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heard a story today that Lovelace Watkins moved to the UK and appeared on opportunity knocks.or was it some one with the same name????

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heard a story today that Lovelace Watkins moved to the UK and appeared on opportunity knocks.or was it some one with the same name????

No, that's 100% true - I think that he was managed by Tom Jones' manager, Gordon Mills, who may have seen him as the black Humperdinck or similar.

He lived here for years and, for all i know, may well still be here today!

TONE

Edited by TONY ROUNCE

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Lovelace Watkins (1938-1995) was a Las Vegas-based singer and performer who achieved fame in America as well as in Europe and Australia.

Watkins was born in 1938 to a 14-year-old mother then raised by his grandmother in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He studied microbiology at Rutgers University and also trained as a boxer. His operatically trained and signature booming voice reminiscent of a swinging Paul Robeson took him to Europe where he drove a Rolls Royce and became a superstar who gave a Command Performance for the Queen. The London Times called him "the best entertainer on earth." In South Africa, where he received 2 gold albums, he was given a public parade - an unprecedented reception for a black entertainer at the height of Apartheid. He appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1961 while promoting his album "The Big, Big Voice of Lovelace Watkins" [1], music arranged and conducted by Ray Ellis.

Lovelace recorded 9 albums both in the United States and in Europe. Full of hubris, Lovelace believed thought he would sing forever. But back in the States, bad business decisions and a Hollywood screen test that never transpired led to his cleaning offices and singing at various functions in Las Vegas before dying of leukemia in 1995.[1]

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I distinctly remember him on TV and can picture him now......he had almost European or South Asian features and his hair was black and sort of slicked down and straightened....with a fringe. Not a great look.

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Got an L.P of his and it's very m.o.r

Got 2 singles (can't remember the label, UK though), one is an ok version of Temps 'Get Ready'.

I Bet 'Dreams' is his only one worth having......??????????

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There's a great on on Groove..'I Won't Beleive It'. I have a feeling I posted it up. If not and someone else doesn't I'll do it later.

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His version of the much-recorded Goffin/King song "A Man Without A Dream" on UNI is AWESOME! Right in the Jerry Butler bag, recorded in Chicago and produced by Archie Russell who also produced the likes of the World Column, Betty Everett and (much later) Richard Rogers, among others...

The other side is nice, too - it's a version of "Gone Away", the Hathaway-Hutson song that was also done so memorably by the Impressions. IMO this is his only real soul record, although 'Dreams' and the Groove singles are also not worth passing up...

TONE

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ALWAYS USED TO GET HIM MIXED UP WITH PETER GORDENO unsure.gif , BUT THEN AGAIN I AM COLOURBLIND.

BRI.

That's uncanny Bri! ohmy.gif

I was just about to say that my mum went to see both Lovelace Watkins and Peter Gordeno at a club on the oustkirts of manchester in the early 70s. I think it was either Sinatra's or the Broadway Club.

Godz

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Got an L.P of his and it's very m.o.r

Got 2 singles (can't remember the label, UK though), one is an ok version of Temps 'Get Ready'.

I Bet 'Dreams' is his only one worth having......??????????

Got about ten of em`,about four different covers one Sth African that claims it was a Sth African recording but exactly same as UK copys,nicest cover tho`. king.gif

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That's uncanny Bri! ohmy.gif

I was just about to say that my mum went to see both Lovelace Watkins and Peter Gordeno at a club on the oustkirts of manchester in the early 70s. I think it was either Sinatra's or the Broadway Club.

Godz

Agree Bri & Godz.

Watkins, Gordeno and Humperdink... the music worlds answer to Jason King

They were all regulars on the Telly when we were lads.

Any 'undiscovered' Northern tracks out there by Peter Gordeno... I wonder?

Sean

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Any 'undiscovered' Northern tracks out there by Peter Gordeno... I wonder?

Sean

Wasn't he in Space 1999 or UFO? Or was he a motorway services outside Bristol? whistling.gif

When Lovelace Watkins did the Op Knocks or whatever and had his 15 minute of real fame, soon after I remember possibly in B&S a review of Isaac Hayes singinging "If Loving You Is Wrong" and the reveiwer described it as sounding like "Lovelace Watkins with a cake in his mouth" biggrin.gif .

I thought it was funny at the time.

Paul

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No, that's 100% true - I think that he was managed by Tom Jones' manager, Gordon Mills, who may have seen him as the black Humperdinck or similar.

He lived here for years and, for all i know, may well still be here today!

TONE

Whilst in the UK he recorded the double live album "Live at the talk of the town" which has a bit of a cult following due to his misconceived idea of audience participation, especailly in a version of "Hey Jude". You have to hear it to understand what I'm on about. It came out on York Recods in 1971, other tracks include "Hava Nagila", "Danny Boy", "Mrs Robinson".

Looks like he's with Roy Castle performing in the great variety club in the sky.

On a serious note I have his album on UNI which has a couple of great tracks which Tone has referred to,

and I really wound'nt mind a copy of "Dreams" I'll swop it for his live album.

Regards Alan

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I Won't Beleive It - lovelace watkins - groove

14239 refosoul

R & B alert !

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be good to see him singing at a soul venue what a voice!!!!!!! Lovelace where are you!!!!!!

Erm...............in the words of Carolyn Sullivan..............

Seriously though, I remember Lovelace Watkins appearing on Opportunity Knocks, and a few other small-time talent ITV programmes, around late 1972 to early 1973. His career here was short-lived. Did I imagine it, or was he really a very dark guy with grey/white hair?

Edited by Gene-R

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He certainly did Saturday Night at the London Palladium cause I remember him..

I think it was Bernie Flint who did opportuntiy knocks..

Crabby bit of trivia;

who won Opportunity Knocks and then had 45 released by one of the "World's" most famous USA soul labels.. ?

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He certainly did Saturday Night at the London Palladium cause I remember him..

I think it was Bernie Flint who did opportuntiy knocks..

Crabby bit of trivia;

who won Opportunity Knocks and then had 45 released by one of the "World's" most famous USA soul labels.. ?

Lena Zavaroni, whose US releases were issued by Stax!

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Seriously though, I remember Lovelace Watkins appearing on Opportunity Knocks, and a few other small-time talent ITV programmes, around late 1972 to early 1973. His career here was short-lived. Did I imagine it, or was he really a very dark guy with grey/white hair?

Think you'll find that was Charlie Williams! sadly no longer with us.

Lovelaces' hair has been discussed earlier, I do remember him wearing a rather "natty" white suit with diamante trimmed lapels.

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Lena Zavaroni, whose US releases were issued by Stax!

i knew that was too easy..but interesting all the same

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i knew that was too easy..but interesting all the same

Yes - very interesting! God rest her soul (since she died in quite tragic circumstances), but how does a UK Philips recording artist, let alone a screaming kid, get to record for Stax records?

Mind you, she did attempt to cover one of my all-time faves, "School's Out" by Alice Cooper, on the B-side of her follow-up single "(You've Got) Personality", but have to confess that I haven't heard it yet!

Edited by Gene-R

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A little late but........

 

Lovelace Watkins did indeed live in the U.K. for a number of years. He lived just down the road from me on Clay Lane, Bamford. Near Rochdale in Lancashire in 1983.

Edited by Elsadog

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Lovelace caused a bit of s stir in the UK. I remember newspaper reports of a desperate husband telling the papers that his wife had run off with the singer after a concert in Manchester. I think the lady was from Salford.

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He played all the top variety clubs up north in the 70's. He was a regular at places like the Fiesta (Sheffield), Batley Variety Club, Wakefield Theatre Club ..

.... BUT his show was totally M-O-R, very little to no soul content.

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A list of Lovelace Watkin's TV show appearances in the UK...


1974    Lovelace Watkins at the Wookey Hollow
1974    The David Nixon Show
1974    International Cabaret
1973    Let There Be Love (presenter)
1973    The David Nixon Show
1972    Miss Tv Times The National Final
1972    The David Nixon Show
1972    Saturday Variety
1972    Stars on Sunday
1972    The David Nixon Show
1971    The Royal Variety Performance

Source: BFI

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