by Robert Wilkinson
Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote some of the greatest tunes of the 50s and 60s!
Since yesterday was his birthday, I figured tonight we’d dance to some classics! Jerome Solon Felder (June 27, 1925 – March 14, 1991), better known as Doc Pomus, was an American blues singer and songwriter who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Blues Hall of Fame.
Doc Pomus, in partnership with Mort Shuman (November 12, 1936 - November 2, 1991), a Brill Building pianist and songwriter, created some amazing tunes. Their songs were major hits, and among the many who took their tunes into the top of the charts were Elvis, Dion, Bobby Darin, and Drifters, and many more!
Ready for a bunch of blasts from the past? Here’s the songwriting genius of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman! For our Saturday Night Attitude dance, I figured one of their classics seemed fit.
From 1960, here’s the original studio version of “Save the Last Dance for Me”
Here are two more big ones from the Drifters, written by Doc and Mort!
From 1960, fronted by Ben E. King, the magnificent studio version of “This Magic Moment”
From 1961 “Sweets for My Sweet”
From 1956, a tune Doc wrote for Ray Charles, “Lonely Avenue”
Live on television in 1976, a great performance by Eric Burdon of “Lonely Avenue”
From 2012, an audio-only live performance by Van Morrison of “Lonely Avenue”
Most don’t know that Doc wrote “Young Blood” before turning it over to another legendary pair of Brill Building songwriters, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, who re-wrote it and made it into a huge hit for the Coasters in 1957. For your enjoyment, “Ýoung Blood”
From 1959, Dion and the Belmonts lip synching their huge hit, “Teenager in Love”
From the Mystics in 1959, another huge Pomus-Shuman hit, “Hushabye”
Here are the (now senior citizen!) Mystics in a recent PBS special performing "Hushabye"
The Beach Boys did their own version in 1964, with some incredible harmonies! “Hushabye”
From the King of Rock and Roll, the original studio version of the 1961 smash hit “(Marie’s the Name) of his latest flame
From 1986, here's Elvis Costello and the Attractions in a very rowdy live performance of "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame"
Also from 1961, the King giving us the studio version of Doc and Mort’s major hit, “Surrender”
From 1970, Elvis in a live performance of “Little Sister”
Here’s another great live performance in the studio that really rocks! “Little Sister”
Here’s the original studio 1961 version by the King of “Little Sister”
A clip from the 1964 movie of the same name, “Viva Las Vegas”
From 1964 on American Bandstand, Terry Stafford lip-synching his top 5 hit written by Doc and Mort for Elvis, “Suspicion”
From 1969, Andy Williams in a live performance of a tune he took to #2 in 1963, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”
Also from 1963, the original studio version by Bobby Darin of "Can't Get Used to Losing You."
We’ll close this dance with three versions of our Saturday Night Attitude tune, delivered up live! First, the sweet country sound of the great Emmylou Harris giving us “Save the Last Dance For Me” which we'll follow with a more uptempo offering by Tom Jones on his television show, “Save the Last Dance for Me.”
We’ll close this dance with the most contemporary version of this song, as slick an arrangement as it’s ever seen! Here’s Michael Buble’ very live in concert on TV for a PBS special giving us “Save the Last Dance For Me” (followed by “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” not a Pomus tune, but danceable nonetheless!)
RIP Doc. Thanks for the tunes of my childhood!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson