A Bit of Trivia for the Holidays

vintage car

Useless trivia…but is it, really? I often wonder that when I find myself becoming fascinated by odd factoids. Sometimes I wonder if I should actually be allowing such useless knowledge into my brain. What in the world am I going to do with it? For example…

I’ve always been fascinated by the career of Tony Burrows. Except for one person I know (who probably doesn’t read this blog), I imagine you are wondering, “Who the heck is Tony Burrows?” Exactly! He is the most famous anonymous rock and roll singer you have ever heard! Why?

You may not know the name Tony Burrows, but if you were listening to pop music in the spring of 1970, you know his voice. In a three-month period, Burrows was the lead singer on four different hit records by four different groups.

Music Monday: Tony Burrows, the Five-Time One-Hit Wonder.

Tony Burrows, now age 79, is a British singer who had an outstanding career as a studio musician. Here are the songs that Tony sang lead on that you probably have heard and know. We’ll begin with the four hits from the Spring of 1970. Enjoy!

Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes by Edison Lighthouse (1970). Reached #1 on the UK Top 40 on January 31, 1970 and stayed there for five weeks. It dropped off the UK Top 40 on April 18, 1970. In the U.S., it went to #5 on the T0p 40 of Billboard’s Hot 100 on March 28. It would eventually go to #1 in Ireland and New Zealand, #2 in Australia, and #3 in Canada and South Africa. In the U.S. it was the #40 biggest hit of 1970.
United We Stand by The Brotherhood of Man (1970). By March of 1970 “United We Stand” was on the Top 40 charts. It went to #10 in the UK, #13 in the US, #8 in Australia, #9 in Canada it was rated the 64th biggest hit of 1970 in the U.S.
My Baby Love Lovin by White Plains (1970). Released on January 9, 1970, this song went to #4 in Canada, #8 in South Africa, #9 in Ireland and the UK and #13 in the US on Billboard’s Hot 100 list. For the year, it came it at #62 in the US. Actually, it seemed it went much higher than this in the US. At least, that’s how it seemed to me and my friends as we “cruised” Morning Sun, Iowa in the Winter of 1970 and listened to Larry Lujack on Chicago’s best radio station of that era…WLS.
Gimme Dat Ding (from American Bandstand) by the Pipkins (1970). This was a novelty song that featured Tony Burrow’s singing with a raspy, gravelly voice. In March 1979 it became a bonifide hit. It went to #1 in New Zealand, #6 in the UK, #7 in Canada and Ireland, #8 in the Netherlands, and #9 on the US Hot 100 from Billboard. Weirdly, it went to #20 in the US on Billboards Easy Listening chart. Hmmmm… Overall, in 1970 it ranked #86 on the US Hot 100.

Also in 1970, Tony Burrows came out with his own solo song, Melanie Makes Me Smile. It became a minor hit for Burrows in 1970 in the US, going to #87 on the Hot 100. It was the only hit under Burrow’s own name.

One of my favorites, that I didn’t realize Burrows sang until very recently, is Beach Baby by The First Class (1974). Tony was the lead singer for this studio group and on the record but did not appear on television with The First Class (let’s hear it for lipsyncing)! The recording did very well. It went to #1 in Canada, #4 in the US, and #13 in the UK. Its overall rank in the US in 1974 was #94.

So, there you have it! See, a great bit of “useless” trivia you can use to amaze and astound your friends over the holidays! Please do! For me, there is nothing more interesting than these odd bits of knowledge.

Ah, but is this really “useless” trivia? Frankly, no, I don’t think so. You’d be amazed how many times I have drawn upon such factoids to break the ice with people and start the process of relationship building.

Happy holidays!

In memoriam: This one is for my lifelong friend, Mark Keltner, who loved a good 1957 Chevy (the ultimate cruising car), fixing cars of all kinds, Pam and his family, building extraordinary dirt track race cars, driving and winning races and track championships, and rock and roll. Except for Ebay, where he could buy car parts cheaply, he hated using computers so he would have never seen this anyway. Whether on trikes when we were 3 year olds, foot races in grade school, or any athletic competition in junior high and high school – he won, usually beating me badly. He also beat me into this world by exactly three months on January 24, 1954. He also won the last race we’d ever have. He left this world much too soon on December 14, 2021. Rest in peace, MK41.

Author: The Driveler

Tom Klaus is the Driveler. On March 16, 2020, the first day of the Novel Coronavirus shelter-in-place order for his state, he started writing a daily blog to keep himself from stressing too much about the pandemic situation. He thought the daily blogging would last for only a couple of week but it stretched on to 77 consecutive days. Then he continued writing daily for a while after that as well. At some point the blog became The Daily Drivel...mostly because he was mostly writing the stream of consciousness drivel that was pouring out of his head, running down his face, and, sometimes, out of his mouth. In November 2020 he launched The Daily Drivel as a free-standing website/blog.

4 thoughts on “A Bit of Trivia for the Holidays”

  1. Thanks for the pride humbler-I’m The guy for rock trivia (who played bass on….) and cannot recall ever hearing of Stephen or Toby or whatever his name is Burrows. But now I know (at least for this particular moment. Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, an important part of your past and an important human memory keeper for You. Found a great quote from Joan Didion that doesn’t directly apply here, but I think we both appreciate a great line:
    I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”

    1. Thanks, Mike! A friend of many years ago, now a Friends pastor in Northwest Yearly Meeting, was a walking encyclopedia of rock and roll trivia. He introduced me to Tony Burrows about 20 years ago.

  2. You are right. I remembered most of Tony Burrows songs you cited here, but I sure didn’t know about him! Always amazes me when the opening bars of an “oldie” play and the lyrics are right there.

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