Welcome to a new series where William Price King meets some legends. Judging my the comments at the end of summer party, ABBA are firm favourites and over the next few weeks we will be playing some of their most popular hits…
Part one – Meet the Band Members.
Despite not really being active in the charts for more than 20 years as a group. ABBA remain one of the bands that seems to have etched their place in the hearts of their fans of the time. You only have to play one of their iconic tracks and people are up dancing and singing along. The success of the film Mama Mia in 2008 is being followed up in a sequel this year with many of the original cast members. The first film was released in a sing-along version too which proved to be just as popular.
Before we move into the series, picking up the story whan ABBA was officially formed, we thought it might be a good idea to give you some background on the individual band members and share some of their solo hits. (many in Swedish but just as tuneful).
The group topped the charts from 1974 to 1982 and comprised four members, Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Having formed in 1972 they stormed into the limelight in 1974 when they won the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden. They went on to be the most successful winning groups of the competition with record sales that are estimated to be close to 500 million. Apart from making them one of the best selling artists of all time they are certainly the best-selling band of all time from continental Europe. Another record that they smashed was that of non-English speaking band members achieving universal and consistent chart success in the major English-speaking countries with 8 consecutive #1 albums in the UK alone.
Not content with conquering the English charts they also enjoyed great success in Latin America with their Spanish hits.
Benny Andersson was born in Stockholm on the 16th of December, 1946. At the age of 18 he became a member of the group “Hep Stars” which performed covers, amongst other things, of international hits and were known as “the Swedish Beatles.” Andersson played the keyboard and eventually started writing original songs for his band, many of which became major hits, including “No Response” that hit number-three in 1965, “Sunny Girl”, “Wedding”, and “Consolation”, all of which hit number-one in 1966.
Here is “Sunny Girl” written by Benny Andersson the song was recorded in 1966 in English and entered the Tio i topp chart.
Buy the music of Benny Andersson: https://www.amazon.com/Benny-Andersson/e/B000APJKWO
2. Björn Ulvaeus was born on the 25th of April, 1945 in Gothenburg and also began his musical career at the age of 18 as a singer and guitarist with the group “The Hootenanny Singers, a popular Swedish folk- skiffle group. In June 1966, Ulvaeus and Andersson decided to write a song together. Their first attempt was “Isn’t It Easy to Say,” and the two also began playing occasionally with the other’s bands on stage and on record, although it was not until 1969 that the pair wrote and produced some of their first real hits together.
As their respective bands began to break up during 1969, Andersson and Ulvaeus teamed up and recorded their first album together in 1970, called “Lycka”(Happiness), which included original songs sung by both men.
“Isn’t it Easy to Say” first song they wrote together.
and “To Live with You” (from Lycka their first album)
Buy the Lycka Album: https://www.amazon.com/Lycka-Björn-Ulvaeus-Benny-Andersson/dp/B073X52S1N
3. Agnetha Fältskog, who was born on April 5th, 1950 in Jonkoping sang with a local dance band headed by Bernt Enghardt who sent a demo recording of the band to Karl Gerhard Lundkvist. The demo tape featured a song written and sung by Agnetha: “Jag var så kär”. Impressed with her voice Lundkvist arranged for Agnetha to come to Stockholm and to record two of her own songs one of which was a #1 hit in Sweden.
Agnetha released four solo LPs between 1968 and 1971. She had many successful singles in the Swedish charts. She met Björn Ulvaeus in 1960 and they married and became involved in each other’s recording sessions. Soon they were joined by Benny Andersson and his wife Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad adding backing vocals to Agnetha’s studio album Som Jag.
Here is one of her English tracks from these years. “Sometimes when I’m Dreaming”
Buy Agnetha’s Greatest Hits: https://www.amazon.com/Agnetha-Faltskog-Thats-Greatest-Hits/dp/B000008967
4. Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad was born on the15th of November, 1945 in Bjørkåsen in Ballangen, Norway. From the age of 13 she sang with various dance bands, and worked mainly in a jazz-oriented cabaret style. She also formed her own band, the Anni-Frid Four. In the middle of 1967, she won first prize in a music competition and a recording contract with EMI Sweden and to perform live on the most popular TV shows in the country. Benny Andersson wrote tracks and produced her album in 1971, she had her first number-one single, “Min egen stad” (My Own Town), featuring all the future ABBA members on backing vocals.
“My own Town” featuring all the future members of ABBA.
Buy Frida’s music: https://www.amazon.com/Ensam-Frida/dp/B00K444KFS
After ABBA formed, she recorded another successful album in 1975, “Frida ensam,” which included a Swedish rendition of “Fernando”, a hit on the Swedish radio charts before the English version was released.
Additional sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABBA
ABBA’s Amazon Store: https://www.amazon.com/ABBA/e/B000APR9C2
Thank you for dropping in today.. I am offline until tomorrow and will catch up with your comments then. Look forward to your feedback.. Thanks Sally.
Next week ABBA are formed and their hits begin to hit the charts.
About William Price King
William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.
His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.
William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking
William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.
Connect to William
Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/
Thanks for dropping by and we hope you have enjoyed this week’s performances.. Your feedback is always welcome. Sally