Gary U.S. Bonds (b. June 6, 1939) is a veteran R&B/rock and roll singer and songwriter with powerful soulful vocals who became famous during the early 1960s. His best known songs include such classic early rockers as "New Orleans" (1960), "Quarter To Three" (1961), "School Is Out" (1961), and "School Is In" (1961). As a songwriter, Bonds is famous for "She's All I Got," a song he co-wrote with Jerry Williams Jr. (a.k.a. Swamp Dogg) that became a big hit on the Country charts for Johnny Paycheck and received a nomination from the Country Music Association in 1972 for "Song of the Year."
Born Gary Levone Anderson in Jacksonville, Florida, he moved to Norfolk, Virginia in the mid 1950s when he began singing in church and with a local group while still in his teens. He signed with Legrand Records soon after and took the stage name, U.S. Bonds, which was later changed to Gary (U.S.) Bonds to avoid confusing him with a group.
Gary U.S. Bonds debuted in late 1960 with "New Orleans," a Top 5 hit on the R&B charts which also made the Pop/Rock Top 10. This smash was followed soon after by "Quarter To Three" (1961), which topped the Pop/Rock charts, made the R&B Top 5, and became a million-seller. Bonds' string of hits through 1962 on both charts also includes "School Is In" (1961), "School Is Out" (1961), "Dear Lady Twist" (1961), "Twist, Twist Senora" (1962), and "Seven Day Weekend" (1962). Bonds re-emerged many years later in early 1980s with three hits produced by Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt: "This Little Girl" (1981), "Jole Blon" (1981), and "Out Of Work" (1982), the latter of which was his final charting song.
Since his peak in commercial fame in the early 1960s, Gary U.S. Bonds has continued to perform and record actively to the present day. "Quarter To Three" is included in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.
- For more info about Gary U.S. Bonds and his current projects, visit garyusbonds.com.
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- New Orleans 1960
(This song later also became a hit for Eddie Hodges (1965) and Neil Diamond (1968).)
- Quarter To Three 1961
(This song topped the charts.)
Gary 'U.S.' Bonds
- Dear Lady Twist 1961
(This song was one of a number of early 1960s songs that was influenced by the Twist dance craze.)
- School Is In 1961
- School Is Out 1961
("School Is Out" and "School Is In," debuted in July and October, respectively, of 1961.)
- Seven Day Weekend 1962
- Twist, Twist Senora 1962
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