Pop Archives

The Vibrants - My Prayer (1967)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Australia Australia
#24 Sydney #6 Melbourne #10 Brisbane #20 Adelaide #2 Perth

Single on Columbia label.

Adelaide band that evolved from Bobby James & the Vibrants after Bobby James formed the Bobby James Syndicate. They moved to Melbourne in 1966 and recorded their best-known songs, Something About You Baby and My Prayer. The Vibrants survived major personnel changes in 1968, and had a minor hit in 1970 with I Can’t Let Go Of Your Love (by Buddy England, then a band member) before breaking up at the end of 1971.

See also The Letter Song and Danger Zone.

Reference: Vibrants page at Milesago.
Thanks to John Yeager for suggestion.

Digger Revell - My Prayer (1965)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Australia Australia
#7 Sydney #6 Brisbane #13 Adelaide

In the same year Digger Revell charted with another song associated with The Platters, Twilight Time.

Digger Revell (born Gary Hildred) had a number of hits in 1963-64 as lead singer of Digger Revell & the Denvermen, including My Little Rocker’s Turned Surfie (1964). The Denvermen charted in their own right with a series of surf instrumentals in 1963, including Avalon Stomp and Surfside (#1 Sydney, #6 Melbourne). Digger Revell went on to a successful solo career, moving eventually into the country music scene.

Further reading: There’s a fine Teenagers Weekly cover shot of The Denverman at Instromania, along with a band history and discography. See also this article at TE Online about a 2003 appearance by Digger Revell in the Hunter Valley, NSW.

The Platters - My Prayer (1956)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Influential version
#1 USA #4 UK #5 Sydney #1 Melbourne #4 Brisbane

Single on Mercury label, produced by Buck Ram.

The Platters were a chart-topping black vocal group brought together in 1953 by arranger-composer-manager Buck Ram with lead tenor Tony Williams. Their numerous Top 40 hits began with Only You (1955, #5 USA) and included four #1s: The Great Pretender (1955), My Prayer (1956), Twilight Time (1958) and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes. See also I'll Never Smile Again (1961).

In 1961 Sonny Turner replaced Tony Williams who had left for a solo career.

Reference: Jay Warner, American Singing Groups (2006)

Gerry Monroe - My Prayer (1970)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Later version
#9 UK

Single on Chapter One label.


The Glenn Miller Orchestra - My Prayer (1939)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Original vocal version

Vocals by Ray Eberle.

Lyrics by Irish-born songwriter Jerry Kennedy (1902-1984).
He wrote, for example, Red Sails In The Sunset and Teddy Bears' Picnic: see his song list at Big Bands Database Plus.

Also recorded, for example, by The Ink Spots, Sammy Kaye, Vera Lynn, Ernie Fields, Roy Orbison, Ruby & the Romantics and Solomon Burke.

Georges Boulanger Orchestra - Avant De Mourir (1924)

(Georges Boulanger)
Original melody

The Opus 17, a tango, of Romanian violinist, conductor and composer Georges Boulanger (1893-1958). Boulanger lived in Germany from the early 20s until 1948 when he moved to South America. He worked in Brazil then settled in Argentina for the rest of his days.

Dating: Often dated as 1926, but Rainer E. Lotz's VOX discography lists a 78 rpm German release on the Vox label in 1924. Similar discography here.

Not to be confused with French general and politician Georges Boulanger (1837-1891).

Reference: The Georges Boulanger website at Boulanger-Musik.com.ar.
Thank you to Jorge Boulanger, grandson of Georges.

The original melody at YouTube. It doesn't appear till around 1:15.

Anthony Warlow - My Prayer (1998)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Australia Australia
Later version
#19 Sydney #46 Brisbane #35 Adelaide

Single on WEA label by stage musical star getting into a 50s groove: the A-side is the Grease song Beauty School Drop Out.

Both sides of the single charted in all three cities.

P. J. Proby - My Prayer (1966)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)

Single on Liberty (UK), B-side of the Beatles giveaway That Means A Lot, produced at Abbey Road, London by Ron Richards.

Texas-born James Marcus Smith, who changed his name initially to Jett Powers and then to P. J. Proby, had worked in the LA pop scene from 1957 as a versatile singer and songwriter. His deep, mannered vocals, often on reworkings of standard songs, benefited from skilful arrangements and production by the likes of Jack Nitzsche. Proby was always more popular in the UK – where he was based for some time in the mid-60s – and in Australia than in his home country.

References: P. J. Proby page at British Beat Boom; P. J. Proby article at Wikipedia (partly unsourced); P. J. Proby UK single discography at P. J. Proby – Blue Velvet; Complete Beatles UK Discography at JPGR.
Further reading: My Only in Oz (2) P.J. Proby – Mission Bell at PopArchives: The Blog. Michael Lane Heath, Get Hip to My Conflagration at Perfect Sound Forever.
Thanks to Terry Stacey for version alert and links.

The Four Pennies - My Prayer (1964)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)

On Philips EP Spin With The Pennies by band from Blackburn, Lancashire who topped the British charts in 1964 with Juliet.

This is another example of how the repertoires of Australian artists often echoed those of British beat bands, especially when it came to reviving old songs.

Further reading: Four Pennies page at British Beat Boom.

Version alert and inference from Terry Stacey.

Peter Wright - My Prayer (1965)

(Georges Boulanger - Jerry Kennedy)
Australia Australia

Second single on HMV (#EA-4717) by singer-songwriter from Toowoomba in Queensland, a Latin-styled arrangement recorded in Sydney with orchestra directed by Franz Conde.

Peter Wright is still known for his 1967 Festival single House Of Bamboo, his own composition, backed by The Questions, anthologised on Ace Records’ 2002 CD Peculiar Hole In The Sky.

Further reading: 1. Jeff Black’s site on Peter Wright and Chapter III is comprehensive and definitive, and sourced from several of the participants. 2. The YouTube channel Peter Wright Writes and Sings has video of Wright’s 1966 composition The Rose Has A Thorn.

Thanks to Jeff Black.

Version alert from Terry Stacey. (How did I miss this one?)