24 April 2007

Cynthia Muse - Kangaroo girl

A complete obscure singer, this girl. She sounds young, has a good voice. She seems to have recorded just one 45. On Dot 16335, March 1962.
The A-side "Kangaroo" is a great swinging, crazy song catching in on the dance craze of those days, the B-side High School Play a sentimental teen song.
Two fine sides.

I haven't any information about Cynthia. I asked music forums, no answers (except for an OZ joker who concocted complete crazy details that obviously were false). I wrote to a few Cynthia Muses (a not completely unusual name) of whom I found an e-mail address, but no match. Her name probably isn't Muse any more, or it might never have been.
Reading an orbituary of a Andrew C. Muse, I noticed he had a daughter Cynthia Muse Watkins. Was this the singer? Andrew done a little music somehow, so his child could have recorded. This Cynthia now is a teacher in Spotsylvania. I wrote the school but no reply.
Help... who was Cynthia?

Update Jan. 2009:
Cynthia is found! When she happened to see this blog on internet, Cynthia mailed me. The 'Kangaroo girl' is still alive and kicking (hopping)!
The music was coming from a young 13 year old, in the year 1962. Cynthia recorded just this one record. She traveled and sang locally and was on early morning tv programs. Fondly called the "little darling of tv".
The Kangaroo song was followed by the Kangaroo Hop dance which was performed by her "friends" at local events. Oddly, the B side of the record High School Play got more play than the A side Kangaroo.
More details are to be added on the John Loudermilk site, at the section of the song Kangaroo.

11 April 2007

Yancy Bond - Swampy soul

Yancy Bond, a singer from down south USA. I've got one 45 of him, from August/September1967 on MGM 13765: You're The Guilty One / Keep Walking On. Good songs, good voice, good production. Produced by Huey P. Meaux, A-side composed by Loudermilk, B-side by Fussell.

He also released on Pacemaker 241: My Baby's Calling b/w Keep Walking On, probably second half 1966.
Pacemaker was a label of the (in)famous Huey 'Crazy Cajun' Meaux.

The song Keep Walking On has got that great New Orleans flavoured band's sound. You're The Guilty One has a great swinging organ that makes it even better than the 1966 Loudermilk original. Two great sides.

That's about all I know about this obscure singer. He may have recorded more on obscure Louisiana labels. Got no idea what else in music or else he did. What he looked like, where and when he lived, what has become of him now.

09 April 2007

Jana Louise - step dance singer from Boston?

Jana recorded one LP and a few 45's for Dot in 1964/65.
The LP has my special interest as it contains all John D. Loudermilk penned songs. John D. remembers the album, but has not met her back then, and doesn't have additional info on Jana, he told me.

What happened since then, where is Jana now? Who is this Jana?
I think Louise is her middle name and she might have been Jana Jensen, Jana Pedersen, Jana Rasmussen or whatever, her father was Danish. She must have been born circa 1944 and grew up in Boston.

Listen to Jana's "They'll Love You", a C&W up-tempo song. Jana's voice is a little sharp, I would say. A little more sweet, gentle or versatile sound in her voice would have given her songs a lot more appeal.

All the info I got about this singer is from the liner notes of her 1964 Dot-label LP "A dixie cup of sand".

From the liner notes:
A sparkling newcomer as a bright new star. Her first professional engagement took place in one of Boston's larger ballrooms at the age of 15 when she was hired for 2 weeks as a replacement. Jana stayed the 2 weeks... and the management added 102 consecutive weeks to the booking.
Jana also had a talent for Irish step-dancing: Jana won over 100 medals and trophies competing throughout the US. Highlight: being acclaimed as national intermediate champion for 2 successive years.
Add to this her skill with the fife and piano, and one realizes that "America's sweetheart" is synonymous with lovely Jana.
Jana's mother is from County Mayo, Ireland, her father a native of Copenhagen, Denmark. She has won several beauty crowns - among them the title of "Miss Shamrock" at the international Auto Show, an also that of "Colleen", which she received for greeting the first travelers to board the newest BOAC jet on its maiden flight from Boston.
Last year, the 19-year-old star appeared at Carnegie Hall, performed with Gordon McRae during a concert in Boston, and sang in well-known ballrooms in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
A stint at the Berkeley School of Music convinced Jana that professional training is just a simportant as professional experience. With this in mind she plans to enter the American Academy of Dramatic Arts of New York to prepare her for musical comedy, which she aspires.

Who can me tell more about the singer? What was her career after 1965?

Discography, on Dot record label:
45-16618 1964 Dixie Cup Of Sand / Up To My Knees In Happiness
45-16659 1964 Dream Of Him / Paper Doll Harem
45-16718 1965 Goin' Downtown / The Heart I Have To Live With
45-16736 1965 A Boy Like You / Dream Boy (click to play)

DLP-3598/25598 -A Dixie Cup Of Sand [1964]
Side 1: Why Not / The Crying Kind / Up To My Knees In Happiness / They'll Love You / The Heart I Have To Live With / You're Jealous
Side 2: A Dixie Cup Of Sand / Goin' Down Town / Dream Of Him / A Paper Doll Harem / The Little Wind Up Doll / The Magic Circle.

I received mails from Jana's family.
Jana was born Janice Louise Hansen. Besides her releases on DOT, she did not record any more. She taught Irish dancing for a number of years, and only sings at family functions and charity events. She lives near Boston. She has three kids and her husband is a retired pilot.