Sorry for the radio silence from Sublime HQ. That pesky little thing called "making a living" has interceded. To make it up to you, here's a doubleheader of delights from the wild, weird world of pop music. And the common thread is...Herman's Hermits!
So, I was recently shuffling through one of the many stacks of CDs on the premises and came across a compilation CD that included a song by Earl-Jean, who I had never heard of. The song: "I'm Into Something Good." Wait...the Herman's Hermits song?! Yes, and there's quite a backstory.
Earl-Jean McCrea was a member of the girl group The Cookies. In the early '60s, the group was signed to Gerry Goffin and Carole King's label, Dimension, where they had a couple of hits penned by the husband-wife team, including "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" and "Chains." In 1964, Earl-Jean recorded another Goffin-King song, "I'm Into Something Good." (Oh, and she also had a baby by Goffin; guess I buried the lead.) And then later that year, Herman's Hermits took it to the top of the charts. Which brings us to...
Bob Crewe died this week at the age of 83. His name only rang a bell for me because of that catchy, kitschy 1966 instrumental, "Music to Watch Girls By" (written by someone else as a Pepsi commercial). But it turns out Crewe had one of the most eclectic music careers I've ever come across. He wrote, co-wrote and/or produced just about every hit by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. He started a record label, DynoVoice, which had hits with Eddie Rambeau (the original version of "Concrete and Clay"), The Toys ("A Lover's Concerto"), and a band first called Billy Lee & The Rivieras, which Crewe renamed as Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. Crewe would later produce songs for the British singer Oliver ("Jean" and "Good Morning Starshine"). Then in the '70s, he got funky: he formed Disco Tex & the Sex-o-Lettes ("Get Dancin'"), and the co-wrote "Lady Marmalade," which was a huge hit for Labelle.
But way back at the beginning of his career, in 1957, Crewe co-wrote a song called "Silhouettes," which was a hit for the doo-wop group, The Rays (and which I remember my oldest brother, Willie, singing around the house when I was just a pup). Years later, in 1965, "Silhouettes" became a hit again. For Herman's Hermits.
And there you have it.