Tag Archives: 60s Artists

#269 – Bruce Channel – Hey Baby

Bruce Channel wrote and recorded one of the most iconic songs of the early rock n’ roll era with “Hey Baby” – a number one hit in 1962, featuring harmonica from Delbert McClinton. That one song has endured, being included in movies like Dirty Dancing, TV shows like Mad Men, and has been covered by many other artists.

During his early success, Channel had a chance to tour Europe – and played a gig where the Beatles opened for him! Channel has also written many hits on the country charts and continues to perform.

#209 – Gary Lewis of the Playboys – Happy Together Tour

In the mid Sixties, the charts were dominated by bands from the British Invasion – the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, the Rolling Stones.  Yet, a few artists from America were still able to break through – the Beach Boys & Motown artists for example.  Then, there was Gary Lewis & the Playboys, who became the first American band to have their first seven singles hit the Top 10.  In fact, in May of 1965 – Gary & band were the only act from America in the entire Top 10.

Once again Gary is back on the road as part of the Happy Together tour which is coming to a city near you.  Gary tells us the story behind his great hits like “This Diamond Ring,” “She’s Just My Style,” and “Everybody Loves a Clown.”  Plus, he talks about getting discovered at Disney World by producer “Snuff” Garrett, and playing Hulabaloo with his dad, singing a Beatles song.

#208 – Mitch Ryder – Happy Together Tour

In the mid Sixties, Mitch Ryder was rarity – a white guy who successfully captured the essence of R&B but who could rock as well.  He was also one of the few American artists who gave those four lads from over the big pond a run for their money on the charts.  “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Devil With the Blue Dress,” and “Sock it to Me Baby” were just three examples of this unique sound.  Now, Mitch is back on the road as part of the Happy Together tour which is coming to a city near you.  He also wrote his autobiography (which we reviewed here).  Mitch talks about how music was not his first career choice, about seeing James Brown in concert and how it changed his life, and getting a visit from the Stones during the recording of his first hit song.

#117 – Jackie DeShannon – When You Walk Into the Room

She dated Elvis and Jimmy Page, toured with the Beatles, and wrote many hit songs – Jackie DeShannon is one interesting lady.

Way before the current crop of women from Lady Gaga to Taylor Swift began ruling the charts, DeShannon blazed a trail in the early 1960’s, showing that a woman could sing, play guitar, write and produce her own recordings.  She penned hits for many artists, including Brenda Lee, the Searchers and Marianne Faithful.  She scored hits of her own with “What the World Needs Now is Love,” and “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.”

DeShannon has a brand new album out, When You Walk Into the Room, where she performs stripped-down renditions of her hit songs, and tunes she wrote for others.  Icon Fetch talks to the Kentucky native about how difficult it was trying to be taken seriously in the male-dominated music business, her famous boyfriends, and the story behind one of her most famous compositions, “Bette Davis Eyes,” a monster hit for Kim Carnes in 1981.

#2 – Darlene Love – Fame the Musical

Darlene Love

Singer is unsung hero of rock

She’s one of the greatest singers in the history of music. Darlene Love has lent her voice to countless hit singles over the years, including “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers, and her own holiday classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”.She’s also had the opportunity to sing with many legends of music including Elvis,Sam Cooke, Aretha, Marvin Gaye, Cher, and even Cheech & Chong! Many others will remember her as Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies. Darlene is currently gearing up for a run of “Fame the Musical” in Australia, where she stars as Miss Sherman, a no-nonsense teacher at the school for the arts. We’ll also discuss the new DVD release of “The T.A.M.I. Show”, which Darlene was a part of.

You can find out more about Darlene, by going to her official site, www.darleneloveworld.com

Singer Darlene Love has lent her voice to literally hundreds of recordings over the years.  We’ve assembled a list of some of her “Greatest Hits”

  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Darlene Love – One of Darlene’s greatest moments.  A stone-cold holiday classic from Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift to You.  You can close your eyes and feel the snow falling on you.
  • “He’s a Rebel” – credited to the Crystals, but it’s actually Darlene on lead vocals.  Her first #1 hit.
  • “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans – Darlene sings on this Disney classic turned inside-out.  Extra points for Billy Strange’s guitar solo that sounds like it’s coming from another planet.
  • “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” – Darlene Love – One of the few Spector tracks to actually sport Miss D’s name.  Darlene reaches back to her days in the gospel choir for a gutty performance.  Imagine her preaching to the congregation about her good news.
  • “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” – Betty Everett – Darlene and the Blossoms do the question-asking, like “Is it in his eyes”?  sharing the lead vocalis with Betty.  The vocal ascending that they do when Betty sings “Kiss him / and squeeze him tight” will send shivers.
  • “Poor Side of Town” – Johnny Rivers – Darlene & the Blossoms show off their gentler side as they echo Johnny’s verses with sweet sophistication.
  • “The Right Time” – Bobby Darin – Darlene duets with Bobby on this under-appreciated cut from a lost Darin LP called Bobby Darin Sings Ray Charles
  • “Brown-Eyed Woman” – Bill Medley – The deep-voiced half of the Righteous Brothers testifies his love for Darlene, while she and her sisters turn up the heat.
  • “Basketball Jones – Cheech and Chong – Showing that she truly is one of the most versatile of vocalists, Darlene lends her talents to C&C’s parody of the Brighter Side of Darkness “Love Jones.”

#1 – Tommy James – Me, the Mob & the Music

Legendary ICON Tommy James, the man behind such hits as “Mony Mony,” “Crimson & Clover,” and “Hanky Panky,” has just written a book entitled “Me, the Mob and the Music: One Helluva Ride With Tommy James & the Shondells.” The book chronicles his career from his humble beginnings in Niles, Michigan, to a regional sensation in Pittsburgh, to a worldwide star. Running parallel with this fame was James’ crazy, often times scary dealings with label exec Morris Levy, who didn’t just have mob connections, he was running dealings right out of his company office. Tommy James talks with Icon Fetch about his new book, new 2-CD “40th Anniversary Singles Collection” and upcoming book signings and gigs.

Find out more about Tommy James by visiting his official site, www.tommyjames.com