Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Steve Lawrence

Now let’s see. Steve Lawrence had a total of 24 singles on the Billboard top 100, the first in 1957 and the last in 1972. 8 of those singles were on Coral Records and 3 were on ABC Paramount. I have 3 of those 11 on a cassette-only collection called Pretty Blue Eyes.

Alright, keep going. He had 4 hits on United Artists, including Portrait Of My Love, and I don’t have any of those. But I do have a collection of his Columbia hits, called Steve Lawrence’s Greatest Hits, which has 10 tracks including 1 out of 8 hits. One. Uno. I don’t know how they defined “greatest hits” at Columbia, but it wasn’t the same way I do.

The Greatest Hits LP, by the way, I found it at one of these seasonal sales, Winnipeg Folk Festival most probably. I don’t remember where I bought the cassette; I just know that I bought it new.

Steve Lawrence:

Party Doll – From the spring of 1957, This cover of Buddy Knox’s hit reached the top 10 in its own right. It was a brief flirtation with rock and roll for Mr. Lawrence.
Footsteps – Steve is haunted. From the spring of 1960.
Pretty Blue Eyes – One of those upbeat ballads. The Guess Who did two versions of this during their obscure days on Quality Records. From the winter of 1960.
Come Back Silly Girl – A lilting melody that one can not resist. A hit for The Lettermen.
I Hear A Rhapsody – The label says that this is with Eydie Gorme, but I don’t hear her voice on this. The Supremes, well, they heard a whole symphony. And Burton Cummings, he played the rhapsody.
Somebody Else Is Taking My Place – Ouch, but Steve doesn’t sound all that bothered by it.
Why, Why, Why – Do you make me cry….
You Don’t Know
Go Away Little Girl – His big hit. The classic story of the older man and the younger woman, jail bait perhaps. Think Young Girl by Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Five Short Minutes by Jim Croce. This beat them all. Went right to the top of the chart in the winter of 1963. The Happenings covered this, and so did Donny Osmond, but we won’t talk about that.
Sweet Maria – A song of parting. Has a bit of that mid eastern thing going on, but only on the bare surface.
The Impossible Dream – Here it is. Had to be here. Lawrence gives a low key but not ineffective performance.
I Want To Be With You – A fairly basic and honest statement of feeling. I have a version of some woman singer doing this. Eydie Gorme?
Love Me With All Your Heart – One of those songs that turns up everywhere. The Ray Charles Singers put it on the chart in 1964. Lawrence sings the heck out of it, especially at the end.
More – The Theme From Mondo Cane, The Theme From Mondo Cane, and the Theme From Mondo Cane. Someone could do a blog just on versions of this song. We have heard Catarena Valente, Roger Williams. It was a hit for Kai Winding.
A Room Without Windows – The ultimate honeymoon. I don’t think it would work for more than a few hours.
Millions Of Roses
What Now My Love – Another standard. The last song was Millions Of Roses. This should be Millions Of Versions. But only Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and Mitch Ryder had hits with it, and both versions were atypical. This version, though, is typical.
Where Can I Go – A refugee song. Ray Charles did this, but Lawrence sings a verse in Yiddish. You can’t beat that.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page