Gary U.S. Bonds

R&B and rock vocalist Gary Levon Anderson – born June 6, 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida – is better known by his stage name Gary U.S. Bonds. He is best known for his early 1960s hits “New Orleans” and “Quarter to Three” and his Bruce Springsteen-inspired resurgence in the 1980s. His career began in the 1950s in Norfolk, Virginia when he began singing publicly in a group called The Turks. He signed with producer Frank Guida’s Legrand Records. Guida renamed him U.S. Bonds, and released the first single, “New Orleans”, which went to Number 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The next single, “Not Me” (1961), flopped but his third single for the label, “Quarter To Three” went all the way to the top of the Billboard chart. The single “School is Out” hit Number 5. The first four singles were included on Bonds’ 1961 debut album Dance ‘Til Quarter to Three with U.S. Bonds. From this point, his releases were credited to Gary (US) Bonds throughout the rest of the 1960s (the parenthesis were dropped in the 1970s). In 1961, he released his second album, Twist Up Calypso, which featured the singles “Dear Lady Twist” and “Twist, Twist Senora”. Bonds toured Europe in 1963, with the Beatles serving as one of his opening acts. He continued to release a series of singles throughout the 1960s but didn’t release a proper third album until Certified Soul in 1969. After a few more singles in the ‘70s, Bonds seemingly disappeared. However, with Bruce Springsteen’s moral and musical support, he re-emerged in 1981 with the hit single “This Little Girl” and the album Dedication, which featured musical assistance from the E-Street Band plus Ben E. King, Ellie Greenwich, and others. Bonds followed up that album with 1982’s On the Line, another album featuring Springsteen and his bandmates. His next album, Standing in the Line of Fire, was released in 1984 and featured Bonds’ new backing band The American Men. Twelve years later, he released the album Nothing Left to Lose. In 2004, he released the album Back in 20, which includes musical assistance from Springsteen and Southside Johnny, He also performed a duet on Southside Johnny’s album Pills and Ammo (2010).

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