Pop Archives

The Throb - Fortune Teller (1966)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Australia Australia
#6 Sydney #2 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #4 Adelaide #2 Perth

Single on Parlophone (Australia) for Albert Productions, Sydney, March 1966.

Co-charted in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth with the Rolling Stones' version.

Sydney's Throb were a garage-style R&B band with a wilder image than their contemporaries and label-mates The Easybeats.

The Throb's history went back to Geoff Doyle & The Resonettes, yet another Aussie band that started out playing surf or Shadows-style instrumentals. The Resonettes recorded instrumentals for the Linda Lee label, then released two singles for Polydor as The No Names before signing with Albert Productions and becoming The Throb.

Like fellow Albert artists The Easybeats, The Throb's members included Dutch and British immigrants. John Bell, who joined in May 1965, had known Harry Vanda and George Young in Villawood Migrant Hostel.

The Throb’s producer reportedly played the Rolling Stones’ version of Fortune Teller repeatedly to them in the studio.

See also The Throb's follow-up single Black.

References: 1. Ian McFarlane – Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop.
2. Milesago's Throb page.
Further reading: 1. The Throb by Ian D. Marks, one of the Wild About You chapters. 2. Albert Productions history at Milesago. 3. Albert Productions history at AlbertMusic.com.

The Rolling Stones - Fortune Teller (1965)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Influential version
#4 Sydney #2 Melbourne #1 Brisbane #2 Perth

This 1963 recording was not released as a single in the UK.

Double-sided hit in Sydney with Sad Day.

Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller (1961)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Original version

Single on Atlantic, B-side of Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette), by Florida-born singer (b.1931) who recorded in New Orleans with legendary producer Allen Toussaint, composer of both sides of this single.

Spellman is also heard singing the bass line on Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law.

See also I Feel Good, another Spellman recording of a Toussaint composition, remade in Australia by Greg Anderson.

Further reading: 1. Allen Toussaint at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and at All Music Guide. 2. The Artwoods Meet Solomon Burke & Benny Spellman at Funky16Corners.

The Who - Fortune Teller (1968)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Later version

Fortune Teller was "a staple of The Who's live act between 1968 and 1970" (discography at TheWho.net). A studio version, recorded in 1968, was unreleased at the time but appeared on the box set Thirty Years of Maximum R&B (1994).

Bobby Curtola - Fortune Teller (1962)

(Basil & Dyer Hurdon)
Canada Canada
Red herring
#5 Canada #41 USA

Same title but not the same song as 'Fortune Teller' by The Throb.

This was #21 on the Top 100 for 1962 at Toronto radio station CHUM. Written by Bobby Curtola's managers and songwriters Basil & Dyer Hurdon.

Further reading: Bobby Curtola, 'Canada's Rock Legend', has a dazzling and informative site at www.curtola.com, which includes the full story of his early career in rock'n'roll.

Thanks to Neville Limpus for the Red Herring alert.

The Dogs - Fortune Teller (1979)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
France France
Later version

On debut album Differente by rock band from Rouen, fronted by Dominique Laboubée.

Further reading: Dogs chronology at Dogs Connection fansite; The Dogs entry at Fr.Wikipedia.
Merci à anonymous, janvier 2007.

Alison Krauss & Robert Plant - Fortune Teller (2007)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Later version

On 2007 album Raising Sand by contemporary country singer, fiddler and producer Alison Krauss with Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant.

The Merseybeats - Fortune Teller (1963)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])

B-side of the first single, on Fontana, by Liverpool band formed 1961 as The Mavericks, later The Pacifics. The A-side, It's Love That Really Counts, was a minor UK hit, but their biggest hit was the follow-up, I Think Of You (1964, #5 UK).

See also Funny Face by Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs.

As The Merseys, two founding members of The Merseybeats had a #4 UK hit with Sorrow (1966), originally a 1965 B-side by The McCoys and famously remade by David Bowie on Pin-ups (1973).

Reference: 1. Merseybeats at British Beat Boom. 2. Merseybeats – Fortune Teller at PopMusicInfo.com.
Version alert from Terry Stacey.

The Hollies - Fortune Teller (1965)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])

Track on 1965 album The Hollies by harmonising beat group from Manchester.

Version alert from Terry Stacey.

The Hardtimes - Fortune Teller (1966)

(Naomi Neville [Allen Toussaint])
Later version
#97 USA

Single on World Pacific, September 1966, by San Diego folk-rock band active in Los Angeles. The label has their name as Hardtimes, but it was usually formatted as Hard Times. This was their only charting single out of five on World Pacific.

More details under Come To Your Window.