Music Throwback Saturday: Then Came You

Then Came You became Warwick’s first ever single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became her highest-charting R&B record.

spinners-dionnePeriodically I have mentioned in this blog how irritated I was that certain black musicians were considered “not black enough” because of their genre. Charlie Pride singing country, or Jimi Hendrix doing rock and roll – and isn’t rock just blues and country mixed together? And I took some heat for listening to it.

Dionne Warwick got grief for being an MOR (middle of the road) artist, singing mostly Burt Bacharach/ Hal David tunes. So I was glad that she briefly got that particular monkey off her back when she teamed up with the legendary Spinners to sing Then Came You.

“Released during a time that Warwick’s chart fortunes were at an ebb after moving to Warner Bros. Records in 1972, the Philadelphia soul single was a rare mid-1970s success for the singer. Sung as a duet with Spinners main lead singer Bobby Smith and the Spinners, who were one of the most popular groups of the decade, the song became Warwick’s first-ever single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also became her highest-charting R&B record reaching number two on that chart. It was also the first number-one pop hit for the Spinners. Spinners member Phillippe Wynne took over lead duties at the very end of the song.”

Dionne spelled her last name with an E at the end during this period but switched back.

Here are songs by the Spinners, who are NOT in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, though nominated the last couple of years, not even up for consideration this season:

I’ll Be Around -#3 for two weeks pop, #1 for five weeks soul in 1972, here or here

Could It Be I’m Falling In Love – # 4 pop, #1 soul in 1973 here or here

One of a Kind (Love Affair) #11 pop, #1 for four weeks soul in 1973 here or here

Mighty Love, Part 1 – #20 pop, #1 for two weeks soul in 1974 here or here

Then Came You – #1 pop, #2 soul in 1974 here or here

They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play) – #5 pop, #1 soul in 1975 here or here

The Rubberband Man – #2 for three weeks pop, #1 soul in 1976 here or here; long, album version here or here

Music Throwback Saturday: Anyone Who Had a Heart

The fact that Black’s version of Anyone Who Had a Heartstalled Warwick’s version at #47 in the UK bugged Warwick even 30 years later.

Dionne WarwickMy Times Union blogger buddy Chuck Miller linked to a version of Anyone Who Had a Heart by someone named Anja Nissen which you can hear HERE or HERE. It’s nice, it’s fine.

But I’m forever a fan of the original of the Burt Bacharach (music) and the late Hal David (lyrics) song, which was the Dionne Warwick version, released in late 1963, and getting to its zenith on three different charts in 1964: #8 on the Top 100, #6 on the rhythm & blues charts, and #2, for three weeks, on the adult contemporary charts.

There were a number of versions over the years. Heck, there was a lot in 1964 alone:

Percy Faith, 1964
Dusty Springfield, 1964
Cilla Black, 1964 #1 in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa.
According to Wikipedia, the fact that Black’s version stalled Warwick’s version at #47 in the UK bugged Warwick even 30 years later.

Petula Clark, in French (Ceux Qui Ont Un Coeur) #7 in France in 1964
Petula Clark, in Italian (Quelli che hanno un cuore) #5 in Italy in 1964
Petula Clark, in Spanish (Tú No Tienes Corazón) #1 in Spain for two weeks in 1964

Four Seasons, 1965
The Lettermen, 1968
Martha and the Vandellas, 1972
Linda Ronstadt, 1992
Josey James, 2012

What’s YOUR favorite version? (Note to Sharp Little Pencil: I think I know your pick.) My second favorite is probably the Ronstadt take. The Vandellas version is interesting, but I’m not sold on it.

Hal David, R.I.P.

I have nothing more to say. Hal David said it all.

I had this conversation back in the 1980s with this comic book writer, and he was lightly complaining about how the artist always seemed to get the credit for a magazine’s success. That may or may not have been a valid complaint, given the Marvel style of putting the product together.

My own complaint is that in a songwriting duo with defined roles, it seems that the person writing the music seems to get more attention than the guy who writes the words. Perhaps lyricists are less outgoing. That certainly appears to be the case with lyricist Hal David, who died recently, in a relationship with long-time partner Burt Bacharach. Check out this article for a history of their team.

The duo was recently awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

I have nothing more to say. Hal David said it all, with his lyrics. Links to all songs.
(I made a point of NOT picking only Dionne Warwick songs, which would have been easy to do.)

Gene Pitney – Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa
Cilla Black – Anyone who had a heart
Dusty Springfield – Wishin and Hopin
Jackie DeShannon – What the World Needs Now
Billy J Kramer – Trains And Boats And Planes
Dionne Warwick – Message To Michael
Dionne Warwick – The Windows of the World
Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer
Herb Alpert – This Guy’s in Love with You
Isaac Hayes – Walk on By short (4:30) version; the longer version here
B.J. Thomas – Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
The 5th Dimension – One Less Bell to Answer
Carpenters – Close to You
Naked Eyes- Always Something There To Remind Me
James Taylor – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Luther Vandross – A House Is Not A Home (live)

Valentine’s Day

Both songs speak of yearning. I know, from vast past experience, that Valentine’s Day is not hearts and flowers for everyone.

At my core, Valentine’s Day is one of those mixed blessings days. Why, for instance, do I so connect with a song written by lyricist Hal David and composer Burt Bacharach, Anyone Who Had A Heart? It was performed originally by Dionne Warwick and covered by several others (Cilla Black, Luther Vandross, Wynonna Judd, Dusty Springfield, Shelby Lynne, among others).
Anyone who had a heart
Would take me in his arms and love me, too
You couldn’t really have a heart and hurt me,
Like you hurt me and be so untrue
What am I to do

Here’s Dionne’s version of Anyone Who Had a Heart.

I also relate to Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder). It’s a song from the legendary Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher
Being here with you feels so right
We could live forever tonight
Let’s not think about tomorrow
And don’t talk put your head on my shoulder
Come close, close your eyes and be still
Don’t talk, take my hand and listen to my heart beat
Listen, listen, listen.

Here’s a couple of Beach Boys versions:
a capella and traditional.

Both songs speak of yearning. I know, from vast past experience, that Valentine’s Day is not hearts and flowers for everyone. I guess that’s why I relate to the melancholy songs so much.

Not incidentally, these two songs are performed back to back on Linda Ronstadt’s Winter Light album, which appears to be out of print, AND I can’t find either track on the Intersnet. One can find them on her box set.
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I should say that Scott, who noted my mom’s passing in his blog, and Jaquandor, who had mentioned it previously, are each requesting that you Ask Them Anything. Here’s Scott’s link, and Jaquandor’s.

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