Hi everyone, this week we’re continuing our month-long look at Early Sixties Soul music this week focusing on the music of Gary U. S. Bonds, The Impressions & Jerry Butler.
Just as a reminder, each weekly recommended music posting features the following sections:
I. Brief Artist Bios
II. Freegal Music Recommendations
III. CD Music Recommendations Of The Week
IV. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups
V. Wild Recommendations of the Week
And on to our Soul artists of the week!
I. Brief Artist Bios:
Gary U.S. Bonds: Gary U.S. Bonds was born Gary Anderson in Jacksonville, Florida in 1939 and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. Gary sang Gospel as a child, started singing professionally in his teens and was signed to Legrand Records by Producer Frank Guida when he was only nineteen. And Guida is the one who suggested to the young Gary Anderson that he use the professional name Gary U. S. Bonds, figuring that radio DJs would mistake Bond’s music for public service announcements and play more of his songs on the radio. The strategy worked and Bond’s career caught fire! His first hit was the classic song New Orleans. Bond’s music has that upbeat youthful vibe to it which reminds you of fun summer vacations during high school – no matter what year you graduated! And his music, which features the early classic rock instruments of guitar, bass, drums and horns, can be thought of as both early Classic Rock and Soul and is perfect for parties – especially in the summer when you can get out on the patio, with your Bluetooth speaker, and dance! Bond hits include the previously mentioned New Orleans, Quarter To Three, School Is Out, Dear Lady Twist and Twist, Twist Senior.
Today Gary U.S. Bonds lives on Long Island continue to perform and record.
The Impressions: The Impressions were the premier soul group of the early sixties. The band launched the career of three great soul artists who all became even better known in the seventies as solo artists: singer-songwriter Jerry Butler, singer-songwriter/guitarist Curtis Mayfield and singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Leroy Hutson. The Impressions formed in 1958, had the peak of their success in the late fifties and early sixties and disbanded in 1975. The group had seventeen singles hit the top ten on the R&B charts during their career. And their sound really epitomizes the sound of Soul Music as it was forming and evolving – the sound of their singing was light and airy and featured something that was unusual in popular music at that time – three singers trading lead vocals within the same song. The band was also known as being very socially conscious – something that Curtis Mayfield became even better known for in the nineteen seventies.
The Impressions hits include: It’s All Right, Amen, Keep On Pushing, Talking About My Baby, We’re A Winner, People Get Ready, I’m So Proud, Gypsy Woman, Fool For You, and Woman’s Got Soul.
The Impressions After The Impressions:
Curtis Mayfield left The Impressions in 1970. And in his post-Impressions career Mayfield music was a bit rougher and veneered off onto the path of seventies Funk Music. His solo hits of the period include: the classic Superfly, (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Bellow We’re All Gonna Go, Billy Jack and Freddie’s Dead.
Mayfield continued to perform and record until 1990 when he was injured in a freak accident which ended his career, when a lighting rig fell on him at a concert in Brooklyn, New York. The accident left Mayfield paralyzed from the neck down and he never recovered from his paralysis. Mayfield died in 1999.
Leroy Hutson took over singing the main lead vocals for The Impressions when Mayfield left the group in 1970 and continued to do so until he left the band himself in 1973. During the seventies Hutson released a number of popular solo albums and worked behind the scene at Curtom Records writings songs and producing albums for other artists. His seventies solo albums include: Love Oh, Love, The Man!, Hutson, Feel The Spirit and Hutson II.
Although Hutson no longer records, he continues to perform and is scheduled to appear at the annual Blackpool Soul Festival, being held in Blackpool, England, U.K. June 16-18, 2017.
And as Jerry Butler was both a member of The Impressions, and is featured as our third Soul artist/group for this week, here’s a single posting on the great artist Jerry Butler.
Jerry Butler first met Curtis Mayfield when both youths were singing in the same church choir. Butler was an original member of The Impressions and wrote their first hit Your Precious Love; Butler was also the first member of the group to leave and launch a solo career which he did in 1958. Butler recorded numerous hit singles in the sixties and seventies including: Lost, He Will Break Your Heart, Find Another Girl, I’m a Telling You, Never Give You Up, and Hey, Western Union Man.
In the nineties, Butler launched a new career when he ran for and won a seat on the Chicago City Council – a position he still holds today.
II. Freegal Music Recommendations:
Gary U.S. Bonds:
Dance ‘Til Quarter to Three + Twist up Calypso:
This collection features Bond’s two sixties albums and offers a great collection of early sixties rocking soul songs! Songs in the collection include: Quarter To Three, A Trip To The Moon, That’s All Right, New Orleans and School Is Out.
Here’s a link to stream the Dance ‘Til Quarter to Three album:
The Impressions Debut Album (feat. Curtis Mayfield):
This album, from 1963, features six of their highest charting hits: It’s All Right, Gypsy Woman, Little Young Lover, Minstrel And Queen, Grow Closer Together and I’m The One Who Loves You and other great, fun songs including the Doo-Wop-centric Never Let Me Go and the swinging Twist & Limbo. This album is a sixties soul classic!
Here’s a link to stream The Impressions Debut Album:
He Will Break Your Heart + Jerry Butler, Esq.: This classic collection contains Butler’s first two albums: Jerry Butler, Esq. and He Will Break Your Heart. The two album set contains more than 25 songs including: The Gift of Love, Sweet Was The Wine, Have A Good Time and Come Back My Love.
Here is a link to stream the Butler double album:
III. CD Music Recommendations Of The Week
The Impressions Debut Album:
This is the exact same classic sixties soul album I recommended you stream through The Freegal Music catalog – this time in CD format!
Here’s a link to request the The Impressions Debut Album on CD:
Gary U. S. Bonds:
The Very Best Of Gary U.S. Bonds by Gary U. S. Bonds:
This album features Bond’s best songs, recorded between 1960 – 1966. The Songs include: New Orleans, School is Out, Quarter To Three, Dear Lady Twist, Seven Day Weekend and more.
Here’s a link to request the Bond’s album on CD:
He Will Break Your Heart:
This album is actually a greatest hits collection and not the second album released by Butler in 1960. The album features his greatest songs including: Aware of Love, Find Another Girl, He Will Break Your Heart, For Your Precious Love, Where Do I Turn, Let It Be Me and A Lonely Soldier.
Here’s a link to request the Butler CD through StarCat:
IV. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups:
Gary U. S. Bonds:
Quarter to Three
This Little Girl
And here is a second Gary U. S. Bonds video I couldn’t resist sharing, even though it falls outside our sixties time-frame. It features Bond and Bruce Springing singing, This Little Girl, a song Springsteen wrote for Bond’s 1981 album Dedication. The video recorded at the MetLife Stadium in 2012.
Here’s the link to the video This Little Girl:
It’s All Right recorded from a 1965 television broadcast
of Hollywood A Go-Go:
Hey, Western Union Man
V. Wild Card Recommendations of the Week:
This section includes three suggestions of music items found in the library’s collection that you might enjoy – that fall outside our monthly musical category.
Freegal Streaming Recommendation:
Joshua Bell – The Best of Joshua Bell:
Violinist Joshua Bell is from Bloomington, Indiana and plays classical and easy listening music.
Here’s a link to stream Bell’s Best of album via Freegal:
Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song:
This documentary was released in 2007 and chronicles the life and music of the great American folk singer/songwriter and human rights activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014). Some of Seeger’s best known songs include: If I Had A Hammer, Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Turn, Turn, Turn. Guest musicians who discuss Seeger’s impact on their music include: Bob Dylan, Brice Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie and Peter, Paul & Mary.
Here’s a link to request The Power of Song DVD:
And speaking of music and concert DVDs – did you know…
The library has a whole bunch of music DVDs?
Including concerts, documentaries and instructional videos for those wanting to learn how to play an instrument?
The music DVDs are actually shelved by that sneaky culprit of confusion, The Dewey Decimal System!
Most books that focus on music are found in the library under Dewey numbers in the 780s. And so are most of the library’s music DVDs…
In other words, if you’re just browsing through the library’s collection of movies and TV shows, which are arraigned alphabetically by title, you’re missing seeing our non-fiction DVDs including all our cool music related DVDs!
So the next time you’re in the library looking for DVDs – ask the staff to show you where the music DVDs are!
Print Book Recommendation:
Change of Seasons: A Memoir by John Oates:
This is indeed the John Oates of the popular seventies and eights duo Hall and Oates. Change of Seasons is his brand new memoir!
You can request Change of Seasons click on the following link:
VI. General References & Artist Specific References:
All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide To R&B And Soul. (Backbeat Books. Fresno. 2003.)
12 Best Springsteen Albums (Not Made by Bruce)
The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn (Billboard Books. New York. 2009.)
The Blackpool Soul Festival
Sixties Rock: A Listener’s Guide by Robert Santelli (Contemporary Books. Chicago. 1985.)
Recommended Artists Specific References:
Curtis Mayfield Biography by Richie Unterberger
Curtis Mayfield, Conscience-Driven Soul Singer, Dies at 57 By NEIL STRAUSS. DEC. 27, 1999. Accessed April 15, 2017.
DANCING ALL OVER THE ROOM: GARY U.S. BONDS AT SEVENTY-FIVE By Sarah Larson. June 11, 2014. Accessed April 17, 2017.
Gary US Bonds (Official Website)
Gary “U.S.” Bonds Biography by Cub Koda
The Impressions Biography by Steve Huey
The Impressions – Chart History
Leroy Hutson Biography by Rob Theakston
Have a great day!
P.S. If you have any questions about how to download or stream free music through the Freegal Music service to a desktop or laptop computer or how to download and use the Freegal Music app let us know! Drop by the library or give us a call at: 607-936-3713
*You must have a library card at a Southern Tier Library System member library to enjoy the Freegal Music Service. Your card can be from any library in the system, and the system includes all public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegheny Counties and including our own Southeast Steuben Count Library in Corning, New York. Library cards are free and at our library you can obtain one by visiting the Circulation Desk and presenting staff with a form of ID that features both your name and your current address.