Pop Archives

The Purple Hearts - Of Hopes And Dreams And Tombstones (1966)

(Joy Byers)
Australia Australia
#21 Melbourne #5 Brisbane

The Purple Hearts emerged in Brisbane 1963-64 and removed briefly to Sydney before becoming a popular live band in Melbourne from 1966. Founding members Mick Hadley and Bob Dames, recent arrivals from the UK, had first-hand experience of the London R&B scene, and the band was strongly influenced by the likes of John Mayall, Graham Bond, the early Rolling Stones and through them, authentic American blues. Essential to the Purple Hearts' image as an uncompromising R&B band were vocalist Hadley and lead guitarist Barry Lyde, later known as Lobby Loyde.

This track seems to have acquired cult status, if the Big Beat/Ace anthology CD that uses its title is any indication.

See also Early In The Morning.

References: 1. Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (1999), pp. 500-501. 2. Purple Hearts history and discography at Milesago.

Further reading: 1. Interview with Lobby Loyde at Wild About You. 2. Purple Hearts by Mick Hadley at AintGotNoFeelin.com.

Thanks to Terry Stacey for starting this one off.

Jimmy Fraser - Of Hopes And Dreams And Tombstones (1965)

(Joy Byers)
Influential version

Single on Columbia October 1965, the commercial release of a track already distributed to radio stations to support a US Government program (see below).

The unknown Jimmy Fraser's public service single,1 about going back to school and getting qualified, unaccountably became an R&B classic in Australia when it was covered by The Purple Hearts.

Joy Byers wrote, for example, Eddie Cochran's C'mon Everybody (1958, #35 USA, #6 UK),2 Timi Yuro's What's A Matter Baby (1962, #12 USA) and several Elvis Presley songs.3 She also wrote with her husband, Bob Johnston, producer of (for example) Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde and Simon & Garfunkel's early albums. Johnston has claimed co-writer credit for many Joy Byers songs which he explains were credited solely to his wife for contractual reasons.4, 5

See also Sorry by The Groop

Clipping: Billboard, 30 October 1965

Footnotes: 1. Billboard, 30/10/65 (Google Books). 2. C'mon Everybody at Wikipedia. 3. Joy Byers filmography at IMDb (includes songs wrirtten for Elvis films). 4. On Johnston's contribution to songs by Joy Byers songs see, for example, this page at B-Dylan.com, although a search for "joy byers" + "bob johnson" will throw up the same story at other sites.  5. Bob Johnston article at Wikipedia includes section Elvis and Joy Byers.

Youth Opportunity Program (back To School) - Of Hopes And Dreams And Tombstones (1965)

(Joy Byers)
Original version

Free radio copy, September 1965.

As you can see at 45cat.com, this was distributed to the "Program Directors and Disc Jockeys of America" with a message from Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.

The name of the singer, Jimmy Fraser, is not mentioned but is replaced by the title of the program.