By Ken Foote

(CBS11) – The group, The Left Banke, was an early baroque rock band from the 1960’s. Formed in New York, its members included Steve Martin on vocals, Rick Brand on guitar, Michael Brown on piano, Tom Finn on bass, and George Cameron on drums. The group had a chamber music- like style with the use of strings and piano, along with falsetto (sort of) voices and tight harmonies. You would have almost thought that they consulted with Frederic Chopin or Ludwig von Beethoven!

Brown was the primary songwriter of the group who wrote two back to back hits for the group “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina.” Walk Away Renee hit #5 on the American Top 40 charts in 1966. The next song, “Pretty Ballerina” from 1967 is the one featured in this blog. The lyrics go like this:

“I had a date with a pretty ballerina
Her hair so brilliant that it hurt my eyes
I asked her for this dance and then she obliged me
Was I surprised? Yeah. Was I surprised? No not at all

I called her yesterday. It should have been tomorrow
I could not keep the joy that was inside
I begged for her to tell me if she really loved me
Somewhere a mountain is moving. Afraid it’s moving without me.”

The song finished at #15 on American Top 40 charts, certainly very respectable. However, due to internal dissension, the band disbanded in 1969. Michael Brown, who wrote this song, passed away in 2015.

If you listened to Top 40 radio in the 60’s, you would remember hearing this on great radio stations like WABC, KHJ, KRLA, WLS, WCFL, WFIL, KLIF, KXOL, KFJZ, KILT, and CKLW.

Listen to this song and see if it doesn’t tug at your heart!

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