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The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:50 am

For those of you interested in the lesser-known musicians and singers that accompanied Elvis during his career, hopefully you'll find this thread of some interest.

The Blossoms performing with Elvis on NBC-TV December 3, 1968 (Taped in June 1968)
From right to left: Darlene Love, Fanita James, Jean King -
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The Blossoms' backing vocals were used during the June 20 - 23, 1968 sessions at Western Recorders studio for the NBC television special Singer Presents Elvis ("Let Yourself Go", "If I Can Dream", etc.)


The Blossoms were a backing group from California. They had a recording career in their own right and were to the American West Coast what The Sweet Inspirations were to the East Coast, and The Andantes were for Motown.
Wikipedia >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blossoms

The Blossoms were probably the most successful unknown group of the ’60s. They made a career of singing backup for scores of artists from Paul Anka to Elvis Presley with a versatility that allowed them to be a choral group one minute and a surf sound doo wop group for Jan and Dean’s hits the next minute.
The Girl Groups >> http://www.history-of-rock.com/blossoms.htm

The Blossoms were the backup group for Shelley Fabares on her recording of "Johnny Angel". Fabares stated in an interview quoted in The Billboard Book of #1 Hits that her strongest memory of that recording session was the "beautiful voices of the backup singers".
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"Tell Him" -
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"I Like It Like That" -
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Last edited by Blue River on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:58 am, edited 3 times in total.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:55 am

Excellent post Blue River! I love those beautiful ladies. The appearance in Rubberneckin' from Change Of Habit is a pleasure to watch.

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Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:05 am

Thank you for pointing that out, promiseland! :smt023

I had never actually noticed them during "Rubberneckin" before,
but had seen them during the closing song, "Let Us Pray" -

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::rocks

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:48 am

Nice anniversary thread. Darlene Love has been described as "the most overqualified backup singer in history." It's true. She wasn't treated right by Spector; they sometimes replaced her name with another group.

My all-time favorite, and especially this time of the year!

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She'll likely be on Letterman, as usual, to sing it live, just before Christmas Eve!

rjm

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:55 am

Love Darlene and my thoughts echo Robin's on my favourite Christmas song.

Here is a cool audio interview I posted before from Darlene.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=68070&hilit=+darlene

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:58 am

rjm wrote:She'll likely be on Letterman, as usual, to sing it live, just before Christmas Eve!


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Not bad for a 70 year-young woman! (Now 71)

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:34 am

The Blossoms overdubbed their vocals on Let Us Pray on March 26 1969, when did the overdubs on Rubberneckin' occur?

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:08 am

Julian Grant wrote:Here is a cool audio interview I posted before from Darlene.

:smt006 Here it is, Julian. Thank you.

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/local/brisb ... 783457.mp3
Last edited by Blue River on Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:19 am, edited 3 times in total.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:10 am

Jove wrote:The Blossoms overdubbed their vocals on Let Us Pray on March 26 1969, when did the overdubs on Rubberneckin' occur?

Sometime between January 22- 24th 1969. Exact Date unknown

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:44 am

promiseland wrote:
Jove wrote:The Blossoms overdubbed their vocals on Let Us Pray on March 26 1969, when did the overdubs on Rubberneckin' occur?

Sometime between January 22- 24th 1969. Exact Date unknown

According to Tunzi's Sessions III book, the backup vocalists overdubs for "Rubberneckin" were done on January 24, 1969 at American Sound in Memphis by Jeannie Greene, Donna Thatcher, Susan Pilkington, and Mary Holladay... not The Blossoms.

However, going back to the month of December 1968, The Blossoms did overdub their vocals to "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard" at United Recorders.

All their work for Elvis was done in California.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:56 am

Blue River wrote:
promiseland wrote:
Jove wrote:The Blossoms overdubbed their vocals on Let Us Pray on March 26 1969, when did the overdubs on Rubberneckin' occur?

Sometime between January 22- 24th 1969. Exact Date unknown

According to Tunzi's Sessions III book, the backup vocalists overdubs for "Rubberneckin" were done on January 24, 1969 at American Sound in Memphis by Jeannie Greene, Donna Thatcher, Susan Pilkington, and Mary Holladay... not The Blossoms.

However, going back to the month of December 1968, The Blossoms did overdub their vocals to "Clean Up Your Own Back Yard" at United Recorders.

All their work for Elvis was done in California.

Ah I see a reference to this now on Keith's site. Thanks for pointing that out Blue River.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:00 am

rjm wrote:She'll likely be on Letterman, as usual, to sing it live, just before Christmas Eve!

rjm


She'll be on December 20th this year.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:49 am

TJ wrote:
rjm wrote:She'll likely be on Letterman, as usual, to sing it live, just before Christmas Eve!

rjm


She'll be on December 20th this year.


Thanks! It's IN the Calendar! (Which means it's sync'ed to my phablet, as well - will never forget.)

Happy Holidays!

rjm

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:50 am

Here is a quote by one and only drjohncarpenter I found interesting to the topic from a recent one on the Blossoms.

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JJURADO wrote:I have readen in the web that The Blossoms worked with Elvis in his Las Vegas comeback. It is the very first time I have heard of that. Maybe they did the opening for him sometimes? As far as I know they only appeared in the NBC tv. Special. Some sites also claim they toured in the early 70´s with him. I doubt this all very much.
Plus there is almost no special remark in the bio of this group that they did the Tv special with Elvis, having been an important moment in Elvis´ proffesional life should be mentioned.

As noted, Darlene Love and the Blossoms never opened a show for, or played live with, Elvis.

They may be seen and heard on the NBC-TV Special (songs taped June 1968), heard on "Swing Down Sweet Chariot" (1968 alternate master), "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" (1968 master - maybe), and "Let Us Pray" (1969 master), and seen in the film "Change of Habit" miming backing vocals to "Rubberneckin'."


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:35 pm

promiseland wrote:Here is a quote by one and only drjohncarpenter I found interesting to the topic from a recent one on the Blossoms.

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JJURADO wrote:I have readen in the web that The Blossoms worked with Elvis in his Las Vegas comeback. It is the very first time I have heard of that. Maybe they did the opening for him sometimes? As far as I know they only appeared in the NBC tv. Special. Some sites also claim they toured in the early 70´s with him. I doubt this all very much.
Plus there is almost no special remark in the bio of this group that they did the Tv special with Elvis, having been an important moment in Elvis´ proffesional life should be mentioned.

As noted, Darlene Love and the Blossoms never opened a show for, or played live with, Elvis.

They may be seen and heard on the NBC-TV Special (songs taped June 1968), heard on "Swing Down Sweet Chariot" (1968 alternate master), "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" (1968 master - maybe), and "Let Us Pray" (1969 master), and seen in the film "Change of Habit" miming backing vocals to "Rubberneckin'."


http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540&p=1034715&#p1034715

Obviously, I'm a huge fan of the Blossoms, who later went on to work live shows with Tom Jones, as well as Nancy Sinatra, both good friends of Elvis Presley.

Thanks for finding that. Elsewhere on the internet, the information is incorrect. Unfortunately, there are also some errors in the original post, which are kind of crucial.

The individual credits for the Blossoms typed above the YouTube video link are wrong. I guess our poster is not terribly familiar with what Darlene Love looks like?

In the opening of the gospel sequence, the gals are, L-R: Jean King, Fanita James and Darlene Love.


Blossoms errors.jpg


Also, as noted above, it is clearly Darlene Love on lead vocals for "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child." She was always the lead voice in the Blossoms, not Jean. The Blossoms were part of the "Shindig!" program house band, and in numerous clips where they cover a pop hit of the day, it is almost always Darlene on lead. Go find them on YouTube, they are magnificent.

The Blossoms are also a part of the house band on the Steve Binder directed, landmark 1964 concert film, "T.A.M.I. Show."

T.A.M.I. Show
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.A.M.I._Show

Watch James Brown's incendiary set, one of the most stunning 15 minutes of live music in the history of rock 'n' roll, you will see Darlene smiling and clapping as James "drags" himself off, stage left. She obviously loved the act.

Read more here:

The Blossoms Page
http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Blossoms.html

The Blossoms
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540
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Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:53 pm

Elvis was very fond of Darlene to where he wanted to have a relationship with her but she said no. However, they just remained close friends. Love visited Elvis in the mid 70's at Graceland while in Memphis and accompanied him to the Memphian theater for a late night showing. I believe that was also the last time she saw him alive.

Darlene sang the sexy opening line of Let Yourself Go for the Comeback special.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:55 pm

SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was very fond of Darlene to where he wanted to have a relationship with her but she said no. However, they just remained close friends. Love visited Elvis in the mid 70's at Graceland while in Memphis and accompanied him to the Memphian theater for a late night showing. I believe that was also the last time she saw him alive.

Darlene sang the sexy opening line of Let Yourself Go for the Comeback special.

That is her claim, but it is assumed this would have been transitory in nature.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:58 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was very fond of Darlene to where he wanted to have a relationship with her but she said no. However, they just remained close friends. Love visited Elvis in the mid 70's at Graceland while in Memphis and accompanied him to the Memphian theater for a late night showing. I believe that was also the last time she saw him alive.

Darlene sang the sexy opening line of Let Yourself Go for the Comeback special.

That is her claim, but it is assumed this would have been transitory in nature.


Well, she was a very attractive woman back then. So it wouldn't surprise me if it's true or not.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:05 pm

So it wouldn't surprise me if it's true or not.


I would be shocked! :wink:

Geoff

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:07 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:The individual credits for the Blossoms typed above the YouTube video link are wrong. I guess our poster is not terribly familiar with what Darlene Love looks like?

In the opening of the gospel sequence, the gals are, L-R: Jean King, Fanita James and Darlene Love.

Yes, I'm familiar with what Darlene looks like. Just a typo... I meant right to left.
It's okay to make an occasional mistake (according to you concerning FTD), and I didn't charge anything for it.


drjohncarpenter wrote: Also, as noted above, it is clearly Darlene Love on lead vocals for "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child."

I went by what Joseph Tunzi has printed in his Elvis Sessions II and III books.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:10 pm

Blue River wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote: Also, as noted above, it is clearly Darlene Love on lead vocals for "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child."

I went by what Joseph Tunzi has printed in his Elvis Sessions II and III books.

Bad choice. Darlene's voice is indelible. It is always better to use your ears, not a book.

Hope you fix all those typos soon. ;-)
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:19 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Blue River wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote: Also, as noted above, it is clearly Darlene Love on lead vocals for "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child."

I went by what Joseph Tunzi has printed in his Elvis Sessions II and III books.

Bad choice. Darlene's voice is indelible. It is always better to use your ears, not a book. ;-)

Darlene was/is no doubt a fabulous singer. She still looks and sounds great, especially for a woman in her 70's!



From another thread -
drjohncarpenter wrote:They may be... heard on... "Clean Up Your Own Backyard" (1968 master - maybe)

Why just "maybe"?

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:28 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:The Blossoms were part of the "Shindig!" program house bandhttp://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540[/size]




i think this oughta be interesting to some people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Ne95PR-z8

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Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:37 am

Rocker wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:The Blossoms were part of the "Shindig!" program house bandhttp://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540[/size]

i think this oughta be interesting to some people:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4Ne95PR-z8

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Thank goodness for Elvis' 1968 version!

Re: The Blossoms - December 3, 1968

Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:05 am

Rocker wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:The Blossoms were part of the "Shindig!" program house band
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=69540




i think this oughta be interesting to some people:

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Darlene Love, "Saved" ("Shindig!" ABC-TV, September 8, 1965)

Yup, that's one of the "Shindig!" YouTube links I posted a while back that had this, and others:
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=38428&p=927264&#p927264
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=40970&p=901047&#p901047


Darlene Love -- beautiful, charismatic and ripping it up with Leiber and Stoller's "Saved." She should have been a huge star. I'll bet she loved it when Elvis took on the song three years later.