Paul Evans: Recording Artist & Songwriter
His early years. Paul left behind a scholarship to Columbia University to seek his fame and fortune in the music business. He made a guitar and voice demo of several original songs and a couple of "covers", including Eddie Fisher's "Cindy, Oh Cindy" and Harry Belafonte's "Mathilda". He wound up recording one of his originals, "What Do You Know", for Groove Records. What a session! Mickey Baker, fresh from his Mickey and Sylvia hit, "Love Is Strange", on guitar. Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenor sax and Panama Francis on drums. The record was released on Groove's parent label, RCA Victor, in 1957, but it got limited play and never hit the charts.
Paul's first big success came about as a songwriter in 1958 when the Kalin Twins recorded one of his songs, "When" (co-written with Jack Reardon). It became a solid Top 10 hit in America and a world-wide smash. Also in 1958, Paul recorded for Atco and then he moved on to Decca Records. His record, "I Think About You All The Time" became Decca's sixth best seller that year. The other five records hit the charts - Paul's didn't.
Then, finally, a hit. In 1959 Joe Carlton bought Paul's demo recording of "Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat" and released it - as is - and it hit Billboard Magazine's "Top 10". (Paul was backed by the Curls on this recording). "Midnight Special", "Happy-Go-Lucky Me" and "Brigade of Broken Hearts" followed "Seven Little girls" onto the charts.
Paul Evans - Songwriter. Paul continued writing songs - for himself ("Happy - Go - Lucky Me", co-written with Al Byron) - and for others. Then, in 1962, Bobby Vinton topped the charts for a month with Al and Paul's song, "Roses Are Red, My Love". How strange. Writers work and work on some songs forever, and nothing happens. But the opposite also happens. Al Byron handed Paul his lyrics to "Roses Are Red" during a demo session at Associated Recording Studios (where Paul had recorded "Seven Little Girls"). Paul called time out, took the lyric to the piano - and wrote the melody on the spot: note for note. Voila! His biggest song.
By the way, Elvis Presley recorded four of Paul's songs. Paul says that hearing Elvis singing his songs is a thrill he'll carry with him forever. Paul recorded for several labels after his hits but couldn't climb back onto the charts until his recording of "Hello, This Is Joannie" landed on Billboard Magazine's Country charts in the States and climbed to #6 on the English Pop charts. This was in 1978, almost twenty years after "Seven Little Girls" first hit the charts! One big disappointment along the way to "Joannie" was "Happy Birthday, America", a song that Paul wrote and recorded in 1976 for the bicentennial. It went to #1 on the New York country station, WHN, but the label was working on another single at the time and Paul's record remained a local New York hit.
Paul has taken a few more stabs at his first love, the pop charts. He and his long-time co-producer, Jimmy Wisner, produced a unique rendition of "Bye, Bye Love", a version that Paul had been performing in New York City area clubs. In 1993, Paul's daughter called him and said that it seemed as though Willie Nelson had recorded duets with everyone but her father. Paul agreed. So he wrote and recorded his tribute to Willie, "Willie's Sung With Everyone (But Me)". Unfortunately, the song never made the charts, but it did wind up in a compilation of Willie Nelson duets.
If you ever wondered what happened to Paul, you are probably not aware that you've continued to hear him and his music on radio and television. He became a staple in the New York studio scene mainly because of his writing abilities. Ray Conniff's recording of Paul's song, "Happiness Is", hit the charts, and that song ws used in a successful four-year long campaign for Kent Cigarettes. This led to more writing for commercials and television (the original theme for the "CBS This Morning" show) and eventually to a successful studio singing career. He's soloed for products as diverse as Gillette, Pepsi, Dodge Trucks, Promise Margarine, Exxon and many, many more. He's also been heard on movie sound tracks, notably Woody Allen's Mighty Aphrodite and Everyone Says I Love You.
Paul recorded "I Was A Part Of The 50's" in 1996 as a "gift" for the fans who went to his Internet site. The wanderer, who hosted his web-site jukebox, was impressed by the number of downloads the song received and insisted that Paul release it on a better-sounding CD. It is included in this collection of Paul's music. You can find a more complete biography and discography, and some "inside" stories, at PAUL'S OWN WEB SITE.
For the first time ever in the U.S., here is a CD containing the original recordings of all of Paul's hits - plus Paul's own versions of songs he wrote that were made famous by others. As a bonus, there's also the most-requested music from Paul's albums, some hard to find and previously unreleased material including a one-on-one interview with Paul, conducted by "History of Rock 'n' Roll" host Gary Theroux.
PAUL EVANS CD
"I Was Part Of The 50s by Paul Evans"Label: S-Star 1214
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Comments on this CD: Here's a gem of a compact disc that has just recently been released by Paul Evans. Up until now, none of Paul's hits had been available in the United States and now they are all found on this one compact disc of his greatest hits. His 4 top 100 chart hits are here (in mono) plus 13 others including his original demo of Bobby Vinton's hit "Roses Are Red" and the demo of "When" a hit for the Kalin Twins. The very last track is an interesting 8 minute interview with Paul. This is the way an oldies CD should be assembled - go for it!Posted by: Pat Downey 2/5/99 e-mail patdowneyAuswest.net