Thursday, 31 January 2008

What a great month June 2008 could be...

Had a quick chat with EMI about making some changes to the initial Proby CD project that I submitted. Agreed to tweak it slightly as there are just a few changes I now feel inclined to make. EMI mentioned the CD is something that could come out as early as Monday, 2 June 2008.

It's still early days but I'm feeling positive and enjoying discovering Proby's music again. I just hope fans will respond to a few questions I need to resolve, such as my STEREO mystery.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Proby Again (1967 Extended Play)

Proby Again (1967)
Liberty / Mono #LEP 2267

  1. I Can't Make It Alone
  2. Try To Forget Her
  3. Let The Water Run Down
  4. You've Come Back

"This was Proby's last UK E.P released during his Liberty signing and what a mixed bag of songs it offered. It included his debut US single "Try To Forget Her" from 1961, the 'Top 20' single "Let The Water Run Down", a B-side "You've Come Back" and of particular interest to collector's an alternate take of "I Can't Make It Alone" (a song from his album "Enigma"). This particular version featured a dramatic "double vocal" harmony by Proby that took inspiration from the Righteous Brothers' #1 hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'."

P.J.'s Hits (1966 Extended Play)

P.J.'s Hits (1966)
Liberty / Mono #LEP 2251

  1. Hold Me
  2. Together
  3. That Means A Lot
  4. Maria

"Included here are four A-side singles that were originally released in the UK between 1964 and 1965."

Christmas with P.J. (1965 Extended Play)

Christmas with P.J. (1965)
Liberty / Mono #LEP 2239

  1. Christmas Song (Merry Chrismas To You)
  2. Silent Night
  3. White Christmas
  4. Rain On Snow

"The songs for this festive E.P were recorded during the making of Proby's "P.J. Proby...In Town" album, with exception of "Rain On Snow" which was cut during the making of Proby previous album "P.J. Proby"."

Somewhere (1965 Extended Play)

Somewhere (1965)
Liberty / Mono #LEP 2229
  1. Hold What You've Got
  2. I Love Therefore I Am
  3. I Apologise
  4. Somewhere

"This best-selling E.P featured two of Proby's chart hits as well as a couple songs that were unique to this format, these included a cover of Joe Tex's American 'Top 5' hit "Hold What You've Got" and the stunning ballad "I Love Therefore I Am"."

P.J. Proby (1965 Extended Play)

P.J. Proby (1965)
Liberty / Mono #LEP 2192

  1. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
  2. Linda Lu
  3. Answer Me
  4. Stagger Lee

"Proby's first E.P was brimming with recordings that until this point had not been released outside the USA. All these songs originated from Proby's 1964 American debut L.P "Somewhere" with exception of Proby's up-tempo cover of Frankie Laine's hit "Answer Me" which premiered here."

California License (1970 studio album)

California License (1970)
Liberty / Stereo #LBS 83320
  1. Caledonia
  2. Daddy`s Home
  3. Bop Ting A Ling
  4. Linda Lu
  5. Hound Dog
  6. Stranded in the Jungle
  7. Tommorow Night
  8. Mio Amore‑I Am Yours‑My Love
  9. Stagger Lee
  10. Blue Moon/Cherry Pei/Silhouettes
  11. Forever My Darling
  12. Rockin Pneumonia

"This was Proby's last studio album before he finished his contract with Liberty Records. It found the Texan in a very reflective mood, reminiscing on his early years when he used the stage name "Jett Powers" (pre-P.J. Proby) and was just another unknown who performed to the club circuits of Los Angeles. This project provided Proby with a golden opportunity to now record some of his favourite "doo-wop" and "rock 'n' roll" classics which he had often included in his live shows of the 1950s/early '60s. The album's sessions were held at Abbey Road and featured Emile Ford and The Checkmates. These produced nine all-new recordings which were then topped up by three "previously released" numbers (i.e. "Linda Lu", "Stagger Lee" and "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu"). Standout tracks for me are Proby's up-tempo renditions of Shep & The Limelites #2 hit "Daddy's Home" and his wonderful take of The Flamingos' single "Mio Amore". "

Three Week Hero (1969 studio album)

Three Week Hero (1969)
Liberty / Stereo #LBS 83219E

  1. Three Week Hero
  2. The Day That Lorraine Came Down
  3. Little Friend
  4. Empty Bottles
  5. Reflections (Of Your Face)
  6. Won't Be Long
  7. Sugar Mama
  8. I Have a Dream
  9. It's Too Good to Last
  10. New Directions
  11. Today I Killed a Man
  12. Medley: It's So Hard To Be A Nigger/Jim's Blues/George Wallace Is Rollin' In This Mornin'

"Recorded in September 1968, this playful, edgy album was a real departure from Proby's trademark pop sound of the 1960s as it veered acutely towards blues, rock and country. The project is notable for being the first occasion that all four members of the English rock-band Led Zepellin recorded together in the studio [album credits: Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (harmonica), John Paul Jones (bass guitar / keyboards) and John Bonham (drums / conga)]."

Proby recalls: "...Come the last day we found we had some studio time, so I just asked the band to play while I just came up with the words. ... They weren't Led Zeppelin at the time, they were the New Yardbirds and they were going to be my band..."

Believe it or Not (1968 studio album)

Believe it or Not (1968)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 83087 & Stereo #LBS 83087
  1. When Love Has Passed You by
  2. I'm Coming Home
  3. Give Me Time
  4. Turn Her Away
  5. Mary in the Morning
  6. It's Your Day Today
  7. I Shall Be Released
  8. Cry Baby
  9. Why Baby Why
  10. I've Got My Eyes on You
  11. I Apologise Baby
  12. Judy in the Junkyard

"This album was released in the US with a slightly different style cover sleeve. The stateside edition also traded "Judy in the Junkyard" and "I Shall Be Released" for two of my all-time favourite Proby recordings: "What's Wrong With My World" and his rendition of Bee Gees' classic "And The Sun Will Shine" which was an exclusive for the American market."

Phenomenon (1967 studio album)

Phenomenon (1967)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 83045 & Stereo #LBS 83045
  1. Just Holding On
  2. Mama Told Me Not To Come
  3. Work With Me Annie
  4. Ling Ting Tong
  5. Honey Hush
  6. Straight Up
  7. Butterfly High
  8. She's Looking Good
  9. You Can't Come Home Again (If You Leave Me Now)
  10. Pretty Girls Everywhere
  11. Good Rockin' Tonight
  12. Sanctification

Enigma (1966 studio album)

Enigma (1966)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 1361 & Stereo #SLBY 1361
  1. Niki Hoeky (S)
  2. Shake Shake Shake (S)
  3. Reach Out I'll Be There (S)
  4. That's The Tune (S)
  5. Out Of Time (S)
  6. Don't Forget About Me (S)
  7. People That's Why (S)
  8. I Wanna' Thank You Baby (S)
  9. I'm Twenty Eight (S)
  10. Angelica (S)
  11. I Can't Make It Alone (S)
  12. You Make Me Feel Like Someone (S)

P.J. Proby...In Town (1965 studio album)

P.J. Proby...In Town (1965)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 1291 & Stereo #SLBY 1291
  1. What Kind Of Fool Am I
  2. To Make A Big Man Cry
  3. No Other Love
  4. Walk Hand In Hand
  5. People
  6. It Ain't Necessarily So
  7. Some Enchanted Evening
  8. Come Back To Me
  9. We Kiss In A Shadow
  10. If I Ruled The World
  11. Maria
  12. I Could Write A Book

P. J Proby (1965 studio album)

P.J Proby (1965)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 1264

  1. My Prayer
  2. I Will
  3. Mission Bell
  4. The Nearness Of You
  5. Lonely Weekends
  6. If I Loved You
  7. When I Fall In Love
  8. She Cried
  9. Secret Love
  10. I Will Come To You
  11. Lonely Teardrops
  12. With These Hands

"Although the original vinyl LP was only released in the UK in mono format a stereo version does exist and was issued stateside (Stereo LP / #LST-7421). The stereo takes of "The Nearness Of You" and "Lonely Teardrops" are also significantly different vocally to their mono counterparts."

I Am P. J Proby (1964 studio album)

I Am P. J Proby (1964)
Liberty / Mono #LBY 1235

  1. Whatever Will Be, Will Be
  2. It's No Good for Me
  3. Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
  4. The Masquerade is Over
  5. Glory of Love
  6. I'll Go Crazy
  7. Question
  8. You Don't Love Me No More
  9. Don't Worry Baby
  10. Just Call and I'll Be There
  11. Louisiana Man
  12. Cuttin' in

Scrapbook of my favourite Proby photographs...

This is a collection of some of my favourite photographs of the legendary P.J. Proby taken during his years at Liberty Records. Included are Liberty's promotional photographs, live performance stills and press shots.

My "thank you" to the fans

I mentioned on my debut blog about the fact some of P.J's fans (or probyans) had been a great help at familiarising me with the extent of P.J recording career.

Well it seems a good time now to pay tribute to these guys as their support and advice fuelled my fire to do something on Mr. Proby.

"A big thank you to Joep Kilkens, Jan Sonesson, Ron Tennant, Björn Lund, Hans Buijze and the late Auke Hendrik Middel..."

The Life and Career of the great P.J. Proby


UK Chart Hits (1964-1972)

"Hold Me" (1964) - #3.
"Together" (1964) - #8.
"Somewhere" (1964) - #6.
"I Apologise" (1965) - #11.
"Let The Water Run Down" (1965) - #19.
"That Means A Lot" (1965) - #30.
"Maria" (1965) - #8.
"You've Come Back" (1966) - #25.
"To Make A Big Man Cry" (1966) - #34.
"I Can't Make It Alone" (1966) - #37.
"It's Your Day Today" (1968) - #32.

"P.J. Proby" (1965) - #13
"Somewhere" (1965) - #19

"I Am P.J. Proby" (1964) - #16

UK E.Ps Discography

P.J.Proby (1965)
Somewhere (1965)
Christmas with P.J. (1965)
P.J.'s Hits (1966)
Proby Again (1967)

UK Single Discography

Below is a list of Proby's 7" [45-rpm] singles that were released in the UK between 1964 and 1972 by EMI's Liberty & Columbia labels. This listing spans from Proby's debut UK single release to the last that he made before breaking ties with the recording giant.

[ Note: Although, Proby had been signed to Liberty Records since 1961 he temporarily absconded from them circa 1964. Thus, his first two UK singles were actually songs cut for the Decca label. Liberty Records however later won a court battle to get the star back under its umbrella. Thus, I have included the Decca releases here as they are now owned by the EMI group. ]

Hold Me (1964)
Decca / #F.11904

  1. Hold Me

  2. The Tip Of My Fingers

Together (1964)
Decca / #F.11967

  1. Together

  2. Sweet And Tender Romance

Try To Forget Her (1964)
Liberty / #LIB 55367

  1. Try To Forget Her

  2. There Stands The One

Somewhere (1964)
Liberty / #LIB 10182

  1. Somewhere
    (from the musical "West Side Story")

  2. Just Like Him

I Apologise (1965)
Liberty / #LIB 10188

  1. I Apologise

  2. What's on Your Mind

Let The Water Run Down (1965)
Liberty / #LIB 10206

  1. Let The Water Run Down

  2. I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore

That Means A Lot (1965)
Liberty / #LIB 10215

  1. That Means A Lot

  2. My Prayer
    [from the 1965 album "P.J. Proby"]

Maria (1965)
Liberty / #LIB 10218

  1. Maria
    (from the musical "West Side Story")
    [from the 1965 album "P.J. Proby...In Town"]

  2. She Cried
    [from the 1965 album "P.J. Proby"]

You've Come Back (1966)
Liberty / #LIB 10223

  1. You've Come Back

  2. It Ain't Necessarily So
    [from the 1965 album "P.J. Proby...In Town"]

To Make A Big Man Cry (1966)
Liberty / #LIB 10236

  1. To Make A Big Man Cry
    [from the 1965 album "P.J. Proby...In Town"]

  2. Wicked Woman

I Can't Make It Alone (1966)
Liberty / #LIB 10250

  1. I Can't Make It Alone
    [from the 1966 album "Enigma"]

  2. Sweet Summer Wine

Niki Hoeky (1967)
Liberty / #LIB 55936

  1. Niki Hoeky
    [from the 1966 album "Enigma"]

  2. Good Things Are Coming My Way

You Can't Come Home Again (If You Leave Me Now) (1967)
Liberty / #LIB 55974

  1. You Can't Come Home Again (If You Leave Me Now)
    [from the 1967 album "Phenomenon"]

  2. Work With Me Annie
    [from the 1967 album "Phenomenon"]

It's Your Day Today (1968)
Liberty / #LIB 15046

  1. It's Your Day Today
    [from the 1968 album "Believe it or Not"]

  2. I Apologise Baby
    [from the 1968 album "Believe it or Not"]

What's Wrong With My World (1968)
Liberty / #LIB 15085

  1. What's Wrong With My World

  2. Why Baby Why
    [from the 1968 album "Believe it or Not"]

The Day That Lorraine Came Down (1968)
Liberty / #LIB 15152

  1. The Day That Lorraine Came Down
    [from the 1969 album "Three Week Hero"]

  2. Mery Hopkins Never Had Days Like This

Hanging From Your Loving Tree (1969)
Liberty / #LIB 15245

  1. Hanging From Your Loving Tree

  2. Empty Bottles
    [from the 1969 album "Three Week Hero"]

Today I Killed A Man (1969)
Liberty / #LIB 15280

  1. Today I Killed A Man
    [from the 1969 album "Three Week Hero"]

  2. It's Too Good To Last
    [from the 1969 album "Three Week Hero"]

It's Goodbye (1970)
Liberty / #LIB 15386

  1. It's Goodbye

  2. It's Too Good To Last
    [from the 1969 album "Three Week Hero"]

We'll Meet Again (1972)
Columbia / #DB 8874

  1. We'll Meet Again

  2. Clown Shoes

UK Album Discography

Monday, 14 January 2008

A tentative green light from EMI

Had an unexpected email from my contact at EMI. It looks like he liked the "70th Birthday" project idea I submitted. Maybe 2nd time around my CD will get the go ahead.

"Thanks very much for the PJ CDR, I know that you have been banging his drum for a while and as it's his 70th this year it seems a good time to do it..."

Friday, 11 January 2008

My bright idea? I think...

Well today I came up with the bright idea to start a blog that will follow the progress or my failure to get a new CD out to celebrate P.J. Proby's "70th Birthday".

Just to give you some background. In the late 1990s, I discovered Proby's music thanks to my Mum who had long admired the great Texan. In particular, she was fond of an obscure B-side ballad "Just Like Him" which she couldn't find anywhere on CD. This fed my curiousity and soon enough my eyes were opened to the man's vocal genuis and how much I enjoyed his Liberty/EMI work!

In 2003, at a meeting with EMI to discuss a Cilla Black anniversary boxset release I raised issue about doing a new Proby compilation. Although, I got an initial thumbs up the project sadly wasn't to be...

No matter. I did get as far as doing some research into Proby's recording career and thanks to the wonders of the web made contact with some of Proby's biggest fans (or Probyans as they refer to themselves). They at least alerted me to the fact that there were some worthy recordings deserving a digital makeover. Thus, my quest to get some of these out on CD began!

Today, yet again I am trying to rekindle interest from EMI. As said before it is Proby's "70th Birthday" and now seems as good a time as any to try. So, I have prepared a CDR sampler of suggested songs and drawn up a project that I am mailing off to them which I tentatively call "The Birthday Collection (Best of 1964-1972)".

Time will tell if anything comes of this. Fingers crossed! ;)