Friday, January 30, 2015

The Dowlands - All My Loving

During the late '50s, David Dowland and Gordon Dowland were a harmony vocal duo from Bournemouth who were basically known as Everly Brothers imitators, similar to the Brook Brothers. Their sound was toughened up by the presence of a backing group that included Roy Phillips on guitar and drummer Chris Warman, and they were good enough to get signed up in 1962 by producer Joe Meek -- their debut recording, "Little Sue" b/w "Julie," was issued by Oriole Records, which released a string of follow-ups, including "Big Big Fella," "Breakups," and "Lucky Johnny," none of which were successful. By the end of 1963, the Dowlands were in a difficult bind -- they'd been emulating the Everly Brothers' sound professionally for years and were falling short commercially, while the Beatles, who also owed a great deal to the Everlys, were reshaping the music landscape around them. However, in 1964 -- rather late in the game from a British perspective -- the group reluctantly jumped on the bandwagon, finally getting onto the British charts for nearly two months with their cover of the Lennon-McCartney song "All My Loving." Indeed, that record became the group's first and only U.S. single when it was picked up for release on the Tollie label. As a result, they enjoyed a year of better bookings, especially on package tours throughout England, and a follow-up single might've given them the boost they needed to continue, but none was forthcoming. Meek later also produced their versions of "I Walk the Line," "Wishin' and Hopin'," and "Don't Make Me Over," the latter two of which were eclipsed by rival recordings by the Merseybeats and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Roy Phillips co-founded the Peddlers in 1964, and by the second half of the 1960s Keith Dowland had ceased performing regularly, though David Dowland kept working intermittently for another 20 years.

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