Lou Christie is a million selling song writer and singer known for his distinctive high falsetto. His breakout hit “The Gypsy Cried” was followed by the hits “Two Faces Have I" and the no. 1 song "Lightnin' Strikes". Lou has appeared in concert with Diana Ross and the Supremes , the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Who, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard and more.. He did a command performance for Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family. His music is featured in several movies including “Rainman”, “The Last Days Of Disco”, “A Home Of Our Own”, “Before Sunrise”, and “Dutch”.
John Lennon in several interviews said that "Lou Christie was one of his influences and called him "a truly creative person”.
Lugee Moon Township Crooner
Lou Christy was born as Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco in Glen Willard, PA in 1943. He studied music and voice at Moon Township High School., where he was the student conductor of the choir. He sang solos with the choir at the holiday concerts. His teacher and mentor Frank Cummings wanted him to pursue a career in classical music, but Lugee wanted to cut a record to get on American Bandstand. He performed with several vocal groups, worked as a session singer, and recorded songs on small Pittsburgh labels between 1959 and 1962. He released "The Jury" by "Lugee & The Lions") on the Pittsburgh-based Robbee label obtaining local airplay and sales.
Meeting Twyla Herbert
At age 15 Lugee, as a member of the singing group the Crewnecks, auditioned for pianist Twyla Herbert. She offered the Crewnecks a place to rehearse. Lugge showed up regularly becoming friends with the classically trained Twlya who was his senior by 20 years. Twyla Herbert and Lugee became prolific song writing partners working together for 30 years until her death in 2009. They wrote hundreds of songs together yielding a dozen hits. In 1962 Twyla and Lugee wrote "The Gypsy Cried," recording it on two-track machine in a garage.
The Gypsy Cried Single and Stardom
Lugee was hired by record producer/distributor Nick Cenci to perform on a recording. Lugee approached Cenci asking him to promote “The Gypsy Cried”. Nick produced a full band recording of the song at Gateway Studio in Pittsburgh paying the band with wine and $500. Nick released the single under the name of Lou Christie on his Co & Ce label. Within two weeks Nick broke the record on Pittsburgh radio stations and airplay quickly spread to Johnstown, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Roulette Records picked up national distribution of the "The Gypsy Cried" making it a smash hit at number 24 on the Billboard charts. Selling over one million copies of the song, Christie at age 19 was awarded a gold record.
Cenci produced more recording sessions for Christie in 1963 generating the million selling hits "Two Faces Have I" that reached number 6 on the charts in March 1963, and “How Many Tear Drops” (written by Milan) that was number 46. With those hits Christie joined Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars Tour appearing the Supremes, Gene Pitney, Paul and Paula, Dick, The Ronettes, Fabian, and Frankie Avalon.
Lou’s recording career was put on hold for two and a half years when was inducted into the U.S Army.
Leaving the Army Lou signed with MGM records and recorded a song that he and Twyla wrote called “Light’n Strike”. Lenny Shear, the MGM label head said it was a piece of crap and threw the tape it in the wastebasket. Ignoring Lenny Shear Lou’s management team put up their own money to promote the song to radio. It quickly became the number 1 song in the country in 1966. It went Gold with a million sales. It reached number 1 in Canada and the top 20 in the U.K. Three months after telling Lou that his song was garbage, Lenny Shear posed with Lou handing him the gold record in a picture published in Billboard magazine. Lou ‘loved”Lenny’s turn around.
MGM released Christie's "Rhapsody in the Rain," later in 1966. With sexually explicit lyrics it was banned on radio, but became a million seller as a result of the publicity. After MGM Lou had releases on the Colpix and Columbia labels. He scored another Top Ten hit on the Buddah label, in 1969 with the million selling "I'm Gonna Make You Mine."
Christie dropped out of the music world in the 1970’s moving to London. After getting free of drug problems in a London rehab clinic, he worked as a ranch hand, offshore oil driller, and carnival barker. In the 1980’s he began to perform again appearing on Oldies tours.
Comeback in the 90s.
Lou began recording again in the 1990’s. In 1997 he released an album of 20 new original song entitled “Pledging My Love”. He released “Greatest Hits Live at the Bottom Line in 2003. Lou's records continue to sell today with re-releases of his 1960’s hits, and various greatest hits collections on Varies Saraband and Rhino Records.
Lou Christie's Hits