SPOTLIGHT ON THE TUNE WEAVERS
"Happy, Happy Birthday Baby"/"Ol' Man River"
"I Remember Dear"/"Pamela Jean"
Above: The Tune Weavers consisted of Margo Sylvia (lead), Gilbert Lopez (tenor), Charlotte Davis and Johnnie Sylvia (bass). The Sylvia's are related by marriage; Lopez and Davis are related to Margo as brother and cousin.
From Afro-American Newspaper, 11/2/57:
Boston, Mass.—When Johnny Sylvia of the youthful Tune Weavers reached his 20th birthday, he received a letter from his wife, Margo, wishing him a happy birthday. Johnny was serving a tour of overseas duty with the U.S. Marines at the time, and had no idea that the letter from his spouse would soon be floating over the airways and out of juke boxes as the theme of a hit tune. But that's exactly what happened.
The Tune Weavers best selling record, "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," is well over the half-million mark and Johnny, Margo and their two partners in the quartet are in the chips. One of the youngest aggregations in the field, the Weavers were formed about two years ago, and range in age from 21 years to 23.
Margo, 21, and mother of three children, sings the lead. Her brother, Gilbert Lopez, two years older, collaborated in writing the song. The pair had previously written "I Get A Thrill," which was recorded successfully by the Sophomores.
Gilbert supplies the tenor portion to the harmony, but is capable of filling any part given him. He is also a father, a baby being born to his wife last Christmas Day.
Johnny, now back from the service and happy about the turn of events, does the bass.
Fourth member of the combo is Charlene Davis, 22. A cousin of Johnny and Margo, Charlotte handles the obligatio part of the melody for Tune Weaver recordings. She had worked as a single with several outstanding bands before joining the fresh new outfit.
Click HERE for an article about The Tune Weavers by J.C. Marion.
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Above: Clipping from November 1957 for The Tune Weavers' "Smash Follow-Up." The label for this record states "Dist. By Ember Records" (See below).
(The Billboard 9/9/57)
Above Left: Label image of Casa Grande 4037 recorded on March 7, 1957 and released in May 1957. This is the first of six by The Tune Weavers for Casa Grande (1957-60).
(NOTE: The above Casa Grande label image and related audio provided by Dave Saviet.)
Above Right: Checker released the song in July 1957. The Casa Grande and Checker versions are the same, except the former has an extended ending.
The Billboard Review (6/10/57):THE TUNE WEAVERS—CASA GRANDE 4037
Happy, Happy Birthday Baby (70) A good sound to this disk. Lead singer chants a sensitive ballad, backed by an arrangement which emphasizes rock and roll figures and a slow, persistent beat.
Ol' Man River (70) The standard gets an interesting performance. Quartet sings it straight; but there's a considerable inventive quality in the accompaniment
THIS WEEK'S R&B BEST BUYS (The Billboard dated 9/2/57):
HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY—The Tune Weavers—Checker 872—The Platter is a strong one in all of the top r.&b. markets and is showing considerable strength in pop markets also. A previous Billboard "Spotlight" pick.
Above: Label image of Casa Grande C-4038 released in November 1957. Frank Paul (aka Frank Papalardo) was the owner of Casa Grande Records.
The Billboard Review (12/2/57):THE TUNE WEAVERS—EMBER-CASA GRANDE 4038
I Remember Dear (79) The group is riding high with "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby." This side is similarly styled. It has strong potential in both pop and r.&b. marts.
Pamela Jean (75) Rhythmic tribute to the lady is also a good entry. However, flip is more along the lines of their current hit, and it appears the stronger side
(NOTE: Interestingly, this record received a significantly higher rating than "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby." See above.)
Listen to this week's selections by The Tune Weavers on Casa Grande from 1957:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby - Casa Grande 4037
2. Ol' Man River - Casa Grande 4037
3. I Remember Dear - Casa Grande C-4038
4. Pamela Jean - Casa Grande C-4038
ALL FOUR played in sequence
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