Gary U.S. Bonds

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Gary U.S. Bonds
Gary US Bonds.jpg
Gary U.S. Bonds performing in 1981
Background information
Birth name Gary Levone Anderson
Born (1939-06-06) June 6, 1939 (age 74)
Jacksonville, Florida
United States
Genres R&B, rock and roll, pop rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1956 – present
Labels Razor & Tie
EMI
Sue
Legrand Records
Top Rank
Stateside
Associated acts Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt
Website Official website

Gary U.S. Bonds (born Gary Levone Anderson), June 6, 1939, Jacksonville, Florida)[1] is an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer. He is also a prolific songwriter.

Career[edit]

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Bonds lived in Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1950s when he began singing publicly in church and with a group called the Turks.[1] He joined record producer Frank Guida's small Legrand Records label where Guida chose Anderson's stage name, "U.S. Bonds", in hopes that it would be confused with a public service announcement advertising the sale of government bonds and thereby garner more radio airplay.[2] His first three singles and first album, Dance 'Til Quarter to Three, were released under the "U.S. Bonds" name, but people mistook it for the name of a group. To avoid confusion, subsequent releases, including his second album Twist Up Calypso, were made under the name "Gary (U.S.) Bonds". The parentheses were discarded in the 1980s.[3]

Bonds' first hit was the song "New Orleans" (US No.6), which was followed by "Not Me", a flop for Bonds but later a hit for the Orlons, and then by his only number one hit, "Quarter to Three" in June 1961. "Quarter To Three" sold one million records, earning a gold disc.[1] Subsequent hits, under his modified name, included "School Is Out" (#5), "Dear Lady Twist" (#9), "School Is In" (#28) and "Twist, Twist, Señora" (#10) in the early 1960s. In a 1963 tour of Europe, he headlined above the Beatles. His hits featured solos by the saxophonist Gene Barge.[3]

"Quarter to Three" appears on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.[4]

In the early 1980s, Bonds had a career resurgence with two albums Dedication and On the Line, collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and the E Street Band, and had hits including "This Little Girl" (his comeback hit in 1981, which reached #11 on the pop chart in Billboard and #5 on the mainstream rock chart), "Jolé Blon" and "Out of Work".[3] Bonds continues to release albums sporadically, and today is a mainstay of the nostalgia concert circuit.[citation needed]

While Bonds is mostly known for achievements within rhythm and blues and rock and roll, he often transcends these genres, e.g., his song "She's All I Got", co-written by Jerry Williams, Jr. (better known as Swamp Dogg), was nominated for the Country Music Association's "Song of the Year" in 1972 when it was a big hit for Johnny Paycheck. He is also a 1997 honoree of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Bonds is an accomplished golfer and often plays celebrity PGA Tour events.[3]

Bonds released an album in 2004 called Back in 20, the title referencing his repeated sporadic pop-ups of popularity (his first hits were in the 1960s, then again in the 1980s, and now another significant album in the early 2000s, each 20-odd years apart). The album features guest appearances by Springsteen and Southside Johnny.[3] Bonds was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006.

In 2009 he released a new album Let Them Talk and toured the UK as a special guest of Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.[5] Most recently, in 2010, Bonds contributed duet vocals on the song "Umbrella In My Drink" on Southside Johnny's album Pills and Ammo.[6]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • King Biscuit Flower Hour (Live) (2001)
  • Live! (2002)
  • From the Front Row... Live! (2003)
  • In Concert (2005)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (1960s material) (1990)
  • Take Me Back to New Orleans (1960s singles compilation) (1994)
  • The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (1980s material) (1996)
  • The Very Best of Gary U.S. Bonds: The Original Legrand Masters (1960s material) (1998)
  • Certified Soul (Singles from 1968–1970) (2008)

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
US US R&B Mainstream Rock UK
1960* "New Orleans" 6 5 16
1961* "Not Me" 116
"Quarter to Three" 1 3 7
"School Is Out" 5 12
"School Is In" 28
"Dear Lady Twist" 9 5
1962* "Twist Twist Señora" 9
"Seven Day Weekend" 27
"Copy Cat" 92
"I Dig This Station" 101
1966* "Take Me Back to New Orleans" 121
1981 "This Little Girl" 11 5 43
"Jolé Blon" 65 29 51
"It's Only Love" 43
1982 "Out of Work" 21 82 10
"Soul Deep" 59
* Produced by Frank Guida[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 132. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ Back in 20. Gary US Bonds - 2004 - MC
  3. ^ a b c d e "Gary U.S. Bonds". Garyusbonds.com. Retrieved 2012-19-16. 
  4. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  5. ^ "Bill Wyman website news page". Billwyman.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  6. ^ "Pills and Ammo Review". asburyjukes.net. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 
  7. ^ "Discography". Garyusbonds.com. Retrieved 2012-09-16. 

External links[edit]