‘Sweetheart’ by NJ’s own Franke and the Knockouts get a makeover
In 1981, Franke and the Knockouts had a top 10 hit with a song called "Sweetheart." The song was co-written by New Brunswick's Franke Previte, who would go on to co-write the iconic "I've Had The Time Of my Life" and "Hungry Eyes" for the movie "Dirty Dancing."
After all these years, Franke had recut a new version of Sweetheart, which he explains,
"Ken Franklin, one of the original promotion people from Millennium Records, who helped break Sweetheart 42 years ago, had hooked me up to do a radio interview with Jeff Stevens, iHeartRadio disc jockey," he said.
"Not only is Jeff well known in Dayton, Ohio as a radio jock but, he has his own band called Stranger. Because of their popularity in the Dayton area, the group occasionally gets to open for a few national acts that come through town. These golden opportunities give Jeff a chance to strike up a conversation about possibly recording one of their hit songs."
Once the group agrees, Jeff asks if they’d like to join in on the recording. So far 'Strange' has been recorded with John Wait, Rick Springfield, and now, Franke Previte from Franke and the Knockouts.
"Sweetheart" was a great song that I loved playing back when I did mornings at WPST. Many times Franke would come into the studio and hang out and he would often have me bring him and the band on stage at places like the PNC Bank Art Center, (only then it was the "Garden State Arts Center"), Six Flags Great Adventure, and Monmouth College. In those days, when Franke and the Knockouts played "Sweetheart" live, they rocked out. Previte brought that to the new version.
"We talked about how the Knockouts used to rock the song out a bit more when playing it live and so that’s the approach Stranger took when they went in and recorded the new heavier version."
And now just in time for Valentine's Day, the record label is releasing the song for the Valentine’s Day weekend on Feb. 11, just like the original release did 42 years ago.
It's so great to not only relive the song "Sweetheart", but the memories as well.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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