Sunday, September 27, 2009

Era - Wess Johnson, Sir Howard Morrison

Wess Johnson (1945-2009)This week Wess Johnson, of Wess and Dori Ghezzi (Italy 1975) fame has died.
Just a few months ago Wess Johnson got a mention in the Eurocovers post about Rocky Roberts.
The Italian entry Era ended 3rd in the Stockholm Eurovision in 1975. Era became a hit in several European countries, including a #2 hit in Finland, a #3 in Sweden and Norway, #6 in Switzerland and #20 in the Netherlands.

In Italy Wess and Dori Ghezzi scored 10 hits.. Their first hit was an Italian version of United We Stand (1972) and in 1975 Un Corpo E Un'Anima was a #1 hit. Era reached #13 in the Italian charts. Their last hit together was Amore Bellissimo (#9 hit in 1977). Together Wess and Dori made 5 albums.

Wess Johnson sold 10 million records worldwide throughout his career with the Airedales (first as bassist, later as lead singer), with Dori Ghezzi and as a solo singer. From 2000 he toured with the Wess Band, celebrating Italian and American (soul) classics at many live events.

The song Era was originally offered to Loredana Berté (sister of Mia Martini) but she didn't want to release it. At the time it wasn't intended as a Eurovision entry yet. Berté released her recording on a rarities LP Lorinedita in 1983.

Watch the Youtubes of Era (videoclip) and Un Corpo E Un'Anima (live) by Wess and Dori Ghezzi. And I Migliori Anni from 2008 where Wess sings with a virtual Dori.

Sir Howard Morrison (1935-2009)
Another sad goodbye this week. New Zealands King Of Entertainment, Sir Howard Morrison has passed away at the age of 74. With a music career of over 40 years, Morrison is a celebrated singer who's biggest hit in his home country was How Great Thou Art in 1981.

Eurocovers remembers Howard Morrison especially for his version of Eres Tu (The 1973 Spanish entry by Mocedades) which he recorded with a Maori choir on his 1979 album Morrison Magic - Tu Tangata. The track, a medley with Sailing, is sung in English and Maori.
As far as I know it's the only Eurocover in the Maori language.

You can read an extensive biography here at New Zealand Music com. and Wiki

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