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Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Fuller Four’

Died On This Date (July 18, 1966) Bobby Fuller / Rock ‘n Roll Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 18, 2010

Bobby Fuller
October 22, 1942 – July 18, 1966

Pound for pound, Bobby Fuller’s remarkable output could stack up against any of his peers even though it was cut tragically short after just two years. Songs like “I Fought The Law,” “Let Her Dance,” and “Another Sad and Lonely Night” are just a few of his classic rock ‘n roll recordings that have either been covered by major artists or cited as major influences. Growing up, Fuller idolized fellow Texan, Buddy Holly, and at an early age decided he wanted to be a rock ‘n roll singer as well. Starting in the early ’60s, Fuller began to make a name for himself in the El Paso area clubs, and by 1964, he was living in Los Angeles, chasing his dreams. It was while in Los Angeles, he formed the Bobby Fuller Four and convinced legendary producer Bob Keane to sign them to Mustang Records. Keane’s other claim to fame was discovering a young Ritchie Valens. With a sound that was equal parts Buddy Holly, Tex Mex, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elvis, Little Richard and the Ventures, Fuller began putting out such instant hit records as “Let Her Dance,” “Love’s Made A Fool Of You,” and of course, the great “I Fought the Law.” And then, almost as quickly as it started, it all came to a tragic and mysterious end. In what the incompetent police ruled a “suicide,” Fuller was found with multiple wounds to his body, covered in gasoline, and left for dead in a parked car outside his apartment. The scene, not only unsecured by police, was never dusted for fingerprints. Fuller’s mother claimed that the police told her that he had been dead for two hours, even though she had been with him just 30 minutes prior. And one witness even came forward claiming they saw a police officer discard a gas can into a nearby dumpster. But the case was never solved. Many speculate that the perpetrators fled the scene before they were able to burn the car and body. And adding to the mystery, the LAPD case files remain lost to this day. A 2002 novel entitled The Dead Circus by John Kaye further fuels the fire by including a “fictional” subplot that has Frank Sinatra ordering the hit on Fuller because he did not like him dating his daughter.

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Died On This Date (November 28, 2009) Bob Keane / Founder of Del-Fi Records

Posted by themusicsover on November 28, 2009

Bob Keane (Born Robert Kuhn)
January 5, 1922 – November 28, 2009

At right with Ritchie Valens

Bob Keane was the founder of Del-Fi Records, the first label to give a young Ritchie Valens a recording contract.   Keane began his music career as a clarinetist who, after a 1938 concert by his jazz band was broadcast on Los Angeles radio station, KFWB, was offered a record deal by MCA Records.  A couple of years later, he was dropped by the label so he enlisted in the army.  Upon his return home from duty, Keane picked up where he left off, playing in local clubs around Los Angeles.  In 1955, Keane and a partner formed the label, Keen Records, and released a single by then unknown soul singer, Sam Cooke.  The song was “Summertime,” but it was the b-side “You Send Me” that started to get attention at radio, quickly sending it to #1 on the Billboard pop chart.  Unfortunately for Keane, he made an oral agreement with his partner, and before he could collect any of the “You Send Me” earnings, he was out the door.  He soon formed his own label, Del-Fi Records and discovered Valens, a young Latino rock ‘n roller from Pacoima, CA.  Over the next several months, Keane released hit after hit records by Valens but sadly, the musician was killed the following year in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson.  The label continued on, eventually signing a stable of artists that were just as important to the legacy of popular music as Valens had been.  That list included the Surfaris, Frank Zappa, Brenda Holloway, and the Bobby Fuller Four.  In 1967, Keane shuttered the label and went on to manage his sons’ band.  He sold the Del-Fi catalog to the Warner Music Group in 2003.  On November 28, 2009, Bob Keane, 87, died of renal failure.

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Died On This Date (October 5, 2008) Lloyd Thaxton / ’60s TV Dance Show Host

Posted by themusicsover on October 5, 2009

Lloyd Thaxton
May 31, 1927 – October 5, 2008

One-time popular KHJ radio personality, Lloyd Thaxton became the host of his own pop music television show during the 1960s.  The Lloyd Thaxton Show began as a local Los Angeles show only in 1961, but once it went into national syndication in 1964, it became the highest rated musical variety program on television for nearly a decade.  Over the course of its run, the show featured such guests as Bobby Vee, the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, the Kinks, and the Bobby Fuller Four.  Lloyd Thaxton died of multiple myeloma at the age of 81.

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