Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today In Oldies 10/26/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Everything Oldies......Oldies news, hardware, and other picture postcards
Where In The World Is...........Albert Hammond?

Of all the countries that have produced singers, songwriters, and musicians over the years, Gibraltar isn't exactly considered a hotbed of musical talent.  It has, however, had a hand in giving us London-born Albert Hammond, and Albert Hammond has given us one huge hit of his own and many more for other artists.  Once again, a one hit wonder's legacy reaches far beyond his brief stint on the charts.

Hammond was born to Gibraltarian parents who fled the country during World War II and returned shortly after he was born.  It was there he became interested in music and joined a band called The Diamond Boys, one of the first modern bands to be booked in Madrid alongside some of Spain's rock and roll pioneers.  He then joined London-based group The Family Dogg a few years later, scoring a Top 10 British hit with "A Way Of Life" in 1969.

By 1970, he had broke out on his own and formed a bond with a songwriting partner with whom he would enjoy huge success.  Mike Hazlewood and Albert Hammond began a machine-like succession of hits for other artists, most notably "The Air That I Breathe" for The Hollies in 1974.  At the same time, Hammond was singing backup for other artists as well.  As a solo singer, Hammond's one hit was a smash.  In 1972, his song about the shattered dreams and deterioration caused by the pursuit of a career in Hollywood, "It Never Rains In Southern California", struck a chord with radio listeners and record buyers globally in spite of its uniquely American locale.  It was a Top 10 hit in the U.S., Norway, Switzerland, and Germany.  It also went all the way to the top in Japan!  It would be Albert Hammond's only flirtation with chart success as a solo artist in America, but it was far from being the end of his time in the music business.

Let's run down a partial list of U.S. smash hits written or co-written by Albert Hammond since "It Never Rains In Southern California" was a hit:

"When I Need You" - Leo Sayer (#1, 1977)

"To All The Girls I've Loved Before" - Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson (co-written with Hal David) (#5, 1984)

"Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" - Starship (co-written with Diane Warren) (#1, 1987)

"I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" - Chicago (#3, 1988)

"One Moment In Time" (theme song for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea) - Whitney Houston (#1, 1988)

"Don't Turn Around" - Ace of Base (co-written with Diane Warren) (#4, 1993)

He has also become a major superstar in Spain with his Spanish recordings and continues to be one of Spain's biggest concert draws.  In 2009, he teamed with British superstar Duffy to co-write and produce her new album, "Endlessly", which will be available in stores and online on November 21st, 2010.  He also plans to take another turn out front with a duets album featuring a diverse roster of artists including Al Stewart ("Year of the Cat", "Time Passages"), Cliff Richard, and Bonnie Tyler teaming up with him to record new versions of some of his most successful songs.  His son, Albert Hammond, Jr., is best known to the generation behind us as a member of the rock band The Strokes.

Every time it actually does rain in southern California, someone still curses the day Albert Hammond committed this song to vinyl......

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Burning Question of the Day

From which 80's classic did Michael Jackson later admit to "borrowing" the beats for "Billie Jean"?

Check back tomorrow @ Everything Oldies for the answer, and leave a comment here with your 
best guess!!

Thursday's Burning Question (and Answer) of the Day

Although they were listed on the original Woodstock poster as performers, which group backed out after being booked for a show in Paris the same weekend?

Answer: The Moody Blues

No comments:

Post a Comment