Friday, March 09, 2012

Two Stars - Live At PJ's

Timi Yuro

"The little girl with the big voice," Timi Yuro was America's finest white soul singer of the 1960s. Her million-selling debut single, "Hurt," introduced a performer of such profound poignancy and depth that many listeners assumed she was a man, an African-American, or both, and while Yuro never again achieved the same commercial heights, her finest records deserve mention in the same breath as Aretha Franklin, Irma Thomas, and the other soul queens of the era. Born Rosemarie Timotea Aurro in Chicago on August 4, 1940, she was the product of an Italian-American family that owned a local restaurant; as a child she received voice lessons, and according to legend, her nanny also snuck her into the Windy City's legendary blues clubs, where Timi (a childhood nickname) witnessed life-altering live appearances by singers Dinah Washington and Mildred Bailey. After adopting the phonetic spelling of their surname, the Yuro family relocated to Los Angeles in 1952, where Timi studied under voice coach Dr. Lillian Goodman. By the middle of the decade, Yuro was performing in nightclubs, much to the chagrin of her parents. However, her subsequent performances at their Hollywood restaurant Alvoturnos would not only pull back the eatery from the brink of bankruptcy, but vault it into the ranks of Tinseltown's hottest destinations. 

A late 1959 Alvoturnos performance convinced Liberty Records talent scout Sonny "Confidential" Knight to recommend Yuro to label head Al Bennett, who immediately offered the singer a recording contract. But Yuro found Liberty's choice of material so frustrating that after months of recording lightweight demos ill-matched to her resonant, commanding voice, she crashed a 1961 label board meeting, vowing to Bennett and his colleagues to tear up her contract if they did not let her cut more appropriate material. She then performed an a cappella reading of the 1954 Roy Hamilton R&B hit "Hurt," so impressing the Liberty brass that in June 1961 Yuro entered the studio with producer Clyde Otis to record the song for posterity. A remarkably mature and assured debut record, "Hurt" peaked at number four on the Billboard pop charts that autumn, in addition to reaching number 22 on the R&B charts. No doubt viewers on both sides of the color line were shocked when Yuro's accompanying television appearances revealed this deeply emotional ballad was the work of a 20-year-old white woman less than five feet tall. Her follow-up single, a cover of the Charlie Chaplin composition "Smile," climbed to the number 42 spot in late 1961, and Liberty wrapped up the year with the release of "I Believe," a one-off effort pairing the singer with pop heartthrob Johnnie Ray. 

Yuro spent early 1962 opening for Frank Sinatra on a brief tour of Australia. While the exposure no doubt boosted her profile, it was instrumental in crystallizing the growing public perception that she was more a cabaret performer than a soul singer, an image that was further established with her fourth single, a revival of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" that went only as high as number 66 on the pop charts but cracked the easy listening Top 20. And despite its title, Yuro's sophomore LP, Soul!, proved to be a collection of standards, although she returned to her R&B roots with the superb Drifters homage "Count Everything." During sessions for her next effort, "What's a Matter Baby," producer Otis abruptly quit Liberty, and the masters were handed to his interim replacement, Phil Spector. The completed single bears all the hallmarks of the classic Spector sound, from its elegant string arrangement to its insistent rhythm to Yuro's righteously indignant vocal, and would prove her biggest hit since "Hurt," reaching number 12 on the pop charts and number 16 on its R&B counterpart. The team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David penned Yuro's next single, "The Love of a Boy," which climbed to number 44 in early 1963. Its follow-up, "Insult to Injury," went no higher than number 81 when it hit radio a few months later. 

Following Ray Charles' successful embrace of country & western material, Yuro next covered Hank Cochran's "Make the World Go Away," scoring her last significant U.S. chart hit when the single reached number 24 on the pop charts and number eight on the easy listening chart. An album of country covers, also titled Make the World Go Away, yielded two more minor hits -- "Gotta Travel On" and "Permanently Lonely" -- and in the wake of 1964's "Should I Ever Love Again," Yuro cut ties with Liberty, signing to Mercury to release "If," which stalled at number 120. Her third Mercury effort, a rendition of Roy Hamilton's "You Can Have Him," was her only release on the label to crack the Hot 100, limping to the number 96 slot in early 1965. Teddy Randazzo authored Yuro's next release, the sublime "Get Out of My Life," and while the record was a commercial stiff, its flip side, "Can't Stop Running Away," would later resurface as a favorite of Britain's Northern soul community. Yuro returned to her Italian origins with the 1965 release "Ti Credo," recorded for entry in Italy's annual San Remo Festival. Her profile back home in the U.S. was by now virtually nonexistent, however, and subsequent Mercury releases including 1966's "Don't Keep Me Lonely Too Long" and the next year's bluesy cover of Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "Cuttin' In" went nowhere. 

Yuro finally returned to Liberty in early 1968, traveling to Britain to cut her proposed comeback single, "Something Bad on My Mind." The finished product was her strongest release in some time, but went nowhere. Her breathtaking theme song to the Douglas Sirk film Interlude followed, and met a similarly grim fate (although Morrissey and Siouxie Sioux covered the tune a quarter century later); "It'll Never Be Over for Me" also stiffed, but also became a Northern soul perennial, with original copies changing hands for over 100 pounds a copy. A concert LP, Live at PJ's, was scheduled for release in the summer of 1969, but withdrawn just days prior to hitting retail. Yuro again left Liberty soon after, this time relocating to Las Vegas and starting a family. She performed only sporadically in the decade to follow, briefly resurfacing in 1975 on the short-lived Playboy label with "Southern Lady," which stalled at the number 108 spot. For Willie Mitchell's Frequency imprint, Yuro cut a stunning cover of Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes the Place of You" in 1979. A year later, she was diagnosed with throat cancer, but recovered to cut several LPs for the Dutch market as well as 1982's Timi Yuro Today, produced and financed by longtime friend Willie Nelson. Two years later she was forced to undergo a tracheotomy operation, effectively ending her singing career. She died March 30, 2004, at the age of 63.

Timi Yuro Live at PJ's 1969

[04:45] 01. Timi Yuro - Comin' Home Baby (Instrumental)
[03:20] 02. Timi Yuro - 02-A Place In The Sun
[05:46] 03. Timi Yuro - 03-Medley: For Once In My Life / Stand By Your Man
[03:51] 04. Timi Yuro - 04-Make The World Go Away
[07:04] 05. Timi Yuro - 05-Medley: I've Been Loving You Too Long / 
When Something Is Wrong With My Baby
[02:21] 06. Timi Yuro - 06-Timi Talks
[04:57] 07. Timi Yuro - 07-Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
[03:14] 08. Timi Yuro - 08-Hurt
[06:06] 09. Timi Yuro - 09-Medley: What's A Matter Baby / Why (Am I Treated So Bad)
[01:07] 10. Timi Yuro - 10-Timi Talks
[03:20] 11. Timi Yuro - 11-A Place In The Sun (Reprise)
[05:24] 12. Timi Yuro - 12-Medley: Yesterday / I Believe
[04:14] 13. Timi Yuro - 13-A Place In The Sun (Alternate Take)
[05:39] 14. Timi Yuro - 14-Medley: For Once In My Life / Stand By Your Man (Alternate Take)
[03:50] 15. Timi Yuro - 15-I've Been Loving You Too Long (Alternate Take)

The April 1969 performance at PJ's club in Los Angeles was recorded for an album that almost saw release in August of that same year, but was withdrawn just before issue. Five of the eight tracks that would have comprised that set did show up on the 1976 LP The Timi Yuro Album, but the 2000 Live at PJ's release on RPM marks the first time the entire canceled album has been officially available. What's more, it adds three alternate takes recorded on different nights, as well as an instrumental version of "Comin' Home Baby" by the backup band. Yuro herself has said that she was not unhappy with the LP's failure to hit the marketplace, as she was not pleased with the recording equipment and resulting sound. Nevertheless, it's not a bad show, though one can hear why a perfectionist singer might have felt that it wasn't up to the optimum standards of a live recording. One cannot, certainly, fault Yuro's vocals, which are characteristically strong, beefy, and for the most part inspired. The material comprising the set is not as imaginative as one might hope for, built around her two big hits, "Hurt" and "What's a Matter Baby," the latter given a peppy soul arrangement. Other than that, it has covers of contemporary hits seemingly designed to cover the entire variety spectrum, from soul ("I've Been Loving You Too Long" and Stevie Wonder's "A Place in the Sun") and country ("Make the World Go Away" and "Stand By Your Man") to pop ("Bang Bang," "Yesterday"). It's supper-club soul, true, complete with between-song patter and medleys on half the tracks, though it's supper-club soul of the first order. You can't shake the feeling, though, that Yuro was deserving of more inspired material and production, as she indeed was on some of her studio sides of the '60s

Тими Юро (Розмари Тимоти Аурро Юро) родилась в Чикаго в 1941 году. Переехала со своей семьёй в Лос-Анджелес в 1952, где пела в итальянском ресторане. У неё были средиземноморские корни, хотя многие послушав её песни считали что она негритянка, настолько необычным казался её голос. Первый альбом она записала с Liberty Records в 1959 году в 18 лет! И первая же песня Hurt сходу попадает в Национальную Топ 10. После были и другие альбомы с известными синглами What's A Matter Baby [Is It Hurting You], Gotta Travel On и Make The World Go Away. В 80-х после большого перерыва она возвращается на сцену, но тут же у неё начинаются проблемы с горлом. В течение 6 месяцев после операции на гортани  она не могла не то что петь, но и разговаривать. В 1981 году, восстановив свой голос, она записав новый альбом All Alone Am I, с успехом выступала по европе, собирая полные залы. Но в конце 80х у Тими опять начались проблемы с горлом - она стала петь всё меньше именьше. В конце 90х у неё обнаружили рак горла, чтобы спасти ее жизнь в 2002 году была проведена операция по удалению гортани. Это лишь отсрочило неумолимое - она умерла в своем доме в Лас-Вегасе 30 марта 2004 года.

Trini Lopez

Trini Lopez recorded a series of upbeat tunes for Reprise during the mid-'60s, including a smash rendering of the folk standard "If I Had a Hammer" in 1963. The Dallas native cut some Ritchie Valens-influenced rockers for the King label prior to his discovery by producer Don Costa. Lopez's hits capture the excitement of his live performances, and his driving renditions of "Kansas City" (1963), "Lemon Tree" (1965), and "I'm Comin' Home, Cindy" (1966) were substantial sellers. Reportedly one of Dean Martin's favorite performers, Lopez hosted his own network TV variety program and co-starred as one of The Dirty Dozen in the popular 1967 movie.

ЛОПЕС ТРИНИ (Lopez Trini) (Trinidad Lopez III) (р. 15 мая 1937, Даллас, Техас), американский фолк-певец. В начале 1960-х годов успешно конкурировал в американских чартах с PETER, PAUL AND MARY и нередко переигрывал трио на его собственной территории.

В конце 1950-х годов он собрал группу и отправился на Юго-Запад, где играл в калифорнийских клубах. К началу 60-х годов группа распалась, а Трини зарабатывал на жизнь в Лос-Анжелесе, исполняя модные песни в клубах Голливуда и Сансет-стрип. Для шоу-бизнеса его открыл штатный продюсер Reprise Дон Коста, когда Трини пел под аккомпанемент ритм-гитары на сцене известного клуба PJ"s. Коста в точности воспроизвел эту непринужденную атмосферу домашней вечеринки, записав в исполнении Трини песню Пита Сигера If I Had A Hammer. В октябре 1962 «каноническая» версия PETER PAUL AND MARY поднялась до 10-го места, а в сентябре 1963 более живой и веселый вариант Трини достиг второй строки.
На протяжении следующего года с неизменным успехом в Топ 40 попадали Kansas City, America, La Bamba Ритчи Вэйленса, I"m Comin" Home, Cindy и Lemon Tree (из репертуара PETER PAUL AND MARY). Вышедший в конце 1963 альбом «Trini Lopez At PJ"s» стал «золотым» и был включен в список лучших работ года журналом Cash Box.

С 1963 по 1967 четырнадцать альбомов Лопеса побывали в чартах, причем девять из них — в Топ 50! Некоторые из них (например, «Transformed By Time») и поныне продолжают выпускаться, пользуясь спросом, в качестве идеальной музыки для вечеринок.

В середине 60-х годов Лопес был популярен в Латинской Америке и в Европе, особенно во Франции. Позднее он стал поющим киноактером, сыграл роль Педро Хименеса в ленте The Dirty Dozen (1967).

Trini Lopez - Trini Lopez At PJ's 1963

[04:01] 01. Trini Lopez - A-me-ri-ca
 [02:59] 02. Trini Lopez - If I Had A Hammer
 [02:18] 03. Trini Lopez - Bye Bye Blackbird
 [02:03] 04. Trini Lopez - Cielito Lindo
 [03:50] 05. Trini Lopez - This Lands Is Your Land
 [03:12] 06. Trini Lopez - What'd I Say
 [04:36] 07. Trini Lopez - La Bamba
 [03:20] 08. Trini Lopez - Granada
 [02:06] 09. Trini Lopez - Medley: Gotta Travel On
 [01:30] 10. Trini Lopez - Down Byt The Riverside
 [01:04] 11. Trini Lopez - Marianne
 [00:46] 12. Trini Lopez - When The Saints Go Marching In
 [01:08] 13. Trini Lopez - Volare
 [03:07] 14. Trini Lopez - Unchain My Heart

This was the album that made Lopez explode nationally, reaching number two, staying in the Top 40 LP charts for about a year, and yielding the hit "If I Had a Hammer." All of this seems to have been largely forgotten today, but at the time Lopez was ubiquitous indeed. What he did, at the head of a trio with Mickey Jones (later to play briefly with Bob Dylan) on drums and Dick Brant on bass, was to make folk-pop swing. There is certainly some folk music on here, including "If I Had a Hammer," "This Land Is Your Land," and "Gotta Travel On." It could be surmised that by treating such material in this fashion, Lopez had a tiny influence upon the subsequent folk-rock movement; Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane has said as much. In truth, however, Lopez was more the all-around entertainer with a Latin lilt than he was a folk singer, so you also get "America" (from West Side Story), "La Bamba," Ray Charles' "What'd I Say," "Volare," and "When the Saints Go Marching In." The live party-a-go-go atmosphere did much to put Lopez's likable energy over, and likely influenced the similar live-in-a-small-club ambience on Johnny Rivers' early hits, especially as Jones played with Rivers as well.

Timi Yuro -  The Amazing Timi Yuro 1964 
Trini Lopez - Hits And Rarities  1995

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