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San Remo Golden Strings

The San Remo Golden Strings were a studio group from Detroit, Michigan. A number of its members also played in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, while others were members of the Motown backing band, The Funk Brothers.

Their albums were released on Ric-Tic, Motown and Gordy. They scored two hits in the U.S. in 1965: "Hungry for Love" and "I'm Satisfied" In 1971, they had some success with "Festival Time", which reached 39 in the UK Singles Chart.

San Remo Golden Strings Festival Time

John Rhys recalls that the name San Remo came about as a result of a vacation taken by Ed and JoAnne to the town of the same name.

The first recording by the San Remo Golden Strings was "Hungry for love") which was released in August 1965. It was significant in itself because it is the first production by another of the Hamilton brothers, Al Kent. In fact it was co-produced with his brother Bob which suggests a learning curve.

Bob d'Orleans provides some more detail, "We were always cutting tracks which had a good feel and when "Hungry for love" came out we added "All turned on" to the flip, as it was a nice number. The musicians on this had to be the people we used a lot such as Babbitt or Jamerson on bass."

Babbitt backs this up, "the musicians were the same Funk Brothers along with the same horn and string players that were on all of the records. At times there would be one or two players. I remember playing on some of the San Remo recordings and I think I remember Jamerson on the others."

It would also appear that some of the musicians in this group came from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and I think this is nicely backed up by the image on this chapter which was extracted from the San Remo's album "Hungry for love" The arranger on the album was Gil Askey.

The flip side is the equally excellent "All turned on" by Bob Wilson and the San Remo Quartet. As mentioned earlier, there was a 'Don Davis Trio' connection to the follow up to "Hungry for love", "I'll be satisfied". Perhaps the quartet are the trio again, plus one.

Ray Monette recalls that Bob was a keyboard player who wrote and played on some Golden World sessions. Later he would join up with Ray and Michael Campbell playing locally for a short period before Ray and Mike formed Scorpion. Ray also knows that Bob played with Albert King for several years just before Albert's death. Bob works in a 9-5 job these days.

It would be six months before another release, "Festival time" c/w "Joy road". "Festival time" is a great uptempo number and was ably turned into a vocal by the great Laura Lee on Ric-Tic111. "To win your heart" has a big following in the UK and was interestingly released around the same time as "Festival time." The flip "Joy road" was a celebration of the road which runs for 40 odd miles from the heart of Detroit to the west and Ann Arbor.

The final San Remo release came in August 1966. "Quanto sei bella" c/w "International love theme" was written by JoAnne and arranged by Mike Terry and Bert Keyes. Bert was a legendary New York arranger who worked briefly with Golden World way back in 1962.

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San Remo Golden Strings Hungry For Love

San Remo Golden Strings Joy Road

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