70’s Pick of the Week
“Everytime I think of You”, The Babys (1979)
We previously talked about John Waite in the context of “Bad English” in the late 80’s. Now let’s go back to his days in the band, the Babys.
Born in Lancaster, England, Waite vocalist and bass player joined drummer Tony Brock, Keyboard player/guitarist Michael Corby, and guitarist Wally Stocker to form the original line-up of The Babys.
In 1977 their first hit single “Isn’t It Time”, went to number 13 on the U.S. charts.
In 1978 Corby was replaced with Jonathan Cain, and Ricky Phillips was also added to fill the role of bass instead of Waite. This would be the line-up through some very successful touring till the band finally broke up in 1981.
As John explained in a 1979 Hit Parader magazine interview:
"The name was meant to be a joke. We took the name simply because the record companies wouldn't listen to any bands they thought were rock & roll. I mean, they wanted sure-fire teen bands, pre-teen bands. We couldn't get anybody down to hear us to get a record deal, so we called ourselves The Babys. We thought we'd keep the name just for two weeks. Then, the word got around in London that there was a band playing rock & roll called The Babys and it seemed so off the wall, so completely crazy, that it was worth taking a shot with. It really appealed to everyone's sense of humor."
In 1979 “Everytime I Think of You”, the Jack Conrad/Ray Kennedy penned song also reached #13. Ray in his day as a saxophone player had played in the Drifters, The Platters, and with Chubby Checker and Little Richard. With some very strong competition for male vocalist in the seventies John held his own in the midst of, Freddy Mercury, Marvin Gaye, Paul Rogers, Paul Carrack, Steve Perry, Don McLean, James Taylor, and many, many more.
As a solo act, John Waite went on to hit number one with 1984’s “Missing You”. He did join up with some ex-mates from the Babys in the late 80’s with some success, and the hit “When I See You Smile” – another power ballad, perfect for John’s voice. John has a new album out called “Rough and Tumble” and is still going strong on the tour circuit.