By Phill Marder
This is the 36th set of 10 selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame, bringing us to the approximate halfway mark of our Hall of Fame inductions.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 10 inductees approximately every three weeks until all 700-plus inductees are announced. 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
351. THE AMES BROTHERS
Many brother acts have become successful in the music industry. Some were even real brothers…Massachusetts’ Ames Brothers, for instance. While they were real brothers, they were not real Ames Brothers as the family name was Urick. When four of the brothers began singing, they were known as the Amory Brothers from brother Vic’s middle name. Later, it was shortened to Ames.
While four of their biggest hits took place before our beginning year of 1955 – “You You You” #1 in the U.S. & Australia in 1949, “Rag Mop” and “Sentimental Me” both #1 U.S. in 1950, and “Undecided,” #2 U.S. in 1950, they had plenty of clout left from 1955 on, “The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane” hitting #3 as 1955 began. It proved a worldwide smash, too, topping the Australian chart and reaching #6 in the U.K. and Flanders. They followed that with “My Bonnie Lassie,” which reached U.S. #11 as did the next year’s “It Only Hurts For A Little While.”
In 1957, their version of “Tammy” from the film Tammy and the Bachelor lost a battle with Debbie Reynolds’ version, topping off at #5 while Reynolds’ version hit #1, and they reached #5 again later that year in both the U.S. and Canada with “Melodie D’Amour (Melody Of Love).” The next year, “Pussy Cat” reached the top 20 in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
The youngest brother, Ed, went on his own when the group disbanded in the early ‘60s, becoming a famous actor but also posting two top 20 singles in 1967, “My Cup Runneth Over” peaking at #8. As Mingo on the TV series Daniel Boone, Ames was convincing as an Indian. This led to one of the most famous moments on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show when Ames displayed his prowess throwing a tomahawk. Those who have seen it need no further explanation.
Ed Ames is the lone surviving brother, Vic, Joe and Gene having passed away.
352. THE BANGLES
They may have been giants of the ‘80s, but this female foursome based in Los Angeles would have been popular in any decade, particularly the ‘60s where they would have perfectly fit in with the many great male groups of the era.
Their first album, “All Over The Place,” released in 1984, didn’t produce any major hits, but did fairly well on the U.S. and British charts, even reaching the top 40 in Sweden. It also helped the band get noticed by Prince, who provided the ladies with the lead track on their second LP, “Different Light.” The single release of that cut, “Manic Monday,” made The Bangles a household name worldwide, topping the charts in South Africa, climbing to #2 in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Austria, #3 in Sweden, #4 in Switzerland and Norway and #5 in Canada. But two more singles were to become even bigger worldwide smashes, “Walk Like An Egyptian” hitting #1 in the U.S., Holland, Belgium, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Germany. Never before had a self-contained female unit hit such heights, and the album soared to #3 in both the U.S. and U.K. and reached the top 10 in Norway and Australia as well.
Now a hot commodity, The Bangles contributed a remake of Simon & Garfunkel’s “A Hazy Shade Of Winter” to the soundtrack of the film Less Than Zero, and that reached #2 in the U.S. and entered the French top 10. “Everything,” released in 1988, continued the band’s success, with “In Your Room” peaking at #5 in the U.S. and Japan. The next single from the LP, “Eternal Flame,” became the group’s biggest yet, hitting #1 in nine nations and just missing in several others. The group disbanded, but returned 15 years later for 2003’s “Doll Revolution,” a fair hit in parts of Europe and more recently for 2011’s “Sweetheart Of The Sun,” which returned The Bangles to the U.S. charts and led to a renewed touring schedule.
The inductees are: Susanna Hoffs (vocals/guitars); sisters Vicki (guitars/vocals) and Debbi Peterson (vocals/drums) and Michael Steele (bass/vocals).
353. KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND
In the Rock Era, those magic words were there from the beginning. “It’s got a good beat, you can dance to it,” said many a teenager reviewing new records on Dick Clark’s Bandstand TV show. That criteria remains a benchmark for making music popular, never more so than during the Disco Era of the ‘70s. And few practicioners were as adept at making great records you could dance to as were Florida’s KC & the Sunshine Band.
With vocalist Harry Wayne Casey leading the way, KC & the Sunshine Band, resplendent in colorful outfits, horn players twirling their instruments in tow, released one great dance track after another from 1975 to 1980, becoming one of the most successful singles sellers in music history. Starting with “Get Down Tonight,” #1 in the U.S. and Canada and a substantial hit across Europe, KC & the Sunshine Band became one of Disco’s household names. Their eponymous LP, their second long-player, produced that hit and the follow-up, “That’s The Way (I Like It),” which did even better, topping charts in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands and going top 10 in Belgium, Sweden, South Africa and France. As a result, the album topped the U.S. R&B chart, and went top 10 around the globe.
An LP of instrumental tracks followed, one being the Casey co-penned “Rock Your Baby,” which George McCrae added his vocal to, the result being a #1 record in almost every country keeping charts. Meanwhile, the band recorded the album “Part 3,” which unleashed three more giant hits, “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty,” “I’m Your Boogie Man” and “Keep It Coming Love,” all chart toppers in Canada, with only the latter, which stopped at #2, missing the top of the U.S. charts. Two years later, the band’s “Please Don’t Go” topped charts in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South Africa, and “Yes, I’m Ready,” which featured Casey with Teri DeSario on a remake of the Barbara Mason hit, stopped just short at #2. With the end of Disco, The Sunshine Band’s success came to a halt, but in 1983 Casey’s “Give It Up” topped the U.K. chart and returned Casey to the U.S. top 20.
For its size, KC & the Sunshine Band’s lineup was remarkably stable. The inductees are: Harry Wayne Casey (lead vocals & keyboards); Jerome Smith (guitar); Richard Finch (bass); Fermin Goytisolo (percussion); Ken Faulk & Vinnie Tanno (trumpet); Mike Lewis & Whit Sidener (sax); Beverly Champion, Margaret Reynolds & Jeanette Williams (vocals) & Robert Johnson (drums).
354. BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS
And speaking of great bands, while the Chicago Transit Authority and The Buckinghams were in “The Windy City” experimenting with becoming self-contained Rock bands with horns in 1967, New York City had its own template forming with this group. More Jazz and Blues oriented than their contemporaries, Blood, Sweat & Tears was the brainchild of the highly regarded keyboard master Al Kooper, who also served as lead vocalist. But unlike KC & The Sunshine Band, the lineup of Blood, Sweat & Tears was anything but stable, the members totaling well over 100!
For our purposes, we’ll concentrate on the trendsetting group’s first five albums, which accounted for the bulk of its success. The first, “Child Is Father To The Man,” failed to produce any hits, but scored fairly well, particularly for a debut LP, entering the top 50 on both sides of the Atlantic. Six cuts were penned by Kooper, two becoming BS&T classics, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” and “I Can’t Quit Her,” co-written by Irwin Levine. But internal clashes ended Kooper’s short term with the group, and by the second LP English-born Canadian David Clayton-Thomas had assumed lead vocal chores.
The result was somewhat astonishing, the album soaring to #1 in the United States where it won the Grammy for Album Of The Year. The competition? Only The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” “The Age Of Aquarius” by the 5th Dimension, the debut LP by Crosby, Stills & Nash & Johnny Cash “At San Quentin.” Three singles reached U.S. #2, “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel” and the Laura Nyro-penned “And When I Die.” The band never again hit the top 10 in the singles’ market, but the next two LPs did, 1970’s “Blood, Sweat & Tears 3” returning the group to the album chart’s top spot.
The departure of the well-regarded Kooper, the refusal of management to allow the group’s appearance at Woodstock to be filmed, a government-sponsored tour of Eastern Europe and the group’s participation in the soundtrack for the movie The Owl & the Pussycat all contributed to damaged credibility with the “hip” underground, though the band continued to produce excellent music and charted LPs through 1977.
Normally, one who participated in just one album would not be included in the group’s list of inductees. But since Kooper was primarily responsible for forming the band as well as writing and singing the two best-known cuts from the debut LP, later to become a landmark release, he receives a well-deserved “Miner.” The other inductees are the main cogs involved in the recording of the first five albums, drummer Bobby Colomby, Jim Fielder on bass, Dick Halligan, keyboards & trombone, Steve Katz, guitar & vocals, Fred Lipsius, piano & sax, David Clayton-Thomas, vocals, Lew Soloff and Chuck Winfield, trumpet & flugelhorn and Jerry Hyman, trombone & recorder.
355. PERCY FAITH
Rock & Roll was the dominant musical outlet from 1955 to 1987, but there was plenty of room for masters of other genres as our Hall of Fame proves. One artist greatly popular before and after 1955 was Toronto-born orchestra leader Percy Faith, who has two rather unique claims to fame highlighting his impressive resume. He is the only artist to have the best-selling single of a year pre-1955 and post-1955, “The Song From Moulin Rouge” topping the 1953 list though it had great competition from another orchestra leader inducted into the Goldmine Hall Of Fame, Mantovani, whose version actually outscored Faith’s in the U.K. “Theme From A Summer Place,” #1 in the U.S. for nine weeks in 1960 was the other, making Faith the third artist to have best-selling singles in two different years. The other two? Elvis Presley and The Beatles, putting Faith in pretty lofty company.
But like most orchestra leaders functioning during the Rock Era, Faith’s forte was albums, not singles, and he was a regular visitor to Billboard’s Top 200 from 1956 until 1972, placing 32 on the long-player chart. Three LPs between 1956 and 1959 reached the U.S. top 20, 1957’s “My Fair Lady” climbing to #8. In 1957, Faith had two albums peak at #7, “Bouquet” and “Jealousy,” and the start of the following year saw “Camelot” climb to #6. Usually, Faith’s albums featured easy listening versions, heavy on the violins, of many popular songs, past and present as later releases, “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “The Beatles Album,” “Black Magic Woman” and Jesus Christ, Superstar” indicate.
“Bouquet,” which included versions of “Beyond The Sea,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Deep Purple,” “Ebb Tide” and “Fascination,” is rated five stars by allmusicguide.com, reviewer Greg Adams writing, “This is one of the most beautiful and distinctive mood music albums ever made, and if hearing it does not give you a new appreciation for the genre, then there is no hope for you. Highly recommended.”
Faith, who became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 1945, passed away in 1976.
356. GUY MITCHELL
It is particularly interesting how many careers of Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees intertwine, and this Detroit vocalist is a perfect example, having strong connections to our previous inductee, Percy Faith, as well as Mitch Miller, Frank Sinatra and Marty Robbins.
Born Al Cernick, Guy Mitchell was given his stage name by Miller, who expanded his first name then added Guy because, the story goes, he felt Cernick seemed like “a nice guy.” Miller, who had booked studio time and musicians for Sinatra to cut two tunes, gave the work to Mitchell, who had yet to score a hit, the result being “My Heart Cries For You” and “The Roving Kind.” The former, adapted by Faith and Carl Sigman from an 18th-century French melody, hit #1 in Australia and #2 in the U.S. in 1950, while the latter became a #4 U.S. hit and broke Mitchell in the South American market. By 1953, Mitchell had become one of the world’s most popular singers, 15 more top 30 hits following, four reaching the U.S. top 10. In 1952, however, Mitchell’s fortunes took an unusual turn. An extremely popular concert attraction in Europe, Mitchell placed eight singles in the U.K. top 10, another stopping at #11, with two #1s and three #2s, while his U.S. success ground to a halt.
Enter Robbins and the Rock & Roll Era. Mitchell covered Robbins’ Country hit, “Singing The Blues,” and Mitchell’s version held the Billboard #1 position an amazing 10 weeks and also reached #1 in Australia, becoming one of Rock’s early classics. The Melvin Endsley written tune also topped the chart in the U.K. where a version by Tommy Steele also reached the top. Now firmly entrenched in the Rock market, Mitchell covered another Robbins hit, also written by Endsley, “Knee Deep In The Blues,” and fashioned a U.S. #16 peak. But his tremendous run overseas was further strengthened when it reached #3 in the U.K. and the follow-up, “Rock-A-Billy,” topped the U.K. chart, also entering the U.S. top 10.
Mitchell had two more U.K. hits in 1957, then unleashed his last major success in 1959, “Heartaches By The Number” topping the U.S. and Canadian charts, with a #5 finish in the U.K. Mitchell, greatly underrated over time, appeared in several movies and had his own TV show and also remained a strong concert attraction, particularly in Europe, before passing away in 1999 at age 72.
357. THE SEARCHERS
And speaking of underrated, this quartet may be the most underrated British band to emerge during the Merseybeat era. But those who listened closely – The Byrds, for instance – loved the sound of those jangly guitars and spectacular harmonies. Their 1964 singles included a venture into folk-rock before the genre had been “invented” in the press and their 12-string guitar sound would become a key ingredient in the success of the Byrds.
Hailing from Liverpool, the Searchers, Tony Jackson then Frank Allen on bass, Chris Curtis, drums, and Mike Pender and John McNally on guitars were, of course, overshadowed by another group from the area, but their success should not be overlooked. In the United Kingdom, three of their first four singles hit #1 with their second single just missing, stopping in the runner-up slot. The initial hit, “Sweets For My Sweet,” was a remake of the Drifters’ 1961 hit. Ironically, it did not even chart in the United States as the group’s releases were often entirely different between the two countries. But the group’s third hit and second British #1 finally broke the band stateside when the Sonny Bono/Jack Nitzsche-penned “Needles & Pins” climbed to #13 a couple months after peaking in the UK. This recording, of course, became the Searchers’ trademark hit and one of the most remembered British Invasion classics.
The follow-up, “Don’t Throw Your Love Away,” became another British #1, and “Some Day We’re Gonna Love Again,” “When You Walk In The Room,” “What Have They Done To The Rain” and “Bumble Bee” all cracked the US Top 40.Their biggest success, however, came at the close of 1964 when their cover of the Clovers’ 1959 classic, “Love Potion No. 9” soared to #3. This gem and “Bumble Bee” didn’t even chart in the U.K., where #4 “Goodbye My Love,” “He’s Got No Love” and “Take Me For What I’m Worth” were all major U.K. hits in 1965. And while the group was not known for its albums, four climbed into the British top 10. Their 1965 release, “The Searchers No. 4” in the U.S., was one of the British Invasion’s unsung gems, mixing sterling originals with Ian Tyson’s “Four Strong Winds,“ Marvin Gaye’s “I’ll Be Doggone,“ the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and Jackie DeShannon’s “Each Time,“ those fantastic harmonies cutting through a previously unheard of maze of fuzz tones and echo.
For a real treat, search out “The Searchers At The Star Club,” maybe the best live LP by a group as the British Invasion was in its infancy. But perhaps the band’s most significant statement came long after their heyday with the 1979 album “The Searchers” followed by 1981’s “Love’s Melodies.” Those two recordings stand up with the best works of any British Invasion band. Put their successes together, and the Searchers had quite a track record. Four albums, five EPs and six singles in the U.K. top 10, and top 10 singles in Ireland, Norway, Germany, Canada, Holland and the U.S., putting the band high on the all-time list of worldwide best sellers. The inductees are Jackson, Allen, Curtis, Pender and McNally plus long-time drummer Billy Adamson.
358. REBA McENTIRE
Already a member of the Oklahoma Hall Of Fame and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011, Reba McEntire now adds the Goldmine Hall of Fame to her growing list of achievements. Those include honors from the Academy Of Country Music including Entertainer of the Year in 1994 and a record-setting seven Female Vocalist of the Year awards, including four straight from 1984 to 1987.
It took a few years for McEntire’s career to get rolling, her first real taste of success coming in 1979 with her recording of the Don Gibson-penned “Sweet Dreams,” which edged into the Country top 20. The next year, she had her first U.S. Country top 10 success with “(You Lift Me) Up To Heaven” and there was no looking back. Two more top 10 efforts followed before McEntire had her first Country #1 in 1982, “Can’t Even Get The Blues.” She has had at least one in every decade since. Her success on the Canadian Country charts has been almost as great.
In 1992, McEntire released “It’s Your Call,” which became another in a stream of her albums that topped the U.S. Country chart, also topping the Canadian chart as well. “It’s Your Call” had special significance, though, as it became the first LP by McEntire to enter the top 10 of Billboard’s Top 200 album chart, making her a significant crossover artist.
McEntire’s grip on the main chart was strengthened as 1993 closed and her “Greatest Hits Volume Two” climbed to #5. In 1994, the LP “Read My Mind” just missed giving McEntire a #1 on the big chart, stopping in the runner-up slot, and 1995 saw “Starting Over” climb to #5. McEntire continued her impressive run on the top 200 with 1998’s “If You See Him,” a #8 score. McEntire continues an active perform as of this induction.
359. TRACY CHAPMAN
The Folk music boom occurred in the ‘60s. The singer/songwriter era came along in the ‘70s. So what was this Cleveland vocalist armed with just an acoustic guitar, her voice and a portfolio of protest songs doing with such massive success at the close of the ‘80s? But there she was, her debut 1988 album hitting #1 right alongside the likes of Van Halen, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and U2, all Goldmine Hall of Fame inductees, by the way.
Chapman’s eponymous debut hit the airwaves like a breath of fresh air, reaching #1 in Austria, Canada, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and the U.K. in addition to the U.S., and just missing in several other countries. Clearly, Chapman was connecting with listeners worldwide. The main impetus was provided by the lead single, “Fast Car,” a #1 in Canada and Ireland and a top 10 entry in many other nations, including the U.S. and U.K.
Chapman could have been written off as a novelty, but she built quite a fan base with her initial effort and didn’t disappoint with the 1989 follow-up, “Crossroads.” Without a hit single, the effort still reached #9 in the U.S. and topped the charts in the U.K., New Zealand and Germany. Her next effort, however, didn’t appear until 1992, and the reception was less enthusiastic, “Matters Of The Heart” straying from Chapman’s folk approach to a mixture of Rock, Jazz and Blues. Over three years passed before “New Beginning” appeared, but the lead single, “Give Me One Reason,” continued her Blues leanings. This time, the effort was received warmly, the single becoming her highest charting hit in the U.S., climbing to #3, with the LP soaring to #4. The single also topped the Canadian charts, as did the LP, and also hit #3 in Australia. After waiting five years to release its successor, Chapman went through the 2000s releasing LPs at regular two to three-year intervals. All have been worldwide best sellers.
Chapman has received many awards and has been nominated for 13 Grammys, the most recent in 2010 when “Our Bright Future” was nominated for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
360. FREDDY CANNON
This Massachusetts vocalist exploded – and that term is a mild description – onto the scene in May, 1959 when his “Tallahassee Lassie” began its run up the charts, eventually peaking at U.S. #6, R&B #13 and U.K. #17. Featuring a pounding bass drum, which became one of Cannon’s trademarks, and well-timed “yelps,” which dotted most of his records, Freddy Cannon rocked as hard or harder than anyone in the early ‘60s, whether remaking old classics such as “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans,” which reached #3 in both the U.S. and U.K., or “Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy,” another top 40 score in the States, or doing originals such as the double-sided “Jump Over” and “The Urge,” the former climbing to #28 in the U.S., while the flip rose to #18 in the U.K.
Three years and one day after “Tallahassee Lassie” introduced Cannon to the Billboard Hot 100, his biggest success entered the charts. “Palisades Park” went on to reach U.S. #3 and #20 U.K., eventually becoming a staple of oldies radio stations. Cannon continued to have hits until 1966, reaching the top 20 with “Abigail Beecher” and “Action,” the theme for Dick Clark’s Where The Action Is TV show.
And speaking of Clark, Cannon was one of the most popular and accessible rockers of the early ‘60s, setting the record for most appearances on Clark’s “American Bandstand.” He also holds the distinction of owning the first #1 album in the U.K. in the ‘60s, “The Explosive Freddy Cannon” topping the U.K. chart.
While many stars of the early Rock Era softened their approach as time passed, Cannon remained true to his nickname, “Boom Boom.” The late, great Cub Koda, a former Goldmine columnist and leader of Brownsville Station of “Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room” fame, wrote a glowing summary of Cannon for allmusicguide.com., describing him thusly: “Freddy Cannon was a true believer, a rocker to the bone. Freddy Cannon made rock & roll records; great noisy rock & roll records…”