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The Foote Files: The Yardbirds

(CBS 11) - One of the greatest British blues bands ever was and is The Yardbirds from the United Kingdom.

Formed in 1963 in Surrey, England, the group consisted of Keith Reif (vocals, harmonica), Top Topham (guitar), Chris Dreja (guitar), "Sam" Samwell-Smith (bass and keyboards) and Jim McCarty (drums). During the mid-60s there were some personnel changes. Topham was replaced by Eric Clapton, who in turn was replaced by Jeff Beck. Samwell-Smith left the band in 1966. Dreja move to bass and Jimmy Page joined on guitars. Page was later known as a founder of Led Zeppelin, another great British blues band. Beck formed his own band which at one included Rod Stewart. They disbanded in 1968 but reformed in the early 90s.

The group charted six songs on the Billboard Hot 100 over an 18-month period from June 1965 to December 1966. Their most successful song was "For Your Love" in 1965 which hit #6 and was on the charts for nine weeks.

Today's song didn't chart but demonstrated the band's ability to sing the blues. "I Wish You Would" was written and recorded originally by Chicago blues musician Billy Boy Arnold in 1955. The Yardbirds recorded the song as their debut single, released in May 1964 in the U.K. and in August of that year in the U.S. Produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and running 2:19 on the Epic Records label, the original lyrics go like this:

Early in the morning, 'bout the break of day
That's when my baby went away
Cryin' and pleadin' won't do no good
Come back, baby, I wish you would

Huggin' and a-kissin' late at night
I tell you now baby, I feel just right
Tell me now baby what you tryin' to do
Tryin' to love me and some other man, too

Come now baby, give me one more chance
You know I still love you, want to be your man
Stayin' out drinkin' all night long
I tell you now baby I think it's wrong

Come back baby, I wish you would
Cryin' and pleadin' won't do no good
Tell me now baby what you tryin' to do
Tryin' to love me and some other man, too

Come now baby, give me one more chance
Come on

If you lived in Dallas/Fort Worth during the 60s, you would have heard this on Gordon McLendon's 98.7 KNUS-FM (today the station is 98.7 KLUV-FM, owned by Entercom Communications).

Turn it up loud!

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