This is the 81st set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
The next sections will focus on sidemen & others who made their mark on the industry. The last section will feature the great songwriters who have written the most top 10 songs with their first coming between 1955 and 1991. Bios of all selections and criteria for induction can be found on our website by clicking the Goldmine Hall of Fame tab. A running list of all announced inductees will be listed, also. These also can be found under “Great Blogs Of Fire” at the bottom of the page or by following this link – http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/goldmine-hall-of-fame-inductees
631-633 – TONY BURROWS, JOEY LEVINE & RON DANTE
These three were some of the most heard vocalists on the radio for years, but hardly anyone knew their names.
Dante, from New York, served as the voice of the Archies on their mammoth hit, “Sugar Sugar,” which topped charts in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, becoming 1969’s #1 single, and the group’s follow-up, “Jingle Jangle,” which hit #1 in Canada and reached the top 10 in the U.S.
Dante also provided all the vocals on the Cuff Links 1969 smash, “Tracy,” which proved another Canadian #1 and #9 in both the U.S. and Australia. He also was a member of the Detergents, who recorded the comical parody of the Shangri-Las’ classic “Leader of the Pack,” redoing it as “Leader of the Laundromat.” That reached U.S. #19 in 1965. In addition to recording several LPs under his own name, Dante served as producer and background singer for Barry Manilow’s biggest hit-making period, which lasted from 1973 to 1981.
Levine also hailed from New York, rivaling Dante for anonymous air time. Still a teenager when a member of the Third Rail, Levine sampled success when that trio’s single “Run, Run, Run” climbed to U.S. #53 in 1966. When that group quit, Levine, with studio musicians, recorded a demo for The Ohio Express, a group whose history is, to put it mildly, convoluted. In 1967, “Beg, Borrow & Steal” was a hit under that group’s name, but its origin is for another story. Levine’s demo of “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” was so impressive, it was released as is under The Ohio Express moniker in 1968, quickly becoming that band’s biggest success, topping the Canadian charts & hitting the top five in the U.S. and U.K. as well as #7 in Australia.
This formula yielded three more hits under that name, “Down At Lulu’s,” “Chewy Chewy” and “Mercy,” “Chewy Chewy” reaching top 10 status in Australia and Canada with a peak of #15 in the U.S.
Levine also was responsible for the 1968 hit by the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, “Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run),” which climbed to #25 in the States. Six years later, Levine again was the lead voice on a major hit, fronting Reunion’s “Life Is A Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me),” which just fell short of #1 in Canada, also reaching the top 10 in the U.S.
He also worked as a producer and accounted for some of the best-known commercial jingles of our time, “Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut” being just one.
Across the pond, Exeter England’s Tony Burrows served a similar purpose after first reaching success with The Flowerpot Men, who scored a U.K. #4 single with “Let’s Go To San Francisco” in 1967. Jon Lord and Nick Simper, future members of Deep Purple, also were members of this band.
By the time he was finished, Burrows had hit the top 40 as the lead voice of five different “bands.” Remember Edison Lighthouse? Maybe not, but their one hit, 1970’s “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes),” was a monster, topping British charts five weeks while climbing to #3 in Canada and #5 in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Flowerpot Men had morphed into White Plains, which, with Burrows on lead vocal, scored a hit at the same time with “My Baby Loves Lovin.” That peaked at U.K. #9, U.S. #13 and #4 in Canada.
While those hits were fading, Burrows connected again, this time with writer Roger Greenaway as The Pipkins, who hit #6 U.K. and #9 U.S. with “Gimme Dat Ding.” Also in 1970, Burrows sang lead on “United We Stand,” a top 20 success in the U.S., U.K. and Canada by the Brotherhood of Man, an ever-changing group of session singers at the time. In 1974, Burrows was back making hits as the voice of the First Class, whose “Beach Baby” soared to #4 in the U.S. and #13 in the U.K.
634. PAUL CARRACK
Also across the Atlantic, England produced a vocalist described by the BBC as “something of a national treasure.” The difference being that, unlike the three above, Sheffield’s Paul Carrack has been the acknowledged lead singer in several working bands in addition to notching a successful solo career.
Carrack was a vital member of Ace, Squeeze, Mike & the Mechanics and was the keyboardist on Roxy Music’s final three albums. He also participated as a member of Roger Waters’ backing group.
On his own, Carrack hit the U.S. top 40 four times, beginning with 1982’s “I Need You,” which reached #37. Five years later, “Don’t Shed A Tear” cracked the top 10 at #9, and the next year “One Good Reason” climbed to #28. In 1989, “I Live By The Groove” peaked at #31.
But long before his first solo success, Carrack was the voice for Ace on 1974’s “How Long,” which eventually climbed to U.S. #3 and U.K. #20. In 1981, he replaced Jools Holland, later to host a terrific television music show, as keyboardist in Squeeze, singing lead on one of their most memorable songs, “Tempted.” In 1985, he was the lead voice on the #6 U.S. hit, “Silent Running,” by Mike & the Mechanics, and four years later he sang lead on their chart-topping “The Living Years.”
635. LOUIS JOHNSON
This Los Angeles native became known for his slap bass technique used in his band, The Brothers Johnson, as well as many recordings as a studio musician.
Known as “Thunder Thumbs,” Johnson appeared on three top 10 U.S. singles – #3 “I’ll Be Good To You” in 1976, #5 “Strawberry Letter 23” the following year and #7 “Stomp!” in 1980 – and an equal number of top 10 LPs with the Brothers Johnson. As a session musician, Johnson worked with Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Donna Summer, Herb Alpert, James Ingram, Jeffrey Osborne, John Mellencamp, Lesley Gore, Kenny Loggins, Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, George Benson, Herb Alpert and many others.
Some hit records Johnson appeared on include: Will It Go ‘Round In Circles (Billy Preston); Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Off The Wall, She’s Out Of My Life, Billie Jean, Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), Who Is It (Michael Jackson); The Girl Is Mine (Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney); I Keep Forgettin’ (Michael McDonald).