You never know who you're going to meet on the internet and I came to know Peter Tibbles (bio here) via email over the past couple of years. His extensive knowledge of most genres of music and his excellent taste became apparent only gradually (Peter's not one to toot his horn) but once I understood, I knew he needed his own column at Time Goes By - or, better, that TGB needed his column - which appears here each Sunday. You can find previous Elder Music columns here.
Remember these? "No, I don't,” you'll probably say but when I play them, at least some of you are going to go, "Ah yes, that song." If that happens, this column won’t have been in vain.
I listened to the first three tracks and I think I’ve figured out why they are forgotten – they sounded too much like other, more famous, singers. The three are Adam Wade who sounds like Johnny Mathis, Roy Hamilton standing in for Jackie Wilson and Ral Donner who was the best Elvis ever except the King himself.
When I say these people are forgotten, that really means I haven't heard about them for a long time. It may be different for you as I found when researching my first artist, Adam Wade. I remember him as a singer around about 1960 or so and that's it.
However, I've found that he subsequently became a daytime TV host and has appeared in films and plays. Well, that'll teach me not to go off half-cocked.
As I've started writing about him, I'll keep going, forgotten or not. I suspect the same thing might happen with some or all the others today. Oh well.
Adam's early job was as a lab assistant to Jonas Salk on the polio research team. Not too many people I write about performed such a useful service. But Adam wanted to sing so he left and pretty much had a major hit immediately with Ruby. The next year he had three songs on the charts, one of which I'm using today, Take Good Care of Her. This is the Johnny Mathis sound-alike song (well, all Adam's songs sounded like Johnny singing).
Around the same time that Adam had his hits, Roy Hamilton hit it big with You Can Have Her. He'd already had several hits before, including the R&B tune, Don't Let Go.
Roy studied commercial art and he had operatic voice training – that shows in his singing. He was also a heavy weight boxer. I don't know how that'd be any good for his singing (or anything else, if it comes to it).
Like many pop singers before him, his singing career began in a gospel quartet – The Searchlight Singers in his case. Also like many before him, he left to seek his fame and fortune in popular music.
Unfortunately, Roy died in 1969, after suffering a stroke, at age 40. This is You Can Have Her.
Ral Donner trod a fine line between original artist and Elvis impersonator - 20 years before there was such a category.
However, it didn't really matter much what Ral wanted, the studio executives were forever pushing him in the Elvis direction.
He started singing early, at age 13, but he was always blessed/cursed with that voice. So much so that later he narrated the film This Is Elvis in 1981, because he not only sang like Elvis, he spoke like him as well. He died of cancer at age 41.
Here he is with a song Elvis also recorded, Girl of my Best Friend.
I had a vinyl album of Bob Lind that had the song Elusive Butterfly on it. Probably still have it somewhere. That track was pretty bizarre as it had Bob's voice on one channel and everything else on the other. Fortunately, they've remixed it properly for the CD version I'm using today.
Although considered a one-hit wonder, Bob is a songwriter of note and his songs have been covered by a myriad of artists, including The Blues Project, Nancy Sinatra, The Four Tops, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton, Hoyt Axton and on and on. He's also written a bunch of novels.
He retired from performing some time ago but has recently picked up his guitar and is singing again. His early albums have been reissued (properly mixed, I hope).
Readers of a certain age - that is, those around about mine, or those who are at the elder end of the baby boomers - will know immediately what song is coming up when I mention the name Scott McKenzie.
Scott, or Philip Blondheim to his folks, was a boyhood friend of John Phillips (that's Papa John of the Mamas and the Papas). They were in several groups together when they were young, the most famous of which was The Journeymen. John wanted Scott in his new group, the one I've already mentioned, but Scott decided to go for a solo career instead. Good decision there, Scott.
However, John wrote him a song that became his only hit, San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).
Tommy Edwards recorded the very best version of the song, It's All in the Game.
Tommy was already performing when he was nine years old and was recording in the Forties, first with covers of Louis Jordan songs and then with other covers from then and through the Fifties. He died at 47, in 1969, of a brain aneurysm.
The song was written by Charles Dawes – well, the tune was. The words were supplied by Carl Sigman. Those with really long memories will recall that Charlie was the 30th vice president of the U.S. The big cheese at the time was Calvin Coolidge.
Soon after his election Charlie sent an insulting letter to Calvin informing him that he would not be attending cabinet meetings. Things went downhill from there. Later he was ambassador to Great Britain and he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his input into Germany's reparation payments after the first great unpleasantness. And didn't that go really well.
But this is supposed to be about Tommy Edwards. Here he is with that song.
Those who remember Noel Harrison’s name probably do so in connection with the TV program, The Girl From UNCLE, a series that bore more than a passing similarity to The Man From UNCLE. Others may remember that he was Rex Harrison’s son.
There could be some who remember his representing Great Britain in two Winter Olympics. There may even be a few out there who recall that he had a bit of a music career in the Sixties. My sister Pam is definitely one; she had several of his albums. May still have them.
You may remember him from the song The Windmills of Your Mind, the theme tune from the film The Thomas Crown Affair (the original version), but before that he had a bit of a hit with the song, A Young Girl, written by Charles Aznavour. Noel’s is an English version but sounds rather "translated,” shall we say.