DIG RICHARDS
The Love Express
(Clint Ballard Jr - Roy Alfred)
Australia 1963
#52 Sydney #48 Adelaide

Single on Festival by prolific and versatile Australian rock and pop star. YouTube

Dig Richards (1941-1983) also known by his full name Digby, was in the charts from 1959 through to the 70s. An early rocker on the Australian scene, he later aimed for a broader audience with his own songs and a more country style.

► See also Comin' Down with Love (1960), Raincoat In The River (1962), Comin' Down (1963), Rock And Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life) (1974); Play Momma Play (1978). 

Essential reading: Dig Richards biography by Peter Colin Ramsey & Ed.Nimmervoll [archived page from Howlspace].

Image: Dig Richards, 1959.

THE VELVETS FEATURING VIRGIL JOHNSON
The Love Express
(Clint Ballard Jr - Roy Alfred)
USA 1962
Original version

Single on Monument YouTube by vocal group formed in Odessa, Texas, by high school English teacher Virgil Johnson (1935-2013) with four students. With the support of Roy Orbison, they were signed to Monument, a Nashville label, and recorded their only hit, Johnson's composition Tonight (Could Be The Night) (1961, #26 USA YouTube).

The Velvets recorded the original verson of Lana, co-written by Orbison whose own version was on his album Crying (1961) and on a 1966 single that was a hit in Britain and Australia.

The writers:
Composer Clint Ballard Jr (1931-2008) released a few records as Buddy Clinton and under his own name 1959-1962, but he was more successful as a songwriter. His compositions (music and lyrics) include:
• Good Timin' (Jimmy Jones, 1960, #3 USA);
• The Game of Love (Wayne Fontana  and The Mindbenders, 1965, #2 UK, #1 USA);
• I'm Alive (The Hollies, 1965, #1 UK);
• You're No Good (Dee Dee Warwick 1963, original version; The Swinging Blue Jeans 1964, #3 UK; Linda Ronstadt 1975, #1 USA; many other versions).
► See this list of Clint Ballard Jr compositions at Wikipedia.

Roy Alfred (1916-2008) flourished as a lyricist from the 40s to the 60s. In 1949 he wrote words to an instrumental track, The Hucklebuck, that later became a hit for Chubby Checker (1960, #14 USA), and by Brendan Bowyer in Ireland (1965, #1) and Australia (1965, #1 Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide, #3 Sydney, #8 Perth). Alfred's better known works also include Rock and Roll Waltz by Kay Starr (1955, #1 USA, #1 UK, charted 1956), and Let's Lock the Door (And Throw Away The Key) by Jay and the Americans (1964, #11 USA).
► See the lists at SecondHandSongs and MusicVF for an appreciation of Roy Alfred's output (via Wikipedia).

ERNIE MARESCA
Love Express
(Ernie Marasco - Pete Baron)
USA 1963
Red herring

SAME TITLE BUT NOT THE SAME SONG AS
'LOVE EXPRESS' BY DIG RICHARDS.

Single on Seville by New York singer, songwriter and producer who had a hit with Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) (1962, #6 USA), and wrote his friend Dion's hits The Wanderer and (with DionRunaround Sue.

  Some other red herrings:

• Dave Appell And His Applejacks - The Love Express (Medley-Gold)
USA 1955 B-side on President.
• Terry & The Mellos - Love Express (Ted Tyle)
USA 1960 B-side on Amy.
• Len Weinrib - Love Express (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer)
USA 1962 Single on Capitol.

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