#2: Lovedrops by Barry Allen

City: Edmonton, AB
Radio Station: CJCA
Peak Month: May 1966
Peak Position #1
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #17
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Lovedrops
Lyrics: “Lovedrops

Barry Allen Rasmussen was born in 1945 in Edmonton, Alberta. His family was musical, and he learned guitar and sang from an early age. Barry wrote for the Canadianbands.com website decades later of himself: “While attending Victoria High School, he was a member of the curling club, and had aspirations of becoming a chartered accountant. But by the time he’d graduated, he was looking at a musical future, and spent the next couple of years in a number of makeshift groups, honing his chops and emulating his British invasion idols.” He joined Wes Dakus and the Rebels in 1965. They band went to New Mexico and recorded with Norman Petty, producer of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Roy Orbison, Buddy Knox and others. Petty was taken with Barry Allen’s vocal abilities and suggested Allen make some solo records. The outcome were the single releases in early 1965, “Easy Come Easy Go”, and “It’s Alright With Me Now”. The first single climbed to #6 in Edmonton in January 1965, and made the Top 30 in Regina (SK) and Calgary (AB). The followup single climbed to #9 in Edmonton in July 1965.

Barry Allen’s next release was “Lovedrops”.

Lovedrops by Barry Allen

“Lovedrops” was primarily written by Mickey Baker. MacHoustonMickeyBaker was born in 1925 in Louisville, Kentucky. His mother was black, and his father was believed to be white. He was put into an orphanage at the age of 11. He ran away frequently, and at age 16 went to New York City and found work as a laborer and then a dishwasher. But after hanging out in the pool halls of 26th Street, he gave up regular work to become a full-time pool shark. By age 19, Mickey Baker went back to dishwashing, but remained determined to become a jazz musician. The trumpet was his first choice for an instrument, but with only $14 saved up, he could not find a pawnshop with anything but guitars for that price. By 1951, Baker was working as a studio musician playing guitar on recordings for Billy Eckstine, Dinah Washington, Little Willie John, Bill Doggett, Dion, the Drifters, Ruth Brown, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, King Curtis, The Robins (later the Coasters), Ivory Joe Hunter, Varetta Dillard, Little Esther Phillips, and more. He was in the recording studio for Big Joe Turner’s R&B hits “Honey Hush” and “Chains Of Love”, Nappy Brown’s 1955 R&B hit “Don’t Be Angry”, Ray Charles on “It Should’ve Been Me” and “Mess Around” in 1953, Amos Milburn’s “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer”, and Big Maybelle’s 1956 R&B hit “Candy”. His most well known performances are arguably his backing guitar on “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer” by Dion in 1961.

In 1957 Mickey was one half of the duo, Mickey and Sylvia. They had a Top Ten pop hit titled “Love Is Strange”. In 2004 “Love Is Strange” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In late 1959, Baker released his debut solo album, The Wildest Guitar, on Atlantic Records. He recorded 17 studio albums during his career. Baker moved to France and lived to the age of 87, and died in Toulouse in 2012.

“Lovedrops” is a song about a guy who realizes his sweetheart doesn’t love him anymore. So, it feels like there are raindrops falling in his eyes. But he decides they must be “candy-coated lovedrops.”

“Lovedrops” peaked at #1 in Edmonton, AB, and Regina, SK, #4 in Toronto, and Hamilton, ON, #6 in Boston, #9 in Kingston, ON, and #17 in Vancouver, BC.

In September 1966, Barry Allen had a #9 hit in Hamilton (ON) with “Turn Her Down”. The song also made the Top 20 in Peace River (AB), Edmonton (AB), and Regina (SK).

In 1967, Barry Allen was part of Wes Dakus band who released “Armful Of Teddy Bears”. In June 1967, Allen’s cover of the Barbara George song “I Know” was a #13 hit in Edmonton.

Allen formed Southbound Freeway in 1967 and concurrently continued with Wes Dakus’ Rebels into 1968. From 1969 to 1972, Allen hosted a variety show in Calgary titled Come Together.  The TV shows backup band, Cheyenne Winter, toured with him in 1971. While in 1970, Allen signed with Randy Bachman’s Molten Records. He recorded a song written by Bachman and previously recorded by the Guess Who titled “Wednesday In Your Garden”. It spent seven weeks in the Top Ten on CHED in Edmonton.

In 1972 he formed Painter, which included some former members of the 49th Parallel. In 1972, Painter toured with Dr. John and Steely Dan. Later, Allen produced records after he established Bumstead Studios. In the late 80s Wes Dakus and The Rebels reunited and performed at rock ‘n roll revival shows over a number of years.

In 2001, Barry Allen received the first of two Prairie Music Alliance awards as Engineer of the Year. In 2003, Allen won both the Engineer of the Year and Studio of the Year awards at the Western Canadian Music Awards.In 2013, Barry Allen relaunched The Rebels after Wes Dakus died. At the age of 74, in 2020, Barry Allen died after a battle with cancer.

December 13, 2023
Ray McGinnis

Barry Allen, Dwayne Osepchuk, “Barry Allen,” Canadianbands.com, April 11, 2022.
Barry Allen, Edmonton musician, Dead at 74,” CTV, April 5, 2020.
Bruce Weber, “Mickey Baker, Guitarist, Dead at 87,” New York Times, 2012.

Lovedrops by Barry Allen
CJCA 930-AM, Edmonton (AB) Top Ten | May 8, 1966

One response to “Lovedrops by Barry Allen”

  1. Tom Locke says:

    Did not know that Mickey Baker was the prime writer of “Lovedrops.” It sure was a big hit in Toronto when I was growing up.

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