Sammy Turner Biography

Samuel Black, 2 June 1932, Paterson, New Jersey, USA. Turner briefly achieved fame in the late 50s as a rock ‘n’ roll balladeer, whose speciality was recycled pop songs of the past, particularly those by Guy Lombardo. His most notable record was a remake of a Sammy Kaye hit from 1949, ‘Lavender Blue’ (number 14 R&B/number 3 pop), in 1959. Three follow-ups were similarly remakes of old pop hits: ‘Always’ (number 2 R&B/number 20 pop), a frequently recorded pop song, and a notable hit for Vincent Lopez in 1926 and Guy Lombardo in 1945; ‘Symphony’ (number 82 pop), a hit for Freddy Martin, Guy Lombardo, and others in 1946; and ‘Paradise’ (number 13 R&B/number 46 pop), a Guy Lombardo hit from 1932. Turner’s only success in the UK was with ‘Always’, which went to number 26. Although essentially a pop performer, because of his African-American heritage Turner also garnered considerable success on the R&B charts. However, he was unable to make the transition into the soul era, and rapidly faded as a recording artist after 1960.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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