Pop Archives

Johnny O’Keefe - Right Now (1961)

(Randy Starr [Warren Nadel] - Dick Wolf)
Australia Australia
#15 Sydney #20 Brisbane #26 Perth

B-side of Johnny O’Keefe’s hit I’m Counting On You. Charted independently of the A-side.

Johnny O’Keefe (1935-1978), known in Australia as The Wild One, The King of Rock’n’Roll or just J.O’K., was a pioneer Australian rocker, a chart topping artist in his home country.

For more on Johnny O’Keefe see, for example, his signature song The Wild One.

Further reading: Damian Johnstone’s definitive biography The Wild One (2001).

Warren Carr - Right Now (1962)

(Randy Starr [Warren Nadel] - Dick Wolf)
Australia Australia
Later version

On Leedon EP Warren Carr Plays Johnny O'Keefe by Sydney pianist. See also Li'l Ole Me.

From ScreenSound Australia's discography The First Wave:

Warren Carr

Pianist who played with John Konrad's Kaydets (1960) and in Johnny O'Keefe's backing band. Despite many recordings for Leedon in his own name from 1961 to 1964, they are mostly in what has been described as "honky tonk party piano style" rather than anything resembling rock music. One possible exception is Warren Carr Plays Johnny O'Keefe.

Further reading: Webpage of Michael Carr, musician son of Warren, whose song The Greatest Man is a tribute to his father.

Jackie Wilson - Right Now (1958)

(Randy Starr [Warren Nadel] - Dick Wolf)
Original version

On 1958 Brunswick album He’s So Fine by influential Detroit R&B-pop-soul singer and performer (1934-1984) who had been lead singer of Billy Ward’s Dominoes since 1953.

From the late 50s, Wilson’s solo Brunswick releases often crossed over into the pop charts, beginning with To Be Loved (1958, #22 USA) and Lonely Teardrops (1958, #7), both written by Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. with Tyran Carlo (Roquel “Billy” Davis). His Reet Petite (1957), another Gordy-Carlo song, was an Australasian hit for Dinah Lee. Wilson’s last big hit was (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1966, #6).

Dick Wolf (also cited as Wolfe) was a prolific songwriter, A&R man and producer. When he was A&R man at Kapp Records he produced Bryan Hyland, including on his Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (1961, #1 USA).

Wolf’s collaborator Randy Starr (b. Warren Nadel) was a qualified dentist turned singer and songwriter who co-wrote or wrote a number of songs for Elvis Presley films, notably Kissin’ Cousins (1964, #12 USA, later recorded by Australia’s Saints on their first album).

Wolf and Starr wrote Randy Starr’s own minor hit After School (1957, #32 USA). They are credited as composers on George Hamilton IV’s version of the traditional song I Know Where I’m Going (1958, #43 USA, #23 UK). See also Australian singer Booka Hyland’s Transistor, another Wolf-Starr composition.

References: 1. Jackie Wilson biography by Richie Unterberger at All Music. 3. Wikipedia entry on Randy Starr. 4. Repertoire for Warren Nadel at ASCAP-BMI SongView.

Thanks to Tony Watson for IDing the original.

Not to be confused with Dick Wolf the creator of TV crime series (b.1946) who would have been 10 or 11 years old at most when this Dick Wolf started writing songs with Warren Nadel.

Gene Vincent - Right Now (1959)

(Sylvester Bradford - Al Lewis)
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as ‘Right Now’ by Johnny O’Keefe. 

Single on Capitol, B-side of The Night Is So Lonely. Recorded in 1957: see song history by Arnold Rypens at The Originals.

  Other red herrings (a partial list):

Prof. Alex Bradford & The Bradford SpecialsRight Now (Bradford)
USA c.1954 78rpm record on Specialty by influential gospel singer-composer-choirmaster. Not related to Sylvester Bradford.
Aretha FranklinRight Now (J. Leslie McFarland)
USA 1960
Single on Columbia, B-side of “Won’t Be Long”. Also on LP Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo. McFarland wrote “You Hit The Wrong Note (Billy Goat)”, co-wrote “Stuck On You” and “Little Children” et cetera.

Herbie MannRight Now (Herbie Mann – Carl Sigman)
USA 1962 Single on Atlantic by US jazz artist-composer best known as flautist. Also covered, for example, by Mel Tormé (1962) on Atlantic.
The Isley BrothersRight Now (Elaine Jasper)
USA 1962
Single on Wand

Sammy TurnerRight Now (Mike Ossman – Harry Bass)
USA 1964
Single on Motown, B-side of “Only You”. See also: “Raincoat In The River“.

Rita PavoneRight Now (Teddy Randazzo – Wilbur Meshel)
USA 1965 RCA USA single by Italian singer.