Wilde World: George McCurn

Kim Wilde’s first records were written and produced by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky. The three of them have had a great influence on the music world, as this regular series ‘Wilde World’ shows.

Two weeks ago, this blog featured the Roemans, who released one single with two Marty Wilde compositions on it: ‘Give me a chance’ and ‘Your friend’. But the latter was recorded by two other American acts as well: George McCurn and Mal Ryder and the Spirits. All of these versions were recorded and released in 1964.

George McCurn was born on January 21, 1920. His earliest known professional credit is not until 1948 when he joined the Kings of Harmony vocal quartet as a replacement for legendary gospel bassist Isaac “Dickie” Freeman. In 1950 je again replaced Freman in the Fairfield Four, and made his first recordings as their bassist for Dot in October of that year. After four years the group split up, and he joined the Pilgrim Travelers for five years. He then decided to take a break from gospel and joined on with The Ink Spots for a European tour that lasted until November 1962. Back in the USA, McCurn hooked up in Los Angeles with producers Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss and their new A&M record label. In January 1963, McCurn recorded his first solo single, ‘I’m Just a Country Boy’. It was a minor hit. His album, ‘Country Boy Goes to Town!!!!!’ failed to find an audience. In 1964, he released the single ‘Your Friend’. If you compare his version with that of the Roemans, you’ll find it’s a much more laidback version.

George McCurn seldom recorded afterward, but was hired for occasional sessions which required a deep bass singer as a backing vocalist. McCurn died at age 65 in Los Angeles in 1985.

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