Song Of The Day: Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders “Um Um Um Um Um” (1964)

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Happy Birthday to Wayne Fontana, who is alive and well and turning 72 today. He is best known as lead singer of Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, who had a huge international #1 hit in 1965 with “Game Of Love”, a garage rock staple. Fontana’s problem was that the Mindbenders were too good to take a second billing behind him, leading to internal pressures. Guitarist Eric Stewart was a great player, songwriter and as good a singer as Fontana, leading Fontana to quit the band in the middle of a concert in late 1965. In 1966 the Mindbenders without Fontana released another smash hit “A Groovy Kind Of Love”. Stewart went on to become a member of 10cc in the Seventies, while Fontana disappeared into obscurity. But this was their very first hit as a band together, a great little Curtis Mayfield number that reached #5 in the U.K. in 1964 for them, and I’d have to say Fontana’s soulful vocals are pretty damn great.

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