Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Oldies - Where's My Love by Johnny Angel And The Creations

The Creations: Guy Fredricks, Tony Fasce, Art Mayer, Sal LoCicero

The Creations were a doo-wop group from Bergenfield, New Jersey, where members Guy Fredricks, Tony Fasce, Art Mayer, and Sal LoCicero attended Bergenfield High School together. Winning first place in a Christian Youth Organization talent contest in June 1959 launched their recording career. Immediately, they were signed with Jamie Records and made their first public appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand -- where they earned an incredible 98% rating from the audience.

Listen very carefully to the beautiful harmonies in this wonderful song! Here's Where's My Love by Johnny Angel And The Creations on Jamie 1134 from 1959:

And here's the flip side, We're Old Enough:

There were a whole bunch of solo artists from the 1950's and 1960's who took the name Johnny Angel, along with a ton of groups known as The Creations. There's so much mis-information on the Internet about these artists, it's really difficult to sort it all out. I'm on a mission to do exactly that, but it's going to take a lot of work. There was even a recording by The Creations on Jamie 1197 from 1961 that you would think is the same group, recording on the same label just two years later. However, I'm not even sure that's true. This later record was produced by Phil Spector and the group sounds quite different. Listen and see for yourself!

Here's The Bells by The Creations on Jamie 1197 from 1961:

And the flip side, Shang Shang, which sounds even more different from the others:

If you know anything about any group known as The Creations, or any artists who sang under the name Johnny Angel, please let me know. I've found Creations from all over creation, including Union, Kentucky, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, Indiana, Chicago, Illinois, and Bremerton, Ohio, just to name a few. I've also found Johnny Angel's from everywhere, including England, Smackover, Arkansas (who also recorded with a cat named Johnny Mathis, not the black pop singer, as Jimmy And Johnny), Los Angeles, California (a creation of Garry Paxton), Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Nashville, Tennessee, and many more cities.

You might be wondering how a 1962 song called Johnny Angel could have spawned so many Johnny Angel singers. While that song was a hit for Shelley Fabares in 1962, it was first recorded in 1960 both by Georgia Lee on Decca and Laurie Loman on ABC-Paramount.

In fact, the whole mess of these songs and artists were probably originally inspired by the 1945 George Raft movie called Johnny Angel!

Here's a quick trip through the history of the song known as Johnny Angel.

The song is considered by many to be a classic oldie that represents a genre and has been immortalized with other legends by The Carpenters on their wonderful Now And Then album. The hit version was taken from the debut album by television star Shelley Fabares. The song itself was written a few years earlier by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss. Shelley's version was produced and arranged by movie score producer Stu Phillips. Shelley, who did not see herself as a singer or teenage idol, first appeared singing the song in her role as Mary Stone on an episode of The Donna Reed Show during that sitcom's fourth season. The backing singers were Darlene Love and The Blossoms. Here's the hit version everyone knows:

Here's the original recording of Johnny Angel by Georgia Lee on Decca 31075 from 1960:

Here's another recording of Johnny Angel by Laurie Loman on ABC-Paramount 10108 which was also released in 1960:

Shelley Fabares also did her own "answer" song, actually a sequel to the story, called Johnny Loves Me. This song explains how the girl won Johnny's heart:

There's also another "answer" to this song, this time from a male perspective! Here's Johnny Angel by, of course, Johnny Angel, on Markie 113 from 1963. I believe this incantation of Johnny Angel came from Chicago, but who really knows?

Finally, here's Karen Carpenter singing the song as part of a very clever medley that took up an entire side of the Now And Then album by The Carpenters on A&M Records. I've always loved this record because it's both a tribute to the great songs of the 1950's and 1960's, as well as a tip of the hat to the good old days of boss radio:

For a healthy dose of the oldies radio, unfortunately without the boss jocks (yet), check out MusicMaster Oldies on Live 365. You'll be glad you did!