viernes, 31 de julio de 2009

Bessie Banks: The Original "Go Now" Girl (1959-1976)

Bessie Banks is primarily remembered by rock history buffs for her 1964 recording of 'Go Now,' but her career extended well into the '70s and beyond. She was born Bessie White in North Carolina, and later raised in Brooklyn, NY. She loved to sing, and by the mid-'50s her voice's sensuality had begun attracting attention from various groups and managers. For a short time, she'd sung with a quartet called Three Guys and a Doll, who subsequently became the Four Fellows without her; while a member of the group, she met bass/baritone singer Larry Banks, who was the de facto leader of the group, and married him. As Toni Banks, she performed and recorded during the mid-'50s and, by the end of the decade, she sung lead on the single 'Why, Oh Why Baby / I Didn't Know (You Got Married)' by The Companions, a group who also included her husband in their line-up. Taking back the name Bessie Banks, she recorded in the first half of the '60s, starting with 'Do It Now'/'(You Should Have Been a) Doctor' in 1963. In 1964, Larry and Bessie decided to make a new push to establish her with a song that Larry had written specifically for the purpose of breaking her nationally: 'Go Now.' Produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller the record did moderately well and even got released in England, but it was the song's fate that doomed Banks' chances for major national exposure. A Birmingham-spawned band called the Moody Blues did a version of the song, driven by Denny Laine's tortured lead vocal, Mike Pinder's rippling piano, and beautiful harmonies. It was the era of the homegrown beat bands in England and the British Invasion in America, and the band's version was irresistible under the circumstances. The Moody Blues were given their first taste of international success, while Bessie Banks was forgotten by most listeners. In subsequent years, she recorded singles for Verve Records ('I Can't Make It (Without You Baby)') and Volt Records ('Try To Leave Me If You Can (I Bet You Can't Do It)'), and was still releasing records as late as 1976 with 'Baby You Sure Know How to Get to Me' and 'Don't Worry Baby, the Best Is Yet to Come'. Here's a selection of Bessie Banks' most notable recordings, including her only 45 with The Companions, from 1959. http://www.artistdirect.com/ *Note Cissy Houston's recognizable backing vocals on this sample:

9 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

http://rapidshare.com/files/260606656/Bessie_Banks.rar

scottdavida dijo...

I can't wait to listen to this post. You have posted a wonderful selection of singers since you started. I am sure that everyone appreciates all your hard work. Thanks again.

David

Bill dijo...

"Go now"used to close a club Iwent to in the 60`s I`ve had the single since then. VERY nice to have the album! Thank you!

Rolf dijo...

Thanks.

Trag dijo...

I've loved "Don't Worry Baby" for years but I never knew there was so much music by Bessie. Thanks!

Chris T dijo...

Thanks, Bessie Banks is great. Enjoy your holliday!

troods dijo...

I was always moved by the story of Bessie Banks. She represents the trend of using white singers to "cover" Black performers' music with the Black performer losing out. I'm not saying this was intentional on the part of the Moody Blues who I love, but the result is the same. Thank you so much for finding this music. You're the best!

Graham dijo...

This is my first visit to your blog -- WOW! I hope it's okay that I intend to listen to nearly everything here. You have amazing taste, and I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to post all these amazing records. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Este es mi primera visita a su blog, y puedo decir -- es fantastico! Espero que tenir su permision a descargar mucha de la musica aqui. Ud. tiene una coleccion increible, y necesito que darle gracias por su tiempo y esfuerzo. Muchisimas gracias, y lo siento por mi pobre espanol!

Ricardo dijo...

Ty Karim AND Bessie Banks - now you are really spoiling us!
Many many thanks for these gems