Jan Bradley – “Mama Didn’t Lie”

Jan Bradley

Introduction to Jan Bradley Jan Bradley is an American soul singer-songwriter who is best known for her 1963 hit R&B single “Mama Didn’t Lie.” Bradley’s single “Mama Didn’t Lie,” written by Curtis Mayfield, became a hit on both R&B and pop charts in 1963. Mayfield had also written one of Bradley’s earlier … Read more

Eddie Heywood – “Canadian Sunset”

Eddie Heywood

Introduction to Eddie Heywood Oldies music fans may remember Eddie Heywood Jr. as a great jazz pianist. Heywood played with several other jazz musicians before forming his own band in the early 1940s, when they backed Billie Holliday. Heywood also played piano solos for Coleman Hawkins quartet date. Afterwards, he formed a … Read more

The Blue Jays – One-Hit Wonders with “Lovers Island”

The Blue Jays

Brief introduction to the Blue Jays The Blue Jays were an American vocal doo-woop group who surfaced fleetingly in the 1960s. Hailing from Venice, California, the group consisted of Leon Peels (who came from Newport, Arkansas), Van Richardson, Alex Manigo and Leonard Davidson. They formed n 1961, and landed a record deal … Read more

The Critters – “Mr. Dieingly Sad”

A short introduction to the Critters The Critters were an American pop group who surfaced on the music scene from 1964 to 1967. The group was made of Don Ciccone, Bob Podstawski, Jim Ryan, Ken Gorka, Jack Decker and Chris Darway. Hailing from New York, their sound was heavily influenced by the … Read more

Biography of Vic Damone

Vic Damone

Traditional pop singer Vic Damone Vic Damone (born in 1928) is an Italian-American traditional pop singer-songwriter and also a sometime television personality and actor. From the 40s  to the 50s music era Damone had several hits with Mercury including “I Have But One Heart,” “You Do,” “Again,” “You’re Breaking My Heart,” “My … Read more

Biography of Maxine Brown

Maxine Brown

Introduction to one of the most underrated singers Maxine Brown is an American R&B, soul and gospel songstress from the 60s music era. She is considered one of the most underrated singers of the genre. She has never reached the Billboard Top 10; her highest charting single was 1960’s “All In My … Read more

The Music of Bill Justis

Bill Justis

Creator of perhaps the most famous rock and roll instrumental Because of his famous rock and roll instrumental “Raunchy,” Bill Justis was catapulted as one of the early pioneers of rock and roll. Apart from being a musician and composer, Justis was also a record producer, arranger, A&R guy, manager and musical … Read more

History of the Beach Boys

The Beach Boys

Introduction to one of the greatest bands in rock history One of the most influential groups of the 60s music era, The Beach Boys were formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. Best known for their tight vocal harmonies, the most famous lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson, cousin Mike … Read more

History of the Dells

The Dells

Introduction The Dells were an R&B vocal group, formed in Harvey, Illinois in 1952. The original members were Johnny Funches, Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Lucius McGill (who left early) Mickey McGill, and Chuck Barksdale, who were all high school students. They started as the El-Rays and was first signed to Chess label … Read more

Don Fardon – “Indian Reservation”

Don Fardon

Short career summary on Don Fardon Don Fardon is an English pop singer, a former draughtsman from Coventry, Warwickshire who joined the Sorrows as lead singer – the band released what could be their most well-known song “Take A Heart.” As a solo singer, his debut single was John Loudermilk’s “Indian Reservation … Read more

Badfinger — The Godfathers of Power Pop

Badfinger

Introduction Badfinger, formerly known as The Iveys, was formed in 1961 with Pete Ham as the only original member to become part of Badfinger. They got their big break in 1968 break when Beatles roadie Mal Evans convinced the Beatles to sign The Iveys for their new record company, Apple Records. They … Read more

The Flirtations – “Nothing But a Heartache”

The Flirtations

Introduction to the Flirtations The Flirtations were an all-girl R&B vocal group who started their professional career in the 1960s. The South Carolinan group first signed to Old Town Records and then to Josie Records; still their records saw no chart action. In 1968 the Flirtations went to England where their career … Read more

The Castells – “Sacred”

The Castells

Introduction to the Castells The Castells were a vocal quartet who scored a few hits in the early 1960s, including “Sacred” and “So This Is Love.” They hailed from Santa Rosa, California where they started the band during high school days. Led by Chuck Girard, they were signed to Era Records, which … Read more

Mel Carter – “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me”

Mel Carter

A short summary on Mel Carter’s career Mel Carter is a R&B and pop singer principally famous for his 1965 hit “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me,” and whose songs are a staple of the easy listening charts. The Cincinnati, Ohio-born Carter started his music career when he recorded for SAR record … Read more

Dale Hawkins – The Father of Swamp Rock Boogie

Dale Hawkins

A little introduction Seen by many oldies music fans as the architect of the “swamp rock boogie,” Louisiana-born singer-songwriter, and guitarist Dale Hawkins attained lasting recognition by his 1957 hit “Suzie Q,” that helped define the shape of classic rock and roll music in the 20th century. He combined with the then-new … Read more

Introduction to Eddie Harris

Eddie Harris

Introduction Eddie Harris (born in 1934 – died in 1996) was an American jazz musician and comic recording artist, proficient in saxophone, vibraphone, piano and organ but was most known by playing the tenor saxophone. Born in Chicago, Harris studied under Walter Dyett, a distinguised violinist and music teacher who also mentored … Read more

Billy Grammer and His Hit “Gotta Travel On”

Billy Grammer

Introduction Billy Grammer (born Billy Wayne Grammer in 1925 – died in 2011) was an American country singer and guitar player, who was particularly active during the 50s music era up to the 1960s. He is now fondly remembered for his 1959 top 10 pop and country hit “Gotta Travel On” which … Read more

History of Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

An Introduction to the Queen Of Soul Aretha Franklin is hailed as one of the most successful female performers of all time. The Grammy award-winning R&B/soul/jazz/gospel songstress began her career singing gospel at the church of her minister father Clarence LaVaughn “C. L.” Franklin. Her professional recording career started in 1960 and … Read more

One-hit Wonder Mickey Lee Lane

Mickey Lee Lane

Introduction to Mickey Lee Lane Mickey Lee Lane was an American singer and songwriter who began his music career by at the Brill Building as a songwriter. His material was classified as rock and roll and soul (particularly Northern Soul). Lane penned “My Little Woman” for Bill Haley, worked as a touring … Read more

Ed Ames — The Versatile Entertainer

Ed Ames

Introduction Ed Ames was born Edmund Dante Urick in Malden, MA on July 9th, 1927.  He grew up in a non-professional musical family, and along with his brothers Joe, Vic & Gene formed the Ames Brothers in the late 1940’s.  In a decade of popular singing quartets they were the most popular … Read more

Ramsey Lewis — the Jazz Piano Master from Chicago

Ramsey Lewis

Career summary on Ramsey Lewis Grammy Award winner Ramsey Lewis is an American jazz pianist and composer who has also been enjoying crossover success, together with his own act the Ramsey Lewis Trio. At 15, already proficient in playing the piano, he was first exposed to jazz when he joined the seven-piece … Read more

The Guitar Legend, Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy

Introduction Duane Eddy (born in New York in 1938) is an American guitarist who invented the guitar’s for the low, reverberating “twangy” sound which is heard in most of his records. Eddy has been also known for his work with Lee Hazlewood, who produced most of the former’s work during the late … Read more

Introduction to Dorothy Collins

Dorothy Collins

Introduction Dorothy Collins (born Marjorie Chandler in 1926 – died in 1994) was a Canadian/American singer and actress, who reached the peak of fame during the 50s music era. She had been a singer on several local radio stations in Windsor, Ontario in Canada (her birthplace) and Detroit. When pioneer bandleader Raymond … Read more

Tennessee Ernie Ford – “Sixteen Tons”

Tennessee Ernie Ford

Short introduction to Tennessee Ernie Ford Tennessee Ernie Ford was an American radio and television personality as well as recording artist. Ford would enjoy great success recording country, pop and gospel songs. He recorded and released singles that mostly became country hits, but his trademark song was “Sixteen Tons” in 1955. His … Read more

Don Gibson, “The Sad Poet” of Country Music

Don Gibson

Introduction Don Gibson was an American country singer-songwriter and musician known for his standards such as “Sweet Dreams” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” He was dubbed by oldies music/country music fans as “The Sad Poet” for he wrote songs of longing and loneliness, although they weren’t necessarily based on his personal … Read more

The History of Don Covay

Don Covay

Introduction Don Covay (born in 1938) is an American singer-songwriter distinguished for his compositions for other artists as well as known for his own recordings. The son of a Baptist preacher, Covay turned to secular music when he became a member of a short-lived group The Rainbows, which included future stars Marvin … Read more

The Life and Music of Don Cornell

Don Cornell

Introduction Don Cornell (born Luigi Varlaro in 1919 – died in 2004) was an American singer who reached the peak of prominence in the 1940s and the 1950s. His big but smooth and hearty voice brought hits from his singles “I’ll Walk Alone,” “I’m Yours,” “I,” “Hold My Hand” and “The Bible … Read more

Introduction to Don Costa

Don Costa

Introduction Don Costa was an American record producer and music arranger, known for his collaborations with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Lloyd Price, George Hamilton IV, Paul Anka, Sarah Vaughan, Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett and most notably, Frank Sinatra. Costa became Sinatra’s arranger when the latter invited him to work on one … Read more

One-hit wonder Dick Flood and his song “The Three Bells”

Dick Flood

Introduction to Dick Flood Dick Flood is an American pop and country singer-songwriter who joined the ranks of one-hit wonders through his hit single “The Three Bells” in the late 1950s. He previously teamed with Billy Graves on Jimmy Dean’s TV show on CBS in the mid-1950s. Flood’s version of the French … Read more