From the Land of Band Box Records

Shooting for the Charts

September 11, 2019

Colorado Hits the Charts – Home and Away

Here are the 45’s (for the most part – a few LP cuts here) which managed to find their way onto either the national Billboard Charts – including Hot 100, R&B, Country and Bubbling Under charts- In addition I have included a group of strange extras which was concocted by Jerry Osborne – taking songs which placed below the Top 100 and were listed as ‘on the way up’ by Music Vendor and Record World Magazines – Osborne with his never ending ranking formulas came up with a formula to assign a number to these – for what that is worth.  Those listings can be found in his book “Hit Records 101-150”.

I have listed singles which first and foremost made it onto any of the national’s and then listed the second highest chart listing be it another national or a local radio survey listing – highest selected – regardless of State or origin – Where there is no national chart position for a song – then I list the two highest local radio survey listings (when there are two).  There are nearly 500 songs listed here which I was able to track down.

I was very surprised to see just how many radio stations from all across the mainland of the United States (as well as Hawaii and Alaska) charted so many of our musicians and often higher than our own local stations.

Chart Mania

What is missing is Glenn Miller, Billy Murray and Paul Whiteman charting records – Those three along would surpass this total list – Maybe another time.  I also listed songs which charted by non-Colorado musicians but were composed by a Colorado composer – Think the Strawberry Alarm Clock with “Incense and Peppermints” composed by CU students Tim Gilbert and John Carter.

I listed Earth, Wind and Fire but only singles which charted during the presence of East High musicians Larry Dunn, Philip Bailey and Andrew Woolfolk – I included groups like Firefall and Poco which both have very strong ties to Colorado but omitted the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – who came around for a time.  I did include Mary MacGregor who wasn’t born or raised here but spent a good amount of time in Steamboat – and also because I simply wanted to.  My Blog my decision!  I couldn’t resist including Jody Reynolds of “Endless Sleep” fame because he was born in Denver – He left as a little boy but so what?  I had to include him because he is so cool.

One and Done on Billboard

The coveted crown jewel – a number 1 ranking on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart – is elusive indeed and in the modern era has scarcely been achieved by any artist based in Colorado – musician or composer.  The Murray/Whiteman/Miller triumvirate is a different story of course – and from a very different set of times.  Billy Murray, who moved to Denver at age 5 and grew up here – placed more than 250 songs on the charts in the early part of the 20th century and hit the top spot a couple dozen times.  Paul Whiteman had several number one’s and placed nearly 200 records on the charts.  Glenn Miller enjoyed more than 2 dozen top hits.

But for everyone else number 1 in the nation was a rare event.  During the Bailey/Woolfolk/Dunlap era of Earth Wind and Fire – the highly successful group achieved 8 number one’s on the Billboard R&B charts and one of those went to number 1 Hot 100.  Wayne Thompson – who became known as Wayne Carson – and who had briefly played with Denver’s Freddie and the Hitchhikers” – had a biggie – He  composed “The Letter” which hit number one for the Box Tops (the Arbors would chart with the Carson song as would England’s Joe Cocker who took it to number 7 – Cocker eventually moved to Colorado living near the town of Crawford on Colorado’s western slope near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.)

The Champs From East High School

EWF-intro-rowEWF-intro-rowThe late Michael Johnson who grew up in Alamosa, Colorado, enjoyed some nice Hot 100 presence but it would take a move to country music for Johnson to hit the top spot – twice on the country charts.  The one-time mayor of Ouray, Colorado – Chad a monster number 1 Country song with “Convoy”.  That one was played to death.  Another Colorado artist who went country was Gary Morris who came out of Texas to settle in the Denver area – first performing as part of the duo “Gary and Eddie (Johnson)” and appearing often at Taylor’s Supper Club – sometimes appearing as “Taylor’s Cowboys”.  Gary and Eddie would team up with Colorado musician Teri Hernandez to form a country/folksy type group called “Tomorrow’s Time”.

The Big Six

Morris would move as a solo and would enjoy four number 1 country hits.  Steamboat resident Mary MacGregor hit the top spot with 1977’s “Torn Between Two Lovers”.  Denver’s Kenny Passerelli was in demand as a session player by many prominent artists including Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg, Stephen Stills and Elton John, all musicians who made their way to Colorado’s Caribou Ranch recording studio.  Kenny co-wrote Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” (which Passerelli composed) and played on Elton Johns’ number 1 hit “Island Girl”.  Kenny appeared on many Hall and Oates charting singles (and LP’s) as a regular part of their band for a time.

Johnson & Morris Top of the Country

And finally, University of Colorado students Tim Gilbert and John Carter penned the monster hit “Incense and Peppermints” at the request of producer Frank Slay for The Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Number 1 On Fabulous KIMN (or KTLK)

The Moonrakers and Boenzee Cryque share the distinction of having two number one hits in Denver on Denver radio.  Firefall had one, The Soul Survivors one and Sugarloaf one.

Number One at One Mile High

Everyone But Them

The Astronauts, had one number one hit on KIMN “Baja” and just three singles which charted nationally, but just barely, “Baja” made it to number 94 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Hot Doggin'” managed a number 101 ranking.  “Competition Coupe” just made a cameo appearance with a Bubbling Under rank of 124.  Denver’s favorite local band chosen by many, they did much better in Japan!

Going Local Around the U.S.A

Five Colorado musical acts who did not hit the top spot on a Colorado radio station but managed one each out of state include the Arizona to Colorado transplant Cornerstone on KFXM in San Bernardino, CA (“Holly Go Softly”). Flash Cadillac on WDNG in Anniston, AL (“Did You Boogie with Your Baby”), Bob Lind on KACY in Orlando, FL (“Elusive Butterfly”), The Serendipity Singers on WAKY Louisville, KY (“Don’t Let The Rain Come Down”), and Randy Van Warmer KOOK, Billings, MT (“Just When I Needed You Most”).

Beloved Band Box Records

Band Box – Registered in 1963 but in Use on Records by 1958/59

Nineteen Band Box label recordings managed to chart either here or in another state.  Three songs broke into the national charts – two by Van Trevor and one by Penny Starr (Dehaven) – both edging onto the Billboard Country charts and both times kicking off those two performers country recording careers.  Both musicians have passed away.

So that’s it – a total of six songs which hit the ‘toppermost of the poppermost’ of the Billboard Hot 100 – A damn rare thing as it turns out!

There are no doubt other tune I have missed as far as the total comprehensive charts go, and I welcome any additions or corrections.

The Chart History Colorado

Presented alphabetically by artist.


Music Ads Galore

September 5, 2019

A Bunch of Ads

Cash Box Magazine (or “The Cash Box”) started publication in July of 1942 and continued into 1996 when it ceased publication.  Cash Box concentrated much of it’s efforts on the jukebox industry – and favored juke box plays for chart rankings over radio spins.  The magazine realized that early on most Americans could not afford a radio but could frequent establishments with jukeboxes.

Billboard Magazine was founded way back in 1894 making it the oldest trade magazine in the world.

Below are a handful of the early ads promoting recordings – These started to appear regularly in the mid 1940’s – these being from 1946.  These are followed by Music Ad links over to my companion site.

There are now nearly 12,000 music trade advertisements posted over on my “Music Trade Ads Data Base” page – More coming weekly.

Those Adorable Filtzers!

August 29, 2019

The Paris Sisters

On vinyl – before there were Angles, before there were Ronettes, before there were Chantels, before there were Shirelles…… There were the Filtzer Sisters!

The Filtzers grew up in the San Francisco area and were destined early on to be performers.  In the beginning they thought of themselves as dancers first and singers second.  In an interview, Sherrell Filtzer (the middle sister) recalls that their journey in entertainment didn’t afford them any time for the normal growing up experiences.

They weren’t driven by their parents, who Sherrell described as “normal parents”.  It is rather difficult to discover when the trio became “The Paris Sisters” – but it was early.  Sometime in 1953 they came to the attention of a local California independent record label out of San Francisco –  “Cavalier” where the sisters would cut four tracks.  One single had a Christmas theme and seems to be lost to time.  The second Cavalier 828 has the Paris Sisters working with Jimmy Diamond and His Sparkling Music.  Diamond provided instrumentation for several artists appearing on Cavalier.

The “Zorch/Bully” recording was also released on a 45 format with red wax.

The three Paris Sisters were Albeth (oldest born in 1935, Sherrell born in 1940 and Priscilla born in 1941.  The year after cutting the Cavaliers tracks, the Paris Sisters would leave (thing ditch) school early and immediately head to a local venue where the Andrew Sisters were appearing.  The girls considered the Andrews their heroes and wanted to mold themselves into the same style of singing.

Image result for andrews sisters

The Andrews

After several times attending the Andrews’ performances, the sisters were finally noticed – and not just noticed but asked to come up on stage.  Most likely this led to the signing of the Paris Sisters to the Decca record label – home to the Andrews.  The year was 1954.

There was no set ‘lead singer’ and the Paris’ sound was definitely “Andrews” all the way – bouncy – spunky and fun.  Take a listen to their first “Ooh La La” released in November, 1954 and then “Huckleberry Pie” from April of the following year.

Ooh La La

Their voices in those early years conjured up mature female singers – certainly not the 15 and 16 year old girls which Priscilla and Sherell were at the time.  The older Albeth took responsibility for her younger sisters when they were on the road.

There would be a total of eight releases on Decca – The girls would move over to Imperial records in late 1957 and early 1958 for a couple of singles.  The trio would continue on without a label for a few years until early 1961 when they would come into contact with a couple of California boys and everything would change for the Paris Sisters.

Lester Sill and Phil Spector were a curious mix – Sill, the veteran music man who cut his teeth in R&B music with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Modern Records, Charles Brown, Hadda Brooks, Big Mama Thornton and so many more.

Phil Spector was 20 years younger and was coming off his monster hit with his teenage group “The Teddy Bears” and “To Know Him Is To Love Him” on the Dore record label.  The group, which included Marshall Leib, Harvey Goldstein, lead vocalist Annette Kleinbard along with Phil Spector and drummer Sandy Nelson.

Sill an Spector

Annette was still in high school when the song was recorded.  When the Teddy Bears took the road – Goldstein had departed and Nelson was tied up doing session work so they continued on as a trio.  They moved over to Imperial Records where Phil may have learned about the Paris Sisters – who knows”?  There they had only minor success barely denting the Hot 100 with a couple of forgotten tracks.

Related image

Annette by the way would go onto to become Carol Connors and would co-write one of the themes from the first “Rocky” motion picture  – “Gonna Fly Now”.  She also co-wrote “Hey Little Cobra” by the Ripchords and “With You I’m Born Again” by Billy Preston & Syreeta – a number 4 Hot 100 hit in 1979/80,

Carol is a next door neighbor to one of my in-laws residing out in southern California.

Spector started off the Paris Sisters with “Be My Boy” backed wth “I’ll Be Crying Tomorrow”.  This was a major departure for the girls but a logical step for Spector moving from the Teddy Bears into a logical next step.  After much experimenting with each of the girls’ voices, Phil focused on the youngest member, softening her delivery adding a lilting background by the sisters.

It had “Teddy Bears” written all over it.  The song achieved a respectable number 56.

Be My Boy

Then came the big one!

For the second Paris Gregmark release Brill Building Phil called on Brill Building writers Barry Mann and Larry Kolber.  Mann’s credentials were impeccable.  Kolber was no slouch having penned “Forget Me Not” by the Kalin Twins (1958), and would later write “Patches” (Clarence Carter).

(Kolber would pen “Go Fight For Her” for Colorado’s Astronauts in 1964.)

Mann and Kolber

“I Love How You Love Me” was a gem and the crowning achievement moment for the beautiful Paris Sisters.  The song reached number five in the nation and sold a million copies very quickly.   There would be two additional Gregmark chart appearances first with Carol King and Gerry Goffin’s “He Knows I Love Him Too Much” (number 34) and then a Mann Kolber follow up “Let Me Be the One” (number 87).

Below is the flip side to “Let Me Be The One” – “What Am I To Do”.  I would have bought it!

The Paris Sisters made live appearances on the Red Skelton Show, Rowan and Martin, appeared with George Bunrs, and Elvis Presley and performed on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

Paris Sisters on Red Skelton – Dusting Off the Dancing Skills

There would be one final attempt by Spector for the Paris Sisters “Yes, I Love You” backed by “Once Upon a While Ago” both written by Phil.  But by then, Phil had already moved on with Lester Sill forming Philles Records having already released 10 45’s and plunging into the world of hit singles and the “Wall of Sound”.

There was a rumor of a Paris Sisters long play on Gregmark but Sherrell says that although they did work on it, the project just seemed to vanish.

The Paris Sisters would achieve one final appearance on the Hot 100 – the Bobby Darin composition “Dream Lover” which fizzled out at number 91.  I love the track – Priscilla on lead was simply captivating and the well produced single.  As the girls moved to Mercury and then Reprise – Priscilla began to assert herself and started composing many of their songs.

If fame slipped away – it wasn’t due to not trying – several of their final songs were composed by proven composers including Carole King with Gerry Goffin, Doc Pomus and Shuman, Burt Bacharach and Hal David and David Gates.  But the days of the “soft sound” for the girls had come and gone.

Albeth and Sherell moved on from music eventually.  Priscilla couldn’t let go.  She had music in her veins and soul.  She would compose many songs and would continue on as a solo recording a few albums but never finding the magic of “I Love How You Love Me”.  Priscilla had been the young one – who didn’t even sing when the group started off – but would prance around in the background  on the stage.

The sisters remained close through their lives.  They may have disagreed on some things but they always respected and enjoyed one another.  Just watch the final segment of the video above and look at the unity of the Paris Sisters delivering “Dream Lover”.

Sherrell worked for many years as the personal assistant to Bob Barker on “The Price Is Right”.    She returned to singing, hiring background singers and performing in Las Vegas for nearly a decade until her retirement.

Image result for bill barker price is right

Bob Barker – Sherrell Paris

Priscilla would eventually move to Paris, France.  She attempted once to join her Albeth and Sherell for a reunion concert but was forced to cancel at the last minute due to exhaustion.  Priscilla died in 2004 as the result of a fall.  She was 59 years old.  Albeth passed away in 2014 after enjoying a productive life, the latter part residing in Palm Springs, California.  She was 79.

Radio Station 1050 CHUM Toronto – September 9th, 1957

The earliest chart appearance I could locate for the Paris Sisters with a number 37 ranking for “Tell Me More” on Imperial Records

KIMN Denver – May 17th, 1961

This is the first appearance of a Paris Sisters recording on KIMN with “Be My Boy” – which peaked this week at number 23.

KIMN Denver October 11th, 1961

“I Love How You Love Me” would peak in Denver at number 3 – KIMN did not get the spelling correct for the trio.

Paris Sisters Discography

45 – Decca -9-29372 – Ooh La La/Whose Arms Are You Missing – November, 1954

45 – Decca 9-29527 – His and Hers/Truly – December, 1954

45 – Decca 9-29574 – The “Know” How/I Wanna – January, 1955

45 – Decca 9-29488 – Huckleberry Pie/Baby, Honey, Baby – April, 1955

45 – Decca 9-29744 – Lover Boy/Oh Yes You Do – November, 1955

45 – Decca 9-29891 – I Love You Dear (Year Round Love)/Mistaken – May, 1956

45 – Decca 9-29970 – Daughter Daughter!/So Much – So Very Much – May, 1956

45 – Imperial X5465 – (Don’t Stop, Don’t Stop) Tell Me More/Old Enough To Cry- September, 1957

45 – Imperial X5487 – Someday/My Original Love – January, 1958

45 – Decca 9-30554 – Mind Reader/Don’t Tell Anybody – February, 1958

45 – Gregmark 2 – Be My Boy/I’ll Be Crying Tomorrow – March, 1961 – Charted Number 56 Hot 100

45 – Gregmark 6 – I Love How You Love Me/All Through the Night – January, 1962 – Charted Number 5 Hot 100

45 – Gregmark 10 – He Knows I Love Him Too Much/A Lonely Girl’s Prayer – January, 1962 – Charted Number 34 Hot 100

45 – Gregmark 12 – Let Me Be the One/What Am I To Do – Charted Number 87 Hot 100 – April, 1962

45 – Gregmark 13 – Yes I Love You/Once Upon a While Ago – November, 1962

45 – MGM K13236 – Dream Lover/Lonely Girl – Charted Number 91 – Hot 100 – May, 1964

45 – Mercury 72320 – When I Fall In Love/Once Upon A Time – Charted Number 127 – August, 1964

45 – Mercury 72468 – Why Do I Take It From You/Always Waitin’ – August, 1965

45 – Reprise 0440 – Sincerely/Too Good To Be True – February, 1966

45 – Reprise 0472 – I’m Me/You – May, 1966

45 – Reprise 0511 – My Good Friend/It’s My Party – September, 1966

45 – Reprise 0548 – Some Of Your Lovin’/Long After Tonight Is All Over – January, 1967

By Priscilla Paris

45 – York 405 – He Noticed Me/Help Me – June, 1967

By Priscilla Paris

45 – York 409 – By The Time I Get To Phoenix/Me Owns the World – January, 1968

45 – Capitol 2081 – Greener Days/Golden Days – January, 1968

45 – GNP Crescendo 410 – The Ugliest Girl In Town/Stand Naked Clown – August, 1968

(This would be the final Paris Sisters 45)

LP – Unifilms 505 – The Glass House – 1966

LP – Sidewalk DT 5906 – The Golden Hits of the Paris Sisters – 1967

LP – Reprise RS 6259 – The Paris Sisters Sing Everything Under The Sun – 1967

LP – Happy Tiger HT 1002 – Priscilla Loves Billy – 1967

LP – York 4005 – Priscilla Sings Herself – 1967

LP – Out of Town OTD 8003 – Love Is…. – 1978