Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10: Ian Whitcomb - “You Turn Me On”- is 72-years-old today.

Born Ian Timothy Whitcomb, in Surrey, England, his hit song "You Turn Me On" reached number 8 on Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965 as part of the British Invasion.

Ian’s father was a schooled pianist and encouraged Ian to play also. His younger brother, Robin, accompanied him on drums in their first bands, notably The Ragtime Suwanee Six. (Robin went on to play tambourine on Sonny & Cher's hit "I Got You Babe.")

Whitcomb was sent away to boarding school in 1949 when he was eight and formed a tissue paper-and-comb band.  In Dorset, England, Whitcomb started a skiffle group in 1957 and then a rock and roll band in 1959. In the early 1960s, he became a founding member of Dublin's first rhythm and blues band, Bluesville. Their second record release, "This Sporting Life," charted in the U.S. in 1965.

Whitcomb’s next single, "You Turn Me On" reached Billboard’s number 8 spot in July 1965. During his summer vacation in 1965, Whitcomb went to America to appear on  television programs as Shindig, Hollywood A Go-Go and American Bandstand. Whitcomb played the Hollywood Bowl with The Beach Boys in 1965 and then toured with The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

"N-Nervous!" Whitcomb’s next release, was recorded in Hollywood, California and reached Billboard's Top 50. He returned to Dublin and received a B.A. degree. In 1966 he turned to early popular song: his version of a 1916 comedy number, "Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night?" was a West Coast hit.

After recording four albums for Tower Records and producing Mae West on her album called 'Great Balls of Fire for MGM Records in 1972, Whitcomb returned to the UK where he began his writing career with After the Ball. He later wrote Tin Pan Alley, A Pictorial History (1919–1939) and a novel, Lotusland: A Story of Southern California.

Returning to Hollywood, Whitcomb starred in and wrote L.A.–My Home Town and Tin Pan Alley. He also provided the music for a documentary film, Bugs Bunny: Superstar (UA), which was narrated by Orson Welles. For Play-Rite Music he cut 18 piano rolls that were included in an album, Pianomelt.

His other albums reflected his research into the genres of ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville, and music hall. During that time he also wrote and produced singles for Warner Bros.’ country division, most notably "Hands," a massage parlour story, and "A Friend of a Friend of Mine."

In the 1980s Whitcomb published Rock Odyssey: A Chronicle of the Sixties and  Ragtime America, followed by a memoir of life as a British expatriate living in Los Angeles,  Resident Alien. He also produced a British documentary on black music, Legends of Rhythm and Blues. He also hosted a radio show in Los Angeles for fifteen years.

Ian's songs can he heard in a number of films, including Cold Sassy Tree, Encino Man and Fido. Since November 2007, Whitcomb has had an internet radio program on Wednesday evenings at

He signed with Premiere Radio Networks in September 2010 to launch The Ian Whitcomb Show on XM satellite radio, Channel 24.


For more about Ian, visit his Website at -


No comments:

Post a Comment