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    Morford, Gene

    Bass singer who started out singing with a barber-shop quartet called The Dapper Dans at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  The Dapper Dans recorded a demo LP in 1964.  It was probably not long after that when Gene decided to leave the group and move to Dallas, Texas, where he got work as a session vocalist on jingles and promos. 

     

    Eventually, he got married and he and his wife went back west to Burbank, California, which did not exactly suffer from a dearth of session work.  Gene expanded into television and soon became sought after as a backing vocalist for a wide array of artists and groups. 

     

    In 1969, he appeared on Hugo Montenegro’s experimental album, Moog Power, which was programmed by Paul Beaver.  Gene sang the solo on the Paul Anka song, “My Way”. 

     

    In the 1960s and 1970s, Gene sang with several different vocal groups, often with the same or similar personnel, like The Ron Hicklin Singers, which often made up part of The Ray Conniff Singers and The Anita Kerr Singers. 

     

    The Ron Hicklin Singers were, essentially, The Partridge Family and the Union Gap, at least in the studio.  They also sang “South American Getaway” in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and performed the theme song to the hit TV show Batman. 

     

    In 1971, he sang “The Shooting Gallery” in the Steve McQueen film, Le Mans.  A year later, he joined a slew of artists on the B.J. Thomas album, Rock and Roll Lullaby.  In 1974, he performed on the Paul Williams album, Here Comes Inspiration, which reached a meager #165 on the Billboard Top 200. 

     

    Things got busy in 1975:  Gene appeared on the Elkie Brooks album, Rich Man’s Woman, took part in a TV special entitled Music in the Air with Ray Conniff, sang bass on the theme song to Happy Days, and even made an appearance on The Tubes album, White Punks on Dope. 

     

    In 1976, he appeared on the Elton John album, Blue Moves.  A year later, he hooked up with Dolly Parton on Here You Come Again and was in yet another, erstwhile music group that billed themselves as the Howdy-Cracker Vocal Review on the Herb Pedersen album, Sandman.  The group included Lowell George, Dolly Parton, Johnny Rivers, and Linda Ronstadt. 

     

    In 1978, Gene appeared on the soundtrack of Grease, Captain & Tennille’s Dream, Neil Diamond’s You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, and along with Linda Harmon, Gloria Loring, and Alan Thicke, sang the theme song to the TV program, Diff’rent Strokes.  The next year was no less busy, with appearances on Alessi’s Words and Music, Frank Sinatra’s Trilogy, Jerry Lee Lewis’s eponymous album, and the soundtrack of Five Days from Home, on which he sang the “Love Theme”. 

     

    The 1980s were just as eclectic, if not moreso.  He entered the ‘80s by singing background vocals on The Johnny Van Zant Band’s No More Dirty Deals.  Gene also voiced Simon on Alvin & the Chipmunks albums such as 1982’s Chipmunk Punk.  The same year, he performed on Sylvia’s Parachute and the soundtrack of The Dukes of Hazzard. 

     

    In 1983, he accompanied Laura Branigan on Branigan 2.  A year later, he sang “Saturday Girl” on the soundtrack of Tank and performed backing vocals on Toto’s Isolation.  (Gene also sang bass on three of Toto’s biggest hits, “Hold the Line”, “I’ll Be over You”, and “Rosanna”.) 

     

    In 1985, he made an appearance on Martin Lund’s Lundscapes.  He also sang “Finale (Don’t Feed the Plants)” and “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” on the soundtrack of Little Shop of Horrors, released in 1986. 

     

    Neither did Gene slow down in the ‘90s.  He entered the decade on Something in Red by Lorrie Morgan.  In 1992, he went Off the Deep End with Weird Al Yankovic, sang on the soundtrack of Little Nemo:  Adventures in Slumberland, and celebrated the holidays with Neil Diamond on The Christmas Album.  He appeared on Harry Connick’s Yuletide offering, When My Heart Finds Christmas, the following year. 

     

    In 1994, he did similar duties on Natalie Cole’s The Holly and the Ivy and reprised his role as Simon on A Very Merry Chipmunk.  Simon went techno on 1996’s Club Chipmunk:  The Dance Mixes.  In 1997, Gene appeared with a plethora of artists on Wouldn’t it Be Nice:  A Jazz Portrait of Brian Wilson.  He ended the decade on another holiday note, Amy Grant’s A Christmas to Remember. 

     

    Other stocking stuffers you can purchase with Gene’s name on them include Tony Rizzi’s Surfin’ Pacific, The Simpsons:  Testify, and Al Kooper’s Rare & Well Done:  The Greatest and the Most Obscure Recordings, released in 2001.  

     

    Sources:

    1. http://users.adelphia.net
    2. http://www.harmonize.com/DapperDans/musicsound.htm
    3. http://www.317x.com/albums/m/hugomontenegro3/card.html
    4. http://www.cmongethappy.com/interviews/tb/tombahler3.html
    5. http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=22408
    6. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2291
    7. http://www.juliuswechter.com
    8. http://www.turkku.com/albums/rich_mans_woman.html
    9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg9GG4V5EJY
    10. http://velhorockeiro.blogspot.com/2008/09/606-tubes-white-punks-on-dope.html
    11. http://www.amazon.com/Hicklin-Stanfarber-Morford-Gerry-Garrett/dp/B000XUC9AG
    12. http://www.discogs.com/artist/Gene+Morford
    13. http://www.johnnyrivers.com/discography.html
    14. http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,61120,00.html
    15. http://www.inthe00s.com/archive/quizzes/1060492988.shtml
    16. http://tds.sigletv.net/dettaglio_artisti.php?id_artista=morfordgene
    17. http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~takeito/4-02.html
    18. http://jerry-lee-lewis.40s-50s.info/cds/e79.htm
    19. http://www.swapacd.com/cd/album/441972-christmas+to+remember
    20. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077557/soundtrack
    21. http://www.southernrock.fr
    22. http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/the_chipmunks/chipmunk_rock/
    23. http://musicmedia.blog.shinobi.jp/Entry/1409/
    24. http://www.stevelukather.net/Album.aspx?id=11
    25. http://www.interq.or.jp/blue/sudo/Quest/cards/M/MartinLund/Lundscapes_x.html
    26. http://www.lpdiscography.com/m/Lorrie/lorrie_something.htm
    27. http://music.barnesandnoble.com/Artist/Gene-Morford/c/128012
    28. http://movies.nytimes.com/person/1031984/Gene-Morford
    29. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1809077223
    30. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Very_Merry_Chipmunk
    31. http://www.tower.com/holly-ivy-natalie-cole-cd/wapi/106849388
    32. http://www.samgoody.com/Club-Chipmunk--The-Dance-Mixes-Children-s_stcVVproductId200161VVcatId458439VVviewprod.htm
    33. http://bjbear71.com/Slon/Slon-LPBlueNote.html
    34. http://www.swapacd.com/cd/album/441972-christmas+to+remember
    35. http://www.jimmyvivino.com/kooperdiscs.html
    36. http://www.lala.com/artist/Gene_Morford/pager/songs
    37. http://www.discogs.com/sell/list?artist=Gene+Morford&ev=ab
    38. http://www.outstandingmusic.com/Tony_Rizzi_s/132.htm
    39. http://en.mobile.wikipedia.org

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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