BILLY THORPE & THE AZTECS
The Word For Today
(Martin Siegel)
Australia 1966
#11 Sydney #40 Melbourne #20 Brisbane #26 Adelaide #5 Perth

Single on Parlophone, a brassy, uptempo rearrangement by Franz Conde of a lesser-known Bobby Rydell single. 

Double-sided hit in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth with The New Breed.

Billy Thorpe (1946-2007): British-born singer, guitarist and songwriter whose family emigrated to Brisbane in the 1950s. Based in Sydney from 1963, 'Thorpy', with The Aztecs, had numerous pop hits in a variety of styles, but at the end of the 60s, then in Melbourne, he fronted a loud, rocky, blues-based formation of the Aztecs that contrasted with his earlier pop idol image. Later, his solo and business career took him to Los Angeles, and he wrote two popular autobiographical books, Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy) and Sex And Thugs And Rock'n'Roll [AbeBooks].

Further reading: The comprehensive Billy Thorpe page at Milesago which includes career biography, interview and discography.

BOBBY RYDELL
The Word For Today
(Martin Siegel)
USA 1965
Original version

Single on Capitol by teen idol who had eighteen Billboard Top 40 hits from August 1959 to December 1963. By then, the British Invasion was changing the concept of a teen idol.

Rydell had four Top 5 hits: Wild One (1960, #2 USA; not the Johnny O'Keefe song), Swingin' School (1960, #5), Volare (1960, #4, a remake of the 1958 hit), and Forget Him (1963, #4, written by Briton Tony Hatch).


Martin Siegel's composer credit appears on various albums and singles from the 60s, sometimes as a co-writer. He has 135 titles listed at BMI. Some artists who have recorded his songs include:

•  Eric BurdonThat Ain't Where It's At, on Eric Is Here, 1967;
•  The American BreedDon't Make Me Leave You, on Bend Me, Shape Me, 1968 (co-wr. Scott English);
•  The Chocolate WatchbandMisty Lane, 1967 single, also by The Standells ;
•  The RenaissanceDaytime Lovers, 1967 B-side (prod. & arr. Claus Ogerman);
•  Freddie ParisTake Me As I Am, 1967 single (co-wr. Richard Ahlert);
•  P. J. ProbyYou Can't Come Home Again (If You Leave Me Now), 1967 B-side, an obscure and quirky masterpiece (pr. Cal Carter, arr. Arthur Wright).

Rydell's Word For Today was released in Australia in 1966 but as the B-side of Roses In The Snow which had been the B-side on the 1965 US single.

Thanks to John Yeager for clarificaton.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.