Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Today In Oldies 10/20/2010

Golden Hits Radio and GHR-2's Everything Oldies........Oldies news when you need it!!

Where In The World Is........Bertie Higgins?

For a brief period in the early 80's, it appeared that Jimmy Buffett might have something of a rival when Elbert Joseph "Bertie" Higgins arrived on the scene.  Born in Tarpon Springs, Florida, Higgins certainly knew a thing or two about life on the beach, and he parlayed that knowledge into a major hit in 1982. 

Higgins' musical career began as a member of a teenage band called The Romans.  Signed to ABC-Paramount Records in 1964, they released three singles over a three year period, but none that made any waves with radio stations or record buyers.  For a short time, they were the backing band for Tommy Roe, changing their name at that point to "The Roemens".  Higgins served as drummer for the group. 

After the demise of The Romans, Higgins returned to Florida and began honing his skills as a songwriter and performer.  He was a big regional draw at concert venues across the state of Florida.  He also attracted the attention of several of the top record producers of the era, including Bob Crewe, Phil Gernhard, and Felton Jarvis, who had produced some of Elvis's later recordings.   In spite of the big names, Bertie Higgins still lacked a big hit or a big album.  That would soon change forever. 

A meeting arranged between Higgins, record producer Sonny Limbo (instrumental in launching the country group Alabama into superstardom), and music publisher Bill Lowery proved to be the catalyst for that hit.  Higgins showed them the rough cut of a song he'd written about a failed romance and asked them to help him work out the kinks.  Once the rough edges had been worked out, the three thought they had a diamond, but the label to which they pitched the song, a newly formed spinoff of CBS records called Kat Family, didn't think so.  After some cajoling, they finally agreed to release it, and they made the right call.  "Key Largo" hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went all the way to the top of the Adult Contemporary charts.  It was also a modest hit on the Country chart.  Bertie Higgins was suddenly an overnight success 17 years in the making! 

Further hits in America never materialized, but Higgins became a huge international star, particularly in the Pacific Rim countries of Asia, with his unique brand of "trop rock".  He continues to record and tour internationally with his band, The Band of Pirates.  Like many other one hit wonders, he has also branched out into other non-musical ventures as well.  Over the past few years, he has moved into film production with his son, Julian.  Two of their movies, The Wrath and Poker Run, have been released nationally, with Bertie serving as screenwriter, music supervisor, and even acting!  He is also actively involved in the preservation of the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Florida as well as the Anclote Key Lighthouse. 

From a 1982 appearance on Solid Gold, here's Bertie Higgins' ode to old movies and failed romance.......

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

***This week, each question will pertain to artists who did not appear at Woodstock and the reasons they weren't there***

Which female solo artist (and rumored love interest of one of the members of a new supergroup who DID appear at Woodstock) turned down the invitation due to a scheduling conflict with an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show?

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

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

Which relatively new (and soon to become legendary) band did not play Woodstock because, according to their manager, ".....we'd have just been another band on the bill"?

Answer: Led Zeppelin -- who were in the midst of a wildly successful U.S. tour during the summer of Woodstock.  Their only time off was a swing through Las Vegas to catch the act wowing audiences at the International Hotel.  His name?  Elvis Presley! 


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