Brian Hyland - The Joker Went Wild
Brian Hyland (born November 12, 1943, Woodhaven, Queens, New York) is an American pop recording artist who was particularly successful during the early 1960s. He continued recording into the 1970s. Allmusic journalist Jason Ankeny states, "Hyland's puppy-love pop virtually defined the sound and sensibility of bubblegum during the pre-Beatles era." Although his status as a teen idol faded, he went on to release several country-influenced albums and had further chart hits later in his career.
Hyland studied guitar and clarinet as a child, and sang in his church choir. When aged 14 he co-founded the harmony group The Delfis, which recorded a demo but failed to secure a recording contract. Hyland was eventually signed by Kapp Records as a solo artist, issuing his debut single, "Rosemary", in late 1959. The label employed the Brill Building songwriting duo of Lee Pockriss and Paul Vance to work with Hyland on the follow-up, "Four Little Heels (The Clickety Clack Song)", which was a minor hit, and the songwriting duo continued to work with Hyland.
Thus in August 1960, Hyland scored his first and biggest hit single at the age of 16, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini", written by Vance and Pockriss. It was a novelty song that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and sold almost a million copies in the first two months of its release, and over two million copies in total.
Hyland moved on to ABC Records, where he began working with the songwriting and production team of Gary Geld and Peter Udell, and further hits followed with "Let Me Belong to You" and "I'll Never Stop Wanting You".
Hyland's other major hit during this period was 1962's "Sealed with a Kiss," which reached #3 in 1962 on both the American and UK Singles Chart. It stayed on the U.S. pop chart for eleven weeks. In 1975, "Sealed With a Kiss" was reissued as a single in the UK and became a surprise #7 hit (the song, revived by Australian Jason Donovan, charted #1 in the UK in 1989). Another 1962 hit was "Ginny Come Lately," which reached #21 on the U.S. chart and #5 in the UK. Hyland 1962 Top 30 hit "Warmed-Over Kisses (Leftover Love)" saw Hyland incorporating elements of country music into his work, which continued with singles including "I May Not Live to See Tomorrow" and "I'm Afraid to Go Home", and on the 1964 album Country Meets Folk. This approach was out of step with the changes brought about by the British Invasion bands, and his commercial success became limited, but he continued in that vein, and had further hits with "The Joker Went Wild" and "Run, Run, Look and See", working with producer Snuff Garrett and session musicians including J. J. Cale and Leon Russell.
Hyland appeared on national television programs such as American Bandstand and The Jackie Gleason Show, and toured both internationally and around America with Dick Clark in the Caravan of Stars. The caravan was in Dallas, Texas on the day of the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963. To commemorate the event, Hyland wrote the song "Mail Order Gun", which he recorded and eventually released on his 1970 eponymous album.
From 1963 through 1969, Hyland scored several minor hits, but none reached higher than #20 ("The Joker Went Wild") on the U.S. pop chart. An album released in 1964 featured numbers that hearkened back to the 1950s including such hits as "Pledging My Love" and "Moments to Remember" -- at a time when The Beatles were sweeping the pop music world with a very different style. Hyland afterward shifted into a phase of recording country music and folk rock styles. Songs such as "I'm Afraid To Go Home" and "Two Brothers" had an American Civil War theme. Hyland played harmonica on a few numbers. ~SOURCE Wikipedia
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