Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Today's birthday wishes are also tinged with wishful thinking; rockabilly music legend Ronnie Dawson - born on this day in 1939 - died of throat cancer in 2003, having spent most of his life using it to help fill the world with music. How's that for irony?
Initially signed to Dick Clark's Swan Records, the so-called Blonde Bomber's career was almost ruined by the payola scandal in the 1950s; latterly he found a greater degree of fame in the UK, where considerable crossover between rockabilly and skiffle strengthened, rather than weakened, each genre. He was also a respected session musician, playing drums as well as guitar on such classic tunes as Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel and Hey Paula by Paul and Paula.
While Hazel was a Number One hit in Philadelphia, it was denied national exposure by coming out at just the wrong moment - namely when Dick Clark was forced to divest himself of all his music industry holdings aside from American Bandstand, leaving Dawson without a contract. Dawson later disowned the song, so strong was his lingering bitterness over the turns of events which had befallen him...
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