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Author Topic: Professional Athletes who were also recording artists  (Read 4884 times)
doowopbob
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« on: December 20, 2017, 07:20:59 PM »

Anyone care to participate?  I can think of a couple:
Arthur Lee Maybe - MLB
Otis Williams - minor league baseball
Conway Twitty - minor league baseball
Charley Pride - minor league baseball
Roosevelt Grier - NFL
Jim McMahon; Walter Payton, etc - 1985 Chicago Bears
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Robb_K
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 07:56:45 PM »

Wilt Chamberlain, Ernie Terrell, Cassius Clay,

I have records by those 3 plus many records by Arthur Lee Maye, and many by Rosey Grier

I can't help but remember seeing other baseball cards having the same note as Lee Maye had :  "In the offseason, player name is a professional singer!"  I wish I could remember who they were.  Perhaps some basketball, football, and even a hockey player.  Cheesy

I KNOW there are several more recording artists who played professional sports (some only in the minors, some more in major leagues - at least a few games-or a long career and only one record), whose records I have in my collection.  I wish I could remember who they are.   Angry

Footballer Jim Brown owned a few Soul record companies (including Big Jim).  Rosey Grier, Roosevelt Brown, and two other Black players on The New York Football Giants owned a Soul record label (Tac-Ful Records (which had a football runner in a running position straightarming).  Their main group was The New Yorkers.  

I remember several of the Chicago and L.A. VGH group members of the '50s playing either football, basketball or baseball at their high schools.  I'd bet at least a few of them also tried some pro ball (at least in the minors).  It wasn't just Lee Maye who was doing both for a while.  But, I just can't remember.  Could it be that Richard Berry played baseball, too?  Most of the L.A. and a large portion of the Chicago group members I remember, were also athletic.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 08:29:34 PM by Robb_K » Logged

JoeC
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 08:01:57 PM »

Shaquille O'Neal -- couple rap albums in the 90s
Bernie Williams - NYY - Bruce Springsteen guested on one album cut
Bronson Arroyo -  MLB pitcher - put out album of cover songs originally done by artists like Foo Fighters

My son, who works for Fender Musial Instruments in Hollywood, told me many athletes fancy themselves as rock guitarists and often stop by to peruse/purchase gear. Guys like Barry Zito, Bob Brenley, Randy Johnson, etc.  
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 01:41:08 AM »

Richie Allen--prob best voice "Echoes of November."
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 01:45:03 AM »

Was good  friends with  Berry  & Maye.  Richard  (like Vernon Green)  had polio  as a  kid--so  had a bad leg--no  way he  could  have played any sport.

Wilt  had a 45 on End(?)  & I have seen clips of  him on Bandstand.



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JoeC
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 09:19:00 AM »

Wilt singing on TV musta been a hoot.

Here's one of his records from January 1960. On the End label no less, produced of course "under the personal supervision of George Goldner."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCn323X3c_0
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 12:41:14 PM »

Jim "Mudcat" Grant sang (and pitched for Twns/Indians/others).
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Robb_K
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 12:59:05 PM »

Was good  friends with  Berry  & Maye.  Richard  (like Vernon Green)  had polio  as a  kid--so  had a bad leg--no  way he  could  have played any sport.

Wilt  had a 45 on End(?)  & I have seen clips of  him on Bandstand.

I must have been thinking of others.  Many of those young VGH singers played on the School teams at Jefferson, Jordan, Fremont, Washington and Manual Arts High Schools.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 02:12:09 PM »

Wilt singing on TV musta been a hoot.

Here's one of his records from January 1960. On the End label no less, produced of course "under the personal supervision of George Goldner."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCn323X3c_0
Did he make ANY other records?  I've never sen nor heard of any.
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JoeC
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 04:16:02 PM »

Don't know of any others.

The flip side of "That's Easy To Say" was called 'By the River" and was written by Dinah Washington's protege, Norman Mapp, more of a jazz writer. "That's Easy To Say" was written by the team of Vance-Pockriss who wrote Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star" and the Brian Hyland abomination "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny ...", "Tracy" by the Cuff Links, and the insipid "Johnny Angel' by Shelley Fabares. Based on the writers, I'd guess"That's Easy" was the A side.
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Robb_K
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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 05:37:53 PM »

Don't know of any others.

The flip side of "That's Easy To Say" was called 'By the River" and was written by Dinah Washington's protege, Norman Mapp, more of a jazz writer. "That's Easy To Say" was written by the team of Vance-Pockriss who wrote Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star" and the Brian Hyland abomination "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny ...", "Tracy" by the Cuff Links, and the insipid "Johnny Angel' by Shelley Fabares. Based on the writers, I'd guess"That's Easy" was the A side.
Vance and Pockriss were a famous Brill Building duo, who wrote lots of famous Pop, Girls Group, and even some Soul songs.  I probably have well over 100 records with a song of theirs oni them, despite having almost no Pop records in my collection.

Wilt had a decent voice, but these two songs were sung terribly.  I've heard a LOT worse.  But they are not enjoyable to hear.  I wouldn't pay 79? for it. I waited until I saw it in a thrift shop, and bought it for 5?.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 12:02:10 AM by Robb_K » Logged

doctordoowop
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2017, 06:19:35 PM »

The clip On Bandstand--Wilt wears a suit and  stands motionless in front of curtain, lip syncing.  Prob.  wondering what the hell he was doing.
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JoeC
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2017, 07:25:54 PM »

The fact that both sides were written by "name writers" shows Goldner was probably serious about trying to give Wilt a legit shot at a hit. As Alan Freed said, though, if it's not "in the grooves' ... 
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doowopdan in GA
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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 05:10:54 PM »

Jackie Wilson was a professional boxer.
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JoeC
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2017, 05:58:43 PM »

Berry Gordy boxed too, didn't he?
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Robb_K
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2017, 07:09:22 PM »

Berry Gordy boxed too, didn't he?
Yes, that's how he met Jackie, and Marv Johnson, who was also a boxer (although I don't think he went pro).  I wonder if Billy "Roquel" Davis was a boxer, too? - And if any of Berry's other Motown hirees and early friends were?  I wouldn't be surprised if Andre Williams was.  A lot of singers had scars on their faces.  Some was from"gang wars", and some from boxing.  Some took up boxing because they lived in tough neighbourhoods.
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bklynmike101
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 07:37:17 PM »

Bill Pinckney played ball - may have been in the old Negro leagues for a brief spell. One of the Ravens - maybe Warren Suttles - played some baseball too at a pretty high level. 
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Robb_K
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 10:03:07 PM »

Bill Pinckney played ball - may have been in the old Negro leagues for a brief spell. One of the Ravens - maybe Warren Suttles - played some baseball too at a pretty high level. 
I'd bet a LOT of the early VGH group members and old Blues singers played in The Negro Leagues.  I remember seeing lots of references to that and also major and minor league Ball, that I'm forgetting now.  But, I was always surprised,
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JoeC
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 11:16:03 AM »

Speaking of boxing, am reading the bio of Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali. When he was 15, he was administered the California Standard IQ Test. He scored an 83.

Two friends from the neighborhood in Louisville, described him as the most popular boy in school but "dumb as a box of rocks" and "not the sharpest tack." He was, throughout his life a VERY slow reader. Well before any Parkinson's or brain damage, it would take him 3 or 4x longer than the average reader to get through a simple story in the sports pages. Dropped out of HS in 10th grade. His last wife said he was very dyslexic (a condition either unknown or given short shrift in the 50s).

Doctor, could dyslexia lead to such a low score on the IQ test? Also, there's a theory that dyslexia improved his boxing skills, i.e., that dyslexics have better-developed visual and spatial capability.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 11:25:39 AM »

Joe-sure--now dyslexics are  given  much more time  on standardized tests.   Yrs  ago i met  a    black lady from  Louisville-born around 1940.  She  went to Central  High. I asked  if she knew  Cassius Clay then?   She  was surprised I  knew but said yes, she was chosen to  tutor him in English.  She  .said he was very nice.
Probably  dyslexics are more motivated to  do something physical--but dont think dyslexia IMPROVES  coordination. 
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JoeC
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« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2018, 12:34:07 PM »

Joe-sure--now dyslexics are  given  much more time  on standardized tests.   Yrs  ago i met  a    black lady from  Louisville-born around 1940.  She  went to Central  High. I asked  if she knew  Cassius Clay then?   She  was surprised I  knew but said yes, she was chosen to  tutor him in English.  She  .said he was very nice.
Probably  dyslexics are more motivated to  do something physical--but dont think dyslexia IMPROVES  coordination.  

The "nice" part really rings true. Everybody who knew him, peers and adults, said in the book that he was always very polite and ingratiating. Couldn't help but like him. One of his HS friends said he never knew anyone to say a negative word about Cassius (I guess excepting the lighthearted comments about his intelligence).

His dad's behavior, well that's another story. Seems he was fond of drink and knives, a bad combination. Louisville PD often called to house for domestic disturbances but never arrested (didn't really see any purpose with "coloreds" involved in DV in those days).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 02:34:50 PM by JoeC » Logged
doctordoowop
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« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 10:36:29 PM »

Of course  his  low  reading score  got him  classified  4F.  Then  1A  etc  etc.

Joe--tell your  Westlake  son he  should see  Cavelia  --great  horse acrobatic show in of all places Camarillo--at 101  &  Santa Rosa  Rd.  Costs about wat show in Vegas is,  but well worth it.  Began Nov11,  and still  selling out  2000  seat circus tent  twice  day.  Took son today-fantastic.

Also for u Robb.  All  the acrobats &  horse riders   are from Quebec. Grin Grin Grin.  So  not just hockey  players from  there.

I just hope PETA doesn't try to shut it down.  There  are NO mares, 13  stallions & (woops ) 56 geldings.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 11:27:58 PM by doctordoowop » Logged
DJ Big Jack
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« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2018, 10:45:24 PM »

Clay (Ali) trained near where I lived -  he was well liked by everyone as far as I know.

http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-muhammad-ali-training-camp-deer-lake-20160605-story.html
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2018, 11:29:36 PM »

Agree--Elijah  Mhammad  used him  terribly  & he brainwashed  Ali with his Farrakhan  like race  ideas.
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JoeC
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« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2018, 08:58:22 AM »

Clay (Ali) trained near where I lived -  he was well liked by everyone as far as I know.

http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-muhammad-ali-training-camp-deer-lake-20160605-story.html


Jack, I can say the same. While I was at the U of Miami, he was training at the "hole in the wall" 5th Street Gym on Miami Beach for the first fight with Liston. Anyone could stop in, which I did on a couple excursions to the nearby beach. In my surfer shorts, tee shirt, and flip flops. That part of Miami Beach in the 60s was pretty run down; now it's called South Beach. 180 degree turnaround though in many ways I preferred the former place.
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doctordoowop
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2018, 12:13:03 AM »

I went to  S Beach in the  early 70s--talk  about gentrification. I liked it better too. Sort of like Venice  CA. Remember  wen beatles  visited Ali .They were waiting to  sing for Ed at the Deauville hotel.  Feb  16,19 64 I think.

After clowning for  a few minutes they left.  then Ali asked  Bundini or  Dundee," Who are those 4  faggots?"
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JoeC
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2018, 09:46:49 AM »

I was at school there in Feb 64. Read that in the papers (the gym visit and Ali's remarks). Second hand, but reliable, reports I got was that The Beatles were far from gay. Their suites at the hotel were a non-stop parade of high school and college girls up for some action. Hand-selected  by their "minders" from the lobby and whisked upstairs.

Doc, if you thought South Beach was gentrified in the 70s, you should see it now. Not my cup of tea. The shots in the movie "Scarface' filmed on Ocean Drive (the ones with the chainsaw Colombian gang) and Pacino's friends waiting in the convertible outside, sorta give a glimpse of the "old" South Beach. The elderly Jewish retirees from NY playing checkers while living out their days on their Social Security pension checks.
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JoeC
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« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2018, 10:10:26 PM »

Clay (Ali) trained near where I lived -  he was well liked by everyone as far as I know.

http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-muhammad-ali-training-camp-deer-lake-20160605-story.html


Jack, just finished a chapter in that Ali biography I mentioned I was reading that talked about Ali training at Deer Creek for the "Rumble in the Jungle" against George Foreman in 1974. Reporters had to stay at a place called the Deer Creek Motel on Rt 61. You familiar with it? Described as having, on their business card, the words "Discreet Lodging," and that every room smelled of Shell No Pest Strips. Remember those nasty things? For insect infestations? Other than that, Ali's camp (which he built as a tax haven) was a delightful, rustic camp. 
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« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2018, 10:47:39 AM »

Joe, that entire area was rustic 'back in the day".   My parents had a cabin at a nearby lake .. one of about 100 cabins in the area.   Most of them had been built in the 1920s.   It's a mountainous area, with lots of small towns (my hometown of 10,000 was considered to be "big")  and either pristine forests or huge coal mines both deep mines and strip mines.  All the valleys were filled with farmlands growing wheat and corn (no soybeans in sight back then).

As long as I'm talking about that area,  if you, or anyone on the forum is a football fan,  check out the "Pottsville Maroons" .. the NFL team that arguably won the 1925 NFL Championship but was cheated out of it.   Here's a teaser about the team... "On the first snap of the game against the Chicago Bears, the Pottsville players knocked football legend Red Grange out cold. Grange soon recovered from the hit, only to be knocked out again. Immediately Grange said "The hell with (the $500 owed to him for the one game), it ain't worth it." He then proceeded to walk off the field."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottsville_Maroons
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JoeC
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« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2018, 01:20:48 PM »

Jack, One of my classmates and an All American Linebacker for the University of Miami Hurricanes in the mid-60s was Ed Weisacosky from Pottsville. After graduating, he played in the NFL from 1967-72 for the Dolphins, Giants, and Patriots.
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