Pop Archives

Dinah Lee - Do The Blue Beat – The Jamaican Ska (1964)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
New Zealand New Zealand
#6 Melbourne #21 Brisbane #12 Sydney [Top 40 Research] #3 Adelaide [5AD survey]

Label has Dinah Lee with Max Merritt And His Meteors.

Single on Viking (NZ). The Australian single on HMV was the B-side of Reet Petite, but in New Zealand the songs were released separately as A-sides.

Also released in USA on Interphon and in South Africa on Troubadour.

Top 40 Research's chart book, The Book, has this peaking at #12 in Sydney.

Powerful, energetic New Zealand singer known as 'The Dynamic' Dinah Lee, an admirer of Dee Dee Sharp and Millie Small, born Diane Jacobs in 1943. Her rocking versions of astutely chosen songs and her cutting-edge mod image made her very popular in New Zealand and Australia in the mid-60s. See the full account and appreciation at Milesago.

Jamaican singer Millie Small (My Boy Lollipop), who was much admired by Dinah Lee, was known as "The Blue Beat Girl". See the Millie Small page at 45-rpm.org.uk.

Dinah Lee later released My Baby Can't Do The Blue Beat YouTube on her album The Sound Of Dinah Lee (1965), written by Mike Perjanik the arranger and director of the album.


Phil Chapman points out a distinction between Blue Beat and Ska as he remembers it from the 60s Manchester (UK) scene:

There are lots of diverse theories online, and although I recall it being basically the same dance, Ska was generally a shuffle beat, whereas Blue Beat was a straight 4s rhythm (and often on the 'Blue Beat' label). Many variants evolved, termed such as Reggae, Lovers Rock, Rock Steady etc., but they can usually be traced back to those two basic rhythmic styles. (By email)


For a downloadable playlist of the Blue Beat phenomenon,
including some of the records listed on this page,
see session 263 — ska light at Phil Milstein's Probe Is Turning-on The People!

Further reading: 1. Dinah Lee profile at Audio Culture. 2. Dinah Lee page by Bruce Sergent.


Graeme Summers - Do The Blue Beat – The Jamaican Ska (1964)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
New Zealand New Zealand

Instrumental version with saxophone on La Gloria YouTube. Summers was in The Gray Bartlett Group in the mid-60s.


Monty - Tchick Chang (1964)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh - Monty)
France France

French version of Do The Blue Beat on Barclay YouTube, with lyrics by pop singer-songwriter Monty (born Jacques Bulostin in 1943).

Reference: 1. Details and sleeve shot at Encyclopedisque.fr 2. Monty at fr.wikipedia.org.

Version alert from Mark Barkan.


Tony Und Die Blue Beats - Ich such’ ein schickes Baby (Do The Blue Beat) (1964)

(Barkan - Raleigh - Ruger)
Germany Germany

Single on  Polydor.

The B-side Wo Ist Susi? (Joanie) (Barkan-Raleigh-Schwabachmakes this a double-sided cover of the Ray Rivera and Mark Thatcher singles .

Merci à Philippe de me signaler cette version.


Ray Rivera - Do The Blue Beat – The Jamaican Ska (1964)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
USA USA
Influential version

This was released more or less simultaneously with Mark Thatcher's single (see below). Ray Rivera's version was to have been the main event but Thatcher's, recorded as a demo for the song, ended up being released as well.

It's a close call for the absolute original, but Cash Box and Record World magazines both reviewed Thatcher's single on 6 June, a week before Rivera  was reviewed in Cash Box and Billboard on 13 June.

Single on RCA, produced and arranged by Claus Ogerman.


Ray Rivera recorded this and the B-side Joanie at the instigation of Claus Ogerman, even though this pop record was outside his usual jazz style. Co-writer Mark Barkan was also present at the session. Ray subsequently performed the song on Clay Cole's New York TV pop show.

Ray Rivera has had a long career performing and recording jazz [Amazon]. He is also a poet. 

See also Ciao Baby.


Do The Blue Beat (The Jamaican Ska) was copyrighted in 1964, also known as Blue Beat and Ma Bloopie (see version by Billy, below).

Written by veteran songwriters Mark Barkan and Ben Raleigh. Other Barkan-Raleigh collaborations include Lesley Gore's That's The Way Boys Are, She's A Fool and Just Let Me Cry.

The B-side, another Barkan-Raleigh song called Joanie, is also the B-side of Mark Thatcher's version.

Mark Barkan wrote Manfred Mann's hit Pretty Flamingo and Ben Raleigh co-wrote Judy Stone's 4,003,221 Tears From Now with Artie Wayne.

Further reading: 1. Into His Ninth Decade, Rivera Enjoys A Jazz Renaissance, The Brooklyn Ink, 18 August 2011 [archived page]. 2. Claus Ogerman at Wikipedia.

Ray Rivera's biography Ray's Tune: Music is My Thing is available at Amazon.com [link]

Thanks to Ray Rivera.


Mark Thatcher - Do The Blue Beat – The Jamaican Ska (1964)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
USA USA
Original version

Original demo recording, also released as a single

Single on United Artists, produced by Jack Gold.

Do The Blue Beat was written by Barkan & Raleigh at the request of Claus Ogerman who wanted a song in the new blue beat style. Ogerman was the publisher, and he arranged and produced Ray Rivera's version (below).

Mark Thatcher was New York singer-songwriter Kenny Karen (b. Chaim Teicher, 1944), a prolific composer and recording artist, originally from Montreal. His career has included demos for major artists, thousands of jingles, and album releases under his own name.

The B-side, another Barkan-Raleigh song called Joanie, is also the B-side of Ray Rivera's version (above).

The Mark Thatcher and Ray Rivera singles were both released in June 1964.

See also under John RowlesM'Lady.

Further reading:
1. Songwriter Mark Barkan's comment about Mark Thatcher-Kenny Karen at Artie Wayne's blog (scroll down to Responses).
2. KennyKaren.com
3. Chuck Benjamin's post about Sixteen Years Ago Tonight, Kenny Karen's 1962 Columbia single.
4. Update on the career of Mark Thatcher, The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, March 19, 1965: Columbia Record's new singing star Mark Thatcher, better known in Montreal as Chaim Teicher… [Google News Archive]

Thanks to Mark Barkan, Phil Milstein and Davie Gordon.


Virginia Lee - Do The Blue Beat (1965)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
South Africa South Africa
Later version

Track on Slim Whitman's Imperial album South African Tour Hits YouTube which included various artists from a tour of South Africa. Also released on South African RCA single (1965).

Thank you to Tertius Louw at South Africa's Rock Files for identifying this version.


Dan Hill - Do The Blue Beat (1965)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
South Africa South Africa
Later version

Part of an instrumental medley on CBS album Sounds Electronic: 27 Great Hits of 1965 Perfect for Dancing, one of a series by best-selling South African band leader. Also on "33 1/3 rpm LP-EP" (discogs.com) of the same name.

Thanks to Tertius Louw.


Los Sonor - Do The Blue Beat (1965)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh)
Spain Spain
Later version

Mainly instrumental track on Phillips EP Cuando Escucho Una Guitarra YouTube.

Los Sonor: Mid-60s instrumental band from Madrid that merged with Mallorcan band Mike & the Runaways to form Los Bravos (Black Is Black).

Thanks to Julio Nino via Spectropop Group.


Billy - Ma Bloopie (1984)

(Mark Barkan - Ben Raleigh - G. Gimet)
France France
Later version

French-language version of Do The Blue Beat (The Jamaican Ska) YouTube by popular juvenile singer born Laurent Bitan in 1972.

Further reading: More about le petit chanteur de Rockabilly at Stars-Oubliee. See also the Billy page at Bide et Musique.

Merci à Philippe.


The Bon-Aires - Blue Beat (1963)

(Neil Levenson - Steve Duboff)
USA USA
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Recording by New Jersey doo-wop group, apparently unreleased although often listed on discographies (example). Produced for the Rust label by the writers, Neil Levenson and Steve Duboff.

Neil Levenson wrote Denise (Randy & the Rainbows, recorded as Denis by Blondie).

Steve Duboff (1941-2004) co-wrote The Rain, The Park And Other Things and We Can Fly (The Cowsills). He also co-wrote and recorded Pied Piper (with Artie Kornfield, as The Changin' Times), the original version of the Crispian St Peters hit. See also The La De Das' How Is The Air Up There.

Further reading: Steve Duboff page at the Bon-aires' website (home page here).

Thanks to Mike Paladino, who sang lead on Blue Beat, and to Brian Lee at Color Radio.


The Beazers - The Blue Beat (1964)

(Johnny Harris - Cyril Stapleton)
UK UK
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Single on Decca January 1964 with lead vocals by Chris Farlowe YouTube, produced by its co-writer, the notable British orchestra leader Cyril Stapleton (1914-1974).


Both The Blue Beat and the B-side I Wanna Shout YouTube were covered on a Canadian 45 by Québécoise singer Myriam Martin (1966, see below). I Wanna Shout in turn owes something to Humpty Dumpty by Earl Morris on the Blue Beat label (1961 YouTube).


Also covered in Italy by I 4 Di Lucca (below).

References, further reading1. Album review at All Music. 2. Beazers at All Music. (Those two All Music pages are contradictory about whether the Beazers were Farlowe's band The Thunderbirds or a previous band of his. This recording could even be of a studio band.) 3. Cyril Stapleton biography from The Robert Farnon Society website [archived page]. 4. Chris Farlowe biography by Bruce Eder at All Music.

Thanks to honeydhont and to Philippe.


The Tornados - Blue, Blue, Blue Beat (1964)

(Bryan Irwin)
UK UK
Red herring

NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

B-side on Decca April 1964 YouTube by instrumental band well known for their international hit Telstar (1963, #1 UK, #1 USA), written and produced by Joe Meek.

Thanks to Sebastian Peña.


Jerry Kennedy - Blue Beat (1964)

(Jerry Kennedy)
USA USA
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Single on Smash May 1964, instrumental by country guitarist and Mercury Records executive.

Thanks to Andrew Jones for clearing this one up.


I 4 Di Lucca - Blue Beat (1964)

(Johnny Harris - Cyril Stapleton - Biri [Ornella Ferrari Colombi])
Italy Italy

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
‘DO THE BLUE BEAT’ BY DINAH LEE.

Single on Ariston YouTube, a cover of The Beazers’ UK single (1964, above), also recorded in French on a Canadian single by Myriam Martin (see below).

I 4 di Lucca was a side project of Il quartetto di Lucca, a modern jazz group from Lucca in Tuscany, formed in 1957.

Further reading: 1. Il quartetto di Lucca at Italian Wikipedia. 2. Italian lyricist Biri (1909-1983) at Italian Wikipedia. See also Biri (Ornella Ferrari Colombi), listings at Discogs.com.


Gitte - Das Ist Der Blue Beat (1964)

(Heinz Gietz - Kurt Hertha)
Germany Germany
Red herring
#46 Germany

NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Single on Electrola by Danish singer based mainly in Germany, full name Gitte Hænning-Johansson (b.1946) YouTube. She sang Junger Tag in the 1973 Eurovision Contest.

Released in France on EP by Colette Camy as Viens, Viens, Viens, Viens (Das Ist Der Blue Beat) (1964).

Thanks to Sebastian Peña.


The Rockin’ Rebels - Bongo Blue Beat (1964)

(Bob Feldman - Jerry Goldstein - Richard Gottehrer)
USA USA
Red herring

NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Single on Stork YouTube by Buffalo, NY, band best known for Wild Weekend (1959 & 1962), a classic oldie in Australia through a local version by The Thunderbirds.

The writers are production and songwriting team Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, also known on record as The Strangeloves, whose Cara-Lin was a hit in Australia for Johnny Young. They produced The Angels' My Boyfriend's Back, (1963, written by Feldman, #1 USA), and they wrote and produced Sorrow for The McCoys, better known by The Merseys (1966, #4 UK) and by David Bowie (1973, #3 UK, from Pin Ups).

Thanks to Sebastian Peña.


Anneke Soetaert - Blue Beat (1965)

(Tony Rendall [Louis van Rijmenant] - M. Pike)
Belgium Belgium
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Single by Belgian pop singer in the Sandie Shaw mould, who had some European success in the mid-60s before marrying and migrating to the US in 1970. The song is co-written by Arcade Records executive Louis van Rijmenant, using the name Tony Rendall.

Thanks to Dave Monroe. Background from honeydhont.


Myriam Martin - Le Blue Beat (1966)

(Johnny Harris - Cyril Stapleton - Lucien Brien)
Canada Canada
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

French lyrics both sides by Lucien Brien

Single on Elysée label by Québécoise singer (Mlle Blue Beat says the label), a version of The Beazers' Blue Beat (1964, see above). Also covered in Italy by I 4 Di Lucca (see above)

This is a double-sided cover of The Beazers' single. The B-side is Dansons Le Blue Beat (Stapleton – Brien), a version of I Want To Shout, the B-side of The Beazers' Blue Beat.

Myriam Martin (b. Pauline Provencher, 1942-1976) was later in the duo Le Grand Ménage with Jacques Quesnel, when she was known as Brigitte Martin, a name she also recorded under.

Further reading: Brigitte/Myriam Martin and Le Grand Ménage by Montreal blogger Sebastien Desrosiers. Email me for more details.

Thanks to Dave Monroe via Spectropop Group, and to Philippe and contacts.


Louis Neefs - Blue Beat (1968)

Spain Spain
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'DO THE BLUE BEAT' BY DINAH LEE.

Track on EP, on Spanish label Belter, by Belgian singer and TV presenter (1937-1980), a contestant in the 1967 and 1969 Eurovision contests YouTube. As far as I can see this was a Spanish release only.

Further reading: Brief English Wikipedia entry for Louis Neefs.

Thanks to Sebastian Peña.