Curtis Lee & Anita Ekberg RIP
Curtis Lee, who has died aged 73, recorded some of my favourite rock and roll records of the early sixties, a couple of which, Pretty Little Angel Eyes and Under The Moon Of Love have become all
time classics. Both of these were produced by Phil Spector for the Dunes label, prior to him setting up Philles, and have been much covered over the years. Curtis's recording career goes back to 1959 when he moved from his home town of Yuma, Arizona, to the West Coast, where he recorded a Johnny Burnette penned number called Pure Love for the Warrior label, also recorded by Sonny James. Curtis was discovered by Ray Peterson, who signed him to his Dunes label, where he teamed up with Tommy Boyce to write his two biggest hits. Spector brought in the Halos, who had a doowop hit with Nag, to to back him on Pretty Little Angel Eyes, and Under The Moon Of Love became a UK number one in the seventies for Showaddywaddy. The B side, Beverly Jean, is also a classic.
Curtis's follow up to this, the Gary US Bonds-flavoured A Night At Daddy Gee's, was almost as good, but his career stalled, and after a couple of blue eyed soul records for small labels he retired from the music business in the late sixties and returned to Yuma where he became a builder.
Swedish actress Anita Ekberg, who has died aged 83, was one of
the top Hollywood sex symbols of the fifties and early sixties and is best known for her starring role in the Italian film La Dolce Vita in
1960. Other films included Back From Eternity, Interpol, Hollywood Or Bust, Paris Holiday, Boccaccio 70 and 4 For Texas. She was, in my personal opinion, gorgeous.
It's farewell too to another sex symbol of the sixties Donna Douglas, who came to fame as Elly Mae Clampett in the Beverly Hillbillies. Born in Baton Rouge, she appeared in a number of TV series but, apart from a starring role with Elvis Presley in the 1966 movie Frankie and Johnny, she never quite made it in films.
Finally, The Vinyl Word raises a glass to Eric 'Rockin' Ricky' Nugent, who compered several of the Tales From The Woods shows and also proved himself to be a very good singer. RIP to them all.