New Year's Eve, Skyliner Ballroom, Ft.Worth,TX 1962

     Bruce Channel's Hey Baby is one of the many records proving that, during a period in which rock has sometimes been characterized as near death, the form was continuing to evolve in unexpected and delightful ways. An irresistible mid-tempo shuffle from the first few bars of homespun harmonica (played by Delbert McClinton), it was a seemingly effortless blend of rock, blues, country, and Cajun beats, featuring Channel's lazy, drawling vocals and an instantly catchy tune.
 

     In early 1962 the song caught on, and began to shoot up the record charts. It reached the number one position and stayed there for three weeks. Bruce Channel became a popular act. He began to tour, and his popularity caught on in England. It was while on one of these tours with a then little known group called The Beatles that Delbert McClinton ran into John Lennon. The two discussed playing the harmonica, which was a very curious musical instrument to Lennon. The Beatle procured a harmonica of his own and began to use it in his own group's recordings, on such records as Please, Please Me and Love Me Do.


UK Tour 1962
(L to R: Pete Best, John Lennon, Delbert McClinton, Bruce, Paul McCartney and George Harrison)

      In 1978, Bruce moved to Nashvillle and began writing songs for Nashville recording artists. Since then his successes as a writer include number one records for T. G. Shepherd, Janie Frickie, John Conlee, Anne Murray and Mel McDaniel. Bruce has also had cuts by Alabama, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jerry lee Lewis, Tom Jones and Kieran Kane.

 

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2002, Bruce Channel

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