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Thursday, July 09, 2009

"She's Gone"

This is a cool little record done in 1966 by a man named Jerry Ghan, known professionally as Jerry G. Bishop.

Many of you may not know him. But if you lived in Chicago in the late 60s and early 70s, you might have an idea of his work.

Jerry G. Bishop was a good Top 40 disc jockey who he came to WCFL in early '67. By 1970 he had left radio and instead graduated to hosting the "Screaming Yellow Theater" comedy-cum-horror-movie show on Channel 32. Bishop's "Sven Goolie" character was a dizzy hippie who told terrible jokes and introduced low-budget "scary" films. Bishop also played other characters on the show, sang wacky songs, etc. The show was popular enough that celebrities came down to Channel 32's studios to hang out. I thought he was great, even though a lot of the material went over my nine-year-old head.

After WFLD cancelled the show in 1973, Bishop went to Channel 5 in Chicago, then out to the west and back to radio. Out of the business now, he currently lives in San Diego, where he and his wife run a couple of restaurants.

(The current MeTV show Sven Goolie features Rich Koz, a writer for Bishop's show who has been playing the role now for nearly 30 years. Koz, a legend in this town in his own right, plays SG as a more campy fake-horror guy, almost like a real-life Count Floyd.) Bring on the rubber chickens!

But I digress. (REALLY digress.) This single, made in Cleveland, where Bishop was a popular DJ on WKYC before coming to Chicago, has a foundation in Northern Soul, with aggressive on-the-one drumming, high-mixed horns, and a strong vocal chorus.

But while it's been a favorite at times in Britain's notorious Northern Soul scene, it's not prototypical, being perhaps too poppy. It also has some production that's perhaps too esoteric for the Northern genre, including what sounds like a tack piano on the bridge.

My old friend Clark Besch played this for me some 20 years ago, and I've been looking for my own copy ever since. I recently snagged one on eBay. Hurray!

Hope you enjoy. "Life is made for loving," indeed.


Blogger Bob Purse said...

Hey, this is pretty durn good. The opening reminds me of Dave Clark's remake of "You Got What It Takes", although it looks like this came first. The vocal arrangement (although not the vocal style) reminds me a bit of Boyce and Hart's hit (in places, anyway).

This is a pretty complex song and arrangement, and I would never have guessed who it was, even if you'd first told me it was someone from Chicago media.

Thanks for sharing, dood.

9:48 AM, July 20, 2009

Anonymous WLSClark said...

I agree with Bob and Stu. I think this is an excellent record by the then TV bandstand/dance show host in Cleveland, Jerry G. His WKYC jingle went "Jerry G. & Co." In the 64 era at KYW (pre-WKYC Cleveland), Jerry played and sang on the air alot. He was one of the last of a line of great Cleve DJs to make it to WCFL in Chicago. At CFL, he was morning man and the logo pegged for him there was "If Jerry G can't make you laugh, you lose!" Some time later, several locals were asked to name the 10 worst records and Jerry had this at #10! It should have been Lujack's 45 record instead. Haha. Like Jim Stagg, Jerry toured with the Beatles and even released an album of his conversations with and about the Beatles. "She's Gone" was released late 66 while he was at WKYC, but was also played in January, 67 at CFL when he moved. Talk about going from town to town to promote your record!! Thanks, Stu, for remembering this tune! Clark Besch

6:00 AM, August 27, 2009

Blogger Total Sound said...

I have a friend who had a stroke and is trying to recover. he loves this song. Any way to get an mp3 copy for him so he can listen to it during his rehab? My e-mail is Thanks a lot!

6:35 AM, September 08, 2010

Anonymous Bob S said...

Check out Vinyl Schminyl Radio. I featured it this past Friday on my podcast. Here is the link.

Bob Stern

6:00 PM, April 03, 2011

Anonymous Henry K. said...

Great Song! Haven't heard in years!
Thanks for posting it!

4:11 PM, January 24, 2012

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved listening to this record! Thank you for sharing it. Funny thing: I was skimming The Independent, a UK-based newspaper, and clicked on a link about the Beatles and some long-lost interviews. Imagine my surprise at seeing the interviewer was "a US DJ called Jerry G Bishop." Wait a minute--could that be OUR Jerry G Bishop here in San Diego? Turns out it is (did some web surfing and found this website). Bishop's a familiar figure in San Diego: after radio announcing here, he went into the restaurant biz.

11:25 PM, November 10, 2012


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