b. Gary Levone Anderson, 6th June 1939, Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.A.
Gary U.S. Bonds is an accomplished R&B singer and songwriter.
Gary hails from Florida, relocating to Norfolk in Virginia during the Fifties.
He started out singing in his local church and also sang with a group called the Turks.
Signing to the Legrand Records imprint, the owner (Frank Guida) decided he should change his stage name to ‘U.S. Bonds’.
The intention was that his name may be of interest to radio listeners, if they confused his name with a sale of, actual, U.S. Bonds.
Gary stayed at the Legrand imprint up until 1967, sporadically, recording for ATCO, Ariola and Stateside throughout the Sixties.
new orleans b/w please forgive me - 1960 / quarter to three b/w time ole story - 1961
He released three sides (‘New Orleans’ b/w ‘Please Forgive Me’, ‘Quarter To Three’ b/w ‘Time Ole Story’ and ‘School Is Out’ b/w ‘One Million Tears’ all in 1960-61) for Legrand, along with an album (‘Dance 'Til Quarter to Three,’), under the name ‘U.S. Bonds’, however, people found the name confusing, so Gary added his christian name to the stage name.
dance til quarter to three - 1961 / twist up calypso - 1962
Gary’s follow up 1962 album was called ‘Twist Up Calypso’, were released under the name ‘Gary (U.S.) Bonds.
His first hit was the song ‘New Orleans’ b/w ‘Please Forgive Me’ (U.S. number 6 in 1960).
A second single, entitled ‘Not Me’, was later covered by the Orlons.
In 1961, Gary released ‘Quarter To Three’ b/w ‘Time Ole Story’, which became a number one hit, earning a gold disc.
‘Quarter to Three’ features on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll listings.
Further singles followed, including ‘School Is Out’ b/w ‘One Million Tears’ (number 5 in 1961), ‘School Is In’ b/w ‘Trip To The Moon (number 28 in 1961), ‘Dear Lady Twist’ b/w ‘Havin' So Much Fun’ (number 9 in 1962), and ‘Twist, Twist, Señora’ b/w ‘Food Of Love’ (number 10 in 1962).
In 1963, Gary toured Europe, being the headline act, the Beatles were the supporting act.
Gary’s hits featured hallmark solos by the saxophonist Gene Barge.
dedication - 1981 / on the line - 1982 / standing in the line of fire - 1984 / nothing left to lose - 1996
In 1981, Gary returned from a long recording break with the album ‘Dedication’.
‘On the Line’ followed a year later, produced by Bruce Springsteen.
‘Dedication’ featured the single ‘This Little Girl’ (which reached number 11 on the Billboard chart).
Gary still releases albums up until recently, including 2007’s ‘Certified Soul’.
He is considered, mainly, as an R&B artist, however, he adapts his styles at times, covering the Rock and Country genres.
‘She's All I Got’, (co-penned by Swamp Dogg), was nominated for the Country Music Association's ‘Song of the Year’ in 1972.
Gary is a 1997 honoree of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.
back in 20 - 2004 / certified soul - 2007
In 2004, he released ‘Back in 20’, a tongue in cheek reference to his 20 year spaces between musical releases.
Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny. both appear on the album.
Gary was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 2009, Gary released ‘Let Them Talk’.
He then toured the U.K. as a special guest of Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.
Dance Til Quarter To Three (Legrand/Top Rank Records 1961)
Twist Up Calypso (Legrand/Stateside Records 1962)
Dedication (EMI America Records 1981)
On The Line (EMI America Records 1982)
Gary 'U. S.' Bonds Meets Chubby Checker (EMI Records 1983)
Standing In The Line Of Fire (Phoenix Records 1984)
Nothing Left To Lose (Vitapro Records 1984)
Back In 20 (M.C. Records 2004)
Certified Soul (Music Avenue Records 2007)