Friday, March 23, 2012
THE SCOTT BEDFORD FOUR - YOU TURNED YOUR BACK ON ME
One of the burning questions in my life is, "why was this NOT a hit??". Guess I need to get more of a life....
First time I heard this record, I was BLOWN AWAY. It was so commercial, yet so TOUGH. KILLER guitar lick, WAILING harmonica, even the acoustic guitar in the middle section sounds like it could kick your ass - why was this NOT a hit??
I don't know anything about the Scott Bedford Four. I'm not even sure there WAS a Scott Bedford - the more research I do, the murkier the facts become. I first heard they were from Connecticut, then Northampton, Pennsylvania. Now the conventional wisdom points to Allentown, PA as their hometown. As for the members, I have seen a listing - John Kave, John Deproperzio, Bill Barlip (who plays the killer guitar riff on this record) and....Lou Resh. But NO Scott Bedford!
Here's what I do know....sometime in 1964 the group hooked up with independent producer Pierre Maheu (who was married to Jiggs Allbut of The Angels) and recorded their first single for Joy Records, called "Last Exit To Brooklyn" (NOT the same song as Gene Pitney's "Last Chance To Turn Around"). The single rose as high as #129 nationally in May, 1965, their only 45 to chart.
Unfortunately, Joy Records went out of business shortly afterward (which was probably what stopped "Last Exit" from charting higher) but Pierre had other connections; his wife's group, The Angels, had recently parted (amicably) with their lead singer, Peggy Santiglia, and were now doing business with new lead singer Toni Mason as The Halos for Congress Records. Pierre got the Scott Bedford Four signed to the label, and they began recording a new single - "You Turned Your Back On Me" - written by Pierre with producer Tommy Kaye and someone named "Gamble" (Kenny?). Pierre hooked up with legendary producer, arranger and label owner Leroy Glover, who worked his particular magic to make this a killer garage classic - but with an eye on the Top 40. Again, why was this NOT a hit??
The record was released in August, 1965. WMCA in New York gave it a couple of spins, but it failed to excite any interest at all. I don't understand it. Only thing I can figure is that Congress Records botched the job. There were a few other records released on Congress at about the same time - like the Halos' "Do I?" and The 7th Avenue Aviators' "You Should O' Held On" - that were ultra-commercial, ultra-great, yet failed to crack the market. These records now go for big money because they're so great (but obscure) and EVERYBODY wants them.
The group went on to make one more single for Congress (a remake of The Drifters' "Sweets For My Sweet" backed with "How Does It Feel?" - which was a complete rip-off of Bobby Jameson's "I'm Lonely" - that is also loved by garage collectors) before breaking up, discouraged. Which is a shame, because these guys, for one single at least, could have knocked the whole world flat on its ass.
WHY WAS THIS NOT A HIT???
The Scott Bedford Four - You Turned Your Back On Me (Congress 247) - 1965