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, March 24, 2010

Frank's Pick

Artist: Linda Leigh
Song: Someone Special (b-side) (a-side is Please)
Label: Reprise R-20,060 B (Promotion Copy)
Number: 853
Songwriters: Schwimmer-Sands
Time: 2:10
Released: 1962

Today's record is an anomaly. On one hand, it's on Frank Sinatra's label and he only asked artists he liked to record for Reprise. On the other hand, I can find hardly any facts or information about the artist, Linda Leigh.
I have ascertained that Linda Leigh recorded during a period that spanned at least 1957 to 1962. In 1957, she recorded four songs for Verve, two of which comprised the Verve 10105 single I Cry and What Good Does It Do Me? along with two other songs which were included on the Verve various artists album Songs For Your Boy Friend, (Verve MGV 2097), Let Me and What Good Is A Memory. Then I find references to her having recorded a couple songs, along with the Treasure Tones, for a teen drive-in movie called Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow. Those two tracks were He's My Guy and I Promise You, which was co-written by future Beach Boy, Bruce Johnston. Both songs were reviewed in Billboard magazine in 1959 and were described thusly: I Promise You - "Linda Leigh sells this promise of love with feeling over a rock and roll backing. Thrush has a good sound." And He's My Guy - "Wild rocker is sold brightly by the thrush over a swinging backing. It could get spins."
Fast forward to 1962 when Billboard again reviews a couple of her singles. On March 17th they reviewed her new sides, Someone Special, which is today's song, and Please. Later, on May 12th, Lover's Beach, backed with A Thousand Violins - This young lass sings a big production number vocal version of the theme from the current flick. She is aided by sweeping strings and vocal chorus. A couple other song titles I found attributed to her include Please Please (Let Me Go Steady), Move Out, Foolish Dreams, The Scent, Beri-Beri and The Plan.
That was all I managed to find out about this charming singer.
Listening to today's song, especially after hearing that a lot of her previous songs were teen rock oriented, one can see just how it came to be that she was invited to record for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. It is a nice, uptempo ballad, with string and piano backing and features what sounds like her own voice doubling as harmony vocals. This kind of music certainly wasn't what was cracking the top forty in 1962 very often, but that's no fault of this fine singer or the song. There needed to be more music like this back then! So, download Someone Special by Linda Leigh, and give it a spin. You can be the judge whether or not Frank was justified in signing this young lass to his label. Since I couldn't locate a picture of Linda, I chose the next best thing - the record label detailing today's song: