Ray Brown & The Whispers were a chart-topping Sydney band that originated in the surf music scene as The Nocturnes. After acquiring Ray Brown as their lead singer, they went on to become one of the most popular Australian bands of the British Invasion era. The focus was on Ray Brown, who became a major star of the late 60s Australian pop scene.
Johnny Farnham’s debut hit Sadie The Cleaning Lady was written by the same writers, with Ray Gilmore.
The Billy J. Kramer album track was apparently the immediate source for Ray Brown’s recording, rather than the more obscure original version by Brent Edwards.
Further reading: Ray Brown history at Milesago.
On the album Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. The album also included Devoted To You (originally by The Dennisons and also recorded by Ray Brown & The Whispers), and The Cruel Sea (originally by Billy J. Kramer's band The Dakotas).
Version alert from Terry Stacey who points out the close similarity between Billy Thorpe's vocals and those on Ray Brown's hit version. The two artists shared a manager, John Harrigan, at this time, and both launched their careers from Sydney's Surf City where Brown followed Thorpe into residency.
Single on HMV (UK) by Tamworth-born singer, songwriter and actor who built a successful career in England in the early 60s but later returned to Australia and became famous as a children's entertainer, notably on ABC-TV's Playschool.
Fireball XL 5, another single by Don Spencer, reached #32 on the UK charts in 1963. It was the theme to a children's TV series by the Andersons who later made Thunderbirds.
On the 1963 album Listen.
Depending on the issue or the discography, this appears as either Pride (In Fact A Little Word) or Pride Is Such A Little Word (the song's original title).
Billy J. Kramer's first three British chart hits were all written by Lennon & McCartney: Do You Want To Know A Secret (#2), Bad To Me (#1) and I'll Keep You Satisfied (#4), all in 1963.
In common with The Beatles, Kramer was from Liverpool, his manager was Brian Epstein, and he was produced by George Martin on Parlophone.
The Dakotas, teamed with Kramer by Brian Epstein, were from Manchester. They charted in their own right in July 1963 with The Cruel Sea, an original and utterly convincing surf-style instrumental written by lead guitarist Mike Maxfield (#18 UK; audio at Youtube). In the US, The Cruel Sea was released on Liberty as The Cruel Surf and has been recorded by The Ventures. Australia's Aztecs also recorded The Cruel Sea: it appeared on the same album as their version of Pride.
Philadelphian singer Brent Edwards was a member of The Lavenders, a group that recorded a single in 1963 with Pride's writers John Madara and Dave White, One More Once/One More Time.
The song's original registered title is Pride Is Such A Little Word (US Copyright Office Feb. 1962).
Other compositions by Philadelphian songwriters Johnny Madara & Dave White include Danny & the Juniors' At The Hop (White was one of the Juniors) and Lesley Gore's You Don't Own Me. They co-wrote Len Barry's hit One Two Three: a writer credit to Holland-Dozier-Holland was added later after Motown claimed a phrase echoed a Supremes track.
Madara & White, with Ray Gilmore, also wrote Johnny Farnham's debut hit Sadie The Cleaning Lady. Madara, White & Gilmore were The Spokesmen, the group that recorded Dawn Of Correction (1965), an answer to Barry McGuire's Eve Of Destruction. See also Marcie & The Cookies – I Would If I Could.
Billboard 12 May 1962: Philadelphia… Record distributor Ed Barsky announces the launching of an indie label of his own, Karen Records, named for his new-born daughter.
Billboard 2 Feb 1963: Philadelphia… Johnny Madara arranged and conducted a new single on Karen Records for localite Brent Edwards in "Pride" and "Over the Weekend".
Further reading: 1. John Madara and Dave White pages at That Philly Sound. The site also has a Madara-White page. 2. John Madara interview with Mick Patrick at Spectropop. 3. John Madara's Greatest Hits at ForgottenHits.com includes many reminiscences contributed by John Madara.
Thanks to Phil Chapman and Mike Edwards for their help with this one through Spectropop (#840, March 2003)
Thanks to John Madara.
Image via TW, thanks.