Gary U.S. Bonds (Gary Anderson)
BiographyJacksonville, Florida, USA
Born Gary Anderson in Florida but raised in Virginia, he sang in his church choir as a youth. While in high school he joined a vocal group named The Turks that sang in the Norfolk area. Frank Guida, who owned a record shop in Norfolk and had just started a small record label called Legrand Records, took notice of his talents, and in 1960 took Anderson to his studio to record a song called "New Orleans". Read more... to get citizens to purchase government bonds--in big letters it had said "Buy U.S. Bonds!" Guida thought that was the perfect name, and so "Gary U.S. Bonds" was born. "New Orleans" turned out to be a major hit, cracking the top ten in record time. Bonds' follow-up song was a remake of a record cut by a local group, Daddy G and the Church Street Five, called "A Night With Daddy G." Bonds and Guida recorded their version of it - backed by the original group - called it "Quarter to Three" and the rousing, infectious (and somewhat primitive) production proved to be an even bigger hit than "New Orleans", reaching the #1 spot in the summer of 1961 and becoming Bonds' signature number. Three more top-ten hits followed that same year, but unfortunately for Bonds that was the high point of his career. Although he continued to record and perform for the next 20 years - occasionally writing songs for other artists, too - none of his records ever made the charts. In the early 1980s his career was revived by rock legend Bruce Springsteen, who began to use "Quarter to Three" as his encore song in concerts. Bonds began to record and tour again - in the mid-'80s he even had a few records crack the Top 40 charts - and continues to this day.