Carrito 0

Servicio no disponible por el momento

Ian Whitcomb

Few one-hit wonders of the '60s had a career as unusual and interesting as Ian Whitcomb. In 1965, British college student Whitcomb scored a Top Ten hit in the United States with "You Turn Me On," a deliberately silly number he knocked off at the end of a recording session. He spent roughly three years as a rock artist before dropping out to ply his trade as a songwriter, become one of the world's leading authorities on pre-war pop music, publish a number of celebrated books, and even host a noted pop music series. 1998's You Turn Me On: The Very Best of Ian Whitcomb is an excellent sampler of the charming silliness and dry wit of his years as a pop star, 1972's Under the Ragtime Moon was one of the first and best of his many albums devoted to vintage ragtime and Tin Pan Alley numbers, and 1997's Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage was his most celebrated historical project, re-creating the songs played by the band on board the Titanic in authentic period arrangements. Ian Whitcomb was born in Woking, Surrey, England on July 10, 1941. His father was an enthusiastic amateur piano player, and he encouraged his son to take up the instrument. Whitcomb was a schoolboy when he began writing songs, and in 1957 he joined a skiffle band with his friends. Two years later, he was won over to rock & roll by Elvis Presley, and formed a rock combo; at the same time, he was developing a fascination with music of the past, most notably American ragtime and Tin Pan Alley tunes, and British music hall numbers. Whitcomb and his brother Robin put together a group called the Ragtime Suwanee Six; however, they were put on hold when Ian left England to attend Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. At Trinity, Whitcomb fell in with a group of students fascinated by American blues and R&B music, and became the pianist and singer with a group called Bluesville. In 1963, he took a vacation in the United States, in part to research the Tin Pan Alley music he loved, and while spending time in Seattle, he landed a steady gig at a coffee shop favored by college students, where he played ragtime and music hall numbers and charmed the locals. Back in Dublin, Whitcomb and Bluesville booked time at a recording studio, and when he returned to Seattle in 1964, he brought copies of the Bluesville tapes in hopes of finding an American label interested in their music. His timing could hardly have been better; a few months earlier, the Beatles had come to America, and now anyone with a British accent who could carry a tune seemed like a potential hitmaker. Jerry Dennon, who ran a Seattle-based label called Jerden Records, heard about Whitcomb and arranged to release a single from the Bluesville recordings, "Soho" b/w "Boney Maronie." In 1965, Jerden brought out a second single by Whitcomb, "This Sporting Life" b/w "Fizz" (the A-side featuring organ overdubs from Gerry Roslie of the Sonics). Tower Records picked up the disc for a national reissue, and as Tower pondered what to bring out next from Whitcomb, they heard a jokey double-entendre number with copious panting and gulping that was knocked off at the end of a Bluesville session. To Whitcomb's chagrin, Tower picked "You Turn Me On" as his next single. "You Turn Me On" became a surprise hit, rising to number eight on the Hot 100 Singles chart in July 1965. With "You Turn Me On" high on the charts, Whitcomb appeared on the major American pop music shows of the day (including Shindig, American Bandstand, and Where the Action Is), and was sharing stages with the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and the Kinks. He also released his first album, You Turn Me On, in 1965. However, while Whitcomb's next single, "N-E-R-V-O-U-S!," was a moderate hit, peaking at number 59, it was increasingly clear that Whitcomb's heart wasn't in rock & roll. His original songs, while often witty, were clearly not pop radio material, his vocal style was somewhat mannered, and his real passion lay in music of the past. His second LP, 1966's Ian Whitcomb's Mod, Mod Music Hall!, was devoted entirely to classic music hall numbers, and that year he scored a hit in California with a version of "Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night," which was first popularized by Al Jolson in 1916. 1967's Yellow Underground was a curious mix of pop, period Tin Pan Alley tunes, and spoken word material, while 1968's Sock Me Some Rock was an effort to revive the sounds of rock's first era. Whitcomb's career was in doldrums and as he was showing growing dismay with what he called "the growing pretentiousness of rock with its mandatory drugs and wishy-washy spiritualism and its increasing loud and metallic guitar sounds," Whitcomb pulled the plug on his career in pop music, though he did wait long enough to produce an album for former screen siren Mae West, Great Balls of Fire, that went unreleased until 1972. After returning to England, Whitcomb wrote his first book, After the Ball: Pop Music from Rag to Rock, which closed with a chapter concerning his own career in rock. Published in 1972, the book was well received, and it led to him cutting a new album, 1972's Under the Ragtime Moon, which featured authentic interpretations of classic songs of the past. Around this time, Whitcomb also became the first season host of the BBC's pop music series The Old Grey Whistle Test, and in the mid-'70s he settled in Los Angeles, where he produced television documentaries (including L.A.: My Home Town and Tin Pan Alley), published a number of books (including a number of ukulele instruction books as well as the 1979 historical novel Lotusland and the 1983 memoir Rock Odyssey), scored motion pictures (including Bugs Bunny: Superstar), and penned songs as a contract tunesmith. From 1980 onward, Whitcomb released a steady stream of albums (many on his own ITW Records), where he interpreted a bottomless well of vintage tunes from the 1890s to the 1920s, including 1983's My Wife Is Dancing Mad, 1992's Ragtime America, and 2004's In Hollywood. Whitcomb was approached to help research period music for James Cameron's blockbuster film Titanic, and on the 1997 album Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage, Whitcomb and the White Star Orchestra re-created the songs the ship's orchestra played in authentic arrangements; his liner notes for the set were nominated for a Grammy Award. He also selected and arranged period music for Peter Bogdanovich's 2001 film The Cat's Meow. Whitcomb also continued to perform regularly in California, leading the combo Ian Whitcomb & His Bungalow Boys and accompanying ukulele chanteuse Janet Klein in her group the Parlor Boys. And Whitcomb hosted internet radio shows for several outlets, spinning songs and tales of the music industry's past. In 2012, Whitcomb suffered a major stroke, and while he made occasional appearances in the Los Angeles area, his health was compromised and lingering complications from the stroke led to his death in Pasadena on April 19, 2020. He was 78 years old.
© Mark Deming /TiVo


26 álbum(es) • Ordenado por Mejores ventas

Mis favoritos

Este elemento ha sido correctamente <span>añadido / eliminado</span> de sus favoritos.

Ordenar y filtrar lanzamientos