The revival of interest in the music of the late 1950s and early 1960s that occurred in the mid-1970s hit Great Britain even harder than it did America. Bands like The Rubettes, Showaddywaddy and Wizzard scored huge hits on the UK charts with modern updatings of early rock sounds.
Here in the States, the hits were harder to come by, but one British import not only cracked the U.S. market, it became a bigger hit here than in its native England. The record was a tribute to the Beach Boys and the early 60’s surf music called “Beach Baby.” The artists behind the record were known in the UK as The First Class. In America, “the” was dropped and DJ’s simply called them First Class.
What’s the real story behind he song?
Like a lot of one-hit wonders, First Class began as a collection of session musicians. John Carter and his wife Jill Shakespeare wrote the tune and then recruited Tony Burrows (formerly of Edison Lighthouse) and Chas Mills to help them record it. The song did well enough in England, reaching #13. But across the Atlantic, “Beach Baby” reached #4 in the U.S. and #1 in Canada.
The album version of the song is quite a bit longer than the single (as was the fashion at the time). If you listen closely, you’ll also hear a touch of Sibelius's Fifth Symphony near the end of the song.
With “Beach Baby’s” tremendous success, there was a demand for the band to perform live. None of the session players had much interest in that. So, Carter recruited lead singer Del John, guitarist Spencer James, Robin Shaw on bass, Clive Barrett on keyboards and drummer Eddie Richards to be the “live” First Class. That’s the live group on the record sleeve – although none of the guys pictured actually played or sang on the record.
Unfortunately, although First Class (the studio guys) released 2 albums and multiple singles, they never came close to a second hit. Except for Tony Burrows. Besides having had hits with “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” and “Beach Baby,” Burrows also lent his voice to “My Baby Loves Lovin’” (White Plains), “United We Stand” (Brotherhood of Man) and “Gimme Dat Ding” (Pipkins) – making him a one-hit wonder 5 times over!
Remembering the Beach Party Films
Who would have ever thought that two Italians from New York City would come to represent the “summer blond” California surfing movement?
But that’s what happened when American International Pictures launched one of the most successful series of pictures with Beach Party in 1963.
Since then, the names Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello are not only eternally linked to each other, but also to the whole surfing craze of the 1960’s.
Here's the lowdown on the movies that kept us entertained in the mid-1960's.
The rapid growth of self-storage facilities across the United States is a testimony to Americans having more stuff than they know what to do with. Before you rent a unit for your excess stuff,read this:
Do You Really Need This Stuff? – If you put something in self-storage, it’s obviously not something you’re going to need every day. Think long and hard about selling those extra possession or simply throwing it away. It will say you that monthly rental fee.
Think of Moving to Another Until Every Once in a While – The longer you stay, the more your rental fees are going to increase. Meanwhile, many storage facilities offer significantly lower rates to new customers. So, it pays to shop around every so often.
The Colder the Weather, the Lower the Rates – On average, rental rates decrease in the winter months, particularly in February. Conversely, rates are at their highest in July. So, when you rent is important.
Finally, if you do decide to use a storage facility, check with the agency that insures your home to make sure anything you store in that unit is still covered by your homeowner’s policy.
Mentioning that we should eat healthier is something we all know. But what other things can you do to help stay you stay “in the pink?”
- Regular Doctor Visits – Don’t wait until something’s wrong. See your doctor regularly. They may detect something that’s easy to deal with – provide it’s caught early.
- Manage Your Meds – As we get older, there are often more medicines we find our selves taking. On those regularly scheduled tips to your doctor, make sure you review your medications with him or her.
- Sleep – Getting a complete night’s rest make be more challenging as we age. Experts say dimming the lights in the hours before bed time as well as a cool , quiet bedroom can help you get the sleep you need.
- Socialize – Visiting friends or relatives (or having them visit you) helps you stay connected to the world and is shown to improve your attitude, which is related to your health.
- Don’t Neglect Your Eyes or Teeth – In addition to visits to your primary care physician, make sure you visit the optometrist and dentist regularly as well.