Billy Van Singers - The Common Touch

Format: LP
Label: Columbia FL 271, FS 520
Year: 1968
Origin: Toronto, Ontario
Genre: pop, folk, country, sunshine pop
Value of Original Title: $50.00
Make Inquiry/purchase: email
Release Type: Albums
Websites:  No
Playlist: Ontario, 1960's, Sunshine Pop


Side 1

Track Name
I'm Laughin'
You Don't Really Know
Why Oh Why
There Must Be A Reason
You've Got The World By The Tail
You're Wrong

Side 2

Track Name
You're Hangin' Me Up
Where Were You
How Can Anyone
Four Seasons
Tammy's Gone
Am I A Fool



The Common Touch


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It's not possible to cut a bad version of the 1958 Don Gibson country and western classic "Oh, Lonesome Me". It just isn't. Covered by almost everyone who put out a record during the 1960's, up to and including Paul Anka and Sammy Davis Jr., "Oh, Lonesome Me" made Gibson a rich man, and in 1968, Canadian country and western singer Tommy Common took a crack at it.

I don't have much information about the inspiringly-named Mr. Common to pass along. About all I can tell you is that he made regular appearances on CBC television's Country Hoedown and his own short-lived show, Tommy Common's It's A Musical World, throughout the '60's and '70's., and released at least two LPs on RCA-Camden, Tommy Common Sings and Tommy Common Sings Country Classics (seen below). The liner notes:

"Tommy Common is one of the best known male vocalists in Canada today, and although he has divided his time almost equally between C & W and Pop, in this album he returns to his first love, Country and Western Music. From among the hundreds of great Country and Western tunes which he has performed on television, radio and in LIVE appearances from coast to coast in Canada and in fact every corner of this rapidly shrinking world, he has selected what he considers to be the ten all-time great Country Classics.

Most of these selections are closely identified with one or more of the great Country and Western stars, but in this brand new release, Tommy gives the "Common Touch" in the hope that you will enjoy his unique and distinctive interpretation. In so doing, he pays tribute to some of the immortal stars of Country Music and brings together for the first time his personal selection of all-time great Country and Western Classics."

Recording engineer: Bill Giles
Producers: Ed Preston - Jack Feeney
Musical Director: Tommy Common
Recorded at RCA Studios, Toronto, February 1968

While claiming that Common's version is a "unique and distinctive interpretation" is a bit of a stretch, he does bring a certain infectious enthusiasm to the tune, and benefits from the instrumental backing of RCA-Camden's (annonymous) studio musicians, who lay down a rock-solid foundation of finger-pickin' and steel guitar.


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