Airdate – Oct 02, 2022
In 1969 a record, once described as a soulful yet cheeky lament about an almost one night stand, proved to grab the attention of many throughout North America. However, the artist attached to the song remains somewhat a mystery …
In this day and age you think it would be easy to gather information on an artist and his record that was Top Ten in many markets throughout Canada and the U.S., eventually making it onto the Billboard Hot 100.
But not so fast Sherlock. BMI’s Repertoire Search will lead you to a list of 69 compositions by our featured singer/songwriter. An identical list is also found under Dudley F. Baxter, Dudley Ford Baxter, and James Blake – his aliases.
To add to the puzzle, he also has a YouTube alias – Jim Shannon. Via this non de plume he proclaims that he did not vanish but is the guy on the record label who happened to go through a “few incarnations or iterations.”
One researcher asserts that he was born James Blake in the UK and came to Canada in his early childhood.
West Coast Fog writer, Erik Bluhm writes that he was Canadian and “… he was in L.A. by ’66 and working with the Rob Roys on their “Do You Girl?” single for Accent Records… He’s also the guy behind a group called Revelation.”
After Revelation disbanded in 1968, the singer/songwriter hooked up with arranger/producer Tony Harris, the son of Jack Harris who had directed the 1958 sci-fi horror thriller, ‘The Blob’ that starred Steve McQueen.
What resulted was a solo release that was a great regional success, peaking at #2 in Vancouver (BC) and Boston, #3 in Manchester (NH), #4 in Victoria (BC), #6 in Rochester (NY), #7 in Everett and Spokane (WA), and #8 in Seattle (WA). It also got Duke Baxter onto the Billboard Hot 100 where the recording reached the #52 position.
Not much more is known about Duke Baxter but “Everybody Knows Matilda,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: