famous song was: “Twistin the Night Away” (https://youtu.be/jSoPeZMHMf4) (RQ 10). Another well known song was: “You Send Me” (https://youtu.be/mrwfB4aAZZc) (RQ 9). Other hits included: “Chain Gang” (https://youtu.be/zBn5aIfZElE)” (RQ 8), “Having a Party” (https://youtu.be/OmMbN_MrlTQ) (RQ 9) and “Cupid” (https://youtu.be/S28tILqie1o) (RQ 10). He was elected into 4 Hall of Fames in 1986-7. Sam was from Chicago (he has a street there named after him called Sam Cooke Way). In 1964, he was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacinda Motel in LA.

Pictured L to R:
Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker & Jack Bruce
Photo credit: The Rock & Roll Chemist – July 29, 2008

Cream. 1966

An English group from London. Members: Eric Clapton (guitar), Jack Bruce (bass) & Ginger Baker (drummer). Considered to be the world’s first “super group.” A couple of their most famous songs were: “Sunshine of Your Love” (https://youtu.be/stNqkmKCgyI) (RQ 10+) and “Crossroads” (https://youtu.be/PE9HvSdcaL4) (RQ 10). In 1993. The they were elected into the Rock & Roll HOF.

Danny and the Juniors
Photo credit: napster.com

Danny & the Juniors are an American doo-wop and rock and roll vocal group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania originally consisting of Danny Rapp, Dave White, Frank Maffei and Joe Terranova. Formed in 1955, they are most widely recognized for their 1957 hit single: “At the Hop” (https://youtu.be/eOly_iMXaUY) (RQ 10).

Dave Clark Five
Photo credit: Rock Cellar Magazine
Ken Shatp – February 13, 2020

Dave Clark Five. 1957-1970

From Tottenham England. Members: Dave Clark (drummer), Stan Saxon (lead singer), Rick Huxley (bass), Lenny Davidson (lead guitar), Denis Payton (saxophone) & Mike Smith (keyboard and vocals). First hit: “Glad All Over” (https://youtu.be/NHtNFaa2ne0) (RQ 10+). Also popular: “Catch Us If You Can” (https://youtu.be/8zGvtBCgKeY) (RQ 10). They were elected into the HOF in 2008. The group made 18 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Skeeter Davis
Photo credit: Goldmine Collector’s Magazine
December 17, 2017

Skeeter was born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky on December 30, 1931 (her name at birth was Mary Frances Penick). She passed in Nashville on September 20, 2004 at the age of 72. Her most popular recording in 1962 was: “End of the World” (https://youtu.be/sonLd-32ns4) (RQ 10). She wrote a total of 70 songs and two others made the charts: “Set Him Free” (https://youtu.be/kyciC_tBj7A) (RQ 5) and “My Last Date With You” (https://youtu.be/-BLR5R8b-Ao) (RQ 7).

The Del-Vikings
Photo credit: singers.com

The Del-Vikings were formed in 1955 by members of the United States Air Forcestationed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with Clarence Quick, Kripp Johnson, Don Jackson, Samuel Paterson, Bernard Robertson and Clarence Harvey Ringo. The Del-Vikings (also known as The Dell-Vikings) were an American doo-wop musical group that recorded several hit singles in the 1950s and continued to record and tour with various lineups in later decades. The group is notable for the hit songs “Come Go with Me” (https://youtu.be/hF8URFxNx40) (RQ 10) and “Whispering Bells”, and for having been a successful racially mixed musical group during a period of time when such groups were rare.

Deep Purple
Photo credit: uncut.co.uk

In May 1968, the Deep Purple band moved into Pye Studios in London’s Marble Arch to record their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, which was released in July by American label Tetragrammaton, and in September by UK label EMI. The group had success in North America with a cover of Joe South’s “Hush” (https://youtu.be/u1kZ9zYr7kk) (RQ 9), and by September 1968, the song had reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and number 2 in the Canadian RPM chart, pushing the Shades LP up to No. 24 on Billboard‘s pop albums chart. The following month, Deep Purple were booked to support Cream on their Goodbye tour. The band’s second album, The Book of Taliesyn, was quickly recorded, then released in North America in October 1968 to coincide with the tour. The album included a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Kentucky Woman”, which cracked the Top 40 in both the US (No. 38 on the Billboard chart) and Canada (No. 21 on the RPM chart), though sales for the album were not as strong (No. 54 in US, No. 48 in Canada). The Book of Taliesyn would not be released in the band’s home country until the following year and, like its predecessor, it failed to have much impact in the UK Albums Chart. Early in 1969, the band recorded a single called “Emmaretta”, named after Emmaretta Marks, then a cast member of the musical Hair, whom Evans was trying to seduce. By March of that year, the band had completed recording for their third album, Deep Purple. The album contained strings and woodwind on one track (“April”), showcasing Lord’s classical antecedents such as Bach and Rimsky-Korsakov, and several other influences were in evidence, notably Vanilla Fudge. (Lord and Blackmore had even claimed the group wanted to be a “Vanilla Fudge clone”.) This was the last recording by the original line-up. Deep Purple’s North American record label, Tetragrammaton, delayed production of the Deep Purple album until after the band’s 1969 American tour ended. This, as well as lackluster promotion by the nearly broke label, caused the album to sell poorly, finishing well out of the Billboard Top 100. Soon after the third album’s eventual release, Tetragrammaton went out of business, leaving the band with no money and an uncertain future. (Tetragrammaton’s assets were assumed by Warner Bros. Records, who would release Deep Purple’s records in the US throughout the 1970s.). During the 1969 American tour, Lord and Blackmore met with Paice to discuss their desire to take the band in a heavier direction. Feeling that Evans and Simper would not fit well with a heavy rock style, both were replaced that summer. Paice stated, “A change had to come. If they hadn’t left, the band would have totally disintegrated.” Both Simper and Blackmore noted that Rod Evans already had one foot out of the door. Simper said that Evans had met a girl in Hollywood and had eyes on being an actor, while Blackmore explained, “Rod just wanted to go to America and live in America.”

Bo Didley
Photo credit: SF Gate
Joel Selvin – june 3, 2008

Didley, Bo. 1928-2008

Real name: Ellas McDaniel. Known for transitioning from blues to rock and roll. Used a five-accent hambone rhythm. 3 HOFs. Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. Played on street corners in Chicago. Some of his hits:

“Sixteen Tons” (https://youtu.be/PYhksl4_ylA) (RQ 6)

“Pretty Thing” (https://youtu.be/OUJgll0RiHE) (RQ 6)

“Say Man” (https://youtu.be/45ZdKCFFR3I) (RQ 5)

In 1994, he played with the Rolling Stones “Who Do You Love.” (https://youtu.be/NdF8fioZo8E) (RQ 8)

Dion (& The Belmonts)
Photo credit: Alany Stock Photos #BJ5HK7

Dion (and the Belmonts). 1939-

His last name is: DiMucci. Famous songs:”Wanderer” (https://youtu.be/FCW0HviPEEY) (RQ 10) & “Run Around Sue” (https://youtu.be/4NQLmUOgT5M) (RQ 10+) and “I Wonder Why” (https://youtu.be/ylnQXpMd1Yg) (RQ 8) A Doo-wop, R&B and rock style group. They had 39 top 40 songs before the English groups took over. Late in his career he changed his style with more of contemplative feeling like: “Abraham, Martin & John” (https://youtu.be/DXl3XG5aGtM) (RQ 9).

Fats Domino
Photo credit: Village Voice
Robert Christgau – October 26, 2017

Domino, Fats. 1928-2017

His first name was Antoine. Sold more than 65M records! Btwn 1955-60 he produced 11top ten hits. He was very humble and shy which may have been why he was overlooked. Played a mean piano. In 1949 he recorded “The Fat Man” (https://youtu.be/aIz1cPfTRW4) (RQ 8). It was thought to be the first million selling record in history! His other famous songs were: “Ain’t That a Shame”(https://youtu.be/I6JZW7zMDfY) (RQ 9) & “Blueberry Hill” (https://youtu.be/bQQCPrwKzdo) (RQ 8).

The Doors
Photo credit: L. A. Woman – You Tube 1971

Doors, The. 1965-

Vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger & drummer John Densmore formed the group in LA in 1965. Represented the era’s counter-culture. Sold more than 100M records worldwide. “Light My Fire” (https://youtu.be/AMCl9eOBlsY) (RQ 10+) in 1967 sold more than one million copies. They were elected to the HOF. The group had their controversial moments…On Dec 9, 1967, at a concert in New Haven CT, Morrison was found in a restroom with a female fan. A police officer ended up finding them and Morrison became upset whereby the officer maced him. After a hour delay, the Doors began their concert when Morrison began using improvised vulgar lyrics aimed at the local police. The police surrounded the stage and arrested and dragged Morrison off the stage.

Patti Drew
Photo credit: soulfulkindamusic.com

Patti Drew (born December 29, 1944, Charleston, South Carolina) is an American pop singer who achieved brief success in the late 1960s. Drew was raised in Nashville, Tennessee and Evanston, Illinois, where she sang in church with her sisters, Lorraine and Erma. Drew’s mother worked for a Capitol Records promoter, who heard Drew and her sisters sing in a church service and signed the group as the Drew-Vels. They first recorded “Tell Him” (https://youtu.be/sq9HRkVgu6Y) (RQ 10) which was written by Carlton Black (and not to be confused with “Tell Him” by The Exciters) and featured Black on the record singing bass. The single release was a local pop and R&B hit in 1964 and scraped the lower part of the ‘Billboard’ pop chart the same year. Two follow-up singles also in 1964 did well in Chicago, “It’s My Time” and “I’ve Known.” By 1965 the group had broken up. Drew signed as a solo artist to Quill Records in 1965 and soon after moved up to Capitol, issuing a new recording of “Tell Him,” It was the first of three charting singles on Capitol. She released four albums before leaving the industry in 1971, though she recorded a one-off single in 1975 and sang locally in Evanston in the group Front Line in the 1980s.

The Drifters
Photo credit: United Singers International
Your Source for Vocal Harmony

Drifters, The

The first Drifter group was formed by Clyde McPhatter. His high-pitched tenor voice was the viewed as the key to the groups success. Recorded 13 top 30 songs. Some of their most famous songs were: “Save the Last Dance for Me” (https://youtu.be/n-XQ26KePUQ) (RQ 10+) “Money Honey” (https://youtu.be/OHgFs4Oxuc4) (RQ 4) “Under the Boardwalk” (https://youtu.be/EPEqRMVnZNU) (RQ 10) and “There Goes My Baby” (https://youtu.be/1D55FmGuGMg) (RQ 9).

Photo credit: SF Jazz – On the Corner
Rusty Aceves – March 14, 2018


Patsy is one of my personal favorite singers. Like another one of my favorites (Otis Redding), she was killed very early in her life in a small plane accident flown by her inexperienced pilot/business manager on March 5, 1963. She was only 30 years of age! Her name at birth was Virginia Hensley (hometown: Winchester, Virginia). She was known to be one of the few successful singers to show that she was able to cross over into pop music from country. She recorded “Crazy” in October of 1961. This tune charted a No2 (https://youtu.be/MbnrdCS57d0) (10+). Willie Nelson wrote this song and, it is said, that he sold the rights to Patsy for $25 over a beer! This was viewed as her best song. She also recorded more successful songs including:

“Walkin After Midnight” (https://youtu.be/bsRNCvHXHHU) (RQ 10)

“When I Get Through with You” (https://youtu.be/6k9mg5rSqd8) (RQ 9)

“So Wrong” (https://youtu.be/5L_eC9Nd39w) (RQ 10)

“Imagine That” (https://youtu.be/7iZqoiVX_mk) (RQ 7)

She was active in professional singing from 1948-1963.

Photo credit: San Diego Reader

Bing’s first name at birth was Harry. He was born in Tacoma, Washington. As a result of his acting career he is one of 33 people to have three stars at Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. He won an Oscar for Best Actor in the movie “Going My Way” where he played the role of Father Chuck O’Malley. Overall Bing was known to be the third most popular actor behind only Clark Gable and John Wayne (selling over one billion theatre admission tickets). As a singer, he was best known for recording “White Christmas” (https://youtu.be/w9QLn7gM-hY) (RQ 9). This record is known to have sold more than fifty million copies worldwide. He recordings achieved 23 gold and platinum records. His style that he was known for as being a “phraser.” This meant he placed as much emphasis on the lyrics as well as the music.