3 January 2019

Paul Conway - Come A Little Bit Closer/ Be Lonely Little Girl

Lovely bit of Orbison-influenced beat from a disappeared performer

Label: Piccadilly
Year of Release: 1964

Over the years, "Left and to the Back" has paid host to the work of a number of recording artists who  have just disappeared into the shadows. As such, there's absolutely no harm in kicking off 2019 with another person whose present whereabouts remain utterly unknown.

Paul Conway (real name Roger Newell) had also worked under the name Vern Rogers, and issued four singles on Oriole under that name  from 1962-64 ("Be Everything To Anyone You Love", "He's New To You", "I Will" and "Anna (Go To Him)". All these records failed to chart, and he clearly decided to change his name to Paul Conway to ensure he was no longer saddled with the "flop artist" tag. 

A new contract with the Pye subsidiary Piccadilly delivered two additional records, "Don't Make Fun of Me" and this effort. I've yet to hear the former release, but this is a lovely piece of old-school beat drama about a likely lady, filled with quivering vocals, dramatic brass lines and a neat, pounding chorus. The track had previously been recorded by Jay and The Americans who had issued it as a successful 45 in the USA a few months before - this version has a bit more drama about it, though, and may end up becoming your favourite.

Numerous people have tried to track down Paul Conway over the years, not least his old backing group The Hi-Fis (creators of the brilliant "Tread Softly For The Sleepers" single) who have devoted an entire webpage into searching for him. The quest has proved elusive so far despite numerous enquiries on several Internet forums, so it's doubtful my request for further information will be any luckier... but let's see. Paul or Verne - if you're reading this, people want to know where you are. And this is a rather good single, by the way. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you David

Pye have an great catalogue of many hard to find songs

Greetings Albert

Anonymous said...

Sadly Paul passed away some time back

23 Daves said...

I'm very sorry to hear that sad news. Do we know if he continued to sing for awhile after his Piccadilly contract expired, or moved on to other things?

Betty Lou LAYLAND said...

I have searched several times for details about Paul Conway and "Come a Little Bit Closer, of which I have a 45rpm disc. Only now have I learned that Paul Conway died some time ago. Such a shame that he may not have known the long-lasting impact that this cover of Jay and the Americans song had to so many of us. My love and good wishes go out to any of his family or friends that are still here remembering Paul. Betty Lou Layland