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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

Oh, you didn’t know…

In my first column of 2019, I’ll drop a little knowledge that I learned listening to, among other things, Sirius XM stations 60’s on 6 and Underground Garage.  Our first little-known fact comes from the ‘60’s.  Before having a pretty great solo career, Elton John was 1/3 of the English R&B group Bluesology with Long John Baldry and Elton Dean.  

The backbeat of MC Hammer’s 1990 song “Pray” was taken directly from Prince’s 1984 hit “When Doves Cry”.  It’s a little slowed down in Hammer’s track but it’s recognizable.  Fans of Young & Restless(premiered 1973) will be interested in this next one.  The theme song to that soap opera is called “Nadia’s Theme”.  It was composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr in 1971.  It became associated with Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci during and after the 1976 summer Olympics.  The piece is also used regularly by Steve Wright, presenter on BBC Radio 2 Sunday Love Songs as a backing bed. (

In Golden Earring’s 1973 song “Radar Love”, there is something rare.  That rarity? A song mentioned within a song.  “Radio playing that forgotten song.  Brenda Lee’s “Comin’ on Strong”.  Brenda’s song was from 1968.  I bet it was pretty cool to be mentioned in another artists song.  Side note, Brenda’s song reached #11.  “Radar Love” hit #13 in the U.S.

Davie Jones of Davie Jones & The King Bees had a big song in 1964 called “Liza Jane”.  You’re wondering who that is and where is the interesting fact, aren’t you? Well, here it is.  He would later become David Bowie.  As Bowie, he had hits like “Fame”,  “Let’s Dance”, “Space Oddity” and his final before his 2016 death. “Star Man”.  Another piece of Bowie trivia: one of the cowriters to his 1975 hit “Fame” was the late John Lennon.

Jerry Garcia played steel guitar on Crosby, Still, and Nash’s “Teach Your Children”.  Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” was the most downloaded song of the 20th century, as I learned on Sirius XM’s Steve Perry Town Hall on the Blend.  Boz Scaggs (“Lowdown”) played on Steve Miller Band’s 1968 albums Children of the Future and Sailor before embarking on a solo career.  Steve and Boz first played in a band together in 1955.  Each achieved stardom on their own in the 1970’s.  

 Bob Segar’s classic “Turn The Page” came from his double live album and was never released as a single.  I learned on AXS Top 10 that the Eagles’ “Desperado” was also never released as a single.  Today, those songs are classics.  “Desperado” never charted until the death of Glenn Frey in 2016.  As always, I looked all these facts from tv up so I knew they were legit.  


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