Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spyder Turner: Stand By Me

Although Spyder Turner was reared in Detroit, he was born in my adopted hometown of Beckley, WV in 1947 as Dwight David Turner. He made it to the Top 40 charts once – and that was in 1967 with his cover of Ben E. King’s classic “Stand by Me.” The song peaked at #3 on the R&B chart and at #12 on the Hot 100.

Turner’s treatment of this song is somewhat unique as he interprets “Stand by Me” via impressions of other R&B and soul artists and often interpolates bits of their song lyrics in his rendition. He impersonates Jackie Wilson; James Brown; Temptations members Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, and David Ruffin; Billy Stewart; Sam Cooke; Smokey Robinson; and Chuck Jackson.

Dick Bartley and the author in 1985

This is one you never hear on the radio these days unless you happen to hear Dick Bartley play it on “Rock & Roll’s Greatest Hits.”

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