The Galens (San Francisco)
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
Charlene Knight (Lead)
Bob Hubener (Bassist)
George Ross (Percussionist)
Norman Galen (Piano)
1963 - Baby I Do Love You / Love Bells (Challenge 59212)
1964 - Stranger In Paradise / Chinese Lanterns (Challenge 59253)
1965 - Young Dreams / I Love You More Than You Know (Challenge 59302)
1964/65 - The Galens (LJ 104) : Baby I Do Love You / Young Dreams / I Love You More Tham You Know / I've Never Had A Broken Heart Before / Jolie Jacqueline / Stranger In Paradise / Chinese Lanterns / Come On Let's Kiss / Lawrence Of Arabia
The Galens came in on the music scene while the second wave Girl Group sound was in full bloom, just prior to a gradually developing, more militant sounding movement of the mid-’60s, as lead by The Shangri-las. This girl group wholly captured the uniquely innocent and captivating style of music heard everywhere on AM radio once upon a time. The Paris Sisters heavily figured with this particular sound, but The Galens had an even greater edge on a thoroughly gravitating female voice deliverance. Unfortunately, The Galens’ recorded output is very small.
But it’s a case of quality over quantity, although after one hears the few records they made, a longing for more material will likely ensue.Wouldn’t it be nice if Challenge Records had put together a complete album by The Galens? Evidently, enough material exists that this could have been a strong possibility.Even though there were three guys in the group (Bob Hubener, George Ross and the mythical Galen), the female lead singer, Charlene Knight, permeated their records with her beautiful, all-female voice. She left a definite stamp; possessed with gifted, drawing and subtly penetrating singing abilities. Their one and only hit made its Billboard Hot 100 entry in November 1963, lasting five weeks and topping at #70, which was really a dismal result for a record that had everything going for it.
Titled “Baby I Do Love You” (Challenge 59212, 1963), it originated from a German Folk song, translated into a Pop tune in 1949 by Russ Morgan as “You, You, You Are The One” (Decca 24569). Charlene’s distinctively intoxicating voice carried the song, with a little male chorus assistance midway through, sung in German. What’s more, the flip side “Love Bells” is equally as captivating, with Charlene giving her all as she leads the course of action. Notably, “Love Bells” was co-written by Charlene O’Hara and Keith Colley. O’Hara sang lead on “Home Of The Brave” (Phi-Dan 5005, 1965) as Bonnie & the Treasures, while Keith Colley scored with “Enamorado” (Unical 3006, 1963).
Colley later moved to an executive position at Challenge Records.The follow-up single, “Chinese Lanterns” (Challenge 59253, 1964) is another treasure to behold; the beautiful, charming Charlene could melt the most hardened of hearts! Such a shame the record buying public didn’t catch on to this gem, written by Keith MacKendrick, Jimmy Seals and Darrell “Dash” Crofts, once members of The Champs. Seals & Crofts enjoyed tremendous success with several hits during the early 1970’s, including their first one, “Summer Breeze” (Warner 7606, 1972).
As for Keith MacKendrick, he held membership with several groups, including The Roxters, who recorded the rare “Goodbye Baby” (Art 175, 1958) and The Apollos, whose instrumental “Just Dreamin’ “ (Mercury 71614, 1960) shouldn’t be overlooked. One more final single by The Galens was issued in 1964, “Young Dreams” (Challenge 59302). This record release, regrettably marked the end of their brief existence. Nonetheless, Charlene Knight and The Galens made a lasting imprint in the history of the Girl Group era. By Andrew Merey
Baby I Do Love You Chinese Lanterns Young Dreams
Love Bells Stranger In Paradise I Love You More Than You Know
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