Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain
I’m back again with another installment of my covers series. Today, we will start with “Hippy Hippy Shake”. Fans of the 1988 movie Cocktail remember this appearing in the film and on its soundtrack done by the Georgia Satellites of “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” fame. However, the song has a much deeper lineage. Written and first recorded by Chan Romero in 1959, it reached #3 in Australia. Romero was 17 years old when he wrote the song. A live version of the song can be found on the Beatles album Live at the BBC. This version was recorded in July 1963, almost certainly pre-dating The Swinging Blue Jeans recording. The Blue Jeans’ version reached #2 in the U.K. and #24 in the U.S.
“A Groovy Kind Of Love” is a song written by Toni Wine and Carole Bayer Sager based on the melody by the classical composer Muzio Clementi. The original rendition was recorded by American singing duo Diane & Annita and released as “Groovy Kind of Love” on the French EP One by One in 1965. It has since been recorded by numerous artists, with the most famous being The Mindbenders in 1965 and Phil Collins in 1988. The Mindbenders’ version peaked at #2 in the U.S. and the U.K. A little song called “When a Man Loves a Woman” kept it out of the top spot. Collins’ 1988 cover was a #1 hit in Canada, Ireland, Switzerland, the U.K. and U.S. The tv show New Girl featured the Phil Collins version in the episodes “Wedding”(2011) and “The Curse of the Pirate Bride”(2018).
The true test of a great, or at least a popular song, is when it’s covered more than once. That’s the case for my next song: “Gotta Serve Somebody was done by Bob Dylan(who wrote it), Etta James and Michael Des Barres. Dylan’s version was the opening track on his 1979 album Slow Train Comin’. It won the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal performance by a male in 1980. Dylan took the song to #24 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Dylan has performed the song over 500 times in concert between 1979-2019. The song has been covered by over 50 artists-most notably Willie Nelson, Natalie Cole, Etta James, Aaron Neville, Pops Staples, Mavis Staples, Eric Burdon, Judy Collins and Michael Des Barres. The song was prominently featured in the Soprano’s episode House Arrest” in 2000. (www.wikipedia.com)
“I Saw The Light” is my final song this week. Written by Todd in 20 minutes in late 1971, the song reached #16 on Billboard. There have been 10 covers of this song. Most famous to country fans is Hal Ketchum in 1998. It reached #36 on the U.S. Country charts and #50 on the Canadian Country charts. It was most recently done in 2015 by Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, David Johanson and Bill Murray for A Verry Murray Christmas. (www.wikipedia.com)