The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brothers In Arms

Artist: The Kalin Twins
Song: The Meaning Of The Blues (a-side) (b-side is Why Don't You Believe Me)
Label: Decca 9-30977 (Pink Label, Sample Copy - Not For Sale)
Number: 108 044
Songwriters: Don Wolf - Ben Raleigh
Time: 2:10
Released: September 1959

And now, part two of a special sibling's post. This one features two brothers - two twin brothers, to be exact! The Kalin Twins, Harold (known as Hal), and Herbert (known as Herb, both born on February 16th, 1934), remain the archetypal one-hit wonders. Their only top ten chart hit - When - may have cruelly prophesied the question as to their further success. Originally discovered by Clint Ballard Jr, the sibling duo had a couple of early recording flops. However, in 1958, after searching through piles of writers' demo tapes, their management discovered the song called When, written by Paul Evans and Jack Reardon. It got to Number 5 in the U.S., and sold over two million copies in the process. They did manage to have a modest follow-up hit with Forget Me Not, which peaked at Number 12 later that year.
Eventually, disillusioned with no chart success, the brothers returned to their day jobs, with each pursuing college degrees. They did not perform again until 1977, when a mutual friend booked them to appear at his new night club. Sometimes they performed with their younger sibling, Jack, and thus appeared as the Kalin Brothers. They disappeared again as a performing act, until 1989. Then, their one-time support act, Cliff Richard, invited them to play at his Wembley Stadium The Event concerts, as part of a sequence paying homage to the 1950's TV pop show Oh Boy! Harold Kalin was killed in an automobile accident, on August 24th, 2005, at the age of 71, whilst his slightly younger brother, Herbert, died as a result of a heart attack less than eleven months later, on July 21st, 2006. They were still performing up to the time of Hal's death.
Some of their other records were Jumpin' Jack, Walkin' To School, Three O'Clock Thrill, Oh! My Goodness, It's Only The Beginning and Sweet Sugar Lips.
In today's record, perhaps in several of their others, too, they sound a lot like The Everly Brothers - both in voice and musical arrangements. Which was not necessarily a bad thing! The Meaning Of The Blues, an upbeat little number which contrasts with the style the title would have you thinking of, is an instant classic duet. The brothers' harmonies are perfect and their musical accompaniement is first rate. So, download and listen to a great song that could have climbed to the top of the charts, but didn't, The Meaning Of The Blues, by The Kalin Twins. So when are you going to do it? You know you have to have this one, too!

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