David Ruffin, the former lead singer with the Temptations between 1964 and 1968 would have celebrated his 80th birthday this week.
He sang lead vocals on the songs My Girl, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and Beauty Is Only Skin Deep among others. After internal difficulties within the group, he turned to drugs and began to miss live appearances. He embarked on a solo career but unlike his brother Jimmy, David only managed one UK hit single which was a cover of a song first recorded by the Choice Four.
David died on 1st June 1991 from a drug overdose of crack cocaine. Let’s remember his only hit, Walk Away From Love live from the Soul Train show.
Madness were one of the great bands of the 1980s and never a bad song. They only ever had one UK number one hit which was House of fun in 1982 and I’ve yet to heard the correct 7″ single version on the radio. I wonder how many people will know the difference between the proper single and the version played on the radio?
Anyway, let’s remember one of their lesser heard song which radio were always a bit sceptical about playing. This song was inspired by Chas Smash’s father’s repeated heart attacks. It tells the story of a workaholic who dies of a heart attack.
This week Jenn Bostic celebrates her 35th birthday, not a name too many of you will be familiar with.
She is an American country music from Nashville and best remembered in the UK for her song Jealous of the Angels which had its first play by Simon Bates on his Our Tune slot when he was on Smooth radio.
2020 was a pretty rubbish year for many, many people and I was no exception. I lost my best friend Larry on 1st April and my lovely father on 29th November at the age of 85. I’m going to play this song for my father because the words are so appropriate and Jenn wrote and recorded it after losing her father.
The words are beautiful especially the line, ‘In a world where heroes come and go, well God just took the only one I know’ – that’s for you dad.
I can’t believe that song never made the chart- probably too good for it was it was released in 2012. I hope anyone in a similar situation finds comfort in this song.
Here’s to 2021 – it just has to be better than last year.
He was born in Dallas, Texas and when he was 22 headed to Los Angeles where he formed his first band Meat Loaf Soul, a name coined by Meat’s football coach because if his size. He released a few singles, but struggled because, as he claimed on an interview with a New Zealand radio interview, no one took him seriously in the music industry.
He went on to appear in the L.A stage production of Hair, he broke off for a U.S tour and then returned to the same show but this time on Broadway in New York. In 1973, he was invited to join the cast in the original production of the Rocky Horror Show where he portrayed Eddie and Dr. Everett Scott, the how was a success and it led to him being cast as Eddie in the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In 1975, he and Jim Steinman began work on what was to become one of the biggest selling albums of all time, Bat Out of Hell. Two years in the making, it finally surfaced in 1977. To date, it has sold approx. 44 million copies worldwide.
He continued to appear in many film and TV productions as well as releasing the albums Dead Ringer (1981), Midnight at the Lost and Found (1983), Bad Attitude (1984) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993) – the latter containing his only UK number one hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).
In 1997, he had a cameo appearance as a bus driver in the film Spiceworld.
Let’s remember and enjoy one of the singles released from Bat Out of Hell which, astonishingly only reached number 32 in the UK singles chart.
It was 40 years ago this week that Marc Bolan died in a car crash in Barnes. The car was driven by his girlfriend, the singer Gloria Jones who recorded the original version of Tainted Love and also write the 1979 disco hit Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet for Gonzalez.
T.Rex first hit the UK chart in 1968, under the name Tyrannosaurus Rex, with Debora. After three hits they shortened the name to T.Rex and chart 20 hit singles including the four chart toopers; Hot Love, Get It On, Telegram Sam and Metal Guru.
The legendary Queen guitarist Brian May is 70 this week.
The great man, whom I’ve met on a few occasions, has many strings to his bow, but he is certainly an underrated songwriter, probably just over shadowed by his phenomenal guitar playing.
He wrote or co-wrote almost 50% of Queen’s 46 UK hit singles, the first, and a sole writer, was Now I’m Here, a number 11 hit in 1975. It was primarily written about the good times and the bad times of the hard, extensive touring, which the band did during their first few years.
In 1974, they famously supported Mott the Hoople on their American tour, and it that tour which also provided some inspiration, highlighted by the line ‘Down in the city, just Hoople and me.’
Of all the queen songs, this one holds the record for the longest stay in their live sets, Freddie recalled in a Record Mirror interview in 1976, “We released it after Killer Queen, and it’s a total contrast, just a total contrast. It was just to show people we can still do rock ‘n’ roll – we haven’t forgotten our rock ‘n’ roll roots. It’s nice to do on stage. I enjoyed doing that on stage.”
Let’s enjoy this live version in Budapest from 1986.