Q: When I was in college, perhaps 1980, there was a Top 40 rock song that was played on a nearly daily basis it seemed. The chorus was “I could be good for you, my, my.” I thought it was the band 707. But after finally finding 707’s CD, I found this untrue. Could you help solve this mystery?
A: Perhaps the years have changed your recollection of the melody, because the song you quoted is, indeed, the song “I Could Be Good for You” by the Detroit-based pop group, 707. It is found on their self-titled 1980 debut album. Although subsequent albums featured different lineups, the band’s original members included bassist/vocalist Phil Bryant, drummer Jim McClarty, keyboardist/vocalist Duke McFadden, guitarist/vocalist Kevin Russell and pianist David Carr. McClarty and McFadden are credited with writing “I Could Be Good For You,” which turned out to be their biggest hit, peaking at No. 52 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
Q: Can you tell me who the Judy is in “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Crosby, Stills & Nash?
A: Although initially coy about who the subject of the song was, Stephen Stills has long acknowledged that the song refers to his imminent breakup with his then girlfriend, folk singer Judy Collins. Collins has amazingly piercing blue eyes. The two met in 1967 and dated for two years. In 1969, Collins left Stills for actor Stacy Keach, with whom she was co-starring in the NY Shakespeare Festival production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt.” In many ways “Suite” was responsible for the formation of CS&N. Stills and David Crosby had wanted to form a three-person vocal group but had not been able to find the third person. They were at a party one night and previewed their new song, “You Don’t Have to Cry.” Graham Nash was at the party and, after asking Stills and Crosby to sing the song again, unexpectedly joined in with a higher vocal harmony. The rest, as they say, is history. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” reached No. 21 on the pop charts in 1969. Stills and Collins remained friends through the years, mainly, as Collins has said, because they “married other people.” In 2017, the pair released their first album together entitled, “Everybody Knows,” which is both the title of the Leonard Cohen song they recorded and a sly reference to their history together.
Q: I am trying to find the song “Smiling Faces” from the early ’70s but I can’t seem to the find the right song. I found a song called “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by the Temptations, but it was not the same song. The song I’m looking for was a hit in 1970 or 1971.
A: The song that you’re looking for IS called “Smiling Faces Sometimes,” but it’s by a group called The Undisputed Truth. Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, two of Motown’s most successful songwriters, “Smiling Faces Sometimes” was first recorded by the Temptations in 1971. A shortened version of their 12-minute version of the song was supposed to be released as a single but was scrapped after Eddie Kendricks left the group. Undaunted, Whitfield re-recorded the song with “The Undisputed Truth,” and this version became a hit. It was the only hit song the group ever had.