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Rock 'n' Roll Artists A-Z...Re: Gary U.S. Bonds

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Colt1861Navy Member Level  Friday, 05/24/02 12:23:28 PM
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Rock 'n' Roll Artists A-Z...Re: Gary U.S. Bonds

http://garyusbonds.com/

Gary U.S. Bonds was born June 6, 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, Gary, was a professor at Hampton University and his mother, Irene, was a music teacher. He was raised in Norfolk, Virginia where every Sunday he would sing in the church choir (at the insistence of his grandmother, Margaret).

As a teenager, he formed a singing group called the "Turks". The "Turks" were four High School buddies that included Melvin "D.D." McNair, Hollis "Frizell" Coleman, and Thomas "Moose" High (Raymond Haskins and Hermione Gross later replaced Mcnair and High). The group had won and placed at several different talent shows and spent their spare time singing on the corner of Granville Avenue and Park (outside of "Boones Market") in the Brambleton section of Norfolk.

Frank Guida, a local record distributor, would pass by the group several times on his way to work every day. Finally, he stopped to speak with the kids. He told them he had plans of owning his own label one day and he wanted them to sign on. Well, a couple of years later he did start his label (LeGrand) and opened a studio. Only now, the group had disbanded, with everyone going their own way. Gary was the only member that had chosen to make a career out of singing. So, LeGrand records became the home some of the most unique sounding hits of that time, with one of the most influential voices of Rock 'n Roll guiding the way.

One night in 1962, after he finished his show in Atlantic City, Gary decided to stop in at another club on the boardwalk. It was there that he met a young vocalist named Laurie Cedeno, who was performing that night. Laurie had once been a member of The "Love Notes" and recorded the now classic hit, "United." Billy Vera, in the liner notes of Rhino's Doo Wop box set, states: "The 'Love Notes' boasted the most beautiful female Doo Wop singer of all time." Gary must have felt the same way, because he married her soon after they met. After their daughter was born they moved from Norfolk to New York and remain there to this day.

Laurie has continued her career, branching out into Country and Western and Latin music. She also joins Gary on stage along with their daughter, suppling background vocals.

Gary and his daughter, (also named Laurie), have written and produced several songs together. They are currently working on new material for Gary, as well as teaming up with Muhammad Ali and Yank Barry (President/CEO of Global Village Market) on a venture that will come to the aide of millions of needy children. Check out "what's new" to find out more about this cause.

Gary U.S. Bonds is more than just a legendary vocal interpreter and fiery, vital onstage performer. For over thirty-five years, Bonds has been a Songwriter and Arranger. A man who has written hits and been nominated for awards.

Early in his career, Gary U.S. Bonds sang and had a heavy role in the arrangement of his first hit, "New Orleans." In order to draw attention to the record, promotional copies were sent to radio stations in sleeves inscribed, "Buy U.S. Bonds" - hence at the age of 19, "Gary" became Gary U.S. Bonds.

The follow-up to "New Orleans" was the now legendary 'party' record, titled "Quarter to Three," an instrumental, originally called "A Night with Daddy G." Gary and Gene Barge (Daddy G.) went on to write and arrange what would eventually inspire Bruce Springsteen to say of Bonds, "There's some guys out there, what they do is forever."

Over the next three years, Bonds co-wrote and recorded hit after hit: "School is Out," "School is In," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist, Twist Senora," "Not Me" and many more. Bonds status continued to rise so high that on a 1962 tour of Europe, he headlined above a group of relative newcomers called the Beatles.

A few years later, while still performing, Gary wrote songs for other artists. One in particular was the Johnny Paycheck hit, "Friend Don't Take Her She's All I've Got," which was nominated for a Grammy and earned Gary the Country Music Association's "Songwriter of the Year" nomination. The song was also number one on the R&B charts with Freddie North and in 1997 it was a Top 10 Country hit for Tracy Byrd.

In 1980, a chance meeting between Bruce Springsteen and Bonds developed into a solid friendship. Shortly after, a musical collaboration resulted in Bonds' "Dedication" and "On the Line" LP's, with singles; "This Little Girl is Mine," "Out of Work," "Jole Blon" and "Daddy's Come Home" produced by Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zandt. Without a question, Gary U.S. Bonds was back on stage. His gritty, soulful and powerful vocals sound even better than before.

In 1997, Bonds was honored with the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's prestigious "Pioneer Award." Bruce Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zandt presented the award to Bonds. This was fitting in light of the fact that Springsteen and Van Zandt were long time fans who had grown up on Bond's music. In fact, "Quarter to Three" was one of their famous concert encores. They gave a heartfelt presentation to the man that was both an idol and a friend.

With the release of Gary's next outstanding recordings, it is likely that his talent as a songwriter and producer will finally become a focal point of comments about him.

Gary U.S. Bonds is one of those rare artists with both a rich history and an unlimited future.

Hit Singles

1960..............................New Orleans
1961..............................Quarter to Three
1961..............................School Is Out
1961..............................School Is In
1962..............................Dear Lady Twist
1962..............................Twist, Twist Señora
1962..............................Seven Day Weekend
1962..............................Copy Cat
1981..............................This Little Girl
1982..............................Out of Work

Albums

Dance 'till Quarter to Three....................LeGrand
Twist Up Calypso..................................LeGrand
Gary U.S. Bonds Greatest Hits...............LeGrand
Dedication..............................................EMI
On the Line.............................................EMI
Standing in the Line of Fire......................Phoenix



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