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Don Downing

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Though singer Don Downing's lone charting single was the Memphis soul-tinged "Lonely Days, Lonely Nights," which charted at number 65 R&B in summer 1973, he's a longtime favorite of dance music devotees for "Doctor Boogie." The pumping brassy number was a huge hit in disco clubs and found its way onto the play list of major market radio stations in Chicago and elsewhere in 1978. Downing is the brother of singer Al Downing who had a double-sided Billboard-charting hit on Chess Records with "I'll Be Holding On." From Texas, Downing's perennial dance favorite was written by Gary Knight and Gene Allan, produced by Tony Bongiovi and guitarist Lance Quinn, had a dazzling arrangement by David Vanderpitte that boasted cooing background vocals, punctuating horns, and swirling strings, and co-engineered by Bob Clearmountain. The Doctor Boogie album featured some top New York session musicians: drummers Jimmy Young and Alan Schwartzberg, bassists Bob Babbitt and Wilbur Bascomb, guitarist Jeff Mironov, pianist Pat Rebillot, and percussionist Jimmy Maelan. The Doctor Boogie LP cover is vintage '70s with Downing and two of the three lovelies draped around him sporting huge Afros amid a dark and silvery disco club background with multi-colored star-bursting floodlights. Another Downing favorite, "Dreamworld," was arranged by Meco Monardo (had a platinum single as Meco with a cover of the Star Wars theme, Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Casanova Brown" from her Experience LP; Carol Douglas' "Doctor's Orders"). It was released on RS International through New York based distributor HOB Records. The 1998 Collectables CD Very Best of Don Downing: Dream World is basically a CD reissue of the Doctor Boogie LP. ~ Ed Hogan