Graham Reid | | 1 min read
One of the most interesting songs on Marlon Williams' debut album -- and certainly the least expected from someone whose forte is along the folk/country axis -- is his heavily orchestrated cover of the old Teddy Randozzo song I'm Lost Without You.
Randozzo was one of those classic Sixties songwriters who also wrote Gonna Take a Miracle (covered by Laura Nyro), Hurt So Bad (covered by Linda Ronstadt) and quite a number for Little Antony and the Imperials, includeing the ever-popular and much covered Goin' Out of My Head.
But his dramatic I'm Lost Without You -- cowritten with Billy Barberis -- also enjoyed considerable, if not quite such, high-flying and credible success.
In '65 it was covered by LIverpool rock legend Billy Fury who, by that time, was rapidly becoming yesterday's man . . . on the basis of his slick-backed hair image and the stage name dropped on the former Ron Wycherley by manager Larry Parnes, who also renamed young but modest talents into Duffy Power, Johnny Gentle, Vince Eager and so on.
Parnes' most successful was Georgie Fame whose talent far outstripped the limitations of his new nomenclature.
Fury enjoyed a number of hits in '59 and '60 and the young Beatles auditioned to be Fury's backing band (Lennon got the singer's autograph).
In line with many smarter stars of the era, Fury saw the limnitations of just being a slick rock'n'roll singer (a role he reprised in the terrific movie That'll Be the Day) and so broadened his musical reach into mainstream ballads.
He had some chart sucess with them too -- quite a number going top 10 in the UK -- until the tide of history changed. I'm Lost Without You was one of his last and at his funeral in '83 the choir sang an arrangement of it.
It is one of those classic slow-burning ballads which you could imagine was influenced by Roy Orbison/Gene Pitney/Dusty Springfield and the string arrangements of Burt Bacharach.
Or vice-versa possibly.
Here is Marlon Williams' faithful version of it.
And in the clip you can hear Teddy Randazzo's version -- he gets angry! -- which was first recorded by Little Anthony and the Imperials.
Previously Elsewhere has hailed Billy Fury in this article.