THE STRANGERS
Happy Without You
(Kenny Laguna - Shelley Pinz)
Australia 1968
#8 Melbourne #11 Brisbane #25 Perth

Single on Philips, November 1968, arranged by Strangers guitarist Peter Robinson.

Vocals are by Terry Walker, formerly with Glen Ingram & the Hi-Five (though not on their Skye Boat Song). He was also the vocalist on Pastoral Symphony's Love Machine.

Peter Robinson recalls that his arrangement, using french horns, trombone, bass trombone and eight strings, was a complete reworking of a recording given to the band by Ron Tudor. The arrangement drew on a number of influences: Peter's favourite elements of the horn parts from the Fifth Dimension's Up, Up And Away (which he had just finished work on for a TAA airlines jingle); the vocals on the Beach Boys' The Little Girl I Once Knew; and the style of the rhythm section on the Foundations' Baby, Now That I've Found You. All of this supported the newly acquired Wilson Pickett-influenced vocals of Terry Walker. (Peter Robinson, email to PopArchives, February 2005.)

Happy Without You on video, 1968:

The Strangers: Melbourne band, formed in 1961, started out playing instrumentals after the fashion of The Shadows but went through several stylistic and personnel changes until breaking up in the mid-70s. The Strangers backed numerous local and Australian artists, notably Colin Cook with whom they released the LP Colin Cook and the Strangers (1964). In 1966 they became resident backing band on the TV pop show Go!!.

One of The Strangers' better known alumni is John Farrar, who joined British post-Shadows guitar group Marvin, Welch and Farrar and later produced and wrote for Olivia Newton-John. In Grease (1978), Olivia performed You're The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You, John Farrar's additional songs for the movie version of the musical.

See also: Johnny Cooper - Farmer John.


Founding member Peter Robinson, who was earlier with The Thunderbirds, was also an active producer, arranger and session musician, and went on to replace Athol Guy in The Seekers from the late 70s. More recently, Peter has been in The Beach Buddies, and the Melbourne-based British 60s revival band The Substitutes.


Thanks to Peter Robinson.
References/Further reading: 1. Ian McFarlane's Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop. 2. Strangers history by Geoff Jermy (2000) with Peter Robinson (read or download pdf).
3. Milesago's Strangers page. 4. Chris Spencer et al, The Australian Rock Discography 1956-1969.

THE SOUND JUDGMENT
Happy Without You
(Kenny Laguna - Shelley Pinz)
USA 1968
Original version

Listen: The Sound Judgment - Happy Without You.mp3

Single on Kapp #914. 45cat.com dates the release in April 1968. It was reviewed in Billboard in June 1968.1

Lead singer: Cody Marshall (b. Joe McGovern).


Produced and arranged by Joe Renzetti. For more on Joe Renzetti's long career as composer, arranger and guitarist see JoeRenzetti.net which lists arranger credits for Bobby Hebb's Sunny, Keith's 98.6Jay & The Techniques' Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, and Barry Manilow's Mandy. As house guitarist for Cameo-Parkway in Philadelphia he played on hit records by Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp and Freddy Cannon. See his entry at IMDb for a list of his film and TV scores.  


Lyricist Shelley Pinz (born Rochelle Pinz, aka Shelly) also wrote Green Tambourine and Rice Is Nice with Paul Leka for the Lemon Pipers on Buddah, the Kama Sutra label spin-off. (And let's not forget Jelly Jungle and Pink Lemonade!) Another song she wrote with Paul Leka is You Are The One I Love, recorded in the US by Adam's Apples and covered in Australia by The Groove.

Shelley Pinz (1944-2004) was introduced to songwriting, and to her collaborator Paul Leka, while she was still a student poet at Queens College. She held a masters degree in social work from Adelphi University, and practised (as Rochelle Pinz) as a psychotherapist specialising in the use of poetry, music and art. In the late 90s she published Courage To Think, a book of poetry and lyrics. More on Shelley Pinz the psychotherapist and poet at HVTC Music [archived page]. Shelley Pinz tells of her early career as a songwriter, and the writing of Green Tambourine, at StocksandNews.com [archived page].

Happy Without You co-writer Kenny Laguna was also involved with the bubblegum movement at Buddah, where he wrote songs for Ohio Express and The Lemon Pipers. Another co-writer credit of his is for Groovin' With Mr Bloe. He later became a vital creative associate of Joan Jett.

The song, published by Kama Sutra publishing, has an alternative title, Baby I'm Happy Without You.

Thanks to Joe Renzetti, Margaret G. Still, Davie Gordon, Peter Robinson and Ellen.

Reference: 1. New releases advertised in Billboard magazine by Kama Sutra Music Publishing, 1 June 1968: see scan at Google Books.

ANNE BYERS
I'm Happy Without You
(Phil Hurtt - Howard Ravitsky)
USA 1966
Red herring

SIMILAR TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'HAPPY WITHOUT YOU' BY THE STRANGERS.

Single on Academy #124 by soul artist.
B-side is instrumental of same title.

Arranged by Joe Renzetti, whose name is also on the label of The Sound Judgment's Happy Without You, above, but I've listened to this, and it's a different song.

See label scan at Anorak Records.


  Some other red herrings:

Caroline's Spine - Happy Without You (Jimmy Newquist)
USA 1999
On album Attention Please by alternative rock band, Newquist on guitar & vocals.
Goodnight City - Happy Without You (Gilley - McCall - Pollitzer)
USA 2003
On album You Are Almost There by rock band from Atlanta, Georgia
Annie - Happy Without You (Annie, Timo Kaukolampi)
Norway 2005 On album Anniemal by Norwegian singer-songwriter Anne Lilia Berge Strand.

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.