Monday, December 10, 2007

No more Harlem Shuffle

Raise your glass to Bob Relf, one half of Bob and Earl (Nelson) on the 1964 classic Harlem Shuffle, who has died. The original Bob was Bobby Byrd (Bobby Day of Rockin' Robin fame - not to be confused with James Brown's sidekick who also died recently) but he had left the duo to be replaced by Relf by the time of their big hit. Relf had already led several L.A.-based acts in his career, including the Laurels and the Upfronts (featuring Barry White), and was also a replacement member of the Hollywood Flames after Byrd had left to join up with Nelson. The duo recorded several singles for various L.A.-based labels, but their lone hit was Harlem Shuffle, which was arranged by a young Barry White, who played piano.
The duo failed to follow up with any additional hits and soon were splitting for solo careers, but an LP was released in the UK on the B and C label featuring some duets and some solo tracks by both Bob and Earl. Relf recorded singles under the names Bobby Garrett and Bobby Valentino. but didn't trouble the scorers thereafter.

On a slightly more bizarre note, I'm just back from New York where I attended the 50th birthday party in Trump Tower of one of the best paid executives in the world who just happens to be married to a close friend of my girlfriend. It was a very pleasant event all done in the best possible taste. These are people who own not one but two apartments in this prestige development and who are rich enough to spend $50,000 on the event. If only!!


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