Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meet Colgems Artist Alex Keenan



Alex Keenan recorded two singles for the Colgems label and placed a song on the "Otley" soundtrack.

The Scottish singer (not Welsh, as I had erroneously reported) was living in London when he recorded Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield’s "One Day Of Your Life," which was a huge hit in Hawaii and was later recorded by Andy Williams.

"I was also one of the staff writers for Colgems at the time I was recording for them," he recalled. Jack McGraw was the managing director (U.K.) at that time, and I got a few of my own songs on the album ["Alex Keenan," which was later released on Trim Records (TLP5100)] as well as a couple of numbers written by Richard Kerr who wrote "Mandy" for Barry Manilow."

When "One Day Of Your Life" took off in Hawaii, Keenan said the label wanted him to go to the 50th state to promote the record, "but I would not have been paid any money for the three week trip, so Jack McGraw advised me, as I had just got married, to wait and see how the second release did."

His next release, another Sedaka/Greenfield song called "Your Heart’s Not In Your Love," did not have the impact of the first song, so Keenan never made it to Hawaii, which he lists as "big regret."

Keenan subsequently appeared many times on radio in Europe with a number of different bands, and ATV Music got a singing group together called Rain which he said had some success in the U.K.

He was doing a lot of session singing until his marriage broke up and He left London, moving to West Yorkshire, where he spent 20 years singing as a solo artist in clubs and bars.

As far as his work on the Colgems label, he said, "I have tried for ages myself to find out if there are any royalties sitting somewhere that are due to me."

However, like others who have sought out the Colgems catalog for one reason or another, he has run into numerous brick walls trying to find out.

13 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Thanks for sharing this, Larry! Very interesting to get perspective directly from the man himself!

Happy Holidays!

8:37 AM

 
Blogger Larry said...

Hi Dan:
Yes, it is pretty neat. The power of the Internet absolutely astounds me! I would love to hear from others--maybe that will happen now that Mr. Keenan broke the ice.

7:28 PM

 
Blogger John Wada said...

Larry-
I'm the guy who "broke" the song "One Day Of Your Life" by Alex Keenan when I was Program Director at KIKI Radio in Honolulu.
It was a #1 smash that stayed at the top of the charts for weeks. We still receive calls from listeners trying to locate the song on CD as it's played as an "oldie" on a station I own here in Hawaii. I hope Alex is doing well and I'm sure he'll be glad to hear that his voice is still heard on the airwaves here in Hawaii. Aloha!

12:53 PM

 
Blogger Alex said...

hi john alex keenan here i've just seen your blog to larry, it,s nice to know the name and info of the person who first launched the playing of my record thanks. alex

9:42 AM

 
Blogger Alex said...

Hi John, Alex here again just to say I am very pleased to find out that people over there in Hawaii stil remember me and still hear my voice

10:54 AM

 
Blogger HAZZER said...

Larry, if you can e-mail me I have a lovely surprise for you. John, if you can get in touch with Alex ,He does have some recordings . Alex's best friend HAZZER

11:20 AM

 
Blogger John Wada said...

Alex-

Great to hear you're doing fine. Contact me if you're interested in the "gory details" surrounding your hit here in Hawaii. Take care and Aloha!

John

12:28 PM

 
Blogger a.keenan said...

hi John just spotted your blog re. the "gory details " regarding one day of your life.how do i contact you. Alex

9:59 AM

 
Blogger Brian said...

Alex

Brian (Mecca) here, we were pals back in 1963 - in Coventry. I am in touch with Ross - Tony and others.

Stumbled across you today 19.01.15.

Hope you are well.
email if you can leacroft@aol.com

7:40 AM

 
Blogger Joanne said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:07 PM

 
Blogger Joanne said...

It is with great sadness that i have to let everyone know that Alex Keenan has passed away today. Thankyou for One Day of your life

12:08 PM

 
Blogger Brian said...

Joanne

You did send me an email 2 weeks ago, just before I departed for a flight. Unfortunately it went to spam. I see your message on Colgems, and I am sorry that I did not get the chance to meet up again with Alex. Are you able to let me know which paper may have had his Obitury posted, so that I can pass on the sadness to other people I know, who would have fond memories of Alex.
Brian (Mecca)
email if you can. leacroft@aol.com

9:56 AM

 
Blogger Jodie Calvert said...

Hi John

I'm Alex Keenan's niece. We've all attended his funeral today and spent time reminiscing about the success of this song (which was played during the funeral). We'd be over the moon if there was any way to get hold of a copy of the Hawaiian chart at the time it was number one. It's a long shot but do you think that would be possible? Are there any records of it anywhere?

Any help that you (or anyone else) can provide would be most appreciated.

I can be contacted at jodiekeenan@hotmail.com.

Jodie Calvert (nee Keenan)

3:40 PM

 

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