Friday, 27 January 2017

One for the ladies, Dick?

I just love Dick Clark's intro "this is a song, I guess, written for women..." I always admire a chap who is unafraid to flaunt his politically incorrect credentials, although I suspect that if he made a remark like that now, what was to become one of the longest careers in showbiz would have been terminated very quickly.

The song is actually brilliant, and you don't have to be a woman to realise that.

Despite the forgetfulness that comes with being 55 years and 2 months old, I have incredible recall when it comes to the music. I can remember when I first heard this one - it was in 1979, on Mike Allen's excellent Saturday night show 'The American Dream', back in the days when Capital Radio was broadcasting on medium wave. He played the show out with it, and it really grabbed me. This is Doo-Wop at its very best.

At the risk of drifting into Dick Clark territory, I assumed that the Passions were a black group (the management at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem made the same mistake with Buddy Holly and the Crickets in August 1957, which is how they came to be the first white act to play there).

Just to emphasize the sheer greatness of this song, and its importance in Rock n Roll history, before it was given to the Passions, the original demo was recorded by none other than Carole King and Paul Simon.

Paul Simon himself performed on a number of early RnR tracks, but under an assumed name. I know exactly where to find him, of course, and perhaps I will share one or two of his early, and largely unknown, gems in a future post.


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