Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paul Evans

Paul EvansPaul Evans is listed as Paul Evans & The Curls in Rock Almanac by Stephen Nugent and Charlie Gillett. That was the first book I got with chart listings. It lists all the records that were on the US and UK top 20 between 1955 and 1973. It also has LP listings, which is interesting. I won’t say that the book changed my life, though it did, because that would just make me too nerdy. Later I got Whitburn’s top 40, Whitburn’s top 100 book, and a book listing records on the CHUM charts.

What’s all this have to do with Paul Evans? Nothing. Nothing at all.

But that Almanac book listed him as Paul Evans & The Curls, though The Curls only appear on his first hit, and I’m guessing that they are the female vocal group. Beyond that, I never heard of Paul Evans until I got my hand on said book (true of many artists on these posts) and until now he was just a guy whose songs I found on Looney Tunes, or in some box full of old dusty singles at Sound Exchange. (You remember Sound Exchange, I wrote about it earlier, probably on the Somethin’ Smith & The Redheads post. Look it up.) After doing a bit of internet research, I now know that Evans is the guy that wrote Roses Are Red My Love by Bobby Vinton, and I Gotta Know by Elvis Presley, When by The Kalin Twins, and a bunch of others, mostly not as well known. And he had a comeback hit in the UK and Europe in 1979, called Hello This Is Joanie. It’s truly terrible.

Paul Evans:

Seven Little Girls (Sitting In The Back Seat) – Of all the strange songs to hit the top 40 this was one of them. Paul is driving, Fred is in the back with seven girls (how do they fit?) and there’s monkey business. Paul wants to know what’s going on. “Keep your snoopy eyes on the road ahead” they tell him. Sick. I’d make them walk. From the fall of 1959.
Midnight Special – A kind of whoop-de-do rendition of the folk standard. Joe Turner had a wonderful R & B version in the early 50s, Lonnie Donegan put it on the UK top 40, and Johnny Rivers had a US hit later on. The definitive version may be the one by CCR, on the Willie And The Poor Boys album. From the winter of 1960.
Happy-Go-Lucky Me – “I can laugh,” says Paul, “when things ain’t funny.” The lyrics seems straightforward, and the banjo is happy enough, but there is something just a bit too hysterical in this for us to take it at face value. From the spring of 1960.

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