Thursday, March 15, 2007

This Day in Music History: Tommy Roe and Dizzy

When ABC Records bought out Dunhill records they asked producer Steve Barri to stay on as producer for the ABC artist. One that he was excited to work with was Tommy Roe. Roe’s earlier recordings, before he had hits with bubblegum tunes like Sweet Pea and Hooray for Hazel, reminded Barri of Buddy Holly. He recorded some songs with him that were like Buddy Holly tunes but none of them did very well.
Earlier Tommy Roe had written a song called Dizzy. He was having trouble finishing it till he met up with an old friend on Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars. It was Freddy Weller of Paul Revere and the Raiders who helped him finish the song. Roe told Barri that should be their next single. It was one of Barri’s least favorite songs that he recorded with Roe but since the Buddy Holly songs didn’t do well he took a chance. Before it was released he had Jimmy Haskell to add some strings to the arrangement. Barri said “Dizzy came to life for me when we put the violins on.” It was the most successful song of Tommy Roe’s career. It sold over six million records and was #1 on the charts on March 15, 1969 on this day in music history. He had other top 40 records after that but none of them did as well. He was a successful recording artist living in a beautiful Malibu beach house but he was not happy. So he moved back to Georgia to be with the people who knew him before he was famous. A few years later he moved back to Los Angeles and released a song called Dreamin’ Again. However, the song did not return him to the charts and he moved back to Georgia and played the local clubs. Click on the video below to see him preform the song.

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