Music to write by – 22

Heard this for the first time in many years yesterday when listening to a radio show featuring the charts from 1982. I’d forgotten what a beautiful song it is and how good this little duo were. Both still around doing their own thing. They reunited briefly in 2008 which is where I think the sequence at the end of the video is from. A happy sad song for these happy sad times.

Stay safe.

Music To Write By – 18


The members of the group grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same schools. They shared a love for harmony and music in general. They were discovered and signed to a contract with Andex Records by Herb Alpert, where they recorded under the name The Echoes.

After leaving Andex Records they changed their name and signed with Indigo Records as The Innocents. The trio were all members of a car club named The Innocents, hence the name of the group. Their first Indigo hit single, “Honest I Do,” was released in 1960. It was produced by Gary Paxton of Skip & Flip and Hollywood Argyles fame, and by Kim Fowley, who was later associated with and produced The Runaways and other groups. The record hit #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1960. “Honest I Do” was followed by “Gee Whiz”, which also topped out at #28 in January 1961. The 1961 album release Innocently Yours featured the trio staring out through prison bars. This cover is featured in the book, 1000 Album Covers.

In June 1961, the British music magazine, NME, reported that the Innocents were part of Alan Freed’s road show, that also included Brenda Lee, The Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Etta James, Gene McDaniels, The Ventures, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, The Fleetwoods, Kathy Young and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Innocents released seven singles after “Gee Whiz” on Trans World Records, Reprise, Decca, and Warner, but none of them charted, though they continued to score hits backing up Kathy Young.  (thanks Wikipedia)


Music To Write By – 17

Damita Jo DeBlanc (August 5, 1930 – December 25, 1998), known professionally as Damita Jo, was an American actress, comedian, and lounge music performer.

Credited as Damita Jo, DeBlanc had some chart success in the early 1960s with two answer songs: 1960’s “I’ll Save the Last Dance for You” (an answer to “Save the Last Dance for Me”) and 1961’s “I’ll Be There” (an answer to “Stand by Me”). Both songs were originally sung by Ben E. King (the former with the Drifters) and made the R&B top 20, and “I’ll Be There” also reached number 12 on the pop chart. In 1962 she recorded “Dance with a Dolly (With a Hole in her Stocking)”, previously made famous by the Andrews Sisters and Bill Haley, for Mercury Records. In 1966 she had a minor hit with a cover of the Jacques Brel song “If You Go Away.” She was successful in Sweden, where “I’ll Save the Last Dance for You” peaked at number 2 (March 1961), “Do What You Want” at number 5 (July 1961) and “Dance with a Dolly (With a Hole in her Stocking” at number 3 (January 1962). (thanks to Wikipedia)

Random Write 5

I have finally completed editing and uploading my latest book, The Book Trail,  to Amazon. As the books get longer, nearly 90,000 words this time, so the editing takes longer and longer. I keep forgetting to upload the e-book first as that gives you one final spellcheck. As I’m writing in American English and with slang words and terms I usually can just click ‘Ignore’ when spelling errors are thrown up but there is always the possibility I’ve missed something which needs correcting. This time there was one ‘sidewalk’ misspelt as ‘siedwalk’. So annoying! It doesn’t take long to correct and upload the Kindle version but the paperback edition was already ‘In Review’ for its first publication so I have to wait until its live and then upload the corrected version. I also had an error with the e-book cover as I clicked to launch the ‘Cover Creator’ rather than just upload the cover I had on my computer. Annoying but easy to correct. All this and no one will buy it anyway!

I’m about 35,000 words into the next book, another story about PI Bobby Olsen. It’s been slow going as I usually have a change in between his books and write something different. This time I couldn’t think of anything so ploughed on regardless and took Bobby and Carol down to Texas to visit Carol’s parents.  I expect I will keep going and churn out something.

Editing was hard work. I can’t make up my mind about contractions. Bobby is the narrator so it seems logical for words like ‘could’ve’, should’ve’, must’ve’ etc to be used but I can’t convince myself in some sentences, especially with ‘must’ve’. I’ve noticed some authors go all the way while others keep everything very prim and proper with ‘have ‘ in full four letters. This time I’ve erred on the side of contracting as much as possible.


Music To Write By – 15

One of the bands I remember my sister listening to back in the 1960s – she’s nine years older than me! This song was realised in October 1964. They always had a thumping sound driven by Dave Clark on the drums. Some reckon this tune was the first heavy metal song! It seems Dave Clark went on to have a very successful business career and is a millionaire now. Three of the original band are sadly no longer with us.

(a bit from Wikipedia…) The Dave Clark Five, often called the DC5, were an English rock and roll band formed in Tottenham in 1957. In January 1964 they had their first UK top ten single, “Glad All Over”, which knocked the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” off the top of the UK Singles Chart. It peaked at No. 6 in the United States in April 1964. Although this was their only UK No. 1, they topped the US chart in December 1965, with their cover of Bobby Day’s “Over And Over”. Their version of Chet Powers’ “Get Together” reached No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart retitled as “Everybody Get Together”. They were the second group of the British Invasion to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States (for two weeks in March 1964 following the Beatles’ three weeks the previous month). They would ultimately have 18 appearances on the show. The group disbanded in late 1970. On 10 March 2008, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Random Write 4

A beautiful sunny but cold day here in south east England. A brisk walk along the seafront to the coffee shop and a good forty-five minutes of writing. The coffee had rather a thin foam today but the wonderful taste made up for it. All the regular guys were in the shop – I use the term ‘guys’ loosely here as it includes two women who are regular early birds –  and wonderfully the one noisy man is on holiday so the conversations were low and not distracting. I find if I ‘log-on’ to something being discussed it’s very hard to re-concentrate on my writing.

So, a couple of hundred new words added to the new story, mostly dialogue as the main theme of the book becomes evident, after just 25,000 words! Oh dear. With three characters in the conversation it was quite tricky to make sense of the talk, I’m sure there’s some editing to be done there a few months down the line. There’s lots of ‘Carol folded her arms’, ‘I put the cup down’ and ‘Alicia coughed’.

A few photos taken on the way home to show the sunny weather and the pier and seafront.






Music To Write By – 14

The Ohio Express is an American bubblegum pop band, formed in Mansfield, Ohio, United States, in 1967. Though marketed as a band, it would be more accurate to say that the name “Ohio Express” served as a brand name used by Jerry Kasenetz’s and Jeffry Katz’s Super K Productions to release the music of a number of different musicians and acts. The best known songs of Ohio Express (including their best scoring single, “Yummy Yummy Yummy”) were actually the work of an assemblage of studio musicians working out of New York, including singer/songwriter Joey Levine. Several other “Ohio Express” hits were the work of other, unrelated musical groups, including the Rare Breed, and an early incarnation of 10cc. In addition, a completely separate touring version of Ohio Express appeared at all live dates, and recorded some of the band’s album tracks.
(thanks to Wikipedia for the info)

Dropping out the American charts mid-January 1969. Living in England I don’t recall ever hearing the song or the group. But the video’s fun to watch for the fashion and styles.