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Dave "Baby" Cortez

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Though hardly a soulful, bluesy master like Jimmy Smith or dashing experimentalist like Larry Young, organist Dave "Baby" Cortez made his mark in the '50s,'60s, and '70s as a capable, often clever soloist and pop instrumentalist. His flair for catchy melodies, riffs, and hooks resulted in a number one pop and number five R&B hit with "The Happy Organ" in 1959. Cortez had another double winner in 1962 with "Rinky Dink," this one peaking at number nine R&B and number ten pop. Before his instrumental success, Cortez recorded for Ember as David Clowney in 1956, and was in the Pearls from 1955 to 1957. He landed one other song on the R&B Top 50, "Someone Has Taken Your Place," in 1973 for All Platinum. His other songs were recorded for Clock and Chess. There has been no domestic reissue of Cortez's songs, but there are import anthologies available. ~ Ron Wynn

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Birth Name:

David Cortez Clowney


13 August 1938 in Detroit, MI

Years Active:

'50s, '60s, '70s