Softly Whispering I Love You by The English Congregation - hit song from 1972 - typical sounds of Vancouver pop music (2023)

Peak month: March 1972
7-week non-charting Vancouver CKVN
Top #3
Top position on the Billboard Hot 100 ~ #28 „I whisper softly, I love you
Brief:"I whisper softly, I love you

Roger John Reginald Greenaway was born in 1938 and Roger Frederick Cook in 1940. Both were born in the suburbs of Bristol, England. Roger Greenaway was one of the founding members of a harmony group called The Kestrels formed in 1955. The group provided backing vocals for artists Billy Fury, Eden Kane, Lonnie Donegan and singer/comedian Benny Hill. Roger Cook joined The Kestrels in 1964. When Greenaway and Cook met as members of The Kestrels, they got their first taste of the creative fusion they wanted to achieve. In 1965 the couple wrote together "you have your problemswhich became an intentional top ten hit for The Fortunes. Between 1965 and 1967 the couple performed as David and Jonathan, named after two characters from the Hebrew Scriptures whose names were known throughout the wider culture. As David and Jonathan, they recorded a cover of the Beatles song "Michelle" followed by a song they wrote called "Lovers of the World Unite".

At times Cook and Greenaway would collaborate with other songwriters and co-wrote several other pop hits. These include "Green Grass" by Gary Lewis & The Playboys,Your Batman era from Kaiser Bill„ von Whistling Jack Smith und „Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)“ von The Hollies.

In 1970, the songwriting duo Cook-Greenaway collaborated to write a song called "True Love and Apple Pie" which was recorded by Susan Shirley. The song was then rewritten by Cook and Greenaway along with Bill Backer and Billy Davis, two Coca-Cola publicists. The result was a catchy tune that was reimagined as a Coca-Cola commercial and aired in 1970–71. The line,"I want to buy the world a coke and keep them company.", became a catchy tune in the ears of many viewers and radio listeners this year. The commercial's popularity led to it being reworked and retitled "I Want to Teach the World to Sing". It was recorded by The New Seekers and became a No. 1 hit in the UK and Vancouver (and No. 7 in the US) in 1972.

Cook and Greenaway also wrote two songs for Canadian band Ocean in the early '70s: "We Got A Dream" and "another chance“. In 1970, Roger Greenaway formed a one-hit duo called The Pipkins with English singer Tony Burrows. The duo peaked in 1970 with an unreleased song entitled "give me that thing". That same year, Greenaway was a temporary member of the Brotherhood of Man. This group recorded an international Top 20 hit titled "United We Stand". And in 1970, Cook and Greenaway co-wrote a song entitled "which made the top 100 of the year in the UK, US and Canada."My baby loves to love” by The White Plains. This song peaked at number 1 in Vancouver, although it only peaked at number 13 therebillboardCaliente 100.

A later project that Cook and Greenaway embarked on was to cover their own top 20 hit in Australia in 1967: "I whisper softly, I love you', recorded as David and Jonathan. In late 1971, Cook and Greenaway formed a pop group in England called The Congregation. The Congregation changed its name for its US publications to The English Congregation to avoid confusion with The Congregation.Municipality of Mike Curb, who also recorded "Softly Whispering I Love You". Consequently, their recording was also referred to in Canada as The English Congregation.

Softly Whispering I Love You by The English Congregation - hit song from 1972 - typical sounds of Vancouver pop music (1)

The song was originally a hit for Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway when they recorded it as David and Jonathan and he had a Top 20 hit with the song in Australia in 1967. For The Congreation, "Softly Whispering I Love You" peaked at number 4 on the UK Official Singles Chart. Dubbed "The English Congregation" in North America, the song peaked at number 29 on the charts.billboardHot 100. And internationally, the song reached #1 in New Zealand and South Africa and #10 in Germany. The lead singer of The English Congregation was Brian Keith. Keith was the lead singer of the one-hit group Plastic Penny, which formed in 1968 with the title "everything I am“. Keith later became a session musician and in 2001 produced recordings for the Swedish group Peaches.

Softly Whispering I Love You is a song about the ecstasy of being in love and imbued with the presence of a lover. The lover is in this person's dreams and the sound of his voice echoes in his ear. Intoxicated by his kiss, his hug, his scent, the warmth of his face, the singer suspects in every way that it is exactly like this when her lover says "I love you". In the song, the female chorus provides a gentle, responsive introduction to the lyrics. Brian Keith's solo in the second verse provides a strong, bold contrast.

The liner notes for the album read: "Congregation: A musical wall of sound for massive choirs, raspy vocals and jangling guitar." A very original conception by AIR producer John Burgess, based on a track that wasn't quite right in the first session... . Burgess came up with the idea of ​​adding ninety voices: it sounded fantastic, direct, classic and clear; was clearly no contender for the pop charts until the diametrically opposed tones of Brian Keith's raspy, rich vocals reinforced the melody and added the sizzling overtones of Alan Parker's guitar playing. "Softly," that magical touch." The liner notes also acknowledge the 14 members of the massive choir who provided vocal direction on the recording. These include Chrysanthe Greda, Susan Demetriou, Wendy Gough, Wendy Williams, Deborah Robinson, Lynne Keatinge and June Garner. What happened to these dancers is a mystery.

"Softly Whispering I Love You" reached #3 in Vancouver and Chicago, #7 in Denver and #8 in Boston (Paul Young covered the song in 1990 and had a UK Top 30 hit with the song). united this year).

Meanwhile, Cook and Greenaway wrote another song called "Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)" which was a Top Ten hitthe hollyin the spring of 1972.

Following up "Softly Whispering I Love You", The English Congregation released "Lovers Of The World Unite", another cover of a 1966 David and Jonathan hit. The English version of the Congregation song was a commercial failure. Another releaseJessahel"was a Top 20 hit in Chicago in the summer of 1972 but hardly sold anywhere else. Written by Brian Keith, the song was later covered by Shirley Bassey.

Cook and Greenaway wrote a number one hit in Vancouver in February 1977 entitled "Jeans On" by David Dundas. Although the song only peaked at number 17 in the US, it stayed on the charts.billboardHot 100 long enough to become the 73rd song of 1977.

Roger Cook moved to Nashville in 1975 and has been a successful songwriter for decades. Back in the UK, Roger Greenaway has since taken on an increasingly important role in running the company. In 1983 he became President of the Performing Rights Society. In 1995 Greenaway was appointed director of the European branch of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). Greenaway has also written numerous television and radio commercials over the decades for, among others, Allied Carpets, supermarket retailer Asda Stores and British Gas.

In 1997, Roger Cook became the first British songwriter to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. As of 2017, Cook is the only British songwriter to receive this award. In 1998 Roger Greenaway was awarded the Order of the British Empire for services to the music industry.

Brian Keith, who sang solo in the English Congregation's version of "Softly Whispering I Love You," was eventually cast to play Annas in the episodeJesus Christus Superstarconcept album. Then the musicalJesus Christus SuperstarHe went to Broadway. Another member of the English community was Victor Brox. He then became the original Caiaphas, the high priest, in the concept album.

20. November 2017
Ray McGinnis

'Buy the World a Coke' composer stunned to learn Mad Men is over„,“Tempo, 18. May 2015.
„Yo era el Batman de Kaiser Bill“: Whistling Jack Smith, Dangerous, 19. Februar 2013.
The Pipkins – Biography, BBC.
Roger Cook: Britain's Most Prolific Songwriting Team with Roger Greenaway, Songwriters Hall of
The Congregation (Band) – Biografie,
Evan R. Grubbs,Interview mit Brian Keith, Jesus Cristo Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar (Album),
Search for west coast music', CKVN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, March 3, 1972.

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