So Long, Sonny James

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So Long, Sonny James

Postby Mister Moon » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:07 pm

Sad news.

Sonny's recording of "Young Love" will always be with me.


Sonny James, Country Hall of Famer & Steady Hitmaker, Dies at 87
2/22/2016 by Chuck Dauphin

Sonny James, the country singer known as "The Southern Gentleman," died Monday (Feb. 22) at age 87, according to his website.

James helped personify a lighter musical style of country in the mid 1950s, continuing his career through the early 1980s. He was also one of the first artists in the format to consistently see his records cross over to the pop charts. His streak of 16 consecutive No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart from 1967 through 1971 established a success level that went unsurpassed for close to two decades, helping him to eventually gain membership into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

Born James Hugh Loden on May 1, 1929, in Hackleburg, Ala., the singer began performing with his family on a weekly radio show on WMSD-AM in Muscle Shoals. That exposure led to paying gigs for the family across the South, as well as additional radio shows in Birmingham and Memphis. His professional career took a brief detour when he was sent to Korea as part of the Alabama Army National Guard in 1950, but he returned to the States a year later.

Word of his talent had spread over the years to Nashville, and through the suggestion of former roommate Chet Atkins, James was signed to Capitol by Ken Nelson. The executive was a fan of his voice, but thought that his last name might spur confusion with other musicians of the period and suggested a name change to Sonny James.

"Short Cut," his first single for the label, failed to chart. But his sophomore release, "That's Me Without You," found favor with disc jockeys, peaking at No. 9 on the Most Played by Jockeys country chart (a predecessor to Hot Country Songs). The next few years were hit-and-miss, but in 1957, James struck gold with the teen anthem "Young Love." Entering various country charts around Christmas 1956, the song quickly became his first No. 1 on a country songs chart, also topping the all-genre Most Played by Jockeys list. Follow-up releases included "You're the Reason I'm in Love" and the similarly themed "First Date, First Kiss, First Love," both top 10s on country surveys in 1957.

James continued to release singles for Capitol (as well as a short stint with RCA) over the next few years, but it wouldn't be until the mid-1960s that he would find a regular home on the airwaves. "You're the Only World I Know" became his first No. 1 on Hot Country Songs (which had launched in 1958) in the winter months of 1965, and James quickly began to rival Buck Owens as the biggest artist on the Capitol roster.

In 1967, James registered his fourth Hot Country Songs No. 1 with "Need You." From that point through 1971's "Here Comes Honey Again," he would notch 16 Hot Country Songs No. 1s in a row -- a mark that would stand until Alabama surpassed him in 1985. Many of his hits were covers of major pop songs of the day, including "Only the Lonely," "Running Bear" and "Take Good Care of Her."

After a two-decade run at Capitol, James was lured to Columbia by Clive Davis in 1972. His first release for the label, "When the Snow Is on the Roses," hit the top of Hot Country Songs, as did 1974's "Is It Wrong (For Loving You)." He would stay on the roster through 1979, releasing two of his most legendary albums for the label: 1976's 200 Years of Country Music and 1977's In Person, In Prison, recorded at the Tennessee State Prison in Nashville, with several of the prisoners playing the instruments themselves.

James released his final Hot Country Songs charted single, "A Free Roamin' Mind," in the summer of 1983, which peaked at No. 58. A devoted family man, he then retired from the spotlight, with only a handful of public appearances since. He turned up at Alabama's celebration for breaking his consecutive No. 1 streak with "Forty Hour Week," and his 2006 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside George Strait and Harold Bradley. James also served as the host of the first-ever CMA Awards in 1967 and produced Marie Osmond's 1973 song "Paper Roses," which hit No. 1 on Hot Country Songs and reached No. 5 on the Hot 100.


http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/6882948/sonny-james-country-singer-obituary



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLwB3xvUY6w


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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby John » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:18 pm

Oh hell. All the singers on my iPod are dying off. This was one of the first popular songs I got into as a little boy. Sad news.



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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Mister Moon » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:51 pm

It's a haunting, beautiful song. Just beautiful.

As we are on an Elvis messageboard, here's some Elvis-trivia - Sonny cut this track in Nashville on October 30, 1956, with vocal support by The Jordanaires. Just two days earlier, they had appeared with Elvis for the second time on the Ed Sullivan show.



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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Mister Moon » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:16 pm

Two fine recordings from 1957, both included twenty years later in the fantastic French 2-LP release "Rock'n'Roll At The Capitol Tower - Volume 2" :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPegIt4pdpI



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2ubRTFSAYM



***************


http://rcs-discography.com/rcs/comp.php?key=742


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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Colin B » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:22 pm

Sonny James original version was sort of eclipsed in the UK by an insipid cover by Tab Hunter...
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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Mister Moon » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:31 pm

Colin B wrote:Sonny James original version was sort of eclipsed in the UK by an insipid cover by Tab Hunter...


I think that's pretty much was happened in the USA too, chart-wise.

By the way, and I'm sure you know that, the original was by Ric Cartey, who was also one of the co-writers of the song :



Cartey.jpg



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ho6AUBntCyA
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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Colin B » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:52 pm

Colin B wrote:Sonny James original version was sort of eclipsed in the UK by an insipid cover by Tab Hunter...
Mister Moon wrote:I think that's pretty much was happened in the USA too, chart-wise.

By the way, and I'm sure you know that, the original was by Ric Cartey, who was also one of the co-writers of the song :


Well, yes, technically Ric Cartey made the original recording, but it was only issued as a 'B' side.
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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Private Presley » Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:28 am

ImageImage


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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby John » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:19 am

Private Presley wrote:RIP Sonny.


Thanks for these PP. The thing that strikes me, all of these songs are sung well, but all of them sound quite dull and not one of them has the magic of Elvis. It just shows that he could take a song and put life into it.



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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Mister Moon » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:39 am

Colin B wrote:
Colin B wrote:Sonny James original version was sort of eclipsed in the UK by an insipid cover by Tab Hunter...
Mister Moon wrote:I think that's pretty much was happened in the USA too, chart-wise.

By the way, and I'm sure you know that, the original was by Ric Cartey, who was also one of the co-writers of the song :


Well, yes, technically Ric Cartey made the original recording, but it was only issued as a 'B' side.


OK - a technical, original, 'B' side. :)


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Re: So Long, Sonny James

Postby Colin B » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:03 am

Colin B wrote:Well, yes, technically Ric Cartey made the original recording, but it was only issued as a 'B' side.
Mister Moon wrote:OK - a technical, original, 'B' side. :)


You got it !
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