Saturday, April 25, 2015

Forgotten Male Vocalists of the 70's

This article features some of the lesser known or forgotten male vocalists of the 70's (and into the early 80's) that deserve a second look. Most of them are one or two hit wonders, but there are a few in this list that have had multiple hits, yet never achieved the recognition they deserved.

Without further ado... here's the list...

Listed alphabetically...

David Castle

Birthday: November 28, 1952
Birth Place: Overton, Texas
Cover Versions of Songs Written by David Castle: "Ten To Eight" by Helen Reddy (1975), "If You Feel The Way I Do" by The Lettermen (1975), "If You Feel The Way I Do" by Dream Express (1977), "Until You" by Grace Kennedy (1981), "No One But You" by Fern Kinney (1981)

Featured Album by David Castle
Castle In The Sky
Release Date: 1977
Label: Parachute
Chart Positions: None
Singles: "The Loneliest Man On The Moon" (US #89), "Ten To Eight" (US #68, UK #51)
Producer: Joe Porter
Other Albums Produced by Joe Porter: "Willie Remembers" by Rare Earth (1972), I've Found Someone of My Own" by Free Movement (1972), "Someplace Else Now" by Leslie Gore (1972),  "Thelma Houston" (1972), "Love Is Forever" by O.C. Smith (1979)

The Loneliest Man On The Moon (1978)

Others Albums by David Castle: "Love You Forever" (1979)
Best Known Singles: See singles listing for the album "Castle In The Sky"
Notable Achievements: David Castle wrote the song, "Istanbul Blues," which was featured in the Academy Award Winning Motion Picture, "Midnight Express." In 1978 Castle was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or TV Special" for his participation in the "Midnight Express" soundtrack. In the movie, Randy Quaid and John Hurt sing "Istanbul Blues," but on the Soundtrack Album of "Midnight Express," David Castle performs the song. David arranged and produced the recording. Giorgio Moroder co-produced the session.

Gene Cotton
Birthday: June 30, 1944
Birth Place: Columbus, Ohio
Cover Versions of Songs Written by David Castle: "Lean On One Another" by Lindy Hearne (1975)

Featured Album by Gene Cotton
Save The Dancer (1978)
Release Date: 1978
Label: Ariola
Chart Positions: None
Singles: "Before My Heart Finds Out" (US #23), "You're A Part A Me" (#36), "Like A Sunday In Salem" (#40)
Producer: Steve Gibson
Other Albums Produced by Steve Gibson: "Sleeper When I Fall" by Bobby Bare, "The Michael Johnson Album," (1978) "Dialog" by Michael Johnson (1979), "No Strings Attached" by Michael Johnson (1979), "Blue Baby Blue" by Lynn Anderson (1980), "Even Cowgirls Get The Blues" by Lynn Anderson (1980), "trouble In Paradise" by Deborah Allen (1980), "Americana" by Michael Martin Murphey (1987), "River Of Time" by Michael Martin Murphey (1988), "Land Of Enchantment" by Michael Martin Murphey (1989), "Wind In The Wire" by Randy Travis (1993)

Like A Sunday In Salem (1978)

Other highlighted Albums by Gene Cotton: "Liberty" (1974), "Rain On" (1976), "No Strings Attached" (1979)
Other Well Known Singles: "Sunshine Roses" (1974), "Damn It All" (1975), "You've Got Me Runnin' (1976), "If I Could Get You Into My Life" (1982)
Notable Achievements: He achieved four Billboard Top 40 hits from 1976 - 1978; including "You've Got Me running'" (1976), "Before My Heart Finds Out" (1978), "You're A Part A Me" (1978), "Like A Sunday In Salem" (1978)

Paul Davis
Birthday: April 21, 1948
Died: April 22, 2008
Birth Place: Meridian, Mississippi
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Paul Davis: "Ride 'Em Cowboy" by Juice Newton, "Do It With Feeling" by The Michael Zager Band, "Thinking Of You" by Nigel Olsson, "All The Way" by Brick, "Bop" by Dan Seals, "I Go Crazy" by Will Downing

Featured Album by Paul Davis
Singer of Songs - Teller Of Tales (1977)
Release Date: 1977
Label: Bang
Chart Positions: None
Singles: "I Go Crazy" (US #7, Canada #4, Australia #62), "Sweet Life" (US #17, Canada #15), "Darlin'" (US #51, Canada #37)
Producer: Phil Benton/Paul Davis
Other Albums Produced by Phil Benton: "Brick" by Brick (1977), "Waiting On You" by Brick (1980), "After Five" by Brick (1982), 

Paul Davis - Sweet Life (1977)

Other highlighted Albums by Paul Davis: "A Little Bit Of Paul Davis (1970), "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (1974), "southern Tracks and Fantasies" (1976), "Cool Night" (1981)
Other Well Known Singles: "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (1974), "Superstar" (1976), "Do Right" (1980), "Cool Night" (1981), "65 Love Affair" (1982), "Love Or Let Me be Lonely" (1982)
Notable Achievements: Paul Davis' mega-hit "I Go Crazy" spent 40 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 Singles charts which at that point it held the record for the longest chart run on the chart. 

Walter Egan
Birthday: July 12, 1948
Birth Place: New York City, New York
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Walter Egan: "Hearts On Fire" by Gram Parsons (1974), "Hot Summer Nights" by Night (1979), "We Made You" by Eminem (2009), Acero Y Iman by Lost Fleshtones (2012)

Featured Album by Walter Egan
Singer of Songs - Teller Of Tales (1977)
Release Date: 1978
Label: Columbia
Chart Positions: US #44, 
Singles: "Magnet & Steel" (US #8, Australia #32), "Hot Summer Nights" (US #55)
Producer: Lindsay Buckingham
Other Albums Produced by Lindsay Buckingham: "Fundamental Roll" by Walter Egan (1977), "Bombs Away Dream Baby" by John Stewart (1979), "Law And Order" by Lindsay Buckingham (1981), "Mirage" by Fleetwood Mac (1982), "go Insane" by Lindsay Buckingham (1984), "tango in The Night" by Fleetwood Mac (1987), "Out Of The Cradle" by Lindsay Buckingham (1992), "The Dance" by Fleetwood mac (1997)

Walter Egan - Magnet & Steel (1978)

Other highlighted Albums by Walter Egan: "Fundamental Roll (1977), "Wild Exhibitions" (1983)
Other Well Known Singles: "Only The Lucky" (1977), "Hot Summer Nights" (1978), "Full Moon Fire" (1983)
Notable Achievements: In 1979 the band "Night," which was fronted by Chris Thompson took Walter Egan's song "Hot Summer Nights" to #18 on Billboards Top 100 Singles chart. Egan was a four time champion on the game show "Catch Phrase" in 1985.

Dean Friedman
Birthday: May 23, 1955
Birth Place: Paramus, New Jersey
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Dean Friedman: "S&M" by Wall Street Crash (1982), "McDonald's Girl" by Barenaked Ladies (1992), "Ariel" by Ariel Pink (2002)

Featured Album by Dean Friedman
Dean Friedman (1977)
Release Date: 1977
Label: Lifesong
Chart Positions: US #192
Singles: "Ariel" (US #26), "Woman Of Mine" (UK #52)
Producer: Rob Stevens
Other Albums Produced by Rob Stevens: "Well, Well Said The Rocking Chair" by Dean Friedman (1978), "On Target" by Bullseye (1979), "Totally Religious" by The Screaming Blue Messiahs (1989), "Rising" by Yoko Ono (1995)

Ariel - Dean Friedman (1977)

Other highlighted Albums by Dean Friedman: "Well, Well Said The Rocking Chair" (1978), "Rumpled Romeo" (1981), "Songs For Grownups" (1998), "The Treehouse Journals" (2002)
Other Well Known Singles: "Lucky Stars" (1978), "Lydia" (1978), "McDonald's Girl" (1981)
Notable Achievements: Friedman reached #3 on the UK singles chart in 1978 with the song "Lucky Stars," a duet with Denise Marsa. Dean produced and composed the music soundtrack to the 1990 underground cult horror film classic "I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle."

Nick Gilder
Birthday: December 21, 1951
Birth Place: London, England
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Nick Gilder: "Roxy Roller" by Suzi Quatro (1977), "Heisse Nacht In Der City" by Monza (1978), "Rated X" by Pat Benatar (1979), "Time After Time" by Toni Basil (1981), "Heisse Nacht In Der City" by Monza (1978), "Rated X" by Pat Benatar (1979), "Time After Time" by Toni Basil (1981),
"Is It Love" by Bette Midler (19830, "Body Talk" by Kix (1983), "The Warrior" by Scandal (1984), "Tough Love" by Patty Smyth (1987), "Don't Walk Away" by Pat Benatar (1987), "You Know It's Gonna Hurt" by Joe Cocker (1989)

Featured Album by Nick Gilder
City Nights (1978)
Release Date: 1978
Label: Chrysalis
Chart Positions: US #33, Canada #71
Singles: "Hot Child In The City" (US #1, Canada #1, New Zealand #3, Australia #9), "Here Comes The Night" (US #44, Canada #44), "(She's) One Of The Boys", "Got To Get Out"
Producer: Mike Chapman/Peter Coleman
Other Albums Produced by Mike Chapman & Peter Coleman: "Bright Lights and Back Alleys" by Smokie (1977), Mixed Emotions" by Exile (1978), "Here Comes The Night" by Nick Gilder (1978), "Parallel Lines" by Blondie (1978), "In The Heat Of The Night" by Pat Benatar (1979), "Frequency" by Nick Gilder (1979), "Spider" by Spider (1980), "Between The Lines" by Spider (1981), "get Nervous" by Pat Benatar (1982), "Tropico" by Pat Benatar (1984), 

Hot Child In The City - Nick Gilder (1978)

Rock America - Nick Gilder (1980)

Other highlighted Albums by Nick Gilder: "You Know Who You Are" (1977), "frequency" (1979), "Rock America" (1980)
Other Well Known Singles: "Roxy Roller" (1976), "Rated X" (1977), "(You Really) Rock Me" (1979), "Rock America" (1980), "(She Talks) Body Talk" (1981)
Notable Achievements:  Nick Gilder enjoyed success as a songwriter as his songs were covered by artists such as Pat benatar, Bette Midler, Kix, Joe Cocker and Patty Smyth. Nick was a founding member (and original lead singer) of the band Sweeney Todd who had a #1 hit in Canada with the song "Roxy Roller," which was co-written by Nick Gilder. 

Michael Johnson
Birthday: August 8, 1944
Birth Place: Alamosa, Colorado
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Michael Johnson: "Eggtooth" by Leo Kottke (1973), "Circus" by John Denver (1974), "Central Standard Time" by The Kendalls (1986), "Empty Hearts" by Alison Krauss (1999)

Featured Album By Michael Johnson
The Michael Johnson Album (1978)

Release Date: 1978
Label: EMI
Chart Positions: US #81, Canada #83
Singles: "Bluer Than Blue" (#12 US, #6 Canada, #24 New Zealand), Almost Like Being In Love (#32 US, #40 Canada), "Sailing Without A Sail
Producer: Brent Maher/Steve Gibson
Other Albums Produced by Brent Maher & Steve Gibson: "Dialog" by Michael Johnson (1979). Brent Maher produced several albums for Dottie West, Dave Loggins, Kenny Rogers, The Judds, Sylvia, Bill Medley and others. Take a look at the bio on Gene Cotton on this blog to see other albums produced by Steve Gibson.

Bluer Than Blue - Michael Johnson (1978)

Other highlighted Albums by Michael Johnson: "Dialog" (1979), "You Can Call Me Blue" (1980),  "Home Free" (1981), "Wings" (1986)
Other Well Known Singles: "This Night Won't Last Forever" (1979), "The Very First Time" (1980), "You Can Call Me Blue" (1980), "Give Me Wings" (1986), "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulder" (1987), "Crying Shame" (1987)
Notable Achievements: After a successful pop music career, which spanned from the late 70's through the early 80's, Johnson forged a successful career in country music. He made two #1 country music hits in 1986 and 1987 with "Give Me Wings" and "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulders." He had a total of seven Top Thirty country music hits from 1986-1989. His 1978 rendition of "Almost Like Being In Love" also charted at #91 on the Hot R&B songs charts. 

Ian Matthews
Birthday: June 14, 1946
Birth Place: Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England

Featured Album By Ian Matthews
Stealin' Home(1978)
Release Date: 1978
Label: Mushroom/Rockburgh
Chart Positions: US #80
Singles: "Shake It" (US #13, New Zealand #78), "Gimme An Inch Girl" (US #67), "Don't Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes," "Man In The Station", "King Of The Night"
Producer: Ian Matthews/Sandy Robertson
Other Albums Produced by Ian Matthews: "Later That Same Year," "Second Spring" and "Matthews' Southern Comfort" all by Matthews Southern Comfort (1970), "If You Saw Thru My Eyes" by Ian Matthews (1971), "Tigers Will Survive" by Ian Matthews (1972), "Some Days You Eat The Bear..." by Ian Matthews (1974), "Moods For Mallards" by Hi-Fi (1982), "Walking A Changing Line" by Ian Matthews (1988), "Voices Electric" by Plainsong (1994)

Shake It - Ian Matthews (1978)

Other Highlighted Albums by Ian Matthews: "Later That Same Year" (1970), "Tigers Will Survive" (1972), "Valley Hi" (1973)
Other Well Known Singles: ""Woodstock" (1971), "Tell Me Why" (1971), "Mare, Take Me Home" (1971), "Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" (1972)
Notable Achievements: Ian Matthews under the name of Ian McDonald joined the band Fairport Convention a year after it's formation. He was brought in as the lead singer and recorded their first album. Matthews stayed with Fairport Convention for their first three albums and then left to form his own band Matthew's Southern Comfort, with which he made a US Top 25 hit with Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," the song also reached #2 in Norway, #15 in Austria, #17 in Netherlands and #27 in Denmark. 

Chris Rea
Birthday: March 4, 1951
Birth Place: Middlesbrough, England
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Chris Rea: "Mississippi Queen" by Jeff Sturges (1971), "Tror Du Att Allt Är Över (Fool If You Think It's Over)" by Svante Thuresson (1978), "Le Palmier Du Pauvre (Fool-If You Think It's Over)" by Dave (1978), "Luulitko Kaiken Menneen (Fool If You Think It's Over)" by Kirka (1979), "Luulitko Kaiken Menneen (Fool If You Think It's Over)" by Greger (1980), "Fool If You Think It's Over" by Elkie Brooks (1981), "I Will Do It For Your Love" by Lulu (1982), "Fool If You Think It's Over" by Gustav Brom (1984), "Standing In Your Doorway" by Marlene Ricci (1985), "Stone" by The Law (co-written with David Gilmour)(1991), Josephine" by Howard Carpendale (1992), "If You Were Me" by Elton John (1993), "Windy Town" by Rod Stewart (1995), "On The Beach" by ATB (2000), "On The Beach" by The Manfreds (2003), "Every Beat Of My Heart" by Pussycat (2004),  "The Closer You Get" by Bonnie Tyler (2010)

Featured Album By Chris Rea
Whatever Happened To Benny Santini? (1978)
Release Date: April 1978
Label: United Artists/Magnet
Chart Positions: US #49
Singles: "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" (#12 US, #30 UK, #30 Netherlands, #31 New Zealand), "Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?" (#71 US)
Producer: Gus Dudgeon
Other Albums Produced by Gus Dudgeon: "David Bowie" by David Bowie (1967), "Ten Years After" by Ten Years After (1967), "Strawbs" by Strawbs (1969), "Space Oddity" by David Bowie (1969), "Tumbleweed Connection" by Elton John (1970), "Elton John" by Elton John (1970), "Madman Across The Water" by Elton John (1971), "Friends" by Elton John (1971), "17-11-70" by Elton John (1971), "Streets Of London" by Ralph McTell (1971), "Taupin" by Bernie Taupin (1971), "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player" by Elton John (1972), "Whatever's For Us" by Joan Armatrading (1972), "Honky Chateau" by Elton John (1972), "Bernie Taupin" by Bernie Taupin (1972), "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John (1973), "I've Got The Music In Me" by The Kiki Dee Band (1974), "Caribou" by Elton John (1974), "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" by Elton Johnson (1975), "Rock Of The Westies" by Elton John (1975), "Only One Woman" by Nigel Olsson (1975), "Blue Moves" by Elton John (1976), "Planes" by Colin Blunstone (1976), "Magic In The Air" by Lindisfarne (1978), ""Back and Fourth" by Lindisfarne (1978), "run For Home" by Lindisfarne (1978), "Warm Feeling" by Lindisfarne (1978), "woman" by Lindisfarne (1978), "celtics" by Chris Rea (1979), "Sails Of Silver" by Steeleye Span (1980), "Off Centre" by Gilbert O'Sullivan (1980), "Pet Rock" by The Sinceros (1981), "Pearls" by Elkie Brooks (1981), "Gasoline Alley" by Elkie Brooks (1982), "Play On" by John Miles (1983), "Ice On Fire" by Elton John (1985), "Leather Jackets" by Elton John (1986), "Bowling in Paris" by Stephen Bishop (1989), "Nonsuch" by XTC (1992)

"Fool (If You Think It's Over)" - Chris Rea (1978)

Other Highlighted Albums by Chris Rea: "Deltics" (1979), "Tennis" (1980), Chris Rea" (1982), "water Sign" (1983), "On The Beach" (1986), "Dancing With Strangers" (1987), "The Road To Hell" (1989), Auberge" (1991), "The Blue Cafe" (1998), "Dancing Down The Stony Road" (2002), "the Blue Jukebox" (2004), "Santo Spirito Blues" (2011)
Other Well Known Singles: "Diamonds" (1979), "I Can Hear Your Heartbeat" (1983),  "Josephine" (1985), "On The Beach" (1986), "Let's Dance" (1987), "Driving Home For Christmas" (1988), "The Road To Hell" (1989), "Auberge" (1991), "Looking For Summer" (1991)
Notable Achievements: Chris Rea has achieved huge success in his homeland of England putting 13 albums in to the UK's Top 15. Ironically his 1978 album "Whatever Happened to benny Santini" did not chart in the UK regardless that it contained his huge worldwide hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)." His pinnacle came in 1989 and 1991 when his albums "The Road To Hell" and "Auberge" respectively topped the UK charts. "Auberge" also reached #1 in Germany and his 1986 album "On The beach" hit #1 in the Netherlands.

Randy VanWarmer
Birthday: March 30, 1955
Died: January 12, 2004
Birth Place: Indian Hills, Colorado
Cover Versions of Songs Written by Randy VanWarmer: "Just When I Needed You Most" has been covered by Dolly Parton (1996), Steve Allan (1979), Conway Twitty (1982), Mocedades (1982), Millie Jackson (1985), Bob Dylan (1987), Donna Fargo (1990), Skeeter Davis (1992), Smokie (2001), Tim McGraw (year unknown), "See You On The Other Side" by Brian Briggs (1980), "Down Like A Rock" by Laura Branigan (1982), "I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Someone" by Oak Ridge Boys (1983), "Bridges and Walls" by Oak Ridge Boys (1989), "I'm In A Hurry" by Alabama (1992)

Featured Album By Randy VanWarmer
Warmer (1979)
Release Date: April 1979
Label: Bearsville Records
Chart Positions: US #81, Netherlands #39, Sweden #40
Singles: "Just When I Needed You Most" US #4, Belgium #5, Netherlands #6, UK #8, New Zealand #9, Canada #32, "Gotta Get Out Of Here," "Call Me" 
Producer: Del Newman
Other Albums Produced by Del Newman: "Stretch" by Scott Walker (1973), "A Tapestry Of Dreams" by Charles Aznavour (1974), "Caught You" by Steel Pulse (1980), "Eastside Story" by Squeeze (1981)

"Just When I Needed You Most" by Randy VanWarmer (1979)

"Suzi (Found A Weapon) by Randy VanWarmer (1981)

Other Highlighted Albums by Randy VanWarmer: "Terraform" (1980), "Beat Of Love" (1981), "I Am" (1988), "Sings Stephen Foster" (2005)
Other Well Known Singles: "Whatever You Decide" (1980), "Suzi (Found A Weapon)" (1981), "I Will Hold You" (1988)
Notable Achievements: Randy VanWarmer's most notable achievement was the huge success of the song "Just When I Needed You Most" which was a million selling hit reaching the Top Ten in at least five countries around the world. The song has been covered by more than 20 well known artists including Dolly Parton who took the song to #62 on the country music charts in 1996. Throughout the 80's and 90's Randy VanWarmer experienced a good amount of success with songs he wrote reaching the Top Ten on the country music charts as recorded by a variety of country music artists as follows: The Oak Ridge Boys reached #1 with "I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Someone" in 1983, Alabama took "I'm In A Hurry" to #1 in 1992, "I Will Whisper Your Name" recorded by Michael Johnson reached #7 in 1988. "Playboys of the South Western World" by Blake Shelton reached #24 in 2004. 

Thank You my friends for reading this blog!
I hope you enjoyed it...


  1. This was EXCELLENT, Rick. I give this blog 5 STARS!!! I listened to all of the tracks and have many fond memories of most of them. It is tragic in a way that so many of these talented musicians have either had one or two solid hits and then faded away. But what they did during the 70s was memorable for those of us who appreciated their music then. I especially enjoyed Paul Davis, "Sweet Life," Chris Rea (immense talent!) and "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," "Bluer than Blue" by Michael Johnson, the heartfelt "Just When I Needed You Most" by Randy VanWarmer, and the unforgettable Dean Friedman's "Ariel," which is now on my brain for the day!

  2. Gabriel PellegrinoMay 2, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Nice selection, Rick. I have so many of these albums or singles. I think Stephen Bishop might fall into this category as well, although he did return with "It Might Be You" from Tootsie.

    1. You're right Gabriel... Stephen Bishop would by all mean fall into this category. Maybe he will be in Part Two of Forgotten Male Vocalists of the 70's.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...