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Kathy Young and The Innocents - A Thousand Stars (1960)

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Published on Jan 25, 2012

Kathy Young was born October 21,1945, in the Community Hospital in in Santa Ana, California. Her family lived in the nearby town of Orange. Her father was an electrician that worked at the Studebaker plant. He mother a homemaker. By the time Young was two, the family was living in Long Beach. Her mother played guitar and was choir director at the Bellflower Christian reform Church. early on, Kathy was given a guitar and joined choir before she was in her teens.

In Long Beach, she attended Hamilton Junior High. In the eighth grade , her best friend Myrna Wilson, signed her up for the annual talent show. stage shy, a condition that persisted for years, Young won the show. That automatically put her on the the next year's program, which she won too. One weekday afternoon in the late summer of 1960, the girls group Young belonged to visited the Dance Party (similar to American Bandstand) hosted by Wink Martindale. The guest were the Innocents, a local trio with "Honest I Do" on the new Indigo label. Fascinated by the Innocents, Young introduced herself while they were signing autographs, asking how to go about making a record. Jim Lee, the Innocents manager, gave her his phone number and told her to call when he had more time.

Instead of calling right away, Young went home and practiced for three months. Knowing of her desire to record some demos, the girls' club was working to raise the necessary $225 to hire a studio band and book three hours of time. Young now phoned Lee and he told her to come in and see hi. . Unfortunately, Kathy suffered a concussion in a swimming pool accident.

In the meantime, the Innocents were enjoying success with their first release "Honest I Do." The Innocents formed in the late 1950s as the Emeralds. the group consisted of Darron Stankey (born July 5, 1942), Larry Tamblyn, frank Zworkin and Wayne Edwards. After a year without success most of the originals were gone. Stankey recruited Jim west (born January 1, 1941), Al Candaleria (born March 7, 1941) and Larry Knew. All three of the new members were from the southern suburbs of Los Angeles. Now known as the Echoes, they were hired to sing background for Alpert's producing sessions for Andex Records. Their first work was singing behind an obscure female artist on "Time." Shortly thereafter, Larry Knew left.

When Alpert was late for an appointment one afternoon in June, 1960, the boys walked down the street to the Hollywood recording Studios, where Kim Fowley and Gary Paxton were in house producers. They auditioned with "Honest I Do," impressing Fowley enough to set up a session later that day. Within days the newly re-named Innocents were signed to a production deal and a recording contract with Indigo Records. Almost immediately, "Honest I Do" was picked as a hit by two of the most powerful radio stations in Los Angeles. At this time, Jim Lee worked for a local record distributor and was learning the ropes at Indigo. Soon he was the Innocents manager. "Honestly I do" was released nationally in the second week in July. It was selling so well in Los Angeles that they were invited to appear on American Bandstand on July 29. With this national exposure, three weeks later "Honest I Do: began climbing the charts, eventually reaching the Top Thirty.

Young went through an official audition and was given the studio time to record. Young had many songs she had written, but Lee was more interested in her recording "A Thousand Stars," which had been a minor R&B hit for the Rivileers in 1954 on Baton. Young ran through it a few times to familiarize herself with the lyrics. Then minimal instrumentation, snare drum and muted lead on electric guitar.was added, but Lee . After several takes, even with Young playing acoustic guitar and heavy echo, the sound was sparse. Lee suggest that the Innocents provide some light vocal backing. This time, when they reached the end, they knew they had something special.

Though "A Thousand Stars" was long by the contemporary standards of rock and roll, that didn't seem to deter deejays from playing it. "A Thousand Stars" blasted its way into the Top Ten reaching #3 Pop and #6 R&B.

PLEASE NOTE: I divided my uploads between multiple channels, Bookmark this link in your browser for instant access to an index with links to all of John1948's oldies classics. LINK: http://tinyurl.com/Channel-Index

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