Dave Berry — “Its Gonna Be Fine”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 17, 2022


554) Dave Barry — “Its Gonna Be Fine”

Dave Berry brings to buoyant life a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weill composition that wasn’t done justice by Glenn Yarbrough (who reached #54 with it in ’65) or the New Christy Minstrels. Richie Unterberger says it “sound[s] very much like a mid-1960s uptown Philly soul production”. (https://www.allmusic.com/album/this-special-sound-of-dave-berry-mw0000836814) I say, if this song doesn’t banish your blues and put a skip in your step, you are truly in an uptown funk.

Nostalgia Central gives us a grounding:

In 1961 [Berry, born David Holgate Grundy] assumed his stage surname when invited to front The Cruisers . . . . [They] flogged a predominantly Chicago blues repertoire . . . [including] Dave’s idol (and namesake), Chuck Berry. . . . Berry’s big break came when Mickie Most . . . saw him perform . . . and [then] supervised a demo recording session for submission to Decca . . . . [Berry’s] stage presence was almost unclassifiable, and it was not enough for him to simply stand and sing a song. He made a point of appearing from behind pillars (it may take a full five minutes for him to emerge completely) and staring straight ahead while making strange beckoning arm-movements. These abstract hand-ballets would have seemed sinister were it not for the subtle merriment in his oriental eyes. . . . The Crying Game took Berry into the Top Five in September 1964 . . . . [and a] cover of Bobby Goldsboro’s Little Things restored Dave to the UK Top 10, but – apart from a disinclined 1966 recording of the sentimental Mama – this was his last bite of that particular cherry.


Richie Unterberger adds:

Briefly a big star in Britain in the mid-’60s, Dave Berry faced the same dilemma as several other British teen idols of the era: R&B was obviously nearest and dearest to his heart, but he needed to record blatantly pop material to make the hit parade. It was also obvious that Berry was in fact much more suited toward pop ballads than rough-and-tumble R&B, regardless of his personal preferences. At his peak, his output was divided between hard R&B/rockers and straight pop. Help from ace session players like Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones notwithstanding, his smooth voice was frankly ill-equipped to deliver the goods . . . on the bluesier items. He made a rather good go of it, on the other hand, with romantic pop/rock ballads . . . . [H]e never made the slightest impression on the U.S. market . . . .


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Here is Glenn Yarbrough:

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