Dave "Baby" Cortez at Norton 25 Year Anniversary Party, Bell House, Brooklyn NY(2011)
Echoing LL Cool J's famous lyrics many artists will defensively say "Don't call it a comeback" when their seeming return to the music biz after an extended hiatus warrants talk of "a comeback" among fans and/or the media. But in the case of Dave "Baby" Cortez, who has not been heard from in the music biz for four long decades, his return can most definitely be called a comeback. And this most welcome comeback by the legendary Detroit artist, who has the distinction of scoring the first ever instrumental No. 1 hit single on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart back in 1959 with his single "The Happy Organ" (from the album Dave "Baby" Cortez and His Happy Organ (RCA Records) featuring the electronic organ as lead instrument, is thanks to the good folks at Norton Records who next week (November 29th) will officially release on CD and vinyl Dave Baby Cortez With Lonnie Youngblood & His Youngbloods - the artist's first album since 1972's Soul Vibration. Thanks for bringing back Cortez also goes out to fellow Detroit musician Mick Collins from the Detroit garage bands The Dirtbombs and The Gories who was instrumental in bringing back the artist and also is the one responsible for production on the new return release. In celebration of the new release Cortez, now 73, recently performed a great set at the Norton Records 25 Year Anniversary party at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. My man Mr Fine Wine from WFMU was at the show and met him, calling him "a great sweet natured unassuming guy and great musician." Look for the new album (CD and vinyl) at Amoeba Music next Tuesday onwards.
Dave "Baby" Cortez "The Happy Organ" (1959)