Saturday, February 09, 2008

by Anonymous

Brian Hyland "In a State of Bayou" 1977

Although not known as a major force in the history of rock and roll, Hyland did record three notable songs before his pop music success declined after 1970. He was one of several young American teen idol recording artists whose clean-cut image and sound thrived in the early 1960s, prior to the stylistic changes brought about through the "British Invasion" led by The Beatles in 1964.

In 1960, Hyland scored his first and biggest hit single, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss[1]. It was a novelty song that was as much about the 1960s beach and surf culture as it was about the embarrassment of a girl wearing scanty swimwear. The song was a smash hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Hyland's other major hit during this period was 1962's "Sealed with a Kiss." That song, which remains a perennial oldies radio standard, reached #3 in 1962 on both the American and UK Singles Chart. It stayed on the U.S. pop chart for a full eleven weeks. In 1975, "Sealed With a Kiss" was reissued as a single in the UK and became a surprise #7 hit (the song, revived by Australian Jason Donovan, charted #1 in the UK in 1989). Another 1962 hit was "Ginny Come Lately," which reached #21 on the U.S. chart and #5 in the UK.

During his prime of life, Brian Hyland appeared on national television programs such as "American Bandstand" and "The Jackie Gleason Show" and toured both internationally and around America with Dick Clark in the legendary "Caravan of Stars." The caravan happened to be in Dallas, Texas on the day of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. Hyland watched the President and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy pass by in the motorcade minutes before the bullets struck. Brian had borrowed a camera from tour singer Bobby Vee but forgot to remove the lens cap and thereby missed the opportunity to photograph Kennedy just prior to his assassination. That evening the Caravan concert was canceled as the nation mourned. To commemorate the event, Hyland wrote the song "Mail Order Gun" which he recorded and eventually released on his 1970 album.

From 1963 through 1969, Hyland scored several minor hits, but none reached higher than #20 ("The Joker Went Wild") on the U.S. pop chart. An album released in 1964 featured numbers that hearkened back to the 1950s including such hits as "Pledging My Love" and "Moments to Remember" -- at a time when The Beatles were sweeping the pop music world with a very different style. Hyland afterward shifted into a phase of recording country music and folk rock styles. Songs such as "I'm Afraid To Go Home" and "Two Brothers" had an American Civil War theme. Hyland enjoyed playing harmonica on a few numbers to good effect. His singing voice was undeniably mellifluous with fine range, and he could hold a note without wavering.

The so-called "Summer of Love" in 1967 radically altered the musical climate to the detriment of simple pop love songs. Brian Hyland would go on to chart just one more hit, "Gypsy Woman" written by Curtis Mayfield. Hyland recorded it in 1970, and singing legend Del Shannon produced the track. The haunting and sultry "Gypsy Woman" hit #3 on the 1970 U.S. pop chart.

In 2006, Hyland continued to tour internationally with his son Bodi, who assists on drums from time to time.

As of 2007 Hyland currently performs at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater on the strip in Branson, Missouri. He can be found on-stage during the "Original Stars at American Bandstand" show along with Fabian, Bobby Vee, Chris Montez and The Chiffons.[1]

01 The Bum Is Mine
02 Killin' Me
03 Can't Find A Way To Love Yo
04 Hale To The Man
05 What You Want The Girl To D
06 Basic Lady
07 Just Knowing You Is A Pleas
08 I Feel Good With You Baby
09 We Flew Away
10 Don't Wanna Discuss It



Anonymous Moonknight said...

I would have never looked or found this! I'm drinkin schlitz,hatin my job and you sir made my weekend with something lost but found! thanks!

09 February, 2008 12:37  
Blogger ge said...

Pretty darn supah, sir lizard/anon...
O inexhaustible Horn o' Pop Plenty! will thy Bounty never cease?

addressed to the Muse presiding over 'that era'

09 February, 2008 22:48  
Anonymous Refer said...

This almost unknown record is the Brian Hyland's best. Produced and arranged by Allen Toussaint this album got a zero attention when it was edited.

10 February, 2008 07:40  
Blogger wholeft said...

Wow, I never knew about this one.
The lineup of Alan Toussaint songs like "What do you want the girl to do" is unexpectedly awesome.


12 February, 2009 10:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, this album won't ever get a legit CD release because the Private Stock tapes have gone missing. I never knew that it existed until I found it in the cut-out bin at Peaches Records back in the 80's for 29 cents! I bought 2 copies, and still have one still sealed.

04 March, 2009 03:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Hyland is little known treasure. I have most of his albums on vinyl. I saw this once at a vintage record store and wanted it badly because of the Allen Tousaunt connection, but the cover was so beat up I didn't even consider buying it. Time to look for it again.

16 January, 2010 13:28  
Blogger ACM said...

es una pena no funciona se podria reparar por favor

21 February, 2012 04:19  
Blogger punkinblue9 said...

any chance of re-upping?

26 November, 2013 02:05  
Anonymous Howie Feal said...

I've heard a story which claims this fine album was a "tax writeoff" project for the label, and thus never really meant to be pushed.
In the story, Brian shows up at the Private Stock office, ready to enthusiastically promote the release, sadly unaware the such was not to be.
As with most Toussaint releases of the period, this is a fine,though,in this case, supremely obscure effort. It's an unexpected pairing and Hyland, in general deserves more credit as an artist than he's usually give.

09 December, 2013 02:19  
Blogger punkinblue9 said...

Did not know that! Thanks for the info!

12 December, 2013 08:53  

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