Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lodi Carr - "Ladybird"

Wow. How could I have begun this whole project without hearing of this girl?

Marquette-born Lodi began singing professionally in Detroit in the early 1950s; she moved to New York in '56, and in '58 she became one of the first acts signed to Laurie Records (future home of Dion, the Royal Guardsmen, and other hitmakers). The title track of her Laurie LP became her nickname - Ladybird.

In 1961, after marrying and having a child, Lodi gave up performing for more than 20 years, returning in the early 1980s. For several years she was a headliner at New York's Village Gate, and from all reports this gracefully-aged (she's in her mid-seventies) Ladybird still knocks 'em dead. Her LP is now available on CD.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sacred Heart Singers / Come Alive Singers

One of my most recent discoveries is this all-girl Catholic youth chorus/band from Ewen, directed by Dorothy Bessen (I count 17 members in a photograph). They began as the Sacred Heart Singers and made two albums, Come Alive and Come Alive at Christmas, plus a "mini-album," before becoming the Come Alive Singers and recording the albums Happy Feet and Somewhere In the Wind ... I Hear A Song, both of which I have (See "The Grooves I Have"). They were apparently not affiliated with the Sacred Heart Church in Ewen, though some group members attended that church; indeed, the group name was changed to the Come Alive Singers to avoid giving that impression.

Happy Feet - which came out long before the Steve Martin routine - has 16 songs, mostly written by group member Paulette Niemi. Its liner notes are worth quoting: "[T]hese selections ... combine the sound of modern music and the enthusiasm of youth with the richness of biblical writings, plus mature guidance, patience, and love. Other ingredients such as faith and hope enable this type of music to eliminate the generation gap ... [W]e feel that we have come up with a unique type of music which is sacred enough to use in church and spirited enough to be enjoyed by people of all ages." 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michigan (and U.P.) Rock and Roll Legends

Happy new year!

Just a quick word about the website "Michigan Rock and Roll Legends" - - and its 2009 ballot for inductees into its Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.

There are more than 300 acts on the ballot, and - believe it or not - it includes some U.P. acts, nearly all of whom are listed here in U.P. GROOVES! Check it out, and if you can, VOTE!

(If you'd like more info on the site before logging in to it, Steve Seymour's got a nice entry about it in his Rock'n'Roll Graffiti blog; see "Loose Ends and Closing Credits.")

And I can't resist sharing this - Dr. J, the site's creator, says that before he read this blog, he didn't know what a vital music scene there was in the U.P. We're doing something right!