Monday, September 13, 2010

Donnie Brooks - The Happiest... (1962) [reup on request]

Singer Donnie Brooks remains best known for the 1960 pop smash "Mission Bell," although he is also revered in rockabilly fan circles for the cult classic "Bertha Lou," recorded under the name Johnny Faire. Born John Dee Abohosh in Dallas on February 6, 1936, he was later adopted by his stepfather and given the new surname Fairecloth. While growing up in southern California, he studied under the same vocal coach who previously instructed Eddie Fisher, and in high school made his professional debut on a classical music showcase broadcast by Ventura-based station KBCC. After graduating from high school, Fairecloth earned his living singing at local clubs, fairs, and weddings, embracing rock & roll and in 1957 signing to local indie Fable Records to cut his debut single, "You Gotta Walk the Line," credited to Johnny Faire. Read on +/-

While cutting demos for the Surf label, he learned that contractual obligations were forcing friend and mentor Dorsey Burnette to abandon a completed track dubbed "Bertha Lou." Surf agreed to erase Burnette's vocal and insert Faire's performance instead, and while the resulting 1958 single earned scant attention on its original release, it is now revered as a lost classic of the rockabilly era. From there Faire adopted the alias Johnny Jordan long enough to record "Sweet, Sweet, Sweet" for the Jolt label, followed by a stint at Era, where he cut the rockabilly gem "Hollywood Party" under the tongue-in-cheek name Dick Bush. The record went nowhere, but Era owners Herb Newman and Lew Bidell were sufficiently impressed to keep the singer on the payroll -- however, they insisted on yet another name change, this time to the wry Donnie Brooks. The first Donnie Brooks single, the melancholy ballad "White Orchid," proved his biggest hit to date, selling about 50,000 copies on the West Coast and topping the Australian pop charts. The follow-up, the Dorsey and Johnny Burnette castoff "Mission Bell," did far better, vaulting Brooks into the Billboard Top Ten and earning him his first gold record. A second Top 40 hit, "Doll House," followed at the end of 1960, and early the following year Brooks scored his final Hot 100 entry, "Memphis." Subsequent singles including "Wishbone," "Boomerang," and "My Favorite Kind of Face" failed to reignite Brooks' career, and following the late-1962 release of "Cries My Heart," the label terminated his contract. Brooks spent the following year off the radar, but resurfaced in early 1964 on Reprise with "Gone." That same year, he appeared in the feature film Get Yourself a College Girl, but Beatlemania effectively spelled the end of his recording career and after one final Reprise effort, "Pickin' Up the Pieces," his tenure with the label came with a halt.

1962 LP The Happiest Donnie Brooks (US Era EL-105)

A1. Donnie Brooks - That's Why
A2. Donnie Brooks - Memories Are Made Of This
A3. Donnie Brooks - Mission Bell
A4. Donnie Brooks - How Long
A5. Donnie Brooks - The Devil Ain't A Man
A6. Donnie Brooks - Twilight Time

B1. Donnie Brooks - Memphis
B2. Donnie Brooks - P. S. I Love You
B3. Donnie Brooks - All I Can Give
B4. Donnie Brooks - What'd I Say
B5. Donnie Brooks - Doll House
B6. Donnie Brooks - Round Robin

4 berichten:

Mikel J said...

Thanking you for the cleanest Donnie Brooks I have heard since I had the ERA singles a long time ago. This is not reprocessed and is super sounding. I also leeched Adam Faith. Great site!!! Now in My Favorites.

TalentAgent said...

I second that!...A Great/Clear Repoduction! Donnie was a great friend. I worked with him on a couple of Productions. To some, he may have been hard to work with---but I always considered hin a friend.
RIP, My Friend.
Keep up the good work here on the Blog.

Ben said...

Thanks for the compliment TalentAgent. I don't know where your first comment has gone, but I'm sure we both love the man and his music.

Dannyboy said...

Is it possible to have a reup of this record.
Thanks in advance

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