|Birth name||Bertrand Russell Berns|
|Also known as||Bert Russell|
|Born||November 8, 1929|
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||December 30, 1967 38) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Pop, R&B, rock and roll, soul|
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, record producer, label executive|
|Labels||Atlantic, Bang, Shout|
Bertrand Russell Berns (November 8, 1929 – December 30, 1967), also known as Bert Russell and (occasionally) Russell Byrd, was an American songwriter and record producer of the 1960s. Berns' song writing credits include "Twist and Shout", "Piece of My Heart", "Here Comes the Night", "Hang on Sloopy", and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love", and his productions include "Baby, Please Don't Go", "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Under the Boardwalk".
Born in the Bronx, New York City, to Russian Jewish immigrants, Berns contracted rheumatic fever as a child, an illness that damaged his heart and would mark the rest of his life, resulting in his early death. Turning to music, he found enjoyment in the sounds of his African American and Latino neighbors. As a young man, Berns danced in mambo nightclubs, and made his way to Havana before the Cuban Revolution. 23:
Shortly after his return from Cuba, Berns began a seven-year run from an obscure Brill Building songwriter to owner of his own record labels. He signed as a $50/week songwriter with Robert Mellin Music at 1650 Broadway in 1960. His first hit record was "A Little Bit of Soap", performed by the Jarmels on Laurie Records in 1961. Berns himself had a short-lived career as a recording artist, and in 1961, under the name "Russell Byrd", Berns scored his only Billboard Hot 100 appearance with his own composition, "You'd Better Come Home", which peaked at Number 50.That song would later be recorded by the Isley Brothers, and featured as the B-side of their 1962 single "Twistin' With Linda". Also in 1962, the Isley Brothers recorded "Twist and Shout" on Wand Records, written by Berns and Phil Medley. Berns also hit the charts in late 1962 with the Exciters' "Tell Him" on United Artists, and with Solomon Burke's "Cry to Me" on Atlantic Records. As an independent producer working with myriad record labels, Berns also made important records with Garnet Mimms ("Cry Baby") and Gene Pitney ("If I Didn't Have a Dime (to Play the Jukebox)").
Berns's early work with Solomon Burke brought him to the attention of Atlantic label chiefs Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. In 1963, Berns replaced Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller as staff producer at Atlantic, where he wrote and produced hits for Solomon Burke ("Everybody Needs Somebody to Love"), the Drifters ("Under the Boardwalk" and "Saturday Night at the Movies"), Barbara Lewis ("Baby I'm Yours" and "Make Me Your Baby"), Little Esther Phillips ("Hello Walls," written by Willie Nelson), Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett and LaVern Baker.
With many of Berns's songs being recorded by British Invasion bands such as the Beatles ("Twist and Shout"), the Rolling Stones ("Cry to Me") and the Animals ("Baby Let Me Take You Home"), Berns became the first American record producer to travel across the Atlantic to work in London. 222 He went to England three times between 1964 and 1965, where he produced a number of British Decca songs such as Baby Please Don't Go," a traditional blues song recorded by Them, and Here Comes the Night, recorded by Lulu and Them..:
Berns formed his own record label, BANG Records, in 1965. BANG Records was founded with his Atlantic Records partners, with the label's name derived from the initials of each of their respective personal names—in order, Bert Berns, Ahmet Ertegun, Nesuhi Ertegun, and Gerald (Jerry) Wexler. BANG was home to such artists as the McCoys ("Hang on Sloopy"), the Strangeloves ("I Want Candy"), Them's ex-lead singer Van Morrison ("Brown Eyed Girl"), and, most notably, Neil Diamond ("Solitary Man" and "Cherry Cherry," both produced by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich).
With BANG Records releasing predominantly rock and roll, Berns formed Shout Records in 1966 as an outlet for his greatest passions of R&B and soul music, recording artists such Freddie Scott ("Are You Lonely for Me Baby") and Erma Franklin ("Piece of My Heart"). "Piece of My Heart", one of his last songs, was covered shortly thereafter by Big Brother and the Holding Company, which the then unknown Janis Joplin fronted.
Berns, who had a history of cardiac trouble as a result of his heart being damaged from rheumatic fever contracted during childhood, died in his New York apartment of heart failure on December 30, 1967, aged 38. He was buried two days later, following a funeral service at Riverside Memorial Chapel on New York's 180 West 76th Street in Manhattan. His widow Ilene outlived her husband by nearly 50 years; she died at the age of 73 on February 20, 2017.
The Led Zeppelin outtake "Baby Come on Home" (originally titled "A Tribute to Bert Berns") was loosely based on a song Berns wrote for Hoagy Lands, and was recorded in Berns' honour.
Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues by Joel Selvin, a book on his life and career, was published in 2014.
A musical, Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story by Daniel Goldfarb, premiered off-Broadway in 2014 at the Pershing Square Signature Center.
A documentary film titled BANG! The Bert Berns Story, co-directed by Bert Berns' son Brett Berns and Bob Sarles, premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festivalto great acclaim.
Berns was inducted as a non-performer and given the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award with the 2016 class to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Isley Brothers are an American musical group originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, that started as a vocal trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley in the 1950s. With a career spanning over seven decades, the group has been cited as having enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music".
"Twist and Shout" is a 1961 song written by Phil Medley and Bert Berns, later credited as "Bert Russell". It was originally recorded by The Top Notes, but it became a chart hit as a single by the Isley Brothers in 1962. The song has been covered by several artists, including the Beatles on their first album Please Please Me (1963), the Tremeloes in 1962, and the Who in 1970 and 1984.
Bang Records was created by Bert Berns in 1965 together with his partners from Atlantic Records: Ahmet Ertegun, Nesuhi Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. The first letters of their names formed the label's name.
Shout Records is a record company founded by songwriter and record producer Bert Berns in 1966.
"Hang On Sloopy" is a 1964 song by Wes Farrell and Bert Berns, originally titled "My Girl Sloopy". It was first recorded and made a hit by R&B vocal group the Vibrations. When the rock band the McCoys covered it in 1965, the song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the UK Singles Chart.
Freddie Scott was an American soul singer and songwriter. His biggest hits were "Hey, Girl", a top ten US pop hit in 1963, and "Are You Lonely for Me", a no. 1 hit on the R&B chart in early 1967.
T-Neck Records was a record label founded by members of the R&B/soul group The Isley Brothers in 1964, which became notable for distributing the first nationally-released recordings of Jimi Hendrix, their guitarist, and which later became a successful label after the Isleys began releasing their own works after years of recording for other labels, scoring hits such as "It's Your Thing" (1969) and "That Lady" (1973).
Something to Shout About was the title of Lulu's first UK LP, released on the Decca Records label in 1965. Most of the songs are recorded in an R&B, early rock and roll style that complemented her mature and raspy voice. It was released when she was just seventeen. The album contained Lulu's debut hit "Shout", which reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart.
Twist & Shout is the second studio album released by The Isley Brothers on the Wand label in 1962. Their second album after Shout! three years prior, the album was released on the success of the title track, which would later be covered by The Beatles more than a year later for their own hit version. Other stand-outs in the album include Isley-penned tracks such as "Right Now", "Nobody but Me" and the charter, "Twistin' with Linda".
"Everybody Needs Somebody to Love" is a song written by Bert Berns, Solomon Burke and Jerry Wexler, and originally recorded by Solomon Burke under the production of Bert Berns at Atlantic Records in 1964. Burke's version charted in 1964, but missed the US top 40, peaking at number 58.
"Cry to Me" is a song written by Bert Berns and first recorded by American soul singer Solomon Burke in 1961. Released in 1962, it was Burke's second single to appear in both Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides and Hot 100 singles charts. Several other artists recorded the song, including Betty Harris (1963), the Pretty Things (1965), the Rolling Stones (1965), Freddie Scott (1967), Tom Petty (1979), Precious Wilson (1980), and IDLES (2018). AJ Croce.
Rock 'n Soul is a 1964 studio album by Grammy Award winning musician Solomon Burke. The album contained seven top 100 hits. Originally released on LP on Atlantic Records, #5009, in November 1964, it was subsequently reissued in March, 1997, on the Sequel Records imprint, #RSACD 861. The album was also reissued in 1998 on the Collectables Records label in conjunction with a June, 1963, Burke album as If You Need Me/Rock 'n' Soul.
The History of Rock and Roll is a radio documentary on rock and roll music, originally syndicated in 1969, and again in 1978 and 1981. It is currently distributed as a 2 1/2 minute short feature on internet networks. This list below reflects the contents of the more widely heard 1978 version of The History of Rock & Roll.
James Radcliffe was an American soul singer, composer, arranger, conductor and record producer.
Gil Hamilton, known as Johnny Thunder, is an American R&B and pop singer, whose biggest hit was "Loop de Loop" in 1963.
The following list is the discography of the American soul musician Solomon Burke.
Robert C. Bushnell is an American bass player and guitarist who has appeared on dozens of albums and singles as a studio musician, including, Bobby Lewis's hit "Tossin' and Turnin'" (1961), "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels (1963), "Under the Boardwalk" by The Drifters (1964) and the remixed hit version of Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" (1965).
Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story is a jukebox musical with a book by Daniel Goldfarb and music and lyrics by Bert Berns. Based on the life and music of songwriter and record producer Bert Berns, the musical made its world premiere Off Broadway at the Pershing Square Signature Center on July 21, 2014.
The Top Notes was a rhythm and blues vocal group, centered around the singers Derek Martin and Howard Guyton. They released a number of singles in the early 1960s, amongst which was the first recording of "Twist and Shout".